Monday, May 25, 2009


Ack, it's been a while--I know!

This happened a few weeks ago...buttttt Liz and I went to Berlin! and wow, what a downer. The trip was fine, but the city, with so much Nazi history was very depressing.

We took a night train there (12 one was hot too...ew) but finally got there at 9:00 am. The first thing we did was take a walking tour to see all of the city. Neither of us knew much about the city so it was really fun learning all of the history. The tour took us by the monuments and locations like the berlin wall (what's left of it) and Hitler's Bunker/death place. We also saw a really cool memorial to the war too.

The feeling there was interesting. It was like they were trying SO hard to compensate for what they had done that they were just so nice and relaxed. No one cared that we didn't speak any german, and welcomed our english--when most cities just rolled their eyes and then tried english.

The second day we took another tour, but this one was to the Sachenhausen Concentration camp. This was a really hard day and put a big damper in our moods. The camp was preserved just like how it was and taught a lot about what happened. Our tour guide new a lot too which was helpful. I think it was so interesting that it was free--they want as many people to come as possible so they can remember the events that happened there and never let them happen again. The sign on the front gate translates loosely as "Work Will Set You Free" very disturbing.

Like I said, Liz and I were pooped from the days visit (it took all day) and so we were in search of something to uplift our mood. and what did we find?? The Blue Man group! Neither of us had seen it since 7th or 8th grade and it was really cool. We got cheap tickets because of our student discount and it was a good cap to the evening.

We were able to fly home (thank heaven!) and went our seperate ways.

I'm in my last few days here, only 8 days left until I come back! I have three days of exams, todays the first, and then I pack up and head to Clermont-Ferrand to hang out with liz for few days before Paris for my flight.

I went to nice this past weekend, but I'll save that post for a study break tomorrow or so.

xoxo gros bisous a tous!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Spring Break Part 3, Interlaken, Switzerland

First of all, let me say that I LOVE Switzerland! The views are AWESOME!

Liz, Belle, and I met up for a few days in Interlaken, right in the middle of the Swiss Alps. This city isn't for the typical's for the adventurous! Liz and I did just that! the first day, we both got inrather later in the afternoon since it was a pretty long train ride. We walked around for a bit, grabbed some dinner, and hung out at the hostel.

The next morning, early, we went a bit outside of the city, up the side of a mountain, and hikes around for a was rainy/snowy but it was absolutely beautiful none the less. The views form up there were fantastic!

Later that day, Liz and I had a crazy idea...why not go white water rafting! It was terrifying, but SO much fun...the river flowed in the mountains, and with class 3 and 4 rapids. It was such a thrill...I managed to stay afloat..barely! Right in the middle of the trip, it started pouring rain..and since the water is already freezing (because its coming from the snow melting at the top of the alps) it was def. a good thing that we had a ton of layers of wetsuits. It was for sure worth the freezing temperatures!

Sunday we got up early again, and decided to go on a real hike. We hiked the Harder Kulm mountain, about a 3 hour hike, and man! was the view wonderful! I defininatly payed for the work though, and all the next week my body was super sore, again, the experience...just being outside and in the sun, was worth it.

I hope everyone had a wonderful mother's day!

gros bisous!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring Break Part 2...Rennes, Mont St. Michel, St. Malo, Toulouse, Loudres!

So time for part 2!

So I left the boys in amsterdam and hopped on a train to Rennes (in the Brittany/Normandy region of france...aka the west coast) to meet 3 girls from my program in Dijon. We chose Rennes not because there is much to do, but it's the best hub city for day trips. We couch surfed there (for those of you who don't know what that is...its a program for people like us who can't afford hotels every night but want to travel...pretty much people offer up their couches, extra beds, or floors to people traveling. I know what you're thinking..and don't's really safe! People rate you, you get references and validations, and you can go off of what other people say about their experience there. Well this first place we surfed was not the best to say the least. The guys that lived there (there were five) were awesome, fun to talk to, and super hospitable..but their house was dirtier than a frat house! I guess you can't expect much from 5 guys but seriously. Not to mention they were kinda hippy-esque (there's a fresh hippy type that's hard to explain) so they had a very...different..sense of style. It was funny, but also kind of depressing because we were afraid to use the toilet or shower...oh, thats right...4 days of peeing in cafes before we left dinner and no showers at all. ewww

Besides that though, it was great! The first day we went to le Mont St. Michel. It's a fortress/Abby thing on a mountain that turns into an island when the tide was up. It's on the top 10 things not to miss in france, but honestly I wasn't that impressed. It was cool, but eh.

The second day we went to the small city of St. Malo (a suggestion from our guide book) and it was so adorable! It was a cute old city on the coast of the Channel. It was a beautiful day and we spend it having a picnic and hanging out on the beach.

After Rennes we took a lonnng train ride to toulouse via paris. Toulouse is close to spain, very warm and very friendly. We also couch surfed there with an american teacher from PA. She teaches English through the french government. We met some of her friends too and that was a lot of fun. The first day there we explored the city.

The second we went to Lourdes (the site of a catholic miracle) and it was so neat to see all of the Catholics there believing so strongly in the pilgrimage they were making. I even drank some holy water. yumm. (oh by the way, I was with 3 very strong Catholics so I learned a lot!)

We got back to toulouse and it was pouring rain...and it didn't stop! the following day we just hung out with Jamie (our host) and watched a french movie because it was too wet to go outside and do anything...mainly it was just a day for bumming around.

I said good bye to the girls and headed back to Dijon for a few days to recoup before I met Liz in Switzerland...which will have to wait until a later date because I have to go to my Expression Oral class!

grand bisous..