Tuesday, June 5, 2012

We have been in Prague for a couple days now and all I can say is wow! The city is absolutely beautiful! I feel like I need to spend a lot more time here to really experience the city.

This is the view from Charles Bridge in Prague.  On the first day here we went on a walking tour.  The bridge was really busy and had a lot of statues on it.  We saw a lot of great architecture once again, but there is something really intriguing about Prague.  It is one of my favorite cities we have been to!

The next day we went to a business visit in the morning to ABS Jets.  It is a company that specializes in personal jets for businesses! We didn't get to see in any of them, but the pictures look exquisite! Must be nice to be able to afford a private jet.  After the business visit we drove about an hour to a concentration camp.  This cross is in the middle of the cemetery outside what used to be the camp.  The Jewish people were not exterminated in this camp, however many of them did suffer.  This camp was for prisoners of war and those awaiting transport to camps like Auschwitz.  It still makes me sick to think about the cruelty these people suffered.

For dinner last night we went for Indian food! This was my first experience having real Indian food and I love it! I had very hot curry with chicken.  It was really hot, but definitely well worth it.  My jacket even smelled like curry when we left the restaurant.

Today we went to another business visit.  First, we went to the office of the company we are traveling with.  Their company is really laid back like most of the companies here! It would be a really fun place to work because the guides get to travel all over with different groups!  After that, we met with the owner of a company called myElen.com.  It is a small micro-finance company.  He had an interesting story and showed what its like to work his way up from the bottom.  After that, we toured the Prague Castle.  It was a long tour, but very pretty.  After the tour we ate dinner at a Brazilian restaurant which was so delicious.  It was all you can eat salad bar and then the waiters bring around all kinds of meats.  I even tried chicken hearts!

Tomorrow is our last day in Prague and our last day of the trip.  We are going to a brewery and then have a farewell dinner.  I am excited that I will be meeting up with my mom and sister in London and Paris, but it will be sad when the group has to go home.  It has been such an amazing, eye opening experience for me.  This trip will be something I remember forever.  It went by really fast, but I hope I can come back sometime!

Friday, June 1, 2012

This is one of the two crepes I had in Vienna.  I definitely was not expecting that when I ordered! This one was banana chocolate.  There was a crepe, fresh bananas, banana gelato, vanilla gelato and whipped cream on it! It was so delicious.

One of the things Vienna is famous for this time of year is the flower gardens.  This particular garden was a rose garden with every color imaginable.  It was a beautiful place surrounded by beautiful buildings and cathedrals.  It was raining the day we went there, but got sunny as soon as we walked into the garden! Perfect!

After Vienna we traveled to Brno.  The city is much smaller, but has just as much character.  It still amazes me how each city can be so different.  When we got to Brno we went on a visit of IBM.  It was interesting, but some of the other companies seem much more exciting! We went to dinner at a cool restaurant that was in a cellar.  We got to see into the wine cellar with aged wines and a wine press from the 17th century!

Today we visited a castle in Brno.  We locked Tara in the dungeon and this is her peeking out! After the castle we visited a brewery and tasted the local beer! I can say I am definitely more of a wine girl!

Tomorrow we are going to a winery and on a river cruise! After that we will travel to Prague where we will be for the remainder of the trip.  Time is flying by and I will be sad when it is over! I cannot wait to see what the last week has in store!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bratislava was a blast. When we were driving in it did not seem so great, but I was very surprised by the city! It was a lot smaller so we didn't have to use the train to get around. Everything was in walking distance. It was fun to walk around the town. We found a coffee shop where the iced coffe was served with ice cream as the cream. It was amazing! We Also went to a food festival near the castle in the city. We tried all kinds of good food and had mango mojitos! The next day we went to the country side again and toured an old castle. It was amazing inside...so big and all of the furniture was so ornate. We also toured a pottery shop where they make and sell all different kinds of pottery. At the end of this tour we went to a wine tasting. The wines were all made in Bratislava. We had mostly sweet wines which is fine with me! This morning we went on a visit of the National Bank of Slovakia. It was interesting to learn about the countries involved in the EU and those that still have their own currency. After that we rode on the bus to Vienna. It is such a beautiful city! We did not get to explore much today, but we will tomorrow! There are several beach clubs along the rive which was interesting to see. Tomorrow we are going on a bike ride to go shopping and sight seeing. I can't wait to see all the beautiful flower gardens and beautiful buildings. We are also going to dinner in the tower along the Danube river! I am so happy to be here! I feel like there is not enough time to see and do everything we need to do. I have all of my pictures uploaded to my camera, however, my computer will not connect to the wifi here so I cannot add them to my blog. I will try to add them as soon as possible!

Friday, May 25, 2012

We have arrived in Bratislava!  It is amazing how much the culture can change just three hours from the last city.

Yesterday was our last day is Budapest.  We went on a River Ride which started as a bus ride on the streets and then the bus drove into the water and turned into a boat! It was a weird concept, but very interesting.  We went to dinner as a group and went out last night.

This morning we took a three hour bus ride to Bratislava.  The city is a lot smaller than Budapest.  When we arrived we went on a tour of one of the private TV producers here.  It was a cool studio and it was interesting to see the differences between American TV and European TV.  They have similar reality TV shows like the equivalent of survivor and the bachelor.  It was also interesting to learn that when people pay for their TV service, they pay using their mobile phone.  They are too scared to use credit card and pay pal does not really exist.  This is strange coming from a society that basically depends on credit for everything!

After the visit we checked into our new hotel.  They actually had a really nice workout room and we finally got a decent workout in!  We went to dinner as a group again and then went to an Irish pub.  Tomorrow is the first day we will actually be able to sleep in until a decent hour and then we are going to a wine tasting which will be exciting! I can't believe our first week is almost over.

I will add more pictures to my next blog!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

We went sightseeing in Budapest and this is one of the churches.  This picture does not do the building justice and the inside was beautiful.  All of the details are so ornate and intricate.  Even the ceiling is covered with beautiful patterns.

 After sightseeing, we went on our dinner cruise on the Danube River.  This was a great way to see both sides of the city.  The building in the background is the Parliament.  Dinner was good, but the portions are so much smaller than the US! During dinner, Vish graced us with his voice and sang some songs to set the mood!

This is a picture from dinner on Tuesday night.  I must say this was some of the best food I have ever had.  Nicole and I chose the restaurant and made the reservation.  We were presently surprised by the set up at the restaurant.  It was almost like we had our own room! The center of the table slid out so that the waiters could server food to those sitting at the back of the table.  For an appetizer I tried Mussels for the first time and loved them! For dinner Nicole and I shared pizza and tortellini filled with pumpkin and served with a spinach cheese sauce.  We were at the restaurant for 2 and a half hours.....Truly a dining experience!

This is a little town we went to on our journey today.  We left Budapest for the day and saw some of the country side.  Our second stop along the way was at an old castle where we watched a medieval show and ate a traditional meal. We also saw the biggest church in Budapest.

I am having the best time.  The lack of sleep I have been getting is finally starting to catch up to me, but its worth it!  I couldn't ask for a better group of people to be traveling with either! I am glad we all get to share this experience!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Its only the second day in Europe and it has already been so amazing! We got to spend some extra time in Brussels which was an unexpected surprise.  It feels like we have been gone for a really long time.  Today we went to the American Embassy.  The man that talked to us was from New Mexico and went to school at CSU...small world! After that we went sight seeing.  There is so much to look at and soak in! The architecture and culture are so rich.  For dinner we went on a cruise on the Danube River.  So much fun.  We are starting to find our way around, but that will change as soon as we move on to the next city.  I am so excited for all of the new things we have yet to see and experience!