Easter Break

Mitch Peiffer University of Aberdeen, Scotland


April 9, 2017

This morning, I woke up at 4:30am for no other reason than to go to the beach with a few friends and watch the sun rise over the ocean. It was beautiful. We took the scenic route to get there, exploring the bits of nature thriving in between the granite buildings. The wildlife was especially active this early. We saw several birds, seals and otters, which made for an exciting time. When we got there, we played around skipping stones, taking pictures and joking about swimming to Denmark. On our way back, we got to meet a more than a few people taking their dogs on morning walks. My favorite was a 1-year-old pit bull. I can’t wait to see my dogs again.

Now that Easter break is here and we have almost an entire month with no school activities planned, we’re starting to feel like tourists in the place we’ve been living for the past couple months, in the exciting way. We do something different every day, with the only consistency being our mealtimes. We take walks in the park, go to the mall, visit museums, and do anything else we can think to do.

Most of the local students went home for break, so all the international students are left here to entertain ourselves. Every few days, someone leaves for a trip to some place in Europe, or someone returns from one. I have a trip planned to Berlin and Prague from the 11th to the 19th, myself, which I’m excited for. I’m spending a lot of time planning for that, already.

Planning a trip is more time-consuming, expensive and frustrating that I thought it would be. There are a lot of logistics to be considered when going from one place to another. I’m not sure what advice I can give to anyone who might plan a Europe trip in the future, except start planning early.

My journey starts with a train from Aberdeen to Glasgow, which will take just under 4 hours from 8:40 to about 12:20. I found a train station which puts me within walking distance of Glasgow airport (which reminds me, I should pack a lunch for that day) in time to catch my 3:05 flight to Berlin. Once the plane lands, I will need to know where to go to get downtown, get food, and how to get to my hostel.

After a few days in Berlin, I have a train scheduled to take me to Prague. I have google maps screenshots saved and ready for printing, with instructions on how to get between Berlin central station, the hostel, and the airport. I will soon do the same to figure out how to get between Prague central station and the hostel I booked for Prague. After a few days in Prague, I have an overnight return train to Berlin and a return flight to Glasgow, followed by another train to Aberdeen. Planning requires you to consider what you’ll be doing and wanting every hour of every day, and traveling often requires you to have your head on straight and be able to think through what to do if something goes not according to plan, often without the aid of wifi.

I’ve done a lot of planning, but I am very excited for this trip. I’ve been wanting to visit Berlin for a while, and Prague (where a friend I’m traveling with wants to go) sounds very fun.

After I get back from the trip, I’ll have about another week before review week starts, and then exams. It’s hard to believe that the end of the semester is so close. I don’t want to leave this place.


Scotland Semester