April

It all went by so quickly! I managed to make a birthday cake for a friend, lay out in the sun every chance I could get and caught up with friends and family. It doesn’t sound like much but it somehow takes up a lot of my weekends – not that I’m complaining!

Now, I’m not going to go into detail about the amazing weather we have had, as a typical swiss person will tell you, because the weather has been quite perfect so far… Oh, no! I just did. What am I becoming? All jokes aside, I’ve learnt to appreciate the good weather as it comes. In Switzerland, it can change from sunny to cold in a matter of hours. This is something I always found amusing: the amount of people confused by the weather. I’ve seen people wear coats and scarves, and  people wearing shorts and a singlet – both on a perfect 24 degree day.

As mentioned before, I like to lay out in the sun as often as possible! So naturally being the woman I am, I ordered myself another bikini for the summer. Black, high waisted bottoms and a nice classic triangled top. After trying them on, I’m still not sure if I can pull of the look of being a 2018’s Baywatch extra.

Here is a pic of me nearly asleep after a pedicure and relation in the sun at the Montreux palace spa. It doesn’t get better than that.

What most surprised me about making a cake for a 5 year old is that I can actually do it! In the back of my mind I always thought it would fall apart or I would drop it just before the party. But no, it turned out well. It wasn’t perfect – but I know now how to make it look better next time I make one. Maybe after a few more practice cakes I could make a tutorial…

Not sure why, but this year I’m very excited for summer and can’t wait to have an excuse to wear less clothing. I’ve been planning a few outfits I want to wear – including many things I’ve had in my closet for a long time but never wore! Oops… I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this.

Until I have more important things to report, I’ll leave it at that. I hope everyone is having a great day/night. Xx

Important things I’ve learned so far.

On my birthday weekend, I went to Zermatt. There was even a flight in a helicopter and it was amazing! On my birthday or leading up to it, I like to reflect back onto my life around my birthday to see how far I’ve come. I’ve learned so much over the past few years whether it’s just about life in general or things I wish I was told when I was younger, there is now a list! Here are mine, what would you add?

1. Learn to appreciate the small things.

2. Learn when to react and when to ignore. Your energy and effort is not infinite.

3. Be kind.

4. Stop putting impossible pressures on yourself.

5. Go at your own pace.

6. Have a hobby, preferably also one that keeps you active.

7. Travel as much as possible, experience different cultures, try different foods.

8. Save your money! Set a budget, put aside some money with every paycheck. It never seems like much but over a few years it adds up.

9. Do what you want to do – plan it, execute it, don’t ask for permission.

10. Communication is key. I’d rather repeat myself than miss out important information. In relation to: relationships, work environment, etc.

11. Go with your gut instinct.

12. Don’t rely on someone else for your own happiness.

13. The important people to keep in your life will make an effort.

14. Find out what works for you when it come to self care. It’s different for everyone.

15. You are enough.

16. Saying “I love you” doesn’t cost anything. Say it to those you care about!

17. Failure is just a lesson on how not to do “it”. Fail until you figure “it” out.

18. Fake it til you make it. We are all just hacking. Not everyone knows what they are doing.

Barcelona.

So, I went to Barcelona for a two and a half day stay last week. I went to just get away from the cold weather in Switzerland and to take advantage of my 3 days off work.

As Christmas and New Years is approaching, work is getting busier and busier. Which gave me all the more reason to get away, relax and meditate before the storm. I have a feeling that time will go quickly this month (December) and if I blink I might miss it!

I can’t guarantee that this blog will be very infomative about Barcelona tourist attractions but it’s more of a chill-traveler’s guide to the city.

I’ve mentioned this before in another blog of mine, that I find shopping relaxing and calming. Hence the name Retail Therapy. That’s what I did for a lot of the time between getting a hair cut, eating at a cute cafe everyone is on a waiting list to get into.

Day 1: I got up in the morning around 8am and started to pack. Yes, I always pack last minute! I planned for 3 outfits and took 1 extra pair of shoes for just incase. I only took carry-on luggage, so only the nessesary toiletries were packed. As I was already wearing so many layers to the airport to leave Switzerland, (becasue it was around 5 degrees celcius!), I was wearing already half of the things I was taking.

-Flew with Swiss to BCN from ZRH over the midday-

I landed in Barcelona and had a hard time trying to actually find the bus shuttle that would take me to the city center.  You would think I did enough research into this but I actually hadn’t seen or heard about AeroBus until I was standing infront of it. It’s cheap, clean, direct and has no-fuss wifi! The buses are also made for people with suitcases and has USB charging stations near the seats. This was definetly worth the €5,90 fo sho.

I got to my hotel and left my tiny bit of luggage at the lobby because I knew that if I went to my room, I would have found a good reason to take a nap. I also was excited to explore the city but also a little overwhelmed on what to see first. I walked, ate snack sized portions of food and drink the whole day. I found a place to get my facial done on the last day of my trip, then pondered my way back to the hotel by the time it was getting dark. I decided to have a chill night in which was nice after being on-the-go since 8am.

Day 2: Slept in. Got breakfast at a little place called Brunch & Cake. This place has a waiting list. I was told I had to wait 20 minutes but I was seated within 5 minutes, which was a pleasant surprise. I ordered an iced matcha and some sort of refreshing juice with mint, (I was thirsty!), then I orded the “Eggs” (scrambled eggs) which came in a bagel with hummus, avocado and salmon – I ordered without salmon. I really liked this place! Just keep in mind everone was taking photos of their plates before eating, including myself. I ate brunch but sadly never got round to trying the cake. Tip: the chocolate pancakes are really just two chocolate cake layers with a ganache filling. Literally, a cake on a plate. Another guest beside me orded it and said it tasted delicious but he was expecting normal pancakes. Just a heads up!

