Wednesday, May 13, 2009

..Where Was I?

Well since you've all been so good at patiently waiting, I'm going to add pictures with my blogs to go along with the stories.

Berlin Day 6

The three of us woke up early in the morning and took a quick train to the main train station and hopped on a train there to take us to Wittenburg where we would meet up with Regina and her husband. Regina is Lindsay's mom's best friend from college who has dual citizenship in Germany and the US. They showed us around the City and had all sorts of historical facts for us including Wittenburg being the village where Martin Luther preached and lived.

Street Images of Wittenburg:
Regina's husband bought us chocolate liquors that I didn't really like.. and he kind of looked at me funny when I said "No thanks" after he offered me another one. I had a hard time choking back the first one. It was extremely flavourful, that's for sure. We went into St. Marien's Church and then down to Schlosskirche Church Castle, the church of Martin Luther:

On our way to the castle church, there was a rendezvous going on in the middle of town and it immediately reminded me of the Lingwens and brought a smile to my face. :)

After they were done showing us around Wittenburg, they took us on about a 45 minute drive to the little village of Worlitz, where they live. We stopped at their house first... which is absolutely gorgeous and I hope that when I own a home someday that it will look like their's... and we had coffee and good ol' fashioned Girl Scout Cookies. (Thin mints, to be exact). :P We went on a walk around Worlitz park for a good couple of hours. Worlitz is a very beautiful city. I won't post pictures of it on here because quite frankly, I don't know if I can choose just a couple of them. I'll post the links to my Facebook albums at the end of this post so you can see these pictures along with many others. It was just nice to be able to take a relaxing stroll in a park. Apparantely peacocks are wild animals in Worlitz. We saw a couple along our walk. Beautiful birds, really. We had coffee and cake at a cute little cafe after our walk... my piece of cake was absolutely delicious! I don't think I've ever had something that tasted so good in my life. I may be exaggerating a wee bit, but it was good and my mouth is watering at just the thought. mmm....

Anyway, We went back to their house for a few minutes and just had a good craic over some more cookies and a glass of water. It was in the early evening about this time, and we drove to another little village outside of Worlitz for a very nice sitdown dinner. The three of us actually had gotten the same meal Sauerbraaten and a Kostriker, a dark German beir (probably my favorite alcoholic drink that I've had all semester). I'm craving both of those now too. Darnit! After dinner, they drove us back to Berlin on the Autobahn, which only took about an hour and a half to get there because there are no speed limits on the Autobahn. Let's just say that at one point I looked up at the spedometer and it was at 210km per hour. I'm not really sure how fast that was, but I don't really think I want to know either. Sidenote: we had to make a pitstop on the way back because my bladder was about to burst. :P Well that pretty much sums up our sidetrip from Berlin that day. I think that might have been one of my favorite days of the trip.

Berlin Day 7

There was a Marathon that went on in the morning. The streets were jam-packed with runners and their fans. We spent most of our day at the Dutch History Museum.. where I saw Albrecht Durer's "Knight, Death and the Devil" I geeked out a bit at the sight of it. I even had my picture taken with it. We then just kind of walked around Alexanderplatz and ate Doner for a late lunch/early supper. It was very spicy, but very good. Kind of like a Gyro, but better. Later we met one of Lindsay's friends who lives in Berlin at the Alexa Mall and had a cup of coffee at Starbucks. When we got back to the hostel we packed to get ready to leave bright and early for our plane to Budapest.

Alright, well I think this is all that I can handle for the moment. I'm knackered and am going to hit the sack for a bit... I've been up for 13 hours on 3 hours of sleep. :P

Cheers. xxx

Facebook Albums:

Berlin

http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2042734&id=215700014&l=0435a68269

http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2042735&id=215700014&l=4189b62102

http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2042737&id=215700014&l=6aab08249a

Wittenburg and Worlitz

http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2042739&id=215700014&l=34f7364cb7

http://www.new.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2042741&id=215700014&l=eee4568426


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ding Ding, Ding Ding.

Berlin

Day 4

The three of us woke up, had breakfast consisting of apples or oranges, and bread and jam. We walked more towards West Berlin to see the Jewish Museum. At first we were kind of confused as to why we had been previously told that people have been known to spend 4 hours there. 4 1/2 hours later, we understood why. There was so much to see, and it was very interactive but very informational at the same time. I really enjoyed our time spent there. We then decided to find Check-Point Charlie and a bit of the Berlin wall. When we got there, we decided that the cost wasn't worth it plus we had already seen the wall line instead. We went to the Sony Center, the area where Lindsay and I had eaten a few days before, and went into the Berlin Film Museum. I wasn't a complete fan of this one, but I thought the layout and design of the exhibit was really neat. A lot of black reflecting walls, floors, and ceilings. Like the room was never-ending. We found a Subway for dinner, because it was cheap and then returned to the Sony Center to have a drink at the bar called Billy Wilder's. Billy Wilder was a film director and he directed one of my favorite films from the American Cinema class I took at RCTC called Double Indemnity. That pretty much ended our night from there. We went back to the hostel and did our thing and went to bed.

