Sunday, August 21, 2011

Well this is the end of the road for this trip. The last few days in
Germany went way too fast. I had packing to do, finishing things up at
work and saying goodbyes.

I never thought that Germany would grow on me so much but I had an
amazing summer and wouldn't change it for the world. I met more
people, saw more things, learned more and most of all enjoyed it more
then I ever thought that would be possible. Going back to school is
going to be hard to adjust to but must be done. Who knows maybe I will
end up in Europe again next summer. I would have no issues with that
at all.

For now though it is back home for a few days then back to school on
Friday for the start of Proctor training.

So I say good by to Germany and an amazing four months of my life and
welcome what ever and where life takes me next.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The weather has finally decided to turn nice again. The mornings are
still chilly and feel close enough to frost temperatures but by the
afternoon it is above 20 degrees. I was thinking that I was not going
to get to enjoy the last bit of summer here but I was wrong. On the
weekend I even got a bit of sunburn. I forgot to pack sunscreen as I
have not needed it for several weeks.

With the great weather there is a lot going on this week. Monday night
we went to beer bingo. Basically you get a bingo card for every beer
that you order and at 10:30 they start. The cards are different than I
have ever seen bingo on but you still need a row of 5. There were
prizes for the first 10 bingos and then one big prize for the first
person to fill their card.

Yesterday was another beautiful day. It was really hot when I left
work and was still warm at 9 last night. There was a soccer game last
night so that is what we did yesterday to take in the warm weather.
They were playing Jena but it was not a good game with no one scoring
the whole game. The crowds were however just as good as the past two
times I have gone. Yesterday they were passing out confetti,
streamers, balloons and flags to the crowd so there were things flying
the whole game. Even at the goalies?.

Today is another great day so far the sun was shining when I woke up
and is promised to stay for the whole day. The high of the day is 26
and I think there will be no problem reaching this. So the activity
for today is Stammtisch at the Stadtgarten. This is another last for
me as Stammtisch is only once a week so this is the last chance I will
have to see some of the other interns.

The picture for today is of my lovely pink bicycle that I had here for
the summer. I sold it on Friday but remembered to take a picture of it
before I gave it to the new owner a Brazilian trainee. He said he has
not been on a bike in years so hopefully he does okay. I am borrowing
bikes this week I had Andy's the first few days and now I have Frank's
as he is away for interviews.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This weekend was sadly the last weekend here in Germany. My
trip/internship came and went much faster then I ever thought
possible! I have met lots of people, tried new things and seen lots of
interesting placed that is for sure. At the same time I have not done
enough so that means I will have to come back for sure. Several times
at least.

This past weekend I had home base in Oberstdorf, Germany which is
right on the Austrian border. We finally had some nice weather so I
was finally able to get to go hiking in the Alps like I have wanted to
for several weeks. The weekend started off on Friday leavinf work
early after I had a meeting with Dr. Kukral. The train left at 2 and
we were in Sontofen just after 5. There were no hotels or hostels with
room when we made our bookings so we stayed in the next town over
Santofen. The hotel was 2 km from the station so we headed there,
dropped our things off and relaxed a bit before venturing off to find
some dinner. We went back into town and were wandering around we ended
up finding a great place to eat. I cannot remember the name but it was
a traditional Bavarian place with the waiters and waitresses dressed
in traditional clothing and all. After supper we took a different path
back along a beautiful lake and across a river where people were
rafting anf then called it a night.

Saturday we were up early and left just before 8. The origional plan
was to stop at the bakery near the station to grab breakfast but there
was a line up out the door. We only had 10 minutes before our train so
we decided to wait until we got to Oberstdorf to find a bakery. We
took a train then a bus to get to Oberstdorf as part of the tracks are
closed for repairs. Once there we found a bakery and headed off to the
mountain I had found on the online map to hike. We followed the signs
to the bottom where the cable cars run from. There are three levels
that the cabel cars go to so we went for the top one. The view was
amazing all the way up! Once we were where the cable cars ended we
just had to walk/climb a little longer to reach the very top. From the
top you are suppose to be able to see 400 mountain peaks but I did not
count so I am not sure of this. We walked some of the trails that go
through the peaks before we started our treck down. It took us just
over 6 hours to do as we took a few detours to climb different peaks
for views and to explore. At the top when we started it was cold
enough for jackets and pants but when we reached the bottom hours
later is was very very hot. The hike was gorgeous and I still cannot
get over how far we could see and the different valleys that we were
able to go through. After we reached the bottom we were beat so we
headed back to the train station to go home. We then showered and
headed back the restaurnt of the night before. The second night was
just as good as the first so it was well worth the longer than needed
walk after such a long day. On the way back we stopped to soak our
feet in the lake. The water was pretty cold as it runs from the Alps
but it was welcome. After that we were back and asleep by 9!

Sunday was another beautiful day in the Alps. Our train was not until
2 so we were able to sleep in a bit and get breakfast from the first
bakery as we could wait in line today. I now know why the line was so
long as it was delicious. We had 4 hours after this to kill so we
decided to climb a smaller mountain to a dam. We were a bit slower
this day as we were a bit burnt and sore from the day before. However
we were able to make it to the top and see the dam? a very tiny one at
that. It was a lot hotter than Saturday so I am glad that this
mountain was more covered in trees. We made it back down with an hour
and a bit to spare so we stopped at the lake once more to relax. I
forgot my swim suite but still went in the water up to my shorts as it
was too hot not too. We caught our train home and arrived with no
problems which was a great way to end the weekend. Other than the rain
that welcomed us home in HDH.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

This weekend was another quick one! I had Heidenheim as home base once
again making a day trip to Ulm on Saturday.

Friday at work went by very quickly as I had my notebook at work. I
was able to get the information about what I need to do to complete my
internship as well as worked on some of my own things for school. I
printed off the employer's survey and gave it to my supervisor or
complete before we go over it. I was also able to get the template of
the log book I am to be keeping over the summer and transferred the
work I have already done into it. Friday was a great night too. Last
week was my friend Julia's birthday so Friday night she had people to
her house for a bbq. It was raining slightly (surprise surprise) but
we were still able to be outside on the patio.

Saturday I was up and off to Ulm with Frank catching the train at
10am. The train ride is about an hour long so I arrived at 11 just in
time to catch the end of the morning market. I love markets so I was
very happy with this and had I not been staying in Ulm all day I am
sure I would have bought some of the fresh veggies. After walking
through the market I went down to the waterfront. The river that runs
through Ulm is also the divider of the Baden Württemberg and Bavarian
provinces. On the water there are path ways but you can also walk on
top of the 'new' city wall. I also went to the old city wall which is
farther in from the water. Along here I was able to find the world?s
most crooked house. It was very crooked indeed. After this I headed
back towards the city center to try and find the Albert Einstein
fountain as Ulm is the birth place of Albert. I was not able to find
it however I did fine the monument of where his house was that he was
born in. It is no longer standing as it would be in the center of a
walkway now and very close to the main train station. Ulm has a very
large train station with many connections going through here this is
why I have been to the train station several times and not into the
actual city before. Ulm is also home of the world's tallest church
steeple and the narrowest house. We were able to climb the church
tower (really great view!) but were not able to find the narrowest
house. It did not help that when I got a map from the information
center she gave me everything in German even though I spoke to her in
English. I know that the house is only 4.5 meters wide so I could have
walked by it without noticing or thinking it was part of the building
next to it as the houses are often attached. After grabbing a late
lunch we headed back to Heidenheim.

Ulm wasn't as interesting as I thought it would be as it was hard to
find things but I am glad I went to the church and of course the
birthplace of Einstein.

Delayed pictures from Heidelberg

Pictures from Ulm

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Today was finally a nice day out! There was sun and it was warm : )

Too bad I was at work late but I did enjoy the weather on my lunch as
Frank and I went downtown to get ice cream. Work is still slow they
were looking for things for me to do today but ran into some trouble.
I was about to start a test that would have taken me a few hours when
Carmen remembered they had just recalibrated the machine. This meant
that tests had to be run first to make sure they match the settings of
previous labs. The problem with this was that Christian was the one
who originally did this and he is no longer with the company. So until
we can find his work and test the machine I will have to keep working
on my own things I guess.

