Christmas, Free time, Travels

…so this is Christmas!

Oh Oh Oh…

It is already Christmas time! All the mince pies and warm mulled wine around. Yet, I would expect to be colder in December. Not yet, though! But still, no one can deny that Christmas spirit is now set up.

All around the UK, I’m finding lots of Christmas Markets. They are just lovely! I know that originally they are a German custom, but it feels like it is part of the UK now. I loved the Winchester one. It suited the town so well, it almost seemed that it was part of it all along. And it has an ice rink!!! No doubt that Winchester is a beautiful place to visit and hang out, better if you have lots of wood sheds with Christmas lights and sweet smells floating around. It is amazing the creativity these guys have. You can find lovely things in these markets. Just beware of your finances and don’t get crazy!

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we had some pizza and cider for lunch

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A nice place for those of you who would like to try the >60 varieties they have

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The Winchester Cathedral 

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Just right beside the Cathedral, people gathering in the Christmas Market

After Winchester, I had a small trip to Southampton. I really liked it there. And again, there was this massive Christmas Market, with loads of food and handy craft sheds. Lovely! I met a french woman selling family owls, made by her with tissue, and personalised for each customer. They were so, so cute!  But Southampton sure deserves the hour trip. With about £11 you buy a return train ticket from Portsmouth and then you can discover all the wonders the city has to offer, including the SeaCity Museum with an exhibition dedicated to Titanic’s story. It is a walled city and you can find several “bits” of it all the way through, if you allow yourself a good stroll until the sea front. There are, as well, excellent shops and even an Ikea! Handy for those of you who still need some pimping up their bedrooms/flat.

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The original gate to Southampton

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During the World Wars, much of the city was destroyed

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parts of the wall that you can still see

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Santa’s sleigh making the wonders in another Christmas Market

I’m off now, heading to Portugal again, to meet my family, friends and boyfriend. It seems forever now that I had them just in front of me, and I’m missing them being around. I guess, even for those who don’t believe in the Christmas tradition, that it is kind of inevitable not to be filled with love feelings during this season. So I hope you have the opportunity to be with your loved ones. If not, try to be surrounded by friends, and allow yourself extra time to do some skyping with family.

Now that classes are over, it seems a long time until examinations and assessments during January. But beware! Time flies away when you are enjoying yourself, and sooner than later you will be returning to your routine, with the extra need to refocus quickly. This is dangerous and it is not a good feeling to be rushed back to study after a long pause. While I was an undergrad I always tried to study a couple days just before and after Christmas, so I wouldn’t leave everything to do after New Year’s Eve. It is complicated, yes! It doesn’t feel like it, yes! There are a bunch of better things to do, yes! But no one else is going to make you succeed in your upcoming tasks and it would be a bummer if you failed after so much effort. I advise you to keep up with your studies and don’t be amazed by the free time you have during this season.

 

Enjoy your sweets and your holidays, and see you soon,

 

Inês

 

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