30.5.08

Sad Day - Happy Day

So last night a few of us said goodbye for good. It was sad. We went to a really nice Italian place that specialized in pizzas (*drools* really good pizzas) and for some people it was their last day. Claire started crying, which of course then got me crying. Luckily I have some time today, so I'm packing super fast (I can always repack when I get to Kat's if it's too hurried), going shopping for two hours or so in AlexanderPlatz, and then I leave for Bamberg. I've made such good friends here and it's been such a beautiful experience. Since I come back in August and Shigeyoshi has his own flat in Berlin and most everyone is fairly close to Berlin, we're thinking of already having a reunion party in August. haha. Shigeyoshi's wife will be over then, too, and also studying at Goethe! That would be awesome to meet her. They were just married in February. Aw, how cute, newly weds. hahaha.

Ok, but I must get to packing! *sigh* and buying a nice gift for my great hosts.

29.5.08

No pictures this time, sorry...

I just wanted to quickly update people on my last week of Germany before my last class today. *sob* It's over! I don't want to leave! I've had so much fun here and enjoyed every minute of it (ok, except all the poor traveling experiences). Though I am extremely excited to see my Denise and Melissa and Katharina and Hannes!

I leave Friday night from the Berliner Hauptbahnhof at 6:58pm to head to Bamberg, where I will drop off all my large luggage with Kat and spend the night. Saturday I take a 5 hour train at 10:25am to Frankfurt Main Hauptbahnhof, where I must transfer to an hour bus to get to Frankfurt Hahn Airport. My plane leaves for London at 6:10pm and I arrive in London an hour and 20 minutes later at 6:30pm London time at Stansted Airport. From there, Denise and Melissa cannot pick me up, so I must take ANOTHER bus to Baker St, where they will be waiting for me. Yay! Luckily everyone speaks ENGLISH in England, so I think figuring out the transportation systems will be much less stressful, though. haha.

Then Tuesday (I hope I have the right day, Denise), Denise and I go to Cork, Ireland and see Blarney Castle! woop! Wednesday we head back to Germany for a visit with Kat. We arrive at Bamberg Hauptbahnhof at 2:30am. lol. Then I stay with Kat and her lovely family until June 17th when I'm traveling back to Berlin to catch my plane to ISRAEL!!!!!!!! I'm stoked for Israel.

Though, I think one of my weekend travel plans with a few of the other supervisors has been ruined. I was asking Eran for good places to go and see for brief weekend excursions and I told him a few of us were thinking of going to Ashqelon. He looked at me and said, "Why would you go there?!?!" "Um...they have a good beach?" "They're BOMBING Ashqelon right now!" "Well then, I'm not going to Ashqelon." That really sucks because Ashqelon has some absolutely AMAZING archaeological discoveries that I really hope aren't getting destroyed. But when I checked news on it, it looks like this has been going on for a few months...wait...maybe years. Hmm...I'll have to send out an email to my fellow supervisors about it.

But now I'm running myself a bit late and need to get moving to class. I still have to take a shower and get the last of my laundry in. Or maybe I'll wait until after London to wash all that. Hmm. Ok, once I get settled in in London, I'll have more updates on pictures, etc.

Love you all! Oh, and happy belated Memorial Day! I heard it was a delicious tasty time in Green Lane! Mmmmm....I miss our food already. Yesterday I really wanted Jack Daniels Spicy Chicken from TGI's. lol. Nothing has an extreme amount of flavor here. But we'll see about the real homecooked stuff when I get to Kat's!

26.5.08

Finally! Photos!

Ok, so I can finally put up photos from Germany! Yay! Only a few because I'd like to try to get to bed early tonight. I went to a delicious Vietnamese restaurant with Tanya (Russian) before going to the play with her. It was a good play, though I'm glad I read the plot line before I saw it, or else I think I would have been a little lost and would have completely missed the point of it. haha. But I understood a good amount of the German, which made me happy! Yay! Ok, so, I go to the photos now...

