Friday, April 30, 2010

April 29th, 2010 - Thursday

April 29th was a great day: it was my birthday. Today we woke up 9:30 for math and politics class with Carl, and then I took nap. Then all the BROS went to the park for the day. First we just laid around and got our tan on, which was nice and relaxing. After an hour or so of relaxing, we decided to play Frisbee, which was a blast. But every now and then someone would over-throw it, and it almost hit a couple people, and they were not too happy.

When we left the park we stopped for a couple of birthday drinks, which was great because we got to sit outside in the sun and just chill. For dinner we went out to the Mexican restaurant and sat outside and enjoyed a delicious meal with our macho, which is a specialty drink they have there. Later that night a group of us went out into the city for a couple hours. We had to return early to be prepared for our Vienna Across the Ages final at 9am. Overall, I was really happy that I got to celebrate my 20th birthday in Vienna with all my great friends.

Kunj Shah

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 28th, 2010 - Wednesday

monument tour and Imperial Crypt.

blog to be done by Christina Gallo

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April 27th, 2010 - Tuesday

Belvedere tour

by Ryan Stipetic

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday, April 26

In exactly 14 days, our trip will officially be coming to an end as we fly over the ocean towards Logan airport, back to Boston. Our last remaining weeks will contain so many emotions, and though it all seems we are ready to head back, there will be hesitation to leave this place that has become so close and familiar to us. This week is the birthday week. Three birthdays to be exact, so it is a time of celebration. Happy birthday to Steph, Kunj, and Bobby. Next week will be the, "oh dang, do I really have to pack all this up again" week. I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. And as for the world, well, I want to see more of it now that I have gone on this trip. I have made this place my home with a group of people so dysfunctional and so amazing, they are nothing less than family to me now. Fortunately, there are two weeks still left so I must make the most of it. This will include: ice-cream pizza (yes you heard right), Budapest, a boat tour of this beautiful city we live in, and for me personally, many more trips to my favorite place here, the Belvedere.

Thank you Vienna for opening my eyes, and thank you everyone for keeping my eyes open.

April 25th, 2010 - Sunday

Since this blog entry is my last one, I thought it’d be nice if I dedicated it to my reflections on my experiences abroad. I have to say that it took me a little bit longer to love Vienna as compared to the other places I’ve been to in Europe. I think part of that is due to the fact that I had to view it as a place I would be living in for the next three months. The first time I got out in the city, I questioned a lot whether I would love here and be comfortable, instead of just seeing it for what it is. Now I love it!! I don’t feel like going back yet.

When I signed up for this program, my expectations were that I would turn out to be less scared of being in new situations, and that I would deal better with the change that occurs with them. I’m just a very, very cautious person (like Bobby once said to me), and I rarely engage in something when I’m not sure of the outcome. If I manage to imagine what it would be like, what I do next is that I keep breaking it apart to find where I would fail. That alone made me feel that I would not be able to handle it. Then since, I only count on myself to clean my mess, I just end up not doing it when I feel it might be too much. During this trip, I have not only come to the recognition that this is what I do, but I think I’m now a little bit less like that. I’m more willing to experience something new without having the development contained in my mind. I feel like I trust myself to be able to handle whatever comes my way a little bit more.

In summary, regarding self-discovery, this trip opened my eyes to not only things I need to improve about myself, but also to qualities that I already have within me. The past few years I neglected thinking about what my strengths are because I would always be focused on my imperfections and self-improvement. It is with this recognition that I think I’ve come to trust myself with myself a little bit more.

Although I want to relate every detail of this trip that contributed to my inner self, I know it would be impossible to do that. I could try to relate my awe moments, but there are so many. All I can do is just say that there were and that my pictures cannot even translate everything I’ve experienced in that moment. I enjoyed and loved most of the places I’ve been to. I now have a long list of things to look into by what I’ve been able to see. I could go on forever, so why not stop here. Big thanks to my family, bisous!!!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Saturday in Vienna.

April 23rd, 2010 - Friday

Friday was our first full day in Paris. Ally, Katie, Christina, and I had already set out a game plan of what we would be doing the night before. We all woke up pretty early to shower and get ready for the day. As we left our hotel and headed for the Eiffel Tower, we were drawn into Sephora, and ended up getting our make-up done and buying more than we should have.

