Strasbourg is located on the French-German border in the Alsace region. It serves as the location for meetings of the European Union, has a beautiful cathedral and touristy old town, and the cleanest rivers I have seen in a French city. We arrived in the afternoon and made our way up to the EU headquarters (right) around 4 pm.
Day 2 - Munich
The above picture is a statue dedicated to John Paul the Second with the Marianplaz in the background. Munich is located in southern Germany, which is heavily Catholic. The city was the site of the 1976 Olympics and is in the running for hosting the 2018 games.
Day 3 - Prague
From where I am standing, the Old Prague Castle is within my line of sight. This picture was taken after my climb up to the top of the hill. It was tiring, but as you can see the view is worth it. You may also notice that I'm wearing a scarf. Turns out that it is pretty cold in the Czech Republic, so I bought it for 100 Kc at a store that was also selling candy and absinthe.
Day 4 - Brno
So basically, the entire point of being in Brno was to see Boyce Avenue at the Carodelas 2011 music festival. I would also say that it was the reason I wanted to go to Germany and the Czech Republic in the first place. After a day of hellish navigation of the Brno tram system and random rain in the afternoon, I finally got to see my new music obsession at 11PM Thursday night, knowing full well that I had to be awake at 5 AM Friday morning. Daniel is on the left, Alejandro is on the right, and Fabien is missing. Two out of three isn't bad. Especially when I was making other Czech fangirls mad by being the American fangirl in the front row.
Day 5 - Berlin
This is the Brandenburg Gate, located near the Tiergarten. The Berlin Wall was constructed directly behind the gate, separating the eastern and western parts of the city. When looking through old photographs of this area as it was 20 years ago, the difference from now is striking. The street leading to the gate is a major shopping and tourist district now, but just before I was born it was abandoned and bleak-looking. Berlin is a great example of how fast people can combine their strengths to come out of the ashes of a violent history.
Day 6 - Berlin
Since we were able to stay another day in Berlin, we decided today would be a good day to see some museums and major sites. We left the hostel around 10:30AM and saw the Parliament building, Soviet Memorial, the Topography of Terror exhibit, a Salvador Dali exhibit, and finally made our way to the Olympic Stadium. I find the concept of the games fascinating. Nations gather to compete in friendly competition despite political turmoil or international rivalries. History has given us lessons in the hypocrisy sometimes associated with the Olympics, but knowing that they continue gives me hope for a stable world.