Packing didn’t exactly go as planned. In the weeks before leaving, I laid out all my clothes on the apartment floor, determined to pack perfectly this time around: One pile for California, one pile for storage, one pile for Germany. The furniture was gone and I took over the floor, everything was neat and organized. California outfits packed and wore perfectly. But when Saturday came, the final day, we packed the rest of the apartment into our cars and ran out of time. All prospective outfits were shoved in bags and we headed east to deal with clothes later. Continue reading →
On the 29th of August, I ate my last brunch in the peace of the Berkshire Mountains and packed up my entire life to bring it to my parent’s just north of Boston. Yes, it was harder than I thought and yes, it took way longer than I thought, especially considering what I had done the weeks leading up to my move… Continue reading →
While studying in Hamburg and taking a mix of classes at the university and also ones taught by Smith professors, I took a class called “Landscapes of Northern Germany.” The class was taught by Professor Kai Jensen, who, although employed now by Uni Hamburg, used to specifically teach the class for Smith JYA students. Kai also spent a year or two teaching at Smith in Northampton with his family.
Photos from around the city, our wine tasting at the apartment, and seeing the famous flying Lipizzaner horses. I wasn’t so sure about Vienna when we first got there, but after a few days I realized what a cool, different city it is and wished we had more time to explore the far corners. Continue reading →
New Year’s Day we designated for Museumsquartier (the museum quarter) because Vienna has so many amazing museums. Wikipedia puts it into numbers: “The Museumsquartier is a 60,000 m² large area in the 7th district of the city of Vienna, Austria; it is the eighth largest cultural area in the world.” Hence why Ashton wanted to make a day of it.
We arrived in Vienna late Sunday evening and Monday was New Year’s Eve Day. Just the day before we had been cramped on the train for 23 hours and before that, we had had a cranky day in Malmö. So I suggested, being the German-speaker of the two, that I go grocery shopping and Ashton could stay home and have some space. So I set off in my fur coat and cloth bag in hand, not quite knowing where the grocery store would be but trusting my instinct and not being too afraid to use my German. Continue reading →
December 27, 2012: Took two buses a few towns over to Lund and explored the old culture and beautiful city. Definitely worth another visit.
From our cozy little carriage house near Staffanstorp to the city of Lund wasn’t far, but with the bus, it seemed pretty far. In comparison to distance and transport at home, it wouldn’t be much more different than driving versus taking the bus from Northampton (Massachusetts) to Amherst. Our day started before sunrise as usual, but that’s not hard to do in Northern Europe during winter, and began with a ten-minute walk through the silent hamlet, we were staying in. The traditional stucco houses with clay tile roofs, enclosed by cute garden fences only 2-3′ tall, the little village was surrounded by fields for miles. Continue reading →
With no other real reason to get up, I decided to attempt a Christmas breakfast; I had secretly bought gluten-free pancake mix the day before with the hopes of conjuring home holiday spirit. Although it was nice to have something homey, the gluten-free blobs were extra tasteless without syrup or jam or home, so we made do with crunchy peanut butter, courtesy of Mrs. Fancy. The day wasn’t anything special, filled with hot chocolate, Christmas movies, relaxing, and a wonderful walk through the countryside before sunset around 3. The whole experience was surreal. We’d look at each other and say, “Can you believe we’re in Sweden? This is wild.” Continue reading →
Christmas Eve Day I got going early and rode the three kilometers through the beautiful countryside to the supermarket. It felt like Little House on the Prairie leaving Ashton home alone in a one-room cottage, while I ventured out into the unknown wild. It was about 45 degrees Fahrenheit, bright, high clouds, and everything was muddy; it was like an early April Sunday in New England. I wheeled the old bike out of the yard and through the gate with my messenger bag, navigating the oddly paved driveway that combined large flat rocks cemented two inches apart with small pea gravel strewn all over the place, and hopped on the bike. I teetered on the oversized bike, staring at the muddy dirt road and telling myself I had enough skill to stay on. I wasted no time as my pavement-pounding mentality set in- regardless of my winter boots, jeans and cross-over-commuter bike, I zoomed through the countryside of southern Sweden. Continue reading →