What I was thinking/working on most of the day was figuring out what I
want to do this weekend as it is calling for rain and not warm
weather?.again. I think I will just take a day trip on Saturday to Ulm
or near the Swiss boarder. If I go to Ulm (the next closest bigger
city) there are lots of things to see as it is the birth place of
Albert Einstein and it has the world?s tallest church steeple. I guess
I will figure it out as we get closer though. If I do stay here it is
also one of my friend?s birthdays so it would be nice to go to that.
Also, I am still working on planning next weekend I just need to see
who is able to come so far the response has not been good everyone is
making their own plans now that we are getting use to and better at
traveling here! Either way I will go even if it is just two or three
of us as it is sadly my last weekend and adventure of the summer.

A little random fact is that most German?s hate and even cringe at the
mentioning of peanut butter! They really don?t like it. I have met a
few who do but the rest give them odd looks when one person says they
like it. I have managed to convince a few people to try it but they
were not pleased which I just don?t understand. I was once eating
peanut butter and banana (delicious I know) at work and Frank started
making a puking face and would not even try it! With this huge
dislike it is understandable why I had such a hard time finding peanut
butter. I had to ask at work where to get it and the only place is the
largest grocery store here. Even then there are only two brands to
choose from American Style or Bio-Best which both come only in tiny
350g jars. I have encountered many other odd food situations this
summer (like raw meat and not being able to have/find bacon and eggs
for breakfast) but I think the hate of peanut butter is the worst.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away!

This weekend wasn?t as eventful as the past few which was kind of
nice. The original plan had been to go camping but with a weather
outlook of rain and a high temperature of 16 we decided to hold out a
week. I hadn?t been feeling great all week and worked a bunch of
overtime so the slow weekend was needed.

Friday after work I stopped at the bakery and that was the most
eventful thing. As I picked up some groceries for the weekend and took
my sweets from the bakery and called it a night by watching a movie.

Saturday I took the opportunity to sleep in, have a good breakfast and
do some laundry for the morning. I had bought some eggs to have and am
still wondering how but every egg in the pack of 6 had a double yolk!
I bought another pack on Sunday and so far I have the same results.
They are called XL Golden Eggs so who knows. For the afternoon I went
with a group of friends to the soccer game here. It was almost a sold
out stadium so it was eventful! The home team is a division 3 team and
was playing Bermen a division 1 team for a special tournament
happening now. The crowds were pumped everyone was decked out in the
team colors, waving flags and cheering as loud as possible. To start
one end of the stadium had signs that made one huge sign which was
really cool. At different points in the game people were throwing
smoke sticks and fireworks onto the field as well. Needless to say the
crowd was even happier when out team ended up winning. I didn?t stay
much past the end of the game but apparently the other team had a bit
of trouble leaving. Their fans were not in the least bit happy and
blocked the team?s bus from leaving while throwing beer cans and
whatever else they had at the bus. Apparently these events are nothing
as the same day a riot broke out in one of the games in Berlin. It is
easy to tell why there are so much police force ambulances and police
dressed in SWAT team looking gear around. After the game we had a bbq
at one of my friend?s house and then I called it another early night.

Sunday was even less eventful as I slept in, had more of those crazy
eggs, watched another movie, went for a bike ride, made supper, skyped
for a little while and then went to bed.

I am hoping that this week is busier at work than it was last week but
today wasn?t much improvement. As I only have 3 weeks left I can?t
start a large project and there are not many day to day jobs left that
I haven?t done yet. I am spending the time reading (my own books) and
planning things for school and the fall. I am almost done planning my
last two weekends as well, another attempt at camping this weekend
then being adventurous and booking a blind flight! We will end up in
Vienna, Barcelona, London or Budapest but we won?t know until it is
booked. So that should be interesting and the weekend after that I am
headed home.

That?s my life update for now, Chow : )

Monday, July 25, 2011

Canada Does Heidelberg

The name of the weekend suited it perfectly as there were lots of
Canadians. The weekend started with a two hour drive to Colin?s house.
He lives just outside Heidelberg and had invited 8 Canadians for the
weekend. I was the only one of the 9 of us here from UNB for the
summer to not go to the meeting that was on Friday so I met them
there. Another UNB student, Jessica, who is traveling Europe for the
summer stopped to join us for the weekend. Once every one had arrived
and a bit of catch up was done we debated what to do for the evening.
Once we found out the last tram ran at 11:30 and it was almost this
time we decided to stay at Colin?s to relax and catch up on everyones
lives. This is exactly what we needed as everyone was tired.

On Saturday morning once everyone was up and most of us showered and
dressed we headed to the bakery to get some breakfast. One thing that
Germany has mastered is their bakeries and baked goods! It is almost a
bad thing because just walking or biking by is tempting. We all found
something deliceious for breakfast and brought some for the other who
were still showering. After breakfast we planned out the day which
started with the girls going to the grocery store for food and the
boys to a different grocery store for a flat of beer. We headed to the
grocery store to get food for a bbq lunch and we had decided to make
homemade vegtable soup for dinner. I know people in the store hated us
because 8 English speaking girls semi took over the little grocery
store for a bit. However, we did manage to fill a cart with enough
food to feed 11 people for a day or more. One thing we forgot was to
bring shopping bags or backpacks for the food since you have to buy
bags. We decided we would pull the dumb Canadian/tourist card and use
the cart to go to Colin?s house before we brought it back. Along the
way we stopped at two different bakeries for bread, rolls and coffee.
We managed to wheel the cart back to Colin?s unload it and have Erin
and Jenn take it back without anyone saying anything.

Once we had seperated the lunch and dinner food and put the dinner
food away we packed up and caught the tram into the city. We got off
by the Neckar where we were planning on having lunch. Colin and Erin
left us here to find a spot while they went to pick up the bbq from
one of the people Colin works with. The park along the Neckar river
was a busy spot for many reasons but there was also a dragon boat
festival happening on Saturday as well. We found one spot and set up
but when Colin arrived back we learned there were special spots to bbq
so we had to move and set up once again. We spent most of the
afternoon here having lunch, playing frisbee, talking and watching the
boat races. Some of the teams had some interesting costumes on there
was a whole boat that was filled with cavemen and cavewomen for
example. After we cleaned up, returned the bbq and packed pur things
we headed up the nearby hill to walk through the Philosopher?s Way
which is a pathway that over looks the city. Here we stopped for a few
pictures and took some pictures for other people as well. Unfotunatly
being the clumsy person I am dropped my camera here. Thankfully it
still works as I am not done with my adventures yet but it does need a
bit of repair. We walked back down the hill and across the old
Heidelberg brige to the old town to walk around before we grabbed a
tram to head home. For dinner we made a delicious vegtabele soup to go
along with the fresh bread and some saussages. Once everyone was full
and most of the dinner mess cleaned up we all changed and headed back
downtown for the night. This weekend we had better luck with getting
home and made it home all together safe and sound with no issues.

Sunday morning was a bit more relaxed as people were leaving at
different times. So we had breakfast and said goodbyes to those who
were leaving in the morning. Once they were gone the rest of us headed
back downtown to go and visit the Heidleberg castle. Along the walk
from the tram to the castle we stumbled on a place selling snowballs.
Still not fully sure what they were but they were a delicious
concoction of chocolate, filling, cookie like pastery and toppings all
rolled into a ball. Jenn and Jordan walked with us to the base of the
castle path but they left us there to catch their train home. I wasn?t
leaving until later so I got to continue up to the castle and spent a
better part of the afternoon here. The castle was partially in ruins
but there were also places you could go inside. We went through the
German pharmacy museum and into the wine cellar where the world
largest wine cask is now housed. Heidelberg was really filled with
Canadians this weekend as we learned at the castle there were 200
Canadian Scouts in the city for the weekend as well. With our fill of
the castle taken in we climbed back down to the city and made our way
back to Colin?s before heading home after a great weekend.

I am not sure what happened to the beautiful weather we were having
here in Germany but it seems to have disappeared. Most of last week it
was cold and rainy and this week hasn?t started out any different.
When the sun is out it is during the day and then it rains for the
evening. I had two or three days last week where it started to rain on
my way home from work. I reslly hope that the weather turns around as
the plan is to go camping this coming weekend and I only have a few
weekends left to enjoy this amazing summer!