Day 5

We had to switch rooms in our hostel, so it was a sad goodbye to our 4 bed room and onto a 6 bed room where we shared with a guy who we now was from England. We were told by the lady at the reception desk that he was a little wierd so we should try not to do anything to upset him. We were kind of scared at first, but he ended up not being to bad of a guy. He just snored pretty loudly. We went to see the Guggenheim, the Pergamon, and the Communications museums. I loved loved loved the Pergamon museum. I didn't realize that I would be seeing so many things in the museums that I had learned from all of my art history classes. Thank you Catherine! :) I geeked out a bit and grabbed Molly's arm quite a bit, when I saw things that I recognized in every museum that we went to.

Oh and by the way, the bikers in Berlin are extremely intimidating with their scary dinging bells. Watch out for them, they will run you over if you don't get out of their way.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I need a watercloset...

Berlin

Day 2

Lindsay, Molly and I woke up around 9am and had breakfast down in the hostel's bar. We thought the breakfast was continental, but soon found out that we needed to pay the bartender 5 euros each. Woops. I started not feeling very well and I decided to stay in and rest. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that I just needed to be away from people for a little while. I haven't really had any time to myself since the 14th. I took a short nap while Lindsay took Molly around to see what she and I had looked at the day before. They came back and we all took a short nap and woke up around 7:30pm and sat around deciding what we wanted to do for supper. After having a good laugh attack for 45 minutes, we decided to go ask the receptionist for a recommendation. She suggested an Italian restaurant. I'm not sure if we went to the same restaurant she was talking about, but it was still good nonetheless. We ate at a place called Piazza Rossa. I had a margherita pizza, bruchetta, and for desert: Haselnu├č-marzianeis auf carmellsauce und fr├╝chten. It... was... delicious. And extremely sugary. We got back to the hostel around 11:15 and we sat around and talked and watched TV. Mostly everything was in German, except for 'Rock of Love' which is a rediculous show by the way. But, it was the only thing we understood. :P I went online after that, and then headed to bed.

Day 3

We all planned on being up at 8:15am, but... we all kept letting the alarms go off and didn't actually get up until 9:30. Molly and Lindsay bought bread and jam the day before for breakfast. We then hit the city again to see a couple of the museums. We first went to the Altes Museum which is mainly Greek and Egyptian art. They had an exhibit going on and we were able to see the actual real version of the Bust of Nefertiti. I was in complete awe. I had no idea that it was going to be the real one. I just got goosebumps again. We then went to the Alte Nationalgalerie. Where I saw quite a few artists that I recognized including Rodin's original version of ''The Thinker''. I was in awe yet again. The third museum that we went to was The Bode, which consisted of Byzantine art. I really wasn't as much of a fan of this museum as the other two, but it was still good. By the way, I was able to take pictures inside the museums... don't you worry. :) Also, for each of the museums we had english audio tours. I loved all of the information and stories they had. I found that I was captivated by a few of them and just had to sit back and relax on the benches while the voices narrated. The three of us were extremely exhausted and the other two's feet hurt so, we layed out in the grass for a bit in front of the Berlin Dom and The Altes only to be interupted by a women asking us if we knew english and then Molly gave her some peanuts to make her go away. None of us were very hungry, but thought that we should grab a quick dinner at the mall and head back to the hostel. We chose McDonald's. lol. Way to be healthy, right? Oh well. We also tooks naps again today and I woke up at 9:45pm realizing that I must have needed that... I felt really good when I woke up and then I took a shower, split an orange with Lindsay and now here I am writing a blog. Well... I should get going. Wishing you all well back home.

Cheers.

P.S. Watercloset = Bathroom

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Journey of a Lifetime

Well, I am now in Berlin. Bailey left Scotland this morning at 8:30am and my flight left at 9:30am. Perfect timing, really. On the plane, it finally hit me. I am going to places and doing things that most people can only imagine and dream about doing. I have been LIVING in Scotland, I have been to both Ireland and England, and now I am in freaking Germany. The best part about it, it has only just begun. The plane ride was reallz smooth. As I explained to Lindsay when I got here, I started to feel a little turbulance and shut my eyes tighter only to open them to see that the turbulance was actually just the plane landing. :P

Lindsay met me at the airport and we had a quick lunch there. We took the train to our hostel only to find out that the room wasn't quite ready yet, but the ladies told us they have computers with free internet here. Which made me extremely happy. We sat and played on the computers for a bit until our room was ready. Oh wow, is this hostel lovely. It's much more like a hotel, but WAY cheaper. I have pictures of it, because I love it so much.

