A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about oktoberfest

Appreciation

Six months of my wild and crazy life wrapped up into one, simple, word.

sunny 45 °F

Background

283126_230..97860_n.jpg
Silverthorne, Colorado

The last six months of my life have been a wild roller coaster ride to say the least. I finished my junior year at University of Denver at the end of May, and packed up my things to move to Vail, Colorado for a 3 month internship. I was pretty excited with all the mountain stuff I do to live in such an awesome place, not to mention one of the most desirable places in the world for many people to live. While in Vail I met lots of awesome people, worked for an awesome company, lived out some of my dreams, hiked tons of 14ers, helped save a man's life, enjoyed more than my 15 minutes of fame, expanded my horizons, grew a lot as a person, and so on. After 3 months in Vail, I packed up my things to get on a plane and fly across the great pond to Paris where I took a train to Dijon to "study" for 3 months. I arrived safely in Dijon in early September with no lost luggage (imagine that!) ready to begin my studies here. I was a lost little island at first, not knowing anyone over here, not knowing where anything was, knowing enough French to do simple things but by no means enough, and the first few days were pretty rough for me and a bit challenging. I thought I was ready and totally prepared, packed smart, and was ready for this thing, but it ended up being so much more.

Before long I made lots of new and awesome friends from all over the world and began my classes. But before even going to a class, I started traveling. I have since then traveled all over Europe, visited Africa, and walked amongst and breathed in so many different, new, unique, and often times strange cultural experiences. I've traveled nearly everywhere by train, something that isn't common in the United States. My family spent one week in Paris and Dijon visiting me, and am now back in the US trying to resume life as normal, if there is such a thing anymore. All of these experiences have helped me grow and realize that I am not anywhere close to the person I was six months ago, I wouldn't be the person I am today if it weren't for these experiences, and I wouldn't change a thing. However, these experiences have also taught me to take a look back and examine life for what it is. That said, I think that I can sum all of my life's experiences over the last six months, no matter how crazy, drastic, bizarre, or otherwise into the simple word of Appreciation. A lot of this may sound really cliché, and I'm sorry if that's the case, but these six months have taught me to appreciate everything you have in life, including the things you wouldn't really expect. I'm writing this all down in the hopes that people might be able to learn to appreciate things in life as much as I have over these last 6 months.

IMG_1554.jpg
Dijon, France

Appreciate New Opportunities

Not everyone in life is as lucky as you. Moving to Vail was a gift, and one that I was incredibly fortunate to have. My dad has talked for years about "retiring in the mountains someday". Sometimes, it sounds like it might happen for him someday, and other times it just sounds like this dream, one that he shares with many other people. I was lucky enough to live and work in Vail for 3 months, and it helped me grow tremendously as a person. I was able to live in the heart of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I felt like I was taking advantage of it at the time, and I think I did, but I still don't think I appreciated it enough today.

IMG_1491.jpg
Sunset over Mt. Shavano from Salida, Colorado

Study Abroad. I was terrified when I was preparing for study abroad and I often questioned whether or not I'd make it. I convinced myself I'd be fine, and then got to Dijon and the first few days were really, really, tough. I was the only kid from Denver in Dijon and the only person I knew in the whole town. But I read a quote somewhere recently that we always fear what we don't know and what we don't understand, but those are always the experiences that we grow the most from. And as I sit here today, I am a walking, living, breathing testament to that. New opportunities in your life are something to be grateful for, even if they scare the crap out of you at first. Embrace them and make the most of them, and you'll be that much better of a person for it later.

Appreciate Life

261884_221..16718_n.jpg
Sunrise on Mt. Antero from Mt. Princeton

I learned very quickly when moving to Vail how quickly life can change. When I was out hiking Mt. Antero one day, I ended up helping rescue a man who crashed his ATV and saving his life by taking care of the proper first aid steps and precautions after we pulled him from the river. It was a pretty scary experience and one I'll never forget. It changed me forever, that's for sure. Every time I think about things in the future now, banking on the idea that something will happen, or asking myself why I'm recertifying myself for CPR when I don't necessarily need it since I have most of those steps memorized now, I'm always reminded: Life can change in an instant and you could be dead tomorrow. I don't mean to be heavy with that, but it's true. I look at life differently these days because of what happened that day. So appreciate life and every moment of every day and make sure if you died tomorrow that you'd be happy with what you did today. (Don't kill yourself today in case you might die tomorrow though, that would be bad.)

Appreciate What's Given to You

310870_237..74367_n.jpg
Salida, Colorado

After all of this life saving heroism drama story stuff happened, I got more than my 15 minutes of fame. I'm not the kind of person who likes to be in the spotlight, so it was a little shocking and weird for me, but cool in some ways too I guess. Regardless, appreciate the things in life that are given to you. I only told three close friends and my family about what happened the day it happened, completely content with moving on with the rest of my life as though it never happened. But instead of staying out of the spotlight my story was covered by newspapers, blogs, and magazines over and over again. I was in the Vail Daily newspaper two or three times for it, the Salida newspaper twice, a couple online blogs I didn't even know about, the DU blog, and now in the DU magazine which gets sent to over 100,000 people this month. It all still blows my mind, and definitely isn't something I asked for or expected as a result of what happened while I was out hiking. So, appreciate what's given to you. Not everyone in this world is as lucky.

