Blog · Computer Science · Travel

Life of an IT student | August 2018

Hello readers,

Time flies! The month of August had a lot of sunshine literally and figuratively and since then everything goes with a quick flow.

Challenge

August started with a new accepted challenge: working as a junior software tester at an international company. And because it was my study summer holiday, I worked a lot, getting training, getting into a work rhythm, taking part in several company events and so on. It feels like I have found the right place. Meanwhile I still hadn’t been on holiday. And work wasn’t the only challenge. I was already a bit preparing for the minor ‘Crossmedia Journalism’ I am currently following in my studies. What does it have to with my software engineering studies? Well uhm, a more unique combination? Explaining IT to a non-IT’study’ing person? Help other people by explaining stuff? And this way I am creating a combination of my previous studies with my current study and when I graduate I have a creative and technical bunch of knowledge and experience.

Holiday

Summer holiday and due to the previous months, taking rest and move on with new life experiences was the highest priority. Halfway August I started looking for a nice destination for my summer holiday. Where would I go to? What would I like to visit? Many countries and their cities crossed my mind. So much on my travel list, so much on my to-do list and I still don’t call it a bucketlist. Last-minute I decided to visit London! A city way bigger than any in The Netherlands, a history that even goes back to the Roman times. The past couple of months I have watched most documentaries about Britain. ‘The Secrets of…’ series, all seasons of ‘Great British Castles’ narrated by Dan Jones, the great historian who has written wonderful detailed books about subjects such as Magna Carta and The Templars. Can’t wait for new historical series. And during my holiday and when I am travelling anyways, I am addicted to sunrises, sunsets or light-inspired photograph moments. How many airplanes are in this photo?

London

Last time I have been in London was over a decade ago, back in 2007 at an international music competition with the school orchestra. Three days of London and we won the Silver Award of the orchestra’s and the Spirit of London award. This time I would go for a week, the year of ‘Paddington Bear’. Who doesn’t know this lost bear from Peru with always a marmalade sandwich hidden under his hat? And of course London and the Royals and politics. There is so much culture in London, more then I expected or ever imagined. Amazing!  But I won’t tell too much about London in this blog post. Special blog posts with all my notes and experiences from this holiday will come up. A series about London, just like the series I have written about Edinburgh.

End of the month

The last preparations of the new study year were made, my house got a thorough summer clean and upgrade as I always call it. Buying some improvements for my furniture, some reorganization and some stuff to help to plan things through. Because this study year and next one combining with work, social life and some sports and keeping space for blogging and challenges. Will be a challenge to plan and to manage everything. Keeping enough rest in mind and moments to read because besides news and informational reading, I have a reading challenge ahead to finish before the end of the year. The Goodreads Reading Challenge and the Hebban Reading Challenge. Twenty-five books total and at the moment I am a bit too far behind.

How has been your month of August?

Have you been on holiday?

Greetings by Sophie

Blog · Computer Science · Travel

Life of an IT student | June 2018

Hello readers,

The month of June was a month of scattered pieces of lead.

The final days of my internship had started after I started there in december. That was the physical part because I also had to write on the final report. The first week of June was my last week of my internship. I loved working there and in some way I miss it and in the other way…I am just tired of traveling hours a day, walking a few miles a day, keep up the social life, be there for family matters, running a household and studying besides it.

It’s not like going to work all week, come home in the evening and running your household and social life and family in the weekends. You also need to take some rest now and then otherwise you will be exhausted.

I often saw the same people sleeping in the metro in the morning, just a twenty-minute nap. Feeling tired, looking a bit slobby in a suit and just right before they arrive at their destination looking as if they are completely energized for a day of work. — yeah right. Nah. My style is to feel energized for work and excited the moment you leave your house. And if you have not enough sleep so often, well, try to change something in your life because that way of living is not healthy.

