Four Cities, Ten Days

Submitted by Michelle Farhang

I am still reminding myself that Spring Break actually happened. I went to four cities in ten days and it felt like a dream. Since I hadn’t been outside the United States before coming to Italy, going to four different countries and traveling so much was so exciting! It was the adventure I sometimes forget about now that I feel like an actual citizen of Italy.

The Lennon Wall

Our first stop was to Prague, Czech Republic. My best friends from Chapman are studying there, so it was exciting to see them in the city that they’ve been living in. I left the tour group to spend the weekend with them and saw the non-touristy side of Prague, which was awesome. I had no idea Prague was going to be so gorgeous! Best of all, it was so cheap compared to the euro. We walked up to the church that had a beautiful view of Prague and took a boat tour through the city. It was an amazing weekend!

The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin

The second stop was Berlin, Germany. To be honest, I was not looking forward to Berlin as much as the other cities. I imagined it to be gloomy and depressing. It ended up being so interesting. We went on a tour that was over three hours long but I found myself glued to every word the tour guide was saying. The history in Berlin is so recent that it is much more shocking and fascinating than a lot of the other histories we hear about around Europe. We learned so much in Berlin and I think it was a really important piece of our Spring Break.

Beautiful Amsterdam!

After Germany, we headed to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Again, I was completely shocked about how beautiful the city was. All I had heard about the city was how liberal and exciting it is. Of all the cities, I think I found Amsterdam the most beautiful visually. We went on another great tour and got to explore things I would never have imagined I would see, like the red light district and coffee shops. It was so interesting to experience such a different culture.

View of the city

Paris, France was the final stop of Spring Break, and before getting there, I was not exactly sure of what to expect. It seems like people always talk about two things: how romantic Paris is, and how much the French hate Americans. I was worried that it would be tacky or touristy just because of how much hype Paris gets, or that everyone I tried to talk to would be angry with me. Paris, much like the other cities, was nothing like what I expected. It was even more gorgeous than people described and everyone there was so friendly. The city was the most diverse place I’ve seen in Europe which was awesome and the bread was the best I’ve had. We took a boat tour to all of the sites, like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame. We also climbed up to a top hill where we had a view of the entire city for sunset. There was even a small band singing while everyone laid out on the hill. It is a memory I will never forget.

On top of the hill watching the sunset in Paris

The entire Spring Break trip was so unbelievable that it is hard to believe it really happened. We also really lucked out with the weather in every city. Prague was so freezing in the beginning of the year that my friends couldn’t even leave the house, and when we got there I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt. The trip was so amazing and made me want to travel even more, so I came home to Florence and booked a few more trips to come for the semester! I will blog about those soon! 🙂

A couple more pics from the trip:

On the left is the smallest house in Amsterdam! (the red one!)

A memorial for the thousands of books that were thrown out of the university windows and burned in support of the Nazi movement. The bookshelves are inaccessible and empty, but would be able to hold the number of books burned that day.