Monday, April 7, 2008

Louvre-in' it

We went to France! Bonnie and I hit up Strasbourg and Paris a few weeks ago, braved shady night trains, ate too many pastries, and marveled at famous sights. Here's the picture synopsis:
Snowy Strasbourg | Lite Brite pedestrian signals?

Me being excited about food...weird I know. But seriously -- Nutella banana crepes were incredible in Paris.
The Louvre

This might give perspecitve to how small the 'Lisa actually is...

Notre Dame Cathedral

Tim gearing up with Mountain Dew for a night full of trains

Monday, March 24, 2008

Brussels, Mussels, and Markets

Okay, so I'm a little behind. I tried to trick you all into thinking that our Czech adventures were recent, but in all honesty, it was three weekends ago. I had to get that off my conscience.

Two weekends ago, Tim, Mitchell and I went to Belgium. Brussels, mostly. And friends, I ask you to scrap all of your preconceived notions, and toss your waffle insecurities aside - because I'm here to tell you that you will never taste anything more delicious than a Belgian waffle. (Except for maybe the Nutella/banana crepe that I had in Paris the other day...) Belgians love their chocolate, too, and I wasn't above making that a part of every meal, either.

There were parks that spanned several miles, and cool museums. The city itself was really pretty and fun to walk around, but aside from old churches and regular town square-ish buildings, I'm not sure I have many highlights to share about the architecture or famous monuments. The culture was much more in-your-face than a typical German city, so getting yelled at in French was intimidating at times. We stayed in "Hotel the Moon" which is ALWAYS funny to reference (as are other poorly translated-to-English places we've been such as the "Pizza Go Home" that we went to in Prague).

Allow me to reveal to you, via photographs, my weekend. There are a lot:

Crazy statue on a busy Brussell(ian?) street. No explanation, nothing.

Chocolate everywhere! Above is a sculpture made entirely of chocolate, and since we were there so close to Easter, this stuff was everywhere.

The famous Cologne Cathedral, and the Rhine River. The cathedral is the biggest Gothic church in northern Europe... which means it's really big. (Yes, I know Cologne isn't in Belgium, but we had a layover there on our way home at 4am...)

Walking along a regular Brussels street, we stumbled upon what appeared to be Paradise.

Not sure what this building was. The clouds were cool though, right?

Hotel the Moon!

These wooden figurines were everywhere.
Okay, so these kids bombarded us as we were sitting peacefully on a bench in this park. The boy in the middle proceeded to chant something in French over and over while his friends laughed at our confused reactions. The building in the background was the venue for the Menomena concert we went to.
Tim learned French on a software program years ago and didn't have the chance to use it with real people until this trip. This is Tim extremely excited about the chocolate he just ordered flawlessly in French. What a champ.
This ridiculous legend is a pretty big deal in Brussels, and the corresponding statue is an even bigger deal. I, however, could not bring myself to post such an atrocity on this blog, so if you're curious about it, just Google it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ceske Budejovice and Cesky Krumlov

Emily, Beth, Bonnie and I recently took Bohemia by storm. I don't know a lot about either of the cities that we went to, except that they were both beautiful and Czech-esque. Two words: potato dumplings. We saw colorful storefronts, icy rivers, old castles, and bears. Bears? Yes, inside the castle wall at Krumlov (and outside the castle itself) were several bears roaming the landscape. I think the city keeps them there for old times sake, and when we saw them, they were just chowing down on platters of fruit. We ate crepes and goulash and pastries and tortes.

The hostel room that Bonnie and I shared had a sign on the door that read "Love Shack." Also: the guy manning the hostel's reception office told us to not be surprised if when we woke up to check out the next morning, we found him passed out on the floor outside of the door, sleeping off his inebriation. Shaaaady. Luckily, when we went to turn in our keys in the morning, he was sitting upright at his desk, and seemed coherent enough.

Anyway -- here are some pictures from the weekend.

My bike.

(I'm obsessed.)