BERLIN HIGHLIGHTS

Hallo allerseits!

I have just returned from a pretty crazy week in Berlin where I spent New Years with a few friends from university. This was my third time to Germany’s capital, but the first time being overage and without any adult supervision. Unfortunately, I managed to sprain my ankle on January 2nd (2017 is going GREAT) and spent the last couple of days in our airbnb, but four days had actually been enough to see what I really wanted to. So I wanted to write an article with all the highlights of my trip.

TOUR: The Famous Insider Walk, guide: Brian Bell, price: €10-€14

We did this tour the first day and it was amazing! This takes you to all the famous places (Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, Hitler’s Bunker, lots of memorials,….) It’s about four hours long but includes a 30min lunch break. This tour is great if it’s your first time in the city as it explains all of Berlin’s history and shows you all of the ‘big’ places. Our tour guide Brian (who studied Theatre Performance) was fantastic, listening to him was like watching an entertaining one-man show. Even though I had already studied most of the things he explained, there wasn’t a single moment during the tour when I was bored. Would highly recommend!

BARS: Möbel Olfe / Roses

Now let me start by telling you that both my best friend Ciaran (whom I spent most of the trip with) and I are queer. As Berlin has a lively gay scene, most bars we went to were gay bars. Möbel Olfe, situated in Kreuzber, is described as a rowdy alternative gay bar. We went on a Tuesday and it was absolutely packed which is why we only spent a couple of hours there, drinking mixed drinks and making friends from around the world. After that we headed to Roses, a gay bar we had already discovered the previous evening. Roses is fully decorated with pink fluffy walls and pictures of pornstars on the tables. It gets extremely busy and crazy as the night persists so if you’re not into that, just go for a couple of drinks (just the interior is worth a visit). Ciaran and I stayed both nights until 5am and both nights ended up basically being the most insane nights out I’ve ever had (which says a lot). So if you’re not into that, don’t stay that long or be careful with what you drink and what people might try to sell you.

VEGAN FOOD: Brammibal’s donuts

Brammibal’s donuts, not surprisingly, is famous for its vegan donuts. However it also has lunch options, coffee, milkshakes, etc. They have a very nice interior and a lovely variety of donuts. I had the chocolate peanut butter fudge and a hot coco with oat milk, while Ciaran had avocado on toast and later the salted caramel donut. The staff was really nice and I could not recommend this place enough. Just look at their website, you’ll understand.

MUSEUM: Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen (Filmmuseum)

This is my favourite museum of all times. I visited it twice in the past three years and love it. Even though I already wanted to study film when I first went at 17, this museum made me want to study it even more. Although it concentrates mostly on German film and on the very first big films (most of them silent and B&W), what really interests me was the part about film during WWII and it’s role in war propaganda. There’s also a full room dedicated to Marlene Dietrich which is fabulous. If you have even the slightest interest in film, go there (it’s only €4,50 for students).

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Other recommendations: definitely take a stroll alongside the East Side Gallery, have a cocktail or some food at Südblock (it’s vegan friendly and gay, which is all you need), take pictures at one of the famous photoautomats, if you go during the holidays: enjoy a nice cup of glühwein at one of the 60 Christmas markets (!!!), and if you’re into a crazy New Years eve, spend it at the Brandenburg gate.

Happy New Year,

Marion

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MONTREAL // VEGAN FOOD

Bonjour!

As mentioned in my previous article I spent a week in the province of Quebec in Canada during the month of July. The main reason we went to Canada was to visit family, but that didn’t stop us from going around and enjoying this beautiful place as best as we could. As we had already been to Montreal a few years ago, this time we only spent two days in the actual city and the rest of the week we did more nature-related activities in the surrounding area. Even though we didn’t spend that much time in the city and mostly made our own food at home, I was still able to drag my two meat-eating parents to a couple of vegan places during our stay.

LA PANTHERE VERTE ★★★★

This is a chain restaurant offering delicious organic and local vegan food. There are five of them in the city, but we went to the one on Chemin Queen Mary. It has a very nice staff and lovely white and green interior with lost of plants (which is aways a win). As that one was very close to where we were staying, we went multiple times and I had the chance to try out different things. My favourites: BBQ tofu pita and the baloo berry smoothie.

website: http://thegreenpanther.com

LA LUMIERE DU MILE END ★★★

This is a vegetarian restaurant situated in the Mile End who also offers quite a few vegan dishes. It’s quite small but has such a great atmosphere. The woman who served us (and who may or may not have been the owner) was the kindest human being and you could tell she really loved what she was doing. For some reason I can’t seem to remember which burger I had, and to be completely honest it’s probably because it didn’t really stand out from everything else I ate that week. However, my father ordered the vegan pad thai and loved it! They also had a lot of coffees/teas/milkshakes which I unfortunately wasn’t able to try, but they definitely looked delicious.

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website: http://lalumieredumileend.com

If I find the courage I may write an article on everything that we did whilst in Quebec, but for now I hope you already enjoy this one!

Marion★

 

SAN FRANCISCO

Remember when I said I wanted to write one article a week? HA HA HA.

I’ve been so busy working on the school musical and my skating show these past few weeks that I never found the time to write, but now that I have a little bit of free time, I better use it well. So let’s go back to where we left of.

Winter break.

One month ago today was the first day of winter break. Like the title of this article says, my host family and I went to San Francisco. Because of a snow storm that was happening the day we were supposed to leave, our flight got cancelled. I’m not going to go into detail of HOW we finally arrived in Cali because that’s going to take too long, just know that we did end up arriving in San Francisco on the 16th after three days of travel.

We were only there for a week, but it was a great week. I honestly fell in love with this city. The temperature was nice, we did interesting things and met interesting people, and all in all it was really great. I sometimes wish we could have done more, but let’s be real here, one week just isn’t enough time. I’ll just have to go back some day (and I am totally okay with that).

I think my favourite thing was the tour of Alcatraz. The island has so much interesting and creepy history, it was great. Also, the audio tour is just amazing. Would definitely recommend if you ever find yourself in SF. We visited a lot of Art galleries, the Golden Gate bridge, Sonoma, Stanford University, we spent some time on Valencia street (best thing ever), etc etc.

Going back was hard, It was about 18°C in SF and -25°C in Maine. Also, we got back on monday and then on tuesday we were at school again. So tiring. But we did it, and I’m really happy we spent the week there. It was a wonderful trip.

Since then I’ve been working on the school musical, and I’ve been having a great time! our show is next week. I’ll try to write an article about it when we’re done.

BYEEEEE

Cherie★