The month started for me in the weekend with The Flying Dutch festival in Rotterdam. Supernice! I really loved the lineup the evening started with. First ‘Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano’ followed by ‘Tiësto’, ‘Fedde Le Grand’, ‘Afrojack’ and the final spot was for ‘Armin van Buuren’ and it was incredible! The jubilee edition and a decor which was very Dutch but I loved the music and dancing with friends and having fun.

The rest of the month was quite silent for me as an explorer of events or little things to do. Halfway the month I went to the Rotterdam Zoo and saw a newborn Californian Sea Lion! Again, for the third time within 18 months haha. And I love strolling through the big park. The rest of the month I am occupied with writing my internship report, studying, family, organizing partly two events which all takes place in the first week of July, or to say: in a couple of days from now. Stress? Yes partly, but I am not really a stressful person. I just like to prepare things right and be a bit organized for all the events that take place.

And the weather is luring me to go outside and live life! But first things first: finishing this year of study before I can enjoy this wonderful start of summer! Walking daily a few miles in the afternoon and with a match of soccer in the evening during the FIFA World Cup 2018, my writings days are not always exactly the same.

How has been your month of June?

Greetings by Sophie

Blog · Computer Science · Travel

Life of an IT student | May 2018

Hello readers,

The month of May was quite a month of opposites. From the daily work at the internship and traveling a few hours a day, to several travel days, day trips and events. Lots of little different things came by this month.

For the internship my final few weeks of work started since December 2017. It feels good to have a little break in the work rhythm right now, but all the stuff I have learned at the company feels even better. It was an incredible journey and my first real external internship for more than half a year as a student Software Engineering. I am still writing my final report on it and will finish the whole subject completely at the end of the month of June.

The month of May also started with a visit to the famous ‘Keukenhof’ or also known as the ‘Tulips Garden’. I have photographed a lot on this beautiful sunny day and this year the ‘Tulipa Denmark’ is my favorite. It was a lovely sunny day in spring.

Halfway the month I visited the city ‘s’Hertogenbosch’ in the province of Noord-Brabant. Except for a stop at the train station I had never been there before. A lovely town for shopping, some drinks, food and cultural events. Every Sunday around noon is a concert in the local theatre and the cathedral of this city is wonderful! When I was walking around as a  ‘tourist-for-a-day’, people were enjoying the sunshine on the terrace and at every pub and restaurant where little festivities going on. It felt like I was walking to a little town with it’s own close but lovely community.

At the end of the month of May I had a few day off from work and went to the Belgian Ardennes. Stunning view of colors, depths, a river and the natural stalagmites and stalactites artwork inside the caves of a mountain. To a castle and hiking to the heights of the Ardennes from the sunshine in the valley to the top and a bit of thunder when climbing down again. It has been an amazing and exciting experience for a few days a nice mini holiday.

How has been your month of May?

Greetings by Sophie

Blog · Computer Science · Travel

Life of an IT student | March and April 2018

Hello readers,

March 2018

March was focused on the exams of study and at the end of the month it was Easter! But inbetween I have been to a special museum night at Rijksmuseum Amsterdam with the exhibition theme ‘High Society‘. It was a really special evening with lots of portraits, stories and a walkaround at the museum. Together with a good photographer I have been to this special event and we ended our tour with visiting the well-known ‘The Nightwatch‘, painted by Rembrandt van Rijn. There were just a few people walking around in that wing too, so we had plenty of time to look at it and the other surrounding paintings. What a beauties and what a beautiful wing too with all the bright colors and details! I had not seen it yet since the museum was restored.

April 2018

It feels like I have time travelled a few weeks and skipped a few days. Life as a student has been busy, as usual, but the last couple of weeks between Easter and the first week of May – yes that is circa a full month – have been a rollercoaster full of closeby extremes.

In study I got a few more results back of the exam weeks I have had, nice :). And I arrived at the last few weeks of my internship. Writing code and code and code I have been literally doing every day, haven’t even written any blog post or word document inbetween. Writing a lot of code means also discovering some errors, trying to solve them and success or fail at the end of the day. Luckily there is always another tomorrow if I could not solve it immediately. And I have learned already so much at my internship! I still have to clarify everything and just make a list of the full workproces for the final internship report.

