“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” — St. Augustine
Being abroad in Europe has provided me the opportunity for travelling around at relative ease. First, I returned to Dublin by train and experienced my first hostel stay ever–not nearly as uncomfortable as I’d imagined. I walked around the Trinity College grounds, visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral, toured the Guinness Brewery, and wandered around the world famous Temple Bar.
Next I flew to Edinburgh and enjoyed walking around the city at night and trekked up to Edinburgh Castle where I had a lovely vantage point of the landscape. Then I went to the “Scotch Whiskey Experience” which housed the largest collection of Scotch whiskey in the world. And last, but certainly not least, I enjoyed coffee and a scone at the cafe where J.K. Rowling first penned Harry Potter, the Elephant House Cafe.
Then I traveled up to the Antrim Coast where I saw Carrickfergus Castle, walked across Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, explored the Giant’s Causeway, and saw some beautiful scenery.
I was able to do some additional traveling over the past three weeks due to Queen’s University Easter Break. I started off by travelling to Munich. I saw the Glockenspiel in Marianplatz and the world renowned Haufbrahaus where I had my first taste of a famous German pretzel. I learned a lot about the city during a walking tour and was able to see places that were important in Munich’s history, including the place where Hitler led a failed coup and was shot as part of the newly formed Nazi party. Then I took a train to Neuschwanstein Castle in the Alps, which Walt Disney used as the inspiration for Disney Castle. Other than the beauty of the architecture, I was able to see the gorgeous scenery blanketed in snow. The next day I took a train to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site which housed a museum, several restored buildings, and memorials to the victims.
Then I took my first night train (a long and arduous experience) to Amsterdam. The highlight of my visit was seeing an exhibit of my favorite artist, Vincent Van Gogh, on his birthday. I spent a lot of time walking around and admiring the architecture of the city and its canals. I was even able to take a canal tour, which allowed me to see many of the most well-known parts of Amsterdam. Finally, on the recommendation of a friend I tried Dutch pancakes, which turned out to be a mix of a crepe and a pizza; a delicious end to my adventure!
I’m hoping to be able to explore more of Northern Ireland and the UK during the rest of my semester; if the world is a book, I intend to read as many pages as possible!