Ok, so the first pictures of Germany I have are of Potsdamer Platz, the "New Middle" of Berlin. So named because it was utterly destroyed in WWII and during the Soviet rule and the entire East side (I'm pretty sure it's the east side) was flattened and rebuilt by the Italian architect Piano.

Yay! Potsdamer UBahn Station!

Some of Piano's work. It's pretty crazy looking. Super thin!

More skyscrapers. In German, the word is "high house" for just a super tall building and "cloud scratcher" for skyscrapers. I was super excited to learn that. lol.

There is still a large section of the Berliner Mauer... haha, hey! It's Francesco! The guy in the black shirt...he's from southern Italy but lives in Roma! Super cool.

This is super awesome. All my archy buddies should be able to guess what this is...or people who've watched "The Mummy" a million times and picked up this bit of trivial information. This is a mirror. It reflects the light into the UBahn Station so they don't need to use lights all the time. Except it doesn't really work...lol. So they have to use lights anyway.

Potsdamer was built on the river. Literally. There are bits of the river all around. It was so cool.

See? Pretty...

Aw, Carles and Tanya!

A Lego giraffe?!?! Yes.... oh! And Michele! He's saying, Hello giraffe.

The Hoppel in Potsdamer! Hoppel is just a dome. It's super pretty and lights up at night, blue and pink.

See? Super pretty.

We ate dinner there too! Yum yum...but expensive...

Aw, most of the group. kk, from left to right: Saulo (Brazil), Claire (France), ME, Nicola (behind me...northern Italy), Bahaous (in front of me...Algeria), Michele (Italy), Carles (Barcelona), and Tanya (Russia).

And this is the Sony Center(way in the back with the weird bridge looking thing...), the best place for movie-going in Berlin.

Well, that's all I'm putting up for now. It's getting late and I wanted to get to bed early tonight. Already broke that. Oh wells. *sigh* ok, sleepy byes...

Problem Solved...

Well, I at least was able to fix my train tickets. Unfortunately I could not fix Denise and Melissa's since we bought our tickets online with credit cards. Sorry, Denise and Melissa. :(

Also most inconvenient was that since I bought the cheap fare, I couldn't exchange my tickets and so now I have two train tickets for each ride. *fumes* And I can't sell the tickets because I bought them online with a credit card. darn. From now on I buy my tickets directly from the Hauptbahnhof and never online again! It's much easier to get what you want directly from people because you can explain it to them. So, all in all, I've had to spend a large amount of money that I didn't want to spend in the first place. *sigh*

But this weekend was nice. Friday evening my class and others from Goethe went to a Tanzkurs (dance course) at this Bier Garten/Ballroom place. I learned how to waltz! It was super fun, but we waited over an hour for food and drinks afterwards, which was not fun. No one wanted to leave a tip except Tanya and myself because it wasn't the waiter's fault, really. In Germany, tip isn't really mandatory, usually you just round up the bill for a tip if everything was pretty good. After that we went to a little concert with a modern Balkan band who was exceptional fun to see and their music was awesome.

Saturday morning a bunch of us went to the zoo! Weeee!!! That was fun! After the zoo we had a party at Shigeyoshi's flat all the way in West Berlin (I live much closer to East Berlin). A bunch of us met at Goethe Institut to go together, and that's a little east of the city center. It took us about 40 minutes by train to get to Shigeyoshi's flat. lol. We left super late (and luckily I can get back to my place with just the SBahn [street train] and don't need the UBahn [subway..."under" train]...SBahn runs almost all night on weekends, while the UBahn stops I think around 1am). And the trains run much less often on weekends. I had to wait for 10 minutes at the first SBahn, and 8 minutes when I switched. Ugh, I wish they ran a little more often. Oh wells. So I didn't get back until like almost 3am.