The next couple of weeks, until the beginning of June, will be more or less the same: code code and code.

In april I have been also participating at the Data Driven Challenge organised by one of my teachers and the KNVI (Royal Dutch Society of Information person). Together with my team Grofgemalen { } we designed a system to be more efficient with the available data and combining it with weather conditions for better predictions and making ad hoc actions possible.

I had the opportunity to pitch twice and I am very thankful to my team for these amazing chances and experience.

The result: we have won the Data Driven Challenge of 2018!

See the full story on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6394600370055708672

The end of the month is celebrated with a trip to my brother to celebrate his new job – really proud sister over here. And the month ended with the typical Dutch Kingsday! Family, friends and some nice music made it a happy friday.

The weather in The Netherlands…that were extremes but I am glad spring has finally really started.

How has been your start of spring?

Greetings by Sophie

Blog · Events · Travel

Blog Anniversary 2018!

Happy Blog Anniversary 2018!

Today is the 1st of March 2018 and this means that this month is my blog anniversary month!

Three years ago, back in 2015, I started with this more structural blogging. The history of my blogging experience is written in the blog series named: ‘The Blogging Experience’ that consists of five blog posts, with an explanation about what I am using now and last but not least some tips on blogging.

The list of ‘The Blogging Experience’ series.

The top three blog posts of the past 365 days are:

  1. The 72 Cutest Animals
    Just a series review of a small cute series I watched on Netflix.
  2. Essay | Leprosy in the 12th and 21st century | Conclusion
    This is the last blog post of a series about leprosy. For a course, at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, named ‘History of Health Care’ I wrote this essay as part of a final assignment. The subject, general knowledge and impact of leprosy is underestimated. I have learned a lot about it by writing this essay.
  3. Happy New Year 2018!
    A very recent blog post, just two months old. My New Year’s wishes to you all, accompanied by a compilation video of the fireworks I have seen that night. Just shot with my iPhone 7 and edited with Quick.

The past year I have been combining the study work load and the blog feeling to write, a bit better than last year. Especially writing about my holiday in Edinburgh is a part I am really proud of because I am happy I could share through this way my holiday experience and provide you with some recommendations or just the way how I managed it all. And for me personally, writing it all as an overview, was also my guideline when I was telling people about my travel and experiences. I am a student on a student budget and that’s the fun challenge. How to get the best out of it with enjoying the most out of it.

Future

I am looking forward to write even more blog posts about what I am experiencing, visiting, travel to, plan to do and so on… So excited! This month will also be a bit of a recap of the past year. A few blog posts that are drafts will be finished and they will be more in-depth of my big and smaller travels.

“Blogging is a thing I am passionate about.” – Sophie van den Akker, March 1st 2018

Where are you passionate about?

Happy wishes and greetings by Sophie

Blog · Travel

September 2017 | Life of an IT student

Hello readers!

The month September 2017 came at an end last week and I have had the first month of full worktime-experience, in regarding to an internship, of my life. And beside the internship and the required studying, I also managed to do lots of little social things with my family and friends.

September 2017

The World Harbour Days of Rotterdam are also traditionally at the beginning of September and it is really lovely to visit different ships by day and watch a music performance –  accompanied by fireworks from a pontoon at the water – by night. That evening I photographed the Erasmusbridge covered in blue lights.

The day after the World Harbour Days 2017, I was a nice day spending at the Airborne Museum ‘Hartenstein’ in Oosterbeek, Gelderland, The Netherlands. A lovely day with a whole sidepart of my family. The Airborne museum is mostly about ‘The Battle of Arnhem’ in the World War II. And it is an interesting part of history of the World War II I did not know about. You learn about the history, you learn about how things are organised nowadays, you can even experience how it slightly felt being at a battle field. And that experience is also suited for the children (age 8+ or 10+ I would recommend) but even I got a bit thrilled once. Brrr but that means it gives you a real slightly feeling about that time.

