Week 6

This week was full of beautyful places, good food and relaxing. My only working day was on Monday and rest of the week I spend in Torremolinos and nearby areas with my boyfriend. When I left from the hotel I was feeling of course happines, but also little bit sad, because I was thinking about that when I next time leave from the hotel with my bag, I’m never coming back.. Well never say never but I don’t think so. But there is still two weeks to go so I have to enjoy it as much as I can!

Here is some places we visited this week:

Nerja & Nerja Caves

Nerja is a small city eastside of Malaga. The main attraction in the area is the stalagmite cave which was so wonderful, even there were lot’s of tourists and you have to walk with the group, but definately worth to visit. Pictures can’t tell the size and the beauty of the cave.

Frigliana:

Small village near Nerja. This is one of the Spanish “Pueblos Blancos” villages and what a amazing and peaceful place it was.

Lot of local traffic

Gibraltar:
Quick visit to british territory. They even have their own money and really colourful history. When you go up on the Rock, you can find wild monkeys (Macaques) from there. You should not touch them or carry anyu food with you, because they definately are the kings of this mountain and will steal your food!

Also quick visit to the center of Malaga and some other places, but now we didn’t have a time and energy to discover Andalusia any larger. Torremolinos was ok, but not a place for me to come back again. The hotel was great and there were good restaurants in the area, but too many tourists and nothing to see. We love to eat so

Malaga
Views from our balcony

Weather here is now cooling down a bit and here has been couple rainy and windy days so autumn is finally here too.

The coming week will be hard work and painful legs, but now I’ve charged my batteries so I can keep going for the last weeks.

Till next time..

Sanna

3 weeks left to go!

I’m not sure am I excited or more stressed about going home after 3 weeks, already. It’s been nice here, I’ve really liked this country and also the weather, it’s been all week close to 25°c. Time flies by so fast and I know it’s going every day even faster. Work has been mostly same as earlier and I think that just now we’re starting to remember where in the store everything is and how it’s done. We’ve also seen and getting to know lot of different foods what there isn’t in Finland. One day we get to try traditional Slovenian desert called Potica. I liked the taste but Henna wasn’t that satisfied. One co-worker who had baby just while ago baked those to us when she stayed on maternity leave. It’s been really nice to have chat with Slovene people, about our cultures and everything. People here are so sweet. This week we are mostly chilled at our dorm and done other school work. But the walking paths here are so pretty, especially if you go to Italian side of the border.

Loves, Julia❤️✨

Greetings from Slovenia

Hello!

This week here have been a few rainy days. Two boys from jyväskylä arrived here on tuesday, they also live in a dormitory and work in the same building as we do. At work we met nice customers. One old genteman also speak little finnish. We went to a grocery store on a friday night and came across a finnish family. We talked with them and they shared their own experiences in Slovenia. The told that they lived in Italy in Gorizia, which is just off the Slovenian-Italian border. They have moved to Gorizia in 2015 and in between they lived in Finland one year when their child was born, and then they went back to Gorizia.

On saturday we went to Venice. The weather was bad, because it was raining all day. We went by train to Venice. The trip lasted for about 2 hours. We walked around and watched the views.

Week 5

At the last post I said that I’m going to spend my free days by resting…Well it quite didn’t happend, because at the first day I woke up at 7 am and decided to go for a morning walk for the first time here and the rest of the day I spend at wandering around the city. I went to see a local market, which are held every Tuesdays here in Algeciras. Lot’s of cheap stuff and lot’s of people. Not my place to be! That day I walked about 16,8 km. Next day I hopped on a bus and went to Estepona, which is about 30 km from here. Lovely small city, where were also these narrow lanes with white houses, cobblestone streets and lot’s of flowers, real Spanish feeling. When I arrived there, first thing I decided to search some place where I can eat breakfast and I came across the traditional Spanish Churreria which was full of locals. So I decided to start my day in a local way with these delicious fritters called Churros and coffee. And those were really delicious! There should be a cup of hot chocolate in which the Churros could be dipped, but I chose to leave it there that I could still walk that day. That day my phones pedometer showed a total of 17,6 km walking so the total of two free days of walking was about 34 km.

