Donnerstag, 31. Mai 2012

Excursion Week!

Greeting All!

So we just got back from our eventful, tiring, and long week of traveling adventure. Although this trip was better arranged than Prague, it was still just as tiring! On Tuesday we left the colleg and traveled to Weimer where we had a couple of hours to walk around, and then we went the the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. The Concentration camp was a saddening experience, but at the same time something that was great to see! 

Later that evening we left Weimer and traveled to Erfurt... a cute little town built on a river! We had dinner at the hotel that night, than a few of us went out to some of the local pubs and just experienced the night life. The following day we had a walking tour with out precious tour guide Hans-Peter! He was very animated and you could tell he was very passionate about the town! We then had 6 hours to spend on our own in the town, and although the town was cute it was small and took us about 2 hours to do what we wanted to do and see what we wanted to see! Later that night we went to dinner at the Golden Swan and had a traditional German meal which was bratwurst, sauerkraut, and potatoes and the dessert was delicious! I nice, warm Apple bread in vanilla sauce thing! We then spent a couple more hours in the hotel before going to the fortress wall and cathedrals to see them at night. On the way we meet a cute russian girl and another American girl who spoke English so we spent some time with them as well! Then everyone went back and got ready for bed! 

Today we had breakfast at the hotel at 8 and left Erfurt at 9 to head to Eisenach and see the Wartburg castle there! The castle was amazing, although the climb to get to the castle was a killer! However, once we made it to the top, it was so worth the climb! Then we got a tour of the castle, which was an amazing thins to say, and we had another great tour guide! Honestly, the Erfurt tour guide and the Castle tour guide would make a perfect couple... just saying!! Then we had a few hours to walk around the town so we went to the Bach Museum, had lunch, and then just walked around to a couple of the shops! We loaded the bus at 3, then head back to Wittenburg for one of our last nights here! The bus ride back was the quietest bus ride we have ever been on... it was very clear that everyone was very tired! 

Tomorrow is our last full day here in Germany so we are heading to the train station to head to Berlin to go to the Olympic Stadium! Going to be an awesome way to spend our last day in Germany! Saturday we leave at 6 AM to go to the airport and then head back to the United States! =(

Well that's all for now... off to play some cards with the other girls on our floor! Photos will be attached below =) 

Chus,
Caitlyn and Holly! 

Waiting to go into the castle!
Just paying wonderful attention to our tour!
In front of the castle!
Random picture... but under the Charles Bridge in Prague
Group of girls outside of the castle!
Caitlyn rolling down the steep hill! 

 In the cute ivy leaves garden thing!
O-H-I-O... in Germany! 

Montag, 28. Mai 2012

Adventure to Prague

Well this weekend we went to Prague! The city was beautiful and it was the most beautiful place EVER! However, after the trip to get there... we weren't so sure what to expect!

Let's start it Saturday...
4 AM-- Depart from the college to head to the train station and board the train! for those of you think it would be easy to sleep on a train-- Think again! I think the group of 13 people slept a total of 8 hours if we were to add it all up!  We had about 6 stops to switch trains all with rather short layovers making it a rush from point a to point b! At one point our train was 10 minutes late so we missed the time that the other train was suppose to leave... however- the train was still there! what a relief! The train ride was about 8 hours long and we arrived in Prague at 11:30!
Then we decided to take the subway, to the bus, which took us close to our hostel, but still had a 1/2 mile walk to the hostel! However, we all thought the bus took us to the hostel so we rode it to the end... then the bus announcement thing said get off and we realized we were at the Prague airport. Let's put this into perspective for you-- It's kinda like the movies where 2 people are driving, then the car stops in the middle of no where, someone gets off, and the car drives away while the person is left in the middle of no where to wander. Well that was our situation, only with a group of 8 girls and 1 male, in a land we have never been in before, and not able to speak to the people who don't speak English!
 Long story short, after that we found the right bus, got off at the right spot, and this is where adventure #3 begins! As said before, we had to walk 1/2 a mile to the hostel- only This country does not believe in street sign, and out hostel was down a sketchy Alley, so we walked past it a good way, looked at the map to see where we were and decided we needed to keep walking straight up a big hill! After we were about a mile past the hostel, at the top of the big hill, we realized we passed it! Keep in mind again, this a group of 8 girls- some of us over packing, and having to carry our bags over our shoulder this whole time while at the same time some of us were tired and grouchy from the train ride! It was a great time.
We finally made it to the hostel which was definitely not a 5 star place- more like a 1 1/2 star place! It kinda smelled funny, didn't have a lot, and the rooms were really small! Also, the guy at the desk didn't speak English, and he didn't have one of our rooms! So we had to wait for an hour til they got the room situation worked out, but in the end we were given enough rooms that all of use could have a bed- however, this hostels idea of a bed was 3 couch cushions in a wooden frame with a blanket on top to serve as the sheet! But hey, at least we had a shower, toilet, and place to sleep even if it wasn't nice and fancy!

