San Francisco memories (Part I)

San Francisco Part II

My first recap last week has been incredibly long, even for my taste and my style. I actually had to cut it in half! So read on for more of my highlights in San Francisco and more of my photos!

Free tours.

I would have loved to join more free tours. It’s a great way to learn more about landmarks in San Francisco if you are travelling on a budget plus the tour guides are extremely nice and helpful in every way. One of the tours was on controversial murals in the old post office building in San Francisco. Then we did a walking tour through Chinatown which was really informative (plus I bought fortune cookies) and even visited a temple there.


If you haven’t noticed yet, I like to eat. A lot. And I crave unhealthy food almost all time. In-N-Out Burger is probably the best food I had. Next to that came the burrito that I had in the Mission District. Hands down, best burrito I ever had. And then cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. Yum. Why don’t we have that stuff here in Munich?! You might notice that I never managed to take a picture before having the first bite.

Exploratorium at night

What an awesome experience! It’s a science museum where you can do fun experiments. On some Thursday nights they stay open late and offer drinks. No small kids, but many adults turning into children again! I’d certainly recommend going! We skipped standing in line for drinks and instead tried out as much as we could.

Wave organ, i.e. being close to water!

Having grown up closer to mountains than to the sea people always assume that I like hiking or taking walks in the mountains. I don’t! I’m a sea person, I like water and the salty air, the wind and boats. One afternoon my friend Julia and I took a bus to the wave organ which depending on the waves and winds is supposed to make music. Although it was rather chilly, it was a nice enough to take a walk and look at the city from a far.

Enjoying the hills of San Francisco!

It’s the best workout that you can get, simply take a walk. I spend one day wandering around rather aimlessly, simply exploring the neighborhoods. Whenever I saw something or some place that I liked, I stopped and took a break to soak it all in. I climbed hills and Coit Tower to find the best views over the city which was exhausting, but worth it. No photo could capture all the impressions that I had!

Of course that is not all of it! So many cool things may have slipped my mind right now, every now and then I remember stuff that I should maybe write about, but then again, memories are beautiful when they come and go!

Talk to you very soon again,


San Francisco memories (Part I)

San Francisco memories (Part I)

Guys, San Francisco was truly amazing. It has been almost three months since I have been back to Germany and I am still missing being there or rather being a traveler. It’s a serious case of wanderlust or travel addiction. Back home things got crazy again very fast, that I came back with a severe cold didn’t help, too. I’ve been wanting to write this post for the last three months, but it never felt right: I was always too tired, too unfocused, too lazy. Does it even make sense to write about something that has happened so long ago I wondered a couple of times? Shouldn’t I just skip this post and focus on something else (maybe my PhD thesis)? Do I even remember enough of what I did there to write about it? Nonetheless, I really want to share my San Francisco memories with you!

Maybe I have forgotten some things, some details, but maybe I have gained some distance or a different perspective of my stay there. This post will certainly be different to all the other posts before that I typed on my phone in my bed, just to share some pictures and some of my adventures. This quite long introduction is probably proof enough!

Again: San Francisco was awesome – it had its ups and downs, but all the ups made the downs feel small and unimportant.

Arrival in San Francisco – Longest train ride of my life

I arrived in San Francisco bright and early after a very long and cold train ride (17 hrs!!!). The first impressions were overshadowed by my exhaustion – all I really wanted was a hot shower, sleep and some breakfast. It took me a while to get used to big city life again, after Portland San Francisco was loud and busy. I walked to my hostel which was a couple of blocks away, simply because I was too tired to find out which bus to take and afraid to fall asleep while on it. The staff at my hostel was generous enough to let me take a shower and store my luggage so that I could go for a walk and get some breakfast. Most expensive pancakes that I ever had, but it felt good to get some food!

On planning and being adventurous

The first day was then really uneventful: I checked in, met up with my friend Julia who had arrived from Portland the day before and unpacked my packages from amazon that I had ordered. I also made plans with my friend for the next day. Since it was my third stay in San Francisco, I didn’t have many fixed plans beforehand, which can be very relaxing and made me feel adventurous. My friend Johnathan, who is from San Francisco, made me a google map with fun places to visit (if you read this, thanks again!).

My down(s)

The biggest down happened after my first night in San Francisco. I was stupid and naive enough to pack my daybag the night before and when my alarm clock sounded, I jumped out of bed and into the shower. Either during the night or at some time during my shower one of the three girls who stayed in my dorm opened my bag and stole all my money. I only found out later when after a free tour I wanted to tip the tour guide and simply couldn’t. Turned out that whoever did this took all my cash and thankfully left my other valuables such as my credit card, passport and camera!

Very stupid of me – I should have locked it away – and very mean of whoever did this. It took me a few hours and a phone call home to get over this. After some thinking I decided against calling the police and only reported it to the hostel front desk because I didn’t want to spend any more time dealing with this. Lesson learned: Always lock your stuff away because people can be mean!

