The Final Stretch My last & Favorite european weeks

Barcelona, Spain

With a full weekend in Barca, we saw almost everything Gaudi, drank all of the sangria, and ate all of the tapas. We had some of the best food, danced at one of the most famous nightclubs in the world, and dipped our feet in the Mediterranean Sea. Barca will forever hold a place in my heart as one of my top places I have visited.

We went to Park Güell (pronounced Guay) where the Cheetah Girls sang Strut, then went to Gaudi's Casa Milà/La Pedrera with the interesting storm trooper chimney stacks. We only walked by Casa Batlló by Gaudi and its next-door neighbor Casa Amatller by Cadafalch. Our last Gaudi adventure was to La Sagrada Familia, a beautifully colorful and bright church. The stained glass looked like it was on fire.
We hung out at Barcelonetta Beach for a while and saw the iconic W Hotel building. The beach was also where we all bought tapestries that were supposed to be €30 a piece, but we "only had €10"… hah suckers. We had some of the best breakfasts at Brunch & Cake and the Federal Cafe. We also had some of the best juices at La Boqueria, the world famous market on La Rambla.

Budapest, Hungary

I would say that Budapest was my other favorite city I visited. Budapest is rich with history, but the atmosphere feels so new and fresh. We mostly just walked around to see the sights, but the Christmas markets were awesome and the food was even better! Tasting the traditional Hungarian Chimney Cake is worth a trip to Budapest on its own. Everybody is so friendly and willing to help you. It was a great way to bring my semester in Europe to an end!

Our first day we explored the Buda side of the city with the Buda Castle and open air markets. That night we went to severe different pubs and bars: at Anderson Pub we got a "meter of beer" for the equivalent of $4, at Red Ruin (a communist themed bar) we tried shots of Hungary's most popular liquors – Unicom and Palinka, and at Simple Kert we experienced the eccentricity of a true Budapest ruin bar.
Day two we explored the Pest side of the city, seeing the Opera House, Saint Stephen's Basilica, the Christmas Markets, the Chain Bridge, the Parliament Building, and Margaret's Island. Our last night we attempted to go to the popular thermal bath, Széchenyi, but we were a little too late so we explored Hero's Square and found a hidden gem: Vajdahunyad Castle. The castle was wide open late at night and we were able to go in and explore without anyone else being there.

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