A Broad in London

An American College Student studying for a semester in London

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Berlin, Germany

After a long, long, long, bus ride we made it to Berlin, and I have to say, it quickly became one of my favorite cities in Europe. Its big city American feel was perfectly complimented by its ethnic, historical charm.  The first night we were there we walked around the area where our hotel was and had dinner at a little italian restaurant that had great food and beer at cheap prices. Only 3 euros for a pizza! 

The next morning we visited the Brandenburg Gate, The Holocaust Memorial, The Berlin Wall Museum and the Jewish Quarter of Berlin. 

Me in front of the Brandenburg Gate

The Holocaust Memorial—it was an interesting arrangement of different sized cement blocks

Inside the memorial 

While walking to the memorial, we saw a group of kids heading to place flowers on the blocks. The flowers were absolutely beautiful and livened up the gray memorial. 

Throughout Berlin, their are double cobblestone blocks that represent where the Berlin Wall once stood. 

Standing in front of a piece of the wall

The view of the wall from the observation deck of the museum

That evening we took a guided tour of The Reichstag—Germany’s Parliament Building.  The building was burned down by the Nazis but rebuilt to be almost identical outside, but modern on the inside. 

The exterior of the Reichstag

We walked right past Angela Merkel (chancellor of Germany)’s office!

The chamber where parliament sits in session

The dome on top of the Reichstag

During our last full day in Berlin, I went to Charlottenburg Palace, the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, and the Topography of Terror exhibition.

One of the rooms inside Charlottenburg. The palace was built for princess Sophie Charlotte.

The grand ballroom

The Palace from the gardens

The checkpoint charlie museum—it detailed escapes over the Berlin Wall

A sign that once stood at the checkpoint between East and West Berlin

The Topography of Terror exhibition. It is where the gestapo headquarters once stood. It is a museum that details the Nazi regime.

That night I had one of the best meals of my entire time in Europe. I had pork shnitzel with a spatzel noodles and a mushroom cream sauce.  It was awesome and so was the German beer I had the whole time I was there.

The next day we woke up, packed, checked out of our hotel, and had lunch at the Hard Rock. By 6pm I was on a flight home to London, which was only going to be my home for one more night.  

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Krakow, Poland

After my semester ended at Regent’s College, the group of John Carroll students headed to Krakow, Poland and Berlin, Germany for the week. 

Our first day in Krakow consisted of a walking tour of Kazimierz, the historical Jewish area of Krakow, which was also the area we were staying in. 

After the walking tour a few of us stopped for dinner at a little family restaurant called Polskie Smaki.  I had some amazing food…galupki and pierogies with cheese and potatoes.  

The next day we visited Wawel Hill which houses the royal castle and cathedral of Krakow. It was the home parish of Pope John Paul II when he was Bishop of Krakow. 

The top of Wawel Hill

Later that day we went to a museum located where Oskar Schindler’s factory once stood. The museum went into detail about the Nazi’s occupation of Krakow and throughout Poland. 

The factory

A quote from a Nazi general 

After the museum we walked through the main square and stopped in for a brief service at St. Mary’s Church. It is absolutely gorgeous inside and out. 

St. Mary’s

The Main Square 

On Sunday the group headed to Auschwitz. It was one of the largest concentration camps during WWII and was the site of the death of millions of jews, political prisoners, and other enemies of the third reich. 

Some of the group walking into Auschwitz 

The sign at the entrance of the camp that reads in english “work makes you free” which gave the prisoners a false sense of hope.

One of the buildings

One of the suitcases full of possessions taken by the nazis

A guard tower 

The second camp at Auschwitz—Birkeneau 

Candles placed along the train tracks in remembrance 

Rubble from the Crematorium 


A building that housed prisoners of the camp

Inside the building—living quarters

Auschwitz was one of the most moving places I visited while in Europe. It is hard to describe the emotions that overcame me while being in a place where one of the largest atrocities in the world happened.  

Our last day Krakow was quite relaxing.  We visited Nova Huta which was the communist community in Krakow during the Cold War. The next morning we woke up and set out on a 7 hour bus ride to Berlin.

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Good Eats

London has some pretty incredible food and I have had pizza in Italy, crepes in France, and Guinness in Ireland. But there are some foods from home that I am absolutely craving.

1. Julianos: I cannot wait for garlic breadsticks, wings with homemade ranch, and Rigatoni Julianos.

2. Mad Mex: Los Wingos Wrap

3. Primanti Brothers: Cheesesteak

4. Moe’s: Homewrecker with chips and queso

Last but not least— mom (and dads) cooking:

Flank Steak
Homemade Sauce
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Linguini and Clam Sauce
And so much more!

If you can’t tell…I’m getting really excited to go home!

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Finals Week at Regent’s

Well my time in London is coming to an end, and I have to spend my last few days taking exams. My schedule is looking like:

Tuesday-Contemporary Moral Problems Exam

Wednesday-Modern Europe Exam, Politics of Development Paper

Thursday-Shakespeare I Exam

It isn’t too bad, but I would much rather be out exploring London than stuck in the library studying. On the bright side, I leave on Friday morning with the 25 John Carroll study abroad students to spend a week in Germany and Poland! JCU planned the trip for us and it looks like it will be a busy but fun week.

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Barcelona, Spain

What! A! City! Barcelona, a costal city in Spain, was a beautiful place for a weekend on the Mediterranean. My friends and I spend the weekend laying and drinking on the beach, and touring the architecturally phenomenal city. Barcelona is home to some of architect Antonio Gaudi’s finest work including La Sagrada Familia. It was a fun weekend full of sun and sand. 

Boats in the harbor 

The mountain to the right of this picture is Montjuic. On Saturday we climbed to the top. It had the BEST view of the Mediterranean and the city. 

The Beach!

Every street was so charming

Casa Batllo-Antonio Gaudi

Casa Mila-Another Gaudi House

La Sagrada Familia-one of the most unique churches I have ever been to. Absolutely stunning inside and out. 

The interior of the church was unreal. I wish my pictures captured even half of the beauty. 

The crucifix near the alter.

Me inside of La Sagrada. 

Only some of the many stained glass windows.

The detail on the exterior was incredible.

Out of all of the weekend trips I have been on so far, Barcelona was definitely the most like a vacation. It was great to relax a bit before returning to Regent’s to prep for finals. 

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Last weekend I visited Westminster Cathedral, not to be confused with Westminster Abbey.  The church was absolutely beautiful and is the mother church of the Catholic community in Wales and England. The church has small chapels off of the main area, dedicated to different sacrements.  It was free to tour the church and for only a few pounds we were able to go to the top of the bell tower which provides a panoramic view of the entire city of London. 

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Oxford, England is only an hour train ride from Central London. A few students that I am studying with decided to spend last Saturday exploring the town.  We visited Christ Church and Christ College (the main college at Oxford University).  The grounds were beautiful and we even saw some spots where Harry Potter was filmed! The rest of the day we walked around, enjoying the architecture and landscapes. 

A church in Oxford

Walking up to Christ College

A corridor in the college

The stairs leading up to the great hall from Harry Potter

Just being a student at Hogwart’s

The great hall

Choir practice at Christ Church Cathedral 

Christ Church

Walking along the streets of Oxford

The Radcliffe Library

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Busy, Busy, Busy

It has been a busy two weeks in London. I have had 4 essays due in the past week and a half so I have been slacking on my blogging duties.  Last weekend I went to Oxford {post to come soon} and this weekend I am heading off to Barcelona {hooray for spanish food and the beach}!! I promise to share pictures as soon as I get back!