Traveling through Italy | Napoli & Pompei

Hello, everybody!

Sorry I haven’t been active for a couple of days. Apparently, the teachers feel really ambitious these last months of school, haha.

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Today I will be talking about the next destination I went to while I was on a school trip to Italy! Despite the weather not being so great, I had a really great time in Naples. Let me know if you’ve been there too. I would love to hear what you thought of this city!

Napoli Map

We drove to Naples after our visit to Siena. It was pretty late when we arrived at the hotel, so we didn’t visit the city that day. We did have a gathering in the hotel, and we all danced disco swing. We had learned it in our PE class, so it didn’t look that awful.

We stayed at the Hotel Futura ★★★★. It was very nice! I really liked its façade. The art-deco reminded me of the roaring twenties. You wouldn’t say it at first because it is situated in a rather poor neighborhood. But, the rooms were clean, it was cozy, and the food was delicious!

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In the morning, we went to visit Pompei. I was very excited for this trip. I have studied Latin for four years and had heard a lot about it. Walking through the ruins seemed something extraordinary to me. We were free the whole time we were there, so my friends and I started walking through the city. I find it so fascinating to think that those ‘buildings’ were the same ones that were standing 2000 years ago.

So my friends were walking, all of us being very impressed by it all. We didn’t really know what direction we were going, we just went with the flow. There were quite some visitors at that time. The teachers recommended us to visit a big villa (at the other side of Pompei) because it had original frescos and preserved bodies. So, I was very excited to see that! Only, when we walked for about half an hour, we suddenly realized there were very few visitors left where we were walking.

It turns out that we weren’t watching where we were going and had simply walked out the domain! We weren’t able to turn back. We hadn’t even seen the most important parts about Pompei!

That was not so fun, but we were able to look at it from afar. We talked to some friends we saw walking by, and they described what it was like. We considered sneaking back in, but there was a lot of security, so we chickened out, haha. Don’t mess with the Italian police, y’all.

This is what we did get to see in Pompei:

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View of the Vesuvius! (and some lovely tourists)

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This is the moment right before we walked through the exit

In the afternoon, we went to the Solfatara volcano. But first, we stopped at a tiny beach. As I said before, the weather wasn’t really that fantastic, so I didn’t end up swimming. Some brave guys, though, did end up in the water.

It wasn’t more than ten minutes on the bus when we reached to the volcano. If you have ever been to a volcano, you’ll probably remember one particular thing about the experience: the smell. It was so terrible! The odor of sulfur was so strong there, my scarf didn’t even succeed in concealing some of it. They say that it’s good for the skin, though!

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(I’m the one in the white jacket)

vulcano soflatara

Despite that, the view was wonderful. There wasn’t any lava, it is not a volcano like that. The crater is covered up, and we were able to walk on it. It did have mud pots. Our guide suddenly got the greatest idea to smear some students with mud (because it is good for the skin). He didn’t reach me, luckily. I had casually wondered to the back of the crowd.

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After that pleasant experience (*cough*), we got back to the hotel. We just stayed in each other’s rooms and talked. It was really nice to get to rest and be able to shower. Needed to get that wonderful smell of sulfur out of my hair.


Next stop: Rome. (Stay tuned for some drama this time!)


Thank you so much for reading! Much love, liesje

Waiting on Wednesday #6

Hello, everyone!

Have you noticed how many great books are coming out this year? It’s incredible! I can’t handle all the excitement and emotion. I don’t know what to do with myself, haha.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog feature hosted by Breaking the Spine. You spotlight an upcoming release that you’re eagerly anticipating.

This book is a special one. I’ve seen it around everywhere, and you probably have too. There is so much fuss about this book. I checked it out a couple of weeks ago, and I have been anxiously waiting for may 30th since then.

The book I’m talking about is When Dimple met Rishi by Sandhya Menon.

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Synopsis

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.


Are you excited for this book?

Much love, liesje

My Summer TBR of 2017

Hello, everyone!

Today was a long day! With my school, I went on an excursion to observe the landscape of Belgium. It doesn’t sound very exciting, and I must admit that it was not really my cup of tea. It wasn’t all bad though because the weather was really nice and I had great company. I had almost tripped once when we were climbing on a large hill. Did not really have fun there.

The weather of today really got me in the mood for summer. That’s why I decided to gather all the books that I want to read this summertime. I’m so excited for them. They are not all cute, fluffy reads, just books that I have been on my tbr for a long time. And in the summertime I have much more time on my hands. Especially this year! After graduating high school, I get an extra month of vacation.

Here are the books I am planning to read the next couple of months!

everythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

the hate u giveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

wintersongWintersong by S. Jae. Jones

anna kareninaAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The DivinersThe Diviners by Libba Bray

doon-shadowDoon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

everlandEverland by Wendy Spinale

4Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes

6Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

1Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

finding-paris-shadowFinding Paris by Joy Preble

tmwThe Magician’s Workshop by Hansen & Fehr

ill-give-you-the-sunI’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson

28000518At fire’s end (Champions #1) by Charlotte Jain

27973757The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

29939266To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough


What do you think of the books? Do you have a summer tbr? Tell me in the comments.

