Monday, April 16, 2012

Can't Say I Didn't Warn You

Spent some time going through my old blog posts since being here and I got all the way to last August and I read this that I had written right before I left the country:

"So here's to adventure!! I plan on updating this blog regularly. So stay tuned.

WARNING! this could get pretty incredible."

I can't say I didn't warn you...

So thanks to all of you for putting up with reading all of the unbelievably crazy awesome fantastic things I have been able to do while studying abroad and sharing in my joy even though I know at times some of you are seething with jealousy. Hang in there, 2 months and it will all be over and I can go back to posting about things that everybody (mostly everybody) understands again. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Munich, Germany

Last stop on the list was Munich. It proudly carries the slogan of the Beer Capital of the World. They tell no lies. But far more important than this fact is the city of Munich itself. What an incredible place. It was the birthplace of the Nazi party and pretty much everywhere you went had some kind of connection to the Nazis. Talk about crazy. Of course, the entire city center was bombed by the British and the Americans in WWII and Hitler knew this was going to happen so he had photographers go throughout the city and take super detailed photos of EVERYTHING. Then he hid them in an underground bunker and later when the American's came back to clean up their mess the photos were discovered and they were able to rebuild the city exactly like it used to look like. So all of the new buildings look just as they did before the war but just made out of concrete. It is super crazy.

There were some buildings and churches that survived the war and being able to stand next to those was just unbelievable. We went on a free walking tour that ended up being about 4 hours long in the rain and cold but was by far the best walking tour I have ever been on. The guide who lead ours was so excited about everything he talked about. It was almost overwhelming to be standing in the streets of a place I had only seen PBS specials about.

What amazed me the most were the German people. They are incredible people. Not just saying that because pretty much my entire family came from there. I mean their work ethic is impressive. 60 years have passed since the war and it almost looks like nothing ever happened. And the people themselves are super open about everything that happened. I had the privilege to know 3 guys from Munich and 2 of them took us to coffee on Easter. So fun to be shown around by people who live in the places you visit. Makes them so much better. Becky also had a friend in Munich and he took us out 2 nights in a row.
The weather was absolutely horrid but I almost didn't mind.

window shopping in Munich is a sport.

cathedral on Good Friday. safe from the wind and rain

Marienplatz and the Glockenspiel

famous permanent outdoor market

copper strip is a memorial to people who defied the Nazis in Munich. cool story behind it.

HafbraĆ¼haus-place where Hitler did a lot of his Nazi party organizing.

locals (very special ones) have a place to store their personal biersteins in the hofbrahaus

church that wasn't bombed

standing wave that is known world wide. there are always people surfing on it

walk through the Englischer garten

surprise snow on Easter morning

walk through the Olympic Park from '72

we got let into some of the training facilities to use the bathroom by what we are only assuming to be a German olympian of some kind..

so awesome. and very very cold

really cool hang out spot

Granada from the sky

Now I am back in Granada awaiting the arrival of my family on May 26. Seriously cannot wait to see them 9 months is a long time..
But for now, I am enjoying the time I have left here knowing that it will be gone before I know it.


Prague, Czech Republic. Honestly I'm not even sure. We were only there 2 days and it was so different than anything I had seen so far I don't think I was fully able to grasp the city and country. We arrived by train and the first night we were there, we met a guy and a girl from Mexico and a guy from Costa Rica and went to eat Mexican food with them. Sounds completely bizarre but turned out to be amazing. They spoke spanish with us a lot so we were able to keep our spanish speaking skills sharp both days we were there. We also took a walking tour of Prague in Spanish with them. The whole experience was pretty surreal. The city is very beautiful and old. We even witnessed a bunny race. yes, you read that right. A bunny race. Happy Easter. Spent a lot of time in the Jewish quarter of Prague and walking across the famous Charle's Bridge.

We spent 1.5 days wondering through the streets of Prague in awe of all of the detailed buildings and the castle on the hill. The 2nd day it rained all day and was about 35 degrees outside so we went back to the hostel to relax.
main drag leading to the city center

crazy clock

Franz Kafka. He wrote Metamorphosis

Czech Koruna 18= 1 US dollar

my little buddies. i have 12 of them in NC..thanks Nana!

Bunny Races

Fairy Tale

Charles Bridge

After you have a burger and eat some 'desert' you can have a free wife...i just wanted WiFi

the 'WifeFree' place

awesome cathedral

fantastic views


Charles Bridge

The Dancing Building

what a language

Prague train station. we took our bus to Munich from there.

What a beautiful place! So glad we made it a part of our trip.