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Introduction: My Berlin

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(Sample of a Travel Review by Amy Turner, a member on citytravelreview project in Berlin, Summer 2005)

Tourist Tips
DO look out for bikes! The bike lanes in the city are rarely differentiated from pedestrian areas.
DO try out your German. Don’t be shy to test out your lan- guage skills. You don’t want to come across as rude!
DO Recycle. Recycling is super big in Berlin and you can even face fines if you refuse to cooperate. Another tip – If you take your used and empty plastic bottles back to the supermarket you will receive €0.25 in exchange for each one.
DO plan your journeys in advance. This is essential, especially during the night-time hours, since if you look like a confused and lost tourist, you may become vulnerable to thieves.
One of the great things about Berlin is that many of the sights and exhibitions are free to visit such as the Reichstag, the East Side Gallery and the Holocaust Memorial. A City that is certainly value for money.
If you fancy venturing to explore the nightlife, it is worth mentioning that most of clubs only get lively post 1am. Great for the night-owls, not so great for those who really like their sleep. Something else to remember if you do intend to head out, is that drinking on the streets and on public transport is strictly not allowed. Respect locals and wait until you are in a
bar or beer garden.

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The Berlin Bear Necessities

Introduction to the Travel Review produced by the work/study group on a citytravelreview project, July 2015

Made up of multiple boroughs, Berlin is a city of many characters and faces. Not as compact as London or New York, Berlin is a place where you can travel 20 minutes and feel as if you are in a completely different city. Every borough combines to make Berlin a cosmopolitan, diverse and vibrant city. Albeit a relatively new city, Berlin still has a substantial amount of history.

Berlin is such a vibrant and inclusive city, that you never want to leave after visiting. From our personal experience, Berlin is a truly great city. We have used our time to experience and collect as many fun memories, moments and great attractions as possible. Hopefully you can use our guide as a basis for your own trip to Berlin, and we hope our guide will help you realise what this wonderful city has to offer.

Fried Mars Bar

An article written for CityTravelReview by Janina Reiter, Edinburgh project, March 2014

Don’t think you might fancy a deep-fried Mars bar? No worries, it doesn’t taste as funny as it sounds. Basically, it’s just an ordinary Mars bar fried in batter. It is said to have been invented in 1995 in a bar near Aberdeen in Northeast Scotland. Mass media commented on the new snack, so it has become more and more popular ever since. Still it is not very common among Scottish people: According to a survey, most fried Mars bars are sold to tourists. For around £2.50 you can try one yourself, for example at the Castle Rock Take Away at the Grassmarket. It is worth giving this snack a chance. Although consisting of nothing more than warmed chocolate and caramel, it still tastes great.

George Heriot’s School

An article by Jasmin Seidl, a member on a CityTravelReview project, Edinburgh, Sept 2014

Unlike Hogwarts, which is only reachable by taking the Hogwarts Express from London’s King’s Cross station from platform 9 3/4, George Heriot’s School isn’t hard to find. Though it is not confirmed, it is believed that this school was used by J.K. Rowling as a model for Hogwarts. The school is an imposing stone building with turreted towers on each corner and unique carvings above every window. When looking at it the books and their story seem to come alive. Although entering is forbidden for visitors, the school is worth looking at from the street or from the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade. The school is also just two minutes away from the Elephant House Cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote part of the books.
Heriot‘s was founded in 1628 as a school for orphans and in compliance with the will of George Heriot, a goldsmith and jeweller at the court of King James VI and 1. In 1886 it became a day school for boys and in 1979 it was opened to girls.

The Scottish accent

An article written by Gerald Biebersdorf, member of the CityTravelReview Edinburgh project, December 2014

How to order a salad and end up with a burger

When you come to Scotland for the first time, at the beginning you will understand: – Nothing! At first you really have to get used to the slightly singing cadence of the Scots:

As the name already suggests, in the ‘Standing Order’, a pub and restaurant, which opened in 1997 in a former neo-classical style bank building built in 1878, you place your order at the counter, pay there, leave your table number and get the food brought to the table.

