Winter break is the perfect opportunity to cross numerous travel destinations off your list. For me, I was able to revisit one city (Munich) and experience seven new ones: Zurich, Frankfurt, Cologne,Bruges, Brussels, London, and Edinburgh. Traveling with other classmates, we usually spent a day and a half in each city except for Munich, where we spent four days. Continuously changing cities, hostels,etc. is very exhausting but worth it! We chose to spend four days in Munich, which is also where we spent the holiday. Being there for Christmas was a wonderful experience – the Christmas markets were still going, decorations everywhere, and everyone had high and cheerful spirits. At first I was sad about not being with my family for the holiday but that emotion didn’t last long when I realized we had seven UIUC students in Munich at the same time. We were able to all meet up for dinner and I realized that with the time spent abroad, my classmates have truly become a part of my family. On a less sappy note, I highly recommend London as a place to visit! All the cities we visited were great, but London is tied with Munich for my favorite. People were so genuine and kind, there’s so much to see and do, and I promise that “the tube” is not that hard to conquer. It was unfortunate we only had two days there but London is now at the top of my list for places to revisit in the future.
This Holiday Season, I traveled to Germany and Belgium to discover the rich history and architectural heritage these two countries had to offer (and to find out whether the pretzels and waffles were all they were cracked up to be!). It was a wonderful twelve days of traveling, but I was exhausted by the end of it! Of all the cities I visited – Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne, Bruges, Brussels, and Berlin – Bruges was probably my favorite; it was a quiet medieval town that was absolutely beautiful...and the waffle I had there was absolutely divine. It was hard to spend the Holidays away from my family, but I was surrounded by friends, both old and new, who helped make the end of 2014 a special one.
Instead of going to many different cities over the break, we decided to just focus on three places we want to go and really discover the cities. Our first destination was Munich. The second day we took a long journey to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle, which is the Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Besides the fairy tale, the history and the design of the castle itself make this place full of stories already. The view from the castle towards the landscape was breathtaking. The next day we walked around the city and enjoyed the Christmas Market. Germany was for sure much colder than Barcelona in December. Since the day we got to Frankfurt, snow had followed us everyday. It was a little harsh to walk around the city in snowstorms, but we saw a quiet side of Frankfurt covered in white. Our final destination was Prague. It is such a nice town to just wander around and enjoy the historical side of the city. Different from the quietness of Frankfurt, Prague was so vivid and busy even in this cold weather. I wonder how it feels like in spring. It is definitely a city worth visiting again.