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A New Adventure

Uni Life

sunny 23 °C

A new year and a new adventure.
After a year of partying, working, travelling and living over in London and galavanting across Europe, it was time to knuckle down and get stuck into developing my professional self.
For those who don't know, I'm at the University of Wollongong studying a double degree of International Studies/Communications and Media on a Dean's Scholar Programme. But as discovered, it's not all textbooks and study, no not at all.
Yes university has just started but I couldn't be having more fun!

I'm currently living on campus with people from everywhere, rural NSW, interstate and people from over 30 countries across the globe.
I can't wait to go travelling around the world again because now I'll have even more people's couches to crash on.
Everyone is absolutely lovely which makes it easier when adjusting to a new environment.

With only two weeks of university completed so far, the work load is already enormous with blogs, tweets, French verbs, readings, readings and more readings and preparation for tutorials all piling up.
To be honest, it's great to actually have deadlines and homework again. (never thought I'd ever say that)
My brain has been on a drinking, chilled out holiday for over a year now and it's definitely enjoying the workout that uni is offering.

Although, when overseas, your brain functions in a different way. You may not necessarily be studying and preparing for exams, but you're constantly learning new things, especially when travelling.
Whether it be trying to decipher Hungarian, figure out timetables, ask for directions, getting lost, catching public transport, going on free walking tours, hearing about the incredible history/culture of a certain artefact, landmark or building... your brain is constantly in action. Because if it isn't, that's when people take advantage of the dazed and naive tourists.
I still remember certain stories that tour guides have told me whether we were looking over a Loch in Scotland, a dungeon in London, a square in Poland, a building in Hungary a river mountain in Austria or a cafe in Amsterdam, their little personal stories of love, war, folk lore, revolts and invasions are the ones that will always stay with me.

I've been home for two months now and it feels like I never left the UK. Sometimes I get a little disorientated when I'm on a bus and I flashback to sneaking onto buses in Italy, even drinking vodka reminding me of the $5 Polish vodka, or when I'm at a train station, I'm reminded of the countless hours spent on the tube in London... So many vivid, amazing memories which I never intend on letting go of.

I guess I'm still adjusting to 'reality,' but being distracted by university, friends and the not so occasional party, definitely helps.
I'm really looking forward to all that this year, this house, this family has to offer.
Carpe Diem. Sieze the day and see where the road takes you.

xxx
A

Posted by missadelaide 20:24 Archived in Australia Tagged home travel university life love europe uk memory reality brain stories homework fantasy eurotrip miss_it Comments (0)

This Is The Rhythm Of The Night

Brilliant Bavaria

overcast 3 °C

=="Rhythm is a dancer, it's the souls companion"==

Sometimes, all you need is a breath of fresh air to re-ignite that passion, motivate your actions and clear your mind, and what better way to escape than jet setting across Europe to the traditional and beautiful city of Munich.

I tend not to write about my travels, however, the past 96 hours have been so revolutionary, mind blowing and incredible that there's no way I couldn't... and now I am back home, exhausted from a very full on weekend eating pretzels, bratwurst, drinking steins and diving into the culture of Munich, I realise just how lucky I am.

So, Thursday morning, my travel buddy and best friend, Jess, and I embarked on our journey. Tube, bus, plane and we were in Munich, Germany!
Thankfully Jess speaks and understands German, whereas I on the other hand know, [i]hallo, ja, nein, danke,[i]... and that's about it, but I was ready to take it all on.
Our hostel was right near the main train station, The Euro Youth Hostel, which I would highly recommend to anyone travelling to Munich. They have comfortable beds, large rooms, hot showers and an awesome bar which we got much too friendly with.
After a quick unpack and gaining our orientation we burst out onto the cold street in search of food and adventure.
Only a quick stroll to the Marienplatz, we were in the centre of the city where Christmas was lingering in the air. Beautiful lights flooded the street and we wondered down the cobblestone path to the Rathaus, a spectacular building with a glockenspiel and clock tower. I bet the Germans play a game called spot the tourist infront of the Rathaus, as we eagerly anticipated the chiming of the bells and movement of the figures in the tower as the clock struck 6... little did we know it only goes off once at mid day, so after a few minutes we awkwardly put our cameras away and kept walking. I swear some guys behind us shared a giggle amongst themselves.
We walked up and down the Marienplatz in search of reasonably priced food. As we were almost about to give up hope, we found what seemed a hidden restaurant. Behind a heavy iron door and down some stairs was the bustle of a cute restaurant/drinking hall which our stomach's couldn't ignore. Sharing a table with a cute elderly German couple and old sleazy Austrian men, we had beer, pretzels, bratwurst and saurkraut. Oh, and believe it or not, the Austrian men pulled the classic German joke, "ah, you are hungry for German sausage?" We awkwardly laughed, finished our drinks, said Auf Wiedersehen and left.
The icy air chased us back to our hostel and we took refuge at the bar. We were both extremely tired so we ordered two soft drinks before two
Australian's (seriously I swear we're everywhere) questioned our choice of beverage and before we knew it, we had downed 2 cocktails and 2 bottles of prosecco between us. Whoops!
We stumbled to bed and knew that this weekend was going to be amazing!

