Before Prague, I was in Baden Baden. I took a train to Nuremberg, Germany, where Mom and I discovered a Dunkin’ Donuts in the train station and proceeded to rejoice at the sugary goodness there. Then, we hopped on a 3 hour bus to Prague. This was the absolute most luxurious bus ride I have ever taken; a two story bus, with a bathroom, air conditioning, high speed wifi, wide seats, a luggage compartment, and drink and food options. You could literally push a button above you, and a bus stewardess (complete with classy stewardess outfit) would magically appear, take your order, and bring you wine (or anything else you ordered, but let’s be real, you want the wine). You could then sip wine while you streamed Netflix until you arrived in Prague. Best arrival ever!
Prague is chock-full of historical landmarks, and I only had two days there; in an attempt to see it all, I signed up for a walking tour. I failed to realize it was a six hour hour walking tour, from 11am until 5pm. This included a cruise along the river and a late lunch in an original medieval restaurant. In retrospect, 6 hours is way too long to hold my attention. Luckily, the next day in Prague I had time to enjoy the city at my own pace. There are a few highlights I gathered from my trip that are definitely must sees and dos!
1. Charles Bridge (at night)
This bridge is lovely during the day, but it’s a true star at night. Lights from the town and passing boats illuminate the arches of the bridge, creating a truly lovely view.
Budapest has quickly become a top backpacker destination in Europe, and it’s not hard to see why. The dollar and euro are super strong there ($1 is about 279 Hungarian forint), it’s filled with lush green spaces, the weather is lovely and perfect for walking everywhere, the buildings are vibrant, and there’s plenty to do!
I was lucky enough to have three nights here (usually I have 1-2 nights per city), so I was able to really explore the city. First and foremost, for a visit during the summer, you absolutely must visit one of the Budapest baths. Personally, I’m partial to the Szechenyi Baths.
The past six months have been all about pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and I would consider myself successful in that. However, a few weeks ago, I pushed myself out of the comfort zone outside my comfort zone, into a whole new zone that I’ve labeled “just let it happen.”
Surprisingly (or maybe not), I absolutely love this new zone.
Baden Baden is a resort town, filled with public fountains, luscious window boxes and greenery, biergartens, a close proximity to the Black Forest, and Roman-Irish Baths.
Venice, Italy was the last hurrah for my Mom and I’s journey for the summer. Here, my mom would depart on a 48-hour journey to arrive home, flying from Venice to Brussels, to Geneva, to Philadelphia, to Dallas. I would say my sad “ciao ciao” and fly on to Barcelona. Before this, however, we gave it our all in Venice. Always go out with a bang!
In Venice, because canals are the main method of public transportation, we took primarily waterbuses. These are slow-moving boats that ferry massive loads of people around the canals and to the lagoon islands. It might be tempting to grab a seat as soon as you get on, but the seated area is usually hot and stuffy; I’d recommend staying on the deck and looking at the scenery instead, where you can feel a lovely breeze to battle the intense summer heat.