Wednesday, June 28, 2006


i've been in barcelona for 2.5 days now after leaving switzerland on saturday and taking a few trains to get down to spain again. i'm ready for a relaxing last two weeks here in the euro capital of chill. today i went to the beach for a couple hours. read a book, listened to some music, and basically enjoyed not doing much. no site-seeing, no travelling, no hostel booking. just sun 'n' sand.

switzerland was one of the better pure 'places' that i went to. i've been to a lot of cool places, but the people i meet tend to either make it super fun or mediocre. in switzerland i didn't need to meet anybody. i had the mountains to occupy me. and the did for the two full days i spent there. i went hiking the Schynige Platte hike on the southern boarder of the range on my first day and absolutely loved it. here's some photos:

i'm getting psyched for my upcoming hike checking out the view.

interlaken (where i stayed) is down there below the clouds somewhere. you can see the trail leading off in front of me along the ridge.

the peaks in this photo are all part of the hike i was on.

post lunch, and i'm still doing fine as my thumb tells you. being above the clouds is cool.

unfortunately the rest of the hike was below them. which still provided coolness, just not the old kind of coolness.

my camera timer is a gem and the only way i take pictures of myself.

all in all i had a wonderful time in the alps. from the spanish bar and friends i met there in zürich, to watching the swiss win their world cup group and the madness that poured out onto the streets. the country may be more expensive than others in europe, but i'm not complaining. i got my $ worth.

two weeks til i see most of you again!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

people and places

i'm in switzerland now. interlaken, switzerland to be exact. today i did some hiking and had a wonderful time in the alps. they are very different than the rockies and i am really glad i came here. it's been kinda foggy since i got here yesterday afternoon, but just knowing there are giant looming mountains behind me is cool enough - even if i can't always see them.

i left jonas and germany yesterday. it was sad. i'm über glad that i got to meet his friends and family because now i know him better. his friends were really fun and we had a great time playing beach volleyball, watching football, skinny dipping in the public pool at 4 am... huh? jonas and i had our own adventures too. we hitch-hiked 350 km from his home to a central city and back in a couple days. i will surely cherish the time that i spent with him as it will likely be a few years before we can hang out again. the same goes for his friends too. they welcomed me and made me one of them. it was hard to leave but more lies ahead. for those of you that don't know, jonas was a foreign exchange intern with campus life this last year and that's how i know him.

jonas and i are really tough in wine cellars. step off.

this was the first stop on our hitch-hiking journey. just a little outside his town. we waited here for a couple hours before getting a ride out to the highway.

we waited at this gas station for maybe 45 minutes before finding a man that was going exactly where we were. he took us.

we spent night time under an awning of this business. we slept well, just like the hobos do.

here we are trying to get home after jonas visited a potential school that he decided against. it was kind of rainy which was unfortunate for us standing where there is no cover.

here jonas is talking to bernard our rather unfortunate friend that forgot to pay for his gas and ended up spending an hour explaining things to the police before we could get back on the road in his slowest-ever van. jonas was explaining him the gospel in this photo.

success! we toast to a completed trip. unfortunately, drinking germans are not very steady camera holders.

i regret that i didn't take more photos of his friends, but this is one of them: sam. he was funny.

i don't really know how to book-end this post. there is really no way that i will have that experience with jonas again. next time i see him he will likely be in school in a different city, will have less free time, will not have all his friends around, etc. i guess i should just be glad for the experience itself instead of continually looking toward the next one. tonight i'm watching football. the usa dissappointed today. just beat ghana. sad. disheartening. thank you ref. thank you landon. A+

Saturday, June 10, 2006

an evening of football

the world cup started yesterday. and seeing as i'm in germany and the cup is also in germany i see little reason why i should not take advantage of this fact and join in the festivities. yesterday a group of us from the hostel i'm at in berlin went down to the Tiergarten park here in berlin where there were multiple big screens (think 30-foot screens) set up for free viewing to the people of berlin. there was an estimated 200,000 people there in the park. it was cahraazee fun.

your looking at the view at the screen in front of us and those behind at the other screens.

and here we are pre-game and mid-match. we were me and another USA girl, one irish guy, an aussie guy, two mexican girls, and two canadian girls.

self absorbed? maybe. but that's a photo i found on the internet of me at the flaming lips concert last week. i'm here in berlin until the 14th and then i'm heading south to stuttgart where my friend jonas is waiting to hang out with me and watch lots of football. as if i haven't watched enough. three games today. basically here's my days in berlin:
get up at 11 or so.
get some pastry from the bakery down the street.
eat that pastry.
watch the first match at 3.
eat a kebap at any one of the million kebap spots.
watch the match at 6 and take a nap.
watch the match at 9.
hang out and maybe get some food.
go to bed.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


i've tried to call you several times with no avail. rest assured, i will make it work. i just don't know when yet. i hope you and the fam are well.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

too much to cover

the last few days have gone by pretty fast, but i'll try to bring you up to speed. i left belgium two days ago, seems like a lot longer than that. but it's not. my time in berlin has been nice so far. last night i had some great indian cuisine, and today i had a couple bratwursts (which were not-surprisingly amazing). here's some photos of the flaming lips concert and my friends Dan and Jane that i met in Gent.

that's all from belgium. on to germany where i found this crazy mural drawn on the side of a building:

i also went to checkpoint charlie today and the museum there. it was very interesting. there are parts of the old wall scattered around berlin. sometimes you just stumble accross them.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

belgium times

so i've been in belgium since monday and i've particularly enjoyed my time in Gent (Ghent). the town is, well it's an overused travel word, but: enchanting. the sleepy medieval atmosphere and the town lore is deeply intrenched on every street. i love walking down the streets and hanging out in the plazas. today i did almost nothing with a couple friends i've made, but we had a great day. here's some photos of the city:

the last photo there is foreshadowing of the show tonight. in about two hours it starts. so so so so so so excited and i can't wait to see the Flips again. long live the midwest! i'm off to berlin tomorrow. the world cup waits in silent anticipation.