A Travellerspoint blog

Bad Dürkheim, Germany

Few friends and I hopped on the train for the wine walk at a town known for their wineries called Bad Dürkheim, or "Bad D." This wine walk is a fabulous idea that should occur in the states. 13 different wineries set up a booth along a route in the vineyards (and yes, it is a long walk). It was at night and so there was a laser light show in the sky (?) Lots of green, laser lights everywhere....weird. Anyway, it meant the trail was not lit, so we could see the sky...but uh, walking in the pitch black was extremely difficult. Germans. Who knows. When I got on the train home it felt a lot like getting on the LIRR after a NYC night out wishing you were home already, getting annoyed at loud people, and trying not to fall asleep so you don't miss your stop. Now that would've been bad...(I made it home).

Bad Dürkheim Wine Barrel

Bad Dürkheim Wine Barrel

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Posted by meghann922 02:52 Comments (0)

Strasbourg, France

Super behind on posting! Here are some pics from a day trip I took with a buddy over to France. Just a hop away....

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Crepes in Strasbourg

Crepes in Strasbourg

Strasbourg

Strasbourg

Bumped into a few of these century old paintings on the wall....Whoops.

Bumped into a few of these century old paintings on the wall....Whoops.

My friend Octav and I on the river that runs through Strasbourg

My friend Octav and I on the river that runs through Strasbourg

Strasbourg

Strasbourg

Everyone was so quiet in this bar. Made me realize how LOUD Americans really are.

Everyone was so quiet in this bar. Made me realize how LOUD Americans really are.

Rooftops of Strasbourg

Rooftops of Strasbourg

Cathedrawl

Cathedrawl

Cathedral

Cathedral

Cathedral

Cathedral

3D2D51792219AC68178EF59A82C8772DStrasbourg

Strasbourg

Posted by meghann922 12:21 Archived in France Comments (0)

Marrakech, Morrocco

I've been dying to go to Morrocco ever since living in Sevilla. Morrocco is one of the northern most countries in Africa (and therefore close to southern Spain). It's an Islamic nation with many, many things to do. We went to the city of Marrakech, only a small fraction of this country. It was a bustling city where "move it or lose it" was how people navigated around. A lot of people spoke English, especially the shop owners in the markets (or souks). The bargaining was Innsanneee. Unlike anything I've experienced. They quote a price, then you stand there until you get at least 75% off. Crazy. Even so, I found the people to be kind and funny! Yes, funny. We spent time in and around the city and souks and also took a ride out to the coast to go camel riding and another day we went four-wheeling. During that we got to navigate through the old Berber villages, an indigenous group of people living in small tribes. It was pretty incredible.

So here are lots of pictures....you may notice my cousin Joe's face in many of them. It's actually Flat Joe. He had a school project (the Flat Stanley one) where he had to send himself to somewhere far off. Next time real Joe is going to come with me! I had a great time and so did the Morroccan's watching me take Flat Joe with me everywhere. haha. It was great.

Recommend Marrakech if you're up for an adventure :)

P2160289.jpgP2160293.jpg734935_101..127105595_n.jpegA traditional form of transportation

A traditional form of transportation

Carpets - a big item in Marrakech

Carpets - a big item in Marrakech

Joe and Meg

Joe and Meg

Inside

Inside

The markets

The markets

Inside the home

Inside the home

Joe and the ceiling

Joe and the ceiling

P2160340.jpgWalls of the home

Walls of the home

Inside some royalty's closet

Inside some royalty's closet

P2160355.jpg captionStace and Me

Stace and Me

streets

streets

streets

streets

streets

streets

Joe trys the avocado drink - a traditional drink

Joe trys the avocado drink - a traditional drink

Walking

Walking

Walking

Walking

Walking

Walking

Meg wears a head scarf

Meg wears a head scarf

Joe wears his head scarf

Joe wears his head scarf

Tangine...a form of cooking and the bowl it's in. So good!

