Archive | May, 2012

Dresden and PRAGUE!

31 May

so we woke up today, a little better then usual, and went down to breakfast. I ate my mini berliners (delicious jelly filled doughnuts oh heyyyy) and boarded the bus. The countryside was beautiful, for what i saw before i passed out, and i woke up in a cute city by the name of Dresden, Germany.

DRESDEN

It was the last german city to be bombed during the war and was highly controversial during the time. unfortunately many beautiful buildings were destroyed but are now well on there way to being completely restored. Here is the castle of Frederick I or Augusta the strong (what they called him in Poland). It was a very interesting tour and then we had an hour to wander around and eat… and thats exactly what mary and i did. we somehow stumbled upon another little austrailian place ate lunch there and then wandered over to the “best ice-cream in the town” as the tour guide put it. MAN IT WAS YUMMY! it is chocolate ice-cream mixed with rosemary it gave it a refreshing taste and took away the richness of the chocolate. By this time we were to board back on the bus to continue on to Prague which i promptly fell back asleep on.

our yummy chocolate rosemary ice-cream!

AHOJ!

When entering the area i saw thousands of adorable buildings and houses. its literally out of like a picture book here. we got to our hotel, which I’m VERY happy to say has FREE WIFI, and then went to the metro for our first crash course. We took it to the center of the city of prague and then were left to wander on our own. IM IN LOVE. Prague is beautiful and was on the outskirts of the line of war so lays untouched on its historical beauty. I literally could not take it in and believe my own eyes. it was like busch gardens with like plaster building fronts only these are real! and stretch on and on… but let me stop drooling over how AMAZING this place is.

Mary and I went to dinner at an authentic czech restaurant which had an art nouveau architectural style. it was so pretty and the food was good too! i had some form of beef soup (I’m feeling better but my throat is still killing me) and make got a czech cheese plate (which i sampled every kind of as well). the waiter seemed to be judging me for not ordering like 4 course meal but whatever. also at the restaurant there was an accordion player doing live music for the people dining. oh and with the check you were given complementary shots that you were expected to take… in my mind i was like only if my mother was here i would like to see her take it 🙂

After mary and I finished our meal we wandered around the city and gift shops… let me just say i don’t think prague is going to be fair to my budget… and i somehow managed to find a super cute ice-cream shop on one of the side streets. I’m digging the raspberry ice-cream over here! by this time it was late and we got back to the metro (NOT BEFORE I FOUND WATER!! YAY!) and now about to take out night medicine, not that we really need any help sleeping.

yay hydration! i miss water..

I LOVE ME SOME PRAGUE like I’m so excited to get out and explore more. plus now that I’m feeling better i want more adventures at night to report back to you all.

dobrou noc!

-K

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vier LAST DAY IN BERLIN

30 May

CHRISTIE IS HERE!

i missed her.

we saw a shirt today and christie pointed it out “Bad decisions make good stories” but what they don’t say is “those good stories make very sick children”

After both being very reluctant to climb out of bed today mary and I managed to make it to breakfast and change. We then went on a quest for a pharmacy to find drugs to make us feel better. We were so lucky! we found an angel of a man who spoke very good english (we didn’t understand a freaking box in the entire place) we told him our symptoms (while he kinda gave me a pitiful look… i know i looked rough) and he gave us stuff for both day and night. we thanked him and when it was my turn to pay i think he took pity on me and told me to take my medicine right then and there and he grabbed mary and I water cups from the back so we could take our pills and then told us to feel better as we left.

at this point in the day i was on like 3 different medications at once so i was feeling GREAT but possibly a little out of it…

my water and drugs! i was so happy

We took our medicine back to the hotel and then got on the s-bahn towards museum island. so here we are minding our own business on the train (me happily delirious staring out the window in my own drugged up world) and BOOM crazy german man shouts something behind us terrifying me putting me in poor christies lap. we thought he was done but no apparently he had a lot more to say. he starts yelling furiously in german behind us and then starts screaming in this poor older woman’s ear who is obviously not with him and it is quite evident that they are not together. She takes it like a champ ignoring him and then a women in her 30s on the other side away from us starts talking to him to district him from the elder woman and then he swings at this poor girl! (he looks normal but at his point i think we all decided and agreed he was not set well in the mind.) so then some savior of a guy pushes the girl to the side to keep her away from the crazy man and grabs mr. crazy and puts him in a headlock. (he is very calm about all of this in the mean time.) all of the sudden this guy is still ranting and manages to get out of it pushing back the guy. men from all around the train from different groups stand up, like there were business men, travelers etc all different backgrounds, and surround him to keep him away from the rest of us until we got to the next stop. (which was our stop but we conveniently just stayed on the train to the next knowing we could still get to the museum.) they pushed him off the train and all of then got off to watch him and get the police. the three of us were all taken aback during this entire time and i still am not quite sure what happened. after he got off the train i talked with the elderly woman, knowing no german i just looked concerned and asked if she was ok by giving he a thumbs up, but she nodded looked relieved that someone asked.

