Saturday, June 23, 2007

I'm back!

Ugh...jet lag sucks.

Alright - here's the rundown on my trip to Europe. This is obviously a shortened version - there are some stories that can only be told in person because they are HILARIOUS.

- Saw the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh museum and the Heineken brewery.
- The Dutch men are BEAUTIFUL: tall, slim, great hair and high cheek bones. Sigh.
- Overnight train to Munich: met some other backpackers and sat up til 1 in the morning discussing American foreign politics and other such intellectual topics with them and two old German guys in the dining car.

- Went to Dachau Concentration Camp on an incredibly beautiful day. It was insane to think that such disgusting and despicable events were carried out on the same rocks that I walked across. I found out that it is mandated by Germany that all German high school students tour a concentration camp. It was a very surreal experience.
- Went on a bike tour of the city with Mike's Bike Tours. Jumped in a freezing cold river in the middle of Englischer Gardens and then hung out with some guys we met on the tour at a couple of beer gardens. Beer came in LITER glasses. Yum.

- Walked along the East Wall Gallery of the Berlin Wall and went to the Checkpoint Charlie museum.
- Went on another bike tour with Fat Tire Bike Tours and saw the entire city. Most of the city is relatively modern because of the destruction wreaked on the city at the end of World War II.
- Went on a pub crawl with the Fat Tire guys. They took us to an Irish pub and I walked in and the song that was playing? David Hasselhoff's Looking for Freedom, which, ironically enough, was the song that he sang on top of the remains of the Berlin Wall on New Year's Eve in 1989. Those Germans - they LOVE the Hoff. We also went to this AWESOME bar in the former Communist East Berlin. It was five stories of concrete slab with all the walls spray painted. It really made me feel like I was in an illegal and underground bar in East Berlin in the early 1980s. It was so cool.

- I traveled around London mostly by myself because Kristin was working, but I found that I really enjoyed being completely independent in a city that I had never been to.
- Toured Westminster Abbey, walked by the Parliament buildings and Buckingham Palace.
- Toured the Tower of London and St. Paul's Cathedral.
- On Tuesday night, when Kristin had a BP gala that I couldn't go to so I went and saw Les Miserables in the Soho Theater district. It was AMAZING. Definitely the highlight of London for me. I saw it when I was very young and I loved it...I had chills and tears in my eyes the entire time.

There is so much more to tell, but I'm too tired to write it all right now.

The main thing that I came away with from this trip is that I am okay on my own. When Kristin was at her conference, I toured the city and I would get hungry. And I had to sit at a cafe and eat all by myself. Strangely enough, I actually found it very relaxing and comforting. At the end of the trip, I told Kristin this: "I don't know what's waiting for me at home. I don't know what will happen in my love life, but I do know that no matter what, I'll be okay. I'm alright all on my own."

It was a pretty amazing trip. But I am VERY happy to be home. I cried when the plane touched down at DFW. But then again, I cried when the plane took off to London when I left. I cried a lot during the trip. But in a good way.

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