8 Things You Don’t Want to Miss in Prague (and an update on some other stuff)

Hi everyone! Welcome to our Prague Blog!!! (with minor updates about life in Germany for our moms and grandmas that care…)

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So a lot has been happening here in Bonn, Germany! The few weeks following spring break took off to be the busiest ones yet! Whoever says studying abroad is easy didn’t find themselves in the whirlwind we just came out of. (But we would still take it over any semester back home, don’t get us wrong!) Here’s a few quick updates of the FUN things that we’ve been up to though that have been keeping us busy!

 

We also took part in our program’s “Charity Weekend,” where we participated in the first-annual BIG EVENT, Bonn Germany style! We split up into groups and completed various service tasks such as gardening or painting houses. Also part of the “Charity Weekend” was the annual Bonn Marathon. Laura successfully completed her first Half Marathon (all 13.1 miles!!), and Kelsey ran as part of the Relay team, somehow getting stuck running the longest leg of her team at a whopping 7.2 miles!! (Totally unprepared and barely surviving… but I did it!!!)

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Now, here’s the real reason for this blog update! We recently took a weekend trip over to Prague, Czech Republic and it was absolutely fabulous!!! Here are 10 things that you surely can not miss!

 

1. TRDLNIKS!!!! Thought about saving the best for last, but nope! This sweet find lands it’s spot at #1. You may be surprised to see that we didn’t list the astronomical clock as our first choice, but if you know us, you know sweet treats will always take the cake! (Or take the Trdlniks…. in this case.)

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Cinnamon Sugar goodness in every bite

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2. PRAGUE CASTLE. This awesome sight deserves a half day to itself. We decided to take the visit up to the cathedral and it’s surrounding sites on Palm Sunday which seemed to be a mistake because the Cathedral was “closed for the day…..” but our sneaky selves figured out how to get in for a service and we still got to take in all of it’s glory while listening to a play in 100% Czech. Slightly confused and a little freezing in the church, we stuck out like the tourists that we are but still enjoyed the experience. The whole area was a definite must-see! Plus, the views from the top of the hill where the Cathedral sits were breathtaking!

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View of the Castle from Across the River

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3. OLD TOWN SQUARE. I can’t tell if we LOVED this square because of our luck with hitting the Easter markets that totally covered every square inch of the place, but something tells me that it would still be great even without the numerous market stands selling fried amazingness of all kinds, beer, and czech hand painted eggs. This was totally the place to be, and we were so glad we happened upon it at such a lively time!

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Fried Food goodness

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4. THE ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK. Well…. even though this clock was rated one of the most overrated tourist attractions in Europe, it was still really stinkin’ cool to see. The clock covers a whole side of the tower at one end of the Old Town square and it’s vibrant colors and detailed stone work will surely capture your attention. Stay near during the hour change, but after you’ve seen and heard it in all it’s glory when the clock strikes a new hour, avoid it at all cost because it cloggs up like nobody’s business every hour of the day. If you’re lucky enough to catch a tour, hearing about the history of the clock and the stories (true or false) that go along with it really makes it all the more interesting!

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5. FREE TOURS Speaking of tours…. you really should catch one of the many free ones offered in Prague. We took a tour that met at the clock at 11 and lead us around to many sights and areas of the city. Totally worth it and a great way to see a lot in a short amount of time!

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6. JOHN LENNON WALL. Well basically it’s a wall covered in spray paint that anyone can tag, but totally the coolest if you want to take some group pictures. There are also some neat bars and cafes nearby.

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7. LOKAL. This place is awesome. Prague is known for serving “Tank” beers (a form of beer that is apparently more perfect than any other beer because of its lack of imperfections that are avoided in the way it is served by a tank rather than tap… it doesn’t ever come in contact with any air source until it is poured into your glass) and if you ever want to find these “Tank” beers, Lokal is the place to do it!

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8. THE CHARLES BRIDGE (At 5am). This may sound totally crazy, but after we walked across the bridge during the day in all of it’s chaos, we decided we would come back at an ungodly hour to take some photos if we could force ourselves to wake up. Somehow we did, and it was totally worth it! The calmness at the bridge that early in the morning was beautiful. However, if waking up at the crack of dawn isn’t quite your cup of tea, don’t worry…. the bridge is awesome during all times of the day and is filled with street performers, artists, and all sorts of things for sale.

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As our time in Germany nears it’s end, we can’t believe how quickly the semester has flown by. We look forward to our next adventures to come, and we will surely keep you updated to the best of our ability!

 

See you soon, ‘Merica! (20 DAYS!!!!)

 

Much Love,

Kelsey & Laura

 

Planes, Trains & Water Taxis: Laura in Vienna, Venice & London

Oh gosh Oh gosh where to even begin? I suppose I should start with the fact that I feel so unbelievably blessed and thankful to have gotten to spend one jam packed week with the three greatest people I know. After much deliberation (and surprisingly no arguing on mine and Jay’s part), we all decided that Austria and Italy were where we wanted to spend this unbelievable week to come. And because they would be leaving early friday morning, I decided I would meet up with some friends in London for a few days!

Friday morning I met Mom, Dad and Jay at the Frankfurt Airport which is actually really great because the train station and the airport are connected! Talk about convenient for me! Though it was a maze to actually find their arrival gate, I finally made it and awaited their arrival with some fellow Aggies and Longhorns I met! After finally getting that long awaited mommy-hug, we went to the hotel, settled in, and headed out on our first day trip to Wiesbaden!

Day 1: Wiesbaden, Germany

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The trees in this city are just like the trees we have here in Bonn and they are just the weirdest/coolest/funniest looking things I ever did see! We strolled through the city, they tried some authentic german dishes (Schnitzel and whatnot) and that evening we headed back to Frankfurt because we had an early flight to catch to Vienna the next morning!

Day 2: Vienna, Austria

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Wow, not even on the ground yet and already loving the Austrian Countryside!

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Not sure how we got so lucky, but out hotel had a gorgeous balcony view of a fun street in the heart of Vienna! Jay also found made a good, solid friend while roaming the city. This also just happened to be Daddy’s birthday so we headed to a nice little dinner to celebrate! While the city of Vienna was a little different than I expected, the suburbs hit the nail on the head!

Day 3: Salzburg, Austria

Just a little background on Salzburg, not only is it the birthplace of Mozart, it was also originally know for it’s salt mines (hint hint “Salz”-burg, which directly translates to “Salt-Fortress” because it also has a fortress, creative, right?), but it is more commonly known today for being the main location that “The Sound of Music” was filmed and where the Von Trapp family actually resided.

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Not only is this building architecturally beautiful, but it is also the back of The Von Trapp’s home (in the film).

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The yellow building is the birthplace of Mozart, as well as the current location of the Mozart Museum. This street is also lined with ornate and beautiful rod iron signs (like really, tell me that’s not the most beautiful McDonald’s sign you’ve ever seen) We also stumbled upon a wonderful garden when making our way up to the Hohensalzburg Castle at the top of the hill.

