Last October, my mom had a lawyer’s meeting set to be in Berlin and was able to take us along with her. She said she wanted to travel with us before she lost the chance to. This was my first time to travel outside of Asia (I’d been to HK as a little girl) and was both excited and nervous.
The first part of the trip had me all panicky, and embarrassingly so. I didn’t like our first meal and I was starving. I think the anxiety and my nerves got to me because even when my dad offered me a sandwich I preferred, my stomach wouldn’t take it. I broke down. Good thing my mom was beside me and helped me calm down! Other than that though, the rest of the trip was good. I got the hang of connecting flights and having to handle meals and everything on planes and airports for several hours before getting to our destination. Dubai‘s airport was large, spacious, and had great pizza in one of their food stalls. We didn’t see much else.
After our stop-over in Dubai, our next flight landed in Frankfurt. We were still not at our end destination but at least we were near, and we were in Germany. It gave me jitters knowing I was in Europe!
The cold and our smoky breath were the first things different from our country that we enjoyed. This time, our ‘flight’ wasn’t really a flight although it was treated in much the same way. We were taking a train to Cologne. It was a fast train and was more affordable compared to an actual flight. The route was pretty scenic too so we enjoyed that ride. When we finally got to Cologne, we were in awe because as soon as you got to the way leading to the exit, you could see the Dom from inside the clear glass. It was amazing. We stayed there for some days, and it rained, and it was cold, but it was beautiful and the food was goood. There were many old, amazing churches. It was also amusing that their taxis were all Mercedes Benzes! The only time I felt bad in Cologne was one night when we were out and it rained. It was freezing!! To make it worse, we were so far from our hotel, but I guess that made me tougher in a way.
From Cologne, we took a plane to Berlin, for the duration of my mom’s conference. It wasn’t as cold there, thankfully, and didn’t rain as much. Our hotel looked real good, and was near the tour bus stops and convenience stores. There were a lot of historical landmarks and beautiful palaces and buildings with intricate detail. The Berlin Wall, Berlin Dom, Victory Tower, and palace of former Queen Sophie Charlotte were the most beautiful to me. I also loved the Buddy Bears that were scattered all throughout the city! We also enjoyed having fresh sandwiches from Kamps and delicious sausages from Currywurst!
Here’s us with the Buddy Bears and my Christmas doodles:
I was reluctant to go as we were living so comfortably in Berlin but Italy sounded inviting. Mom said it was their graduation gift to us and a surprise because we didn’t really know about it or were sure about any of that. When we got to Rome, we had an exhausting ride from the airport and to a taxi stop then from there to our hotel which felt like it was millions of miles away! I was getting impatient and annoyed but we got to our hotel in time. Our hotel was comfortable, and our room had a nice view of their garden. The driver of the hotel owner befriended us and gave us tips for our stay. That day, we had our first authentic Italian pizza and also saw the Vatican. In Rome, there were many Filipinos, which made us feel safe in a way. There were mostly stone streets and many paintings and portraits of Mary on almost every corner, which I liked. We heard the Pope speak to an audience, including ourselves, and enjoyed walking around St. Peter’s Basilica. The paintings and all the art there were amazing! Aside from the discomfort of some rain again and the confusing bus schedules, we felt good.
From Rome, we went to Venice. Our only trouble was we exceeded baggage weight and had to buy another suitcase but that didn’t take much time or effort. When we got there, the taxi took us to our hotel, which seemed like it was in the middle of nowhere and so far from civilization. However, we realized it was a good pick because it was right beside the train station which could take us to the main part of Venice. When we got to there, the first thing you’d see outside the train station would be the canal and one of the many beautiful and scenic bridges. It was amazing seeing the canals and the gondolas and the all the scenery there. There were also so many beautiful works of art incuding paintings, masks, and of course the Murano accessories. There were also beautiful people all around (HEHE). The churches there again were amazing and all the detail of all the buildings. The food was real good too.
All in all, it was an amazing, breathtaking experience and I’m very thankful that we got this opportunity as a family. It gave us the chance to travel, enjoy, learn, and bond together. I would give anything to do it all again, and this time have my sisters along with me. 🙂