“Most travel, and certainly the rewarding kind, involves depending on the kindness of strangers, putting yourself into the hands of people you don’t know and trusting them with your life.”

Coming up on a year from when I started my ‘big adventure’ I’ve decided to actually work on this blog. I hope to use this space as a means to share my experiences and photos with anyone who is interested. Last summer I was lucky enough to be gifted an amazing camera, by my photographer sister, so I really hope that this can be a place where I can share my photos from my travels.

The current title of this blog is, “An American in Lietuva,” unfortunately I never got around to actually writing anything while I lived in Lithuania the past 9 months. My experience was incredible, though very difficult and challenging for awhile. I hope I can accurately express my feelings, experiences, and views of the country from outside the country.


The Start

On August 5, 2014 my good friend Sarah and I began our trip traveling around Europe. Our itinerary included 6 days in Munich, Germany and 4 days in Prague, Czech Republic.

Munich

Sarah at the Munich airport.

Sarah at the Munich airport.

Our travels in Germany were really like that of middle class, middle-aged girlfriends. We drank a lot of German beer, saw pretty churches, and went on free walking tours. On our seconnd day in Munich we went to the world famous Hofbräuhaus, which was established in the 16th century, and has seen the likes of Mozart, Vladimir Lenin, and was the location of Hitler’s first National Socialist Party meeting.

Multiply that by 4 and you'll see how my night went.

Multiply that by 4 and you’ll see how my night went.

Sarah taking a picture with the Polka band.

Sarah taking a picture with the Polka band.

The following night we checked out Chinesischen Turm, the famous Chinese beirgarten.

Pretzels and Mustard.

Pretzels and Mustard.

The following day we took a day trip to Salzburg, Austria. In my travels I went to Austria twice and it is an extremely beautiful country. Unfortunately, I didn’t spend enough time there to do too many things. I hope in the future I can spend more time there.

Salzburg

Salzburg

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Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

Salzburg

We spent most of our day in Salzburg just walking around and I do not regret it. The alps were so beautiful, and we were even lucky enough to get rain in the afternoon. The Sound of Music of was filmed there, btw.

On our 4th day in Munich we went to Dachau concentration camp. Unfortunately my camera died as we got there. The tour was obviously depressing and emotional, but very informative.

"Arbeit macht frei" is a German phrase meaning "work makes (you) free."

“Arbeit macht frei” is a German phrase meaning “work makes (you) free.”

Dachau Concentration Camp

Dachau Concentration Camp

Finally, our last day was spent at Olympic park in Munich.

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Olympic Park

Olympic Park

Prague

Next, we were off to Prague. The morning we left we went to Starbucks to get something for the train journey.

Prague was by far my favorite part of that trip. I’m still not sure if it’s because of how beautiful the city was or how awesome our hostel was, probably a combination of both aspects. During the 4 nights we were there we had 6 roommates, in a 6 person dorm room. So 3 guys, who came and went, and another girl in the end. The most amazing thing about the whole experience is how close we became with our roommates, it felt like we had known each of them for forever. I ended up even traveling with half of them at the end of my trip. I hope we all meet again soon.

Prague roomies, miss you guys!

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The first hostel roommates.

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Honestly, Prague involved a lot of drinking, exploring, and just hanging out with our new friends. I feel like it makes sense though, that’s how any friends trip would go. We did cross St. Charles bridge, see Prague castle, see the famous clock tower, and went to the sex museum.

The architecture of the city is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, it’s Gothic, so there are statues everywhere. I could spend hours just walking around looking at the old buildings.

View from Prague Castle

View from Prague Castle

Our group :)

Our group 🙂

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At the end of this leg of the trip Sarah and I had to part ways as she was meeting her family in Italy. That left me with 5 free days until I flew to Lithuania. The whole trip I was deciding on whether to go to Budapest, or back to Germany and spend time in Berlin. When I found out that half of our hostel group was going to Budapest, I decided to tag along! Sarah shed a few tears before we all left, as we all became one big family.

Budapest

So I took the train to Hungary. Once we got there we met up with the Swedes that we met in Prague. That night, my travel partner went to the Sziget Festival, and the Swedes and I drank Hungary wine and had a sleepover in our hostel. That was one my favorite parts of the whole trip, but deserves its’ own post.

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We went to a Hungarian bathhouse one day, it was really nice.

Vienna

Finally, I spent less than 24-hours in Vienna with my Spanish friend Alex before heading back to Prague to fly to Lithuania. I would love to go back and really explore, that was not enough time. But we did check out Freud’s house as well as went on a hop-on/hop-off bus tour. We were able to fit quite a bit in for my short time there.

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I’m missing some of my photos from Vienna unfortunately. Hopefully I find them. I took some photos of the trolleybuses/trams in Vienna, they are so adorable and old fashioned.

The End…

which actually led to the beginning of my real adventure. I spent one more night in Prague, and getting to my hostel once I got of the train was its own experience, which I’ll write about another time. Before catching my flight to Lithuania I was able to check out the communist museum in Prague.

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As I stated above, the end of this trip was really the beginning of a new adventure, and the start of my life. My experiences in Lithuania will always be dear to me, and my first days there deserve their own post.

I hope to catch you all up on the happenings of my life over the past year, including all of my travels. I hope you enjoyed this post and continue to follow me on my journey. From Kaunas to Tel Aviv, next stop Glasgow!

 

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