Hello everybody! I have made it back to Greece from my Tour De Europe over Easter Break. Over the last 16 days I have been in 7 cities spanning 4 countries. All in all, it has been a really cool experience and one I will not forget it soon! That being said, I am glad to be back in Thessaloniki for a quick minute before I head to London in 3 days. Anyways, I’ll give you a little peek of where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to.
My first stop for my Tour De Europe was to Düsseldorf, Germany. Düsseldorf is a pretty, business-centric city on the Rhine river in the Western part of Germany. It’s known for it’s big Space Needle similar to Seattle. It actually ended up being cheaper for me to get a hotel here rather than a hostel as I usually do, so I lived in relative comfort for my few days here. I spent my time here walking along the river, taking in the town, eating bratwurst, and watching soccer. I also took a day trip down the river to the city of Cologne. It was a short 20 minute train ride and one of the easier commutes that I have done. Cologne is much older and more colorful than Düsseldorf. It has a great Cathedral and a more relaxed vibe than Düsseldorf. Overall, the two cities are fairly similar but I enjoyed them both.
Next up, Italy. I flew from Düsseldorf to Milan and spent the rest of that day exploring Milan. Milan is also similar to Düsseldorf as it is more of a business-centric city compared to other touristy towns around Europe. But, Milan also has a lot of class with it’s own incredible cathedral and a cool castle to pair it with. I was only in Milan for a day, but I was ready to move on to Florence.
I took the train down to Florence and it was so different than Milan. Florence seemed to maintain the older look it had from its glory days during the Renaissance. It is a beautiful city. Lots of old churches, another grand cathedral (seeing a trend here?), and the old bridge on the river. Words don’t do much justice to how pretty Florence is so I think I will stop myself here.
Last, but definitely not least in Italy was Venice. Venice was my favorite of the three Italian cities I visited on this trip. With the famous canals and the beautiful buildings all over it was probably the most dramatic city. My favorite part of Venice was seeing the difference between the day and night. With the reflection of the lights in the water, Venice at night was very beautiful. Definitely a place I need to revisit later in life.
On Easter, I flew over to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I didn’t really know what to expect from Amsterdam, but found it to be a pretty cool city. So many people riding their bikes everywhere! One of the first things I found out was to make sure to stay clear of the bike lane, because the bikers will run you over without a second thought. Amsterdam also has a bunch of canals, which reminded me of a much greener Venice. Also, I found out that the Dutch are among the tallest people in the world and met many very tall Dutch! I spent a lot of time at cafes (NOT coffee shops, which are very different in Amsterdam) and eating french fries with mayonaise as the Dutch do. Overall, I had a nice, relaxed time in Amsterdam.
Last but definitely not least was Prague in the Czech Republic. Just like Amsterdam, I didn’t really have any expectations as to what was in Prague but I had heard good things from others while traveling around. The Easter Market was still there when I arrived in Prague and it was a very cool atmosphere with the different foods and activities going on in the various squares of the city. A weird thing I found out on the free walking tour I took was that Prague has the most churches in Europe, but has the largest population of atheists. Prague also had my favorite hostel to stay at in all of Europe with a cool set-up and great people there.
But, WOW! It’s incredible to think that my time is almost over for my semester abroad! I have met so many incredible incredible people, been to so many places, and done things I couldn’t have even imagined several months ago. I don’t want to leave Greece, but I am excited to be home and see my friends and family. I think I will probably write one last post after this one to conclude my travels, but it has been a wild ride and I thank you for taking the time to follow along my travels!