The enchanting locations of Call Me By Your Name; a bicycle tour

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What if a movie touches you in an indescribable way and you see the opportunity to see the locations where that very movie was filmed? You grab that chance no? That’s what I did! Ever since I saw ‘Call me by your name’ last year, I was blown away by the stunning performance of both the actors and the director. For the first time, I felt that a movie did not portray actions but emotions. Seems to me that you need a hell lot of talent to display only emotions when the viewer can’t actually see what’s going on in the character’s head. But that’s enough for why I love the movie, I could write a novel about it. Really, I could.

I persuaded my best friend to spend one day of our Italian trip in Crema. I was unsure at first, because I had no idea what the village was going to look like. Spending a full day in a small village, would it be a waste of time? Just before our trip, I found out that Crema really promotes the movie and that they offer some sort of bike tour. In the middle of a park named ‘Campo di Marte’, you can rent bikes for 10 euros (no electric bikes sadly, but another bike store does offer those!). The pro loco (info point on the piazza) gives you a little map which indicates the following locations: Pandino, Farinate (Fontanile Quarantina), Montodine and Moscazzano (Palazzo Albergoni). Turns out: going to Crema was probably the best decision ever!

Crema

Before starting the bike tour, we, of course, discovered Crema itself. We walked around on the piazza and as the village had recreated the spot with the table and the chairs as we see in the movie, we started taking a lot of pictures there! We saw some other places such as the door where Elio and Oliver almost kissed and the spot where Marzia and Elio talked about books. When we were there, Crema had also organized a flower market. The atmosphere in the village was just breathtaking! 

Next up was our bike tour! 

Pandino

Before starting the tour, I already knew what I wanted to see. The villa is not open to public so I would’ve found it a waste of time to go there (and energy because no electric bikes remember). 

“If you only knew how little I know about the things that matter”
“What things that matter?”
“You know what things.”
“Are you saying with I think you’re saying?”

It’s a scene that always stuck in my mind. The village seemed pretty picturesque, so that easily became our first location. It took us a while to get there; it was 12 km after all (and we almost found ourselves on a highway which was definitely not a part of the plan!). When we arrived in Pandino, I was very excited to see the village in general. It was very peaceful and we decided to have a drink not far from where the scene was shot. We wandered around and took some pictures and videos.

Quarantina Fontanile

To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend the road that we took to get to Farinate. At first, we were riding through fields which was so great. We discovered the “real Italian life” without all those tourists. We had to master some rocky roads, and after searching a little, we arrived at my favorite spot of the day. Elio and Oliver had their first kiss just near the Quarantina Fontanile, and really Luca couldn’t have picked a better spot. The peace really descends on the place; a terrific thing to experience. Although there were people (CMBYN-fans like me but also locals), it remained so calm and extremely peaceful. I decided to go into the water and realized Oliver wasn’t lying, the water is so damn cold! My toes were frozen when I came out of the water ten minutes later, but I would do it again any time. My friend and I had lunch there and socialized with someone who was going to see all the locations as well. Sadly, we only had our bikes for four hours so we had to get back to Crema as we still had 11 km to do. 

Currently, I am still sad I couldn’t see the lake where Elio and Marzia went or where everyone “swims in the river”, but I am already very happy I saw the other locations!

We returned to Crema (30 minutes late but apparently there is no fuss about that in Italy). We ended our day by watching the sun fall down on Crema. It was time to go and my CMBYN-day would soon be nothing more than a beautiful yet everlasting memory.

Sirmione

Fortunately, two days later my friend wanted to visit the Lake Garda (not to forget it was also my birthday that day). We went to Sirmione and Garda but how could I go to Sirmione without visiting the ruins of a roman villa (Grotte Di Catullo) where Oliver, Elio and his dad went to see the archaeological discovery. In general, I am very interested in ruins so I would’ve visited it anyway. It took me a while to find the actual CMBYN-spot to be honest, but I couldn’t be happier once I had found it. It really was the prettiest ‘remaining monument’ of the entire site (so again well done Luca). 

It’s rather sad to announce that this was the end of the “CMBYN-sightseeing tour” but it still makes me happy when I think back about the wonderful moments I spent in Crema, Pandino, Quarantina Fontanile, Sirmione and all the roads leading us to those beautiful spots.

Thank you Call Me By Your Name, I just fell extremely, madly in love with Italy’s beauty.

