Sunday, March 28, 2010

Munich, Germany

To start off our trip our first location was Munich, Germany. We stayed in Wombat's hostel, which was extremely nice with lockers, a bar downstairs, a lounging room and a bunch of other cool things. The first day that we arrived, we ended up walking over to Marienplatz and looking around; this was a lot of fun and packed full of people. After walking around a bit there we headed to the englisch gardens to walk around... gorgeous! There was also a lot of people out walking their dogs which definitely made me miss mine a bunch!After walking around we hopped on the metro and rode it up to the Olympic park is for the 1972 olympics... this was pretty cool to see and we also went into a BMW museum. Tons of gorgeous cars! I wanted to take one home myself. After that we decided to head to the Hofbrauhaus where of course I had to take part and order myself one of the 1 liter steins. Lauren and I both got these amazing, and huge, pretzels and we hung out there for an hour and a half or so while I drank my beer. Now no night would be complete with gelato, so we stopped at the small stand just outside the Hofbrauhauas and ordered us some gelato for the walk back to our hostel.

The following day we woke up early and started by heading back out to Marienplatz to watch the clocktower in the square do a "show" with the characters spinning and dancing while the clock tower played music. After that we headed to Dachau, the concentration camp just outside of Munich. We spent a large portion of the day wandering around and reading all of the historic facts about what took place here. I was actually surprised to see that while they did do some killings there, it wasn't nearly as many as compared to the other camps and the primary focus of this camp was for work. I also found it interesting that those kept in the camp could be hired out as workers to some companies, and one of these companies was actually BMW. After walking around there for the better portion of the day we headed back to the hostel, found a kebab shop and had dinner. We continued with relaxing and prepared our stuff together to catch the train to Prague, Czech Republic the next morning.

Eli's 21st and last week(ish) in brig

The last week that we were in Brig before taking off on our adventure to travel Europe, Eli, one of the Americans was turning 21 and we all planned to have one last barbeque together and Katie and I made two cakes from scratch. I made a cinnamon vanilla cake and Katie did a vanilla cake with lemon zest. Let me just say that those cakes were AMAZING and absolutely delicious. Then to top that off Margy and Lindsay made an icing to frost the two cakes. The guys were in charge of the burgers and what not and we had plates and plates full of food and burgers, chips, and TONS of alcohol. I went with Katie to the store and we bought a case of Prosecco (6 bottles) and 3 bottles of Maui wine (DELICIOUS). We then all sat down and ate an entire feast until we couldn't fit anything more into our mouths... all the food we had which originally wasn't going to be enough ended up being too much to going to become the perfect amount.

The rest of the night we celebrated Eli's birthday starting in Laura's room before heading down to Chaos and allowing Eli to enter in at midnight. We all then went for sandwiches when the shop opened at 4 am before we headed back and went to bed.


Coming soon

Cairo, Egypt

Coming soon....

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lausanne for Diane's Birthday... and our train home at 6:20 AM!

Saturday Feb. 20, 2010

One of the girls that I've met while I've been here, Diane, is from El Salvador and was going to Lausanne to celebrate her 20th birthday and invited some of us to come along as well. Sydney and I agreed to go with them as long as we would be able to catch the last train home at 10:25 pm to Brig. To start off we went for an amazing dinner at a very traditional swiss restaurant and order raclette. This was one of the best meals that I have had since I've been here. It primarily consists of cheese that you mix with onions, pickles, meats, etc. and you end up devouring it! I think I had 4 plates of this... as well as the white wine. As mentioned before in one of my blogs you need to drink white wine with most of these foods heavy with cheese as it helps the digestion and doesn't leave you filling as bad a little later on haha. Well with everyone there let me just say that we didn't end up finishing our meal there until 10:15 pm; Sydney and I ran to the taxi cab as everyone is trying to convince us to say... well we wouldn't have made the train in time so we stayed there with everyone and had an all night party in Lausanne with everyone. We started by going to a beer bar (of course I got carded at every place haha) and ordered one drink before we headed out to the location where they would party almost every night. We ended up getting two bottles of vodka and 12 cans of red bull for only $50(ish)! It helps when you have connections! We polished those off pretty quickly and made our way up to the bar where we had shots after shots! It was a really good night and I think that Diane had an amazing time for her birthday. After we closed down the bar at 5:00 ish we made our way to a pizza parlor to order pizza and wait for the first train to come at 6:20 am.... We ate pizza and had our fill before we made the way back to the train station... Here we hopped on and passed out... I ended up waking up as we pulled into Brig at around 7:45 AM, woke everyone else up and wandered back to the dorms where we slept for a good portion of the rest of sunday!

