Between volunteering for quite some time at a wolf reserve in Portugal, researching a story in the Alsace region of France, and visiting family and friends back home in the Philippines, this summer was shaping up to be a great one. Coming back in late August and having to move between flats, I was exhausted – but still looking for the thrill of an adventure somewhere I’ve never been before.
I decided to go on a two-week trip around Central Europe, the land of the heartiest soups, the friendliest blondes, and the loveliest riverside architecture on the continent. Since I was a child, I had always wanted to visit WWII museums and memorials as I had – and still have – a fascination on the subject. The Warsaw Uprising Museum in Warsaw, Schindler’s Factory in Krakow and of course Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim were truly educational, somber and humbling. Other great museums along the way were The Terror House in Budapest and a handful of others in Berlin including The Jewish Museum.
It was incredibly easy to get around and overcome daily things such as shopping at a supermarket or buying a movie ticket despite knowing about 0.1% of the language. Locals were happy to switch to english – which was such a nice change from some of the grumpy frumps of the west – and most adored my terrible attempts at “do widzenia” or “köszönöm“.
An issue I’ve been asked about was the safety of female solo travel in the region. Rest assured, there were absolutely no dangers that I had encountered while alone, even when walking home through the alleys past midnight. The scariest situation was waking up at 3AM to the buzzer going nonstop only to find out that it was a drunken Englishman who was lost and couldn’t find his apartment within the building.
Enough talk, it’s time to show you how I saw the gorgeous countries of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Bonus: I should probably mention that on the way home, I also stopped by ecclectic Berlin again to catch a performance at the Philharmonie’s Musikfest Berlin that I wasn’t able to last year. What I unsurprisingly enjoyed the most though, was a day-long visit to the wonderful Zoologischer Garten.
And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed the photos and inspired you to plan your own journey around Central Europe or bring back fond memories of your own travels in the region!