Anna Louise


Anna Louise

I work as a English Language teacher. In the last year I have taught in Mexico and Spain. My next big adventure is teaching and travelling in South America! 😊

My current blogs are as follows:

• Teaching and travelling in South America: Arequipa - 'The White City'
• Teaching in Spain: Balaguer
• City Break to Prague: Prague Old Town
• Teaching English in Mexico: Sojourn in Housten
• Southern African Adventures: 'For safety reasons we do not recommend sleeping in the aisles'
• City Break to Paris: Sunset on the Seine
• Indian Wedding: Namaste Hindustan!
• City Break to Vienna: Walking the capital
• Touring Iceland: Into the Land of Ice and Fire
• Studying CELTYL in Barcelona: Getting ready.....
• Visiting friends in California: Arriving in Sunny California

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon April 2nd 2011

The bus slowed, the wheels span, the back of the bus slid sideways and we stopped. I pressed my nose to the window and my eyes strained to make out something in the darkness. The famously beautiful Colca Canyon was a black emptiness. I could just make out a darker line of a roadside bank and a few stars overhead. We sat in uncomplaining silence. It had already been an eventful trip. I left Arequipa from the bustling bus depot in the company of a student-now-friend. I excitedly squeezed into my seat watching my colourful companions, a motly collection of locals with several bright traditional costumes amongst the plainer jeans and t-shirts. My friend set about pointing out different costumes which differ mainly in the styles of hat worn by the women. There are two main ... read more
Milking the cow
Colca Canyon
A town with a view!

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa March 19th 2011

The Santa Catalina de Siena Convent is an important landmark in Arequipa. Known as 'the city within a city' it is a large complex, closed off from the city by high walls. It was founded in 1579, less than 40 years after the Spanish arrived in Arequipa. The founder of the monastery was a rich widow, Maria de Guzman. Since the tradition of the time was that the second daughter in a family should enter religious service the nuns were typically young girls from wealthy Spanish families. The parents of these girls paid a dowry for their daughters, much as they would if the girls were to be married. These dowries could be up to 2,400 silver coins and the nuns were also required to bring 25 listed items, including a statue, a painting, a lamp ... read more
Arches in Santa Catalina
Main courtyard
All blue

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa March 10th 2011

Note to self: Before landing in new countries do look up local greeting customs. Bestowing too many kisses on one's new boss is an interesting first impression to make...... I am in Arequipa! Three days of travelling, overnighting in Amsterdam and then Lima I finally arrived in my new home. I stepped out of the tiny airport to the gloomy world outside and was greeted by three figures huddling around a small placard bearing my name. The welcome party certainly gave me an easier start than I had in Mexico, my embarrassing blunder aside. I was shown to my new school and from there my new home whereupon left to my own devices I began to decorate with slightly battered pictures and photos which have now adorned the walls of three homes on three continents! Life ... read more
Pretty street in Yanahuara suburb
Pigeon feeding - a universal pastime
Calle Rivero

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Girona » Girona January 16th 2011

My final day in Spain passed quietly. I was up early for another solitary breakfast, quietly staring out of the window at the people outside. I packed up my room and left my things in storage while I set off for a last walk around the city. It was a peaceful morning. Relatively few people were on the streets and I again took to exploring the narrow alleyways and stairways leading upwards until I reached my favourite place amongst the old city wall ruins. The sun was warm and birds chirped in the trees and as I entered the quiet place the chimes of bells rang clearly from the cathedral. I sat on the grassy hillock high above the city and enjoyed the solitude. It has been a funny time in Spain. For so long I ... read more
Eiffel's bridge
Colourful facades

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Girona » Empúries January 15th 2011

My visit to Spain is unfortunately short and driven by necessity but that doesn't mean I can't find some time for visiting somewhere new. My friend came to the hostel to pick me up this morning and we drove to Empuries. After all my annoyance over the lost job and having to return to Spain for my things I finally felt that little flash of excitement that meant I was going to a place I'd never been before, to see something I'd never seen before. Added to that despite the January chill the sun was shining and it felt like a warm English Spring day, and I was getting to spend the day with a good friend. We arrived and parked the car and I skipped out to find we were beside a beach with a ... read more
Kids playing on the beach
View to the sea

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Girona » Girona January 14th 2011

I returned to Girona after a pleasant couple of days with my friends. I travelled to Barcelona on Tuesday after my morning's sightseeing, stalking along the streets my suitcase rumbling behind me. I successfully bought my ticket to Barcelona and hopped on the train. In Barcelona Sants I bought my ticket on to Sabadell, temporarily wedged myself in the turnstyle and managed to get onto the train without a minute to spare. Without a train map on me I spent the majority of the trip worrying that my Spanish had faded over the christmas break and I'd misunderstood instructions and got on the wrong train, but sure enough I arrived in Sabadell without any hiccups and emerged onto the dark street and plonked myself down on top of my suitcase to await my lift. I waited ... read more
Colourful facades
Cathedral tower
In Girona

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Girona » Girona January 11th 2011

Spain hates me. Really. Even my Spanish friends have now said in confusion, wow - Spain must really hate you. After my disaster in Balaguer I left Spain confident in the knowledge that I had a better job to go to in the new year. I was on a contract of 25 hours, 2 hours of which were paid planning time. I was going to have clases of both children and adults. I'd seen photos of well equipped school without the hated blackboards I'd been suffering in my pevious job. Even better, the job was in a nice looking town in Girona province and in easy travelling distance of my friends. Or so I thought. While enjoying my christmas holidays with my family I received a very unexpected email from the school saying basically that due ... read more
Steps in Girona
View of Church of Sant Feliu
Inside the Arab baths

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Lleida » Lleida November 20th 2010

Today marked not only my last visit to the beautiful La Seu Vella, but also my last day living in Balaguer. I have had a rather ignominous departure from the school and my final pay was grudgingly handed over accompanied by a dual language double tongue lashing. Further outrage was sparked by my refusal to sign the formal letter presented to me due to the fact it was written in Catalan. After ducking a heavy Catalan dictionary launched across the desk at me by the director I insisted on being allowed to write my own letter in English, or at least Spanish. I left the school rather sadly, unable to say goodbye to any of my students or offer my apologies or explanations to them, but at least armed with the class registers and the wonder ... read more
The tower
Window in the cloisters

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Lleida » Lleida November 9th 2010

Lleida is the capital of the province by the same name and has probably been my most visited location during my time here - mainly because I have passed through everytime I have gone anywhere in Spain. I have become intimately aquainted with the train station and spent too much time shivering on platforms and wandering around trying to pass the usual hour-long wait between trains. Lleida was once a chief city of an Iberian tribe, the Ilergetes and defended aginst the Romans. Eventually, under Roman rule, the city was incorporated into the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis. During the Great Civil War the Battle of Llerda took place within the city, as in June of 49BCE the Spanish army of Pompey the Great, led by his legates Lucius Afranius and Marcus Petreius, held out against ... read more
On the tower
La Seu Vella

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona November 8th 2010

The past few weeks have been busy, in more ways than one. I have grown increasingly dissatisfied with the job though it is a long work schedule, it is more the lack of support or team work amongst members of staff. I have started looking for new work and in the meantime have a much needed visitor from back home and a planned weekend in Barcelona. We arrived on Saturday after taking the slow train and by the time we'd found the hostel and gone out for sightseeing the gloom of twilight was already making sightseeing a little difficult. We took the metro to the Arc de Triomf and visited Parc Ciutadella. Around the Arc de Triomf was busy with locals out walking and jogging, kids on bikes and rollerblades and street performers along the edges. ... read more
Arc de Triomf
Casa Batllo

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