November 18, 2009

Here, There, and Everywhere

I was lucky enough to start my day with this spectacular view of Sacre Coeur, as seen from behind a giant clock in the Musée D'Orsay. As a part of my History of Art and Architecture of Paris lecture, we have field studies on a weekly basis. I like to snap pictures from our different locations, and this is one of my favorites so far.

During my recent trip to Chamonix with my good friend Mary, we discovered quite possibly the most delicious fall drink I've ever had: Vin Chaud. We came across this tasty and warm treat at the town market, and it completely made our day! It's sweet, it's hearty, it's warm, and it tastes like fall perfection. I have yet to brew a batch myself, but I can't wait to try this with my friends and family back in the States.

Clementines are prevalent in the French markets at this time of year, and aside from tasting great, they also make for beautiful streetside sites. There's nothing better than the smell of a freshly peeled clementine. I love the evolution of the market fare, because everything is based on what's in season. It defines the seasons that much more as different fruits and vegetables decorate the markets at certain times of the year. Parisian markets are second to none.

Now, onto Fall Break:
During our 5 day weekend off from school, four girlfriends and I packed our bags and headed East. We stayed in Munich for 4 nights, and explored different places each day. We spent our first day in Salzburg, pictured above, which is not only Mozart's birthplace, but also home to The Sound of Music. We were the only tourists there, it seemed, and had a great day exploring the small town of Salzburg. A highlight was mounting the fortress, from which we got a great view of the whole city as well as the Alps in the background. After tiring ourselves out by walking up and down and all around, we had some hot chocolate at a café that Mozart once frequented. We ended this day with a hearty Austrian meal, and trained back to Munich for the night.

I snapped this picture of a great-looking Bavarian couple in Salzburg. I loved how they were dressed so characteristically. Don't you just want to go up and talk to them?

"Work will set you free"
We spent the majority of the second day of our trip in Dachau, which is the site of the first concentration camp of World War II. It was a moving and emotional day for all of us. Most of my study abroad experience has been defined by beautiful and fun experiences, but this was surely different. It was a sad, moving, and important experience. We learned about the tribulations of the concentration camp prisoners, as well as the psychosis of those who ran the programs. I say this was an important day because, as crazy as the idea of the Holocaust seems, genocide still occurs in our world today. Learning about the terror of the whole experience really brought to life how painful it must have been for the prisoners. It kept me wondering what can be done today to cease and prevent genocide.

Here I am pictured with two friends in the town center of Munich. Munich was a traditional German town, full of German people and traditions. It was a great place to spend our nights. The people are friendly, the food is hearty, and the beer is delicious.

On the final day of our trip, the girls and I trained to Fussen, where we saw the castles of the Romantic Road. We saw Neuschwanstein, which is the castle that Walt Disney used to model Sleeping Beauty's castle, and also Hohenschwangau. Don't ask me how to pronounce the names, but they were beautiful places to visit! It was like a fairytale come true, as you can see from the picture above. All that was missing was the knight in shining armor.

Recently, I've been traveling a lot and having a great time! Now, however, I'm ready to stay in Paris for a solid final month and really soak in my last moments here. The semester is flying by, as I was told it would, and I keep clinching to every last bit of Paris I can reach. In the words of Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around every once and a while, you could miss it." So, I'm looking around, a lot.

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