I am so ready to go on another adventure. Traveling is addictive. I want to see more, learn more, and experience more of what the World has to offer. There is so much out there most people will never experience and it is a shame.
..which is about to become as literal as that possibly can because in 5 hours I am going to be hopping on the bus to Madrid. This short (when I say short I mean comparatively) trip will take about 5 or 6 hours and then it is to the airport. My flight is at 10:45 and we’ll be getting to Madrid around 6am. Now that I am a pro at spending time in airports - refer back to my first posts of the journey - this should be nothing. I would love to tally up the hours that I am going to be traveling tonight/tomorrow but I just can’t tackle this because of the time change.. too much thought.
I don’t really know what to expect coming home. As of right now, I am so ready to be back in my normal swing and finally reunite with my family and friends. On the other hand, I am going to be leaving some really good friends I have made here and leaving the culture that I have come to love behind. Who knows if I will ever come back to Spain.. It’s a really sad thought that I may never see the place I just spent 3 months living in again. Studying abroad has been such a fulfilling, life-changing experience and I am so blessed to have been able to come to Spain. Without the support of my parents it never would have happened.
In Nebraska, I would never have the opportunity to live on the ocean, near beaches, or in the mountains - let alone all of them at once. Santander is a truly unique place in Spain and it has been a pleasure. Where else could I go hiking on a daily basis, whether I wanted to or not (again, the hills are insane you wouldn’t even believe it). Some of my favorite memories of all weren’t, however, walking along the beach or trekking the cliffs that overlook the ocean. My favorite memories come from the people I have met here and laughing with them until I cried. The tears may be of a different origin tomorrow, but I know I will see them again.
Last night we went out together and it was the perfect way to wrap up our time together. I had so much fun and it just made me realize how much I really am going to miss Spain and my new friends. However, I have a lot to look forward to in the US so I am more than ready to touch down at Eppley Airfield at 10:30pm tomorrow. See you then, Nebraska.
Going to miss you, Santander. I’ve left a little something behind so if I ever come back, I can remember that this place has a little part of me. I will be a part of Santander forever.
This is actually the first time I have seen an aerial photo of the entire city of Santander. It is so gorgeous, I can’t believe I am leaving this in 6 days to go back to the snow covered grounds in Nebraska.
This definitely changed my perceptions of this beautiful city. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Paris, but the second time around I realized that it is a great place. Since Vanessa was a first timer, we did all the norms of tourist-hood. The first thing we tackled was a 3 hour walking with the company New Europe Tours, it was fantastic. I would highly recommend these tours to anyone! They run in 14 cities throughout Europe and are actually free, only on a tip basis - meaning they have to be amazing for the guides to get paid!
On the sights list: Notre Dame, The Latin Quarter, the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, and many more.
After the tour we strolled through the Christmas Market which spanned all the way down Champs-Élysées and led us right to the Arc de Triomphe. After a long day, we headed back to our hostel via metro - so much easier the second time after you already know the basics, I felt like a pro. Since I had already been there it made for a pretty flawless time, no travel issues and everything was good.. our only issue we encountered was finding the Roissy Bus to take us to Charles de Gaulle airport for our departure to Prague. After a little get lost, I admit it, we asked the most reliable sources… no, not the information desk, fellow travelers. Rule of thumb - ask those with suitcases. They are probably in the same boat.
We landed in Prague and caught a bus to the nearest metro station. After quite the troubles buying a ticket, we took the metro to the center and found our hostel pretty easily. Of course we were on the top floor, a reoccurring trend this trip, and it was actually the nicest room in a hostel that I have stayed in so far. That night we went out with Jill’s friend and went to the Beer Museum, which was ironically a bar and had a beer (well, everyone but I did because I hate the stuff).
The next morning we woke up and went for our second New Europe Tour, not as good as Paris but it was still good. We saw Old Town Square, the Astronomical Clock, the Powder Tour, Wenceslas Square, Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, along with some other churches, museums, statues, and theaters. I liked Prague but it was extremely touristy in the center, which can be expected but it was over the top for how small the area is. Strange coming out of the mouth of a tourist but there was just so many people flashing their cameras and looking desperate for some real action. It was a really laid back town and I feel like if it hadn’t been Christmas time it almost wouldn’t have been worth going. There wasn’t much to do and we were lacking entertainment because we had seen all the important landmarks after the first day…we were only there for two. Prague can definitely be made into a day trip - I think at least.
Currency: The Czech Crown, making you seemingly rich since 1993. The bills go from 100-2,000 and they have coins for 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, & 50. It was pretty hard to get used to since we were now accustomed to the euro, but everything was really cheap in Czech Republic. A meal would cost a little over 100 Crown, but 1 Euro=24 Crown so you can see the fluctuation here, a meal cost around 5 euros which is crazy cheap! Considering this is the point I discovered that my bank had put a PIN on my only credit card without telling me, I was really happy nothing was expensive.
Prague, Czech Republic