Happy 2015, friends and readers of this blog! I know I’m about 38 days late, but I just thought I’d check in here and write a quick overview of what I’ve been up to since my last post. I did actually begin to write a long, in-depth post about the Christmas markets, Budapest, and New Years, but I knew it would just be too massive and no one wants to read a seemingly pretentious post about the magic of Christmas in Germany and my travels to beautiful European cities. 😉 So hopefully, this post will be one of my shortest to date.
Overall, December was absolutely fantastic. I went to seven Christmas markets (Leipzig, Dresden, Chemnitz, Meißen, Radebeul, Quedlinburg, and Budapest) and enjoyed the Christmas spirit with friends and Glühwein. A lot of Christmas markets are pretty much the same, but it was still fun to travel to different locations and check out how each city made this countrywide tradition their own.
Once school was over and Christmas break began, my friend Alice and I went to Budapest, Hungary and spent our holidays there. The city was insanely beautiful and we managed to see and do a lot in our five days there. Some of the things we saw included:
- Heroes Square
- St. Stephen’s Basilica
- Parliament building
- Grand Synagogue
- Royal Palace
- Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion
- A walking Communism tour
- Margaret Island
- Gellert Hill and the Citadel
- Central Market Hall
- House of Terror Museum
- Hungarian National Museum
…and many amazing restaurants and of course the Christmas market!
A few days later, I experienced my first New Years Eve in Germany and I was lucky to spend it with a fun group of people. We did a German New Years tradition of watching Dinner for One while sipping on Rotkäppchen, then at 11:45pm, we walked over to another person’s house, went on top of their roof, and rang in the new year with sparklers and a panoramic view of all the fireworks around Leipzig. Later on, we went back inside, showed each other different dances we knew from around the world, then went to probably what is the epitome of former East Germany counter culture—an abandoned building with different DJs in each room just performing rave/house/electro music. It was such a cool experience that is very unique to where I live.
January went by extremely fast, but as I write this, I am already on my WINTER BREAK! Oh, how I love Germany’s year round school year with random breaks throughout! In a few days, I will actually be leaving the cold and snow of Saxony and traveling to Barcelona, Spain with a fellow Leipziger, Chelsea! I didn’t have plans to leave Germany during this two-week break, but she convinced me quite easily and I’m glad she did! 😀 I definitely did not envision myself traveling to Spain this year, but hey, when in Europe, right?