As I watched the ground move further and further away, the phrase—Nervous but excited— could not have been more relevant. On one hand I was leaving the comforting familiarity of being surrounded by family, understanding the native language, and eating typical foods. But on the other, I was embarking on a trip that was any culture seeking, food loving, and fashion coveting girl’s dream.
This summer I participated in a 5-week study abroad program that allowed Wake Forest students to study while travelingall around Europe (Rome, Florence, Venice, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, Bruges, Paris, and Barcelona to be exact).
As I sift through pictures from those incredible 5 weeks I cant help but reminisce on days of picnicking along the Ponte Vecchio, and laugh at our attempts at carrying around overweight bags on trains and along cobblestone streets. Although I wish I could be looking out the plane window, watching the ground move away from me today, unfortunately the fall has come and my travels are behind me. However I will always have the pictures and memories that I made along the road, or railway, so keep reading to see some of the highlights and follow me along my journey… first stop Rome!
Make a wish! (Or at least take a picture pretending to throw a coin into the Trevi fountain) A must see for both its historical significance, and of course to make your 13 year old self proud by have your “Lizzie McGuire” moment
An amazing shoe store I found wandering the narrow streets, stumbling upon shops was one of my favorite things to do! You can also find beautiful walls and doors for photo-ops everywhere— keep your eyes peeled!
Mandatory picture in front of the Ponte Vecchio before having a picnic of fresh cheese, strawberries, and wine from a local market.
My favorite café in Florence—La Ménagère. It had the best pastries, décor, and its own flower shop… what more could you ask for?
After a quick snack from the coffee shop we ventured to the Boboli Gardens. The views overlooking the city were fantastic, and walking around the lush grounds with secluded tree covered pathways made me feel like I was walking through a real life secret garden.
Definitely one of the more touristy cities, but I couldn’t help myself from taking a cheesy picture on our gondola ride!
One of the most beautiful cities, filled with rose gardens, grandiose architecture, and of course… schnitzel
My Instagram caption for this picture, “you know you’re basic when the only thing you know about Budapest is the song” is embarrassingly true. But I’m so glad that I was able to experience the rich culture the city had the offer. As we walked through the castle district we saw multiple weddings, then went to the historic gellert baths, and ended up having an amazing dinner at a local restaurant that served meats and wine made at their family farm—talk about farm to table.
A city filled with colorful walls…
…Ice cream filled cinnamon sugar donuts…
Berlin is filled with amazing brunch spots! My favorites—house of small wonders—had the most amazing croissant French toast and the aesthetics were totally insta-worthy.
Art museums, Dutch pancakes, and bikes filled this amazing city that is definitely on my list of places I want to come back to!
After traveling through major cities, Bruges was a much-needed oasis from the hustle and bustle. The quaint city was one of my favorites specifically for the food. There were Belgium chocolate and waffle stores on almost every corner, oh and the buildings looked like gingerbread houses!
Even though this was my second trip to Paris I still didn’t feel like I had time to see and do everything, I guess I just have to come back! Some of the highlights from this trip: Monet Waterlilies, Ladurée Macaroons, and Love lock bridge!
Last stop… BarThelona! Oh My Gaudi! This city has it all, architecture, shopping, the beach, and amazing nightlife!
Thanks to the amazing Professors for guiding us through new cities, languages, and on and off trains! It was an unforgettable experience and definitely will be a summer that is hard to beat!