Thursday, April 26, 2018

I came back home with a backpack full of experiences

999 October 28, 2015

This year I was lucky and privileged to travel to Europe. It all started with a last minute call from YIHR that told me I was accepted among 15 other senior students to travel to Europe. Flattered as I was, I still wasn’t aware of the great days I was about to experience in the future coming days of this summer.
The scholarship I was selected for consisted of a one month interrail pass and a one way flight ticket to Berlin. There we would hold seminars with other students from Balkan for three days. Together with the other accepted senior students, we started having meetings together and searching for cheap hostels for our next destinations. The fun had already started while still at home, and we started to feel the scent of the adventure waiting for us.
The departure day came in a blink of an eye, and we arrived in Berlin. There, among other young students from Balkans, I had the privilege of experiencing Berlin tour from a unique perspective! An amazing, inspiring ex homeless and alcoholic man showed us the outdoor places he used to live, how he slept in the streets, the cold winters he experienced, and the wise strategies he used to manage to earn money legally for eight years! All of this happening right beside most of the touristic monuments! It inspired me beyond words!
After Berlin, we left to Netherlands and visited Harderwijk, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam. These places were so awe-inspiring with their beautiful nature and unique architecture. Meanwhile, we had already started to become better in the sense of communicating with each other and foreigners, orientating ourselves with city maps, and managing time and money. Our next destination was Belgium. We travelled to Bruges only to be amazed by its fairytale like architecture. From a luxurious villa in Netherlands, we switched to our sleeping bags in the train station. It was really fun. The next country waiting for us was France, the beautiful Paris. We found a hostel 10 min. near the museum of Louvre, and spent our two days exploring the city and its beautiful monuments including the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and Eiffel Tower.
Amazed with the dynamism of Paris, we left for the exotic Italy. After changing a lot of trains, and spending so many hours in them, we finally arrived in the old Rome. It was one of the hottest days I’ve ever experienced, but still we were so thirsty to explore the famous city and its monuments. After visiting Vatican, we took a touristic bus that made it much easier for us and stopped at the ancient Colosseum. Anyway, I wouldn’t leave Italy without going to Venice. And I was right. It was just as I’d imagined it, only more beautiful. The colorful buildings and the beautiful canals made it so unique and romantic.
Vienna was the city where we headed next. A well-organized, modern, but different city from Venice. I was thinking all the time how diverse Europe is, and how much I had been exposed to for a relatively short time. We stood there for two days, and travelled to the famous Prague. I would call it the city of the young people. I had a blast there. An old city with so many young people and dynamism. This city had all the right ingredients for being awesome.
The great three days spent in Prague were over soon, and also the Eurotrip. With beautiful memories, new friendships and our backpacks in our backs, we came back to our homes to be enriched with an amazing lifetime experience that I’ll never forget!

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