EuroTrip – Part 2 – Frankfurt

Hi guys!

As promised here’s part two of my EuroTrip. Destination two was Frankfurt.

After four days we’ll spent in Amsterdam, I was now ready for new adventures in Germany.

Again we booked for our three days stay at IBIS Hotels! This time around, it wasn’t in the city centre. It was about 15 mins walk away from the city centre but closer to the financial district. From my room, I could see the tower of Nomura, EY and Citi Bank …

We got to Frankfurt in the evening at around 6 pm and it was dawn already. Our rooms were definitely better than the ones in Amsterdam as they were more spacious, and we had a bath rather than shower and also the interior design was fab. After settling in of course, we were on the hunt for food again and wanted to explore Frankfurt by night.

The restaurant is a pretty popular one called L’osteria. I had spaghetti bolognese and my friend (Mia) had some fancy thing which I can’t remember the name but it tasted like carbonara. Prices were pretty decent so we even decided to add some champagne (proseco) to accompany everything.

By 10 p.m. we were done eating and we went for a little walk while digested our meal and enjoyed the night view of the bridge and the wind. It was calming to think about nothing else and worrying about nothing but enjoy the moment.

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The next day, we began our little adventures with my Mia and other friends (Ben and Indira). Our plan was to visit the city (old council, the church, the opera and the city) for the morning and by 1 p.m., we had to visit the European Central Bank. I was pretty excited about it.

We did all these tours walking which meant that by the time the evening was up, we were very much exhausted. Below is a little slide show of the day. Starting from old council, then the cathedral, sneak pick from the night before (very close from the restaurant), the streets, and friends.

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Now the pictures of the view from the pictures below have a story. Did I tell you I climbed a tower of 70 metres using the stairs for there was no lift just because I wanted to capture the view.

Okay, not really. I knew the view would be nice and wanted to get it but if I had known how much time and energy  it would take get to the top of that tower, I promise I would not have signed up to it.

Anyway, I am still glad I did. Reminds me once more of that quote which says “there is light at the end of the tunnel”. You see, investing my energy trying to get to that tower’s top, I took breaks, to breathe, it was exhausting but I did not give up and the view was worth it).

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Absolutely love these pictures. With my friends, we spent around an hour at the top and I even had a group meeting via conference call because duty calls! My friends said, you can’t be serious; on a rooftop? But guess what, it was the most productive meeting ever.

Not sure if we ate something before heading back to our hotels and dress up for the part two of the day which was a visit at the ECB (European Central Bank).

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The visit was topped up by a conference on the functioning of the ECB, the current issues facing the ECB and we had an open discussion in the end were questions could be asked. I remember asking a question concerning the pace of development of different European countries, bringing in the burden that Germany and the ECB takes on those EU countries who are not at the same pace of development or currently in crisis. Greece was the example i brought up. Another question I asked was to know more about the selection criteria to EU countries to be a part of the ECB. The panel discussed this taking the current case of Turkey which is an apparent candidate yet on evaluation to assess whether or not it can join the ECB.

This conference was a great way for me to link up and connect with other participants. I was also glad that I had the opportunity to express my viewpoints on the pros and cons of the ECB. My last question I remember asking was about the ECB’s influence and stake in the management of old French colonies such as Cameroon and other central African states. I specifically brought up the issue on the colonial debt which till date, find absurd. Overall, this was an enriching experience and I hope that one day, I would be in position to influence the fiscal and monetary policies of the CEMAC countries to preserve the Franc CFA, our independence and therefore, autonomy.

And that was it for Frankfurt. I would have loved to shop especially Birkenstocks which I had planned but our schedule was tight and by the time we finished at the ECB, we just had under an hour to get to the mall and shop. And we were also hungry so food won! We went back to L’Osteria since it was close to the hotel.

Three nights and two days and next off was Paris! The picture below just shows how excited I was. There was so much to do in Paris (sight seeing, friends, family, doctors’ appointments, shopping, food). I was looking forward to it already.

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Fun Fact: If you are wondering why I was (we were) in trainers in most the photos, that is because we walked most of the time. I cannot recall us taking a taxi or the tram or bus at any point really so trainers were more convenient. Apart from that, they are comfortable.

Part 3 to come in the next post.

Thanks for reading.

19’s Observation.

 

 

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EuroTrip 2018 – Red Lights District Amsterdam Anecdote!

