We’re currently staying in one of the many small hotels that are all over this city, called Hotel Sokak. It’s just big enough to house our entire group, and only a two minute walk from the pedestrian center. Since we take up the entire hotel, it’s been nice to not have to worry about disturbing other guests.
While I generally think of everything in Europe being smaller and more quaint, that hasn’t been the case at Sokak — doubly surprising because of how small a hotel it is. I really think that we’ve lucked out. We each have one roommate (a couple of people have two), and each room has its own bathroom. The rooms themselves are small, but very comfortable. Every morning there’s a small breakfast spread laid out for us — pastries, yogurt, bread, cheese, cold cuts, fruit, and some dry cereals. It’s simple, but satisfying. The family that runs the hotel is very friendly (though many of them don’t speak English, so communication is limited), and there are often a couple of their kids running around the lobby area.
The hotel being so small, it’s been really easy for all of us in the program to meet each other and go out together. The lobby, which has a couple couches and chairs, is the universal meeting and hang out place; people will do reading or writing while they’re down there, and if anyone’s looking for a group to go to dinner, it’s as simple as asking the crowd that’s gathered in the lobby if anyone else wants to join.
I also think that we have a very well-sized group. There are 23 students total — not so big a group that you can get lost in it, but big enough that several different groups can split off when heading to dinners and lunches and just exploring to make everything more manageable.