Sunday, July 17, 2011

Visting the fam in Nürtingen (Stuttgart Gebiet)

I left for Nuertingen last Friday to visit my uncle Thore and the kids, Elen and Erik, for the weekend. It was nice to see them again a year later, and glad that I was able to have the opportunity visit them before heading down to Austria for the year. On the first day, we just hung out around the house and relaxed, talked, and then watched 'Cloverfield,' Matt's favorite movie, later on that evening.

On Saturday, we went into town and they showed me around a bit. We also managed to grab a Doener, which was actually good, unlike the one in Darmstadt, and then sat outside for a while just enjoying the sunny day. We later came back to the house after watching some of the river racing activities. Then we watched MiB, made some Spaghetti Bolognese, and enjoyed the rest of the night.

Today, I'm just getting ready to head to Mannheim and hanging out with the family. We had coffee and cake earlier today with Thore and Elen, while Erik was out in the rainy weather playing soccer. I wish that I could watch USA-Japan play tonight, but I'm guessing that the US will win, but wish that my train was taking off at a more favorable time. Thore also uploaded some old photos for me that I'll post here on my blog!

Some crazy bastard
In Germany at a young age!!!
With my uncle Thore some time ago

My dad and Knuti about 17 plus years ago
Meine Mutti!

MÜNCHEN! Strong feelings of nostalgia...

Once I arrived here in the beautiful city of Munich, I couldn't help but smile the entire time in the Ubahn until we finally reached Alte Heide. And as soon as they announced the next stop, Stusta, I felt as if I was dreaming, and as if this day would never come again. Haha. I couldn't help but laugh the entire walk from the Bahnsteig to Haus 3a. I'm not sure what it is about the Stusta that gives me such warm feelings of nostalgia, but I feel as though that the Stusta and that my time in Munich the previous year was the peek of my college experience. I mean, I traveled through-out Europe, met Elin, got to see my favorite team play five times in the Allianz Arena, drank great beer at the Tribuehne with their great but toxic food, and much more. The list can go on and on, so no wonder. Even though I was eaten alive by those damn bugs, I got to get know Billy a bit better having to sleep on his recliner chair during my 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th night in Munich. Haha. All in all it was a great experience. But enough with this talk of nostalgia as I always tell Matt. On my first night back I went to the Tribuehne to get Currywurst with potato wedges... They gave me so many potato wedges that I swear it would be enough for three people. Looks like the buehne has fallen on good times :)... doubt it though. The next couple of days I went for runs through the Englischer Garten and ran some errands. I meant to meet up with Ralf on that Tuesday, but I went in a giant circle in the Englischer Garten riding on Wadje's bike. Got to also see all of the 'beautiful' sun bathers along the Isar and the smaller streams. Once I finally made it to Universitaet, Ralf was already gone. So this time around, I made sure to take the road back. Once I got back to the Stusta, Marzerna and I went to McDonald's to get a McRib. And it was as amazing as ever!!! I bet Antonija wishes she was there, lol. The next couple of days I took it kind of easy, and then on Thursday I went back to see Ralf, Cristel, and Baerbel, along with the rest of the program kids. It was really nice to see everyone for the brief time I was with them. I'm planning on seeing them this upcoming week again when I return. All in all, the trip to Munich was amazing, and I'm looking forward to coming back.

Scary movie, or home?
Stusta Life
Heaven on earth
Rare in the States-Made for Germany
The best beer in Deutschland... and its not a freagggin pale ale.
Typical work station Stustyle
Die Natur der Stusta

Monday, July 11, 2011


Today Tomislav and I went to Frankfurt just the other day to do a quick little day trip before I headed off to Munich later on that evening. We left Darmstadt early that morning to get a good head start on things. Once we got to Frankfurt it was such a relief to finally see tall buildings once again. I was so sick of the "lets keep everything the way it was since the Romans came to Germany attitude." So Tom and I just toured around the entire city, went to Starbucks, and then some more touring around. The 'Roemer' district was pretty cool, because it had a very different feel than the rest of the city. It was also a lot busier than the rest of the city, especially on a sunday. We left the city after 5 hours and 15 km of walking. I do not understand how I walked that much in a single day, but its too much. Once we got back we just relaxed, and hung out a bit longer before I had to catch my next train to Munich. The train ride to Munich wasn't too bad, lucky enough to find an open seat, but the dude next to me asked if I could turn off my laptop, rather the wireless internet, because it gave him head problems. I asked him "wieso?" and then told him that my laptop didn't have wireless internet since we were on the train. He apparently didn't believe me because he then went into hiding for about 1.5 hrs, and didn't return back to his wife until I laptop ran out of power. Haha, what a weirdo. The funny thing was, that there were people right in front of him with their laptop out, but he didn't say anything about that. Parnoid people about wireless. I think his cell phone presents a bigger problem than my netbook.

