Adventures in Europe

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's expensive to be alive. And even more expensive to live in Europe!

Well, I went to Italy this week and it was pretty great. Except that I got my camera stolen in Naples! AHHHHH!!!! It was awful and I don't even know when or how it happened or who took it. It happened sometime between the train and the bus in Naples, but I just noticed it was gone! It is so upsetting because we had taken tons of pictures of Rome and Meredith didn't even have a camera! And now I have to buy a new camera! Geez. So now I don't have any pictures to show from our trip :( But the trip was still fun. We went to Rome for the first 2 days and saw all the tourist stuff-the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, and all the ruins. Then we went to Naples and wandered around there, but it was a pretty shady place. I wouldn't recommend it. There were a lot of scary people there and it's a super dirty city. But the city center is really nice. We also went to Pompeii and saw Mt. Vesuvius and all the ruins of Pompeii. That was really awesome. Then we went back to Rome for one more day and went to Vatican City and saw St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel and stuff. We didn't get to go in the Sistine Chapel though because they closed at noon! So that was disappointing. But we had a really good time despite the camera and the weather was nice and now this is just an excuse for me to have to come back to Rome!!! Here are a few pictures I got off the internet of the places I saw. This is the Pantheon and it was awesome and huge. Raphael (the artist) was buried there!This is the Roman Forum and the ruins in the middle of the city.This is the monument to Victor Emmanuel II and it's also the tomb of the unknown soldier. It was sooo huge, I couldn't believe it. We climbed all the way up the steps and could see the Colosseum and a lot of the city. This is what our hostel looked like in Rome. It was really nice and a lot of fun.This is the Trevi Fountain and it was absolutely beauitful and gigantic. The legend is that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you will ensure your return to Rome. I hope so!Inside the Colosseum. It was amazing to think that this was so old but still HUGE.The Roman Colosseum. It was pretty rad to actually see it in person. This is one of the arches of columns at the entrance to Vatican City. It's part of St. Peter's Basilica. It was amazingly beautiful.These are the famous Swiss guards outside St. Peter's Basilica. I'm not really sure how come they dress so funny. This is the view from on top of St. Peter's Basilica. We climbed all the way up millions of tiny winding stairs to the top of the dome. It was a really awesome view.This is St. Peter's Basilica. We climbed to the tip top of the tiny dome on top!Inside the Basilica. I can't even describe how beautiful it was. It blew my mind. St. Peter was buried there, as well as several popes and we also saw Michelangelo's "Pieta". Awesome. These are some of the ruins of Pompeii.

The ruins of Pompeii with Mt. Vesuvius in the background.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

German Christmas Market

Saturday I went to Oldenburg, Germany with a bunch of other students for the German Christmas market. It was only about an hour and a half bus ride from Groningen and it was a lot of fun. It felt much more like Christmas and luckily it was a beautiful day with no rain! We wandered in all the shops and around the market all day. We ate tons of food (I had some German sausage!), and delicious treats and then came back Saturday night. It was really tons of fun and I'm glad that we went!They were playing Christmas music in the middle of all the busy people doing Christmas shopping. People enjoying their hot wine or hot chocolate at one of the little shops in the Christmas market.
The market at night with all the lights. It was amazing.
All the lights in the city.
This is the sweetest picture! There was TONS of delicious candies and chocolates and this little boy was just watching so intently, I loved it!
This is a huge traditional Christmas Pyramid. They light candles and the smoke makes the windmill turn and the wooden people inside turn around. They were selling misteltoe! How cute!
I think this was a family. They were making everything by hand-the chocolate covered fruits, and candies, and this man was making cookies.

Allison buying something at one of the little shops.
Beeswax candles in all kinds of shapes and sizes and designs.
This is one of the many candie shops selling all kinds of delicious treats.
Here we are enjoying hot Christmas wine (and hot chocolate)! We got to keep the mugs!

This is what all the little shops looked like. It was so festive and holidayish and great.

The church in the center of the market.
Here is me with the market and the church in the background.

The busy city center of Oldenburg. I loved the huge Christmas tree.
Gaby, me, Allison and Penny when we got off the bus in Germany. It was cold!

Merry Christmas!

This is my lovely little Christmas tree that I decorated for my room! I love it!

Me and Meredith.This is me and Chris downtown in the city.These are some of the canals in Groningen. I ride by them everyday on my way to school, but one day it was just really pretty so I took some pics!