Monday, January 6, 2014

Summary of Travels

          Trying to figure out what to write is really hard right now. I just arrived back to Osijek late last night after an amazing week and a half of travel. I saw so much, learned so much, and most importantly processed so much. As such, I believe I will write a series of posts. With so many thoughts and stories, it only makes sense to write many posts. I also hope to have my cousin Cara, with whom I was traveling, to write some of her own thoughts and reflections. But to start out, I will give a brief summary of the places we saw and things we did.

Dec. 24, 2013 - I took a bus from Osijek to Zagreb, where I met Cara. We then took a bus down to Split. We walked through the old city and went to bed early after a long day of traveling.

Dec. 25, 2013 - After opening some gifts that Cara brought from the U.S., we headed out for a long walk around a huge park in Split. We attended mass at the tiny Cathedral in the evening. I understood a few words, as I proudly told them to Cara.

Dec. 26, 2013 - It rained all day and was quite miserable. We had planned on just visiting museums so we could be out of the rain, but unfortunately the day after Christmas is a national holiday in Croatia (St. Stephen's Day). However, we did get to climbed the bell tower and got some coffee. In the evening, my friend Miriam (who lives now in Sarajevo) came to spend a couple of days with us.

Dec. 27, 2013 - Miriam, Cara, and I took a bus up to an old fortress in Klis. We then visited Roman ruins in Solin. Then we went to the island town of Trogir, before heading back to Split to go out for dinner and then make cinnamon roles!

Dec. 28, 2013 - After a quick visit to the market in Split, Cara and I said goodbye to Miriam and headed by bus back to Zagreb. That night we visited the Museum of Broken Relationships and went out for coffee.

Dec. 29, 2013 - We got up early to take a day trip to Plitivce Lakes National Park. It was so beautiful and it felt like we were in another world! Upon our return to Zagreb, we ate dinner and went to bed.

Dec. 30, 2013 - We walked around Zagreb in the morning, taking time to visit a street full of city-approved graffiti. After getting some lunch at a bakery, we boarded a bus in the afternoon to Vienna.

Dec. 31, 2013 - After breakfast at our hostel, we went to downtown Vienna to run in my first ever race! It was 5.3 km around the city ring. It was a great introduction to a beautiful city! After chilling in the hostel in the afternoon, we headed back downtown for New Years Eve celebrations. They had a New Years market and place all over the city to drink hot wine and eat delicious Austrian treats. At midnight there was fireworks and everyone waltzed to the Blue Danube.

Jan. 1, 2014 - On New Years we went to outside the city hall where they were showing on a large screen, the Vienna Symphony concert (which is broadcast all over the world). We then visited a museum and learned about Austrian history. Cara had made arrangements to visit an old friend who lives in Vienna, so it was great to hear from a local and make a new friend. Before heading back to the hostel, we got some coffee and cake.

Jan. 2, 2014 - We ate breakfast at the hostel, check-out, and headed to see some graffiti on the Danube. We then boarded a train to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. After walking in the wrong direction for and hour and a half (it should have been 15 minutes), we explored the old city for a bit before catching a train to Budapest. After dinner out, we hung out at the hostel making friends with travelers from Egypt, Brasil, Morocco, Serbia, and the U.S.

Jan. 3, 2014 - We started the day with a free walking tour (highly recommended if you are traveling to Budapest) and learned a lot about Hungarian history and the different parts of the city. We then went to eat lunch at a large indoor market with friend from Turkey and Brazil that we had made on the tour. After that, Cara and I headed to the thermal baths. We then met back up with our Turkish and Brazilian friends for drinks at a ruin pub.

Jan. 4, 2014 - Our last day was actually one of my favorite days of the trip. After a breakfast of cake at an old cafe, we explore the city by foot, stopping on an island for great food. In the afternoon we took another free walking tour, this one of communism in Budapest. Afterward, we ate a traditional Hungarian meal with friends from Australia before being an hour late to the opera (you can get really cheap tickets!) After the opera we headed back to the hostel to finish packing. There, we made friends with two really awesome Spaniards and headed out for drinks once again at a ruin pub. Afterward, Cara and I found a grocery store for snacks for traveling, then said goodbye at 4:15 am as she took a shuttle to the airport to fly home.

Jan. 5, 2013 - I ate breakfast by myself at the hostel, checked out and took a train to the Hungarian ciyt of Pecs. I explored a couple hours before taking a bus back to Osijek. 

1 comment:

  1. sounds like an awesome, crazy, epic, busy adventure!