Out of the train station

Along the Main river

The 'Dom'

Church along the Main

EU Boerse

Pretend that my eyes are open...
Goethe Platz

Opera House

Roemer Platz

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Hey so I arrived in Darmstadt on Thursday the 7th and I've been staying with a friend of mine, Tomislav, who I met while in Muenchen the other year. It's been a nice trip so far with plenty of walking around the city. We've been walking an average of 7 km per day. Its kind of obsessive, but it beats having to pay for transportation, because everything is so relatively close to one another. Tomorrow we're planning on going to Frankfurt for the day, and then later on that evening, I'm taking the train to Munich. So I'm really looking forward to both of those things. But today, we went to go see Transformers 3. The worst one of the three 'movies'... only because I had to pay more to see it than the others. What a waste of time. Forget the money aspect of it. I mean that was to be expected, but then having to stay in that damn theater for almost three hours listening to explosions was beyond me. I just kept looking a the time once every time they had a terribly cliche line. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay toooooooooooooo often did that happen.

The local brew!

The sunset

Elin's favorite! But it's all for ME!!! and Tomislav... haha!

Some Catholic Church

The city opera

The grub

I love that Nasi 'goreng'... haha... Some people just don't think about changing the names of products do they?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Meine Reise in Hamburg

When I first arrived in Hamburg, my attitude towards the city was very different than before I studied in Munich. Not in a negative way, but that more of familiarity. I wasn’t excited to be back per se, but rather I just felt like I’ve returned home from a long trip abroad. So there is some comfort in that I guess. On my way to my uncle’s house I ran into Benadetta on the bus home from school. I think she looked back a couple of times, but didn’t recognize me, or was just too uncertain to actually make contact, haha. But we talked as soon as we got off the bus about her field trip to Kirchemichael. For the rest of the day we just stayed at home and relaxed. I was also shocked to see that they actually had an Xbox and wireless internet!!! Haha… I figured that they would enter the 21st century once their kids got a little older. The next day I went into the city to get a new headset and the book, ‘extremely loud, and unbelievably close’. I then went to Starbucks where I ordered a 32 oz cappuccino and read for a while. I then decided to head back to the house, and went for a run later on that evening. For the rest of the week while visiting, I mostly went for runs around the garden houses that were about 5 km, and hung out with the family so long they were at home. I didn’t really want to go into the city that much because I’ve seen a lot of Hamburg already during my previous six visits, but just wanted to spend some time with the relatives. Once Beata and the kids left for Poland, I played a lot of Lips on the Xbox, drank a lot of coffee, and watched a lot of frauenfussball. On the 4th of July, I made hamburgers, corn, and a hash brown casserole. The hash brown casserole turned out a lot better than I was expecting, especially having it being my first casserole ever. My uncle almost ate the entire thing, haha. I also watched the Patriot later on that evening before heading to bed. On my last full day in Hamburg I went downtown to see a couple of sites I haven’t been to, or been to for a long time. The first one I went to was Kirchemichael, which I chose to climb the hundreds upon hundreds of stairs up. For every ten people that went up to the top of the tower, only about one actually took the stairs up. From up there though, I could see the entire city which was pretty nice because we had great weather that day. Afterwards I went to the Old Elbetunnel which went under the harbor. Then after that I went for a walk towards the Reeperbahn along the St. Pauli hafen. Usually they have good food along the Reeperbahn, because of all the drunken up people that it attracts. The Reeperbahn is also famous for their fair share of sex shops and strip tease, but I couldn’t find anywhere to eat where I wanted. That and being harassed by stripper whorelords who were trying to push me into their clubs, didn’t lead me to want to stick around long. I went back to the city hall area where I ordered some Curry wurst and French fries and went along the Alster to eat. Afterward, I went back home, watched some more frauenfussball, and crashed. Next stop. Darmstadt. 

Is that a city map I see? Wtf?

What happens when you trust a Pole to make tacos... it turns into Gyros.

I kind of salvaged taco night

Hash Brown Casserole for the 4th of July

The ingredients

The final product!

Hamburg from St. Michael's Church

St. Nikolai Church

Flak Bunker

The harbor

St. Michael's Church

The Elbe Tunnel

Could be true

I'm hoping this is St. Pauli, too many sketch people in the park to make me not want to get any closer.