So here is my story, I was part of a group of students that was given a chance by “YIHR” to travel and meet new people around Europe for a month. We flew from Pristina and the Kick off was in Berlin, since we landed we were excited, happy, and amazed, a city of 3.3 million people could be covered in cement, but Berlin is one of the greenest cities I have ever visited, we arrived in the hostel at late afternoon we joined other groups from Balkan (Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia,) the first night everyone was a little bit tired we just walked around hostel found something to eat and we went back to hostel to rest, in the morning of the second day we got together with all the students from Balkan in a place called ZK/U which was shortcut for Center for Art and Urbanistics, there we were hosted by coordinators from Bosch-Stiftung and Balkan trust for democracy they gave us a introduce about travel to Europe program and started with some games to help us socialize with each other. We started to discuss about places in Berlin and for our plans after Berlin, in the evening of that night we went to drink in a park with other neighbor students where we talked about our home cities our politics and the interesting thing was that almost all of us had the same likes and dislikes for our governments. In the following day we were separated in groups and accompanied by local hero’s (Voluntary students of Berlin) we had the chance to see Berlin in a different way in closer look our local hero approved us that Berlin is really a green city by letting us know that every tree in berlin has a number, so people know that someone cares for them, in short words Berlin gave me a feeling that is a powerful historical place that cares about life and nature, other places that we visited during our stay in Berlin was Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag building, Berlin Victory Column, Berlin Cathedral, Charlottenburg palace etc. Next morning we checked out from the hostel everyone has already formed a group that has same ideas about travelling interests.
The program gave us interrail tickets with one month availability and after experiencing the travel with train I can say that is the best way to travel around Europe. I was together with Albulena and Kremtim two students from my city that in the following days we shared everything together, our first Destination was Groningen a place in the north of Netherland we picked this place by coincidence but we never thought that we gone love it so much it was a really beautiful city known for his university’s and it was populated by youth and friendly students from all over Europe very polite and helpful people. The generosity of this place the culture, beauties and everything else left us speechless, because it was a place that we never heard before. After a day in Groningen we went to a town Zuidhorn there we used a cousin’s house to stay for some days, we met local people that they were interested about our country and our trip they even shared with us some of their experiences and gave us tips for different places, our next destination was Amsterdam, it was 2 hours with train from our house 2 hours in train it’s like nothing because time goes so fast and you see many interesting things on the way, look at this look at that and we just saw ourselves in Amsterdam one of the best touristic places in Europe, I have heard that Netherland use bikes to much I even saw a lot of them in Groningen but the view when you get out of the Amsterdam Station is jaw-dropping seriously it’s crazy the amount of bikes that you see parked and on the road is unimaginable, even though everyone uses bikes to visit Amsterdam we didn’t, we walked around for 6-7 hours without knowing until we went in to a store nearby with the Van Gogh Museum we bought something to eat and when we sat down in the park and enjoyed the late afternoon in Amsterdam we saw how much we have walked, and still we had to walk back to the train station for at least 1 hour, anyway somehow tired and laughing with ourselves how much we walked we managed to get the train to get us back to Groningen then to Zuidhorn but on the way back we decided that we want to walk a little bit more because a guy in the train told us that in that day in Groningen is a party of students to celebrate the end of the student year and we thought that it’s a good idea to see Groningen at night, actually it was Groningen it was full of students partying in every corner and we went in to a pub drink couple of beers and enjoyed the evening but we forgot about the train and when we went to the train station everything was closed, after couple of hours trying to manage somehow to go to zuidhorn because we didn’t even have our sleeping bags with us and it was a little bit cold we tried to hitchhike but no success when we gave up from every chance that someone will pick us up we took a taxi around 3 am and took us home.
On the next days we were still in Holland our next destination was Brussels we packed everything took some food with us and we were ready for our next destination on the way to Brussels we decided to visit Utrecht and Rotterdam, Utrecht was a city that was built around the Dom Tower which you could see from any point of the city, also it was car-free city center the boats and the restaurants in the canal made it even more beautiful it was an old Christian city but with really modernized people, Rotterdam was a little bit more different from what we saw during our stay in Holland it was more modernized almost in everything starting from the train station and its architecture the views the buildings the people everything was much more different than the north of Holland, while we were walking in Rotterdam my friends interrail ticket accidentally dropped from his pocket and we didn’t even noticed that but lucky for us a few steps back it was a nice lady that took the ticket and gave it back to us otherwise things would get complicated so a tip if you’re travelling with interrail make sure you have it always with you, anyway from Rotterdam we went to Brussels we didn’t book anything and we were going to sleep outside after discussing we decided that we are not going to sleep outside in Brussels because it was too crowded that night was a Beyoncé concert so we took a train to Bruges we arrived in Bruges in midnight and we took out our sleeping bags in the first park that we saw outside the train station it wasn’t a five star sleep but it was actually pretty good for our first sleep out in Europe.
We woke up early packed and started walking it was so early that everything was still closed and there was no people in the streets walking down to center we met some Montenegro students from our program we had some chit chat and continued the city was so old and beautiful in some places it even looks like some game of thrones scene, Bruges was a place that you have to visit it has so much culture and ancient in it that makes it really beautiful. From Bruges we went back to Brussels we started with some waffles to boost up and then started discovering the city, after the attractions of Brussels and Bruges or Belgium beauties our next stop was Trier a small German city in the border with Luxembourg we decided to stay there as breaking point before Paris we found housing at a Student that was relative of us from Kosovo, She introduce us with her friends and we spend a night with German students, Trier was a small city but lovely it was build up in early ages of ancient Rome and still was evolved in the breath of the ancient, a city that was known for its wine but was famous for their University. From Trier we went to Paris 10 hours by train we arrived around 10:30 pm same like in Brussels we didn’t book anything in Paris, when we got out of the Train station we were in the north of Paris a neighborhood which I didn’t look much safe to us to sleep outside so we decided to walk to the center of Paris and after almost couple of hours walking in the roads and neighborhoods of Paris we arrived at the Eiffel Tower, We were so exited even that it was late and we were tired still we enjoyed the views of Paris that night, after spending that night next to the Eiffel Tower we started from there and then visited places like Louvre which was amazing, Arc de Triomphe ,Les Invalides, Montmartre and other beautiful sightseeing’s of Paris.
After Paris we were going to split with my friends and we all had different destinations my next one was Frankfurt a powerful economic city that is expected to get the spot that London left, but beside to many banks and corporate’s and suit and tie people Frankfurt left me speechless with it nightlife which was simply crazy and amazing, and to end my story I would say that every travel is a new life, in the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take.