Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sprechen Sie Englisch? Adventures in Deutschland

Tara and I left the apartment at 5:15 a.m. Friday. Three bus rides and a two-hour plane ride later we were in Frankfurt, and a little unsure of what to do.



So I got my upper ear cartilage pierced.





With my ear newly pierced and my first German Coca-Cola Light quenching my thirst, Tara and I decided to set some goals for our weekend:
1. Eat bratwurst
2. Drink Apple Wine (Frankfurt's speciality)
3. Find David Hasselhoff (or a life-size poster, CD, cassette, etc.)

We were immediately successful


We then checked into our youth hostel where one of the girls working at the desk heard us speaking English and asked if we wanted her to show us around (she wanted to practice her English with us). We saw all of Frankfurt's major sites with her.

Eighty percent of Frankfurt was destroyed during WWII. This is old town Frankfurt.


And this is some of the modern part




As of Friday night we were unable to find The Hoff. We woke up bright and early Saturday and headed to Mainz, a little town outside of Frankfurt.



We were still unsuccessful in finding David.

Saturday night we went to a local tavern to drink some Apple Wine and eat some local cuisine.



My face is really red, but if you look at the empty Apple Wine glass in front of me you'll understand why.

Sunday we got lost and spent several hours on Frankfurt's train system.

Here are some more random Frankfurt pictures:





Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A little bit of America in Roma

So my roommates and I caved last night. We had an American night in Rome. We ate Chinese at a restaurant about a 100 meters from the Pantheon before trekking about two miles to one of the only theaters in Rome to play American movies. We watched Cassandra's Dream. It was great watching something in English, although I did feel a little guilty about it.

Sunday Tara and I woke up to walk to the Vatican to see the Pope. It was interesting, but definitely something I'll only do once.



I'm heading to Frankfurt, Germany, Friday. I'll be back on Sunday. I wish I could go to Berlin or Munich, but Ryanair flys to Frankfurt so it's only costing me about 30 euro to fly there.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Roma!

I am officially a resident of Roma, Italia! It is crazy to say that. I moved into my apartment last Thursday and have begun my transition into normal (as normal as it can be) life here in the city.

My apartment is in Piazza Campo di Marzio. I live with seven other girls. The apartment is actually a lot nicer that I thought it would be. There are five rooms. Two girls have singles, and the rest of us share the other three rooms. There are only two bathrooms, but we do have a nice common area with a TV. There aren't any English channels, but we have discovered that MTV sometimes plays American shows with Italian subtitles. I’m living with a roommate for the first time in two years. Luckily, she is a very nice girl. Her name is Sandra, and she was born in Bosnia, moved to Germany around age five because of the war, left Germany when her family could not gain German citizenship, and came to America at age 11. She’s trilingual and now trying to learn Italian.

This is what the outside of the apartment looks like. When we drove up I was a little skeptical.


But once I got inside I was pleasantly surprised.


The common room


My room.


View from my room.

It might not seem like much, but less than five minutes away by foot is...


The Pantheon!!!




Tara and I walked around Friday afternoon and saw some of the must-see sights. We went to the Forum, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and the Victor Emmanuel (Italy's first president) monument. Of course, I'm going to go back to all of them and take tons of pictures and really enjoy their beauty. Friday night we went to Campo di Fiori to hang out. Saturday I randomly walked around and, before I knew it, I was at the Vatican. On Sunday I saw the Spanish steps (Tara was right. It's a little disappointing when you see them in real life. Not as impressive as I had hoped.)

I have some pictures of myself at each of the sights, but I don't really like how they look. Here's one that is OK that I hope leaves you in anticipation for more.



Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Carnival in Venizia!

I spent all weekend in Venizia (Venice) at Carnival. It was crazy but fun. I stayed in a nunnery for the first time with three other girls in my room. It was really, really cold and raining, but the atmospher was awesome. All weekend people were dressed up in costumes and wearing masks. It was capped off with a big performance Saturday night in their main piazza. It reminded me of what I imagine Times Square is like on New Year's Eve. (FYI: I only brought a sweater, hoodie and jacket with me for four months, and even fewer things to Venice, so until I break down and buy more clothes I will be wearing the same things over and over.)


At dinner Friday night with Rocio


A band we saw play Friday night. Everyone loved this trombone player.


Getting my face painted



The finished product


View from gondola ride



Acrobats performing Saturday night


I bought a cheap mask while Tara was very excited about her cape.