a college student's five month quest to see europe and soak in la vie française

a college student's five month quest to see europe and soak in la vie française

Friday, July 30, 2010


Our trip to Turkey was memorable for several reasons. Istanbul was so unlike any other European city that I visited over the course of my semester abroad that it would be unjust to try to draw a comparison in typical travelers' qualifications. Traveling with my mother and sister — three American and Catholic women — in a country not known for its religious or sexual tolerance was both fascinating and at times frightening. We also made time for a Turkish bath, which yielded hilarious anecdotes not soon to be forgotten. Turkey was also the final country I saw before I returned to my host family in Tours and then my real family in the U.S., rounding out the list of new places I saw (which I have posted on the right sidebar for the few of you who may be interested). 
Neither the first nor the last murse sighting on our trip.
We conveniently arrived at the Blue Mosque just in time for their afternoon prayer — a Turkish experience not to be missed.
A yummy and colorful salad at a nearby café.
The Blue Mosque at sunset from our rooftop restaurant.
Somehow we managed to swallow down Turkish coffee, a very thick concoction that tastes similar to what I imagine tar would.
A view of the Golden Horn from our river cruise on the Bosphorous. 
Amazing architecture spotted from the boat. Unfortunately we had more than a little trouble deciphering the guide's explanations of what everything was!
The bridge that connects the Asian and European parts of Turkey.
A manmade "party island" in the center of the Bosphorous.
We just don't have that kind of architectural detail in America!
Murse numero dos on the river cruise.
The view from Pierre Loti Hill.
Evidence of far too much time spent looking at rugs in the Grand Bazaar.
Hagia Sofia at sunrise (damn those early flights).
The Blue Mosque at sunrise.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


from salzburg, it was on to the austrian capital!
pretty orangerie in front of schönbrunn.
reilly practicing her politican's wave...
and her princess wave.
gorgeous gardens.
classical sculpture.
grand fountain.
schönbrunn palace at night.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


the austrian birthplace of the sound of music was every bit as charming as it appears in my all-time favorite film.
banks of the salzach river that runs through the city.
reilly and mom in front of one of several mozart memorials.
the spray from the fountain felt pretty good on an unexpectedly hot day.
mom and i in front of a cool sculpture in the residenz.
view from the hohensalzburg castle.
cute little restaurant nestled in hohensalzburg where we grabbed a bite to eat.
i love the shadows here.
a lovely panorama from hohensalzburg.
reilly and mom in front of the house where the sound of music was filmed.
the gazebo where rolf and leisl sing "sixteen going on seventeen."
church where maria and the captain get married (mom using her trench coat to recreate maria's veil).
doesn't it actually sort of look like a train?
mom happier than we've ever seen her. we love the sound of music!
garden where maria and the children sing "do re mi."
reilly and i on the fountain they danced around.
goofing around in the hedge tunnel that maria and the children run through during "do re mi."
maria: gretl, what happened to your finger?
gretl: it got caught.
maria: caught in what?
gretl: friedrich's teeth.
pretty flowers in the garden.
a lovely sunset from the rooftop restaurant on our last night.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


dauchau was a very somber experience (one which i had considered forgoing) and certainly a strong declaration that history ought not repeat itself. i was a little put off by tourists posing by the gate inscribed with "work will set you free" smiling and flashing peace signs but there were other moments where i was shaken to my core with horror and sadness. munich, on the other hand, was an amazingly alive city where the people's enthusiasm (and drunkenness) proved endlessly entertaining and even infectious. even after a soccer match against milan ended in defeat, citizens stormed the streets with flags and beers to celebrate their munich pride.
work will set you free.
never again.
role call yard.
rows and rows of former barracks.
barbed wire fence.
on to greener pastures... munich madness at marienplatz.
a proud purchase.
witch hats and puppy jerseys.
so crazy!
in front of the dancing dome in the gorgeous hoff garden.
dancing in hoff garden. how fun!
"backpacking" through europe.
beautiful building in the hoff garden.
sunlight through trees in hoff garden.
baby chick in the english gardens!
pretty landscaping in english gardens.
hippies in the english gardens.
sisters in the english gardens.
bicycle in hoff garden on our walk back home.
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