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A Failed Weekend Trip is Not a Failed Weekend

As I’m writing this, I’m on a regional train from Prague to Budapest. I’m looking forward to a weekend trip to Budapest, where I plan to visit the Széchenyi Thermal Baths, make my way to Buda Castle, and even take a night-time cruise on the Danube. An exciting part about studying abroad in Central Europe is that it’s relatively easy to find trains or buses that connect you with other major cities in different countries in the area.

I shouldn’t overstate how easy it is to get from place to place, though. Last weekend was when I was originally going to board a regional bus from Prague to Budapest. I arrived at Prague’s central station almost an hour early for my bus. The transit company that I booked with had offered ticket-holders the opportunity to get text updates about delays. I kept getting various updates that my bus was delayed in arriving. Finally, I got a text that my bus was here, so I presented my ticket and passport to the ticket checker… who promptly denied my entry. As it turned out, there was a glitch in the company’s text updates, and it had been sending me updates for the wrong bus. Devastated and confused, I went to the ticket-counter to see if there were any other opportunities to get to Budapest for the weekend. Everything was booked.

I was heartbroken. Because of the last-minute missed bus, I had to cancel my lodging in Budapest on a whim and didn’t get a refund. It wasn’t just the lost money that I was upset about, though; it was the lost opportunity. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make it to Budapest and worried that I was going to have a boring weekend in Prague, since I hadn’t planned out what I wanted to do.

My weekend in Prague, though, was anything but boring. In fact, it was amazing. On Saturday, I got brunch with friends, visited an amazing pop-up photography exhibition, took a boat ride on the Vltava river (where I could see Prague Castle from the water!), wandered around the Lesser Town, and got to visit a street festival. The street festival was incredible, and honestly, if it weren’t for the missed bus, I wouldn’t have been able to go.

The view of St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle from the boat ride on the Vltava River.
We had to take a ferry to cross the Vltava River to get to the street festival on the other side. We didn’t even realize that our student public transit cards covered this!

On Sunday, I enjoyed a relaxing morning and then bought tickets to see a ballet at the Národní Divadlo (National Theater) on a whim. The student-discounted tickets to see an original Kafka-inspired ballet at a world-class theater were only SIX DOLLARS! The ballet was beautiful and was such a unique Prague-exclusive experience.

The beautiful theater where I saw a ballet rendition of Franz Kafka’s “The Trial.”

I guess the lesson here is this: a failed weekend-trip isn’t a failed weekend. I had an expectation that if I wasn’t constantly traveling to different places on the weekends, I was “wasting” my opportunity to go and visit more of Europe. There’s nothing wrong, though, with “staying home” in Prague (or wherever you may be). There just might be a one-time street festival or an original ballet waiting for you. Budapest, or wherever your desired weekend trip is, will always be there. Your time as a study abroad student in Prague won’t, so don’t be afraid to spend your free time in your “home” city, soaking up as much as you can.


Helene Slinker is a rising senior at the University of Missouri- Kansas City. Helene is spending her summer studying in Prague, Czech Republic through the Charles University Intercultural Studies program, taking classes that contribute to her political science major and women’s and gender studies minor. Helene is eager to learn more about Central and Eastern European politics through this program and explore the Czech Republic.

Disclaimer:  Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Dear Future Globetrotter

Flamenco show in Granada, Spain

Spain is amazing. Traveling is such an adventure. Studying abroad is a gift. I truly cherish the months that I have had the privilege of living in this beautiful country and all that it has taught me. As the semester comes to an end, a handful of consejos (advice) come to mind that I think are important for anyone about to embark on their own journey abroad. These are some things I have learned (in no particular order) during my time in Granada, Spain. Everyone is unique and has their own story, struggles, and journey abroad, so they may not apply to every person out there. But, I do think what I have observed and learned is very useful and I hope you find it to be as well.

