Tuesday, July 1, 2014

            Catching up on what I have been doing here in beautiful Germany! I spent a couple of weeks just sitting around here in Germany. I have had to do three different speeches here. Two of which were for my class on European nobility, currently my favorite class. I have gotten a chance to learn a lot about the different noble families of Europe and there lineage. As strange as it sounds it is interesting to learn about how all of the royal family are intermingled into each other as well as history. I have also gotten the chance to mix in this class into my travels. As we were talking about the king of Greece and how he had originally come from Munich. This connection led to a lot of the buildings in Munich to be influenced by Greek design. So recently I made a trip to Munich in order to see the beautiful city.

           I spent two days in Munich and got to see a whole lot while I was there. Probably the best part of the town was the town hall. Built right next to two of the hugest churches in Munich, including the Munich Dom, it was built in a Gothic style of architecture. They hang flowers from many of the long support beams and it has a huge square right in front of it that is booming with markets. I spent two days shopping and walking around touring the city. I spent a lot of time shopping and trying to get the rest of my presents for my family at home. Then I wrapped up Munich with a trip to the hofbrauhaus! I got to eat some real Bavarian food as well as a whole liter of dark beer!

           The next day instead of going home I spent the day and went to Fussen, a town that is almost two hours west of Munich. At Fussen there are two castles that are on of the must see sites of German. The best one is Neuschwanstein Castle, a castle that was actually build mid way through the 1800's. It was built merely for its beauty and because the king wanted his own castle. After nearly bankrupting Bavaria in order to do it he was removed from throne. Although the top few floors of the castle were never finished, most of them were and the inside of the castle is absolutely stunning. They don't allow any photos on the inside of the castle unfortunately, but even photos from the outside are beautiful.

        The trip to Fussen was almost better than the trip to Munich it was so beautiful. bud sadly my trip was only over the weekend and I had to come back to Wurzburg. Finals are coming up here and I really need to start studying. My next few weeks will be mainly focusing on my goal of studying, but also on the World Cup! It is a big event here in Germany and I intend to experience the whole European soccer (or should I say football) craze.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Currently I am a little behind on the events of my trip, so I thought that I would write today to hopefully catch up with the events of my trip. I returned from Prague and enjoyed a couple of days of rest with my girlfriend in Wurzburg. I got to take her to see all of the must see sites within Wurzburg like the Marienburg fortress and the Residence. After only a few days however it was time for us to go off on our next planned adventure, Spain!

            I had initially planned Spain as graduation gift for my girlfriend. She minored in Spanish in college an it has always been a dream of hers to be able to see Spain and practice some of the Spanish she has been learning. As  a gift I booked two flights on Ryanair, a cheap inter European airline that operates out of Nuremburg. I was pretty weary of using this airline as I have heard a lot of mixed reports about it and the price for the plane tickets seemed to be a bit too low. Regardless our flight did go well and I learned just how cheap plane tickets could be here in Europe. This was my second time travelling by plane and the experience was just as thrilling as the first time.

            Landing in Spain itself it was very different then what I expected. The terrain in the town that we went to Alicante was more like a desert than I expected. Alicante is on the Southern coast of Spain right along the ocean. Unlike our trip to Prague, Spain was much more about getting a chance to relax and blowing off some stress. Although Alicante is very beautiful there is not as much to see there history wise except for a castle. We did spend a whole day visiting the castle however and it ominously hangs on a mountain over the whole town. The mountain itself seems like it springs up out of nowhere and the castle has sat on the hill for almost a thousand years. It has since then been built and sieged and rebuilt throughout Spain's history. It made it a very cool and ever present reminder of history that sits high above the town.

        Besides the Castle however there was not much else. All that was left to do was relax, sit by the beach, and try out all of the food. Don't get me wrong the previous statement was not a complaint! The food in Spain was damn good and I loved every minute of it. Some of the food was kind of strange and I didn't love everything. The main thing that we wanted to try, Tapas, is something like appetizers that you order many of to form a whole meal. These Tapas are supposed to be shared by everyone at the table. Most of the tapas did involve seafood, which I am not a huge fan of. Regardless in between our delicious meals we got to relax and sit on the beach. The weather ended up being perfect and I had a nice sunburn going in only a few days haha. We did also get the amazing chance to swim in the Mediterranean although the water was ice cold.

