Hiya, friends! It’s been awhile!
I just got back from doing some traveling for Easter Holiday, aka spring break. Myself and 3 other international students, armed with 1 carry-on and personal item each, visited 7 cities in 5 countries over the course of 18 days. It was a crazy trip to say the least, but so worth it. I will share more about individual places later, but for now, here are some highlights.
- Essen, Germany: Some of our fellow international students live in Essen, so of course we had to make a stop to see them. We stayed one night in Julia’s flat and explored Essen a little bit. Seeing a little bit of their daily life and getting to love on sweet Pablo, Julia’s dog, was such a treat!
- Berlin, Germany: During this stop we went on a fun bike tour, visited the Berlin Wall, and went into the Reichstag (German Parliament building) – just to name a few things. It was really cold while we were there and it even snowed!
- Oświęcim, Poland: This is where Auschwitz-I and Auschwitz-II Birkenau are located. We spent all of our time exploring the two concentration camps.
- Oslo, Norway: During our time in Oslo, we explored the National Gallery, Viking Ship Museum, saw the famous Opera House, and spent quite a bit of time in the Nobel Peace Prize Centre. Oslo was so beautiful! I felt like I fit right in with the locals.
- Warsaw, Poland: Some of you are probably wondering why we went from Poland, all the way to Norway, and then back to Poland. It’s because we found really cheap airfare, and why not?? We got to experience some really wonderful weather in Warsaw – the sun was shining and sky was blue for most of our stay. We learned a lot about Chopin and took some time away from learning about serious things to explore the Capernicus Science Museum – for those of you from OKC, think the OKC Science Museum ;). We were happy to be back in Poland because our first stay just wasn’t long enough.
- Budapest, Hungary: We again were treated with some really nice weather. Not wearing a jacket for the first time in 4 months felt very strange, but liberating. My favorite things about this city was the pretty architecture and the chance to learn about communism in the House of Terrors Museum. As our travels have continued, my understanding of WWII and communism has grown exponentially.
- Prague, Czech Republic: We were greeted in the Czech Republic by one of the other international students who is originally from the beautiful country. He showed us around the city center and major historical sites before taking us to a traditional Czech meal. While in Prague, we also explored the Prague Castle, saw the John Lennon Wall, and had a picnic in a park.
- Essen, Germany: We concluded our adventure with one more night with our friends in Germany. At this point, we were exhausted. Luckily, we were able to just hang out, order sushi, and enjoy each other’s company before having to go back to uni and get serious about end-of-term assessments and final exams. Plus, we got to celebrate Michelle’s (aka Granny’s) birthday! Happy Birthday, Granny!
18 days later, we have been to 11 museums (I think), 10 countries, on 9 airplanes, visited 7 cities, used 5 currencies, and saw way too many historical sites to count. I have seen more of the world in the last two and a half weeks than in all 21 years of my life and I could not be more thankful for all of the knowledge and perspective that have been gained. I can’t wait to share more about these wonderful cities with you, but for now, I have to get to back to work. The end of term is coming, and I am not quite ready for exams (haha) or to part with so many wonderful friends. Ta, for now!
Mad (or as most of my uni friends call me – Maddie)