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The good thing in Barcelona is that a haircut is about half the price there than in Switzerland. I walked in to a hairdresser and luckily got seated straight away. There’s something special about getting a haircut that gives a boost of confidence! Wash, cut and blowdry was only €35. I highly reccomend you go to Louis Philippe if you want a modern style for a reasonable price. I know I will be going back.

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I went back to the hotel, inspected the rooftop pool and found that even though it had been sunny, the water was cold. The sun was setting as I made a mental note to go back onto the roof again in the morning when the sun is really shining down, before I go back to Switzerland.

It was then time for dinner. I went to a nice place called Firebug, which was on the same block as the hotel. This place is warm, friendly and has really good food. I’m not a huge fan of tapas for dinner, so I ordered some nachos and some amazing chicken wings. With one Sangria and I was ready to sing karaoke or dance on the bar (maybe because I’m a lightweight, or it was really strong?) I guess you’ll have to find out for yourself. The chicken was amazing (it’s called sticky fingers on their menu) and the nachos were the best I’ve had in a long time.

Day 3: It was a good thing I went to check out the rooftop the day before because I spent a good 2 hours laying out on a pool chair, reading “Start with Why” (which is a really good book, btw), listening to music and soaking up as much sunshine as possible. I had my shoes off, t-shirt and jeans on and I wasn’t sweating yet I was warm enough. The morning couldn’t have been better. There was one other person there also, but they had seated themselves far away. It was so peaceful and quiet. It felt really good to just “be”.

My facial was for at 15:00 and by the time it was midday, I was hungry. So I left my luggage in the lobby of the hotel again and set off in search of lunch. I stumbled across a super cute bubble tea place called AM8. For some bubble tea, cake and stable wifi (which is not so common in Barcelona) this place is good. It’s not the most modern place, but the rose milk bubble tea was really good!

Ceiling in AM8 cafe - very cute!

The second best part of the day (first place would be the sun bathing on the roof in the morning) was getting a facial and deep clean at Dr Beatriz Beltran’s clinic. I got a microdermabrasion session, followed by a thick, cooling peel off mask. I fell asleep just a little, and left the place feeling so refeshed and relaxed. The women there are really warm and helpful with all questions I asked. They don’t speak perfect english but it was enough for me to understand. I had gotten microdermabrasion done before a few times and had forgotten how refreshing it is for the skin.

Afterwards was basically just enough time for me to wander back to the hotel to get my little bit of luggage, get the shuttle bus again back to the airport and check in for my flight back home.

That basically sums up my short, relaxed trip to Barcelona. I didn’t intend to blog this trip because I wasn’t sure it would be enough information but a good friend told me I should anyway… I’m glad he inspired me!

So in short – Highlights:

  • Having alot of “me” time.
  • The weather
  • The FOOD!

Lowlights:

  • I couldn’t shop as much as I wanted to because I had little space/weight to take it back with me (in hind-sight this was a good thing!)
  • I didn’t play “tourist” as much as I could have.

Have you been to Barcelona and would add more to this chill-travel guide? Let me know below.

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Don’t miss this amazing place when in Switzerland!

A few weeks ago now I needed to get some Swiss alpine air as I had been craving it for a some time now! Within 30 minutes on deciding where I wanted to go, I spontaneously got on a bus, then a train, then a cable car and arrived after 90 minutes at my destination: Oeschinensee.

To get there: Public transport is good (in comparison to Australian public transport) but not always great. There’s only a handful of trains that go by Kandersteg and also when going back to where ever it is you came from, it can be up to an hour’s wait if you miss your connection!

From Kandersteg you can either hike the way up to the top or take the cable car, which is what I did. Because I have a GA I got (I think) 50% off my ticket. Its about a 15 minute walk from the train station in Kandersteg to the cable car. It was a pleasant ride up to the top which of course comes with many beautiful views into the valley below. To paint a picture for you: I spotted green pastures, classic Swiss huts, paragliders and even snow capped mountains. You can hear the little rivers that has been created from the melting ice hundreds of meters further upstream and breathe in the fresh air!

Once I had started along my walk, there were even cows grazing nearby with bells on. Swiss-ness Pur!

The Lake itself is reached by a brisk 20-25 minute walk from the cable car. I went with only little knowledge of what to expect and what to explore. So after 10 minutes of walking along, I was wondering where that big lake is. But when I saw it… I knew then already my trip was well worth the effort. Just to prepare you, it’s just as beautiful as it looks in pictures, or even better!

This destination is really a full day trip. Its the best way to soak up the atmosphere or at least leaves enough time go for a long walk. Oeschinensee has a lot to offer, such as: hiking around the lake, fishing, photography (with such a view, its a shame not to take photos), swimming, paddling (there’s a paddleboat hire), have a picnic with friends and family (I noticed bundles of wood for a small campfire at the kiosk for CHF12.-), go tobogganing, marvel at the beautiful wild flowers growing all around or just go there to find a spot to meditate and get some sun!

I wish I had gone earlier in the day to get more walking and relaxing in, but now I know

 

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Have been to Oeschinensee? Or are you yet to go? Tell me below!