Work has been rather boring lately so there is nothing notable to
mention from there. I have things to do here and there but I run into
times where they tell me there is really nothing I can do at that
point. Apparently I work to fast but there is no complaints about my
work so it is okay. As I am only here for a bit longer there is not
much point in learning another type of test because it would take a
lot of time so for now I take whatecer comes my way. So with that,
that is all for now. Chow : )

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This past weekend I made a trip to Paris with five of the other UNB
students who are here for the summer as well. Emily Colin and I flew
out on Thursday evening this means I had a short work day on Thursday
too. I went to work at 7 am and left at 1 to catch my train for 2. I
took the train from here to the airport to wait for the others to

We landed in Paris at 7:30 then after determining what metro lines we
needed took the train to our hotel by the Gare Du Nord station. We had
no problems until we got to the station as we couldn?t find a way out!
There was security everywhere as well as the exit that we wanted to go
out was all taped off. No one was saying why and just kept telling
people to go the other way. We did find a way out but we never found
out what happened or was happening at the station. After checking into
our hotel we decided to grab some dinner. There was one problem
everything seemed to be closing even though it was only about 9pm. So
we decided Subway was a safe bet. Not exactly what I was planning for
French food but it worked. After dinner Colin had suggested we go to
the Sacre de Coeur which was close by. When we got closer to this we
saw a huge crowd covering the hill as well as the stairs. This
confirmed our thoughts that Thursday was the holiday and not Monday.
Turns out it was the French Independence day and there was going to be
fireworks. So we found a spot to sit on the stairs and were able to
see three firework shows off in the distance across the city. We
couldn?t see the Eiffel tower because of trees but apparently there
was a huge show there. After we had our fill of fireworks we headed
back to the hotel and called it a night.

The next morning after checking out of the hotel and grabbing some
breakfast we headed to the Gare de l?Est station to meet Jenn Erin and
Jordan. Once we had found them and determined which was the best metro
route to our hotel for the next two nights we headed there. We were
not there long just enough time to drop out things and use the
washroom etc. We wanted to go on a walking tour at 1 so we took the
metro to the meeting spot and checked in before grabbing some snacks
at a French bakery for lunch. The tour that we went on was called New
Paris and was a 3 ½ hour free walking tour of part of the city. It was
a great tour and we had an awesome guide. Sam was originally from the
states but has obviously been in Paris for a while as he knew all the
trick and unknown things about Paris that he added to our tour. We saw
all kinds of things on the tour including the Latin district, Notre
Dame, the Louvre and many others. The one thing that I feel people
forget to tell you about Paris is that it is a dirty city and smells
horrible in a lot of places! After the tour was done we made our way
towards the Arc du Triomphe. Along the way we stopped to have some
crepes and did a stopped into a few stores along one of the shopping
streets (forget the name but Prada and such are along here). We lost
the boys along the way but met up with them at the arc with enough
time to grab some pictures and be on our way. Here we asked one person
to take our picture and he looked so scared and didn?t know what to
do. He stuttered a bit before saying he couldn?t and walked away (was
American by the accent)!

After getting ourselves through the metro again we were to our hotel
to change for the night. We didn?t have much time as we wanted to go
on a pub tour that started at 9 but was across the city. We made it
just before 9 and were some of the first in line. We hadn?t had dinner
yet so after getting to the first pub we asked the guides how long we
had before we left and thankfully it was half an hour so we left to
grab some food. Another great eating spot for us on our Paris weekend
was the Quality Burger which was actually really good. For the rest of
the night we stuck with the tour which was made up of about 60 people
or more. Most people were English which made it more fun. It turned
out that there were some other people from UNB and DAL on our tour as
well as some other Canadians. One we found out about the others from
NB and NS we spent a lot of time talking with them. There were 5 from
DAL who had all just graduated engineering (what are the odds) and 1
from UNB who just graduated from UNB. Overall the night was a great
time but we had to leave in order to get the metro home. This is where
our luck of the day ran out?. as none of us had the map anymore we
found the right line but ended up going on the one in the wrong
direction! So we got off once we realized but it turned out that was
the last one of the night. The lady at the station helped us figure
out how to get home which was by taxi as Sam had told us not to take
the night buses. We arrived back to the hotel a little later then
planned but we made it back and headed to bed.

The next morning we woke up to some cloudy weather but headed into the
city for the day. We got off the metro near the Eiffel tower to grab
some breakfast. This is when the rain began?I was glad I had brought
my umbrella! It let up for a bit as we were leaving so we headed to
the tower. The rain stopped long enough for us to spend a bit of time
here. The lines were crazy to go up in the tower so we didn?t get to
do that. Our plan was to head towards the Louvre walking through the
city. We did just this stopping here and there at different stores and
sights. We found a huge department store and spent quite a bit of time
in the shoe section to the boy?s disapproval. I had found a place that
sold macaroons so we stopped here to treat ourselves to some and they
were delicious and I?m sure Gossip Girl approved. We continued on our
way towards the Louvre and made it there shortly after 4. Sam had told
us about a ?secret? entrance to the museum so we didn?t have to wait
in line. Really it?s the student entrance for those studying in Paris
but no one really knows about it. Sam also told us how to get into the
museum free but all we had to do was speak French to the lady and show
her our international id?s saying we were studying abroad and we were
in. We didn?t know that the museum closed at 5:30 that night so we
only were there for a short while but the Mona Lisa and going
underneath the invisible pyramids were visited.

In the Louvre we ran into three of the American guys we had met the
night before on our pub tour and decided to meet up with them after
the museum for dinner. Kyle Paul and Hewey are from Atlanta where they
study, you?ll never guess, engineering and neuro science. Seems the
pub tour the night before was filled with engineers. We met with them
outside by the center pyramided just as it started to rain again. We
decided to find a place to eat near by and found a great little
restaurant that had just enough space left for the 9 of us. We had a
great meal and made plans to meet up with the boys again later to see
the light show at the Eiffel tower. Since most of us didn?t have
umbrella?s we ran to the nearest, what we thought, metro entrance.
Turns out it was an entrance but there was no place to buy tickets at
this one. As it was pouring we all just managed to get through the
exit? well Jenn got stuck for a minute but we made it. At the hotel we
dried, relaxed far a few and prepared ourselves for the rain again.

We were a bit later then planned arriving and missed the light show at
11. When we got to the tower and to the meeting spot we had made with
the boys they were not there. We figured they must have just left once
they realized we weren?t there. Our original plan had been to have a
picnic and watch the show but the rain made the grass an unwelcoming
spot to sit. So we decided to have our picnic on the bridge behind the
tower while we waited for the show at midnight. We did just this and
decided to head to the other side of the tower for the show when it
was almost time. As we did this we found the American boys who had
been late and thought they had missed us. So in the end we saw the
show and had our picnic at the tower after all (the light show is
actually nothing impressive). After this we headed to the metro to
make sure we made the trains on time and the right direction this
time. Here we left the boys as they were headed in a different
direction. We made it back and packed our things as we were all
leaving in the morning Emily Colin and I with and early taxi to the
airport and Jenn Erin and Jordan back to an early train. So with that
it was sadly the end of our Paris adventures.

We arrived to Stuttgart late but in enough time for Colin and Emily to
catch there trains and buses home. I stayed in the city for the day to
watch the Harry Potter movie that night. We went to the Porsche museum
and the living room of Stuttgart before meeting up with Danielle for
dinner. We had dinner and ice cream then caught the ubahn to the
theater. I am glad I reserved tickets as the show was sold out! Being
one of the only English theaters around it was filled! The movie was
great but sadly they are all over with. After the movie we headed home
and called it a night.

As you can see this was a long one and that is why I didn?t retype it
last night. I hope I didn?t forget anything! This week is a bit slower
as the forecast is calling for rain all week, but the coming weekend
will be good. As were calling it ?Canada does Heidelberg? there are
about 10 or so Canadians maybe some of the American?s from Paris and
an odd German or two meeting up this weekend. So stay tuned for more
adventures of the crazy Canadian?s as we?re called. Chow :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Update about the Paris adventures will come. I had it almost done
tonight but my computer froze and i couldn't save it before it
restarted sadly. So until then here is a picture :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Well the last two days have been very tame work days and very rainy. I
had to leave my bike at home today since an umbrella was needed!
Monday afternoon was scorching hot then the rain, thunder and
lightening started that night and has yet to really give up for more
then short periods of time. With the rain I was thankfully able to get
some laundry done and catch up on my reading.

Work was a bit slow today compared to yesterday. I was busy working on
a lab and doing nanoscans but today no one had much for me to do other
than to continue nanoscans. So I took the time to organize my head
onto paper a bit with some to do list and planning for school and
proctor programs. Some how the day did go rather quickly so it was nice.

Tonight was another rainy day so after work I went to the train
station to cancel my bahn card (you have to do it 6 weeks early) and
they said they actually send my my plastic card in the next few days
as I haven't received it yet (that was because I didn't know about
needing your name on the box..). After that I headed home for some
supper, shower and packing as I am off to Paris for the weekend!