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The views from up here were just in a league of their own. As we sat at a little cafe at the top of the fortress eating the famous Sachertorte (basically a really complex, layered, chocolate cake, first created in Austria),  we were in awe of the beauty that was surrounding us. The city of Salzburg was the highlight of Vienna for me, and no, it had nothing to do with the cake.. okay maybe a little, but the hills were definitely alive and as gorgeous as ever.

Day 4: Vienna, Austria

Back in Vienna for the day so we decided we would go on a fun city tour and see some of the typical Viennese sights!

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St. Stephen’s Cathedral was under construction (unless you were fooled by the decorated scaffoldings) but was nothing short of incredible. We also had a fun time getting to see the Vienna Opera House and walking around the city before catching our flight to Venice that evening.

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Oh and we really couldn’t have asked for a better sunset to fly off into in our fighter jet (just kidding but this was not your average plane). After arriving at the airport in Venice, our only option was to take a water taxi (aka those cute little boats you expect to see roaming the canals of Venice), and it dropped us off right at the back door of our hotel (seriously boat to building, nothing in-between) that also ran along several canals.

Day 5/6: Venice, Italy

I don’t even know how to put my love for Venice into words so I’ll just post some photos that don’t even do the town justice.

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Venice and was a relaxed city with so much to offer. We toured Doge’s Palace as well as visited the island of Murano (famous for glass blowing) and actually got to see a man make a horse out of glass in a matter of minutes  (it also appears to be on fire because he put a 5 euro bill on it and it burst into flames because the glass was still so hot even after being molded and shaped for a minute or two, it was quite the process!) I also have to take a moment to dedicate a sentence or two to the incredible food and gelato. Hands down the absolute best meal I have had since going abroad (spinach and gorgonzola ravioli and I snuck a few bites of Jay’s lasagna and both were nothing less than perfection. If you ever find yourself in Venice needing a place to get a great meal, Vino Vino will not disappoint! (We even went there 2 nights in a row..) Oh and the gelato. So American chocolate is pretty pricey over here (in Bonn at least), so I bet you can believe my excitement/shock when I saw KIT-KAT Gelato! It was better than I ever expected and it’s probably for the best they don’t offer it here in Bonn. We also visited the Ponte di Rialto and admired the gondolas as they floated by. As we were leaving bright and way too early the next morning, we were in our water taxi headed back to the airport and we passed a boat full of flowers ready to deliver the day’s fresh beauties. It was so perfect and calm, just like Venice.

Day 7: Heidelberg, Germany

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As we flew from Italy back to Frankfurt, we flew over the icy Swiss Alps! Because we had about half a day in Frankfurt, we decided to head to a small town called Heidelberg not far from Frankfurt. We saw one of the largest wine barrels in the world and got to try “Ice Wine” which is made from frozen grapes and tastes heavenly. We toured Heidelberg Castle and saw gorgeous views of the city. We stopped at a Turkish Doner shop for Doner Kebaps (really popular in Germany, made of pita, chicken, lettuce, some yummy white sauce, chili sauce, and red pepper if you like it spicy, and plenty of other things if you’re less picky than I am!) and Jay loved them! We then walked around the town a little before heading to a small brewery for a last German beer before their early flight home the next morning.

Day 8/9/10: Farewell Family/London

As we traveled to the airport that morning, I dreaded finally making it to the terminal because the last thing I wanted to do was say goodbye. Luckily (Dad would disagree that this was lucky), because Dad and Jay have almost the exact same name, and apparently that is a very foreign concept over here, one of their tickets was missing on the flight reservation so that took some time to get straightened out. The woman helping us was so shocked by the name issue she even went as far as to ask us where the other two “James Preston’s were hiding”, she was tickled with herself and it made us laugh but we cut it pretty close to get to their gate in time for boarding. So in the end, I got my wish and we got to spend a lot more time together than expected and they barely boarded before the doors closed! After I watched their plane take off, I headed to my terminal to catch my plane to London. An unbelievably expensive cab ride, and 20 tube stops later, I finally met up with my friends and we set out to see the sights! Having already been lucky enough to visit London 3 years ago, it was a more laid back stroll through the city, picking up on the little things I missed several years ago.

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We headed straight for Big Ben and the Parliament Building. We also attended an Evensong service at Westminster Abbey and that was hands down one of the coolest experiences of my life. Because you are not allowed to take photos in the abbey, I couldn’t video it, but the acoustics as the choir sang some of my favorite hymns was breath taking. We visited Buckingham Palace and had tea with the Queen, and (wait I wish) but we took some pictures, saw some street performances, strolled through Green and Hyde Park and on one day even found a Chipotle!! This may not be a big deal to some of you but to someone who hasn’t had even a hint of good Mexican food in months, this was quite the find. We even ran into 4 other A&M students in our program while we were waiting in line! Oh and happy late St. Patty’s day!

As my dream spring break came to close and we headed back to Bonn, it was hard to grasp all of the amazing things we had done and seen, and how I would manage to try and remember it all like it was yesterday because the memories made this trip are some I never want to fade. Getting to travel was great, but getting to see my family really made it a week to cherish.

Until next time,

Laura

Observations of a Royal Wannabe: Kelsey in London and Dublin

Hi again! Hoping everyone had a great spring break wherever they went. I was so very thankful to have spent my week off with the people I love most!… None other than Mom, Dad and brother! It was so great to have them around to explore the London lifestyle with me and to adventure out to friendly Ireland with too. 

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Here’s the Recap on London:

Where we stayed: St. Ermins hotel. Loved it. It sure was a treat to upgrade from the regular student budget life I’ve been living back to family vacation style! Location was fab and the staff was great! What a happy time. Thanks mom and dad! 

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What we saw: If you know me at all, you know I’m mildly weirdly obsessed with Kate Middleton. So to say I was excited to visit London is an understatement. Like any good family travelers, we made stops at all of the top tourist-y places: Westmister Abby, Big Ben, The Tower bridge of London, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Harrods, etc., the list goes on and on.  I should probably also be taken in by the royal guards for all of the “illegal” photos that I took. I’m pretty good at being pretty sneaky!!! 

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The nave at Westmister (Aisle that Kate walked down on her big day!)Image

Lady Chapel at Westmister… aka my favorite church ceiling ever…. Image

Mom and I repping our own Royalty at Westmister. ZTA love!ImageImageImage

 

At Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace with Mom! 

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London Eye

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With all due respect, this shrine at Harrod’s was a little tacky for a Princess if you ask me! Had to photograph the moment. haha

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Never seen a department store with an Oyster Bar and Caviar in the food court, but hey, first time for everything! Let’s just say all I walked away with from Harrod’s was a Harrod’s coffee mug and a little coin purse…. I couldn’t hang with the true Harrod’s Natives. 

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Tower Bridge 

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Entrance to the Tower of London and my favorite tour we took!! 

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Our great Tower of London guide and the closest thing to Royal I found all week

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Guard outside the building that holds the Crown Jewels 

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Some of the things I wasn’t supposed to take pics of but did anyways. Don’t report me! 