Later..!

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Citytrip to Prague

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Hey peops! As you guys already noticed, I a d o r e travelling! That’s why my best friend and I decided to do another citytrip (she adores it as well). As we had already discovered some cities in southern Europe, we thought it was time to go a bit more to the east this time, P R A G U E.

We had four full days to explore the city and it seems Prague has a lot of history. There is even a neighbourhood dedicated to Jews. Thus, visiting some synagogues was a must for us. We did all of them but as we did not have a tour guide with us, we didn’t really understand everything and to be honest, visiting all the synagogues is a bit too much. It’s better to do some research in advance to see which synagogues appeal to you. Oh, and try doing it with a guide!

The Charles Bridge is very beautiful as you can see on the first picture. If you like to wake up early, visit it around 5 AM and you will actually be able to see the bridge instead of looking at 500 tourists… (or go out and visit the Charles Bridge just before going to bed like we did)

The castle is something you cannot miss as it defines the view of city. Even if you do not feel like visiting the castle (which we didn’t do either), I do recommend you to go all the way up as you will enjoy a beautiful view (there’s also a Starbucks up there, just saying).

You can’t miss the Old Town Square and Astronomical Clock either (believe me, the tourists will lead the way). Also, just get lost in the narrow streets of the old town, the atmosphere is incredible!

Another cool thing is to cross the bridge and to check out the John Lennon wall. If you are lucky, a talented artist will be creating some beautiful art.

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Tip: if you would like to go out in the coolest underground bar ever, go to ‘Klub Vzorkovna’, there’s live music, different rooms with bunk beds and even a couple swings! A total must!

Hope you enjoy your trip!

Jolien

Favourite spots in Paris

Hey peops! It has been quite some time since I’ve written something. I had a plan to post something every two weeks to keep you updated about my Erasmus in Paris… oh well, I failed. Anyway, my three months in Paris are sadly over and I’m back in Belgium. However, I saw some beautiful places while living there which I absolutely need to share!

Forget Jardin des Tuileries or Jardin du Luxembourg (even though those gardens are really pretty), I lost my heart in another park named Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Except for all the grass and the trees, it really differentiates itself from other parks. It has different heights (I like to call it a little mountain) and on top there is the ‘Temple de la Sibylle’ which is so adorable! The park also has a massive lake and some tiny waterfalls. I went there a few times, including a day when it was really warm (let’s not discuss the part where we forgot to bring sun cream…). The park was incredibly crowded but the atmosphere was absolutely amazing as this place is known among Parisians but not so much among tourists.

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I do not own this picture (c)

My next recommendation is the ‘Villette’ quarter in the 19th district. It has not been discovered by tourists yet so you will mostly find locals there. I was meeting up there with one of my friends and I was absolutely stunned when I arrived! The atmosphere is so relaxed and just incredible basically! There is the Canal Saint-Martin and as the canal is big enough, there are even boats laying in the water! Like not a riverboat full of tourists but actual boats. It was crazy to see that in Paris. Also my all-time favourite restaurant/café in the world is based just next to the canal. It is called ‘Le Pavillon des Caneaux’ and even though it is not cheap, it is so so so worth the visit (especially if you are obsessed with Instagram and you have a white feed, casually referring to myself haha). The resto has the same parts of a house. Upstairs there is a kitchen, bedrooms, study room and bathroom. However, they transformed all these rooms so you can have a drink or bite there. Note: they even made a chair in the bath so you can literally just eat your food while sitting in a bathtub, how cool is that?!

Those were my all-time favourite non-touristic places in Paris! If you have the occasion to visit Paris, please do so. It is such a brilliant city and you literally can’t get bored. I fall in love with this city over and over again.

Visit Paris for free

Paris and free, I never thought I would see those two words in one sentence. If you read my last post, you would know that I’m currently doing my Erasmus in Paris. It has been one month and I’ve seen plenty things! However, I thought I would have lost more money on visiting musea and buildings, but the average is true!

Musea

The Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Orangerie Museum, Orsay Museum does it sound familiar in your ears? If you are under 26 and you have the european nationality, it is completely free for you!

Historic buildings

Again, if you are under 26 and you have the European nationality, the Arc de Triomphe, the Notre Dame towers, Conciergerie, Chapelle, Panthéon etc all for f r e e!

