My first month abroad has been incredible. I’ve gotten to see so much more than I imagined and I still have 3 more months here. Last week our program took us to Berlin and Prague to talk about the history and creation of the EU. After a 6 or so hour train ride, we arrived at our hostel, which turned out to be really nice and in the middle of Berlin. While there, we got to watch a pretty intense soccer game and met people from all over Europe. While in Berlin we had to attend a few academic lectures on the EU but the one that stood out the most was from a former East Berliner, who shared his story on what living in the GDR was like. It provided us with a real life narrative to a topic that we had spent a couple of weeks studying.
Berlin has to be one of the coolest cities in the world. I would probably rank it either on par with New York City or maybe even above it. Berlin is a huge city made up of so many different cultures. This stood out to me the most when I realized that I had had Lebanese, Vietnamese, and Turkish food, all in only 3 days while in Berlin. I highly recommend that anyone that visits Berlin eat at the Lebanese restaurant called Babel. We visited a club later that night and the stereotypes of German clubs are very real. The bouncers were really serious and the music was just non-stop techno for three hours. I wouldn’t say I was the biggest fan of it but I’m happy I had the experience. One of the more fun moments of the trip was walking around after the club and getting some delicious late night döner. The next morning, my friends and I managed to wake up 5 minutes before our meetup time to take a train to Prague but somehow managed to pack and make it downstairs before the group had left us.
While on the train to Prague I realized that I knew almost nothing about the Czech Republic. Nonetheless, I was excited to see the city that so many people had suggested I visit. Prague is certainly the most beautiful city I have ever been to. However, because it is so beautiful it attracts an overwhelming amount of tourists to the city. This kind of took away from my experience in Prague because it made me feel like I wasn’t getting to see the true side of the Czech Republic. Towards the end of our trip, we had the lucky opportunity to meet with a Foreign minister of the Czech government. He explained the Czech government’s stances on foreign policy issues and what they saw as the biggest threats facing both them and the European Union. That night we went to a club that was playing the best songs from the 80’s and 90’s and it was honestly the most fun night out that I have had in recent memories, highly recommend Lucerna to anyone that visits.
I’m very thankful that I got to visit Berlin and Prague this past week. Both cities were beautiful and lively but they also provided very different experiences. I’m excited to continue travelling because tomorrow I’ll be hiking in the Swiss Alps, and next week I’ll be going to Oktoberfest in Munich.
Till next time,
More Blogs From This Author
<p style="margin-bottom:12.0pt">Hi! My name is Esteban Angeles and I attend the University of Richmond. I love playing Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, and reading about random topics. My favorite things to talk about are sports, politics, or dogs. I've lived in NYC my whole life and I'm the son of two immigrant Dominican parents.<span style="text-autospace:none"><span style="font-size:16.0pt"><span style="font-family:"Times",serif"> </span></span></span></p>