            After what seemed like a very quick 5 days though we had to go back home. Overall I loved Spain and the more slow paced life that I got to live while I was there. Although I would say that I did like Prague much better, as it was a much more fast paced and exciting trip. I will not forget however getting to sit on the beach at night with my girlfriend and drinking wine. I hope next time I get to go to Spain we will go to Barcelona or a busier city, although I cannot complain overall. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Hello again,
            When I have more time I will write more about my different classes as I have started two new ones this week. but first I wanted to go over a recent trip to Prague! As fun as Germany is I have heard so many stories about the legendary Prague. With my girlfriend now being in Germany for a visit I figured it would be the perfect city to take her to and tour. Firstly I will say that Prague truly is an amazing city whose beauty cannot be overstated. Besides this it was also a very cheap city to visit, meaning our budget could stretch farther than ever! We ended up eating out almost every night and had a lot of super good meals. We did four days in Prague overall and took a bus to get the city.
          I have to say that this is the second trip that I have done by bus instead of by train just because it was cheaper to take a bus. Being a student and currently broke means that price is everything for me, even if it means taking a bit longer to get where I am going. The bus is however growing on me. I think that I might even be starting to prefer the bus travel over train and would recommend it for anyone that is thinking of doing a couple of tours through Europe. This time I booked through a company called student agency. The buses for this company were pretty large, spacious, and comfortable. Everyone got there own leather seat that reclined quite nicely. On to of this they serve hot beverages and having reading material. But the real joy for this 6 hour trip was the screens put into the back of every headrest. This made my trip pass by very quickly as they offered many free movies and I enjoyed both the Great Gatsby and Superman while the bus quickly sped to Prague.
              Once in Prague my girlfriend and I spent the first day in a complete daze. Not only did we arrive at 6 in the morning at the bus station and couldn't check into our hotel till 11, but the weather was also really bad. As the we tried to navigate the swerving streets of Prague to get to our hostel we got thoroughly drenched with rain. We managed to find a cafe to sit in and pass the time till we could check in. When we finally did manage to get into our room we almost immediately fell asleep as neither of us got much sleep on the overnight bus trip. Waking up too late to do much we settled on doing the best we could, and planning fun excursions for the three remaining days we had.

         The following day the weather was not looking much better. Although the forecast said our last two days would be beautiful! So we did the only thing we could do with the last bad weather day, eat and go to the spa! A beer spa that is. One of the cooler things we did was go to this little gem that we found while wandering the streets. Here we were able to take a refreshing break in a barrel hot tub with our own personal beer tap right next to it. For an hour you got to is in the hot water and drink all the beer you wanted to, both light and dark, and just relax. Needless to say this helped us to warm up after the rain and immediately turned our vacation around.


  Feeling relaxed and ready to go on our third and last full day, the weather had also turned around, so we took this day to do most of the out door touring that we wanted to do. This included walking all around the town, checking out a few shops, and seeing all of the "tourist" sites. These included the beautiful Charles bridge, astronomical clock, and the Prague castle. out of these three things I have to say that I enjoyed the Prague castle most of all. First of all you have to cross the Charles bridge to get to the castle. But the castle itself had by far the most beautiful church that I have seen yet while here in Europe. Just walking around it filled me with wonder that even the rest of the beautiful city couldn't make me feel. We even got the chance to walk all the way to the top of its bell tower, which was many hundred steps up in a small circle...... Being exhausted from the day, we ate come traditional Czech food and went to bed.

            the last day was a pretty short one since we had a bus to catch to get back home but we still managed to fill up the time nicely. We did a very relaxing and nice tour of the city by boat, where we got to sit and drink a beer while seeing the city from the water. We also got to visit a really cool ice bar. Everything in the bar was made completely out of ice, from the bar to the tables and even the cups. After a few drinks we were all set to sleep on the bus  and head home!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Daze and Holidays

Thought I would just take a minute to post today. I think that this time around I really don't have that much to report back. I can definitely say that I am falling into a routine while I am here. I feel like everyday I go about my business in my new life here in Germany. Thinking about having a regular German lifestyle is something that I am very happy to be developing, but sadly it also means that I do not have very much to report back about my experiences here. My days have been going fairly smoothly and have left me in kind of a daze. I have been going to classes, though only a few, as there seems to be a holiday every other week here in Germany. Today is Labour day here and it means another day free of class.

I have gotten a good chance to tour the town a lot more now. I have gotten the chance to find a couple of good bars and a couple of good restaurants to frequent. Many of the bars here are quite lively and I have even found an American bar. The biggest one, Brauhaus, is very popular among the college aged kids and even has a "international" night every Monday. Everyone who is on a study abroad here in Germany shows up to meet on Monday night so it is  a great place to meet up with friends and meet other visitors here in Wurzburg. My other favorite place in town is a small sushi vendor. I do not know the name of the place, only that it is ran by one man that in a small side shack. He makes the sushi fresh right in front of you and even has very reasonable prices!

When classes resume again I am sure I will post more about my teachers and what the classes are like. But for now it is still early for me to have a good idea of what the classes will be like. I am also busy at work planning several more trips outside of Germany! Many of these trips are because I am expecting a visit from my girlfriend in a couple of weeks. While she is here I am hoping not only to get to show her my town and Germany, but also do a lot of travelling to see Europe. I have already booked a flight to Spain for us later this month!

