Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May Day May Day May Day

So it's almost June, and I feel guilty that I have not updated since March, but now I am updating and that's all that matters. Let it begin.

Its been almost three months that I traveled to Brussels, Brugges, Amsterdam, and all the cities that were a part of my Spring Break trip (Rome, Athens, Delphi, and the Greek Islands of Poros, Aegina, and Hydra) Last time I checked, it was supposed to be March 1st. What happened!!!?

Brussels
My first time in another francophone country! I traveled with Silvia and Alicia (Silvia's friend from Amherst) and we were on our way! It just so happens that my friend Margaret (from Hamilton College) was on the same bus as us because the TGV from Paris to Brussels was not running due to an accident that happened in early February. What a coincidence! Silvia and I had booked our tickets from Eurolines, the European version of the Greyhound for about 25 euros each. So we arrive in Brussels, and its gloomy, just like my cinematography professor had predicted. It turns out that Belgium in general is a cloudy, wet, and gray country. I'm not making a generalization or anything, but it's the truth! All films that take place in Belgium are in the rain! Its so true! At least Brussels had other things to offer that compensated its downer gloomy weather. Fries, beer, and comic books/cartoons! Jk jk there was the museum that holds the biggest collection of Flemish Art that equally holds an importance. Hmph, I know nothing about Flemish Art so I couldn't appreciate it whoops! Overall it was a good trip. We got our Moules et Frites. Delish!
the sun came out for a few minutes!Bruges
On the same trip, we took a day trip to Bruges, which helped even out the gloomyness of Brussels. Although the city was not very different from Brussels, Bruges had the many many canals that made it look like a Flemish style Venice. Apparently when we went (a week after the start of Lent) they were still celebrating Carnaval and we saw their parade in full uproar throughout the town while we were on a boat ride. Splendid. We visited the Chocolate Museum and saw the relic of the Holy Blood. A few drops of Jesus' blood have been kept in this church (Basilica of the Holy Blood). It's crazy to think about. This relic is actually believed to hold 3 drops of Jesus' blood. AHHHH!! Little did I know that a month later I would see the Crown of Thorns at the Notre-Dame. I have been overwhelmed with the croyance belief that exists in these other coutries. Historians and Theologians might say that Islam will overtake Europe, but I still belive. I'm not saying that Christianity will triumph over Islam, I am saying that both religions will remain strong and the Christian entity will remain, just like it has for the past hundreds of years.
Inside the Basilica of the Holy Blood
Amsterdam
Well, since I have some young readers I won't go into the detail about this city's history and what its known for. It was a beautiful city, don't get me wrong. The unforgettable image of the Neerlandais on their bikes riding next to the canals is like nothing else in the USA (bikes outnumber the number of people in Amsterdam I believe), but I didn't think it was for me. I loved it, I really did. Maybe if I would have done a bit more reading, I would have apprecaited the city more, but I just felt like a little detached from the city. I did see the Van Gogh museum, so that was nice, but I feel like I have seen better Van Gogh collections in Paris. Silvia and I shared our hostel room with some Spaniards and we had fun hanging out and sightseeing with them. Silvia practicing her Spanish and me fighting about the proper way to pronounce words in Spanish, it was a good time. "Ahorita" apparently doesn't exist in Spain's Spanish. Whatever, it does in the rest of the Spanish speaking world. We also visited the Anne Frank House, which is where Anne Frank and her family were in hiding during WW2. It was completely unbelievable. I mean, I was in that apartment and I could feel the fear that draped the walls. The fear of the Germans arriving at any moment. When I was in her room, the pictures that hung on the walls were still in tact. I could see the young and high aspirations she had. It made me want to write in my journal. I'm starting again, I feel like I want to write more and read more. It will only do me good. We also took a look at the making of the Heineken beer, interesting.
Our tour through the red light district. 1% of Milan 25% of Rome 100% of Athens
So after the volcano in Iceland ruined my spring break plans to Italy, I at least made it to Milan & Rome on the same day. We arrived in Milan at 10am in the morning and took the first bullet train to Rome. We met up with Maria Fosarrello (my sorella) and the following day Silvia and I flew out to Athens. A very very crazy weekend indeed. But, before leaving Paris, I was able to have enchiladas de mole with my mexican-french friends (well almost all mexican). Hatziri, Ame, Leo, Guillaume, Martin, and I sipped some wine, maybe some tequila to reminice, accompanied by some traditional guacamole dip. The enchiladas ended up being half tacos de pollo dorados with mole sauce. Yes, that's what it was like. Mmmm I miss the mexican cuisine! It is non-existant in Paris. There are some restaurants, but I have yet to try something outstandingly similar to my mom's cooking. In Rome, we saw the Colloseum and the Vatican (an urgent request of my mother), it was all we could fit in to the day. I did end up meeting with Steph, my POSC study partner who has been studying in Rome for the past semester, it was a good MU meet up!
Hatziri getting the chicken ready and the sauce!On our way to a picnic on Ile de la Cite.

