Sorry for the radio silence the past few days, it is Finals Week, with all the fun THAT entails.Well, tomorrow morning I am heading back to America, and I am more than a little anxious. I don't know if I'm nervous that my bags will be overweight and I'll have to re-arrange my stuff in the middle of the airport while holding everyone up, or about sitting on an airplane for 10 hours, or getting back in the groove of things after being away for over four months... I don't know that there's really any reason why I should be nervous, but for some reason today I am jumpier than a virgin at a prison rodeo, as Blanche Devereaux would say.
It's so weird that I will be putting away an entire life and lifestyle maybe forever.
I didn't think it would be very sad to go home--in fact, I was excited! After all, I missed my people, and working on my projects and just the feeling of being HOME. Then one of my friends here made a video documenting all of our adventures over the past four months and it made me realize just how ridiculously awesome this whole experience has been. As cold and miserable as Europe was for almost the entire 4 months (as I type this it's 48 degrees Fahrenheit and raining) we sure did the place up right!
So, I would like to give you some photo highlights of each place I've visited!
|in the Stadsmuseum Gent in Ghent, Belgium.|
Ghent was our first group excursion! It was snowing, which looked beautiful on the medieval town. (I didn't take too many outdoor pictures, my hands were frozen.)
|The Kölner Dom and some colorful houses in Cologne, Germany.|
We went to Cologne for their famous Karneval celebrations which, let me assure you, were as riotous as we were told. It was a good-natured and extremely fun sort of riotous though, and made me fall a little bit in love with Germany. (More on this adventure here)
Bruges is the most fairy-tale place I've ever been. I ended up going three times--once on a group excursion, and then I took my mom and her friends and then my brother. More on this adventure here.
|Post Office in Bonn, Germany|
I went to visit my dad who was on layover in Cologne and we went down to Bonn to visit the Birthplace of Beethoven. The town was completely charming, and the museum in Beethoven's home of 22 years was fascinating.
|Gateway into Auschwitz.|
When some friends and I went to Krakow, we began our visit on a somber note with a trip to Auschwitz and Birkenau. The weather was perfect for this--bitingly cold and windy, and there was a creepy fog over everything.Afterwards, we had fun meeting lots of new people and discovering the most magical café I have ever entered in my life AND I discovered my life motto: "Girl gotta twirl."
|Dohány Street Synagogue|
Budapest was a gorgeous city. We visited the famed baths, as well as the Hungarian State Opera House where we saw a Gone With the Wind ballet. See more here.
Paris! I got the opportunity to go twice--the first time with my mom and the second time with my brother. We visited the Opera Garnier where I went CRAZY looking at the exhibit of costumes they had on display and humming songs from "The Phantom of the Opera" under my breath.
|Basilique du Sacre Coeur in Paris|
|Big Ben in London|
I went to London with my brother. We visited the Movieum, or the Film Museum of London, as well as the official Doctor Who Shop and 221B Baker Street. We also got super-cheap tickets to see "The Phantom of the Opera" on West End, which ended in tears of joy on my part. I LOVE THAT SHOW.
|Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (or the Florence Cathedral.)|
We got to stay in Florence for 6 days! It was my second-favorite place. It was sunny and gorgeous and we did lots of exploring and ate lots of gelato, and I got to realize my dream of riding a Vespa through the streets of Italy! (pictures of that adventure are here.) More details and photos of Florence adventures are here and here.
|Vernazza, Cinque Terre.|
During our time in Florence, we took a side trip to Cinque Terre. As you can see, it's a RAINBOW TOWN! We hiked between two of the towns and I matched my outfit to the buildings, which you can see here.
This is just an Instagram I took flying back home to Brussels from Florence over the Swiss Alps. No filter, just boosted contrast. It was so magical!
Holland was another group excursion where we had a lovely morning bike ride through an open-air windmill museum and stayed in a hotel on the North Sea.
Morocco was my favorite. What a gorgeous, exciting place and what nice, hospitable people! More pictures from that here and here.
The last place I've been outside of Brussels was Dinant, a lovely town in the Wallonia part of Belgium. We hiked up over 400 stairs to reach a citadel on a cliff and this was the view from about halfway up! We also took a boat ride, which was wonderful. I absolutely love boat rides! There are lots of caves in the hillsides underneath the citadel, and during the two world wars they were used as bomb shelters by the local residents.
Well, that's it! (If anyone would like to see more pictures of anything, just holler at me! I have lots of pictures--I finally bought myself a camera before coming here and I am so pleased with it and use it at every opportunity!) =]
Tonight I'm going to a farewell ball on the roof of a casino (A BALL! of course pictures from THAT will be posted! Hopefully the rain stays away...) and then tomorrow I go home and my summer adventures begin (for which I am SO excited! You will be hearing all about it later. Hoop skirts are involved.)
Have a good day! =]