Lifestyle · Travel

Travel in Vienna

Monday morning

Today I am flying to Vienna to have a week full of culture, animals – yes the famous panda’s of Tiergarten Schönbrunn (Zoo Vienna), music such as the famous classical composers like Mozart but the Jazz category as well, architecture and technology. Or at least I try to find some jazz.

This whole week I will write about everything I experience, if I can keep up with all the writing but I’ll try. I intend to visit with the Vienna Pass an activity amount of 30+, maybe around 35. I was interested in at least 40 so choices have to be made later this week what to do and what to skip.

The Sachertorte is one I can’t ignore and will definitely try. And I will see how average my German still is after several years of my last German lesson in college as a junior. I am also one day visiting the United Nations Head Office that is located in Vienna.

I am ready to go and my plane is waiting. Vienna here I come!

Have you ever been to Vienna?

Greetings by Sophie

Culture · Travel

Delft in a short visit

Last friday I have been on a short trip to Delft, an old city nearby Rotterdam. College had finished early that day so I decided to travel a bit. Go out of town and do something cultural. I had not seen the new renovated/builded train station of Delft Centraal yet so this was a nice combination too.

The tour

This is the municipality of Delft located at the market square

When I arrived in Delft I walked from the central station to the city center. I loved walking again along the canals. Something you barely have in Rotterdam, but in cities I love too such as Gouda my hometown, you find those everywhere in the old town center.

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Events · Travel

The Stairs of Rotterdam

Today at the end of my exam week, I did some cultural discovery in my hometown Rotterdam. I have climbed the stairs! It takes 140 steps on the partly wooden staircase to reach the top of the ‘Groothandels Gebouw’. A famous old gigantic trade building where during the reconstruction of Rotterdam, much trade occurred.

And this is the picture I took today from the rooftop of this gigantic building. You see on the left the famous Erasmus bridge .In the middle west part of the city center with its changing architectures and in the distance the southern cultural part of Rotterdam. On the right you see the gigantic hospital Erasmus Medical Center, also shortly known as Erasmus MC.

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Sports · Travel · YouTube

Underwater Flight – Introducing the Subwing Honeycomb

A new way to swim, to dive, to enjoy the oceans. I discovered this video by accident when I was writing a social media report last evening for an elective course at the university. I am so curious how something like this to experience really feels like.  In a few weeks the summer begins. I live in The Netherlands and we do not have those blue bright ocean places and warm climate overall. Time to make some holiday goals. Maybe a graduation goal after I finished my study. Would be an amazing experience I guess.

Have you experienced this new way of swimming with a board?

Enjoy watching the video!

Greetings by Sophie

Books · Travel

The Empty City – Simone van der Vlugt

Cover from

My book review of “De Lege Stad [NL] / The Empty City [EN]” written by Simone van der Vlugt

In my view…

This is another historical novel written by Simone van der Vlugt. But this time the history is a bit closer. The story takes place just before, during and shortly after the World War II. It is all focused on a woman living in Rotterdam with her family and friends. This town, Rotterdam, the city where I live now, 70 years later after the end of the war. The city has still its antebellum characteristics. Which makes this books beautiful because it is really good imaginable how the people lived through those hard years.

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Art · Travel


Halfway the month of June I made a little trip to the city of Brussels in Belgium. In the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium was the temporary exhibition of the artist Marc Chagall. More than 200 works, lend from other musea or private collectioners, were present at the exhibition.The exhibition (from 28-02-2015 – until 26-06-2015) was called: ‘Chagall | Retrospective’

A nice short introduction video to the exhibition

Marc Chagall is born in the 19th century (1887) and was a Russian-French artist whose work was quite expressive and sometimes very original in the use of colors and patterns. He had a close connection to the Jewish culture and this is also represented in some of his most famous work. The special thing about this selective exhibition of an artist is that not only his paintings were shown, but also his drawings, sketches and even made costumes. I like to see that too besides paintings. He also painted the famous animals of The Fables of La Fontaine which is really nice to see (and to read). You see the violin, other instruments and the dove coming back in many of his paintings. My favourite paintings are those of the animals, mostly of the birds. Beautiful and how precisely shown.