Appreciate the Little Things

291714_232..74976_n.jpg
Lionshead during a hike in Vail, Colorado

Some of you reading this probably live in Colorado, where we receive over THREE HUNDRED days of sunshine every year. Not the case in Dijon, or most places in Europe for that matter. I didn't realize how much I would miss that when I came to Europe. The same is true for mountains. We are too lucky to have mountains like we do in Colorado, and you can see them whether you're in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, driving i70, or anywhere in between. I missed those in Dijon. If you're near a window or an open area, go look at the mountains or the blue sky we have. Not everyone gets to enjoy it like we do. And needless to say, I'll probably never want to live anywhere other than Colorado now. - Maybe I'm lucky, but I miss things like having cell service on my iPhone all the time, having access to a car regularly, fast internet, or having a reasonable bed at night to sleep in. All of these things changed when I went to Europe, and you don't realize how much you enjoy these things until you no longer have them at your disposal. So, appreciate the little things, because they make all the difference sometimes.

Appreciate the United States of America

305172_237..37588_n.jpg
Double rainbows over Beaver Creek, Colorado

Yeah, I said it. And whether you love or hate the way our country is run these days, once you live outside the country for an extended period of time, you'll learn to appreciate how lucky we all are to have what we do in our country. I considered myself somewhat patriotic before I left, but having lived in Europe for 3.5 months, I'm incredibly proud to represent the country that I do. Our political system, though it may seem screwed up at times, isn't anywhere near as bad as some stuff is in Europe, Africa, or other areas of the world. Talking to international students has taught me that. Appreciate the fact that you live in a culture and language that you know and *fully* understand. I can speak French, sure, and I know enough to get around, ask questions, convey my ideas, etc, but I am no where near fluent. The social norms and customs in Europe are incredibly different sometimes, both in France and in other countries, and be thankful that every day you understand things around you. It's not always that easy. By living in a culture that you understand you often times have the ability to "predict" in some ways the next move a person is going to make based on the situation, and I didn't have that in Europe. So, appreciate the fact that you do understand everything, and when you want to ask for something in a restaurant or while traveling, you're able to understand everything. I didn't realize how much I would miss that when I left the US in September.

Appreciate Your Friends

IMG_1593.jpg
Hôtel Dieu, Beaunne, France

When you live on the other side of the world from all of your friends, life can be a bit challenging. You will always have friends you can turn to, but you won't always have friends you can go to. Make the most of those moments while you're at home or when you have the chance to spend time with your friends. Appreciate the ones who make an effort to keep in touch while you're gone, too, they're the ones who matter the most. Not all friends are that awesome. Appreciate the new friends you make too. All of my friends I've made over here in Europe have been awesome, and I'm lucky to have them. We've shared some pretty wild and incredible travel adventures together and some wild nights together in Dijon too. Appreciate the times you have with them while you've got them there. I know I'm going to miss all my friends I made during study abroad when we all fly back home to our different parts of the globe.

Appreciate Your Family

IMG_2814.jpg
With my brother at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

This kind of goes without saying, but I guess I always took it for granted that my family was a phone call away. It was always easy to call, text, get on the lightrail, drive, whatever, and see my family. When you're on the other side of the world, it's not quite so simple anymore, and the best you've got is Skype when you can find a way to line up the time differences. So make the most of the time that you have to spend with your family, whether they live close by or a 2 hour flight away. Having them visit me in France was awesome, and gave me a great appreciation for how important family is, something I undervalued while living at home and in Vail.

Appreciate Loved Ones

large_IMG_2392.jpg
A candle burns for my grandfather in this small Church at the top of Zermatt, Switzerland

This one kind of took me by surprise and wasn't something I expected, but I've had a number of travel experiences across all parts of Europe, high and low, that have reminded me of my grandfather who passed a couple years ago. I referenced a man in Italy who I met who reminded me of my grandfather, and I felt something special and surreal come over me when I was in Zermatt in the Swiss Alps that reminded me of him. If I could put my finger on what that was, I would. There are a few churches in Europe (Italy, Zermatt, France) where I lit candles and said a few prayers, if you can call it that. I'm still skeptical at times of religion and it's place in my life, but something out there was calling, so I lit the candles and said thanks in a moment of thought. The moments that reminded me of my grandfather were something very special. I'm lucky that he's the only close family member I've lost, but don't take that time for granted. I certainly won't from this day forward. It makes me wonder sometimes what I would say to him about the last six months of my life, what he would think, and what kind of hilarious jokes I'm sure he would make about all kinds of things I would tell him about. I wish I could have that back sometimes, so appreciate it in your life while you've got it because those people won't always be there.