People wanted to go to the Flomarkt yesterday, but I just slept. lol. Then I went to the Hauptbahnhof to get my tickets fixed and checked my various emails (because the information desk couldn't find my tickets, so I went to make sure I had the correct order numbers...I just went to the ticket counter then instead...) and I saw that Heather, my sweet lovely roommate, had invited me to dinner with her and a few other people from the May Term, including Dr. Cagle! I was enthralled, but I noticed I had an hour to fix my tickets and get there in time to meet them! It's about 20 minutes from the Hauptbahnhof to my stop, and they were two stops further. So I RAN to the ticket counter, got my tickets fixed in no time flat, and strolled along to meet up for dinner.

We ate at this super awesome Kurdish place. I must go again. It was absolutely delicious. Next time I'm going to get the hummus! yummmm. And speaking of Middle Eastern cuisine, the Israeli in my class Eran has three restaurants in Tel Aviv, and I told him he has to tell me where they're at so I can go with a couple people from the dig and see just how delicious his restaurants are. haha. He was very excited to hear I'd be in his lovely country for almost 6 weeks and is only too happy to have me in one of his restaurants! Yay!

Also, Soeren talked to me Friday morning and said that if I'd like to, he and Suzanne would love to have me stay with them again when I come back in August! I was only too thrilled! So today I'm going to talk to the people who take care of the roomings and let them know. It's the perfect location because it's fairly centrally located and it's quite peaceful in this area with still lots of stuff to do.

Oh crap, I have to leave now for class. Tonight I'm going to the theatre with Tanya to see "The Good Person of Sezuan." I expect it to be very good!

Ok, sorry, still no pictures...soon, I promise!

23.5.08

Travel Aggravations...

Ugh, I forgot how aggravating traveling is. Buying all my train/plane tickets for London and back to Bamberg is HELL! And I think I messed up, so I'm going to the Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station) to get the time changed on my ticket so I get to Kat's Friday night instead of Saturday morning...that's much less stressful and I'll have more time to relax. Kat is really such a sweetheart. I bought my tickets to London from Frankfurt because RyanAir only flies from there or Berlin (damn, I should have gotten the tickets from Berlin instead, stupid...I know the airport here...) and not Nuremberg (which is closest to Kat's).

So I'm taking the train (hopefully on Friday night) to Bamberg to drop off my big luggage with Kat until I come back. Then Saturday around noon I take the train to Frankfurt Main, then another to Frankfurt Hahn (the tiny airport an hour outside the city of Frankfurt). From there I leave around dinner time to go to London and arrive an hour later (but according to local times, only 30 minutes later! haha). Oh, Denise, that means I arrive at Stansted at 18:40. Just so you know. Then I spend a few lovely days with my Denise and Melissa around London with a day stop in Cork, Ireland (we're going to see the Blarney Stone!). Then we fly back to Frankfurt on June 4th and I stay with Kat until June 17th, when I have to take another train to Berlin to fly out to Israel! Yay! And I do believe it's a direct flight, so no hassle for that! *sigh*

And I'm going to ask Eran (the Israeli in my class) where his restaurants in Tel Aviv are and stop by and see him! That would be super! He has three restaurants and I'd very much like to see what they're like! He's here in Germany to open another restaurant in Berlin, and I think he may have a few others around the world! Sheesh! haha.

So, for everyone, those are my severely complicated travel plans for the next 2.5 weeks! haha. *dies*

22.5.08

Alright...

Sweet. I was a little worried this morning when I tried to get online and couldn't. I was getting really frustrated and even called Eric, but to no avail. And so I took my lappy to Goethe Institut (aw, I miss the German key boards...I can't do umlauts anymore...) and hooked right up to the internet instantly! I was bugging out: WHY CAN'T I CONNECT AT HOME?!?! So I put off dinner to book my plane and train tickets to London and back (also very frustrating) with this nagging in the back of my head because my laundry had been sitting in the washer since I left at 12. I grab a box of chinese noodles for dinner, head off to the UBahn, get back, pull out my laundry, and Soeren came back at about the same time. I had seen him at Goethe (because he works there) and asked him about the internet troubles and he said he'd give it a look and check it out when he got back. So, I signed on and here I had the password wrong. lol. duh.