it was a very interesting ride.

We got off and went to the museum of arts, which was quite a bore. I’m surprised they let us out in public. I’m drugged up on medications zoning out and can’t hear anything staring blankly into space while mary is like trotting around exhausted and like falls down the stairs and then christie gets like lost in the museum wandering around going in circles. we were a hot mess.

we then attempted to go to the brandenburg gate… failed miserably its cold out and we missed a turn and all being sick we gave up and went back to the hotel ha. on the way we stopped at a pastry shop (the other two already grabbed sandwiches) and i was having a terrible time breaching the language gap. i had 3 people around me trying to help me and i ended up with only some kind of plain bread… whatever. we went back to the hotel and took a short nap and now just found a super cute little cafe that has, get this, FREE WIFI, but it closes soon which still probe means i will have to buy an hour later. so over it. Mary, dan and I (hopefully christie!!) are going to the beer garden one last time to get our german food and call it a night.

Miss everyone!

Prague tomorrow 🙂

-K

Mary: HI! so kaytlen and i are one step from death but the nice pharmacist man gave us cold meds today so hopefully we will be feeling better for prague. I loved berlin, its much more causal than london or paris. their sausages are suspicious though… my favorite was the beer gardens, not just because of what they serve but the atmosphere is so pretty, its like an outside picnic with little lights and it was on the water 🙂 its been my favorite so far we will see what Prague and Vienna have to bring, I am getting awfully tired of crazy city people.

So my thoughts on berlin… its a lovely city but looks just like any city at home but with German everywhere. I feel like to get an actual feeling of the German culture your best bet would be to travel elsewhere in the country. Beer gardens are really cool though! I really feel as though my dad and sister would like this country a lot. The food made no sense to me so i really enjoyed some pretzels while i was here. People are dressed more casually here which was actually a relief then constantly being judged by the city people. Germany is nice and green though! Berlin was kind and not so kind to me. it is the city where i actually died with my sickness but it also allowed me to heal and hopefully be more prepared for the last two countries to come! London is still my favorite though. Unfortunately no tasting the night life here 😦 later on though!

drei

29 May

So this post is probably going t be incredibly short today…

i was so sick this morning i wasn’t able to make it to see german parliament.

I slept 14 hours only to be drug out of bed by mary and nicole and we went to this huge department store for food. which was yummy but very over whelming to me especially since i was out of it. I then followed the two girls as they went to a few stores to shop but eventually got too worn out and had to go back to the hotel until later i was dragged out again by mary for dinner at this authentic german restaurant… not really sure what i ate but had delicious apple strudel and now back in the hotel about to go to bed… i know I’m going a little wild and crazy over here.

Miss everyone

– K

zwei

28 May

ello everyone!

So today we woke up and ventured on the S-bahn to the Pergamon museum which was actually really cool (mary didn’t think so though) we got to see the Ishtar gate and old ruins of the temple consecrated to the gods zeus and athena.

Ishtar gate

ruins of the temple

After mary and I found an Australia restaurant (?) and ate there. it was pretty good but not the best so far by any means. we then followed the river to the Reichstag which is the parliament building for Germany.

We were allowed inside and had a tour. It was really cool and simple. there was no pictures or anything up which could sway sides and give a favor to anyone. up top there was a glass dome that you can go in and see great views of the entire city.

Unfortunately i had to go home early because I was so sick making this a shorter post today…

Mary came and got me and then we went to dinner with nicole and dan at a German restaurant. the food was so yummy i wish i could just appreciate it more.

After we got ice-cream and talked in the hotel. It was a low key day but in all honestly i probably needed it.

Miss you all!

