Soo.. it has been a little while since I have last posted. Alas, it was for a good cause.. more travel! In the past couple weekends I have gone to Germany, Belgium, England, Ireland and I can't forget more Geneva adventures!
About four weeks ago I went to Berlin, Germany. This trip was filled with a lot of walking, a lot of learning and an impactful look into the past.
During my trip we went to the Berlin wall memorial. The memorial part of the wall is outdoors and has information on the history of the wall. The photo above really sat with me during and after the trip. During the time of the division of east and west Berlin. During this period there were many cases were people were divided from friends and family on contradicting sides. The statement "We never had to build a wall to keep our people in," was interesting to consider. The wall is more than a symbol of a pervious division but it representative of time when the opinion of the people of Berlin was silenced.
Below is also at the memorial. The photos were faces of people who died during the period of the Berlin wall in addition to some of their stories and information.
The two photos below were also at the memorial.
Berlin is also the capital city of Germany. The photo below is part of their parliament building.
The two photos below are of Check Point Charlie. This sign now stands of a symbol of the time during the Cold War when people would escape through this part of town. It functioned similar to an underground railroad in hopes that those who escaped were not killed for breaking the law in the process.
This is an iconic part of the Berlin skyline. It is called Fernsehturm de Berlin. During my time I went up to the top which is an observatory deck that shows an arial view of the whole city.
Here is a photo of me in front a part of the Berlin wall. The second photo is right at the start of the longest part of the remaining wall. I thought it was interesting how you can see that some of the graffiti has been updated and made relevant to our current world.
During our time in Germany we decided to go to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. This was one of the most impactful experiences that I have ever had. The photos below can speak for themselves.
Sooo... despite all of the interesting experiences I had to leave time for lost of food! Berlin was very cheap and very delicious.. as you can probably tell from my cheese pretzel and bratwurst. .. Actually Germany is so cheap that when I accidentally packed 110% wrong.. I ended up buying a big winter coat for 20 euro.
AHH!! BELGIUM!! Soo... Belgium was most certainly one of my favorite places I have visited so far.. I also ate SO MUCH. Besides eating my weight in Belgian waffles, I also downed lots of fries because Belgium is where fries were born.. and my goodness were they good.
This waffle is different is because it considered a Brussels waffle which is less sweat, lighter and made with a different batter than their other waffles.
I had some amazing beer during my trip. In addition we went to a bar called Delirium which has the most flavors of beer in the world rolling it with just over 2000.
A big part of the skyline is the Atomium. This structure was super interesting to visit. It was built to look like an atom because it is supposed to represent the positive aspects of nuclear research. Inside of the structure this is an observation deck and a museum that takes you around different parts of the atom.
Chocolate!! So of course Belgium is also know for their Belgian chocolate. As a result I found myself was this quaint chocolate museum with a very happy chocolatier. In the photo below he is telling us about how to make the perfect truffles and how different parts of the coco bean are used.
The following are more photos from around town including me cheesing in front of the Royal Palace.
So for starters.. Bruges has proven to be one of if not my favorite place in Europe. The town itself looks as if it is out of a storybook. The city itself looks medieval in every way that it can. However, over the years the town has made an effort to maintain this look for tourism. Yet, even so it has become one of the most beautiful places I have seen.
At about mid day the sun broke through the town.
Bruges has a river that goes through the city much like Venice, Italy.
Now let me talk about these fries... So as I mentioned Belgium is home of the fry.. which I naively didn't know until I by chance ordered fries on my first day there and they tasted so amazing that I looked up where fries come from.. I felt a little dumb after that but as a result I needed to eat as many fries as humanly possible. Below are the best fries I will ever have until I can go back and have them again. The way that Belgium fries are made are specific they are first fried in one temperature then another temperature to make sure that the fry has the right balance of crunch and potato. Also in Europe fries are often served with mayo and what I have on these ones it called Samurai sauce which our tour guide said was made a little different then how it is usually sold but it was similar to a chipotle mayo but with more flavor and a stronger kick. A+ eats Belgium 10/10 would return.
