I have just returned to Lancaster after two and a half weeks of living out of an oversized backpack and traveling around Europe. I went with five other friends, and we visited Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Venice, Florence, Pisa, and Rome. There were far too many amazing experiences and things to see for me to write it all in this post, so I will just pick my favorite city and talk about it. The problem is, I am really struggling to determine which city was my favorite.
Salzburg is most certainly a contender for the best city. The city was small, and therefore could be easily managed on foot, but also very clean and beautiful. The Alps surrounding the city gave a gorgeous backdrop, as well as provided for some fun hiking for us. One day, we hiked an alp with an old monastery in its foothills. We explored the monastery and found it sponsored a brewery as well. Naturally, we visited the Augustinerbrau brewery for some beers. The place was crawling with senior citizens, but the beer and brats were delicious and the weather was nice so we had a great time out on the patio. The remainder of our time in Salzburg was dedicated to The Sound of Music. We went to the Nonnberg Convent (Maria’s Convent), The Mirabell Gardens (where Maria and the children play), and the cemetery that inspired the escape scene. We also sat by the river where the children and Maria run, and sang Edelweiss while surrounded by the small white flowers. Later that night, the lobby in our hostel played the movie, which made the entire experience even sweeter. I was very sad to leave Salzburg.
The other major contender for my favorite city is Rome (although it is totally different than Salzburg). Although it was a big city, filled with tourists, there is so much to do and see in Rome that it is easy to understand why so many people visit. We also had great weather which made it even better. We visited the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon. The Colosseum was very cool, but also very surreal when we though about what the massive structure was actually used for. The Trevi Fountain was also great (partly because the best gelato place was located in its plaza). The other day in Rome was dedicated to Vatican City. After ignoring all the annoying people on the street who told us we should pay 35 euros to go on their tour and skip the lines because it was a three hour wait to get into the Vatican, we paid 8 euros to get inside and did not wait in any lines. The museum was amazing and I had forgotten how breathtaking the Sistine Chapel was. Part of me wished my mom was there with me, so she could tell me what the Latin inscriptions meant, however I think I did a pretty good job at figuring it out on my own based on the depictions. We then went to St. Peter’s square and inside the Basilica. It was definitely the most enormous church I have ever been in. And don’t forget seeing the Swiss Guards in their fantastic outfits. The entire day was great.
But now, my holiday is over and school is about to start up again in Lancaster. Although I wish I could be on vacation forever, it is good to be back in England and get back into a routine. And of course, War of the Roses is coming up soon, so look forward to it!