What we ate: EH. If you like fried everything, then London is the place for you. If you don’t… well then get prepared to look far and wide cause we sure had a hard time finding food worth while. Everything was pub-y or just not super impressive. Maybe we just looked in the wrong places. And a bit of advice: if you’re an adventurous eater, stay away from the hamhock (whatever it is) because you won’t be happily surprised. Dad learned the hard way on that. Sorry, dad. 

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Pub Life!

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Day Trips: We visited Windsor Castle, where the queen spends her weekends. I don’t know what it takes to have a weekend home like that but if anyone has a direct connection to Prince Harry, please call me as soon as possible. We also stopped at Stonehenge, and then went a little ways longer into Bathe. Loved the whole day and all the sights were great! Had to buy a giftshop fleece jacket because I was freezing to death. 

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Windsor Castle

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So when can we move in?!

Next Stop: Stonehenge!

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And Last stop: Bathe… Such a gorgeous town!!!

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At the Roman Baths in Bath

 

 

After London, we flew over to Dublin, Ireland. This may be my favorite country I have been lucky enough to visit so far. If I had to sum it up, I would say that it is the Texas of Europe. Everyone was so friendly, alive and helpful! It was such a great escape to be able to feel so at home even though I am still so far away. 

Where we Stayed: Davenport Hotel…. sadly I have no pics but it was great and the staff was overly friendly and helpful! Right in the heart of Dublin.

What we Saw: Took a day trip to Limerick, Bunratty Castle, Doolin, Cliffs of Moher and Galway, Trinity College, Temple bar area, Guinness Storehouse and Kilmainham Jail. 

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Almost looks like our last name? Kind of a stretch but we’ll go with it.

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Dublin at night

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Ate a traditional Irish dinner while listening to live Irish music and watching Irish Dancers… so fun!

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Foggy Cliffs of Moher but still beautiful

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At the edge of Europe!

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Bunratty Castle and Village

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Climbing up the castle steps

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Mom and Dad in Doolin

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The walls all over the country side of Ireland that I am in love with. So beautiful how they all stay together without anything holding them together. 

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Thought the shadow was neat

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Galway

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Guinness Storehouse

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Learning to pour the perfect Guinness

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Kilmainham Jail Tour

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locked in my cell

What we ate: Soup and Stew. Loads and loads of soup and stew. Seafood chowder, Irish stew, vegetable soup. It was everywhere. I guess soup and beer is the diet of a good Irishman! (And probably a whole lot of other things but these seemed to be our go-to orders.)

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Looks so gross but I promise you it’s not bad!

 

Spring break was a success to say the least! Having my family in town was a great reminder that it’s not the places that you go that make memories, but the people that you share those places with! Wherever you are, cherish the people that you share life with and be glad! Thanks for coming to see me… Love you! Until next time, Strut those Irish sweaters with style!

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If I don’t return home, you’ll find me “accidentally” lost in Ireland!! 

See y’all soon! 

Kelsey 

 

Fancy Sights & Sweet Delights: Je t’aime Paris

Bonjour! 

After this weekend, we have one main thing to say. 

J’ai deux amours…..Mon pays et Paris. (I have two loves…..my country and Paris.)

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To put it simply….. WE FREAKIN’ LOVED PARIS. We stayed in the beautiful city of lights for about 3 days, and saw so many wonderful things. It was truly a dream come true…. So bear with us cause this blog is gonna talk a lot about sweets, but it may not be so short! 

Before going to Paris, we had heard from multiple people how the French people would be rude and would have poor service, that the city would be dirty and gross, and that we would be scammed and over-charged. Not sure what Paris they went to, but this surely was not the case for us! We were greeted with nothing but the sweet sound of Bonjour and many French smiles. We stayed in the 3rd Arrondissement of Paris near the Republique Metro stop, and it was quite a perfect location. We were within walking distance to the Notre Dame, Places des Vosges, St. Chapelle, The Louvre, Love-Lock bridge, Bastille, and much much more. To keep things organized, we’re gonna cover the “Must-See/Do” things that we experienced and then we’ll talk about the food…. (and wine) cause that deserves a blog in itself!!! 

 

We arrived on Friday afternoon and checked into our hotel around 1pm. Thank goodness that we looked at how to get there from the Gare du Nord station, because if we hadn’t we would have been a little confused! SHOUT OUT TO GOOGLE MAPS…. YOU ROCK! The metro was easy to figure out and literally can get you anywhere in this great city. 

After we checked in, we headed straight out to follow our list for the day! So much to see, so little time. (Like you could seriously spend a month in this city and not see everything….) During the first day, we managed to make it to the Notre Dame Cathedral, Love Lock bridge, St. Chapelle, Places des Vosges, Bastille, The Louvre (sorta… just to take our typical tourist-y pic and then went back later but we’ll get to that…) and then we ate dinner at this great place on a market street in the 7th Arrondissement and made our way to the Eiffel Tower for pics and our Boat tour on the Seine River. Here’s pics from the day!!! 

 

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View from our hotel window… a cute little street down below! 

 

Our Hotel was great for the price and location, but there was only 2 outlets in the whole room. This became kind of a joke if you can imagine four girls in one room trying to get ready with two outlets and the need to charge four cell phones. Quite a challenge. 

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First stop, Places des Vosges! The oldest square in Paris. Cute little shops border the square and there are park benches and grass that people were hanging out at. 

 

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After visiting the square, we continued walking to the Notre Dame Cathedral….. so now we’re gonna just take a second to talk about the doors in Paris that we saw during our walks because we were in LOVE with the doors. They are all so grand and unique and beautiful and ornate and gigantic and basically every other word that describes amazing-ness. If you never thought twice about the doors around you, Paris will make you think again. The streets basically shout “HEY CHECK OUT THESE DOORS AND THIS IRON WORK!!!” Maybe it’s just us…. or maybe it’s not. Here’s some of the beauties that we captured. 

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Random door on the corner of a block in Paris…. statues, carvings, bright berry colored paint…. but it’s totally casual. Nothing to see here y’all.

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One of the million Blue colored doors we passed. LOVE THEM. Blue, Pink, Green….. all gorgeous and so Luxe looking. It’s kind of hilarious because there’s like these amazing doors and then random shack-y stores next to them or grafiti like on the same block. These Parisians don’t know how beautiful their everyday lives are! So chic, so effortlessly regal! 

So now that we took a little detour to freak out over these excellent entry ways, let’s re-shift focus back to the Notre Dame! This Cathedral sits right on the banks of the Seine River, and is just perfect. The flying buttresses and rose windows are captivating! 

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Dat Rose window doe…. I see you there….

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After this visit, we made our way over to what we found was one of many Love Lock bridges in Paris. This city must really be the City of Love to have this many locks hanging on these bridges!!! A LOT OF LOVE, PEOPLE! 

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Bridge with Notre Dame in the background 

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Laura being all cute and stuff putting her lock on the bridge while I sit with my love-less lock-less self and photograph the moment for her…. So cute….

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Magical moment at the bridge. It started raining while it was sunny, so at first we were like “CRAP… WHAT IS GOING ONNNNN!!!” and then this magical rainbow appeared and we were like WOW you can’t make this stuff up. God, you did good. What a beautiful moment!!! 

