Very excited! Out of 16,000 entries, this photo was selected to be a finalist in Photographer’s Forum - The Best of College & High School Photography 2013!!
Studio Portrait of My Beautiful Sister!
Farmer’s Market Saturdays!
Thursday, May 24th
Mannheim and Heidelberg, Germany
Today was the. best. day. EVER! We started out at the Mercedes Benz production plant. It was awesome to get to see how the coach buses were made! Unlike the steel factory, I actually enjoyed the Mercedes production plant. It was interesting to see how people worked. One of the funniest things I saw were bikes that workers could take from one side of the plant to the other. I though it was a really efficient way to get around the plant because it would save lots of time.
This is when the day gets great. After coming back from Mannheim we were given the rest of the day to explore Heidelberg. We decided to go to the top of the mountain and get a great view of the city. For only 10 euro we got to take a tram up to the top of the mountain. My ears popped a lot and the tram was extremely slow, but after getting to the top and seeing that amazing view the 10 euro was totally worth it.
From the top of the mountain you could see basically everything from miles around. We took a few photos and then went hiking around the area.
(Look at the castle and bridge in the background!)
Jake, Taylor, Craig and I standing by the Neckar River.
Later that night we went to an authentic German restaurant and had a delicious meal. I do have to say, when it comes to food Germany has a lot tastier food than the US.
After dinner a few friends and I went down to a park that looked over the Neckar River. It was honestly the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen. We stayed there for hours talking and watching the night sky, lights and boats pass by.
If I had to pick one place in the world to live it would be Heidelberg. This city is magical. The cobblestone streets, unique stores, friendliness of locals and fantastic scenery is breathtaking.
Again, today was probably one of the top ten days of my life. Heidelberg is outstanding.
I’ll post the rest tomorrow! I’m super busy and don’t want to be spending a bunch of time on my computer! Bye :)
Miss you lots family and Andy! xoxo
Wednesday, May 23rd
This morning we went to the Heidelberg Castle. It was BEAUTIFUL. This castle is located along the Neckar Valley and was originally build in 1300. It was so cool to have the opportunity to walk around and see how the kings, queens and villagers lived. Although the castle was damaged from wars, it still gave off a magical feel. My favorite part was when we got to walk through the castle’s gardens and get an remarkable view of Heidelberg.
Me overlooking the city of Heidelberg.
The group in the castle.
Inside the castle.
After the castle we did a little more exploring. It started to downpour at one point of the day and we forgot to bring our umbrellas. Nonetheless, we ended up in a shoe store to do a little shopping J.
After the rain, we meet up wit the group for a dinner at an authentic German restaurant. The food was served on big platters and you could pick and choose which dishes you wanted. Of course, I got a bratwurst with lots of delicious sauerkraut and a big boot of beer. (Andy, you would have loved this meal!!).
Thursday, May 22nd
Hey guys! Sorry I haven’t posted for a while… I’ve been so busy!
We started off our Thursday by traveling to Strasbourg, France. When we arrived, we headed over to the Council of Europe. For a little background information, the council was “founded in 1949 to help develop common and democratic principles based on the European Convention on Human Rights regarding the protection of individuals.” It was interesting to learn the differences between the Council of Europe and the European Union’s roles. Although the two are often considered the same, they are actually every different groups that do many different things. For instance, the European Union deals with standard of living issues, and money and power while the COE deals with quality of life issues such as freedom of speech, acceptance of homosexuality, equal and fair voting rights, and safety of medicines.
Photo above: Inside the Council of Europe
After our presentation and tour at the Council of Europe, the group wandered over to the Strasbourg Cathedral to check out some beautiful architecture. A handful of us went up to the top of the tower in the cathedral. From up above the city was gorgeous. You could see everything and the breeze felt amazing after climbing up 328 stairs to the top (and back down again).
Photo above: The city of Strasbourg from the top of the cathedral.
Candles inside the cathedral.
Fun fact: The Strasbourg Cathedral remained the tallest church in the world until 1880.
After checking out the cathedral, a few of us split up from the group to do a little shopping. Strasbourg is an AMAZING city.
Later that night the entire group went out for a night of fun back in Heidelberg.
Monday, May 21st
Today was a travel day. Our coach bus came to pick us up for hour seven hour venture to Heidelberg, Germany. The plan was to stop in Köln (Cologne), which was about half way between Osnabruck and our ending location, Heidelberg. Köln was beautiful. We stopped at the cathedral in the town and got the opportunity to walk through it. The music from the organ echoed off the high-arched ceilings and gorgeous stained glass windows. The sound was so powerful I got the goose bumps; it was like you could feel it in your heart.
Photo above: Taylor and I outside the cathedral in Koln (Cologne).
After that, the girls and I walked down the main street and did a little shopping and ate at a cute Italian restaurant. It was nice to get a feel for the city.
