In Brugge, it was soooo gorgeous there
The Antomium, in Brussels. It was part of the same collection as the Eiffel Tower. We took a tour and got to go inside of it and took an elevator up to the very top ball!
The Royal Palace in Brussels. Since the flag was up, that means the king and queen are home!
The famous symbol of Belgium, the Manneken Pis. I had no idea it was so small! And apparently he has over 800 outfits!
In the main square of Brussels. All the buildings were so pretty! They had so much gold on them :)
So after my two weeks in Germany, I took the train to Belgium and stayed with my close friend Alexia. I stayed for one week, and got to celebrate new years there, which was cool. Belgium has wonderful chocolate and food in general. It was so much fun, and I loved all the buildings there. It seems most of of photos from Belgium of of buildings!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
decorating the Christmas tree!
Raclette. aka: the best food ever. It's traditional to eat around Christmas time...it's this special kind of cheese that smells gross, but tastes amazing, and you need the above contraption to heat it up and eat it. You mix it with potatoes, ham, veggies, and even pinapple. Soooo good!
There is soooo much snow here in Germany! I am staying with an exchange student I met in America who is German. She lives about 10 minutes outside of Frankfurt. I have been here six days so far, and it has snowed every single one of those days, most days average a temperature of -5 degrees! The snow is causing problems all throughout Europe. The London airport has even closed down, and so many flights are being cancelled.
However, the snow is very pretty, and I am looking forward to Christmas in a foreign country. The food here is amazing, and Juliane's mother is an excellent cook who keeps me very well fed. haha. Hopefully the roads will be better tomorrow so we can drive someplace and actually see some German things!!!
Monday, November 29, 2010
On some famous bridge next to some famous castle in Rome. haha.
Inside the Pantheon. This was my favorite place I saw in Rome. I learned a lot about it in my art history class this semester and it was so cool to be able to actually see it!
The colosseum by the light of a full moon! Amazing.
So last weekend I got to go to Rome for five days and stay with my old friend Francesca. She is Italian and so I had a 'built in' tour guide and translator with me 24/7. It was really fun to be able to stay with someone that had grown up in Rome because I got to see and do things that most tourists don't get to do when they visit Rome. And we never got lost! haha
The food in Italy, mainly the food prepared by Francesca's parents, was SO GOOD! I ate soooo much wonderful pasta and this amazing pork called porchetta and wonderful fresh mozzarella and pizza and chocolate! I could go on and on for ages about the food :) I can't wait to go back!
I learned so Italian phrases... "Thank you for your hospitality" "Gratzie per avermi ospitata" and "Your cooking is good", "Cucini molto benne" Hopefully my Italian spelling is okay :) I also was taught some of the classic Roman hand gestures (Italians really do 'talk' with their hands!) I also learned that the "ch" in Italian is pronounced like the "k" sound in 'cat', and the "c" is pronounced like the "ch" sound in 'choose'. :)
Anyways, this Thursday, Dec. 2nd, is the last day of the semester! I have two finals that day, and a paper due the next day. UGH! Too much studying for me.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Last Saturday, my roommate Paul and I took a day trip to Northern Ireland. Our tour was on the Paddywagon bus where the bus driver sang us Irish songs and even taught us one too!
We saw the Giants Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, Larrybane, and Derry.
We went first to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge (from the Scottish Gaelic Carraig-a-Rade) meaning 'rock in the road'. And now I'll copy what is on the brochure I saved :) "The road is the sea route for Atlantic salmon on their westward journey past Carrick Island. For over 350
years, fishermen have strung a rope bridge 30m above the sea to allow them to access the best places to catch the migrating salmon. Crossed regularly by local fishermen, the bridge now
presents a challenge to thousands of visitors each year who come to enjoy the same views and high thrills." The view from all around the place was so so so beautiful and you could see Scotland in the far off distance!
Scotland is the grey mass
behind the black mass, to the left...
