A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: kristinameyers

Daddy!

This is going to be a short post because the weekend, although it was amazing and full of love, was short.

Daddy came! He got to Bonn late on Thursday so after a full day of class, we headed over to his hotel and was able to go to sleep in a nice bed after a long, hot, smell free shower.

On Friday, again after classes that lasted until 6:30, we hopped on a train to Cologne. We ended up staying at a hotel that was not in the main city center, which didn’t really matter because I have been to Cologne a lot at this point. But the hotel itself was pretty stinken cool. It was an old water tower and it was a cylinder completely made out of brick. Once in your room, you could climb out of your winder and walk along the deck which encompassed the entire building. We grabbed dinner at the restaurant in the hotel, which was actually an extremely good steak house. Then, we crashed. Easy day.

The net morning, bright and early, we woke up and caught a 7am train to Hamburg, Germany. After four and a half hours, we made it and walked ourselves to our hotel. Post check in, we grabbed a cab down to the harbor in attempts to catch the first and only English speaking boat tour. We barely made it. We were about 10 docks down but we managed to ask the right person where to go and he called ahead and told the boat to wait for us. Although, it wasn’t quite worth it. It was cool to see how the shipment works, but that was all there was. So after that, we grabbed lunch at the Hard Rock Café (yum America) and headed back to the hotel for a little R and R.

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Once we woke up, Natalia and I walked around the city four about 3 hours before heading back to the hotel to meet Daddy for dinner. We ended up walking around the hotel and found a little hip street and went into an Italian restaurant. They were so excited to have American customers that they catered the entire evening to us. They gave Daddy his pasta “good spicy” which turned out to be a little too spicy and they even replaced it when he couldn’t have more than 5 bites.

After dinner, we went back and crashed again.

The next morning, we slept in, grabbed breakfast, and hopped on the train back to Bonn. Once in Bonn (after they had to replace the front half of our train) we had dinner with our German family at an Asian buffet that turned out to be delicious. Family and German family bonding and then back to the hotel and to bed.

Bed was essential this weekend because of the previous weekends and the week and weekends to come…

Posted by kristinameyers 10:12 Comments (0)

Venezia

The Queen of the Adriatic, the City of Water, the City of Masks, the City of Bridges, the Floating City, the City of Canals, or even the city that made Kristina Meyers fall in love with Italy. All are extremely suitable names for Venice. Let me clarify, having been to both Rome and Florence (and Cinque Terre which I actually loved) I was not that excited for Venice. My expectations for the other two cities were high at first and it turned out to be extremely disappointing. Venice, on the other hand, was magical. I kept referring to it as Italy’s Disneyland because it seemed too good to be true.

When we finally landed in Venice, we hopped in a cab and got lost…of course. We were supposed to walk for about 5 minutes and get in another waterbus but instead we walked or about an hour with our luggage at 11 at night. When we finally figured it out and got to the hotel I find out that they decided to upgrade us to the largest suit in the hotel. So that just made the weekend even more magical. After we got situated in the room, we walked around the area, grabbed a sandwich for dinner and a cannoli.

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The first official day in Venice was perfect. We woke up, ate breakfast at the hotel, and then met up with the other 7 girls (who stayed in an airbnb) that came with us. We walked around the city and took about a million pictures before taking a gondola ride. Let me tell you, that was one of the scariest boat rides I’ve ever taken. I don’t know if our guys was new or just didn’t like us, but I felt like our little gondola was about to tip over ever 5 minutes. Sketch. But, nonetheless, cue the photo session. Once off the boat and after we kissed the ground, we made our way 9and got lost again in the process) to a little restaurant where we had lunch. Natalia and I split a pizza.

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Post pizza coma, we walked to Piazza San Marco. Here, Natalia, Terra, and I went to the top of the Torre dell’Orologio (aka the big clock tower that was built between 1496 and 1506) to get a birds eye view of Venice. What shocked me was that, along with its beauty, we could not see any of the canals. The people build so much on top of the water that all you could see was architecture. After coming down and we walking through the flooded square, we made our way to St. Mark’s basilica. Once inside (after having to balance on a thin wooden plank) we walked through the marvelous basilica. To be perfectly honest, it was so beautiful that I actually made my friend wait while I sat down and said a little prayer.

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Once out of the cathedral, we all regrouped and walked back to my hotel where Natalia and I took a nap. Then, we went out to dinner where the locals would go. It was bomb.com to say the least. To end the night, we had chocolate covered profiteroles, which were to die for. We then walked back to our hotel (a 45 minute walk that we needed after the dinner we just had) and collapsed in our suite.