However I got some fun news for the non-Europeans or the +26, every sunday from 1 november to 31 march  there are a few things that are free for you:

  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Conciergerie
  • Sainte Chapelle
  • Panthéon
  • Towers of Notre Dame
  • Versailles castle

You can find many sites online that give you a very detailed list of what exactly is free. However, everyone likes free, so think about the waiting lines! (I spend an hour waiting to visit the Towers of Notre Dame with wet shoes – I do not recommend it)

Tips

I love the Notre Dame on the outside but I don’t not recommend you to visit the towers on the inside. There is nothing to see except for 3543215 stairs that make you feel like you’ve drank too much.

If you want to visit the Louvre, please check beforehand which exhibition(s) you would like to see. You can literally walk there for a whole day (maybe week) without having seen everything. You might also get lost (raises hand).

If you want to check out the Conciergerie, it would be great to immediately do Sainte Chapelle because they are literally five metres away from each other and their history goes simultaneous.

Have fun visiting Paris without spending too much money!

Jolien

 

 

Reasons to go on Erasmus

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Well hello there! In my last post, I spoke about a different chapter in my life, and I am now going to elaborate on that because I am writing you from… Paris!! City of light, city of dreams, you can call it whatever you want, but I’m living here for three months!

I am doing my internship here and so far, everything is going pretty great so for now (hopefully at the end as well) I recommend you to go on Erasmus! As I am experiencing it at the very moment, I already have some tips and reasons for you to go and discover the world!

Well the main reasons are obvious; you learn a language, a new culture, new people, independence and you learn so much more about yourself.

Obviously there is a big difference between doing a study or an internship so I will mostly discuss the case for someone going on an internship but obviously, these tips are for anyone!

  • Firstly, try to find out which country and culture really interests you but also find a place that will feel like home. You will be living there for three or more months so that is really important.
  • Try to get all the possible help you can from your parents/family, not only financial wise (which would be great because even if you have a scholarship, it stays expensive. Especially when you’re a smartass like me and take one of the most expensive cities in Europe *face palm*), but also for mental support. Many people actually go through a cultural shock and sometimes need to be repatriated back home, emotional help from family and friends is very important!
  • If you cannot live on a school campus (which is definitely not the case if you’re doing an internship, because well yeah… there is no school), try using AirBnb. I am currently renting a room in the house of people and it is the best decision I made! In the evening, I might see them and have a little chat which is lovely.
  • If you have a hard time finding friends outside your internship  company or your school, try practising a hobby. I met a Swiss girl a few months ago who lived in Ghent for several months and she met a lot of people by going to a specific club every Friday night to follow some Cuba Dance stuff (I am actually going to apply this tip to myself so I will let you know in the future how it worked out!)

If things don’t you work out like you intentionally wanted it, don’t give up and just keep going! I mean I literally made the fire alarm go off today while cooking, no joke. So without a doubt, a lot of fun and hilarious stories to tell afterwards!

Hopefully this has been helpful and I truly hope you make the decision to go on Erasmus because I have only been here for a week and I feel I have already learned a lot (am I even allowed to say that yet?)

If you have any Erasmus advice, cool spots in Paris or something else you want to share, don’t hesitate!

Jolien

 

Review Naked Ultimate Basics Palette

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Hey peops! Exams are finally over so I can concentrate on the fun things in life again! Soon my life will be flipped upside down for three months (I will tell you later about all of that), but first it’s time for a little review of my Christmas present: the Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics Palette’ (jeez, even the name gives me shivers). Let’s get Naked!

I am not an expert in make-up at all, but I really love the Urban Decay palettes. I’ve had the Naked 3 Palette for a few years now and it was time to expand my assortment.resized-version-2

I was so excited when getting this palette, even though I had heard some negative comments about it. I am not a fan of too much glitter and glamour so a matte eyeshadow was all I needed.

The colours are really lovely, especially if you have brown eyes like mine. There are a few pink, brown and grey colours which you can use together perfectly. I was truly surprised with the quality. When getting the Naked 3 Palette, I have to admit I was a little disappointed that some colours were hardly visible on my eyelids. This is sooo not the case for this palette, the colours are well shown and easy to blend.
The only negative thing (beside its price) is that some powder had already come off when I first opened the palette, messing up the mirror. After a bit of cleaning I forgot the little issue (of course!).

