Fall break is final here! Well, it’s actually halfway through now, but that’s not important. After a truly terribly midterms week, it’s time for some vacation. I’m leaving Italy for the first time this semester, and spending break in Sweden, Poland, and Belgium! How did we choose these places? Well, travel tip time! Skyscanner.com has an option where you can select your departing airport and the dates you want to travel, and the website tells you all of the cheapest flights leaving on those days, and then you just have to pick a location! Even though Sweden was just sort of randomly selected for this trip, the three days we spent in Sweden were totally amazing.
if you’re a college student looking for a cheap, beautiful trip, go to Sweden! We visited Göteborg, which is on the opposite coast of Stockholm, and the people of the two cities have a weirdly intense rivalry. The transit pass there is very inexpensive, and also includes ferry rides around the Barbour to see the beautiful little islands off the coast of the city. Plus, almost all of the museums are free for people under 25! We visited 5 museums while we were there, and all of them were awesome.
There were two exhibits going on in particular that I loved. The Göteburg city museum had a special exhibit on the Romani people that was fascinating and heartbreaking. The other, at the museum of world culture, was a special exhibit of queer Chinese artists and their works dealing with the struggle of integrating both their identities of queer and Chinese. The exhibition was incredibly moving, especially for me as a queer woman. My only major issue was there was a noticeable lack of female artists as part of the exhibit. Out of 28 artists featured, only 6 were women. The descriptions also came off a bit condescending as well. Sweden has an amazing track record when it comes to queer rights, miles ahead of China, but some of the plaques come off needlessly comparative in an exhibit that highlights the work of Chinese artists and activists. Especially since before contact with the west, China didn’t have a problem with homosexuality.
Warsaw is incredible as well. The city is beautiful, an sill manages to feel like an old European city with a full history even though most of it has newly been rebuilt after it was completely leveled in World War 2. Plus, the symbol on their city is a mermaid holding a sword. How awesome is that? The only city who’s symbol is as cool is Brussels, who has taken the statue of the peeing baby as their mascot. Image of the baby are everywhere, and there’s even a large exhibit of his outfits in the city museum!
i haven’t been in Belgium for long yet, but from what I’ve seen the city is fabulous. Though the map I found boasts “Brussels is an ugly city-and we love it!”there are beautiful examples of Gothic architecture everywhere, something you just don’t see in Rome. Fall break has been an amazing experience, and even though it feels like a vacation from our vacation, it was definitely a needed break.