Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Where do I begin? Scotland is beautiful beyond belief. Europe is marvelous and full of never-ending adventures, waiting to be discovered. Classes are intriguing and keep me engaged. I run, hike, do yoga, and eat like there’s no tomorrow (life is short, eat dessert first).
This past weekend my friend Kelsey and I jetted out of Edinburgh right after class on Wednesday to arrive in Oslo, Norway at midnight. We had a seven-hour layover at the airport until we would arrive at our ultimate location–Copenhagen. Being adventurous and outgoing gals, we excitedly bought train tickets to get into the Oslo City Center, only to discover that the train doesn’t operate until 5:15AM. I sadly regarded my useless ticket and ended up finding a chair to attempt to sleep in until our morning flight. Alas, we did not get even a wink of sleep; the excitement for our much-awaited trip to beautiful Denmark was too great for us to bear. Seven sleepless hours later, we were off to the City of Spires.
We grabbed breakfast at a local cafe and savored a cinnamon Danish swirl pastry that melted on our tongues. No cinnamon roll in the US compares to what we tasted that morning. We rented bikes and made a few stops at the Rosenborg Castle, followed by the iconic Little Mermaid statue. The Canal Tour was a phenomenal means of getting to see more of the city from the sea. Copenhagen was by far my favorite city; not only was it colorful beyond imagination but the fact that you can visit every destination by bike makes it that much more magical.
It also brings light to the importance of environment-conscious decisions that are much more prevalent in Europe than in the US. Grocery bags in Scotland, for example, cost an additional five or ten pence in order to encourage consumers to bring their own reusable bags and reduce waste. Recycling is also highly encouraged and feasible with pictures that depict which products and items may or may not be recycled.
Kelsey and I took an overnight bus from Copenhagen to Berlin and spent about six hours in Germany before heading off to Prague. Although Germany is well-known for its economic affluence and political stability, Berlin is one of the poorest cities in Europe. The free three-hour walking tour we went on covered all of the sights we wanted to see, including the Gate to Berlin, the Berlin Wall, Hotel Arlon (where Michael Jackson famously dangled his son from the balcony), the place where Hitler committed suicide, Checkpoint Charlie, and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (where the book burning took place in 1933).
Prague was full of personality. The Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square exhibited a fascinating mechanical performance, captured by eagerly awaiting tourists with phones and cameras at the ready. Lively music drifted lazily down the Charles Bridge, dotted with artists and vendors eager to sell their crafts to susceptible victims. A hidden gem that I would highly recommend is the Petřín Lookout Tower, a “Paris in Prague,” if you will. It is a miniature Eiffel Tower that harbors a stunning view of the entire city. We ended the night in Prague by attending an abstract Blacklight performance of Alice in Wonderland, where we were mesmerized by the oddity of glowing hands floating on the stage.
What a trip!! Traveling in between countries in Europe is comparable to traveling in between states. It’s relatively easy to find cheap train or bus tickets and make the most of the limited time we have to travel the globe.