Hi guys! My name is Adeline Heeney and I am a senior Chemical Engineering major at UA. I am currently wrapping up my month's long study abroad at Denmark Technical University in Copenhagen, Denmark. However, for the month of June, I decided to go on a backpacking trip through Europe. I ended up traveling from Edinburgh, Scotland all the way down to Milan, Italy for a concert. To do this as inexpensively as possible, I purchased a Eurail/ Interrail pass that allowed me to do unlimited train travel over the course of 15 days throughout a two month period. I traveled over 1000 miles across Europe by train and got to see a lot of beautiful cities and natural beauty from the comfort of my train window.
To start off the trip, my boyfriend and I flew into Edinburgh on an overnight flight from Toronto, Canada (it was rough). We were only planning to stay in Edinburgh for about a day, so we tried to see as much of the city as we could, however, jet lag caught up with us pretty quickly, so we eventually went back to the bed and Breakfast we were staying at and crashed. We then made our way to London for Jubilee Weekend, which commemorates Queen Elizabeth's 70th year as monarch, from June 2nd to June 5th.
London was a beautiful city and some notable mentions from my time there was a tour through of the Tower of London, a walk along Abbey Road Studios, watching "Much Ado About Nothing" at Shakespeare's globe Theatre, and of course all of the beer pubs we tried along the way.
Next, we made our way to Amsterdam, Netherlands via train. This was by far my favorite place we visited. We ate Roody's Famous Stroopwaffles (I cannot recommend these more), visited the Rijksmuseum, and took a cruise along the many canals that Amsterdam has to offer. Amsterdam is so beautiful and it was very fun to people watch and dodge cyclists as we walked throughout the city.
After Amsterdam, we made our way to Paris to meet my cousin who moved to Ulm, Germany a few years ago. In Paris, we did the most stereotypical French things we could think of: ate heaps of bread, wine, and cheese, visited the Eiffel Tower, and toured The Louvre. Many people are wildly disappointed by Paris, but I absolutely loved it. The architecture was absolutely stunning, the food was unmatched, and the art collection at The Louvre Museum is some of the best in the world.
After Paris, we made our way to Berlin, Germany and Prague, Czechia. However, since we had been staying at hostels for most of the trip, we tested positive for Covid-19 at this time and were not feeling our best. We eventually had to quarantine and self isolate while in Prague, but I am definitely going to explore it again when I return to Europe in the future.
Once our covid quarantine was over, we traveled to stay with my cousin in Ulm, a town in southern Germany (Bavaria) for a few days before we traveled to Milan, Italy for a Kendrick Lamar concert. It was very nice to camp out and relax in her guest room for a few days, as we had been on the go nonstop for about 3 weeks at this point!
Overall, we had a great time on our great European adventure. My main takeaways from the trip were:
- Plan your routes efficiently (especially if you're going to travel by train).
- Always , have a back up plan and be prepared for travel delays (both by plane, train, and bus)
- Always say yes to a new adventure, but make sure to relax and take breaks when you need it; when the honeymoon phase wears off, it can be difficult
Let me know if you have any questions about traveling through Europe! I am happy to help!