-K

eins

27 May

Guten Tag!

 

I stole internet off of dan… THANKS.

Breakfast is delicious here as well! I’m determined its just a Europe thing… get with the picture US. This morning we went on a walking tour of Berlin. We passed the Museum Island, Charlie checkpoint, part of the Berlin Wall that is still standing, and tons of spots dealing with WWII and the cold war. It was interesting and all however… originally this tour was to be 2 ½ hours to 3… over 4 hours later we ended. Walking the entire time and dying of thirst and hunger at this point…. I’m pretty sure Mary was going to chop someone’s head off. She was not a happy camper to say the least. Everyone was at each other’s throats (luckily my cold or whatever it is takes away my extreme hunger so I was fine watching from the outside) so we all ended up splitting into our own groups.

war memorial

Mary, Dan and I of course didn’t go the academic route today and went on a search for a market we passed earlier hoping to find food. Using my keen direction skills (with the use of landmarks) I got us back there where we ate some kind of German hotdog thing. (Descriptive I know) but it man was it good!

 

We ventured around the market, saw lots of pretty things and then went back on the S-bahn towards our hotel. Dan jumping the gun a bit made mary and I get off on the stop right before ours determined it was our stop. I was right and it wasn’t but lucky for him there was another Giant market that we got to wander around.

Back on the S-Bahn (Dan left us now) mary and I found a “Bubble tea” café (which was yummy!) and literally just sat there doing our thing for a while. We then found a Italian restaurant and got a really cheap dinner (FINALLY) and prepared to go to our concert and then went on the U-Bahn with the rest of the group to Opera house and took pictures all together outside.

The group!

Blakemore!

The concert consisted of one piano player and was two HOURS long. Don’t get me wrong it was amazing and he had a ton of talent… I was just exhausted after the day and his melody was soothing me to sleep especially being on the back row of the balcony. After the concert we stepped outside and a cello player and acoustic guitar player were doing classical songs for change outside and it was beautiful. The night was lovely after the hot day (which I have a farmers tan, v neck AND necklace tan lines from… great) and just looking at all the architecture around me while listening was almost magical. We then popped back on the U-bahn to our hotel where I drugged up (still trying to beat whatever this is) and typing this while jealously looking at a passed out mary.

Im a little homesick and miss everyone a lot today.

Hope everyone is well!

-K

p.s. there are freaking pigeon spikes everywhere!

p.p.s. mary and i never made it to the catacombs of paris. therefore we decided the only reasonable fix to this situation would be we will just have to plan a trip to Italy. THANKS DAD : )

BERLIN

26 May

FLIGHT TO BERLIN

So waking up this morning wasn’t terrible and I was thankful that I thought to pack the night before. (during the night mary literally rolled over and started petting my head and face thinking I was her cat because she didn’t know where she was apparently… the sad part was I was too tired to do anything about it and just went back to sleep)  We all met up at breakfast together to eat our last meal. So get this. We are leaving in like 5 mins and all trying to check out and grabbing our stuff. We are all tired at this point and literally divert our eyes for not even a minute and poor christie’s purse gets stolen. Like right off the breakfast table. It had EVERYTHING in it. Her phone, passport, ids, and money. All gone. Kramer ended up staying behind with her to try to get to the American embassy so she could get a new passport. Now even worse news. Its closed for memorial weekend. Really?! So right now they are trying to make a plan for another way for her to get here.

As for us the Paris airport looks lovely but is confusing with the terminal to bus to plane thing and our plane wasn’t even ready like they said and we ended up just sitting on the bus for a bit. Strangely enough I sat beside a guy who is from Virginia and goes to NYU. However, his brother is my year and actually goes to Mary Washington! Andrew Willis (I think) whoever you are I met your brother.

GUTEN TAG!

Landing wasn’t bad and the German airport was highly efficient. We got our bags right after getting off the plane and were on our way. On the way to the bus an elderly German couple pulled me aside and gave me 2 free tickets (worth 24 euro each!) to something (I don’t know anything German so I smiled and said Danke and kept walking to the bus).

Talk about culture shock. I have never been in Germany before, know nothing of the language and have no idea what to expect. I couldn’t understand the signs at all and on the way to the hotel we passed a nude park. Hahaha. Our hotel is SO NICE. Its like actually normal sized too  only bummer is… no free wifi so I will have to find somewhere to work. Not to mention. I just found a silver hair. This is not ok people.

