Friday, August 1, 2008

recap of a life unterwegs

As promised, my fifteen favorite photos I haven't posted yet and:

a map of all the places I went (excluding the US). In dark green are the countries I went to over the semester, in red are the specific cities, and in brown are the countries I've been to before.

Constance, March
gravestone of a Jewish soldier from WWI who died fürs Vaterland (for the fatherland)
ironic, seeing as what would happen a few years later

Berlin, April
Jewish memorial

Berlin, April
Berlin Wall, East Side Gallery

Moscow, April
That disgusting statue of Peter the Great towers over Christ the Savior, one of the most beautiful churches ever.

Cairo, May
An odd statue stands in front of skyscrapers. No one knows what the statue means anymore, tho, as the lettering at its base was rubbed off.

Cairo, May
Red sails on the Nile stand out in the smoggy evening.

Luxor, May
statue of a pharaoh towards sunset

Radolfzell, May
Birds fly over the Naturschutzgebiet on Lake Constance.

Augsburg, June
sea green and yellow light

Augsburg, June
near the entrance to an art museum

Montreux (Switzerland), June
A cruise boat crosses Lake Geneva in front of the Alps.

Zurich, June
The captains of Europe's EM 2008 teams dwarf visitors in the Hauptbahnhof.

Oslo, June

Dubrovnik (Croatia), July
Where's the Cheshire cat?

Constance, July
I pose for the first and only time with those weird blue statues in front of the university.

So in closing, thank you for reading, thank you for all of your comments, and I hope you enjoyed. I know I did ;)

Monday, July 28, 2008

sich verabschieden

The tropical night clung to my skin in beads of sweat and condensation. Their spears pierced me on all sides, and I laid bloodied and exhausted in the dark. They spun, drummed, and screamed their mad dance around me. They built mounds of flesh as monuments to their savage lust. I prayed for an end to the brutality, but there came not a hint of remission. And as the red sun rose past my sleepless, shuddering eyelids, I knew this was the end. Smack! I left another blood-stain on the wall. God knows I will not miss the mosquitoes.

Well everyone, that's the end of my trip. I leave tomorrow morning from Zurich and get in directly to Rochester. This, however, will not be my last post. Once I'm home I promise you one final entry with my 15 favorite photos from my time abroad that I for various reasons wasn't able to post earlier.

also bis bald!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I like words with no vowels in them,

like Srđ, or words with way too few vowels, like Srpskohrvatski - ha! But seriously, I could read a decent amount of the Croatian (and even understand some of it spoken) and ended up buying a book; I'm already about half-way through ;)

But on a more serious note, I just got back from Dubrovnik! Here is a summary of Cody and my travels:

To get from Split to Dubrovnik we had to take a bus. It was so slow that it took over 6 hours! And it was bumpy as heck since we were going through mountains the entire time.

We stopped for a break in Bosnia. It looked basically like Croatia.

Our second day in Dubrovnik (the first we just wandered the neighborhoods around our hostel) we went to the old city (Stari grad, cf. Russian Stary gorod or Старый город). It was really beautiful, but also hot (90s)!

Dubrovnik harbor

We climbed the city walls and walked around all of the entire Stari grad.

view of Dubrovnik from the city walls

Inside the city walls we went to an aquarium that had flying fish! That's the first time I've seen live flying fish up-close (at the distance I saw them in the everglades, it doesn't count).

This tortoise apparently lived in our hostel's courtyard.

The next day we went back to the old city, saw a museum of Balkan icons, several churches and stuck our feet in the Mediterranean (freezing!).

We went into this really pretty monastery inside the city walls. It was really pretty and had this shockingly modern chapel.

In the evening we went to this place called Heidi Fast Food and got cheeseburgers that were literally the size of frying pans. And they were good! Those and burek (I had more than several of these) are officially my favorite Croatian dishes.

And now I'm back in Constance. We flew TUIfly, which made me nervous, because I thought it was going to be one of those awful cheap airlines, but it was actually completely decent. Croatia was fun, adventurous and new. It was quite Western, but not quite first-world (a lot of things I've grown to expect I think shocked Cody - "accommodations gypsies", a rooster that lived next door to our hostel, naked and near-naked people on the beach - some peeing). It wasn't as cheap as I'd hoped, but I still had a great time and experienced a lot!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Split, Hrvatska

Cody and I are in Split, Croatia! It was one giant adventure getting here, and has continued to be a little otherworldly at times, but mainly in a good (or at least humorous) way.

We flew into Dubrovnik and then took a 4-hour bus ride up the coast and through the mountains to Split. On the way, our bus driver (who spoke with me in German - which seems to be more accessible here than English) handed out to all of us what I assumed were hard candies, but turned out to be menthols.


After some searching we found the hostel building on Sonjska Ulica (yes, that's a j in the middle of that word) and lugged our bags up three flights of stairs only to be dragged about fifteen minutes to another area of town in which our actual room is. It turns out we're living in a room in this young woman's apartment. Barbie, as we've affectionately come to call her, speaks about ten words in English to add to her zero words in German and Russian. This is the first time in years I've been in a country where I speak nothing of the language, and that kind of sucks.

