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Published: August 17th 2011
It's true, all good things must come to an end. That, however, does not mean better things do not arise.
It's August 17, 2011, almost 3 months to the date that I left on this crazy trip of mine, and I am going to board a plane home tomorrow morning. I am south of Amsterdam in a more rural town - staying with friends of Mike Zwicker (Dad's military days).
After two nights spent in Amsterdam, I am more than thrilled to have spent last night in a comfortable, smoke-free room with peace and quiet. Amsterdam, without a doubt, lived up to its name. A name I thought I wanted to explore longer, but was so ready to get the heck out of there! It's funny the things I have learned about myself on this trip.
Before Amsterdam, I was more or less on a traveling roller coaster, tearing up Eastern Europe fairly quickly:
Salzburg-->Vienna-->Budapest-->Krakow-->Prague-->Berlin-->Amsterdam....all of which I spent two nights exploring and trying to soak up as much culture as possible.
Budapest was as far east as I got on this trip and it definitely carried some eastern European feel to it. Much cheaper, less
English speaking, less built up, but still very nice. I am glad I checked it out.
From Krakow, I took a day trip to Auschwitz. There isn't much I can say about that trip. I don't think it's possible to wrap your head around what people went through during those years. Even when walking through the gas chambers or seeing the "Death Wall" (no explanation needed), the magnitude of what really what on there during daily life could never be felt in my opinion. It was interesting to say the least.
Prague. Very beautiful. Great lay out of the town - old city mixed with modern shops and buildings. It had a unique vibe, nestled beside its rolling hills. I met up with Emily, my neighbour from first year university, who I accidentally bumped into in Vienna. We made plans to meet up in Berlin, where we managed to create one of my favourite memories of the trip!
The memory being: The Beer Bike! The beer bike is exactly what it sounds like. This bike can sit 16 people. Seven people sit lined on one side of the bar and seven others sit across facing them. One
person is the bartender and one lonely person sits in the back. Basically, the 14 people sitting facing each other, pedal to propel the large vessel. The tour guide is the sober driver. With music blaring, beer flowing from the 20L tap and 14 other strangers Emily and I recruited, we probably made over 1000 tourist photos that day! Great time.
And now, here I am, going to fly home tomorrow morning. I am looking forward to it. This trip has been amazing, something new at every corner. The ups and downs, the unexpected and everything in between - it's been an experience I am grateful for and will always have.
For all the people I have met along the way, the support from home, places I have been and things I have done, Europe has been a chapter in my life that I plan to use to write the rest.
Love always, a town...peace out.
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