western europe final

The Old World

Europe has roughly the same size economy, population and land area as the United States, although it is split into about 30 countries. The European Union has 28 member nations, 19 use the Euro, and NATO has 26 European members. From Iceland over to Russia and down to Turkey lies the continent referred to as Europe. From the ancient Roman Empire that ruled the known world 2000 years ago, to the British that controlled almost 25% of the world less than 100 years ago, this continent was arguably the birthplace of the industrial revolution, communism, fascism, and exploration. It was also the cause of the world's most destructive wars.


Study Abroad 2007

In 2007, I was lucky enough to study in Prague for a semester. The city contains a wealth of historic buildings dating back through the course of European history, which were spared during the Second World War. The city's iconic Gothic buildings are my favorite. I visited about a dozen cities in the Czech Republic along with Italy, Germany, Austria, and Slovakia during the semester. I was a better explorer than student, and Europe is a great place to get your feet wet and learn how to travel like a backpacker.
Czech Republic -> Berlin, Germany; Bratislava, Slovakia; Rome/Pompeii, Italy; Vatican City; Vienna, Austria

The Return Trips

In fall 2014, I returned to Europe for a three week vacation traveling by train from Copenhagen, Denmark through Germany back to Prague. In summer 2015, I ended a Balkan trip with a short visit to see some old friends in England. It's expensive, but it's a friendly island full of history, lovely countryside, mid-evil castles and cozy pubs. No matter the budget or preference, Europe has something enjoyable for everyone. Like always, this page only exists to get you interested, excited and hopefully motivated to get up and see something new! Enjoy, and thanks for looking!
Pergamon Museum Berlin, Germany
The Colosseum in Rome, Italy
Bratislava Castle, Slovakia

Why The Czech Republic? Historic buildings, castles, and chateaus!

czech republic map final
Prague Study Abroad 2007
(1) Prague (2) Karlstejn Castle (3) Karlovy Vary
(4) Terezin Concentration Camp (5) Kutna Hora
(6) Konopiste Castle (7) Tabor (8) Jindrichuv Hradec Chateau
(9) Cesky Krumlov Castle (10) Olomouc
Czech Republic Trip 2014
(1) Prague (11) Plzen Pilsner Urquell Brewery

Prague 2007

was arguably the best 4 months of my life. Class was interesting, like art history, where we spent half the class walking the city learning first hand about art/architectural styles and periods. I traveled almost every weekend to a different city, but when I stayed in town, us American students would hit up bars located in hundreds years old smoky cellars in the city center. For younger travelers, Prague is the party capital of Europe with some of the world's biggest night clubs. I studied here because it was affordable, historic, and unscathed in World War Two (unlike almost every other large city in Europe). This is a wonderful and easy country to discover.

Prague 2014

I came back to visit the city as part of a three week trip from Copenhagen, Denmark through Germany over to Prague. I was able to revisit some of the favorites from my first trip to Prague, and things looked basically the same as I remember. I was able to crash at a friend's house, and on the weekend, they took me to visit the Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Plzen.  The brewery was massive; the best part was going below ground to see how the original 1800's brew was made. At the tour's end, we even got a glass of the real oak barrel fermented, unfiltered beer, which is the only way to get a true Pilsner Urquell! If you like to home brew, or just enjoy a great cold beer, a brewery tour is a great experience.
Kutna Hora Bone Church
Made from plague victim's remains
Terezin Concentration Camp
Over 30,000 died from poor living conditions, about 100,000 more died after being transferred to extermination camps
Troja Palace
This palace has many beautifully painted rooms
Konopiste Castle
Official Residence of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
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Home of Pilsner Urquell beer
Beautiful, small, but lively, college town

Trip 2 - Fall 2014: Denmark -> Germany -> Czech Republic

Bad Bentheim Castle, Germany
Beautiful castle town close to the Dutch border
Quedlinburg, Germany
Small town in East Germany famous for centuries old wooden houses
Copenhagen, Denmark
Restored and lively pier lined with old wooden sail boats, restaurants, and pubs

Trip 3 - England Summer 2015

In summer 2015, I ended the Balkans trip with a short visit to see some old friends in England on my way back to the states. I saved a lot of money by crashing with friends in Eastbourne, London, and Nottingham. London is expensive, but England is a friendly nation full of history, lovely countryside, mid-evil castles and cozy pubs.

What to do next?

For more photos and information on current, recent and past trips, check out the youtube page and extended photo album.