Paris Weekend Adventure

Author: Ulises E. Hernandez

Location: Paris, France

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Europe is famous for its food, culture, parks, monuments, and buildings. Located in Paris, France, The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic monuments in Europe. With less than two months remaining in our study abroad program, my best friend and I decided to designate a weekend to visit the wonderful city of Paris. From the Cambridge study center, we took the train to London where we took a bus to France. You might be thinking, England is part of the United Kingdom island?!? Yes, that is correct, England is part of an Island, but thanks to the outstanding European engineers, a tunnel was constructed that allowed the connection between the British island and the European mainland. The bus ride was 7 hours long and it dropped us off outside of Paris.

The very first major building that we visited within about an hour from arrival to Paris was the Cathedral of Notre Dame. We had the opportunity to go inside to look at the most amazing artwork and religious artifacts. Hundreds of tourists from all over the world visit the Cathedral and many of them go up the towers to get a better view of the city and also to look at its amazing bells. Due to our narrow time frame and tight schedule, we were unable to go up the tower, but we did take time to take a few pictures outside the cathedral.

During our visit, the weather in Paris was very cold and windy, but that didn’t stop us from visiting the Eiffel Tower. After taking the metro located about a mile away from Notre Dame Cathedral, we ate dinner at a French restaurant a few blocks from the tower. After eating an amazing lunch and having experienced very strange service, we walked to the tower and we got in line to enter the enclosed area around the tower. From the ground level and to the first and second floor, Ben and I took the stairs. The view from the top of the tower was amazing and we had the opportunity to see the entire city. By the time we made our way down the tower, it was already dark so the lights came on while still inside the tower which to me was a very unique experience.

On our second day in Paris, we visited the Louvre Museum. This museum has a lot of artwork and also has very historically important artifacts from all around the world. One of the most famous artworks in the museum is the Mona Lisa, which attracts a lot of tourists. After walking through the museum for a few hours, we took the metro to visit the very famous Arc de Triomphe. The Arc is actually much bigger than what it seems in the pictures. Ben and I took a few pictures from across the street of the Arc and we walked around the city. Before we left Paris, we took a cruise that takes you to see the major tourist destinations since most of them are located near the river. Overall, we had a very interesting and amazing experience in Paris, France.

Financial Blog Part Two

Author: Michael Boyajian

Location: Reutlingen, Germany 

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Greetings again, readers! The picture that I have attached is a recording of my expenses for the month of October. I started the month with $2,458.08 left in my budget. What you’ll see is that this month, not only did I have more expenses, but I also had some income. You’ll notice that I spent the bulk of my expenses in the “Austria Trip” section. Over fall break, my mother came out to visit with me and our extended family, who happen to live in Graz, Austria. During our trip, my mother discovered that her Discover Card did not work in most places, so I ended up paying for both of us when we stayed in hotels and had meals. Luckily, we were able to stay with our family, which saved us plenty of money on living/meal expenses. At the end of our visit, my mother’s cousin gave me an unexpected gift of 300 euros “for travelling”, which converts to roughly $350. Because many of my purchases this month were
made with a card, I have a good amount of cash going into the month of November, and I expect to not have to withdraw much money from my account.

Although my expenses were higher this month, I did receive a larger amount of income, leaving me with $2,346.02 left in my budget at the beginning of November. Going forward, I expect to go on one or two more weekend trips and I don’t expect to see any more income for the rest of my time in Germany. I will keep recording my expenses, and I’ll post again at the beginning of December before I post my total expenses for the semester. Hope this helps! Bis spater, und Ciao!


Author: Liam Bodlak

Location: Munich/Stuttgart, Germany

Pronouns: He/Him/His

“What’s the history of Oktoberfest? Like, what’s the significance?”

A friend asked me this question, and I honestly didn’t know how to respond. I’d been to the festival three separate times-twice in Stuttgart, once in Munich-and I was unaware of any sort of major historical significance of it. So I did my research, thought about it, and finally figured out what Oktoberfest was all about. The answer is that, in 1810, King Ludwig I put on a festival to celebrate his marriage to Princess Therese, and the event sort of caught on and was celebrated every year.