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  1. Blow – Nude – Commando – Temped – Instinct – Lethal                   2. Pre-Game – Extra Bitter – Faith – Lockout – Magnet – Blackjack

Personally, I really like to work with different colours. So I would use both the Nude and Temped colour to make a nice basic layer. In the inner corner of my eye, I would put either Blow or Pre-Game, and in the outer corner I would make a mix between Lockout and Lethal. Obviously, this is only one look and so much more can be done with these beautiful colours.

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If you are in doubt of buying one of the palettes, try considering this one because I find it absolutely amazing! Hope you guys have a great time creating some beautiful looks.

Jolien

Fall outfits

The leaves are falling off the trees creating a beautiful palette of colours, and so it is time to make a new outfit post! There are a few things that are pretty in vogue this autumn and I’ll introduce you to them! Let’s have a look.

My first outfit is this slim pink sweater. Mine is from H&M but you can buy something similar in many stores. I have noticed that many celebrities have been wearing these slim sweaters in many colours and even with patterns. I combined it with high waist jeans (as usual) because I wanted to put the sweater into my pants so I could accentuate the slim effect even more. Last year, these Michael Jackson-ish shoes were a complete musthave but I love these shoes so much (seriously, fav shoes ever and ever) so I loved combining it with this outfit! A thin choker would perfectly finalize the outfit but I didn’t have one at the time, my bad.

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Next up is stripes stripes stripes. The two following outfits will include stripes. So the first one is a high waist black jeans (seriously, you’re never going to see me with low waist jeans) which I combined with a stripy blouse. I am normally not a fan of stripes because it accentuates your breasts or any other insecurities that you might have. Hint: if you do not want this but you like to wear stripes, try wearing vertical stripes instead of horizontal ones. They don’t accentuate your insecurities at all! I wanted to make this outfit a little more girly, so I wore it with my black boots by Esprit.

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Last up is my favourite outfit but I have a pretty sad story with this one. I was taking pics for this outfit when I was in Paris so I was really excited about the photos as the location was pretty epic. One tiny little problem: if you wear stripes which have little space between each other, you get very weird alien patterns when taking pics. Hint: never wear something like this when doing a photoshoot L Anyway I won’t be showing the pants much as weird alien patterns had appeared on the pictures and believe me, it looks rather strange than fashionable. I combined the pants with a burgundy sweater to give the look a bit more colour.

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Hope you guys enjoyed the outfits!

Jolien

Halloween, make-up ideas

Hey peops! As we are already mid-october, it shall soon be Halloween! I absolutely adore this event and it is perfect to improve my make-up skills.

My problem is ‘how will I be original with my make-up and outfit?’. Well in the end, I am not original at all. But as long as it looks good, it’s just fine right?!

You could always go for the average clown, ghost etc. I personally like the creepy white faces with fake blood all over you (I admit, this sounds weird)

Anyway, if you want something creepy yet elegant, I have the perfect idea for you!
Black Swan

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I just realized it looks less fancy than it did in reality *face palm*

I loved creating this look even though it took me two hours (literally). I used black eye shadow for everything concerning my eyes. So the greyish look, is simple black eye shadow. The black parts around my eyes, is black eye shadow mixed with a little bit of water on my pencil. Hereby, the colour was much stronger and I could create dark colours.

The ‘making my face white’ part was more difficult for me because I didn’t have any special white make-up. That’s why I used a simple white crayon with which I literally coloured my whole face. I think it looked quited alright but I do not recommend it, as it gives a very shiny look.

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To finish off the make-up, take out your best red lipstick and your look is complete! If you want to do more than just the make-up, I recommend you to wear you hear very tightly together while wearing a crown. If you have some black tutu in your closet, don’t hesitate on wearing it. You will definitely steal the spotlight!

I couldn’t find back the video that I followed last year, but this tutorial is pretty similar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpUzRTpP8cs

I hope to see some Black Swans in two weeks! Have fun xoxo

 

Jolien

Discovering Lisbon

Hey peops! Before I completely accept the fact that we’re already autumn, I would like to talk about my trip to Lisbon which I made two weeks ago. I love travelling and had never been in Portugal so my best friend and I decided to explore the portugese vibe!
I will be giving you some tips and places you should really visit!