Hi my loves!

Hope whereever you are reading me from, you are having a nice time.

Alright, this post is to bounce on from the previous post about my EuroTrip and would be a continuation of my Amsterdam experience.

I would be briefly (hopefully not too long) giving my anecdotes about Amsterdam.

So the first one is about my Red Light District Experience. Before you reading this post begins to imagine things, let me clarify. It’s about my experience visiting the red light district and nothing more haha.

I have never been around such “milieu” so I was not too sure what to expect. All I knew about red lights based on what my friends had told me prior to getting to Amsterdam and for sure, I knew it was that it is an area for prostitutes. But it was rated among the top places to go to when in Amsterdam so out of curiosity and in the company of my friends, we made our way to the famous “Red Lights” . I had never seen such a place before.

Everywhere was reddish and overcrowded. Of course this isn’t a picture taken by me. I just got this online because rule #1 – You don’t take pictures at the red light. I wish I had known this before hand…

While walking with my friends, my friend (Mia) had her phone out and was taking snaps of the girls on display.

Just as on the picture above until the young on display opened her door and aggressively bounced on my friend. She called her all sorts of names (bitch, fuckx bitch, stupid to name a few) and then asked her if she didn’t have respect for their work. She made my friend delete all videos and pictures she had taken and flung her phone. I was so not ready for that to happen and I was in so much shock that I just watched. We ended up apologising endlessly in hope that she doesn’t get physical.

At last, she told us to leave and insulted us again once more repeating we should have respect.

That word “respect” baffled me. Had I just heard a “prostitute” asking us to show respect. I was in complete disbelieve. Not that they do not deserve respect as human beings but asking me to show respect for their profession was not something I was ready to hear.

That whole evening, we debated upon whether or not prostitutes deserve respect with my friends.

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Personally, I do believe respect is a strong word. I think those who deserve respect are those who respect themselves. Selling your body in my opinion shows disrespect towards your own self, because you are lessening the value of who you are and it speaks volume about your character.

However, my friend (Ben) responded saying it would be totally be foolish to assume all prostitutes are morally corrupt individuals and hence do not deserve respect. He added, that “it’s supposed to be the world’s oldest profession and I see no problem with prostitutes who aren’t being coerced into sex by pimps.

Mia said added to this that “unfortunately, many prostitutes are basically slaves who have been sold into the sex trade. They are putting their lives in danger as the only means of survival.

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Regrettably, no matter how old the profession is, and the varying reasons behind prostitution, I would not agree to these ways and would therefore not be in support in any way.

Before I continue, I have to remind you that prostitution in Amsterdam is legal so a place like “The Red Lights” even have cobs walking around in search of their own pleasures.

Again, for me there’s no two way to go about this than having my answer from a biblical stance point (note how I do not refer to religion in anyway. – no matter the religion you follow, I know this is condemned by God).

Prostitution is in the same bundle as sexual immorality and if you read my previous post you will understand better (click here).

Proverbs 5: 3-14 God forbids involvement with prostitutes. And he does in so many other verses of the bible.

In Thessalonians 4: 3 it says, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality.

To sum up as a final opinion and building up on what I have said above, I believe they deserve to be treated as any other human being but having to respect their profession like the lady asked us at The Red Lights is not something I would do. Why would you want to be respected when you are on public display like a commodity/possession and selling/exposing your nakedness.

For sure God looks at the hearts and him alone can judge them however, my faith in Him because He forbids any involvement with prostitutes because He knows how detrimental it is.

God’s desire is that we stay pure and use our bodies as tools for His use and glory (Romans 6:13)

And before you think God doesn’t forgive prostitution, He does because prostitutes aren’t beyond God’s scope of forgiveness. Remember the story of Rahab (Joshua 2:1, 6:17-25). Anyone has the opportunity to receive salvation and eternal life from God, to be cleansed of all their unrighteousness and be given a brand new life. All you need to do is to repent and believe in God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come

I will love to have your own thoughts. Let me know what you think about respecting prostitutes and prostitution as a job.

See you in the next post!!!

EuroTrip – Part 2

19’s Observations.

