02 October, 2008

Prost und Dodge 'ems

This past weekend I went to Oktoberfest in München! It was absoluetly amazing. I went with a Scottish girl and a British guy and girl. I was the only American. It was actually really nice because this has been the only time on this trip where I have been the only American. My roommate is American, other people in my class are American, and even people on my floor in my dorm are American. It was interesting to be the only one.
Anyway, I am pretty sure I have never had as much fun drinking beer. Also I am pretty sure I have never drinken that much beer in my entire life. As most of you who read this know, I hate beer in the States. Here, however, for some reason, it is substantially better. Every time you get beer at Oktoberfest you get a full liter of beer(I am pretty certain that the beer is stronger too. I was told about 6%-8% which is, for beer, a lot more than normal). It does average at about 8 euros a pop, but when you buy a beer normally here you get a half a liter most of the time and pay around 3.50 euros. So, it's very close.
Another thing that I did that I have never done in my life was drink before it got dark(I partially blame being in the company of brittish folks). I actually started on Friday around 2 pm and on Saturday around 9 am. You wouldn't believe it, but that is actually normal here. It is perfectly acceptable to wake up at 7 am and walk over to Oktoberfest and drink. There were actually more people there in the morning on Saturday then on Friday night. It was really odd. On Saturday morning there hundreds of people waiting in line to get into the tents. It was nuts!
On Friday afternoon, we actually were lucky enough to get into one of the tents and sit down! That never happens. We waited in line on Saturday for 2 hours and had to give up because we weren't getting anywhere. Anyway, the tent was a lot of fun. They are completely packed full of people and everyone was wearing lederhosen(people everywhere outside were as well but it was especially full of lederhosen inside the tents). In the middle of the tent there was a band playing music and every time they were playing, at least a handful of people were up on their tables drinking a dancing. Most of the time it was a lot more than a handful. Another cool think about the tents is that they serve either half of a chicken to you or an entire chicken. It was the best chicken I have ever had!
After my friends and I left the tent we went and decided to ride some of the rides. We decided to go ride the bumper cars. However, when I mentioned bumper cars I found out that I was horribly wrong and they are actually called Dodge 'ems. At least that is what the Brittish people call them. I didn't ride anymore rides but they rode a few others. They actually have a full size rollercoaster there! After we got our thrills we went to another tent with hopes of getting inside but we ended up only getting a table outside. It was still really fun but it was kind of cold and it rained a little bit later on. Anyway, that night we discovered that because everyone is either drunk or on their way there, people become really outgoing and just come up to your table and start to talk to you. We met this one kid named Anton and he was only 16 years old! Funny enough, that is completely legal! Another thing about this weekend is that it was what they call Italian weekend. It's when half the people at Oktoberfest are all Italian. We actually met a bunch of random Italian people that came and sat at our table....more drunk people.
I am probably not doing Oktoberfest any justice with my description, but all I have to say is: Go to Oktoberfest! It was an amazing experience and I think that everyone should do it as some point in their life! Until next time, Tchüss!

08 September, 2008

Budapest in Hungary

So this past weekend I went to Budapest with Bethany. This, I would like to mention, was the first city in Eastern Europe I have seen other than Prague. I don't really count Prague as much because it so westernized. This place was pretty eastern europe-esc. While there I got to see their parliment building, which was absolutely gorgeous. I think it might have been like a gothic style but I am not so sure. I am not very good with arcitechtural styles. I also got to see St. Stephen's Basillica and his right hand. Oddly enough, in this church they keep St. Stephen's mummified right hand. It was kind of creepy but kind of cool because it was a part of someone that exhisted hundreds of years ago. Bethany and I also went to some thermal baths. Fortunately everyone was clothed. Bethany said that the one we went to was one of the only ones in Budapest that was co-ed and not nudist. It was really nice to just relax in a tub that was 40 degrees celcius. That's pretty hot in case you don't know celcius very well. There was also another tub that was 20 degrees celcius(very cold)! They had all sorts of different temperatures of water. I think the idea was to go from one to the other in increasing temp or decreasing. Beth and I went from the really hot one to really cold one a lot and visa versa. It was really difficult to get into the cold one and stay there. The last thing we saw before we left was by far the coolest. It's called the Citadel and as some of you may know that's another word for fortress. That's right, I got to hike up a huge hill and see the entire city from a fortress. It was unbelievable. Anyway, that's all I've got for you for now. I will write soon!

BTW....for those of you who don't get the title......Budapest is in Hungary and not Turkey like one of my friends thought. Just thought I would throw that out there.

04 September, 2008

Hello world...

So I have finally started classes and they are surprisingly good. I know that almost 5 hours of german every day sounds kind of sucky, but it is really entertaining because I actually get to use what I am learning. I really think the only way to really learn to speak and understand a foreign language is to be completely submerged in it. I feel like I am actually soaking in what I am learning in class, which is a first for any foreign language I have tried to learn. Do not get me wrong it is by no means easy but it is a lot better to be here where they speak it.