I’ll talk to you soon! Thanks for reading! liesje

The Monday Musts #8

Good day, everybody!

Ohh, I have some very fun things to share with you this Monday Musts! I can 100% assure you that these are some of my favorites of all time, the series, the song and the book!

Let’s not waste more time. If you know any of these things I show you, please, please, please, let me know. I would love to gush about them with you!


MUST READ

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

I adored this book. OMG. It broke my heart. Such a remarkable, beautiful story. It flew by, it even felt like the story lasted for only 10 minutes. This is both a good and a bad thing, though. I could stay reading this story over and over again. But making it longer probably would make it lose some of its meaning. I will talk more about the book in my review that is coming soon. So, stay tuned!


MUST WATCH

The Bletchley Circle

Have you ever heard about this series? I’m discovering all of these phenomenal tv shows thanks to Netflix’s suggestions lately. It’s incredible. This show is so original, and the mysteries are very well developed. It’s so well done and highly underrated, for sure!

I couldn’t find a trailer that fitted the real premise of it. All of these trailers are far more dramatized and sexier than how it actually is. This one is pretty alright, though. The show is about four women who worked as code deciphers during the war, and years later, use their impressive skills to track down serial killers and other criminals.


MUST LISTEN

In Dreams by Ben Howard

Some cool vibes to end this post. 😉


Thank you so much for reading!liesje

Monthly Character Casting | Angelfall

Hi, everyone!

It’s time for another book casting today!

Monthly Character Casting LOGO (2)If you didn’t know, MCC is a monthly feature I created a few months back. You can share a dream cast for a book of your choosing. We post every 7th of the month. You can join anytime you want!

If you want to participate, you can either use the logo (the one on the left) or make your own and link back to my blog. Make sure to tell me in the comments if you’re interested!

Today, I am going to cast the characters of Angelfall, one of my favorite books of all time. I hope you’ll like it!


Laura Marano as Paige

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 Crystal Reed as Penryn

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Marlon Teixeira as Raffe

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*swoon*

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What do you think of my cast? I’m so happy! Who would you cast for the cast of Angelfall?

If you have any suggestions for other books, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments!


Thank you so much for reading! liesje

200 follows! Thank you!!!!

Hello, everybody!

I quickly wanted to thank you because I reached 200 follows this week. I’m so, so grateful!!

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Every single one of you means a lot to me and have made me a very happy!

Keep on doing what you’re doing, and I’ll talk to you soon!

Much love, liesje

The Versatile Blogger Award #2

Hello, everybody!

Thanks so much to Grace from quirkyandpeculiar for nomination me. I’ve done this award once before, and it was so much fun to do. I’m so glad I get to do it again!

THE RULES

  • Display the award on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger that nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Share 7 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 10 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blog.

7 FACTS ABOUT ME

1. This year, I’ll graduate from high school. In October I’ll attend university to study English and Spanish. I am nervous, but I can’t wait to start either!

2. It’s my goal to write my own book one day. I’ve been brainstorming on an idea for two years, and I think I have figured it out about now. Just adding some plot twists and drama

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3. I’m a professional procrastinator. I’m a pro at postponing studying for tests. Homework, I’ll do it the night before the deadline. I bet no one can do it better than me, you know.

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4. I’m obsessed with crime stories and documentaries. My favorite shows on Netflix are Killer Couples, The Mind of a Murderer and Murder Files. Maybe it is because I have an interest in psychology and how the mind of a killer/ psychopath works, or maybe I’m just crazy myself.giphy (20)

5. I’m addicted to lip balm. Every two hours I have to apply some more. I don’t think if it’s harmful, but if it were, it’d probably be too late, haha.

6. I want to read a lot of classics, but I’m very intimidated by them. I think I’m going to read Wuthering Heights soon. What do you think about this book? I’ve heard many great reviews.

7. When I am over 18 years old, and I saved enough money, I want to travel to Canada and Australia, but also tour around Europe. My last trip to Italy has reminded me that I really love history and culture. In Europe, I would really want to visit Germany, Spain, Scotland, and Austria.


I NOMINATE

Read with Katie | The Belgian Reviewer | Of Reading and Random Things | ignitedmoth | The Night is Dark and Full of Books | Not-so-modern girl | Bionic Book Worm | The Bibliophile Blogs | The Book Raven | Nerd in New York


Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll talk to you soon! liesje

Traveling through Italy | Siena

Hello, everyone!

I’m so glad I’m making a new travel post. I love talking about my adventures. I went on a ten-day trip with my school where we traveled to some of the most beautiful cities in Italy. The first two days, we visited Firenze and Fiesole. If you haven’t read that post yet, you can do it here.

On day three, we got on the bus and drove to Siena. It was a ride of approximately 2 hours. It was a great opportunity to rest. We had toured a lot in Firenze, and we didn’t get much sleep either. We had to be quiet at midnight, but you know how it works: we were way too cool to follow the rules.

At about 11 o’clock, we arrived in Siena. The sun was shining, and the summer vibes were surely there. Traveling when the weather is nice makes the trip so much better, don’t you think?