My ups

Pretty much everything else was great. I’ll do better explaining with photos! And I’ll try to explain some of the things deeper later. I really plan on doing that because my stay in Portland and Seattle still seemed too short as well!

Very non-San Francisco related, but I genuinely enjoyed playing Pokémon Go which I had downloaded there. San Francisco was full of Pokestops and other people playing on Union Square or on every corner of the city. You would know who played by looking at them and people would come up and ask which team you joined.

Museums, museums, museums

I visited the SFMOMA where I had been in 2010 before it closed and now right after it opened. I originally planned to spend only 2 hours there which is my personal max. time in a museum before my brain freezes and I start walking around aimlessly. After 3 hours I looked at my watch and was surprised how fast the time had flown by. On the day that my money got stolen I visited the de Young Museum. It calmed me down and cheered me up at the same time.
It’s surprising what art can do to you!

I’ll leave it with this revelation for today and I will continue this post next week: It is all too much for one post!

Have a wonderful day,



Things to do in Bardolino

You might have noticed that I couldn’t keep up with my travel diary. Writing was just way more work than I could or wanted to do after 11 PM. Also, it seems that I am still on a war path with the WordPress App and its functionalities. So instead of several posts it has to be one with a more general guide on things to do in Bardolino. This was my first holiday after a year of working and writing that I spent without books or any plan, so I had a wonderful time relaxing and exploring the town.

First of all, Bardolino is probably the busiest town at Lago di Garda, especially during Bavarian holidays or during one of the two wine festivals in May and October. But if you catch a less busy time and once in a while step off the tourist streets, you will see great places! Here come my favorite things to do:

1. Take a walk along the lake shore, watch the ducks and be active.

All the pathways have been worked on in the last few years, so you can walk along the shore between most towns undisturbed except for some people on bikes.

2. If you don’t like walking, you can also decide on taking a boat.

It’s fairly cheap and compared to the bus actually on time. Another option would be getting a taxi, but traffic gets quite busy during the day and you’ll be stuck most certainly. The boat ride is a lot of fun, you’ll get a good overview of the lake and catch some fresh air as well!

3. Explore other towns!

I especially like to go to Lazise or Garda (which has the best bakery ever!!), but next time I will make sure to go there on a day when there is no market. The crowd was crazy and made it almost impossible to find a café to enjoy some cappuccino.

4. Choose a bar or café close to the lake!

Put your legs up, order some vino and simply enjoy! If you are into people watching like me, that’s the best way to do it. I loved watching the boats on the lake, the people playing with dogs in the water or simply families strolling by.

5. Leave the crowded streets and take a different way back to the hotel.

If you keep your eyes open, you’ll see so many things: Beautiful houses and gardens, flowers, street art or even funny coincidences such as the walking frame next to the Harley Davidson sign.

6. Go to church.

Or rather go into churches. I’m very often bored when I have to walk into every church in a town or city, but Bardolino is home of my favorite church. It is called San Severo and I am in love with the Romanesque frescoes. Some time ago, I had to do a presentation on Romanesque frescoes and one of the examples that I could choose from was San Severo in Bardolino (what a coincidence!).

7. Follow the locals.

As creepy as this may sound, I found the nicest park to hang out!

8. Go to the markets.

If you can, choose smaller ones that mainly sell food. The bigger ones mostly sell clothes and shoes, but the food markets are great and have so many things that you won’t find at home like those sweets and little cakes!

9. If you happen to be there when there is a wine fest/ tasting, try to enjoy it.

There will be a lot of people and later a lot of drunk people, but on the upside, the town will be decorated beautifully. For the Palio di Chiaretto the chosen color was obviously pink. You could take a picture on Juliet’s Balcony and go from booth to booth tasting samples of the new Chiaretto from app. 20 different wineries.

10. Most importantly: Enjoy yourself, put on sunscreen and soak up the sun.

You’re on a holiday, so eat, drink and savor every moment of it!

I hope you’ll all have the chance to go to Bardolino (or any town at Lago di Garda) any time soon, it’s a great place.

I’m already busy planning my next trip to Seattle, Portland and San Francisco and I’m so excited. The To-Do-List writing has begun!

Tell me: What’s on your packing list? What shouldn’t I forget in any case?

Talk to you soon,


Lago di Garda Day 2: Boats, shopping and gelato

Hi everyone, buonasera di Bardolino! As promised yesterday, a short description of where I am. Sorry for all the typos and weird mistakes, I’m still working on the whole blogging-while-travelling-without-my-laptop etc. The WordPress App is quite cool, but some things just won’t work for me.

Currently I am travelling with my mom on our annual trip to Italy. We are staying in Bardolino which is located on the eastern coast of Lago di Garda in the part of Veneto. I have been coming to Bardolino for many years now, many of the best holidays have been spent here, first with my parents, later with friends and now again with my mom.