Emily Colin and I are flying in tomorrow night and Erin, Jenn and
JOrdan arrive by train on Friday morning. It hopefully should be a
great weekend! We fly back in on Sunday but I am going to stay in
Stuttgart for the afternoon so I can see the new Harry Potter movie in
ENGLISH! yay I think I'm in for a great weekend. So with that I say
good night and will fill you in more on this crazy Canadian's
adventures next week! Chow:)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dresden Weekend Adventures

The weekend started off as an early morning of being to work by 7am so
I could leave early for the weekend. I was impressed that I made it on
time and was fully awake! There however was an interesting situation
when I arrived. A few people from the building were all standing
outside looking at something in doorway to the office. When I got
closer I found out that it was a boy my guess is about 13 or so asleep
in a ball... I never did find out where/who he was as my German is
still not there. There were enough people to look after him without me
and my lack of communication so I continued on with my day.

Work went by very fast on Friday it usually is one of the longest days
since I am waiting to go somewhere usually. I spent the day running
nanofocus pictures and started taking inventory and sorting the
chemicals in the chem lab.

Once the time arrived I headed out. We were driving which means the
autobahn in this country! I am however getting use to it I think as at
one point I asked why we were going so slow and we were actually going
120 km/h. I am not driving and was driving with someone who has driven
many many times so no worries. It took us about 5 hours to go from
Heidenheim to Dresden but the drive was great and very beautiful. At
one point we were literally driving on the Czech boarder. Another
point in time you could clearly tell where the old boarder between
East and West Germany was so it was an interesting drive.

Once we arrived cleaned up and dropped our things off we headed out
for supper. We went to a great place to eat and I once again confused
the waiter by speaking different languages each time they came to the
table. After dinner we headed to down town as it is gorgeous in the
dark with all the lights. There was a concert going on as well on the
water front so we could hear it form the bridge which is one of the
things that Dresden is famous for. After this we took the tram home as
it was getting late and we were tired from the day of traveling.

For Saturday we were tourists for a good part of the day and I learned
a lot about the city's history and different aspects of how it was
affected by the war. One of the churches that was almost completely
destroyed was just finished being rebuilt in the past 5 years. After
a short nap and some supper (found chicken wings!) We headed back to
the river to meet some friends for the evening. It was really great we
all took blankets drinks and snacks and relaxed by the river listening
to music (there was another concert) and ended the night with
fireworks. As the steam boats that run the river were 175 years (just
a bit older then Canada but hey)

For Sunday it was so nice to be able to sleep in as it seems I have
been running non stop lately. Then after a late breakfast the last bit
of my Dresden trip was spent walking around just taking things in. My
camera died so there are not a whole lot of pictures but I promise
some from Paris for those of you who are my Facebook friends.

We arrived back late last night as we wanted to avoided the heaviest
traffic on the autobahn. We also ran into some rain so we left the
autobahn until it cleared. So this morning at work was hard to get up
to but I made it. The day was a hot but quick one though. I was able
to finish the sorting and inventory of the chem lab so that made the
day fly.

Those are the updates on the latest escapade stay tuned for more. Nighty night

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Off to Dresden for the weekend stories when I return :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Well things are getting back to a little less crazy schedule. Today
and yesterday were a bit slow at work because apparently I finish
things faster then they think I can! All the same itäs better then
reading all day. Today I also had a phone call with my prof from UNB
so that took up an hour of the afternoon. I should be getting new
project tomorrow so I'm not worried.

Tonight was stammtisch at teh Piazza cafe where there was free dinner.
After that I made another sucessful trip on my bike and am calling it
a night. Sleep is required as I am off to Dresden this weekend and
Paris next weekend :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Munich Adventures

This weekend I ventured off to visit Hanna and her family. They live
just outside of Munich but we spent most of our time in the city.

Friday was Canada Day and now the German's really think that I am
crazy. I wore my red to work and was excited about to Munich. Every
time I said morgan Happy Canada Day! the respone was what?..... after
I got some odd looks. They don't celebrate Germany like this anymore.
They were nice enough to print and make a flag for me when I was in
the lab. I came back to my desk to have a nice flag attached to my
computer! Once work was over (well I left early) I hoped on the train
and headed on my way.

Hanna and her mom and dad were at the station to meet me. We then gave
my bags to her parents as they dropped us off at Tollwod. Which is a
festival where there are all kinds of vendors, entertainors, music and
beer gardens of course. Hanna and I spent the night here celebrating
Canada day. We got odd looks not only for saying happy canada day but
speaking english. After it was getting a bit cold so we caught a train
back to Hanna's town and called it a night.

On Saturday morning after a breakfast with the family Hanna, her mom
and I grabbed the train back into the city. It was raining a bit on
and off so we decided to do a bus tour of the city which worked out
perfect as there was one leaving the main station just as we arrived.
The tour was great and we saw a lot of the city and learned some of
the history. After the tour we explored the city by foot before
meeting Hanna's Dad at a beer a beer house for supper. Where I had a
real Bavarian meal aka a hunk of meet and potato dumpling. For the
rest of the night Hanna and I met with some of her friends in her home
town for another festival. Here I had a giant pretzal with my beer and
found out I was the only Canadian in the crowd..... turns out one of
the bands was Canadian and asked if there were more. I was the only
one who was and happened to be standing by the stage.

For Sunday we spent the day at the museum in Munich. It was a since
and technology museum that was fabulous! We were there for a few hours
but I think I could have spent days there. Sadly after grabbing some
supper I boarded the train and headed back home.

Today I was back in the swing of things at work and was busy all day.
I even managed to ride my new bike safely to and from work with no

That's the latest in my life but there is more to come :) nighty night

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The past few day's have been hot and stormy here and the weekend is
looking to be the same.

Work has been very busy and I've had lots of things to do which is
great! I however did leave work early on Tuesday to go swimming as it
was too hot out. It was well worth it! Tomorrow I will leave early as
well as I am off to Munich for the weekend.

In other news I got another bike today.... wish me luck as I'm sure I
will need it. My hope is that there are no more accidents and the
brakes will work all the time. I'm not going to attempt a ride on it
until after the weekend since I will be away but maybe that will also
give me time to prepare! haha

That is all for now as my bags are packed so I'm off to bed. Another
adventure story to come on Sunday :) nighty night

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Now from I'm not too sure when....

Where has the time gone?! The last post I think was almost two weeks
ago now so I apologies for that. Time has been going so fast I don't
even know where to start. I guess with the week before last when I
returned from Venice. I had only 3 days of work that week and had
planned a chill weekend just a visit to Ulm on Saturday. This however
did not work as when I awoke on Saturday it was pouring rain and the
forecast looked the same for the rest of the day. So I took a much
needed break just watching movies and reading for the weekend. I think
other than my very first weekend here I have not done this. That
Friday was the day that my internet horribly crashed as well.... 65
euro later and over 3 hours spent at the store over 2 days I have
internet once again!

Last week was another short work week as the German's seem to have a
lot of holiday's in June. They're christian holiday's so I'm not
exactly sure why they are here and not in Canada.....

For the weekend the original was to head to Switzerland and hike in
the Alps but this didn't go through. So instead I did a loop if
Germany and France :) no big deal I know! haha It was great that is to
say the least. It was a four day trip the first in Frieburg, Germany
then Nancy, France the third day was Strasbourg, France and the last
day was wondering and stopping in a different small towns on the way
back home on Sunday.

That is the sum of the trip I had really wanted to go to Nancy it is
so close so I'm glad I did. On the way there we drove through the
black forest which was a gorgeous drive to say the least. The cities
were all very unique and lovely. I think that going into full
explanations of what I saw and did over those four days would write a
short novel. So if you have any specific questions just ask. One thing
to note however is that it is very noticeable that European cities are
noticeably built around water and water systems. I did see most of the
monuments and notable places at each city including the European
Parliament in Strasbourg.

Once I was back on Sunday I was dead and called it a night. Yesterday
and today have been very hot here that is for sure! Today was above 36
plus the humidity so having to wear pants to work is not very nice.
Today however we left work early to head to the pool for the afternoon
because it was so hot. It was packed for being a work day and not a
holiday but I can understand why. The water was great and then some of
the other interns and I played a German card game but in English so
that I could play along which was really nice of them.

On that note my German seems to be improving lately I have a few
sentences down can order food at restaurants and the bakery and can
address people the correct way! Hopefully this is a good sign as I
would like to know the minimal basics by the time I leave.

