Vale, Outbound to Germany

THREE MONTHS! It's unbelievable how amazing this past month was. I keep falling in love with this city and the people. It's starting to feel like home to me and it's the best feeling an exchange student can have. I had my second orientation in Paris from the 1st of November to the 5th and our Rotary district took us to Paris!! We left one of the main central stations here in Berlin ( Ostbanhof ) and drove in 2 buses about 16 hours from Berlin to Paris. It's true when people tell you that you don't get sleep on a bus when you're with friends because the entire time you're talking, laughing, or even dancing. Poor bus drivers, they didn't get much rest on our way there and back... When we got to Paris we had a pretty tight schedule which was wonderful because we had the opportunity to see such beautiful sights and learn about the cities history. The first day we got there we went to the " Louvre " a beautiful well known museum with lot's of art and old artifacts. From there, we had some free time to walk around the " Champs-Élysées " which was the main touristic area for shopping. The next day, Rotary took us to the " Palais de Versailles " and it was simply stunning. It was also great weather, a bit chilly but the sun was out so it was the perfect balance. Later that evening we went on a tour around " La Seine" which is a 777-kilometre-long river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. Our first time seeing the Eiffel Tower up close. Our last day in Paris was a trip to the Eiffel tour where we went up half way and saw all of Paris. It was breathtaking to say the least... Everything looked like it was a painting, all the buildings with their different structures and colors made the 600 stairs worth it. Of course when a trip ends it's bitter sweet, great memories were made but it's back to reality. Recently, I was able to go to Hamburg to visit some friends and there I also got to do some sightseeing. It's crazy how different Hamburg is from Berlin, not only physically but also the accent they have. What I mean by this is that the way they pronounce German words sounds slightly different from the way Berliners pronounce them. Much like in the US, depending in which state you are in, people have different accents and even slang words. My friends took me on a boat tour around the Elbe where I got to see the Elbphilharmonie. It's absolutely beautiful! It is a concert hall and is one of the largest and most acoustically advanced concert halls in the world. The last thing I got to see in Hamburg before I left back to Berlin was the " Miniatur Wunderland " a model railway attraction and the largest of its kind in the world. The detail that went into this project is astonishing. Everything was so carefully built and thought through that people that have visited these countries in real life say it looks exactly like them. Truly a wonderful experience.

This month was filled with so much exploring and learning the great wonders of this country. Like I've said before, everyday is a new surprise, there is always something new to see, learn, and enjoy. If there is anything I can tell the future exchange students from Florida is that now is the time to enjoy the warm weather, because if you're going to any country in Europe, prepare to freeze! But seriously, I am loving my exchange and I can't imagine coming home again... Berlin has my heart! Happy 100 days in Berlin to me!!!!

Click HERE to read more about Vale and all her blogs