We are are staying at a technology research institution in New York. Emily is ironing out some last minute travel details while Louis is working on the webpage. This place is really cool... learn more about it here. www.pulsar.org
We visited my brother Sultan Stover in Newyork for a day. We stayed the night in Manhattan and it was so full of people of all different races and it was so wonderful. Sultan was very hospitable. Then we flew to Iceland and had the foulest licorice ever which made us nausous. yuk!!!! Then we went to Denmark and then to Germany. We took a cab to Tante Itza and Uncle Ralf's flat. They are so hospitable. They have taken a lot of time showing us around Germany and taking us sight seeing. Itza cooks meals for us and they are so very delicous. Germany is beutiful with old houses from the 16th century and a lot of windmills everywhere. Emily and I plan on visiting the Bahai temple in Frankfart, and then Munich etc. We plan to stay at hostels and at campgrounds. Much love to all.
We stayed with Itza and Ralph for a week. They were extremely hospitable and took us out to see the best places in Hamburg. We owe them much thanks for their kindness and hospitality. We took the train to a medium sized town called Gottengen. It has a town square that is full of people walking around and riding bycicles. There are alot of nice stores and open markets. We bought some more salmiak. YUMM!
We decided to hike to Seeburg. It is a little town with a large lake in it. Emily and I with our 35 pound backpacks took 3 bottles of water and some canned food. We had this cute map without any street names, it just had trees and lakes and cities on it. Louis had a compass and that was all we needed. We started off heading East (a little South) We decided to climb a mountain instead of walk by the busy autobaun. We were glad to see when we finally got to the top of the mountain a lookout tower. The view was beautiful and we could see that our map was accurate and we saw our destination far off in the distance. Again, it was beautiful. We walked down the mountain and needed to make it to the nearest town for our water was low. Let me add that this mountain top turned out to be a peninsula. Going forward was too steep, so we had to backtrack at this point. We hiked to a little ity bity town with out a store to buy water! We asked a guy working in the yard for some and his uncle invited us in his quaint castle. Inside the castle was a cool wolf skin rug, one of his numerous hunting trophies. The walls were large rocks. We climbed a spiral staircase to the kitchen. The walls had various animal heads on them. In the kitchen there was a fine collection of large hunting knives, so we called the owner 'the Hunter'. He offered us applejuice and we filled our water bottles. He offered us to stay there longer and took out a decent map to show us our destination and help us figure out a route. We had 5 kilometers of walking till we reached the next town. We expected it to be about an hour and a half but it took us about 20 mins. From that town we were just 5 more kilos away. It took a lot longer to get there than we expected because we were walking through fields (this is Emily now typing text for the first time. Starting with this sentence I am interrupting. Hi, everyone!!!!!). We finally arrived !!!! Yeah!!!! I should mention that Louis and I had originally planned to continue the hike through the Harz mountains, but my knee was hurting too bad. We altered our plans after sleeping in the tent... trying to sleep, it was very uncomfortable because, we didnt really plan to camp out a lot. We are paying more money for comfort, but hey, how many times will we get the opportunity to do this. The next day, we relaxed at the lake. The lake was rather pretty. There were a lot of people there and it was fun to observe their behavior and the differences between American and German social norms. For instance, changing bathing suits on the beach. The men and women had a suit for sun bathing and a suit for swimming. When the switched suits, they did it right there. Dont see that much in the US. We took the bus back to Gottingen. Gottingen is a great place. The hostel offers immaculate rooms and a generous breakfast in the morning. This is the first time we have had access to the internet in a long time, so excuse our slackness at tending to this page. This place just opened up on Monday!! Great timing. I really miss my family and friends. I have been travelling a long time and havent seen you in a while. I hope everything is ok and everyone is happy.