Sunrise next to Gibraltar

The Bull Ring of Algeciras

Streets of Estepona

Café con leche y Churros 😋

At work I walk approx + 10 km per day, so there have to wear good shoes or your workdays will be killing your feets.

Last week I got some new workmates. One was Paco, who came back for a four months sick leave. What an amazing guy he is, every day he makes me laugh by he’s jokes and stories and he is so good with customers. Then there were two new trainee girls from Jyväskylä, also students of Tourism Industry, Sonja and Minja. Again nice to have a chance to talk Finnish and I tried to help them as much as I can, because I know the begining is difficult if you don’t understand the language. There were also two new hotel workers to come, so many new faces around.

I have said this before, but I can’t stop thanking these wonderful workers here. Sometimes even on bad days they always make me smile and make my day much better.

Paco, Maria and Abian

José el cocinero

I’ve noticed that my English language skills are getting better every day, of course I still don’t speak perfect, but now It’s easier to talk without struggling. The British accent is also quite catching and I noticed one night to speak the same way, but now it’s back to normal Finnish rally-english. Also my Spanish language skills have proven better and I don’t need so much help with them than before. Just need to study, speak and practise.

Next week my boyfriend is coming to see me and we are going to Torremolinos for 6 days. I asked just couple more extra free days which I can compensate these days next week, but they said it’s ok that you can be whole 6 days free. Then Hotel manager said that I have to compensate all days, so I think I’m going to be at work for next and the coming week every day till morning to night, but it is ok to me.

Till next time…

Sanna

Halfway there

Four weeks behind, four weeks to go. Time has gone so fast, but it feels like forever when I came here. One employee asked me that aren’t you bored to be alone here, but there has not been a dull moment because there has always been something to do or see.

Again this week started with two days off. This time I headed to Ronda, which is about 1,5 hours train ride away from Algeciras. On the way to Ronda, there were beautiful landscapes everywhere and when I stepped out of the train the air was so fresh compared to the air on coastline. Almost like at home. And the city itself and surrounding areas were so beautiful that I can’t even explain. If you are travelling somewhere in Andalusia, this is the place you have to see. There is a long a pedestrian street with shops, restaurants and cafés. Also and old style pretty narrow lanes with white buildings, flowers,cobbled streets and wrought-iron balconies..So amazing! The main sight is the 18th-century stone bridge which cross the El Tajo gorge and it is more than 100 m tall. The only downside was that because the place is so popular visit site, there were a lot of big groups of tourists that I tried to dodge.

Working days have been really busy this week. Sometimes it’s hard to remember where I was going and what anyone wanted but the clients have been wonderful and understanding and I have received good feedback from customers so as an employee, even if some mistakes have occurred almost every day.
My waitress skills have been improving considerably this month. The tray stays better in my hands and the opening of wine bottles in front of the customer is no longer so horrible as it was in the beginning. This week there were big group of Germans and usually I was serving them at dinner time and I tried to speak German for them, at least a few words and they were well taken up.

Acorn fed Iberico ham, local cheese and 1,5 € beer..Heavenly!😋

The biggest challenge this week was one night with a horrible sized spider that appeared on a restaurant terrace. I’m not a spider friend so it wasn’t nice at all. I did not dare to kill it, so I tried to wipe it off with my shoe but the spider tried to attack against me, but finally I got rid of it at the foot of the chair. Well at least that was some entertainment for the customers.

This week was also the last week for my three co-workers who were working here for summer season. Maybe they will come back, but not when I’m still here so it was sad, because they were so nice and funny persons.

In the coming free days I’m just going to rest because my legs and wrists are pretty sore after this week. Till next time…

Sanna

Back on the track!