Sadly this is all for now since it is getting late. However, I will
say that I will try to keep this more updated again now that I have
internet back! Chow :D

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

So i've had some internet fails the past few days. Okay so it fully
crashed and died... I'll hopefully get this updated tomorrow! In the
mean time I had a rainy relaxing weekend and went to the lake after
work today.

Fill you in soon, Me

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tuesday - Thursday

Tuesday was my last morning in Venice. We were up pretty early and had
a good breakfast before heading out for the morning. We took a walk
down the canal in the direction we hadn't been yet and we discovered a
really big street. The best part was that it wasn't crowded. After
exploring here and finding a really cool park we headed back to the
main section of the city. Here we were looking through shops since we
hadn't done that at all the whole trip. Ruth and I found a little shop
with dresses and things so Donnie left us here. We each found a summer
dress whihc was great. We also were in another store with Italian
leather were Ruth bought some gifts for people and I got a new little
bag :) After our little bit of shopping we headed back to the hotel to
get my things because I was leaving just after noon. Once I was all
packed up we caught the water bus to the train station and had some
lunch before I boarded. It was so nice to spend the weekend with Ruth
and Don since I don't see them very often any more!

The rest of my day was spent on the trains. I had a better train that
was more comfortable then the way down which helped a lot. I met a few
different people from all over which made the time go quickly. The
view was amazing as well! Train ride through the Alps was beautiful. I
arrived back home just after 11 on Tuesday night with a friend waiting
to pick me up so I didn't have to walk home in the dark! Which was so
nice and I was dead by this time so gladly accepted.

Wednesday and today were really busy day's at work. I had a tonne to
do which was great since I was still pretty tired from the weekend. I
was all over the place with work but managed to finish and hand in my
first lab report and testing results that I had completed all by
myself :)

Last night was Stammtisch and was a really great one. There are two
knew American interns so them along with Meri and myself brings the
English conversations a lot more. Which is good because my German is
not that great. It really is a hard language to learn. Plus it doesn't
help that everyone else wants to improve their English so that's what
they talk to me. I would like to learn some more German but I don't
think I will be fluent in it by the time I leave in August.

Today after work there was a storm brewing so I headed straight home.
NO sooner did I get inside did the thunder and lightening as well as
rain start! So I will be spending my night catching up on some sleep
and some reading. All for now, Chow!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Venice day 3

Today was my third day in Venice and I must conclude that " Venice is Venice "

This morning we woke up and headed down to our breakfast. Our hotel
that we are staying in is a palace which was a house to a wealthy
family. Where we had breakfast was in the basement and it was all
glassed off showing the servant entrance to the building. After we had
eaten and met some British folk we got ready for our day. While I was
waiting for Ruth and Don I was out on the front balcony of the hotel.
We are right on a canal and have a water entry to the palace. Here I
was able to watch he morning traffic including the mail boat which was
passing. They have boats for everything since there is no cars here or
roads. We'veseen mail, garbage, taxi, buses, delivery, gondola,and
even police and ambulance to name a few.

For the morning Ruth and I wanted to head to the Jewish ghetto and
Donnie wanted to stop by the hospital which we had been outside of
yesterday. So this is what we did.... Or were aiming to do. We found
the hospital with no troubles and walked around in it for a bit. We
detained the different wards and sections. This hospital is no
ordinary hospital as the building is carved and structured with
similar details as a church. Ov the years it has been added onto so it
is not all fully detailed like the entrance is.after leaving the
hospital we were headed to the ghetto. From the map it looked fairly
easy but we have learned it is just easier to ask since the maps are
not detailed enough so you end up taking many wrong turns and circling
around. This is what we did at first we thought we were making good
way. The it turns out that we were back by the hospital entrance!
Eventually we did make it to the ghetto eith some help along the way.

When wereached the ghetto we walked to the centre. Here we were able
to pick out the synagogues. Since the ghetto was so packed they were
a few floors up but signified by the 5. Windows in the front of the
buildings. We went into one of them but just the museum since to get
into the synagogue you had to do a guided tour and we figured it would
be a lot about the religion. Once done here we left the ghetto for San
mark by water bus to have lunch.

After lunch we headed back to the hotel to grab our tickets to go to
the Murano island. We got our boat at 2 and headed for the glass
blowing island. The island was were the glass makers were sent to
avoid the threat of burning Venice down. The glass blowing we saw was
just amazing! The master we watched made a vase in no time. After this
he made a glass hours in less then 5 minutes! Once our tour of the
factory was finished we headed to the show room to see the works. Here
I got a glass bead hand done to wear as a pendant on a necklace. Our
time on the island was limited due to our boat but it was great to get
out there.

Once we were back to the main city Ruth and I headed to the s. Marco
church. There was a massive line up for this church partly due to tour
and the other i'm sure because it was free. To avoid this we just
walked in by the front of the line ... No one seemed to care or
notice! We walked around here seeing the different sections of the
church, the mosaics and the golden alter picture which was cover in
jewels as well. Since we saw what we could and didn't cross a path
with an English tour we called the visit done.

We came back to the hotel after this to relax,change and clean up for
dinner. At this time it began to rain though. Our plans had been to
eat in the grand canal but we decided to try another local place.
Which we did and I had some delicious pasta as my main meal. One
notable things is that the waiting service here in Italy is nothing
like that of home. They do not seem to smile, care to any extent what
you think and have virtually no pleasant attitudes. They can get away
with this since you pay automatic service charges with meals.

After dinner we had another of our what turns out to be walking in
circles even though we never seem to turn enough corner walks. With
nice again help from locals we found our way to the Marco square. Here
we sat and listened to a live band in the square while Ruth and Don
enjoyed what turned out to be some steeply priced cappochinos. Once we
were done here we wandered back to our palace ( with not getting lost
once! Haha) and called it a night

Tomorrow I have the morning I Venice but then need to train back to
Germany so I can be back to work Wednesday. So that is a all most
likely until Wednesday or Thursday. Chow :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Venice days 1 & 2

My trip to Venice began on Friday after work. It seemed that again
Heidenheim was alive another weekend that I was leaving. At lunch we
went to the ice cream store in town, called just ice in German, and
there were all kinds of stands and vendors setting up in the
pedestrian square. On my way to the train station after work the
street was a busy spot however I have yet to learn what is going on
there. Maybe when I return I can find out.

In order to get to Venice I had to switch trains twice. I arrived in
Ulm with no problems however when I went to my platform for my next
train the sign was saying the train to Munich was 50 mins late! Not
good. After talking to some locals and a platform assistant I
discovered my train was on time it was the train that was suppose to
be an hour earlier to Munich that was late. So with this I made my ICE
train to Munich with no problems. This was the first train I have had
that had English announcements which was a very nice train. Not to
mention it's average speed was at 160km/h. In Munich I had 20 mins to
change platforms to my next train. So I grabbed some supper and had a
very sad attendant when he found out I was Canadian and
not American. I'm not sure why since he thought they were the same thing...

On my overnight train to Venice I was in a compartment reminded me
greatly of the Hogwarts Express! I was in a car with two older couples and
a older man too. They did not have great English and were not overly
talkative which was a shame since it was semi hard to sleep since I was in
the middle seat. None the less I was able to get some sleep on and off
before arriving in Venice on Saturday morning

The train arrived early and it was very peaceful in the city when I arrived
since most people were not out for the day yet. I had a few hours to kill
before I could check into the hotel. I bought a map and was off with
backpack in tow. I seemed yo cover a lot of the city on the train station
side and found my way to the Realto bridge. The grand canal was bustling
and the water traffic was very interesting to watch. After this I returned
to the train station to reevaluate my location and determine a path to the
hotel. Here on the steps I met some American girls that were traveling
Europe for three weeks. After saying goodbye we parted ways then for Rome
and I for the hotel. The one notable fact if Venice in the maze of paths
through the city with many dead ends and useless maps and signs. With this I
managed to tour quite a bit of three districts. There was also a storm
moving in which I was being optimistic about.... At a dead end to the canal
it began to thunder and lightening as well as a down pour! Here I met a
British family as well as an American couple. The American couple were
attempting to head in the same direction as I was and had an extra
umbrella. So I set off with them buying my own umbrella along the way
before we parted ways at the Rialto bridge. Here I was able to find my was
to Pizza San Marco which was suppose to be close to my hotel. I knew the
canal that our hotel was on but was having no luck. After many attempts and
asking for help I mistakenly came across it when I wasn't expectig to. So I
checked in enjoyed a jicuzi bath and a nap before supper. I had a panini
for supper in the square before returning ti out palace hotel to wait for
Ruth and Don's arrival. Once they arrivednwe headed to bed for he night.