EuroTrip 2018 – Part 1 – Amsterdam

Hi guys,

Greetings from Exeter, United Kingdom. Yes for once, it’s not London… Its about 2.00 AM and I am still awake because I woke up from a late nap two hours ago (That’s how you know Uni has messed up your cycle)…

At the start of the year, I promised to post once every month but unfortunately, that has not been the case because of priorities and more importantly because, I tend to write when I feel inspired to and not as a sort of routine.

Anyway, tonight I felt like sharing a post on my Easter break EuroTrip!

Background

In my plans for 2018, I had promised myself that I was going to live for me and be happy, treat myself if I wanted to (of course considering bank account’s status) and not let things happening around me get to me and steal my joy. I decided that safety was longer an option or a word in my life and I was open to adventures. I was ready to get out of my comfort zone and do things I have always thought of doing but was defeated by fear or guts.

I really love travelling but at first I would not be bothered to plan these trips or I felt as though I needed approval (from my parents) before going on crazy trips. If it was not a family vacation which was booked by my parents, I would not bother myself with planing and organising (i.e. visa application, flight bookings, hotel/apartment reservations, attractions and sight seeing plan..).

I would literally give up as soon as the desire to travel somewhere comes because I could not imagine myself doing all the paperwork by myself and simply booking a visa appointment. But this was because I left home at the age of sixteen and before that pretty much everything was done for me. All I had to do in the past was to show up (chuckles).

Making these changes allowed me to travel in April to four countries in Europe. I started planning this since January and by April 1st I was on my way for the first destination – Amsterdam!!!

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I went with couple of friends from University and we lodged at IBIS Hotels in the city centre, which was pretty close to everything. Of course, it was the city centre. The same evening once we got there, we settled in an went out to have dinner.

One thing I did not know about Amsterdam is how expensive it is. Just to have a decent warm meal, you should plan around 25 Euros (just for the main). But trust us students to find the cheap spots and chinese!

The following day started off with visiting museums with one of my friends who equally loves Arts and Exhibitions. On our way we noticed that just at every corner, there were Tulips. And then a bit of research and quick chats around, and we realised that Amsterdam is popular for their Tulips gardens and museums and we were right by it.

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We visited Rijiks which is the museum of modern arts and Stedelijk Museums. The Van Gogh museum is also pretty popular but you need to book it way in advance as tickets sell out quite fast. Visiting the museums took us almost the whole morning till about early afternoon (1.00pm). There are so many pictures I took but I will just show a few.

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Managed to get this picture from the Rijiks museum. This is one of my favourite pictures I tool for the entire trip.

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I am that one friend with creative weird poses so I would take 10 000 pictures on the same spot but with different poses. Shout of to my friend a.k.a photographerofthetrip for her patience.

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I love this picture not only because of the position of the cubes and the wall paper but also because it shows my skin tone in its realest everyday state without any lighting, or make up. I really do love my dark skin and I cannot imagine myself a different skin tone.

Next from my time is Amsterdam was visit the canals and just admiring the beauty of the city with it’s numerous bikes (Guys, I think you would never see the number of bicycles I saw in Amsterdam anywhere else. It’s insane. They have parkings (up to 1000 spaces) for bikes).

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As courageous as I am, I found myself asking the boat driver if I could take the picture on her seat driving the boat and she nicely said Yes! So I did. If you wish to visit the city by boat through its canals, just look for the popular cruises called “Hop and Hoff”

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The craziest part about Amsterdam was to go on a swing on a rooftop on top of a tower which is 100 metres from the ground (my old self would have never done that, never). I was so scared and definitely screamed but I am happy I did it. It just reminded me about the common fact that “most of the times, for a lot of people including myself, we let our fears get to us so much that we don’t even realise the strength that lies in us”. We are quick to give up, to say no, to not try and that, actually makes us miss our ‘blessings’ in so many ways.

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The rooftop swing A’DAM Lookout and it is so beautiful in there. I loved my journey to get to the place and experience the swing. First, a cruise, then, building itself which has a lot of fancy things (overpriced for the shops) but really good spot for pictures.

And here we go:

 

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There was so much to visit in Amsterdam and it cannot be contained in just one post and there are so many more pictures and anecdotes I wish to tell you guys about but I guess that would be for another time. I would do a sub post on my recommendations and the things to do while in Amsterdam.

To sum up, this was the mood in which I left Amsterdam for the next stop – Frankfurt.

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Till next time guys.

