Language Issues

Going to a different country you must expect there to be a language barrier, especially if you’re from the states. This is because we, as in Americans, don’t think it is necessary to learn more than one language, which really is sucky. Granted, we are one nation divided by states that all speak English, unlike Europe where you could go to the next state over and people would be speaking an entirely different language. I think it’s just unfortunate that we aren’t learning more languages in school. We have the required 3-4 years of language and that isn’t anything near to what to necessary to have a full vocabulary in another language. Talking with my flat mates, they know 3 or more languages and can speak them all fairly well, which I think is so cool! But enough of that, I want to share some of my experiences I’ve had these last couple months with language issues.

That first night for Annalise, Alex, Sara, and I was rough. We had troubles getting back home after leaving the club. We missed the tram to get back to the dorms and we couldn’t get a taxi back because they didn’t speak English. We went up to multiple different taxi’s and asked if they would take us and they would either wave us off or ignore us completely. We eventually just waked home because we were so frustrated.

When Alex and I visited Hendrik in Frankfurt, he designated himself as our translator. It was funny and frustrating at the same time. It was super nice of him to help us out, but I just wanted to be able to talk to people without feeling incompetent.

Trying to pronounce words correctly has been quite the struggle these last couple months. Since we’ve been taking a Czech language class it has been easier to figure out different words and pronunciations, but at first it was not easy. Trying to figure out how each letter is pronounced was half the battle. The different letters with the different accents has been hard to figure out and remember. Once you get those down somewhat, then speaking it is another challenge. Confidence is key to this process because once you get a little comfortable it’s easier to try and read things off the menu or while ordering food.

Accents are another difficult task that can be frustrating at some points. I feel so bad when I constantly ask “what” when I’m talking to my flat mates. Or when were talking about something and they have no idea what I’m talking about, so I try to describe it and that still is no good. Lost in translation is very much a thing. I didn’t realize how much of a problem it is until living with people from other countries.

Another thing I feel really bad about is when someone comes up to me speaking in another language and I have no idea what they are saying. I usually ask if they speak English and then go from there, but sometimes that person doesn’t, and it really makes me sad that I don’t have any source of communication with them because I only speak English. It makes me wish that I could speak and understand more than just English. Another thing that frustrates me is not being able to read my tickets. The tickets are usually in the language that that country speaks in. An example would be when we got tickets out of Italy, they were in Italian, etc. I just wish I knew more. Yes, there are apps that can translate, but I just wish I could be more dependent on myself for more things.

While Alex, Hendrik, and I was in Prague, we met a group of Germans that were staying next to us. Hendrik thought it would be funny to tell them that he only spoke English so then he could be a “spy” and report back to us about what they were talking about. While we were talking to them, they were having their side conversations while speaking in German to each other. I would just look over at Hendrik to watch his facial expressions while he was listening to their side conversations. When we left that group, Hendrik told Alex and me about what they were saying. He said that they said they could tell us anything without us actually knowing the truth and a couple other things that weren’t flattering to hear about. That made me a little mad.

If you want to get the feeling of culture shock, go get your nails done in the Olomouc at Globus. While I was getting my nails done, the lady who was doing my nails didn’t speak really any English. I have never been in the position where I was the minority, which sounds really weird. It was different. I could’ve said whatever I wanted, and they wouldn’t have known. It was such a weird feeling.

The language barrier has been difficult, but that is what just comes with the experience of traveling. There’s been highs and lows of it all, but it’s been worth it.

Until next time,


Ann Marie’s Evaluation

Nebraska Semester Abroad – Czech Republic

Olomouc – Spring 2019

Packing and Traveling

-What are you glad you packed from home?

  • A light winter coat
  • Lots of layering clothes

-What do you wish you had left at home?

  • Extension cords- they will most likely blow out if you try to plug them in
  • My hair dryer- it doesn’t work here. The voltage is too high for the outlets

-Do you have any travel tips to pass on (planning advice, safety considerations, guidebooks, train vs. bus, etc.)?

  • Trains are usually more expensive than busses
  • Pay attention to transfers while on planes, trains, and busses
  • Use google travel to help plan trips
  • Look up stuff to do in each city before going
  • Look up “hidden gems in …” in google to see not-so-common but cool things
  • Be open to trying new things!!
  • Set up a Venmo/Cashapp account before coming over

-What places would you advise future students to see and why?

  • Norway- it is expensive but so worth the views
  • Anywhere in Italy- there’s so much to do and each place has a different characteristic to it.

Social Life

-How did you meet students from your host country?

  • The first night out with the group, we met a couple girls from the Czech Republic, but other than that it was just a lot of Erasmus students from other places.

-How did you like to spend your free time and why? Is there anything you regret not doing more of in your free time?

  • A lot was for traveling, hanging out with the people in the group, hanging out with the roommates.
  • I don’t regret anything. I think the time I used had a purpose in some way or another.

-What opportunities for social, recreational, and cultural events that the host university or program offered did you like best? Why?

  • I really enjoyed the dorms. Its been a good way to meet people from other places and get to know a variety of people.

-What piece of advice would you give future students regarding their non-academic life while abroad?

  • It’s okay not to want to do something with the group. Not all of the activities will be something you’re interested in and that’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to pay for something you don’t want to do.

School Work

-How did your academic experience abroad differ from your U.S. experiences concerning? Relations with professors/classroom instruction? Grading? Study habits? Library? Computer access? What enabled/hindered your successful academic experience?

  • Take lots of notes, even if it doesn’t seem important, it will probably relate to something that you will go over again in another lecture. If think this is what helped me a lot because a lot of the information we learn throughout the time here can be related to each other. Most of the professors we’ve had are just guest speakers, so we will see them once or twice and then that’s it. There isn’t really a relationship that is there. They come, we learn, they leave. The only class that is necessary to study in is Czech Language. It will only benefit you if you sit down and go over what was learned as much as possible.

Money and Communications

-How much money in U.S. currency would you recommend students have at their disposal for their whole time abroad?

  • Anywhere between $3,000-5,000. It really depends on how much of a budget you set for yourself and where you visit.

-How much money did you have in foreign currency when you left for your program? Was it enough?

  • When I got here I would pull out money when I needed. Or I would exchange some when I could.

-How did you manage your money (credit cards, traveler’s checks, bank accounts etc.)? How and where did you access your money?

  • I have an app on my phone for my bank account that I use. I would just try to keep an eye on how much I was spending and go from there.

-How much money did you spend on:


  • I borrowed books from people who had them

School supplies?

  • I bought 1 3-subject notebook and brought it with me from the states. I brought pens and pencils that were already in my bag

Food? Travel? Entertainment? Airfare?

  • The majority of your money will go towards these things. The range will vary depending on how cheap/expensive things are.

Local transportation?

  • We pay for a tram/bus pass in Olomouc the expenses
  • Taxi’s are cheap in Olomouc, if you can get one
  • Ubers in other places can be expensive
  • You can get a day pass for trams/busses/subways in most places for a reasonable price

Personal items (toiletries)?

  • I brought my tampons from home- tampons here aren’t too bad in price


  • N/A


  • If you can, try to split the cost of laundry with someone
  • It cost around 120 CZK- about $5.20- just to wash clothes

-How did you communicate with the U.S.? What would you recommend to future students (e.g. calling card, set up e-mail account and where, etc.)?

  • I used WhatsApp to talk to my family
  • I also bought a sims card while I was here
  • I used email a lot as well

Other Comments/Tips:

  1. Climb as many buildings as you can- the views are always so cool
  2. Go to Holy Hill in Olomouc
  3. Try as many new foods as possible- the traditional meals from each county you go to
  4. Go see monuments in any town you go to
  5. Go to Faency Fries in Olomouc- the very best place to get your fry fixing
  6. Go to Side Street Restaurant in Olomouc- very good service and very good food
  7. Make friends with your flat mates- it makes living in the dorms so much better

Places… #5

The last class trip we took was through cities in the Bohemia region. We got to visit a lot of different places and have a lot of fun experiences.

The first day we visited Litomyšl and Miřetice u Hlinska. In Litomyšl we visited the castle and cathedral. Inside the cathedral was beautiful. Since it had caught on fire a couple times, the ceilings were bare, which is a little unusual, but the rest of the details made up for it. They have some modern art pieces at the front of the nave. There is a long triangular prism hanging above a black glass circle that was placed on the ground underneath it. The triangular prism represents the Holy Spirit and black circle represents a story in the Bible that was about the world going dark. The castle also has 3 different theaters in it. The one we visited has 16 set changes that still work today, which I think is pretty impressive. I also thought the sgriffito that was found on the outside of the building was impressive. Some of the images that were the side of the building were envelopes. Each of the envelopes are unique because they were hand painted. We also visited Miřetice u Hlinska. This used to be a town of about 70 people that the Nazi’s bombed because people helped the parachuters. A lot of the people in the town were sent to concentration camps and died there. The two that survived were 2 children who fit the “German ideal,” which was having blonde hair and blue eyes. It was raining while we were here, so we didn’t stay for long.

The second day we visited the Cathedral of Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist, the Sedlec Ossuary (church of bones), St. Barbara’s Cathedral, and walked through a silver mine. The Cathedral of Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist is one of the most important Czech gothic buildings built in the 13th century. In a lot of churches, the structural formation of the beams on the ceiling have a specific purpose, but in this church, it is just for look, which I find pretty interesting. Walking into the Sedlec Ossuary was a crazy experience. There are around 6,000 bones that were used to decorate this church. Looking around and seeing all of the bones was very interesting. The artists who decorated this building even signed his name with the bones. I find it intriguing looking at the skulls because that is the basis of the human face formation and there were so many of them around us in that building. St. Barbara’s Cathedral was another church we visited this day. This church was built on a hill that they had used for silver mining. The church had to go through multiple renovations throughout the years to make sure that it wouldn’t slide down the hill. I really enjoyed the bone structure of this church. The way the beams were used to high light the crests on the ceiling, which I enjoyed a lot. The last thing we did this day was go into the silver mines. It was pretty hilarious seeing everyone in the white lab coats and hard hats. It was also funny listening and seeing people hit their heads on the mines. A lot of the mines were pretty short, so it wasn’t uncommon for people to hit their heads while walking through.

The third day we visited and toured the Budweiser Budvar beer factory. It was really cool getting to see the behind the scenes of the entire process of the beer. I think my favorite part of the tour was watching the bottles getting packaged. The clinking sounds the bottles made was pleasing to listen to, for me anyway. It was also really interesting seeing how the bottling portion of the beer is just by machine, people are there to watch over a lot of the process.

The fourth day we visited Krumlov Chateau and went rafting. The Krumlov Chateau has been around since the 14th century and has been in multiple different families throughout the years. Each family added a different style and renovation to this castle. One of the additions being a theatre. This theater is still in use today and has 16 different sets that can be changed within seconds. We got to see how the levies worked to change the sets and the different machines they used to make sound effects. The three machines we were showed were to make the sounds of a thunderstorm, and it actually sounded like a storm when all of them were going all together. The last thing we did as a group on this trip was go rafting. This was so much fun, and it gave me a feeling of being back in Nebraska. We go to be on the water for a lot of the afternoon/evening. We actually took too long to get to the end, so we had to be pulled off before we got to the end. Rafting was so much fun, and it really was such a great ending to such an amazing time I have had with this group.

 Until next time,


Modern Art in Litomyšl cathedral
Litomyšl castle envelope sgraffito
Bombing Remains
Fake ribs in Cathedral of Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist
Sedlec Ossuary (church of bones)
Artists’ signature
St. Barbara’s Cathedral
Silver Mines
Group after mines
Budweiser Budvar bottling process
Krumlov Chateau
Before Rafting
(L-R: Alex, Sara, Annalise, Kirsten, Lauren, me)

Money and Food

Money and food have been some of the most interesting things about this trip. There are so many different kinds of currency and so many different types of food in each place that I have visited. It’s been quite the experience so far. 

I have learned in these last months that it is better to carry around cash then to rely on a card to pay for stuff. A lot of shops don’t have a card machine, so it’s better to have cash on you. That’s not just in Olomouc, it’s everywhere throughout Europe. The prices in Olomouc are very cheap, so if I were to pull out $100 US dollars and transfer them to Czech koruans, it could last me about 2 weeks depending on what I buy throughout the week. The conversion of 1 US dollar would be about 23 Czech korunas. An average meal price would be around 180 CZK (about $8) for a full meal. 

I have learned that Sunday’s are very slow days. I say this because a lot of shops and restaurants are closed on Sunday’s in most places. So, you have to make sure you have food for that day and are ready to not do a whole lot, which isn’t always a bad thing especially while traveling. 

I’m so glad that I am are in the Czech Republic because if we were anywhere else, my pockets would be hurting a lot more than they are now. It’s crazy how much of a difference the prices are from one city to the next. 

The food that I’ve had so far has all been very good. I finally had my first authentic Czech meal after being here for a month, and it was very good! I find it hilarious that I can get a beer or a glass of wine for cheaper than I could for a glass of water. I have started to acquire the taste of Czech Pilsner because that is the beer that is most available, but if they have a dark beer, I will definitely choose that over the Pilsner. I do, however, find myself always thirsty for water, so I try to carry around my water bottle with me everywhere I go. I usually just fill it up in a bathroom sink because that’s free and I’m cheap. 

Walking into restaurants, you usually have to freedom to seat yourself. They don’t have host waiting at the front for you, unless it’s a very fancy place. You can pick your seat and then the waitress/waiter will come by with menus at some point. A lot of places here are sit down, especially in Olomouc. They don’t really have the fast food options that we have back in the states, which I’m very thankful for. The only places that I can think of for take away food would be kebabs or Telepizza. 

I do have to say I have been craving some good Mexican food. They do have a couple places in Olomouc that have Mexican food, but it just isn’t the same. Also, the milkshakes here are very different. They are pretty much shaken milk with flavoring. The closest thing I have had to a milkshake was from a Burger King in Austria. The menus at fast food places that they have here are different from the ones in the states. For instance, McDonald’s has a cafe in it. They also have different versions of burgers, chicken sandwich, fish sandwiches, and so much more, it’s crazy. The menu is also different from one state to the next. They all are also nice and clean. The first McDonald’s we went to as a group, there were flowers on the tables, I’m still shocked by it. 

The food here is better quality, I think. So, if there is a picture of the food on the menu, it will most likely look like that when it gets to your table. They have a different kind of pride when it comes to food here. The display of it will be very clean and camera ready pretty much every time. 

Some of my favorite places in Olomouc have been Kafe Jak Lusk, Fæncy Fries, Cafe Opera, and any kebab stand. Kafe Jak Lusk has a cute atmosphere to it. The drinks and food there was also very good. Fæncy Fries is a fry shop that I visited quite often. The only thing on the menu was fries. You could get a small or large cone and then choose from the sauce menu. The chili mayo and their original sauce were my favorites. Cafe Opera was what we called “the expensive place.” It’s more of a higher end and a little bit more expensive than the rest of restaurants, which is average for a meal in the states. A kebab is a sandwich with lamb meat, cabbage, lettuce, and then a sauce (chili, garlic, or yogurt) and it can come in different ways. I usually get it as a döner (in a peta bread pocket) or a dümmer (a tortilla wrap). They are so good, and it will be one of the foods that I will miss the most when I go back to the states. 

Until next time,


Traditional Czech Goulash
Chai Latte from Kafe Jak Lusk
(mine: döner Alex: dümmer)
Traditional Czech Fried Cheese
Chimney Cake
Fæncy Fries

Places… #4

We visited Krakow, Poland, the city of kings, this last weekend as a group. This trip had brought up a lot of different emotions for me.

The first day we visited Schindler’s factory museum. This museum had a lot of information in it about the war in general. I do have to say that I was a little disappointed not seeing the actual factory, but the museum had a lot of different aspects of the war that was interesting to see.

When you walk up to the building, the first thing you see is the faces of “Schindler’s Jews” in the windows. Going through the museum, it had different areas and rooms set up for specific focuses. Examples of this would be: one area was about the Jewish ghettos, one was about the military, one designated to Schindler’s factory, one was about professors during this time, etc. When I was walking through the portion about the ghetto, it had a lot of notes that were in display cases. Reading those broke my heart, especially the ones from the kids. The one in specific that got me was from an 8-year-old named Roman Polariski. The note said “I suddenly realized that we were to be walled in. I got so scared that I eventually burst into tears.”

After the museum, a handful of us girls went to the restaurant that was next door. We sat there for a few hours talking and eating. We had so much fun. We even learned a couple polish words from our waiter. It was cool because some of the words we learned are similar to the Czech language.

Another really interesting place that we visited was the Wieliczka Salt Mines. The mines go down nine levels deep, but we only went down three levels. The entire place is made up of salt, apart from the wood planks that help support the celling and what not. There is even a cathedral in the middle of the mine. It was so interesting learning about the mines and how much it was used. The first started working in the mines around the 13th century and ended in the early 2000’s. It was so cool seeing some of the equipment that was used to get the salt to and from different places. I also found it very entertaining watching everyone lick the walls throughout the tour. I also took part in licking the walls of course because why wouldn’t you?! I also really enjoyed hearing the tales of the dwarves that worked in the mines and the dragons that would come visit for the “good air” that’s in the mines.

Kirsten, Sara, and I really wanted to get a polish hot dog while we were here. So we went to this stand that had hotdogs and hamburgers. We thought we were going to get these big polish dogs, but nope, we got these teenie weenies with a lot of bun. When we got them, we all just looked at each other and started laughing.

Visiting Auschwitz was hard. I can’t even imagine how hard it was to be a part of such a tragedy. Four years ago I visited Bergen-Belsen. They have mass graves there, so that was a lot different experience from Auschwitz. Walking through the portion of the museum with all of the hair and the kid shoes had me choking down tears. The nazi’s wanted to make money on the people they killed, so they sold women’s hair from the dead bodies to textile companies. Two tons of hair was in one display case from the victims. Walking through that area I just kept imagining the part of Schindler’s List when the ladies got their hair chopped off and pushed into the showers. I can’t imagine being that terrified of what was going to happen in those coming seconds.

It was quite the eerie feeling being in block 11, and just Auschwitz in general. I just can’t fathom what kind of person would let this happen and happen for so long.

Until next time,


The faces of Schindler’s factory
“I suddenly realized that we were to be walled in. I got so scared that I eventually burst into tears.”
Salt mines church
Teenie weenie
Auschwitz entrance
Train tracks into Auschwitz

Places… #3

Visiting Vienna and Venice was quite the experience to have in the same week. Both of these towns are set up so differently from each other and the vibes I got from both of them was quite unique to me.

We visited Vienna first. This city is full of scooters and shopping. Here, a group of us accidentally walked into a vegan place and had lunch. I’ve had vegan meals before, but this meal was very interesting but enjoyable. I think it was mostly just surprising because we didn’t know it was a vegan place and because the system of getting/charging food to a person was different. You would walk up to the food bar and tell the person behind the bar which meal you want. Then they would get it ready for you and charge you by using this green card to “scan” the meal you got. You would then take this green card to the front to pay for your meal. It sounds so simple, but not knowing what was going on was a little frustrating and confusing.

As a group, we visited the Schatzkammer museum. This museum had a bunch of artifacts founded from throughout time. It just blew my mind how much money these people would spend on pretty much anything. There was this bible in a display case that had a gold cover, gold boarder pages, and the ink that was used was gold and silver. It really made me curious about how prominent poverty was during that time. These kings and queens would be swimming in wealth and just let their towns people be so dirt poor.

A thing I found quite comical while going through the museum was this sword that was known as the “unicorn sword.” This sword was said to give the person who touched the handle magical powers. Little did people know, that the sword handle was actually made from a narwhal tusk. Another thing I found funny was seeing the outfit choices for Emperor Francis I of Austria. He was able to choose from three different designs and the one he chose was marked with a “+”.

A small group of us was able to visit the modern art museum. I really enjoyed walking through this place. There was such a verify of art work in there. It was very interesting being able to walk through the different levels and seeing all of the different mediums of works. It was a little refreshing seeing some modern art. There is this cafe on the very bottom level called “Cafe Hans” that is only opened one Thursday a month and collects a bunch of random items with “Hans” on it.

The drive to Venice was absolutely beautiful. I loved seeing all of the greenery against the rocks and the aqua blue water around. After being in so many cities, it was nice to get a little bit of nature thrown in there. Even if it were from a moving bus, I really enjoyed the views.

As we walked through Venice, all you could smell was the salt in the air and it made me so happy. I got to experience a gondola ride, which was so awesome. There were 6 girls on the boat plus the gondolier. I definitely thought we were going to tip the boat and some of the locals were laughing at us and telling us “I hope you know how to swim!” It was so much fun going through the canals and seeing the different buildings, bridges, and islands. We went under the Grand Canal, which actually has a handful of shops on it that I didn’t know about. We learned that Venice has over 400 bridges throughout the city and that it’s made up of over 100 islands. Although it was a bit rainy while we were there, it was probably one of my top 3 places I would like to visit again sometime in my life.

One of the places we visited as a group was the Palazzo Ducale. This building had an enormous amount of art work throughout it. I constantly kept looking at the celling to see what was on it. Everything was framed in gold, it was amazing. Another thing a nice group of us did was go to the top of the Campanile Di San Marco. There was an elevator to get to the top, which I was so thankful for because it would’ve been quite the trek up there. The view from the top was something spectacular, the pictures don’t do it any justice.

A couple hidden gems we found were the Auqa Library and the Scala Contarini del Bovolo. The Aqua Library gained its name from the amount of flooding that happens in that area. All of the books are in some sort of boat to keep the books from getting ruined by the water. Its in a super tight space, so trying to get around people is rough, but so worth it. They also have a book staircase that is a common picture place, which we did participate in taking pictures on. We also got to see Scala Contarini del Bovolo, which is a massive spiral staircase on a building. While the staircase is rather extravagant, the building itself is rather simple. I wish we could’ve gone up the stairs, but when we got there the building was closed.

One of the days, I believe it was that Friday, there were a bunch of people walking around Venice with wreaths on their heads. At first, I thought it was for a wedding, but there were more and more people walking around with them. Later that night, I found out it was for the people who had graduated that morning. I think that is such a cool tradition to have!

This whole trip was so much fun, and I hope someday I can visit again.

Until next time,


Vegan meal
“Unicorn sword”
A section from the modern art museum
Somewhere in Austria
Top: Annalise, Sara, Lauren
Bottom: Kirsten, me, Alex
Celling of Palazzo Ducale
Campanile Di San Marco
Grand Canal
Scala Contarini del Bovolo
Inside Aqua Library
Book staircase


Coming into Olomouc, I wasn’t really sure how this whole experience was going to be. I knew that I had to come in with an open mind and be willing to push myself out of my comfort zone in order to grow, and I feel that is what I have been doing thus far.

Diving straight into pushing the limits of my comfort zone, Alex and I were told on the bus ride to Olomouc that we would be possibly living with all guys in our flat. We just looked at each other and decided “why not.”

With our time we’ve had so far, we’ve had the chance to get to know our roommates a little bit more each day. We met Willy first, he’s from Spain. He doesn’t really talk to us much, but from the encounters we’ve had with him, he’s been very nice. Then we met Lucas, he’s from France. He is very sweet and easy to talk to. For me, he was one of the first people I was able to be comfortable with in our flat. On our first free weekend, Alex and I stayed in Olomouc to get the know the town and Lucas stayed in town as well, so we got to know him a bit more just from that weekend. Last but not least, Joel, he’s from Spain as well. He is the most outgoing roommate in our flat and he does not fail to keep Alex and I entertained with intriguing conversations and many laughs.

Some of the most memorable moments so far have been when Alex, Joel, Luka, and I were all in Alex and my room. We sat around and talked about our different experiences and about our countries. We talked for almost two hours and then realized it was 1AM and all went to bed. Another moment I really enjoyed was when us four were talking about accents and listening to Joel and Lucas speak to each other in French and Spanish was quite entertaining. Overall, living with guys has been a pretty solid experience. I am genuinely surprised by how clean the flat stays, but it also helps that there’s a cleaning person who comes by to pick up the place as well.

The dorms that we are in are for students that are from other countries (called Erasmus students). So there are people from everywhere. It’s been pretty interesting getting to know people from other countries and continuing to meet new people just through the dorms. 

An interesting thing that we found out when we arrived is that people go out on Monday’s and Wednesday’s. They do this because weekends are usually for travel. Olomouc becomes very scarce of Erasmus students, and just students in general, because of how many people travel on the weekends.  

Until next time,


Places… #2

A few weeks ago we had a couple class trips to Znojmo and Bouzov, Czech Republic and these trips were unexpectedly amazing. 

On that Saturday, we took a bus to Znojmo. We walked around the town for a bit before we stopped at this ledge that looked over a part of the city. The view was amazing. I really enjoyed seeing so much greenery around me but also being surrounded by the city. 

We also visited the St. Nicholas’ Deanery Church. This church holds St. Boniface remains that are encased in a glass box in this building. The bones are dressed up with a red and gold outfit. This box is located on the right hand side when you walk through the doors. It blows my mind that some of these churches around Europe will keep the remains of humans and show them off. I find it a little creepy how some bones are put on display for visitors to come see. It was crazy to see how small this man once was. It’s funny walking through some of these buildings because of how small the doorways are and having to imagine to duck under the entryways if you were too tall. 

We also visited the catacombs in Znojmo as well. This we’re crazy to walk through. We were walking through a whole underground city. It was interesting hearing about all of the tales that the caves had. One of my favorites was hearing about the gremlin that lurked throughout the cave. I also enjoyed hearing about how much they liked pushing people into wells and seeing who would make it out. Usually women would be able to get our because of the way their dresses were made they would just float on top. 

We also were able to do a wine tour with the class. It was pretty interesting seeing the history behind the wine that’s made in the Czech Republic. Being able to try some of the wines was also enjoyable. My favorite part was walking through the art gallery and seeing all of the submissions from artists. Some of the works in the gallery were used for wine labels and I think that’s so cool! 

On that Sunday we visited Bouzov. There we took a tour of the castle, which was freezing. A really interesting thing that we were told about the rooms was that during the renovation, they would use one of the furniture pieces and base the theme of room off of that one piece. Each one of the rooms had a massive and beautiful furnace in it. When people lived in the castle, the furnaces were going at all times but now they don’t have them running so the items inside the castle will be preserved. In one of the rooms they had bear pelts laying on the ground. They said the bears used to guard the castle and prevent intruders from getting in. The names of the bears are Andy and Mike. 

There were a couple guys outside the castle that had a few big birds that people could hold and pet. So I got to hold an owl, her name was Bebe. It was crazy actually getting to hold her. She was super soft and it was crazy seeing her turn her head almost all the way around. Another cool thing we got to do that day was go zip lining. The zip line wasn’t that long, but it was so much fun. Landing was the hardest part because you could either try to stop yourself or run into the mat. Overall, this weekend was a lot of unexpected fun. 

