Tag: Been There, Done That!

I found this tag about travel on Beauty Before Breakfast, a Dutch beauty blog. I decided to copy the tag and translate it to English, because like Maud from Beauty Before Breakfast I really enjoy traveling! Here it goes:

Which countries of the world have you visited?
To be honest I haven't visited that many 'special'/extraordinary countries yet, with one or two exceptions. And I've only been on two continents: Europe and Africa (seeing as Moscow is in the European part of Russia). I've visited The Netherlands (duh), Germany, Belgium, England, Denmark, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland (if driving through the country and only getting out of the car for breakfast at a gas station counts?), Morocco, Russia. I think that was about it, so quite a short list. But after this summer I'll be able to add two countries: Czech Republic and Greece!

Which destination is at the top of your list of places you would like to visit sometime?
Definitely the Scandinavian countries, I would especially love to make a trip through Sweden and Norway. I generally want to see more of Europe, because I believe there's so much to see beside it being a relatively small continent. And farther abroad I would love to visit New York (seems like an amazing city, so definitely one of my must-see cities) and Canada (the nature there seems gorgeous).

What is your ideal vacation?
I must say I love relaxing on the beach, doing nothing at all. But I always want to see something of the area I am in (unfortunately my parents seem to enjoy the relaxing more than exploring the area, but hey I can go on holidays alone now and do what I want). So my ideal vacation would be a combination of relaxation and traveling around, seeing different towns and visiting famous (and less famous!) sights.

Which place made such an impression on you that you want to visit it again?
London, obviously (my all time favourite city!). But that doesn't really count since, if all goes right, I will be living there in about 3 months time. But I definitely want to visit Morocco again and make a tour around the country, since now I only saw Marrakech and part of the Atlas mountains. I would love to go back to this area but I also want to see the rest of the country. Furthermore, I will definitely visit Spain again - again an obvious one because I am going to study Spanish at university.

Show your favourite vacation photograph. 
The one above this is one of my favourites, I took it in Marrakech. But I don't know what my all time favourite vacation photograph is, and I can't look for one now because I recently got a new computer so there are no photos on here (I got this one from my photobucket). But I promise I will post many photographs after coming back from Prague and Crete - so now you have something to look forward to!

Have you ever been sent to a nice destination for your work? If so, where?
Well I just got my first job, so, no I haven't. But after university I would love to become a journalist - or something related, and travel a lot for my work. So hopefully my answer to this question will be a lot more interesting in about 10 years time!

With who do you travel most?
My parents and brother, all holidays I've been on till now have been with them. I've also made a few trips with school (Spain, Moscow and Morocco). But this summer I will travel with Eline (to Prague) and Kim (to Crete), so I think it will change in the following years and I will start spending more holidays with friends instead of my parents.

With who would you like to go on holiday sometime? (this can be anyone: family member, friend, famous person...)
Well I hope I will end up with a boyfriend/husband who likes travelling ;) haha
But at the moment mostly with my best friends! Oh and I would like to go on a shopping holiday with Abena sometime because she's so fashionable.

Who or what would you take to an uninhabited island?
I wouldn't like to go to an uninhabited island, because I enjoy having people around me. So I would take a bunch of friends and food and drinks so we can survive!

Have you ever been on holidays in The Netherlands? If so, where?
Yes, especially when we lived in Germany we spent quite a few holidays in the Netherlands. I've been to places like Texel (one of our islands) and Drenthe, and more.

Would you rather go to a fun park or a zoo?
It really depends on my mood! I don't really like thrill rides (unless they don't have scary loopings haha) so I only like fun parks when they have a lot of rides I do enjoy (such as the Efteling here in The Netherlands). I really like the zoo, I love taking photographs of all the animals! Although I understand that it is of course a lot more special to see these animals in their natural habitats.

Would you rather go on a skiing or sun holiday? 
Sun, definitely! I can't ski (have never tried) and I don't like the cold weather. I don't come from a family that goes on winter skiing holidays so it's just not my thing. Give me sun, the beach, a  swimming pool and some magazines and books and I'll enjoy myself!

What is your best holiday memory?
I really enjoyed the two weeks we spent relaxing on Sicily in 2009. It was my first all-inclusive holiday and I especially enjoyed all the food haha. Both the pools and the beach were great so we spent all of our days just relaxing. I also really enjoyed the trip we took to the Etna and Taormina. But I would have liked to see more of the island, so I do want to go back some time! My best 'holiday' memory from a school trip was the trip to Morocco - so different from everywhere I had gone before. That whole trip was just a new and great experience for me.

