Friday, May 31, 2013

Auf wiedersehen

Posts have been scarce lately. I leave for the States tomorrow morning, and while I'm excited to get back to Phoenix, I'm really going to miss being in Europe. It's amazing how quickly I began to feel at home here. I know the train system like the back of my hand, and have picked up conversational German words such that I am able to complete an order in a restaurant or make small talk with strangers.

On that note, here are a couple of things I will miss:
  • The inconvenience/challenge of being in a new place and having to fend for myself.
  • Cobblestone streets and old churches.
  • Local Riesling.
  • Schnitzel. (Seriously.)
  • My classmates.
  • Ursula, the EBS program director, who is a complete doll.
  • High speed trains.
  • Belgian beer.
  • Delicious pastries.
  • Castles.
Things I will not miss:
  • The weather. YUCK!
We went to Heidelberg on Tuesday and I got to see my first German schloß (castle). It was built in the 1200s and overlooks the entire city. This has been my favorite part of Germany.

I have one more class today and then a field trip for some wine tasting and photos at Eberbach Abbey (

All for now.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Viennese waltz

Yesterday, I flew to Vienna for the day to meet up with Andy, Paul, and Tim from my class at ASU. I loved seeing them, especially on the other side of the world.

I don't have much explanation for the photos below, as most are quite ridiculous. We stayed out past 4:30am and my flight back to Frankfurt was at 11:40am. I'm not sure how I got back to my flat in Germany. (It's been a total blur.) But thank God the flight was only about an hour.

me & the dudes: Paul, Tim, & Andy

Back to school tomorrow.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Weekend jet setter

It's a beautiful day in Hattenheim!

The sun has come out to play today, which is a nice change from the pouring rain we've been experiencing the last week or so.

In three hours, I will leave for Frankfurt International Airport to fly to Vienna for the night. A couple of my school friends (Tim, Andy, & Paul) are going to be there and it will be nice to see familiar faces. I went to Vienna in 2010 and wasn't super enamored, but I'm excited to go this time!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Frankfurt field trip

On Tuesday of this week, the class took a field trip to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and European Central Bank. I really enjoyed the ECB visit! Frankfurt is home to the central bank of Europe, so we got to see firsthand a presentation on the Euro and future of European Union.

Some of my classmates. (Yes, Mom. There are cute guys in my class.) 

Frankfurt Stock Exchange

Outside the European Central Bank

Night in Wiesbaden (the bartender bought us jaeger shots)

Some friends and I hit a bar in Mainz tonight. 

One of my photographer classmates took this of me. Not the most flattering angle, but it shows how happy I am here. This was me at dinner with the Aussies last week.

Belgian birthday

So much to post, and so little time.

Last weekend I was in Brussels for my birthday, right? Monday was a holiday in Germany (and Belgium, actually - I'm thinking it was either a Labor Day or some religious holiday) so we were encouraged to leave Wiesbaden for three days. My classmates were headed to Berlin, Munich, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam mostly; with Copenhagen being too far and my little interest in seeing Amsterdam (again) or more of Germany, I decided to head back to Brussels. It was SO much fun the first time, and a day there just wasn't enough.

Holy cow, am I glad I went back.

I found Brussels to be one of my favorite cities I've visited yet. On my actual birthday (Saturday), I spent the entire day walking around the city and eating Belgian fare (much tastier than German food).

The beautiful Grand Place, a huge tourist spot in Brussels. The building with the huge tower is the Town Hall, and it literally took my breath away the first time I saw it, because I wan't expecting it. So gorgeous.

The next morning was when I did all my walking (Saturday) and got to know the city very well. Here's another shot of the Brussels Town Hall:

Le Manneken Pis! A famous monument in Brussels with a funny story. 

My favorite church in Brussels. I would visit here again and again throughout the weekend, and even attended church there on Sunday morning. The sermon was in French but it was pretty rad.

Park across the street from the church: 

Belgian ducks are cute. 

More views of the city. 

The Belgian royal palace (Palais Royal de Bruxelles) 

My tiny hostel room (so cute!)

Roy d'Espagne in the Grand Place, my favorite place to eat. They had a delicious goat cheese and spinach quiche that I ordered with a Coca-Light on two different occasions.

More Grand Place [grahn plahss] photos

The European Parliament building! This was neat to see as we had just studied it in class and I came upon it by accident. 

And because photos don't do it justice, here is a video of one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. It was early in the morning, so the plaza was relatively empty.

Most fun birthday weekend ever. Yep.

I mean OUI.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Birthday weekend

In eight hours, I'll officially be 27 years old.

I've decided to head back to Brussels this weekend (sans laptop) instead of Switzerland for a number of reasons, most of which involve price of travel, price of stay, convenience, & party factor. Duh.

I will take lots of photos and promise to do a massive blog update on Monday night. 

I leave you with a photo of me and the Aussie boys in my class, who are very chivalrous, and always making sure I am safe and taken care of. One of them walks me to the train station at Wiesbaden each night so I can take the Bahn to Hattenheim. I adore Rod (3rd from the left), who was raised in Sydney with Elle MacPhearson and Flea from the Chili Peppers.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

MTV cribs - Germany edition

I had some free time this morning (I'm a morning person in Germany) so here is a video tour of my cute little flat.

Flower child

I'm always thrilled to see wildflowers. My first year in Boise, I would take photos of the tulips "growing out of the ground!" and send to my mother in bewilderment. As Arizonans, we don't get to see a huge variety of flowers outside of a botanical garden. (Shout out to DBG, Lola.)

Yesterday, on my walk home from school, I saw a lilac plant, which I had never seen before in the wild. It's actually a very massive bush (wide, but only about five feet tall). I picked a flower and stuck in one of the small vases in my flat. 

It's the little things in life. You know, like being in Germany and picking flowers.

On tonight's agenda is dinner in Frankfurt with some classmates. I barely got to see the city at all because my train got in after 6pm and I wanted to get to my apartment so badly. (My landlords were waiting up for me.) I am excited to see what the nightlife there has in store for us.

I booked a plane ticket for $250 to Vienna the weekend of May 25th to see Tim, Paul, and Andy, some of my ASU friends who are also enrolled in an international elective in Austria & the Czech Republic. It will be good to see their familiar faces, especially in a foreign country. Though I will admit, one of my favorite challenges of being here is not knowing anyone.