are you there, london? it’s me, kate.

from ct to london

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SOMETIME between the point when I got home from Europe and now I had a startling realization: I missed abroad, I didn’t miss abroad. The source of my internal conflict is, I imagine, all part of the post-abroad grieving process, a loneliness that can only be defined by the urge to drink tea at 2 PM and to fix this common cultural error: Watch *Mind the Gap.”

And while my longing for London haunts me like last night’s Domino’s, I can’t help but learn to appreciate a city of twice its capacity and twice its height – New York.

Growing up, I breathed the stench of the City as often as I could, visiting the Natural History Museum dozens of times. The first week of my trip abroad, I visited London’s rendition of the Museum of Science and immediately felt a pang of nostalgia for the quite frankly better version of the museum.

People who have been to New York but not London commonly blend the cities together in a sort of Royal-Anglo-Saxons-meet-WASPs-of-Wallstreet-mush. Yet London is to New York as Harrods is to pickles. I use this analogy only to accentuate what each city is lacking – London, good pickles and New York, a good Harrods.

And so, as a result, I miss London, I don’t miss London. And I certainly missed out on a few things as a result of being in London and not being in London.

Things I miss:

  • Eating ice cream three times daily
  • “This is the train to Cockfosters” and other British sayings
  • Tasting Tuesdays at Whole Foods South Ken
  • Pretending to care
  • Queuing, generally
  • Gordon’s Wine Bar, more generally
  • Eurotrash clubs

Things I don’t miss: 

  • Asking for “less ice” in lieu of “light ice” at Starbucks
  • Pretending to calculate the exchange rate
  • Lugging 70 pounds of luggage across the continent
  • Eurotrash clubs

Things I missed out on:

Important things, like: 

  • The Apple Watch
  • The Election
  • Syria

And more important things, like: 

  • Caitlyn Jenner’s interview
  • The season premiere of Game of Thrones at the Tower of London
  • The royal baby’s birth, which is rude of Kate
  • Various Snapchat updates that I don’t understand

And so, my summer shuttling from CT to NY to CT begins. While London has my heart, my soul, and my stomach, I will always have my roots on the other side of the pond.

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camperplatz was the best wurst decision we’ve ever made: part 1

from ct to munich
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Surprise!

 

YES, the rumors are true: Emmy and I just returned from prancing across Europe in search of ourselves, the best ice cream cone, and the perfect Instagram.

Our first stop was a grassy, wooded space known as Munich, Germany. But before I tap into the very gritty details of our sleeping accommodations, let me explain.

About a month or two ago when we were planning our post abroad depression trip, Emmy somehow convinced me to book a tent in the German wilderness for three nights. Luckily, we’d be conveniently shuttled to and from Springfest, basically the Oktoberfest of spring, so basically an excuse to drink four liters of beer in one sitting, so basically Super Saturday with pretzels (Frat stars take note). Read on for the result. 

Day 1: Being crünchy in München.

When we arrived at Camperplatz, we were stoked – literally – to sleep in what we thought would be a spacious two person tent. I had trained long and hard for this moment in my life by 1) Reading about recent bear activity in Camperplatz, 2) Expressing my inner anxieties to every human I came in contact with, including the postal worker on Gloucester Road and 3) How to melt Crocs into soup. This can be done in dire situations. But I digress.

Things were looking up that Saturday morning: There were indoor bathrooms! Breakfast and dinner were included! There was unlimited sangria and beer! 

But all was not what it seemed as we lugged not one but three overweight suitcases across muddy, graveled Camperplatz.

To this day, I’m not sure what were were expecting, but this was definitely not it:

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This is depiction is 1000% accurate.

 

“Oh no,” we said in unison as we looked back and forth between our 300 pound baggage and our 300 pound selves, “this will not do.”

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And so, as we attempted and failed to lift the first bag inside our squalid space smelling of stale urine and broken dreams, we immediately did what any logical person would do: Consult Expedia.

