Czech Republic

Feels Like Home

Ahoj again!

I have been here a month and part of me can’t believe how fast time is going by and the other feels like I have been here forever. Prague makes me feel at home, all the nerves are gone but I still seem to wake up with excitement every morning! I have not had a dull moment since I arrived in this beautiful city. I know one thing for sure and that’s that time needs to slow down! I still so much more to see!

Over the past month I have had so many amazing opportunities. Opportunities that are so fantastic they are hard to put into words. But my most recent and life changing experience was traveling to Budapest, Hungary. I had never dreamed of going to Hungary, and there I was, buying a bus ticket to Budapest! Being that this was my first adventure outside of Prague, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect or how to plan the weekend. Luckily, I was traveling with a large group of students from ISA. After booking my ticket (one of the most nerve racking experiences yet), there was only one thing standing between me and Budapest… A 7-hour bus ride. 7 hours you say? The time had no effect on me; it gave me the opportunity to see the “countryside” of Europe. We had two stops along the way. One in Brno, Czech Republic, and the other in Bratislava, Slovakia. Both of which were interesting to see, even if it was just from a bus window.

Upon arrival I could not wait to take my first steps in Hungary. But before exploring I needed to find an ATM. I learned very quickly that always having the countries currency is one of the most important things while being abroad. Once I got the money all sorted out I was off to find our hostel. Not only was this my first adventure outside of Prague but also it was my first time staying in a hostel. I have heard horror stories about hostels and was a little worried. But this could not have been a better first hostel! We stayed at a great hostel that is run by young people from all around the world; from England, Ireland, and Australia mostly. Staying in this hostel was one of the reasons my weekend was so amazing. They told us where to eat, how to get there, the places to go, and the places worth missing. Without them I would have been walking around aimlessly not having a clue of what sites to see and what to avoid. Budapest is a breath-taking city filled with nice people and great food. What’s not to like about that? It’s hard to fit in all the site seeing in just a few days, but we crammed in as much as possible! The first day we hiked up the mountain to see the castle and church, which doesn’t sound like much but it was a lot of walking! The second day we saw the grand market, the House of Terror Museum, and the natural hot springs spas. When I write down all that we did, it doesn’t look like much, but believe me, our days were filled! Since words cannot describe how beautiful Budapest is, I will let you decide for yourself…

Some of the ISA group members in Budapest! Here’s to new friends!

Budapest Castle!

The Budapest Chain Bridge

Some of the ISA girls at the overlook.

Parliament building! One of Europe’s oldest legislative buildings and the largest building in Hungary!

Natural hot springs spas… so relaxing! (minus the oversized European men in Speedos!)

View of Budapest from the bridge… Breathtaking!

Traveling to Budapest has reassured me that traveling is one of the most important things to me. But it has also shown me that Prague is my home right now and I am right where I am supposed to be! I never thought that I would be able to call Prague home, but getting back to Prague from Budapest, all I could think of was how amazing Budapest was but how happy I was to be home!

Na Shledanou,

Alyssa Fidel
Classmates Connecting Cultures
Prague, Czech Republic
Spring 2012

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