Sunday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Despite having spent the first nine years of my education at a Catholic school, I’m far from devout. Very, very far. Like, haven’t been to Mass or confession in 7 years far. But when I found out one could bypass the €5.50 entry fee to St. Patrick’s Cathedral by attending a service – and you get to hear the incredible choir – I figured it would be worth it to suck it up and go to church.

It was very much worth my while. Continue reading “Sunday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral”

Tea at The Delaunay

So it seems I’ve been neglecting this blog a bit. Mostly because I’m forgetful, but also because I’ve actually had to do schoolwork for basically the first time all term and because it’s summer internship application crunch time and because I was busy planning my four-city train adventure birthday present to myself. And because I spent last week in London (and Paris!) with my mom and brother, who flew over for the Easter break. I’ve been pretty busy. But the family week definitely made for a couple of posts, so I’ll quit slacking.

One of the things on my study abroad bucket list was to go to a reasonably fancy afternoon tea, and it seemed like a good item for a London tourist itinerary. After looking for a venue that had some class but also a reasonable price range and available tables to be booked just a week in advance, we ended up at The Delaunay on Easter Sunday. Not a bad choice at all. Continue reading “Tea at The Delaunay”

Staying in Kraków

In addition to tourist-y things and the all-important list of places to eat and drink, it seemed like a good idea to do a quick rundown of some of the more practical aspects of my travel to Kraków. Really, this is mostly an excuse for me to rave about the wonderful Cracow Hostel, but I guess I can mention some stuff about costs and public transportation and whatnot that might have been useful to know before I got there.

So, to start: where to stay. Assuming you’re a poor college student like I am, you’re in luck, because Kraków is an awesome budget destination. We stayed at Cracow Hostel for £10 a night, and it was an absolute steal. The location is unbeatable – it’s right on Rynek Główny, which means it’s just a quick walk from the Kraków Głowny train station (which is where you’ll end up if you take the train to and from Kraków Balice airport like we did) as well as all the tourist spots in Old Town and Kazimierz. The super-friendly staff are willing to help you make the most of the location; one of the receptionists helped me find a good takeout spot on the first night, and another booked our Auschwitz tour for us. Continue reading “Staying in Kraków”

Auschwitz

I’ve been conflicted about how to present my photos and experiences from the tour of Auschwitz. It seems inappropriate, somehow, to post my photos online. To be honest, it felt inappropriate to take the photos in the first place, even though our guide assured us that photography is allowed in most parts of the camps. I’m glad I did take the photos, because the experience would almost seem unreal if I didn’t have evidence of it on my camera. And I realize that although this tour is an experience everyone should have at some point in their lifetime, many people will never have the opportunity, so I decided to post my photos here to give people the chance to see it secondhand. Continue reading “Auschwitz”

Eating (and Drinking) in Kraków

For some reason, you don’t hear people raving about Poland as a culinary destination in the same vein as Italy or France. After just a weekend in Kraków, I’m left wondering why. Maybe the quarter or so of me that’s Polish is enough to genetically program me to never want to eat anything other than pierogi and śledzie for every meal for the rest of my life. But considering my friends of Italian and Greek descent loved the Polish cuisine too, it must just be really good food.

I’ve always been a pretty big fan of pierogi, but I never had any idea exactly how delicious the dish could be until I tried some real Polish ones: Continue reading “Eating (and Drinking) in Kraków”

A Weekend in Poland

Early Saturday morning, after two train rides, a stint on the London Underground, and a night spent trying/failing to sleep on a wooden bench in London Stansted, I finally arrived in Kraków, Poland for a weekend trip in what is probably one of the less obvious tourist destinations for someone with all of Europe just a quick flight away. But, being part Polish, I’d always wanted to go, so I grabbed a couple of friends and we went. And it was so much better than any of us had expected.

I knew visiting Poland would be nice just because of my ancestral ties to the place, but as it turns out, Kraków is just a lovely place to visit in general. Even though we were only there for a weekend, I’m probably going to have to write a few posts to cover everything – the food and drink we found definitely deserves its own post, as does our day trip to Auschwitz, and our hostel and other practical stuff probably does as well, so those posts will come in the next couple of days. If you read all of these posts, I fully expect you to book a holiday to Kraków immediately. Honestly. It’s that good. And it’s super, super cheap, so there’s really no reason not to go, especially if you’re already planning to be in Europe. Continue reading “A Weekend in Poland”

Breakfast at Bill’s

So this morning, I made the totally reasonable decision to wake up at 3:30AM so that I could watch the Community panel at PaleyFest. Which was worth it, seeing as I’d already missed the 30 Rock panel Paley put on, and the panel itself was great – the whole cast did Britta’s pizza dance. And after that was over around 5 I had several extra hours before my 9AM seminar, so I made an actual responsible choice and went to the library (which is blessedly open 24/6) to do some reading before class.

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that by the time I got out of class at 10, it felt more like 2 and I figured that early-morning library run meant I’d earned a nice big breakfast instead of a sad attempt to subsist on the toast and Marmite I made at 5:30. So I went off to Bill’s, a place I’d been meaning to try for weeks. The interwebz said they serve one of the best breakfasts in Brighton. Continue reading “Breakfast at Bill’s”

A Day at Stonehenge & Bath

One of the coolest things about this country (and all of Europe, really) is the history. I’m pretty sure that prior to coming here, the oldest building I’d ever seen only dated to the early 18th century. Maybe Massachusetts Hall at Harvard. Even the fort in my hometown that was built in 1839 seemed ancient to me (to be fair, forts had been erected on that site as early as 1755 and they were just destroyed a few times by the French… and some Americans… and the British… so there’s a little more history than the 1839 date suggests).

Compare those buildings to what I saw yesterday, when I stood in the remains of a Roman temple and spa dating back to the first century AD and finally got to see the mysterious arrangement of rocks that’s been standing in Wiltshire for millennia. Stuff from the 18th century seems like such small potatoes in comparison – it’s a whole different historical ballgame here. Continue reading “A Day at Stonehenge & Bath”

Exploring Stanmer Village

Yesterday, after a productive brunch with friends (we planned and booked a trip to Kraków over full English breakfasts, so expect a post about that adventure mid-March), we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and go for a walk through the South Downs National Park, which surrounds our university’s campus. Considering we’d just had pretty heavy breakfasts, it seemed like a good idea to try and burn a few calories.

After taking in the gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside from the top of a big hill next to campus (and trying/failing to befriend some cows grazing nearby), we noticed the village nestled at the bottom of the other side of the hill. And, you know, it was beautiful out and we were feeling adventurous, so we wandered on down. Continue reading “Exploring Stanmer Village”

Brunching at Cafe Coho

As someone who spends most of the year in the New York area and fully intends to move to DC after graduation, I’m kind of obligated to be obsessed with brunch. This is totally fine with me. Much like my lady hero Leslie Knope, I love breakfast food. And I’m addicted to coffee. And I also don’t mind day drinking. Brunch is a magical combination of all of the above.

Full disclosure: today’s brunch wasn’t so much a proper brunch as me getting into town later than expected and ordering from the breakfast menu at one of my favorite cafes at noon. As such, mimosas were not in the picture. But I think it still counts. Continue reading “Brunching at Cafe Coho”