Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Vienna, Munich, Paris, Barcelona.


Two weeks sure does fly by. Not sure where to start. I finished school on the 22nd, took a train to Austria on the 23rd, spent 3 nights and
Christmas with a couchsurfer in Vienna, train to Munich on the 26th, hostel for three nights then flew to Paris with Nakhon crew in an Airbnb, flew to Barcelona where I met up with Jack in a hostel for a few nights now back in Warsaw. Let’s get to it.


Do you know why there is an enormous amount hype to see the Eiffel tower?  Because it’s breathtakingly unreal. I couldn’t build a tree house so I found it extra impressive. My expectations for the trip were low because that’s where all of our expectations should be but lowest for Paris because I was most excited to see my friends and haven’t heard great things about the French. Do you know what is convenient? Speaking the language of the country you are in. You come here for the hard hitting advice and you get it.


I find the French language quite lovely after having a 10+ year break from it and French people were quite kind. Now being totally upfront, a reason I may love the French is because on New Year’s people would just come up to me and tell me I’m handsome and give me drink tickets but I’m trying for that not to completely cloud my judgement. French food is quite good, Paris has tons to see and beautiful buildings. Metro is a little tough to navigate and humongous but after a few days started to get it. These are some of the things I saw:









Baguettes and coffee shops every 8 steps. Homelessness seems to be an issue and a big police presence throughout the city. French music? Incroyable!!!!

 

May be a tad on the expensive side but luckily I have a job. (As I’m writing this, I’m on a full train going from Barcelona city to their airport and a man has a stereo and a saxophone that is getting the people going. They do this on the metro and it’s not all bad)

Vienna? Gorgeous. Christmas is apparently a great time to go and see markets, the lights and horses. There wasn’t any snow so it lacked a certain Christmas feel to it but I’m glad I went. You aren’t missing out by never going to Vienna but there is tons of art, outstanding buildings, opera and high end shopping. Here are some of the things I saw:

 








Munich? Beer, beer and more beer. Went on a beer hall tour the last night I was there and it was the highlight of my trip in Munich. I made like 6 friends! 6! Without even trying even a little bit so I had people to chill with my entire time there. Train stations sure bring out the shadiness of a city. Once outside of the train deception area, you are home free. German people are smart, know tons of languages and are just down right efficient. I would say I prefer Munich to Berlin but Germany is a safe choice if you wanted to move or explore Europe. Here are some of the things I saw:






Barcelona? Dream Team? 1992? Olympics? Hercules? Unnecessary question marks??? Yes to all of those! Great waterfront, perfect weather, rich history and a party every night if you are down. Hype is real for Spain. Lots of parks, surfing, tapas, motorbikes and Spanish people. Took a walking tour with our main man A. J and he made learning fun! Quick story. George Orwell fought in the Spanish Civil War. He did not use that name because he made it up to sell books. His real name is Eric Blair. I spent my time in Barcelona with Jack and he’s much smarter and a better human than myself. Orwell is his favourite author and has read all of this books. So the guide asks who has read 1984. People lift up their hand. Then asks who has read Animal Farm. Less people lift up their hands. Finally asks who has read Homage to Catalonia, nobody lifts up their hands but Jack had read it but didn’t want to show off how well read he was. Complete opposite of yours truly. While he’s talking about Homage to Catalonia, he mentions Orwell isn’t his original name. I ask Jack what it is. AJ asks the group if anyone knows his original name. I shout Eric Blair! Everyone is super impressed. Except for Jack because he has realized he has a friend who is only into walking tours for the 5 seconds of glory. Sorry Jack.


Have three weeks of work then another 2 week break in February so I will be returning to Toronto on January 31st, hopefully an Ottawa trip then back to Warsaw on the 13th of February. I have another post lined up detailing all of the mistakes I made on this trip and will have another one about resolutions for the New Year. Hope your 2016 is off to a tremendous start and if you live in or around Toronto, let’s make a plan.

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Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. – Ernest Hemingway


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