Tangine...a form of cooking and the bowl it's in. So good!

Donkey time

Donkey time

driving

driving

Argan oil

Argan oil

How argan oil is made

How argan oil is made

Stop!

Stop!

group pic

group pic

Joe and Meg on the coast of Africa

Joe and Meg on the coast of Africa

beach

beach

beach

beach

marina

marina

marina

marina

Marina

Marina

The marina

The marina

Marina

Marina

marina

marina

Fishy

Fishy

checking out the new fish that came in

checking out the new fish that came in

checking out the new fish that came in

checking out the new fish that came in

How Morroccan woman go to the beach

How Morroccan woman go to the beach

Joe looks out

Joe looks out

Coast of Africa

Coast of Africa

Flat Joe in Africa

Flat Joe in Africa

camels

camels

camels

camels

Camels chillin'

Camels chillin'

Here we go!

Here we go!

Joe rode in my red bag...

Joe rode in my red bag...

Meg and Joe go Camel Riding!

Meg and Joe go Camel Riding!

Camel riding!

Camel riding!

Joe looking out at the camels

Joe looking out at the camels

Joe rides with me in his safety harness

Joe rides with me in his safety harness

What camel?

What camel?

camels

camels

AH!

AH!

the beach

the beach

Just riding some camels

Just riding some camels

Little kid on his horse

Little kid on his horse

Whoaaa

Whoaaa

beach

beach

Goats in trees

Goats in trees

Joe's in the tree!

Joe's in the tree!

Joe with goats

Joe with goats

Here Joe...go to the goats

Here Joe...go to the goats

Camel riding

Camel riding

Stacey and her lamb

Stacey and her lamb

Herbs, spices, teas

Herbs, spices, teas

The souks (markets)

The souks (markets)

Crepes - very popular, very delicious

Crepes - very popular, very delicious

Souks

Souks

The souks

The souks

The souks (markets) at night

The souks (markets) at night

The square

The square

food

food

P2170561.jpgTraditional attire

Traditional attire

After the shops have closed...

After the shops have closed...

Arabic

Arabic

P2180573.jpgP2180574.jpgP2180576.jpgMeg and Joe go shopping

Meg and Joe go shopping

So colorful!

So colorful!

Joe in the markets

Joe in the markets

in the souks

in the souks

Hanging with some Morroccan snakes

Hanging with some Morroccan snakes

Hanging with some snakes

Hanging with some snakes

Meg and Joe hold a Morroccan snake!

Meg and Joe hold a Morroccan snake!

Meg and Joe with a cobra

Meg and Joe with a cobra

That's a cobra Joes on. SO brave!

That's a cobra Joes on. SO brave!

snakes

snakes

Meg and Joe and snakes

Meg and Joe and snakes

The group goes four wheeling!

The group goes four wheeling!

Me and Stacey

Me and Stacey

The four wheeling group

The four wheeling group

A biker's eyes

A biker's eyes

Let me at it

Let me at it

Four wheeling

Four wheeling

four wheeling

four wheeling

four wheeling

four wheeling

The kids of the Berber village

The kids of the Berber village

The Berber village...the first people in Morrocco. So cool.

The Berber village...the first people in Morrocco. So cool.

Four wheeling

Four wheeling

Dirt...got...everywhere.

Dirt...got...everywhere.

Berber villages we went through while biking

Berber villages we went through while biking

McDonalds goes Muslim

McDonalds goes Muslim

Bye Morrocco....

Bye Morrocco....

Posted by meghann922 00:42 Archived in Morocco Comments (0)

Chamonix - Mont Blanc, France

Skiing for the weekend with new friends!

Some pics from a great weekend away in French Alps. The snow was amazing and the views spectacular. So glad I got to meet some awesome new friends too - we had a great time. Nothing will help you get to know people than driving six hours in a snowstorm will a car full of luggage, skiis, and snowboards. The hotel we stayed out too was super awesome. Quaint, very accommodating, and amazinggg food. We had a special dinner one night of this avocado/salmon dish and rack of lamb and it was superb!