Hi again!

This week was pretty good, finally got back to work and become feeling a lot better. Last week was indeed nothing special. My week started at Monday, 1pm by going to work. The reason why I get there later than normally was because me, my boss and other stuff went to another city, Tolmin. Henna couldn’t come because she was still sick unfortunately. We went to Tolmin do inventory to another Mercator. (Mercator is a Slovenian retail corporation. a.k.a our working place here in Nova Gorica) Tolmin was really small but beautiful place to visit. On our way there I saw Alps and the Soča river! Here in Nova Gorica Soča river is more green than it was in Tolmin. There it was more clear and blue, almost like crystal! There is no rivers like that in Finland.

Soča river in Tolmin

Wensday Finnish teacher AP came to Slovenia and he came to meet us to our workplace. After we got back from work we decided to visit Sveta Gora with AP and Irena. In English Sveta Gora means Holy Mountain. At top of the hill there is a beautiful church and amazing view. You can see the Alps there as well as the Italian side all the way to the sea!

In the church there is a wall where people leave their crosses symboling their worries.

Driving down from the hill we had great view of the Nova Gorica.

Week at work went past really quickly and I learned couple of new things about their work system and I also learned to use scanner!
I’ve also helped out some customers. (who knows some English words) Customers are really curious when I told them that i don’t speak Slovenian. They usually ask where I’m from and what I’m going here and surprisingly many knows Finland or have even visited there!

Friday we went to Italian side of the border to Gorizia. This weekend there was a big international street food festival, which was amazing opportunity to get to know not just local food but food from other side of the world too! And the atmosphere there was amazing! We loved it so much that we went there also on Saturday night!

Saturday we went to Solkan, to see the Soča closer and to walk along the river.

As you can see the river here is more green.

Hope you had great week, I did!

Loves, Julia ❤️✨

Week 3..

..done! My week started with two free days so I headed to the beach of Tarifa. Loved it and it’s 10 km long beach, so there is space enough for everybody. The place is perfect for kitesurfers, because there is quite windy and big waves so there were lot’s of them on that day. Sometimes if you are lucky enough you might see dolphins and even whales at the sea, but I’m never lucky so I just saw my inside eyelids, because I focused on relaxing.

Views to Africa

Days have gone so fast and again I have learned lot’s of new spanish words and new things about my job. There has been quiet days and very busy days and sometimes I wish I could be a octopus, because my hands can’t carry so much stuff than needed. Now I’ve told immediately to our Spanish customers that I don’t speak well spanish, I’m from Finland and student, so they have been very understanding and helpful and I try to speak spanish as much I can. Many little mistakes have happend, but nothing serious..yet! And I learn from those everytime, so I won’t repeat them. One day the Hoteles Globales “big boss” was visiting here and we had to be even more precise and look professional. Of course I was even more frightened that I was dropping something or doing something stupid, but it went well I guess.

Last week couple Finnish groups came to the hotel who were very surprised at what I did here and said that I was not divorced from Spanish people other than near blue eyes. Co workers call me “rubia”=blond so my Spanish camouflage colour is not quite finished.

Lobby area

Me and lovely Mariangeles. It was her last night at the hotel. We tried to look stylish but it did not succeed!

Till next time…

Sanna

Week 2

After the first week culture shock and the beginnings constriction, I have already settled here fine. Of course I still miss the people at home, but I still have a good feelings and doing pretty good to be only with your own thoughts. Fortunately, nowadays there are good communication tools so everyday video calling home helps solitude.

On Monday me and the hotel asistant manager Julie went to a local policestation to get me my NIE number, what you need to have in Spain if you are going to work here.

My work days were between 9-13/ 12:30-16:30 and 19:30-23:30. The days go by the same routine almost everyday. Clean up tables, chat and help customers, pour drinks etc. and after every dinner you set all ready for the next meal and finally we eaten together. It is still quite weird to eat decent food at twelve o’clock in the evening and then try to go sleep after a huge dinner. I try to eat just a little bit, but sometimes it’s hard to resist those delicious looking cakes and other goodies.

