Krystina in Austria: Spring Break Travel (Part 1)
Krystina Lindsey is a junior from Horse Branch, Kentucky, majoring in English with an emphasis in Literature. She is spending the Spring 2012 Semester in Austria and is sending updates to KWConnect about her adventures. If you missed previous entries, you can catch up here.
Spring Break, how do I love thee, let me count the ways. Okay, so it was more of a love/hate relationship. It started out spectacularly and then ended on a rather sour note.
We left on March 30 for Budapest, Hungary. It was beautiful there!! BEAUTIFUL, I tell you. The history was all rather fascinating. The group I travelled with went to the Terror Museum. Don’t get any ideas, friends. I’m still terrified of scary movies; this museum was about the reign of terror in post-WWII Hungary. Needless to say, most Hungarians probably hate Russia. (Well, most of Eastern Europe probably hates Russia.)
After Budapest, we flew to Brussels, and immediately went to Paris. Probably the first and last time I will be on a first class car on a train. It was wonderful: free WiFi, free food and super comfy seats. In Paris, I’m pretty positive that I hyperextended my right arm. (In fact, today is April 26 and my arms are still kind of numb. That can’t be good, can it?)
And I pretty much dislike Paris. I’m not big into French (finally figured out it is because their language doesn’t sound angry. I like my angry sounding languages: German, Russian, etc.) and I also wasn’t completely stunned by things like the Eiffel Tower. It was pretty, and it was tall. I was more fascinated with Montmartre and the Moulin Rouge.
Unfortunately, there are no pictures of me with a cancan dancer, because Moulin Rouge tickets were like €100, so that was super out of my budget. I did enjoy quite a few crepes, but I didn’t try any escargot.
After Paris, we went to Brussels, and stayed for two days. SO MANY FRIES AND WAFFLES!! (Side note: French fries are not, in fact, French, but Belgian.) It was nice, but by this time, I wasn’t happy with the people I travelled with and was ready to apparate to America (or even back to Salzburg).
Amsterdam. I want to go back to Amsterdam. We only spent a day there, and it was a cold and gross day, so for a city that the author John Green seems to adore, I either can’t see it, or wasn’t there long enough to absorb the awesome that resides there. I tried to go to the Anne Frank house, but the line literally wrapped around the building … way too much of a wait. Plus, as I mentioned, I was freezing.
On Easter Sunday, we flew from Amsterdam to Rome, where the city proceeded to mess with us for the entire trip. We were tired and exhausted of traveling, plus it got down into the high 30s, low 40s, and we were staying in camping villa. That’s right, friends, I went camping. Sort of.
I still saw all the classic sights: Roman Forum, the Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, etc. I was super excited to see the Vestal Virgins (which, if you’ve read Maureen Johnson’s 13 Little Blue Envelopes, you’d understand). AND THERE WAS SO MUCH GELATO!!
The last day of Rome, we were going to take a train to Florence. I have been in love with Tuscany ever since watching Under the Tuscan Sun when I was like…12. Unfortunately, Rome just did not want me to fully enjoy Tuscany. We missed the first train we could take to Florence; the second train was missed because a Gypsy stole the phone of the one of the girls I was traveling with, and finally, we got to go to Florence. We enjoyed maybe three or four hours of sunlight, but never fear, it was GORGEOUS! I really want to go back!
Next time … back to Salzburg, plus Prague!