My first Oktoberfest experience was in Munich. Me and three friends took a late train from Leipzig to Munich, and after arriving, met up with our Airbnb hosts. After a survey of our Airbnb (complete with a box shower that kept the water warm for about thirty seconds), we were all ready to start our day at Oktoberfest. And what a day it was. We found ourselves in the Hofbrau House, where we found ourselves seated next to two Scotsmen, who we spent most of the day with. We talked about various topics, including the Midwest (“Indiana’s the one with a lot of NASCAR, right?”) and Unicorns (the national animal of Scotland, because Scotland is amazing). I also received travel advice from a very friendly Dutchman, who talked my ear off about how Rotterdam was better than Amsterdam. A few hours later, I was feeling pretty hungry. I went to a McDonalds right outside the venue, and was reminded again that Europeans don’t have sweet tea. (I tried explaining it for a solid 10 minutes to someone in Copenhagen and he couldn’t wrap his head around the concept. If nothing else, Americans are outdoing the rest of the world in the field of sugary drinks). We eventually got back to the Airbnb, and we left the next morning. Munich Oktoberfest was a success.

Two weeks later, I spent two nights attending Wasen (Stuttgart’s version of Oktoberfest). Stuttgart was slightly smaller than Munich (Munich is around the size of San Diego, and Stuttgart is closer to Louisville), but it was still a great time. Highlights included multiple singalongs of Country Roads (John Denver is evidently huge in Germany) and having one of the people at my table scream, unprompted “I AM THE POLISH ANGUS YOUNG!”, a quote made exponentially better by the fact that there wasn’t even an AC/DC song playing at the time.

Everything was so overwhelmingly beautiful. From the rides, to the food, to the way the whole festival lights up at night. I was awestruck the entire time I was there. I felt a sort of togetherness with the people there. All of us were strangers that became friends for a few hours. We had fun together, but in a few months we’ll all be back in Scotland, or Ireland, or Poland, or wherever we’re from, and we’re all going to be a distant memory and a funny story to someone else. But that word-togetherness-is something I definitely felt at Oktoberfest. Just from little interactions, I felt a closeness with the world that I don’t normally experience. We’re all very different-culturally, spiritually, economically-but for a few hours, we were all together.



Riding the Homesick Falls

Author: Rae Erickson

Location: Windhoek, Namibia 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

This morning, three letters from my friends arrived in my mail slot. While I knew that one was hopefully coming, I wasn’t sure if it would make it, so seeing three waiting for me was an absolutely beautiful surprise. Being abroad for the past few months has changed me significantly, but it also has brought me even closer to my roots of who I know that I am. Dealing with mental health struggles in another country is intimidating to say the least, and missing my friends and family has been extremely difficult, but amidst these struggles, I am forced to remember why I am here, everything I am learning, and how important the people are to me that I hold close to my heart when they cannot be close to me physically. My time here has transformed me so much that I have begun going by a new nickname, Rae, that suits me in a million different ways! Without being on another continent, and meeting the people I have, I can’t say I would be the person I feel myself becoming today. This past week was fall break in Windhoek, but it was also a kind of spring break, because of the reverse seasons!! A few friends and I journeyed to Victoria Falls in Zambia, where we swam next to beautiful rainbows and saw little pockets of God. Even though the waves of homesickness have been as great as the crashing rapids of the Zambezi River, I know that this is where I am meant to be. Being in this other worldly place was truly a wild contrast to the experience of the week prior, when we stayed in northern Namibia for our rural homestay! Being in Outapi was one of the hardest things that I have ever done, but it was also one of the most rewarding. Throughout my whole time in this country, I have realized over and over again how strong and lucky that I really am. Prior to my departure in August, I was terrified of what was to come. Every day that I am here, I know that my little vial of bravery is inching upwards. Every day that I am here, I become more educated about how the injustices of the world are often covered up, how much I really have, and where my passions are leading me.

In Outapi, my homestay family had five loving children and two welcoming parents. The father of the family was the Vice Head of the village, and we talked at length about his responsibilities, as well as the accessibility of healthcare in his village. Because health services are so available in the US, it was heartbreaking but also incredibly eye opening to see firsthand how not everywhere on the planet has this luxury at their fingertips. I will always remember the hugs and company of the two little girls in particular, Alina and Monika, when reflecting on this time of my journey here. Even though the littlest one did not speak a lot of English, she squeaked out the cutest “THANK YOU!” once I gave her the necklace I made her on my final day in their home. Sitting around the campfire and singing songs in Oshiwambo and English will be something I will hold with me throughout the rest of my life, forever and ever.


