Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stuck in a Fairytale: Nuremburg, Bratislava, and Cesky Krumlov

Today I realized I hadn't posted a new blog in forever. And I realized I'm about to leave for spring break and by the time I get back I won't even remember enough to blog all of this stuff. I've been super busy, as usual. Two weeks ago a few of us went on a field trip to Nuremberg, Germany. This was the home of the infamous Nuremberg Trials that convicted several of the Nazi officials after WWII. It was a real stepping stone for the world because for the first time, nations came together to hold a trial to determine the fates and analyze the war crimes that were committed. Many of these principles and methods that were established during these trials continue on today and have led to the modern prosecution for today's war criminals.

The first museum we went to was actually inside of an old building that was built for use by the Nazis. Hitler wanted it to be a modern day Colosseum type building to go with his whole Napoleon complex. The building was huge and it was a really well done museum. Nuremberg was a very Nazi town and was one of the first towns overtaken by Hitler. The city was very important before WWII.

This was the actual room where the trials were held!

The town itself was really pretty. It's dubbed "the most German town in Germany" and it really felt like it. If you were to imagine your quintessential German-town out of a typical fairy tale then you'd most likely be visualizing Nuremberg. The architectural style was cute and reminded me of a gingerbread village. 

There were markets going on in the main square, so I actually bought a gingerbread cookie.

The castle lit up at night.

The same weekend, I went on a hike with a few other USACer's to the Cesky Raj area that actually translates to "Bohemian Paradise". It's a large protected area north east of Prague. We started off by walking through some villages and visiting this small church.

Then we got more into the wilderness. This was probably my favorite hike so far. It was really pretty, perfect weather, and I really liked the area we walked through. There were tons of big cliffs and creeks and trees. We also came up on a big lake that we got to walk around.

We actually ended up climbing to the top of this sandstone cliff. It was quite entertaining.

Then, out of no where we came up on this huge castle! This castle was called Kosta Castle, which translates to bone castle. This is one of my favorite castles I've seen so far. It was massive! And in really good shape. I also really like the architecture style. I've seen so many gothic castles that it was nice to see something new. This castle felt like something straight out of a Disney movie. It was gorgous. If I was going to live in any castle so far, it would be this one. It was also in the middle of nowhere deep in the woods and it's not on top of a hill for once. I still don't understand all these castles on top of these giant hills. I mean I understand it's for protection but I personally wouldn't want to hike up a mountain just to leave the house... And also, no one would want to visit if your house is so hard to get to. So like I said, I would live in this castle.

This past weekend I started off by going to Bratislava, the capitol of Slovakia. I met John there and we hung out for a few days. I actually really liked this city more than I thought I would. It reminded me of a mix between Prague, with the red roofs, and Vienna, with the cleanliness and food. I was super happy because unlike Prague, they had perogies there, like I had in Krakow. They're so delicious and I really want to learn how to make them so I can have them again back home. 

There really wasn't much to do in Bratislava. The main square is pretty small but the streets are small and windy and adorable so it was nice to just walk around and check them out. There is also a big castle. Of course it's on top of a hill though, but at least there was a nice view overlooking the city. We also did some shopping and just hung out. There were some really good restaurants and cool bars that we went to in the evenings. John and I had a lot of fun just hanging out.

Mmmhhhhmmm. Spicy food. I had sauteed chicken, peppers, and onions in this spicy sauce that was delicious. John's goulash and dumplings were also really good.

Our last night there we went to a Scottish pub that had really really good burgers and fries. I really enjoyed the food in Bratislava.

Sunday night I went with the boys to Bukowski's for cocktails which was quite hilarious. Let's just say they're all much more well versed in beer. They somehow forgot to put our entire last round on our ticket so we all got a free drink. I can't remember why but I ended up giving Greg a piggy back ride on the way home haha.

Monday, Zack, Greg, Sam, and I took a day trip to the southern part of the Czech Republic and visited a town called Cesky Krumlov. It's supposed to be one of the prettiest small cities in Europe and it definitely lived up to that. It was about a three hour bus ride to get there but it was totally worth it (and only like $15). The town was again, just like a fairy tale or something out of Disney. It was so picturesque and pretty that Zack said he wanted to puke (he was just kidding though, he loved it). It was a really pretty day. We walked around the town and through the castle and royal gardens, had a picnic, and some good Czech food for dinner.

The town was perfectly nestles between rolling hills and had a river winding through it. 

The castle had a mote around it filled with bears so I of course loved it. 

The Royal Gardens

The castle was filled with Renaissance paintings and sgraffito. 

The main square.

Sunset above the town.

Not many people were in town this weekend because there was a big field trip that I opted out of. Luckily, some of my favorites were in town though so we still had fun. I found out Greg also loves playing frisbee so we've been going to this big park up on top of the hill here in Prague to throw the frisbee around. The Easter Markets are also going on here Prague so that's been fun too. There are tons of hand painted Easter eggs and other handmade goods and yummy foods to buy. The other day I had a giant crepe filled with chocolate and vanilla wafers. It was seriously bigger than a giant burrito from Chipotle. 

Me and Greg played around with the slo-mo setting while playing frisbee. 

The past few weeks have been super hectic because I've had midterms and I've also been trying to get a thousand things done before spring break, which officially started for me a few hours ago. I'm actually trying to hurry up and post this because my train to Italy leaves in a about two hours.

I will actually be gone for twelve days, which is a super long time. I'm really excited to be travelling with my best friends here, Haley, Sean, Zack, and Greg. We are going to travel south through Italy and then fly to Dubrovnik, Croatia for the last few days of our break. Since we are flying halfway through our trip, I was super worried about being under the weight limit for my bag because they are super strict about it with most airlines here. Luckily, we are allowed about 22lbs and I'm only at about 11 thank goodness. It's a lot easier to pack for warm weather. 

I'm really excited to be going on holiday finally. Everyone else back home already had their spring break so I've been patiently waiting for mine. Although this whole semester is somewhat a vacation from real life back home, I still have normal everyday stresses like school, work (internship), and etc. I'm really looking forward to being able to get away for awhile and leave behind my computer, school work, phone, and just enjoy the sun and travelling and seeing amazing places. I can't believe I'm finally getting to go to Italy!

See you in two weeks :)

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