Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sorry I haven't done anything very exciting this week....

I did officially enroll in classes today! I don't know if I'm definitely in what I signed up for or what, but here's my list:

British and American Popculture of the 1960s
Social Psychology: In Quest for Survival (a block course about East Africa)
Running for the White House (it'll be interesting to learn about the US in Europe!)
Studying Local Rural Systems (a week long ecology class in the Czech)
Bestselling 20th Century Literature (we'll be reading some of my favorite books!)
A Survey of Austrian Culture (hopefully we learn some Austrian history!)

Morgan and I had our end of class placement tests today! We studied hard, but the tests were really easy :)

Our walk home from school. I think it'll be cool that we've basically seen these buildings being constructed from ground up and they'll be done by the time we leave!

Macchiato latte

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I think I changed the settings so that anyone can comment! I'm not very technically skilled myself and sometimes it wouldn't let me comment on my own blog! I would love for anyone and everyone to give me a shout out or comment on my doings. Like I've said, half the fun is being able to share my experiences with everyone! Just click below my post and write a comment with your name!

Also, I apologize for any grammar mistakes...I'm stuck in this weird English/German limbo where neither language comes easily!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Morgan and I were asked to jointly write an article about our Slovenia trip for the international group's newsletter! (I see a Pulitzer in our future)

The maiden voyage of the ESN Group Summer Semester 2012 was a day trip to Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana. We gladly traded in the snow and fog of Klagenfurt for sunshine by the Ljubljana canal. The day began with a guided city tour that took us through the heart of the capital where we saw postcard-worthy scenery and landmarks. During the tour we had a birds-eye view of the city from the fortress of a medieval castle and ventured into a magnificent Baroque-style Cathedral. The afternoon presented an opportunity to explore the city for ourselves; we were able to sample the local cuisine in a lively Slovenian atmosphere while getting to know other international students. Whether shopping, sipping a cappuccino on the canal, or attempting to capture the beauty of the city in photos, Ljubljana was a wonderful adventure. A great time was had by all and there are high hopes of another trip in the near future!

The international team is making a great impact on the international students’ time at Alpen-Adria University and really broadening the horizons of each student. Slovenia is a very beautiful country (if you’re not convinced, take a peek at the approximately 1,000 photos on FaceBook) and we hope that you feel inspired to consider a day trip to Slovenia for yourself.
¡I hosted a fiesta in my room last night! Morgan, Corina, and our new Australian friend came over for tacos and margaritas! With taco seasoning and tortillas we were able to put together a Mexican dinner. We almost accidentally bought pork instead of beef (animal noises were necessary to communicate with the grocery store worker) and there is no sweet and sour mix to be found, but other than that it was mucho authentico.

Sorry we were having too much fun to take pictures, but I assure you it looked and tasted amazing!

Okay, I discovered one horrible picture from taco night

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I had a wonderful day in the Slovenian capital city, Ljubljana (Lou-blee-on-a)! We took a bus ride on the extremely twisty roads through the mountains and were greeted by a sunny and lively day in the city.

(you can click on the pictures and view them larger in a slideshow format!)

We traded snow and fog in Austria for the sun in Slovenia!

The roads were unbelievable and we were in a big charter bus! At times it looked like we were driving straight into the mountain side or that our tire was 4 inches from the edge of the mountain.

Below is a view of the Castle from the city park!

We took this glassed in lift up to the castle!

This is a view of the castle and courtyard from the castle tower.

The castle area has been continuously settled since 1200 BCE. It was a Roman army stronghold, player in medieval times, property of the House of Hapsburg, an army hospital, and a prison. It is now owned by the city of Ljubljana.

 On a clear day you can see 1/3 of all of Slovenia from its tower!

The crazy spiral staircase to the tower

I have never seen anything like this in my life!

We had coffee on a dock on the river! I'm sure no one caught on that
we were tourists :)

We had lunch at this great little cafe on the river. All the shoppers were walking by and the city was so alive! People were coming out for the sunny day.

Slovenian salad! I had no idea what I ordered, I just pointed to something on the menu..

As with most European cities, everything you could ever want to see is all within walking distance! We had a guided city tour and then had the whole afternoon to eat and explore the city. I can admit that I have never heard of Ljubljana (and couldn't have told you where Slovenia was located), but it was a beautiful and lively city that I am very glad I visited!

Lovers put a lock and throw the key in the river. It was really beautiful!