We’d seen the commercials, we’d heard the catchy tune, so we thought we’d give it a shot. Soon enough, we were booking the finest 40 Euro double room in all of Munich, conveniently located near the festival.

Problem averted? Not so fast. After a brief moment of panic, we realized we should stick out the campgrounds for the night. After all, the sangria was free, the lederhosen were plenty, and everyone had Australian accents.

By 3 PM we’d somehow made it to the Birkenstock store in Marienplatz with bratwurst and schnitzel in our hands. Yes, Germany was already looking groovy (from the bottom of a pint glass).

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Holy Schnitzel.

 

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Holy Pretzel.

IT RAINED THAT NIGHT. And by rained I mean there was a monsoon. The tent covering the outdoor grill and dining area leaked gallons of dirty rainwater. Wearing approximately twelve layers between us, we managed to find shelter among the raw burgers and drunken college kids.

Once we had a few sangrias in us, we made the ingenious decision to get the party started Central PA style. And so, in the middle of the German rainforest, Emmy took control of the stereo like the true #DJEmetz that we all know and love.

The rest of the night followed in this exact sequence: Timber, Sexual Healing, Shabba. Did anyone know the latter two songs? Of course not, but they still sang along anyway. Don’t worry Bucknell, we made our mark in Camperplatz that night. Literally, we made our mark on the bar after carving this message into its sodden wooden frame:

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English, German, or neither?

 

But Kate from CT and Emmy from NJ, you ask, What happened after that? Your guess is as good as ours, friends, but what we can tell you is that Emmy lost her socks, a fight broke out in our 3 square feet of crawl space, both our Converse got destroyed, and Emmy’s sleeping pad deflated in 2.5 seconds.

But our journey had only begun.

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A photo of Emmy doing her makeup in Camperplatz. Look at that poise!

 

To be continued. 

london, it’s not you, it’s me.

from ct to london
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Kensington Palace, April.

 

ONE night left and I’ve already finished my first and last Harrods sundae. As I dug in – literally – to six layers of lactose, my stomach began to churn. Whether it was my intolerance to dairy acting up again or the nostalgia already brewing in the bottomless pit that is my stomach, I’m not sure. But what I am sure of is that I don’t want to leave, I definitely don’t want to leave, but I also want to leave. London, you’ve given me the most incredible four months of my 21 years, and I can’t wait to share the wealth/shed the pounds from my adventures with my much missed friends back in the States. Here is just a sample of what I’ve learned this past semester:

On school: I’ve learned a lot (Sorry again, Mom and Dad).

On Having a Day: Hyde Park. Pimm’s cup. Sunny day. Peddle boats. See you there.

On the tube: I’ll miss going on the train to Cockfosters.

On the Royal Baby’s not being born: I’m as bitter as those weird garnishes you put on Gin & Tonics.

On HK Diner: Best frequented at the irregular hour of 2-5 AM, this place has everything: Bouncers, fake Singapore rice noodles, and the best bok choy you’ll never want again.  

On the British Pound: One British Pound is equivalent to 1.48 American Pounds, so if you do the math, actually don’t do the math.

On locking and unlocking doors: Still one of life’s greatest struggles. Once we had to push, twist, shimmy, shake, and slap a door until it finally budged.

On attempting to drive on the right side of the road: Jesus take the wheel.

On Shakespeare: After taking a half semester of his works, I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s still overrated.

On Cargo: Not the freight train. This place has everything: Banksy, a fog machine, light up dancers, and DJs who won’t let you pretend to DJ.

On not getting lost: One time I didn’t use City Mapper to find my way home from South Ken station.

On breaking up with the best city in the world: I’m heartbroken, I’m sick with myself, but I know I’ll be back again. 

barcelona, lisbon, and the best juice cleanse you’ve never heard of.

adventures, from ct to barcelona, from ct to lisbon


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my ten plus years of mastering a rudimentary level of the Spanish lingo, there’s one phrase I picked up along the way that kept us afloat this weekend:

¿Tienes una litra de sangria?

