Summer Travels: Europe

By: Angela Yu

I had my first chance to travel to Europe this past summer. My family and I first flew out from Detroit to Frankfurt, Germany. From there we flew to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. Next, we traveled by train, to Budapest, Hungary, Vienna, Austria, and finally Paris. There were so many amazing places we visited on the trip, but I am going to highlight my favorites.

Belgrade: This is probably not the best city for a tourist to visit. The best attraction was probably the large fortress, situated at the confluence of the Danube and the River Sava. It is situated on high ground, so from the fortress, you can look over the river and at the city. I think my visit would have been more enjoyable if it was not one hundred degrees every single day.

 

Budapest: While we were riding the train from Belgrade to Budapest, a man told us about the beautiful architecture there. He wasn’t kidding. Many buildings were carved with intricate designs. I admired the detail on the exterior if the Parliament building. My favorite place we visited was Fisherman’s Bastion. It was a terrace that overlooked the Danube River and the other side of the city. It consisted of seven white two-story towers with large arches, allowing you to see the breathtaking view.

 

Vienna: This may have been my favorite city out of the four we visited. The city wasn’t too hard to navigate and there were many historic places. There were so many beautiful buildings in various architectural styles. St. Stephen’s Cathedral was built in a gothic style. Its large south could be seen from around the city. The limestone exterior is carved with symbols and figures. In contrast, the city’s parliament building boasted large marble pillars in the neo-classical style. One of my favorite places was the rose garden in a park called Volksgarten. The area was peaceful with fountains and statues. It was nice to be away from the Vienna traffic for a while.

 

Paris: I was extremely excited when we arrived in Paris. I would finally be able to see the city and the sights in person. For the first few days, we explored the city. I caught my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower while we were walking across the River Seine. I saw the glass pyramid of the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral. I did get a chance to visit the Louvre and their collection is huge. We spent almost a day looking at paintings and sculptures. Even though I had to squeeze through a giant crowd, I was able to see the Mona Lisa. I enjoyed exploring the Louvre, but I’d have to say that my favorite museum was the Musée d’Orsay. Inside were various paintings by Van Gogh, Monet, Matisse and more.  In the large hall there were classical sculptures, as well as sculptures by Rodin. The museum was not as large nor as grand as the Louvre, but I was able to carefully look through the pieces and admire them.  

 

Other random details:

  • I tried snails for the first time in Paris. I must say that the flavor wasn’t bad, but I did not really like the texture. They reminded me of oysters, so if you like those, maybe you should try snails.
  • European Fanta is amazing compared to the American one
  • I really liked the Vienna subway system because they had nice air-conditioned trains and were nice and organized. The Paris subway system is pretty old so it’s slow and hot during the summer.

 

Overall, it was a trip that I will remember, and I would love to travel Europe again. If I could, I would go to Italy, but I would be nice to go to these cities again. I was sad when we had to leave (especially because school was going to start soon) but I was happy that I had this experience.