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The European Union, through an American’s Eyes July 14, 2010

Posted by kvrensburg in Travel Log.
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View from our hostelMay 14: Today we had a class at the university with Paulo Barcelus. He started explaining the government of Portugal to us, but then remarked that we cannot understand Portugal fully without understanding the European Union. This was strange to me, because albeit that I have heard of the European Union, and I have a rough idea of what it is, I didn’t fully understand why it was necessary to understand the European Union in order to understand Portugal.  Is Portugal not its own country? Are the people not citizens of Portugal? Well, as I found out during this lecture, the answer to these questions is both yes and no. (more…)

Europe in 14 points June 6, 2010

Posted by gtpspdirector in Travel Log.
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It’s been two weeks since I arrived in Europe, two weeks of new cities, new languages, new experiences, and a whole lotta learning.  In honor of the American president who gave us so much of what eventually became liberalism (and because I’ve spent 14 days here) and in no particular order, here are 14 points on my travels in London and Belgium:

  1. Overnight flights with personal entertainment screens, free dinner, free breakfast, and a packed second dinner are surprisingly bearable
  2. Astor Hyde Park = awesome hostel in London.  It’s located in a great place to play Embassy Bingo and has a great “Student Traveler” atmosphere
  3. Best experience to have within 12 hours of entering a new continent? Testing out the local health care by bringing your travel mate to the hospital for falling off of the bunk and needing stitches.  He’s fine.
  4. Mind the Gap. ‘Nuff said.
  5. Yes, the cars drive on the wrong side of the road in the UK.  London’s authorities recognize the confusion this causes in the minds of American travelers and so conveniently paints on the roadways which way to look while crossing.  It’s true!
  6. London is old.  Really old.  So old it makes St. Augustine look like a punk kid city still going through puberty. (more…)