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The second and (unfortunately) last day in Venice was just as remarkable as the first. Again, we woke up and ate breakfast at the hotel before meeting the rest of our group for our adventure. We took a 4 hour boat tour through Murano, Burano, and Torcello. First stop, Murano, where we watched an artist blow glass. It was incredible. The whole thing took less than 2 minutes. Then we shopped...duh. Next stop, Burano, aka the most picture perfect, colorful, adorable, quaint town I have ever laid eyes (or feet) on. Here, we just waked around and soaked in the sun and colors. And had gelato of course. We all felt like we didn’t have enough time, but I can assure you we took enough pictures. Last stop was Torcello, a place where we were a little disappointed at first, but then it grew on us. This island was the first island of Venice and today it only inhabits 30 people. This basically translates into it is old and small. Yet, still beautiful.

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Once back on Venice, we grabbed lunch/dinner (I had one of the best mango and prosciutto and pasta dishes of my life). And you could tell we were satisfied because there was not one plate left that hadn’t been licked clean. After that, we walked around and souvenir shopped before stumbling upon the best gelato place in Venice. It was honestly, so good. It was like heaven in my mouth.

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Then, we grabbed our luggage, hopped on a plane (not without our luggage struggles of course *cough *cough Elise) and made our way back to Bonn.

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Posted by kristinameyers 14:19 Comments (0)

Fairy Tale Land

Fairy tale land, aka The Upper Middle Rhine Valley in Germany. As a whole program, we took an overnight trip to the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. After a two hour bus ride (most of which we all slept on because the night before + catching an early bus = no sleep), we arrived at our hostel in Bacharach, Jugendherberge Burg Stahlec, which was a medieval castle refurbished into a hostel. So basically, I was finally home. After a quick (and disgusting) lunch we walked down, down, down to the main town where we received our bikes.

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Let me first start by saying it was raining. Not like a couple of drops here and there, but full on mist in my face, looks like I jumped into the Rhine River that’s flowing right next to us. But, nonetheless, we rode our bikes 10 miles to another town. Anyone who knows me knows my competitive side kicks in really fast during things like this. So, for the bike ride to Bingen, Germany, I was peddling my soaking wet tushie off, only to be passed by the boys in our group who made it an actual competition. Once in Bingen, and once I was thoroughly soaked, we took a city walk with a tour guide who was breathing a little too heavily into the microphone…To be perfectly honest, this town was absolutely boring. Well, I couldn't tell you if it was the town or the tour guide, but either way, we were over it. After the 10 mile bike ride and tour of the city, we hiked up to another castle with spectacular views.

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Then, the best part of the day so far occurred – we got free gelato. It was the best gelato I have ever had, better than the ones I had in Italy. I got Nutella and Oreo flavor and savored every late bite. Once all the ice cream in the shop was emptied out, we had free time, which was surprisingly convenient because there was a wine festival going on. I’m going to pat myself on the back here, because my friends and I were some of the only kids who didn’t get wine wasted before having to bike the 10 miles back in the rain…Regardless, it was still a lot of fun. The bike ride back seemed a lot shorter (maybe because Eddie and I were talking about Chanel and life the entire way back) and it wasn’t as wet. And then we walked up the most stairs I have ever seen in my entire life back to the castle. So after sitting on a bike for 20 miles and walking up probably 5 million stairs, it is safe to say that my butt was not too happy with me.

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But everything was better when we walked into dinner. It was a typical medieval dinner with wooden spoons and knives, bibs, water, wine, potatoes, pork, and apple turnover. It was hilarious and so much fun. But the end of the dinner, we were all having so much fun that no one cared our hair was curly from the rain or that we were freezing from our soaking wet clothes. To make this adventure even better, we finally got to go to our rooms for the night. I slept in the castle’s tower. I felt like Rapunzel and it was fabulous.

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Then LMU did probably one of the dumbest things I could have ever imagined. They program first gave college students free unlimited wine. Then handed them torches lit with fire and took us on a hike through a forest. Luckily, we all survived, and got a good workout from it. It was actually pretty cool. Between the dinner and the walk and our sleeping arrangements, it was like we transported back in time and I was a real princess!

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After the torch walk, Natalia and I stayed downstairs with a few other LMU kids and some Australians and British people we met. It was a lot of fun to be perfectly honestly. And it made staying in a hostel almost bearable.