After spending approximately four hours in Köln, the group jumped back on the bus and continued our voyage to Heidelberg. We traveled through picturesque country sides with rolling hills and patches of crops whose hues ranged from forest green to pale yellow. I felt like I could stare out the window the whole day; the scenery felt like a description from a childhood storybook.
Photo above: This was taken on the bus so there is a weird glare from the window.
Photo above: This photo isn’t that great of quality :(, but I wanted to show all of you the view from the bus.
As I’m writing this entry, we are still on our bus to Heidelberg. We’ve got about two hours left and it is 18:58 (6:58 p.m.) here in Germany. I’ll fill you all in with the rest tomorrow.
Sunday, May 20th
Today we took a day trip to Hamburg (pronounced: hAHm-bog). The weather was beautiful and I finally got the opportunity to wear one of my new dresses :).If you haven’t heard already, Hamburg is on of the major port cities in Germany.
Photo above: The train station in Hamburg
When we arrived in the city our professor bought all of us tickets for a bus and boat tour around the city. Luckily, most of the tour was in English. (We American’s kind of expect everything to be in English when we leave our country. It won’t always be.) There was 27 popular/historic stops on the tour that were explain over the duration of two hours. After walking all week, it was nice to be able to sit and listen, rather that running around the city trying to see it all by foot. After the bus section of the tour, we hopped onto a tour boat and went around the port. I’m going to make this post shot because I don’t have Internet connection.
Photo above: Tyra and I on the boat cruise
The next post will be more detailed! :) Goodnight to me, good morning to you!
Saturday, May 19th
After being up until 2:30 a.m. last night, the crew still woke up bright and early, excited to eat our delicious breakfast at the hotel. Once again, I got an omelet, mouth-watering European bread and brie cheese. After breakfast we hopped on the train to our first stop of the day, Cloppenburg. Our professor found out that you can buy a weekend train ticket and go basically anywhere in Germany for a set price. The train ride to Cloppenburg was about thirty minutes and a took a little cat nap on the ride there. When we arrived in Cloppenburg we went to the ‘famous’ Open Air Museum, which is basically an area with many historical structures around Germany. Ironically enough, there was also a market going on the same day we were there. This gave us the opportunity to do a little shopping, food sampling and sightseeing.
Photo above: Me in front of the famous windmill :)
Photo above: My new leather purse!
After the museum, we hopped on the train to Bremen. The ride was about an hour and a half, but it was so worth the time. As I looked out my window of the train I, again, realized how important agriculture was to the area. We passed areas of beautifully kept crops, farms with cows and lambs, and houses with the classic wooden fences. We also passed by residential areas and cities. After finally arriving to the Bremen, Professor Kosvik gave us a little tour around the city. In my opinion, Bremen is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. Although it is extremely crowded, the architecture of the buildings, the cobblestone pathways and the attention to detail is absolutely breathtaking.
Photo above: City center in Bremen
To make a long story short, today was amazing. The company of great friends was wonderful and the beauty of the city made the time even better. I had such a wonderful time with the friends I’ve made on this trip already. I can’t wait for Hamburg tomorrow!
Friday, May 18th
Today Taylor and I woke up and went down to breakfast. Hands down, it was the best breakfast I’ve ever had in my entire life. I *accidently* ate like a cow. I couldn’t help myself! Everything was so tasty. I got an omelet, delicious bread with brie cheese, homemade fruit juice and lots more.
The bread is DELICIOUS. I would be huge if I lived here.
After that, we met up with the rest of the class and took a bus to a steel factory in the city. [Germany ranks high in the steel industry.] It was awesome to see how the steel is formed and heated. I was mesmerized by the amount of flames and sparks that were flying around the factory. The tour was SUPER long and not really my thing, but it was still nice to see!
My class at the steel factory. (I’m in the front row on the bottom left).
After the tour we went to Fachhochschule Osnabruck, which is the University of Applied Sciences in the city. We started off with a very tasty meal and a cup of white asparagus soup! After lunch we listened to a lecture about the European Union and how it became what it is today.
The class outside the university.
The food we ate at the university. :)
After that we went back to the festival and did a little shopping and eating.
Me and my bratwurst!
Tonight a few of the German students from the university are picking us up to our hotel and taking us to the “local hangouts’’ for college-aged kids! I’m excited!
A few observations:
-Again, no one speaks English in this city because it isn’t a big tourist destination.
-The residential houses are beautiful, but if you look closely most of the standard-sized houses have four doorbells, meaning four families live there.
-To further explain the last point, I think the difference between Americans and Germans is very interesting. Clearly, they have nice houses (about the same size as ours), but obviously they spend their money elsewhere. To me, it seems like being relaxed (i.e. working shorter workdays, taking off for holidays, having a beer after work) is more important to them than having fancy things. I think we Americans could learn a lot from this; work hard, but don’t over work. Make sure you have enough time for fun and have time to unwind. That extra hour of overtime you put in isn’t really worth the extra $15-ish you’ll make!
-People wear winter jackets this time of year. Weird? Ya, I thought so too.