Eastern Europe and Baby Brother’s Convo!

Hiiiiii everyone! Apa khabar? So it’s time to update the blog again and I hope everyone is as excited to read the blog post as I’m excited to write and post it ๐Ÿ˜› Frankly speaking, it’s the busiest time of the year for Masters student as we have one month exactly from now till our dissertation due date and everyone is busy collecting and analyzing their data. As for myself, I’m in the sameย boat as them and currently struggling with the dissertation. ๐Ÿ™ It’s much difficult than I’ve expected and time is so limited so I’ve been spending most of my time in the library nowadays working really hard on the dissertation. And therefore, this is the time of the week that I’m really looking forward to as I get to take a break from all the readings and just sit back with a cup of tea writing the blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ Many thanks to all the faithful readers for reading the posts and hopefully I didn’t bored all of you. Again, do feel free to drop a comment below, email me at malaysia@surrey.ac.uk if you have any questions regarding student life in Surrey or follow me on my instagram (ad3line_koo) on more daily updates ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay let me start with the story for this week. As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve been travelling around Europe with my family during end of June as they flew over all the way from Malaysia to join my brother’s convocation. We’ve been to many places and cities in Italy and Eastern Europe during the family trip and I’ll mainly focus on the second part of the trip in this post. Read the first part of trip in Italy here if you haven’t! ๐Ÿ™‚

So we took a flight from Milan Bergamo airport and reach Budapest.ย We were so excited when we stepped down into the land as Budapest has long known for it’s beauty. ๐Ÿ™‚ Budapest is the capital and also largest city in Hungary which is initially 2 separate cities, Buda and Pest that is separated by the Danube River. The first thing you do when you reach a new place is of course, checking in to your accommodation, which we did the same. I googled the address where our Airbnb apartment supposed to be and set off happily. Not knowing that there were actually 3 streets with the same name within the huge city, we ended up at the wrong street, which is quite out of downtown area and was stuck there not knowing where to go as the locals there don’t speak English. ๐Ÿ™ Thank God, an angel appeared in time! A local Hungarian girl named Dora passed by and saw us standing on the street helplessly and decided to lend us a helping hand. She told her parents about our situation and the family is really kind as the father immediately promised to fetch us to the correct address unconditionally (it’s about 25 mins drive away!). As there were 6 of us, the father also called one of his friend to come and drive and we were so touched by their kindness. After dropping us off, Dora also offered to become our tour guide for the next day and she showed us around so many nice place in Budapest! We visited the Buda Castle Quarter, Matthias Church, Fisherman’s Bastion, Heroes’ Square and many more. We also took a night cruise on the Danube River and Budapest is really beautiful no matter in day or night! I really couldn’t extend my appreciation enough to Dora for being such a nice host and thankful for the genuine friendship earned unexpectedly during the visit. ๐Ÿ™‚ She wouldn’t accept any form of token of appreciation my mum wanted to give her although she spent more than 10 hours that day just bringing us around and showing us her beloved city. How kind she is! It was a blessing in disguise after all ๐Ÿ™‚

The Buda Castle ๐Ÿ™‚

Part of the Castle overlooking Danube River

Overlooking Budapest and the Danube River! Breathtaking ๐Ÿ™‚

Matthias Church

One of the main shopping street in Budapest

Heroes’ Square! So magnificent!

Meet Dora ๐Ÿ™‚

First time trying the Rose Ice Cream and its YUMMY! ๐Ÿ˜›

Took during the night cruise on the Danube River. Matthias Church is stunning at night!

After bidding our farewell to Dora and beautiful Budapest, we carried on to Vienna, Austria. It’s the second time I’m in the capital of Austria since the last visit in December last year and it’s a total different view! It’s snowing when I came last year and now the flowers are blooming away beautiful in the city. ๐Ÿ™‚ We bought a transport pass and took the tram around the Ringstrasse which is where the main attractions such as the Hofsburg Palace, Museum Quarter, St Stephen’s Cathedral and many more. We also managed to visit the Golden Hall and Schonbrunn Palace (it’s also known as mini Versailles due to it’s similar outlook as Paris’ Versailles Palace) which I missed out during the last trip. We also ate a scrumptious Austrian-German lunch of pork knuckle, sausages and beer which is really delicious! Writing about that makes me hungry again ๐Ÿ™

Schonbrunn Palace!

