Monday, April 19, 2010

Stuck in Switzerland.....

Well as most all of you know by now there is a volcanic ash cloud from a volcano in Iceland that has ground all air traffic to and from Europe. Things have started to open back up (April 19), but our original flight on Saturday was canceled and we are able to get on a flight that heads back to the states on Wednesday.... so we are stuck in Brig.

Today is my 21st birthday, and it wasn't anything like I imagined it would be like - turning 21 in Europe is not really anything special. The people here made it much better by being there for both Lauren and I in our time of homelessness and allowed us to crash in their rooms - and then at midnight Anjida and Diane played Happy Birthday for me while we were in the bar and Rafn, the bartender, gave me my first shot I believe it was an "orgasm". Then two of my German friends, Philipp and Tobey, came down and bought me a beer... We closed down the bar - at like 12:30 am haha and we then all headed up to the lobby and talked until 4 in the morning. It seemed a little more like a birthday, but was none the less what I originally wanted. Had I known that my birthday was to be spent in Switzerland is one thing, but the fact that plans had be already made back home. It was a bummer, but no ones fault so you do what you can.

Flight is scheduled for Wednesday - hope all goes well!

picture dilemma - someone stole my camera a few nights ago and has yet to return it, until then I'm sorry but I have no pictures to show as for my travels... you'll just have to take my word for it. As bummed out about it that everyone probably is, try to imagine my life right now - those pictures ARE my life

Siena, Italy and Pisa, Italy

Rome, Italy

Naples, Italy

Barcelona, Spain

Paris, France

Sunday, April 4, 2010

London, England

Had the time of my life!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Vienna, Austria

After an amazing time in Prague, we headed out on our next adventure to Vienna, Austria. We had such a good and positive experience in our hostel in Munich that we again chose to stay at another Wombats hostel. And since we had stayed with them previously while we were in Munich, they gave us each a free meal. After settling in we walked around town to the museums quartier and to the palace that was there as well. Our hostel was in a great location, if you love shopping, and it was on one of the longest shopping strips in either Austria or Europe.... not sure which one.We then decided to have kebabs again for dinner and the guy working there, Memet, was younger and from Turkey and was excited to be talking to two American girls; we each got a photo with him as well. We then headed back to the hostel and chilled for the rest of the day.

The following day we met up with Sydney, who went to UCCR with us, and walked around town before meeting up with some of her family. Hannah - her cousin - gave us all a tour and took us out to a local coffee shop where we had lattes and apple strudel which were absolutely amazing!We then met up with Hannah's uncle and he walked around with us a bit as well pointing out various things here and there and it was a lot of fun having our own personal tour guides that were able to talk us around and fill in various facts about history as well.

Prague, Czech Republic

The train ride to Prague wasn't all that long... just the crew that we ended up sharing out train car with was ridiculous! There was Lauren and I sharing our train car with 3 boys (roughly 15-16 years old) that continuously stuffed their faces with candy, and soda, and even took smoke breaks! This is what shocked us the most, definitely not something that you would typically see in the states... I think that their group had about 15 or so boys heading to Prague for 4-5 days and just hanging out with their mentors... or something along that line.

When we first arrived in Prague we trekked out to the hostel only to be told that we were staying at their sister hostel right next to Prague Square and the astronomical clock. We then continued to the new hostel, checked in and took off to explore the city. We both immediately fell in love with Prague, it is gorgeous and we had a blast walking around and being able to experience the culture. Here they were preparing for Easter and had so many various Easter festivities taking place that the square was packed with people, traditional food, and even some live entertainment. For dinner, we stopped at one of the booths and got ourselves each a kiolbasa sausage with mustard in a bun for only 50 kc (which would be equivalent to I think $2.50). We also went and did some shopping around at the various shops and major mall that they had... it made each of us wish that we had large suitcases and tons of money to be able to fill up on all the various things that we wanted to buy.

The next day we started off by making our way to the St. Charles Bridge where we walked across and into town to make our way to the Prague Castle.. We ended up climbing a huge staircase to get to the top of the hill where the castle was situated.. it had some amazing views of the city! The line to enter into the castle was ridiculously long so we bypassed that and decided to head back down the hill to grab some bagel sandwiches from a shop that we had passed earlier. We each ordered a chicken caesar sandwich and it was amazing! We then headed back to the hostel, grabbed our books and journals and headed to the park where we layed out and read/wrote for a while before we both started to get hungry. We then went back again to the hostel adn asked where we would be able to go to get a good traditional meal that wasn't too expensive.. it ended up being only 150kc per person for each of us to get a slice of chicken, pork and steak with french fries, also a side of dumplings and a coca-cola. We honestly couldn't have asked for a better meal, or way, to end our time in Prague.