Next stop was the Giant's Causeway, which was breathtaking! And again I will quote to you from the pamphlet I got. haha "The Giant's Causeway is an area of approximently 38,000 columns, the result of ancient volcanic activity 60 million years ago. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with 4, 5, 7, and 8 sides. The tallest are about 12 meters (36ft.) high. As well as columns, many of the rocks have been named due to their shapes and their connections to the Giant Finn MacCool. Legend tells the story of how Finn actually created the Causeway and the stones around it as a challenge to his Scottish rival Benandonner."
It was so fun to hop around on all the different shaped rocks. It was raining though which made them very slippery. I don't understand how volcanic activity shaped all those perfectly hexagonal rocks though....
Thursday, November 4, 2010
All the streets in the city center were filled with marching students in bright yellow. The cars and buses couldn't use the streets!
Her sign, and the back of mine, says 'I dont wanna be a stripper' haha
Her sign, and the back of mine, says 'I dont wanna be a stripper' haha
Yesterday, Nov 3rd, there was a huge student protest in the streets of the city center in Dublin. The Irish students (along with myself :D) were protesting the raise in fees and the 'brain drain'. The recession is really really bad in Irealnd and they are cutting jobs from the private and pubic sectors, so after people graduate from college there is no work for them so most of the new grads move to Australia or New Zealand.
It was crazy being apart of such a huge march, there was approximently 25,ooo students from all over Ireland. Now I know I'm not Irish so it doesn't affect me, but I know if a protest like this was happening in Cali I would want to be a part of it.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
My how time fly's when your in Ireland! :)
So last weekend's trip was to county Kerry and county Cork. And it was a three day weekend due to a bank holiday, so that was great! Of course they were both beautiful places, full of friendly locals and beautiful scenery. I don't think I could ever get tired of
the scenery here...now the weather, that's a different story! It has started to get way colder, you can see your breath not only in the morning, but all day! I don't think I will like this winter.... (My relatives in Wisconsin, I don't know how you survive it!) But, since the weather has become increasingly worse, it gave me a good excuse to buy some cute new red rain boots! Yay! In Cork this weekend, there was a huge jazz festival going on. This made it impossible to book a room in Cork, so me and Alexia and Jean decided to stay in the neighboring county of Kerry (we stayed in a town called Killarney) and just do one day in Cork. The festival was crazy, the streets were packed with people (too many people for me!) and there were different bands playing on every street corner and in every pub and restaurant too. My favorite that we saw was an Irish Johnny Cash cover band! You could tell they really payed attention to detail, they all wore black, and the fake Johnny had a fake drawl and his talking voice actually sounded like Johnny's!
So this weekend is Halloween, and I'm going to be the American flag and the golden snitch from Harry Potter! For my flag outfit, I have a red and white stripped shirt and a blue skirt that I am somehow going to put stars on. And for the snitch I have a gold dress and I'm somehow going to make wings out of white fabric....if I can find any.... Also, Alexia's family is coming this weekend
to stay in Dublin with her, and I'm excited to meet them, because I will be staying with them for Christmas. Then the first weekend of November Alexia and I are going to county Monaghan to stay with our friend Ethine. And she said her parents are going to take us to Northern Ireland to see Belfast and the Giant's Causeway, and hopefully do some horseback riding! Then for the third week in November I will be in Rome for five days, staying with my old friend Francesca, and after that is Thanksgiving! Can't wait! :)
And today I got a package from home that contained two small paintings I did this summer, as well as very pretty scrapbooking paper and stickers, and a beautiful paper quilt my mom made! So this evening I just got done re-decorating my room and I love it!
It's really starting to feel like 'home' here. My room is cute and cozy, with a zil
lion pictures of my friends and family around me. I know how to take to bus like a pro, I don't forget my bags when I go grocery shopping anymore, I know a good sushi place with Monday night specials,and I know that O'Connell St, and Henry St. are the best places for shopping. :) Overall, life is good.
My new and improved room!