After we got settled in a bit, Lindsay and I decided to take a stroll around Berlin. Our hostel is pretty much right in the city center, so there's lots to see around here. We walked a long ways and saw all sorts of buildings, monuments, and sculptures. We also walked through the Alexa Mall, just to see what it was like. Looked like a regular mall to me. I have already taken so many pictures. About 7pm we both started getting hungry and we found a really neat place in the city center to have supper. I had a reallz good chicken sandwhich which wasn't very expensive at all. The restaurant we ate at was called Alex. The waitress and waitor were really nice. Evidently they get a lot of English speaking customers there, because they knew right away that we were lost in their words. lol.

We got really tired after that and walked about an hour to get back to the hostel. There were so many interesting things along the way. I was in awe. It sort of reminds me of being in Las Vegas, really. And now, here I am writing a short blog to keep you updated on this trip. :)

I really, really like Berlin. This trip was definitely a good idea.

Spring Break

Well.. I'm sorry that I didn't get to update any of you on my travels to Ireland and London. I leave for Berlin this morning. I will be there until April 6th and then I fly into Budapest. Since I will have a week in Germany, I will more than likely hop onto a computer in an internet cafe and keep you updated on this trip for sure.

Love,
Ashley

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Wee Little Message

Just wanted to apologize to you all for not updating my blog in a while. I've been quite the busy girl and will do so as soon as possible. :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Not Hadrian's Wall

Wow. I did not realise that it has been 12 days since I last posted a blog. That'll tell you how busy I have been. :) I love it here. Glasgow has become like another home for me.

Last weekend Annie, Sean, and I went to England to see Hadrian's Wall. We took the train on Friday afternoon to Edinburgh and hopped on another train to Newcastle. When we arrived in Newcastle, it was already dark so there wasn't too much that we could see. We decided to explore the nightlife, which Newcastle is notorious for. We checked into our hostel, Albatross Backpackers Inn, which was right down the street from the train station. The hostel was really nice. While walking around the city we found a mall that was more like a huge two-floor club. The restaurants there were even playing loud music. I loved it. We ate at the TGI Fridays there. Annie and I split a plate of boneless buffalo wings and a chicken, bacon sandwhich. So good to have buffalo wings again. :) The people there were crazy on the streets. Lots of people dressed in costumes, whom we giggled at and also saw a few people get sick on the street, whom we also giggled at. A guy came over to us after we said we from the US. He had to shake our hands. He was excited to meet us. He was kind of sketchy at first until his extremely intoxicated friend came over and we all had a good chuckle at his expense.

We did quite a bit of walking around and we decided to head back to the hostel at 11pm so we could get up earlier the next day and start our travel along Hadrian's wall. Annie and I found a couple of TV rooms downstairs. I loved the stone look of the basement. Annie and I thuroughly enjoyed being down there, so I called Sean to get out of bed and come join us. We watched a bit of Dirty Dancing: Havanna Nights. (DUMB) After a bunch of rowdy guys came down to play pool, we decided to go upstairs and hit the hay only to find that we wouldn't be able to sleep anyway. A large group of people were constantly warned they would be thrown out if they didn't keep it down. But, their barks were worse than their bites. We got maybe a total of an hour or two of good sleep. We got up at 9am and had complimentary tea and toast and also leftover buffalo wings in the kitchen whilst we decided our plans for the day. We found that there was a Roman fort in South Shields, just 20 minutes East of Newcastle by Subway. We weren't a fan of South Shields, but liked the Roman Fort, Arbeia. They reconstructed a lot of it, which was nice but we kind of agreed that it should have just been kept the way they found it.

When we got back to the Newcastle train station, we bought our train tickets for the day so we could hop on and off the train as much as we want between there and Carlisle. We stopped first at a village called, Hexham. It was a very lovely town. We bought sandwhich meat, cheese, and bread at the local food store to make sandwiches. We explored the town a bit and visited the Hexham Abbey. Absolutely beautiful inside. I even lit a candle and said a prayer while we were there. When we found the visitor's center, we found out that the Hadrian's wall tour actually didn't start until the end of March. The train doesn't go to the wall itself, you have to get off in these little towns and catch buses to the wall. The buses weren't running. But, the lady was really nice and told us that there was a Roman fort that we should go to in Corbridge. It'd be an easy walk from the train station. So, we did.