So it's all awesomely better now and I'll get to putting up pictures as soon as I get my computer set back up to my personal settings...it's bothering me so much that nothing's how I used to have it! Gah! My color schemes are gone! hahaha.

Ok, so pictures coming soon! Sorry to keep everyone waiting...

21.5.08

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!

I am writing to you all right now from my completely fixed computer!!!!!!!! Ugh, I'm soooo happy, and he was able to save all my pictures and music and everything! And I keep typing like I'm using a German keyboard. SO this means that very soon I can put up new pictures! Woop woop! *sigh* I'm so relieved. And he was so nice and it seemed like it didn't really take him that long. He didn't even ask for money, I offered and all he wanted was 20euro. I felt bad only giving him that much but he said, "Du bist Studentin..." (for my non-German peoples, "You are a student.") so that was very nice of him. *sigh*

So now I go must adjust my computer settings back to how they originally were, to my own personal tastes. haha. This also means that pictures will be up soon! But now I must start from the beginning! Ugh.

20.5.08

*Crosses Fingers*

So hopefully this guy here can fix my lappy. I dropped it off at 11am and he told me to come back at my break for class, which is at 5ish. For some reason that doesn't seem like a long enough time...but who knows. Oh, I forgot to ask him how much he wanted me to pay...I'll ask him when I come back to see what happened.

This computer trouble has really exhausted me. I'm already tired from all the things I've been doing with my new friends here, and then that on top of it with the stress of not having my computer and worrying if it'll be ok for the rest of my busy travels just has me exhausted.

Well, anyway. Last night I went out to eat with one of the girls from a much more advanced class who's actually younger than me (difficult to find...I'm the youngest in my class). Her name is Leah (I think I spelled it right...) and she's from Denmark. She knows German soooo well. But we ate a pretty nice pizzaria type place and talked and talked for hours. Before we knew it, it was 10pm and I had to get home and try to work on my laptop and try to get an early bedtime. TRY being the key word. haha. I went to bed around 11:30 and got up at 8:30 to work some more on my lappy. *sigh* I want to just SLEEP LATE one day, really.

But this weekend we're hoping to have a party at one of our classmate's appartments (he's living here in Berlin because he just got a job here). His name is Shigiyoshi and he's from Japan. It's our last full weekend and we want to celebrate! The Italian Michele (pronounced Mi-kay-la..."michael" in English) wants us all to go to the beach on Sunday morning to play volleyball (it's been soooooo cooooold here this week) and then play soccer in the afternoon. HA.

In 10 days I leave for London, though I still have to buy my plan tickets. I don't want to do that on a public computer, but it's looking like I might have to...grr. But, yay! I get to see my Denise and Melissa sooooon!!!!! That makes me very excited. And hopefully another day this week I'm going to the disco with my May Term peoples from good ol' Lyco. That would be nice.

Ok, well, lots of people are lining up to use computers and I've been here for a good long time, so I'm going to let other people on. More updates SOON!

18.5.08

Sachsenhausen

Today I went to a Flohmarkt with some people! It's exactly like a Flee Market. haha. But I was able to find some nice (kinda cheep?) souvenirs. We ate lunch at Prater Bier Garten (I love that place...it's so nice...) and then half of us headed off to see Sachsenhausen, one of the concentration camps from WWII and later used by the Soviets for political prisoners. It started as a political prison right before and at the start of WWII, but then when the focus was shifted more towards the Jews, it became the stop right before Auschwitz, though Sachsenhausen had it's own fair share of torture and murder (medical experiments on the ill, terrorizing psychological and physical punishments for just washing one's feet, firing sqads, gas chambers, crematoriums); it just wasn't as enormous as Auschwitz. The Soviets even reused the crematoriums when they took over. There was a mass grave, too. It was the perfect day for it, too: dark, chilly, cloudy, on the brink of rain all day. Very sad, very depressing. But very interesting. It was very strange, it felt so so personal even though I know no one connected with any of it. I discussed this with my friends and we came to the conclusion that it's just because it's just such a raw, strong, deep, dark human emotion: hatred and murder, and the fact that we as humans can be manipulated into doing just horrible and tragic things, or are even able to manipulate other people into doing them. It was a lot to take in and I found myself just skipping over huge chunks of the mini museums because it was so much.

