Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
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.
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
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
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.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
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
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
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.
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.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
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’.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
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.
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