I regresar-ed a barcelona after 5 years & nothing changed.  

It was late Tuesday night and we were already one pitcher deep and treading lightly through an array of tapas. We sat in the air conditioned dining room of Bar Lobo, a quaint restaurant tucked away from the hustle and bustle of La Rambla. Ages ago when I was fun and rebellious, I frequented the tapas joint for outstanding patates bravas and mojitos –  but now that I am old and unfun, I sat quietly sipping on my red wine like the responsible 21-year-old that I am.

Maybe we were quiet because of the calming effects of the sangria, or maybe our mouths were too full of tortilla to say anything relevant, but our jet lagged heads quickly nodded in the direction of our flat, and so we retired early in the city that truly never sleeps.

Wednesday we woke with a bang – literally – as the cathedral 50 feet away from our room began its 8 AM clanging crusade throughout El Gótico. Like a cruel and unusual iPhone alarm, the bells kept pressing “snooze” every fifteen minutes. So, without hesitation, we found our way to La Boqueria for breakfast.

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The rest of the day can be best described by a series of photographs depicting our sangria tour across Barcelona. From La Sagrada Familia to Barceloneta, we plundered every bar, restaurant, and fish market (that is a true statement) to seek out the best sangria in the city. The result, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, left us with raging 4 AM hangovers as we struggled to make it to #thebreakofdawn on Opium’s field of lounge chairs.

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La Sagrada Familia.

 

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Sangria on la playa.

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lisbon: the land of bottomless mercados and more sangria than spain.

AFTER getting approximately 12 minutes of sleep, I somehow managed to find my way to the Barcelona Airport, hop on an EasyJet, and fly west to Lisbon, Portugal. Ravenous and eager to start the afternoon, we walked along the sunny cobblestone side streets of the city in search of Mercado da Ribiera, Time Out’s latest and greatest food stall creation.

When I say that this place had everything, you have to understand that this place literally had everything. So much of everything, in fact, that we didn’t leave until Sunday. That’s a joke, but let me explain anyway.

Imagine a chocolate shop, a gelato shop, a cheese and wine shop, and every top restaurant in Lisbon under one roof. This, my friends, is Mercado. Last weekend turned into a bit of a frenzy as we made not one, not two, but four trips daily to the food hall. The winner? Pasteis de belem.

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The rest of the weekend followed a certain schedule: Wake up, walk. Go to a castle. Drink wine. Eat croquetas. Walk. Drink sangria. Drink more sangria. Walk. Eat croquetas. Have another pitcher of sangria. Eat tapas. Eat gelato. Attempt to drink another glass of wine. Sleep.

Enthralling? Maybe not, but after the hustle and bustle of the past semester, it was nice to do absolutely nothing for a weekend.

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thanks amsterdam, i’m never eating pancakes again.

from ct to amsterdam
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Nutella banana pancakes. Hot and fresh out the kitchen.

AMSTERDAM was a bad decision from the start: Who knew such a small city had the potential for such gluttony? We did, and we tacitly approached The Netherlands with loose-fitting jeans, bulging jackets, and dark sunglasses (to hide the sugar high, what were you thinking, Mom?).

In short, Amsterdam was a paradoxical heaven and hell. I say heaven because when I die I hope my walls are stocked with endless tubs of Nutella, my hands full of dripping stroopwafels, my fries always accompanied by a few pumps of curry ketchup. And I say hell because if I don’t make it to heaven, I’ll probably be climbing an everlasting Dutch staircase for the rest of eternity. If you don’t understand the severity of this situation, I suggest you Google “Death by Dutch staircase” immediately. Actually don’t Google that.

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This is a stroopwafel.

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These are french fries.

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A direct quote from the guy making us Nutella poffertjes: “Girls love Nutella, don’t they?”

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Nutella poffertjes.