In short about my social life: September was the month of the birthdays of several good friends, a graduation party of another good friend and walking a day through the zoo again. Having drinks and socializing in the city center, visiting a book-fair or discovering places and travel routes in The Netherlands and just doing lots of different little things. The month did go by quickly and a saying is: “Time flies when you are having fun!”.

The internship

I prepared for the internship by reading into several subjects of IT stuff. Languages, frameworks, trial and error with setting up an environment on a dual booted laptop and so on. I shall not write a lot about the exact things I am searching, analyzing, implementing or concluding of my internship subject. But now and then I can share some general tricks I have discovered and learned throughout the weeks.

At the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences where I am studying, they say that an internship for ~20 weeks of fulltime work is gonna be really tough. What they say is not completely right nor completely wrong. At the internship you are supposed to learn a lot and work in a new environment. Learn how it all works at a real business. See how the business and its people flows. And the internship itself comprises a goal where you work towards too in those 20 weeks and where you want to succeed in. The goal of my internship, and therefore also my subject, is designing a CRM system. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management system and contains the way a business with its own platform software, can respond to errors users could experience. The errors are not unsolvable, but the business has to know in an as fast and easy as possible way: which error at who occurred, when it occurred and how to solve it for the user in an as quick as possible and customer serving way.

For example: I go to Instagram and want to upload a photo. The photo won’t upload.
A perspective could be: Maybe I was trying to upload a GIF (you know those moving little images in a funny way) instead of a photo format (.jpeg/.png etc). Without a CRM system, I have to mail to Instagram about the error, or let it be. Both options are not funny, time consuming and I don’t know in such a situation who really to contact. To whom I refer? Who can help me? Can this problem be solved?
Another perspective could be: The error is at Instagram, maybe (a port of) a server was down and no upload was possible.
The CRM system would tackle such a problem and help me immediately by sending a notification (could be a message on my screen or an email), about that they noticed the problem and maybe it is accompanied by how to solve it; if it was my mistake or theirs does not really matter; a problem needs to be solved. If I follow the steps how to solve it, it is solved. Everybody happy, quick way, no back and forth email with tough descriptions about the error and so on…just a real customer service.

So this is in general what I am learning about, working towards to and what I hope to achieve in general after my internship ends. A basic – with expanding options – working CRM system custom build for the company. My days are with a full working scheme ánd still studying on Mondays and partly in the weekends as a fulltime student, quite busy. On a weekly basis I am kind of combining a few of these things or combining them all together: Internship, studying, reading a book – articles – magazines – blogs – newspapers and websites, trying a recipe, watching a film or series or travel and experience in life and also spending lovely time with my family and friends. And I feel so good, healthy, full of energy and happy about all the lovely things. Feeling a little bit proud as well how to schedule everything and how to manage it up to so far. Sometimes a little bit of stress but it is the good amount of stress and not on a daily basis. It is the amount that makes you a little bit nervous for a presentation or a meeting, but keeps you sharp and on fire all the time. Of course I am really tired after such a day,  but that’s life.

Blogging takes time and I love to blog, I will not stop blogging during my internship – for if you were wondering. It is just not fitted as a regular basis yet into my big busy schedule. The first part is experiencing and learning things in my life. Even if you read a book or watch a film, find the general message or just watch but remember what your thoughts are about it all. Because the second part is blogging about it. And I blog in a way that I write nearly as close as I tell someone about it. So the general and therefore challenging question for the second part – which is blogging – is: How to tell / write about what you experienced, learned or thought? The question if I would recommend something to someone else is even part three. It is beyond basic because at that moment when I am writing such a paragraph, I place myself in someone else’s shoes; trying to see it from another perspective. And I like positive things, so trying to see it from a person’s perspective who would really happy with it.

How is or was or will be, your experience of an internship?

Greetings by Sophie

Blog · Travel

August 2017 | Life of an IT student

Hello readers!

At the beginning of August I was still on holiday and after holiday I started quickly with preparations for my internship in September.