We're not in Paris anymore....Alright so Athens. I was equipped with the Rick Steves Athens Guide book, so pretty much Silvia and I were set. We are happy to say that we did almost everything that he suggested and boy did we have a GREAT trip!! Yes, go write his name on a post it and Google him later! I highly recommend it, thank you Dr. Quade for allowing me to discover his Paris Guide book! Alright so, on the first day we took the walking tour and we were able to see a majority of the city. It is true that the city is dirty and the poverty is present, but I loved it the same. The food was a huge component of this. The kebabs, gyros, greek salads, and feta cheese dips, I'm even craving some now! We actually ate twice at a fast food Greek food place, which was DELISH and a Noodle Cafe which had the most DELISH noodle soup of my life (who would have thought?). I want to go back!! We toured the Ancient Agora, the Acropolis, the New Acropolis Museum (just opened in the Summer of 2009) the following day. I have to say that this museum was my fav. Silvia and I ended the tour by having desert time on their terrace facing the Acropolis. Only in Athens would that be possible. We met a french man, who happened to sit with us because there weren't enough tables and of course he was amazed that we were living in Paris and traveling all over Europe. Our hostel had an amazing view of the Acropolis as well and the staff was great. I would def love to go back with friends some day especially during the time that we are students, because entry into the museums is free!!
Getting my sandals fitted at the Poet Sandal Makers place.
The National Archealogical Museum
The first voting machine ever maybe?
The terrace of the New Acropolis Museum
Poros, Aegina, Hydra
So Silvia and I decided that we wanted to see some of the Greek Islands during our stay in Greece, luckily we ran across a travel agency holding a sale for students and we were able to visit 3 islands in a day. In the end, we should have just chosen one island and explored it, but we agreed that we had fun. Hydra was by far the most beautiful out of the three and my favorite. Our ship was late on a few occasions so we were only able to explore Poros for about 45 mins. Sadness. Silvia and I decided that we would go back. It's been decided! Aegina was a bit cold, so we we didn't spend a lot of time walking around, at that point we were exhausted from sitting and doing nothing on the boat. haha. After a nap, we conversed with our neighbors on the cruise and we met quite a few interesting people, mostly the Italians. Everyone of course, thought we should be in school and not on a cruise ship, because everyone was at least 30 years older. Yeah, we didn't get on the booze cruise as one of them said. I enjoyed talking to the Italian group about my stay in Italy, it only made me miss it even more. Mi manchi!! Mi manchi!! I will always remember the Italy Christmas trip as one of the best of my life. The Athens trip comes in second.
The island of PorosThe Island of HydraRick Steves!!Delphi
Located in the southern center of Greece, Delphi is an interesting town. Its primarily just an archaelogical site, the city itself has about three main roads to give you an idea. We took a bus early in the morning from Athens (surprise right?) and we get to the city. I was already hungry at 10 am and I was fortunate to have the most DELISH gyro of my life. Probably because I was the first one (the meat was still cooking when we arrived at the restaurant, and we had to wait about 30 mins before it was ready). I will never forget that gyro with the feta cheese. MMMM. We then moved on to the archeological site which was the Temple of Apollo, the Sanctuary of Athena, the gymnasium, the Theater used in some of the Olympic Games and the Museum on the site. We were so happy to be out of the city and enjoy the calmness of the small town. I was even able to sit under the sun and bronze for a bit. Unfortunately on our way home I lost my phone. A bad ending to a good day.
So after a week in Greece, I was so ready to come back to Paris. I missed my home. Cristina, Tracy, Luis, and Reina all came and visited Paris this past week and it was great to see familiar faces, but now I'm back to my solitary life in my parisian apartment for three weeks and I'm out of school. For my last week and a half in Paris I will be touring Paris & London with Drew, my Ohioan friend (as I like to call him) who's coming to visit! Its almost over, but for now I know I will come back to this city, it means too much to me now. I've made Paris a part of my life, a big big part. A part that I will remember forever, a part that has changed me.

I just bought two books that I am IN LOVE with: Alice et le pays de langage and Jean Cocteau's Orphee. I'll give a resume later.

As for now, I'm getting ready for a weekend full of work work work. Two papers for my Cinema class on "what is the narrative voice in films". One history exam on Indochine. One paper for my writing class on "being cultivated means being different" and of course two dance classes this week before my membership expires.

I'm almost coming home everyone!

With hugs,
Mayra.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So good post
and I hope to visit my Blog Ancient Greece for Kids and see Ancient Greece Timeline
thanks again Admin

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May Day May Day May Day

So it's almost June, and I feel guilty that I have not updated since March, but now I am updating and that's all that matters. Let it begin.

