Day 15: 3 planes, 5 movies and the sweet chill of AC.

After 10.5 hours on the plane from Munich to Atlanta we were both ready to get off the plane even though we had caught up on some (4 or 5 each) movies. (Side-note: “This is 40″ is HILARIOUS… but only if you are close to 40, which I reminded Greg several times that he is MUCH closer than me… but I still got the humor… perk.) Atlanta brought the joy of immigration and customs with the sweet memory of cold induced by air conditioning. I desperately try to not be too American when traveling as I want to appreciate the different cultures, etc… but…. I LOVE AIR CONDITIONING!!! Two more planes and we were home safe and sound by 11:30pm Central time. Totally exhausted but elated to be home after a great 15 day journey and adventure. There aren’t a lot of pics from day 15 as I think we both looked 10 years older after 24 hours of travel but instead of pictures I give you lists, similar to what the students did last week.

List 1: Things I will miss about Europe
1. Art at arms reach… EVERYWHERE.
2. Food & Beverages (minus the over-priced Coca Light).
3. Public transportation (except when they strike).
4. Small geography with big differences… What I mean is, Germany is the same size as Minnesota and you can fit 5 Italy’s in SD yet the culture/language/etc. changes drastically in relatively small square-mileage (or kilometerage … okay that is just awkward).
5. Anonymity… Aberdeen only gets smaller the longer you live here which is fine, except when you want to run to Target in your jammies and you run into the President of the university or some students with their parents. :-)

List 2: Things I missed about home (minus people because the students informed me that is a “given”).
1. Easy living = cars, English, ice, air conditioning.
2. Space: I like my personal space, I missed it in Europe. I also like to walk on the streets/sidewalks and not know what the person I am walking past had for lunch.
3. Familiarity. I know I said above that I loved being anonymous but, it is great to see people you know, places that have what you need, and the knowledge of how to maneuver through the world you live in.

List 3: Things I learned from the students:
1. Always feed them gelato. Sugar highs are great for lost leaders wondering through cobblestone streets.
2. Yes, you can share too much.
3. Students are more adaptable than we give them credit for… these guys were European Travel Ninjas.
4. Yes you can sport MC Hammer pants with style… even if it is not 1991. – Thanks Kira.
5. “American pizza sucks.” – Alissa’s words after she tried Italian pizza for the first time. Priceless.
6. Greg and I have wicked art-looking stamina.
7. Always take the vaporetto the wrong direction.
8. 3:30am is not morning, it is night continued.
9. Fix flight times next time! Layovers are awful when you have jet-lag.
10. Pretend the Euro to Dollar exchange is equal, makes you feel better until you get home anyway.

List 4: Things I Will Never Forget:
1. The most amazing group of student-travelers that made this trip unforgettable on many levels.
2. Planning a trip to Italy may have been arduous but it was TOTALLY worth it. Thank you all for a great trip and letting us experience international travel and the progression of art through your eyes.
-Sara & Greg

Day 14: Munich 2.0

IMG_3143 IMG_3151 IMG_3159 IMG_3164 IMG_3179Greg’s been doing most of the updates this week but I am going to do the last two days just to shake things up! Ha.

We drove (okay, Greg drove, I slept and silently panicked), from Freiburg to Messkirch to check out the Heidegger Museum and his gravesite. Alas, the museum was not open but we did enjoy the small town and had a chance to see both the birthplace and resting place of Martin Heidegger. Greg is doing lots of research on Heidegger but I get to experience the benefits as well since I am also using some of his ideas in my dissertation. Perks!

Have we mentioned it was hot there? Holy smokes! We spent way too much on a hotel in Munich only because we NEEDED air conditioning. It was divine after walking around Munich and spending our last day as tourists in Europe.

We did go to the Hofbrauhaus to enjoy a cold beverage (or two) and highly recommend it for both its kitsch and Disney-esque tourist trap-ness. Our final meal in Germany was at an Italian restaurant and it was the best food we had the entire trip (weird).

Day 13: Switzerland

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After the heat of yesterday and something similar forecasted for today, we thought it might be a good idea to head to Basel and take in some artwork in air-conditioned buildings. We both agreed that this was an excellent idea!

Day 12: Heidegger’s Hutte

Today we headed out early to retrace the steps of the philosopher Martin Heidegger. We hiked into Todtnauberg all the way to his cabin and all around the valley – a truly beautiful place. In the afternoon we wandered Freiburg in the heat – temps reached 36 c and our troop had no AC!

we are hot…  Greg

Day 11: The quest for Heidegger

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Today we rented a car in Munich and headed out for Freiburg. Our goal was to find Heidegger’s hutte in the mountains above Todtnauberg. It took 4 hours of driving on the Autobahn – pure joy for me – Sara slept – and some winding roads but we finally found what we were looking for. Tomorrow, we will return for a more thorough investigation.  Cheers, Greg

Day 10: All good things must come to an end…

Today, we said goodbye to the students (at 4am!!). We are sad to see them go. They were such a great bunch who supplied as with countless laughs and insights during our travels. We are glad to hear that everyone made it home safely.

Even though this blog was intended to document our Italian adventure, Sara and I thought we would continue posting updates as we do some research and travel in Germany.

With the students gone, Sara and I hopped on a train in Venice that would take us to Munich… a slow train (it stopped in every single town!) Eventually we made it to Munich, grabbed some food and promptly fell asleep in our room.

Ps. I thought it was pretty cool that our hotel was located on Goethestrasse!
Best,  Greg

Here are a few highlights:
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Day 9: Reflections

Well, we’re stranded on Lido Island due to a vaporetto strike, how “terrible.” Though truly our eyes did need a rest, the general consensus is that art = fart. 

This morning our discussion consisted of what we will miss most from Europe as well as what we miss from  home. Some things we will miss from Europe:

  • The Scenery 
  • Having access to influential artwork
  • Unique architecture 
  • Cultural experience
  • Climate

Things we miss from home:

  • Family, friends, etc.
  • Familiarity 
  • Our own beds
  • Feeling comfortable enough to be independent 
  • Personal space

Today we are relaxing on the beaches, shopping, and dining in Lido in preparation for our hectic yet welcomed journey home.