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Cheese from Holland. Duh.

eiffel in louvre with paris, duh.

from ct to paris

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IT WAS MIDNIGHT in Paris, and Owen Wilson was nowhere to be seen. The cobblestone streets sang with the clop of trendy high heels and the occasional, disappointing shatter of an empty wine bottle. Yes, I was feeling French in my faux leather jacket as I double-fisted a child sized banana and Nutella crepe in one hand and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc in the other (I say “child sized” in a literal sense, as the Parisian delicacy weighed approximately 40 lbs. But I digress).

I came to Paris with the expectation to not fall in love, but I did anyway. Paris is one of those rare cities that are twice as magnificent in the rain as they are in the sunlight. The damp streets glistened with recent rainfall as we dragged ourselves to the Eiffel Tower.

Misty-eyed and hoarse-voiced from one too few glasses of wine the night, we waited silently for the gates to open. Queueing in the rain is never pleasant, but at the ripe hour of nine-thirty, we managed to begin our 600-step ascent into Western Europe’s most iconic landmark.

Using my Selfie Stick as a makeshift hiking pole, I managed to maintain pace as we climbed the first 200 stairs. But as we gained altitude we lost breath — and fast. With nothing but Nutella crepes, sugary wine, smelly cheese, and a dream on our minds, we reached the second landing just before passing out. And if you questioned the health of my cardiovascular system before, I think this gives you a decent idea of how many years I have left.

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Because we are triathletes, and because we knew we’d be inhaling liquid cheese that night, our second activity of the day was a 7-mile bike tour throughout the city’s highlights. “Lance Armstrong, step aside,” I thought as I brought up the rear of the pack of alarmingly red bicycles. Good thing he already did, because he would have never outspun me. As Smartcars, tricycles, and 90-year-old grandmothers on motorized scooters zoomed by me, I had the chance to take in the Parisian landscape. The sun, finally making a guest appearance, glinted on every gold-plated building, which was also every building.

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That afternoon was a whirlwind of selfies, love locks, flying buttresses, and physical maps. We danced about the Ile San Louis until we were fat with gelato and chocolate crepes, then decided to return to our five-star hostel to prepare for the night’s events.

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SACRE-COEUR was just as I remembered it from a decade ago: a slightly ominous, yet beautifully crowded tourist trap of a monastery. The view from the top was worth the eyesore of overpriced beret markets that lined it’s surrounding streets. As sat on the steps and listened to Jack Johnson — no — Jason Mraz — no — Dave Matthews — yes, definitely Dave Matthews — live, we raised a toast to our companions in Lewisburg, PA and agreed that a House Party Parisian Way was the best House Party of all.

But little did we know our night had hardly begun.

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TAKING our time was never an issue in Paris, and with CityMaps on our side, we managed to find a deserted alleyway instead of our reserved restaurant. Thirty minutes, three French conversations, one mistaken cab ride, and six miles of hills later, we (well, Grace’s iPhone) managed to find our spot: Le Refuge des Fondues, also known as Le Frat House des Fondues.

This place was literally every American college student’s dream come true, which explains why every American college student was there. With graffitied walls, bottomless melted cheese, and unlimited wine served in baby bottles, the Refuge was truly a meal to remember.

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A METRO RIDE and two museums later and we found ourselves sitting in the loud American back room of Angelina’s: You know, the place with the macaroons. No, not Lauduree, the other place. Together we mulled over warm croissants and deliciously melted chocolate and attempted to digest the cheese and yet another round of Nutella crepes from the night before.

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But because I was leaving in three hours’ time, I had one last request: A P’Tit pit stop at the locally renowned Au P’Tit Grec Creperie. There I enjoyed my best meal yet: A savory crepe stuffed with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomatoe, and a fried egg. Yes, Paris was everything I wanted and more – and so, without further ado, I am going to go. enjoy the rest of my French dark chocolate and blue cheese that I’ve been stashing in my fridge, in your face.

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i’m not irish but kiss me anyway: a story of half-full pints and empty plates.

from ct to dublin

 

Guinness Factory, Dublin.