1. Make every effort to get out of the American bubble. You are going to make new friends in your program and in your classes, and that is wonderful! But odds are most, if not all, of those people will be from the United States, which means you will mostly be speaking English and it will be more difficult to meet locals. This happened to me, and while I love the friends I’ve made, I didn’t meet many locals. It was a lot more challenging than I expected. I spoke English more than I imagined I would when at the start of the semester I really believed the majority of the language I used would be Spanish. All I’m saying is to find a balance and be intentional about meeting the locals in your city.

2. Don’t wait until you have the perfect friend(s)/group to do something you are interested in… Similarly, don’t be afraid to do things alone. The biggest example of this for me was when I took a solo trip to Manchester, England. I went for the sole purpose of visiting the Chatsworth House, which is Mr. Darcy’s home in the newest movie adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. I really hadn’t found anyone that was interested in going there, so I went alone. It was a very challenging experience but one I really cherish. I’m the type of person that loves to share experiences with others, so at times during the trip, I felt very alone. However, this also meant I got to learn even more about myself: what I like, what I don’t like, how I travel without outside influence, and so much more. It’s okay to do things alone and you’ll even grow from it!

3. If you’re abroad to learn and practice a new language, don’t shy away from continuing to speak in that language if the person you’re talking to responds in English. This happened to me far more often that I would’ve liked. It’s usually in situations where the person I’m speaking with is in a hurry and I’m taking too long to get my point across (like ordering food at a restaurant). It sometimes made me question my Spanish abilities. Were they switching to English because I wasn’t speaking Spanish well enough? I was there to learn so I wouldn’t let that stop me from speaking. Who knows? Maybe they want an opportunity to practice their English. Just keep practicing! You’re there to learn.

4. If you see something potentially interesting or are curious about something around a corner, through an archway, up/down stairs, go explore! You won’t regret taking those few extra steps and seconds to check it out. Even if it doesn’t end up being that noteworthy, you won’t leave the country wondering what could’ve been. Plus, you just never know what you will find!

5. Learn how to use public transportation systems; it’s a great feeling when you get it down. I still struggle with it at times, but Google Maps is a lifesaver. Keep in mind, some countries are easier to navigate than others with this mode of transport, but you’ll get the hang of it.

6. Front load the time you’re living in the country by doing a lot of activities, exploring, eating new foods, meeting locals and new friends. Time really does fly when you study abroad and you don’t want finals week to suddenly be upon you and you still have so much on the table. It’s not fun to be studying for finals and still trying to cram a few more activities in. It just it makes it hard to enjoy it all. I was a victim of this… the procrastinator in me really revealed itself this semester. Don’t wait!!

7. Just take it all in! Enjoy every second and find special moments in each day. I know this is very general, but there is so much to discover and take in. Make the most of your time!

Thank you for joining me this semester and for taking the time to read about my adventures! I hope that those who are planning to study abroad have a wonderful experience. And if you are still on the fence about whether you should go or not, I have one piece of advice for you: do it! You won’t regret it.

The Alcázar in Segovia, Spain

 

Picos de Europa, northern Spain

 


Camille Meeks is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Psychology and Languages & Literature with an emphasis in Spanish. Camille will spend the Fall semester studying in Granada, Spain through International Studies Abroad as a Truman Good Neighbor Scholar.

Disclaimer:  Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Wait… It is over???

I am now on my way back to the United States from Scotland and I am happy to be heading home, but so sad to be leaving Scotland behind.

At the beginning of the trip I was very homesick and could not wait for this trip to be over and by the second week I never wanted it to end. Soooo, why should you study abroad? Because it is the single best thing you can do to make yourself grow as a person. It is the best thing you can do to truly learn about a topic. It is simply the best thing you can do. So do it. I mean it. I worked many hours of overtime and spent many sleepless nights working to save up for this trip. I applied for every scholarship possible and it was one of the most tedious processes, but everything I did for this trip was worth it. It was worth it when I first landed in London and saw the British flag. It was worth it when I was gazing up at the Eiffel tower taking in its beauty. It was worth it when I was walking through Edinburgh’s castle.

