So when I was in 7th grade, we were required to take an Introduction to Foreign Languages class to help us decide which language we wanted to study the following year. The only thing I have always remembered from taking this class is the German word 'entschuldigung!', which means 'excuse me!' I have never gotten a chance to use this word in a German speaking country until now. I used it for 3 solid weeks as often as possible. Each time, I assume I pronounced it totally incorrectly and it made me smile every single time. The Europeans loved me...

Dates: June 20-July 9

Cities/Towns Visited:
1. Vienna, Austria
2. Budapest, Hungary
3. Salzburg, Austria
4. Lucerne, Switzerland
5. Lausanne, Switzerland
6. Interlaken, Switzerland
7. Prague, Czech Republic
8. Ammersee, Germany
9. Munich, Germany
It goes without saying that in each of these places we walked the streets for endless hours, discovering hidden treasures around each corner. However, in an effort for me to always remember specifics, I'll make a list!


1. Seeing the 2 most famous Klimpt paintings- The Kiss and the Beethoven Frieze
2. Seeing The Magic Flute at the Vienna Staatsoper (the Vienna State Opera House)
3. Eating at Cafe Central, the most famous Viennese cafe
4. Spending an evening tasting Austrian wine at a vineyard on the outskirts of the city
5. Walking through the city's 6 block farmers market, tasting fresh produce

1. Swimming at a Hungarian bath house (Over 90 hot springs run under the city of Budapest)
2. Walking over the famous Chain Bridge from Pest to Buda
3. Seeing the Jewish "Shoes on the Danube" memorial
4. Using public transportation (not knowing a word of Hungarian) through the Castle District
5. Getting locked in a taxi by an angry Hungarian driver who felt I was ripping him off...(scary!)
1. Visiting Mozart's old home
2. Stumbling upon a late night street festival where the band was playing American rock and roll!
3. Taking the train to Bushtesgarden, Germany for a rainy lake hike through the alps
4. Making it through a Sound of Music tribute show (hilarious but painful, and Sabrina, I am sorry I made you attend this!)
5. Sinking my teeth into my first German brezel (big soft pretzal) with sweet mustard and falling in luurrve

1. Lying out by Lake Lucerne like a local until after sunset
2. Making friends with a goose
3. Eating late dinners overlooking the lakes
4. Taking a cable car from the town of Weggis (spelled like weggie! But pronounced Vegas) up the side of one of the Alps, and hiking to the top of Mt. Rigi (6,000 ft.)
5. Riding down the side of a mountain on a cogwheel train
6. Renting a speedboat on Lake Lausanne
7. Tasting Swiss wine at a vineyard on the water
8. Paragliding in Interlaken
9. The overnight train and being awakened by a man holding croissants
1. Attending a Black Light Theater show
2. Spending 4th of July eating a French meal at a vineyard on the top of a hill overlooking Prague
3. Rubbing the statue of St. John of Nepomuk on the Chapel Bridge (he was thrown from the bridge to his death and it is considered good luck to touch his statue)
4. The road trip it took to get there and the damn one way roads!

1. Drinking beer at the Andechs (a monastery where the monks have brewed their own beer for over 500 years)
2. Hiking to Neuschwanstein castle
3. Meeting Sabrina's extended family
4. Searching for a bar in a small seaside town that would let us watch the Wimbledon final
5. Trying my first Ethiopian meal in Munich
6. Going to the site of the 1972 Olympics
7. Exploring Nymphenburg palace
8. Hearing the bells chime in the church tower at Marienplatz
9. Being serenaded on the train by a German elderly men's choir haha
My hands are tired:) Exploring new places is one of the things that makes me feel most alive and most free. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to do this (and to use the word entschuldigung). We had an unbelievable time!

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