Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Budapest + Prague

Here is the much awaited post about my travels to Europe.

I wish I could adequately describe the amount of fun and how much I learned on this trip, but it's difficult. I wish I could blame how long it took me to write this on the fact that I was living in denial that I was no longer there, but I just didn't know how to cover everything.

I saw so many things and went to so many places, that honestly at this point I've forgotten some of the names, but I will share some of the great things that happened while I was overseas! 

The coffee and pastries in Budapest were amazing! The first picture there was from this famous cafe with the most beautiful aesthetic. On this trip I became an espresso machiatto and tea person, which is a complete 180 from my milk heavy coffee and only drinking tea when I was sick. 

The picture to the right above there is from this castle that was originally created for a festival. Yeah. They built that for a festival and just decided to keep it up. It was very interesting to walk around and see these castles that I've only dreamed of or seen at Disney, and they were all right in front of me. 

Also, public transportation is everything. It was so east to get to so many places, even while in a different language. Honestly my first real experience with subways and metros and I was all about it. 

We did have some educational cultural experiences while visiting Budapest. The Terror House above was one of the most interesting. The museum showed the effects of the Nazis and the Communists on Budapest, with many moving and sad stories. This is also where I learned that floor 1 does not mean first floor, so we kind of jumped around the museum and didn't go in order. 

Parliament Building

The Buda Castle was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. After Kath made me walk uphill for longer than I ever care to again in my life, I ended up at this amazing place. Though I was mad at her (because there was a bus we could have taken to the top), it was honestly a really cool experience along with the work out. Sitting up there with a cup of hot wine while people watching will be one of my favorite memories there!

"Shoes" - Commemorating those who were told to stand along here to be killed and pushed over the edge. 

Another on of my favorite spots was Heroes Square. Budapest was very foggy the whole time we were there, but that made this space seem even cooler. Everywhere else it was kind of a bother because you couldn't see across the river to the Buda side of Budapest. 

I will definitely be going back to Budapest at some point. I stayed at a hostel and didn't get murdered or taken like my mother thought I would. I tried a bunch of new food. And we made some new friends while at a ruin bar! Jet lag had nothing on us.

And we're off to Prague...

Real big shout out to these two wonderful people for without them, this trip wouldn't have happened. I probably wouldn't even know where Prague was. Kidding. Kinda. But really, Kath and Vojta showed me the most amazing things in Prague and let me be touristy. 

Basically everything in Europe is beautiful. There wasn't a single time when I was walking around that I was not amazed by the architecture and the design. I got to learn some new things about this city and myself. 
 Beer is cheaper than water. Yeah, you have to pay for water, so why not keep drinking beer. This is from my new favorite place that just kept bringing the beer so I was not complaining.

Let me tell you, Czech people take the new year very seriously. People are setting off fireworks in large crowds, the streets and sidewalks are flooded with people, everyone has alcohol in their hand and every is just happy. It was such a surreal moment for me to be surrounded by so many great people and having the time of my life. Hence the photo of me not being able control my smile. 

My first meal in the new year was KFC, and it's true, it's better in Prague. 

Everything is just beautiful. From the castles, to churches, to the outside art. Everything had an interesting story and something new to learn about it. 

I am still afraid of heights, but I climbed all the way up this tour, so I had to get out. I'm glad I did. While I was shaking the whole time, I got to see these amazing views all the way around Prague. Absolutely breathtaking. 

Breweries are pretty cool. We went to the original Pilsner Brewery in Pilzen and it was cool to walk through the process of making a great beer. One of my favorite moments of the tour is when we were able to try some of the ingredients involved (hops, wheat, etc) and a small child from a family stated after trying the hops, "Is there anything good tasting in beer?" This kid will have a nice little wake up call in college. 

This trip is a memory that will last a lifetime. I've now got a travel bug and I want to see all these cool places and learn more. I'm really thankful that I got to do this, because I know that's not possible for everyone, but if you ever get a chance to go to Budapest or Prague, take me with you. I know how to say exactly 6 words in Czech, but I'll show you the great places Vojta and Kath showed me. 

So again, thank you to the wonderful Kath, who along with the help of Rick Steves, showed me the best first trip out of the country I could have ever imagined. Can't wait to see you so soon!

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