Exchange to Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy
Semester 2, 2015
Have finally arrived in Milano for exchange after 3 months of travel through Eastern Europe and the Baltic’s! Here are some of the highlights of my side travels so far…..
My travels started in the hustle and bustle of Istanbul, Turkey. We arrived into the suburb of Sultanahmet in the early evening – and were immediately greeted by enchanting cobbled laneways along with the timeless Blue Mosque. Pictures do not do it justice! My following days were spent wandering around the winding streets of the city – the buzz of Istiklal Caddesi in Taksim, the Parisian charm of Galata and the frenetic pace and energy around the Galata Bridge. And of course, no visit to Istanbul is complete without sampling Kebab from a local street vendor – the best in the world!
After arriving to Nikola Tesla airport from Turkey without our baggage, I arrived in the Serbian capital of Belgrade. First impressions do not always hold true! Behind the vast concrete façade is one of the most vibrant, energetic and interesting cities I have visited. During my stay in Belgrade I was fortunate enough to witness Serbia’s national sporting passion – soccer. The game certainly didn’t disappoint! Although the crowd only numbered around 30,000 people, the noise and energy of the local Serbian fans could have matched an AFL crowd at the MCG. Interestingly, the city had a fantastic coffee scene – some of the best coffee I’ve had since leaving Melbourne.
Poland – what an amazing country. Krakow is my second stop in Poland after a short stay in the city of Wroclaw. The old capital of Poland – Krakow is an architectural and cultural gem. The centre of the old town converges on one of the largest market squares in Europe. The city was a food-lovers paradise – plates of steaming hot pierogi (polish dumplings), bowls of traditional polish soup, and of course…Polish vodka! During my stay in Krakow I visited the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenhau. Auschwitz was one of the most confronting and impactful experiences of my entire trip. The size and scale of the complex was truly horrific– photos do not truly reflect the enormity of the place.
What a beautiful city – of the smallest cities in the smallest capital cities in the entire Baltic/Scandinavian region. Like it’s Latvian counterpart Riga, the city had a compact and alluring old town – a labyrinth of hilly cobbled streets. Along with tall church towers and rich terracotta roofs, the city was picture perfect. Even in this part of the world it is impossible to escape Australian’s on the road – there seems to be an army in every corner of the globe!