After dumping our stuff, we wandered to the seafront and had pizza.

Today we wandered around. It turns out we're living inside Roman emperor Diocletian's Palace (Dioklecijanova palača), which is really cool. We're also only a few minutes from the Adriatic Sea. The area is really pretty posh.

the seafront in the day

the marina

more of Diocletian's Palace

Tomorrow we head back to Dubrovnik, where we'll spend the next four days!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cody und ich fahren nach Augsburg

This will be a quick post, but here are some photos from Cody and my last two days. Yesterday we rode to Augsburg to spend a few days with my amazing relatives one last time before I have to go back to the States.

Last night we went to the Kirchweih beer tent in Augsburg. Cody and I finished our Masses with smiles.

Then today we went on a tour of Augsburg led by Rolf and Hermann. Here we are posing with a gorgeous lady-gnome.

This is a Holbein (one of four) in the Augsburg Cathedral.


more Annakirche

the Goldener Saal in the Rathaus (City Hall) - Why doesn't Byron's new million dollar capital building look like this?

And the last thing we saw on our tour was the Fuggerei, which was the very first "social settlement" in the world. It was built by Jakob Fugger the Rich in the early 1500s to help out the poor. It runs on the same principals today: If you're a Catholic Augsburger who's suddenly fallen into poverty (by no fault of your own), you could live here for €1 per year!

Afterwards we went to visit Sir Walter at his home. He turns 90 at the end of August! It was very nice to see him again.

Tomorrow Cody and I fly to Croatia at 11:30am! I'm very excited, but it's also sad to have to leave the Egenbergers. They have been (as always) spectacular hosts :)

PS - Und Max Haase, falls du dies noch liest, bitte schicke mir eine Mail (, damit wir uns wieder in Verbindung setzen können!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

mein letztes Mal auf Mainau und Codys Ankunft

First off, very exciting new out of St. Louis: my cousin Nicole had her first child: Connor Patrick! So congratulations to Nicole and the whole Halverson family!

A few days ago, several of us used another coupon to take the ferry to Mainau. That was probably my last time there :(

Here's Constance's infamous Imperia statue. She was a prostitute in Constance way back in the day. Among her greatest achievements were sleeping with a king and a pope (the two little people she's holding in her hands). She's huge and rotates 360° every minute. I love Constance.

Lake Constance from the ferry

auf Wiedersehen, Mainau :(

While we were on Mainau we stopped in the chapel there. They have these pseudo-mannerist angels all over the place that I think are probably the ugliest things I've seen here.

The chapel is where a bunch of my German friends and I saw Hamlet performed.

We got another glimpse of a peacock.

sunset over Lake Constance

Then yesterday I went to Zurich to pick up my friend Cody from the airport. We spent most of the day touring the city.

We climbed to the top of Grossmünster and got quite the view.

Cody claims the reason he's not smiling in this photo is because the guy who took it didn't count down, but really I know it's because he already hates Europe so much ;)
(That's Grossmünster in the background.)

Teri, any idea what these are?

Zurich was actually way cooler than I'd expected.

On our way back, we were given bad directions and wound up in the middle of nowhere (i.e., the Swiss equivalent of Byron, called Rafz). This added another hour or so to the return trip.

In evening I ditched Cody (already, I know), because I had an End of the Semester party at my Arabic professor's house in Reichenau, an area of Constance that is also a World Heritage Site. It was a lot of fun: tons of delicious Arabic food, good conversations with friends from class and new acquaintances, and lots of presents! Our class gave my prof a bonsai tree and cards, but he and his wife gave us left-overs (I got four bags full), posters (he's also a pretty famous musician), and I even got a CD and DVD of his latest album, for which I did the English translations.

just a nice snapshot I got of a fountain in Reichenau

While I was in Reichenau, Cody, Kirsten and Chrissy went out to the beer garden on the harbor. I'm pretty sure we both had a blast. And today we're off to Augsburg!

(PS - Also check out Cody's blog.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

ein Ende für die Klausurzeit, Gott sei Dank

Hello Leute! I haven't done much the last week other than write papers and study for exams. Luckily, however, the weather up until yesterday was also has been kind of dreary. Most of last week it rained and was in the low 70s, so I didn't have to look out the window and say to myself, "Why aren't I at the beach?"

rainy day in the natural lands

Over the weekend I went to a play on Friday (which was really bad) and to this music festival thing in Neuwerk with a bunch of German friends on Saturday. On Sunday I literally worked on a paper all day.

Then today I got my first grade back. I got a 2.3 in Russian, which is probably equivalent to a B+, but it was actually the highest grade in the class, so I'm thinking I did really well anyway. Plus that class was insanely hard, and I was one of the few (about 40% of the class) who didn't speak Russian at home with their family (most of my fellow students have Russian parents, you know).

Well, that's truthfully about all I have to say. Hope everyone's having fun at the family reunion, and for those of you who aren't at the reunion (like me), I hope you're having fun, too.

Oh, and Cody's coming in less than 3 days!