Our hotel is called Taormina, it is a two star rated hotel and I can only recommend it so far. The rooms are small, but clean, and have all amenities that are necessary. The best thing is that the hotel is located very close to the town center and also very close to the lake and everything else.

Today we took a boat to Lazise which is 15 minutes away (by boat) to visit the weekly market, look around and see the older part of the town. Lazise is as beautiful as Bardolino, but I didn’t like the crowds and I wasn’t able to take as many pictures as I wanted due to me being part of a moving crowd. It’s ridiculous, everything at the market can be bought in stores as well and still people go crazy. It’s not even a bargain, things are often cheaper in smaller stores!

So we only looked around for a little while and then escaped into a café for coffee and some people-watching. Seems like Bavaria (and Munich maybe) might be deserted with many Bavarians here. So much fun watching people! We later took the boat back again, instead of walking 45 minutes in the sun. Call me lazy, but I was so glad that I could sit down for a few minutes!

The rest of the day was spent with napping, a picnic at the lake and more shopping. It’s easy to spend time shopping in Bardolino, I guess. Many shops have similar things and you shouldn’t be to conscious about fair products as many things are most likely made in China. However, if you are on a budget, looking for a bargain and some cute summer clothing, it is the place to go. Tomorrow I’ll try to find some shoes! I love shoes!

I ended the day with my first gelato this year (as in bought and eaten outside) and it was delicious. Papaya and chocolate are a perfect mixture and can only be beaten by Mango and dark chocolate. I even decided against a glass of wine (so this is sober-me writing here) in order to be able to eat all of it. Absolutely will do that again tomorrow!
I’ll head to bed now, it truly is a holiday with lots of food and catching up on sleep.

Talk to you all later,


Travel Diary: Lago di Garda Day 1

Hey folks,

finally some travelling done on my part which means more posts coming up for this blog. Today’s post is going to be short, after all we only arrived this afternoon so I only took some pictures. Frankly, after two glasses of wine and a sprizz I also have a little buzz going on. So, more on where I am staying tomorrow.

Enjoy my first pictures of beautiful Bardolino in Italy!

That’s the hotel we are staying at. Conveniently located, close to the lake and so far the staff has been nice as well. I stayed here a couple of years ago already, so it wasn’t a big surprise.


A billboard with death notices which are posted throughout the town. It feels more personal somehow because it implies that people still know each other.


Three views of the lake. I love water and I especially love how it sparkles in the sun. Probably the only thing that I like that sparkles.


There was a group of baby ducks. So cute, so fuzzy. So many pictures were taken. I spare you the details and only post one.


Sooo many boats. And a reminder that last year my mom and I decided to get a boat license which we, surprise – surprise, haven’t managed to do yet. Maybe next year we will be able to rent a boat. Let’s keep that on the bucket list!


Very random shot of my water-glass.

It’s the shadow of the bird. Very funny, the little sparrows are extremely well fed and like to steal bread. It’s so much fun to watch them as they hop between the tables. They also come pretty close, so you really have to be careful or you’ll end up with a bird on your head.

More on the background of my trip will come up tomorrow! Plus pictures of Lazise and other shenanigans!

Sleep tight and dream of distant places,


Absent for too long…

I’m so sorry, I have been absent for so long, but lately I have been incredibly busy with managing my work-phd-life.

After my trip to Romania, which has been great by the way (see the pictures in this post), I decided to change my dissertation topic back to film studies. Attending a conference on adaptations made it clear that I like talking and researching on film much more than on art history. Keeping in mind that I would be working on my topic for a few years, changing it to something I love just made sense.

After the conference we visited some monasteries which were so pretty that I truly regret not bringing my camera and having to take pictures with my cell phone.

Beautiful Lago di Garda

Again, here are some pictures from this year’s trip to Bardolino. I went there for a friend’s wedding which was also a great opportunity to bring along my Nikon D5100 and take some nice pictures. I have been going to Bardolino for what feels like my whole life, I still remember spending time there with my family and friends  when I was maybe 5.

We mostly stayed in Bardolino then and even today I make sure to be close to it. It’s a cute little town that has kept its quiet spots. Some semesters ago, I was even able to do a seminar and presentation on murals in one of Bardolino’s churches.
Getting there from southern Germany is relatively easy, it usually takes around 4-5hrs by car or 7 by train and bus. Bardolino offers a range of nice hotels, B&Bs and camping sites, so that you almost all the time are able to get a room.
This year we stayed in a nice B&B that had two stars. It is located only a few minutes away from the town center and very quiet. Although the rooms are simple and there is no pool area, it was very convenient to stay there for three nights.

Enjoy some pictures from this trip. I actually realized that I like taking pictures of animals a lot!