Guinness Factory, Dublin.


If my James Joyce seminar taught me anything last semester, it’s that a “Good puzzle would be cross Dublin without passing a pub.” Rewind to 10 AM last Saturday morning and truer words have never been spoken. Pubs are to Dublin as Dunkin’ Donuts cups are to Bucknell: You can’t go a minute without spotting one from a five-foot radius. And so, our gastronomical story begins with three girls wearing absolutely no green and dub-stepping along the streets of a land known for its genuinely good people and genuinely awful food.

I went to Dublin with high expectations for the pub life and low expectations for the, well, grub life. Maybe it was the luck of the Irish, or maybe it was just my luck having Emmy from NJ as a tour guide, but I was horribly misinformed. Last weekend’s festivities debunked every last stigma attached to the culinary atrocities of modern Irish food, and I’ll tell you a few reasons why:

1. Did I mention that pubs are always open? Flash backwards to 10 AM on Saturday morning and a richly authentic Irish coffee was already in our eagerly open palms. Flash forwards to 4 AM Saturday night and richly authentic Guinness pints were still in our eagerly open palms.

Jameson Irish Coffee.

This was taken in real military time.

 

2. Did I mention that food is always available? Unlike Londoners, Dubliners actually comprehend the concept of “the second dinner.” Yes, multiple dinners of chicken tenders and Oreo shakes from Eddie Rocket’s were inhaled this weekend. Yes, we woke up surrounded by bags of grease. No, we’re not even a little bit sorry about it.

Late night from Eddie Rockets.

Late night from Eddie Rocket’s.

3. Did I mention the egg on my burger? Bobo’s Burgers was possibly the best post-St. Paddy’s Day decision we’ve ever made. The perfectly buttered burger bun wrapped around the perfectly fried egg and burger combo was enough to cure all – ehem – afternoon festivities.

Bobo's Burgers, another gift to late night craves.

Bobo’s Burgers, another gift to late night craves.

4. Did I mention there were freshly-fried doughnuts? They’re so small, we thought logistically, so we can have twelve each. Warm, fried, and coated in a layer of cinnamon and chocolate, we couldn’t say no to midday mini donuts from Emmy’s favorite shoppe right outside her office.

Donut inception.

Donut inception.

5. Did I mention that brunch was on fleek? We celebrated the remainder of our St. Fatty’s Day weekend with Sunday brunch at 37 Dawson Street. Mind you, this place has everything: Dog lamps, human anatomy charts, and “detox” breakfast cocktails that do nothing of the sort. All in all, we were all content with our poached huevos rancheros, and slipped into the backs of our overly-stuffed, far too low leather seats in food-induced comas.

Huevos rancheros ala Dublin.

Huevos rancheros ala Dublin.

Last weekend left us with little faith in liquid breakfasts and a lot more faith in Irish cuisine. I hope to return someday in the pursuit of tasting crubeens, black pudding, and maybe, just maybe, finishing a full pint of Guinness.

westminster flabby: a comprehensive guide to london eats.

from ct to london, good eats

DID you know in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was considered hot to be fat and pale? Five hundred years and a month abroad later and the stereotype is still kicking. That was a joke. 

I came to London with a full heart and empty stomach, so by the laws of nature I had absolutely nothing to lose (except my dignity and Great Britain Pounds). And so, without further ado, I give you my semester’s work in all of its glory (a work in progress, mind you) – a full-on comprehensive guide to everything I’ve consumed in London: 

The Best Traditional London Food: The Scotch Egg

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Found at Borough Market’s famous Scotch Egg Stand.

 

The Best Breakfast: Riding House Cafe

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The Best Bottomless Brunch: Bourne & Hollingsworth

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Truly bottomless bellinis: for 16 pounds, the world can be yours.