But afterwards we decided to lighten things up and Carles (Spanish...Barcelona), Tanya (Ukraine), and I decided to eat out Asian cuisine and afterwards had some delicious coffee at a lovely cafe. Tanya and I shared a piece of "New York Cheese Cake". It wasn't New York Cheese Cake. haha. It was a thick layer of thick lemon cream on top of a thin layer of "cheese cake" on a chocolate crust. haha. It was very delicious! But not New York Cheese Cake. And now I'm here at the internet cafe. *sigh*

Tomorrow I give my computer to the Goethe Institut guy and if for some reason he can't, I now have a back up plan! Dear sweet Toni (Lyco's good ol' German TA from last year) has given me advice to check out a good place nearby in Berlin! Yay! haha, thank you, Toni!

Tomorrow, bright and early, I'm going to see the Reichstag! That's the German Parliament building! I think that's the one that has the huge glass dome...I might be thinking of the Rathaus though. haha, which is also super funny. It's Rat-house. Politicians are rats...lol.

Ok, well, my hour is drawing near, and I must pay my €1! Tschüss!!!!

17.5.08

Update

Things are going well. I may have found someone who can fix my computer at the Goethe Institut. Well, actually, Sören knows him and called him for me. I was supposed to give it to him on Friday, but someone else from my class thought they could fix it, but it ended up not working, and by that time, the computer guy went home for the weekend. booo. So I'm going first thing on Monday super early!!! :) AND until it is fixed, I found a super cheap internet cafe right around the corner from where I live! Only when I'm desperate for internet. Otherwise it's the free stuff at the Goethe Institut. haha.

Today we went to see one of the palaces at Postdam! It was super nice. It almost rained, but was just super nice all day long.

Tomorrow I go to (one of the many) Flomärkt in Berlin with some people in the morning and then off to see a consentration camp in the afternoon. It's supposed to rain again, so it'll be a good mood setter. haha. Oy.

Ok, clock's ticking, time to pay for my services. OH! But first.

Happy Graduation to Grammom!
Happy Birthday to Eric!
Hope the pipe band extravaganza this weekend was super awesome!

Ok, so now, as they say auf Deutsch: Bis Später!

14.5.08

Computer Troubles Abroad

So indeed, something happened to my computer that has destroyed my ability to use internet, music, and a few other basic functions. This means no pictures until I get my computer fixed (where yet, I'm not sure...I have a 10 page list of places I could take it...) and view posts. Darn.

Stuart's visit to Berlin was quite nice. We had an enjoyable time walking around and Stuart found Berlin to be even more enjoyable than Madrid, which made me quite happy, because I didn't very much care for Madrid. There is a Stanley Kubrick film festival in Berlin this month and he's one of Stuart's favorite directors,screen writers of all time, so we went last night to see them play 2001: A Space Odysee at the Kino Babylon! It was really nice. And it was in English! haha.

Man the keyboards are different here and the "z" and "y" are switched. haha. But I already knew this from using Kat's keyboard before...haha.

I realized something a little sad last night. At the end of this week, I only have two weeks left of classes here. I've only known these other students for barely two weeks and we're all so close already and are thoroughly enjoying each other's company. But we've all exchanged emails and everything, so I hope we all stay in contact.

But now it's almost time for class and I must go!!!!!! More updates to come, but slowly and they shall be boring...

10.5.08

Grrr...viruses....