The last thing I want to touch on for this blog is my experience in Etosha National Park. We drove into the park and immediately saw thousands of zebras! Passat, the driver for CGEE, has a passion for game drives, and senses creatures coming out of the darkness like no one I have ever met. On our first night in the park, we stayed in a chalet, and visited a watering hole. There were tons of friends that came to visit, emerging timidly out of the night to drink while we all watched as quietly as possible. A giraffe, two rhinos, three zebras, and an entire herd of elephants joined the site, creating a moment charged with power, spirituality, and grace. The next night, we camped before embarking on our long journey back to Windhoek. The calm presence of the animals was exactly what we needed before returning back to CGEE’s home base!

Hello, Goodbye to Liverpool

Author: Emma Hecht

Location: Liverpool, England

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

I’ve always been a pretty big fan of The Beatles. So, my friend Claire and I bought the $77 , 9 hour bus tickets to Liverpool for the weekend for a Beatles tour. We got in at 6:30 am and were exhausted from a good night of restless sleep. It was also about 30 degrees Fahrenheit and we were in jean jackets and leggings. So, we found the nearest Starbucks, which opened at 7 am, ordered hot chocolates and went to their upstairs lounge. We stayed there for a couple hours, warming up and planning our day and, of course, napping, until everything opened up. After finally leaving Starbucks, we wandered around a huge outlet mall (mostly looking at shoes) until our Beatles tour.

On the tour, the guide, who talked quickly and in a relatively strong accent, told us all about how the Beatles started, their drummers before Ringo Starr, their managers, and their childhoods. We drove past the childhood houses of each of the four. And stopped at Paul’s and George’s.

Here I am in front of George’s childhood home:

We also stopped by Penny Lane (and got to see most of the things that Paul sings about in “Penny Lane”):

Strawberry Fields was another stop. It’s not a strawberry farm but was a Salvation Army children’s home, which is now closed.

After the tour, Claire and I went to the Cavern Club, a nightclub that is the “birthplace of the Beatles,” where the first started playing and became popular. We didn’t stay for very long, but long enough to hear the band play “Twist and Shout.” We headed to the Hard Day’s Night Hotel, where we heard from our tour guide we could get Beatles themed drinks.

We were tired from all that sitting on the tour bus and sitting in the hotel bar, so we decided to head back to our Airbnb for a good night’s sleep. As we settled into bed, a wasp crawled onto my computer screen. As amateur wasp handlers, Claire and I asked our Airbnb host, Lilian, if there was anything she had that would kill a wasp. Lilian, a champ, came right upstairs, trapped the wasp under a mug, and let it out the window. In the morning, she served us a great breakfast, gave us recommendations on where to go in town, and drove us to the train station. 10/10 recommend Lilian’s Airbnb.

Sunday was a little more relaxed. We walked around the city for a while and ended up going to a cat café! None of the cats were really very interested in us, but we had more hot chocolate, so it worked out.

The next stop was the Liverpool Cathedral. It’s a beautiful cathedral, but also has one extremely unique feature. Underneath their lovely stained glass window, there is a pink neon sign. It reads “I Felt You And I Knew You Loved Me.”

Our last landmark stop in Liverpool before taking the bus back to Cambridge was the Radio City Tower, a radio and observation tower. It used to serve as a revolving restaurant but was closed due to health concerns. Now you can still go up in it (which we did!) but they’ve replaced a sit-down restaurant with a vending machine, and the tower no longer spins.


Goats and Cheetahs

Author: Rae Erickson

Location: Namibia

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

As an avid animal lover, I was in paradise when my urban homestay family brought me to their Satanslogch farm. Even just the journey there was something I had not experienced before, since it was truly up and down through the mountains on just a faintly distinguished gravel road. When we arrived at the camp, which is near Daan Viljoen Dam, and they told me I could hold as many goats as I desired!!! My joy only mounted when I saw that they had over one hundred. I do not support zoos in the US, (or anywhere, for that matter), because I do not believe that animals should be kept in captivity unless they need rehabilitation or additional care in order to survive. The opportunity to be around adorable creatures without contributing to a cause I do not agree with was beautiful, and the baby goats’ expressions were hilarious.

Later in the week, my cohort head to N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary as a fieldtrip for our Environment and Sustainability course. We rode through grasslands and saw wild dogs, lions, baboons, and cheetahs. We learned about how the tear markings on many animal’s faces are for hunting purposes, to help them see better at night. Among information about conservation efforts happening at the lodge, they also shared with us that they have been trying to aid the San community in Windhoek, as they are often marginalized. While this is done with good intentions, there is some debate about whether this organization is capitalizing on, or exploiting at all, the San people’s culture.