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The Best Midday Dessert: Camden Market 

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The Best Cappuccino: Attendant & Milkbar 

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The Best Pastries: Harrods 

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The Best Pancakes: The Diner & My Old Dutch 

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Reese’s pancakes with vanilla ice cream, courtesy of @lolobridges

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The Best Wine Tasting: La Cave a Fromage

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The Best Bloody: One Canada Square 

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The Best Garlic Bread: Camden Market

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Spanish omelet topped with garlic bread

 

The Best Mac: …Camden Market

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The Best Market: Borough Market

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The Best High Tea: St. Paul’s & Betty Blythes 

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Betty Blythes: Home to loads of clotted cream & 3 pound corkage.

 

The Best Gelato: Scoop South Ken & Wafflemeister South Ken

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Dark chocolate & hazelnut on a waffle cone. Creds to @Laursaps

 

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That’s Nutella, not chocolate sauce.

 

The Best Late-night Eats: Cereal Killer Cafe & any bars with popcorn

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…to be continued. 

 

berlin was the best wurst decision we’ve ever made.

from ct to berlin

 

Plaque marking the Berlin Wall separating East and West Berlin

Plaque marking where the Berlin Wall used to stand.

Our biggest struggle of the trip was rolling across the border to Germany, but we finally made it to the European capital of pretzels, currywurst, and beer by Friday afternoon.

Friday: Berlin Cathedral 

Once we figured out complex train routes that we couldn’t pronounce, we immediately hunted down the nearest burger/beer restaurant we could find to devour fries and mayonnaise, apparently the national vegetable of Germany. With our afternoon bloats coming out in full force, we walked over to the Berlin Cathedral, where we climbed more stairs than the StairMaster girls at the gym.

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Later we embraced German culture and spent an embarrassing amount of Euros on Häagen Dazs ice cream, which we were 97% sure was German (it’s actually American. Damn marketing ploys, they get me every time).

That night was relatively uneventful but significant in its own way: We bought wine that was cheaper than water, accidentally ate at a Michelin Star restaurant, went to a random bar filled with middle aged housewives, and passed out before 11 PM (Note: Maddie passed out at 10:30 PM but did find her way back from the couch later that night).

Saturday: Exploring Berlin via Culture and Food, Part I

Saturday morning we woke to the smell of stale wine and dust as we escaped to the outdoors to find our way to the Reichstag Building. Once we passed a series of security checks and glass sliding doors, we climbed to the top of a space-age glass dome where we could make out all corners of Berlin.

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After a weird breakfast at a Spanish restaurant, we joined up with a walking tour which took us through the main government square across town to East Berlin. By the end, I was moved by how resilient Berlin has been over the past 60 years. I look forward to seeing how the city has changed when I visit again in the future.

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She found the D.

 

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Memorial for the Murdered Jews in the Holocaust.

 

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The Berlin Wall.

 

But let’s be real: What would be a day abroad without #AbroadInstas and food? Our Insta instincts told us East Side Gallery was the place to be, so we took a confusing train ride to the graffitied wall.

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After walking a mile in the rain alongside the vibrant art, we saw a beacon of hope far off in the distance: A sign for currywurst. Intrigued, we spent a total of 3 USD on possibly the weirdest thing I have ever put into my body. No one wanted to admit that we liked the grey-ish hotdog slathered in salty curry slime, but I think we all enjoyed it in our own special ways.

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Here it is!

 

And what would be a day abroad without dessert? We managed to find our way back to Häagen Dazs for #roundtwo of lactose and topped it off with chocolate-covered waffles. If I don’t have Type II Diabetes now, I don’t think I ever will.

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That night we took full advantage of the lack of open container laws and did a bar crawl through the apparently #trendy Mitte District. The crawl was nothing like the catastrophe that was Shoreditch: Instead, the bars were filled to the brim with tons of booze and literally no one. By the third bar, we were feeling rebellious so we French exited in search of pizza. Instead, we stumbled upon a random Kebap stand and drunched on what we all agreed was the best late night we’ve ever had.

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Enjoying kebap, clearly.

Enjoying kebap, clearly.