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Panoramic shot of the Notre Dame, Love lock bridge, Seine River and THE STINKIN END OF A RAINBOW. Like come on, this is real life? Paris, why are you so good to us?

After this we walked a little more to St. Chapelle, where we stared at some even more impressive stained glass windows… and got in for free for being students in Germany! 

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This church is incredible. It was under construction when we got there which kinda stunk cause we didn’t get to see the interior in all of it’s glory, but we got pretty close! The entire church is wall to wall and floor to ceiling stained glass, and the ceiling displays an intricate design of navy with white stars on it. 

Our next stop on the list was the Louvre, but on the way we enjoyed some cute flower shops, the typical street architecture, crepe stands and street markets!

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We then quickly stopped at the Louvre for some photos before heading to dinner! 

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Cliche Tourist Paris First-timer pics…. Are we doing this right?

After this we got a little turned around in the city of lights during our attempt to find some food, but after pizza and a glass of wine, the stress levels were back to a normal zone and we continued our night walk to the Eiffel Tower before boarding our boat for the tour. 

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We took a night-time city boat tour through the tour company Bateaux-Moches and really enjoyed seeing the city at night! The Seine River runs so closely to many of the city’s sights, and it was a great and relaxing way to end our first night in Paris. The hot wine they sold us was also not a bad extra!! So yummy and warm! 

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DAY 2 IN THE CITY OF LIGHTS

We woke up early and went to breakfast! We all decided to try the chocolate eclairs but here’s a picture of what our options were! YUM! Pastries and coffee…. breakfast of champions! (And maybe people with high cholesterol, but we can ignore that part.)

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We headed to the Eiffel Tower early this morning to beat the line to ride to the top! Kind of a tourist trap, but still really cool. There are tons of people with clip-boards running around asking you to sign them for their petition to whatever heart warming cause they are after, but DON’T SIGN THEM! Pick-pockets in disguise. Gypsy life and up to no good. 

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On the second deck of the tower workin’ those cliche berets! 

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Up at the tippy-top!

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Back safely on the ground! 

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We tried to be cute and take jumping pics, but the hair in our face problem was a real issue. So to those of you who successfully snap one of those shots…. we pat you on the back. 

Next stop of our Parisian checklist was to Champs Eleysee and the Arc de Triomphe. We stopped to grab lunch near the Arc de Triomphe and each tried a Croque Monsieur, a typical French sandwich. (Basically a grilled cheese sandwich on steroids… so yum!)

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Croque Monsieur 

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Arc de Triomphe 

When we walked down Champs Eleysee, we stopped in at the super high end stores and pretended we could totally buy things there and weren’t simple college girls traveling on a budget. Not sure if we had anyone fooled, but it was fun to see the window displays and to go into the mothership of Louis Vuitton. 

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Of all the stores on Champs Eleysee that we pretended at, there was definitely one that we had no intentions of pretending with, and that was none other than Laduree! This little vintage parisian style cafe has been made famous for not only having what is known to be some of the first macarons in Paris, but has been made notable by none other than many of our favorite’s TV series, Gossip Girl. We channeled our inner Blair Waldorf and loved what we saw! 

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The pastry boutique is preciously decorated with traditional pastels and marble. It really takes you back to what you always envisioned Paris to be. The line to get in this place is seriously OUT THE DOOR. The amount of people at this place made us really wonder if these are the best macarons in Paris, and so, our quest to find the best began. 

We tried Macarons from lots of shops, but we found our top 3 that had to be mentioned. 

1. McDonalds…. like what? Yes. McDonalds Cafe in Paris carries Macarons. Who would have thought?! We tried them for the joke of it if nothing else, but were pleasantly surprised by the taste. The downside of these little sweets was that they were in a cool fridge before you bought them, so they were kind of cold and chewy. But cheap and still special in their own way. 

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2. Laduree…. you got the whole spiel on this a second ago. Super great and the cute packaging can’t be beat…. but we decided that the next on our list are our favorite! 

3. Pierre Herme

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We dub Pierre Herme the winner of THE BEST MACARON in Paris. Not only were they beautiful and individually unique, but the flavors they offered were very creative. We even tried one that was supposed to taste like Violet and Iris…. not sure what that actually tastes like in real life, but it was worth it to try their flavor of the month. All the Macarons in Paris were great, but these took the cake for their melt in your mouth experience! Definitely a Must Stop at in Paris!

After Champs Eleysee, we made our way over to the 18th Arrondissement of the city, which is called Monmartre. Here we saw the basilica of Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart Basilica). 

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After viewing the basilica, we walked around the area for a little while and found the famous Moulin Rouge. 

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We ended day 2 in Paris with an AMAZING meal. We were tired, and decided to try to find a place in the 3rd Arrondissement close to our Hotel, and thankfully we landed at a complete 10! The restaurant we happened upon was called L’Evidence, and was so so great! The prices were moderate for a nice dinner, and the food was incredible! We all ordered different pastas, and got bread and wine. (Some of the best wine I’ve ever had!!) We topped the whole dinner off with some Creme Brulee, and had to be rolled home after eating. The best part about our dinner though wasn’t just the food, but the service. The owner is actually a dual citizen of France and the USA, and has lived in none other than the great state of Texas!! He even showed us his Texas driver’s license and told us all about how much he loved the Cypress area in Texas. He also gave us some free italian drinks which was a plus, and in return he got a nice American tip. If you find yourself hungry in Paris, L’Evidence is a great place to find! 

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Excuse the mood lighting. lollllzzzzzz…… We would post pics of our pasta cause they were plated so beautifully but we all dug in before any photos could be taken…. oops! 

DAY 3 

On our third and final day in Paris, we spent the morning at the Louvre Museum. On the first Sunday of every month, the museum has free entrance. This sounded like a super idea to grab onto, until we got there and realized that the line to get in wrapped around the pyramid in the square at the Louvre. 

ALERT!!! SECRET TIP ABOUT THE LOUVRE: 

Thanks to our friend Lizzie, we were able to skip the line! She read in a book that there is a “side entrance” to the museum that can be used to avoid the line. We looked hard and serious for a side entrance, but had no success and finally gave in to asking one of the guards at the museum. They quickly pointed us to a statue and said to take the stairs to the underground at the left of the statue. We ran over and they were right!!! Always use the Du Carousel entrance at the museum found next to the thing that looks like a smaller version of the Arc de Triomphe. Saved us about 2 whole hours of waiting in line….. yay! 

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Hangin’ out with Mona…. She’s much daintier in person! 

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just some of the many incredible ceilings at the Louvre

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Statue of Ramses II

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The Wedding Feast at Cana by Paolo Veronese 

 

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Aphrodite 

We saw so many incredible works of art at the museum, but listing them all would take all day for you to go through! These are just a few of the highly recognizable ones we thought you may enjoy.

We also visited Napoleon III’s apartment at the Louvre…. so cool! 

