I feel like there is a lot to update you all on, so I’m gonna throw this past month or so’s adventures into one post. Are you ready?!
Ok, so to make my life easier and to save you the time of reading a novel, I’m gonna post more of a Spark Notes addition of what I’ve been up to. So here we go:
The past five weeks or so, I took a class on digital filmmaking. I have always wanted to learn more about filmmaking, due to it being a hobby of mine, so I knew that summer would be the perfect time to take this class. During the school year I am extremely busy with balancing rowing, homework, exams, sleep (I probably could use more of it..), and a social life. With this in mind, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to add filmmaking into all of this. Filmmaking requires a lot of time and energy, something I rarely have! So, I decided to take advantage of my extra time this summer and learn something that I am passionate about. Overall, I am happy with my decision.. but oh my gosh, it was a lot of work.
Besides school, I spent the past five weeks with my friends. One of my close friends is studying abroad this fall, so I wanted to spend as much time as possible with her before she left. We went on some pretty fun adventures with our friends. It was definitely a summer to remember.
About a week ago, I moved out of my summer housing and hopped on a plane to Chicago. My mom picked me up, walked around my town’s Rib Fest, and then I headed to bed. The very next morning, I hopped on another airplane headed to Budapest. So lots of flying in a short duration of time!
Ok, now for my European Spark Notes.. maybe I’ll use bullet points..
- Huge city! There are actually two parts, Buda and Pest.
- Actually pronounced Buda-pesht. I guess I’ve been saying it wrong for a very long time.. oops
- Spent a good deal of time exploring Castle Hill
- Explored Matthias Church (Castle Hill) and some of the markets
- Visited Ruszwurm, which is apparently the oldest coffee shop in Budapest. Ordered an iced latte and ended up getting a drink with coffee, ice cream, and lots of whipped cream.
- Apparently, their iced lattes mean latte with ice cream. Learned that if you want an iced latte, to ask for a latte with ice cubes.
- Absolutely stunning at night. All of the lights on the buildings were gorgeous.
- Was told that the politicians do absolutely nothing there by our tourist. Some negative feelings about their government and its usefulness..
- Lots of graffiti everywhere.
- Many buildings built by communists. Therefore, they were very poorly built and designed.
- Visited the Bratislava Castle. Had a nice view of Bratislava.
- The historical district was very pretty and full of people, mainly tourists.
- Enjoyed walking around and checking out the different shops.
- Was pretty at night as well. My mom and I went for a walk during the evening and the place was still very lively.
- Probably my favorite town I visited.
- The people were very friendly and outgoing.
- Went on a city tour and saw St. Stephan’s Cathedral
- Absolutely loved the architecture of all the buildings. Everything was well kept and maintained.
- Small village off of the Danube River
- Lots of vineyards and stores selling wines and liqueurs
- Cute little shops, many covered with flowers
- Visited the Melk Abbey
- The Melk Abbey is the most famous abbey in Austria.
- It was built between 1702 and 1732 by Jakob Prandtauer. I have no idea who he is.
- Originally, it served as a royal palace. Now it is used as a museum, school, and is inhabited by monks.
- The view from the balcony was incredible. You could see almost all of Melk.
- My favorite part about the abbey was probably a tie between their church and the library. Unfortunately, I was unable to take any photos in the library, but believe me when I say that it was phenomenal. I wanted to grab every book and flip through them! There were approximately 80,000 Medieval manuscripts there, so it probably would have taken me years to just look at them.
- Where the Sound of Music was filmed. You better believe everyone kept singing the Hills are Alive.
- The mountains were so beautiful! They were so green and the water was a perfect blue. I really wish I had more time to go out and explore. I would have loved to hike there.
- There were so many cute little shops and restaurants there. The architecture was also very impressive.
- Saw Mozart’s birthplace, which was pretty neat. Didn’t get a chance to actually go inside, but still enjoyed seeing the building itself.
- Their cemetery was also very impressive. Apparently, you have to apply to be buried there. They are very picky about selected who is let in. Our tour guide told us that they require that you were born in Salzburg and lived an exceptional life. Although, our guide admitted to there being a few exceptions.
- Celebrated my mom’s birthday with some traditional Austrian food. Their sausage, sauerkraut, potatoes, and beer were all on point. Too bad it’s not healthy to eat that everyday :/
- Walked through the historical village and then caught a glimpse of the Veste Oberhaus. It sat on top of a large hill that overlooked the entire village.
- Had to hike to reach the top of Veste Oberhaus. I really enjoyed the hike, but I think my grandma didn’t find it so enjoyable.
- Once at the top, we went into the Oberhaus restaurant and ordered beers. I do not know much about beer, considering I haven’t been drinking it for long, but I do know that out of all the beers I have tasted.. the Augustiner beer was the best. Too bad I won’t be able to find this beer in the U.S :/
- The view from Veste Oberhaus was stunning too.
Prague, Czech Republic
- Huge city
- Beautiful, but not as nice as Vienna.. in my opinion at least.
- Lots of segways and people trying to sell you them.
- Crossed the Charles Bridge numerous times. Great views from there and lots of tourists. There are vendors and musicians playing too.
- We visited the Lobkowicz Palace and had lunch there with our tour group. After lunch we went onto the balcony and were able to see the rest of Prague below us. It was also extremely hot outside. You many not be able to tell, but I was melting in the photo below.
- People were not nearly as friendly as they were in the other cities we visited.. especially in the grocery store..
Well, there you have it! That is my European adventure summed up into one post! However, I have more adventures to share with you. After spending two days or so in Prague, my mom and I headed over to Bergen, Norway. My mom just turned 50 and wanted to celebrate by traveling around Europe, so that’s exactly what we are doing. We always thought Norway looked like a really beautiful place to visit, so she booked a trip for just her and I to explore.
With that said, stay in tune for some updates on our adventures through Norway!