So yes, I am fairly certain that I have a virus. My dear brother has been kind enough to send me some information on how to get rid of it and we'll see what happens....ugh. So, limited onlineness for Alli. Anywho, I pick up Stuart from the airport in....3 hours. I may take a nap before then, I'm awfully tired. So yes, I went to the Bodes Museum today. It has sculpture from "late antiquity"...well, that's what they said but everything was from the Middle Ages to the end of the Renaissance. Or at least everything that I saw. Then the French girl Claire and I met up with the Brazilian Saulo to go see Check Point Charlie. It was very sad in the museum. The actual site is totally a tourist attraction. They have the checkpoint still set up and have two guys dressed up as a US Soldier and a Soviet Soldier standing there, and you could get your picture taken with them for 1euro. I just took a picture of them. So, I'll have a few pictures of that too. Now, I DEFINITELY want to finish putting up Madrid...I'm so behind!!! Aaaahh!!

So, I left off with the picture of the Mader Faher jazz bar that we didn't get into because it was closed. But right next door was a Doner Kabab place and I hadn't had one yet, so we ate. Mmm...I was hungry! And it was delicious!
This is the kebab...
And this is me severely enjoying the cheap deliciousness that is a doner kebab...
And Stuart also enjoying the deliciousness...

Then when we went back to our hostel, we saw these awesome awesome street performers, but they weren't really street performers because they were trying to sell their CD. I hope the video comes up for everyone:

video


Alright, another day down...two more to go. *phew* Ok...

Ok, then we went to the Reina Sofia to see some Picasso, Miro, and Dhali. Very nice. And it was free!!! woot!It's little plaza...


Then we went to Retiro Park! It's so so so so pretty....and LARGE!
Then there was the Crystal Palace. It was very pretty, just like a giant greenhouse. Inside was some sculpture, but it was really weird. But it was still a pretty building to look at across the little duck pond.Then there was the artificial lake and you could ride boats. We were going to do it until we saw the gigantic line...But in front of the lake was a plaza where apparently everyone goes to on Sundays (we were there are Saturday and there were still a TON of people). It's really super cool. People bring a few beers, there are a bunch of drum players, and people dance. I show you:
video
Super awesome. haha.Here we are sitting in a really pretty area and laid in the grass. Haha, Stuart never makes a good picture-taking face. It's so peaceful and pretty in there. And then we heard some really really pretty music coming from somewhere and it just cut through all the sound. I videoed it, here!
video
Pretty.

Then I was supposed to leave, but missed my check in, blah blah blah, that whole hellish story. So Stuart and I decided to go to a part of Madrid that he'd never seen to waste some time until my flight and get some food. We stumbled across a Football/Golf Range park. It was nice and people were walking/jogging/running. Then - oho, then! - we saw this super awesome awesome thing. An adult workout park. We need to get some of these in the US, I swear. More people would be willing to work out. It looks like it's just another children's playground, until I noticed that there were older people, particularly business people in their suites with sneakers, "playing" on it! Then I realize, OMG! THEY'RE WORKING OUT ON THEIR LUNCH BREAKS! It was so funny. So I have a video of that, too...

video
Super awesome.

Then I had my super long wait at the airport. I was sitting at a random empty terminal when I noticed something that one cannot notice in the city. Madrid is in the middle of NOWHERE and it looks like a desert! Oh my goshness, so I took a picture of the surrounding area of the airport:
Crazy. So, that brings me to the end of my adventures in Spain! In a few hours I pick up the Staurt from the airport here in Berlin. I'm not sure how much he'll like it because he thoroughly enjoyed Madrid and its craziness (which is strange for him) and Berlin is so so calm. I mean, there is definitely more activity today, being Saturday. But it's still very relaxed and people don't have any problem taking their good ol' time getting anywhere.

But I'm off to take a quick snoozer before going to pick up Stuart at 10pm. Then I can start on my Berlin pictures! Yay!!!!