After getting all done up we continued towards the Eiffel Tower. As we approached it we were all in shock by its size. It truly is so beautiful to see, and it didn't hurt that that weather was beautiful that day, either. After finally reaching our destination we took many pictures and then got in line to head to the top. We got there early enough that the lines were moving pretty quickly, which was awesome. The first elevator brought us to the second level of the tower. When we got out it was so windy and cold, but the views were incredible! We did a little shopping and then got in line to head to the top. The elevator ride was a little scarier than the previous one, but still very exciting.

We got the the top and it was much warmer than the second floor. This part was in closed with windows all around, and there was even a champagne bar. After looking at the views again we realized there was a stair case to take you to the very top, so of course we climbed. Being on the very top of the Eiffel Tower was so surreal and so hard to explain--I do not think I could describe the feelings we had. It was something that I will never forget and one of the coolest things I have ever done. Then we started our descent. Seeing the tower from the bottom make you appreciate how high it really is.

After leaving the tower we made a quick stop at our hotel to drop off our bags, and headed towards the Arch de Triumph. Another amazing building in Paris. Much like we did at the Eiffel Tower, we just stared in amazement. We hung out there for a good chunk of time and then headed out to dinner. My Friday in Paris made me fall in love with the city and all it has to offer.

by Chrissy Billingsley

Friday, April 23, 2010

April 22nd, 2010 - Thursday

blog to be done by Errin Dwyer

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 21st, 2010 - Wednesday

April 21st was a beautiful day, and Professor Kroll took us around Vienna to see two important churches: St. Stephens and St. Charles. Roughly every other Wednesday our Professor takes us around the city to talk and show significant monuments, buildings, sculptures, etc.

To start off the sightseeing we all hopped on the subway to Stephensplatz to see St. Stephen's Cathedral, a Gothic church that dates back to the 12th century. The cathedral is amazing to see in person, and I encourage anyone who ever travels to Vienna to make this a must-see on your list. Professor Kroll talked to us outside of the church for a while about the construction and how the city has to replace blocks from the Cathedral, which is the reason why it looks black in some areas and white in others. After being outside for awhile, we gathered inside the Cathedral and were given a tour of the inner part of the church. In order to go into some sectioned-off areas of the inside part you need to pay a few Euros.
After seeing St.Stephan's and learning about the history, we traveled to Karlsplatz to see St. Charles, a Baroque-style church. We did the same approach as St. Stephan's, first gathering in front of the building to learn about the structure and history, then touring the inside. This church is brighter, and has two victory poles on either side of it, with a green dome sphere on the top. Once we got inside we found out that Vienna has been spending 10 years remodeling it and has spent a large amount of money in this effort. Another thing that was interesting was that the bottom moulding is pure marble, but the other parts of it are fake, called French "stucko". The stucko feels nothing like marble, but does look similar from a distance. After learning about that we were able to go up to the top of the dome because of the construction taking place. This has never been allowed, because the elevator is new so most people will not be able to do this in the future once it is taken away when the restoration is complete. It was amazing, but scary, to be at the top, and you were able to see the whole city! Overall it was a great experience, with Professor Kröll providing a wealth of information.

Michael Niesen

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 20th, 2010 - Tuesday

Instead of relating this day's events, I thought I would share my unique experiences from later in the week:

Before even coming to Austria I had always wanted to go to Ireland and Switzerland. I had saved the place I wanted to go the most for my last big trip during my time here in Europe. Switzerland’s amazing scenery has always left me wanting to take a trip there. I asked anyone if they had wanted to go, and no one was interested. Finally Erin said she wanted to go with me, and our planning began. We had a lot of the same interests and thoughts on what we wanted to do while we were there. I had bigger plans of crossing out some things on my list of things to do before I died.

We got on a train without directions to our hostel and realized it when we got to the train station. Not really caring or letting our carelessness bring our mood down, we got on a late night train and waited for morning to see out the windows. Drifting in and out of sleep, I finally saw daylight and looked out the window. I was awe-struck. Speechless, I kicked Erin to wake her up and pointed out to the snow-capped mountains and bright blue lakes. We got off the train and picked a bus that was going to the same town as our hostel and hopped on. The roads were narrow and on the side of a steep mountain. We sat, not knowing where to get off or how to get to our hostel, but we didn’t have a care; we knew we would get there.

