Friday, July 1, 2011

My Last Day

Today was my last day in Piestany.

It rained almost all day, which sucked. I couldn't go out and just walk around, like I wanted to. Instead, I stayed in and obsessed about my packing. It stopped raining in the afternoon ish. I said good-bye to my host family, as they are going to the Czech Republic for the weekend. (I live with my host grandparents, remember.) I met up with my friends tonight, and just talked and had fun with them all night. They got me presents, even though I totally wasn't expecting it. As the night wore on, I said goodbye one by one as people had to make curfew. I finally got home at around 12.30, which is an early night for me. I finished packing, and I'm all set to go now. Not ready, but I don't think I'll ever be ready to leave. I'll be leaving in a few hours.

Budem mi chybas vsetkych!!!!!!!!!
Dakujem pre vsetko, Slovensko, si vyborne.


Monday, June 27, 2011

My Last Week

This is my last week.

My final Saturday, I went out with friends that night, like always. We just hung out at an apartment, and it was fun. My final Sunday, I went with the entire family to Bratislava, for birthday celebrations. Both of my host parents, my host cousin, and his other grandmother all had birthdays last week, so we went to my host cousin's house to celebrate. Basically just lunch, cake, and hanging out. It was pretty fun.

Today is my final Monday. I had school, yuck. We aren't doing anything in school, exams were two weeks ago, so I don't really know why we have to go, but whatever. I'm not sure what I'm going to do tonight. Tomorrow, after school I have dance class, but we are just going out for pizza I think. Then I have my last Rotary meeting. Wednesday I don't have plans yet. Thursday is the last day of school, and I might be going to a concert or something with friends that night. Friday I have no clue what I'm going to do. Say goodbye and cry, most likely. Saturday, I leave. My flight leaves Vienna at 7.55 am. Meaning I'll have to leave Piestany at about 3 or 4 in the morning. Ugh. So, that will be fun...not. I don't know if I'll post again from Slovakia. But I will for sure post once I get "home", to tell how different I find things now. Love you all (:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Final Weeks

Walking in the woods. Finding sticks and stuff, and starting a fire. Pulling out the things you brought with you to cook over the fire, and comparing them with what everyone else brought. Cooking them, and laughing at the one person that always drops food in the fire on accident, and the other that accidentally burns theirs. Sitting, talking with friends. After eating, going to the river and skipping stones, and laughing at the people that can't.

This would be a typical bonfire in America. Or, at least in Holton. This is also what my class here did instead of school Tuesday. Don't worry, we weren't skipping. We actually had a teacher with us. I learned how to skip stones, finally! And I was the one that was laughed at for burning my food (It was delicious, back off!). But it was great fun.

Tap Costume
Today (Wednesday) I didn't have to go to school because of dance. At 11, I went to practice with my class, then came home and showered (It was soooo hot there, and walking outside. Ugh). Then at 6.30 I was back. We got changed, and watched the first 3 dances...then the 4th dance was my tap solo! It actually went really good. I didn't mess up at all, which was a first. But the music was really loud and they didn't turn on the microphone for my feet like they said they would, so the audience couldn't really hear me. I know how it went though. :D

After I was done, I sat and watched with my class for a while. Then we changed into our other costumes, and went back out. We did our dance to "Magic". It's a jive/modern dance, and it's super fun. It also went good, but I did mess up one time. Not super bad, I just kicked with the wrong leg. Ah well. We have 2 "lifts" in that dance. One, we lift a girl like superman, kinda. The other, I taught my class. It's a "half", a cheer lift. The easiest one, but still. They have a lot of fun, and we are the only class that does that lift, while other classes do all the same lifts, and it gets repetitive. So I like our lifts(:
Picture, from left: Betka, Katka, Patra, Kathleen, Barca, Olivia

All in all, I'm having a pretty good week. Tomorrow my host grandma said I can help cook after school! No idea what we are making, but still.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Slovakia, Home again

So, I realized that my blog is called A Year in Slovakia, and my past many posts have been about other countries I've visited. So, what's new in Slovakia?