The biography of Chagall in short (next text is copyrighted to the Royal Museums of the Fine Arts of Belgium (link))

  • 1887: Marc Chagall is born into a family of Hasidic Jews in Vitebsk, Belarus, on 7 July
  • 1906-1910: Studies in the atelier of Yehuda Pen and then in Saint Petersburg at the atelier of Léon Bakst
  • 1911: Journeys to Paris, taking up residence at La Ruche
  • 1914: Returns to Vitebsk, staying much longer than planned due to the war
  • 1915: Marries Bella Rosenfeld
  • 1916: Ida Chagall is born
  • 1918-1920: Appointed Commissioner of Fine Arts for the Vitebsk region
  • 1920: First orders for sketches and costumes. Transferred to Moscow, where he produces work for the Jewish State Chamber Theatre
  • 1922-1923: Leaves Russia for Berlin, where he completes Mein leben, the autobiography begun in 1915-16
  • 1923-1930: Returns to Paris. Commissions: The Dead Souls by Gogol, the Fables by La Fontaine, and the Bible
  • 1937: Becomes a naturalized French citizen. Nazi regime declares his work “degenerate art”
  • 1941: Leaves for the United States
  • 1944: Bella Chagall dies
  • 1948: Returns to France
  • 1952: Marries Valentina Brodsky (Vava)
  • 1953-1960: Series of ‘Message biblique’ [Biblical Message] “murals”
  • 1959: Designs stained glass windows for the cathedral in Metz
  • 1962: Inauguration of the twelve windows of the synagogue at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem
  • 1964: Inauguration of the decorated ceiling of the Opéra Garnier in Paris
  • 1967-1977: Involved in projects using stained glass as well as tapestries and mosaics
  • 1973: Musée National du Message Biblique Marc Chagall opens in Nice
  • 1985: Dies in Saint-Paul-de-Vence
Art · Travel

Reflection of the Euromast

Beauty in the little things.

Sunny reflection of the Euromast in the window of the train. Enjoy life! Enjoy those little rare beautifulness or enjoy the ordinary things that never caught your eyse before.

What did caught your eyes today?

Greetings by Sophie

Books · Travel

Reading while traveling

ReadMore App

There are several good apps to keep track of books you have read, to-do lists and just apps to read books on your device. But which one to use while traveling?

I have an iPod Touch (yes, the thirst of the 3rd generation!), an e-reader (Kobo Aura) and work on a laptop/computer. But what when I am on the road, traveling. If you sit in a train or tram or bus for 20 minutes for example, you can effectively read 15 minutes maximum. Sit down, grab your device, read, pre-last station pack your stuff again and don’t forget to step out on time! I’ll show you a short list of my choices based on my experience. Oh and I discovered something: the ReadMore app is gone! And I’ll tell you why it is a pity! The short list:

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Award · Culture · Travel

Rotterdam European City of 2015

In november 2014 was the Urbanism Awards ceremony and Rotterdam won the top prize! The International Academy of Urbanism in London organises this event every year and they named Rotterdam as Europe’s best city of 2015! The Academy of Urbanism want to help promote places and learn from them. Chairman of the Academy Steven Bee said about Rotterdam:

“The City has a predominantly young, open, tolerant community that is embracing innovative architecture and urban design and new business models. Its strategy is to attract families and businesses to the central area with a variety of housing, excellent public transport and a lively public realm.” “A long-term perspective, a high level of autonomy, strong leadership by the mayor and municipality, and strong partnerships between public and private sector, are all helping Rotterdam grow positively.”

These words of Bee summary how you can describe Rotterdam over the past couple of years. Although there has been a financial crises, a cultural cut in subsidies and raising unemployment (by then), Rotterdam is doing well. And I as a student living in Rotterdam see things happen, little changes. Sometimes companies are suddenly gone, festivals bounding their strength together to survive but Rotterdam is also growing. Especially you see it on the long-term project like the Markthal which opened on the 1st of october last year. It is a very famous architectural building and the first market hall of The Netherlands. It reminds me of the market hall next to the Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain.

Rotterdam has also some beautiful videos, one of them is of the plans of the Markthal, before it was finished by Provast Markthal Rotterdam, this film is made in march 2014 by PlusNewMedia

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