Sunday, November 8, 2009

4-day break in Lake Como, Italy

4-day couldn't have come at a better time! We're all so mentally and physically drained that the break was necessary. Our first full day in Lake Como it was pouring, so we stayed inside most of the day watching Gossip Girl, besides a short break to get pizza for lunch and pasta for dinner =) On Tuesday we had a clear day so we decided to hop on a train to Switzerland for lunch. There we got fantastic views of the Swiss alps by taking a funiculore (google it) to the top of Mt. San Salvatore. As if that wasn't enough, we got back to Como and took a ferry to Bellagio for dinner. The sunset there was beautiful and we were able to identify George Clooney's vacation house on the way over (added bonus!)

xoxo Marina

1. Lake Como in fog
2. the 4 of us the first night hanging out on the docks after some wonderful gelato. From left to right... Me, Kristiana, Lauren, Becky
3. Becky and Lauren in a square (piazza) in Como

Oops... I forgot that most of my 4-day pictures are still on my camera! More to come later...


Sorry it's been such a while. For the most part I'm going to let the photos speak for themselves. Berlin was a great city. Probably one of my favorites. Someone who greatly contributed to that experience was our tour guide extraordinaire Gabriel Fawcett. Over the Berlin stretch I went to the Berlin zoo, a karaoke bar, the old berlin wall, a great chocolate cafe called Fersbergher-Rausch (or something like that)... and much much more. I loved living in an apartment with Lizzie and Elri and making dinners together every night =)
Our Berlin stay was interrupted by 3 days in Poland and 3 in Prague. Poland was one of the hardest places because that's when we visited Auschwitz-Birkenau. Prague was pretty sweet, with probably the greatest Lebanese restaurant known to man and the sweetest castle!

Love to you all!


1. Alex and I on halloween. We both had butterflies painted on our faces =) And who said Europe didn't celebrate Halloween? Some of our group even dressed up as fellow professors or students. Maddie and Lizzie were Snape and Harry Potter, that was pretty memorable.
2. Elri and I in our apartment before the ballet we attended in Berlin.
3. Megan and I in front of the Berliner Dom cathedral on Museums Insel.
4. Megan, Lizzie, and I kicking leaves. Yeah, Germany has seasons. It's great.
5. Reichstag building in Berlin

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Through Amsterdam!

Sorry it's been a while...

After Paris, we returned to Bruges. The only memorable thing was eating a Belgian waffle ON A STICK!! Oh, and a nice big mug of hot chocolate with Amanda.

Then came our Amersfoort homestays... We went into Amsterdam Thursday and Friday, but spent the nights and weekend with our host families. Diana and I were partnered up, living with Kees and his wife Wilma. They were the sweetest couple, taking care of us like we were their own children (and they have 5!). Over the weekend, they took us to a cheese farm, a wooden shoe maker's h0use, and a market where I tried raw herring (still initiates the gag reflex when I talk about it...). They also got us hooked on tea and speculoos cookies (like ginger snaps without the ginger--just nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, etc.).

Anyways, that weekend was super restful and wonderful. It felt great being back in a family.

Now it's Berlin time! Own apartments, cooking for ourselves, what's not to love?



1. Diana and I acting a little crazy on our home-stay
2. My "foreign parents" as they called themselves, Kees and Wilma
3. Dutch wooden shoes!
4. Amsterdam street and canal
5. Me attempting to eat the belgian waffle on a stick, smothered in belgian chocolate

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Paris holds the key to my heart"

Paris was fantastic, but didn't last long enough!!! Over the past 5 days I've: taken a night boat tour of the city, gone shopping numerous times, climbed the arc de triumphe, eaten 2 crepes, climbed the eiffel tower, seen the mona lisa, visited versailles, and much much more. Next stop, Normandy (where I will not have wifi) and the back to Bruges.


1. eiffel tower twinkling
2. mary, justin, me, and kristiana at a cute cafe
3. view from the arc de triumphe to the eiffel tower
4. arc de triumphe
5. sally and i in front of the seine river

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I don't know what happened to the pics...

So here are some =)

1. Bruges
2. Kristiana, Amanda, Elri and I in front of our cottage in Ireland
3. Wendy, Jenny, and I on the Irish coast
4. A group of us at the Thames festival
5. Sarah, Me, Amanda and Sally before tea!

Catching up… I’m no longer in the U.K.!

Sorry everyone for the gap in posts… I’ve been estranged from internet for more than a week now… but I’m back =)

I closed out my London experience with a traditional tea and scones with the girls, the Thames festival, dying my hair black (again), then the London Eye with Lauren (aka the largest Ferris Wheel you’ve ever seen!)

Ireland was awesome…. I loved my roommates. We stayed in little cottages in Rostrevor, Northern Ireland with a monastery being the only thing in walking distance. The greenery was gorgeous but it also made me appreciate what a pretty place we live in. The run behind Westmont through the oaks with a view of the ocean very much reminded me of a trail I ran in Ireland…. except in Ireland there are more sheep =)

Now I’m in Bruges—finally on the continent—and it’s beginning to feel like Europe! The canals and cute brick houses are like nothing I’ve seen before! (Except in Disneyland…)

Love you all and hope to talk to you soon

Xoxo Marina

Monday, September 7, 2009

Back in London! 9/7/09

So the quaint Quaker residence was relaxing, but now I'm back in the big city! It's nice that this trip has an ebb and pace, and then a slow week before we pick back up running. This week for sure feels like a marathon. I have my first essay due, a bunch of other work to do, lots of group outings and things planned, and I want to make time to see a musical =) These are pictures from either Stratford (where I saw As You Like It performed by the Royal Shakespeare company), Coventry (where we stopped for a matter of hours to see a ruined and rebuilt cathedral), or back in London (Sally, Me, Mary with the Tower Bridge in the background!).

For the past two Sundays I've gone to Hillsong's church in London--and it's been an amazing experience! Next week, they're having a combined large service in London's O2 arena which holds 20,000+ people! So exciting!

Definitely the best thing about this trip so far is meeting a bunch of amazing people. Conversations are amazing and God is revealing a little piece of himself in every person I get to know. The Europe semester group is already becoming like a family and I love it =)

Now I'm just missing all of you at home!