Our First Serbian Visitors!

Marko and Lela on the shopping street in Roeselare, Belgium. 
Remember Marko and Lela from Subotica, Serbia? They were our first friends in Serbia and they sort of adopted us into their big group of friends. Looking back on our year in Serbia, I don't remember feeling seriously homesick (except for when my first little nephew was born), and I know that Marko, Lela, and the community that they invited us into, were the reason we so easily adapted to our first home abroad. Chris and I truly feel that we have a grasp on the history and culture of Serbia because we were treated almost as locals for an entire year. Six months ago, we left Serbia, and through tear-filled goodbyes, Marko and Lela promised that they would come visit once we settled into our new home in Belgium . . . 

Well, they came through on their promise! We had Marko and Lela to ourselves for a whole five days! Chris and I were so excited to simply just be with them again and to share bits and pieces of our new adventure with them. Of course we made them sample all sorts of chocolates, cakes, waffles, frites (fries), and specialty Belgian beers. We took them to our favorite restaurants and cafes in Roeselare, and I will include those pictures in the next blog. 


Salzburg, Austria {Gondola Ride}

All the boys crammed into the Gondola in Salzburg, Austria. 
This post is a continuation of that one time I crashed "guy's weekend." 
{and . . . It may not be the last time because I had a blast}

After we broke the rules at Neuschwanstein Castle, our big group piled into the borrowed "mom-van" and headed for Salzburg. Now, that is one stunning city! Unfortunately, the weather wasn't exactly cooperating on our first morning in town, so Reece decided we should try to get above the clouds by visiting Untersberg, the highest mountain next to the city. 

About 15 minutes after leaving Salzburg, we pulled into the Untersberg gondola parking lot. The Alps loomed all around us, but heavy clouds interrupted our upward views. We paid 20 Euros per person, pushed ourselves onto a crowded gondola, and silently prayed that the angry clouds would disappear once we reached the summit. A dense white fog obstructed our view for most of the 10-minute gondola ride, but just as we summited, the sun appeared and the sky was the most magnificent shade of blue! Suddenly we felt a burst of energy and a lightness of spirit. It's amazing what a little sunshine can do for  you, eh?!


Neuschwanstein Castle

Be jealous - I spent three days with these handsome fellows. 
Chris and I booked a pair of spendy tickets to Munich, and met up with Reece on the other end.  The three of us have seen quite a lot of Europe together this past year: Krk, CroatiaVienna, Austria  - Cologne, GermanyWeltenburg Monk Brewery, GermanyVarious German beer festivals – and Venice, Italy, just to hit a few highlights. I typically book a suite or a room with a roll away bed for Reece, but this trip was an entirely new way of traveling for me! I threw my controlling tendencies to the wind and didn't plan a thing (and it was one of the best trips), and as you can tell from the picture above, rather than a travel group of three, we were a, won’t-all-fit-into-one-car, pack of six!

Five guys + one girl = I totally crashed guy’s weekend, and subsequently stayed in my first European hostel! Guy’s weekend was awesome. . . . the hostel . . . well, I guess it was everything I had expected. I had not expected very much. I will leave the details up to your imagination. 

Chris and Reece graduated from the University of Kentucky and three of their (awesome) classmates flew out to Europe for a week of city blitzing (seeing as many sights as possible in a very short period of time).  We effortlessly picked Stu, Kirk and Ben up at the Munich airport, piled into a borrowed “mom-van,” told the guys they could drink in the car (as long as they weren’t driving - sorry Reece), and set out to see the first sight on their blitz: Neuschwanstein Castle.