During my day in Bruges we decided to go to a Brewery and below are a couple photos from my experience.
Lady and Madonna by MICHELANGELO. The little town of Bruges it not only just majestic but it is also home to the only sculpture by Michelangleo outside of Italy. the sculpture itself was pretty far away to see but it was still a pretty amazing thing to stumble upon. Prior to coming to Bruges we had no idea that this was here so it a nice surprise.. along with the fries.
Hello London! My trip to London was a little more special because I was visiting a friend from Sacred Heart who is studying there.. and it was my 21st birthday!
Below are some photos from our adventures around town.
The photo below was taken during our time on the London eye. It was a pretty cool experience and considering London's stereotypes it only felt fitting that it was overcast and rainy.
Casually stumbled upon Cleopatra's body in the British museum
Here is Mckenzie and me on the night of my birthday!
So on Saturday night we decided to get the best Indian food that I have ever had.. which entailed waiting in line for two hours outside in the rain and yes it was worth it.
They even gave us complimentary chocolate chia tea.
OH YEA MY BROTHER VISITED AGAIN. Lol good ol'e N came to hangout with me in London for my birthday... this time he as brought his girlfriend Rachel which was my joking request after bidding him a farewell in hopes to see him again soon... seems like he took it serious and hopped back on a plane to Europe just about a month later.
Wow Ireland, you've impressed me. For everyone who is skeptical about Dublin in comparison to the rest of Ireland.. don't worry I explored outside the city as much as I could. Ireland was filled with friendly and interesting people.. this including a woman who stopped us in the train station to insist it was important that we, "don't just meet the attractive Irish people, it is important that you meet the potatoes such as myself too,". Otherwise.. the Irish culture impressed me. Even with a canceled flight home and almost getting stranded.. Ireland now holds a special place in my heart.
This photo is of a pub we went to one night called Cobblestone. My goodness.. this was such an amazing experience. It was packed in there and I stood hugging the coat rack listening to the best Irish music I have ever heard. Everyday of the week people gather here to play. While they have regulars, new comers are always welcomed to just join in and it was so interesting to watch as their music was not only another language but it was a story that musicians who had never met before understood how to tell and just jump in rhythm flawlessly.
This photo was taken near the city center of Dublin. In the background you can see the harp monument that represents the symbol of Dublin, the Harp. Which is actually taken from the symbol on Guinness beer and now they both represent each other.
These two photos are from my tour of the Guinness factory! The factory was PACKED but totally worth it. At the end of the tour you get a free Guinness that you can drink with a 360 view of Dublin. Disclaimer: I learned the fact about the harp on my tour..
My goodness my Guinness
Aside from Bruges, I think Howth very easily may be only of my new favorite places. While waiting in the airport to leave for Dublin a very friendly Irish man told us that this was his favorite place to go to and I can now understand as to why. The small town was simple yet perfect. In addition I had some amazing seafood while here which alone is pulling me to go back. Below are some photos from the day.
Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Another place outside of Dublin that we went to was Dun Laoghaire. This was on the opposite cost of Howth but had a similar feeling. Howth was more quaint but Dun Laoghaire still had some interest aspects that you can see below.
Can't forget Geneva! So during all this travel we had some nice days during the week in Geneva. Even though I will continue to travel every weekend, I still have been trying to explore Geneva and Switzerland little by little. Here are some photos from adventures throughout the city.
Stumbled upon this beautiful swan while on a run.
65 degree day means that the alps are extra pretty. This view is on a dock next to my school.
At the end of a run on another nice day.
These two photos are from a park in Geneva where people regularly come to place giant chess.
BIRTHDAY SURPRISES! So thanks to the best people in the world who sent me a box filled with goodies for my birthday. Here is a little shoutout for making my birthday abroad so much better from 4,000 miles away.
Pictured below: Some amazing people that I call my best friends.
woowwe I am finally done... Well for now! Many more weekends to come so look out for more!