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Dining room of Napoleon III

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Some of the Crown Jewels they had on display

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We left the Louvre and enjoyed lunch at a take-away cafe in the Tuileries Garden near the Louvre Museum. After our Museum filled morning, we walked around the city to fit in some last minute sight seeing and we happened upon what ended up being my favorite Arrondissement of Paris. The 9th district of Paris is home to the Opera building, Galeries Lafayette and many other beautiful areas. We loved the cleanliness of the area and how ritzy it felt. We enjoyed some our Pierre Herme macarons at the top of the stairs at the Opera house, and basked in the sunshine of our last day in the city. 

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Loved the flowers on the balconies all over Paris

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In the 9th arrondissement

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Opera House

 

After a great last day, we headed back to the hotel to get our luggage and found ourselves back at Gare du Nord where our wonderful weekend began. Before we knew it, Paris was behind us and our Thalys train was started on it’s 3 hour journey back to Bonn. The memories we made in Paris are moments that we will never forget. This city and it’s people made imprints on our hearts that will last forever, reminding us that beauty is everywhere, and you are as chic and amazing as you believe yourself to be! If you made it this far through this post, congrats! We’re sorry it was such a long one, but a city as overwhelming as Paris couldn’t be condensed any more than it already was. If you ever have the desire to go to Paris, DO IT. Do not miss out on this city in your lifetime. You’ll thank yourself after!!  

 

Until next time, 

Au Revoir!! 

Kelsey & Laura 

 

VIVA COLONIA!

Alaaf!!!!

WOW! Today was the first day of Karneval, one of Germany’s largest holidays and festivals! To say we had a good time pretending to be just like the Germans would be an understatement…. The morning came early today and began with mimosas and brownies before meeting up with the group from our program…. Pretty accurate foreshadowing for the day if we must say. As a group, we went to a parade in Beuel, a smaller area of Bonn just on the other side of the Rhine river. To summarize what exactly Karneval is like, picture a combination of halloween, the fourth of July and Oktoberfest.  Picture the greatest halloween of your childhood trick-or-treating, but then imagine it stationary and all of the candy coming to you, being thrown at full force. Can you see it? THAT is a Karneval parade. It’s hard to describe what exactly this festival is like because we have never seen a holiday so openly celebrated by all people…. Young, old, tall, short, rich, poor….. this Karneval is for the people, no matter who you are! It is so incredible to see people come together just for the reason of having a good time. German’s love their beer, and they love a good time…. and today was a combination of just that!

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This morning getting ready to Buzz around on the streets of Bonn!

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Raining candy at the parade….. next time we will bring hard hats!!

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Even old Germans love to get in on a few selfies….

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at the parade

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Cutest Karneval Kids hands down….. wanted to stick them in our candy bag and take them!

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Some ladies in the parade with costumes made out of shopping bags…. we applaud them for their creativity and craftsmanship! Keep on shopping, you queens!

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“Chillen mit Hilde” aka the german way to say hangin out with our german professor while enjoying German beers at the parade and having candy thrown at our heads…. it was a good time for all.

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Laura and Lizzie in the crazy crowds!

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German kid in his traditional “Cologne Karneval” oufit. So cool how many years of tradition there are in this festival!

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Breathing in that Confetti filled air! ALAAF! (Something the Germans yell to greet others while celebrating Karneval, but none truly know what it means…)

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Some crazy fun clowns we stopped to take pictures with and chat with while grabbing a bite to eat in town

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Finding fellow lady (and man) bugs around the bars

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Laura became part of the parade…. She fit right in!

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Kelsey with Travis and Austin… they’re BEARY great!

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Gettin crazy in this parade…. Lifting people and raising voices! ALAAF!

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Hanging out with fellow Aggies

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Blurry, but blame the photographer! Fun new friends sporting creative “youtube” inspired karneval costumes. A+ for originality!

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Selfie cause they’re channeling my inner Mexican…. SHOUT OUT TO HOME SWEET EP!

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English version of the VIVA COLONIA song that we sang about 80 times today. If these lyrics don’t show you what this festival is about, then I don’t know what will.

Karneval, we like you…. and we’re ready for more! We’ll be separated for a short visit to France, but don’t you worry… on Monday, we reunite!

To everyone back home in Texas, we hope that things are great and that you find a reason to live long and love life each and every day! Celebrate today, even if crazy costumes aren’t involved! LIFE IS GOOD!

LOVE Y’ALL!

XOXO,

Kelsey & Laura

Class at the Capitol

Hi Everyone!!! 

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So it’s been a week since we got back from the crazy capitol city, Berlin. (Delayed post, sorry bout it.) Our trip to Berlin was with our group from AIB and was considered our “class” for the week…. so that’s definitely not anything to complain about! This trip was filled with all sorts of lessons. Not only did we learn about the history found here, (which is endless and so full) but we also learned about the importance of the way that we treat others around us. This city was definitely one that we found hard to get excited about because it is so marked by it’s past, but there is an appreciation for the things we saw that we will never forget and will always be thankful for. We took off to this city the night after Kelsey’s 21 bday… (which was a story of it’s own….) But here’s a few photos to share with everyone we love! 

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Her first “Universally Legal Beer!” Finally in the big girl world. 

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The Aftermath….. Enough said…… 

 

After a 5 hour train ride and much needed nap, we finally arrived in Berlin in the afternoon. Our program planners didn’t waste any time for our educational excursion to begin, and quickly after arriving to this massive city, we hopped onto a bus with our now favorite tour guide, and toured some major sites in the city. 

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The Reichstag, Berlin’s parliamentarian building

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Beautiful Jewish Synagogue 

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Berlin Wall. This photo shows a little piece the tragedy that this wall represents. The writing on this section of the wall says

“To: Astrid, Maybe someday we will be together.” 

Although Berlin is definitely a city with a lot of action and much to look forward to in the future, they are also a city scarred by their harsh past and broken by the pieces of history that they will never forget. This city is a perfect example of how each action has a consequence, and though the wall came down decades ago, there are still scars and tensions that will never disappear. This wall basically created one of the largest prisons in the world, as the people were kept inside away from their loved ones and from freedom and opportunities. At first glance, Berlin seemed to be a city of depression and cynicism, making it hard to appreciate… but we quickly realized the beauty in the mess of this place. There is bravery found here, and a peace in knowing that history only repeats itself when we forget what has happened. 

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Section of the Berlin Wall that is now used as free space for street art. It is constantly changing and being re painted over by different artists all around the city. 

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Brandenburg Gate 

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cool pieces of the wall standing in an open market area 

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Memorial for the Murdered Jews. At this site, there are endless amounts of these cement blocks spread out over a block of the city. The blocks form rows and a kind of grid system that you can walk in and out of, and the vast amount of these cement pieces gives you this eery feeling about what a terrible time the country of Germany once faced because of most people’s fear and inability to do what was right. (More on this subject later) This memorial is also 100% free of grafiti and art, showing just how much the people of Berlin and Germany respect this memorial. (After all, literally every square inch of the rest of the city is painted up.) 

 

After our city bus tour, we stopped as a group at probably THE BEST pizza place we have ever eaten at in our entire lives. That is not an exaggeration. Seriously the best. Wish we remembered the name, but the pizza was so good it makes it hard to remember anything other than it’s goodness. 

