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I’m Back

August 25th, 2005 11:08am Leave a comment

Yes, I’m finally back from Europe. Get ready for a giant post about everything.

First we flew into Paris and got on a bus and drove to Antwerp, Belgium. Then we checked into the hotel which was very scary. The lights in the halls went out to save electricity and it was old, dark and would be an excellent place for a horror movie. We were exploring the hotel and found a random door with a bathtub in it that reminded me of the movie Saw. The I got off the elevator and it was dark and I was trying to find my room, but a wall appeared out of nowhere. When I pushed on it, it opened like those Scooby Doo secret passages. Very weird. And the room was strange also. The windows were wide open so anyone could walk in (even though we were on the second floor, there was a landing out the window where you can get out and walk into other people’s windows.) Then I was angry because my camera was on all plane ride and the battery died, and the power converter I had wouldn’t fit because the outlets were recessed. Luckily they gave me a circular thingy to get the outlet even with the surface, then I had to plug in the converter. The only good thing about thew hotel was the free internet, but the European keyboard was very weird and it took me forever to type on it. Please explain why the A and Q are switched? Anyway, we had free time after dinner and the next day we toured Antwerp. I bought delicious Belgian Chocolate, ate in some crowded restaurant and our group had some free time to walk around and do whatever. The area by our hotel was a dump but the center of Antwerp was nice. It was your typical old fashioned European city.

We left before dinner for Germany, which was MUCH nicer. At a rest stop I had the best yaegerschnitzel ever. Mmmm I love German food. We got to the hotel and there wasn’t much around there except for a gas station that sold everything…

The next day we went to the Bay Arena (a huge soccer stadium) for a World Youth Day event. We watched the Pope arrive in Germany and had a good time over there. After that our bus driver took us to the Rhine river to see the Pope’s boat. We waited there for a few hours. In the meantime, people were wading in the water and having a good time. Some people (including me) were a little dehydrated and needed water, so we filled up our water bottles in a public bathroom (sounds gross but the water was tasteless and I could have bottled it and sold it). I was afraid I was going to get sick, but Germany is über clean, and the water from a public restroom is much better than the polluted chlorine tasting wasser we have here. The Pope’s boat finally showed up, but he was facing the other side of the river and we didn’t see him to well (the boat also turned around slightly before it reached us). Patrick has this crazy zoom camera and managed to get a good picture. We were supposed to see a boat show or something but we couldn’t find it, so our bus driver drove us over to Cologne where we had some free time to walk around. The crowds were insane and a few people from my group ended up playing crazy games with some Italians.

The next day we went back to the Cologne area and waited on line to see the Cathedral. After that some people went to Düseldorf to see some performance and the rest stayed behind to see Cologne. I bought a few souvenirs for people and then ate in McDonald’s with a small part of our group (and almost went crazy because the line was driving me insane). I ended up getting a Köln T-shirt, a Weltjugendtag T-shirt, some pins and other little things for people. Then it started pouring and I had no umbrella so I pulled out a foil rescue blanket (which was supposed to be for the camp out) and went under that. it was all rainy and we had to walk across the bridge to find our bus. The group that went to Düseldorf was late and the bus driver had to go track them down. Finally, we went back to the hotel and ordered some pizza.

The next day, we packed all our things on the bus and left for the Marienfeld (the place we would be camping out at night). The bus driver got us as close as we could and we walked through little dirt paths through the woods, through open fields of crops and through a little village where all the German peoples were waving. I had shorts and a T-shirt on but it was freezing so I put pants over my shorts and a sweatshirt. The walk wasn’t too bad and we finally got to B22 and set up. I had a shower curtain and that foil blanket to sleep on for the night. Some people walked to get food for everyone and then we had free time. Some of us walked around and traded American items for things from other countries. At night the Pope arrived and we had a candlelight thing and then we tried to sleep, but it was impossible because it was really damp and I had a little sheet which wasn’t working. Someone gave me a blanket (how nice) and it helped a little bit, but it was still really cold. I work up around 6 the next morning and ate some slop. Mass with the Pope started at 10 and we left right after that. It took 8 hours to leave!!! First we packed our stuff and walked for 2 hours in a crazy crowd. Then, our group was separated so we had to find them. After some more time, we had to walk to busses which would drop us off by our bus. We had to stop for an hour or so because the line for the busses were two long and a few people needed to go to the medical tent. We finally got on a bus which was severely overcrowded and went in circles 3 times (about 20 minutes each) an hour later we realized the bus was in the wrong place and the Driver was being a stubborn German and wouldn’t drive us to where we thought we were going (because some polizei was like “this bus goes here” but apparently the driver didn’t think so.) Finally, another bus showed up and took us to the right place, we got on our bus and went to Luxembourg (by 2AM) everyone was dead.

We left at 9:30 and toured Luxembourg which was nice and then drove off to France. We checked into another hotel and then some people were tired and another group went on the subway to Notre Dame. When everyone returned (late of course) we had dinner and then went to the Eiffel Tower and on a boat ride explaining the interesting points in Paris (while it rained and everyone froze). After that Derek our bus driver drove us around on his own (how nice) and showed us some other interesting places.

The next morning we had breakfast and left for CDG and went home. (I wrote so much already so I’m being very brief about this)

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