Definitely a night I won't be forgetting anytime soon!

Midterms, Fondue Dinner, and Wine.... lots of wine!

Thursday Feb. 18,2010

We had finished with a long week of midterms and the entire group of WSU students signed up for a fondue dinner that the school was putting on as part of their "service class" that all students are required to take. This class consists of serving fine dining meals (or other various types) to the students to allow for practice of english, family, traditional, etc. service styles to gain experience.

Part of the cafeteria was decorated with swiss flags and fun balloons. The great part was the free wine we had with dinner. Our server was trying to get us drunk; there was one time that he even started to fill my glass as I picked it up to take a drink; all of a sudden he was pouring, we all started laughing so hard as it took me by surprise. This is also part of the European culture that the glass never falls below half way. Such a different mindset from the US.

By the time we made it back to the dorms, each of us were very well intoxicated both with good food and white wine. We then made our way down to CHAOS, our student bar, to enjoy the rest of the night in good company. I'm going to miss everyone here more than words can explain... hopefully one day I will be able to make it back!

A Swiss Valentine's Day

Of course my "favorite" holiday is one that I will never be able to run from... Valentine's Day always seems to find me! haha. Don't know why it is my least favorite holiday, but one that I have never seemed to enjoy.

Of course being the only one who wouldn't mind skipping over the day and pretending like it never existed we ended up doing a pizza dinner with our professor. He bought us beer, coca cola, and waters and we ended up providing pizza, pasta, and salad. It was overall a good holiday and I guess it was "decent" for the time being... but I still wouldn't have minded skipping it all together....

Monday Feb. 15, 2010

I received a package from my girls back home.... Britt and Alice! They sent me a care package with an issue of Cosmopolitan (THANK YOU ALICE!!!!) some mac and cheese, a singing rose and a heart with my name on it (Thank you Brittani!!) Also, they sent me a mini photo album with pictures of me and my girls from back home... it made me smile and hasn't left the side of my bed yet. Miss you all and can't wait to see you soon!

Speaking of presents... Lauren sent me a calendar that she put together with pictures from her and my adventures! Vegas, Kansas, Arizona... my oh my we get around! As well as full of good times in Pullman, Vancouver, Chelan, etc. This calendar has been hanging on my wall since I got it (in January sometime) and makes me smile at the little notes she has put in there.... i.e. "You've been gone one month now... Skype me!"

Lincoln's Birthday, WTO, WIPO and Global Capitalism in Geneva

Feb. 12, 2010

We headed to Geneva for the day as part of a field trip for our Global Capitalism class. Probably one of the hardest classes I have ever taken in my life, but I have learned more from George Cocker in these past few months about the EU, their law, and global capitalism in general than I could have ever imagined.

We started out by going to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) and listened to two speakers talk about what they do as well as the company itself. It was rather interesting, but everyone was so exhausted from having to catch an early train that people began to fall asleep. We had to show our passports to be able to get a badge which were all numbered and we weren't even allowed to take pictures inside.

After this, we then headed to lunch... we of course chose the local kebab shop and 10 of us sat down and had a feast of kebabs! They were sooo amazing... We then, being the Americans that we are, headed to Starbucks to fulfill our cravings of "american" coffee as there are no Starbucks in Brig - only Geneva and Zurich (each 2 hours away)

Following lunch we all met back up at the train station and headed off to the WTO (World Trade Organization) which was really interesting as this is the only location for the WTO. I had no idea. They took our passports and kept them in security as we entered in (with an escort) and were shuffled into a room. I ended up having a seat at the head of the table and the guy giving us the presentation ended up sitting next to me.... a little nerve racking, especially since the room was warm and stuffy and we were all content form lunch and of course still tired from the morning session (no time for naps! haha) I was determined to stay awake, not only to be nice but I was sitting right next to him! My ways of staying awake revolved around watching to see who was falling asleep and drinking water. I ended up shuffling around a bit and reading the packet of information they gave us to make my mind focus on something... needless to stay I stayed awake! hahah

We all then boarded the train and headed back to Brig. I think that everyone ended up passing out on the train as we were all exhausted. It was a good day overall and we all learned quite a bit.