Alfama

Lisbon is full of different neighborhoods and this was the first one we discovered. This is the oldest district and is a maze of narrow streets that will eventually lead you to the heart of the district. Along the way you will see the Se Cathedral,  National Pantheon and Saint Anthony’s Church. However the most visited is the castle of São Jorge. We did not visit it because we had already visited another castle but apparently it’s worth a visit!

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Belèm

If you take the bus, you will get to Belèm in approximately 15-20 minutes. This really is a neighborhood that you have to see. You can take a look at the Torre de Belèm, Padrão dos Descobrimentos and have the best possible view on Ponte 25 de Abril, and Santuário do Cristo Rei which looks like the San Francisco bridge and the famous statue in Rio de Janeiro. We visited the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the Museum Colecção Berardo. There are many museums to be visited in Belèm and we did not regret our choice! I normally do not like modern art but woaw, I just changed my mind! Also, if you visit Belèm you h a v e to tast the delicous Pastéis de Belém, I can simply not describe how amazing these pies/cakes taste (Now that I reminded myself about them, I want one again!).

Sintra

If you visit Lisbon for more than three days, I advice you to take the train and go to Sintra. Within 30 minutes we arrived there (We had a Lisboa Card so we could literally skip a two hour waiting line, we were pretty thrilled haha). Sintra is basically a massive national park in which you can visit multiple palaces and castles like the National Palace of Sintra, Pena Palace and our all time favourite (really it was amazing), the ‘Castelo dos Mouros’ which is basically an old castle on a very high hill. Be prepared for a very windy day and let me say, do not I repeat do not wear a dress or skirt (my best friend will agree)

Baixa and Bairro Alto

Baixa is the heart of Lisbon where you can find the shopping street Rua Augusta, Praça do Comércio and the Santa Justa elevator (5 euros). Although we do not recommend you to go on the Santa Justa elevator! There are many spots where you can have a beautiful view over Lisbon and that all for free.

Overall Lisbon is very cheap, especially for food. We recommend you to go into the narrow streets because the food is better and cheaper! Also we saw some amazing fish restaurants in Alfama, so definitely check that out!

Anyway, let’s get to the very interesting part. Bairro Alto is a perfect district to go out at night, there is a very cool atmosphere and you should definitely try a Ginja from a Ginjinha bar!
Another tip is a bar above a parking named ‘Park’ (just take the elevator to the fifth floor). We really liked the atmosphere as well and you have an amazing view on Lisbon. If you prefer dance clubs, we advise you to go to the ‘Pink Street’. We found the name hilarious, but they literally painted the street pink so… no laughing anymore! If you are there on a thursday, you might have a chance to see the band ‘Trio Cadmira +1’ play in the bar ‘Tokyo’, we loved their performance so much!

Anyway, hope you enjoy your trip to Lisbon and if you have any questions, do not hesistate to ask them!

Jolien

Birthday present ideas

Hey peops! Two days ago, this young lady turned 20 (or am I already getting old now?)!
Because I have such lovely friends, I received plenty gifts! I know how hard it is to find a fun present which is different than the average, so I thought why not list up some good birthday present ideas? Here we go!

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#1: Standard girl gift

I am not talking about a gift voucher for a clothing store or anything. Nope, jewelry or make-up is more what I am talking about! Obviously, for this present it is very important that you know your friend well to know what she will like and dislike.

#2 Smelling good

Does Lush, Rituals or Yves Rocher sound familiar to you? It certainly does to me! I received a whole set of shower gels (and no it’s not because I smell bad.. well at least I hope!). I will probably do a review on these products one day…
It also included body scrubs etc. So if your friend loves to take care about herself and her skin, this will make her very happy! Ps: it’s better to take a set of products with different smells so you’re sure she will at least like one fragrance.

#3 Printing

How cool is it to give your friend a photo album of the two of you or to get a personalised t-shirt for that friend?

#4 Scrap map

This one is for the travellers! I a d o r e travelling, I have only seen some countries in Europe but once I have the means, I will explore the world! So my best friend knew that I wanted this scrap map of the world on which you can indicate which places you have visited, and so she bought it! It is such a fun way to see where you have been in the world, and what you would still like to see.

#5 incised stuff

I agree that this is a weird titel but I will explain. So my friend gave me this wooden box which is in the form of a heart and on the outside, they had incised a little text saying ‘True friends are never apart, maybe in distance but never in heart’. I was so flattered with this present, and I bet your friend will be as well!

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Hope I gave you some fun ideas, good luck!

Jolien