Well. The day after getting home from Euro Tour, I went to Trnava with my host family. We stayed overnight at this little hotel in the woods. I got to go on a tour of a cave, which was pretty sweet. We were actually there for some relative's 60th birthday/whole family get-together type thingy. It was fun, but there's no way I'll ever remember all those people, or how they are all related! (:

The school week after was mostly normal. That Thursday night I had a performance with my dance class. We did our dance to "All the Right Moves" and I also did my tap solo for the first time. It went pretty good, I only messed up in one part, and my class said they couldn't even tell. So I'm happy with that, even though only about 15 people showed up to watch. Then later that night, Anna (my travel buddy) came to visit. We had a total girls night, staying up till 3 am watching movies and eating junk food. I can't believe how much I've missed nights like that, and only having one again made me realize it. Friday we slept in, and then dyed sections of our hair purple. I have very dark purple in my bangs, and lighter purple just above my right ear (because I actually lightened that part of my hair first. Always a good thing to do with dark hair, I found out). Then we went out with my friends that night, then met up with Ernesto later. Saturday we went to Bratislava. We got lost in the city for about an hour and a half because Bratislava has stupid bus maps. But it was all ok in the end. We went out with my host cousin (you will recall him from the Easter fun...) and stayed with them (host aunt and uncle and family) Saturday night. Sunday we hung with the exchanges in Bratislava for a bit, then parted ways.

This week has been pretty normal for me, too. Nothing truly exciting. I had to redo my tap dance because one of the other teachers decided it was too long (2:40) so I shortened it to 1:30. It looks a lot better now though, because I could keep all of the really cool steps, and get rid of the ones I had been using for fillers. So, finished that up.

Tomorrow is my last Friday with Ernesto! He leaves for Mexico Tuesday, which is super sad. Then Saturday I'm headed to Kosice for the weekend, to hang with my girls there, and see the city.

For those of you who don't know, I leave July 2nd. Which is 16 days from now, which seems insane when I type that. But it's true. I can't imagine saying goodbye to my friends and, yes, family here. But I having people that I love very much and am excited to see waiting for me in America. So, once I get home (it's so strange to think of Michigan as "home" now) I probably won't blog much. I'll write a bit about getting used to things in the USA again, and I'll post about Rotary conferences. But, other than that...this blog is coming to a close.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Euro Tour - Venice

We arrived outside Venice in the evening, around 5 I think. We got on public transportation, aka a BUS-BOAT!!! Super cool. So we took that to St. Marco's square. (I think that was the name. It was some famous place.) Rotary basically just gave us free time then, which was awesome.

I went with 3 other girls. We got souvenirs real quick, then found this quaint little restaurant. It was awesome. We got salad, pasta, and a drink, all for 9 euros, which was about 10 times less than most places we could have gone. And it was really good. After that we just had enough time to walk back to Rotary. Then we all checked in, and had more free time. I went with a bunch of people that time. We walked to the bridge, and hung out there for a bit. Then split into smaller groups, and just wandered around. Then met up with Rotary again, and headed back to the bus-boat. There, we were rushing to all get on the boat, but 3 boys got left behind. We were all freaked, but they got on the next one and it was all good. So we all made it back to our bus, and drove all night to get back to Bratislava at 7:30 in the morning. Then said goodbye (forever!!!) to people. It was very sad. And then home.

Overall, Euro Tour was amazing. I definitely want to go back to Italy, hopefully after graduation next summer(:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Euro Tour - Florence

After departing Pompeii, we arrived in Florence in the evening.

We had to take a bus, then the metro (which was above ground), then walked to get to our hostel. We got our rooms all set (Very happy with my roommates, I had both dinosaurs in my room!) and had dinner in the restaurant-thingy in the basement of the hostel. After dinner we had free time, but most (if not all) of us just hung out in the hostel. I was with a bunch of people, exploring and after having an impromptu dance party on the balcony of the Brasilian boys' room. Very fun. (They got me addicted to the song "Ih Caraca", if you have time to waste, check it out:

The next day, we saw a church (What? A church? That's something completely new that we haven't done 20 times a day on this trip! Oh, joy!), and then the statue of David. And some other random art, but I wasn't really listening. We walked down across the river, and across the bridge with all the jewelry. Then free time(:

I went with Anna, my new travel buddy. First we just walked a bit, exploring. Then we went to buy souvenirs. We ended up spending about a half hour just trying on masks (And yes, I bought one. It is green and gold and amazing). Anna ended up getting 2, because she has a face that masks look really good on, and because she couldn't pick just one. (One of hers is blue with feathers, and the other I call her "Black Swan" mask.) Then I bought some random crap a lovely plate for my mother. We walked down the jewelry bridge then. Almost everything was gold, so super expensive. But we found one shop that was only gold-plated silver, so quite a bit less. I got this pair of GORGEOUS earrings. Then we stopped for ice cream, and The Great Cannoli Search was concluded! Yes, It was delicious. Then checked in with Rotary.

When we split again, I was still with Anna, but we acquired 3 Brasilians. Anna and I wanted to get portraits done (real ones, not charactatures), so we waited. We were debating two different street artists. One was a little bit better, but also 15 euros more expensive. So we went with the other one. I got mine done first. (The Brasilians didn't want to wait the whole time, so they left and came back when Anna was almost done.) I sat for like 20 minutes. It's a really weird experience. Total strangers come up, smile, give you a thumbs-up. (And then there are also the cute Italian boys that get ur attention, say in Italian that you are pretty [or a similar sentiment] and high-five each other, while walking away, after you smile at them.) But it's fun. The artist totally romanticized us. The portraits turned out good, but I don't think mine looks very much like me. Anna's turned out more like her, if you ask me, even though she says I'm wrong. Then the Brasilians came back, and we went about 50 feet. They ran into a Brasilian guy that lives in Italy, so we had to wait and talk for like 45 minutes. Anna and I were laughing at how totally obvious the boys were about checking out random girls. It was funny, it was so bad. Then we walked farther, stopping for us to look at shoes (The boys almost left us behind, but didn't). We got back to the hostel and changed into our swimsuits. The pool was like ice water! I was almost drowned twice, thank you so much Gustavo -.- Then a few of us went into the sauna. Somehow I ended up in there alone with 5 people I didn't know, and two Brasilian boys I did. It was an...interesting...experience. (If you know any teenage Brasilian boys, you will know what I mean.) Then back to my own room for curfew.

We left Florence the next morning, after Rotary getting us lost, not able to find the right bus, going to the wrong metro stop...It took us about 4 hours to get out of Florence. Then we got on our lovely bus, and off we went.

Note: I don't have many pictures from Florence, because I was too busy having fun. (And too lazy to fight with my camera.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Euro Tour - Pompeii

We left Sorrento in the morning, and drove like 2 or 3 hours (or 4, I don't know) to Pompeii. Now, I have always wanted to visit Pompeii. Like, I love learning about it, watching specials on the History channel, reading, studying in school...I just love Pompeii. So this was like a dream coming true. Needless to say, I was pumped. (Literally bouncing with excitement. I got some looks...but it's all good!)

Once we got there, we were split into two groups, each with our own tour guide. I was in the first group :D First we got to see the arena. Then we went into the actual city.

When reading about it and such, I never realized how big it is. Pompeii is not just 3 streets. No, the entire city is still there. It's very cool in a creepy-ghost-town kind of way.

She (tour guide) told about how the crosswalks were raised, because the streets were so filled with human waste and water and general nastiness.
There were shops, and they know exactly what was sold in each.

Some houses still have the paintings on the walls, even.

We didn't get to go into the infamous brothel, because the lines were too long, but I could see a little from out side it...

We only spent like 4 hours there, but Pompeii was one of the highlights of the trip for me(:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Euro Tour - Mount Vesuvius and Sorrento

Each day of the Euro Tour, a different group of 4 was chosen to write about the day, and they will all be put together into a book for us, or emailed to us (which is more likely). My group (Anna, Emma, Zoe, and I) wrote about the trip to Mount Vesuvius and Sorrento. Instead of writing a new thing about it, I will type up our entry for you, adding my pictures.

"May the XXX

"On this day in history, the District 2240 exchange students had yet another epic adventure. They departed from their hotel at the early hour of 7.30, due to the impending train strikes. Against all odds, they managed to successfully arrive at the next stage of their journey. From there they embarked on a three hour bus ride to the mighty Mount Vesuvius.