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Posted by meghann922 11:01 Archived in France Comments (0)

Chamonix-Mont Blanc

French Alps...

The benefits of living in grey Germany...heading off to ski in the French Alps this weekend! Post pics next week :)

Posted by meghann922 22:23 Comments (0)

Wounded Warrior Project

LRMC (Landstuhl Regional Medical Center) has an inpatient, 8 week program for soldiers with PTSD. During this time, they focus only on their rehab. The time goes very quickly and often 8 weeks isn't enough to un-do a 12 or even 48 month deployment. Wounded Warriors Project heads excursions for soldiers dealing with all types of injuries, like PTSD. This weekend I'm lucky enough to be on a trip with them. It's an amazing opportunity to get off hospital grounds, out of uniform, and experience life outdoors with laughter. If interested in supporting an organization, consider WWP. More here: http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/. Also, Under Armour sponsors their gear, so if you have a choice when shopping, go Under Amour.

One of my friends back in Austin who's a veteran told me that pain experienced can't be undone, but to share the pain across society can help ease the burden. I urge us all to become more active in exploring our personal and political beliefs about war and making sure support services are being implemented. It's never a Congressman's son who enlists in infantry, but it is the Congressmen voting to go to war and voting on support services. Obama is helping to rebuild LRMC and increase services here and in the states. Here's a short and interesting op-ed providing an overview of current needs written by a veteran: http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/a-veterans-plea-to-president-obama/

Last....Germany has heated floors. And they are A-Mazing.

Posted by meghann922 11:15 Comments (0)

Sicily!

Palermo, Taormina & Marsala...

Last weekend I took my first trip out of Germany to some much needed sun and (a bit) warmer weather. A bunch of us rented cars and drove the island. Sicily wasn't as nice as I expected, but hey, it was still Italy. I would probably recommend visiting in the summer too instead to take advantage of the water.

Mt Etna

Mt Etna

Hiking Mt. Etna

Hiking Mt. Etna

Teatro antico di Taormina. Being in this theatre was so powerful

Teatro antico di Taormina. Being in this theatre was so powerful

Group shot at the theatre

Group shot at the theatre

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Ordering octopus. Obviously.

Ordering octopus. Obviously.

Windmills in Marsala

Windmills in Marsala

Girls shot at the hotel

Girls shot at the hotel

Riding in the jeep up to Mt. Etna

Riding in the jeep up to Mt. Etna

Greek Theatre

Greek Theatre

More ruins

More ruins

Climbing down caves

Climbing down caves

Mount Etna-At the mouth of the volcano

Mount Etna-At the mouth of the volcano

Walking the rim of the volcano

Walking the rim of the volcano

Mount Etna

Mount Etna

Mount Etna

Mount Etna

Top of Mount Etna.  It was SO windy! That pole is so we didn't fly off the mountain! This picture does no justice for the view.

Top of Mount Etna. It was SO windy! That pole is so we didn't fly off the mountain! This picture does no justice for the view.

Walking on volcano ash of Mount Etna.  Last eruption was Nov 2012.  Yes, 2012.

Walking on volcano ash of Mount Etna. Last eruption was Nov 2012. Yes, 2012.

Hiking towards volcano

Hiking towards volcano

Volcanic ash all around us!

Volcanic ash all around us!

Mount Etna. Don't worrryyy there's no one inside.

Mount Etna. Don't worrryyy there's no one inside.

Stacey and I getting blown away- Mount Etna

Stacey and I getting blown away- Mount Etna

Mount Etna

Mount Etna

Mout Etna cloud. This cloud was unbelievable

Mout Etna cloud. This cloud was unbelievable

Me and Stacey

Me and Stacey

Sicily

Sicily

Taromina

Taromina

On the road...

On the road...

Palermo street shop

Palermo street shop

When you can't fit in the spot...make it work.

