engagements all around

Photo of the Day: There was a movie or tv show filming right outside my apartment today.  I wasn’t allowed very close and I don’t speak Swedish so I have no idea what it was for unfortunately.


Observation of the Day: Apparently there is a new wolf problem in Northern Sweden and they are attacking dogs and sheep.


Phrase of the Day: Ja get gör jag (yes I can)

So what do you think about Cinderella?

Photo of the Day: My program went to see The Hunchback of Notre Dame ballet at the Opera house tonight… we were all very lost and confused. It was quite boring but good to see the opera house and have a different night out.


Observation of the Day: Swedish children have significantly fewer toys than American children.


Word of the Day: pengar (money)

insert creepy wink here

Photo of the Day: There is a Stockholm International Film Festival this week so I went to see The Source. It was a GREAT movie about women in a small community in Morocco standing up for themselves and love by demanding water to be pumped into the village and declaring a love strike (no sex) until they got it. It was an inspirational movie and I highly recommend it. The left picture is for the festival and the theme is love. The guy is the director of The Source who did a Q&A afterwards. The right one is the movie poster.


Observation of the Day: In Sweden you eat cake with spoons. There is a saying “if you play with fire, you wet the bed.”


Word of the Day: skor (shoes)

Istanbul…angels i am your charlie

Photo One: There were men fishing everywhere. They lined the bridges and the shorelines all day everyday.


Photo Two: This is a view of Istanbul from the Galata Tower. It is a very colorful city.


Photo Three: We went to the Grand Bazaar and it was crazy. There were a million vendors with similar products and they all were shouting out at you vying for your attention and business.


Photo Four: There were clothing lines everywhere. This is just one street I found picture worthy.


Photo Five: Katielynn and I in the Hagia Sophia. It was once a Basilica and then a Mosque and now it is a museum. It was huge and beautiful with an interesting blend of Christianity and Muslim art.


Photo Six: One of the million cats of Istanbul with the Sultan Ahmed Blue Mosque.


Photo Seven: An old man feeding the swarming pigeons outside another mosque.



Turkish men are not afraid to stare.

Restaurant owners and people selling things will constantly heckle you as you walk by and attempt in anyway possible to get you to stop at their stand or restaurant. It is VERY irritating.

Waiters are pretty over the top or rude (at least in my experience).

There are many wandering cats and dogs here too.

Turkish people talk very quietly in normal conversation and do not like to have loud conversations on the subway.



giriş (entrance)

çıkış (exit)




Athens… full of new and old stories

Photo One: I met some GREAT people at my hostel and we climbed up a hill to see the Parthenon all lit up. We tried to see the sunset but had a little difficulty with timing.


Photo Two: I sat and took in the view of Athens from Mars Rock where Aristotle addressed the ancient Greeks. It was a breathtaking view.


Photo Three: I went and saw the Parthenon in Acropolis during the day with the swarms of cruise ship tourists and school children. It was magnificent and beautiful but honestly not that exciting.


Photo Four: Here are some stray cats by the coast. There were mostly dogs everywhere in Athens but I saw way more cats by the coast although most were very skittish.


Photo Five: This is the start of the sunset on the coast of Athens. Very beautiful and peaceful.



In Greek clubs it is now illegal to break plates so they throw white flowers everywhere instead.

Greeks cluster in the entrances of the bus instead of filling the aisles between seats when it starts to get crowded.

During the riots, protestors broke marble off of everything and threw it at the police resulting in the police retaliating with tear gas. Other than that there was little obvious evidence of hardship.


Word: Είμαι τρελός Αμερικανός (i am a crazy american)

Athens… the city of strays

Photo of the Day: I wandered around Athens tonight and found Syntagma Square and the Parliament Building where the rioting has been going on lately. Luckily there was no rioting or demonstrating tonight.


Observation of the Day: There are many cats and dogs wandering everywhere. There are also many cops around I assume to keep rioting under control.


Word of the Day: ακρόπολη (acropolis in greek)

Madrid… I can’t believe we did that

Photo One of the Weekend: Kenzie and I went on a boat ride in Retiro Park and had a few near collisions.


Photo Two of the Weekend: We came across a book market place. There were several booths stacked to the brim with books. This is a picture of one.


Photo Three of the Weekend: Kenzie, Abby, Maureen, and I went shopping at El Rasto, a HUGE weekly flea market. They were even selling gas masks.


Photo Four of the Weekend: We explored and relaxed at the Temple of Debod, an Egyptian Temple, and enjoyed the beautiful weather.


Photo Five of the Weekend: We went to see the Lion King musical. We had great seats and it was 100% in spanish. It was amazing and quite the experience. How many people have seen it entirely in Spanish?


Observations of the Weekends: Some buildings have plastic bags to carry your wet umbrellas around in while inside. Cross walks are often in the middle of the street and not on the corner.


Word of the Weekend: paloma (pigeon)

*there were too many words but I forgot most of them and I am tired now… oops*



MADRID… the rainy city

Photo of the Day: Today I flew to Madrid to see KENZIE!!! I got in pretty late so we explored a bit and ate delicious crepes!!


Observation of the Day: People start going out at midnight. There are people promoting their clubs and selling umbrellas everywhere.


Word of the Day: paraguas (umbrella… spanish)

how is your swedish going?

Photo of the Day: I played with William and Elliot a lot today. This basically consists of running around with pretend guns, swords, shields, helmets, hats, hockey sticks, etc and trying to catch each other.


Observation of the Day: Sweden has more internationally successful companies than one would expect based on their small size including Ericsson, IKEA, Peak Performance, Scandia and Volvo.


Word of the Day: spis (stove)


all they got was a swimsuit and a slice of pizza

Photo of the Day: I got a little lost on my way to this excellent cafe today and stumbled upon this peaceful overlook. It was a nice detour and good to see a different part of the city.


Observation of the Day: Pens are difficult to come by in Sweden so it is very nice to get a free one. They aren’t sold in multipacks (or at least not commonly) so losing a pen is a pain.


Word of the Day: galler (grate)