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Five Amazing Low-budget Things to Do in Sydney

When I chose Sydney for my semester abroad, I knew that living there was going to be extremely expensive. Australians are pretty much used to it, especially because they also earn higher salaries accordingly. However, as an international student, you know that you will end up super broke by the end of the semester. So, with weekly rents that added up to almost twice the rent I paid back in Maastricht and limited time to cook a cheap meal at home, it was clear that I had to cut costs on other things. Luckily, there are plenty of activities to do in Sydney that are for free. Most of them are outdoors, but with an annual average of 236 sunny days a year, one does not really have to worry about the weather anyway. Here are five low-budget things to do in Sydney, that will only cost you the transportation to get there.


1. Do the Bondi to Coogee Walk

Bondi to Coogee

Iceberg Pools SydneyWant to explore Sydney’s beaches? Well then the Coogee to Bondi walk is the right thing for you. It is a pretty easy route of about 5km that is also ideal for jogging or running. My recommendation – grab a nice and fresh Smoothie at Calipress Juice at Coogee and then start walking along the beautiful coastal line, passing by Coogee, Clovelly, Bronte, Tamarama and Bondi Beach. Beyond the lovely beaches and cliffs, you will also get to see cool surfers (or maybe try out surfing yourself!), the old Victorian Waverly Cemetery, the Bondi Ice Berg Pools and many other things. Furthermore, it offers plenty of opportunities for sports, like the outdoor gyms, surfing, kayaking, snorkling and other things.

2. Visit the Figure Eight Pools in the Royal National Park

Royal national park Sydney

Royal national park SydneyOnly 1,5 hours by train from central Sydney you can reach the Royal National Park. It covers an area of 15k hectare and is supposed to be the oldest purposed national park. Since it’s so huge, there are so many things to discover and sooo many hikes to do. However, what we were after were the famous Figure Eight Pools! Recently extremely trending on Instagram, getting there is not too easy. Once you are there though, the view is simply amazing – one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. You need to be careful, however, and check the tides before you go there. You will only be able to see the pools during low tides. Once the tides are starting to get higher, make sure to quickly get away, since the strong waves will hit the rocks and seriously injure you.

3. Walk over the Harbour Bridge

HArbour-bridge-sunset Opera_house_view

You could pay over $300 to climb over the Harbour Bridge … or you can simply walk over it for free. You will get an amazing view and see the Opera house and the Sydney Skyline from a unique angle. My recommendation is to do it around sunset time and in that way enjoy the beautiful lights and colors in the sky reflecting on the city.

4. Feed Kangaroos at Morisset Park

Morisset Park
The kangaroo picture is basically obligatory when going to Australia! So, instead of paying to get to the Zoo and see kangaroos through a window, you can simply take the train to Morisset and experience these cute animals in their natural habitat. Make sure to buy some bananas before you go, so you can feed them! Furthermore, I can assure you that they are super tame and you can pet them without being scared – no they will not box you. Just be nice to them, and they will be as cute as they look to you!


5. Go Hiking in the Blue Mountains

Blue MountainsLeura Cascades
Another low-budget must-do in Sydney is going to the Blue Mountains! You can either go there for a day trip, or even spend a couple days there camping. Do not ask me why, but for some scientific reason, this mountainous area takes on a blue-greyish color when viewed from distance. The hikes there range from easy to extremely difficult and exhausting, so make sure to check the routes first before you start your hike. The Leura Cascades is one of the highlights which you should definitely check out as well, and fortunately getting there does not take a too hard walk!

Thoughts Travel

A semester abroad in Sydney has come to an end

semester abroad in sydney

I have not posted about my semester abroad in Sydney at all during my whole stay. I usually would apologize for being such a lazy blogger but to be honest, I think its legitimate if I say that I just did not want to waste any time sitting at the laptop writing posts when there was so much to explore outside. But now that my adventure has come to an end and I am leaving back home tomorrow, I feel like I need to write down some thoughts while they are still fresh.
There will be 2-3 more detailed posts about my semester abroad and everything I have done here and of course at least one video! Since I will have one month at home filled with doing literally nothing, this is for sure not an empty promise.


So, how does it feel leaving this place, which used to mean nothing to me and now is filled with plenty of memories?

