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

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Friday, June 22, 2007

Praha was beautiful. We had tons of free time in Prague and it was great. I do have to say that on the first day I got separated from my tour and was left wandering around Prague on my own. I know, good job...chalk one up to me but it was actually a really good experience. It was a 3 hour tour and I got left at a cathedral 30 minutes in. I decided at that point that it would be best to continue on my own with my copied map into the city rather than return to the hotel on my own for 6 hours. It was definitely an experience and I have to say that by the time I found some IBIers (4.5hrs later) I was super excited. In fact I almost hugged them. All in all though it was a reassuring factor that I could be in a large city that I had never been in before, on my own, lost, and still survive just fine. Plus I got a lot of culture that the rest of the group missed out on.
The next few days was a lot of corporate visits and classes. It was ok. We officially started marketing which is different than what I had expected. Our mkting prof is a self expressed numbers man which is the opposite of any marketer I have ever met other than maybe in the mkt research dep. Definitely interesting. I'm not as much of a fan as I thought. I figured mkting would be my get out of jail free card and it definitely is not.
At night the city was absolutely gorgeous. When going into Prague you aren't necessarily impressed. It looks much like any other European tourist trap. At night though it becomes one of the most romantic cities I've ever been to. It is absolutely beautiful. The castles and cathedrals around the town are lit up. It was so beautiful we all just stopped and stared at all the buildings. We took tons of pictures trying to capture the beauty but that's the great thing about places like Prague and Heidelberg, its impossible. So many people were upset that they couldn't capture the beauty but why would you go somewhere if you could simply look at a picture?
The last few nights we went to the largest club in middle Europe. There is only one bigger club in Europe but I'm not sure where it is. It had five floors, six if you count the bottom, with all different styles of dancing. One thing I learned is that you don't really know someone until you go to a club and watch them bump and grind. It was so weird. People I never would have thought would be really into "dancing" were all over the place. People who seem so shy can completely surprise you. We ended up going both nights which was so tiring but a lot of fun. Plus we were in completely different groups both times. The first night I went with Neal, jess, matt, kellen, Emily, Katie, mike, and ashlee. The second night almost everyone from IBI was there. Definitely different with different people.
After five days in Prague we got on the bus and headed out to Austria. The bus ride was a long one and the whole idea of sleeping on the bus to catch up is completely ignorant. Not only could I not sleep but my lack of sleep from going out every night in Prague made it very hard to concentrate on studying. All in all sleep has not been a top priority for me on the trip. On the way into Austria we stopped at dachau concentration camp in germany. It was definitely interesting. I felt very desensitized to it. Several people were crying and upset after walking through and watching the movie but I was dry eyes. It just didn't surprise me. I wish it would have horrified me as much as some of the others.
After a long day and drive we finally got to the hotel, a sports center, in Innsbrook Austria. Its actually where the winter Olympics were held in the 60's which is pretty cool. After a dinner of spagetti, so weird but good, we headed up to paula's room to knock out our case study for marketing. Big mistake. We had put it off until the night before thinking that we were able to go out and enjoy Prague without any consequences. Six hours later we were exhausted and the only ones up having missed out on swimming and running around a new country. But we also were the first to present and I was told we did fairly well.
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