9.5.08

Hopefully the last of Spain?

Ok, so, I'm hoping that I can get the last of the pictures of Spain up here. Note that these are definitely not all of my pictures. It takes way too long for pictures to upload onto the site, so it's the most important ones and the most fascinating ones.

Last night I went out with a bunch of people from my class on a walking tour of Potdamer Platz. This is a part of a square in Berlin that had been completely demolished in WWII and rebuilt by an architect named Piano. I forget his first name, but he's Italian. Julia? Do you know his full name? He designed most of the new buildings for the Platz. Then the Berlin Wall went directly through its middle. After the tour, almost my entire class went out for dinner and we all had a very good time. We all exchanged phone numbers and emails. :D So I am making lots of friends, don't worry! All of us are here by ourselves, so everyone wants to make new friends!

Tonight I met up with the Lycoming Berlin May Term people! Yay! They arrived yesterday. We went out to Porter Bier Garten for our Stammtisch! For those of you who don't know, a Stammtisch is a table (tisch) that is always the same one (Stamm) at a specific bar or something. So, our good ol' Lyco Stammtisch group went to this amazing Bier Garten (Beer garden) that was priced nicely within everyone's budgets and still quite delicious. I had a Rostbrotwurst (roasted brotwurst) and a nice tasty black beer (schwartzbier) and a Gurke (pickle)! Quite nice. Dr. Cagle and Heather and Kristina Altoff were there along with a few other acquaintances I know. So not only am I making good friends in my class, I now have some good ol' Lyco buddies to catch up with if I'm feeling ultra lonely.

But tomorrow my class made plans to go on Goethe Institut's Bode-Museum tour. Bode-Museum is an art museum in the Berlin museuminsel (museum island). It is quite literally an island full of museums. During the end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th century, the Kaiser of Germany wanted to make Germany "the new Rome", so he had a bunch of museums built on a large island in the middle of the river through Berlin and brought in tons of artworks and artifacts from all over the world, and especially the Middle East and Greece. After this Goethe Institut has another tour set up, but the Brazilian (Saulo) wanted to take us all to see Check Point Charlie at the Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall), so we're going out for lunch and heading out there.

After that, I'm going to meet my Stuart at the airport! Yay! He's coming to visit until Monday, well...his plane leaves Tuesday morning. Then hopefully soon I'm going to a Russendisko (Russian discotheque/dance club) with the Berlin May Term!

Ok, well, that was a long update, so I'm only going to add a few pictures. I have to get up sort of early for the museum tour tomorrow, so I want to get to bed at a reasonable time (before 12:30? haha). Ok, just a few pictures. So, I had just gotten to the Temple of Debod in Madrid!

The lovely view from the Temple. That in the background is the Royal Theatre and the Palace!

And we could see this awesome looking amusement park! We didn't go to it, though...

I don't thinks this was a street performer, but it was still cool. I think there was a professional photographer there taking the picture. It was super funny. He stood stone still (haha, nifty alliteration) in that pose for a good long time with all kinds of people walking past and looking and taking pictures. Including myself and Stuart. haha.


Then we noticed a HUGE crowd of people just flooding the streets so that cars couldn't get through. So we decided to follow them to see what was up.

Like I said before, it was Madrid's 200 anniversary. There was some kind of celebration in the middle of the city. We didn't stay for the event because we had planned to meet his friend Markus at this club:Yes, the name is exactly what you think it is. But according to Stuart it's a really hip jazz club. Unfortunately, the plans got mixed up and Markus didn't realize we actually were going to meet. Oh wells.

But now it's getting late and I think I accidentally might've got a virus, so I'm going to reset everything on my computer now before I go to bed. Ok, goodnight!

7.5.08

Seriously, pictures this time...

Alright alright alright. Here are the pictures I've promised everyone.

So, here are some pictures of our hostel. We stayed at Hostel Bahia Madrid.

The sign for the hostel was attached to our pattio...