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The girls at dinner

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True bliss

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Go ahead….. take it all in. All it’s glory and goodness….. HOT DAMN THIS PIZZA ROCKS. ok, we’re done now.

 

Day 2 of Berlin started out with a Street Art tour. This whole concept of “street art” was so weird to digest, because where we come from this would be totally unacceptable and considered vandalism. Yet, in this area of the world, crazy talents are displayed on the sides of basically any building, bridge, wall, door… you name it, there’s paint on it. Check it out!

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Entry way to this entire ally filled with art… so cool!

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Example of a “Paste-up” piece. Not all of the art is painted directly onto the walls. Much of the artwork is actually large print outs that are pasted up onto the wall and then either covered later with more artwork, or taken down later on. 

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Wall art of Anne Frank. This piece is one of the only pieces in the ally way that no artist has ever covered to repaint. The rest of the walls are ever changing and filled with new art on a weekly basis, but this section has never faced change since her face has been painted here. 

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Following the art tour, we went and found our seats at the “short film” screening of the Berlinale Film Festival. 

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This festival is a huge deal! There are flims showcased featuring star actors and actresses such as Matt Damon and George Clooney, who were actually in Berlin for the festival. Many other actors and actresses were also in attendance at the festival, but sadly we didn’t get any sneaky star pics! 

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Our class got to have a question and answer session with a few of the short film producers. It was neat to see so many producers and designers from different countries that came together to have their different work shown at this festival.

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Later that night we took a trip up to the top of the glass dome in the Reichstag. This dome is really cool because the mirrored structure in the middle actually reflects what is going on down under the dome in the parliament room, a symbol of holding the government accountable for their decisions, as the citizens can “see them in action.”

On the third day of our trip, we visited two design firms. The first was an advertising firm, and the second was the studio of Tomas Saraceno, the artist responsible for the cool instillation we got to climb in Dusseldorf a few weeks ago. So cool! 

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The group at our picnic lunch after enjoying “Donners,” a common lunch item in Germany. (Which I think is actually a Turkish based meal but whatever, it’s common here and it’s delicious.)

 

Our fourth and final day in Berlin was spent at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, just outside of Berlin. The overwhelming feeling of walking up to the camp gates while knowing that at one point innocent people had walked that same path was something we will never forget. The actions and treatments that happened in these terrible camps all across Germany during the WW2 time period are so hard to wrap your mind around. Why did no one say anything? Why did the people safe from the camp walls in their neighborhoods right next door not revolt? These thoughts filled our minds as well as confusion and sadness, realizing that a little bit of bravery and love for humanity could have changed a lot of things. We must always treat each other with kindness and love. 

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This gate says “Hard work will set you free,” which Nazis laughed at, knowing that nothing these people could do would set them free because they were “born this way.”

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Bunk room where up to 500 prisoners could be held

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Toilet area of the bunks 

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View of the fence that prisoners would have had to get through to escape. Electric wires, barbed wire, and two other walls bordered the camp. Not to mention, there was a tower with full view of the camp filled with guards with machine guns that would watch your every move if you got anywhere near the rocky area that bordered the fence and the camp. 

After a long and tired few days in Berlin, it’s safe to say that this city and it’s sites will change you. The importance of how we treat one another, regardless of race, religion, and nationality is highlighted through these dark places. We must move into the future with love and acceptance for others each day. 

 

So…. Go out and love everyone, people! Because LOVE WINS!

ok we’re done with our hippie spiel now….

LOVE AND MISS Y’ALL! more excitement to come in the next few days. 

 

XOXO,

Kelsey & Laura 

 

 

 

Reaching New Heights! (With maybe a few frights)

Hey Y’all! 

So it’s been officially one month since we have landed in Deutschland! I think it’s safe to say that as the days pass, we grow more and more comfortable with the language and area, and also grow more and more homesick for fuego and Chuy’s Jalepeno ranch dip. Totally open to mail options if anyone figures out how to safely send those across the world! (And if not, we love Valentine’s day candy, cards, Birthday presents (Kels is almost 21!!), bean dip, GIRL SCOUT COOKIES, mechanical pencils and other sorts of WONDERFUL AMERICAN THINGS!…. but we’re not saying to send mail or anything at all. Nope. Ok maybe, if you love us.) 

This past week has been a pretty fast paced but all-together exciting one! We took a few class field trips to some adrenaline spiking places, and even ventured out this weekend for a spontaneous day trip to Koblenz. Here’s the recap! 

On Tuesday, our class took a day trip to Dusseldorf to visit the K21 modern art museum. The museum is home to the Tomas Saraceno “In Orbit” Instillation, which is not only a really stinking cool design and educational, but also a hell of a time to play on! The instillation is modeled after his obsession with spider webs and the layering system he discovered in the spider’s environments. Basically he stretched out a crap ton of super thick wire 100ft above the ground, supported it with this really great glass cieling and then separated the layers with giant balloon like structures so that people could play around in it like spiders. It’s kind of relatable to a giant ropes course, because it hangs 5 stories off of the ground. Talk about freaky when you look down and there’s nothing but net underneath your feet!

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View of the Instillation 

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Some of the spider Webs he modeled the Instillation after

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Some of us girls in our super cute jump suits! We were ready to roll! Except not really cause rolling around in the instillation was totally not allowed but oh well. 

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Got our game faces on

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Getting in touch with our spidey senses

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View of the Instillation to give a sense of just exactly how high up we were! Don’t look down! 

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HI MOM!!!! 

 

After returning back to Bonn, we thought we were done with our fear facing moments, but then quickly realized we would soon be heading back up off the ground for our ROOF-TOP tour of the Cologne Cathedral, in our neighboring city of Cologne, Germany. 

A little history on this cathedral…. It is the TALLEST Cathedral standing in Northern Europe. (Or the World in our opinion, but that’s just according to us.) So since it’s the tallest, you can probably imagine how we must have felt when they said we would be walking across the top of the roof of it. And when said across the rooftop, they really weren’t kidding. We walked across the roof. In the rain….which really added to the drama of it all.  The cathedral’s tallest point is 157 meters (that’s about 500ft for all you American friends who also can’t convert to the metric system like us). We traveled up about 2/3 of the way and the elevator let us off onto some more sketchy scaffolding. We climbed out, and though scary, the reward was worth it!!! Here are some pics of what we experienced. 

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Photo taken at a set of the front doors of the Cathedral before heading up the Elevator of Doom.

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Front view of the Cathedral at ground level 

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View of Cologne from the rooftop 

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It was really windy up there!! 

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Walking on literally a 1ft wide metal pathway covered in rainwater on the edges of the rooftop. Praying for dear life! Good thing we were as close to heaven as possible! 

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Some of the old machinery used to lift the stone blocks up when building the cathedral. 5O men at a time would be used just for strength of lifting the building materials up to the top level. 

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View from the Clerestory inside the church. We took the world’s smallest staircase to get to this part of the church. Definitely don’t recommend it for any claustrophobic people. Kels had to suppress her fears! Haha 

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Beautiful Tile work found in the upper levels of the Cathedral

 

To close out of great week of adventures, we took a spontaneous day trip on Saturday to Koblenz, Germany, a small town about 45 minutes by train from Bonn. When we got to Koblenz we basically had absolutely no idea what to do there, so we wandered around a bit, and then found our way to a Gondola that takes you up and across the Rhine River to an old Fortress located in Koblenz. Once again, we were up up and away! 

