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When I decided to move to Portugal last month I didn’t even know where I was going. The truth is I just wanted to get away from Ljubljana. I wanted to go somewhere, anywhere just as long as I made some changes in my life. So I joined the Erasmus exchange program offered at my school (VŠU) and went to study in Caldas da Rainha at ESAD. This is what I have to say after a month of being here.

My bed is small, a little too short and a little too narrow as well, but terribly cute. If my legs are not hanging out in the bottom then my head is pressing against the wall at the top. Whenever I turn around I must be careful not to fall off. Nevertheless I like it. The Dream room where I sleep is small as well, containing only the bed and a light. It’s simple, white and cozy. The double doors leading out are the only source of natural light. When you open them you are looking at the Chill-out room. It is white as well but bigger and much, much lighter. In this room there is only a carpet, coffee table and some cushions. From here you can either go into the Imagine-room, meant for studying, or you can go to the balcony. The balcony or the so-called View room is the smallest in the apartment but has a view so great that it makes up for any lack in space. Imagine how good it feels when you open the doors in the morning, still in your PJs and with hot steaming coffee in your hands. The fresh wind comes and hugs you and the sounds from the street enter yours ears. The sun softly strokes your face while you drink your coffee and enjoy the colors of the fruit market below. In Portugal everything starts a little later and ends a little later as well, so the market is open until three in the afternoon every day. You don’t need to get up early to get some fresh breakfast. Even the jobs usually start later. It’s not at all unusual if you don’t meet anyone out on the streets before nine in the morning or if you get an invitation for coffee at eleven at night. Time runs differently here.

Caldas da Rainha is a small town. Just like my bed, not completely fitting but cute and cozy. In the middle there is a park. A park I fell in love with. Giant portals guard its entrance and are closed overnight. When you enter, on your left a great palace rises to greet you. Now this is a thermal hospital with a museum but in the old days it was the queen’s spa. This is where the name of the town comes from. Next to the palace there is a little lake with a tiny isle in the middle, covered with swans and pigeons and green all around. The park is full but never crowded. Older people usually sit on the benches while the youth lays around on the grass. In the café in the park you most likely have to wait for the table but when you get one and you order a galão and pastel de nata, all that is forgotten. Suddenly you have everything you need right there.


Posted in Outgoing students.

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