I order a Freedom Salad and a Devil’s Backbone Beer on offer for £ 5.69. The waiter types the salad in the cash register, then the beer. The display emerges only showing the beer: £ 3.19.

Surprised he asks me: ‘You just want the beer?’

‘No, I also ordered the salad.’

In his reply I understand: ‘I’m sorry, Salad and Pasta run out.’

I cannot believe this and, trying to get a verification, I ask him: ‘Salad and Pasta run out?’

‘Yes, Salad and Pasta run out!’

‘OK, then I have to look again at the menu. – I take the Highland Burger with Haggis then and a beer.’

‘OK! Highland Burger and Beer, which makes for this combination £ 7.29.’

After a few minutes back at the table, I get served by another waitress: – a Freedom Salad. ‘Oh, this cannot be my salad, your colleague told me that it was off.’ She replies: ‘Oh, I‘ll have to check this‘ and moves away with the salad. Again another few minutes later she brings me a burger saying that I had changed my order.

‘??’.

I‘d just started to taste the burger when another waiter brings another burger to the neighbouring table. She hadn‘t ordered that – she would never eat Haggis – and he takes it back as well. After a while, it begins to dawn on me: I’m just eating the Tennesee Burger ordered by my neighbour and they had served her my Highland Burger.

Ultimately she gets her Tennesee Burger but me, however, now feels cheated out of my Haggis experience.

Lyon – France’s Second City

 

Introduction to the City Travel Review, Lyon 2013

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Lyon may be called ‘France’s Second City,’ yet in reality it trumps its capital counterpart in nearly every category. Paris has the Seine? That’s cute. Lyon offers a choice of rivers, the Rhône and Saône. Whereas Parisians often meet travellers with a scowl of resentment, the Lyonnais are keen to share a smile and a story. A night out on the town in Paris will have you scratching your head the next morning, wondering where all of your euros went. Nightlife in Lyon, on the other hand, will leave you with at least enough money to pay for a slice of pizza on your stumble home. Paris may be called ‘The City of Love,’ but Lyon is the city where you will actually feel the love.

As this guide will prove, there are many reasons why Lyon should be top of your travel bucket list. Take a wander through the pages and you will discover a whole new take on the city. From history to hangover cures, tourist gems to hipster trends and Français to Lyonnais, you’ll find everything you need right here. Book your flight and pack your bags – the true French capital awaits.

 LYON, Rhône-Alpes, France

Casa Milà – a dream turned into a building

An article by Kirsten Lauer, a City Travel Review project member, Barcelona

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Whether you’re interested in architecture and design or you’re just curious about what the fuss about this Gaudí is all about, this masterpiece is definitely worth seeing, although the entry price of 16,50€ isn’t quite a bargain. With more than a million visitors every year, it is one of Barcelona’s most famous and impressive buildings of the modernism and part of the city’s unique charm.  Also known as La Pedrera because of its rough outer appearance reminiscent of a quarry, Casa Milà was created by Gaudí between 1906 and 1912 for the industrialist Pere Milà and his family. Standing in front of the house it appears like a giant sculpture, with wavy lines and cast-iron ornamentations, all inspired by nature. It is composed of two apartment blocks linked by inner courtyards.

What you can visit is a travelling art exhibition on the first floor, an apartment filled with furnishings from the twenties, where you can wallow in the glamour of the bourgeoisie, a display of works from Gaudí in the attic and above all, the roof. Standing there you will get caught away not only by the unbelievable panoramic view over the city, but also the imaginative ventilation shafts, staircases and chimneys which seem to guard this fairytale like roof terrace. While appearing as a work of art, they also fulfill a functional role by for example making air conditioning superfluous.

To fully enjoy this experience it is recommended to come in the early morning or evening, since there aren’t many shaded spots on the roof.

 


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