Posted on July 13th, 2011 at 8:14 PM by admin
The one day excursion to Quedlinburg and Thale was unfortunately our last and as our luck would have it, it rained AGAIN. Luckily not the whole day though. We had a nice morning and early afternoon in Quedlinburg touring the city and having a lazy lunch. That night we went to Thale and took a chairlift up to see the famous Rosstrappe (hoof print in English). The Rosstrappe itself was less than exciting to me but the view from that spot was pretty spectacular. We ate at a restaurant up top as well and of course we had to have another flaming liquor before returning back to the bus to listen US women’s soccer team kick some butt!!!
Cute couple in a cute lil town!
Sinking ground = crooked house!
New friends from the conference 😛

The view from Rosstrappe!!!

Posted on July 7th, 2011 at 4:46 PM by admin
After 2 years I was finally able to see my “German son” again. I call him that because he lived with me for a  year between 2008 and 2009 while taking part in the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange or CBYX Program. I had taken part in this program in Germany back in 2005- 2006 and wanted to be a part of providing that opportunity for someone else. Now back to the trip. The seminar in Leipzig afforded me the chance to visit Thomas in Koblenz, where he is currently living and studying. I was also excited about meeting his parents for the first time in person. We all spent an entire day together at the Bundesgarten (BUGA), which is a festival of flowers that is held in a different city each year in Germany. We saw so many beautiful flowers and arrangements. It was also a spectacularly sunny yet breezy day. His parents were very generous with me — I felt taken care of that day!

Just some of the flowers at BUGA Koblenz

Thomas and I together again at last 🙂

 

Amazing view of where the Rhein River meets the Mosel River

Posted on July 2nd, 2011 at 4:46 PM by admin
Our first official excursion of the conference was to Dresden and Meißen, Germany. I had been to Dresden before but this cold, rainy, windy summer day made the city seem foreign to me. We had a brief city tour for about as long as we all could take it. The wind rendered my “travel” umbrella broken and useless which led to me buying a new expensive cheap “travel” umbrella that may or may not make it through its next trip. Having said that we still saw some neat sites and had a lovely dinner including a flaming liquor!

This picture doesn't do this building in Dresden justice....

Meißen is a small town that I had never heard of before this trip. Unfortunately due to the unceasing poor weather we spent most of the time in a museum, but it was quite a museum. I’ve been to many of them in Germany and Europe in general but this one had a stunning mix of amazing frescoes, unique architecture and elaborate decorations.

What amazing ceilings! Awesome museum 🙂

 

Outstanding architecture and decoration in this historic building of a museum

Posted on June 25th, 2011 at 10:21 AM by admin
After my year abroad in Austria I decided to attend a conference in Germany about foreign language testing practices and standards. Admittedly I really wanted to get home already but since I was selected to participate in this 3 week conference at no cost outside of some meals and transportation to and from, I figured I could handle getting home just a little later.


My host mom in Leipzig was about the same age as my 86 year old grandmother and this woman is still living it up I gotta say. She told Sylvia (another participant from the conference who was also being hosted by super-grandma) and I that she couldn’t understand people who get old and feel lonely because she still has a circle of friends of over 30 people that she’s known for 30-40 years. Although struggling with a slight hearing problem she was otherwise impressively sharp and active.


Our first official conference day consisted of a nice lunch and a tour of Leipzig. Our tour guide reminded me of just how inappropriate eastern German humor is from an American perspective. I certainly had a good laugh along with a lot of memories of my days living in eastern Germany back in 2005-2006. We ate at Auerbach’s Keller which is famous for its supposed part in inspiring Goethe’s Faust, which we read in our German Literature and History class in my first semester in Austria. We were to have 2 full excursion days (one to Dresden and Meissen and the other to Quedlinburg and Thale) during the conference as well as a free weekend, on which I went to visit my “German son” in Koblenz.

One of the rooms at the famous Auerbach's Keller

The National Library in Leipzig is shaped like a book!

Over the 3 weeks I met several like-minded teachers and lovers of German language and culture.  It was refreshing to see that other such people exist! At the end of the conference I realized I would definitely miss these people that I had come to know but I also know that our careers may bring us back together again. But until then…Alles Gute!!

Flowers in the main square

Posted on June 5th, 2011 at 8:46 PM by admin
Since our school program’s trip of the semester this year was Berlin I made my third appearance in this very large, diverse and historically very interesting city. We went on a long weekend during the public holiday of Christi Himmelfahrt (also known as Ascension Day). My religious beliefs are questionable but I sure wish we had this holiday in the US! Anyways, we went to many museums as well as spending nearly 4 hours on a river tour. I definitely could’ve gotten off after 2 but I’m sure it helped my tan to stay the extra 2. It also have me a chance to have a a ginormous glass of beer. As far as musuems go we went to the Alte Nationalgallerie (Old National Gallerie), the Pergamon Museum and the New Museum. I took thousands of pictures of course.

The group in front of the Konzerthaus at Gendarmenmarkt

Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)

Bode Museum - one of the only museums we didn't actually go inside

Awesome paintings at the Alte Nationalgallerie

How real does this painting look?!

Got to say another painting from one of my favorite artists - Monet

I found this picture very interesting - the title was something like Hell Island if i recall correctly

Loving the sculptures with babies 🙂

My favorite part of the Pergamon Museum was the Islamic art collection

 

at the Neues Museum -> walk like an egyptian 🙂

The hostel we stayed in was very close to a lot of the downtown monuments but the wifi had some serious issues. In fact, my number one complaint about Berlin is that there is no Wifi that works like anywhere in the downtown. I walked around for hours one day trying to find it and I ended up a very frustrated Julie to say the least (and I will say the least..lol). Well i’m going to keep it short because I have a lot of pictures to post and I think they speak for themselves for the most part.

Posted on May 14th, 2011 at 10:34 PM by admin
For my birthday I decided to take my first full day off of schoolwork in…I don’t even know how long. Quite possibly since the semester started?  I didn’t sit around and watch TV though. Oh no. I went hiking with my friends Josh and Brandis. Brandis traveled all the way here from Milan, Italy where she is studying so I had to make sure to show her a good time. Seeing as how I didn’t quite make it the last time I tried to climb a mountain, I thought this time I would just try to descend one. 6 hours later I realized that that isn’t necessarily any easier for me. My poor friends listened to me whine and complain for the last 2 hours or so of the approximately 8 hour adventure. So I’ve decided I just shouldn’t ever go on a hike that takes more than 5 hours. Yup that’s my new plan! I think…but don’t quote me on it!

This view left me speechless 🙂

This little bridge somehow made this picture great

When we started the hike we couldn’t see 5 ft in front of us and I was pretty disappointed as I had seen pictures of the amazing view at the top of the mountain. We even had to hike a few hours with our umbrellas out, but about halfway down it started to clear up and the mountain revealed to us its momentous beauty.  We veered off the path for a bit to check out a stream that caught our attention. And when we got to the bottom we were greeted by many farm animals that I couldn’t help but take pictures of. Josh tried several times to pet one of the cows but the cow was not having it!

This chicken had quite the swagger

The cow that got away from Josh...

After that crazy long hike we showed up like 1.5 hours late for my birthday dinner (whoops!) I even had a couple beers. It was WILD!  Thanks to everyone for that special day. It was exactly what I needed!