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Journals from England, University of Nottingham

2012-01-20 The Conclusion of our European Excursion

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There is no easy or accurate way to answer “how was your trip?” Since we’ve returned to the UK after travelling for the break, I’ve been hearing that question a lot. There was so much I saw, did and felt over those 30 days, I couldn’t possibly describe all of it properly. I merely resort to my default answer of “it was great!” In a way, having the opportunity to leave Notts, travel and then return to uni is like a preview for returning home. I anticipate having to answer that question quite a few more times upon our return but I look forward to it, sharing my stories. Anyway, I thinkthe  last I blogged I was in Venice. That was actually our last city in Italy.

After Italy we moved over to Prague, which is definitely in my top two cities we visited. This is funny because I knew nothing about Prague and therefore had no idea of what to expect. It was beautiful! Everything was aged with elegance and rooted in a rich history. You could walk for hours circling the city and never get bored of the scenery. The best view for me, however, came from the castle which overlooked the city. It was mind-blowing. I left there saying, “I could live here forever” (although I love the U.S. too much to really do that plus I don’t speak Czech). After The Czech Republic we made our way to the next country, Germany. In Germany we visited two cities Heidelberg and Berlin. Heidelberg was a cute, peaceful and traditional little town that was perfect for the rest we desperately needed at that point. During our stay in Berlin, the rainy weather and industrial construction made us a little indifferent to the city in comparison to the rest. However, it is in Berlin that we had the difficult but remarkable opportunity of visiting Sachsenhausen. That experience was truly life changing and something I will never forget.

After Germany we hit our last city in our European excursion. We spent the final days of our trip in Paris, where I got to see some of the most impressive monuments and pieces of art. The food was absolutely amazing--we had freshly baked croissants and crepes, and I had escargot and duck for the first time in my life! The trip as a whole had its moments of stress and difficulty, yet those are the moments I now look to and laugh. Looking back on the trip, I can see how much I’ve grown from it. In fact, I still feel its effects as every time I go to order food, on instinct, I begin to plan what I’m going to say and how I’m going to say it, only to freeze in fear when the cashier asks me what I want. I know perfectly well that language is no longer a problem in the UK like it was in France, Germany and all the other countries we visited, but my brain sometimes still hesitates before I speak to someone. It’s really weird. We had so much fun but I’m definitely happy to be back in Notts with no more travel except to go back home. I am travelled out! While uni isn’t home home, it's comfort and stability in the familiar.  As our days here in England begin to wind down, I plan on enjoying every minute I have left. Only a few more days to go!

Cheers,

Crystal Galarza

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