Well, it’s is so difficult to describe it, that I will just have to go with… It’s weird! But let me tell you something that might help you understand. I spent the last couple of days in Sydney the same way I spent my first days here – just walking through the city with no plan where I’m going. However, this time it was different, it was more conscious. During my first strolls through the city I was impressed by the main sights; the Opera House, the Harbor Bridge and all the touristic must-sees. Excitement was huge and the story was yet to be written. During my last ones, I paid attention to way more details of my surroundings. Sydney is more than just the major attractions – its beauty is reflected in many more aspects. It might just be that one building at the corner of the street, or the cute coffee place located where nobody would expect it, or that flower booth in the center of the business district, or that amazing musician in the inner city, or…, or… But apart from all these things that create this lovely atmosphere, it is the memories that make Sydney so unique and special to me. The activities I’ve done, the people I met, the moments I will never forget. Walking through the streets, random memories kept popping up in my head. Memories that made me realize how quickly time passed, while at the same time realizing how much I became part of the city and that I am not a tourist anymore.

Home. Home is where the heart is they say – and as much as I love Sydney, my heart is where my family and friends are. I am happy to say that I have made most of my time here and that I have not wasted a single minute. It is time to go home and yea, I am ready to leave. But I know, I will return one day.

Event Travel

Event | Amsterdam Fashion Week AW 2014/15

Dorhout Mees
Ich find’s irgendwie schade, dass ich so wenig Feedback zu dem Follow Me Around Video bekommen habe, aber na gut, dann widme ich mich einfach mal wieder dem Schreiben zu. Heute gibt es also ein paar Fotos und ein kleines Feedback von mir über die Amsterdam FW.
Generell muss ich sagen dass die Atmosphäre in Amsterdam im Gegensatz zu Berlin viel gechillter und die Leute irgendwie bodenständiger sind. Irgendwie „passiert nicht so viel“: Es laufen sehr wenige Presseleute rum, demnach viel weniger „Promis“ und Blitzlichtgewitter. Die meisten Leute sind sehr gut gekleidet, jedoch fehlt es irgendwie an „schrägen Vögeln“, die dem ganzen Event einen zirkusähnlichen und faszinierenden Touch geben.

Das gute daran, ist natürlich dass es auch weniger überhebliche und arrogante Menschen gibt. Alle haben so nett und freundlich auf mich gewirkt – keiner hat mit erhobener Nase auf einen herabgeschaut. Das fand ich natürlich sehr angenehm. Zu den Designern kann ich insgesamt nicht viel sagen, da ich nur auf drei Shows war, aber ich habe wohl gehört, dass viele die holländischen Designer als experimentierfreudiger und individueller empfinden. Nunja, eine klare Seite kann ich da natürlich nicht einnehmen, vor allem weil mir die Mode in Berlin schon sehr gut gefallen hat und ich nicht so empfand als wenn „alles das gleiche“ wäre.

Insgesamt, soweit ich das beurteilen konnte, gefällt mir die Berlin Fashion Week irgendwie besser. Vielleicht liegt das aber auch gar nicht an der Qualität der FW selber, sondern mehr an den Kleinigkeiten, die für einen Blogger den Unterschied machen: Man sieht viele bekannte Gesichter und ist somit viel mehr „mitten drin“. Trotzdem hatten wir einen schöne Zeit auf der AFW und werden vielleicht beim nächsten Mal wieder mit von der Partie sein!
I’m quite disappointed that I didnt get much feedback on the Follow Me Around Video, but okay, then I’ll just get back to writing. Therefore, I want to say a few words about my experience during my stay at the Amsterdam FashionWeek.
In general, I kind of felt that the atmosphere in Amsterdam was much more chill and down-to-earth. Somehow, there is „not much happening“ – meaning, there are way less photographers, press, „celebrities“ and people with crazy style. This, however, also brings one really nice aspect: People are less arrogant and they do not see themselves as they were super important or better than the others. Everyone is very friendly and has a smile on their face. I really liked that. As it comes to the quality of the designer’s work, I cannot say much, as I attended only three shows. But I’ve heard people saying that the Dutch designers are much more experimental and individual. 
So as far as I can tell, I kind of liked Berlin Fashion Week more. This may not even have to do with the quality of the event itsself, but more with the fact that I know much more people and thus know more about what is going on. But still, we had a great time in Amsterdam and might pass by the next time again!
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Travel Video

