Detour to Central Europe

Last week was reading week for all university students in France, which inevitably meant I went travelling instead of getting a head start on all my assignments.

My friends and I decided to visit Prague, Vienna and Budapest. 3 cities in 5 days was not a good idea. Especially because we refused to use public transit and walked for 9 hours each day trying to see everything there is to see in the city. We were completely exhausted by day 3, but persevered and climbed the hills at Budapest. Twice.

Prague as seen from the steps leading to Prague Castle

Prague as seen from the steps leading to Prague Castle

Seeing the actual windows where the defenestration of Prague occurred at Prague Castle was amazing. I had vowed to see it with my own eyes when I learned about it in my grade 11 world history class. 4 years later, it was surreal to stand next to it and look out at the steep drop below.

Prague - my first trdelnik. It's Hungarian in origin, but every other street stand in Prague sells them,

Prague – my first trdelnik. Every other street stand in Prague sells them, and they are absolutely delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

Aerial view of Vienna from the top of the St.Stephen's Cathedral.

Aerial view of Vienna from the top of the St.Stephen’s Cathedral. Somehow climbing seems to have become the theme of this trip.

 

 

The first thing I noticed about Vienna was how clean it was. I did not have to look down at my steps every few minutes for fear that I might step in dog poop (I’m judging you, Paris). The second was how white the buildings are. The aerial view shows a much more colourful Vienna than at street-level. The contrast is big when I was so used to the pastel-coloured buildings in Prague.

Vienna

Graben street, Vienna

 

Biggest tip I can give about Budapest is to wait to exchange your currency until you are in city proper. There are currency exchange stores everywhere, and their rates are extraordinarily good. Do not exchange your currency at the train station or the airport, I learned the hard way how much of a rip-off that was (1 euro was worth 310 forint in city center, while it was only worth 240 forint at the train station. You do the math).

Buda Castle as seen from the Chain Bridge

Buda Castle as seen from the Chain Bridge

As tiring as the trip was, I had an amazing time. With only 6 weeks left in my exchange, this is probably my last outside-of-France trip, and it is well worth it.

Budapest seen from Buda Castle

Budapest seen from Buda Castle

Disappointment, Six Pizzas, & One Long Hike

Hej hej!

Taking off from the last post, I must say that the class debate was slightly disappointing. I had prepared myself for battle, but when the time came, none of the other stakeholder groups (Agriculture, Engineers, and the Green Movement) pressed forward the issues caused by Fisheries. The majority of the debate took place around the agricultural impacts on the health of the Baltic Sea. This is clearly an important aspect that required a discussion, but it is far from the only problem. Although I enjoyed the debating practice, in the future I would hope that the discussion is a bit more balanced.

Report writing process.

Report writing process.

With the completion of the debate, a new project began. We were given eight class days to work on our Individual Literature Project (ILP). Although I had known about this project for quite some time, I had not made too much progress prior to the start of this eight day period of free study time. However, my ILP came together quite smoothly. We were allowed to choose any topic, as long as it related in some way to aquatic ecology. I decided to look into the phenomenon of seagrass reddening. With my free time I read a mountain of scientific articles that were all somehow related to this topic. I then condensed my ideas regarding the articles I found useful, and finished by spending a large amount of my time writing the actual paper. All in all, I’m pretty happy with the final product…although this may change depending on how it is graded.

Pizza preparations.

Pizza preparations.

After spending so much time indoors writing, I definitely wanted to take advantage of the approaching weekend. To start, I through a mini pizza party in my apartment with several classmates Friday night. I had the dough waiting when they arrived and everyone got the chance to make their own artistically inspired pizza. There was a massive amount left over, but this was perhaps a blessing in disguise since a group of us decided to go out hiking on Saturday. We took the train from Lund to Landskrona and then hiked along the seaside North to Helsingborg. I’ll admit that it wasn’t the greatest weather, but at least it wasn’t rainy. Plus, the thick coat of fog that followed us during the latter half of our hike made the whole experience feel like some foreboding post-apocalyptic movie scene. The hike lasted for about five hours. Needless to say, I decided to stay in Saturday night…I’m fairly certain I was asleep before ten. Although, for those of you who know me, perhaps this is not so surprising.

Hiking along the coast.

Hiking along the coast.

Hiking into the abyss.

Into the abyss.

Passing through a little fishing village.

Passing through a little fishing village.

Until next time,

Abby