After that adventure, the trip went great with all the sight-seeing and just being in Prague was a wonderful experience!! There was much to do and see and we never got bored during our time there! We went to a ballet at the national theater, climbed a giant hill to the top then some climbed the tower to see the entire city, lots of shopping, lots of awesome building, and the architecture was beyond amazing!! Definitely a place that everyone should go to if ever given the chance, and both of us (holly and caitlyn) are pretty much experts at getting around now if you would want to take a guide with you =)

There isn't much time for pictures right now, we are leaving for our excursion week to Weimer, Erfurt, and Eisenach in 30 minutes! But I hope everyone enjoyed reading about our adventure to Prague! On'y 5 days left here in Germany... makes us want to cry... but we will just hope that this week goes slow! =)

That is all for now!!
Caitlyn and Holly! =)

Donnerstag, 24. Mai 2012

Berlin Photos

As promised... here are a few photos from Berlin! =)

 Both of us in front of the Berlin Wall
 A group in front of the wall... from left to right- Becca, Hanna, Alex. Caitlyn, Jackie, and Holly
 Holly standing halfway in East Berlin and half in West Berlin
 Caitlyn doing the same thing... standing above where the Berlin wall use to be
 On the Subway... from L-R... Melisa, Hannah, Holly, and Caitlyn
 Group with the wall at Checkpoint Charlie-- Front L-R  Lauren, Ashley, middle row- Krista, Alex, Hannah, Melisa and Back- Caitlyn, Holly, Jackie
 The delicious, Cheap sandwiches we had for lunch in Turkey Town
 The Holocaust monument... 2,711 blocks above where Hitler's underground bunker use to be!
Hotel Adlon... the open Window in the 3rd floor is where Micheal Jackson hung the baby out the window!

A Day in Berlin

Hello again,
So yesterday we spent the day in Berlin which is the capital of Germany. It was a big city with thousands of things to do, so our 1 day in the city was definitely not enough time to see everything! However, we did see quite a bit and had a wonderful day there! Our reason for going was to see the Germany Musical Tanz der Vampire-- but we had free time up until the show time to explore after our little tour.

In the morning on the tour was saw many things- some really cool things and some things that were just interesting to see. Some of this things included:

  • On the way to the city, we saw a nice park where people were laying out... only in Germany I suppose it is ok to lay out in this park with NOTHING on-- also I should add that this park, full of people with no clothing on was right beside the freeway! Interesting to say the least...
  • We saw the Brandenburg Gate which was very cool to see and to hear our tour guide, Christian, told us the story of how the Berlin wall stopped people from from getting to the West side which was considered the nicer side of Germany.  
  • While looking at the Brandenburg Gate, we could also turn around and see Hotel Adlon-- You may not recognize the hotel by that name but this may help-- Hotel Adlon was the hotel that Michael Jackson hung the baby out the window! 
  • After that we went to the Berlin wall-- AWESOME thing to see! Part of the wall is still standing and there is a path of stones to represent where the wall use to go! It was cool to put a foot on each side of the stone path and say we were half in east Berlin and half in east Berlin! 
  • Our last stop was Check point Charlie! Checkpoint Charlie was where people went if they needed to cross the border from West Berlin to East Berlin or vise versa! 
After the tour was over, we were able to go do what we wanted for the few hours we had before the show started! A group of us followed one of the professors on the subway to go to Turkey town... which is like New York's China Town! That was really cool to walk around and see all the different shops with cheap stuff in it! Also, we ate lunch at this incredible sandwich place that was really cheap! 

