Sunday, September 30, 2007

Freiburg & The Black Forest, Germnay

September 29, 2007

The Black Forest!
Day Trip
Jessica, Priscilla and I took a 7:40 train to Freiburg, it took 4 hours and we changed trains 3 times. But the time flew by because we were reading, talking and sleeping. We arrived in Freiburg at noon, without a map or an agenda, just a time frame of 6 hours! We found a Asian cuisine restaurant and had lunch there. We then walked around looking in shops, taking pictures, and buying post cards. We then decided that its time to hit up the black forest.
So we find a map, make some guesses, ask somebody and find our way to the right tram; which takes us to the right bus, which then takes us to the lift, that finally gets us up to the top of the black forest!!!! By this time its 3pm and we have an hour before we should head back to the train station. So we enjoy the hike, take some pictures, sit and enjoy the view. At 4 we take the lift back down to the bus, to the tram, and then walk to the train station.
We arrive at the train station, Priscilla eats pizza, Jessica and I eat McDonald's, then we board our train, for another 4hour ride and 3 changes! The time passes by even more quickly this time because we play 20 questions!!! I had a really great time with them, visiting the black forest and the city. Best of all the whole trip cost about 30 euros! We arrived back in Reutling around 10:30, then 11:00ish at the school.

Freiburg is a 4. It was really pretty, larger than Reutlingen, and the Black Forest was Great!


September 21-23

This cow made my whole day, it was just staring at me, saying look where I live ha!
Day 18
Interlaken was a wonderful affair. I wish it could have lasted longer!! We took the train from Bern arriving around 11, and walked to our hostel, by simply following the signs. We stayed in another world famous hostel called Balmer's****. We put our bags away, then walk to one of the two lakes, Brienzer See. We sat on a deserted beach and enjoyed the view. I couldn't believe how amazing it was there, huge mountains, a cute little city, two lakes, and sprawling fields!!! WOW. Anyway, we walked through the town center, through a fare then back to our hostel. We had a really good meal for 12 franc (which is the cheapest yet), met a new friend and then went to bed!

Day 19
What a way to close out our trip. We woke up and decided to go to the top of the alps. We didn't make it very far up, because we are retarded and got off the bus at the wrong time. We decided that we didn't want to waste the time waiting for more buses so we just headed back. We still had a great time, but we wasted 15franc to get nowhere!! But it all worked out because we rented scooters and had the time of our lives. We scooted, to Brienzer See first and all along the lake, which is indescribable, then made our way to the other lake, Thuner See. We first went up to Beatenberg town, which was recommended to us, and is only 30min from Interlaken. Beatenberg has the most spectacular view of the valley, the lake, and the mountains! We then scooted around Thuner See, and stopped to take some pictures. It was the best part of the trip, and it only cost 30franc to rent the scooters and 5franc to fill up the gas tank, for 4 hours. I would recommend that everyone do that!!!! SO AMAZING!

Day 20
Its sad to say that the trip is over and that I had to go home. It was rough sometimes because of the weather in certain cities, living out of a bag or sleeping in hostels, and riding trains, but it was an amazing trip and I would do it all over again. I am very lucky that nothing happen to us, I didn't lose my passport and I arrived safe and sound in Reutlingen. I hope everyone has a change to do a trip like this at least once in there life!!!

Interlaken is a 5. Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe and Interlaken is one reason why!

Brian and Ashley trip: eighth stop. Day 18-20.

September 20, 2007

Geneva is like a twin of Zürich except for the spewing water!
Day 17
Another wonderful day! God smiled down on us in Switzerland, I think He felt sorry for us because of all the bad weather we had been having!!!! We took a train from Bern, 2 hours this time, and arrived in Geneva at around noon. We walked straight to the water, we didn't even get a map and didn't need one! We saw the water and headed for it!!! We walked along the bank, toward a park, sat and read for over 2 hours. We enjoyed the view, and sun. We left our spot, and walked back the way we came and noticed some swimmers. Of course Brian decides he has to swim, so he changes into his shorts and hits the water. He swims to a dock, dives back in, swims back and is out!!! It was freezing and he is crazy! After he dries off we make our way back to the train station, in no real rush and take a 4pm train back to Bern. Awesome city!

