GymMapStics

Traveling the world one gymnastics meet at a time

Berlin TV tower at night

4 Cities in 6 Days or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love YouTube

I usually plans my travels from beginning to end and knows every detail of where I’ll be, for how long I’ll be there and where I’ll stay, how and where I’ll go next, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I, like most people, feels the need to maximize my time traveling as crappy things such as paid time off generally dictate many of the terms of the trip. Since quitting my job to travel, I have had a hard time getting out of the vacation mindset and spent my first six days of this trip in four different cities in three different countries. 

I began in Boston and flew to Reykjavik, Iceland where I would catch a connecting flight to Berlin. While eating my Skyr yogurt in the Reykjavik airport, I hopped on the wifi and discovered that the United States had issued a travel alert for the entire freaking world. That’s right. The entire globe aside from the United States is extremely unsafe and one should remain in one’s house at all time and not even travel to Canada because it could be dangerous. I would like the point out that since I left the United States there have been two mass shootings there and the most dangerous things I have encountered in Europe are cobblestone streets and a lack of laws prohibiting drinking outside. Christmas markets and hot wine are a true threat. Steph of Twenty-Something Travel explains the joke of a travel alert best here

I caught my connecting flight to Berlin and spent a solid chunk of time attempting to figure out how to get from the airport to the city center. Bless Google Maps in all of it’s splendor for allowing a Thanksgiving miracle to occur in which I found the hostel. After checking in I ventured to the Christmas markets with one of my hostel roommates and the famed Christmas markets did not disappoint. IMG_7468

I then began a major trend of this trip by consuming cuisine completely foreign to the country she was visiting and ate a delicious Vietnamese meal. The next day I partook in a free walking tour and felt like I had barely scraped the surface on the deep and rich history of Berlin. I wanted to revisit the landmarks and spend time in the museums and attractions and truly soak up Berlin but with only two days in the city I chose to quickly breeze through a free museum, power walk through Checkpoint Charlie, and return to my hostel because I had been informed that I would have to switch rooms due to someone in the room discovering bed bugs bites.  

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TV Tower

The hostel paid for laundry due to the chomping insects and I packed up my stuff to switch rooms only to wake up early and pack up again and leave for Prague. I took an extremely inexpensive bus to the Czech capital, checked into her hostel, and went out for an authentic Czech Thanksgiving dinner that cost her roughly $3. 

IMG_7497only booked a hostel for two nights in Prague so I took a self-guided power walking tour of the city before heading back to the hostel to sleep. I fell in love with the medieval city that reminded me of a fairy tale in a storybook but featured modern luxuries such as electricity, plumbing, and wifi. 
IMG_7510 IMG_7506 IMG_7505The next day I took another free walking tour and again felt like I needed to delve deeper into the history of the city but did not have enough time to do so. I spent a large chunk of the rest of the day at an overly expensive gym instead. The next day I left Prague to go to the Brno Grand Prix and could not find a single hostel or AirBnb for the evening so I went to Bratislava, Slovakia immediately after the conclusion of the meet. For those keeping count, that makes four cities, three of them major capital cities in four days. When I arrived in Bratislava, I checked into her hostel and went to bed.IMG_7552The next day I slept late, went to a grocery store, cooked lunch, went to twenty minutes of a walking tour before getting bored. I then went back to the hostel, cooked more food, and watched terrible television on YouTube for the rest of the day. I did almost the exact same thing the next day with some time carved out for exploring the Christmas markets and finishing up my set of World Championships posts

What a view of Bratislava!

What a view of Bratislava!

After going non-stop for a few days, I realized that I did not have to rush through a city in attempt to see everything nor did I even have to attempt to see everything. I was not using a limited amount of vacation time nor did I have to be back to the United States (or anywhere) in a set period of time. Since then, I have spent four days in Budapest, four days in Vienna, another five days in Prague, and today is day six in Krakow day two of seven in Romania. I plan on continuing to travel slowly as opposed to tiring myself out by trying to see everything by traveling as fast as possible. Quality over quality and all that jazz. 

 

Kerry Joyce • 29/12/2015


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