"After a treacherous drive up the volcano, they were forced to set out on foot. They trudged up the impressive peak, determined to conquer it. The most intrepid of the explorers took the experience to new heights - literally. They joined a tour and trekked to the most perilous parts of the peak, to experience unsurpassed panoramas - and blow on a cigarette. (1) After completing the circumnavigation of the crater, the fearless joined with the feeble, the frugal, and the 'fraid.

"They journeyed back down the mountain, and following another long ride in the "beloved" bus, they arrived in the lovely seaside city of Sorrento. Accommodation was made in a hostel in the heart of the city. after settling in, they gorged themselves on a bountiful feast in a local Italian restaurant. From there they parted ways, each group  to explore the city as they pleased. 

"The main explorers of our story set off on a quest for a beach. They descended to sea level and there found a quaint harbor to sit on a wall, climb on the rocks, and take in the lovely starlit view. Unable to bathe themselves in the sapphire seas, they continued onward. Success was theirs whence they came upon a sandy shore of utmost beauty and perfect dimensions. After short discussion, they elected to frock in the ocean, clad only in their undergarments. (2) Once they finished with their swim, they redressed and headed home.

"Twas overall...awesome.

"(1) Note: as Rotary students, we obey all rules, including those regarding smoking. Blowing the smoke from the cigarette into the vent in the volcano caused a chemical reaction that made extra steam.
"(2) Once again, all Rotary rules were entirely obeyed. It was innocent fun in underwear only due to a lack of proper swimming attire."

As you can see, we had fun with it. We started in the style of Monty Python, but it evolved to general nerdiness. Credit goes to: Anna Essex, Zoe Dilles, and Emma Brooks. And me :D

Euro Tour - Vatican City

To get to Vatican City, we had to walk for about 15 mins, then took the metro for a half hour. Then waited in line for like an hour. Super fun. NOT.

Once we got through security (a la airport), we had about 3 hours by ourselves to explore. I went with one other girl, and we saw so much. I got laughed at because I took over 500 pictures. But really, how many times will I be in the Vatican?

We saw the Sistine Chapel first. Well, actually, we saw all this cool stuff that lead to it. We couldn't take pictures inside the actual chapel, but it was so ahmazing.

Then we saw St. Peter's Bastillica (spelling?). Also very cool.

We met up with Rotary outside. I was one of the few who didn't get to see the Pope. We had been in the Bastilla when he came outside. So about half of the exchanges saw him from all the way across the square, but we didn't. I still had a great time.

Then we left, and went back to Roma (:

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Euro Tour - Rome

First, let me just say: Now, every time I type "Rome", I have to backspace and type it again, because I always type "Roma" the first time. So if I miss it in this post, don't freak(:

So, from the ferry. We got on our bus and drove a ways to a train station. Because Rome is stupid. To take a bus into the city is a 600 euro charge, or something insane like that. So we took a train in. Everyone got on the train, no problems. Then in Rome we walked to our hostel/hotel. I think this one was actually a hotel, because it was quite nice. And only 3 people to a room.

After dumping our stuff and getting changed (have to look good for those Italian boys, you know?), we were going to walk to a fountain. But, it turns out Rotary can't count: we were missing 18 people. So we just went for dinner (I was with 5 other people who got kebabs, everyone else [read: losers] got McDonalds. Yuck.), and then walked back. The other 18 were at the hotel, so at least we didn't lose them.

The next day, we got a real breakfast! Cream filled croissant, and cappuccino. YUM. So much better than bread and tea. Then got ready for the day (cover those shoulders and knees, churches are picky!) and set out. First we saw a church, nothing special. Except for the fact it was in Italy, so it was super-gorgeous. Then we walked to...wait for it...the COLOSSEUM. Boo-yeah! We met our tour guide there. Side note: No matter old, young, boy, girl; if you have an Italian accent: I love you. Just saying. Anyways...She showed us around the Colosseum, and the ruins and stuff around there. Then we ditched her, and had free time.

I went with a bunch of girls. We got pasta for lunch. (Tortellini with ham and cheese, mmm.) Then just walked around. The others got ice cream, and I started The Great Cannoli Search. Sadly, the search was not to be completed that day. But we had fun. Later we checked in with Rotary, and went to some more churches. Then had more free time.  More fun in the city, buying souvenirs, eating Italian, etc. Then back to the hotel.