Follow me Around / Cairo + 5 random facts

von 2011, Giza
Soo endlich komme ich auch mal dazu über meinen Kairo Urlaub zu berichten. Wie ihr wisst habe ich meine Kamera mitgenommen, um das Leben dort zu dokumentieren und ein kleines Filmchen für euch daraus zu schneiden. Ich möchte euch vorab ein paar Infos geben, damit ihr das Video vielleicht ein bisschen besser versteht.
Fast jedes Jahr besuche ich meine Familie in Kairo und nehme so an ihrem Leben teil. Ich besuche die Orte, die sie besuchen und erlebe sozusagen ihr alltägliches Leben.
Wenn ich in dort bin, laufe ich also nicht als Tourist rum und sehe nur die schönen Seiten, sondern auch die Schattenseiten. Auch wenn das Leben dort so anders ist als hier und ich mir nicht vorstellen könnte jemals dort hinzuziehen, hat Kairo ein gewisses Flair, nach welchem ich mich jedes Jahr immer wieder sehne. Kairos Vielseitigkeit fasziniert mich und das kontrastreiche Leben regt mich immer wieder zum Nachdenken an…
Ich hoffe, das Video gibt euch einen kleinen Einblick in eine andere Welt. Ich wäre zwar liebend gern auch in die Altstadt zu den alten Bazaaren oder nach Giza zu den Pyramiden gefahren, aber aufgrund Ägyptens politischer Situation sind nicht mehr alle Straßen so sicher …

5 Random facts about Cairo
  1. Seit 1960 hat sich die Einwohnerzahl Kairos verdoppelt. Heute leben nach offiziellene Angaben 9 Millionen in der Stadt und weitere 10 Millionen um die Stadt herum – die größte Stadt Afrikas. Durch diesen schnellen Wachstum wurden viele spontan errichtete, instabile Hütten erbaut. Der Platzmangel führte auch dazu, dass viele tausende arme Leute sogar die Friedhöfe bewohen mussten. 
  2. Wochenende ist Freitag und Samstag. Ihr Sonntag ist also unser Montag.
  3. Es gibt sogenannte „Gated Communities“ am Rande Kairos, wo die reichen Leute ihre Villen bauen und abgeschieden von Kairo’s Hektik ihr Leben à la Westeria Lane leben.
  4. Die Al Azhar Universität ist eine der ältesten Unis weltweit. Weitere wichtige Universitäten in Kairo ist zB. die private American University oder die German University.
  5.  Der Straßenverkehr ist soo willkürlich. Hupen ist vielleicht der größte Bestandteil beim Autofahren, denn sie steht für „Pass doch mal auf, ey!“. Auf den Straßen findet man alle möglichen Transportmittel, vom sogenannten Tuktuk über Kutschen, bis hin zum Luxusschlitten.

    Soo, finally I found the time to report from my vacation in Egypt. As I told you before I took my camera with me in order to document the life there and make a short video documentation. Before you watch it, I want to give you some information about it though, so that you might understand better what you are about to see.

    Almost every year I visit my family in Cairo and like this, I take part in their daily lives. Therefore I see more than the tourist’s point of view – not only the impressive relicts and beautiful sites, but also the downsides of the city. Although I could never imagine actually living there, Cairo has this certain flair, that just love every time I am there. Its diversity fascinates me and its contrasts are very thought-provoking.  
    I hope this video gives you a little insight in Cairo’s lifestyle. Of course I would have loved to go to the old bazaars or to Giza for a little bit of filming, but due to the current political situation, many streets are not that save anymore…

    10 Random facts about Cairo

    1. Since 1960, Cairos population has more than doubled. Currently there live 9million people in the center and further 10 million in the outskirts – biggest city in Africa. This rapid growth caused many insecure, spontaneously built shaks and the lack of space pushed thousands of poor people to live on the graveyards.
    2. At the outskirts of the city, you find gated communities, where the rich people live their life à la Westeria Lane.
    3. You have weekend on Friday and Saturday. Their Sunday is our Monday!
    4.  The Al-Azhar University is one of the oldest ones in the world. Further important universitys are the private American University and German University.
    5. You will find organized chaos on the streets of Cairo. The horn is propably the most used gadget on the streets, it says „Watch out, man!“. You will find any kind of transportation means, the so-called tuctuc, carriages, a few bikes but also big  luxourious cars.