So unfortunately I am back in the UK following my return flight from Berlin (the second one I decided I oughta get on). It’s great to be home in Shropshire; clean socks, cups of tea and the comfiest bed… and of course my lovely parents to hang out with. I’ve been thinking over my 26 day long trip and I thought a good way to wrap it up would be to go over the five things I enjoyed most. So without further ado…
5. Nightlife in Madrid
I was in Madrid for just three nights and managed to go out twice. Even though these two evenings were plagued with drama and copious misfortune, I got the impression that the clubbing scene here is awesome. There seem to be tons of venues, open all night, full of young people every day of the week. I made a couple of really cool friends and heard some pretty good music. Maybe the music was better in the Berliner clubs, but Madrid was a more pleasant place to walk around for two hours at 4am. An essential part of a night out obviously.
4. Food in Galicia
Ask my friends; I’m not a guy that gets particularly passionate about food. But Galicia is indeed famous for its cuisine and in Patricia’s Erasmus year here she’d obviously picked up on the best places to go. I have a new deep appreciation for seafood (including octopus) and tapas… can you imagine a world where free food comes whenever you order a beer…? Welcome to Spain. That was enough to make me fall in love with this country. Spain definitely gets the “Best Culture” prize in my opinion!
3. The Parks and Promenades in Berne’s Old Town
It took me a while to get over how beautiful the old town in Berne was. Rich had told me it was “really nice” which I quickly realised to be a huge understatement. There were several parks positioned round the town that made the most of the beautiful setting, and I really could have spent weeks sitting in these readings books. Although to be honest after just two days here I was kind of ready to leave. It’s not the most exhilarating of locations, but I don’t think I’ve ever found a better place to sit down, get cosy, and read a good novel. Which is half the reason I go travelling…
2. Cold War History in Berlin
I don’t want to wax lyrical about it lest I sound like a humungous nerd, but I find 20th Century European History… quite interesting. Visiting Berlin, a place where several of the most important turning points of the epoch occurred was so fascinating, and the museums I went to were so well done that I am actually ranking it as the second best thing about my trip. Reading about the events in a book whilst sat at home is one thing, but seeing the actual buildings and locations… it adds irreplaceable poignancy to the events. For me, things stick in my mind much more once I’ve stood on the spot that they happened, so walking round Berlin and spying sections of the Berlin wall and reading the plaques set up along the streets was simply amazing, and extremely memorable.
1. Alpine scenery in Switzerland
Even though I thoroughly enjoy exploring cities, I feel extremely content in the countryside. And I do enjoy hiking despite my lack of fitness. So my time in the Swiss Alps was amazing. The gorgeous views and colours, the fresh air and great exercise… it’s not something I could do every weekend but on this occasion it was great. I couldn’t walk for a week afterwards (genuinely) but to get heavenly views like this it was completely worth it =D
So that pretty much sums up what I hope to find when I’m travelling. Great nightlife, great food, great reading spots, great history and great views. And in a place like Europe, it’s just too easy to tick all those boxes. That’s why I’m really upset I won’t get to visit the continent again for quite some time! Maybe the USA and Australia will provide all these things as well. Maaaaybe.
I also just checked my bank account. The whole trip only cost me around £600. For almost an entire month! It really wouldn’t have been possible without the extreme generosity of my friends, Patricia, Richard, Isabel and Robert. Thanks to you all so much! =)