The GoGlobal Blog

Spring Break 2016

Spring Break 2016

I realized that after booking my flight to Milan and Paris for Spring Break 2016, every single previous Spring Break of my college career I traveled abroad, so it was no surprise to me that I was going to travel again this time around. During my freshman year I participated in the Rome Start program and I went to Amsterdam and Berlin. Then during sophomore year, I booked a flight to Tel Aviv using a $400 credit I’d received for being bumped off a plane during Christmas. And this year, I decided to go to Milan and Paris. In addition, I had the opportunity to travel to Gibraltar.

This time around, though, I was fortunate to travel with my girlfriend, so it made the trip much more comforting. The first place we went to was Gibraltar, which is nothing like Spain in which it is connected to but that makes sense because it’s actually part of the UK . I could go into a long history of why its part of Britain but I’ll spare you the bore and instead summarize with it: Spain ceded the land in exchange for an agreement to have the monopoly of African slaves in 1704. A.K.A. brilliant British imperialistic move. Highlights of Gibraltar were the spectacular views of the coat facing Morocco and visiting the wild monkeys on top of the massive rock, which you simply cannot miss. Besides this, unless you enjoy British food or miss reading road signs in english, there isn’t much to do and one day there is plenty.

Next, we flew to Milan with Ryanair for under $60 and stayed the first night a few blocks away from Il Duomo, the centerpiece of Italian gothic architecture and also main landmark in Milan. Milan is a hustling and bustling city with people dressed nicely but with little tolerance for tourists. Clearly the largest city in Italy right when you step off the plane and take 35 minutes to get into downtown and all you see out the window are harrowing concrete apartments and billboards for FIAT cars. Again, Milan is a one day city, tops two. Given its reputation for fashion, I researched some shops that sold surplus designer clothing and found a few. But again, its high end designer clothing so even 50-60 percent off is still far more than I would spend on a t-shirt. Of course, the architecture in Milan is gorgeous and should not be taken for granted, so if anything I enjoyed walking around the city.

After the first night in Milan, we took the train to Turin and spent a day exploring the charming and friendly city. I received great vibes from this city and would like to visit again in the future. Everywhere we went people were as flighty as they could get. The man working in the pizza shop joyfully inquiring about us to the drivers stopping for us even when there were no stop signs. The friendliness was palpable compared to other Italian cities in the south and Milan. In Turin, there seems to be more to see than Milan and much easier to get around (by foot). There is the Mole Antonelliana (a massive spire that formed part of a former synagogue and now is National Museum of Cinema), the Turin Cathedral in which you can find the world famous Shroud of Turin, the Royal Palace of Turin and finally the second largest Museum of Egyptian antiquities in the world. All worthwhile destinations.

We then took the train further south and west to a little town called Bra. This was where would spend the night and get some fresh country air. But to be honest, we came here to visit my sister who was studying at the nearby University of Gastronomic Sciences. But I deeply missed the countryside and longed for it once we left the next morning. Also, the train system in Italy is good; nothing like the train in Spain that is monopolized by the government so they charge ridiculous prices for short trips. In Italy, it is much different, there are two big train companies that offer many options for time and price. So for a round trip ticket from Milan to bra, it cost me $25, with a 7 hour layover in Turin. I would highly recommend taking the train to get around Italy.

After our countryside adventure and visiting two of Italy’s largest cities, we headed to Beauvais from Milan for around $36 (again Ryanair). We actually did not fly into Paris, I would like to make this completely clear,  Beauvais is a town in the north of France (50 miles from Paris) but Ryanair claims it an airport that represents Pars, trust me it’s far from it. This transfer of settings no problem thanks to blabla car and an online website that provides a seat in someone’s car. This was perfect for two travelers searching a cheap ride to the real Paris. When we arrived to Paris we had to take the metro a few stops to arrive to our hotel which was conveniently located practically right in the middle of map of paris and just smudge to the north. This was all too convenient that the plethora of transportation methods. The hard part was choosing what to do with only 3 days. This was far far too little when you consider what this city has to offer, you could spend your whole life here and still not see it all. Since I had been to Paris a few times in the past I wanted to dedicate this trip to the not so seen neighborhoods of this fine city. So one of our days there, we rented velibs or the bike renting service which is only 1.70 euro per day for the first 30 minutes, and explored the part of the city that was off the beaten trail. We hit up the Rue Mouffetard in the 5th arrondissement and also the Canal St. Martin. Both very worthwhile areas that few tourist were found in. And for dinner we went to the world famous Chipotle Mexican Grill. Yes, I know what you may be thinking, “what the hell are you thinking?!”. Well I’ll tell you exactly what. The fact of the matter was I simply was craving far too much to not go and my palette simply wasn’t into the french cuisine not was my wallet.

All in all, by the time Monday rolled around, I had forgotten all the places I had been because time went by so quickly. But as the old saying goes, all good things don’t like forever. My only hope is that I’ll be able to follow this past break with one in 2017 that will be just as action packed and thrilling.


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