Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Notre Dame

On Saturday after Versailles we went to the Notre Dame. I think this was one of my favorite places. I walked inside and my mouth pretty much dropped. It was so huge and beautiful inside. It is hard to image them building such a building so long ago. I think the most amazing part about the inside is the stained glass windows. They are so colorful and just set the mood. After we walked around the church we just sat in the pews for a while and stared up in awe. It felt so peaceful inside. I hope one day I can go back.


On Saturday, we spent the day at Versailles. The day consisted of a lot of walking because the place was so big. I think my favorite part about it was the beautiful gardens. It was really a beautiful palace. Marie-Antoinette's estate and Grand Trianon are also on site. I won't bore you with words any longer, here are the pictures.... (sorry there not in order).

Marie Antoinette's bedroom.

Front Gate

Monday, June 21, 2010

Back from Paris

So we just got back from our weekend in Paris!
It was so fun and such an adventure.

I don't even know where to start.... I'm thinking I might spread out these blog posts because we did so much in the 3 days we were there. I don't think I have ever walked so much in my life. Seriously a lot of walking. Which was good because the only food they have in Paris is bread, cheese, and crepes. Seriously. One day we got breakfast at our hotel. They brought us a crossiant, bread, and hot chocolate.

So I should probably try and start at the beginning of our little adventure...
Friday morning we woke up early and headed to Paris. Once we got into france we had to go through probably 6 or 8 toll booths. Luckily for us, some of them were on strike. Once we got to Paris, we found our quaint little hotel. Then we headed toward the Metro...

We took the Metro everywhere. It is pretty much like the subway. Sometimes it smelled because of the bums.

The eiffel tower was amazing and beautiful! We waited in line and finally got to walk up those billion stairs. Ashley ran up the stairs. We only got to go to the 2nd level because the line to the top was really really long and it cost money. We could still see pretty much all of Paris from there though.

When we got to the bottom we walked to this little viewing area and ate our first Parisian Crepes. Delicious. We also got to see them light the tower. I think it looks way prettier at night.

So that is the extent of our first day in Paris. Here are some pictures from our first day there. More to come!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dachau Concentration Camp

On Wednesday on our way home from our little trip in Southern Germany we stopped at the Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich.

It was pouring down rain the whole time we were there.
It is hard to find words to describe this experience. It's hard to imagine what those people went through. It's really just a sad sad part of history.
It was really weird touching the walls and doorknobs, walking across the floor and camp itself knowing that thousands of people were tortured here and died a horrible death.

This is on the gate when you first walk in the camp, it says "Work will set you free" which was a lie.
This is a sink room where the special prisoners were allowed to wash up. A lot of special prisoners were at this camp. Specail prisoners were mostly priests from all denominations and they were given a little better treatment.

These are the bunk beds where 2-3 people would be in each bed. These aren't the actual beds. They had to burn all the baracks and furniture in them because of all the disease.

This is the creamatory. The sign said they would burn 2-3 dead bodies in these at a time.

This was a piece of artwork in the museum.

This is the gas chamber. For unknown reasons the gas chamber was never used at this concentration camp. At other concentration camps with similar gas rooms, they would heard the prisoners in these rooms telling them they were shower rooms.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Southern Germany

I wish I could have blogged while I was on my little trip to Southern Germany but the internet was 10$ a day.

Monday afternoon we left for Garmish Germany. . It is a little town on the Germany Austria border. Our GPS died so I had to be the map reader for Halli. The drive over there was so pretty. We stayed in a cute little military hotel with an awesome view of the alps from our balcony.

That night we went to a cute little resturant called Bollywood. It was my first time eating Indian food, it was pretty good! This is also where I learned to say Thank you in German! Danka (I think thats how its spelled).

Tuesday we woke up bright and early, ate a big breakfast and headed towards the castles. We went to 3 out of the 4 castles that belonged to King Ludwig II. The first castle we went to was Hohenschwangau. This castle was smaller and more of a private get away.

The second castle we went to is Neuschwanstein. Cinderella's story was based off this castle. The king never actually lived in it and it was never completed. It was a huge castle. It was quite a long hike to the top. We paid 3 Euro's to take a horse carriage ride down the hill.

The third castle was Linderhof and it was my favorite. The king lived in this castle for 8 years. It was built to mimic versaille castle in Paris. The castle itself was small but very decorated. Everything inside was covered in gold or very fancy. It was all so beautiful inside. It's hard to image they built that kind of stuff so long ago. There were beautiful gardens all around the palace. There was also tons of fields full of wild flowers. King Ludwig II was a very extravogant man. He built his own cave where he hired opera singers and orchestras to play for him while he rowed around in his little boat on the lake in the cave. There were other cute buildings surrounding the palace... I'm not exactly sure what they were fore though. We didn't get to take any pictures inside the castles, but I took plenty outside.

All the furniture inside these castles was extremely old looking but very intricate looking. I can't even image living in places like this. King Ludwig II died a very mysterious death and he spent way to much money building these castles. After his death, it took his family 40 years to pay off his debt.
The castles all have a swan theme. We actually got to see some swans too at the lake near Linderhof!

The river water along the alps is so crystal clear. The water is really cold too!

The internet is not very good here and I can't get the pictures to allign properly or edit pictures. Kinda annoying.

Today we headed back towards Munich and went to the Dachau concentration camp. I'll post about that tomorrow.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's been a long couple days...

We made it! All of our flights were on time and went smoothly. The last part of the trip was super long. Almost 8 hours on the plane. We found ways to entertain ourselves though :)
This picture was taken right before we left.

So far we've been up for about 2 days now. We are all exhausted, but we made it safe and sound to Taylor's sisters (Halli) house in Germany.
We had trouble with the rental car we were suppose to pick up in Prague so instead of taking two cars back... we all crammed into Halli and Cameron's (Halli's husband) car. With all of our luggage. We got two of our bags to fit in the trunk but the last one was unsuccessful. I attempted to shove it in there... only to smack my head on the open truck. I now have a big bump on my forehead.

We ended up putting the suitcase in the back seat. Not to comfortable, but it worked!

So far everything looks like Oregon except for the buildings are a lot more colorful and some of the cities are ancient looking. We got to drive on the autobahn, we were going pretty fast. The toilets here are really weird... they remind me of RV toilets. The bathrooms weren't very clean. Oh an apparently Europeans don't wear deoderant. At least not the ones in the Czech Republic.

We have all showered and ate. Now its time for some naps!