Appreciate New Experiences

IMG_2031.jpg
Sunset on Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

Traveling Europe isn't like traveling like the United States. The cultures are richer, older, deeper, and so much more diverse than the US it's incredible. And then you go to Africa and it's something completely different too in its own right. Traveling Europe has become one of the greatest things I've ever done with my life. I realize that's a bold statement to make, but it's true. I'm thousands of dollars poorer because of it, but my life is infinitely richer thanks to the new experiences I've had from it. While these experiences will no doubt throw you into situations that you aren't prepared for, appreciate them for what they are. When traveling Europe and so many different cultures, you learn to kind of just go with the flow and act like a sponge absorbing everything you can and accepting the experience for what it is. You will inevitably miss a train here or there, screw up a hostel reservation by being late, and be forced to eat new foods or take the subway systems in a city with the rest of the people who call that city their home. While these experiences are foreign and sometimes bizarre, they also teach you the most by exposing you to new cultures and walks of life that you may never have known existed. New experiences will shock you, terrify you, and sometimes break you down, but you'll be a broader and richer person afterwards as a result, so embrace them.

Summary

IMG_1756.jpg
Sunset over the Vatican from Rome, Italy

So there you have it. If I could pick one lesson that I've learned from the last six months of my life, it's to appreciate everything you've got around you. Living in Vail for three months expanded my horizons and changed me more as a person than I could have ever imagined. And then I jumped inside a metal tube with a couple bags of belongings for Europe, and my world and horizons exploded even more. These six months have taught me to appreciate a lot, and I guess on the flip side who and what in my life really matters to me and what I can live without. It's all been invaluable information to have learned at such a young age, and I hope to carry it forward with me every day for the rest of my life. Appreciate every minute of every day and everything about each of those moments. In closing, I want to use one of my favorite quotes of all time. I spend a lot of downtime reading a big fat 800 page book of mine (no, it's not that really long Harry Potter book) called The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. In one of his works he writes,

"To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has it's own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour a picture which was never seen before and which shall never be seen again." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, appreciate every moment of every day of your life. You may never have back what you have in that moment, whether its a loved one, family, friends, the little things, or your own life, and learn as much as you can from what's around you and what you have. I hope everyone who reads this gets something from it, even if it's just one tiny little thing. Feedback is welcomed too! Enlightening? Boring? Funny? Too cliché? Let me know, and hopefully I'll see you all around now that I'm back in the United States of America!

Ciao, au revoir, and God Bless!

--Scooter
--@scott_treks

6298090_253..57110_n.jpg

Posted by la vita bella 13:29 Tagged landscapes sunsets_and_sunrises mountains beaches bridges churches art skylines people parties snow boats trains castles beer cathedrals desert venice vienna tower paris hiking france culture history travel hotel bus colorado train trekking village river austria germany italy pisa backpack city aspen ski museum friends philippines florence garden cathedral life live country family africa love castle hostel creek rome photos language french hike roman wine torino smile morocco europe happiness painting camels gondola mtn vatican pantheon switzerland denver international pope housing schonbrunn tiergarten college dijon god united republic eye lionshead swiss colosseum student milano abroad alps munich forum business american vista bern panoramic boulder atv experiences sherman residence osprey trevi oktoberfest catholic ville cultures notre dame architechture potter marrakesh renaissance relationship eu buena lose caesar learn law gelato lyon scout solo study iphone agadir laugh learning strasbourg appreciation Comments (0)

Europe and Africa through the Eyes of my iPhone

A collection of my favorite mobile shots from my semester abroad

sunny 30 °F

I've spent the last three and a half months of my life studying abroad through University of Denver's Cherrington Global Scholars program, and a large part of that time has been spent out and about traveling Europe, exploring everything I can get my hands on, and soaking up as many new cultural experiences as I can. Armed with just my iPhone 4 camera, I've been photographing my travels and have somehow managed to compile over 1000 images alone, not including the awesome 360s I've been able to take. Below is my collection of over 100 of my favorite Camera+ iPhone 4 pictures (I don't use Instagram) from study abroad all over Europe, followed by my favorite 360 Panoramas, panoramic pictures, and a few other shots from my ending trip to Agadir, Morocco last weekend. Enjoy!