Part of the preparation is to improve my home as well. In short I can say: I have bought some lovely plants for my home and made some plans for the winter project: a new kitchen cabinet – a combination bought or selfmade – so I can storage everything properly.

The month of August was apart from the holiday and the preparation quite an inbetween month. Spending time with my family, enjoying a normal day of rest and the sunshine and that kind of stuff. I have also been to Maastricht and the McArthurGlen Designer Fashion Outlet in Roermond. Traveled by car and by train and now and then I love to travel by train because you don’t have to do a thing and can enjoy the views of the landscape. In those inbetween two weeks I photographed not a lot, but captured a few things:

A day in Maastricht shopping and eating tapas accompanied with an ice coffee in a sunset.

Preparing the new year in the library of Rotterdam. And at the end of the day, around eight o’clock I had this stunning view from the fourth floor. The different architecture of Rotterdam, the teal blue color and the clouds with their figures. Just enjoy those moments.

How do you prepare for your weeks after the summer holiday?

Greetings by Sophie

Blog · Culture · Travel

July 2017 | Life of an IT Student

Hello readers!

This evening a recap of my life in the month of July! The month beheld the last weeks of study before the summer break and it beheld the first days of my holiday in Edinburgh.

As I have written in the previous recap of the month of June 2017, the first weeks of July were pretty stressful. The last exams of the year, the last weeks of a semester project of the year and I called it in short: the last chances of whatever-needed-to-be-finished of the year.

This month – except for my holiday – I have not visited a lot of events. Just let go the stress, enjoy the piece and sunshine in the few days between the last days of study of the year and my holiday.

Now and then I walked to the Cruise Terminal area, Hotel New York and the little park at the point of the pier. Watched the Queen Elizabeth cruiseship leaving the city. Twice this month in fact haha. The first time I just made a bunch of photos also because of the beautiful sunset. I was way too early before the ship left so had a drink from Hotel New York at the pier and waited, just enjoyed the quietness and the breeze at the point. The second time this cruiseship was visiting the city for a day and was leaving again, I made a little video. How lovely to see how many people, families, acquaintances or just interested people wave goodbyes to all the persons on board. With a ‘See you soon again!’ accompanied of course.

Halfway the month I received bookmail as well and reviewed it shortly afterwards. The book is written by Max Rippe and this is the third novel in a series but you can read it as a standalone book too. You can read the full review here –> A Deadly Run-Off – Max Rippe. Have you read this book? What do you think of the story?

Only one week left before my study break would finally start and a little less than two weeks left before I went on holiday. Ooh now the study stress was turning into a holiday excitement.

Right before I went on holiday to Edinburgh, I had to visit the zoo again. Walking through the park and discover the wonderful habits of the animals. On this day I posted on Instagram a film of the littlest of the elephants who started to practice his trumpet skills and played with water on a brightful sunny day.

A few days later I went on holiday to Edinburgh, Scotland. About my experience there you can read in my special blog series about this travel:

How has been your month of July?

Greetings by Sophie

Animals · Culture · Travel

Edinburgh Thursday

This blog post is a sequel to the series ‘The Recap of the Day – Edinburgh 2017’.
How my first day – Friday – has been, you can read about it here –> Edinburgh Travel.
How my second day – Saturday – has been, you can read about it here -> Edinburgh Saturday
How my third day – Sunday – has been, you can read about it here -> Edinburgh Sunday
How my fourth day – Monday – has been, you can read about it here -> Edinburgh Monday
How my fifth day – Tuesday – has been, you can read about it here -> Edinburgh Tuesday
How my sixth day – Wednesday – has been, you can read about it here -> Edinburgh Wednesday

The morning

On Thursday my last full day in Edinburgh started. I had several options left about what to do. Such as visiting the Writer’s Museum which would be really interesting, go to the Surgeon’s Hall museum as well which would be a unique visit I guess. I have never seen a Surgeon’s museum in a European city before. But after an early comprehensive Scottish breakfast – finally! – I decided to go to North Queensferry and visit the ‘Deep Sea World’. The Oceanium part of my complete zoo-visit in and around Edinburgh.

