Thursday, March 29, 2012

#2: Paris

Bonjour! We got to Paris on Sunday and stayed until Wednesday. We stayed the longest here compared to the other cities.

When we first got in, the weather was kinda dreary with light sprinkles. We were looking for our hotel that was wedged in between two restaurants in the Latin Quarter. Our first thoughts were...oh gosh, where are we staying? We thought we would upgrade from a hostel to a hotel for Paris, but it wasn't much of an upgrade. The hotel was very old, had no elevator, and had an uneven spiral staircase. The room was small, but totally bearable. The positives were: LOCATION! and we had our own bathroom. The location was so perfect! We were surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and shops. It was very close to all the sites we wanted to see. The area was just... LIVELY.

We went to the Museo d'orsay first. It was such a cool museum. It was good to see art work I actually Van Gogh and Monet. I also really like an artist named Edgar Degas. He is known for his art with ballerinas.

Here is a famous piece called the Dance Class:

We went to Laduree, twice during our trip. I tried the pistachio, salted caramel, raspberry, lemon, and caffe macaroons. The salted caramel macaroon was my favorite! Laduree had the cutest window displays.

For dinner, I was daring and tried Beef tartar. For those of you who don't know what that's raw sirloin or filet. It was actually really good, but it was just scary to look at it. The thought of getting sick...was nerve- wrecking.

The next day, we went to the Louvre. Saw Mona! :-) along with many other paintings. Supposedly you can spend the entire day at the Louvre....but for me, it was a short 1-hr trip. I get bored easily...also it was super crowded! I'd rather go shopping!

Me and Alli shopped down Saint Honore and got French onion soup for lunch!

On Tuesday- we took a train to Versailles. It was beautiful, both inside and out. I loved the chandeliers and "Victorian" style decorations in the palace.

In the evening, we went on a dinner cruise along the Seine River. We watched the sun set as we passed by the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, and other beautiful sites.

On Wednesday morning, we went to the Nord train station to catch our ride to London. We took the Eurostar, which was amazing by the way. It only took us 2 hours to get there. It was nice to just hop on a train, without having to go to a crowded airport with strict security. That was Paris in a nutshell!

Keep posted for London :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Destination #1: Berlin

Hi, i'm back from my spring break- Europe edition. I am going to tackle one city at a time. First stop was Berlin, Germany, which ended up being my favorite city to visit. I will break it down for you!

On Friday, we arrived at the Schoenfeld airport around 4pm and took the Express train and UBahn to our hostel, St. Christopher's.

This hostel was the coolest one we stayed at. The entrance to the hostel was the same entrance to the bar. The bar had awesome happy hour deals!
We had a long day of traveling--since we left Florence around 9am and got to our hostel by 5pm. I knew immediately that everyone needed a jagerbomb ASAP. That definitely brightened our spirits and got us in the SB mood! :-)

For our first dinner in Berlin, we went to a restaurant called "Das Edelweiss." They had traditional German foods, which were amazing! We ordered this pork dish served with a soft pretzel, two different types of hash brown-like potatoes (one with Mediterranean veggies and another with salmon), and another meat dish.

After dinner, we decided to go to a lounge/club called Weekend Club. It was located in Alexanderplatz, a very popular going out area. Unfortunately, I couldn't take any pictures inside because I wasn't allowed :(
The club was fairly small, but had pretty good music. They played a lot of techno. I wish they had more house music.

The next day, we rented bikes for 10 euros. BEST DECISION EVER! It saved us so much time and we didn't have to walk everywhere. We went to the Holocaust Memorial (very moving), Bradenburg Tor, Checkpoint Charlie, and Gendermanmarket Square. We ate lunch at Goodtime, the best Thai restaurant I've ever been to.

I ordered Green curry and it was DIVINEEE.

Me and Alli being tourists

The Trio at the gate

Riding the bike around

For dinner, we went to "White Trash Fast food" and got nachos and a burger. YUM. I missed American food so much. I also got a lovely grapefruit mojito. :)
They had live music playing, and towards the end of our dinner, it started turning into a "club" with dancers.

Berlin overall was an amazing city! I loved the history that remains in the city and the diversity that it has. If you couldn't tell already, i'm such a foodie and live to eat! Berlin had AMAZING food with such variety of restaurants. I wish I could have experienced more of it's nightlife, but I guess i'll have to make it back in the future!

Stay tuned for Paris!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Venice & Ventian islands

Wow, i'm slacking at keeping up with my blog. My apologies! I like to just sum up my trips with the highlights. I always post all my pictures on my Facebook page, for those who want to see more. Blogspot is a little slow when it comes to uploading pictures...

So we left Florence on Friday morning at 6am. We rode boats between the main land, Venice, and the islands. Did you know, Venice is made up of over 100 islands?

I got to walk around S.Marco, the only piazza and the "lowest point" of Venice. Supposedly, Venice is if you haven't been, I suggest you go soon. ;)

At last! We are here

The Bell tower at S.Marco

Gondolas, a must-do in Venice

Me and 3 of the roomies!

Amazing pizza at Ae Oche

Venice has great seafood! I went to a restaurant for lunch and had fried calamari and some mussels! Absolutely delicious! I also had a glass (or 2) of prosecco, since all the other Venetians were doing it ;)

The next day, we went to the Venetian islands, Murano and Burano.
Murano is known for their glass and Burano for their lace.

A maestro demonstrating his skills

A glass horse he whipped up in a couple minutes

The colorful houses and shops

The delicate lace handkerchiefs

Overall, great trip! I'm looking forward to spring break in 10 days!
I will be heading to Berlin, Paris, London, and Dublin! I cannot wait to see Emma and Kelly in London! Missin' my sisters!

Just booked a trip to the Amalfi Coast over Easter break and Prague in late April!

So many places to look forward to! :) Keep posted! xo