Sunday: Exploring Berlin via Culture and Food, Part II

After being moved and enlightened by the Jewish Museum, we set off to Prater Biergarten, the literal epitome of obesity. The next few hours were a fast track to heart disease as we stuffed ourselves with beer, German cuisine, bread, chocolate cake, mayonnaise and bread.

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All in all, we came, we conquered, and we absolutely ate all of Prague and Berlin. But if you didn’t snap a @foodintheair pic in a foreign country, were you ever there in the first place?

a tale of two trdelniks

from ct to prague
The trdelnik: The best thing I have ever eaten.

The trdelnik: The best thing I have ever eaten.

Old Town Square.

Old Town Square.

Forty-eight hours in Prague later and the chances I die of heart disease within the next three years are higher than ever before. If I told you that I consumed two Nutella trdelniks, fried cheese, two apple croissants, beef goulash, cheese, beer, rubbing alcohol, potatoes on a stick, French fries, an entire fish, quiche, chocolate cake, two dollar wine, and cheese, would you believe me? The answer is yes because I’m your favorite white girl turned beached whale and you know it, too.

Wednesday: Czeching Out Prague
Eating aside, we spent a few hours here and there wandering the city in search of castles, clocks, and other things that make Prague tick. Much of the afternoon of our first day was wasted attempting to pronounce Czech street names, such as “Krishitnovkov” and “Doplenshiknivkovshnishwhaddabaddabingbang.” Surprise! People had no idea what we were saying when we asked for directions, so we relied heavily on our intuition and an #OG map for directions. After realizing the big clock tower in the center of Old Town Square was, in fact, the Astronomical clock, we got oriented, found trdelniks, and carried on.

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Later that night, our wine escapade took us on a journey to a random Czech restaurant, where I was presented with an entire trout and McDonald’s caliber fries. When we looked at the bill, we all immediately had #regrets for not studying in Prague: my massive meal alone was the equivalent to 10 USD. No, we certainly did not lose any pounds in the Czech Republic.

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By the end of dinner we were feeling alive enough to try a pub that is every frat star’s dream: The place featured kegs, taps, authentic drinking mugs, and score boards. The goal? Compete in beer chugging competitions with surrounding tables to determine the winner. As you’d imagine, the Cold War happened all over again as we took on a group of locals at the table adjacent to us. In the end, America lost so I won’t be adding Beer Chugging Champ to my resume.

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My first beer.

My first beer.

After sprinting that marathon, we cabbed to Retro, the epitome of an Eastern European dance club. This place literally had everything: a DJ blasting irrelevant house music, stripper moms, rubbing alcohol, elevated surfaces, and absolutely no chasers. Needless to say, things got weird fast and so we French exited in search of fried cheese (Note: fried cheese was never found; instead we took a questionably free trolley to the wrong part of the city, but don’t worry Mom, I wasn’t #Taken).

Thursday: Gaining Ground & Weight
Thanks to Trip Advisor and water, we were able to power through our hangovers the next morning to find churches, castles, and more trdelniks. Thursday morning into mid afternoon was comprised of stairs, sun, and nonstop eating. We also took full advantage of the exchange rate and ordered a meal probably every 45 minutes.

Pit stop: signing the John Lennon Wall.

Pit stop: signing the John Lennon Wall.

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Hot wine in its finest form.

Hot wine in its finest form.

You know what it is.

You know what it is.

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Beef goulash, I promise it was worth it.

Beef goulash, I promise it was worth it.

The deceptively worst chocolate cake in the world.

The deceptively worst chocolate cake in the world.

That night, we stuffed our already expanding stomachs with more goulash, kebab, and bad chocolate cake. We practically rolled out of the restaurant and straight into bed – no, seriously, we went to a bar cleverly called “Bed” that had white beds in lieu of tables and chairs. So, for the next three hours, we cuddled next to couples with naughty intentions.
Děkuji for the memories, Praha.

In bed with my homies.

In bed with my homies.

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