Map Siena


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We took our bags and walked into the city. The Domo of Siena is the first building we visited. It is the most beautiful church I have ever seen in my life. Inside and out this church was fantastic! Like many other Italian churches, this was made of marble. I’ll let you see its perfection for yourself.

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Have you ever seen something more beautiful? I was in awe the whole time I was inside this church.

A little tip I can give you is to look up once in a while when you are visiting buildings in Italy. A lot of the ceilings are very impressive. This next picture I took inside the same church.

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Can you imagine looking up and seeing something so magical? It felt like entering an entirely different world.  It almost seemed like magic.

After this visit, we were free to eat something and discover Siena on our own. If you are looking for food in Italy, definitely check out the more quiet streets. Most of the time you can find way cheaper restaurants or pizzerias there. At busy places, you can easily be charged €15 for a pizza. Also, watch out if they aren’t charging you extra for the service or the cutlery!

My friends and I enjoyed some delicious Italian pizza and sat down in a quiet alley. We also met other students who were on the same trip as ours. The Italian road trip is a very popular in Belgium. I bet I heard more Dutch than Italian during my journey, haha.

Siena isn’t very big, but it’s surely worth visiting! Make sure to go to the Piazza del Campo when you’re there! It’s a square in the shape of a shell. It was hard to photograph it, but with a little imagination, you can see it. 😉

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At 14:00 / 2 pm, we gathered on this square and unfortunately, this was our last moment in Siena, a 5-hour drive was patiently waiting on us. There are more points of interest to visit in Siena. We just didn’t have much time to visit them all.

At 20:00 / 8 pm we arrived at our next stop, Napoli. But those stories will be for my next Traveling through Italy post. Stick around because I have a couple of funny stories about my days in Napoli!


Thank you so much for reading! I’ll talk to you soon!liesje

Waiting on Wednesday #5

Hello, everybody!

How are you all doing today? I’m feeling a little down because I have a presentation of my German course tomorrow. We had to watch Schindler’s List and another movie about the Holocaust. Then, we had to pick three scenes from every movie that touched us and then talk about it in class. It’s a really heavy topic but I’m glad we are doing it. It reminds us once again what humans (if we can even call them that) are capable of.

Now, let’s cheer up by talking about some books!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog feature hosted by Breaking the Spine. You spotlight an upcoming release that you’re eagerly anticipating.

I haven’t read any books of Adam Silvera but I’ve heard a lot of great things about them. This one, in particular, sounds very interesting! Tell me in the comments if you would like to read this book.

It comes out September 5th, 2017.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

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Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

View this book on Goodreads


Thank you so much for reading!liesje

Book Review | A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

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View this book on Goodreads


SYNOPSIS

A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy—jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions “for a bit of fun” and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the “others” and rebuild the Order.


RATING

★★★★★


DISCUSSION

(no spoilers!)

Let’s start off by saying that I fell in love with Libba Bray’s writing style. A lot of times I was amazed how beautiful she could describe the simplest of things. She could make a frog seem attractive if she wanted to.

I started reading this story not really knowing anything, except that it takes place in London and it had something to do with a group of four girls. I loved going into this books without knowing anything more than that.

I didn’t expect the book to have a dark vibe to it, but I – for some reason – really like those kinds of books.

The story takes place in 19th century London. That was one of the main reasons I wanted to read this book. The world building was great. I have no doubt London at that time was as gloomy and mysterious as described in this book.

The first half of the book went quite slow. There was a lot ‘building up’ going on. I was waiting and waiting for things to get on. It wasn’t until I reached about the middle of the book when things started to go down. I also have the bad habit of reading little bits and then wait for a long period before reading further. That may also be the reason why it seemed to go slow.

Other than that, I loved the story. The world building was great. The characters had depth. There were some plot twists I didn’t see coming. It was perfect!

I adored the cast of this story. Not because they were nice (they weren’t) but because they were all different and had their own stories to tell. I understand it could’ve come off as stereotypical to some readers, but I found them quite entertaining. They were surely not boring. I also enjoyed reading about the struggles of teenage girls, like having a crush and body issues.

Gemma was the most relatable character to me. Her character – all of the characters, really – could’ve easily been based off someone living in this time. Which is not that abnormal when you think of it. Our knowledge of the world has grown to this day. However, I don’t think we are totally different people than the ones that existed hundreds of years ago. It’s not like our brains have gotten bigger. It is the circumstances that made us see things in a different perspective. Do you get what I mean? I find it quite hard to put this into words.

I was convinced the four girls, Gemma, Ann, Felicity, and Pippa, did not feel like they could fully trust one another. It was also not to be this way, I think. Some had issues with this, but I didn’t. It came off as truthful and honest. To put your trust in someone to tell your darkest secrets and most private thoughts take a lot of courage and trust.


CONCLUSION

I really enjoyed this book! I am not overjoyed, but that could be because it wasn’t a feel good book. I think the darkness of this book had me under its spell for a little while longer. I definitely turned the last page thinking this was a really well-written book. Libba Bray is a wonderful author. I’ll definitely pick up one of her other books soon, after I read the hundred other books I want to read at this moment.


Thank you so much for reading!liesje