Pictures

6449293059_10ec453a1b.jpg
Dijon, France

6449288435_77c30fd4cf.jpg
Paris, France

6449287101_dc72025a5c.jpg
Paris, France

6449285707_b31f978a8c.jpg
Paris, France

6449283803_8d3eee0a46.jpg
Paris, France

6449281971_bc49d87eaf.jpg
Paris, France

6449278741_b68231265d.jpg
Paris, France

6449275627_17ce5a4d07.jpg
Paris, France

6449272469_b0228a4b83.jpg
Paris, France

6449270087_8a8ee43294.jpg
Paris, France

6449266321_8314d6c414.jpg
Paris, France

6449262825_0c4871a1bf.jpg
Paris, France

6449259519_294a0f5953.jpg
Paris, France

6449256575_989fdd6ec8.jpg
Paris, France

6452355803_185c650906.jpg
Dijon, France

6452356001_db629c518a.jpg
Dijon, France

6452356499_cb7b205108.jpg
Dijon, France

6449255343_79e44ca417.jpg
Dijon, France

6449253205_647d731512.jpg
Dijon, France

6449251353_3f156484ff.jpg
Vienna, Austria

6449216543_3726355bb4.jpg
Vienna, Austria

6449242941_a2e52d224b.jpg
Vienna, Austria

6449248289_db4a39dc11.jpg
Vienna, Austria

6449221075_c1b0a71491.jpg
Vienna, Austria

6449234113_13da28d159.jpg
Vienna, Austria

6449227713_b8fdfb60c8.jpg
Vienna, Austria

6449209303_6e8c914909.jpg
Vienna, Austria

6449200901_abe1a14412.jpg
Vienna, Austria

6449192015_46bb1e8b67.jpg
Vienna, Austria

6449184233_56068ee3f3.jpg
Rome, Italy

6449180279_ccc220f475.jpg
Rome, Italy

6449178007_44bbd649de.jpg
Pisa, Italy

6449175613_11d39f529f.jpg
Florence, Italy

6449172031_11958c9a69.jpg
Florence, Italy

6449170701_b585a647d7.jpg
Florence, Italy

6449166599_835985e3d3.jpg
Florence, Italy

6449163229_1db8b850f1.jpg
Somewhere on a Train, Italy

6449162069_86d8aafe47.jpg
Venice, Italy

IMG_2432.jpg
Venice, Italy

6449159071_22941e35c7.jpg
Venice, Italy

6449156353_bb1d8e1e42.jpg
Venice, Italy

IMG_2465.jpg
Venice, Italy

6449152085_c3b448af36.jpg
Venice, Italy

6449150671_438b8d88a5.jpg
Venice, Italy

6449147855_86f684ef99.jpg
Milan, Italy

6449145377_73344d43fb.jpg
Florence, Italy

6449142081_862f3d4ae4.jpg
Somewhere on a Train, Switzerland

6449138503_c6774343b4.jpg
Zermatt, Switzerland

6449134361_1f7204ab4a.jpg
Zermatt, Switzerland

6449130613_119677f158.jpg
Zermatt, Switzerland

6449125771_3047c1ac88.jpg
Zermatt, Switzerland

6449120581_f426fc7859.jpg
Zermatt, Switzerland

6449116913_0574650771.jpg
Yours truly in Zermatt, Switzerland

6449104981_58a98c9e8b.jpg
Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

6449101115_8f262878fc.jpg
Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

6449111261_90e5d4ceb4.jpg
Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

6449107709_c431815048.jpg
Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

6449112989_1d31fbd2b4.jpg
Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

6449098967_b8c6885e5f.jpg
Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

6449093483_04240cf56a.jpg
Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

6449096559_137d275009.jpg
Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

6449092293_778dee6338.jpg
Luzern, Switzerland

6449081603_d95e304ed2.jpg
London, England

6449067349_167ea3afa5.jpg
London, England

6449088641_ceb2f7a2c6.jpg
Yours truly in London, England

6449083977_961431428b.jpg
London, England

6449064799_771605e9ae.jpg
London, England

6449075413_cb1b5d0eb8.jpg
London, England

6449071327_39e2b1069d.jpg
London, England

6449079765_493c144008.jpg
London, England

6449061965_6e9d3e4c7c.jpg
Paris, France

6449057591_ed594a8f15.jpg
Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

6449054217_33ec81ccb9.jpg
Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

6449051243_119d4abd2e.jpg
Dijon, France

6449048475_3d36b828c7.jpg
Strasbourg, France

6449004717_147785e074.jpg
Strasbourg, France

6449042789_00f08b17c5.jpg
Strasbourg, France

6449037873_4882147eba.jpg
Strasbourg, France

6448992095_c01da3f7e3.jpg
Strasbourg, France

6448986399_f86bdec5f7.jpg
Strasbourg, France

6448999051_454b6dd662.jpg
Strasbourg, France

6449007075_59a42d5b64.jpg
Kehl, Germany

6449010221_c0c5757dbd.jpg
Kehl, Germany

6449018689_57d637ee9a.jpg
Kehl, Germany

6449031875_fba6d81c55.jpg
Kehl, Germany

6449027531_0393916c7c.jpg
Kehl, Germany

6449023169_19acd2fac5.jpg
Kehl, Germany

6448980767_3b59f20565.jpg
Rome, Italy

6448971153_ffc53cba81.jpg
