Friday, February 25, 2011

Germany- Freiburg

Its been a long time but I now have a lot to talk about. From Feb 22-24 I was in Freiburg Germany!

On Tuesday (the 22) I woke up at 3:30 am to catch a bus, to another bus, to a train and finally to Gatwick Airport outside of London. I got there a bit early but it would not have been good to miss the flight. So I sat down, grabbed a coffee and read the paper... I watched a movie on my iPad, you happy.

My flight was from Gatwick to Basel Airport in Switzerland. Before I got on the flight I thought to myself, I don't speak a lick of French or German, how the hell am I going to get to Freiburg without having to ask someone for help. In this case I headed Moms advice, talk to strangers. So i turned to the person behind me and started a conversation. She is a grad student studying in Germany who is from Azerbaijan. She was going to help me find a way to Freiburg, but as soon as we got through immigration there were large signs pointing to buses to Freiburg so it was fairly easy.

When I got to Freiburg Darryl met me at the bus station but it happened to be his busy day for classes so I went with him to the school and i just took a nap on a couch. Later Darryl's friend took me on a tour of the town while Darryl was in class. After classes were over we went to a bar and grabbed a beer. German "bier" is so much better than most other beers I've had, except Yuengling of course. We went back to Darryl's place and had an early night.

The next day Darryl and I went into town and walked around the hot spots and looked at the cathedral in the middle of town. He tried to teach me some German but I don't remember anything... oh well. We then walked around a bit more then grabbed some beers at the grocery store.

At night we went went to this one bar that had all these different kinds of shots like "Chuck Norris" and "Kamikaze." I am not really sure what was in them but they were good. Once it started getting later we went to this club which was having Reggae night, which obviously I was adamant about going. The music was really good, it was German reggae which was interesting. While there I got a shot of absinthe, (mom and dad... when in Rome), which was interesting taste, never had it before.

We woke up and were a bit tired from being out so late the night before. We walked around and tried to see the things I had not. Then Darryl and I got some beers and looked at the Cathedral some more. I then had to catch my bus to the airport, and that was my trip to Freiburg, a nice city in Germany that I would recommend to people.

“Let every man judge according to his own standards, by what he has himself read, not by what others tell him.”

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I have been told by one Frances Fagan (shout out) that i have not updated my blog in a while. I have not traveled in a while so I did not think it was too important but I guess you guys want to hear from me. So after I got back from stonehedge I took it easy for a little bit. I developed and ear infection (story of my life) but after a call to dad and a z pack he gave me everything seems better.

I got my first paper back recently and I got a 65 which here translates to a B. Figures this one more thing I don't really get.

Las weekend I went to Westminster abbey, they charge 10 dollars for a tour, or you can go to mass for free. Reclutantly I went with my friends to enjoy a mass of the Church of England. As everyone around me, even my friends were praying, I just looked around at different pieces of art.

Other than this nothing major has happened but I am going to Germany in less that a week and stay with Darryl. I'm excited but worried cause I have to take a bus from the airport in Switzerland to feinburg Germany. Not sure how well this will turn out. But hoping for the best.

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. "
The Dalai Lama

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stonehedge

This past weekend i went to Stonehedge and Bath

Stonehedge was interesting but not as big or amazing as I thought it would be. It was fairly small and actually not that amazing. The cool thing was that next to the location there was an army training facility in which they did simulations on events.


We later went to Bath, which is a city in England that was formed around an ancient Roman Bath. The city was fairly small, but the bath was actually interesting. It used water from a hot spring to keep it warm.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Scotland

Last weekend I went to Scotland and had an AMAZING time.

Friday I woke up around 5:30am to go to Kings Crossing for a 7am train to Edinburgh. Once we got there at around 11:30am most of us in the group were still exhausted. The whole train ride I spent sleeping. However after we got off the train our tour guide was waiting for us. We went to Edinburgh Castle and looked at some interesting places in the city. To be quite honest I was exhausted the whole time and don't really remember too much of what he said, but everywhere we walked he played his bag pipe.


The rest of that day we spent walking around the city getting a better idea of Scotland, But we had to go to sleep early because one, I could barely think straight and also the next day we were going to Lock Ness!

On our journey to Lock Ness we stopped at a few places to see the sights of Scotland. One such one is what they call the Scotland Cattle...Or Yak


Lock Ness was very cool, I didnt see Nessie but the people there are convinced that there is a creature living in the Lock.


We went out that night in Edinburgh and saw the place that J.K. Rowling wrote the Original Harry Potter Book.

The Next day we woke up and went to the Whisky tour to learn more about Scotch Whisky. The end of the tour involved a whisky tasting and a look at the words most expensive whisky collection. After.


This Was my Scotland trip!

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."
Lou Holtz

Thursday, January 27, 2011

PreScotland

Tomorrow I am going to Scotland. Really excited, this is my first trip to another country. I hope that they are more similar to America than England, but I doubt it.