Edinburgh Castle

It was worth it when I smelled and touched the ocean for the first time in my life. It was worth it when I found new friends in the park. It was worth it through the sleepless homework filled nights. It was worth it gazing at the Highland mountains in Scotland. It was worth it. I would do it all over again tomorrow. I was so homesick in the beginning and now I never want to leave Scotland. A piece of my heart will always be here. There is a maturation that comes with traveling abroad and stepping out of your comfort zone so far you want to be sick. When you decide to step out of that zone you discover the greatest joy and some of the best memories. Do not let fear hold you back because if I had let it hold me back I would have missed the greatest experience of my entire life.  I left my small town and everything I have ever known and experienced the world for all it had to offer. I met new people. I tried new things. I laughed….. A LOT. I guess what I want to say to all of you is please study abroad. Please meet new people. Please try new things. Please try this. It will be one of the best things you have ever done. Good luck everyone. Adventure finally found me, I hope it finds you.


Kylie Wilson is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Nursing. She is spending the summer term abroad with the UMKC Honors Program in Scotland. Kylie is from small town Helena, Missouri and hopes to be a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit nurse in the future. She has a pet cow named Betsy whom she loves dearly.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

A Castle (or 4) Fit for a Princess

I mentioned in my first blog post how I was excited to see all the castles in Scotland and I have not been disappointed. I have seen castles of all ranges from ones in ruins to ones their full glory. Each time I see a castle I get very excited and wish I could be a princess who lived in these castles. All of them were placed a top a hill with a beautiful, scenic background. They stood with elegance and grace that cannot be replicated (although I will try to with my pictures).

I was on the streets of Edinburgh looking up at the Edinburgh Castle when I took this picture.

The first castle I saw was the Edinburgh Castle. It is massive and sits high above everything else in Edinburgh. So high, that if you get lost all you have to do is find the castle, start walking in that direction and you will be back in familiar territory. This rings true as I did manage to get lost (numerous times) and was able to find my way back by walking towards the massive castle. When I found out you could actually go in the castle, I was ecstatic.  It was as breathtaking from the outside as it was from the inside. It was all made of stone and had perfectly manicured lawns inside the castle. Inside the castle were various other buildings you could go into that displayed historic pieces from the castle. The best part was I got to see the Crown Jewels! I wish they would have let me wear the crown…

The view from the top of Edinburgh Castle.
This building was inside the Edinburgh Castle!

 

All that is left of the Dunrue Castle. It sits on top of a hill. It is surrounded on three sides by land and the other, the ocean.

Another castle I went to was the Dunure Castle in Dunrue, Scotland. This castle was in ruins but what was left of it was preserved. This meant I got to go inside and climb around on the rocks. I even got to look out what was once a window and see the ocean spread out before me. I also got to climb up the stairs to the upper level and see the view from here. I can only imagine how grand this castle once looked. The environment around the ocean was calm and quiet. Nothing else was around except the castle and the ocean. I wish I could have stayed here all day. This was one of my favorite castles because I got to freely explore without worrying about any fragile artifacts that could possibly break. There were no guidelines or restrictions on where I could go so I went everywhere!  It was just me and my classmates having the time of our lives exploring this exquisite castle.

I was standing on a rock near the shore line when I took this picture. The castle is behind me and the ocean spread out before me. You could smell the salt in the air from the ocean.
This is the view from the window I found.
I had to sit in front of the window because it was just that cool.