It is raining in Munich. Louis and I had to check into a hotel for last night because the city is overflowing with people. tonight and tomorrow we are staying in the hostel again, however, and that makes our wallet a lot happier. We are at a different internet cafe. This one is more expensive, but at the last one they tried to charge us double and argued. What have we been up to, you ask? Yesterday I (Emily) relaxed in the French and English gardens. I bought another journal and began to write and sketch as best I could what I was seeing and feeling. There is magic in the air here... at least in the old parts of town. The newer part is just like any other city. tomorrow we will be viewing the full eclipse, from where, we are not sure. Thursday we set out from this town and make our way towards Paris. I believe that Louis has to fly our of Paris, we will find out for sure today when I call the agent. If not, we will have him fly out of the nearest city. He will fly into DC or NY and take a bus home from there. Then I will set out for Norway, Oslo to be exact. Regan, the foriegn exchange student from my high school, is getting married and I will join in for the festivities. And boy do they know how to put on a wedding, so I hear. I will be there around the middle of next week and will stay until Sunday. From there I will make my way to Germany again to see Omi for a bit. That is all in the future and the details are still a mystery. Louis is eating a burger right now and I am waiting for him to come and type his share. This may be the last time this page is updated for a while. I will update it in Norway for sure. Until then, know that I really miss my family and friends and am hoping that you are all well and happy. I am not taking many pictures, too much stuff to carry. I do have a disposable camera though and am getting some pictures. There are many books with better pics than I could ever take if you want to see what it is Munich looks like.
It will be nice to set foot on US soil and actually know the good restaurants to eat at and have a regular bed to sleep in and to have my fam and friends just a phone call away ( a relatively cheap phone call). Until then, I am ever learning to appreciate such things. Their lack, however does not shade the glitter of travel.
Wow, where do I begin. The long awaited update is here. I am in Denmark, but between there and here there has been a lot of travel and adventure. I dropped Louis off at the train station in Paris and spent the rest of the day in the city wandering the busy streets and eating the delicious food. I spent a total of 5 days in that expensive city and was glad to move on to other places. I met a lot of nice people at the hostel. I visited that famous tower and Louis and I even saw the painting with that girl with the famous smile. I was very impressed with Notre Dame. The evening I spent sunset there I saw a special ceremony for Mary and heard beautiful singing as a group paraded the streets singing Ave Maria. So I decided to make my way to Norway, where I had a wedding to attend. I spent a day in Amsterdam, spending most of my time in the famous red light district. I was very happpy to find a restaurant that sold pancakes, or a pancake, but it was huge and delicious and hot on a rainy cold day. I took a tour and saw a diamond cutting factory. Amsterdam is famous not only for pot smoking it appears, also for their lavishly styled jewels. I took a tour of the harbour and saw a beautiful old windmill. That evening I left for Norway, that was about 18 to 24 hours away. I arrived in Oslo and my friend Regan picked me up and took me to her home where I stayed 4 nights. I went to here wedding that began at 4 in the afternoon at a church built in the 11th century. We then went to a great building overlooking a fjord and the hillside where the dinner and reception were held. The dinner consisted of many long speeches in a language that I didn't quite understand, but the food was good. Afterwards we danced(and ate)the night away. One of the customs is for family and close friends to bring homemade cakes to the reception, so not only was there a wedding cake, there were about ten otheres... chocolate, fruit, etc. I was in heaven. "Hog heaven" Anothere tradition is to sing songs at the reception table where about 60 of us sat. We sang songs to old folk music with words written about the bride and groom. Everyone was supplied a program with the words to the songs under their dinner plates. After the reception we went to the nachspiel, which is similar to late-night for those of you from ECU, because it begins around 2 or 3 in the morning. Again we danced, this time until the sun came up, the party ended around 7 in the morning. I had a wonderful time with ReganÝs friends, fit right in, and thank God they know English. The next day I went on a boat trip with all of her family. There was another girl, Tinna, with us. She was also an exchange student at Mt. Vernon. Tinna is from Finland. The next day I took a train and toured southern Norway to the west coast and saw some of the most beautiful scenery there is on this planet. The fjords are goregously surrounded by snow-capped mountains and bordered by green grass. At sunset they dripped pink with the evening sky. That night I took an overnight train to Denmark. I am still here, waiting for a train to take me to Hamburg where I will meet Omi. Yesterday I took trains, free with rail pass in this country, to three major sites. The first was Kronborg, Shakespeare's chosen set for Hamlet, although he has never actually been there. I toured the dungeon where the soldiers used to live, and that was spooky, cold, and cramped. Then I went to a small town where the queen has her summer "cottage" and then went to tour Fredicksberg castle. I returned to the hostel rather late and turned in shortly thereafter. So that is my trip in a nutshell. I hope you are all doing well and having fun. Love, Em
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