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European Euphoria July 2, 2012

Posted by sidsinha in Travel Log.
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Hola de Madrid. Es día bonita! Madrid is the number one city I have been to, I am convinced. From the inordinate amount of Plazas (pronounced Plathas due to the Spanish lisp) to the delectable tapas, Madrid epitomized my idea of Spain. Of course I enjoyed Barcelona and its almost fantasized life, but Madrid gave me a true sense of Spain, I felt. I am slightly biased towards Madrid, because on of my friends gave me a personal tour of much of city. He knew his facts, and best of all, he enjoyed showing us around.

            I am currently at Madrid-Barajas, waiting to board my flight to Rome. Yesterday marked the beginning of our mid-summer break, five days. Some friends and I are going to Italy (within Italy, most likely to Rome, Florence, Pisa, and Cinque Terre).  Before Italy, however, I wanted to take a trip of my own. So two nights ago, I came to Paris and met up with some Oxford friends. Then the next day, I took a flight to Madrid to meet a good friend of mine. Finally, I am about to head out to Rome to meet the rest of the gang.

The craziness is a small reflection on my summer. In the last 5 weeks, I have been to 11 cities, taken more than 40 trains, and eaten over 20 kebabs—sometimes what I would define as my cause of sustenance. The kebabs are a delicious conglomeration of vegetables, tzaziki, red pepper, and meat (usually chicken) in a thick piece of pita bread. They are phenomenal AND cheap (not necessarily a combination representative of Europe).

My next few weeks consist of canyoning in Switzerland, Running [with the Bulls] in Pamplona, running around in Prague, relaxing in Budapest, and fulfilling my aspirations in Istanbul—the top city on my list of places to visit for much time. Stay tuned.

 

The Maastricht Marathon June 7, 2012

Posted by yvonneploder in Travel Log.
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As the end of week two rolls around here in Brussels, my professor decided to take us to the city of Maastricht on accord that the Maastricht Treaty was signed there. How appropriate. What the Maastricht Treaty did for the European Union was create the Euro and also the three pillar system…fascinating, I know. Witnessing the actual location of the signing of such a monumental moment in the history of the European Union however, was not what took my breath away. I can attribute the shortage of breath to our lovely tour guide, Pierre.

Now Pierre is an incredibly brilliant Brit earned his PhD in some sort of international affairs concentration from Oxford (forgive me for the lack of details) and all 150 pounds of him could out whit and out run any of us techies any day. I mean that literally. Pierre was determined to show us ALL of Maastricht in a total of 2.5 hours before he had to hop on the 2pm train back to Brussels where he was then taking the Tube to London for the weekend. Thus, we were led on a sprinting tour of the city. Old Maastricht and New Maastricht: we saw it all; the small canals, the random zoo, outdoor markets, cathedrals, hidden gardens, the university, the university library, his office, the shopping district, it goes on and on. The worst part was that everything was adorable and we, being the tourists that we are, simply had to photograph everything. But by the time you snapped your photo there were dwindling leaves in the spot were Pierre just stood and you would see the wisps of his jacket turning about the next corner. 

Even though the tour was quite exhausting Pierre did manage to give us a complete tour of the city and as we discussed during our well deserved lunch, we loved it! Maastricht really is a glorious college town where any person would be more than happy to live. With adorable nooks, delicious ice cream parlors, and a prestigious university it may just be the perfect spot to earn a masters degree.  

 

Right Time June 28, 2010

Posted by eranmordel in Travel Log.
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Time is a magnificent, harsh, significant, and for better or for worse, indelible, thing. Time at Georgia Tech Lorraine is odd, and even six weeks into the program, I can still not put any parameters on it. No week, no day, no class, no weekend, no meal, no night, no language, and no sort of structure are the same in any two days.

At 8:15 AM on Tuesday in Metz, France, GTL awakens for the week. Either groggy from overnight trains, late to class from missed trains, or simply tired from a weekend unfathomable anywhere else, students fill the lounge (I typically play chess or ping pong there), computer lab, and classrooms. Lunch is on a cafeteria meal plan (daily selection of French cheese), and dinner is either [attempted to be] cooked or simply purchased. And, no less than a few hours back into Metz, the next weekend is already begun being planned. The rest of the week is indulged in late night booking/reserving, mingling with French students, or studying (“T-square.com” (the official GT class website), “Cheaptickets.com,” “Hostelworld.com,” Google entries searching “adventure in Europe” or a rendition of that, and Facebook [obviously] are the tabs that open on the internet browsers).

But, my weekdays in Metz, France, simply cannot keep up with the weekends.

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The swing of things… June 28, 2010

Posted by J.T. Foust in Travel Log.
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So it turns out that classes here at GTL really aren’t such a light time commitment as one would be led to believe. None the less, I’m finally feeling acclimated to just being/living in Europe. It sure did take long enough, but now the lack of ability to communicate, the confusion that generally accompanied even the simplest of daily task, and the uncertainty of what to expect while traveling have finally run their course. I’m feeling much more comfortable with traveling and functioning in places where I don’t know how to even say please and thank you. France (and specifically Metz) is much better than that. But, I don’t think that I will ever be quite used to the fact that practically every hotel room in France and Italy has a bidet. (more…)

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