Two weekends ago I went to Belgium to visit my brother and an old flatmate from Prague. I managed to see a lot of Belgium in the space of 3 days (thanks to my brother having a car). I visited Brussels, Mons, Bruges and Ghent. I also got to practice my French, and find out it’s even worse than I thought, and watch the hilarious In Bruges for the first time.
Last weekend I went on a short trip to Naples. All I packed was my camera, some euros and my toiletries. Armed and ready to take as many pictures of crumbling ruins, and eat as much pizza as possible.
Whilst on my year abroad in Prague I have been itching to go traveling, and where better to go than the region that I study in my degree?
My trip started in Prague and ended in Istanbul. In total I went to 7 places: Zagreb in Croatia, Jajce and Sarajevo in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Split in Croatia, Belgrade in Serbia, Sofia in Bulgaria and finally, Istanbul in Turkey. Here are some pictures from my travels:
London has a rival: Budapest. Everything I love about London, I found in the capital of Hungary. Great coffee (including flat whites), a ton of vintage clothing shops, houmous, restaurants that do brunch, the use of Time Out, and beautiful huge city parks. I’m in love.
I thought hiking sounded like a lot of fun as I have never been before, and I wanted to check out a place no where near Switzerland, but apparently looks a lot like it. Bohemian Switzerland is a huge national park on the border of the Czech Republic and Germany. The hikes were absolutely breathtaking – so peaceful (with only the sound of birds), fresh air, an abundance of greenery and only a little bit of rain – it was perfect!
Being so used to just lots of city walking, I wasn’t in the best shape to scale steep cliffs, slip on muddy tree branches, hold onto only mossy rocks for support – it was kind of weird. Thank god I do actually own a pair of trainers!
Luckily I didn’t break any limbs, but they are very sore from a lot of walking. 😦
(Prepare for lots of photos.)
The best thing about Erasmus and actually being in Europe (English people don’t really consider themselves European because of the gap of water), is the easy ability to travel. But before I start traveling wider Europe, I thought I’d check out some of the Czech Republic’s other towns and cities. My first trip was to Mělník, which is in the centre of the region called ‘Bohemia’ and North of Prague.
Last week I went to Somerset House to see Pretty In Pink on a large screen outdoors. I’m a huge fan of John Hughes/Molly Ringwald partnerships, so as soon as I got wind of the Pretty In Pink showing as part of Film 4’s summer screening, I immediately snapped up a ticket.
Pretty In Pink is about as cool 80s as you can get. Yeah, ok, ‘cool 80s’ sounds like an oxymoron, but this film is every hipsters dream. Not only because the way the ‘cool’ students dress – with blazers, bowties, coloured waistcoats and raybans – but the soundtrack makes it like the (500) Days of Summer of its time. And don’t get me started on the scene where Jon Cryer pretends to be Otis Redding and starts miming and dancing to ‘Try a Little Tenderness’.
So this is probably going to be one of my last posts from London for about a year. In September I will be moving to Prague and studying history as an Erasmus student at Charles University. I’m really excited about living in a new city and having the opportunity to experience a new culture in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But I’m also very sad to be leaving London behind. In my first year everyone said that your first year was for getting to know your university campus and your second year was when you got to know the real London. This was definitely true for me. After my second year I now feel like I know all the really cool places to eat, drink and hang about and I’m no longer terrified to go a bit further out of Central London to try somewhere new.
Here’s some of the things I am really going to miss about London:
Mr Brainwash opened his first ever solo UK exhibition in London on Sunday 5th August.
Whilst walking from Holborn I came across the exhibition unexpectedly, which was drawing mass crowds in from TCR area.
For tourists, the exhibition has a very British feel with pictures of the Queen, the Olympics, Union Jacks, painted model horses, iconic photos of Kate Moss made into pop art and a model London black cab.
This week I went to Vienna, Austria to visit my friend Dalia. Having never been to Vienna before, I only ever see Dalia when she makes her annual trip to London for Fashion Week. But I was very excited to go and see Vienna for myself, in the eyes of a local, so jumped at the offer to stay at Dalia’s parent’s house in Vienna.
Vienna is very different to London. If not just because of the architecture which makes you feel like you’re in a fairy-tale, but also the transport which runs all night long on weekends, the cuisine, and even the universities have a very different atmosphere.