I finished my summer course on 13/9 so I decided to plan a mini holiday before term started.
My first stop was Cologne, Germany. Cologne was definitely a lot different than I thought it was going to be. I knew elementry German, but I certainly didn’t feel my skills were up to par. The first thing I noticed was every wall was covered in graffiti. Some would be beautiful artwork, while others were just gang signs. My host was incredibly welcoming. He stated it was his first time hosting an AirBNB and he was incredibly excited. The first night we ended up watching a British movie together. I remember he paused the movie at one point and asked if I understood what they were saying because their accents were very thick for him. He spoke English very well but did have some trouble speaking it.
The city of Cologne was absolutely beautiful. It was filled with colorful buildings and unique architecture. I would say a lot of things were in English and if it wasn’t, I knew enough Germany to get by. I spent 4 days in Cologne than traveled to Frankfurt for a night before I returned to England.
One thing I will say is the train system is very confusing and there is little explanation of how to use it. I was already familiar with British trains and I thought that would be enough, but it wasn’t. The majority of the time no one will check your ticket. On my train from Frankfurt to my new airBNB someone was checking tickets. I handed over mine and the woman laughed and immediately asked for my passport to write me a ticket. She did not know much English and couldn’t explain to me why I was getting a ticket. I had no idea what was going on, just that police were surrounding me on the train and they had my passport. I started crying like a baby. Once I arrived at my homestay I took to Germany Reddit to determine what I had done wrong. People were not the nicest. I found out I had purchased an inner-city train ticket rather than an outer- city. It was a matter of 2euros difference in ticket and I was fined 60 euros for it. I took to the pub to grab a drink, crying, trying to figure out how I was going to pay this crazy fine. I was approached by a lovely gentleman who comforted me. I told him my story and he offered to pay for my ticket. I said there was no way I’d let this stranger pay for my mistake. He demanded that I let him because he didn’t want this accident to make me hate Germany. He said he knew the train system was confusing and didn’t want to see a beautiful girl cry. I cried harder as he put the 60 Euros in my hand.
After Germany, I took to London, England. It felt so much better being back in a country where I understood what was going on. My airBNB was in the Jamaican part of town which was incredibly interesting being in. The food around my homestay was lush. London was super easy to get around. You purchase an Oyster card and it can be used on any train, the tube or bus. You can just keep reloading it with money and use it anywhere. London was mostly visiting tourist sites for me. One of my favorite things was actually the tour buses. You could hop on and off the bus which road on four different tour lines. It was the best way to see the city while a tour guide on the bus explained the sites. Also, the Isle of Dogs has no dogs! I was quite disappointed. It did have a very nice farm but I did not see one dog. 0/10 needs more dogs.
There is Chipotle in only 5 countries; London, England, Frankfurt, Germany, Paris, France, Canada, and the United States. I have visited a chipotle in all except Paris, France.
My next stop was Glasgow, Scotland. To much surprise when I arrived it was raining. This time my airBNB was in the Muslim part of town. I specifically say what part of town I was in because it really does feel like each part of town is separate. This neighborhood was full of India, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern food and grocery stores. The flat was absolutely beautiful! Four bedrooms, a massive living room, and a huge kitchen. I almost passed out when I looked on Zoopla and found it was only 600 pounds a month. By this part of the trip, I was physically exhausted from traveling. I have Plantar Fasciitis (extreme heel pain) which can make it very difficult for me to walk around all day. I spent most of my time in Glasgow relaxing in cafes and soaking in the beauty.
Lastly, I traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland. Edinburgh was by far my favorite place I visited. It was incredibly beautiful and the people were so nice. My Airbnb was advertised as a beautiful countryside place with organic food. For some reason, I thought the host was an older woman and was shocked when a young man opened the door. Nevertheless, the stay was amazing. He was very passionate about being a host and the entire house was arranged to accommodate guests.
I had the most amazing time traveling but I was so glad to come back home to the campus. I needed the structure again. I definitely hope I travel to Glasgow again before I leave.