Our second day in Roma, we went to the Vatican in the morning. I'll write about that in my next post, since it is a different city(: After that, we had free time. I went with different people (again). We had pizza for lunch, and I had tiramisu, then shopping. I actually got something for my dad! (This is a first, all his other gifts are mostly for my mom...I love you, Daddy!) Then we took lots of random pictures at this cute little place we found. We met up with Rotary for dinner after that.

I had pasta for dinner. And more tiramisu for dessert (because Rotary didn't give us choices.), but it was better at lunch. Then I went with a bunch of people to the Fontana de Trevi. It was sooooo pretty. I left with 3 other people then. We walked to the Spanish Steps, then back to the hotel. At the hotel, I was in one of the boys rooms (Brasil and Mexico were in there) for a bit, just because they bothered to pay for internet, and I was being a mooch. Then I went back to my room to shower, and when I came out there were people canoodling (yes, I say that's a word) on my bed. So I went back to the guys room (It was short a person...hahaha.) I just hung out in there, writing in my journal, and listening to a Brasilian soccer game online. (Apparently the good guys were losing.) Then my room cleared out, and I went to bed. (If there are adults reading this who are worried, when I say "canoodling" I mean cuddling. A "D" was not broken that night. At least not by anyone I know of...haha.)

The next day we left Roma, after riding the subway, a bus, Rotary getting us lost...we finally left around noon. The Great Cannoli Search was still on.

Euro Tour - Ferry

For the ferry, we had to wait a while on our bus. Then we all walked on, the the bus was driven on. It was cool, we went up two flights of escalators to get to the part we needed to be at. And it was a legit ship. I had been expecting something quite small. This had 10 levels, restaurants, stores, a casino, a pool, and all the rooms. We were all in the same hallway. The rooms were so tiny, and to shower, you basically had to choose which limb to keep out of the shower, because it was so tiny. But very cool.

When we got on, after dumping our things in our rooms, we basically spent 2 hours running around exploring the ship. In some cases, literally running. It was sweet. Not so sweet was finding out the pool would be closed, due to "cold" weather. So we were all taking pictures, and doing our little back rub lines. Then we started to move, so we all went to the rail to say goodbye to Spain.

yay, tan lines! :D
We watched that for awhile, talked, wandered around. I ended up in bed by about 11 though. The beds were comfy, but cold. There was only a sheet and thin blanket, and they tried to freeze us overnight. We got up at like 8.30 and went down for our usual bread and tea breakfast. After breakfast, I went with most of the girls to change into our swimsuits. We took books and towels, and lay on the top deck. For like five hours. It was lovely. During that time, the boys just "happened" to show up. And hover. But whatever, I got tan so I am happy.

After lunch I spent some time with a few other girls, trading dances we know. I learned "Cotton-Eyed Joe", "Creu", and an Arabian dance from a Columbian girl. We all just call it the Columbian dance.

We arrived in Italy at about 7.00 pm, and got back on our bus for the next leg.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Euro Tour - Barcelona

Driving from France to Barcelona took 10 hours.

We arrived in the evening. We were told we would be walking 300 meters to our hostel, it was more like 3000.  Actually, I don't know how long it took, but it was really far. And, we got to see some lovely Catalan prostitutes on our way. Yes, Rotary put us in a hostel that had to cross a sketchy street. (No one was killed in Barcelona, don't worry.) So we got all settled in out hostel (which actually was pretty nice, not including the location. or the bathrooms). Then we went with Rotary, just showing us the main drag near our hostel-ish. time! (Meaning, ditch your name tag asap.) I went with 3 other girls, just walking around for a bit. We had really good tapas for dinner, and of course we all shared. So we had calamari, mussels, clams, and mushrooms. Yum. Then we just continued being tourists, and turning down the invitations to go on pub crawls.

The next day, Rotary took us on a tour. We got to see the stadium, so all the Brasilians and Mexicans were super excited. Then we saw some other stuff, I don't remember exactly what. (I'll know [maybe] when I look through my pictures, but it was a while ago, and I saw a lot since then. Don't be hatin.) Then more free time (Can you say souvenirs?) and just hanging with everyone.