Geneve is a 4. I liked it al most as much as Zürich, it was just as pretty, but I don't know french!

Brian and Ashley trip: day trip. Day 17.

September 19, 2007

One would never guess a sprawling city lies on the banks of this lake!!
Day 16
Today was my favorite day. It might be because it was our first day of really great weather! Or it might because Zurich is such a pretty city! Either way It was a amazing. We took the train from Bern to Zurich, which only takes an hour. We arrived and walked down seeing: Bahnhofstrasse, schipfe, lindenhof, st. Peter Kirche, grossmünster and Evangelisch-reformierte kirche Enge (which is another one of my favorite spots!). We sat on a dock for more than 2 hours reading and enjoying the sun. We just sat and relaxed and it was great! I had a really nice time. We made our way back to the train station but stopped so I could get a waffle, which was almost just as good as my Belgium one, and Brian got a pretzel bigger than his head!!! YUM!

Zürich is a 5. It is a beautiful city with a Boston feel, but an Interlaken touch. I could live there.

Brian and Ashley trip: day trip. Day 16.

September 18-20, 2007

This is a very peaceful capital city with 360 degrees of picturesque scenery.
cont. Day 15
We arrived in Bern at around 1:30pm. It was really surprising how small Bern is considering it is the capital of Switzerland. It was beautiful none the less. We when got there the entire city centre was under construction. We had to navigate around fences, cranes, people, buses, and random holes! It was a mess, they are putting in a better tram and bus station. We finally found our hostel, checked in and then went for a walk into the non destroyed part of the city! It started to rain so that really made us mad. We were super bummed and annoyed, so we decided to see a 8pm movie!!! Bern has like 5 movie theaters, because each theater only has one screen!!! We saw Bourne, which I had already seen, for 17 franc! Not only the price was crazy but they had assigned seats, and a 10 min intermission!!! Switzerland is crazy!!

Day 16
Today was a much brighter day! We had a good nights sleep, woke up and took a day trip to Zurich. We at chicken for breakfast on the way to the train station, and had perfect weather all day. When we got back to Bern later in the day, we walked around the river, and sat and talked. We then filled up our bottles from the fountain by our hostel and went to bed!!! Yes you can drink water straight out of a random fountain just about anywhere in Switzerland!

Day 17
Today we went to Geneva for the day. We got lucky again and had another day of great weather. We spent most of the day in Geneva only coming back to Bern to get dinner and sleep!! What a life!! We left the next morning to head to Interlaken, which takes about an hour from Bern!!

Bern is a 4. It would have been a 5 if the entire city centre wasn't under construction!

Brian and Ashley trip: seventh stop. Day 15-17.


September 16, 2007

Bratislava was nothing I thought It would be, it definitely exceeded my expectations!
Day 13
We took the train from Vienna to Bratislava at around 11:30am, arriving at around 12:30pm. The entire trip cost about 6 euro, with our Euro rail pass. It was definitely worth it. Brian got some Slovak money and I used my euros for the day. We found a street map and were on our way. We walked down to the city center, which took about 20min. We got some postcards, took some pictures, and bought some stuff at a festival. Since it was Sunday almost everything was closed except for restaurants and touristy stuff. We saw: Bratislava Castle, St. Martin's Cathedral, Old town hall, Slovak National Theatre, Grassalkovich palace, and the Capuchin Church. We sat and rested on the river walk over looking the Danube river before heading back to the train station.
*I have now official seen the Danube river in 3 countries, next stop Belgrade and Ulm! Anyway, the most interesting thing about Bratislava were the Embassies. There were over 20 embassies in the city. The US embassy of course was guarded by wired fences, and a security gate, at all the other embassies you could literally just walk up and knock on the front door!

Bratislava is a 3. It was not at all frightning, or dirty, I like it alot especailly the town square.

Brian and Ashley trip: day trip. Day 13.


Septmeber 17-18, 2007
The view from the castle, no matter which side you are on was amazing.