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Koblenz was filled with small cobblestone streets and winding back ally-ways! 

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Church door in Koblenz

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Inside of the old church

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Exploring a huge monument built for one of the Emperor’s and then rebuilt after WW2. Well maybe…. the credibility of this information is questionable considering that it came from an old Irish dude from our Gondola ride, but for the sake of our blog we’ll take it as the Golden Truth.

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Giant Emperor Monument

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Laura at the Base of the Monument

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Hasmig and Laura on the Gondola

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Us Girl’s on the Gondola over the Rhine River

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Some views from inside the Fortress! Which is way cooler than the photos we took of it, but it was raining and somehow we got lame coverage of this amazing place! The old Fort is called Festung Ehrenbreitstein, and was built in the 18th century. Though it was built for protection, the fort was actually never attacked. 

 

We hope y’all are enjoying reading through our travels as much as we enjoy sharing them with you! We miss everyone back home so much and will try our best to continue to keep you updated! We have a birthday to celebrate and a school Trip to the capital of Germany coming up soon, so continue to follow us as we make our way through Europe! 

 

With love, 

Kelsey & Laura 

 

 

 

Life’s a Beach!… Except in Amsterdam, then it’s a Canal

Sending love from Amsterdam this week!! 

 

The last few days have been filled to the brim with non-stop action. Starting on Wednesday, we got up for an early morning bus ride from Bonn to Amsterdam. Here’s a breakdown of what happened after arriving in Amsterdam a few hours (and a bus ride nap) later.

 

Day 1:

Canal Tours!!!!

We got on to what we liked to call a water bus cause that’s basically what it looked like.  The boat cruised around the canals of Amsterdam and we all took some pictures from the deck on the back of the boat. The canals are really cool because they basically run along most of the streets in the city, so they’re kind of everywhere. Houses not only line the sidewalks framing the canals, but are even on the water too! They kind of look like the houses from that kid’s show PB&J otter…. don’t lie, we know you watched it too.  

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Ok, we think you get the point. There are lots and lots of canals. The last photo in the collection is a shot of the only view of multiple bridges! If you look closely, you can see there are bridges inside the bridges as the photo moves back and there are 7 total from this view. It’s like a bridge inception! 

 

The next highlight of Day 1 was our visit to the Anne Frank House Museum (with an extra bonus of a glimpse of the real life David Hasselhoff who was also at the museum!) 

The museum was truly an eye opening experience. It was crazy to look at history so closely and to know that what happened in the House of Anne Frank and the 7 others who hid there happened less than 100 years ago. The tour led us through their kitchen areas, bedrooms and bathrooms, and showed us their secret hidden doorway. We also got to see the original copies of Anne’s diary that were preserved. Unfortunately we were not able to take photos inside the museum but here’s a photo of the front of her house!

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The Annexe is the building in the middle of the photo 

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And here’s Laura’s sneakily captured pic of David as promised. Don’t be ashamed if you really only recognize him from Spongebob like we do. 

 

 

Day 2: 

Company visit to “Fabrique,” a well known design firm in the Netherlands. 

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Next stop: 

Visit to the Van Gogh Museum. This museum has the largest collection of his paintings in the world. 

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Sneaking pics with the masterpieces….. They run a tight ship at Van Gogh 

After the museum visit, we traveled as a group to the North Sea, where we had class and worked on a project that would be completed the next day. We also took torches and walked to the beach as a group, fearful we were gonna burn our pony tails off but no worries, all our hair is still un-scorched. 

 

Day 3: 

Beach Runner project and Class at the North Sea!

After an early wake up, we took our beach rovers out to the sand to test them out and have a race! Our weird creature came in 4th out of the 14 projects…. not too shabby for two girls who aren’t particularly experts on propelling some trash across the beach. Yay!

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Photo of our hilarious professor and his fashionable red beard/scarf/whatever you want to call this. 

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Our creature

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Our award winning beach cruiser… lollzzz

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Last but not least, we closed out the 3 day excursion with some SPECTACULAR pancakes from a restaurant that literally makes nothing other than pancakes. These are not like normal american pancakes, but more like crepes if we had to describe them. They can seriously be ordered with anything on them, and thankfully we had someone from our program to translate the menu because it was strictly in Deutsch. Help. Here’s some pics of a few of these crazy creations.

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And here’s some other snapshots of fun things we found in the Netherlands! 

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Stairs of DEATH at our hotel. Literally the steepest stairs we have ever seen. They might as well have had a fireman’s pole to slide down because if you got too close to the center of the stairs you would probably vanish into the center of the universe. 

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Amsterdam is known as the City of Bikes…. and they really aren’t kidding. Here’s a parking garage just for bikes… wait wuuttt?

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Playing around at the I AMsterdam letters. 

 

Until next time!! Tchuss! 

LOVE Y’ALL!!!

Kelsey & Laura 

 

Holy Calories!! -A weekend in Brussels, Belgium-

Hey everyone!

So we just returned home to Germany after a fast and fun weekend in Brussels, Belgium! It’s not an exaggeration or a lie when we say that our diet this weekend consisted of waffles, frits (Belgian French Fries), chocolate, and beer…. Those seemed to be the four main food groups that Brussels had to offer, and we were surely not going to complain. We spent two nights and two days in the culture packed city, so here’s a short recap and lots of photos to share with you what we saw!

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When we arrived to Brussels, it was already dark outside, but we decided to take a cab to the city center. It may or may not have been the sketchiest cab ride of our lives and for a time we thought we had submitted ourselves to an immediate car crash because our driver was like a bat out of hell…. but then we safely arrived to the Grand Place, Brussels.  When we got there, this was what we saw! It was breathtaking, and completely made up for the 5 minutes of fretting in the cab with our crazy driver. We also had dinner at a restaurant not far from the Grand Place, and a little aggie moment took place right in the Cafe we ate at! As we ate dinner, we looked over at two other obviously American girls in about their mid 20s, and Laura noticed one was wearing an Aggie Ring. We creepishly began trying to see if it was for sure or not, and she overheard us! She came over to our table and introduced herself. Turns out she is teaching in Madrid, and was just in Brussels for the weekend like we were. We really do go to the greatest university! Texans meeting Texans half way across the world, all because of a little piece of gold. GIG ‘EM! 

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Chocolate from a chocolate shop in the Center! SO GOOD. The chocolate stores here are literally one after another, and they give free samples at most of them. (Which we had no problem using to our advantage! hehehe) 

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I never thought it was possible to consume too much chocolate until I stumbled upon this town. But even then, there was no such thing as too much Belgian chocolate. When alternated with the Belgian Frites, or added on top of a waffle, it was the perfect combination. 

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All of the topping options to choose from for our traditional Belgian Waffles. We tried the chocolate one (naturally) and also a plain one. Go big or go home, right?

