It was for my grad trip in 2008. I spent as little money as possible during school (not always a good idea). So I have a little bit of something left when I finished my license exams in April. Our license didn't come in until early June, or early July for those wrote in May. So we can't work in between any ways.
And there I was, went off with my classmates to eastern Europe, as it was foreign to almost all of us, a group of 6, and was relatively more student budget friendly. Three of us flew to London first, and the other three of us flew to Paris. We all had a blast before the real trip.
I was in the Paris group. My friends did most of the planning for Paris, almost army style, wrt to time. We did a lot of climbing in one day. Notre Dame in the morning, Luvre, Mesum de Rodin, and walked past Champ Alysee to watch sunset at arc de triumph. I was so glad of one of us was smart and got the museum pass from Notre Dame. But we were quite ambitious that day. When we were young!
We took a train and spent another day at Versailles, it was slow chilling. Well worth it after a busy day prior.
We came back to Paris to find ourselves walking through the art markets, and ended up biking with FatTires in Paris. Well worth the bike and cruise. We biked through Luvre, and the Seine. The short cruise was a bit of a buzz as they gave us wine too.
A nice suprise was that as we walked up to the mid part of the Eiffel tower after the tour, we bumped into our classmate from UWaterloo. Who would have thought?
Our last day was spent slow walking, chilling outside Sacre-Coeur, gazing out to the city roof tops, having some coffee, avoiding some aggressive street vendors, and getting in and out of Moulin Rouge district. It was quite a sight to see bus loads of people unloading and getting into the shows. I walked into a sex shop for the first time in my life. The ones in that district was almost like a small supermarket. Let's just say, they have everything.
We met up with the other girls at Berlin, did the contiki tour for our real trip with a lax schedule. Time flies when you are having fun with friends...The cities included, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, and Vienna. It wasn't too many cities that you can't recognize which is which from the photos. And it wasn't too little for our ambitious travel.
Berlin was memorable while it was the time of Euro cup final. Watching Spain Vs Germany with thousands of other German in Alexander platz is not one thing to miss. Okay, maybe we missed the last hour, as it was 1:0 for first half and most of second half. My friends and I decided to watch the rest of the game in our hotel room. And the results didn't change. Berlin went on as usual. And we too. Heading over to the Berlin wall. Reischstag, check point Charles, Brandenburg gate, and visiting a communist decorate bar was a bit subdue, with the local style of seeing something new still growing out of something old. It was good that there were still well preserved buildings from prior to the war.
Vienna is great. I don't normally buy souvenirs, but I did end up buying the Vienna boy's choir CD, although I fell asleep while we were listening to it in a prebooked castle. We had a dressed up day that day for the Schönbrunn Palace, well worth for the pictures. Downtown Vienna is great for walking. There are many souvenir shops. Ask for Mozart's balls when visit Vienna.
Prague, really, you cannot go to eastern Europe without visiting Prague! Any picture at the old town is post card worthy. You are an automatic amazing photographer when you cross the Charles bridge to the old town. The song Imagine by John Lenon was playing in the background when I biked with the group through the old town. I think we biked past the Lenon wall.
Budapest was pale in comparison to Prague. I really enjoyed the bath house there. The guards were friendly at the castle, picture friendly. I think the highlight there was that we found the church that has clothes made and donated by many churches to baby Jesus. (I am not religious, but I am not against my friends having a religion neither.)
Yan Ling Liang