I had never been to Europe, let alone backpack in Europe before, and was ecstatic at the opportunity to travel for two straight weeks. I was supposed to fly out of Brussels National Airport to Milan on March 25th, but the airport was unfortunately bombed by terrorists three days before. The airport was closed, but we, and the airport staff, were optimistic that the airport would be open for our flight. About a day before our flight, we decided to book a ticket out of Paris instead. We had a few hours to kill in Paris, which we spent meeting with a friend and roaming the streets of Paris This improvised plan would foreshadow our actions during the rest of our holiday.
My friend and I picked out cities to travel to, but our itinerary there was not yet set. We had already bought tickets and Airbnb’s in cities around Italy, Greece and Hungary. We had three days in Rome, but saw everything we wanted to in only two days. On our second night, we spontaneously bought train tickets to Naples and Pompei for our last day in Italy. We took an early train to discover the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii and the beautiful coast of Naples. While I enjoyed every second of the excursion, I do wish I had more time to explore more of both cities.
In Greece, there were two locations that we were to with very little planning. While in Athens, we decided to travel to Souniun, Greece, where Poseidon’s Temple is located. The temple was beautiful and offered spectacular views of the sea. Our second expedition led us to Lindos on the island of Rhodes. While here, we saw the Acropolis, relaxed at the beach and walked around Lindos’s white colored buildings.
In Hungary, we stayed in Budapest for almost four days. Here, we traveled to Vienna, Austria, a two hour train ride from Budapest. Vienna is known for its famous composers and orchestras. It was interesting to see Vienna’s musical culture and way of life during the 12 hours I was there. Plus, I was able to add another name to the list of countries I have visited.
One thing I learned from my spring break is that spontaneity can lead to fun adventures as well.