Half birthday celebration/half submitting my master’s thesis celebration, Max and I spent five days in Norway hiking rain and shine. We flew into Oslo on Thursday morning, rented a car from the airport, and proceeded to drive 8 hours to Bergen, a city on the country’s west coast. It was a long haul, but the fjords, untouched countryside, and peak fall foliage made it worth it. Hailing from New England, the leaf peeping capital of the world, I can appreciate a brilliant display of autumnal colors, and it was especially nice to experience that in Norway, because, in Berlin, the leaves fall hard and the foliage is quick and dirty. Driving was an ideal way to see Norway’s varied landscape, and it gave us the opportunity to stop as we pleased, take pictures, and recaffeinate.
The end of my graduate thesis is near, so a breather and a quick blog post are certainly warranted. This summer has been incredible; a hot and sunny four months filled with both physical and mental adventures. Amidst a draining (yet rewarding) thesis process and Berlin explorations, Max and I made it outside of the city for a few weekend (and week-long) getaways. We went as close as the city boundaries, to Liepnitzsee, and as far as the states, to Vermont and Cape Cod. A week was also spent in Tuscany, and a weekend on the Baltic Sea in Dranske, Germany. Most recently, we visited Dresden, a German city just 2.5 hours south of Berlin, and the neighboring Sächsische Schweiz national park. The entire trip exceeded expectations, and I highly recommend it to any Berliners who’ve not yet seen Saxony. Dresden is inexpensive to get to (24€ roundtrip per person via Flix Bus), bars and restaurants are equally affordable, the city itself has a nice blend of hip/young and historic areas, and the national park …
Having lived in big cities (NYC and Berlin) for nearly the past eight years, I’ve had time to properly diagnose that unruly feeling of restlessness prompted by urban living, or perhaps by staying in the same place anywhere, really, for an extended period of time. The usual suspects certainly help — exercise, sunshine, quality time, shopping, and wine (I think we can bunch the lot under self-love) — but nothing scratches that itch quite like a literal mini-break from reality. Best taken every two months or so, and under no circumstances, should one go an entire season without a little vaca.
A month of intensive German classes paired with a not-so-summery Berlin summer really sweetened the deal that was a week on Mallorca. This well known island, and Ibiza’s trusty brother, is located in the Mediterranean Sea and is the largest of the Balearic islands. It’s part of Spain, but during high season this is hardly apparent as 90% of the inhabitants are German and British tourists. In searching for the right spot to stay on the island, Max and I wanted to have easy beach and hiking access, and to avoid the crazy party scene but still be near a restaurant and bar hub. After deliberation between southeast and northeast parts of the island, we settled on Port de Pollença and couldn’t be happier with our decision.
London, UK Amidst studying for final exams, a mini break was much needed, so Max and I hopped over to London for the weekend. We stayed with my friend Kaley and her boyfriend in Islington, and certainly made the most out of the 36 hours we had together.
A long overdue update on life in Berlin is here. The good news is that I’ve just handed in final papers for three courses, the bad news is that my “Death by Prosecco” mornings have been at an all time low (or is that a good thing?) Really, my recent Berlin adventures have been less exciting than prior months, especially these past two weeks because, well, Managerial Economics. That being said, there are still a few experiences worth writing about.
Obtaining a German Residence Permit #studyabroad #germany #usa #american #residencepermit
Perhaps the most eventful two weeks yet. From my mom visiting to grad school orientation, it’s been non-stop go. Before Smog arrived, we kicked off these past weeks with Max’s birthday celebrations. Our plans included dinner, drinks, and a Kehlani concert, but we found out upon arrival at the venue that the concert was cancelled, as well as the rest of her Euro tour. We’d been looking forward to seeing Kehlani perform since December, so that was a real blow. Fortunately we made up for it with a party on Saturday night, resulting in an all too typical “Death by Prosecco” Sunday morning.
By now I’ve finished my intensive language course, the first of many levels, and I’m unable to take the second level straight away as my grad school orientation interferes. However, I was able to have an entire conversation in German at the nail salon last week, so if that’s not a testament to progress then I don’t know what is.
Three weeks in and Germany is still a wonderful country. Berlin is beautiful (and a little gritty), there are endless things to do, the shopping is amazing, and I’ve met a lot of really great people. I love it here, but of course there are things I miss from home. Besides my friends, my family, and Zealand, here are a few things I’ve been missing: