I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop with Julia on a very rainy day here in Krakow and am still smiling. Rain is my least favorite weather, but there is something about sitting in a coffee shop in Poland on my laptop drinking a cappuccino that makes its all okay! In addition to writing this post, I am researching a pierogi making class that my friends and I can take to experience more of Polish culture. Stay tuned for my final blog post to see how that turns out!
I am always fascinated about how easy transportation is in Europe. Over the past 15 days, I’ve taken a bus, tram, metro, taxi, and overnight train. And, I’ve walked over 6 miles each day of course!
Prague and Krakow have the easiest transportation as everything is in walking distance. Our hotels were only a 10-minute walk from our classroom and many of the main restaurants and shops we went to. Additionally, I just really enjoy walking around each city because I get to be a part of the everyday life going around me and can stop in a café for a cup of coffee or just window shop. I do mostly walking on campus at Pitt so I felt comfortable getting around.
Budapest is so big (3.5x the size of Pittsburgh) which required us to take a bus/metro/tram to get where we needed to go, which made things a little bit more difficult. However, the one unique aspect of taking public transportation was the conversations I would spark up with locals. For example, on a tram in Budapest one girl told me she liked my accent (this made my day) and then ended up giving me advice on things to do in the city! My friends and I also used the Taxify app, which is similar to Uber, to get around the city easier. I would highly recommend the app because it is cheap and makes getting around easy!
Furthermore, we took two night trains to get from city to city. The first night train was definitely the worst because I had a triple bunk bed with no room for luggage. The second train was better because I was in a double bunk bed which is the same size as the triple but with only two people. There was no WIFI on either train, barely any air conditioning, and the flattest pillow I’ve ever had, but at least they gave us coffee in the morning. Overall, I was not a fan of the night trains.
Finally, I appreciate how Pitt makes embarking on excursions very easy for us. They always have someone meet us in our hotel lobby to take us to wherever we need to go so using public transportation or getting on a rented bus is easy for us. Small planning efforts like that make an abroad experience much more enjoyable, so thank you Pitt!