Friday, April 15, 2011

Another weekend, another country...

In March I went with Ashlee, her brother and sister-in-law to Berlin for a night. It was a quick but amazing trip. As soon as we got in we asked the hostel about a concentration camp memorial. We got on a train and an hour later we were at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp memorial. Not that far from the center of the city, and was established the same year that the Olympics were held in Berlin. It was just unreal to walk through there and be in the bunkers where they lived and see the wall that kept them in. It was so sad to see and I heard a lot of interesting stories in the museums there. I never knew that the men made the woman prostitutes in the camp to give the men incentive to work hard. The men that worked the camp would "try out" the woman first . They gave the male prisoners coupons for hard work to go visit a prostitute. Much of the camp was destoryed but some orignal buildings remained.
The first night we went over to another part of town for drinks and stumbled upon the east side gallery. This is a part of the Berlin wall that has a big mural on it that is redone frequently.
One Sunday we took a free walking tour of the city. At our meeting point the tour guide pointed out a big hotel near by. This hotel is famous for many reasons. It is where the current movie unknown is filmed. It is also where many famous people have stayed including Michael Jackson. This is actually the hotel that he hung his baby of the balcony. Later on in the tour we visited more important things. Next was the Memorial for Murdered Jews. The guide pointed out immediatley how harsly this had been named. He said that they picked such a powerful name for a reason. We then stopped on top of the old bunker of Hitlers. This was the place where he got married and then killed himself. This was just a random plot of land that had no marker or anything on it. The tour guide told us that this was intentional so that he would not be able to be honored in any way but rather just forgotten about.
That night we happened to walk by the East side gallery. This is a part of the Berlin wall that is frequently repainted with art. We had a very quick visit to Berlin but saw and learned a lot!

The next weekend Ashlee and I took another quick trip to go visit a friend we had met in french class here. She just moved to Valencia, Spain so we went for 24 hrs to visit! Another quick but very fun trip. They toured us all around and fed us well. We had little montaditos (sandwiches) and patatas bravas. We went to the beach but unfortuately it was unusually cloudy this short time we were here. It was great to see another place and visit with a friend though! They treated us so well. We had pizza in and dyed Ashlee's hair before going out for the night!

My mom was just here for a weekend also on a quick trip! She came for a nice girls weekend and we had so much fun!! I have never spent that much time with just my mom and I loved it! We started with just exploring Brussels and catching up. Then on Saturday I took her on a surprise location to Keukenhof! This is a huge flower garden in Holland. We saw soo many beautiful flowers! We spent 6 hours admiring and walking around enjoying. Then we headed back to Brussels for dinner and rest. The next day we went to church, the market to get lots of yummy food that we then brought to the park. It was such a beautiful day that we sat in the park til the sun went away picnicing, napping and playing cards. I got a sunburn and mom was even hot! It was so nice and relaxing. We even stopped at the little vendor in the park to get some ice cream to cool off. Monday we met for another picnic at my school and a walk in the forest. After school I met back up with mom for another park walk near my house and dinner. Tuesday I was sad to say goodbye but we had so much fun and I will be home soon!
School just ended on Friday and I am running out the door to go home quick then go meet Donna and Eric at the airport! They are coming for the first week of my break and then I will travel just with my roommates. I am off for 2 weeks to 4 countries... :)

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