The next morning, we woke up, ate breakfast, packed our lunches and left. We hiked down to the city center where we took a walking city tour. Our guide was great. She explained everything and even had photographs to help go into further detail. The most interesting fact was that they had vineyards on the mountains which were so steep that modern machines could not be used. Thus, everything was picked by hand.

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After the walking tour, we hopped on a two-hour ferry ride up the Rhine River. It was beautiful. Every 15 minutes or so we would see another castle that would make us debate which was the most beautiful. The mountains were lush and the castles were extraordinary.

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We got off the boat at and hiked up to yet another castle. This is the only castle that hadn’t been destroyed and rebuilt. Marksburg Castle was some 700 years old. We got another tour which was extremely interesting. We found out that the bathroom (which was a room with a hole in the seat that hovered over the courtyard aka your potty went into the courtyard) was in the dining hall and had no door. We also saw the torture chamber and the knights room. The beds in the bedroom were short because the act of laying down was associated with death and so people slept sitting up in hopes to escape death for another night.

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After the castle, we ate the best gelato of our lives. Literally the best. Better than Italy. I cannot emphasize how good it was. I got Oreo and Nutella and oh my goodness…

Then we hopped on a train back to the good ol’ city of Bonn.

Posted by kristinameyers 13:35 Comments (0)

From Calm to Crazy to Collected

From Copenhagen to Berlin

From Calm to Crazy to Collected

I’m sorry it took so long to get this post up. Once I got to Germany, my life kind of flew before my eyes have to get settled in and with the start of classes.

But, lets rewind a bit and bring us back to Copenhagen, Denmark. This was the last stop of our cruise before we got off the ship. I don’t know what our problem was today, but I think because we didn’t have a tour set up and we were tired from the night before, Copenhagen was nothing spectacular. We walked the city for a couple hours and then went back to the boat to eat lunch (because we all know the copious amounts of food and endless ice cream and cheese was the best part of the boat). We really only walked the city center and we didn’t see the famous street with the beautiful buildings until we were on the bus driving back. But, that’s okay. A couple of hours was enough time for me.

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We docked at Dover, England and once off the ship, we immediately grabbed a cab to take us to London City Airport. Driving through Dover, seeing the Dover Cliffs, and driving through the English countryside was breathtaking. It made me was to rent a car and drive through England when I’m older. It was so green (yes, I know its like that because it rains all the time) and peaceful. The cabbie was entertaining too, talking to us the entire 2 hours there.

And then, just like that, we are in Ibiza. This was definitely a big shift in our trip. From classy dinners and parties on the ship, to crazy raves and all day parties. It took Natalia and I some time to adjust.

We check into our hotel, Ushuaia, mid day, we unpacked and got ourselves settled with the amazing VIP service. Before we knew it, it was time to get dressed for the “day party” (the party started at 6 and ended at 12 midnight). So we went down and walked around to the beat of some DJ. We met some interesting people…two guys from Israel were the ones who stuck out to us the most. They were so nice and funny and absolutely loved the fact that Natalia’s mom was with us – they even took a picture with her! After walking around and observing a bit, we went to dinner (at 10 so Lord knows how hungry I was) at a steak restaurant in the hotel. It was delicious…just what I needed to remind me of home and to keep me going for the rest of the trio. After dinner was when the real fun started. Avicii was playing, so at least Natalia and I knew some songs. We walked around the party and danced and ended up meeting two Italian guys from Rome. But, they got a tad butt hurt when we said we wouldn’t leave with them…oh well.

The next morning, we just lounged around the poor. Got our tan on (r attempted to in my case at least). For lunch, we got a steak salad on the beach and oh my god it was heaven in a salad. Today was honestly only beach and clubs. For dinner, we went to an Asian fusion in the hotel. We sat next to Martin Garex and listened to David Guetta live before heading to the day party to dance to him live. He was pretty darn impressive…and pretty darn weird looking. We then got VIP at Pacha on THE WRONG NIGHT. There were old people everywhere…gag.