Rome, Italy

6448974729_84995051e0.jpg
Rome, Italy

6448972503_331db238c7.jpg
Rome, Italy

6448953447_1f343c0d4d.jpg
Rome, Italy

6448963893_6caabd69b0.jpg
Rome, Italy

6448960051_1f755f2361.jpg
Rome, Italy

6448929053_36b469c21a.jpg
Rome, Italy

6448947231_e7ff99a459.jpg
Rome, Italy

6448924475_3841c9a572.jpg
Rome, Italy

6448934985_5d7fd7da51.jpg
Rome, Italy

6448939043_b6f16c8b28.jpg
Rome, Italy

6448919529_62daa13e16.jpg
Rome, Italy

6448913667_366149a6f0.jpg
Milan, Italy

6448908687_a206df577c.jpg
Chambery, France

6448904461_827ffdd65f.jpg
Dijon, France

6448887817_63efba5f66.jpg
Dijon, France

6448881189_bac57d1346.jpg
Dijon, France

6448876251_3e8b56777e.jpg
Dijon, France

6448899077_d64795c35f.jpg
Dijon, France

6448892671_b6600829a4.jpg
Dijon, France

6448865725_206448c814.jpg
Dijon, France

6448871039_9c25de7f58.jpg
Dijon, France

6448817211_f61c5c9dde.jpg
Dijon, France

6448812427_a048cd68c1.jpg
Dijon, France

6448798879_4c75864b30.jpg
Dijon, France

6448806069_33e09da029.jpg
Dijon, France

6448788637_9c9b3c1cd9.jpg
Dijon, France

6448794127_e82217deb9.jpg
Dijon, France

6448785293_f6b8070867.jpg
Dijon, France

6448856093_68649e4682.jpg
Beaune, France

6448860415_b1b5c5fe21.jpg
Beaune, France

6448832169_ea5a544759.jpg
Beaune, France

6448839687_f14409db0c.jpg
Beaune, France

6448834569_d80ab95675.jpg
Beaune, France

6448824013_66641b47b3.jpg
Beaune, France

6448844233_5c3e721fc6.jpg
Beaune, France

6452367703_7fe552a501.jpg
Beaune, France

IMG_2884.jpg
Agadir, Morocco

IMG_2886.jpg
Agadir, Morocco

IMG_2891.jpg
Agadir, Morocco

IMG_2894.jpg
Agadir, Morocco

IMG_2904.jpg
Agadir, Morocco

IMG_2924.jpg
Agadir, Morocco

IMG_2902.jpg
Agadir, Morocco

IMG_2920.jpg
Agadir, Morocco

IMG_2927.jpg
Agadir, Morocco

360 Panoramas

Big ups to the awesome people at Occipital for creating the 360 Panorama app that's allowed me to take all of these 360 views of places I've traveled. Note: For an even better viewing experience, open these links on an iPhone, tap the gyroscope icon, stand up, and spin around.

Castles and Wine in Burgundy

Dijon Square

The Vatican

The Roman Circus Maximus

Oktoberfest in Munich

Atop the London Eye by Night

On top of Mt. Pilatus in Switzerland

Bluebird day in Zermatt, Switzerland

Venice, Italy

The Roman Colosseum by Night

The only thing there is to see in Pisa, Italy

Inside the Sistine Chapel in Rome

Inside the Roman Colosseum

Inside the Glass Louvre Pyramid

Wine for days in Burgundy. Who's thirsty?

Stand on a beach in Agadir, Morocco

Camel tour to a Moroccan Estuary and National Park

Panoramic Pictures

When I was bored in Paris one day, I decided to play around with the 360 app a little bit. I started taking half 360s within the app and then opened the raw files in the Photoshop Express app, allowing me to crop out the rounded edges on the images. I thought the results were pretty cool, so I started using the pair of apps to start taking larger panoramic pictures that wouldn't fit in a normal shot. My favorite shots with this technique are below.

large_295863_250..04956_n.jpg
The Discovery, Paris, France

large_8IMG_2146.jpg
Gare de Lyon Train Station, Paris, France

large_0IMG_2230.jpg
Top of Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

large_7IMG_2262.jpg
Glaciers near Zermatt, Switzerland

large_IMG_2302.jpg
Zermatt, Switzerland

large_IMG_2394.jpg
Zermatt, Switzerland

large_9IMG_2422.jpg
Venice by Day, Italy

large_IMG_2412.jpg
Venice by Night, Italy

large_IMG_2518.jpg
Florence, Italy

large_6IMG_2554.jpg
Dueling Cameras above the Vatican in Rome, Italy

large_IMG_2555.jpg
The inside of the Dome at the Vatican in Rome, Italy

large_IMG_2699.jpg
Roman Ruins in Rome, Italy

large_IMG_2700.jpg
The Roman Colosseum by Night, Rome, Italy

large_IMG_2226.jpg
Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland
^^This is actually a full 360 from the top of Mt. Pilatus in Switzerland, but I thought it looked too cool to pass up^^

large_IMG_2933.jpg
Agadir, Morocco

large_IMG_2934.jpg
Agadir, Morocco

9,308 Miles Later...

...You have a map that looks something like this. Trains, planes, metros, subways, undergrounds, and maybe one or two buses later. Life's a blast.