Everyone went as a group to the beer gardens near our hotel in a park and had dinner and sat around to talk together. It was a lot of fun and the park itself is SO cool looking. It had lights strung up, picnic tables, and candles etc. we all joked around (and laughed even harder watching professor Blakemore down his drinks with his friends that met up with us today) and continued talking for a while. We then strolled back to the hotel (scanning for wifi with no luck looks like ill be possibly buying 2 or 3 hours of internet) and now just chilling out in our room before bed.

new friend!

Oh and we met the infamous “Sweetie Pie” who is Kramer’s wife. Too bad he isn’t here… WE MISS CHRISTIE.

Tschüs!

-K

miss everyone!

p.s. we have no internet service (i bought this hour to catch up) so i will be posting on the last night in Berlin again about my germany travels. so i will talk to you all then! enjoy home 🙂

Last Day in Paris

25 May

Due to our outing til late in the night we all decided to sleep in since we were done with all of our Menu items. We woke up and wandered over to our lunch reservations at Willy’s Wine Bar which was recommended by the professors. And now I know why.. it was amazing! In France they have what you call “formula meals” which is you get a entrée, plate, and desert all for one price which would be cheaper then ordering it all separate. Well that’s what we got (I only got the two plate and desert) I had a steak which was delicious and very tender. And for desert a baked apple with spices and nuts inside. YUM.

Being girls and in Paris, after lunch we decided to go looking around and shopping in one of the popular areas by the arc du triumph (or whatever it is) for the afternoon. We saw some really funny and good street dancers and obviously had to get a picture with them.

Later some of us wandered back over to the area by Moulin Rouge and laughed at all the shops around there. (think of the Moulin Rouge and im sure you can imagine what surrounds it).

Then the other two branched off and mary and I searched for dinner. Our last meal in Paris and where did we eat? McDonalds. Just like home  one thing I thought was funny there was they actually have a “mcbaguette” like no joke..

Mary and I were exhausted and I am still sick so we decided to call it an early night and just hangout in our room and collect our things. The other girls decided to go out and we watched them get pretty and leave. I TRIED to do my blogs that night AND I did only for the internet to fail on me not saving any of my new posts.. you can imagine I was thrilled because that was the only reason I was still awake.

 

BERLIN TOMORROW!

Bonne nuit.

-K

 

Thoughts on Paris:

 

Mary says: The city smells like body odor, cigarette smoke, expensive perfume and BREAD.  Women wear heeled shoes constantly and everyone wears pointy shoes.  The bread was wonderful I loved the croissants. Versailles was gorgeous, albeit very square-low marks for creativity. Shopping is like a celebration here. They dress as if they are on the runway although they refuse to take off their layers. Its 75 degrees out and they are still wearing tights and jackets and scarves. The city is a darker than London and the metro smells so bad. You see more broken people here than you do in London, both physically and mentally. I loved being able to speak the few statements I learned throughout the city: Hello, sorry I do not speak French. Do you speak English? We went to the Eiffel tower at night and it was stunning! Now we are off to Berlin and I cannot wait for the food. Word on the block is that its phenomenal. We can’t take Kaytlen anywhere because the European boys love her so much! Lets hope it’s the same in Berlin, if only for my entertainment. Au revoir!

 

Hey guys! So I love Paris but like Mary said its definitely not as light hearted as London. It has a rich history of unrest and the people keep more to themselves, which I think is very often taken as being rude when all they are doing is not jumping for joy that you are American. Mary and I have come across very nice and helpful people here and like anywhere else you travel be polite and they will do the same to you. The metro is very easy to understand here HOWEVER it smells terrible and has a very bad upkeep. Fellow travelers, if you are going to come here be prepared to look good and dressed up everyday. They love their fashion and their layers and if you don’t fit the part trust me you will get looks (Mary and I got some while wearing our sperrys.) Those 3 weeks in French class before dropping out surprisingly helped. Always remember to say Bonjour or Bonsoir when you begin talking to a French native because it will be a sign of disrespect if you do not. At least attempt or ask if they speak English IN FRENCH. Its not difficult to pick up a few terms and they will be grateful for your try. Also other people with asthma be prepared with your inhaler! I haven’t needed mine yet but have come close due to all the cigarette smoking here. Au revoir!