Rupa, Carol and I all scrambled to get ready in our tight quarters, and then made our way out of the madness of disembarking. As soon as we stepped outside, we noticed how distinctly cold it was compared to our previous destinations. As Rupa put it, it was cold as balls.
After eating a delicious, healthy and free breakfast at the hostel, Carol and I decided to go check out Sankt Jørgens Sø, a series of human-made rectangular lakes marking the western edge of the city. There were countless runners out and about, as well as families going for strolls with children, making it a quintessential fall Sunday morning in a beautiful European city. Soon we decided to grab some coffee and sit outside of the cafe people watching and absorbing the culture of Copenhagen, which included lost of talented and creative street performers.
Budapest captured my heart. I don't know if it was the rich history, incredible architecture, vibrant (but not overwhelming) night life, the breathtaking way the city lights up when the sun goes down, or perhaps just having two amazing Couchsurfing hosts who made me feel welcomed and shared their own love of the city with me, but something just drew me to the city in a magical way.
My first stop this morning was Slovín, a war memorial and military cemetery. The closest transportation stop is about 10-15 minutes walking from the memorial, and most of that is stairs. I was so grateful that, thanks to on and off rain, it finally cooled off a bit and I managed to make it to the top without being drenched in sweat.
After months of planning and anticipation, the time has finally come to begin my year of travel. And it didn't get off to the smoothest start, buy hey that's part of travel.
A few days ago Erin and I decided we wanted to do a day trip to Pisa from Florence. When we asked the staff at the hostel about it, they said we really only needed a half a day, as the train ride was just over an hour and there wasn’t much to see in Pisa aside from the tower and the other sites in that square. Taking his advice, we decided to do the Uffizi Gallery in the morning then head to Pisa with two and a half hours to spend there.
When I was in 7th grade I read Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. If you aren’t familiar with the book, it’s basically about the Illuminati, Vatican City, CERN, and anti-matter. I loved the book so much that it briefly inspired my future career goals (nuclear physicist), though they have since changed dramatically. It also began a fascination with the Vatican City: the world’s smallest country and the heart of Catholicism. Today I finally got to see it first-hand.