Today we were up early and had a wonderful breakfast at the hotel before
heading to the square where we were taking part in a walking tour. It was a
great and beautiful tour. We learned a lot of history and took some
beautiful pictures. The one big thing of the churches and history that was
crazy to believe was the Venice hospital the architecture was more like a
church and happened to be where our guide had been born. To finish off our
tour we went to the palace on the square where the courts and jail was
along with where the Doge lived. The details in the buildings and
immaculate detail in the paintings was very interestig to see. We also were
tonthe glumy dungeons across the bridge of sigh. After our tourbwas done we
headed to the hotel to freshen up before having lunch a a recommended cafe.

At lunch we met an older gentleman who was Italian. He had been to Halifax
in the 60's to visit family. He was very interested in helping us and sent
us to the Campo San Racco for the afternoon. Here we found an old church
where there was a choir practice happening that we listened to. After we
headed to the museum of San Roch to see the paintings of Tintoretto. The
detail and amazing work was unbelievable to see! Once we were finished here
we stopped for cappochinos before taking the water bus back to the
squre.once back at the square we found our way back to the hotel to change
before dinner. For dinner we went to another local recommended restaurant
which was fabulos. To finish our evening off we strolled ( getting lost fir
only a while) along the paths and grand canal before calling it a night.

Tomorrow will be another busy day wa we want to get to the Ghetto and to the
island famous for it's glass blowing. So with that I say nighty night!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Today was a great day all around. Enjoyed work and relaxing after. I
did figure out why I haven't received any mail though... turns out
they won't leave it unless you have your name on the slot! It explains
so much.

I"m off to Venice tomorrow after work to spend the long weekend with
Ruth and Don. To enjoy some more delicious pasts and gellato!! So with
that I must be off to bed. Chow and stay tuned until next Wednesday or
Thursday :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011



Once we landed back in Germany we had almost a whole day to use. We
really wanted some eggs and bacon for breakfast and set out for the
hunt in Memmingen. It really was a hunt because this is not a typical
breakfast for German's as they're all about the carbs. After even
attempting to ask for a McDonalds (fail) we found a restaurant that
was open and willing to cook us eggs! The waiter had some translation
issues but we were able to have the beast scrambled eggs ever, buns,
fruit, cheese, juice and tea. There was to be croissants but they
didn't arrive until we were ready to go. So we packed them up along
with a box of cheese since there was way to much with the meals. We
still have about an hour to kill in Memmingen until our train so we
visited one of the many H&M's there is here.

Erin, Jenn, Emily Colin and I were off to Lake Constance for the
rest of the day since we were so close. When we arrived we stored our
bags in a locker at the train station then headed to the park to have
our croissants and cheese for lunch. We were pretty tired but made the
most of it. We toured around the board walk and went to the
castle/church. We were looking for a bathroom in the mids of this and
came on a theater. We didn't know that's what it was at the time but
we went to see if there was a bathroom. The door was open so we went
in.... there was no one there but we could hear some sort of practice
happening from the theater. Since we were in we used their great
bathrooms and left unnoticed. We thought we were doing great then a
little while later once we had walked on Erin noticed that her bag was
missing! So we resnuck into the theater and were on our way. After
this we found a place to rent paddle boat so we did just that. It was
a beautiful day and the lake was great. I think the best part however
was in one sweep of your head you could see Germany, Austria and
Switzerland! So nice :) We ended the day by grabbing some dinner
before catching our seperate trains home

When I arrived home on Saturday night I was surprised. You see after
6PM the city is pretty quiet since cafe, bars and restaurants are the
only things open. This wasn't the case on Saturday! There were tonnes
of people around, beer stands, kid games and the shops were open. I
had no idea what was going on. I even came across a fashion show and a
marching band. To solve the problem I called Meri to discover it was a
late night shopping event in the city since the running race was in
the city the next day too. After my confusion was solved I headed home
and went to bed.


Sunday the plan was to meet the gang at the race and have water
halfway for them. I woke up at 7 but didn't need to be ther until 9 so
I went back to bed...I was woken at 10:30 by Meri saying she had just
finished and wanted to know if I wanted to go to the pool for the
afternoon. I felt really bad but they had all ended up doing the 10k
rather then the 21 so they weren't too bad off with the water stations
that were there. I spent the afternoon with Meri, Rebecca, Renee, Andi
and Frank at the pool. It really was more like a park since the pool
was enclosed by a large park area that had courts, games, lawn, trees
and other such things. To end the day off we ordered pizza (we found a
delivery place!) and called it a day.


Going to work on Monday had nothing on the past few days I had had.
I however survived the day and didn't have any readings to do! The day
was a quick one but very hot! After work and supper Frank and I went
to the Wildlife Park that is behind my apartment! Who knew! I didn't
believe that it was there because I go running all around her but
there was and it is really neat. So I think I've found a new place to


Nothing overly exciting this day. Other then it was Christian, works
in our department, last day. He is starting work with another company.
So to end his time he bought pizza for lunch for everyone. I thought
this was great but it got better. At 3 in the afternoon Christian
brought out several cakes and cupcakes and everyone once again
gathered for a bit. I'm getting much better at these gatherings and
can now sometimes follow bits and pieces of the conversation. Every
once and a while people will also fill me in in English which is
great. After work I had a bunch of errands to run to the post office
the grocery store and the vodafone to put money on my internet stick.
Then to finish the day I cleaned my apartment, had supper and went for
a run in the nature park.


Today there was nothing once again over special at work but it was a
pretty good day. All this week I"m trying to build up some over time
since I"m staying an extra day in Venice next week. So the day was
longer then normal but I had things to do so it wasn't too bad at all.
As it is Wednesday it is Stammtisch day. Tonight we met at a pub that
is at the bottom of the castle. I was a little worried at first when I
got there since the people I normally talk to weren't there. So the
German was flying and fast at that. It however did get better as Julia
and Dan arrived as well as two new American inters. So I had some
English before I left. I'm glad there are some new English speaking
people because sadly Meri leaves at the end of the month.

That should have the past few days all caught up! So I'm off to bed, Chow :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


So I'll try this again. I've attempted to fill you all in about Italy
but the internet has not been cooperating.

Let me start out with it was AMAZING! Pasta, pizza wine and the beach
will never ever be the same again.

The adventure started out last Wednesday after work. I took the train
to Memmingen to meet the rest of the group. It wasn't looking all that
promising as it was cold and rainy. I met Emily and Erin in Ulm and we
met Danielle at the train station before heading to our hotel. We had
to stay in Memmingen since there were no trains that would get us to
the airport on Thursday early enough. As we were leaving the hotel to
go meet Colin and Jenn and find some food the door across the hall
opened. There were two girls there and they asked if we were English.
We of course told them we were Canadian and heading to Italy in the
morning. Turns out there were as well. Not all that strange since the
airport was close by. As we were talking we learned they were
ballerinas with the Stuttgart ballet. This was interesting to Danielle
and I as we had met a Canadian in Stuttgart two weeks before who was
also studying with the same company. We told them this and one of them
(Jen who is Italian but lived in Africa, UK and Germany) was shocked
as she told us this person we had met was her best friend! The world
sometimes is really too small.

With our new friends in tow we headed downtown to grab some food and
pick up Colin along the way. With the help of a bouncer from another
restaurant (he said the one we were looking at was full of old people!
haha) we found a great place to eat. We first tried the downstairs
part but was ushered upstairs to the younger people part. The host
from downstairs came with us and said he would let us order from the
menu downstairs though. He loved us and the fact that we spoke
English! After explaining what everything was and what was good he
took our orders. As we waited for our food the waitress brought us
some free drinks from the Chief is what she told us. Sometimes being
Canadian has great benefits over here :) Jenn joined us here since
here train was late. After we were done we headed back to the hotel to
grab some sleep before the adventure truly began.

The next morning we grabbed some cabs to the airport once we were up
and ready to go. We had to check in a bit early since we are not part
of the European Union. After we were checked in we grabbed some
breakfast (pretzels of course since the German's are pro at these)
then went through security before boarding the plane. The plane was
packed so we split into twos to find a seat. Jenn and I sat by an old
man thinking this would be okay. Well it was but interesting I guess.
He turned out to be Italian and only knew a bit of English but was
slightly better at French. Between the three languages we were able to
talk to him a bit. Once he found out we were Canadian he wanted our
address to send us a post card. Jenn nor I wanted to do this and he
had already made names for us so we made up an address for him. I felt
slightly bad until I found out apparently he took a picture of me
while I was sleeping.... yeah interesting old man who thinks I'm Mary
and from Charlottetown Nova Scotia!

