Backpacking Through Europe

I studied abroad in Seville, Spain in the spring of 2013, with the intent of learning Spanish to give me an edge at my job at the racetrack. The experience ended up far surpassing every single one of my expectations. The highlight of the semester ended up being the three weeks I spent backpacking around Europe with my twin brother, Marc, following my home stay. That’s the really cool part about studying abroad in Europe—it’s so easy to travel to other parts of the continent.
The two of us started our trip in Madrid, touring the Prado Museum and Retiro Park, before heading north to Barcelona. We took in a soccer—I’m sorry, futbol—game and went to one of Barcelona’s famous beaches.
From there, we went to Paris, and hit up all the regular tourist spots—the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, the Louve and even Longchamp, the famous racecourse just outside the city.
After a long overnight train ride (the bullet trains move so quickly!) we arrived in Italy and went to all the major tourist cities, starting with the big one it, Rome (and also the separate country within Rome, Vatican City). We toured St. Peter’s Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, the Coliseum and the Spanish Steps, and of course hit up some of the Roman nightlife.
We then hopped a train up to Venice, where we got lost enough times in the twisting, complicated that we finally caved and took to traveling around by gondola. It was a bit on the pricey side, but I do think that it’s something you should do if you’re even in the area.
Our last stop before returning to America was Pisa, to see the Leaning Tower, and that’s literally all there is to do in Pis a, so don’t plan for more than one day there, haha.
Then, it was time to board the plane and leave Europe behind. It had been an incredible 4 months and as ready as I was to get back to a country that actually sold Mountain Dew, there was a lot I was going to miss about living abroad, and I would definitely recommend everyone to do it at least once.

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