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Going for Broke

Only the best at Freitag.

During my internship in Germany, I had some free time to get out of the lab and visit other countries. For the week I had off I decided to go on a massive trip from Germany to Switzerland to Liechtenstein, just to see more of Europe and practice my German. The trip was going to be expensive, but luckily I had some support from a CNR enrichment grant to help me out. I headed out from Bonn to Freiberg in southern Germany, then made it to Zurich in good time. As soon as I got into Switzerland the prices hit me: 8 Francs for a sandwich at the train station, 2 Francs to go to the bathroom, 5 Francs for a beer… It was pricey but the experience was worth it. In Zurich, I had a hostel in the old part of the city, where all of the old bars were located. At my hostel I met travelers from all over the world, like a student from Ireland and a computer programmer from Morocco. I also got to see the “coastal” part of the city on Lake Zurich, where the fabulously wealthy spend their days, and the beautiful Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest plains waterfall. While seeing the city I got to learn about the amazing history of Switzerland, Zurich, and the other countries in Europe that all have an interrelated past. I visited one of Zurich’s most iconic stores, Freitag, and visited many of the historic art museums.


One of the many churches in Zurich.

After a few days I left Switzerland for Liechtenstein, the fourth smallest and the third richest country in Europe. Due to its size and location, I had to take a bus up the winding mountains to Vaduz, the capital city of Liechtenstein. After finding my hostel (conveniently located next to Liechtenstein University) I got to see one of the best views I have ever seen in Europe right out my window! I could clearly see the mountains of Switzerland on one side of me and the huge mountain range that Liechtenstein lies in on the other. While in Vaduz I visited the famous stamp museum of Liechtenstein, and saw the royal vault where the Liechtenstein national treasures were stored. I experienced the local culture (and high cost of living) in downtown Vaduz, blew 20 Francs on a Subway sandwich meal, and spent a day hiking the trails of the country. On the way I met many fellow travelers (and cows!) and made a few friends, including a guy named Niko from Finland.



I was amazed at how easy it was to make friends while traveling abroad. There is something about being in the same boat that brings people together, and as long as we could speak English, making friends was a breeze.

Rhine Falls Selfie

At the conclusion of my trip I took the long train ride home, tired, sweaty, and weighed down with souvenirs and memories. I left Liechtenstein and Switzerland with the knowledge that I had seen some of the most beautiful and iconic parts of Europe, and have no regrets about the trip at all.


A Great Big World – Read more about Michael’s internship through DAAD RISE