Back in Europe!

April 27, 2015 at 6:16 pm (Germany, Travel)

It’s nearly been three months back in Europe already and I seriously feel like I never left.  Time certainly flies when you have a million things on the go and once again I am reminded of the positivities of living in the middle of Europe.  I can’t believe how much I have already got to experience!  I’m really behind with the blog so this will be a long one… apologies in advance.

New colleagues :)

New colleagues 🙂

I was pretty lucky not to get down with an extreme bout of jetlag.  I flew in Friday morning, moved to Stuttgart on the Sunday and started my new job Monday morning.  That’s a pretty extreme travel itinerary for even the seasoned of travellers but luckily it all went off without a hitch.  In Darmstadt I stayed with an old work colleague of mine and her family.  (Doris is also currently housing most of my belongings while I continue to look for somewhere to live.)  I loved spending time with her family, helping with homework, reading to Beno and enjoying other family activities.  I also got to see Anneli after her long trip through South East Asia which was a definite highlight.

My first day at the new job went smoothly.  I’ve have once again taken up a maternity leave position and the lady I am replacing is an absolute star.  It was such a privilege shadowing her and we got on like a house of fire.  She is an amazing teacher and I know she will make an amazing mum!  All of the staff have been ridiculously welcoming and I already feel a part of the team.  The position is definitely a challenge, but as usual I am, of course, more than up to the challenge.

10959823_10152958016015589_8270428416603798594_nIn my first week in Stuttgart I even had my first visitor!  Anneli had a job interview at a company situated not too far from my hotel and decided to come and stay for two nights.  This was highly exciting and together we did my first ‘sightseeing’ in my new city.  We visited the Schweinmuseum, which is a museum dedicated to pigs.  It was quite an experience and by the end of it we really had had enough of ‘pig’ in any form.  It was actually quite overwhelming and interesting just for the sheer volume of pig related merchandise they had.

Finding friends in a new city is always difficult but so far I have been successful.  I’ve caught up with Fabs who I met in Dresden, made new friends with people at work and was lucky enough to have been introduced to Kilian by a friend of a friend.  In turn, Kilian has introduced me to his friends and they are looking after me.  I’m feeling very lucky at the moment and not at all lonely in the big new city.

10408114_10152973721590589_4173890608940348759_n For my Faschings holiday week (That’s right… two weeks of work and then one week holiday!)  I spent four glorious days skiing in Garmisch with Katharina, Nathalie, Robert und Dirk.  On the first day I worked hard to keep up with the big kids and paid the price with ridiculous muscle pain.  I didn’t do too much skiing on the second day as a result.  On the third day we skied on the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain.  It was so exciting to go to the highest point in Germany, a place I had wanted to visit for a long time and then to actually go skiing there.  One slope was even on a glacier!  This day was my favourite because the slopes were a little easier, the snow was to die for and it wasn’t very packed which meant basically no waiting time.  Score!

DSCN3517A definite highlight in February was a weekend trip to Paris.  Fiona and I gave Rob a weekend in Paris inclusive tickets to the Six Nations rugby game France vs. Wales for his 50th birthday present.  The weekend was amazing, especially for me as I had never been to Paris before.  While the weekend was about Rob and the rugby we did manage to squeeze some sightseeing in and I got to see Sacre Coeur, the Arc de Triumphe and of course the Eifel Tower. I definitely need to come back and do the city properly though.  There is still so much more to explore!

The France and Wales rugby game was ultra cool and definitely the highlight of the weekend for me.  The STADIUM was absolutely magnificent and we had pretty good seats. I liked how you had a good view of the defensive lines and could see when it went in to mayhem.  After watching my first live professional rugby game I now understand the excitement of getting tries.  You simply can’t help but yell for them to run their little cotton socks off.  Now I am looking forward to cheering the Wallabies on in the World Rugby Cup later this year.

DSCN3511

While the weekend was amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, I wasn’t the easiest person to get on with.  Starting a new job, living in a new city and stressing about finding somewhere to live have played a hard toll on me and I can feel it.  Sorry Fiona and Rob for being so horrible. 😦

Something was definitely wrong and I ended up in bed for the next week with a horrible virus.  This resulted in a very tired little Katey and a 6 week ban from hockey and jogging, which has only just been lifted thank God.  It’s been a tough couple of months getting myself settled and having this to cope with as well, but sometimes you just need to pull through.

Gotta love the sparkly bottle of bubbly Suzie bought from England for my birthday!

Gotta love the sparkly bottle of bubbly Suzie bought from England for my birthday!

My birthday went off without a hitch and involved a lovely weekend visit from Suzie (Yes three blogs in a row Suz…)  We went out celebrating Friday night and then on the Saturday headed out to Tübingen to visit Simon, who Suzie knows from home.  We had a lovely evening with him and his girlfriend Nóra, both of whom I hope to see again soon.  I think Suzie and I just enjoyed having three Australians in the same place to be honest.  She came to visit just when I really needed a familiar face and it was brilliant having her here.

Easter was a lovely week off.  I spent it in Darmstadt and Marburg catching with friends.  Travelling up to Darmstadt made me really realise how much I have been missing the city and my friends there.  It felt like going home!  Once again I stayed with Doris and had a 2015-04-03 12.08.36dose of real family time.  I got to search for Easter eggs in my pjs and go on a family outing to the Vivarium.  I made sure I had lots of time for seeing people, but also for sleeping and not doing much.  My time in Marburg was also brilliant.  Rabea had the week off so we spent lots of time together, the highlight being a visit to the sauna and Heinrich and I had our traditional wine chat.  Once again, it felt like being home.

To finish off my week I finally moved in to my new place.  I was living in a hotel for two months before finding my room in shared accommodation.  I am now living with Anselm and Carlos in a lovely big room approximately five minutes from school and ten from the hockey club.  Perfect location!  Kilian was a MASSIVE IMG-20150427-WA0008support with the move.  He drove my things down from Darmstadt, helped me paint, went to Ikea with me and him and his flatmate Christoph helped build the furniture and set up the room.  Kilian, you are a star.  Thank you so much!

School continues to go well and I am well and truly getting into the swing of things here in Stuttgart.  I’ve started hockey training again and am looking forward to my first game in a couple of weeks.  Last weekend I was even lucky enough to be able to join friends at a table at the Frühlingsfest.  🙂  With summer approaching there is much to look forward to… now if I could only decide what I want to do during my summer holidays!

xoxo

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