I'm finally back to my blog ( I know that you've all been missing it a lot). Apparently Loyola students that are considering this program have been given the link to this, so I better make it good! haha.
Well, I just got back from a 10 day trip to Prague,Budapest, and Vienna ( hard life, I know). It was by far the best trip I have taken this year. I went with my friend Cookie from Loyola and two of my spanish friends, Luisa and Andrea. The Spanish girls were a day behind us on each city, so most of the time it was just Cookie and I. We were really organized and made sure that we planned everything out each night before bed. It was nice traveling with only two people, because it allowed us to see the maximum amount of things in a short amount of time. I think from now on I am going to stick to really small groups.
Each country was different than the other, and each had a unique quality about it. What I loved about this trip is that Cookie and I got to experience the things that each country is most known for: hockey game in Prague ( good, but no fights!), baths in Budapest, and opera in Vienna, among many other things. We really felt like we were soaking up the culture and mingling with the locals. We tried authentic food in each city as well, which was really delicious, although really really hearty. Eating duck, pork, saurkraut, goulash, and schnitzel a lot didn't have such a great effect on us, to say the least, haha, but it was worth it. We have this "Let's Go: Europe on a Budget" book that is really helpful in finding cheap but good food. In each city we went out one night and then cooked in the hostel the other nights. That was a good balance and saved us money in the end.
My favorite city that we visited was Vienna. People have been asking me why this is, and I can't really define it I guess. It was just the most beautiful in my opinion. Our hostel was also really really nice ( Wombat's...stay there...12 euro a night!), so that made the trip great as well. The coffee shops in Vienna were also really nice, especially the chain called Aida. Their pastries and coffee were the best I have ever had. We didn't get a chance to experience some of the more unique coffee houses that Vienna is known for, but these ones were more than satisfactory.
Even though Vienna was my favorite city, Prague and Budapest were still amazing, and I would return if given the chance someday. Our tour of the Prague castle was my favorite part of that trip. We walked up about 25 flights of stairs to the top of this mountain, where we had a great view of the city. The castle was really awesome, but the view was what made it for me. My favorite part of Budapest was our walk down by the Danube at night. Cookie and I crossed the chain bridge and then took a ride up an incline, where we had a view of both the Buda side and the Pest side ( Budapest is divided into two parts...Pest being the more urban side). All of the buildings were lit up on top of big hills, and the river was really blue. Most cities are flat, but Budapest was on a hill, which made it easier to see everything. The only thing I did not like abouyt Budapest is that the bath we went to was really disgusting and dirty. Everybody told us that we had to do the baths, but we chose the old and cheapest one, which ended up being a mistake. The inside pools were full of +80 people and they smelled like sulfur, which was absolutely repulsive. Cookie and I felt really uncomfortable, but we kept walking through to the outside, where we stayed in the thermal pool for about 30 minutes. It is definately hiliarious to think about this experience, but I wouldn't go back to that particular place, haha.
I could go on forever about this trip, but I have to get to classes...they just started yesterday. Some new people have moved into the house, which is exciting, but I miss my old neighbors a lot. Ondrej and Federico were my favorite guys in this house. Now we have these two girls next to us that talk really loud and aren't very nice. I'm just looking forward to Federico and Ondrej visiting us again, because they were the best.
Here are pictures from the trip!: