Posted by: jansen86 | April 5, 2010

Semesterferien 2010

So let me start of again by apologizing for not updating my blog sooner. So much has happened since my last post and I just haven’t found the time to sit down and update all of you. Our semester break started in mid February and before the break started I was scrambling around trying to get all of my papers done for classes and study for my final exams. Writing a Hausarbeit takes so much time and towards the last few weeks of the semester I felt like I never left my room. The Hausarbeits weren’t actually due until the end of March, but most of the students studying abroad, such as my self, wanted to spend this time doing a great deal of traveling. So that’s why I had to spend so much time on my Hausarbeits, so that I could get them done and out of the way before my travels. Luckily,  I managed to get all of them done before my travels, which I was actually quite proud of.

Now enough talking about my studies, let’s talk about my travels. Well a few months prior to our semester break a few friends and I in Freiburg decided that we wanted to visit Egypt and we found some pretty cheap flights to Cairo. So the first place we went on our semester break adventure was Egypt. We spent a total of 7 days there and were able to actually visit quite a few cities in this time such as Cairo, Hurghada and Luxor. We first started our journey in Cairo, which was an experience in it’s self. Our first full day in Cairo we visited the Pyramids in Giza. It was such an amazing experience just being able to stand there and look up at the pyramids and see just how big they really are. We even got to do camel rides around the Pyramids, which was amazing.  The next city we visited was Hurghada, which is located on the Red Sea. We had to take a 6 hour bus from Cairo to Hurghada, but it was so cheap and worth it. The bus ride alone was only 6 Euros each and was actually very comfortable and nice. When we first got to Hurghada we went to our hotel, which we booked a month in advance and it turned out to be amazing. It was a brand new hotel that was actually still being built so they were only able to offer a certain amount of rooms that were finished and available, which is why they were so cheap. But it was a beautiful hotel and we really became good friends with the hotel staff who showed us around the city and made sure we caught our bus back to Cairo. The next day we decided to spend the day on a Red Sea snorkeling tour at Giftun Island. This turned out to be one of the best parts of the trip. The water was blue as could be and the weather was perfect. We did snorkeling and spent the day hanging out on the beach at Giftun island. The next city we went to was Luxor, which turned out to be a nightmare. But this wasn’t because of the city, but rather the tour group that we booked to take us there. To make a long story short we were pretty much ripped off and we got separated from our group and stuck in the desert for several hours. But in the end we eventually made it to Luxor and were able to visit Karnak temple and some of the great cites in Luxor.  By the time we all got back to Cairo we were pretty much ready to come back to Germany. Egypt was great, but it really makes you appreciate where you come from and what we take for granted.

When we got back to Germany I had a few days to relax until my next planned trip to Italy and Greece. A friend and I decided to do an Italy and Greece tour and we spent about 2 weeks traveling around visiting all the major cities and sites. We started off in Naples, where we met up with an Italian friend of ours who also studies with us in Freiburg. She invited us to her family’s house and we had an authentic home cooked Italian meal. We had such a great time and she was able to show us around the city, which was awesome. The next city on our trip was Rome. We spent 2 full days in Rome and were able to see most of the major sites as well as  Vatican city.  Walking inside of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican was mind blowing. After Rome we went to the Cinque Terre, which is on the Italian Riviera on the North west coast of Italy. There are 5 small cities which make up Cinque Terre and each is city has something unique to offer. We stayed in Manarola, which in my opinion was the prettiest of the 5 cities. After Cinque Terre we went on to Venice. Venice was also a beautiful city, but is very expensive. Venice is a great place to visit on your honeymoon, but not such a great place if you are a student on a budget. But overall Venice was beautiful. Unfortunately, most of the time we were there it was pretty foggy, but we still really enjoyed ourselves. After Venice we went to Milan where we met up with another Italian friend who also studies in Freiburg. We then flew with him on a cheap flight to Athens, Greece. We spent our first few days looking around Athens and seeing some of the museums and ancient ruins. Unfortunately, most all of the main tourist attractions closed really early at 2:30pm so we weren’t able to see everything we wanted to, but were still able to visit most of the main sites such as the Acropolis and the Parthenon. After Athens we took a train to the ancient city of Corinth, which was really beautiful and full of history. Unfortunately an earthquake a few years back destroyed a lot of the ruins, but we were still able to see most of the great ruins. After Corinth we took another train 5 hours north to the city of Meteora. Meteora ended up being one of our favorite places in Greece. There were huge rock cliffs all over the cities and at the very to of the cliffs there were monasteries. We ended up visiting 5 monasteries and the view from the top was amazing.  After Meteora we went back to Athens and caught an 8 hour ferry to the island of Santorini, which was our last stop on our adventure tour. Santorini was a beautiful island, but was sort of like a ghost town because there was hardly anyone there. Because it wasn’t tourist season most of the people were gone, which made us feel like we were one of the only ones on the island. But the weather was great and the view from our hotel room was outstanding. After Santorini we flew back to Germany and finally got to rest for a few days.

Now you would think I would be sick of traveling at this point, but I wasn’t I decided to go and visit my aunt and uncle who live in London for a few days. So I went to the nearest Ryanair airport and flew round trip for only 30 Euros, which was a steal. My uncle picked me up at Stansted airport and I spent 3-4 days with them in the city. The weather in London was horrible, but the city it’s  self was so nice that it made up for the horrible weather. I the short time I was there I was able to see all of the main sites such as Parliament, Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace, etc.  But the best part was being able to spend some time with my relatives, who I hadn’t seen for such a long time. I was really sad to leave, but was also ready and anxious to get back to Freiburg and relax. The weather in Freiburg has since been very pleasant. It’s finally starting to feel like spring and I can’t wait until summer comes. Classes start up on the 20th of April and I have to decide in the next couple days which courses I  want to take for my last semester in Freiburg. Well that’s about all I have to update you on at the moment. I’ll try to update more frequently now that I’m back in Germany.

Grüße aus Freiburg,
Jansen

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