**You’ve been warned that this is another long post!!**
The past few weeks my friends and I have been traveling throughout Europe. A few months ago when we realized we were going to get done with classes a lot earlier than we excepted so we decided to spend two weeks traveling around Europe. So on December 2nd we started our journey. 14 days, 6 countries, 13 Christmas markets, 1 overnight bus, 1 run in with the Pope, and a whole lot of carbs and gelato later, we made it back to Bergen exhausted and full of stories.
Bergen –> Berlin –> Budapest –> Prague –> Rome –> London –> Copenhagen
We started off our trip by heading to Berlin. Germany has always been on my list of places to travel to because of all of its history and I am a little German. The trip started off a little rough because our flight was very early in the morning and I didn’t sleep well the night before. We were zombies that first day but powered through it to make sure we saw as much as we could in those two days. Germany is known for having some of the best Christmas markets in Europe, so we were eager to check them out. The Christmas markets were so cute and full of delicious food, drinks, and little gifts.
One of the days, we decided to do a walking tour of Berlin. I highly suggest doing something like this if come here. There is so much to learn about the city and it’s interesting to know what you’re actually looking at. On the tour we were able to see Hitler’s Bunker, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews, the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and where the infamous picture of Michael Jackson hold Blanket out the window, was taken.
Our time was short, but we definitely enjoyed our time in Germany.
Next up was Budapest! Somehow it worked out that all of our early morning flights and the countries that didn’t speak the best English were at the beginning… So between being tired and being a foreign city, you can guess we struggled a bit.
Budapest was like nothing I had ever seen. It was so beautiful and different (in the best way). We had two days to see as much as we could.
**Travel Tip** If you are traveling to any “big” city in Europe they offer a lot of Hop-on-Hop-off buses and this is the best way to see the city. The buses offer live commentary/audio about what you see during the ride. There are many stops you can get off at and explore and then get back on. Most of the tickets are good for 24 hours or you can even do 48-hour tickets. This can be the best way to get around big European cities because things are very spread out, and it makes it easier to get around. Plus you get to learn more about the city.
Places like Berlin, Budapest, and London (to name a few) are great places to do this. London is bigger than you expect and the tube is easy to work but can be a little much!
We decided to do the bus in Budapest so we could get as much out of our trip as we could. Budapest has the most beautiful castle/museum, parliament building, and bridges. Our time was short once again but so worth it!
Prague, Czech Republic
Our last night in Budapest was spent at the bus station waiting to board our overnight bus to Prague. This was the cheapest option for our trip and we figured who needs a good night sleep?? 😉 Luckily 2 of us didn’t have to share a seat with anyone so we could curl up in a ball and “sleep”. Lucky for Megan, about half way through the bus ride she had a man for a bus buddy that took up about half of her seat! Since we got to Prague at 7am we decided that sleep was a necessity at this point.
We had 1 day in Prague so after a few hours of sleep we were off to explore the Christmas market, bridges, towers, castles, and the John Lennon wall. The city was so beautiful and again, like nothing we had seen. The food was amazing and the buildings reminded of old European gothic style. We were definitely not able to see everything in this unique city but what we saw amazed us.
Our last early morning flight lead to the place I was anticipating the most. We had about 2 ½ days in this wonderful city and I was ready to go! I’ll say right off the bat; this was not enough time at all to see all that this city has to offer.
We stayed 2 blocks away from the Colosseum so we were very central which made things a lot easier. I was feeling my inner Lizzie McGuire the whole time I was there! From the Trevi Fountain to the Spanish Steps back to the Colosseum I was having the best time! We were also able to enjoy some pizza at the Pantheon, listen to the Pope speak at St. Peter’s Basilica, wander around the Roman Forum, and enjoy a Christmas market with some gelato at Piazzo Navona.
One of the days we were there, it was a national holiday and we found out the night before that the Pope was going to be praying at the Spanish Steps. We had plans to head to Vatican City in the morning and go back to the steps to see him pray later in the day. Just as we were leaving St. Peter’s Basilica, we saw hundreds and hundreds of people standing around. So we asked one of the guards and found out that the Pope would be speaking from St. Peter’s Square. It was so incredible to hear him speak. We were very lucky!
The food… was on a different level. Gelato is my new best friend, pasta and pizza will never taste the same again, and the wine went down like water… I think I somehow gained about 15lbs in the 2 ½ days there but it’s 15lbs of pure happiness. It was sad to leave, but I couldn’t help but be excited to head back to my favorite city… London.
I should clarify that outside of Norway, Rome and London are tied for first.
We had about 3 full days in London. One of those days was supposed to be spent doing the Harry Potter Warner Brother’s tour… it’s a sore subject with Megan and I but it was sold out for the day we were planning on going. But we were able to make a quick stop at Platform 9 ¾ so at least we got a little HP. Hyde Park had a large “Winter Wonderland” that we enjoyed. We were also able to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. There was well over a thousand people there to watch the ceremony. My mom and I were not able to see it when we went so it was fun to experience.
Besides Buckingham Palace we were able to do the Tower of London, the London Eye, walk around Westminster Abbey, Parliament, and take a boat cruise to Greenwich. London once again did not disappoint.
We finished our World Tour with where all of our traveling started… Copenhagen. This wasn’t on purpose, it just so happened to be the cheapest and easiest way for us to get back to Bergen. But it was so fun to see Copenhagen at a different time of the year. We had 2 days and we used those days to kind of relax and check out the city. We were able to see some more Christmas markets and do some ice skating. We had a great time and we were glad we could end this big adventure there.
We made it back to Bergen safely and I enjoyed my last day with Megan and Dede before getting ready to leave.
We were so lucky to have done a trip like this. My goal before leaving to study abroad was to travel as much as I possibly could and I can easily say I carried through. It was the most amazing experience and I was so lucky to do it with the Megan and Dede. ❤
“’ He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully’”- Luke 4:10