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Spring Break!*

October 31, 2016

*actually fall break

Hey guys, IES Abroad is so cool, they want us to actually grow as entire people as opposed to only gaining extensive knowledge about ancient Roman architectural styles! In October, we were granted a 10-day reprieve from the horrors of Rome and all headed out to various Ryan Air adventures. My itinerary was decided one night when I could not sleep and my credit card was within arm's reach of my bed. I decided to head to EuroChocolate first, a two week festival dedicated to the wonders of the greatest sweet in the world. In order to get there, I booked a trip with FlixBus, something that everyone should know about. (FlixBus is a pretty cheap way to travel by...you guessed it, bus, to get around Europe. Air conditioning, wi-fi, and bathrooms on board are the perfect companions to your budget adventure.) Anyway, you can read about my terrible Perugia lodging experience in "Hostel Territory," but luckily I made my flight at the 2-gate Perugia airport and fitfully slept on the way to Dublin. Woke up to a surreal rainbow (probably a good omen?) floating above the emerald-green Irish countryside and stared out the window for the remainder of my flight, much to the amusement of the nice Croatian men in my row. 

Dublin was an absolute dream come true, my ancestors seemed psyched to have me around and held the rain off. I really enjoyed Christ Church, the National Leprechaun Museum, St. Michan's (mummies), Trinity College, and the Guinness Brewery. I ate great breakfast food, drank a ton of tea, and picked up the most pleasantly soft and warm sweater to ever grace my torso. I would go back in a heartbeat. I also had a much better hostel experience here!

Next up was Vienna, which I can basically sum up by saying I ate a lot of cake and went to a lot of museums. The city is stunning, the facades are intricate; I loved the Imperial Treasury, the Schönbrunn, and Demel. Hostel was again good (see other post), but I was about to finally peak in Budapest.

Up until Budapest, I had been traveling alone- a move inspired by my high school U.S. History II teacher, Mr. Carden, as well as the fact that I like making and sticking to my own itinerary and not feeling bad for making other people stare at stained glass for 37 minutes. It was great to take a break from being the only person making the plans and to just relax and hang out with friends. Budapest was by far the most incredible and special place I had been. While I loved Dublin because it felt like home, I loved Budapest because it was like nothing I had ever seen before. 

Long story short, my break was enriching and wonderful in every way. I ate new foods, spoke new languages, and saw new things, but as the cliché Instagram captions say- there's no place like Rome.

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