What is your least favourite holiday memory?
When we went to the Po delta in Italy (close to Venice) in 2010 we had to leave 3 days early because there was a severe storm with lots of rain. Our house was at a low point and the water ended up coming inside and at that point my parents decided it was time to go. Of course it was a good decision, the whole ground flour was wet (I think it was 5 - 10 cm of water) and everything smelled, but at that point I was really sad and I cried on the way back home (I still had plans for the last few days of the holiday and I can't stand changes to my plans!).

Which countries are you visiting during your holidays this year?
In July I will be going to Prague, Czech Republic, and in August I will be going to Agios Nikolaos (Crete), Greece. So two new countries for me! My parents might also squeeze in a weekend in Germany, but I'm not sure if that will work out.

Where would you never go on holidays?
There are not really places I would never like to go to... Although I am really scared of some animals (spiders aaah) which are currently holding me back of visiting some places, but I hope I can overcome this fear because there are some places I would love to visit (South America, Australia!).

So now you know a little bit more about my travelling (hasn't been much yet, but I'm still young!). I have quite a few plans for the future, the main one being that I really want to go on an Interrail trip around Europe somewhere in the near future (maybe next year or the year after).

I pass this tag on to all of you, so feel free to copy it!



I am currently taking the Wilton Decorating Basics course, in which I learn the basics of cake decorating with buttercream icing. Last Monday I made my first layered sponge cake, filled with strawberry mousse and decorated with different colours of buttercream. We had to choose a simple drawing/picture to practice our decoration technique, and I chose a fish because they have a simple shape and they are just really cool, haha. I am very happy with the result,  I think it turned out very good for my first cake! Here are some photos :)

The cake didn't just look good - it also tasted great! So we finished it within a few days. But I will be baking a lot more in the next weeks: this week I need to make cupcakes for the course and next week is the final project - another layered cake.

Do you like baking and decorating cakes?


Origami inspiration

Last weekend I went a Japanese market in Leiden, where they sold all kinds of Japanese things ranging from food to puzzles with Super Mario. Of course there were also stalls selling books on origami and origami paper. I had never done origami before, and wasn't sure if I could do it, but I bought a book and some paper - I thought it might be nice to do something creative during my long holiday. The book I bought is on mini origami, but the paper is 15 x 15 cm, so my creations are still quite big. I think this is a better size to practice with than really small paper though. Today I made 2 sailboats (one of the simplest things you can do), a fish and a penguin. The penguin didn't quite turn out the way it looks in the book, but I think it still went well for a first time!

Here is some origami inspiration, some of these things look really difficult to make, so I don't know if I will ever make them, but they're just so pretty to look at!



The Charles Bridge

In July, I will be visiting Prague together with one of my best friends: Eline. We will be spending 5 days (4 nights there) which we will mostly fill by sightseeing. I already bought a city guide, which has lots of information and there are some places I really want to visit, but I also want to ask you for some advice. Have you ever been to Prague, and are there any things you think we should not miss out on? Can be sightseeing, shopping, food, whatever really - we want to do and see a lot!

A few things I definitely want to do/visit:

Go up the Petrin hill. I've heard that from this hill you can get a great view of the city. Our hotel is close to the station of the funicular railway that goes up the hill, so this is something we will definitely be doing!

Go to the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) and visit the famous Jewish cemetery, with thousand of graves crammed into a small space. I would also like to visit a synagogue if I get the opportunity.

Prague Castle and St Vitus's Cathedral. 

The Charles Bridge. Our hotel is, I believe, a 10 or 15 minute walk away from the famous Charles Bridge, and I think this is definitely one landmark every tourist visits. It has statues on it, which makes it different from ordinary bridges. 

The Astronomical Clock in the Old Town. I find things like this quite interesting, and therefore I will definitely have a look at this clock!

Eat Trdelnik. I first saw this on 24kitchen (a Dutch food channel) about half a year ago, and ever since then I've wanted to try it! It's a cylindrical shaped pastry, mostly with nuts on it. It just looks really good to me haha! Does anyone know where in Prague I am most likely to find a street vendor selling these?

I am really looking forward to this trip. We will be exploring a city which is new to both of us (let's hope we don't get lost!) and spending a lot of time together, which will be good for our friendship because Eline and I didn't see each other very much in the last year - mainly due to me being busy with school. But now that we are both finished with exams we can spend some more time together.

So if you have any tips as to what we should do in Prague, or any food we definitely need to try, please let me know :)

I will be keeping a travel journal while I am there and will show it to you afterwards. Of course I will also create a post here about the whole trip, including photographs!

x Loes