Posts tagged ‘travel’

July 28, 2011

florence

Ahh Florence. When I left a year ago, I thought I wouldn’t see this city for decades. God’s got a funny way of continually proving me wrong, but I can’t really complain in this case, can I? It’s hard to describe what it was like going back. I was certainly excited to show Katy the Firenze I had fallen in love with, go back to all my favorite places and do a few things I ran out of time to do. (Check out my old blog for my adventures: Emily in Italy) But I’ll admit that it was kind of hard going back too. For the first tim, I was a visitor in Florence. This city felt like a home away from home when I left. When I went back everything had changed, but nothing was different at the same time. It was like returning to your childhood home. That reminiscent feeling lingered with me the few days we were there. I wrote a story about Florence for one of my classes, and the time I described in those pages came back to life. Streets and smells and flavors conjured faded memories. Florence will always have a special place in my heart. It will always be a kind of home, no matter how much time spans between our meetings.

Naturally, our first stop was for food. The two priorities were Vivoli Gelato, which legitimately changed my life and was a frequent stop for us while living in Florence, and the chocolate tart that redefined “delicious” for me.

While I’ve been terrible about running this summer (thank you, triple-digit temperatures), I actually went on runs pretty frequently. The park above and the Arno River were my favorite spots, but the most unusual run was definitely that time Hil and I got caught in a hail storm….

Oh yea, Katy and I had desert with Snookie. We also met a couple people who got in bar fights with the Jersey Shore boys. Solid representation of a America right there.

Fact: I remembered the code to my old apartment building

Another fact: Katy and I stayed there our last night when we got locked out of our hostel

Florence is known as the “City of Art” and for good reason. The David, Primavera and countless other masterpieces call it home. These two statues definitely get the awards for most unusual pieces of art: Fat Man Sits on Box Turtle and Toddler Plays with Lamb.

White wine and the sunset at the Piazalle Michelangelo. Nothing could be more perfect.

I took a picture nearly identical to this one below the first time I went to this famous overlook. By far the most colorful sunset I’ve ever seen.

We also got to meet up with one of our good friends from Florence! Chiara was Becca’s language partner while we were abroad and will actually be visiting good ole Chapel Hill in mere weeks!

And so concludes me and Katy’s Grand Adventure! Could you tell it was a whirlwind? Incredible. Exhausting. Once in a lifetime. Sometimes the whole trip still seems unreal to me.  Did we seriously spend close to 2 hours at the Lennon Wall in Prague? Will I ever find such frolic-worthy fields anywhere besides Rothenburg? How on earth did manage to take nearly 900 pictures in Ireland? I will continue to have to suppress my constant craving for French bread until I’m back in Paris. I still have my wanderlust, but until I’m able to jet off somewhere, I’ll just have to find adventures on this side of the pond :)

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July 18, 2011

rothenburg

Rothenburg is the epitome of a quaint European town. Mind you, it’s got its fair share of tourists, but with such beautiful landscapes and cute winding streets, you can’t blame the masses for wanting to visit. Katy and I only had one full day in Rothenburg, which was a bit sad, but we definitely made the most of it. I had been to Germany before, so it was great to see a different part of the country. Last summer I visited the mountainy area of Bavaria, really close to Austria. But Rothenburg is a bit more inside the country, surrounded by rolling hills, the Tauber River and fields ideal for frolicking. Our 24ish hours in Rothenburg can definitely go down as one of the best days ever.

Breakfast: Walnuss Schneke and coffee. I forgot how much I loved the German language.

Hello cutest town entrance ever.

Our bike-riding adventure! Katy clearly never learned anything from Oregon Trail and attempted to ford the river.

The river won.

Seriously, the most amazing sandwich I’ve ever had.

Playing with/creeping on the German children.

Katy’s awesome German hat.

Cue prancing.

I cannot get over this picture of Katy. Beautiful.

I still laugh every time I see this. Moooo

July 8, 2011

prague

I have never been to a place quite like Prague. This is a city to get lost in, to wander its streets until you find something really amazing. Katy and I did a lot of exploring, mostly because we were rather clueless as to the sites to see. The Astronomical Clock? Ok. Lennon Wall? Oh yea. The Castle? YES. We even tagged along in a random zombie walk purely out of curiosity. Prague was beautiful and different in so many ways. Dramatic architecture, multicolored buildings, towers, spires, bridges. I loved it.

We were HUGE fans of the Czech language and pathetically struggled at nearly every restaurant we went to. However, some words quickly won our affection, such as “dezerty” and “suvenyry”.

I think we were at the Lennon Wall for close to two hours. Seriously. We had a little photo shoot, and the Europeans judged us big time for self-timer jumping pictures. What else is new? We made our marks on the wall in a variety of ways, from signatures to completing the lyrics to a 3LW song. And yes, that man below was completely serious. I wish you could see his face a little better because yours truly had to contain her hysterical laughter so as not to attract his fierce gaze.

And naturally I had to take a couple reflection pictures…

Prague, like many cities, is known for its abundance of pubs. In an effort to embrace the culture, Katy and I created our own personalized pub crawl, which began with blueberry pie and desert wine, then ended with making some Finnish friends who kindly paid for our drinks. A very successful night indeed.

Katy and I naturally came across many struggles during our adventure, but none more embarrassing than our complete lack of awareness at Prague Castle. We wandered around for nearly an hour trying to find the castle before realizing we were already inside the castle complex.  Apparently the castle towers we were trying in vain to find were actually the spires of a cathedral.

Honestly I haven’t the slightest clue what this little pastry was. Still don’t. BUT it was awesome. And Katy sank into a food coma at our table immediately after helping me devour it.

What a beautiful city…

More pictures here!

June 24, 2011

cambridge

Cambridge has more bikes than any town I’ve ever been to. Seriously. Parking lots full of them. Some with baskets, others with little bells. Katy and I stopped by Cambridge during a layover between Dublin and Prague. We had 6 hours between our flights, so we were not about to spend them sitting in the airport. So, Cambridge was only  a 30-minute train ride away and seemed like the best place to spend a couple hours. We didn’t have a lot of time, so, naturally, eating was our main priority, hence the yummy eggs and toast below. Then we spent the rest of our time just wandering. The town is really small, filled with little winding street and cute cafes. We were both certifiably in love with Cambridge in mere hours and pretty sad to leave. Our next stop was pretty amazing, though….

so. many. bikes.

A classic English breakfast. YUM.

winner of a street name for sure

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