Arriving in Iseltwald, a small town with farms and fields of animals, we immediately fell in love with it. We found our way to our hostel, a lodge on a lake with a view of the Alps, and checked in. My eyes were drawn to the signs for paragliding, hang gliding, bungee jumping, and other activities. I asked about them, and we were soon signed up to go paragliding and canyon jumping directly after. To kill time before being picked up to go hang gliding we went on a hike that had the most gorgeous views. Erin was nervous but willing to do anything I was up to doing.

We were picked up in a van and brought to our jumping point. We were 3,000 feet above ground and had our lives in our crazy Swiss adrenaline junkie flyers' hands. Erin was first to run off the side of the mountain. The wind picked her up and brought her higher and higher. I was excited to go next and soon ran off the cliff as well. The wind picked me up, and I soared higher and higher into the sky. The houses looked like tiny dots, and the view of the Alps was stunning. Feeling brave I let my guide do some tricks in the air called roller coasters….. after almost throwing up with a smile, we began to land. The lake was bright blue from melting glacier water, and I couldn’t have felt more peaceful flying high above the ground with someone I had just met.

After my time in the sky we landed safe and sound on the ground and thanked our two new flying friends. We said our good byes and waited to be picked up again to go canyon jumping. I couldn’t believe I was just 3,000 feet above this ground and saw the picturesque scenery of Switzerland that I had always dreamed of seeing.

Next on our list was to do a type of bungee jumping called canyon jumping. On our van ride up to the cliff we would be jumping off of, we met more friends. We began talking with two guys that had just graduated from Ohio State. We shared stories of our past travels around Europe and enjoyed our time together. After the short walk to the cliff we signed our lives away in case something went wrong; I was picked out of the group to read the waiver to everyone. I hide my nervousness under my excitement. After volunteering to go first, I felt like it was too late to say, "hold on I need a few minutes before jumping over 150 feet attached to a rope." The guy that strapped me in could tell I was nervous and counted, 3..2..1. Without any hesitation I was already running to the edge before he finished saying two. After free falling for over a hundred feet (only 4 seconds, but the longest four seconds of my life) the rope finally caught and I felt my weight catch. Then the swing pulled me over a fast moving creek with jagged rocks sticking out of it. I swung for almost a minute between two canyons. I couldn’t have been happier. The sheer thrill and excitement made me want to do it all over again. After everyone had gone, the inventor of canyon jumping (the harness and idea) decided to jump with our group. Watching him do a front flip off the edge really impressed me. That guy was fearless.

Our trip didn’t end there. We spent the rest of our time out in the sun, soaking in the magnificent sights, souvenir shopping, and thinking: where can we go next? We decided we would do one last trip on our way back to Vienna. We decided on a destination to Paris. Arriving at the train station and saying we wanted to go to Paris, we were laughed at. The lady at the train station told us that everything was booked because of the volcano eruption that had happened. This was the first time our light-hearted travels had been affected. After a general consensus of ending our trip we decided to head home. She laughed at us again and told us it wasn’t possible to go to Vienna. I stood dumbstruck in front of her. After a long talk of declined possibilities we decided to go to Salzburg for the day before we went back to Vienna.

This trip was so unplanned and carefree that I loved every minute of it. We had ideas of what we wanted to see and where we should go, but nothing compares to doing something crazy and last minute. This trip that lasted only a weekend was a dream come true for me. I would not change any minute of this trip, and I know this was the perfect ending to the perfect trip of a lifetime.

Samantha Cooper

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 19th, 2010 - Monday

blog to be done by Stephanie Gilbert

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 18th, 2010 - Sunday

Today was a nice, spring day. I woke up early and spent the morning watching my new favorite TV show "Glee." It's very clever and funny. It makes me think about high school a lot. I can't believe I am going to be graduating in one year. Four years... and so much has happened. I feel like my life is catapulting by, and studying abroad has really put a lot of things into motion. While I watched Glee, I sent out some emails. Looking for an internship is hard when all you can do is contact people online.

After lunch I went into town with Ally, Chrissy, Christina, Steph, Sam, Kunj and Mike. We explored around and got a lot of dried fruit. I know the girls bought some jewelery, but I had to try my hardest just to look and save some money. Jewelry is a major weakness for me. Kunj, Mike and I got hungry--so we took off for kebabs and falafel wraps. The hummus had just been made... it was so good. I am definitely going to miss the food around here. I mean, I miss American food... but here everything is just a little tastier. After we sat and ate, we went grocery shopping and then just walked around and enjoyed the spring-time. It's gorgeous right now in Vienna.

The tulips are all blooming--it's making me wish I had been able to go back to Amsterdam and Holland. I bet the tulips there right now are incredible.

