In Europe, it's easy to travel to different countries. The cost is inexpensive and you can go to so many different places within a weekend. In the United States, it seems like it costs a fortune just to travel to the West Coast and vice versa. So when in Europe for a semester, might as well travel to all the countries you can.
October was really mellow for me because I knew I would be gone every weekend in November. The first trip I took was to Budapest, Hungary. Despite the fact I had to wake up uber early, it was worth the suffering. Upon arriving in Budapest, I was very thankful to see mostly English. I thought I was going to have to download Hungarian on Google Translate. From the airport to our hostel, the trip was really long. So long, we decided that walking would not work. So, we decided to give public transportation a try.
We bought our bus tickets on this very confusing machine that even putting the language in English was not helpful. When we tried to get on the bus, we apparently bought the wrong ticket. Instead, we had to take a different bus in accordance to our ticket. We were smooth sailing on the right bus until there was an announcement saying that this bus was going to terminate early because of construction or something of that sort. But! The good news was that a different bus would take us to where we need to go. We were then waiting for our bus to come, but then realized that it was not coming. We then went upstairs to the station and bought a ticket for the train.
Tip: if traveling to Budapest, bring extra money just for transportation because you're probably going to mess it up. Once we got to the city center, that's when we realized how beautiful it is. Budapest was also rebuilt so the authentic factor was not there. Fun fact: Budapest is actually broken up into two cities: Buda and Pest. Budapest was cool to explore at night, especially going to the Chain Bridge. After this trip, I knew I had to rest up because I had another trip coming up soon.
Next, I went to London, England to see my friends from home. One of my friends is studying abroad in London, so I saved some money instead of staying in a hostel. My other friend studies in France, so she decided to come to London as well because of the fact that I couldn't work out the time to come to her. Not going to lie, this was my favorite trip because I got to be with my friends from home in a different country. Staying with them really put it into perspective how old we're getting and how this could be one of our futures.
Since my friend is living in London for the semester, I asked that we avoid doing the touristy things because it's mainstream and probably would be crowded. It was really difficult at first accepting the fact that they drive on the different side of the road. When we took an Uber from the station, it scared me a little that the driver was driving in the "passenger" seat. Once again, I'm very glad I didn't have to drive in London during my stay. We didn't have time to hit up a tea shop, so I made sure I bought some at the store to bring some back to Germany. Coming up I decided that I was going to participate in team no sleep for my next trip.
Running on little to no sleep, the following weekend I traveled to Rome, Italy. Mamma mia, the home of pasta and pizza. I love pizza so already Italy won my heart. I think at 4 a.m... when I woke up for my plane I was already craving pizza. Rome is so rich in historical content that I knew it was going to be a long couple of days trying to see every bit of history. On the first day we went to the Colosseum and oh boy, that was amazing. We also went to the Trevi fountain, which was even more breathtaking.
On the second day, we went to the Vatican and saw some more of what Italy had to offer. The Vatican was too beautiful for words to describe. After some long days of museum hopping, we got some classic Italian gelato. I'm not even that much Italian but coming to Rome for the weekend made me want to learn how to cook like an Italian.
Culturally, all of these countries were different. Budapest was rebuilt and nothing was the same, London was just confusing living life differently, Rome was fast Italian speakers who love their country. It feels weird comparing these countries to Germany because although they're all located in Europe, they're all so different and have their own unique qualities. But one thing I know for certain is that I made the right choice studying abroad in Germany.
Coming up, I'll be going on a class trip to Poland. Stay tuned for some cool experiences in a couple of weeks.
Warning: the next couple of posts will be sad seeing as I only have a few weeks left. Get the tissues out!