Much love xx

19 Observations.

MY BEST SUMMER VACATION PLACES IN THE UK

Summer is upon us! Out there enjoying the weather, the rain drops (because British weather is just like that), ice-cream, Sunday roasts, festivals and above all shopping which is one of my favourite activities.

I thought it will benefit you to consider tripping to some of the places I’ve been to this summer.

  1. Glastonbury Festival -Music and Contemporary Performing Arts.

The festival lasted five days long. It was one of the craziest experiences of my life. It was sunny, crowded (but you get used to), stinky (best believe me, by the end of , exciting and simply fun. When we arrived at about 1 pm that day, the queue was long, probably the longest I had ever seen. Security checked tickets (including camping spaces, parking spaces), illegal substances or items. It is one of the most popular festivals in the UK and happens once every two years. Glastonbury is huge. It is unreal how huge it is. I finally settled on my camping space after almost four hours of queuing and walking to my camp. Set up my tent, installed all my things (I would advice anyone that goes to Glasto. not to over-pack), and visited the perimeter (water points, toilets), shops and nearest stages.

Once all that was done, I was deep into the festival; face painting, shopping vintage, arts, clubs, drinking… I managed to visit Arcadia, Healing, Avalon, Other Stage and Pyramid stages. My best of the entire festival was Ed Sheeran’s concert. I equally enjoyed the Jackson’s Five.

I witnessed two marriage proposals there and saw the most romantic couples kiss and hug each other. All that said, I will showcase some of the pictures I took from the festival.

One more thing (because I always have more to say) is make sure you scrub your body thoroughly when you return home from the festival.

  1. Tintagel Castle: King’s Arthur Cornwall.

If you’ve ever wonder where history meets legend, Tintagel is the place. It is one of UK’s most dramatic but spectacular coastline stretches. Why? That’s were the legend King Arthur was conceived. Because this isn’t a history class, I wouldn’t enter in the specifics of the place. What I deem most important to let anyone interested in visiting is that you should be prepared to hike.

You need a decent head for heights in order to get to the top, climb across over a wooden bridge and up a steep flight of stairs cut into the side of the rocky cliff.

And that’s where all the magic happens. You can look down onto the sea way below, and the waves crashing onto the rocks with the full force of the Atlantic behind them.

With the jagged Cornish coastline stretching off into the distance on each side of the island,  it’s a breathtaking place.

It would be an ideal place for brunch, for meditation, for relaxation and why not for a date.

  1. Roman Baths – Bath City.

It was just a weekend in Bath. Not my first time in Bath (I went for shopping the previous times) but it was actually my first time visiting Bath city and more importantly, the roman baths. Of course in my previous trips to bath with friends, I always prioritised shopping over spending money on ‘just roman baths tour’. But now that I had the chance to visit, I realise I had missed out on this one off beautiful experience.

To begin with, Bath city is renowned for its incredible architecture and has what I call a typical English charm (historic buildings and terraces, world heritage sites).

 I was at bath thermal spa, roman bath, royal crescent (one of bath’s most famous landmarks), river avon boat trip, and the circus.

I wouldn’t name all these places without talking about the shopping centre, the coffee shops and the cream tea.

I loved it.

  1. English Riviera – Torquay City.

If you are planning holidays around Devon then Torquay is the place to be. For Torquay there isn’t much description to make if its just to say the pictures will speak by itself. Plan Torquay becomes extremely popular when summer is on (fair enough, the weather is decent).

The beach is my favourite among all the others i have been to in the UK (Brighton, Swansea, Exmouth, Plymouth) for the simple reason been that the water is warmer. It’s coastline was nicknamed English Riviera (not sure why) but I guarantee you all, the view is amazing.

There’s also an arts gallery in the town centre, a quite small shopping centre and a lot of coffee shops.

It’s the ideal town for just getting away, relaxing without having to deal with large crowds.

I would have loved to suggest more places but as I said in my introduction, these are just the best places I found this summer. That been said, the UK is a lovely country and all cities have their own uniqueness, history, and charm. I hope by the time I leave the UK I will get to visit other places and attend more festivals (I will be attending the Nottinghill Carnival in two weeks – excitement level 100%).

Disclaimer: All the pictures were taken from an Iphone 6. I wish I had my camera along but I was always too scared about the crowds (Glastonburry and Bath), the height (Tintagel), and I simply forgot to bring it along to Torquay. I hope I can provide better quality pictures next time.

19’s Observation.