This past week, my travels took me to Poitiers, France to visit my host family from when I studied abroad in high school, Berlin to meet up with CYA friends, and Amsterdam to meet up with my Dutch friend who studied at my high school in the US. As beautiful as Greece is, I was happy for the change of scenery. While I have visited France and the Netherlands before, this was my first time seeing Poitiers and Germany.Poitiers Hotel de Ville
I arrived in Berlin late on Monday night, so I woke up eager to explore on Tuesday. We stayed at the Grand Hostel in Kreuzberg, and I would highly recommend both the hostel and the neighborhood for students. While it was slightly further from touristy stuff we wanted to see, it was such a cool place to hang out and public transportation was so easy to navigate.
The Holocaust memorial was very moving.
Christmas markets everywhere!
And of course, no trip to Berlin would be complete without a trip to see the East Side Gallery. For a historian interested in World War II and the Cold War such as myself, Berlin was a fascinating city to visit, and this was the icing on the cake!
I got to Amsterdam on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, for two days of solo travel. I stayed at the Flying Pig near Vondelpark, and while the location was top-notch, the hostel itself catered more towards people who come to Amsterdam to spend time at the infamous coffee shops. I was happy to explore on my own, though, and enjoyed connecting with people I met in museums and teahouses.