Six Experiences You Can Only Find in Minneapolis

Six Experiences You Can Only Find in Minneapolis -- Em Dashed

The thing about Minneapolis, Minnesota is this: it’s kind of hard to get there by accident.

It’s not impossible, of course — contrary to popular belief, there are signs of intelligent life throughout the Midwestern United States — but it’s not likely.

So then, you might be asking: why should I make a point to visit the City of Lakes? What can you find there that you can’t find in a million other places?

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The Weirdest Spots on Fraser Island

Best Spots on Fraser Island

When I first read that Fraser Island was the world’s largest sand island, I kind of thought that was a gimmick. Like naming them the Pancake Rocks because they “look like stacks of pancakes” (only if your pancakes are especially sharp-angled) or calling it the Blue Mountains cause of a slight blue-ish haze off in the distance (not exactly the dramatic scene I was picturing).

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Hauptkirche St. Michaelis — Hamburg

So now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can talk about Hamburg.

Hauptkirche St. Michaelis - Hamburg

To start with, let’s talk about the time I thought I would never, ever make it to the top of Hauptkirche St. Michaelis (St. Michael’s Church–or, as it’s apparently known by the people of Hamburg, Michel).

From the entrance of Michel to the top of its tower, there are 453 steps. Now, maybe you read that and thought, “Wow, that’s a lot of steps!” Or maybe you read it and thought, “So what? I once climbed 5,000 steps with a broken leg!” If it’s the latter: you’re kind of a douche (though, let’s be fair, a mildly impressive one). However, if you’re anything like me, you see 453 and think, “Oh, it just sounds like a lot, it’s not so many.”

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Parc Güell – Barcelona

Parc Güell - Barcelona

I feel like, so far, every post I’ve made about Barcelona has involved some kind of happy accident. Whoops, we just happened to ride up this hill during a beautiful sunset; whoops, we went on an angry walk and just happened to wind up in this awesome park that helped me refocus my entire life. You’re probably thinking, “yeah, whatever, who in Barcelona is paying you to promote it as the city of miracles?” Well, I’ll tell you: no one, but I’m all ears if you know anyone who would.

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Parc de la Ciutadella – Barcelona

Parc de la Ciutadella - Barcelona

I’d like to paint a picture for you all in which I am always a carefree traveler, my possessions light on my back and my feet light on the ground, dashing across this fair world of ours with nary a worry or obstacle in my way. Huzzah!

In a reality that will surprise approximately no one, that’s not always how it goes.

Parc de la Ciutadella - Barcelona

For instance, the day we visited the Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona, my day did not start off on the right foot. It’s hard to say why, exactly. My parents wanted to visit the Picasso Museum; but while I generally maintain at least the pretense of enjoying cultural activities, I wasn’t so keen on the massive line. So Simon and I split off on our own, and that’s when things went…awry.

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Waterlooplein Markt – Amsterdam

I’m a bit of an imposter when it comes to this whole “outdoor flea market” thing – it’s time I just came out and said it.

Waterlooplein Markt, Amsterdam

In my dreams, I stroll through such markets at a leisurely pace, lovingly eyeing old rotary phones and vinyl records, chatting to the stallkeepers who have worked there for decades, and then magically discover something breathtaking that I will cherish forever (/sell to someone else for 100x what I paid).

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Sunset Ride to Montjuïc – Barcelona

Sunset Ride to Montjuïc - Barcelona

I’m fairly certain we didn’t plan on visiting Montjuïc at sunset. 

After all, Simon and I had just arrived in the northern hemisphere for the first time in two years via three planes and more than thirty hours of traveling. We didn’t even know what season we were in, let alone what time the sun would set.

Also, I’m not great at planning. I eat when I’m hungry, I sleep when I’m tired, and I follow my boyfriend around because I can’t read a map properly. I’m a bit skeptical about my ability to coordinate solar movements with the timetables of not one, not two, but three modes of transportation. (As the saying goes: it is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.)

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