Porec, Croatia

UNIVERSITY TOUR IN CROATIA

Rating: 3 out of 5.

As my last year in Coventry University, our sports society (Cheerleading) joined others in a coach journey during 26 hours in route from England to Croatia. The organisers behind are called ILOVETOUR and has been doing this for a long time.

Years ago it used to be Spain, but this year location changed to Croatia. I would be lying to say it was a “learning” experience though. Seems like English students only have one thing in mind when visiting Porec: how many beers they could down. It was definitely fun, but 4 days there could translate into weeks as you spend all the time with the same group of people.

So if you are looking to go wild and have a bit of fun out there, then yes, Porec is the place to go – also pretty affordable prices for good quality food and drinks -. The beach there isn’t that great, but does the job. Their old-style iconic little streets makes you understand what they mean with the Mediterranean touch. Here’s the main things you can do in Porec..


Şanlıurfa, Turkey

Urfa, officially known as Şanlıurfa; Arabic: al-Ruha‎; Kurdish: Riha; Armenian: Ուռհա, romanized: Uṙha; Syriac: ܐܘܪܗܝ‎, romanized: Ūrhāi and known in ancient times as Edessa, is a city with a population of over 2 million residents in south-eastern Turkey, and the capital of Şanlıurfa Province.

The city in photos

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Peniche, Portugal

Now, you can go against the anger as it is intimidating – better to stay away from it – or you can use that same anger in your advantage to ride the waves faster and better. It’s what you get ‘’from the other side of fear’’.

Surfing in Peniche

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What draws me into surf is the following life lesson you get from it: You can see the anger in the ocean by the size and strength of the waves it produces. Now, you can go against the anger as it is intimidating – better to stay away from it – or you can use that same anger in your advantage to ride the waves faster and better. It’s what you get ‘’from the other side of fear’’ as some say. 

However learning to surf can be tough. It’s a constant fight against the ocean currents. You get up, you fall, you pick yourself up again and off you go into the deep water. You keep doing this cycle until suddenly you don’t fall anymore, or you fall less often. Through this sport you don’t just get fit, it helps practice patience with yourself. You discover not only what’s the best timing for your body to stand up, but what’s the best foods to keep you fuller for longer so you can surf more. 

If you’ve ever thought of doing surf but can’t seem to afford it, Peniche is a great location for it. I stayed at Ferrel Surf House . They are a family owned business and made sure I felt very welcomed and cared for. You can choose how long you want to stay for, alongside other surfers who you will be getting lunches and dinners with – easiest way to make friends -. The classes are divided between Beginners, Intermediates and Advanced, each with an allocated surf instructor – Check their bundles here.


Peniche in photos

Coventry

It was very difficult at first, the cultural adaptation, homesickness and more than anything, not knowing the language. It was very challenging, but it wouldn’t be fun if it wasn’t.

Studying at Coventry

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Many friends have said during the years how great it would be to have the opportunity to join an english university, that if they knew they could apply, they would have done it too. But at that time, not many people knew what UCAS is. The way I got into it was by listening a family friend mention her daughter was going to live in the UK thanks to this UCAS application ‘thing’ so I googled it straight away.

After having to decide which path was best suited for me and within my budget, I was suggested to opt for a Student Load which allowed me to fund my UK degree. Leaving Spain wasn’t easy – the cultural adaptation, homesickness and more than anything, not knowing the language very well – It was tough at times, but I was too curious to know what would happened if I carried on.

At the end all the effort paid off. I learnt English, met great people through different societies and I realised there was little to no time to be shy. After a while, I started to score higher grades, speak more fluently and ended up completing my degree with a First.



Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Languedoc-Roussillon is located pretty near to the borders between France and Spain, and contains great beaches to visit. We rented a car and had a good playlist for the 2h ride there. It’s not the easiest journey when driving up North, you’ll get tricky roads and bumpy rides.

Colliure

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Languedoc-Roussillon is located pretty near to the borders between France and Spain, and contains great beaches to visit. We rented a car and had a good playlist for the 2h ride there. It’s not the easiest journey when driving up North, you’ll get tricky roads and bumpy rides.

There’s small beaches all around Colliure, which aren’t very touristy so perfect if you’re looking for somewhere quiet and peaceful. Restaurants there will also offer you a wide range of food, but you want to ask for types of sea-foods and tasty (really tasty) fresh fish.

If you want to know which are the best beaches to visit in Spain, you can have a look here. You’re not going to find this one, as it is one of the pricate ones. Let’s call them ‘hidden gems‘.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

The good thing about Amsterdam is you end up discovering cute little unconventional coffee shops in any alley you walk by, so there’s always places to go if you’d like a controlled sense of self

Amsterdam @ Uni

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You can go to Amsterdam for a couple days or a long weekend and still get a good glimpse of what the Dutch lifestyle is. Although my family lives close to Arnhem, an hour away from the city, me and some friends decided to book a low-budget hostel in the city centre and hired some bikes to make the experience as unique as we could.

We found this ‘artsy’ hostel part of the ‘WOW’ chain and stayed there for 5 days, the hostel was recreational, respectful, full of light, colour, a great place if you’re planning to be trippin’, as it is also surrounded by nature. The only place I would have avoided is the Bull Dog, as we found ourselves rammed anxiously inside with little space and too many people queuing.

The good thing about Amsterdam is you end up discovering cute little unconventional coffee shops in any alley you walk by, so there’s always places to go if you’d like a controlled sense of self – great for when taking those coffee shop brownies – .

Barcelona, Spain

My Barcelona

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I was lucky enough to grow up in Barcelona for a couple years, and I had a taste of what it is to live 5 minutes away from the best mediterranean restaurants with fresh fish and delicious tapas. Catalans have an incredible and autonomous culture; it’s one of those magical cities you promise yourself to come back to someday.

If you ever go to Barcelona, make sure you visit Ciutat Comtal for the best tapas. It can get a bit crowded but their food makes the wait worthwhile. If you are looking for something a little bit more local make sure to get yourself lost in the streets of the Raval area, near the Ramblas. This is the epi-centre of happy hours, cocktails and wines to sip while watching the sunset with friends.

If you’re travelling to Barcelona in the summer make sure you opt for trams and public buses – they are equipped with some cold air coolers – and it will leave you in the same places the underground does, but without those hot flushes you get when using the underground. If you get a T-10 (10 rides) you can re-use it in any public transport..

Barcelona in photos