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ABCs of GTL (A-E) July 25, 2011

Posted by Layla Marshall in Travel Log.

To give a sampling of what I’ve seen and experienced so far in Europe, I’m going to go through the ABCs of my summer studying at Georgia Tech Lorraine:

Atomium, BrusselsA:  Atomium—the structure built in 1958 for the World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium.  I visited Belgium on a two-day weekend, Brussels on Saturday and Bruges on Sunday.  While in Brussels, my group visited the Coudenberg archaeological site (location of the former palace) and the Atomium.  We also experienced Belgian waffles.  They were delicious, but almost too sweet—I’ve never seen so much chocolate sauce on a dessert.  I had to get whipped cream to balance it out.  My favorite combination (I only tried two that weekend, but I know what I’m getting again if I ever go back) was whipped cream and strawberries.  In Bruges on Sunday, we walked to the top of the clock tower in the main square and wandered through the city, passing by the canals and trying Belgian chocolate on the way.

Kaisertherman, Trier, GermanyB: Baths—Roman ruins in Trier, Germany.  I took a two-day weekend trip to two medieval towns in Germany.  Trier was full of reminders of the Roman days.  It had three sites of Roman baths, two of which were open to tourists, and an amphitheater that frequently hosted reenactments of gladiatorial battles.  We walked to all these sites despite the drizzly weather, and we walked along the river by the krahnen (cranes) which used to be use to transfer supplies to and from ships.


C:  Cheese and Chocolate—Interlaken, Switzerland.  I traveled to Switzerland on a four-day weekend with a group of ten, and we had a wonderful time exploring the mountains.  We rode alpine trains to the foot of trails on both full days and hiked for four or five hours between towns and along a ridge.  We made friends with the cows whose pastures we walked through.  Our hostel graciously provided us with fresh local Swiss cheese for breakfast, and we made many trips to the nearby grocery store for chocolate.  Switzerland is a beautiful country (I got to experience the scenery again through the train window on our way back from Italy later), and this was definitely one of my favorite trips.

Schynige Platte, Switzerland

St PetersD:  Domes—Cathedral climbing in Vatican City and Florence, Italy.  Churches often offer the best aerial views of cities, and we took advantage of that fact in Rome (St. Peter’s Basilica) and Florence (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore).  The view at the top is definitely worth all the narrow, windy stairs (sometimes hosting both directions of traffic, as in Florence).  On the way to the top, we got to see the inside of the basilicas from above as well.

Basilica in Florence

E:  European Parliament—Strasbourg, France.  During one of the two GTL weekday field trips, we rode buses to Strasbourg, capital of Alsace and an important location for the European Union.  After a morning bus tour and a few hours of walking exploration of the city, I joined a smaller group of GTL students for a tour of European Parliament.  We got to sit in on a plenary session and listen to the various members of parliament voice their views on the current topic.  The most amazing part of the visit was flipping through all the channels of languages spoken by the EU.  Headphones beside our seats allowed us to listen to translators’ versions of English so we could keep up with the speakers.  It was impressive to think that a group of people speaking twenty-three different languages can coordinate so well to make important decisions for its twenty-seven member states.

EU Parliament, Strasbourg, France



1. tiberiu pincova - October 23, 2011

Very nice all that you posted and nice to meet you… next time when you travell someware, tell me, i comme with you!

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