Another extraordinary Catholic cathedral

Here's a clip to set the scene:

Friday, February 24, 2012

There's an app on smartphones called's a walkie-talkie and you can text via the internet/wifi rather than through your phone number. I have it on my phone if anyone would like to communicate with me! Just download it for free and search my name!
This is what I feel like every day:'s officially the most official it's been! I'm a student at Alpen-Adria Universitat Klagenfurt

Here's an aerial view of the school (during summer!)
It's the main white complex of buildings. The lake is very well known and a site for many European movies.
I'll be spending many days there I'm sure....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

One of the best experiences of my trip so far...going to the bank. We had the nicest man speak to us in English, explain everything so simply and patiently, and buy us cappuccinos! I told him what an unexpectedly pleasant experience it was and he said we could come by whenever to destress and drink cappuccinos! It's our new, free, Austrian spa. Like I've said many times in this trip, it's amazing how one small experience can change your day!

My German class! We represent Slovenia, Thailand, Romania, Korea, Japan, Austria, Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma :)

European Parking Lot

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jen, eine Katze, Morgan, and Margaret.
Our American friends from Iowa!

We celebrated Fasching (Fat Tuesday) yesterday! So many people, from all age groups, were dressed up! We followed suit and did as the Austrians do...
Okay...having my first big craving for American food. Salami sandwiches just ain't gonna cut it anymore.

What I wouldn't do right now for a Sonic #2 with mustard, tater tots, and a vanilla Dr. Pepper....

Not only is there no fast food but McDonalds, but it's 8:15 p.m. and nothing open!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Nutella the size of my head = I can survive anything

Morgan and I spent hours at McDonalds yesterday doing homework and making budgets! We also spent some time searching flights and railpasses and trying to semi-map out some trips :)

(So when it's the end of the month and I have no money in my budget
 left for food, I'll just eat nutella)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

We're attached at the hip. We feed off eachother! Being with Morgan has already made my experience 10000x better! Can't wait for what's to come

If you want a humorous take on what we're doing, check out her blog!

We're doing the same things yet hers is a lot more funny :)
This is from the Irish pub a few weeks back.
Irish car bombs!!! (this is for you, mom and dad :))

We had a fabulous visit with our Okies! Madeline and Katie are studying in Graz, so they came to stay with us in Klagenfurt.

We went on a great city tour. We were the only people at the beginning and so the guide spoke in English for us. He was very informative and interesting, we plan on going on it again (especially if anyone else comes to see us). It was so great you can't soak it all up in just one tour!

The tour really opened our eyes to the city! Morgan and I are so glad we went on the tour and will have a whole new outlook on our stomping grounds

There are very beautiful and ornate fountains everywhere. Can't wait til spring when they have water in them!

Katie and I went to McGuinness together and her
mom was my biology teacher :) So glad we got to hang out!!

The outside of the Cathedral. I didn't even realize it was a church even though we've passed by it a million times.

The is the most beautiful place I have ever seen.
 No photo can do it justice. Morgan and I plan to go back

An open air courtyard

This is the place where important decisions are made and dignitaries are received. It's closed for the season, but I took a picture through the window. There are hundreds of coat-of-arms plastering the walls.

An amazing meal! I ate every last bite. It's a breaded chicken breast and amazing warm German potato salad. It was a lot like the one I made for my German class- you could taste the vinegar and cilantro.

Hey, if the beer is the same price as water, and the water is more difficult to order in German...

This is one of the emblems of the city of Klagenfurt and how the city got it's name.. Legend has it that this dragon, or Lindwurm, lived in the forest surrounding Klagenfurt. If animals or people went missing, the town would assume the dragon ate them. "Furt" is the name for a ford, or a shallow part of the river. The people of Klagenfurt would sacrifice a virgin once a year for the dragon so that it wouldn't eat any of their animals or people. "Klagen" is to lament-- so the virgins were put on this ford and lamenting that they were being sacrificed, thus Klagenfurt got it's name.
(There are about 10 different versions of this story, but I tried to sum it up into one combined and concise tale)

This statue was built circa 1593. It withstood 48 British and American air attacks-- but one night some British soldiers had a little too much beer, tried to sit on the tail, and broke it.

Maria Theresa.
She had no interest in the town of Klagenfurt until her eldest daughter decided to live here. She implemented the first lottery in Austria and mandatory schooling for children. This statue in the Klagenfurt plaza is the oldest of all the monuments of her in Austria, originally in the west end of the square in 1764 and moved to the east end in 1972. 

Right now Austria is celebrating Fasching (aka Karneval aka Mardi Gras)
This is like their Halloween! Everyone dresses up and goes out. The seasonal pastry is the Krapfen (a jelly filled donut!)
Obviously I couldn't wait to eat mine...

Me, Madeline, and Katie

We pass by this monument all the time and I was always confused by it-- It was built after the town recovered from the black plague as a thanks to God. It's also significant of the Christian cross overcoming the Turkish moon.

The yellow house at the end of the lane.. the tour guide pointed out to us that it was built before Columbus found America. Now that puts things in perspective...