Photos by Michele

We also went to the Symphony at night! They played one of mine and my roommates favorite classical songs: Carmina Burana. I was so excited to hear it live. I was also amazed at the young boy choir. They sounded so wonderful, and powerful. And they were all such tiny people! I liked having the opportunity to get dressed-up too. I won't lie, I love an excuse to put on a pair of good high heels. I haven't had too many chances of wearing my favorite pair, and I got to last night.

All in all, the day and night were nice. Exactly what I would call a overall nicely blended day of relaxation and excitement. 20 more days until we go home... I can't wait to hug my mom, dad, sister and two dogs. Oh, and definitely anticipating my first Dunkin run... coupled with a good bag of cheetos and/or goldfish.

by Mae McGlone

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 17th, 2010 - Saturday

Today was one of my favorite days as a group so far. We decided to take a break form the organized tours and venture to the Berlin Zoo/Aquarium. The Berlin Zoo is known throughout the world for the variety of animals that live there. The Zoo did not look like any other Zoo I had been to in the United States; there were no obvious cages holding the animals into a closed area. Instead there was a surrounding moat that gave the animal more of a feel that they were in their own habitat instead of caged in a zoo. We stuck around for feeding time and got to witness lions, tigers, and a panda feast on their late lunch. It was a breath of fresh air to do something in Berlin that wasn't a structured tour or museum, but instead something that those living in Berlin do on weekends. I look forward to the rest of our weeks of traveling to Prague, Paris, Rome, Venice, and eventually back to Vienna. This backpacking excursion has been an eyeopening experience and to think this is only the beginning.

Cristina Tyris

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 16th, 2010 - Friday

Blog to be done by Katie Dougherty

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 15th, 2010 - Thursday

Today, Thursday the 15th of April, was a great day of exploration and experience. It started off with our regular classes, and afterwards Matthew, Michael, Kunj and I took to the streets of Wien. Our first stop, the post office. While at the post office, we encountered one of the most peculiar scenarios. While exiting the post office, we saw a Gypsy woman walking quickly with a plastic bag in one had, and some other odds and ends in the other. As she approached the entrance to the post office, she locked eyes with us, and preceded to reach into the plastic bag and pull out a small caliber semi-automatic pistol. She quickly placed it down right up against the post office wall, with the assistance of the sidewalk. Leaving quickly, she walked a few hundred feet before she abandoned the plastic bag of who knows what. It was something you don't see everyday here in Vienna. In fact, it is very rare to ever see something happen that's irregular in Vienna.

After being fortunate enough to travel to nine different European cities, you begin to get an understanding for the cultural diversity that Europe really has. I would say that Vienna has been by far the safest, cleanest city we saw while we were here; so I am grateful that we spent the majority of our time here in beautiful Austria.

After our run-in with the Gypsy, we went to our favorite gelato place for [who would have guessed it] Gelato! We enjoyed the nice weather outside, and returned to the Theresianum by 4 pm. We lounged until dinner at 6, and then finished our homework by 9. Our average Thursday night here consists of bargain beers and wine, accompanied by great friends and experiences. We have thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Europe, and we will definitely bring back great memories and friendship. It has been just over two months here, and we look forward to our last twenty five days here.

Smeg Bobberson

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 14th, 2010 - Wednesday

Today started off like a normal day in Wein: it was still raining like it has been the past few days. Today we had our first Math and Politics exam, and for me it was my first one of the semester. I guess it had to happen at some point. So instead of class we just took the exam. It was not as hard as I anticipated it to be, which was a pleasant surprise. After the exam everyone retreated back to their rooms for a brief, rainy-day nap or to watch a movie, but that didn’t last for long. Before we knew it, it was time for lunch; but lucky for us it was Wednesday candy bar day!

After lunch we all started to get ready to head out for our tour of Schönbrunn. As we were walking up to the building all I could think about was how beautiful it was and massive! As the tour started we were taken though so many beautiful rooms and told that anything gold was really 24k gold. The rooms were breathtaking! Every room was so different, yet they all had some common themes. Many of the rooms had a wood and gold color scheme. But my favorite room of them all was Maria Theresia's private room. It had a blue and porcelain theme with over 200 drawings done by friends and family. It was so beautiful! On the tour we also learned so cool facts like Maria Theresia loved to gamble and always won! There was even a room strictly for gambling.

