Julie is a Junior at The George Washington University and
is studying Psychology in Edinburgh, Scotland for the semester. She hopes to be
able to travel around Scotland and explore Edinburgh throughout the next few
months. Julie is highly interested in protecting human rights, singing, and
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I’ve been caught in a flurry of travelling and studying for the past couple of weeks but I just got back from my incredible spring break trip to Amsterdam, Berlin, and Vienna.
Amsterdam was absolutely incredible, probably my favorite city that I have seen so far. I wasn’t expecting to like the city as much as I did- its reputation of weed and prostitution doesn’t give the city justice. The streets are lined with canals, houses that are colorful and slightly slanted, and tons and tons of bicycles.
The city isn’t just extremely quaint- the attractions that we visited were interesting and fun, the food was delicious, and the trams were fun to ride. We got to visit the Van Gogh Museum, climb on the IAMSTERDAM sign with tons of other tourists, and stroll through the Rijksmuseum with its incredible dollhouses. We got to ride bikes through the beautiful Vondelpark, take a 3 hour walking tour through the city in the rain, and see the inspiring Anne Frank house.
The food and the drinks of Amsterdam were also incredible. We got to visit the Bols Liquor Musuem and guess the different liquors from their smells, pour the perfect pint of Heineken at the Heineken musuem, and eat the world’s best apple pie at De Winkel. I got to eat apple pancakes with cinnamon ice cream at the Pancake Bakery and have drinks from glasses made entirely of ice from the extremely corny ice bar. We were just in Amsterdam for three days but it was the perfect amount of time to visit the city.
After Amsterdam, we jetted off to Berlin. Amsterdam and Berlin were totally different cities and it was interesting to see the contrast between the two. First of all, Berlin is HUGE. Every day it was a struggle with the U-Bahn map to figure out how to get from place to place in a city seven times the size of Paris. It’s kind of hard to describe what Berlin was like as a city, but I will say that Berlin is the new home of the hipster. Actually, we got denied from an outdoor party because we didn’t really fit in. Gabrielle and I stayed with Gabrielle’s friend Audrey, at her extremely cute apartment. She created itineraries for us every day and it was nice to be staying with someone who knew the city so well. We saw the Sony Center, the giant Brandenburg Gate, and walked down the busy Unter de Linden. We visited the incredibly well done Jewish Museum, walked through the haunting Holocaust Memorial, stood at Checkpoint Charlie and saw the longest piece of the Berlin Wall that is still standing, East Side Gallery.
My favorite part of Berlin, however, was definitely just walking around and observing the people and the atmosphere. It was so different than anywhere else that I have visited. We had the opportunity to walk through a cute little turkish market where I picked up some delicious grape leaves, walk through Maur Park for the Sunday flea market, and have drinks, eat cake and play board games in a little white trailer/cafe. We got to drink beers in a beer garden and go to Unsicht Bar, a restaurant where you get to simulate being blind and eat entirely in the dark. The quirky, fun city was definitely worth the trip.
After Berlin, we headed to Vienna. I absolutely loved Vienna- such a pretty city with so much interesting history. It also didn’t hurt that the weather was good the entire time we were there- Amsterdam and Berlin had been a little bit rainy. Walking through Vienna was like walking through a picture book. Karntnerstrasse, the main shopping street, was filled with beautiful stores and amazing old buildings. We went into the gorgeous St. Stephan’s Cathedral, admired the art in The Albertina, and learned about the life of Sisi, the diva of Vienna at the Kaiser apartments. We got to see beautiful white horses trotting around the Spanish Riding School, ride the famous ferris wheel at The Prater (and a spinny ride that made me quite naseous), and walk the incredible gardens of the incredible Shonbrunn Palace. We got to tour the grand opera house, eat chicken shnitzel, and try the famous Sacher torte. It was the perfect ending to travelling with Gabrielle and Emily.
I really couldn’t be luckier to visit all of these amazing places and am so excited to keep travelling! xx
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