Spring Break was an exhausting, but amazing experience. Three friends and I spent 10 days traveling through Central Europe via the train (and one accidental bus). As a rough layout we began our trip in Berlin, Germany, then took a train to Dresden, then to Prague, Czech Republic, then to Munich, Germany, then to Salzburg, Austria, and finally finished our trip in Budapest, Hungary. Needless to say city hopping was tiring and I’m glad to be back in London, but I wouldn’t trade the experiences I had for the world.
The first part of our trip started on a low note as we missed our flight from London to Berlin. We thought we left with plenty of time, but the bus proved to be slower than we expected. We were told it takes about an hour and forty minutes to get to London Stansted… It took us three. As we sat in the bus in the London Friday evening rush hour traffic, sweating, we heard the bus driver talking to the passenger behind him “People read that the bus only takes an hour and a half so they base their travels on that. Then they get upset when traffic is worse and it takes longer.” Whoops. Once we got off the bus we sprinted through the airport and through security. Taking the tram to our gate really killed our flow, and when we sprinted up to the desk the lady there informed us that our gate was closed. We begged her to let us on, but to no avail. The most frustrating part of it was the fact that we literally sat at the gate and watched people boarding the plane. After sitting there, we watched the plane start to taxi… it was leaving 20 minutes later than scheduled.
So began our 12 hour night in Stansted. We bought flights for the next morning (luckily they weren’t as expensive as they could have been) and settled in to wait. We got food and wasted time until around 1 am when we crashed on the floor with about 40 other people. Around 3 am a security guard came around and started waking us up to go through security (which we couldn’t even go through until 4 am after getting our boarding passes stamped by the Ryan Air desk.
After making it through security we ate again and then found a bench to sleep on. About an hour before our gate opened we were awakened by another security guard who woke us up and made us move. I literally slept the entire flight (I was jolted awake by the landing, which is not the most pleasant way to be woken up). Finally we were in Berlin and had four hours to see the city.
We walked around and saw things like the Brandenburg Gate, the site of Hitler’s bunker, the Berlin Wall, the Gestapo Headquarters, the Holocaust Memorial, and Checkpoint Charlie. Berlin was a strange city because it seemed so empty. I’m not sure if it was just the time we were there or what, but there were barely any cars on the street. The city was also extremely spaced out, which was very different from what I’m used to.
From Berlin we took a train to Dresden where we immediately had to find our hotel to check in. It was pretty cool because we stayed on a boat, so it was worth the bit of a walk out of the main part of the city. We drank beer and ate goulash and then I went straight to bed. It had been over 24 hours since I had laid in a bed so I was very excited.
The next day we found a place to eat, explored the city, and eventually just played at a park. We were looking for these famous gardens, but instead got sidetracked and probably had more fun than we would have at the gardens. From Dresden we took a train to Prague, which is so special it deserves it’s own blog post.