During my last week in Scotland, the group took a bus tour up to the Isle of Harris and then back down towards Glasgow. Along the way, we also stopped at Eilean Donan Castle in Wester Ross, Scotland. It was a 15 minute stop to go to the bathroom and take pictures and then we would be back on the road. This had to be one of my favorite castles even though I wasn’t there for long. I really wish I had a tiara and a pretty dress to take my pictures in front of the castle (I know, I’m that girl). There was a long bridge that leads up to the castle and is the only entrance into it. This is because the castle was built on a peninsula so the other three sides were surrounded by water. Behind the castle was various mountains with the clouds hovering over them. It was a beautiful sight to see. I wish we had had more time here so I could see what the inside of the castle looked like. The bus driver/tour guide Rich told a story about the castle. I don’t remember all the names and dates but essentially the castle was burned down and many years down the road a family heir wanted to rebuild the castle. He

This is one of my favorite pictures I took on my trip. I love how you can see the castle, the mountains in the background, the bridge leading to the castle, the water surrounding it and the land.

had never seen what the castle used to look like or had any blue prints so he made it based on an image he had in his head. Later, a hidden room was found in the Edinburgh Castle that held the blue prints for a majority of the castles in Scotland, including the Eilean Donan Castle. It turns out that the rebuilt castle was a 95% accurate match to the original! Who would have guessed!?

 

Of course, I had to take a picture with the castle. Now if only I had a tiara…
I took this picture of Stilring from the bus as we were driving up to it.

The last castle I saw was on my last day in Scotland. It was the Stirling Castle in Stirling, Scotland. I was

This walkway was inside of the Stirling Castle and looked over the gardens.

there for about two hours and ran around in pure joy. Some parts of the castle were a museum with artifacts displayed while other parts were empty rooms that you could crawl around in. I liked how I could walk around and touch the walls of the castle and be in rooms you aren’t normally let into. It felt like there was some mystery to the room by it being empty. I could only imagine what it once looked like, who had been in these rooms, and what had occurred here. I was enthralled and felt like a little kid in a candy store. I enjoyed my time running around the castle and seeing everything that was there.

 

This was inside some of the rooms I got to crawl around in. All the rooms were made of stone and had small windows cut out of them to let in light.
I was so excited to be in a castle! It had been a few weeks since I last visited one.
This was inside the castle in the gardens.
An outfit a Queen and King used to wear. There are many layers to these outfits that can’t be seen from the outside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you find a castle (or four) along your journeys fit enough for a princess (or prince).

-Nicole Wilhelm


Nicole Wilhelm is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Nursing. Nicole is spending the month of July in many different cities in Scotland with the UMKC Honors College Program in Scotland. Nicole is involved in UMKC’s Campus Ambassadors, Swim and Dive Club, BHS Society, and Student Nursing Association.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Change of Scenery

Last weekend I took a trip to St. Andrews and Dundee with my professor and two flatmates. It felt nice to get out for the weekend and explore uncharted territory. St. Andrews is a much smaller town than Edinburgh. I enjoyed getting away from the hustle of the city for a while. I got to walk on the beach at St. Andrews, visit a castle, and go to a medieval church. On the beach, there was a sandcastle competition going on. Families were busy making their own castles while the ruins of St. Andrew’s castle was just a walk away. My favorite part was exploring the church ground with its towering façade and old gravestones. In its prime the church had been huge – a monumental building to be reckoned with. There was also a ghost of a woman that supposedly haunted the grounds, but sadly I did not see her.

St. Andrews’s Beach
St. Andrews

 

 

 

 

 

 

After spending the day in St. Andrews, we headed to

Dundee. The city had a completely different feeling than Edinburgh. It was compromised of mostly college students and seemed to be on the rebound from a poor economic state. I was able to visit both of the city’s art museums, and I was surprised at how good their collections were. I discovered a story about two Scottish women that travelled the globe in the 1900s to report on the conditions of women from around the world. I thought the art museum was very inclusive and had a lot of information to offer.

 

Claire Woods: Victim of Geography

 


 Samantha Bradfield is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Psychology and Art History.  Samantha is spending the summer abroad with the UMKC Honors Summer Program in Scotland.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

The mighty and powerful…. Ocean!

