Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Sunday, September 17, 2006
I've finally made it to
We had stake conference today, and that was fun to see so many other church members. The place was so full that I ended up sitting on the stage, which was slightly uncomfortable, but better than not having a seat at all. When I was in
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this in a blog, but about a week and a half ago, I woke up with a very sore tail bone. I didn’t think too much of it until two days later when I woke up in some of the worst pain of my life. Bending down to put my socks on was as uncomfortable an exercise as I can imagine. Anyway, to make a long story short, I at first thought I had just bruised my tail bone somehow, then I thought I had a spider bite at the end of my tail bone, then I thought it was some kind of cyst. Last Friday I finally went to the doctor to see what it was…turns out it was an in-grown hair that got pretty deeply infected. So tomorrow I’ll go to the hospital in the morning, have the infection taken out of my sore, then stay in the hospital over night and come home Tuesday. Kind of weird. I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in a hospital overnight before, but this will be pretty exciting. The doctor said that this is extremely common and that it’s a very simple procedure to fix—they just want me to stay overnight just to be sure that everything works out ok. So this will be good to finally have this fixed; it’s been pretty uncomfortable for the last little while.
I don’t start school at the Goethe Institute for another two weeks, so I’ll have to use this time wisely to get ahead of the game on all the other stuff I have going on. Our main, on-going assignment for the semester is a “research portfolio” where we have to write one-page papers on 100 different things to see in the city, i.e., six gothic churches, five paintings by Dürer, etc. It sounds like a lot—and it is—but if I can keep on it, writing a one-page paper every once in a while won’t be so bad.
I’ll post again soon. Lots of love,
Here I am with the Neuschwanstein Castle in the background
This is a picture of part of my group when we went to the top of the apls and hiked down. It was freezing cold! I liked this picture becuase it looks all misty and fairytail-like
This is the Doku-Zentrum in Nuremberg where lots of the Nazi trials took place. We went through the museum and it was really well-done. It's hard anytime you talk about learning about Nazi things, you can't say it was "good" because it's sad. But well-done works, I think. I thought it was kind of interesting that a fair was going on right next to it.
This is an original Luther Bible printed in 1524. I love seeing this kind of stuff. It's in a place called the Wartburg, a castle in Eisenach Germany. Luther was housed there for a while in order to keep safe from the Catholic Church.
This is a really pretty, typical southern Germany Alpine house.
Friday, September 15, 2006
This is a picture of a hike we took in the Alps to a church in a cave. The Protestants met here early on to avoid the wrath of the Catholic church
This is a great picture of me with Salzburg in the background
I'm in Berlin now and I love it! It is a wonderful place and I have easier internet accdess, so i'll upload more pictures soon.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
It’s now September 7 and I just arrived in Nuremberg to a seriously nice hotel. There is a computer in the lobby with free internet access, so it looks like I’ll be able to post my blogs, plus a bunch of pictures which I’m excited about. I think some of them turned out pretty well.
After Munich, I went with seven others from our group to the town of Füssen, right close to the castle Neuschwanstein. This is seen as a sort of tourist trap, but it was seriously awesome—well worth the trip. I’ve got some pictures of that on my snapfish account.
Arriving in Füssen was kind of exciting. We arrived around 8:00pm and had nowhere to stay. Things close really early in Germany—hotels included, so we were very pressed for time. We walked to the hostel where we thought there might be some room (they had 130 beds, for crying out loud), but a huge group had just come in taken nearly all of them. Walking back toward the train station, we spotted Suzanne’s Bed and Breakfast. We rang the doorbell and were greeted by a woman—from Ohio of all places—who immediately started being rude to us. She told us she had room for all eight of us and would hold the room for ½ hour, not any longer because for her “to stay up so that we can find a cheaper place is totally ridiculous” to paraphrase her. She was seriously not a pleasant lady. We went to get the rest of our group (looking for cheaper hotels on the way, despite what Suzanne said) and didn’t find any that were open. Suzanne’s place was nice and clean, it’s just that she was so unpleasant it was uncomfortable. But luckily we didn’t have to deal with her too much. So if you ever go to Füssen, I would not recommend Suzanne’s Bed and Breakfast; find another place. Füssen itself was wonderful. We ate Turkish Dönner Kebaps and Italian ice cream. Plus I had an American hamburger and French fries at a Vietnamese restaurant on the main street in town. And it was seriously one of the best I’ve ever had.
We left Füssen this morning, caught the train back to Munich and made our connection to Nuremberg. I have a serious tail bone injury that I have no idea how I got. But sitting is miserable, so the entire way from Füssen to Munich was very uncomfortable. Thankfully I packed some Loritab, took two of those for the second leg of the trip, and have never slept so well on a moving thing: car, train, or plane. I feel great right now.
Nuremberg is extremely cool. The old part of town is still very medieval—the wall still surrounds the center—and our hotel is right in the center of it all. It’ll be fun to have some time tomorrow to go exploring. From here we go to many places fast: Frankfurt for one night, Mainz (where Gutenberg printed) for about a day, Bacharach (where we’ll stay in a castle on the Rhine, from what I understand), then to Bonn, Cologne, Hamburg (maybe), and finally to Berlin. All this traveling has been awesome, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not looking forward to settling in one place for a while.
Try http://www.flickr.com/photos/72096197@N00/?deleted=237062705 to enjoy the pictures. There's only one there now due to time contraints, but check back periodically. I'll try to figure it all out and post more. Let me know what you’re all up to.
Love to you all,
I left Dorfgastein about four nights ago now and went to Salzburg. I really liked Salzburg. It’s a town with a lot of charm. Our hotel was a little outside of town, so we had to take the bus everywhere we went, and I’ll tell you all, I felt great on those busses. I honestly thought I was really good at figuring out where I was how to get to other places. Sure I only had to ever take two busses, but that didn’t matter to me—I still felt great.
We went to church in Salzburg which is always a fun thing to do. I love going to church in places outside of Utah. It’s so nice to see who the church members living in that area are. Plus it’s a confidence boost for my German to understand a lot more of what is said. Context is a great thing.
Any of you who have been to Europe may already know that everything is out-of-control expensive here. Drinks on a menu at most restaurants are the worst—about €2.35 for ¼ liter of Coke and €4.00 for ½ liter. With the exchange rate at about $1.28 to €1, a ½ liter of Coke costs over $5.00! And that’s with no refills and no ice. Plus apparently it’s “tacky” to ask for tap water. But honestly, that’s what I have to do. No wonder Germans spend so much of their income on food. One thing that I have loved about the German restaurant experience has been the amount of time you spend at a restaurant—usually several hours. It’s been nice to have time to sit and relax and talk.
Tomorrow I’m supposed to get on a train and head to Füssen—the town close to the castle Neuschwanstein. You’ve all seen pictures of it. I’ve heard rumors that it is the castle that Walt Disney designed to Magic Kingdom Palace after. I have nowhere to stay in Füssen as of right now, but I’m banking on the idea that I can get a room as soon as I get there. I’m not traveling alone, however, so I’ll be fine. I’m excited to get down there. Then it’s off to Nuremberg to see the Nazi rally sites and whatever else there is to see.
My time in Europe has been fantastic so far. The people in my group have been really great—we all get along really well and have a surprising amount of things to talk about and say to each other.
I’m glad to have the internet so that I can communicate with all of you. Thanks for all the emails. It’s a great feeling to open my inbox and see a bunch there. Write to me if you want. I’m pretty good about getting a very short, personalized response back.
Love to you all,