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This photo shows the Belgian Frites we found at none other than “Frit-land!” Brussels’ most famous fry stop. We frequented this place more than once this weekend to say the least. 

On day 2 of our Brussels Adventure we took part in a group tour that we scheduled with our friends that were with us for the weekend. The tour was a great way to see all of the sights and also learn about their history. For such a small country, Belgium is surely one we will not be forgetting! 

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The buildings on the right of the photo are the Guild houses that bordered the Grand Place square. These houses were built in the late 1600s early 1700s, and represented class, wealth, and social status for those who lived in them. 

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This little guy right here is named Mannekin Pis. Because he’s peeing, obviously. This is easily the weirdest statue either of us have ever seen, and the even weirder part is that they dress him up for basically any reason. The day that we saw him, he was dressed up as an Archer from the Archery Guild, because they were celebrating the Guild’s anniversary. Talk about a funny sight to see! We even joined in on the Archer’s guild parade that passed us along the street. 

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Not sure at first how to blend in due to a lack of our classic Bows-n-Arrows…. sadly we left them in Germany for the wrong weekend we guess. 

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We obviously had a great time and fit right in with our fellow oversized Robin Hood’s as we continued our tour along the streets of Brussels. 

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Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula 

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LOL a real life Gypsy Bride we came across 

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Really loved the Pop of color we saw on this corner building!

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Posing for pics in front of the Old Palace of Brussels 

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And now that we have posted all of the photos from the educational and cultural parts of our weekend trip, we must add a bit of information about one very important cultural element that we left out….. BELGIAN BEER! The beers here were so good, and the night life was really unique. (Don’t worry mom, we had the buddy system down perfectly!) We went out as a group to a bar called Delirium, which is in the Guinness book of World records for having the most beers in their bar. The whole place was unlike any other bar we have ever seen. It is 3 stories and organized so that the bottom floor is the rowdiest, the middle floor is the average-hyped up area, and the top floor is the most calm. It was nearly impossible to get a seat anywhere, but thankfully we finally found a table! 

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The group at Delirium 

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One of the bar areas 

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The walls of the pub were completely covered with all sorts of Wacky things, but this one area was covered with empty Delirium beer bottles! 

As you can see, we could go on and on about the wonderful city of Brussels. We had a great time, and if you ever find yourself in Europe, be sure to make a stop in Brussels! You will not be disappointed. 

 

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Until our next adventure, 

Kelsey & Laura 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wait Whaaattt? 14 Weird things you learn while living in Germany

Howdy! (weirdly never really say that at home but missing it here) 

So it’s been almost two weeks since we made our hop across the pond to Bonn, Germany. So far, so good. We started classes this week and have already taken a quiz in German class, and have started projects in our Studio courses. Since we have been here, we have quickly adjusted to small differences of daily life. There are so many things you don’t think about during the middle of your every day, so when even the smallest adjustments take place, laughter is the only way around them. 

 

1. In the US, when you knock on a door and prepare to open it, you expect to turn some sort of handle, right? NOT IN GERMANY!!!! Doorknobs basically don’t have a purpose. It’s just a fake out…. push or pull….. but figuring out to push or pull isn’t so easy when you don’t know what “aufziehen” or “aufstosen” means. 

2. Milk has the shelf life of 2 months without refrigeration…. that’s just not normal, y’all. 

3. Hair dryers here will suck the life right out of you. Just kidding, but they really do eat your hair if you aren’t careful. Both of us have already fallen victim to the terrifying fan within them. 

4. Learning the bus routes is sink or swim. You get there early, and they show up late. You show up on time, and they leave you. 

5. Splenda, Sweet N Low and other types of wonderful fake sugar don’t exist here. You like sweetened coffee? Too bad. Two sugar cubes and some warm milk is all you get. 

6. Guns in this country are like unicorns. They are frequently talked about, but have never been spotted. 

7. Taking a casual stroll to the market? Watch out for that car there parked on the sidewalk…. 

8. They have more strict laws on internet usage than they do on underage alcohol abuse. A 12 year old with a beer? Probably ok. Watching a miley cyrus music video on youtube, forbidden. 

9. You stop to try out your first german Schnitzel. Don’t choke! Water is not free. You will pay 2 euro or die. The choice is yours. 

10. Texans are like celebrities, and when people hear we are from Texas, the first things they say are “Pow Pow!” (their sad attempt at making gun sounds) and ask about the Mavs and our boy Dirk.  

11. Do you like oatmeal? How about when it’s cold?…. cause that’s the common way to eat it here! Cold oats for everyone! (aka cardboard unless you put sugar on it) 

12. You want to learn to speak German? Throw everything you learned from 1st-12th grade english class out the window. Grammar here translates to the worst english ever, and the letters are all different sounds. V sounds like F, W sounds like V, Z sounds like Tsss, E sounds like uh, and S sounds like Z. How’s that for a little mind boggling tongue tie?

13.Things that don’t exist in this country: Grape Jelly, Pop Tarts, Netflix, Pandora Radio, Pencils, Abc.com, most videos on youtube, decently priced tennis shoes (Nike Frees are the equivalent of like $200 US dollars!!), public restrooms, Stick deodorant, to-go cups, Mexican food, and people who don’t smoke. (Seriously, like 8 out of 10 people smoke here. Statistic courtesy of Laura Dobbs.) 

14. Wedding rings go on your right hand ring finger. After a few odd looks directed to Laura on the bus we assumed it was just our American Vibe, but now we are fairly certain that shiny Aggie ring of gold is a little mistaken for something else. Everyone says you always pour your heart and money into your spouse…. I guess in this case they are still right. Thanks & Gig Em!

Since we last blogged, we have officially made our first German friend! Shout out to our boy Brian, the german student that lives in our basement… otherwise referred to as our troll. (As a term of endearment of course.) He helps us with our German homework, escorts us to all of the local hot spots, and is great comic relief at dinner time. Needless to say, we owe a lot of our laughs here so far to him. 

Here are some photos of a few things we have seen/done since our last blog post! Tomorrow we are taking our first train ride to Brussels, Belgium. Fingers crossed that we don’t screw it up and that we make it to the right stop! We will update you with endless instagram pics of chocolate, waffles and beer (hopefully all three at once)….. and whatever else we find in Brussels that we don’t know about yet! We hope everyone back home is doing great!

Thinking of our friends and family always, 

Love, 

Kelsey & Laura 

 

 

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This photo shows why it’s a good thing we walk have to walk everywhere… 

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At the top of one of the hills in Bonn, during our 6 mile class hike. 

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Some cute stuff in a little store we found

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Trying out the whole selfie thing. Standing in front of a cool church at the top of a hill.

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Photo of said cool church at the top of the hill….

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Weird but really cool grave yard we saw

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Ceiling of the church we went to

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Hi from our Hike! 

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Good thing shoes are supposed to get dirty cause it was muddy all over the floor!!! Cool leaves though!

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Giant gummy bears found at HARIBO shop. Quick Fact, HARIBO brand is manufactured in Bonn!! 

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The heads of two martyred Christians. Cassius and Florentius were buried in Bonn, and their remains still are found here today.