Day 14
We arrived in Salzburg at around 10am but couldn't check into our hostel until 11, so we ate breakfest at our world famous hostel Yoho Intl***, then checked in. We walked down to the river toward the Fortress. We saw about 500 scarfs along the way, which is ironic because there were none in Vienna!! We walked up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress, seeing: Salzburg Cathedral with a 4,000 pipe organ, festival theater, Mirabell Garten, Mozart's Birth house, Residenz state room, Schlossmirabell, and Kirche St. Peter. Salzburg is very pretty and interesting because of Mozart and the Sound of Music! Later that night we went back and changed, then went out for dinner at McDonalds and a a little shopping. It rained a some while we were out and about but overall it was a really nice day.

Day 15
We woke up at 5:40am, checked out, walked to the train station, and perfectly caught our train leaving at 6:22. By this point in our trip Brian and I were pros at leaving quietly and quickly from our hostels, finding hostels, making trains, switching trains on time, and reading a map!!!

Salzburg is a 3. It was small, pretty and the Sound of Music was filmed there!!

Brian and Ashley trip: sixth stop. Day 14-15.

September 15-16, 2007

Karles Kirche, one of the pretties Churches and best places to sit rest, read or just relax!
cont. Day 12
We arrived in Vienna at about 1pm and by the time we took our tram, and found our hostel, Wombat's the Base*** it was 1:30pm. We check in, rested, ate at McDonald's then headed out to the city. We had to take a tram down to the city centre. We walked along down the dr-King-Lueger-Ring and saw... Hofburg, Stephansdom, Parliament, Rathaus, Schloss Schoenbrunn, Burgtheater, Oper, Museum Quarters, J. Strass Dankmal, Karls Kirche, Haas Haus, Mozart Dankmal, and the Gloriette! We stayed down town all day, Brian had pizza and I had chicken fried rice. We looked for scarfs, which everyone was wearing but we couldn't find, then saw the city at night. It was lovely! I also met two missionaries, one from Germany and the other from Orem Utah!! We went back to the hostel and had a drink then bed!

Day 13
We took a day trip to Bratislava, then came back and went to the Belveder and ate at McDonald's. Later we took a train to Hundertwasserhaus, an apartment designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Which was amazing, it looks a lot like Gaudi's work in Barcelona! After seeing this, we went back down town for a stroll then back to the hostel.

Vienna is a 5. It was equally as pretty at night as day, with many things to see and clean streets!
Brian and Ashley trip: sixth stop. Day 12-13.

Czech Republic

September 13-15, 2007

View from Prague Castle.

cont. Day 10
We arrived in Prague at 11:30 am, got money, ate at McDonald's, Navigated the tram to our hostel Plus Prague****. We dropped our stuff off, and headed out into the city. We walked down to the castle which takes about 45mins from our hostel. It was a lovely day, a nice change from Berlin, and we enjoyed our walk. The castle was beautiful, as was the Vltava River along the way. Once up into the castle it is free to walk all the way up to the top of the Dom in the Church and get an amazing view of Prague. After doing this we walk down across Charles Bridge, seeing... Prazsky hard, Kostel s.Jiri, Kralovsky palac, chram sv, to old town square to see the famous Astronomical clock, Palac Kinskych, Havel's Market, further into the city we saw Estates Theater. Prague was wonderful during the day and at night. There were many tourist, but the food is cheap and you get more bang for your buck!!!

Day 11
Today was ADOMAT day!!! Brian and I woke up at 9am, ate a free breakfast at the hostel, check our email, also free, and then headed down for a relaxing day! We sat out front of the National Museum, where all the shopping and tourists are. I did a little shopping and Brian read! Later that day we met up Larissa, Marty and Lasha!! We had a great time. We wined and dinned, talked and walked until it was well past dark. We talked about our trip, and theirs, we took pictures, ate ice cream, had some drinks and then called it a night. It was so nice to see other people we new, I was getting tried of only talking at Brian!!! It was sad to leave them though, we wanted to be able to stay longer, but it was a perfect break in the trip!!

Day 12
We woke up at 7am ate breakfast and went to the train station. I bought some stuff at the train station and then turned in the rest of my money. The train ride to Austria was about 4 hours, but it was direct so it wasn't bad. Brian and I are used to it by now!!

Prague was a 5. The city was beautiful, perfect weather and we meet up with the Adomats'!

Brian and Ashley trip: fifth stop. Day 10-12.