All posts by Virginie the Frenchie

Bonjour, my name is Virginie. I am a French girl, but a true citizen of the world and this is my story! In less than two years I have lived on 3 different continents... and I recently decided to create a blog to share my experiences. If, like me you have a passion for travels, food, and lifestyles from overseas you came to the right place! So join me in this adventure around the globe, fasten your seatbelt, we are ready to go! Welcome to Hello World! www.helloworld-blog.com

Peaceful rice paddies

Bali is full of beautiful and lively colors and green is definitely one of them!

I like to gaze at the rice paddies… somehow I find them very relaxing, nice for contemplating…it is also new to me as in France it is more about fields of barleys, sun flowers etc… but here rice is to Balinese people what bread is to French people 🙂 so no wonder there are so many rice paddies in Bali so well kept.

The result is absolutely spectacular! I particularly fancy the Rice paddy terraces in Ubud. If you feel brave and you are wearing good shoes you can have a walk there or you can also just sit and relax in an open air concept restaurant, have a popular local beer (Bintang) or a delicious fresh young coconut and enjoy the dramatic view, it is really a wonderful experience that I will be glad to do again… 

Do you hear christmas coming?

It is in the air, it is in the streets, it is in our houses, it is in our minds and our spirits…

It is a little song playing in your head, it is red and green all other the place, it is all about glitter and shiny stuffs, lovely food, many presents and probably too many chocolates… or not 😉
Christmas is all around us and it is a nice way to celebrate and conclude year 2014. Some of us will be with their families and friends, some will be traveling, some will be relaxing…

Whatever your agenda is, I wish you a wonderful christmas and a happy time!

SMILE – LAUGH – ENJOY

A ticket to the past…

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to sit in an old train, smell the wood and the leather seats and hear the steam engine of the locomotive running… Now close your eyes and for a minute imagine that you are in an  Agatha Christie novel while glancing at the pictures…

Today I had the chance to visit the biggest railroad museum in Australia and it was really a great experience! It was very interesting to learn about trains history and it was also fun to climb into the cabs of giant steam engines and walk through elegant carriages and just imagine what it was like to travel by that time…

Actually I was pretty impressed by the level of comfort they managed to achieve.. some carriages just look like little flats with real beds, bathroom and kitchen… traveling by train (depending on your class status) could be in the days of yore a luxurious and enjoyable journey!

I couldn’t resist acting like if I was a traveler from another century, and my bestie managed to capture beautifully the spirit of the past in a series of black and white photographies.

National Railway Museum
76 Lipson Street
Port Adelaide SA 5015
http://www.natrailmuseum.org.au/index.php

Purple rain…

Spring is really a nice season in Adelaide because everything comes back to life after a long sleep: trees growing, flowers blooming, birds singing. A new day begins and you can feel it in the fresh air:  the whole city is waking up!

The weather is not too warm so it is just perfect to enjoy nice walks in the city, sit at a terrace for early an cup of tea and also enjoy some trips to the beach even if the water is still a bit cold.

The Australians I have met so far all told me that I have moved to Adelaide at the best time of the year because spring is definitely their favorite season! No wonder why…

At the moment I can not help gazing at the Jacaranda trees (I used to call them purple trees because I had no idea about their name until I was told). There are so many of them here: their beautiful colour bring a joy spirit to all the streets, they are just splendid! I just love them and I am glad I have the chance to see them everyday in Adelaide when I am out exploring the city.

I must say I have never seen them before, it must be too cold in Europe for them. When I was living in France I used to love cherries trees with their beautiful white and pink flowers flying in the air when it was windy which added a romantic touch to the moment. But now I am living in Australia and I have fallen in love with Jacarandas!

These trees florish the first weeks of November, their name Jacaranda means fragrant and they announce that spring is coming soon…  how poetic!

From my bedroom window when sitting at my desk I can admire a huge beautiful Jacaranda tree looking like a king in his kingdom all dressed with majestic purple flowers.  I feel inspired by this beautiful view and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to seize the moment.

The world is beautiful and you can be amazed even by  a tree… what a joy to be here, to think, to dream, to love… ❤

West Terrace Cemetery: a poetic experience

Some say it is the most poetic place they know in Adelaide! You would think how awkward for a cemetery…I am normally not a fan of such places and don t think I am a *Vampire diaries* addict (the main girl character of the show Nina likes to rest and write in her home town cemetery) … But I have to confess this cemetery is fascinating, nearly magic…

I have really enjoyed my self guided walk tour here on a sunny spring afternoon! It is really a lovely and peaceful place and this is really a nice walk! It is definitely poetic! The landscape, the graves, the trees…even the birds have a story to tell In a way it reminded me of Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris!

Brochures are at the entrance of the cemetery, I have picked the famous women tour and I have learnt a few things about brave and passionate women born in Adelaide or coming from London with dreams and big ideas to change the world! It was really inspiring!

