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New Thoughts

So I’ve traveled part of the world, and I’ve been back for a while. My life’s not quite as full of fantastic adventures as it was a year ago (can’t believe it’s already been that long), but it’s still pretty cool and the internet always needs more lists, which is what I want to post mostly. Just cool things that interest me, that I want to keep track of, that I want to share with the world.

Eurotrip: Around Europe in 20 Days

Starting April 4, I traveled around Europe for 20 days. For the first two weeks I was traveling with 3 friends from Queen Mary. We went to Prague (esquite), Berlin (windy), Santorini (new happy place), Athens (busy), Rome (beautiful), and the Vatican.

My travel route

It was amazing. We didn’t really know what we were doing, just that we didn’t want to spend too much money and that we wanted to see as much as possible without driving ourselves crazy doing it. I think we succeeded at both.

We walked everywhere. We used grocery stores and ate street food. Best food: Greece. Hands down. We got gyros, souvlaki, baklava, Greek salads, other Greek pastries. All so delicious and all so cheap. Though Italy did have some pretty amazing gelato (biscotto flavor = the best).

We saw some amazing and beautiful things. Sunset in Oia, Santorini, and basically everywhere on that island. The Vatican Museum. The Acropolis. The Lennon Wall in Prague. The Brandenburg Gates in Berlin. And so much more.

We took every mode of transportation possible: feet, bus, metro, train, coach, plane, ferry, car and slept in most of them. We slept mostly in hostels but also on ferries and in airports.

Basically, it was amazing and though I’m glad to be back in London, I can’t believe it’s over.

Up next: Portugal.

HOME!

Home home home home.

I’m in my house. I’ve started unpacking. I’m back!

Update

I finished my anthro paper. 5 pages, 1.5 spaced. It’s a review on a photography. Sure I still have to edit it (and it’ll probably change a lot when I do), but I wrote 5 pages, almost 2000 words, in pretty much 5 hours (not all at once though).

Other crazy things about Rome…

  1. Daylight savings time. That took me at least an hour to figure out what was going on with that.
  2. The drivers.
  3. How many times I crossed the Tiber in one day: 13 times in 24 hours.
  4. Meeting people: classics majors, people at the hostel. ALSO: 5 of the people I met at the hostel go to UCONN and are studying abroad in London. And one of them is from the next town over, how weird is that?
  5. The lightening that hit my plane on the way from Rome to Lisbon. No lie, we were struck by lightening. It was in the middle of the strongest turbulence I’ve ever been in and then bang/flash.  But really don’t worry because I’m fine.
  6. The lines at the Vatican. Granted, Sunday + free + Monday off + rain (so can’t do outdoor sightseeing) = crazy long lines at the Vatican.
  7. I keep meeting people who a) don’t know Portugal is a country and b) don’t know that it has its own language that IS NOT SPANISH. Come on people, basic geography. Portugal’s political boundaries basically haven’t changed for about 1000 years so it’s not a new concept or politically unstable/recently created country. This worries me a little.
  8. How many pictures I took.

In other news, I have a presentation tomorrow (in English) that I am most definitely not excited about. I think I will have to celebrate when it’s over. And then next week starts the Wonderful World of Midterms. Yes, I have two history midterms on the same day, back to back, one in English, the other in Portuguese. I’ll have to study for both but the one in English should be fine. Portuguese…that one scares me. I emailed the professor a week ago asking about the format of the exam but I haven’t heard back. The problem is that I have a really hard time taking notes in Portuguese, so I have very little to study from. I also have a 5 page paper due soon, and a Portuguese language exam the next week. Plus, I have my 25 page anthro term paper to work on. YAY.

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Photo disclaimer

DISCLAIMER: These photos you’ve seen so far on this blog, NONE of them have been edited and I took all of them. And it’s not a testament to my brilliant photography or amazing camera (most of them were taken on a point and shoot) that they look so good…it’s just Lisbon. It really is that beautiful. And it’s kind of a sneaky city too. At first when you arrive you think, oh pretty, but it’s all the same. But no, here, the more you (or at least I) get to know the city, the more bonita and amazing I think it is.

AKA: I should write travel brochures for Lisbon and you should all come visit some time in your life if you get the chance. You won’t regret it. Why?

  1. The views — amazing
  2. The people — agradavel (very nice, helpful)
  3. The weather — perfect (maybe a little hot right now)
  4. The food — delicous
  5. The prices — affordable/cheap
  6. The transportation systems — clean and comfortable

Now if you know any other city that you can say all that about, please let me know and I’m there…well, after June. Maybe after I graduate and have a real career, but I’m there eventually.

Also, if you’re overwhelmed by the number of pictures I’ve taken…I won’t stop taking pictures till Lisbon stops being so beautiful. Also, don’t even worry…you haven’t even seen a 1/10 of all the photos I’ve taken since I arrived (655).

Olá mundo!/Hello world!

In just a couple of weeks I’ll be leaving the US for my European study abroad adventure, in Portugal first, then England (I can’t believe it’s so soon). I promised a blog, and this will be part photoblog/part regular, part Portuguese (but mostly English) and filled with photos and stories and lists (I love lists) of shenanigans, travels, food, and (my favorite) language.

I’m not packed. I don’t have a visa (but I kind of don’t need one). And I can only kind of speak Portuguese. But I CAN DO IT! And I’ll have tons of fun.

Europe will be dozens of flights, 10 months, hundreds of postcards, 4 suitcases, 9 classes, and thousands of (hopefully) delicious and foreign meals, countless metro rides, and 1 traveling hedgehog (see note). I can’t wait, but I’m a little nervous.

NOTE: 2 friends (you know who you are) gave me a miniature hedgehog as a going away present (not random, I love hedgehogs). Think the Travelocity gnome, but a lot smaller, and a hedgehog. It has somehow been decided that this hedgehog (who I have decided must be named Felix, don’t ask why) must travel to every country with me and sneak into my touristy photos (and there will be thousands of them). So be on the lookout for Felix, it’ll be like Where’s Waldo, the easier, European version.

WARNING: I’m addicted to lists and parenthetical notes. I also will overuse exclamation points. Just imagine me stoked and smiling (hopefully) and the posts will make more sense.

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