Monday, January 18, 2010


I loved the entire Treasures of Central Europe trip!! I really enjoyed learning about the history of all of the cities and countries, as well as seeing the beautiful architecture. My favorite city was Berlin, because I was fascinated by the historical and present-day conflicts in the city.

I thought that the visit to Mathausen Concentration camp was very powerful. It was really sad to see where the vicitims of the Holocaust lived, worked, and died. It was also sad to see how horrible their living conditions were. Despite the sadness, though, I feel that seeing Mathausen was a very good experience. I believe that everyone should visit a concentration camp at least one time in his or her life.

Seeing all of the castles and palaces was amazing! I was especially impressed by the Hapsburg family's summer home. I thought it was very cool that we were able to go inside some of the palaces and castles, because it helped me to get an idea about how luxuriously the royal families lived.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Heidelberg, Germany

Heidleberg, Germany was a very cool city! I thought that it was very neat that the most important thing in Heidelberg was the university. The university was a very interesting thing to see. In addition to the university, I also thought that it was fun to visit and learn about the churches and castle in Heidelberg. It was cool to see the remains of the castle and to hear about how the whole structure was almost destroyed. I also thought it was interesting to learn about the religious conflict that was going on in the city, and how the Catholics and Protestants were eventually able to resolve their conflict.
I thought the pharmacy was really interesting. It was neat to see how far back medicine and science go. It was also interesting to see how many of those medicines are still in use today, and also to see how many of them are considered illegal now.

Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany was a very incredible city! I loved that it had a very modern feel to it, even though there were also many old buidlings in the city as well. Munich was not as tourist-oriented as the other cities, which was also very interesting. I liked the city very much, because it, like Dresden, showed both the old, historical part of Germany, as well as showing the more modern side of the country as well.

Going to the Hofbraeuhaus in Munich was very fun! It was neat to be part of a tradition and to share the fun with many people. I thought that it was interesting that people sat down with strangers. That does not happen very often in the United States.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria was a beautiful (and expensive) city! I loved seeing the Hapsburgs summer palace. I also enjoyed hearing about the rich history of the city. The Hapsburg family history especially provided us with many interesting stories. I really liked the musical aspect of Vienna as well. I thought that the importance of music in Vienna was very interesting, especially since music programs in the United States are struggling so much. To hear about a city that had so many different ways to experience music was very interesting.

Seeing The Nutcracker at the Vienna Opera House was an amazing experience! The Opera House was beautiful, and I could easily see why it has such an amazing reputation. The performance itself was breathtaking. I thought that the skill and passion shown by the dancers was incredible. The Nutcracker was a very good ballet to see, and the fact that it was performed in a world famous opera house made it even better!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary was a very interesting city. The buildings were very beautiful, and it was interesting to see the different styles on the Buda and Pest sides of the city. I had never known that Buda and Pest had been two different places, before they combined to form Budapest. I thought that, like in Berlin, it was obvious where the line between the two areas was drawn. (The Danube helped to identify this line, of course, but the terrain was also a great indicator.) It was neat to learn about the hot springs, and how they helped the city.
I thought that the history of Budapest was also quite intriguing. Learning about the seven pagan chiefs and how they realized that, in order to keep their land, they had to join together and practice Christianity was very interesting. The story showed just how important religion was and is to Europe. It also showed how, at that time period, it was imperative to act in a way that would most benefit you, even if it meant changing certain beliefs and values. The tribute to Budapest's heroes in Hero Square was a very beautiful gesture, and I believe that it is a good reminder of the struggle it took to reach the place where the city is today.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic was a very beautiful city. The castle in Prague was especially amazing. It was very neat to learn about the poorer area of the city, and how it was located right by the castle. The many parts of the castle were incredible, and it is very interesting that so many parts are still used today.

The Yellow Road in Prague was one of the poorer parts of the city. I thought that its location was very ironic. The fact that it was within the castle area demonstrated how separate the social classes truly were. Even though the Yellow Road was within the castle area, the people there were in a very different social situation. The separation, despite the close proximity, to me, is very fascinating.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dresden, Germany

Dresden, Germany was very beautiful. I thought the combination of old and new architecture was very interesting. The stories of how Dresden had to rebuild after the bombings were very fascinating. I think that Dresden was one of the most beautiful cities on the tour, because it combined old and new in a way I had never seen before. This combination made it stand out, and served as a reminder that the past should not be ignored to make way for the future.

Even though many of the buidlings in Dresden were hurt by World War II, the ones that remain show how beautiful and important Dresden was. This city clearly was very rich prior to World War II. I think that the way it was repaired is very beautiful, and it makes it very easy to see the beauty of this city.