A long trip filled with family, sad goodbyes, great views, and hearty food.
Alex, my parents, and I began our weekend by going to Brew House for dinner and drinks. They were pretty jet lagged, so I just went home after they went to sleep. The next morning, we began with breakfast at the best cake place in Copenhagen, LaGlace, followed by a Netto boat tour. I taught them how to bike in Copenhagen in order to bike to Christiania and Reffen. Reffen is a super hipster food market on the ocean, and it is one of my favorite places in Copenhagen. Sofie met up with us to go to the Church of Our Savior to climb to the top (second time for me). We went shopping on Stroget before our scheduled New Nordic meal at Radio. I was excited to take my family here after the New Nordic meal through DIS, but the portion sizes were so ridiculously small it didn’t even make sense. All together, we each ate about the amount of calories in one cookie. As the sun set, we saw Rosenborg Castle and got ice cream at Paradi-is. It was a wonderful day filled with lots of biking. That night, my flatmates dragged me out which ended up being actually pretty fun.
On Sunday, I first said goodbye to my friend Catherine and met up with my family to bike to my apartment to show them where I lived. We stayed and talked with my flatmates for awhile before biking to my host family for lunch with a quick pitstop at Frederiksberg Park. My host family was soooo cute as they prepared a super Danish meal of Smorrebrod and other quintessential dishes. Alex had to leave after lunch and I went with just my parents to church followed by pizza at Gorm’s. I forget how tiring hosting people can be.
Monday, I went with my parents to Frederiksborg Castle for my second time. This is by far my favorite castle and it did not disappoint. We went to Tivoli in the evening. I was hoping to do rides, but my parents are apparently too old to do rides now… Also, my dad just disappeared with no cell service from us (intentionally we found out later), because he thought we were walking too quickly. So, I did it with just my mom and had a great time.
On our excursion from Copenhagen, we started in Budapest. Our hotel was very nice with an incredible city view. After my dad talking about getting Goulash soup for hours, we found him a place and went up to Fisherman’s Bastion, Saint Matthias, and Buda Castle before calling it a day.
Wednesday was pretty much all the time we had in Budapest. We started our day by going to Buda Castle which is actually just a huge art museum. It was a very wonderful art museum, but I have been to WAY too many art museums at this point. We went to a marketplace to explore souvenirs and lunch but settled on a different place for more Goulash soup. They have an equivalent, but lesser, form of Stroget that we walked down for shopping on our way to the House of Terror which is a museum about communism in Hungary. The museum was very weird and made me question whether they were defending or opposing communism… For the Insta, I went to Széchenyi baths with my mom. They were not as hot as I would have liked, but it was worth $10 to get super wrinkled skin. I dragged my mom to a ruin bar after which is a special tourist destination in Budapest. They are pretty much hipster bars with just random decorations everywhere. We ate more goulash soup (this time in a bread bowl) and went home exhausted.
For our last day in Budapest, we just went to the airport to pick up our car to drive to Slovenia!
We drove about 5 hours to get to Ljubljana with a necessary stop at a Hamburger Haz for American food. Once we got there and checked in, we walked around the river and got pizza for dinner. Slovenia only has a population of 2 million and Ljubljana has a population of 200,000, so it felt small, but quaint.
Friday was our best weather day in Slovenia, so we went to Lake Bled and the Vintgar gorge. Lake Bled is a cute tourist town with an iconic castle and island with a church. Nearly all the tourists were older and more Asian than me, but I still really like walking around the lake, climbing to the castle, eating Wiener Schnitzel, and going on an alpine slide.
Slovenia is known for having many diverse landscapes ranging from mountains to lakes to gorges to caves to beaches. That afternoon, we went to Vintgar gorge. I loved this part of the trip the most because it was an easy hike with many amazing views. I can’t remember, but I think we ate McDonald’s for dinner haha.
Saturday was a day for exploring Ljubljana because it was really rainy. We went up a funicular to the castle for good views of the city. We explored a market for souvenirs and ate a terrible lunch of pizza and grilled cheese. My dad, per usual, got too tired to do anything else, so my mom and I went on a canal cruise with lots of drunk people and spent the rest of the day relaxing.
We drove for another excursion on Sunday to the Bohinj Lake and the associated Savica waterfall. The hike to this waterfall was much harder than the gorge with a worse associated view and on the way back it poured. It rained the rest of the day, so we headed back to Ljubljana to relax.
For our final day of touring, we did a lot as the weather was only partly rainy (huge upgrade)! We went to the Predjama castle which is a 1000-year-old castle built on top of a cave. We just looked at it from a distance before going to the Postojnska Cave for our tour. This cave was incredibly pretty and incredibly busy. We got a nice group tour in English and ate MORE wiener schnitzel. We then drove a bit to Piran which is pretty much the only town Slovenia has on the coast. It is similar to how Dubrovnik looks I imagine. There, we climbed the bell tower of St. George’s, walked around the coast, and ate gelato. For a final meal we ate pizza, but I was in a really bad mood.
Tuesday was a day of lots of travel. First, we drove 5 hours to Budapest, then took a flight to Copenhagen, then I went back to my apartment to grab my suitcases and say goodbyes. I watched the GoT finale with my flat mates and ate my all time favorite salad from Netto. I was really sad saying goodbye for real this time.
Now I am on my flight home from my 4.5 months abroad… I’m sad but ready to go home. Copenhagen was absolutely wonderful, and I recommend it to anyone considering it. Thanks to everyone who made my semester so wonderful! Be home in 12 (hours)!