After my weekend in Brussels, I had planned a trip to Dublin, Ireland for the following weekend. Some other students and I thought it would be a great idea to celebrate Unofficial in Ireland, and I had only heard great things about the country as well!
Dublin was a great city! It was extremely easy to navigate, and the food was great as well! One of my favorite parts of Dublin were the Ruin Bars. The Ruin Bars were in a lively party of the city which made the experience even more exhilarating. Also, the Guinness Beer was absolutely amazing!
The day after Unofficial, some of my friends and I decided to take a tour of the Guinness Brewery. This was a very similar experience to the tour I took of the Heineken Brewery. The major differences of the Guinness and Heineken Breweries were the beer (obviously) and at the top of the Guinness Brewery was a penthouse like room at the top of the Brewery. From this room, you were able to see all of Ireland in all directions. I thought the view was absolutely magnificent and the nice weather made the view even better.
The following day, I took a tour of the Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs were about a three hour bus ride away from Dublin, but the trip was well worth the commute. During the trip we stopped in multiple cities to see famous landmarks and to get food as well. The food I ate during the trip was incredible. The restaurant served us seafood chowder and pasta for a great price. I had never had any type of chowder, and after eating the soup all I want to eat is seafood chowder!
After we ate, we drove another hour to the Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs were beautiful, and I felt like I was in paradise. We stayed at the Cliffs for about 45 minutes and then went back to our hostel. The Cliffs of Moher are a must see if you even plan on traveling to Ireland.
The following week, some other UIUC students and I took a trip to Prague, Czech Republic. Prague has been my favorite city thus far! In Prague, my group and I toured the city, ate at the best restaurants in Prague, experienced the five story bar, and went to the highest point in the city.
My two favorite parts of this trip were the five story bar and the highest point in the city. I found the five story bar very appealing because each floor had a different theme, and the best part was the bottom floor. The bottom floor of this bar was an ice bar, and when I say ice bar I literally mean the bar was made out of ice. We were only able to stay in the bar for twenty minutes but it was well worth the experience. On the other hand, the highest point in the city was absolutely amazing. Once you reached the top, you were able to see an incredible view of Prague. This view of the city really made me appreciate the city. My group and I, spent a lot of time at the highest point in the city just taking in the view of the city for what it was. Prague, is a must see city in Europe, and I would definitely suggest it as place to study abroad besides Leuven!
The week after Prague, I decided to stay in Leuven to give myself a rest. However, my friends from U of I came to Leuven for a part of their Spring Break that Friday night, and we had an awesome time. I showed them the city, and we did all of the things any tourist needs to do if they visit Belgium. At night, we ate at one of the best restaurants in Leuven, and went to the Oude Markt later that night.
The next week, flew by fast and before I knew it, I was on a bus to Paris, France. The bus ride was about five hours long, but it went by quickly because the bus had Wi-Fi. Once I arrived in Paris, I met my friend at the bus stop who was studying there for the semester. We took the Metra to get to his dorm, where we met up with my friends visiting from U of I and his two other roommates who are also my good friends from home.
The first night, we visited the Eiffel Tower. We got to the tower right in time for the light show that goes on at the top of every hour. The light show was amazing, and it went on for about five minutes. Then we decided to take a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower, which was definitely worth it. The view from the top of the tower was absolutely incredible, and it was probably my favorite part of the trip. After our tour of the Eiffel Tower, we decided to head back to my friend’s dorm.
We woke up early the next morning and headed to the Louvre. Overall, I really enjoyed the Louvre. The artwork inside the Louvre was some of the best artwork I had ever seen, and the glass triangle was a really cool sight to see. Both the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre are must see attractions if you ever plan on visiting Paris.
My study abroad trip has been getting even better as the weeks go on. There is more to come in my next post!