Beautiful example of a gothic church- St Stephen’s Cathedral!

Golden hall

Beautiful garden of Hofburg Palace!

I miss my pork knuckle!!

German beer is the best!

After that, we continued our trip to Prague, the capital of Czech Republic. We joined a free walking tour during our stay and was really lucky to have an American guy that has stayed 2 years in Prague as he was deeply in love with the city to be our guide. ๐Ÿ™‚ Truly enough, his passion for the city could be seen when he could clearly explain the history of the city and show us around all the beautiful places in the city. Prague is a very historic city which has witness and survived through many historic events, making it a very famous tourist attraction especially for history lovers. Many parts of Prague survived the war destruction that happened in 20th century Europe and thus it’s cultural attractions such asย the Prague Castle,ย Charles Bridge (the bridge that survived floods of Vltava river), Old Town Square with theย Prague astronomical clock (third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still operating),ย Jewish Quarter were listed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Prague is also said to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world and I couldn’t agree more to that!

Prague Old Square

World oldest still operating astronomical clock!

Love the colors of the buildings in Prague ๐Ÿ™‚

Family posing in front of the world famous Charles Bridge!

Overlooking the city. Absolutely beautiful!

City view!

So, Prague was initially the last stop for the family trip and thus my family went back to my brother’s place in Canterbury. However, my aunt decided that she really wanted to go to Paris this time and thus I became tour guide of the day again and brought her to Paris for a day trip. Paris is as beautiful as always with its vibe. I brought aunt and visited the Eiffel Tower (she is really happy and said that its a dream come true), Louvre Museum to get a glimpse of Mona Lisa, walk over Pont Des Arts although we’re not with our lovers ๐Ÿ˜› , climbed up Montmarte hill to reach Sacre Coeur Basilica for the best view of Paris and etc. There’s so much more to do in Paris and I could only manage to show aunt very few of the famous places available. Nonetheless, Paris is still amazingly beautiful and both of us really enjoyed it a lot. ๐Ÿ™‚ And oh, its also the finals of EuroCup on the day we are at Paris and the French are really geared up to support their country! It’s really an amazing experience seeing massive crowds gathered together in many locations dedicated to the live feed of the games, eg: the field in front of Eiffel Tower and cheering together! I guess the whole France is cheering throughout the whole games as you can hear cheers and shouts all over Paris!

Always inspiring ๐Ÿ™‚

Arc De Triomphe!

Pont Des Arts aka Lover’s Bridge

Wefie with Mona Lisa!

Best duck confit on earth near Louvre. Definitely recommended- Bistrot Victoires (6 Rue de la Vrilliรจre, 75001 Paris, France)

Sacre Coeur Basilica aka the White Church, beautiful!

overlooking Paris from the top of Montmarte ๐Ÿ™‚

see the massive crowd waiting for the final of EuroCup- France vs Portugal!

After the day trip in Paris, me and aunt were reunited with the family at brother’s place where we finally attended his convocation. Baby brother is finally an actuary graduate with a second upper honours degree from University of Kent and we are so proud of him! The graduation ceremony was held in Canterbury Cathedral (brother is so honored to be able to graduate in one of the oldest and famous cathedral in UK) and the cathedral is absolutely magnificent! The graduation ceremony is so different from Malaysia’s university and this made me really anticipating for my graduation ceremony in Guildford next year, hopefully inside the cathedral (it’s under renovation now)! ๐Ÿ™‚

A family portrait in front of the school!

I’m a proud sister! ๐Ÿ™‚

In front of the amazing Canterbury Cathedral!

Brother and his friends! This will be me next year! ๐Ÿ™‚

So guess that’s all for today. It’s the last month here in Surrey and hopefully I’ll get to share more things with you guys before leaving. ๐Ÿ™‚ Back to dissertation writing time again for now and I’ll see you all soon!

Love xx