Hello everyone ! Living abroad is an extraordinary and rewarding experience. We can meet new people, discover new cultures but also travel in the surrounding countries. I had the chance to got to Germany for a few days to discover Berlin, let me tell you about my trip.
Established in 1996 as a pilot program by the European Commission, EVS has so far enabled more than 100,000 young volunteers to contribute to a cause they believe in.
Like every year, Volunteers Day is a chance to get together and celebrate volunteering.
Thank you very much for this wonderful year! It was great working in this city and in this library! I knew many interesting and great people! GRACIAS!
Jaki był ulubiony sport w NRD? Jazda na bobslejach! Mur po prawej, mur po lewej i cały czas pikujemy w dół. Kiedy miałem lekcję o humorze w Niemczech trudno mi było opisać czym on jest, ale żart o murze pomógł. Co robiłem ostatnio? Dużo by o tym pisać. W skrócie zatem – w zeszły piątek nagrywaliśmy rapujący teledysk, śpiewaliśmy nasze teksty o EVS.
Szkoda że to video będzie opublikowane dopiero na początku czerwca, bo już mam wielką ochotę je obejrzeć. No nic to, cierpliwie musimy poczekać. Na teledysku śpiewaliśmy i rapowaliśmy na temat EVS: o tym co robimy, jakie emocje nami targają, o naszym życiu w Polsce… Śpiewaliśmy w różnych językach.
From the third week of October, the volunteers of Strim are trying to learn Polish language! Our organization gives us classes in the language academy. I said ‘trying’ because it’s so difficult for us, especially for the mediterranean people like me. Polish phonetic is very different to the Spanish one.
As well, You use a lot of different forms of one word and that´s the reason I’m learning slowly. But nevertheless, I would like to learn Polish! The way is hard but the satisfaction will be very huge! Now we are making first steps in studying this language, it makes me feel like a child – learning basic things like colours, numbers,…
Besides, two weeks ago, we had an important event for us – ‘15TH ANNIVERSARY OF STRIM’. It was a meeting where we celebrated a great day with all the volunteers of the organization. It was the moment, we got to know the other colleagues better. We could learn more information about our organitation, how it works and of course… we had so much fun!
According to my frist experience in Krakow I need to tell you I found a place which seems to me very lovely! Kazimierz, the neighborhood where you can take a coffee in an unusual atmosphere. I found that on the first week of November and since that moment, I try to go there very often. I love a good cup of coffee in the quiet place with the music on the background and nice light. It’s a pleasure for me to read and study in that cosy space, actually, my Polish language is growing up between the coffees! By the way, I would like to find more coffee shops with this characteristic features! If you know where I can find this kind of places, please tell me!
And Of course! As you can imagine, I tried a big zapiekanka during one of my tours! It was delicious combination of flavours in the unique place. Maybe the weather was a bit cold… but I will go there back soon with a better coat!
I think there are still so many surprises for me in this city!
Just after the long weekend of May, I have nothing but one topic to talk about. A predictable idea you may have already in mind when you just think about me (and if you are already thinking so, then I did my job well), is that I did something with my bike. Indeed, I did; a lot of my life has been gravitating around it lately.
Around a month ago, I met a Spaniard that was passing by Kraków, with a really praiseworthy story. One day, in the middle of the Spanish crisis, he found himself without a wife, a job, nor a house, and seriously injured due to an accident. With a pension from the State, he fell in the dilemma between being an indigent, or a vagabond. Choosing without hesitation to just pay short for food but not to have a house, he then said: why sleeping under the same bridge every night, if I can sleep under a different one every night? He got a ridiculously cheap bike, and travelled, until today, for two years and more than 20.000km, with much more to come. Some amazing thoughts this wise man had: people avoid vagabonds but welcome cyclist, and nobody is depressed when he is on a bike in the middle of nowhere. The story is more complicated than that, but I will try my best to give credit to this person. More, on his blog https://deunladoaotroblog.wordpress.com/ Spanish only though, but I will gladly translate any piece 🙂
There was also a day when I was just coming back from a coffee with a friend, when I suddenly saw a cyclist with a map and plenty of luggage in his bike. I approached, asked the obvious question –are you travelling by bike?–, and after his amen, he mentioned to be in a hurry due to the sunset’s arrival and a lack of lodge nor camp: I just offered him to sleep at my place. Unusual due to a lack of any acquaintance between us, we walked to my place, I showed him the shower, the kitchen, a bed, and I left him at home to come back with my friends. The day after, we expended the morning talking about trips and routes, the afternoon cycling around Kraków, the evening sharing plans: his are totally awesome. More, but in French (this one I cannot translate very well, I just get an idea due to our common Latin roots, but Google does a good job), in his blog: http://lucagerber.info/
Also, on my way back from a trip I did, I found another two cyclists just when entering Kraków. A German couple in the need of a shower, and not knowing the city. I brought them to my favourite restaurant, and to my house. I guess you can imagine how awesome is to be able to shower and wash your clothes every once in a while. At least this couple knew for sure. More about this couple, but in German, here: http://radreise.beloptik.de/
About my own bike, as I said, I had my fun too, on this long weekend of May. I did a bit less than 300km, first staying with some friends in a rental house, then staying with a Couchsurfing Host in Szczawa, a very much remarkable one.
Considering that I haven’t been in a serious ride since I arrived to Kraków, I was totally untrained, physically and mentally. My hubris from my last trip took power of my ego: I started the trip with such a vanity, going fast either up or down, with an average speed of 30km/h, up to the 60-ies on any downward slope. Do that for three days of mountains, after having done no serious thing in seven months, and you will find yourself with a terrible quadriceps contraction prone to tendinitis, and a serious butt soreness, in the middle of a valley, completely surrounded by a hard terrain and no way to easily get out. Lesson: be patient, save some energy for the next days. If so, burn yourself only when you are sure you will have the opportunity of a total rest.
Weather was perfect: rain at anything below 20 degrees is a tragedy, so just in case I bought a rain poncho, which luckily came back home unused, and a lovely 8-to-12 degrees of freshness was nothing but comfortable. I made severe use of the lower gears of my bike, which I hadn’t used much before, and of my brakes –well, those I had surely used them a lot. Overall, even though I feel a bit disappointed on the physical matter, I’m very much proud of the outcome. Tested my bike and new gears and stuff, reminded myself of what is important, enjoyed some wonderful landscapes, and an incredible peace.
PD: I just wanted to post these pictures, I deep-heartedly love them and it was impossible to choose one, so here you have both. On an event brought by my EVS organization, Strim.