Stories of An American Scouser
Mary in front of the John Lennon Wall in Prague. Photo courtesy of Mary Knight.

Stories of An American Scouser

Since I started college, I have always wanted to have one of those crazy, sun-soaked spring breaks filled with plenty of relaxation.

However, finding a beach or even the sun in a Wisconsin March can be pretty difficult. Being abroad in the UK this semester, my dreams of an epic spring break have finally been fulfilled.

View from Old Town Hall in Prague.
Photo courtesy of Mary Knight.My break travels started in the quaint capital of the Czech Republic, Prague. To say Prague is beautiful would be an understatement. There is no way to describe how gorgeous this city is, you just have to go see it.

On the first day, I explored the John Lennon Wall and Prague Castle complex including St. Vitas Cathedral and the Lobkowicz Palace. Its high elevation provided breathtaking views of the city below.

The next days were spent visiting the Prague Gallery of Art, the Old Town Square and seeing the famous Astronomical Clock. The square was filled with street vendors selling crafts and traditional Czech food, which is absolutely delicious.

Of the Czech foods I tried, my two favorites were halušky – a dish made with potatoes, dumplings, pork and onions and trdelník – a sweet pastry grilled on a stick and then rolled in sugar and cinnamon. So basically the best thing I have every eaten in my life.

Then I was off to Vienna, Austria for the next chapter of my spring break travels.

With its many different architectural styles, art galleries, palaces and music venues, Vienna is an arts enthusiast’s dream. Naturally I wanted to do everything.

On the first day, I went on a free walking tour and learned about the city’s history and the best places to get apfelstufel (apple strudel) and sachertorte (Viennese chocolate cake). Both are classic Austrian desserts.

View from the Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Austria.
Photo courtesy of Mary Knight.Then, I visited the Albertina and Belvedere art museums, which had huge collections on impressionist and avant-garde artists including Monet, Renoir, Matisse and Cezanne.

The highlight of the day was seeing the famous painting “The Kiss” by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt.

On my last day, I visited the Schönbrunn Palace, which was the summer residence for the former Austrian royalty. Its Baroque style and elaborate gardens made for an incredible day. The grounds included a pillared overlook, which had a stunning view of Vienna.

Saving the best for last, I then went to see a performance of Mozart’s “La Clemenza Di Tito” at the Vienna State Opera.

How crazy and amazing is that? Not to mention my ticket was only four euros.

Seeing an opera is something I have always wanted to experience. Being able to watch one for the first time was an amazing way to spend my last day in Vienna.

I can definitely say this spring break will be hard to top next year.


Mary Knight


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