At 5:30 the whole group met up at the bus and headed to the theater to see Tanz der Vampire! We really weren't sure was the expect considering the fact that we were about to see a 3 hour musical that was all in German-- meaning we would not understand anything! However, the show was MAGNIFICENT!! It was a great experience and everyone in the group was way more impressed with the show then they originally thought! 

Well that pretty much wraps up our day in Berlin!! Photos from our trip will be in a new post later today!! =)

Now how about a few random things that we have learned while in in Germany that makes it different from the United States...
  1. The word Nudity here clearly has a different meaning than it does in America... a show that is said will have no nudity will still have naked people in it! 
  2. There is no speed limit on the Freeways in Germany!
  3. When giving people a thumbs up to tell them "Good job" or let them know that you get it... you are actually telling them the number 1 here! 
  4. It is very hard to get regular tap water, called Still Wasser, here... and YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT!! If you just order water here... they will bring you this gross carbonated stuff! 
  5. Along with the water... people judge you big time for ordering a still wasser... I guess that just isn't normal here! 
  6. No only is the water here carbonated... but so is juice and lemonade and of course the pop! 
  7. People don't drive here very much! which is actually a nice thing! 
  8. Here--- a bike ALWAYS has the right away... also they have bike paths that are part of the sidewalk you walk on-- stay off the bike path or you will get run over by a bike... they don't stop! 
  9. The gas prices are only by the liter and for one gallon of gas it is close to 10 American dollars WOW!
  10. You have to pay to use the public restroom
  11. No free re-fills for ANYTHING
  12. No finger foods you have to eat everything with a fork
  13. They do not like to touch money. You must put your money on a little plate before the cashier will take it.
  14. There is a lot of PDA here but it is acceptable and down right cute!
  15. There seems to be no wild life here.  No deer, squares, or chipmunks like on Ashland's campus only pigeons here in Germany

Montag, 21. Mai 2012

Hello From Wittenberg, Germany =)
Caitlyn Miskimen and Holly Weber here to blog about our trip to Germany for a few weeks in the summer with Ashland University! We have been here for a week now, although it seems as if we have been here longer! There has been a lot to do in the week that we have been here, but we are absolutely loving the experience!! We have traveled to Leipzig for an overnight trip and on Friday Caitlyn went to Halle, pronounced Holla, while Holly went to Berlin! Both trips were insanely tiring, but at the same time something that we will never forget! Other than that we have just been spending our time in the cute, quaint, and cozy town of Wittenberg.

The little town that we are staying in is full of German speaking people who don't know much English... That leads to some awkward conversations and looks because of the language barrier. However, we have learned a few terms while we have been here =) These include:

  • Sprechen Zie English? -- Do you speak English?
  • Danca -- Thank you
  • Bitte (pronounced Bit-a)-- Please or you're welcome
  • Drucken-- Push, This term is on every door and crosswalk but we continue to pull on every door to enter a building.
  • Entschuldigen-- Excuse me
  • Nein (pronounced Nine)-- No
  • Also, all the time is in military time, so we had to get use to the too! 
Whenever we are not traveling to other places or exploring the town that we are staying in, we are in classes. While here we take 2 classes and get the credit hours for both of them... well if we pass we get the credit for them =) We are taking Theater here which is a lot of fun and one that we both really enjoy!! And then there is Philosophy which is... well let's just say its interesting. 

Since we have been here for a week, have finally gotten use to the time difference, and have gotten adjusted we finally got around to creating this blog. Now that it has been made we will hopefully be able to update more often and add more photos from the trip =) So far it has been a wonderful experience and we already never want to leave! 

Cheers,
Caitlyn and Holly

 The 2 of us with a couple of the friends we made on the trip... The order from L to R is Holly, Alex, Caitlyn, and Melisa!
 A picture of Wittenberg, the town we are staying in.
 The street view from our Hotel. The big tall building is the Castle Church.
 Some of the first German food we had!! From the potato house... it was probably one of our favorite meals!
From on top of a building in Leipzig... Definitely an awesome view!!!