Saturday, August 16, 2008

hooommeee...and prague, berlin and amsterdam...

Because an upward shift of distraction and laziness I have not been able to update this blog, but it's 5:30 in the morning and I'm completely jetlagged so I think I should do something useful.

Prague will be the only Eastern European country I will visit I think for a long time. it was gorgeous and old and was classic in a way that many other cities couldn't pull off. but there is something about being able to read your own alphabet that makes me crave for the comforts of Western Europe. Also...people in the other countries smile. The first time we got on a metro there wasn't one person smiling or even talking, not that the metro is always the most lively of places, it's just not as depressing. we did however walk around the palace and charles bridge that, despite the whole tourist thing, took my breath away. The nightlife also took my breath away. We ended up, going to a sort of underground cave/wine cellaresque club that was filled with beautiful women and men wearing iron maiden t-shirts with mullets or shaved heads. very odd sight...

Then we moved onto Berlin and to be honest I didn't see much of it. the first day I waited around the hostel waiting for my friend Rachel who was meeting me there while the rest of the group went to a concentration camp. That night emily and I got a hotel room for my birthday and basically just relaxed. and the next day(my birthday) we hung out more with Rachel in a little neighborhood. In the evening though we went to a fun mexican restaurant with everyone and ate our hearts out. Afterwords we went to my only real berlin experience: a biergarten. it was great. our last day was started late and all we saw was a museum on museum island and the parliament building(which has a glass dome to signify that the government should be open for everyone to see and it shouldn't hide anything).

Our next and final stop was Amsterdam. Since I only had a day there before my flight back home we ended up only seeing the area around our hostel. and trust me, it was enough. Our hostel ended up being in the redlightdistrict and had an all night bar below it. the streets were cosy and filled with partiers and tourists and fun music blasted out of every "coffeeshop" we passed. i spent most of the time taking it all in and frequenting a DELICIOUS chinese restaurant a block away. I hear there's a lot more to see than the red light district, but that was enough to convince me to come back any time.

Then at 7 yesterday morning I boarded my plane with many tears of good bye. and 15 hours later I arrived here to see my beautiful parents, friends, and puppy.

Final thoughts on the trip will come, but until then I can only look forward to what Rome brings in September...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Today is the end of my first week in Italy...tonight we are in Milan before our flight into Prague and though we know Milan has a lot to offer, our only activity on our agenda is to recover.

Our time in Rome got progressively more fantastic and more like I imagined Rome. Though I started out with less than satisfactory thoughts about the place I ended with an optimistic view on my next semester. for example, our last day was spent wandering around Campo di Fiori, the Pantheon, and the Piazza Navona which was nice and touristy but as we walked back to our bus stop we heard happened to look inside an old courtyard only to hear Vivaldi being played by the international baroque symphany orchestra in Rome. they were practicing for a show later that night in the courtyard and for a price 4 of us went. it was fantastic being in a hundreds year old courtyard, surrounded by italians listening to the 4 seasons. to me, it was Rome saying "dont worry, we're actually pretty cool and we'll be waiting for you when you get back."

then we arrived in Venice, only to find that our lodgings were about 30 a corn field...when we first got off of the train station there were only a few closed buildings, fields, and chickens to meet us. But when we arrived at our country cottage we found a charming perfect place for us to play card games, drink, and eat pizza (at the pizzeria that was conveniently attached to our home). venice was venice...thats pretty much all i can say. it was beautiful and it has canals and squares but nothing really out of the ordinary. oh! except for the fact that i can haggle like a pro. and have bought my friends some classy frauda and Cucci. and we now know how to navigate the at first charming but then stifling water buses.