I am a little ol’ farm girl as I have said before. I had never been anywhere before this trip and that includes the ocean unfortunately. But I finally got to see the Ocean last week!!! Let me tell you I have never seen anything more beautiful and powerful.

The beautiful ocean!

I was immediately captivated and in love with the ocean. It was cold out and the water was dark, but I was still in love and I have made myself a promise to save all of my money and go to a warmer beach next summer! My classmates and I walked around the beach collecting rocks, shells, and memories. We laughed as many of us had to climb or rocks to get close to the ocean and quite a few of us fell a few times (I may or may not be the person who fell repeatedly, but we won’t talk about that). One of my classmates found a dead jellyfish on the beach that must have gotten stuck when the tide rose up and couldn’t escape when the tide went back down.

The poor jellyfish we found.

We were also had the most perfect view of a castle ruin in the background of our ocean adventure and what made the ocean experience even more fun was the people I was experiencing it with. My classmates are so supportive and sweet. They make every adventure fun and worth it.

The castle ruins.

I am very grateful I get to experience some of these amazing “firsts” of my life with them. A few of us sat on a rock for a while and just enjoyed the amazing view of the ocean in front of us. The air was a little crisp, but we didn’t care. We watched the amazing power of ocean waves crashing into the rocks and felt how truly small we are and how beautiful the world is. If you are in need of a humbling experience go to the ocean and just stare at how large it is. It makes you feels so small and your troubles even smaller. I hope all of you get to see the ocean someday and get to adventure the world with some amazing people like I do. Good luck and may adventure find you… and may it help you find yourself.


Kylie Wilson is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Nursing. She is spending the summer term abroad with the UMKC Honors Program in Scotland. Kylie is from small town Helena, Missouri and hopes to be a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit nurse in the future. She has a pet cow named Betsy whom she loves dearly.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Granada, Granada, Granada

 

Buen consejo / Good advice, “That which is chaos for the fly is normal for the spider.”

Hola amigos,

Hemos estado en Granada por un rato ahora.  Esta ciudad, aunque es muy antigua, me recuerda de Kansas City — es gran ciudad pequeña. Es muy fácil moverse por la ciudad andando. El grupo vio la Alhambra, que gigante!!! En la alhambra, había las tres banderas de Granada – de la ciudad de Granada, de la región de Andalucía, y de España. (ved las banderas abajo) Este sol andaluz lleva toda la energía y se necesitan muchas comida y agua para sustentarse. 😛 Encima una cierta colina, se existe el Mirador de San Nicolás, cual puede dar una vista buena de la Alhambra, así que yo saqué una foto 😉 el camino desde del centro de la ciudad hasta el mirador era un gran viaje por las colinas.

La Alhambra del Mirador de San Nicolás / the Alhambra from the Lookout of Saint Nicholas

 


 

Escudo de Granada / the Crest of Granada

Hello friends,

We’ve been in Granada for a while now. This city, although it is really old, reminds me of Kansas City — it’s a little big city. It is really easy to get around the city walking. The group saw the Alhambra, how giant!!!!!! In the Alhambra, there were the three flags of Granada – the city of Granada, the region of Andalusia, & of Spain. (See the flags below) This Andalusian sun takes all your energy and a lot of food and water are needed to survive. 😛 On top of this certain hill, there is the Lookout of Saint Nicholas, which can give a great view of the Alhambra, so I took a photo 😉 the way from the city center to the lookout was a big trip through the hills.

 

Las banderas / The flags | Andalucía/Andalusia, España/Spain, & Granada

Natagnél Frisella is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, studying Spanish Language & Literature. Natagnél is traveling through Spain this summer 2017, concluding with the UMKC Spanish Program based at the University of Granada in Southern Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

 

Dealing with Becoming Homesick

Sunrise view from my front porch at my farm

I know, how could I possibly get homesick? I have been visiting some of the most beautiful places in the world, I am having so much fun, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I should not be wasting it thinking about the small town I call home. Unfortunately, the human mind does not work this way and no matter how exciting and adventurous the world is when I go to bed at night I can’t help but feel homesick. I miss my family. I miss my pets.