Amongst these outings, I also found myself repetitively coming back to my creativity journal to work on an art piece that was requested from me by a man named Papa at Katutura’s Arts Center. He was wearing a leopard top hat, and talked at length about how his spirituality is not something he often feels the need to pursue, but is simply something that is inside of him. He elaborated by saying it also comes forth in his music, artistic expression, and everyday life. The biggest takeaway from this meeting and discussion is that you must seek your faith or spirituality in whatever you do, not just reflective activities.

My drawing is titled “The Alien Bloodline” because even though this was a very intriguing conversation, it was also quite overwhelming. He directed most of his attention at me, the only white person present, and when I admitted, ashamed, that I did not know a lot about my mother bloodline, he referred to this confusion or tendency to be unsure about your first roots as an “alien culture”. I struggled to not feel offended and be defensive, (which is easy to do so much of the time as a foreigner in another country), but understood what he meant when emphasizing the importance of knowing where you come from. I agree with his belief that your roots, or DNA, or whatever you want to call your heritage, is something that is ingrained inside of you and contributes largely to who you are. While he meant that you need to know in a literal sense, I think that sometimes, it is okay to know in more intuitive ways, such as through your relationships with your extended and immediate family, and what comes out of your hands when you are thoughtful in your personal creativity.

Art has sustained me in my darkest moments, and for that reason, I have created an account with the sole mission to raise money for art supplies and projects at the orphanage I am doing an internship with. The inaccessibility of art in various communities is heartbreaking to me, so I set up an Instagram account to spread publicity for Hope Village with a GoFundMe account as a space dedicated solely to art donations. If you feel it in your heart to give, please click the following link:

If you don’t have the resources to donate right now, please help spread the word by following their the new account hope.village.namibia on IG, finding them on Fb, or sharing the link!!

Winston Churchill Childhood Home

Author: Ulises E. Hernandez

Location: Woodstock, UK

Pronouns: He/Him/His

On October 7th, Our British Life and Culture class had the opportunity to visit the Blenheim Palace. This Palace, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful in England due to its amazing gardens, well-kept building, and also by its location outside of the city. During our class trip, we had the chance to walk through a section of the palace and through many acres of beautiful gardens. After going through the Palace, we were able to learn a lot of interesting facts about how the Palace has played an important role in the history of the United Kingdom.

The first interesting aspect of the Palace is that it was the childhood home of Winston Churchill. This man not only played an important role in England during the Second World War, but he also had a lot of moral and ethical influences on the rest of the world due to his one of a kind way of thinking. The Palace was awarded as a gift to John Churchill due to his military accomplishments in the Battle of Blenheim.

Another interesting aspect of the Palace is the fact that it’s the only Palace in the United Kingdom in which its residents are not part of the Royal family. The Blenheim Palace has been occupied and as mentioned earlier, by the Dukes of Marlborough, which are the decedents of Winston Churchill.

The Blenheim Palace’s beautiful gardens and parks are not only famous in the United Kingdom but also worldwide due to the movie series Harry Potter. Blenheim Palace is home to the “Whomping Willow” which makes it a tourist attraction for those who are more interested in the movie aspect, rather than the historical aspect of the palace.

My favorite part of this once in a lifetime experience was Dr. Brugh’s organ performance in the Palace’s specially made organ. Dr. Brugh played a few musical pieces including my personal favorite, “The Phantom of the Opera”. It was a wonderful experience because not only did Dr. Brugh play for our class, but also to everyone who was going through the tour inside of the palace. The opportunity to play on an organ so valuable is not very common, but Dr. Brugh was granted that very unique and honorable opportunity.

Overall, I enjoyed walking through the very amazing gardens and parks. Not only is this garden very well kept, but they also symbolize a great aspect of English country life. The beautiful trees, rivers, wildlife, flowers, and bridges make this palace unique to all of the other palaces in the United Kingdom. This Palace holds great symbolical value to the English People and It was an amazing experience not only for me but also for the rest of my classmates who are also part of the Cambridge Program. If you are interested in Studying Abroad, I highly encourage the Cambridge program due to the United Kingdom’s rich history and also because of the ability you have as a student to travel to other European Countries.