I am also finally moved in to my room which feels wonderful. Now that I am moved in and started with class I will be having regular internet, which means I will be posting more.

I really think that Klagenfurt is one of the more beautiful cities I have ever been in. When you are here you are completely surrounded by mountains. Everyway you turn there is a beautiful view of the mountains. The downtown is also very beautiful. It has got the old town feel to it and is very homey.

I have to go now and study some german with some albanian girls. I will try to write soon!

31 August, 2008

It's Been A Long Time

Hello everyone! I am very sorry that I haven't written in my blog in while. I have had limited internet access and to help that I don't have a laptop as some of you know. I am currently in Vienna staying with Bethany because if I were in Klagenfurt still I would be paying to stay in a hostel because my school people dont' have my room ready until tomorrow because the guy who has all the keys is on summer vacation. Oh well.

I have been alone for while and I haven't decided if I like it or not. I certainly like being around people a lot but being by yourself is a very different experience. I don't have a lot of time right now but I forsee me getting regular internet use very soon so I will be writing a lot more. See ya soon!

16 August, 2008

Beer and Waffles!

Sorry It's been a while since I have written but as any of you who read this should know that I have very limited internet access. That will be the last time I apologize for that. I feel like I say that a lot in e-mails and such.....anyway...

I am currently chillin' in Brussels, Belgium. I have had the waffles and they are not all they are cracked up to be. My opinion may be biased, however, because i really like to have syrup on my breakfast foods and they don't do that here. Whatever. I haven't really done a whole here in brussels because there really isn't a whole lot to do because it isn't like rome where there is a ton of crazy touristy stuff to do. Moving on....

About a week and a half ago I was touring around Prague, so I will start there. Prague was overall the hardest city to navigate because the language barrier was so much more difficult that any other country. There was a completely different alphabet and no cognates what-so-ever. Aside from that it was a pretty cool place. There was a really cool astronomical clock and a really big bridge. Most of all i thought it was cool to get away from western europe for a little while and get a taste of what the other half of the continent was like. Mind you, it was only a taste. I've been told that Prague is the most westernized city in eastern europe.

Next we spent about 4 days in Berlin. This is the most we had stayed in one place on the entire trip. I really think that Berlin was my favorite city. I got to see all of the touristy stuff and I also got to just walk around and see things that were not so touristy. This is also the only city where we paid to go on a guided tour. It was really cool because for once we actually got know something about all the cool churches or the big fountains or whatever we were looking at. All the other times we just look at stuff and say, "Oooh that's pretty." Another opportunity i got was to go and see a famous concentration camp that was just outside of Berlin. Ironically enough it decided to rain the day we go a place that was full of tragedy. It was kind of depressing but I am glad I got to experience it. Another thing I discovered in Berlin was that I like dark beer. I can't stand normal light beer, but I really did like the dark beer. For any of you who know my relationship with beer this should come as a shock. My favorite part about Berlin however, was that not only did it have years and years of history in all of it's architecture, it also had a lot of modern and recent things. It was a just an overall really cool city.

Last, just a couple of days ago, my trip with the big group ended in Amsterdam. We only had a full day there due to some planning errors(that's why we were in Berlin for 4 days), but I think I had enough of it when we left. I am not going to try to explain Amsterdam to you other than it is a very interesting place that I think you should visit.

Now, sadly enough, the group has gone their separate ways and I am now in Brussels with Veronica and Bethany and I am really enjoying just relaxing after my long trip.

06 August, 2008


Hello Again!
We just left Venice today and now we are kind of in transit in Milan. We are staying the night here because we forgot to book an extra night in Venice. We are flying out tomorrow to go to Prague in the Czech Republic. Anyway, Venice was really cool but not nearly as full of stuff as the last 3 cities. We saw the famous San Marco's Square. It was huge! It's the one that is really famous for having pigeons everywhere. I totally was able to catch one by its legs and tail. It was flapping its wings a lot. Bethany took a picture so whenever I can get some on here you can see. We also saw the St. Mary of the Friar church. It has the Madonna with child painting. Again we were not supposed to take pictures but I totally did. We also went to the murano island and the burano island. The murano island is the one that is famous for it's glass making and burano is famous for it's lace. Murano was much cooler. We got to see a free demonstration where someone made a glass horse. Other than that we just kind of walked around venice, which by the way is really hard to navigate because it has a lot of really small little side streets that are not on the map. Venice is probably the prettiest city we've been to. It's really nice with all of the little canals here and there and then all the apartments/houses are really neat. We have been in Italy for almost a week now and the one thing I am going to miss about this country is all the Gilato. It is absolutely delicious! I think I might go through withdrawal. Anyway.....off to Prague!!!