After landing our shuttle was at the airport waiting for us. He was
holding a sign with my name on it since I was the one who booked it! I
now know that German's are not as crazy drivers as the Italians! He
however did get us to the hostel safely and agreed to pick us up on
Saturday morning to have us back in time for our flight. After we
checked into the hostel which turned out to be a sweet spot we put on
our bathing suits and headed to the beach. On our way we did stop at
the grocery store to get some sunscreen, snacks and wine. We spent the
afternoon on the beach. It was so nice!

After the beach we headed to the hostel to have showers before heading
downtown to grab some supper. It took Danielle getting the neighbour
to show us how to turn on the hot water to get showers. However it
took longer then we had so our first showers were cold ones. It's a
good thing that I can rock the beach hair and didn't need a full
shower just enough to get rid of the sand :) We walked along the beach
during sunset to go downtown. With map in tow we were in search of a
restaurant that had been suggested by the person who checked us in. We
had no luck we even asked the police where to go but we didn't find
anyone who spoke English! We did run into some men in fancy uniforms
coming out of the state building from a dinner but they weren't from
there and didn't know where to go. So we kept looking we were giving
up so we asked some locals where we could eat and they sent us to a
great restaurant! We had real pasta, wine and bread. After supper we
grabbed some galeto (ice cream will never be the same!) we grabbed a
taxi and headed home for the night.

On Friday we were up early and the first ones in the grocery store to
get food for breakfast. We grabbed some fruit, juice eggs and yogurt
there and some fresh baked goods from the bakery next store. We ate on
the balcony of our hostel and had quite the feast :) After everyone
was ready and had water supply for the day we headed out in attempt to
get the cable cars up the mountain behind us. We were walking for a
while with no luck but we found a lot of interesting things. We
stopped to ask directions again but the English was a fail once again.
We decided to give up on them for now and headed downtown again. We
grabbed a bus at the closest stop since it was a long walk. The bus
was crazy and we made some new friends! Well Erin had a little boy
(wearing pink sparkly shoes) fall in love with her, an Italian woman
loved us and wanted to take out pictures for us too. Again the driving
was nuts! The driver was on his phone, going through the tight streets
and tonnes of traffic. He must have lots of practice that's for sure.
After getting downtown we had some real Italian Pizza for lunch. This
is where we found another new friend. This one was a dog as there are
a lot of stray dogs that wander the city. He took us to the pizza
place stayed there while we ate and then escorted us through the city
for a good part of the afternoon. We saw some amazing sites and were
out on the tip of the city in some ruins. It was a great time but we
decided to grab some more gellato before heading to the beach for the

For our final night we took another bus down town and were able to
find the restaurant that had been suggested to us. I'm sooooooooo glad
we did as it was the most delicious and amazing food I have ever had.
The hostess was great (bonus that she knew some English) and the food
even better. It was a tiny little place but very nice and we could
even watch the chef make and cook our pasta and food for us. Sadly
after this is was time to get some final gellato and head back since
we had an early flight.

The flight back was old creepy Italian man-less at least. We were all
dead to the world before the plane took off but we woke in time to see
us flying over the alps! It was a very clear day so we had a great view.

Italy was a tonne of fun and it was hard to got to work on Monday
after that! I will fill you in on Lake Constance (was there Saturday)
and the past two days another time. That's all for now but stay tuned
for more adventures as I'm off to Venice on Friday! Chow

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Made it back from Italy safe and sounds :)

There is too much to tell for tonight so I will leave you with this
beautiful picture and write up the story tomorrow.

For my facebook friends I have put up some pictures but there are more to come


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Monday Tuesday

Well the past two days have been gorgeous so I didn't write last
night. I did try but my internet decided to crash.

Work has been really busy the last few days. I haven't had any
readings to do at all! I have been working on some abrasion testing as
well as some nanofocus material. So there has been lots to do. I am a
little worried what will happen tomorrow though because I was going
through the labs in progress with Carmen this afternoon and I've done
pretty much all of what I can do. So we'll see what happens I still
have nanofocus pictures to do but I set them up and leave them for a
hour. So waiting...

Yesterday was plus 30 so after work I just headed to the castle and
walked around a bit. Then came back as I had a few skype chats with
Carrie, Kim and Breagh. I'm not sure what I would do if it wasn't for
skype! It makes being half way across the world a lot easier to stay
in touch with people at home. Tonight after work I came home and
crashed for a few hours. So tonight was a lazy one for sure! I managed
to pack my bag though. After work I head to Memmingen to catch a
flight to Italy for the long weekend! Can't wait for the beach, to see
some familiar faces and to explore Italy a bit. So there won't be any
posts for the next few days. I hope then when I get back I'll have a
bit more interesting news then today as it seems being here is
becoming the normal.... Chow :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011


This weekend was a pretty chill one. I stayed in Heidenheim and went
to the beach festival in the village over. It was the provinces beach
volleyball championships. I went with Frank and we met Julia, Dan and
Guillaume there. It was a great day and the games got better as did
the weather as the day went on. We left about dinner time and went to
a BBQ and then to watch the Football game after. The broadcast was in
German but I do know that Barcelona won! haha Overall it was a great
day and nice just to relax, sort of.

Sunday there isn't anything open other than a few cafes. So I slept
in for the morning. For the afternoon I spent it on the castle
grounds. It was a beautiful day, I think it reached 26, so now I'm a
bit redder then I was. It's better now then when I"m in Italy this
coming weekend though I guess. I also bought my ticket this afternoon
for the train to the airport. After a lazy afternoon I met up with
Meri and had supper with her while we watched the Glee finale! So, now
that I'm back I'm off to bed. Chow

Friday, May 27, 2011


Nothing overly exciting to report today. It was rainy, a bit chilly
and cloudy for the day. I"m sure that has something to do with it
being uneventful.

Work flew by today and I didn't have time to read again! I spent the
day finishing my samples from yesterday, microscope work and prepping
things for Monday. I was not nearly as tired as I had been on Thursday
so this helped the day go by faster as well. For lunch apparently I
wasn't moving fast enough by the time I went upstairs then into the
lab to move my samples Simon and Frank gave up looking for me and left
for lunch. I was told they had been looking for me so by the time I
realized they left I had to head out by myself. Luckily I met Andy
along the way and was going to eat with him. We however did manage to
find Simon and Frank and I told them they're impatient! haha they have
to go to lunch everyday at or close to 11:30 as possible.

It was Friday and I had a bit of overtime so I was able to leave at 3
:) I headed to the post office to send Gavan his birthday card then
went shopping. I wanted a found a new bathing suit for Italy next
week! I love the price of things here since tax is already included in
the price you see. It makes it so much easier and helps me a lot since
I"m still working on learning all my numbers! After I headed to the
grocery store. I had found a new one on my run the other night and
went to check it out. It was at least double the size of the one I
have been going to so it was nice! Still nothing like the grocery
stores at home but it's progress.

Tomorrow I'm going to a beach volleyball tournament then a BBQ with
people from work so tonight was pretty chill. Looking at some travel
plans, movie and catching up with some people.

That's all for now, Chow :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday and Thursday

Yesterday and today were both busy ones at work. I've barely read anything :)
It's been doing different test and learning some new ones. The one I
learned about today I"m not fully sure on yet so no point in trying to
explain it.

Yesterday after work I headed home right after work as I had a
meeting for the census. I ended up having to do it even though I'm not
a citizen. I took the information that I had to work on Tuesday to get
some help with and potentially get out of doing, no luck. Frank ended
up calling the number that was on the information for me. He talked to
the guy explaining that I don't speak German and and not from here. He
said I was to be included still but he would bring an English version.
He did bring an English copy but his English wasn't that great and the
translation wasn't either. We were able to fill it out. Well, I
pointed out answers on the English one and he filled the German one so
who knows what was really filled out. After that was done I had supper
and went for a run before Stammtisch. Last night the location was at
the Stadtgarten. I had been there before but I didn't know it was
beside the prison! I didn't even know there was a prison there until
yesterday and I've gone that way many times before. It's by the main
church of the city... It was a great time I'm getting better at
figuring out what people are saying and I can order by myself now. We
were there for quite a while. I walked home with Frank and Andy since
it was dark out. Andy lives near me and Frank was nice enough to not
make me walk the rest of the way by myself which was nice!