The British Education System

Author: Emma Hecht

Location: Cambridge, England

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

The education system here in England is extremely different from what we’re used to in the United States. I attend two different schools: the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin. The University of Cambridge is made up of thirty-one colleges, each with their own dormitories, libraries, and classrooms. Each student accepted to the university is part of one and only one college, such as Kings or Trinity. However, students from each college sit in lectures together, which are not held at any college in particular, but on a different part of campus in buildings of lecture halls. The lectures are typically small, about twenty students, but can be up to around two-hundred. The lecturer basically just walks into class, gives a speech, leaves, and class is over. After the big community lecture, the students go back to their respective colleges and meet with a tutor (a different professor that belongs to their college), which is the person that facilitates a discussion about the class. These meeting might be one on one or in a very small group. Students will turn in all their course work to this tutor, not the lecturer. Speaking of course work, English professors do not assign coursework for a grade during the semester. The only thing that is due for the entire semester is a substantial paper at the end that expresses some sort of knowledge regarding an aspect of the course. There are recommended readings each week, but no quizzes, exams, or in class discussions of what you read. You can choose to read what’s recommended, read something different, or not read at all. Since Valpo students can’t belong to one of the thirty-one colleges, we get access to our Cambridge classes through the Westfield House, the building next door to our house, which is part of the Cambridge University Theological Federation. It’s like a Lutheran seminary that is connected to the lecture halls of Cambridge. So, Valpo students can have lectures in the Cambridge lecture halls, and then we come back to the Westfield House and meet with our tutor (e.g.—I sit in a twenty-five person lecture at the Faculty of Divinity lecture hall for my Sociology of Religion class and then come back to Westfield and meet with Dr. Gunjevic and two other Valpo students to talk over readings and decide on our paper topics). My classes at Anglia Ruskin are similar to Cambridge, but much more relaxed. It’s a small school like Valpo, where my classes (Database Design, Writing Poetry, and Prose Fiction) consist of ten to twenty students. Like Cambridge, there is only one assignment, due at the end of the semester (some of them due after the semester end at the beginning of January). Because they only assign one cumulative assessment, each class typically just once a week for two hours. For these classes, you have to “tap in,” which means you tap your student ID on a little electronic device on the wall inside the door that takes attendance. Even though Anglia uses this system to track exactly how many classes you attend, many students skip classes. But if you study abroad here, you are not allowed to skip more than two, or you get sent back to the States.

Anglia Ruskin University (where I take 3 classes)

Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge University (where I have my lecture once a week)

Study Abroad in Reutlingen Germany (Part 2)

Author: Shannon Ilg

Location: Milan/Reutlingen/Copenhagen 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

October 5th

This is a chapel in a rather inconspicuous looking church and guess what those interesting decorations on the walls are?
Human bones.
That’s right. Hundreds and thousands of sculls line the walls of this chapel, very different from anything I had ever thought to use as decoration. Our tour guide said that it was actually fairly common in the Middle Ages to use this type of decoration as death was not seen in the same light as it is today. Rather than being repulsed or disgusted by the thought of death, it was a daily occurrence that no one thought twice about when presented with it, so there was no problem with it at all.

October 6th

Okay, so… you can’t go to Italy and not eat some pasta. I mean, would it really even make any sense at all? It was really tasty and the fresh basil made a great difference.

October 7th

Here is an example of the beautiful flowers decorating the city. This large pink flower was growing on a median in the middle of a street.

October 8th

Back in Reutlingen! This is a picture of the very small elevator in the dorms. The stairs just go around it in a square. I don’t usually use it because I live on the fourth floor and I can usually make it up faster than it would take to go all the way down and then back up to my floor.
Ooh, but here is a good time to mention the floors in Europe, or at least Germany… come to think of it I really don’t know if it is like this everywhere or just Germany… Anyways, it is like Wehrenberg as the ground floor is called the ground floor and after going up a flight of stairs you are on the first floor, etc. It takes a little getting used to but honestly it makes more sense to me now to number the floors in this way: when you walk up one flight of stairs you are on floor one… two flights of stairs and you’re on floor two…

October 9th

I want to mention the uniqueness of doors here in Europe. This is just someone’s front door in Reutlingen that I thought was geometrically interesting. But usually, every door is unique. Perhaps not so much in our dorms or office buildings, but in older houses and castles, there are rounded doors, triangular doors, doors with square cutouts, etc. In Copenhagen, I saw a lot of small rounded doors with circular windows. Oftentimes, in an older building there won’t even be two of the same door in the same building. I love how even just looking at doors throughout Europe there is something different and unexpected at every corner.

October 10th

This is right outside the door of the apartment building I live in. It’s interesting to see hot air balloons flying overhead every once in a while. In fact, since taking this picture I have seen the same hot air balloon several times. I have no idea where they come from or where they are going, but it’s always a nice surprise to look up and see one floating by.

