Sunday, September 29, 2013

SURVIVED OKTOBERFEST

Not much else to say, besides great food, people, and a whole lot of beer!

Walked around Nuremberg while waiting for our train to Munich

Our humble abode...at least we got a tent with air mattresses (as opposed to others who got pool floats!)


the group- Hannah (who I just visited), Patterson, and MK

Rode on the swings- absolutely freezing but got a great view despite the fog

One of the many beer tents. It was so packed that it took 30 minutes just to get in.

The German's standard size drink. They sure do love beer.



Barcelona!

Last weekend I visited my friend Hannah who is studying abroad in Barcelona. It was nice to get out of the cold city of London for a bit to the sunny 80 degree weather. Lucky for me, I randomly picked the weekend that the biggest festival in Barcelona takes place, La Merce. It seemed like the entire city took part, with activities during the day and free concerts throughout the streets at night. I don't think I could've experienced the spanish culture better in the short period that I was there, even though I did miss a lot of the main tourist sites (gives me a good reason to go back)!

one of Gaudi's famous buildings, Casa Batll√≥


Views of the city from a rooftop

  Boqueria Market in La Rambla


One of the many concerts

Traditional Catalan cuisine (yum!)

Professional slackliners doing tricks in the park


Dance festival

Walked into a zoo trying to get out of the park...only in Barcelona



Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fika

This weekend I visited Stockholm to see my friend Lisen, who I lived with last year in New Zealand. 

I arrived Thursday night and made my way (slowly) to my hostel right outside the center of the city. Without my iPhone that I usually rely on to guide the way, I managed to take the right train and navigate the Swedish streets without too many wrong turns. The hostel turned out to be in a perfect location with a great view of the city. The people were also very friendly. I had 5 guys in my room from all around the world- Italy, Istanbul, Tokoyo, and Australia. 

view from my room

Friday morning while Lisen was still in class, I explored Gamla Stan (Old Town).


The Royal Palace

When I met up with Lisen, we did some shopping (ran into the fashion editor of Elle magazine!) and had a typical Swedish afternoon at a cafe, what they call "fika"- hanging out, drinking coffee, and of course eating cinnamon buns.

Saturday morning we had brunch at Fotografiska, a popular photography exhibit that is combined with a restaurant. The food was amazing, as were the views. To top it all off, Princess Victoria, who will be the next Queen of Sweden, was sitting at the table next to us with her husband Prince Daniel and their daughter.
















  
    The Princesses and the famous chef

After brunch we took a ferry over to the island called Djurg√•rden. Here we went to the Skansen zoo/museum, which was a huge open area with a bunch of different Scandinavian animals as well as old buildings that showed off how people used to live and work in Sweden. 



also had great views of the main city!

On my last day in Sweden we went to a market on the southern end of the island. It was similar to a flea market, with handmade items, used clothing, and some delicious food trucks.




Couldn't have asked for a better weekend in Stockholm!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Hellooo London

This week has been a whirlwind. I flew into London last Wednesday morning and moved into my flat across from Hyde Park, along with 20 other Elon students (quite the gigantic flat). This is a very posh part of London, five minutes away from the Kensington Palace where Prince Will and Kate live. Fighting the jet lag, my friend Mary-Katherine and I explored the area. We got turned around multiple times, but people have proven to be super friendly around here and helped us find our way. The next few days my program gave us a tour of parliament, a walking tour of our neighborhood of South Kensington, a bus tour of Central London, and an orchestra performance. 
Big Ben

London Eye

Parliament

Orchestra Vitae

I spent my free time exploring South Kensington, especially Hyde Park (my favorite spot so far):

Tea at the Muffin Man

Kensington Palace (on the anniversary of Princess Di's death)

The Serpentine in Hyde Park



Famous Peter Pan Statue in Hyde Park                                  Round Pond in front of Kensington Palace

                           Diana Memorial                                                    Exhibit in Hyde Park


                                 Italian Gardens


                                                                  Kensington Gardens

Classes started Monday, so we had to reign in our enthusiasm a bit. It was hard getting back in the school mode with everything around me still so new, but the classes seem like they'll be interesting. And lucky for me, I somehow managed to pick classes that only meet Monday and Tuesday, so the shortened week makes it much easier to get through the work.

With the first week of classes over, I went on Wednesday to the Camden Markets with my roommate Lizzy (left) and MK. It was a really cool atmosphere, with little shops and stands selling clothes and jewelry, along with a wide variety of delicious smelling food carts.

Crepes. Couldn't be happier!

After seven days straight of mid 70 degree, sunny weather, the inevitable rainy day came. I seem to already be behind on my reading for class, so it forced me to actually get some work done. Of course, it also was the perfect day to spend at the famous Harrods. 
$1400 teddy bear

Can't wait to keep exploring London. But next week: Sweden!