Starters

Main courses: there is always options of fish, chicken and meat, rice, pasta, potatoes and vegetables

Every day I have learned something more and some new spanish words stick in to my head. It is still hard to make correct sentences and I’m shamed if I don’t know how to pronounce the words correctly. Maybe I just have to start using it bravely and my co workers are always helping with pronouncement and teach me new words. I’m still happy that the are so many English customers who I can speak with and it’s now much easier than first week.

The Weather has been warm, not so many sunny days but the temperature is still +26 and moist. My body begins to get used to this heat and it’s not so suffocating to work here anymore. Hotel is so near the harbour that you can hear many noises coming from there. Lot’s of police/coast guard helicopters, ships honks etc. At the beginning it was quite annoying sometimes, but now i’m used to it either.

I had couple day offs and I headed to Tarifa, which is only 45 minutes bus ride away from Algeciras. Tarifa is a bridge between Europe and Africa and divides the Mediterranean from the Atlantic. Lovely little beach town, surffers paradise and the southernmost city of Europe. There were lots of little boutiques, restaurants and cafes in the small, charming alleys. I definately come back with beachwear and lots of money, because there were so much unusual stuff what you can’t find at shopping centers. I also visit at the Castle of Guzmán el Bueno, which was built in 960. Really old castle and great history, but most of it was renovated too modern looking, so only old things which were left were the walls.

I’ve noticed a lot of differencies between spanish and finnish peoples behaviours and habits. They are very straightforward so it is not possible to avoid controversy, but once the air is cleaned everything is back well. When you meet someone, everyone is always asking how are you doing or is everything ok. Friends usually give a cheek kiss when meeting and otherwise touching and standing near each others when you talk is somewhat different to the Finnish character. We have been laughing here about our different eating habits, because they don’t eat here much vegetables and salads. In Spain it is common to eat something sweet for breakfast so even here my workmates may have just churros or cakes and juice or milkshake to drink. And no coffee!! I have to get my daily coffee with breakfast or it’s going to be a really bad day!

First week

Hi!

Fist week in Slovenia, Nova Gorica is been really nice and of course pretty new too. We arrived here last Saturday – Sunday night, 9th of September. First we flight from Helsinki to Frankfurt and there we switched to another plane to Venice. When we arrived to Venice our driver Tomaž picked us up from the airport and drove us to Slovenia, to our dorm.

When we arrived to the dorm, it was past might night and we were so tired. But unfortunately we didn’t get our own room then, because only person at the time in the dorm was security guard who didn’t know that we were coming, so she gave us a random room and said that we should come switch the rooms first thing in the morning. So we got up at 7am and went to reservation but we ended up switching to our own room way later that day. In Sunday we discovered the town and find out that everything is so close to our dorm. And of course let’s not forget that you can walk to the Italian border from our dorm, that close we are.

First week at work was nice, people here are so nice even if they don’t speak good english! Mostly we were just learning how things are done here. Monday we made inventory and later on that week we worked on lot of departments and learned lot of things and got to know people were working with. On Thursday was my 18th birthday and I was so surprised when we were called to come to the break room and all staffs started singing to me and they even had birthday cake with candles on it. The cake was by the way so good. Our work days starts at 7.30 and usually we’re walking there cause its close and in mornings weather it’s nice and cool.

The weather is been super hot here, everyday it’s been close to +30 degrees. I also had opportunity to go to Duino, Italy. It’s nearest place to go to see sea and of course to swim! It was so beautiful and the water was so clean, I loved it. The car ride to there lasted just about 30 minutes, so it wasn’t that far away.

Because the week was after all pretty hectic and everything was new, this weekend we are just chilling and resting for the next week.

Loves, Julia ❤️✨