October 11th

Okay. Above you see the beginnings of the best trip ever. No exaggeration at all. The magic 8 ball even said so. I’ll begin several days earlier: I asked my friend Andrea if she would want to join me for an adventure where we make no plans at all. We both were very excited and invited another student, Mark, to join us because we thought he would be very interested. We met and agreed to leave Thursday and get back sometime Saturday. That was the extent of our plans. See, the three of us have this rail pass (Eurail if you’re interested) that allows you to travel almost anywhere in Europe for two months. So we didn’t really need a plan anyways.
Thursday, Mark asked if he should bring the magic 8 ball from his floor. Obviously, this was a genius idea and it became our mode of all decision making on the trip.

October 12th

Our first stop was Zurich, Switzerland. You know, where they make all the watches. We got there around midnight and just explored the dark, quiet city at night. It was quite beautiful; all of the tall important buildings were lit so you could see them from very far away and nighttime gave it a very interesting appeal. Above you see the storefront of a lamp store. It was super cool and, though I wouldn’t want a single one of those lamps actually in my house, it was really cool to look at.

October 13th

I would love to talk about all of the things we did on this trip, but it would take far too long as we ended up spending time in 13 different cities over 41.25 hours, so I will stick to just this last bit. We ended up in a small town called Meiringen near Interlocken (Switzerland still), because we saw a cool waterfall from the train and the Magic 8 ball agreed that we needed to see it up close. On the way to the waterfall, we explored the countryside a bit with beautiful mountain views, a stunning river, and purchased fresh milk out of an atm at a farm (like… you give it some change and fill your water bottle with milk… it was great!). When we finally got to the waterfall, we decided to climb up to the top, and it was a treacherous journey ending in a beautiful view.

October 14th

Coming back from our wild amazing adventures, I had a lot of homework to work on. Here, we see my attempt to capture the most boring picture in the history of the world. Have I succeeded? Perhaps not, at least it says hello!

October 15th

In the midst of so much excitement, October 15th I was doing homework and did not get around to taking a picture of anything new, interesting, or even boring. Instead, above I have provided a picture of a previous day, when I took a walk in Reutlingen. Beyond the university, there are miles of walkable paths through fields, hills, and small mountains. It’s always really pretty just to go for a walk or a run around here.

October 16th

Once again, I failed to actually photograph anything this day. Instead, I give you a piece of grass from my floor at the beginning of the semester. I thought it looked like a dinosaur.

October 17th

Another student and I went with my German teacher to go bouldering for the third time. Afterwards, she made us a wonderful dinner of pasta with pumpkin sauce. Afterwards we tried Quark, which is kind of  like yogurt but closer to cheese. I absolutely loved it. Here, you see some Russian nesting dolls that nested to an impressively tiny size. The little pink dot was the final doll. Overall, it was a very lovely experience in a very genuine German home.

October 18th

Above, you see the deck of the ferry to Copenhagen on my second journey there. This time, the ultimate stop is Stockholm, Sweden, with a day in Copenhagen. It was a really cool city so I was thrilled to explore it again.

October 19th

This is one of the many interesting finds in Copenhagen. It is a sun-heated sauna you can enjoy on like Wednesdays or Thursdays. We didn’t go in, but it pretty much shouted at us to look so we gladly did.

Traveling…a lot!

Author: Mark Young

Location: Reutlingen, Germany

Pronouns: He/Him/His

To start out my month, I traveled to Ulm and Blauburen. Ulm is known for its eponymous Muenster. It is the tallest church cathedral in the world. Blauburen is known for its 21 meter deep karst spring. I went alone and while hiking through the mountains, got a bit lost but still found some amazing views (and my way back).


While in Munich for Oktoberfest, we went on a walking tour and enjoyed lively scenes such as this. It was a very fun place to be.


The next day we went to Heidelberg and climbed a mountain to a ruined castle. The view from the castle was amazing. This was the view from another castle looking west down the Neckar River and through Heidelberg.


A few days of rest in between travels…but still some late nights shooting astrophotos. There is much less light pollution in Germany than in America.


After a week of classes, two other students and I went to the train station, got on the first train we saw and ended up in Switzerland! With no plan, over the course of two days we saw Zurich(by night), Luzern(also mostly by night), Interlaken, Meiringen, St. Gallen, Kreuzlingen, and Konstanz. It was quite a wild and extremely fun trip.


This is a typical view in the Jungfrau Region, where Interlaken is. You can see the silhouttes of paragliders in the sky.


A quick stop in Meiringen…an absolutely beautiful town.


A late night view from a beach in Luzern.


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