After breakfast I headed to the Waverly train station and bought my retour ticket to North Queensferry. The journey by train would take around twenty minutes and the stations I passed by were Haymarket, South Gyle and Dalmeny before crossing the famous red bridge and arrive in North Queensferry. I headed to the last platform, platform 20, and stepped into the train. It felt luxurious compared to the Dutch second class seats in the trains. Just a local train but it gave me a luxurious feeling. Good seats, a table and nice broad windows for a good view on the beautiful landscape of Scotland.

Departure 10:19 Platform 20 train to Cowdenbeath Copyright photo by Sophie van den Akker

At the end of the morning I arrived at North Queensferry train station. Just two platforms, a bridge to cross the railroad and a nice mosaic mural. I continued my journey by foot to the Deep Sea World. This aquarium zoo is located somewhere down the hill. North Queensferry is quite a steep little village with nice walking routes towards the water and the bottom of the bridges.

 

The afternoon

Right before the afternoon started, I arrived at the Deep Sea World and bought my ticket. Throughout the day there are several activities such as feeding of the fish and sea lions, talks about the animals and so on. It really is an educational addition to your – or children’s – life. Because this is a major visit I will write a special blog post about the Deep Sea World. At the end of my tour I discovered they also offer tours to have a little look behind the scenes and how this little oceanium zoo works.

The Lion’s Fish, yes this one is just chillin’ upside down in its aquarium. Copyright photo by Sophie van den Akker

The tour would start later on the day so I had some free time meanwhile. I decided to walk through the little village and have a lovely little lunch of raisins bread with jam and a cup of hot chocolate – despite the warm weather I just love that – at ‘Café Renkins Deli’. A lovely local café and pâtissier.

 

After finishing my little lunch I headed to the little pier and lighthouse. What a nice and beautiful view! And I think I was lucky that I walked around there while the sun was shining. I am grateful for that. When I stopped halfway the pier and sat for a while, a small family – a grandmother and her son and daughter – arrived with a little bouquet of flowers. They were having a remembrance ceremony, by giving the flowers to the open water, to someone they loved and was not among them anymore – the grandfather. They stood there in silence, while the wind was howling and increasing in power, paying their respect. By having a little chat and not making any photographs nor video nor any mobile phone stuff, I paid my respect with them during the remembrance ceremony.

The pier, partly stone and later on half so small covered with seaweed. Copyright photo by Sophie van den Akker

Afterwards we wished each other a happy and good day and all the best. How wonderful to meet lovely people at a sensitive moment in a small place where you rarely stumble upon such things. Really wonderful and maybe it was a once in a lifetime thing that occurred to me as a tourist, being able to watch and a little bit participate with the remembrance ceremony of locals.

 

The second part of the pier, on my lovely Floris van Bommel, walked on them already 70+ km. Copyright photo by Sophie van den Akker
The famous Forth Bridge Copyright photo by Sophie van den Akker

After my wow-moments at the pier, the remembrance ceremony, the stunning view, the sunshine that lets you smile, the Forth Bridge… I headed back to the Deep Sea World and was ready for the behind the scenes tour. Of course this will be written in the special blog post, but after the whole thing I also visited a special exhibition about the wild life of Scotland. European animals but also some animals you would not expect or did know of and lovely photographs. There was one photograph that amazed me so much: the huge Bass Rock! I had heard that Bass Rock is big, but thát huge? Wow!

Time to head back to Edinburgh after all the wow’s of this little trip and overthinking during my journey by train back to Waverly Station.

 The evening

At the end of the afternoon and right before the evening started, I headed back home from Waverly station; switched my clothes and handbag and headed to the city center again for dinner. There was one place I had not been yet and I would love to try, though it is not that local, the Edinburgh Hard Rock Café. It was my last night so I treated myself with a ‘Magic Mystery Mojito’ cocktail, for dinner a portion of ‘Southwest Spring Rolls’ and the ‘Hickory Barbeque Bacon Burger’, served with seasoned fries and for dessert a ‘Fresh Apple Cobbler’. After all this food and finishing my lovely cocktail, it was really time to go home and pack my stuff.

