Monday, May 24, 2010

First week back in Europe!

Ok, so for those of you out of the loop, Will and I left last monday for the airport. We were supposed to take Icelandair from JFK to Iceland to CDG in Paris. BEcause of the volcano activity, however, we were told to take Air France directly to CDG. We spent about 6 hours in JFK, before finally getting on a British Air flight to London. When we got to London, we had a paper ticket. The people at BA were confused, and told us to stay in the terminal to wait on all these lines to get our real ticket. well i got a little plane sick so i had no energy anyway, so i didnt mind sitting in lines. when we finally got to someone who had half a brain (after talking to 4 different people) he told us we were supposed to go on Air France, in a totally different terminal and that the flight was at 1 and it was already 12:30 so wed missed it! so frustrating. but we got on a flight at 4pm with BA to CDG. only to arrive without williams bag that we had put through because there were large liquids on it. We still dont have that bag, its floating around europe somewhere.
so after 24 hours of travelling, sitting in lines, and waiting around, we finally made it to paris after midnight on wed morning (reminder: we had left on monday afternoon). we stayed with my friends noelle and alana who áre 2 american girls who were on my study abroad program with me. noelle is in paris doing an internship. alana stayed in the program to do one more semester. the next morning, alana had a final at 10am and noelle had to get up for work, so we all got up at 8am... Will and i went to the Luxembourg gardens to walk around and we went to the rooftop of where i had class which has an amazing view. we then met with alana when she got out of her final and had pastries in front of the sorbonne. we also saw the pantheon and then walked past the cluny museum where you can see the old roman baths. we cut through the latin quater with its old french cobble stone streets and came out at the seine river. we went in the notre dame quickly and when we get back we are going to try to get on the top (it opens at 10am so well get there early but the line is often long). we then went to shakespeare & co which is a great english bookstore with a lot of character that will loved. alana went to her next final and we walked up the seine browsing the small waterfront booths called bouqinists. we passed the musee d´orsay and walk to the louvre. then we cut up past the arch du triomphe du caravel (i htink thats what its called), through the beautiful tuileries garden, to place de la concorde with the obelisk and the view of the arc de triomphe. we then walked to the madeline church, which is a stunning greco-romesque style. definitely google it. we met noelle for lunch. turns out she now works with one of the girls she and i had grammer class with, so she came along too and we ate sandwiches in front of the church. then we walked along through paris kind of wandering in the general direction back towards where we were staying with the girls in luxembourg. we stopped at h&m to get will some clothes since BA will reimburse us for them. we ended up running into two guys who had also lost their clothes who were on the same flight as us! Weirder coincidence: they are from NJ and one of them goes to buffalo! paris is huge, running into them is very unlikely. unfortunately, they leave thurs and we dont get back to paris til wed night, so maybe well see them on their last night out...
the flight to denmark that night was uneventful, that god. we got in after 11pm and Line picked us up. her and her husband (Søren) welcomed us to their beautiful home just on the outside of Aalborg, the 4th largest city in DK. It is only a 20 min walk to the center of the small city which is on a fjord (think salty river). The city is very strange. it has very old bits, but then there are lots of modern buildings mixed in. its also very developing and there is a lot of industry that they are trying to move away to beautify the city. its very tiny to american standards as well.
When we arrived they had philidelphia cream cheese for us! We ate it with some of Sørens home made bread! for breakfast there was cereal called american crunch which was granola, very tasty! haha. they also dont have their cereal with milk but with this liquidy yogurt. kind of like the kids drinkable yogurts but less sugary. eitherway, it was sooooo good.
Our first day there, Line was so awesome and took us to see the city. we walked to the center of the city where we saw really old buildings and narrow cobbeled streets as well as the main street which is much wider and has a lot of shops. i loved the character of the old buildings. we then went into this museum that is in the middle of the main shopping street. you put some danish coins in and then an elevator comes up. you take the elevator down underground to the museum. there is no receptionist or anything. the lights to the hallway light up and you walk in. very much like getting on space mountain at disney. apparently when a shop had done some remodelling they realized they were right on top of an oldddd monastary. Ok so here's a summary: there was a village starting at 900AD. Then some franciscans came to Aalborg and built a church there in the mid-13th century, then tore it down around 1300 and build another church which didnt close down until 1530 (Reformation?). so there were some cool skeletons and they had a lot of cool buttons you could press that would light up certain sections of what you were looking at and there would be a description. i liked this museum a lot. then we went to a cool tea house that had all kinds of tea, like one that had something champagne. i didnt even know you could have champagne flavored leaves?? lol there was a chocolate store next door and we had free samples of flodeboller, a marshmellow type thing with marzipan and covered with chocolate!!! soooo good! they also had chocolate 'sushi'. they were pieces of chocolate that you ate with chop sticks and dipped in the different sauces it came with! very cool
we also saw the local church that apparently no one goes to lol. very different from american or southern/eastern european churches. its hard to describe, but they are all white, very high ceilings, and very bright paints on the ornamentations.
we then had sandwiches from this great sandwich place (I forget the name). they had bagels! apparently it was the last day of school for high school so the kids were dressed like it was halloween! there were star wars ranger things and lots of super mans and others.
we ate by these fountains by the water. all the little blonde kids were there with the babysitters playing in the fountains. speaking of which, we have been really lucky so far, its been all nice hot weather, unusually so!
we finished the day in the utzon center, which is a beautiful building you should google since i dont know when ill have pics up next... it over looks the water and the ceilings are shaped funny so that its almost like being in a ship. there were some cool architecture models from the architecture schools students and some modern art stuff. the building was designed by the guy who designed the opera house in sydney australia. who knew it was a dane? apparently all the danes do... there was also a very very bizarre modern art exhibit we werent too fond of. lots of square cubby holder looking things.
its really late now so im going to go to bed! sorry its so behind! theres so much to say, im sure im forgetting something! xoxo