I would have to say Schönbrunn has been my favorite place that we have visited in Wein so far--everything about it was beautiful. Unfortunately, because it was so rainy, we did not get to go outside and see the breathtaking gardens. But everyone agreed that we would go back on a nicer day; we even found out there is a zoo there, too. So in the near future we will be returning!

After we got back to school it was dinner time. Everyone ran back upstairs to take their rainy, wet clothes off and then back down to get some food. After dinner we all hung out and played cards. It was a very low key night, but a nice one too.

by Ally Billingsley

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 13th, 2010 - Tuesday

Today was April 13th, and it is the official end to our spring break. I have really enjoyed traveling around; however, it is nice to be back in Vienna. We really didn’t do much today, we all got back and are really tired. So, most of us spent our day in bed catching on sleep. Mike and I just returned from Paris, a sixteen hour train ride back. We took a night train, and it was not so good. We had beds, but I found it too, too small.

Kunj Shah

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 12th, 2010 - Monday

blog to be posted by Christina Gallo

April 11th, 2010 - Sunday

Today is the end of spring break and all the traveling we did over the past 2 weeks.

It is a travel day for everyone to meet back in Vienna. I had to check out of my hostel by 10:30, so I decided I would catch the 10:00 train back to Vienna. The full train ride plus layover was about 13 hours. I first took the train from Amsterdam to Frankfurt. I was only there an hour, so I didn’t really get to see any of the city--from other people that went there is wasn’t much to go see any ways.

After that I had the long straight shot back to Vienna. I slept for most of it because the train wasn’t very crowded, so I just took up the 2 seats and lounged out. Besides sleeping I read my history of math book for our report. The book is on the mathematician Euler, and it contains a lot of formulas. Some of the stuff I can’t follow, because it is more advanced calculus than I have ever done, but I am still able to get through most of the book.

I finally arrived back in Vienna at 11 at night. When I finally go back to the school I went straight into my room and crashed on the bed because I was so tired from the past weeks of traveling.

Ryan Stipetic

Last Day

Spring break was awesome. Saturday was the last day and a very busy one. Waking up in Brugge, Belgium; eating lunch in Brussels, Belgium; and falling asleep in Frankfurt, Germany.

Brugge was a fairy tale and ended on a high note. Fresh Belgian waffles, a climb up the belfry tower, and last minute shopping in various chocolate shops and hole-in-the-wall places.

The train ride from Brugge to Brussels was about an hour, and once off the train, the difference between Brugge and Brussels was uncanny. Brussels was a busy city, fuming with antiquity. There was a "march of the dead," as it appeared, with thousands of people dressed as zombies crowding the streets. It was a different kind of experience. Brussels was a short stay and after taking in everything in the city, it was on to Frankfurt.

Arrival in Frankfurt was after dinner sometime. Fortunately, the Frankfurt hostel was only 100 meters from the central station; unfortunately, it was also situated at the beginning of Frankfurt's red light district. Compared to Belgium, Frankfurt seemed to be a whole new experience in itself. The people at the hostel were easy to talk to, and it helped ease the intimidation of the city.

From Frankfurt, it was back to Vienna, where a familiar bed and private shower were welcomed with open, dirty arms.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

April 9th, 2010 - Friday

Friday morning was my last morning in Paris. Even though I’ve been there for the last three days, I wanted to stay longer because I feel there is so much more to see. If I had more time, I would have spent more time at the Louvre, and also at Notre Dame. These two places were so crowded that it was nearly impossible to properly explore them.

Looking back, I think Spring break in Paris was a great choice. The trees are in bloom. The weather is just perfect to walk around. I think it is definitely one my favorite places in Europe. The hostel I stayed at was not in the center of town, thus not in touristic area. I liked it very much, especially because I got to get a sense of the real Paris with everyday people instead of being crowded by souvenir shops at every corner. However, if you don’t know French, it could be a pain to try to communicate with the locals. Fortunately, Mae and Cristina had me to translate and speak for them when they needed it. Overall, it felt nice to finally be after five years in a French-speaking country. I have missed that.

One thing I noticed about the city itself is that it is very diverse, population-wise. There, for the first time, I talked to a French-speaking Asian (that was cool). The city can easily be explored using the subway or ‘métro’. Like most main cities I’ve been to, for example Berlin, the subway system is easy to understand and follow. The French food is great. Their regular coffee, bread, dessert and croquet-monsieur (type of sandwich) are a must try if someone goes to France. In almost every corner, there is a pastry or ‘Pâtisserie’. They all look so good, smell so good, and are very inviting. My favorite one was right down the street from the hostel; I took some pictures of it. I tried one of their baguette sandwiches, dessert, and croissant. They were delicious!!