 

The Southwest Spring rolls in Hard Rock Café Edinburgh and the Mojito Copyright photo by Sophie van den Akker

The last Friday

The day after, on Fridays, I was heading back to The Netherlands and had my flight in the morning around eleven. I was a bit late I thought because I arrived an hour before my flight at the airport and kind of underestimated the rows and bunch of people that were waiting for the security check. And as calm the airport was in the early morning when I arrived one week earlier, how busy it was one week and a few hours later. As if the airport is growing out of its jacket. I arrived safely back at Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands, where my lovely family waited for me and picked me up. Heading really back home. Family weekend it was with sharing lots of stories of our holidays this summer.

Where have you been on holiday this summer?

Goodnight folks!

Oidhche, mhath.

Greetings by Sophie

Animals · Culture · Travel

Edinburgh Wednesday

This blog post is a sequel to the series ‘The Recap of the Day – Edinburgh 2017’.
How my first day – Friday – has been, you can read about it here –> Edinburgh Travel.
How my second day – Saturday – has been, you can read about it here -> Edinburgh Saturday
How my third day – Sunday – has been, you can read about it here -> Edinburgh Sunday
How my fourth day – Monday – has been, you can read about it here -> Edinburgh Monday
How my fifth day – Tuesday – has been, you can read about it here -> Edinburgh Tuesday

The morning

The weather predictions were not too good for Wednesday but I started my morning early because there was just one major thing planned for today: the Edinburgh Zoo! Oh I was already looking forward to this moment for days! It plays in fact a big part in the choice of city for my summerholiday citytrip this year. Together with a digital camera, a Manfrotto monopod, a selfiestick, a couple of fully loaded batteries yes when you travel on your own now and then you have to capture yourself in a photo right? And a selfiestick is a nice and safe way to avoid dropping your phone accidently when you are hiking or taking a photograph above deep waters.

I had bought my ticket for the zoo already a few days in advance and had booked a timeslot to visit the Giant Panda’s! Yes it is a timeslot and as a huge Giant Panda fan I do understand why there is a timeslot because space for the zoo visitors to visit their living area is not huge. I prefer of course a Giant Panda visit without a timeslot but it is manageble this way. Every fifteen minutes a talk about the panda’s start as well and you can ask question to the zookeepers or another member of the whole team. 

The afternoon

Right before the afternoon I took the bus to the Edinburgh Zoo. A nice ride of around 30 minutes. The weather was a bit grey cloudy and now and then some raindrops. But as a Dutchie used to periods that contains of ‘raining-all-day’ days, I was content with the situation. Just cloudy with a nice temperature. I will of course write a separate special blog post about the zoo with its 30 ha and over 180 species. They also have something very special beside the Gian’t Pandas I have never seen in other zoos before. Every zoo has it’s own kind of special signature thing.

 The evening

It had rained for half the afternoon but that did not stop me from walking through the zoo. Around closing time I left the zoo and it took some time before I got home. A bit tired of the previous strenuous days and visiting a zoo located on a hill, with a lovely view on Edinburgh when you climb to the top. When I reached home I sat for half an hour, already writing my notes for my blog posts, and changed clothes. The evening had started and I went on my way to the city center. I wanted to try a bar at the Victoria Street and was looking for a different kind of bar. I ended up in an Irish pub version. The Finnegan’s Wake. It was a spacious bar with several sport screens so while having a drink watching a sports game – football. It was a nice way to spend the rest of the early evening. A duo – guitarist and pianist – performed after the match with covers from different pop songs and more locally known songs. When the sunset was complete I had another walk through town back home and the preparations for The Fringe Festival were quite developing so now and then you stumble upon a funny decoration in the city or just beautiful city lights.

This recap has been a short one because the major part was the zoo and I will write a special blog post about that.

Goodnight folks!

Oidhche, mhath.

Greetings by Sophie