Tomorrow I wake up at 5 am to go to the railroad for a 5 am train ride.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

2nd week of classes

Hello followers,

I just finished my second week at qmul, classes are interesting except one day I sat down in a class that was not my own. I woke up and thought my class was at 9 but it was actually at 10. So I went at 9 and waited 20 minutes before i realized i was in the wrong class. Feminism in post Modern britain was not what I planned on taking.

On Friday during the day I went to the British Museum. It is huge and has a lot of ancient art. Walking through the Egyptian area I was very intrigued. However I still had to think about how Egypt had wanted these artifacts returned, but the British would not do that. This definitely brings up an interesting debate as to who deserves to hold onto the artifacts.

Last night we went to a bar near us that was very good. It was not too crowded, and we met some people who we talked to for a while. There was this one man who was born in Baltimore, moved to Britain and then joined the British army. We had conversations moving from the current American insurgencies in the Middle East, to the England v. USA game in the World Cup.

-"Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm." Abraham Lincoln

Monday, January 17, 2011

Post Homestay

So I finished my Homestay which was rather interesting. The family thought we were coming last weekend and had made plans for this weekend. Which makes me wonder if they thought we didn't come last weekend shouldn't they have checked their schedule. Well anyway it was pleasant which was good. We watched a decent amount of British TV, which is actually quite horrible. They call our TV bad, but theirs tends to have no content to it, and the writing is sooo cheesy filled with the corniest puns.

But during the homestay we did go to Canterbury which was nice, but not much to do unless you wanted to shop. The cathedral there was huge and beautiful, but it cost like 10 pounds to go in. I was not about to pay 15 dollars to see a cathedral when most you can go into for free.

Other than that it was a nice relaxing weekend and we got to talk to the homestay couple about British politics and European politics which was very interesting to get the perspective of an older couple.

Got back yesterday in time to watch the Pats play the Jets.

Thats about it over here, I have class today although its MLK jr's Birthday.

"But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, January 14, 2011

First week

Hello Everyone, so I finished my first week of classes and im pretty confidant about the classes that I am taking. They are all interesting and they all happen to be "first year" corses. This is good for mainly two reasons.

1) They will be easy. I am not trying to kill myself with classes especially because none of the grades I earn will be reflected in my Brandeis transcript. Every class I take here is Pass/Fail so as long as I get Bs I will be ok.

2) Apparently first year course exams are earlier in the exam period which is May 2- June 10. Yes thats right it is possible that exams end on June 10th. I would rather not be studying for an exam in the beginning of June, what am I in high school again, NO. Hopefully my exams will be done by the middle of May. I have all of April off and that is when I plan on traveling around.

Classes I am Taking:
Globalization, Developement and Inequalities
History of Medieval Structure (not buildings but institutions)
Intro to Politics (political Theory)
Britain Since 1945

My Thursday classes end at 12 and I have Fridays off, which means that I can travel more. YAY

Well today i Start my homestay in which i will be living with an english family for two days, Hope they feed me good food.

"Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgment difficult."
Hypocrites

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Well I know I have not been posting here recently but I got to my school which is kind of like Brandeis, its small and contained in an area. We are in the Eastern part of London, but not the city. Its weird how they call places, and its really weird how they say things some times. I am in Mile End which is great cause its right off the central line. Most other "tube" lines go through the central line so this will be great for me to travel. Everyone I talked to said that everything you would want to go to is off the central line anyway.

We had registration and I have to switch a couple of classes but it looks like I will have Fridays off and only one class a day. It was raining almost everyday until yesterday and today looks like its going to be a sunny day but I need to get an umbrella cause my old one broke 30 minutes after I bought it.

This past weekend I was in Central London with Dan Katz and we walked around all of London, or at least what felt like it. It was a good weekend to just hang out with him. Classes start tomorrow, lets see where this goes.

"Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught." Oscar Wilde

Monday, January 3, 2011

Arrival


 So I got to London and am currently in the Thistle Hotel somewhere in London.  I’m not exactly sure where, I haven’t slept in a while so I am a little unaware.  The flight wasn’t too bad except the woman to my right was hyperventilating before the plane even took off.  After the flight I walked what seemed to be a mile from the plane to the immigration area.  Once I got through security I was stopped because I looked suspicious, which in their minds seems to be an American who doesn’t know where in gods name he was going.

I found the meeting place for my program at the airport and after waiting for 3 hours there we got on a bus to the hotel.  We arrived at the hotel around 10:30 am but our rooms wouldn’t open until 2pm. 

So far London doesn’t look too different from Boston.  We drove around this one bend that looked just like the bend you pass on the Mass Pike near BU.  However driving on the wrong side of the road, billboards and cars on the road were different than I am used to.  We are spending a couple days in this hotel.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Getting Ready

To everyone who's interested enough in my time abroad in London and Europe, this blog is for you.  I leave TOMORROW from DC and head to London.  I am nervous about going but im really excited, im just hoping I dont make a fool of myself too early.  But if you know me this will happen almost as soon as I get off the plane.  

Anyway, I dont plan on writing here all the time, hopefully I will have a life.  I will probably update this when something big happens or at least once a week.

Well I am about to have dinner with the family before I leave.

Thanks for reading

"When you come to a fork in the road....Take it "