Gaudi House Roof
Our second full day, we saw the Gaudi House in the morning, which was super cool. We had a tour of the Gothic section of Barcelona, and our tour guide was really really good. Rotary took us all to the beach, and turned us loose. (Note: Barcelona has some.. interesting...laws. Men cannot go around without a shirt on, but they can walk around naked. At the beach, it wasn't "tops optional" it was more like "if you're a girl and still wearing a top, you are the definite minority. And yes, I was part of that minority. Not all the other exchanges were, however. As some of them explained it to me, "How many times can you swim naked in Spain?" My answer, "You all have swum naked in Spain one too many times." But I digress.) I was with a small group of people. We only stayed for like an hour, then went to get dinner. Paella! Yum, it was so good. We had a ginormus plate of it that we all shared. Ice cream for dessert, and met up with Rotary.

Back to the hostel to put on dry clothes, then out with different people. I got my name drawn with pictures for the letters at this one place, then I and another girl got charactatures. He wasn't very good. I think he just liked to draw teeth. We all headed to the pier after that. On the way, we were still getting invited to pub crawls, so we were thinking of different excuses to tell people. There was "we are 14", "Prepacte, nerozmiem", and my personal favorite (accompanied by fake crying): "This is our trip to celebrate, we just got out of AA!!!" At one point, I turned and saw we had an addition to our group. This creepy little lady (seriously, she was like 5 feet negative 7) in a bear suit was just standing there. I pointed her out, and one of my friends jumped about a foot and a half, and ran away screaming. I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. The pier was uneventful, after the bear lady.

Our last day in Spain, I got up really early. A bunch of us went to the market. I got a loaf of bread, 2 apples, 2 peaches, and a chunk of mozzarella for under 8 euros. It was awesome. Then back to the hostel to pack. We loaded into the bus and went to a park-ish place. It was so pretty. The best part was watching the performers though. Just people singing, or painting, or selling stuff. After that, we went to the top of a hill, where the stadium was. We could either go to the "Spanish village", the main drag again, or the museum of modern art. I went to the museum. It was pretty cool, although bits were slightly too modern for me. After that, we just hung out talking. Everyone made it back on time, even after a group got lost and had to walk an extra hour. (They were a bit cranky.) We hopped on the bus, and drove to the ferry.

Euro Tour - Monaco

We started the District 2240 Euro Tour of 2011 on Saturday, May 21st. We all got to Bratislava by ourselves. There, we met up with everyone in the train station. By the time everyone got packed into the train, it was between 4 and 5 pm. We started on our way.

We drove for 17 hours, with stops every 3 hours. You know how hard it is to sleep in a car? Well, this was a bus. With half of the air conditioning blocked by our bags. No free seats. 49 people crammed in there. Oh, lord. It was a crazy ride. I think I ended up getting about 4 hours of sleep, between talking, watching movies, and not being comfortable enough to sleep. And, teenagers are noisy. So, that was fun...not.

We arrived in Monaco in the morning. We had stopped at a rest stop to change clothes and get ready for the day, but that was it. So we all looked (and felt) like we had been on a bus for 17 hours. (If you are my friend on Facebook, you will note my lack of pictures of me and my friends from that day.) First we waited while everyone took about a bajillion pictures. Then we went to this tiny oceanographic museum. It was kinda cool. I found the Nemo and Dory fish, so I call it success(:

After that, we went to see a church. It was kinda cool. We saw the tombs of Princess Grace Kelly and her husband. Sadly, no pictures in the church.

Then we got free time. I went with a group of "Czech" girls. (For this trip, we had the "Slovak" and "Czech" kids all together, and this is how we refer to each other. It's not an insult in any way, just to clarify.) We had lunch, and ice cream, and bought some souvenirs. We met up with Rotary after. We got to see the casino in Monte Carlo. Actually, we couldn't go into the gaming rooms, gamble, or take pictures, so it was a slight letdown. But the main entrance was so gorgeous. Then more free time, during which we did more of the same.

