I just got back from my 9 days in Central/ Eastern Europe – Munich, Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague. It was my most successful trip thus far in terms of actually seeing the sights and experiencing local culture. I’m getting pretty good at the whole tourist thing, and I should be after making my way through 8 different countries since I’ve been abroad.
Since you are going to be doing some traveling while you’re studying abroad, you’re going to need a place to stay. There are many options out there: hotels, campgrounds, other peoples’ couches, and hostels. While hotels are nice, they are usually pretty expensive, and it can be hard to accommodate large numbers of people.
My journey back to America during our study abroad holiday break
I’ve been back in the States for about a week now. The flight back may have been one of the worst traveling experiences I’ve ever had. Snow delays, airport naps, missed connections, and navigating the Newark airport all made for one long and interesting 25 hours of travel.
Classes are officially over, and all of my work is finally turned in. I took some time over the past few days to look back on the semester, and I realized that although I’ve been here for months, there’s still plenty of things I haven’t done. Luckily, I’ll be back for another semester, unlike most study abroad students who are only here through Christmas (thank you Holy Cross for enforcing the whole year policy). So here they are, my New Year’s/ second semester St. Andrew’s resolutions:
I headed south of Scotland for a weekend in London. I met up with two high school friends – Andrew, who’s studying in
London, and Sara, who’s close to Amsterdam – and it was great to finally see some people from home other than the people I came to St. Andrews with. It’s kind of funny because I’m pretty sure when we were all in high school, none of us would have thought in three years, we would be meeting up to tour London. We had a great time, and there is a good possibility I’ll go back next semester.
I met up with Sara and a friend she had come with on Friday afternoon. We did a little sightseeing, stumbled upon Big Ben, but that was about it seeing as it gets dark around 4:00 now.
That night, we met up with Andrew and had a beer at one of the pubs he likes to go to. Afterwards, he took us to Piccadilly Circus, which is the London equivalent of Times Square. There was a carnival going on, so we went on one of the rides, and that was pretty much the end of Friday.
On Saturday, we toured almost the entirety of London. If it was on the map, we saw it – Westminster Abbey, London Bridge, the Tower Bridge, the Globe Theater, St. Paul’s, Parliament. Even though I was there for the whole weekend and could have spread some of the sightseeing out, the fear that I wouldn’t see everything drove me to take it all in on Saturday.
Sunday was kind of a letdown because of the rain. We went to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, but they canceled it. Go figure, the guys who are supposed to protect the Queen can’t handle rain. Anyways, we ended up doing some souvenir shopping and I had some bangers and mash, which I knew I had to eat when I was in London. I was not letdown – easily one of the best meals I’ve had since I’ve been over here. All in all, like I said, I had a great time, even with the rain, and it was great to see friends from home.
I made the decision a couple weeks ago to come home for Christmas. So in less than three weeks, I’ll be back in the States, and I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again for the holidays.
Traveling from Barcelona to Rome during St. Andrews reading week
The title’s pretty lame, but anyways, I finally made it out of Scotland for the first time since I came to St. Andrews. It might have been one of the greatest weeks of my life. I went with a group of guys from Holy Cross, and the five of us spent Saturday through Tuesday in Barcelona and Thursday through Sunday in Rome. Wednesday was a travel day, nothing really too interesting. It was my first experience dealing with international airports, customs, and Ryanair, but overall I would say we were pretty successful in our travels.