Hello from Germany!!!!
I haven't been able to update for a while because we have been so busy!!! I really enjoyed the rest of the time we spent in Turku. We went and checked out the castle, and it was really neat and we also went bowling which was an interesting cultural experience. We flew from Turku to Bremen and then took the train to Wunsdorf where Dana's friends Angela and Reinhardt Schmidt picked us up. The Schmidt's are the parents of Henricka, on of Dana's foreign exchange students.
The Schmidt's were wonderful hosts and I had such a great stay with them!!! We had delicous food for every meal and they took us sightseeing around their home. I had the pleasure of meeting Henricka's sister Fransisca as well as some of their friends and their grandmother and they were all wonderful people!
On our first day we went to Fischbeck to see and very old cloister there that is a stopping place for pilgrims on a prayer route through Germany. Then we went to Hameln, the town where the Pied Piper legend originated. It was really interesting and the town had a lot of cute historical references to the tale, including an amazing clock tower with pied piper figurenes! We then moved on to pick up Henricka from Osnabrück where she is doing her residency as a doctor. Kristi and I were really excited when we walked past a buliding and Rienhardt passingly noted that the Peace of Westphalia was signed in the buliding next to us. Being the political nerds that we are, we got very excited!
The next day Henricka and her mom took us to see a couple different castles which afforded some beautiful views of the countryside! That evening we went with Henricka and Fransica and some of their friends to a listen to some live music performances sponsored by their church. It was quite nice. Later they took us to see their 'great lake' and to get some ice cream.
On Sunday, we went on a great bicycle tour with the Schmidts. We went 40km which is like 25 miles!!!! It was awesome to see the beautiful countryside and the little towns aroudn Bad Nendorf where they lived. I did, however, get badly sunburnt on my arms because I foolishly though I didn't need to put sunscreen on them! We all survived our "tour de Germany" in tact, albiet with sour bums!
On Monday afternoon we took the train to Dresden, which is a beautiful city and is where I am now. Our fist day we explored the Neustadt, which is the alternative side of town. We went to a bunch of cool shops. We also unfortunetly got caught in 2 horrendous downpours and got completly soaked! Other than that it was a wonderful day. Tomorrow some of Kristi's friends who live nearby are going to show us around the Altstadt, which has some of the more recognizable sights.
I am still having a wonderful time!!!! There have been a few changes to my travel plans, however. I am now going to come home after Greece which will be around the 1st of July. Although I'm having soomuch fun some professional responsibilities for my job that I start in August will require me to return home earlier than planned, I guess I'll just have to see the other countries on another trip!