Winter break: the Netherlands, Poland, and Germany

Coucou tout le monde !

So, hopefully my title will give you some indication as to why I haven’t written in a while. This trip lasted about two weeks, and I’ve been recovering since. As you know, I’ve been on break since about the 9th of December, and it’s just about to finish. Yes, you saw that correctly, I got over a month of break. (Just when I thought I couldn’t love France any more…)

 

 

23-27 November: The Netherlands

I left Paris around 14h25 and arrived to Rotterdam around 17h. I then took a train to Hoek Van Holland, where my cousin lives. It was a relaxing few days, and I enjoyed spending time with my family. We did Christmas Mexican-style, aka celebrating on Christmas Eve. On the 26th, my cousin and I went shopping in Rotterdam. On the 27th, I decided to spend the day in Delft before heading back to Paris for the night. Delft is where the famous Dutch Porcelain comes from. I went there in June 2011, but I didn’t remember it too well, so I decided to spend the day wandering around the town. It is just as, if not more, beautiful than it was when I saw it five and a half years ago. If you don’t believe me, see for yourself!

28-30 December: Warsaw and Gdańsk, Poland

I left for Warsaw to meet up with my dear friend, Amber, and her sister, Brandi. We didn’t do much that day, we just caught up with each other, ate a late lunch/early dinner, went to the Old Town Square and decided to hang out at our hostel’s common room. Our hostel, by the way, looked like it could be on a Pinterest board. The next day, we went exploring around the city and hit up all of the big areas of the city, stuffed our faces with pierogis, and went up to a viewing tower to get a nice view of the Stare Miasto (Old Town), pictured below. That night, we decided to book a last-minute day trip to Gdańsk, which is a port city on the Baltic coast. I think I can speak for my friends and I, but we definitely do not regret it! It was an absolutely beautiful place to visit. Again, we walked around (a great way to keep your travel expenditures at a minimum, by the way), ate some Polish food, shopped around, and headed back to Warsaw in the evening.

 

31 December 2016-2 January 2017: Berlin

Our original plan was to just to spend 10 days in Poland, but my friend Amber suggested that we spend New Years in Berlin, and I couldn’t say no. We took a super early bus from Warsaw and arrived in Berlin around 14h. By the time we got to our hostel, it was about 17h. Our chances at taking a nap were basically gone, and so we decided to get ready so that we could eat dinner and make it to the New Years party that we paid for ahead of time. We ended up making a detour to watch the fireworks at the Brandenburg Gate at midnight before going to our party, at Alte Münze. Anyways, we ended up out until 5h, so we basically slept all day and only explored a bit. We made up for it the next day, however, as we ran around and saw all of the sights in Berlin like: the Reichstag, the Memorial for the Murdered Jews, the Berliner Dom, the New Synagogue, and of course, the East Side Gallery. That night, we hopped on an overnight bus to Kraków.

3-7 January: Kraków and Warsaw (again)

We arrived to Kraków in the early morning, and boy, was it cold. It was even snowing! After sleeping for a bit, we headed out of our hostel to go to Wawel Castle. We ended up taking a carriage to the castle from the main square (we know, we fell into the tourist trap), and walked back to explore a bit. Afterwards, we decided to take it a bit easy, since we were going to be doing a lot the next day (also, it was kind of cold). The next day, we took a tour of the Salt Mines, which are about an hour away from Kraków. When we got back to the city, we went to Oskar Schindler’s Factory. Honestly, it was cool, but it was more of a museum, and we were expecting something a little different. The next day, we woke up early to head over to Auschwitz. We took a van, and arrived around 9h. The tour was six hours, and it was such a moving experience. The next day, I went back to Warsaw and checked out the Frédéric Chopin Museum. If you guys forgot/didn’t know, I grew up studying music, and so this museum was one of the highlights of my trip.

Before I knew it, I found my way back to the airport to catch a flight back to Paris, effectively ending my trip. Anyways, a big merci for getting through yet another long post! (I’ll try to be more succinct but those of you who know me in person know that I talk a lot)

Bisous,

Lisdye

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