After that, we all got back on the bus and drove about 2 hours to our hostel in France. Let me just say, yes, the stereotypes are true. We went to a restaurant for dinner, and they totally understood our English, but refused to speak it. I know, I know, I took French. But when I tried to remember stuff, I automatically thought in Slovak. I remembered enough to decode the menu, which was good. And the food was good, very French. Our hostel was nice, but I was rooming with 2 girls, from Mexico and Columbia. So I went to bed, and woke up, to hearing high-speed, high-pitched Spanish on Skype. Oh well, better than the bus. The next day we got up and drove to our next stop.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Czech Republic

We got to Prague at night, and got all set in the hostel.

The next day, we took a tour in the morning, and then had to stay in the hostel for a few hours in the afternoon. Rotary was making us write this "story" about our trip. But they made us take two hours to write it, instead of actually living it. Which we all thought was a load of crap. Ah well. That night, we went to a black light theater, which was pretty cool. Parts of it, I'm surprised Rotary took us, because it was a little risqué, but very funny.

The morning after that, we went with our tour guide again, but I liked this tour better. We toured the castle, and the cathedral there. In the afternoon we went on a boat tour, which would have been amazing, but it was raining, so we couldn't see as much. It was still cool, though. After that we went to a mall there. That night we went to the biggest disco in Prague, it had 5 floors! It was crazy fun. I talked to guys from Sweden, Holland, Germany, and Turkey (: So, a very good night, haha.

The day after that, we went to Ceske Krumlov for the morning. We saw a castle, and a theater there. Then we had time to go souvenir shopping, which was very good. After that we went to Ceske Budejovice.

In Ceske Budejovice, was the Rotary District 2240 Conference. We got all settled that night, with the Czech kids too. The next day, we had practice for the talent show in the morning, then the actual talent show during lunch. I didn't perform this time. After that, we toured a brewery there. Rotary actually let us taste the beer! (I know, right??) But I still think beer is nasty, so I gave mine to someone else after trying a sip. Then we headed back to
change into our nice clothes, and went back to the conference. I really don't know why. We sat for a while, ate dinner, and then took crazy pics with everyone. (I got grief because I changed out of my heels for the pics. I hate being taller than guys in pics, so...what can I say? haha)

Got up the last morning, and came home(:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


We arrived in Krakow, Poland, in the evening. Went to dinner, and then chilled in the hostel.
Picture: Random buildings in Krakow that I thought looked cool.

The next day, we took a tour in the morning, and then had free time in the afternoon. The tour covered a bunch of churches, some history, and the castle there. Our tour guide told us all these cool little stories about the city. For example: Every hour, on the hour, a trumpeter plays from the top of a building in the main square. He plays a little fanfare from each side of the tower. But in the middle of the tune, every time, he cuts out. This is because in the old days, there was a lookout in the tower. The lookout was shot down suddenly with an arrow, so the trumpet stops to pay homage to that. And after he played, we all clapped and he waved at us(:
Picture: The trumpeter played from the top of the left tower.

During free time we went shopping and had lunch. We spent another early night at the hostel, but everyone was so tired, it didn't matter.
Picture: A candy shop that we went in, and ended up getting about 3 steps out the door, trying our candy, and going back in to buy more.
The next day, we went to Auschwitz. I'm not going to describe it here. I will just say, until you actually go there for yourself, you cannot imagine what it was like. And even after going, I can't fathom what it would have been like to be there as a victim.
Picture: A sign on the tour, in Polish and English.

After that, we continued on to the Czech republic.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Slovensky Raj

Friday morning I left for Slovensky Raj (Slovak Paradise). Almost all of the Rotary kids were on the same train, so the train ride started the fun of the weekend. We arrived, and got to the hotel without problems. Although (like always) we got some weird looks from people at the train station because of how loud we were.

At the hotel, we met up with everyone else, and had dinner. Then we watched the hockey game, and stayed up super late talking.

The next morning, we went hiking. We walked through the forest, and by the end, we were exhausted. We spent so much time taking pictures. I have tons of random ones. After hiking, we had lunch, then practice for the talent show. I did my tap dance. We had the talent show right before dinner, and it went really good. After dinner, there was a "disco" but I was feeling sick, so I went to bed early (ish).

Sunday morning we packed up and left after breakfast, all of us on a bus to Krakow, Poland.