Overall, the French were very nice to us. I remember when we were looking for our hostel, some English-speaking people going to the same place were looking at a map, and a French cyclist stopped and asked them if they needed help. Even in a non-touristic area, the locals were telling us welcome or ‘Bienvenue’.


When in Rome...

What an eventful day Thursday was. Bobby and I parted ways from our fellow bro's after a couple awesome days in Munich, Germany. Mike and Kunj were headed to Paris, and we were off to Rome! The train ride from Munich to Rome was one of the highlights of this trip so far. I have never seen such beautiful scenery--passing through the Swiss Alps, with jaw-dropping views everywhere you looked. We finally got to Rome after a hefty train ride, only to find out some crappy news when we got to our Rome hostel: we were a day early for our booking and there was no vacancy in the hostel. Just a simple miscommunication, stuff happens (edited version of a term I'm sure we can all figure out). The people at the hostel here were nice enough to let us use the lobby and make a booking at another hostel on the internet. We made a booking and hauled our luggage back across the city to the other hostel. I must say it started out as the sketchiest hostel I have ever checked into. The reception room was one little table with a binder with all the information for the bookings in it. Turns out, we were not actually sleeping in this sketchy looking building. Our room was across the street in what turned out to be a very nice building. We were finally settled into our room by 11:30, just in time to enjoy a delicious meal at an Italian restaurant across the street before they closed at midnight. We knew this restaurant had to be good because in the back corner of the restaurant appeared to be a scene straight out of the Godfather. It looked as if a "meeting of the four fathers" was going down. Bobby enjoyed some pasta, while I feasted on a four cheese pizza. After that we walked around the city for a little bit, trying to enjoy as much of Rome as possible. We were obviously exhausted though, so we headed back to our room and got a much needed good sleep. Can't wait to experience more of Rome over the next three days! This has truly been the spring break of a lifetime!

Peace & love.

by Matt Lennon

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 7th, 2010 - Wednesday

Today Ally, Christina, Sam, Katie and I were in Frankfurt, Germany. We had arrived yesterday afternoon after a long, packed train ride, during which we had to stand (the whole five hours), but it turned out to be even longer because the trains were delayed. Anyways, we stayed at a very nice place; it was a cross between a hotel and a hostel. When we got upstairs we found out that we had a roommate, but she was barely there. Instead of going out to explore, we all just crashed knowing we had the whole next day to explore.

When we woke up the next morning we all showered and tried to plan out what we were going to see. Originally we were going to go to the Birkenstock factory to get some new shoes; but after failing to find the subways and not wanting to walk for an hour, we thought we would just explore the city. Now don't get me wrong--Frankfurt is BEAUTIFUL, very clean, with some amazing skyscrapers. But it was probably one of the quietest and most boring cities I have ever been to. It seemed to be very business oriented. We sat in a park for a while and then continued our adventures into the early afternoon. By that time Ally had started not to feel so well, so we headed back to the hotel and waited for our taxi to come and get us to go to the airport.

Around five the taxi came and took us there. Little did we know that Frankfurt airport was one of the biggest airports in Europe. We made it through check in and security, and we were well on our way to Ireland for spring break! After our short flight we finally made it to Dublin, and if you ask anyone who went through the passport check, the Ireland stamp is by far all of our favorites. We hopped on a bus right after and it brought us to our hostel, where we all crashed for the night.

by Chrissy Billingsley

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April 6th, 2010 - Tuesday

blog to be done by Erin Dwyer

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 5th, 2010 - Monday

(Astrological Clock)

Looking back at spring break, it was one of the most eye-opening experiences we have had on this trip. We traveled to Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic with the whole class for about a week and a half.

Before April 5th we were in Berlin, Germany. Berlin was by far one of my favorite cities next to Athens, Greece. I remember that day pretty well because it was our last day in Berlin, so we were trying to make the best of it! We had seen the city from a bus tour, but it was not the same as walking around to see the sights so we got in a big group and walked to the Berlin Wall. We wanted to make the best of our last day before we all split up to travel on our own for our spring break. We gathered up about 10 of us, and ventured out into the beautiful city with cameras in hand.