When we got off the train in Corbridge, I dropped a fiver down below the bridge in a gated area, we went around the gates where Annie jumped it and grabbed my money for me. Phew. :) It was about a 10 minute walk to the village of Corbridge. Corbridge was an even more lovely place. We took the scenic route and walked along the river to get to the Roman site. It was about 15 minutes to get there and we got there with 1/2 hour left before closing. We had the whole place to ourselves to look at it and take our time exploring and we also had free audio guides which had sound affects, giving us a feel of what we might have been hearing if we were really there during the Roman invasion of Breton. (Britain) Hehe, I am actually learning in my Celtic Civilisations class.

We were extremely tired after that and hopped back on the train to Carlisle. When we got to Carlisle we found out that they don't actually have trains from Carlisle to Glasgow. You have to hop on a bus to Lockerbie and get on the train there to Glasgow. We didn't stay in Carlisle for very long, because we were exhausted and it was dark and it was starting to rain. When we got back to Glasgow, I stayed with Annie that night at Cairncross because Liane was in Ireland and her bed was free. :D I actually spent the whole weekend with Annie, which was a nice break from being in Murano Street.

So, that's the jist of my weekend in England. Tomorrow, my friend Lauren from Stout is coming to visit me. She arrives in Edinburgh and will be in Glasgow around 10am and we are going to catch a plane to Dublin, Ireland. We are going to stay in Dublin the first night and then we are going to the other coast and staying in a smaller town of Galway for two nights, and visiting the Cliffs of Moher. Then spending Tuesday (St. Patrick's Day) back in Dublin and catching our flight back to Glasgow on Wednesday morning. I'm gonna have to get a lot of rest tonight, because I'm going to be wiped after this trip.

Here are my uploaded albums to Facebook from my trip.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2041764&id=215700014&l=b2f56
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2041795&id=215700014&l=7fa1c

Cheers!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Did you know...

That they do not refrigerate their eggs here? Sketchy. I still put mine in the fridge when I got home. Apparently bacteria only grows when the air gets into the inside of the egg.

There's my random thought of the day.

Even though I'm not feeling well today still, I forced myself to go outside because the sun was shining and I thought the fresh air would make it better. I walked down to Tesco's and got some groceries along with Sudafed and Kleenex. I also stopped at McDonald's and had lunch on the way back. I don't really eat a whole lot of fast food and I thought it'd be okay to have some since I haven't had any for 7ish weeks. That burger hit the spot.

The weather was really weird today. It was raining one minute and the next the sun would be shining and then it would go back to rain again. It has been like that all day today. It is weird how rapidly the weather changes here. Chris, my piping tutor, and I were talking at my lesson about the weather and how it used to be. I guess they really haven't had a proper winter here in a LONG time. He said that it used to get down to negative 5c and now it doesn't. He believes that the fact that it hasn't been cold enough is the reason why so many people keep getting sick during the winter here. It isn't cold enough to kill what's in the air.

I'm going to Newcastle and Carlisle on Friday and Saturday with Annie and Sean. We will also be seeing Hadrian's Wall. :) Don't know what that is, google it. I had to. :P I'm excited. I'm going to England this weekend! WOO HOO!

Anyways, I'm doing laundry today! WOO HOO! Clean clothes! Oh... and I'm really starting to get fed up with the lack of help of cleaning around here. Sabrina is the only other one that seems to do her dishes. I just don't understand how people can't pick up after themselves, it's not that hard to wash your damn dishes. I think the thing that really frustrates me is when my stuff is used and then it is left out dirty for me to wash. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I feel the need to wash and keep my bowl and plate in my room just to make sure that I will have something to eat off of when I'm hungry.

Another thought... I will have been here for 8 weeks on this coming Tuesday. Weird to think that I have been here that long. And the month of February is now gone. Time is flying. Makes me realize how much stuff I still have to and want to do before I leave. :) Time to get crackin' at all my travel plans!

Cheers

Only seeing half

Updates... well, sort of. :P

I can't really sleep even though I'm exhausted. I haven't really been feeling well this week. But, I have had a lot of help at getting through it. :) And I am getting better. So, instead of laying in bed wondering why I can't sleep I thought I'd amuse you all with a new blog.