Its been almost three months that I traveled to Brussels, Brugges, Amsterdam, and all the cities that were a part of my Spring Break trip (Rome, Athens, Delphi, and the Greek Islands of Poros, Aegina, and Hydra) Last time I checked, it was supposed to be March 1st. What happened!!!?

Brussels
My first time in another francophone country! I traveled with Silvia and Alicia (Silvia's friend from Amherst) and we were on our way! It just so happens that my friend Margaret (from Hamilton College) was on the same bus as us because the TGV from Paris to Brussels was not running due to an accident that happened in early February. What a coincidence! Silvia and I had booked our tickets from Eurolines, the European version of the Greyhound for about 25 euros each. So we arrive in Brussels, and its gloomy, just like my cinematography professor had predicted. It turns out that Belgium in general is a cloudy, wet, and gray country. I'm not making a generalization or anything, but it's the truth! All films that take place in Belgium are in the rain! Its so true! At least Brussels had other things to offer that compensated its downer gloomy weather. Fries, beer, and comic books/cartoons! Jk jk there was the museum that holds the biggest collection of Flemish Art that equally holds an importance. Hmph, I know nothing about Flemish Art so I couldn't appreciate it whoops! Overall it was a good trip. We got our Moules et Frites. Delish!
the sun came out for a few minutes!Bruges
On the same trip, we took a day trip to Bruges, which helped even out the gloomyness of Brussels. Although the city was not very different from Brussels, Bruges had the many many canals that made it look like a Flemish style Venice. Apparently when we went (a week after the start of Lent) they were still celebrating Carnaval and we saw their parade in full uproar throughout the town while we were on a boat ride. Splendid. We visited the Chocolate Museum and saw the relic of the Holy Blood. A few drops of Jesus' blood have been kept in this church (Basilica of the Holy Blood). It's crazy to think about. This relic is actually believed to hold 3 drops of Jesus' blood. AHHHH!! Little did I know that a month later I would see the Crown of Thorns at the Notre-Dame. I have been overwhelmed with the croyance belief that exists in these other coutries. Historians and Theologians might say that Islam will overtake Europe, but I still belive. I'm not saying that Christianity will triumph over Islam, I am saying that both religions will remain strong and the Christian entity will remain, just like it has for the past hundreds of years.
Inside the Basilica of the Holy Blood
Amsterdam
Well, since I have some young readers I won't go into the detail about this city's history and what its known for. It was a beautiful city, don't get me wrong. The unforgettable image of the Neerlandais on their bikes riding next to the canals is like nothing else in the USA (bikes outnumber the number of people in Amsterdam I believe), but I didn't think it was for me. I loved it, I really did. Maybe if I would have done a bit more reading, I would have apprecaited the city more, but I just felt like a little detached from the city. I did see the Van Gogh museum, so that was nice, but I feel like I have seen better Van Gogh collections in Paris. Silvia and I shared our hostel room with some Spaniards and we had fun hanging out and sightseeing with them. Silvia practicing her Spanish and me fighting about the proper way to pronounce words in Spanish, it was a good time. "Ahorita" apparently doesn't exist in Spain's Spanish. Whatever, it does in the rest of the Spanish speaking world. We also visited the Anne Frank House, which is where Anne Frank and her family were in hiding during WW2. It was completely unbelievable. I mean, I was in that apartment and I could feel the fear that draped the walls. The fear of the Germans arriving at any moment. When I was in her room, the pictures that hung on the walls were still in tact. I could see the young and high aspirations she had. It made me want to write in my journal. I'm starting again, I feel like I want to write more and read more. It will only do me good. We also took a look at the making of the Heineken beer, interesting.
Our tour through the red light district. 1% of Milan 25% of Rome 100% of Athens
So after the volcano in Iceland ruined my spring break plans to Italy, I at least made it to Milan & Rome on the same day. We arrived in Milan at 10am in the morning and took the first bullet train to Rome. We met up with Maria Fosarrello (my sorella) and the following day Silvia and I flew out to Athens. A very very crazy weekend indeed. But, before leaving Paris, I was able to have enchiladas de mole with my mexican-french friends (well almost all mexican). Hatziri, Ame, Leo, Guillaume, Martin, and I sipped some wine, maybe some tequila to reminice, accompanied by some traditional guacamole dip. The enchiladas ended up being half tacos de pollo dorados with mole sauce. Yes, that's what it was like. Mmmm I miss the mexican cuisine! It is non-existant in Paris. There are some restaurants, but I have yet to try something outstandingly similar to my mom's cooking. In Rome, we saw the Colloseum and the Vatican (an urgent request of my mother), it was all we could fit in to the day. I did end up meeting with Steph, my POSC study partner who has been studying in Rome for the past semester, it was a good MU meet up!
Hatziri getting the chicken ready and the sauce!On our way to a picnic on Ile de la Cite.

