Victoria’s Easter Travels

Victoria Spiteri

The University of Leeds is quite unlike McGill University in a number of ways. One of them is the month long Easter Break. As I came to Leeds from Canada, I wanted to take full advantage of this break from school to explore parts of Europe that I had not been. Slightly ambitiously, I planned a lengthy itinerary through 10 countries. My travels brought me to: Bath, Hamburg, Warsaw, Krakow, Milan, Cinque Terre, Venice, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Malta, and finally London. While this kind of schedule may not have worked for some people, I love power sight-seeing as many places as possible – so it worked out wonderfully for me. While I could write pages about every single place I went, I made some observations along the way that may or may not be helpful to future travellers:

  1. In Hamburg, you have to pay by cash almost everywhere but ATMs are few and far between.
  2. In Poland, you can get heavily fined for j-walking but intersections are SPARSE.
  3. Booking hostels through Hostelworld is better than just randomly finding them through Google because there will be old men sharing your room and they will snore aggressively loudly.
  4. All the buildings in Prague look like cake.
  5. In Eastern Europe, people still smoke cigarettes in bars/clubs.
  6. There are an extraordinary number of dogs in Europe that are dachshund shaped.
  7. In Malta, you can never trust the drivers. They do not indicate whether they are turning or not. Beware.
  8. Hiking in Cinque Terre in April feels like a pretty genuine Italian experience because there are tons of Italians on the trails. The 6 hour hike between 4/5 villages was the highlight of my trip (The hike between Manarola and Riomaggiore was closed).
  9. Brick Lane in London is one of the coolest places I have ever been.
  10. If you need an escape from cities, I would highly recommend the Plitvice Lakes in Croatia.

While the last month has been incredible, I am excited to be back in Leeds to enjoy the last couple weeks of my exchange with the amazing friends I have met since I’ve been here!!

by Victoria Spiteri – McGill University – Canada

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