Kittens from my farm back home

I miss being in a familiar place. I miss the farm. I miss home. I am having so much fun do not get me wrong, but it is not home. So how do you deal with this and still have fun? Cry it out. You read that right. Cry it out. Because you have to get it out some way. It’s okay to cry. It helps so much. Cry it out and then talk it out. This helps give you a new perspective. Once I cried it out and began to talk about it, it was an easier thing to tackle. It was also comforting to discover some of my friends were experiencing homesickness as well. Next, take a night of being adventurous off (just ONE night) and do something “normal”. Do something you do at home every evening like watch Netflix or scroll through social media or read a book. Take one night to spend on your to allow you to catch up and feel comfortable again. Next, sleep. Really, you have got to sleep. I know it’s hard with the time differences but one REALLY good nights sleep will make the worlds difference in your mood and your experiences. While exploring the world is something you only get to do once you need to take time for you and allow yourself to catch up and your body to catch a break. I know I needed it and it has helped me so much since then. I have been doing so many amazing things while abroad and catching up with myself and allowing myself adjust has made my experiences so much more enjoyable and allowed me to get past being homesick.

Castle of Edinburgh in Edinburgh

I have now seen Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, and the castle of Edinburgh. I would not trade those experiences for anything. I am now so grateful I traveled out in the world and am getting to experience some of the amazing things the world has to offer. I am not going to let homesickness stop me. I hope adventure finds you and your homesickness will pass.

Big Ben in London 
Eiffel Tower in Paris

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kylie Wilson is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Nursing. She is spending the summer term abroad with the UMKC Honors Program in Scotland. Kylie is from small town Helena, Missouri and hopes to be a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit nurse in the future. She has a pet cow named Betsy whom she loves dearly.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

SEGOVIA

20/06/2017

Hoy, se pasó el día en Segovia, una ciudad en la región de Castilla y León. Cogimos un autobús por una hora desde Madrid hasta Segovia; no estaba muy lejos de Madrid con suerte. Al llegar, era una ciudad con tanta historia, casi como una vista del pasado. Es loco que los edificios se pudiera construir sin tecnología moderna hace unos siglos.

La catedral de Segovia / the Cathedral in Segovia
El acueducto de Segovia / the Aqueduct in Segovia
Primero, se vio la catedral gigante. Era la más grande que cualquiera iglesia que he visto antes.

Entonces, se vio el acueducto antiguo de la época romana de España. La geometría de esta estructura era muy bonita y se podía ver la belleza de las matemáticas.

Finalmente, se entró el castillo. No era un edificio gigante, pero los detalles de los cuartos eran lujosos. Era gracioso oir que éste fuera la casa de verano de la familia real. Nuestro guía nos dijo que el rey dijo “Madrid es para los políticos”. Yo supongo que ésta sea la razon por qué se fuera la familia real por los veranos.

No era un viaje largo, pero había mucho para ver. Que historia había. Yo espero ansiosamente por aprender más.

El castillo de Segovia / the Castle in Segovia

Natagnél

 (ved los detalles reales abajo)


June 20

Today, the day was spent in Segovia, a city in the region of Castilla & Leon. We took a bus for an hour from Madrid to Segovia; it was not very far from Madrid luckily. Upon arriving, it was a city with so much history, almost like a view of the past. It is crazy that the buildings were able to be built without modern technology a few centuries ago.

First, we saw the huge cathedral. It was bigger than any church I’ve seen before.

Then, we saw the ancient aqueduct from the Roman era of Spain. The geometry of this structure was beautiful and the beauty of the mathematics could be seen.