We woke on Friday, slightly hungover, extremely hungry and even more adventurous... so we downed some water and manned up to face the day. Now where else do you go in search of hearty German food in Munich but the Hoftbrau Haus, and boy did that deliver. I had some Ox Goulash which was absolutely amazing and we tried to have a stein but our stomach's were still slightly unsettled from the previous night, so we settled for 1/2L Radler (beer with lemonade) which I still couldn't finish! =( At least I tried haha
Extremely satisfied we retreated to the hostel for a nanna nap = pure bliss
After our much needed sleep, we got pumped up for BASTILLE!
[Quick side note* For those of you who don't know Bastille, go and download their album right now. It will be the best thing you've ever done for your ears. Oh and the lead singer, Dan, we're engaged, he just doesn't know it yet]
We headed out to the venue where we befriended a cute German couple, Tom and Christine who helped us with directions and we hung out with during the show.
Words honestly do not do it justice. They were AMAZINGINGLY INCREDIBLE!!!! His voice is literally hyptnotising.
As soon as he played the opening chords to Overjoyed, my favourite song, I literally broke down crying. It was so moving to experience such musicality and passion coming from one person's mouth/heart. By far they are a million times better in concert than on their CD.
Also, the fact that we made friends with people around us, really does determine how music brings people together, where language isn't a barrier and together we are unified through incredible music.
On a massive adrenaline/emotional high, we headed back to the city, contemplating life as one does after experiencing something so moving, before crashing into bed.

Saturday was an absolutely miserable day, cold, windy and raining, which was fit for our destination, Dachau.
All throughout school I have studied WWII and the Holocaust but no amount of notes, facts, stories or videos could ever prepare me for the pure sickness I felt walking through the gates thousands of Jews walked through 70 odd years ago.
Even as I write this, I feel sick, reminded of the complete emptiness I felt. Tears flooded from my eyes as a pure emotional response to being there, unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I won't continue, you know what's there and what happened, but even still I just cannot possibly imagine what it would have been like.
The strangest thing was the contrasting beauty of the surrounding area. The trees were beautiful oranges, reds and golds and leaves smothered the earth and alongside the perimeter is a beautiful stream. I guess that's Mother Nature's way of reminding us that there is still beauty in the earth despite all the horrendous acts mankind inflicts on one another.
I feel like I will never forget my time there, I never could.

Upon our return to the city, to lighten our spirits, Jess and I did the most joyful, childish, happy thing one can do in winter in Munich, we went ice skating! Ah! We had an absolute ball! Although I somewhat resembled a baby giraffe taking its first steps, I managed not to fall over and actually make it around the rink whilst children zoomed past. After the biggest work out we've had in a long time, we skated until our legs shook and our cheeks ached from laughing, we engaged in some apres ski tradition.
We met up with a friend of mine who took us to a local pub where I finally did it... drank 1L of beer!!! Ta DAAAAA
And devoured an amazing dinner. We drank, ate and chatted for hours before we were given a first class guided tour of the back streets of Munich before getting lost and saturated by the icy rain.
After a lovely meal and drinking sesh we called it a night.
Emotionally and physically drained we slept like logs.

Which brings me to now. Back in London. Same old house, same old room, but definitely a different me.
Munich really is an incredible city which has so much to offer. The thing I love most about it is the vibe. It's not like other big cities, London, Paris or Rome, still bustling but in its unique way, maintaining a strong Bavarian traditional flavour making you feel as though you are experiencing the true Germany. The combination of incredible food and beer, music, history, culture, friendships and adventure was perfect and really made me open my eyes and heart, changing something within me.
I had one of the best weekends of my life and with only 2 weeks left of work before my next adventure, I am hungry for more.

xxx
A

Posted by missadelaide 09:17 Archived in Germany Tagged beer winter history germany music love europe adventures amazing ice_skating cold munich bavaria bastille dachau pretzels steins euros understanding weekends best_friends life_changing Comments (0)

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