Today was a bit harder to stay awake at work today since I stayed
talking a lot later then I thought I had. There was lots to so I only
found myself in la la land while waiting for a test to finish running
or something of the sort. I went to lunch with Simon today as we had
to drop some parts off at a different part of the company. I think he
could tell that I was tired because he was trying to make
conversation. Normally I usually talk the whole lunch since I don't
have to be worried about work. I've apologized for talking so much
some times but they say it's good for them! hahaha if only everyone
thought that. I was dead by the time work was done so no run tonight.

I have to random little stories too.

1) People here keep asking me if I'm married and I couldn't figure out
why. Then I noticed that a lot more people wear rings on their right
hand ring fingers and not the left. Then someone asked me on the
weekend and held up their hand saying they were married. Made so much
more sense. I asked last night at Stammtisch and they said you wear
your promise rings on your left but your marriage ring on your right.
I wear my daughter's pride ring on my right hand so no I'm not
married but will keep wearing it on my right hand! haha

2) I was getting ready to leave work the other day when, who I think
are two other interns, were talking in German at the desk across from
mine. I wasn't listening until I heard them say brain fart. Then I was
looking at them, they saw me after they said it about three times. So,
I asked what??? hahah then they were embarrassed and the supervisor in
the next room said to explain themselves to me. Turns out they were
talking about a type of computer coding. Still was funny and one of
them asked if brain fart was a swear word in English! I had to laugh
then explained what it was.

Well I'm beat so off to bed. Chow :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday (I've really lost count now)

So, I lied yesterday the picture was of the newspaper in Stuttgart.
Not of the Mercedes Benz Museum. That is today's picture though. The
newspaper I found on the bench while waiting for the train. I have no
idea what any of it was really about but there was a picture of Lady
Gaga and Count Dracula on the over. I thought that was a random
combination and worth sharing.

Today was an okay day at work. I was suppose to be learning how to
work a new machine to run some different tests with Tobbie. However,
Tobbie has been very sick and I've only met him a few times since I
started work. He had been at work the last three days but didn't make
it in today. It seems that all the other ones that I know how to work
were being used, didn't need to be used today or our friendly British
repair man was still fixing. You would never guess what I got to do...
read! haha I'm almost done the Handbook of Paper and Board Making I
don't think I want to know what they'll give me next.

After lunch, which was another hot and sunny day meal eaten outside,
Frank helped me figure out what this letter about the census is. He
was a bit confused by it too and he is German! He ended up calling the
person that is coming to do the census with me. Turns out that I'm
still suppose to do it but now he knows that I speak English. He'll be
here tomorrow night to do the census but in Englsih version for me. He
asked if I lived with someone that was German... good joke as I'm
still working on catching my neighbors. After that was all figure out
we looked up some places I should travel. Then Frank told me about
this lovely ash cloud that is moving over Europe! I had no clue. I
hope that I still get to go to Italy next weekend or I will not be a
happy person.

After this I did find some test to do. Gloria had a few things for me
to do and showed me how the laser machine works. So that means I'll
also have something to do tomorrow! Each test takes about an hour to
run (most of this is waiting time but better then just waiting for
nothing) and there are 32 samples to be run. After this the day was
done at work. I headed to the post office to send a few things away.
As I was walking and looking for the post office (I just knew it was
by the train station) Frank arrived and scared me on his bike. He has
a habit of doing that lately and he thinks it's funny! Not at all but
he showed me where the post office was and I was able to send my
things to Canada. The lady at the post office seemed interested in the
fact they were going to Canada.

After getting home I made some supper then headed out for a run. I
think that if I had this place to run in always then I would go
everyday! My legs are finally not bruised as much from my lovely bike
crash that running wasn't a chore. Which is nice and this place really
is beautiful to not only run in but be in.

That's all for tonight! Tomorrow is Stammtisch so there most likely
won't be another post until Thursday. Chow :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Start of Work Week 4!

Time is officially flying! I was at work today in the lab putting
some of my results into the computer and talking to Carmen as I did
so. There was also a repair man there fixing one of the machines.
After saying something he turns to me and says in a very British
accent are you English too? So I replied with yes! When he asked where
from and I said Canada he told me then you're not English you're
Canadian haha. I can now say that I have met a person with a notable
British accent. He hadn't been talking up until this point but in both
English and German I could pick up his accent.

That was the most exciting thing of the day I do believe. I'm still
pretty tired from the weekend. At work I did a whole bunch of
different things some where finishing them from Friday others preping
for tomorrow and a tad bit of reading. After work I picked up some
fruit and veggies before heading home to make supper. I was planning
on going for a run tonight after supper. I was watching a movie for a
bit but ended up falling asleep for 4 hours.... I woke just in time to
have my Skype date with Jen! After only one internet fail we were able
to catch up :) then I talked to Gram for a few too. Now, shower and
bed. Chow :)

Oh the picture is from the Mercedes Benz Museum.... I think that's the
one I choose at least if not it's something from the weekend!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Today we were up at a better time then Sunday so we could wander
around Stuttgart a bit more before I left. For breakfast I was very
happy to have toast and peanut butter! I don`t have a toaster at my
apartment and peanut butter is not a very common thing here.

We caught the train to downtown where it was a lot quieter today.
There is basically nothing open in Germany on Sunday`s other than a
few cafes. We went to the Living Room of Stuttgart which is a park
like area. It is surrounded by old buildings, churches, cafes and lots
of statues. We were here being tourists when the rain rolled in again
along with a giant thunder and lightening storm. We again waited this
out in a cafe. It wasn`t fully let up but we headed on a train to meet
another friend of Danielle`s. With him we went to the Mercedes Benz
Museum for the afternoon. There were crowds of people since it was the
125th anniversary. We were too late in getting there to test drive.
The line was huge and would have taken hours to get through. We were
able to go through part of the museum and the dealership though. There
were lots of the cars open to sit in which was great!

After leaving we headed to pick my things up before going back to the
main station so I could catch my train home. We didn`t realize the
time and I was very close to missing my train! Danielle and I had to
run through the station and got there one minute before it pulled
away! However, I did make it back and am heading to bed now after a
great, busy and exhausting weekend.

Weekend 4

This weekend I headed off to Stuttgart to visit Danielle. So work
wasn't all that important on Friday to tell you about. The most
notable thing was the huge dark cloud moving in at lunch time. Frank
bet me that it would rain before I left and he won but was nice enough
to drive me to the train station.

I was able to take the train to Stuttgart and switch once all by
myself :) When I arrived Danielle was there to meet me. We headed
towards her house but stopped at the grocery store on the way there.
We were making the family that she lives with a what Danielle called
"A Canadian Supper" So we made them nachos and potato skins. They had
never had nachos before. The mom was very nice and loved the dinner.
She even brought out special Italian wine for the occasion. Not sure
if nachos and potato skins are the right meal for wine but it was good
none the less.

After dinner we headed out to meet some people in downtown Stuttgart.
It was a great night we went to a few different "disco's" as they are
called here. Danielle and I had many people ask us where we were from
when they saw/heard us speaking English. A few asked if we were
Americans! Once we said we were from Canada people always seemed to
think we were more interesting. The one thing to be said about the
night is that people around here need to learn how to dance! there
were a few people who could but most looked like they were doing a bad
version of the robot! I couldn`t help but laughing many times
throughout the night. After we were done at the disco we grabbed some
pizza and some water without bubbles before heading home. The discos
are open until 5am but we didn`t stay that long!

Saturday we took the time to sleep in before heading out for a day of
wandering. After breakfast we took the Ubahn to down town. There is a
great system set up in Stuttgart for the trains. This is why when we
arrived we ran into one of the many peaceful protest (but huge) about
not building a new network. It would mean a lot of money and tearing
up parts of the city. We walked past a few differnt stations that
people were protesting at. We walked around then headed to the Sky
Beach. This is basically a top of a building that has been covered in
sand and beach chairs. It was really nice until the storm started
rolling in. When we decided to leave it was very close and by the time
we were back on street level it was pouring! So we window shopped
around a bit and went to a cafe to wait it out. At the cafe we were
sitting at a table and the people beside us started to speak English
(huge deal now that I`m here). We asked them where they were from and
turns out from Canada! Two of them were visiting the other who is here
with the Stuttgart ballet. After talking with them for a while the
storm cleared and we parted ways.

Once we were done exploring we picked a few more things at the grocery
store as we made the family spaghetti, salad and garlic bread that
night. We were planning on meeting some people from Danielle`s work
but ended up talking to Karen (host mom) for a long time and were too
tired. So we watched a movie and went to bed so we could get up
earlier on Sunday.