Finally, we entered the castle. It was not a giant building, but the details of the rooms were luxurious. It was funny to hear that this was the summer home of the royal family. Our guide told us that the King said “Madrid is for the politicians”. I guess this is the reason why the family left for the summers.

It was not a long trip, but there was a lot to see and a lot to learn. What history there was. I am anxiously awaiting to learn more.

Una vista del castillo encima de la fuente real de Segovia / A view of the castle on top of the Royal Fountain of Segovia
El jardín real de Segovia / the Royal Garden in Segovia
Los tronos reales de Segovia / The Royal thrones in Segovia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Natagnél Frisella is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, studying Spanish Language & Literature. Natagnél is traveling through Spain this summer 2017, concluding with the UMKC Spanish Program based at the University of Granada in Southern Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Travel is fun but rest, food, and homesick cures are important!

Last weekend my classmates and I went to Český Krumlov, Czech Republic.  At that point I’d been in Prague for a little over a week and had been busy every day since (including an 8 mile hike the weekend before).  I was excited for our trip and optimistic about my energy level for the adventure.  Oh how naive I was. Now, don’t get me wrong.  The trip was beautiful.  Some examples of the beauty.

We hiked up to these castle ruins directly from the train station.
Then we hiked from the ruins to Český Krumlov. Beautiful, right?! (SO tired by this point.)

My classmate Val and I had a mission.  Must find fried cheese.  Fried cheese is a Czech thing.  You HAVE to get fried cheese if and or when you visit.  We HAD to find it.  Our mission began around 8.  We left our beautiful bed and breakfast and headed toward the many restaurants we passed on our way to the hotel.

Our bed and breakfast is the adorable yellow building between the two adorable blue buildings.
The view from outside our hotel.  Love!

We made our way back over the bridge into the middle of the town.  I thought to myself,”This is the Europe I signed up for.”  I was overcome with excitement that I was exactly where I wanted to be! (forgetting that all I had to eat that day was two almond bars, yogurt, and a bag of chips…)

The town center. Complete with a phone booth!!

 

Phone booth! (I was way too excited about this.)

Eventually we remembered how hungry we were and how far we’d wandered from the hotel not finding fried cheese!

I’m so hungry-excited!

So, my classmate Val, messages our professor who recommended a place.  Where was this place, you ask?  Here…

Recognize these view?

Yes.  There was fried cheese in the restaurant below our room.  At this point it was about 9:30 and I was feeling the lack of food setting in.  I hoped that my experience with slow service in Prague did not translate to Český Krumlov.  I was wrong.  Just after the sunset Val and I got our fried cheese!

Victory is ours!!

We ate, laughed, shared stories about our lives, and awkwardly interacted with our server.

After dinner, around 10:30, I was fading fast and needed to sleep.  I didn’t quite feel like my usual self, but I thought all I needed was a good night’s sleep.  I happily made it through the first part of the day, seeing art and old telescopes at an old monastery. (I am an astrophysics major.)

Telescope used to look at the sun!

Fun, right?  For a while on this early 7AM day I enjoyed the art, the history, and the physics relics.  After another hike back down to Český Krumlov and up to another castle (twice) I hit an emotional wall.  I needed a break.  I needed to be alone.  I needed to do nothing.  So, I broke from the group, quietly sobbed, and found a calm little cafe.  Through my tears I timidly ordered an espresso and a tiramisu from a barista with an extremely uncomfortable look on her face.

The remains of my sorrowful but delicious snack.

We eventually got on a bus to return to Prague.  I cried half of the way there, missing home, and messaging my friends and my boyfriend.  After words of love and support from the people I love the most I felt a bit better.  New mission: Rest when I need rest!  Now, 4 days later, I feel back to normal.  Plans for this weekend?  I will take it easy and stay in Prague.

Also, when you’re home sick, find a Starbucks.

Homesickness cure.

Lauren Higgins is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, studying Physics with emphasis in Astronomy.  Lauren is spending the summer abroad at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.