While walking there we walked through the main part of the city, Checkpoint Charlie, and then got lost; so we tried to follow the bricks on the ground that signify where the wall use to be. That worked for a little while. Then we got to parts of the city that were very quiet, and it did not seem that we were going to the right place. We eventually asked some locals and found our way to the wall! Once we arrived at the wall we were all just quiet because we were all so intrigued by the beautiful artwork on the remaining Berlin Wall. If I remember correctly, our tour guide said the wall was a mile and a half long. The artwork was done by so many talented artists from all different nationalities. The other side of the wall, what you can not see from the street, is just painted white with a sandy beach/park area behind it that is near the river.

After we saw the wall we all took the subway back to the Hostel and grabbed some dinner, eventually ending our night by relaxing to prepare for Prague, and then onto our spring break journey to Munich, Germany on our own!

Michael Niesen

April 4th, 2010 - Sunday - Easter

Walking to the Prague castle and seeing the Easter Markets was really fun. They sold everything from food to hand-made wooden clocks. The aroma of the food items some of the places were selling smelled delicious. The Prague castle was really amazing on the inside. The stained glass windows, paintings and statues were all really interesting. The audio guide that was available to us made it easy for our group to learn about anything we thought was interesting. Only about 2 days after leaving the Prague castle, we learned that President Barrack Obama was there for business. I was alittle disappointed we weren't able to see him, but even if we had been there at the same time as our President, we probably wouldn't have gotten anywhere close to the castle.

by Samantha Cooper

April 3rd, 2010 - Saturday

Today we all woke up around 8am to get ourselves organized and packed before we headed downstairs to eat our final breakfast in Berlin. After eating a big delicious breakfast we headed off to the train station to catch our 10:36 train to Prague.

Berlin was a great city that I enjoyed very much. To a lot of us seeing the Dunkin Donuts at certain corners gave a little sense of home. Now we are off to experience another great place and to see more fantastic things.

We arrived in Prague and took a short walk to our hostel. Once we got our room keys we all hurried to check out our new place. All 11 girls were in one room, and the boys were across the hall. Everyone was so tired we all just decided to take a nap before we went out to roam around Prague. After we all napped for a couple hours, we got ready for a big night out. Everyone decided to go out together and hit up the downtown area. Downtown was very beautiful, especially at night with all the lights. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it out for too long, since I wasn’t feeling too good. I personally called it a night early, but most of the group decided to go out to what promised to be the biggest European club, with 6 floors. They all seemed to have had a blast! The night seemed to have gone by so fast but we all were excited to see Prague Castle the next day and be able to see more of this awesome city.

by Stephanie Gilbert

April 2nd, 2010 - Friday

On Friday we had our own day to spend in Berlin. Erin, Cristina and I walked around down town and bought some good candy and presents for our family. I got some really yummy potatoes and mushrooms with an onion sauce. After that we just explored the rest of the city... looking for the Birkenstock store, which unfortunately was closed. After that we decided we should go to the Dali Museum. Cristina and Erin were not that familiar with him, and I was excited to see some of the less famous art by one of my favorite artists. The museum was beautiful, and no one else was there. It was a lot of his earlier works: sketches, water colors and various other abstracts. I was so happy to be there.

Afterward, we came back and packed for Prague. We were exhausted from all of the traveling and adventures, so we decided to grab dinner early and just go to sleep.

Mae McGlone

April 1st, 2010 - Thursday

We had an amazing day at the Berlin zoo today. It contains the largest number of species of all the world’s zoos. So we had to check it out.

We all went out at around noon; we knew perfectly how to get there after the bus tour we took a day earlier. We took the subway to the zoological garden stop, and there it was. The tickets we bought not only allowed us access to the zoo but to the aquarium, also. It was my second time going to a zoo, but first time to an aquarium. I was excited!

We saw all kinds of animals, birds and else (check the pictures). We saw tigers, pandas get fed. We saw different types of ants, which were interesting to me cause I’ve always been fascinated by them. The aquarium was nice--nice looking sharks--and a lot of different species that I cannot fully remember the name of.

Overall, it was very nice spending the day at the zoo. We all got back safely to our hostel, went out to dinner together, and enjoyed the night-life of the city.

Ich liebe Berlin!!!!

by Murielle Errie

March 31st, 2010 - Wednesday

Bus tour of Berlin

Blog to be done by Katie Dougherty

Checkpoint Charlie
In front of a piece of the wall.

Brandenburg Gate
The front of the hostel.