A bunch of my friends just got back from studying abroad in the fall. Who knew that switching from “I studied abroad last semester” to “I studied abroad last year” would be so tough? I know, I know. Have some perspective.
I have an amazing free software called MyShoebox that backs up any photos I’ve uploaded to my computer via my camera or Dropbox. It’s not only great in case my computer crashes (knock on wood), but also send me a bit of inspiration. It tells me what photos I uploaded “This Day in History.” Though it’s bittersweet to see the amazing adventures I had studying abroad last year, I thought I’d share some of my forgotten treasures.
I’m starting a new series on my blog called Monday Mélange. Mélange means “mix” in French, so it will be a mix of my favorite things, centered around a certain theme.
Many of my friends are finishing their semesters abroad, and while I can’t wait for them to come home, I remember feeling truly shocked that my time in Paris was coming to a close. They’re squeezing in some last-minute travels, and it got me thinking about how much of the world I’d still love to see.
I had to save the best for last! Here’s my thoughts on Prague!
If Paris and San Francisco had a baby, it would be Prague. My friend and I were in awe- especially after leaving a city like Berlin that didn’t really seem to cater much to wandering tourists. Prague was quite the opposite. Though it did sort of feel like some parts of the city were Disneyworld-esque with tourist traps and menus in 8 languages, it was well worth it. I can’t wait to go back, and I definitely didn’t want to leave.
Best Drinks: The Globe (hopping with expats and students); Souterrain (a cool underground local hangout); Meduza (great cappuccinos)
Best Food: Cafe Louvre (great for brunch; feels like a nice hotel with great prices); Mlejnice (good Czech food; may have to wait for a table); the constant fairs in Old Town have great classics like pretzels, sausages, etc.
Sausage with ketchup and mustard
Need to See: Prague Castle (buy a short visit ticket to get into the Old Royal Palace, Basilica San Giorgio, Golden Lane, and St. Vitus’s Cathedral); all of the synagogues; Charles Bridge; Astronomical Clock; Karlovy Lazne (biggest club in Central Europe); John Lennon Wall; Mucha Museum
For the past 10 days, I traveled a bit around Europe for my Spring Break. I’m splitting the posts up into different days so that I can ramble on about each place without completely boring everyone to death. Let’s start with Bologna!
I had the best tour guide for my stay in Bologna. It was the same friend who I ventured to Europe with almost 2 summers ago (I can’t believe that!) and has since perfected her Italian by studying there this semester. It was so great to tour the city with someone who knew all of the great gelato places and could guide us around without a map. Here are some of the best parts of my trip, though there was an endless number gems.
View from the Tower
Best Drink: Italy has this great tradition of aperitivo, when restaurants offer a full buffet of hors d’oeuvres for free after buying one drink. Not a bad deal for college students, or anyone for that matter! Bologna is covered in bars and restaurants that offer aperitivo, and we definitely took advantage of it there.
Best Food: Biagi for the homemade spinach and ricotta tortellini and ragu sauce (had to have pasta bolognese in Bologna!) Also, La Sorbetteria Castiglione for the best gelato in the city! I had chocolate and stracciatella and it was perfection; piadina, a sandwich, similar to panini but on great thin bread (like pita)
Cheese platter from the market
Need to See: Mercato di Bologna on Saturdays; climb the Two Towers; Santo Stefano; Archiginnasio of Bologna; wander around the markets; “Little Venice”
As my friend and I made our way through Charles de Gaulle last night, we had a crazy realization: coming to Paris felt like coming home.
After an amazing 10 days traveling, it felt amazing to come home to a full wardrobe instead of living out of a backpack, all of my face washes and beauty supplies I left behind, and of course, a big sister.
Today has been simple, catching up with emails (how could I have over 400 unread emails? Thanks LivingSocial), watching Pretty Little Liars (no shame), and detoxing from St. Patty’s Day.
Thanks for sticking around, there will be more up about my trip later this week!
PS. The following song has been stuck in my head ALL day, but I’m proud to be a Galway girl!
We had a jungle gym in the backyard of my house for most of my childhood. There were swings, a slide, this egg-shaped punching bag thing whose purpose we never really knew. Whenever we’d play with my brother, it was a pirate ship with a lookout. With my sister, more often than not it was a castle, and we were princesses being held captive.
I came to Paris with the intention of getting the opportunity to travel to places I’ve never been. Prague, Berlin, and Bologna are high on my list. But when I got here, I realized how much there really is available to me in my own “backyard.” I’ve booked a trip through my university to go to Bordeaux and St. Emilion in late April and am SO excited. But until then, I’m making a list of places in France that won’t break the bank, will take me away from Paris for only a day, and give me the opportunity to relive my childhood adventures and pretend I’m a princess in a French chateau.
Here are a couple of pictures from a trip last weekend to Fontainebleau. Hopefully, I’ll make it to more chateaux, historical villages, and food capitals soon!