Brussels is Calling!

Ciao a tutti,

So, I don’t know if you read my last blog, but for those that didn’t I was influenced about my favorite thing, travelling and I talked about my ideal destinations for 2020.

The very first one was Brussels, in Belgium and to be sincere I told that it wasn’t ideal and I booked this trip because it was cheap. I can honestly tell, I was wrong!

 

 

First things first this trip was really quick. I landed in Brussels Saturday at 7.30 o’clock and I flew back Monday at 7.00. It was from the start a small and economic trip. I also had the luck to find a cheap hostel, but really nice in the center of the city.

To do a good presentation of the trip, I have to start from my co-travelers, which were two friends of mine from Spain. We started all together our trip from Faenza to Brussels Saturday afternoon, first using the train and then the bus to arrive to Bologna airport. From there a beautiful, sunny Saturday of this February we took the plain to go to the less sunny and extremely windy Brussels. We have seen in the Internet that the weather wouldn’t be by our side, but we didn’t expect that.

Our first night, Saturday night we didn’t had the chance to do much. We arrived in the hostel at 11.00 o’clock this night and we were also a bit tired. We went for a walk around the block to grab a bite and we ended up to grad a couple of beers, too. For those that they don’t have a clear idea about Belgium, I have to say that is famous for the beer, the waffles and the french fries -which as I learned in a free tour were not French at all but Belgian and they named them French the American Soldiers of World War 2 that hearing the Belgian people talking French and eating the fries, they thought that they are French. Until this day, the name remains ”french fries” and the people of Belgium are trying really hard to change it to ”fries”. So, if you want to help them, just start to call them ”fries” and spreed the word.

 

 

The next day we had a full plan of visiting the city center and see all the sights. What we didn’t knew was that in Brussels this day, they had an ”orange alarm”, that means that the weather was really bad and the wind so strong and the most of the people were actually afraid of going out of their houses. And the strangle was real! We fought with the wind, we got wet from the rain and we were cold the whole time, but we saw it all! We walked the center alone and then we booked a free walking tour; we tried the traditional street waffles and the fries that are double fried to they can be crispy outside and soft inside; and last but not least we drunk different beers that is a MUST once you go to Belgium.

Saturday went by smoothly even though the weather was extremely bad and the wind tried to hit me in the walls several times. As the night was coming one of my friends had to go, return to the airport, because she had to catch an early flight and there wasn’t a midnight bus. So, she did, but the weather played a tricky game with us again. Of course, the wind couldn’t stop early on Monday morning and the fight of my friend got canceled twice. She had to spent more that 12 hours in the airport waiting her flight back home.

 

 

On the other side, me and my other friend had one more day to spent in Brussels and we took this chance to visit the famous European Parliament. The Parliament is placed in a centered quarter and it was really easy to find it. I wasn’t impressed from the building actually; I expected it bigger and nicer. Except that, I enjoyed the sights of it. There is a place that called ”Parlamentarium” that is helping you to get more information about the European Union, its formation and history and also there is a European History Museum. Unfortunately, I had only the time to visit the ”Parlamentarium”, it was interesting and gain a lot of new information.

After these two days of moving around, watching and tasting new things, we had to return. We took our flight at 7.00 o’clock and thankfully we didn’t had a problem with the wind that was continuing being strong. We landed in Bologna around 8.30 o’clock only to discover that the wind followed me here. But, I will survive….

P.S: I also got tested for Corona Virus when I landed in Bologna. That thing is becoming bigger and bigger, right?

That’s it for today…

Danai, Greece

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Appuntamenti Internazionali… Sempre vanno la pena!

Ciao a tutti per ancora una volta,

Sono io, Danai, la volontaria greca a Faenza. I hope you didn’t forgot about me…

So for another time I am here to tell you everything about my life in Italy, my EVS experience and all the interesting things that happened through this week.

Unfortunately, this past weeks I couldn’t live in Faenza, I had to go back in Greece and write some remaining university exams, that I’ m really hoping to pass and GRADUATE THIS YEAR. All this situation with back and forward travels between Greece and Italy made me really tired and combining the study that I had to do, I can truly say that after a while I was begging to return to my everyday life in Faenza and be in a chill mood for a while without having so many things to do.

Stavros Niarxos Foundation, Athens, Greece

Except all these difficulties and all the studying, I had a great time in Greece, because a friend of mine came to visit me in Athens. But to talk to you about this I have to do first a small introduction.

As everybody knows at this point the ESC or EVS or SVE -the same thing, three different ways to tell it- is an incredible opportunity that helps you in many ways. Regarding the flexibility of work hours and environment, the chance to live abroad and the experience to learn a lot of new things, I believe that I already talked to you for some of these. One of the most important and interesting things that this SVE experience is giving you is a lot of new friends from all over Europe and in this way you can have the best intercultural experience and of course expand your multicultural view.

From the previous paragraph is easy to understand that I made a really good friend this year, thanks to ESC project that I am being a part. My friend is called Federica and she does the same project with me, but in Greece. She lives in the northern part of my country, near to my hometown and she working with another organization based in Greece. To explain you, to do a program like this you have to have a sending organization and a hosting organization. In the case of Federica and me we are sharing organizations, in sense that my sending organization is her hosting and my hosting (SE.M.I association) is her sending.

Long story sort, in some point near October we started working together for a project and also doing some language exchange classes via Skype, so I can help her communicate in Greek and she could help me improve my Italians. From this cooperation with ended up good friends but we never saw each other until now…

When I realized that I would be in Greece for two weeks this January and also inside this time I would have my birthday, I invited Federica to come and visit me in Athens. And so she did…

She came in Athens Thursday afternoon and she returned Sunday morning. It was four amazing days. I tried my best to make her see all the sights of Athens and all the cultural things. We did a long walk in the center of the city, visiting Thisio, Plaka, Monastiraki, Sintagma e Psuri -the heart of the city-.

We also eat a lot, like a lot! I wanted her to try some traditional Greek plates and we ended up eating ‘till we were dead and couldn’t move -especially the first day-. But except the things that we did in the city, we got to know each other better. Making new friends is always a thing that I enjoy and through this project I am really happy that I met a bounce of new and interesting people from all over the world. Through others you also have the chance to see yourself and your behavior and accept or change things. You can evaluate and challenge yourself. One thing is moving to a whole new country but maybe the most important thing of all is to make a social life there, without knowing anyone, between strangers, you have to find your place and make your circle. It’s difficult, it’s challenging but also it’s a huge opportunity for self improvement.

Until the next week,

Danai, Greece

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