I went to the SECC, Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center, for a Snow Patrol Concert with Amy, Matthew, Gurlin, Ashlee, Lindsay, and Lucy. I posted my pictures to Facebook and here is the link:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2041531&id=215700014&l=7bc9a

I have been to quite a few concerts, but of the ones that I can remember, this one was my favorite. We were really close to the stage, it was so exciting. The whole time I was wishing that I was taller. :P A verbal fight even took place with me right in the middle. Matthew helped me avoid getting roughed up by the drunken idiots. There was a guy there that made me laugh a bit. He joked about getting me a crate so I could see better. I didn't realize until that night that the members of Snow Patrol are from Dublin, Ireland and they lived in both Dundee and Glasgow, Scotland for a while. Quite exciting if you ask me! Ashlee also lives in MSSV, which was a relief for both of us. We agreed that we are going to become good friends. lol. She's from Texas and she actually has relatives that live in Rochester whom she visits regularly!

I caved and bought a phone after being told that I am "an extremely hard person to get a hold of." lol. If anyone ever feels up to it my number is +44 07964045848. My international calls are only 6 pence a minute which is about 10 cents. Not too shabby. If I ever call you on it, don't worry it doesn't cost you anything except minutes, it'll only cost me money. :) The lady at Carphone Warehouse asked me how long I'd been without a phone and I said, over 7 weeks. Her face was priceless. She laughed and said she can't even go outside on a break without making sure she has her phone on her and couldn't believe that I had gone that long without one. Personally, I kind of liked not having one for a while. At home, I always feel like I'm so attached to my cell phone and I always feel obligated to check it because I don't want to miss anything. I find that I'm already constantly checking my phone. Oh! My phone has Sudoku on it as well as temperature and currency converters. :D

At my bagpiping lesson this week, which I had to reschedule for Friday, I freaked Chris out. My pinky on my right hand has always cramped up on me while I played the flute or piano for too long and Chris noticed it. He was really curious about it at first until he saw that my pinky bends backwards farther than it should and he thinks that's the reason why it cramps up. He kept shuttering every time he looked at my hands from there on. I laughed and then I gave him a pouty look telling him that I didn't want to play any more. :P

One thing that I want to say before I wrap this up for the night, is that I know more twins here than I have known in my whole life. Granted, I only know half of the set but still. It's weird. My flatmate Alex, my friends Liane and Annie both have a twin back home, my piping tutor Chris, uhm I know that there are at least 2 more but I can't remember who they are at the top of my head.

Well it is now almost about 5am and I really should hit the sack. I'll try to get back on tomorrow and finish my thoughts.

Cheers


Friday, February 20, 2009

Backpacking Across Europe

I'm getting really excited. Want to know why? I have made travel plans for 5 weeks in a row.

My roommate Lauren, from Stout, is coming to visit me from March 14th to the 20th. We already have a plan to go by. She arrives in Edinburgh on Saturday morning. Plans that day for me are to take a bus to Edinburgh and meet her at the airport. From there, we are going to walk around Edinburgh for a little bit and then take a bus to St. Andrews and stay overnight at the hostel there. Sunday morning we are going to take a bus back to Glasgow and hop on a train to Belfast, Ireland. We are going to stick around in Ireland doing who knows what until early Wednesday when we will take the train back to Glasgow. We will be spending St. Patrick's Day in Ireland. Can you say excitement? We are going to spend Wednesday and most of Thursday around Glasgow because I still need to attend my classes, which she should be able to join me. I think either Thursday night we may go to The Primary (pub) so she can meet more of my friends in the International Student Society and go to Edinburgh early in the morning either that or we will go back to Edinburgh Thursday night and stay at hostel there so we don't have to get up as early for her flight back.

So Lauren leaves for home on Friday morning and Bailey will be arriving in Glasgow on Saturday afternoon. :) We haven't really talked too much about our plans, I just know for sure that we will be going to London while she is here. She will be here until Monday, March 30th. 9 whole days with my Bailey Jo.

When Bailey leaves I will be starting my three week Spring Break by departing to Berlin, Germany to meet my friend Lindsay. Our friend, Molly, is going to meet us there later in the week and we will all travel to Budapest, Hungary on April 5th together. April 7th or 8th, Molly and I are going to Bratislava, Slovakia and then we will meet Lindsay in Vienna, Austria and spend a few days there. After that, we are going to travel to Venice and Florence, Italy for the remainder of our vacation. Molly is going to fly to Dublin to visit her family while they are visiting there and Lindsay and I will return to Glasgow on the 16th/17th of April.

So, that's 8 countries in 5 weeks. Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Italy. Can you see why I'm so excited now? How can life get any better than this. I'm so fortunate for everyone and everything in my life especially right now. If I could go back in time, I would not change a thing. I love where I am in life. Everything is just perfect.

I love and miss you all. And don't worry, I will have my camera and I'll be taking plenty of pictures. :)

Ashley