Tiny but cosy and just right. We had a private bathroom!

Our little patio. We were right in Sol, which is the most happenin' part of Madrid...or at least that's what I got from it. Lots of shops and bars and clubs and shops and bars and shops. Did I mention shops? I didn't buy anything but I was very tempted to at some points...

My first coffee in Europe. It was a cute little place. Darn, I didn't take a picture of our breakfast. Churros and chocolate. It's quite a popular favorite of the Madridians. It's not what you're thinking, Denise! Wait...you probably know because you were also in Madrid...anyways. The churros aren't covered in cinnamon. But they are deep fried and you are given a cup of very very thick and rich hot chocolate. You dip the churros and when they're all gone, you're supposed to drink the chocolate. Too much for me, especially since I also had very delicious and strong Spanish coffee.

Ah, my first street performers. They are literally on every street corner and in every metro station. And then they come right up to your table and stick out a little coin purse. Stuart explained that there are a severe lack of jobs in Madrid and many people take to the streets performing whatever they can think of. I have a few more pictures of street performers...


Then Stuart wanted to show me Plaza Mayor. Umm...I don't really know much about it, sooo...click here for a link to it's Wiki page if anyone is interested! Haha. But what I do know is that it reminded me a lot of Venice's San Marco Square (Gmom, Eric, Julia...tehe).

See???

And pretty artwork on this building...


Ok, and here we have typical TAPAS! When one goes to a bar or even an outside cafe and orders a drink, the waiter then usually brings tapas. Pretty much it's finger foods for while you're drinking. And your group gets one plate or every round of drinks. If there are only two of you, awesome, if not, then you won't get much unless you order more. Now, traditionally, if the tapas are brought out automatically, they're FREE! If you ask for tapas, then you have to pay for them. Stuart and I went to a couple bars with very little luck for tapas. We only got them from 2 out of 4 and the one place only gave us a crappy plate of chips. But the other place we went to gave us sliced meat on delicious fresh bread and then cheese and olives on bread. mmm....delicious. But at the place where we only received chips, I worked up my guts (mainly because I was getting hungry) and ordered an anchovy sandwich. And anchovy sandwich. I'll say it again: an anchovy sandwich. It was delicious. No lie. I have fallen for anchovies. haha.


Ok, this isn't really anything special. We were on our way to the palace when I saw this. I guess they're working on facing the building, so to hide anything "unsightly" they put up a "painting" of what the finished product would like like. haha. I just found it amusing.

A pretty church I saw along the way to the palace...

The Royal Theatre in front of the Royal Palace and then the Royal Palace! The king doesn't live in the palace anymore...but it is know for being one of the largest palaces in Europe, larger even than Versailles in Paris!


The Royal Gardins...some kids were playing in it...


See, what'd I tell ya? They're everywhere! The first pictures is a guy who was pretending to be a statue (like what we saw in Italy again!) and then he started doing Charlie Chaplin moves. Haha. It was cute. And then the second picture is a girl dressed like a fairy statue. The third was two guys and I'm not sure what they were trying to do, but they were dressed up like wrestlers. We sat down to watch but it was too slow and they weren't really doing anything, so we just left.



Woop woop! Then some archaeology! We went to see the Temple of Debod, an Egyptian temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, taken stone by stone and rebuilt in Madrid.See? Very pretty...
And there was an Amber dog swimming in the pool! Just like Amber! Aw, I miss my puppy.

Uh, ok, well...this takes me half way through the pictures of day two. Oh my gosh. And it's getting awfully close to midnight, so I think I'm going to stop there and maybe post more tomorrow. I'm going to go to bed. I think I'm going to try to make it to a little walking tour tomorrow morning with the Goethe Institut. Oh, and I finally got to go to the grocery store today! Kaiser's Supermarkt! haha. I actually bought a fair amount of food and lots of fruits for only 38euro. I was happy. I was afraid I'd spend more. eek! haha.

Ok, bedtime....