We're not in Paris anymore....Alright so Athens. I was equipped with the Rick Steves Athens Guide book, so pretty much Silvia and I were set. We are happy to say that we did almost everything that he suggested and boy did we have a GREAT trip!! Yes, go write his name on a post it and Google him later! I highly recommend it, thank you Dr. Quade for allowing me to discover his Paris Guide book! Alright so, on the first day we took the walking tour and we were able to see a majority of the city. It is true that the city is dirty and the poverty is present, but I loved it the same. The food was a huge component of this. The kebabs, gyros, greek salads, and feta cheese dips, I'm even craving some now! We actually ate twice at a fast food Greek food place, which was DELISH and a Noodle Cafe which had the most DELISH noodle soup of my life (who would have thought?). I want to go back!! We toured the Ancient Agora, the Acropolis, the New Acropolis Museum (just opened in the Summer of 2009) the following day. I have to say that this museum was my fav. Silvia and I ended the tour by having desert time on their terrace facing the Acropolis. Only in Athens would that be possible. We met a french man, who happened to sit with us because there weren't enough tables and of course he was amazed that we were living in Paris and traveling all over Europe. Our hostel had an amazing view of the Acropolis as well and the staff was great. I would def love to go back with friends some day especially during the time that we are students, because entry into the museums is free!!
Getting my sandals fitted at the Poet Sandal Makers place.
The National Archealogical Museum
The first voting machine ever maybe?
The terrace of the New Acropolis Museum
Poros, Aegina, Hydra
So Silvia and I decided that we wanted to see some of the Greek Islands during our stay in Greece, luckily we ran across a travel agency holding a sale for students and we were able to visit 3 islands in a day. In the end, we should have just chosen one island and explored it, but we agreed that we had fun. Hydra was by far the most beautiful out of the three and my favorite. Our ship was late on a few occasions so we were only able to explore Poros for about 45 mins. Sadness. Silvia and I decided that we would go back. It's been decided! Aegina was a bit cold, so we we didn't spend a lot of time walking around, at that point we were exhausted from sitting and doing nothing on the boat. haha. After a nap, we conversed with our neighbors on the cruise and we met quite a few interesting people, mostly the Italians. Everyone of course, thought we should be in school and not on a cruise ship, because everyone was at least 30 years older. Yeah, we didn't get on the booze cruise as one of them said. I enjoyed talking to the Italian group about my stay in Italy, it only made me miss it even more. Mi manchi!! Mi manchi!! I will always remember the Italy Christmas trip as one of the best of my life. The Athens trip comes in second.
The island of PorosThe Island of HydraRick Steves!!Delphi
Located in the southern center of Greece, Delphi is an interesting town. Its primarily just an archaelogical site, the city itself has about three main roads to give you an idea. We took a bus early in the morning from Athens (surprise right?) and we get to the city. I was already hungry at 10 am and I was fortunate to have the most DELISH gyro of my life. Probably because I was the first one (the meat was still cooking when we arrived at the restaurant, and we had to wait about 30 mins before it was ready). I will never forget that gyro with the feta cheese. MMMM. We then moved on to the archeological site which was the Temple of Apollo, the Sanctuary of Athena, the gymnasium, the Theater used in some of the Olympic Games and the Museum on the site. We were so happy to be out of the city and enjoy the calmness of the small town. I was even able to sit under the sun and bronze for a bit. Unfortunately on our way home I lost my phone. A bad ending to a good day.
So after a week in Greece, I was so ready to come back to Paris. I missed my home. Cristina, Tracy, Luis, and Reina all came and visited Paris this past week and it was great to see familiar faces, but now I'm back to my solitary life in my parisian apartment for three weeks and I'm out of school. For my last week and a half in Paris I will be touring Paris & London with Drew, my Ohioan friend (as I like to call him) who's coming to visit! Its almost over, but for now I know I will come back to this city, it means too much to me now. I've made Paris a part of my life, a big big part. A part that I will remember forever, a part that has changed me.

I just bought two books that I am IN LOVE with: Alice et le pays de langage and Jean Cocteau's Orphee. I'll give a resume later.

As for now, I'm getting ready for a weekend full of work work work. Two papers for my Cinema class on "what is the narrative voice in films". One history exam on Indochine. One paper for my writing class on "being cultivated means being different" and of course two dance classes this week before my membership expires.

I'm almost coming home everyone!

With hugs,
Mayra.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So good post
and I hope to visit my Blog Ancient Greece for Kids and see Ancient Greece Timeline
thanks again Admin