And there you have it. Over 100 of my favorite photos, some of my favorite 360 Panoramas, and some panoramic pictures from traveling Europe, Africa, and study abroad, all taken from my simple little iPhone 4 camera, and a nifty little chronological map at the end. Traveling Europe has been one of the greatest things I've ever done with my life and I highly encourage everyone out there to do it at least once in your life if you have the opportunity. Let me know what you guys think of the photos!

Cheers!

--Scooter
--Follow me on twitter at @scott_treks!

9IMG_2915.jpg

Posted by la vita bella 10:25 Tagged me landscapes waterfalls sunsets_and_sunrises mountains lakes beaches bridges churches art buildings skylines people parties animals sky snow night planes boats trains castles beer london cathedrals rivers desert venice vienna tower paris hiking france culture history travel hotel bus colorado train trekking river austria germany italy pisa backpack city ski museum friends philippines florence garden cathedral live country sculpture family africa castle circus hostel man rome photos language french hike eagle roman wine torino bike morocco europe happiness painting camels gondola mtn greek thames vatican graduation pantheon graffiti switzerland international pope schonbrunn tiergarten college dijon god german republic eye swiss grafitti latin colosseum student milano abroad alps michelangelo munich forum graffitti american ag bern chapel panoramic experiences trevi oktoberfest catholic ville cultures notre dame architechture marrakesh renaissance relationship tiber caesar jardin gelato lyon scout study iphone Comments (6)

OKTOBERFEST

and other shenanigans.

sunny 70 °F

IMG_2032.jpg

IMG_2031.jpg

I just realized that I haven't written a new post since Monday of last week, and my life moves much too fast here for me to remember everything between then and now, so I'll try to hit the highlights, but the bulk of this entry will probably be about Oktoberfest in Munich this weekend and the shenanigans that went down there...

Last week's highlight

My class schedule last week was pretty light, so there's not much to say I guess. The highlight was Wednesday's class on International Management, which is actually turning out to be a pretty interesting class. The class is pretty interesting, the professor is very low key and open to ideas but teaches a really interesting and engaging class at the same time. During class, she mentioned a program that ESC Dijon offers called the incubator program aimed at entrepreneurs who want to start businesses. It helps you design and build your business I guess and then helps you get it started and off the ground for a bit. Of course, I immediately began thinking of my business that I want to start and run in Chamonix someday, here in France. So, I emailed her afterwards and I think she and I are going to talk about it this week. It's aimed at their French students obviously so it's probably a bit odd that an exchange student has interest in it, but I'm looking forward to discussing it with her and seeing what it's all about. It's possible that it could be the connection I need someday to start that business in Chamonix. (Side note: I want to start a business in Chamonix that starts as a bed and breakfast, simple and easy to start/run/manage, and then when that gets going what I really want to do it to start a mountaineering business that runs guided tours up Mont Blanc in the summer and guided backcountry ski tours in the winter. I figure I can use my love of the mountains, degree in International Business, and knowledge of French, Italian, and English to manage most clients I come across. And even if all I do is live there, run it, and breakeven every day, I'll still be the happiest man alive.) So hopefully, that'll be a good place to start with this program here. I did some research on Chamonix that day, and it looks like it might take a couple years to get everything in place and lined up, both businesswise and I'll need to get more into mountaineering and avalanche certifications and stuff, but what better place to be that Colorado to go after all of those things? That's my new life goal, since after years of trying and almost making it, music just didn't quite work out. And after this, my friends and I left on Friday morning for Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

Oktoberfest

Friday morning we all convened at the train station for the first train of our travel day to Munich. We took 5 trains to get there in total, making many stops along the way. One of the stops we made only had 5 minutes between our train arriving and our next one departing, which was wild. We knew it would be close, and for those who have never traveled by train in Europe, the trains actually close their doors 2 minutes BEFORE departure to ensure proper departure time, cutting our window down to 3 minutes. We sprinted from our train to the next one across the station, probably looking like a bunch of idiots, but we made that train nonetheless. And now, no transfer in a US airport will ever feel rushed. We actually had a stopover in Basel too, which is apparently in Switzerland and not Germany or France, so everything was in Swiss Francs currency during our hour there. It was pretty cool to wander around, even if only for an hour, since the thought of being in a new country was cool. That night we arrived in Munich at about 6pm, and immediately went towards Oktoberfest to explore, even though we had no city map to guide us there. Just follow the people in lederhosen outfits, and you'll get there just fine. We wandered around there for a bit, had German sausages for dinner (of course), and then realized how hard it is to get into the tents and beer gardens, so we took some pictures and left for our hotel.

Staying at a hotel was awesome. Your standard hostel is an upgrade from my "residence" here in Dijon, so as far as I'm concerned, the Marriott we stayed at was a 6 star hotel. When we arrived the first thing we did was headed for the pool and sauna area. In total, we used the Sauna 3 times, the hot tub 2 times, and the pool 2 times during our brief stay there. It was super nice! We also enjoyed the TV, which is such a simple concept but since none of us have access to one here in Dijon, we're usually glued to it every time we travel places regardless of what's on or what language it's in. After a few relaxing soaks that night, we ventured out to a street in Munich where a lot of bars and clubs are and had a few drinks at a local bar. Best beer I've ever had! Then we went back to the hotel and passed out, ready to hit Oktoberfest in the morning.

