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Au revoir au Continent! July 21, 2010

Posted by luciabird in Travel Log.
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On our way to Berlin, we stopped at Terezín, which was once an internment camp for Jews and other enemies of Nazi Germany during WWII.  Although sobering, this was a very educational experience.  After reading so many books about the Holocaust in school and on my own, actually witnessing a camp was both disturbing and enlightening.  Our first night in Berlin, I was a tad sick and had to make a quick trip to the hospital.  The efficiency of the Germans is no joke; I was in and out of the Emergency Room within three hours!  The best part of Berlin was definitely the music!  First, we saw the Berlin Philharmonic as part of our music curriculum.  We were in nosebleed seats at the very top of the concert hall, but the acoustics were so perfect that I felt like I could hear every instrument very clearly. The next night, I saw Blue Man Group in Berlin. Blue Man Group is composed of three people, painted completely blue and wearing black jumpsuits, who use unorthodox items, like pipes, ball bearings, and airpoles (in addition to unusually played traditional instruments like the Hungarian stringed cimbalom and drums) to make music. They also employ paint and various methods of application (like catching small paint balls in their mouth and then spraying the paint onto a canvas) for enhanced visual appeal.  It was the most unique musical experience I have had.

Our next stop was Bruges, Belgium.  This city turned out to be a charming, pleasant city to relax before Paris, finals, and the end of our trip.  The chocolate in Belgium was amazing (which I can say from A LOT of personal experience)!  While in Bruges, we made a day trip to Brussels, which turned out to be beautiful. We saw the Horta Museum while we were there, which was created by architect Victor Horta in the Art Nouveau style. The highlight of Bruges for me, though, was running into two friends from my high school completely randomly! My friend and I were walking over a bridge and I just happened to see them, and then we were able to catch up over dinner.  It was a perfect end to Belgium!

Our last city was Paris, France. On the bus ride there, we stopped in Gent to see an early Northern Renaissance altarpiece and look around the town.  Paris was filled with art museums and studying for me because we had our music and art history finals.  We spent several hours at the Louvre and Pompidou.  In between these two museums, there was just enough time to see one of the World Cup soccer games, which made the boys in the group very happy.  My favorite part of Paris was seeing Versailles.  It was so incredibly ornate, with impressive paintings and beautiful gardens.  It was easy to see why there might have been a revolution!  Our last night in Paris, we all walked to the Eiffel Tower.  The light show after the sunset was amazing, and we happened to also run into other Tech students on the French LBAT. We woke up early the next morning to get on the Chunnel and arrive in the United Kingdom!

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