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I'll make a more detailed post soon-ish on all the places I've visited so far. But here's quick list and their highlights so I don't forget. Pictures and things will come soon! After I upload and edit them. >> Which actually might take a while...

Porto: 

My first trip outside of Bordeaux! The coolest part about this trip was meeting 4 Belgium girls at my hostel. They were all pretty decent at English, but would speak in Flemish to each other. I got to learn a couple of Dutch words while being with them though! They are all currently studying at Antwerp...so when I go to Belgium I'll have tour guides and places to stay. :) 

Porto is known for its port wine, which I tried a bit as well. It's very good, sweeter than red wine. Another good thing about Porto was its weather. I went during one of the coldest weeks in Bordeaux, and it was noticeably 20 degrees warmer (no exaggeration) in Porto. 

Paris:

Just being in Paris was amazing. It has the same feel as Bordeaux in that the buildings have the same type of architecture (unlike Toulouse), but it feels a lot bigger, in an almost overwhelming kind of way. 

I stayed in an apartment through airbnb that was literally 2 minutes away from the Arc de Triomphe. It's hard to pick a highlight of Paris because I loved every minute of it. I think the Musée d'Orsay made everything better though. I went with J. and M., which was amazing because J. is also an art history major. We were squealing over every painting we've studied together. The whole museum is full of gems, with each significant painting feeling like a mini "celebrity" sighting. <3 

Also seeing the Caravaggios in the Louvre made my day. I totally forgot that Death of a Virgin was at the Louvre! Also saw the Fortune Teller piece. <3 <3 

London: 

BILLY ELLIOT! We bought tickets for £18.50 (and got front row seats in the second story!). Billy Elliot is so amazing. I loved it, I'm actually listening to the soundtrack right now. I'm so glad that we ended up watching a musical. There isn't much left to say about London. It's a great city, just really expensive. We got Chipotle there (because the lack of Mexican food, or I mean, the inexistence of Mexican food, in Bordeaux is starting to kill me), and all the prices are the same...just in pounds. So yeah, I really did just eat a burrito for £7.00 D: D: 

Berlin:

Getting to stay with my friend K. from Berkeley! She was such a great hostess. <3 She was also, coincidentally, in the same apartment building as R's boyfriend, so the 4 of us got to hang out together. I also got to party with a couple of German locals, since one of the guys from the program is good friends with a local German. :) So one night I got to hang out with 3 German guys (with everyone else), and learned a couple swear words in German and how to count to ten. 

The best thing about Berlin is how modernized everything is (which is also sad...but let's not think about WWII). We went into 2 museums (Jewish Museum and the Film Museum), and everything is shiny and interactive and very tastefully designed. They were the most modern and interesting museums I've ever been in, complete with many touch screens and things like that. 

Berlin is also the cheapest EU city I've been to so far. We got huge cocktails for €3,50 (think imperial pint sized), and enormous kebabs (also the best tasting kebab I've ever had in EU) for €2,50. By the way, if I haven't mentioned it already, kebabs are huge in EU for some reason. They are everywhere I go. 

Amsterdam: 

Surprisingly quaint. The buildings in Amsterdam are all sweet looking with lots of character. They're colorful and reminiscent of a fairy tale setting. The best part of Amsterdam was...relaxing. We went to the Anne Frank museum which was pretty cool (yet tragic). 

Edinburgh:

I LOVE EDINBURGH. I NEED TO GO BACK TO SCOTLAND. Edinburgh just feels like it has so much history. All the roads are paved with cobblestone, the buildings are still very old looking, there are almost no modern looking buildings there at all. Great views of everything. It was the best! 
 

May 2012

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