But I am off, I left a few random photos of my travels so far, so enjoy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Classes, My Birthday, and Berlin!

The past few days have been a busy and fun one! It started with my first week of classes. The economics classes here in Germany take a very lax view of how the classes work. There is no form of registration and they do not really seem to care whether you come to the classes or not. You merely show up to whatever classes you want and at the end of the semester your register for finals. So my first week of classes I had a good time going to multiple different classes and seeing which ones I wanted to take for the rest of the semester. I finally decided on a set of classes that will only have me taking classes on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. This should give me plenty of time to travel!

My University Building 

I took this extra time to travel to plan a trip to Berlin! But first I decided to stay the weekend in Wurzburg and celebrate my birthday with my newly made friends. I started out the evening by doing a bar crawl that was organized by the  business department. It was something very different to go on a bar crawl that was organized by the school itself! After going to over 6 different bars around Wurzburg I retired to be exhausted, having to catch a bus the next day to Berlin.

I will say that the festivities of my birthday made me miss the first bus that I was supposed to take out to Berlin......but luckily I caught another later that day. Berlin is an amazing city, with plenty to do during both the day and the night. I spent a total of three days there and managed to see the Brandenburg gate, the victory monument, the Reichstag, six museums, and ended the trip with a visit to the Berlin zoo. The city is alive with tourism everywhere. And the city itself has so much history it is amazing. The scars of the cold war are still very visible in Berlin and something that the people there have to deal with on a daily basis. All of the history however only makes it that much more special to visit.

My only regret for Berlin was that I didn't have a bit more time to spend in the city. This was the first time that I had a chance to stay in a hostel and I would have liked a bit more time to just interact with the people passing through. I managed to meet people from all over the world that were all doing the same thing that I was, sightseeing. It was something truly amazing and I even managed to take away a couple of there suggestions for future trips in Europe. One thing is for sure, visiting Berlin has only given me a taste of what it is like to travel..... and I want more!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hello again!

It has been way too long since I last posted so I thought I would give it a shot. My first month here has been hectic because everything is so new to me here. With almost no break I arrived in Germany and started a month long intensive German language course. This meant that when I wasn't out and about getting lost in town I was doing German courses for four hours a day. Add on top of this all of the homework and Germany has managed to keep me very busy so far. The class has helped me to pick up the language so quickly though! Now I am able to at least order food and ask for directions in German when I get lost. The class has also helped me to meet many new people that are also studying abroad while here. Many new friends means that I now have people to explore the town and go out at night with!

And man, I knew that beer was a big part of the German culture but I never expected it to be this big! It seems that no matter where you go there is always a place to find a beer nearby. I was surprised to even see that the "Mensa", which is the schools cafeteria, sells beer. I even got to sample the local night life when Wurzburg hosted there "Clubnacht", they seem very fond of not only bars but also clubs! It seems like the Germans will use any excuse they can to drink a good beer.

1 Liter Beers at the "Volksfest"

Now that it is becoming summer they will have there annual "Volksfest" which is a big carnival type festival. Since the weather is beautiful here I am sure that it is going to be a big destination for not only my friends, but also all of Wurzburg all week long. My first visit there had me drinking whole liters of beer as I sang along to all of the live bands English songs. I am hoping that things will calm down a little bit more when my actual classes start up. I have yet to do any travelling since my arrival here and I am itching to see what the rest of Germany and Europe has to offer!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hello Germany!

As I am starting this blog on my second week here in Germany. let me fill you in on a few things that you might have missed.

Firstly I took a direct flight straight here into Frankfurt Main Airport. A 9 hour flight is something that really pushed my limits. Being the first time I have ever flown, I was quite nervous to be boarding the plane. Luckily the guy next to me was a frequent flier and helped to calm me down!

View from my window seat!

Having a window seat was a great first experience when flying. Looking out the window while taking off aboard my first flight ever is something I will not forget. While cruising above the clouds is an amazing experience, it quickly gets boring when you have 9 hours to sit. The plane was however full of good movies to watch and I found Iron Man 3 helped to pass the time.

My second major experience happened almost immediately upon arriving in my new home of Wurzburg. Unknown to me I had picked an excellent day to come to the town as they were celebrating Karnival! From my experience it seems like a mixture of Halloween and a large parade. With the city bustling with excitement and party goers walking the streets I took one look at my new dorm and quickly decided to hit the town.
However after a 9 hour flight and having not slept in what seemed like forever I called it an early day and left the parade early. From what the local Germans have told me the parade can last as long as 4 hours!

I am hoping that with this blog I will be able to share some of my experiences. While the above is only a small bit of experience so far, for now it will have to do. I am also sure that my blogging so far has not been very good. I am hoping to get better at this with each post. I will post as often as I can, although so far my Wurzburg experience has been a hectic and busy one. For now I will leave you with a picture of the town.