We woke up the next morning at 8am, ready to head to Oktoberfest. You wouldn't believe the crowds and how hard it is to get into these tents! We arrived at a tent at about 9:30, and fought through a crowd to get into the garden, and then another crowd to get into the tent, which is huge and had absolutely zero seats available. So, we took a seat at a table outside, and ordered our beers. At 10am. I bought a pretzel nearby to help absorb that much alcohol, and later bought a second one before my second stein of beer. It is absolutely the best beer I've ever had. We met a lot of really cool people as well, since the group of guys from Holland next to us were very nice, and the Italians that joined us were also very enjoyable. We each went through about 2.5 steins of beer, before making our attempt to steal the steins they came in. In order to buy the steins, you have to make it back inside the tent, which wasn't letting anyone in because of capacity. I saw the sign that said "Taking beer steins is punishable by German law", and was a bit worried, but my friends said we were going for it anyways. So, we scoped out an exit with only one security guard, and used a plan of one person talk to the guard in English (he knew none, by the way) while the other two run off with the steins in my backpack. The plan was a great success, and we decided to head back to our hotel to put the steins with our bags checked there, and then head back to Oktoberfest. We had to avoid the main subway stop by Oktoberfest as well, which is loaded with security, I think more for preventing drunken fights than anything else.

After checking the steins at the hotel, we headed back to Oktoberfest for more beer, but had no luck getting back into a garden or a tent, since all of them were completely full by this point. However, we got right up to the front of a crowd (it's a bit like at a concert where the crowd goes up to the front of the stage and then security is there to prevent you from getting on stage). The security guy was using a metal bin full of empty steins to block people, so we used our 3 man team again to get some steins and put them in my friends backpack. While we didn't get in there for the beer, we still made off with some nice steins for souvenirs and saved a couple bucks on buying knockoffs elsewhere. After this we headed back to the hotel again to pick up our things and head for the train station to catch our night train to Paris. Oh the unforeseen adventures of traveling...

Our train departed Munich at 10:45pm, and was completely full. Doing like we do on every train, we all tried to sit together until someone made us move. Of course, the two guys from Kentucky had seats together and I ended up having to move into a cabin next door, with some not so awesome travelers. I will say, while Americans don't seem to understand the concept of adequate leg room on flights, at least they understand (usually) the concept of personal space and "I paid for this seat so you stay in yours and out of mine". I had a woman taking up half my seat sleeping, a woman across from me with her feet on my ARMREST, and there was a couple next to me who were speaking in a language I didn't quite understand who pointed at my backpack once or twice. When we were delayed in Munich for about an hour, I got up to walk around and ran into my companions in an open area reserved for travel bikes with no bikes in it, so I took my backpack, used it as a backrest/pillow, and moved in there to sleep. As we arrived in Paris one of the girls sleeping saw me in the open car and looked a little bit startled, but that's ok with me. I wasn't about to leave my bag in there or sleep without it attached to me, even locked up. But because we were delayed in Mannheim for about an hour, we ended up missing our train to Dijon by about 10 minutes in Paris, and consequently had to stay in Paris for a few extra hours before heading back home. We all took naps for the most part and watched some movies on our computers before the next train. We arrived in Dijon at about 6pm, much later than we wanted to, but safely and with all of our things, and headed back home. It was definitely a trip I'll never forget, as most of these seem to be, and I have some awesome souvenirs from it as a result.

This week I have a few more new classes, but I'm looking forward to my next travel adventure: London this weekend with my Filipino friends via the Chunnel from Paris. I'll be there for about 2 days traveling and sightseeing with them, and hopefully I'll be able to meet up with one of my DU friends who also attended the same Colorado high school as me. Small world sometimes! I'm also in the process of planning my next adventure the weekend after this, and it's looking like I'll be heading to Switzerland with friends. That'll be my birthday weekend, so I'm looking forward to spending my birthday in such an awesome place. Life ain't too bad over here right now, even if it is expensive at times. Until next time, enjoy the pictures and 360 panoramas I have posted below!

Pictures from Munich and Oktoberfest: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2488662977907.2141807.1292672395&l=9e003ffea7&type=1

360 from inside the beer garden: http://360.io/gwJq8K

Cheers!

310639_101..28441_n.jpg

Posted by la vita bella 12:34 Archived in France Tagged mountains art parties night trains beer london cathedrals paris france travel hotel train trekking germany backpack ski friends philippines cathedral circus photos europe mtn switzerland international dijon german swiss colosseum abroad alps munich business american bern panoramic residence osprey marriott oktoberfest study euros 360 scouting esc kehl camera+ mannheim francs Comments (0)

The Journey Continues

sunny 70 °F

IMG_1921.jpg

IMG_1955.jpg

A lot has changed since the last time I wrote last week, so I'll do my best to bring everything up to speed...