Until next time,


Above view in Znojmo

St. Boniface’s remains
Wine Cellar
Bouzov Castle
Furnace and furniture in castle
Andy and Mike
Bebe and me
Zip lining

Blast from the Past

In this week’s adventure, Alex and I took a trip to Frankfurt, Germany to visit my friend, Hendrik. I haven’t seen Hendrik since the day he left for Germany after our 8th grade year. It was surreal getting to spend the weekend with him after not seeing him for so long.

During our weekend excursion, we did a lot of walking. We arrived in Frankfurt at 6:30 am and hit the ground running from there. After being lost for about 30 minutes, we finally met up with Hendrik at the Central station and he was our tour guide/translator for the day. We visited the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, climbed to the top of the cathedral, walked the Eiserner Steg bridge a couple times, walked to and around the Palmengarten, walked around Darmstadt (Hendrik’s town), and met up with his friend Manuel. We walked almost 11 miles this day, and by 8 pm we were all ready for bed.

On Sunday, we got up and Hendrik made us an amazing breakfast and then Alex and I took a train back to Frankfurt while Hendrik went to his game in another town for the afternoon. Alex and I spent the afternoon walking around, looking for something to do. We came across a couple different predicaments throughout the day. Some of those being: not having cash, the language barrier, and most shops being closed on Sunday. On the upside, we got to go on a boat tour, go to a pub and watch soccer, and went to a cute little Italian place that wasn’t in the main square in Frankfurt.

All in all, it was a super fun weekend and I’m so glad I got to see Hendrik again! It was really fun teaching him American slang and catching up with him.

Until next time,


Cathedral of St. Bartholomew
Tickets to the top
View from top
On Eiserner Steg bridge
Hendrik, me, and Alex
On the boat tour

Places… #1

In this week’s adventure of Europe, the class was taken to Prague, Czech Republic and Dresden, Germany. These two towns are both beautiful and full of a lot of history. We were able to walk around both cities and learn information about the different buildings and monuments throughout the cities.

We left for Prague on Thursday morning and stayed until Sunday afternoon. In these days, we were able to walk the Charles bridge, visit Pražsky Hrad (Prague castle), walk around the Old Town Square, take pictures at the John Lennon wall, visited multiple synagogues, and the church where the parachuters from Operation Anthropoid had their final battle with the S.S. soldiers.

While on the Charles bridge, our guides told us a story of the Czech king Wenceslas IV. They said that he was a very jealous king and that his wife told Saint John of Nepomuk a secret during a confessional. Well, the king wanted to know the secret and the saint refused to tell the king her confession, so the king tortured him and threw him off the side of the bridge. There is a spot on the bridge that marks where Saint John was thrown off.

On Saturday we took a day trip to Dresden and were able to explore the town for the day. We visited the Church of Our Lady and the Old Masters Picture Gallery. During our tour, we were told about the bombing raid that was unleashed on Dresden during WWII. The town was completely destroyed. They said that the bombings were so hot that when the bombs exploded, they turned almost everything into ash instantly and that people from Prague could see the glow from the town being up in flames. An interesting thing that I learned about the church was that it was completely redone, and they used some of the remains from the last church to rebuild it. They even have the cross that used to be on top of the old church, on display in the new church.

Some of my favorite parts of this weekend were being able to climb to the top of The Old Town Bridge Tower at the end of Charles Bridge with Alex, Annalise, Sara, and a world traveler we had met earlier that day, Kristen. Looking out of the windows on top of the tower was an incredible experience and I’m so glad I was able to do it. We also climbed to the top of the Church of Our Lady in Dresden. That was also a very beautiful and breathtaking view. I also got to see paintings and sculptures that were done by old masters. My favorite room in the whole building was the sculpture room. It was amazing seeing the details in each of the pieces and being able see these pieces in person.

Until next time,


Prague Castle
Old Town Bridge
Looking out of the tower
View from top of tower
Old Town Square
At the John Lennon Wall
Church of Our Lady
Looking into church from above
View from top of church
Sculptures in museum
(left to right)

Top: Sara and Alex

Bottom: Annalise, me, and Kristen