Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Prague- Charles Bridge

I arrived in Prague around 5:30pm,
and was settled into my hotel by 7.
Although I was exhausted from a full day of travel,
I was far too anxious to get out and see something.
Of course, the first place I headed was Charles Bridge.

Construction of the Charles Bridge started in 1357,
and didn't conclude until the beginning of the 15th century.
Charles Bridge crosses the Vltava River, 
and until 1841, was the only means of crossing.
Originally called "Stone Bridge" or "Prague Bridge", 
it earned the name Charles Bridge since 1870.

Also in 1870, the first public transport line carried passengers over the bridge.
15 May 1905 marked the end of horse-drawn carriages over the bridge,
and was replaced first by an electric tram,
and later by buses.
Finally, from 1965 to 1978 the bridge was extensively repaired,
and public transportation over the bridge extinguished.

This bridge has lived and suffered through countless floods and battles.
It has been destroyed and rebuilt just as many times.

Charles Bridge during 1872 flood via

This bridge is a spectacular piece of history-
and much longer than one may anticipate at 621 meters (over half a kilometer).
In the three days I spent in Prague, 
I must have walked over it at least two dozen times,
morning, night, rain and shine.
It changed every time.

It is easy to say that this bridge was one of my favorite parts of Prague, 
not just for the bridge itself,
but also the view it provides.

Unfortunately, in the case of the Charles Bridge, pictures fail to do justice.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Prague- sneak peak

I thought I would give you all a sneak peak into my trip to Prague that I took over a month ago. 
Since I am still feeling under the weather,
this post will be lacking in words,
and instead filled with pictures.

I will say this-
Prague was incredible.
one of the most pleasantly overwhelming cities I have ever been to.
One day, i would love to make a trip back,
and see everything I missed!

I hope all of you have a great day!

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Monday, May 28, 2012

The Tegernsee

This weekend I went sailing on The Tegernsee.
The weather couldn't have been better-
clear skies,
wind-filled sails,
and a smiling sun.
It was a lovely way to spend my Saturday afternoon with my host family.

I also ate McDonald's for the first time in at least half a decade.
I had the 300 cal grilled chicken wrap.
it was delish.
however, I do not know if they are in the US.
I am told that McDonalds in Germany isn't the cheap fast food place that is in America-
that it's actually a decent place to eat (and certainly not inexpensive).
They also have potato wedges with sour cream and chives.
but, no ranch or sweet and sour.
They are missing out.

Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to explore the little towns surrounding The Tegernsee, 
but i'll be back.
Sailing is a pretty big deal for my host family, 
and they do it often.

The rest of the weekend, 
I spent in bed.
including today, and most likely tomorrow.
I am not a happy sick person.

I hope all of you are having a very happy Memorial Weekend!

And, a special, i love you to my fiance.
I miss you sweet cheeks.
and the kids...
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Annapurna, Nepal, Day 4-6

Day 4: Jagat to Chame

For some crazy reason, 
I was anxious to get to Chame.
Looking back, I have no idea why.
Maybe it's because our book said there were more teahouse options,
and, in my mind, I hoped for something a little more luxurious.

so wrong.

anyway, I've gotten ahead of myself...

The morning of the fourth day,
I woke up, and knew I was sick.
fever. headache. sore throat.
There was no longer any doubt in my mind that all of these symptoms were caused by the flu,
not allergies.

The fiance still hoped it was allergies,
especially since he started to experience similar symptoms, only not as severe.

Later that day, he finally admitted that had I really been sick, 
he assumed I would have refused to go on.


Miserable sickness aside,
the Earth that surrounded us started to change.
Less rice and less heat.
More evergreens and mountain views.

We were getting to the good stuff.

The trail started out relatively flat.
However, after a short tea break, the ascent started.
I hoped to make it to the top before stopping for another break, 
but as soon as the f-bombs started,
the fiance made me stop and have a snack.

Smart man.

The climb was beautiful.
the views of the valley floor spectacular.
but, I was relieved when it was over.

...and we were only half way up the ascent.

By lunch time, I was beyond exhausted,
and wanted nothing to do with food.
(you know something is wrong with me if I refuse to eat)
Somehow, the fiance managed to persuade me to eat a bowl of potato soup and half a chapati.
...he's good like that.

While I rested inside the little dining area,
the fiance decided to purify water at the drinking fountain outside.
I watched from the window as an adorable village girl kept him company,
curious about his silly toy.

Nepalese children are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen.
Despite growing up in the poorest of conditions,
they love life.

meanwhile, the tea-house's son interrupted my rest
when he came and sat next to me at the table.

The next minute went something like this-

he told me I was beautiful.
I said, thank you.

the fiance returned from getting water.
 and the boy asked him if he was my husband.
The fiance (then boyfriend) said, no. just friends.

He asked the fiance to take his picture (see below).
he obliged.

then, the boy pulled up a chair next to me,
and tried to play footsy with me under the table.
innocent? probably.
creepy? most definitely.

I was happy to leave this little rest stop.

After lunch we came upon a beautiful village.
The air was cool and restless.
and the wheat swayed and danced in the wind.
A waterfall fell in the distance.

We were completely alone,
surrounded by nature.

I will never forget this very moment,
this exact location,
and the revelation that, on this Earth, I am nothing.

I walked away from that breeze, waterfall, and dancing wheat a little different-
a little more aware of my surroundings.

We trekked on,
drank more tea,
and finally, finally, reached Chame.

I was drained,
and in need of a bed.

We agreed to take a day off,
rest, and recover.
this one day of recovery turned into two.

Day 5&6:  Sick in Chame

The fiance soon accepted that my symptoms were not allergies.
That I was actually sick,


I had it worse than him.
But, I am one lucky girl and was well taken care of.
The morning after we arrived in Chame,
the fiance hiked up to the local doctor,
and came back with cold medicine and ibuprofen.
He lovingly force fed me as I cried for my mom.

my hero.

The flu was made worse by food poisoning that hit both of us the morning of the 5th day.
Again, I got it worse.

I ate little, cried, and slept nearly two entire days.
The fiance joined in on the party the second day.

On our second day in Chame,
I discovered that a food stand/shop/cart sold Pringles and Sprite.
finally something I could eat,
and so, I was saved.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

blate sleepover

A few weeks ago,
I met Alex.
And even before really meeting her, I felt like I already knew her,
so, I decided to stay at her house for the weekend.

First, let me just tell ya'll-
Alex is awesome.
There was no awkwardness, 
even if we did meet each other over the internet.
It's like we had been friends forever-
minus some details about our past lives.

I had so much fun staying with her,
that I was tempted to prolong our little sleepover.
I decided not to wear out my welcome, however,
since I fully intend on making another visit asap.

So what did we do?
hung out and enjoyed the sunny weather at the schloss (castle)
had a drink or two (or, let's be real, 7 or 8) over the course of the first evening-
and then did it over again the second day.
rode bikes in the dark
and talked 
attended stuttgarter-fruehlingsfest (post to come)
ate lots of delicious food
basically, had an amazing weekend.

And, Alex isn't the only cool one,
her friends are pretty awesome too.
There was no awkwardness.

But, I have a lot to thank Alex for- 
she was the one that planted the seed to be an au pair.
If it was not for her,
I doubt I would be calling Germany my home.

the schloss

au pair's enjoying the glorious sun

I messed it up.  I should be looking AT her. Looking at my beer is thought to be disrespectful.

Bailey's for Bailey

I also learned one other thing over this weekend-
riding a bike while intoxicated is nearly impossible.
I have no idea how I made it home alive.
I did, however, make it back a little bruised and battered by the concrete.
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