Friday was a pretty good day, with my second real class here in International business. The class was on International Management stuff, which is a pretty simple and easy subject, but also pretty interesting to hear taught in an international environment like this. The professor is German, and is very open minded about everything, and I like open thought/questioning type environments, so I think it'll be a good class. Like many of my other classes so far, the grading looks pretty simple and straightforward, and the class is actually scheduled through the end of the semester unlike my law class, so it should make for a good class and allow me to continue to plan out crazy travel adventures. Friday night I packed for Strasbourg for the weekend, which was awesome.

Saturday morning I got up a little bit early to skype with my girl, only to find out things are working out anymore and she won't be coming to visit for Thanksgiving like we originally planned. A little bummed, but I'd be lying if I said it came as a surprise since I've predicted this "relationship" almost start to finish now. And it's not all bad, because it should allow me to travel more freely without as much concern, experience French culture a little bit more, and it means that when my family visits over the same week or so, I'll be able to spend a lot more time with them. I'll be able to act as their translator with what French I do know and get to spend a lot of time with them, which is great. I'm not sure what she'll do with the round trip plane ticket she has to France, but she said she'd figure it out, so I guess that's that. I'm kind of bummed that I won't get to take a girl out for a romantic evening here in France, but it's probably for the best. So much for having a girlfriend while abroad, but I think there are a lot of opportunities for me to pursue that might be better off done single anyways over the next 12 months, so here's to those.

That said, I took my lightly packed Osprey backpack (which continues to be one of the best investments I've made in the last year or two) and headed off for the Dijon train station to meet up with two other American friends and 5 other Filipino friends for Strasbourg for the weekend. We arrived in Strasbourg around 2 in the afternoon, travels were problem free, checked into our hostel, and headed out to explore. We first went to the Notre Dame Cathedral, which is absolutely stunning. The kids from the Philippines said it was more impressive than the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which is the famous one, so I thought that was pretty cool. We paid a small fee to be able to climb to the top of it, where I took a bunch of pictures and a 360 shot. After that we made our way to the area of Strasbourg called Petite France, which is adorable and really looks like old timey France. The houses, cobblestone roads, bridges, rivers, and so on. We ate dinner at a restaurant here, which was pretty good. Then we made our way back to our hostel, hung out for a bit, watched some tv in English on the tv in our room (they had 2 English speaking channels!) and then went to bed.

The next day we got up, checked out of our hostel, and headed out for some more exploring. Sunday was cool because we went to the garden of two rivers which is on the Rhine River and is really pretty, and we had a beautiful day for it. We took the really artistic bridge and crossed the Rhine also and went into Germany, although briefly, for lunch. We explored a little town called Kehl in Germany for a bit, and then headed back to Strasbourg. We wandered around for a bit longer, checked out the Ponts Couverts, and then caught our train home. Strasbourg is a really cool city! It had lots of rivers running through it and around it, and the culture is very interesting because of how much German and French there is there. Although we were only there briefly, it was an awesome trip. Next weekend, some friends and I are headed to the real Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, which should be awesome. I'm super excited to see what it's like, enjoy some good beer, and hopefully not end up too tipsy. The weekend after that the American guys are heading to Paris to visit family in town, but the Filipino kids are all heading to London I think they said, so I may try to tag along with them for that trip. I have no preference in where I travel really, as long as it's somewhere new, different, and interesting. I'm trying to visit as many places over here as I can in a short amount of time, but it also exposes you to an incredible number of different cultures as well, which has been amazing and fascinating. A trip to somewhere in Switzerland is coming sometime soon also, just not positive when. The options are endless over here, it's incredible.

This morning has been another adventure, although a less fun and less exciting one as I continue to try to sort out all of the problems that I'm encountering at this residence here. They have told me now that if I don't pay the remaining balance of 500 Euros (which is their error and I don't think I should owe), they won't replace the two burned out lightbulbs in my flat, so I think I'm going to go replace those on my own later. It's been a rather disappointing experience with this place, and every hostel's shower and bed, hostels not hotels, mind you, have been nicer than what I'm paying for here. But I'm locked into this place for another 12 weeks, so it'll just be an ongoing issue to see what happens next. Other than that, life here has been and continues to be incredible, with each day and week bringing on another new challenge or adventure to explore and allow me to grow as a person. Below I put some links to pictures and a few new 360s from the Strasbourg trip, so be sure to check those out, and look for more to come from future adventures!

Photos of Strasbourg: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2461367895547.2140848.1292672395&l=549a8910f5&type=1

360 on top of Strasbourg Notre Dame: http://360.io/uJjQv9
360 in the Jardin des Deux Rives: http://360.io/6FzKYD

Posted by la vita bella 12:20 Archived in France Tagged beer rivers france travel train trekking germany backpack philippines garden cathedral family tv photos wine europe international housing dijon abroad business american panoramic residence osprey oktoberfest notre dame relationship law jardin petite study iphone strasbourg euros 360 skype girlfriend esc ponts couverts kehl camera+ Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 4 of 4) Page [1]