Alex in Copenhagen

Alex, a junior international studies major with minors in Italian in Dedman College, is participating in SMU-in-Copenhagen in spring 2010. She will be studying European culture and history at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad and plans to take a study tour to Prague, Czech Republic.

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My European vacation

My two-week break from school was my time where I was set loose on Europe to find my own way around. I had planned my trip, in that I knew where I was going and where I was staying for the nights, but other than that, I went with no real expectations.

I set off on Friday with my friends Julie and Margot to fly to our first destination: Madrid! Once in Madrid we had our first task: how to find our hostel using public transportation. We were able to find our way through the subway system, which was very convieniently connected to the airport. Our hostel was really cool and the staff were very helpful, pointing us in the direction for a really great meal out.

madridpic.jpg After a good night’s sleep we got up and were ready to experience Madrid. Our first stop was to walk around the Puerta del Sol (left). We then went over to one of Madrid’s many parks.

That night we met another friend Emily and we walked around looking for some good food and a good atmosphere; we eventually found it, good thing that Spaniards normally eat later than Americans.

madrid2.jpgThe next day we wandered over to yet another park and took a row for a relaxing Sunday row. Next we were off to Barcelona!

Our flight got in pretty late and since it was Sunday there wasn’t much going on in Barcelona. We were able to find the only open restaurant, Chinese, in what seemed like the whole city.

barcelona.jpg The next day we were up bright and early to go on a bike tour. Now I haven’t rode a bike in about 6 years, so a 4-hour bike tour had me a little nervous. But I made my way along with a nice older couple in the back and I loved the experience. We got to see all the sights and be outside! I found this fountain (right) that I fell absolutely in love with and want to go back to. The next morning we were on our way to Paris!

Paris was a more of a little stop for me as I was going to leave earlier than Julie and Margot. Unfortunately, the first day, in which we had planned for the Eiffel Tower, it was raining. We decided to take it easy and look instead for some good food, which happened to take form in burgers.

paris.jpg The next morning we decided to appease our inner child and go to Eurodisney. It was silly and fun and so much more. It was a great day, and after we went to see the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night. I was sad the next day to leave Julie and Margot for the rest of my travels alone. I made my way, all on my own, to CDG on public transport!! Next stop for me was Levanger, Norway!

Now most of you are probably wondering why on earth I would go to a random little town in Norway. But Levanger is very special to me because I have once before done study abroad, in which I lived with a family in Norway and went to high school. I went back to spend Easter with them.

It was so nice to spend a couple of days with my “second” family and just hang out. I’m excited to go back next month when I’ll take my parents to meet them for the first time. I had to leave them and go on my last stop – London.

I spent my last couple of days with one of my mom’s friends in England. It was nice to just chill out and go around with a local. It was nice because I’ve also been to England many times before so I was comfortable with the city. It was a nice relaxing end to my long journey.

I have no idea where life will take me next, but I’ll let you know when I find out! Vi ses! Hej Hej!

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