Athena Study Abroad students share their experiences with amazing blogs.
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I have officially been in Ireland for one month! Time has flown by and things are just starting to happen. First it was the Wicklow Day Tour, now London, and tomorrow off Galway and other fun places, then I have a special guest coming to visit me when I get back. How could I be so lucky? I guess it's the Irish in me.
London, however, was awesome. Now this was my second time visiting, but I did things a little differently this time. Like traveling on my own, well not really but with people my own age and not my mom who took care of everything for me. It's a little empowering to book your own flights and hostels, which I know have lots of experience in. This was also our first weekend trip that we planned on our own, so we learned a few things for the next few (don't worry, I'll share my tips.)
We left Thursday afternoon and Olwyn set us up to take a van to the airport instead of the bus and we decided to just take the bus on the way back to campus. The van was 5 euro per person and the bus is 3 euro, next time I'd take the bus to the airport and the van on the way back or just the van both ways. The van was just faster and just all around more convenient. We flew through security and had an hour before they even posted the gate for our flight, so we lingered, got some coffee, and talked about our excitement.
Tips on how to find a secret bakery: 1. Follow your nose 2. Don't even bother looking before 1am 3. Keep your voices down. (They don't want to bring too much attention to themselves) 4. Have a euro ready to exchange for a freshly made baked good! (we got Nutella filled croissants)
Last Saturday I took a day trip to the renowned Oktoberfest in Germany. I put my dirndl on and met my roommate there in the early morning and we decided to go into the city and venture around Munich. We stopped at the original Hofbrӓuhaus to start the day off with the locals. It was very lively inside! There was a band playing and the people were chanting and singing along together and I felt a comforting feeling of comradery. Unfortunately I had to pass on the wiener schnitzel and veal sausages but I did order a giant salted pretzel and one of their famous shanties “The Radler.”
When the afternoon came around we found ourselves in the middle of Oktoberfest chaos. We were surrounded by crowds of people, varieties of tasty snacks, carnival rides and the well-known tents. After finally gaining entrance into the Hofbrӓuhaus tent we were able to see what Oktoberfest really looked like especially because this tent specifically was termed the "tourist or international tent". There was a band, beer maids, fantastic doughnuts and an endless amount of the “cheers-ing” of mugs. That night we ended up back where we started, in the less chaotic, cleaner environment of the original Hofbrӓuhaus. I must say that it was a challenge doing it all in one day and staying up for about 20 hours straight (some couldn't handle it note the picture below) but I am not one for an entire weekend of Oktoberfest and I am glad I got a taste of the action (and the pretzels).
Today we made: Tortelli with herbs and Tortino al cioccolato!