When you can't fit in the spot...make it work.

Sicily

Sicily

On the road...

On the road...

The tile museum...yes, this exists.

The tile museum...yes, this exists.

Stacey and me in Taormina.  You can't see that we're sitting in park overlook the sea.

Stacey and me in Taormina. You can't see that we're sitting in park overlook the sea.

Group shot in Taormina

Group shot in Taormina

Group shot in Taormina

Group shot in Taormina


Tight squeeze

Tight squeeze

group din

group din

scaling some volcanic ash

scaling some volcanic ash

group hike

group hike

toast to italy!

toast to italy!

ending with limoncello

ending with limoncello

mt etna

mt etna

Posted by meghann922 11:23 Archived in Italy Tagged sicily Comments (0)

Winter has arrived!

Snowed here and instead of getting dirty and slushy it's pretty instead. Some pics....

Steinwenden 'hood

Steinwenden 'hood

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No one parks in the same direction!

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Posted by meghann922 07:58 Comments (0)

The Daily Grind

yes, it's worth it.

P1090164.jpgFor obvious reasons I won't be writing about my internship. (Yes, Michael and Jimmy, it's all classified. Under no conditions can I tell you anything).

What I will say though is how incredible it is that 1) this totally American hospital exists in the middle of Germany and 2) how incredible the people that work there are. People are passionate, kind, and dedicated to helping soldiers rally back from the effects of war. Situations range of course, and whether or not it's combat related, every person is treated with compassion. It's all really amazing and I feel fortunate to be a part of this effort overseas, no matter how short my time here may be. Many Americans have been living here for years. And yes, living in Germany with the ability to travel is great, yet from what I can tell, it's the daily grind that keeps people wanting to stay here.

On another note, I'm going to prematurely conclude that no, not everyone speaks English. Outside of the base gates, I'm finding its difficult to communicate much other than "pretzel roll, bitte."

Posted by meghann922 11:32 Comments (0)

4th day in Germany

Kaiserslautern...or Ktown, the American shortcut

Everyone who works at the hospital or base lives in these mini towns surrounding the area. When I say town, I mean neighborhood. And a small one at that. Turns out, I'm a city person. This middle of nowhere stuff is tough and without a car is even more tough. But there is a train system and so I made my way to Kaiserslautern by train today for Visa stuff. Kaiserslautern is the nearest "city" with some shopping and restaurants. From now on I'll refer to Kaiserslautern as Ktown because I'm American. Enough said. The train system here resembles the LIRR, though the seats are smaller and people aren't talking obnoxiously loud on cell phones. And it's a bit more expensive. I think I did pretty good figuring it out. I didn't get lost...much. Anyway, for the most part I'll be attached to Stacey's hip to get to and from the hospital, but some days I'll do the train. Besides the long walk up the hill to the hospital it's not bad at all.

Today a lot of people assumed I'm German, which is cool, since according to my 5th grade heritage project i'm 20% German. But then they spoke to me. The German language is going to be a major issue. I keep answering in Spanish, which confuses people even more. I think because I'm in a foreign country my brain automatically goes to Spanish. Soy de espana.

I may have trouble with the language, but I have no trouble with the bread. So good. It's really one of the top 3 items Germany has going for it. The pretzels (like the street cart NYC kind) are Ammmazingggg. Pretzels, pretzels rolls, pretzel loafs, ugh so good. (Note to Dad....this is going to be a problem for you).

Jet lag is still killing me. Stacey and I made dinner and relaxed last night then went to bed by 11. I tried to get up at 6:30 am for the opening of the visa place. Didn't happen. Next thing I knew it was 10 am. Shoot! Panic sets in....

Oh and I booked my first trip! (That's due to Stacey being awesome and me saying yes to every and any invite). We're going to Siciliy in 2 weeks. A bunch of us are renting cars and driving around the island. I know....I KNOW!

Work starts tomorrow....

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Posted by meghann922 12:03 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

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