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  Cornell University

Cornell in Rome

College of Architecture, Art and Planning

“How do you say thank you in your country’s language?”

New firsts, and new “first times in a while” were accomplished this fall break.  But then again, it’s pretty easy when your starting point is Rome.  Even so, our professor’s told us that our trip was probably the most ambitious of the bunch, and in the end we definitely bit off a little more than we could chew.

Inside one of the Augustiner Brau tents

If you count how many countries we drove through (including Italy), we hit 8 countries, in a little over a week.  Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia.  At the end of it all, even the ones who didn’t drive were exhausted.  The ones who drove got sick.  My clean clothes ran out after country number 4, and coming back to Italy where we could at least understand what people were saying again was like a homecoming.  But the trip was amazing, and I would go back to any of those countries in a heartbeat.  Maybe not all 8 in one trip again, and especially not in the span of 9 days.

We paid homage to Terragni in Como.  We drove on some of the greatest driving terrain in the world, in Switzerland, according to Top Gear.  I ate some Käsespätzle in Innsbruck, and saw the world famous ski jump from afar.  We went to Oktoberfest in Munich, and I don’t care what this Austrian guy we met in Vienna says, it was amazing, and an absolute must.  Prague had Gehry’s “dancing building”, but the city itself was much more interesting, and way more beautiful than I could’ve ever imagined.  I bought a postcard at the Vienna Secession building.  We took a bath in the Szenchenyi thermal baths in Budapest.  We hired a boat in Zadar, and swam in the Adriatic.  We even managed to catch the tail end of a Regatta in Trieste.

Zadar, Croatia

All in all, we crossed a lot of things off our respective bucket lists, but that’s what the trip felt like the entire time, like we were crossing things off lists.  Don’t get me wrong, that was definitely our time to be crossing things off lists, but like I said, it’s going to be a while before I can work up the stamina to do something like that again; the thought of spending a week in one place sounds so appealing right about now.  In fact, one of the most surprising, interesting, and perfect places to be on our trip, was Zadar, Croatia.  And driving along the Croatian coast on our last day was the 2nd most amazing drive of the trip.  Croatia is a flat-out-gem, especially if you’re into outdoorsy adventure sports kind of stuff.  It’s also unbelievably beautiful.  So put it on your bucket list, and make sure you spend more than just 2 nights there.

Driving along Croatia’s Coastline

 

Some more stats:
3,850 km (total distance traveled)
3 Capital Cities (and we stepped foot in each of them on the same day)
200 km/hr (top speed on the Autobahn)
Drove through a country without stepping foot in it (Slovenia)
Visited 4 tents at Oktoberfest (2 were owned by Augustiner Brau)
Drove through a country without spending money in it (Switzerland) and we now have coins in 3 different currencies (that are utterly useless)

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