Actually the walk lasted about 2 hours, the brochure was well detailed with a map and full of information so I did not get lost, I have learnt many facts and actually time went by so quickly..I am pretty sure I will come back, there are plenty other themes tours to learn more about Adelaide and guess what it is totally free!

Furthermore, the West Terrace cemetery runs night tours on Fridays ($25), it is a totally different experience but definitely worth it! I had the chance to take part to the special Halloween tour on Friday 31st October and it was amazing: interesting stories, sounds and lights effects, great actors…. it was pretty fun and most of the participants came in their halloween costumes which really added something to the atmosphere 😉 No wonder that West Terrace Cemetery has taken out the award for best cultural and heritage tourism attraction for the third year in row seeing the cemetery inducted into the South Australian Tourism Hall of Fame.

In my opinion West Terrace is definitely an original city cemetery, it is well kept and fulfills its role protecting ancestral heritage, offering peace and bringing life in a creative and respectful way to old and interesting stories about Adelaide!


West Terrace Cemetery
161 West Terrace
Adelaide SA 5000
http://www.aca.sa.gov.au

Virginie and the Haigh’s Chocolate Factory

One day I have read « LIFE happens, chocolate HELPS!’ I really think it is true. You see I adore chocolate, I particularly enjoy milk chocolate and in my opinion it is the best therapy ever! Luckily for me, there are Haigh’s chocolates in Australia and cherry or should I say chocolate on the cake the factory happens to be in Adelaide! If you are living abroad I bet you  have never heard about them and neither did I… because they do not export their precious products overseas because the chocolate quality could not handle an oversea trip! Their chocolates are very famous here… Actually Haigh’s is one of a few Adelaide icons and deservedly so. They will celebrate in a couple of months their 100 existence anniversary! All of their chocolates are still made by hand and they are literally mouth watering!

 

I have fallen in love with the « milk rocky road » basically it is freshly made fluffy marshmallow with roasted hazelnuts, cherries and juicy raisins, smooth milk chocolate, glace… it tastes absolutely marvelous! No words to describe it…. it is sooooo good! So I went back to the shop to buy some more…. guess what…no more left! Not a single one….over! The nice lady in the shop informed me that these little treats were only seasonal products…which means they make them only in winter season and now it is spring time here in Australia so I will have to wait for next year…

But you know me I do not want to give up so easily….. so I have tried a second shop…. same answer… a third shop same answer….but this time the lady was so friendly and had so much empathy for the little poor french girl who could not possibly wait for next year that she asked « Do you want me to call the factory for you and check if by any chance they have some left? » of course I want « Please,dooooo! » and she did and guess what?! They still had some small and big boxes of them… they took my name and said I could pick them up directly at the factory on the following day and they offered me to take the opportunity to attend to their free factory guided tour too and I did!

What a lovely tour I must say, it is so interesting to learn about the story of Haigh’s chocolates, how they started and became famous. It is a family business and it reminded of my small home town Clermont-Ferrand where we do have also a old and famous family factory business called MICHELIN… pretty sure you have heard about them 😉 but let’s go back to chocolates… it smells better! So visiting the factory was in a way like visiting Willy Wonka Chocolate factory and see how the magic happens, the machines, products, staff gestures…. no wonder these chocolates are so amazingly good gorgeous, smooth, luxurious…. furthermore it is a good opportunity to taste a lot of sample chocolates for free and if like me you are crazy about them you can still purchase more from the outlet shop at the end of the tour…clever!

So next time when visiting Australia make sure to visit Haigh’s shops and eat their delicious chocolates!  And if you happen to be in Adelaide take the tour in their amazing factory (it is very closed from Adelaide South Terrace and the lovely himeji garden), you will not regret and your belly will say thank you, I promise 🙂

Free guided Factory viewings tours

154 Greenhill Road, Parkside, SA 5063

Tours operate Monday to Saturday from 9am.

Please book your free tour online http://www.haighschocolates.com.au/tours

A little taste of Australian wildlife…

Living abroad is  sometimes embracing the unexpected and it is even more true when you have just moved in and you are exploring your new city.

Today, I was walking in Kurrangga park in Adelaide CBD when suddenly I have heard a noise next to me… Suddenly I have realised something was moving in the grass slowly…

At first, considering the way it was moving, I thought it was a snake and I have to admit I was a bit scared! Then it started to walk and that is when I have realised that obviously it could not be a snake since I could see its little legs moving on the concrete path!

Actually it looked like a kind of reptile…. but I was too afraid to come a little bit more closer to have a better look at it. I am not used to deal with these kind of animals. In France reptiles look like midgets comparing to this one! Somehow I have found the courage to take a picture of it with my Iphone (using the zoom so I don’t have to be too closed from the wild animal).

When I came back home I looked on the internet and discovered it was a blue tongue lizard… it is quite big and common to find it in Australia even around the cities…. hopefully it eats insects, snails, fruits that have fallen on the floor such as berries…. obviously not interested in eating girls like me… good lord I am relieved 😉