Trip Start May 23, 2007
Trip End Aug 02, 2007

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Amsterdam & Germany Travel log:

So we arrived in Amsterdam safe and sound. I was a little worried at first since the ride was a little bumpy and I was sitting in a random section of the plane with a bunch of Russians. It was definitely interesting. At the end the man sitting next to me, who got busted during the flight for drinking brandy after he had ordered wine, tried talking to me in the broken English he knew. When I didn't understand what he said he would switch over to French as if that would miraculously help. He was funny. He had been to the states so he was excited to tell me about it. Of course the fact that he was drunk didn't help the accent. After we got off we finally met Ronny our coach driver for the rest of the trip. He is great. He seems to like us as well. We then headed into the Netherlands to our hotel and dinner. Dinner was amazing. After a constant flow of edible but not amazing food we were amazed at the variety and taste of the food prepared there. They also had a piano in the room and I was amazed at how talented so many of the students are. Some of these kids are triple majors, play sports, and can play bach at the drop of a hat. I felt very under accomplished. The town was really quaint that we ate in and our hotel was gorgeous. It was set up almost like a log cabin and was in the middle of basically no where. We went on an amazing walk in the woods and had fun on some playground equiptment around the hotel. The next morning we had some scrum food for breakfast and for the first time we all ate everything. It was amazing. We then loaded the coach and headed off to heidelberg.

Heidelberg Germany

Germany was amazing. We had such a fun time in Germany. We stayed at a local best western hotel that was quite nice and actually picked up a wireless signal from a school that was somewhere nearby. It was an amazing connection but it did work to skype a few phone calls. While in Germany we ended up going to Deere, Mercedes, European Central Bank, and Deutsche Bank. They were all fairly interesting although 2.5hours touring factories isn't exactly stimulating.
Heidelberg is one of the most beautiful and romantic places I have ever been. The bridge over the Rhine river overlooks parks on both sides and then a castle up in the mountains. It was gorgeous. We spent a majority of our dinner funds on a local kabob place right next to the hotel. They were right around $3 US which was very cheap.

We also went to a cathedral where, being the brilliant person I am, I decided to go on up with a bunch of others in our group. Little did I realize that it was fifty stories of spiral stairs. Yikes! It was rough and not only that but they were the old kind that are worn down and slippery and very narrow and we had traffic going both ways. I really didn't think I was going to make it for a while. I was definitely sweating and then once you get to the top you think you are done and there are four more flights to the actual tour part. It's so discouraging. By the time you get up you just want to go to bed. But it was beautiful and I will never have the desire to do it again.

We actually had a ton of fun in Heidelberg. We all felt very safe and had a lot of free time after our second test, which was horrible! We went out most nights for fun dinners or walks on the bridge or shopping. It was so amazing. It actually rained and we were caught in an almost tropical downpour that I ran back to the hotel in. It was a blast. Definitely glad water doesn't faze me.

We had a long day yesterday and unfortunately I didn't get a ton of sleep but it was well worth it. After a tour of the local castle we had the afternoon (5pm) and night free. It was one of those moments in life where you suddenly want to do everything all at once and you don't know how. We ended up going to the park/rhine beach and then to an authentic irish pub where they had a live irish band. It was fun.

Today we got on the bus early this morning and drove through Germany and into the Czech Republic. It was so long and so uncomfortable. You would think that being tired everyone would just pass out but I think being exausted actually makes it harder to fall asleep. But we are finally here and it is 10:40 and I'm ready for bed. I still have a paper to write but I may end up saving it for tomorrow.
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