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Our third day in Ibiza and we decided to take an hour ferry to a different island to Formentera. It was beautiful but so disgustingly hot. We grabbed some lunch at Besos Beach. It was a quaint little restaurant just off the beach. The style was a mixture of trendy, beachy, and fancy. The food was good. The atmosphere was better. After, we just laid on the beach. Again, nothing too spectacular. Beach and clubs. Beach and clubs. Beach and clubs. Tonight we went to dinner at the same restaurant we went to in Ibiza, than the day party and than we walked along the yacht dock. I want a yacht…I’ll just leave it at that. Then, we went to Space, aka the most ratchet rave environment. We left after 20 minutes. It crazy how many guys tried to hit on us with the line “oh, were staying at Ushuaia” trying to insinuate that they had money. Its even finnier because they actually thought that would change our opinions of them in a good way…

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Our last day in Ibiza started off amazing. I got breakfast with Chelsea and then Natalia and I just lounged on the beach all day. Another man from France, decided to buy us a bottle of Met Chandon (for 250 euro I might add) in order to impress us. He also mentioned that he had two hotel rooms in Ushuaia. #ew. Then, we both got complimentary massages in the hotel. The weird thing was that the typical spa music you would imagine there to be was replaced by low key EDM music. It was definitely different…For dinner, we went to this Moroccan themed restaurant about 20 minutes away form our hotel. Again, the atmosphere beat out the food but every moment was so worth it. Towards the end of the night, a 70 year old man came and sat down next to us with his two 25 year old girlfriends. He then proceeded to hit on every female waitress at the restaurant. After we ate, we had 2 hours to kill before we could show up at Pacha so we hung out in the restaurant’s bar. I made friends with the bartender. She was from Switzerland and she was awesome. When we finally left and made it to Pacha, the place was packed. Imagine sardines in their little carton and double it. You could not move even if you tried. I ended up pushing people to get a spot on the dance floor, where we met a cute Australian that Natalia hit it off with. We stayed there for awhile before we had to go to the little ladies room. This cute Australian (living in Texas) decided to kiss Natalia as an attempt to make sure she came back…and she did. But only just long enough to have my entire wallet stolen (with 3 credit cards, my drivers license, my school ID, and $500). So yeah…go Ibiza. Go me…

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After my disastrous night (which sucked even more because it was the best night we were having up until that moment), we hopped on a place to Berlin. We got in late so we just grabbed dinner in the hotel and went to bed.

The next day, knowing that we were coming back for a week with the school program (and I’ve already been to Berlin) we kept it somewhat lowkey. We walked to the holocaust memorial and then just walked for about 3 hours around the city before grabbing lunch. Then we grabbed a cab to the Berlin Wall. For dinner, we went to some trendy steakhouse. Expect more to come on Berlin …

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And that’s it. My summer is over. A summer filled with work and working out. My first summer away from Erik. Weekend trips to see Erik in LA, to Vegas, and to Lake Tahoe. My first summer living in San Francisco. And than a summer through Europe. I couldn’t have asked for a more maturing, eye-opening, fun, and loving summer. SO here is to you summer of 2014. Now let me go have the best semester of my life in Germany!

Posted by kristinameyers 14:44 Comments (0)

Finally Found My Future Home

St. Petersburg, Russia

Today was shorter than most. We drove an hour outside of the city to Peter the Great’s summer palace, Peterhof. Peter the Great never actually lived in the palace. In fact, he hated it and choose to live in a two bedroom cabin on the water instead. Despite his dislike for it, the palace was stunning. It is often referred to as the Russian Versailles because of its extraordinary fountains and gardens. But, it ones up Versailles, because it sits right on the Baltic Sea, creating a view that is unimaginable. We toured the palace and saw the gold fixtures in the rooms and the Chinese Room (filled with lacquer and ancient silk). We distinguished between Chinese and Japanese pottery. We saw authentic beddings and silks and 25,000 Wedgwood Serving China. Unfortunately, we couldn't take photos inside the palace.

Then, we went under the palace to visit the Grottos of Peterhof. This is where Peter would take his guests to show them that Russians are intelligent. He would explain how his fountains worked and just when his guests wanted to rip their hair out from all the bragging, Peter would offer them food on a table. But this was Peter’s jokers fountain. Once a guest could reach in to grab the food, the fountain would go off and soak them. It was hilarious.

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Get enough of our faces yet?

After, we walked the gardens and ate in the garden. The former greenhouse, now cafeteria area, was more beautiful and larger than most mansions. While we were enjoying the beautify of this place, it suddenly started to pour. And I mean pour. Within 5 minutes everything was flooded. By the time we got back to the van, we were soaked.

Back on the boat, we napped and relaxed before dinner and the club.

Posted by kristinameyers 10:44 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

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