Is it really a secret to anyone at this point that Berlin has been appointed, whether it likes it or not, the it city of Europe? Anytime you mention its name in conversation, even if the conversation has nothing to do with Berlin, somehow Berlin will take over. “Oh, Berlin, though? C’mon! I love that city!” How could you not?
For me, Berlin wins. Where else in Europe can I eat vegetarian curry wurst for €2? Pick up a big cup of coffee with milk and sugar…to go? Work on my laptop in a coffee shop filled with other entrepreneurs, bloggers, and young, creative startups? Learn about such dense and significant history, and then let it all go while I dance at an underground rave party that I just happened to stumble upon while exiting a random U-bahn station?
Berlin is a must to any backpacking trip – I think everyone knows that by now. For Jo and I, officially three weeks into our backpacking
trip marathon of nine countries in 25 days, we could feel ourselves slowing down. A city as spread out and livable as Berlin could be all we needed to rejuvenate us, or on the other hand, maybe we’d just have to push through our fatigue and let Berlin nightlife wake us up…or maybe we just needed to take our first nap of the entire trip?
Needless to say, we arrived in Ostbahnhof, slugging our luggage to our hostel for the next four nights: St. Christopher’s Inn Berlin.
When it comes to Fort Wayne, you tend to run into two kinds of people: those who grumble about how Fort Wayne is the most boring place in the US, and then those who believes there’s a bright future to Fort Wayne. I admit, I was at first a grumbler, then a changed believer.
One day while chilling on my laptop in Fortezza Coffee off Calhoun Street in downtown, I ran into someone from high school, but it wasn’t one of those awkward, “I see you, but I’m going to act like I don’t see you” kind of scenarios. We chatted about travel, about Indiana, and about moving away. I ran into him again. And again. And again. Literally four times at the same coffee shop and that’s how I know that if you’re chilling in the same coffee shop as me, by yourself, doin’ your thing, then we’re probably on somewhat of the same wavelength.
Ben has been on the lookout for a creative modern city like Portland, but for now, he’s enjoying life as a twenty-something in downtown Fort Wayne. Not bad. If you’re a Fort Wayne reader, you know that the downtown of today’s Fort Wayne is already 10x better than the Fort Wayne of ten years ago.
Parisians, hold your (natural) dirty look s’il vous plaît, this girl jumped ship down to the South side where the sun actually shines. It’s true, I’m betraying you, but don’t hate me.
Three years ago when I studied abroad in Paris, I was convinced that it was the most amazing city in France. How mainstream of me, ewiiieee. After four months of living à la lumière, I had learned exactly which smelly metro stops to avoid, where to buy the cheapest and best crêpe without going anywhere near Saint-Michel, and the perfect place to sit and stare at the Seine with a baguette and bottle of cheap Monoprix wine. I was so in love with the semester that I’ve been back almost every year to pretend I still live in the 15ième with my French home-stay.
By the end of my exchange I had traveled to parts of Northern France to vineyards and castles and spent my Spring Break in the Côte d’Azur wandering around Nice, Cannes, and Monaco, and yet still returned to Paris relieved to be “going back home.” Being a loyal lover of Paris seemed like a solid statement until I caught myself creepin’ on the down low with my new girl, Marseille. But here’s why it was worth the cheat.
Even for a New Yorker, Budapest in June can feel overwhelming. Imagine this: you’re carrying three heavy bags, and after five minutes of figuring out how to buy your metro card and get past the weird turnstile-less ticket validation process, you face your first real obstacle: riding the massively long and vertically inclined escalators to the metro trains without developing a case of vertigo.
You make it through with ears popped and you’re slammed with wafting heat that greets you into a city pulsing at all times of day. Welcome to Budapest.