By Jon|November 4, 2008|Austria|

Not suprisingly Rome was in my top three trips all semester, if not right next to Switzerland. The week was on the way, we were all waiting to depart from Gaming. On November 7, 2008 we boarded the buses for Rome and left at 7:00 pm from the Kartause. I sat with some new people hoping to meet them and get to know them. I ended up sort of sitting

Read More

The Black Forest and Milan

By Jon|October 24, 2008|Austria|

This was one of my most anticipated yet least prepared trips in my whole european experience. Before I even decided to go to Austria, I had always wanted to backpack by myself in the Black Forest, one of the densest, most fabled forests on earth. It also contains dwarves, goblins and gingerbread houses. It inspired the famous fairy tales in “Brothers’ Grimm,” and is where Hansel and Gretel got lost.

Read More

Thessaloniki and Home

By Jon|October 18, 2008|Austria|

I slept on the train for the first time in a while and we got to Thessaloniki. We left the train station and, according to custom, immediately began exploring. We found out the stop and bus we needed to get to the airport and then headed towards the great white castle, though not knowing it. We just kept walking down random streets and though industrial parks. I was looking for

Read More


By Jon|October 17, 2008|Austria|

In the morning of Thursday my eyes were hurting I needed to get my contactsout, and I began to feel the same plumbing issue as before. We arrived in Athens and it seemed to take forever to dock the boat. Finally we were all let out onto the dock seemed like a big parking lot. I was enthralled that I was standing on the same land as so many famous

Read More


By Jon|October 14, 2008|Austria|

As we left Turkey on the proudly Greek ship we stood on starboard side near the bow looking over into the water and watching small rocky islands slowly pass by. I can see so many of the myths written by Homer taking place in this area. Finally we could barely see the coast of Turkey as the top of the docked cruise ship was no longer visible, but each new

Read More


By Jon|October 11, 2008|Austria|

I woke in the morning again experiencing the surreal sunrise in a foreign land. I felt like I was very close to being in Israel or the middle east like you always see in pictures…and that in fact is because I was getting closer. “We are almost to Selcuk and the landscape has changed drastically-sand and bushes now with “mountains”. It seemed like there was no water around anywhere. We

Read More

Constantinople (begrudgingly called Istanbul)

By Jon|October 10, 2008|Austria|

Once we arrived we were drivin to the airport from the plane on a shuttle and ended up in long line for Turkish visas which were 20 YTL. We soon nicknamed these Yittles just like the SKK in the Czech republic we called SKKKKKKK. After inside Turkey we found our shuttle who was holding up a sign with our name. He was going to take us to our hostel in

Read More


By Jon|October 9, 2008|Austria|

When Friday came along, John Paul, Brendon, Ali Decker, Kate Donnely and I hopped on a train to Vienna for our first Ten Day break. We went to Sudbanhof station which had a creepy blinking eye clock and got some pizza. There we got cheap tickets to Bratislava and got on the train. Once in Bratislava, we got off the train and immediately were impressed with the lack of cleanliness

Read More


By Jon|October 2, 2008|Austria|

Besides Rome, without a doubt Switzerland was my favorite place in Europe. Maybe it was just the particular place we went, but it was like heaven on earth. When I was doing research for this trip, the quote going around about Gimmelwald was: “If I die and can’t go to heaven, send me to Gimmelwald.” It’s so true, it is the most beautiful place on the face of the earth.

Read More