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August 11, 2013

Hank: Agios Ioannis, Greece

The best beach in the world is the Agios Ioannis beach out side of hotel Eden. You don’t even need to go under water. You can see the bottom just as well from out side the bluish green water. We swam and swam and swam. The last morning we got up very early and went to watch the sun rise. It was very pretty. Instead of sand the beach had small pea sized white pebbles. My theory of why the water was so clear was that the sun reflected of the pebbles and up through the water thus brightening it. Our first couple of nights we stayed in Hotel Eden. A medium sized hotel about one and a half kilometers down a tiny dirt rode. The people who owned it were very surprised to see us because they said that only greeks ever come. Fortunantly they only had rooms till Friday and we moved to a different hotel on Friday. As we found out on Saturday Hotel Eden turned into a mad house on weekends.

August 11, 2013

Hank: Vourvourou, Greece

While we were in Vourvourou we met our friends the Seremetis’. they took us to a crepe place the first night where me and my dad got a chicken, mushrooms, and olives crepe. It was delicious. Me and my dad went on a hike with them which took three hours. It was really fun but I was very tired when I finished. One evening me and dad and Nadine and George, Laurie (the parents) and Alex who is the youngest of two. That was very fun and two days later we went on a kayaking tour with two guides. They took us to three beaches that were only accesable by boat. At the second one we ate a delicious lunch of sandwiches and following that was a super sweet mellon. I ate three pieces. We also kept finding these cool little hermit crabs that would crawl on to your hand and tickle it.

August 7, 2013

Nadine: Athens

  Athens was a very cool town, We went on a train called the happy train, that took us to all of the famous places in Athens, there were a lot of them. The places were the Parloment, the Acropolise, the Parthanon, Adrion’s Arch, the Temple of Zeus, and the mountain guards.
    All of these things were very cool, and starting from the beginning, I will describe each of them. We will start with the Parloment, the Parloment was very big and it always had guards around it, it was tan and in my opinion, kind of dull.
   Next is the Acropolise, the Acropolise was covered in incredible things, like the caves where the Greek gods used to live, and of course there was the Parthanon on top, which is the thing I was going to talk about next.
   The Parthanon was very cool in many ways, even the collums were cool. Most of it had been destroyed, but the rest of it was amazing.
   The next thing I will talk about is Adrion’s Arch, Adrion’s Arch is a magnifisent sight. It is a giant arch, with a door way like structure on top of it.
   Now for the next thing, The Temple of Zeus, the temple of Zeus used to have many collums, but there are only 15 remaining. My guess is that the temple of Zeus used to be a grand sight, but now it is only ruins.
   Now for the last subject that I will talk about in this blog, the mountain guards, the mountain guards were very interesting, they had these funny shoes on that had pom poms on them. They also had big long guns, that had bayonets on them, but that is not all, they also walked really weird, they would walk reguraly with one leg, and they would bend the the other, then they would straiten there leg in the air, then they would finally put there foot down. This being the last thing I will talk about in this blog, my Athens Blog is officially over.

August 6, 2013

Hank: Georgia

Georgia: Georgia was amazing. We were there with our friends Natella, Max, and Katya. They and their family were so nice and we were able to stay in Natella’s brother’s apartment. Her brother’s name was Bachuki and he and Natella took us to so many wonderful places and fed us amazing food. My favorite food was the dolmas that we had at a vineyard in the mountains that Natella’s cousin took us to. They were also so kind that they invited us to celebrate Bachuki and Natella’s father’s birthday where they welcomed us. One of the coolest things was swimming with dolphins. YES  DOLPHINS. They even set that up for us. My dolphins name was Daisy. She jumped and spun and let me ride her around the pool. You could even pet her like a dog as long as you did not touch her blow hole or eyes. It was fun like eating a sesame role bun. Bachuki’s apartment was near the beach boardwalk and the town square. They had a small soccer field of sand on the boardwalk and I got to play soccer. The beach which was on the Black Sea was rocks so you could not really body surf. But it was great any way.

August 4, 2013

Nadine: Rome

There are many things to talk about when it comes to Rome, but there are only five things that I will talk about in this blog and they are the Coliseum, the house that we stayed in, the giant wall, the trains, and last but not least, the garden. All of these things are very interesting, and starting from the beginning I will tell you about all of them.
The subject I will start with is the Coliseum, the Coliseum was very cool, you would think that the out side of it would be cooler, but the in side was way more interesting. The out side of the Coliseum was amazing, the architecture was beautiful and the columns and arches were magnificent, but that did not compare to the inside. The inside of the coliseum was very cool, it did not matter that half of it looked like it would fall over at any second, every thing was beautiful.
Now for the next subject, the house that we stayed in, we stayed with a family of five. They were all very nice, but the kids were never there all together, but they did have three cats that were always there. The also had a beautiful picnic table that was green tile and had an amazing cover over it that was trees grown into a cover over your head that provided shade.
Next in this blog, will be the subject of the mystery wall, the mystery wall was a giant wall that we saw every time we went on the train to Rome, it was a giant brick wall, with giant arches in it, that is really all I can say about the mystery wall, for we never found out what it really was.
Now for the subject that was very important to us, the trains! The trains were a big help because if we did not have those trains in Rome we would never have gotten to do the majority of the stuff that we did, the trains were organized very well, but we were not always very good at catching them. There is not much that I can tell you about when it comes to this subject.
This next subject is the last subject, but it is a very interesting one, and it is the garden near Castle  Gandolfo. The garden was beautiful, it had some of the only trees that had the only native trees that were left from before they reforested. It was amazing, I had never heard of the majority of the trees that were in that garden, and there were not only plants, there were also fountains and ancient ruins. I have finished the blog for Rome and I will blog again when I have been to another place.

July 9, 2013

Hank: Krakow

Krakow is a great city and reminds me a lot of Austin. It has about 1,000,000 people and has a big population of about 100,000 students who are attending the many universities. My favorite thing was the Wieliczka salt mine. You could actually wipe your hands across the wall then lick them and you would taste salt. The coolest thing down in the salt mine was the underground cathedral. It is the biggest underground cathedral in the world and it was one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen. They even hold masses in it. We were over 300 feet below ground in the mine. The guides showed us how the miners moved around the salt after it was mined. The miners actually had horses 300 + feet under ground to help them transport the salt. The last horse was removed in 2002 from the mine so it was fairly recent. Our apartment was on the second floor of a building that was located right on the main market square. We went to one stand in the market square where they roasted quail and had mixed vegetables, although the best thing about it was that they squeezed their own fresh orange juice.

July 5, 2013

Nadine: Auschwitz

There were a lot of things in Krakow and one of those things is Auschwitz, which was not a very happy place, but it was very interesting. The places that the people lived and suffered in were the opposite of lugjerious, they had straw mattresses that were on the the floor or on three bed bunk beds, and the bunk beds wiggled around a lot, so if you were on the second or third bed, you would fall off every once in a while. That was not the worst thing about Auschwitz, they would put a lot of people in very small rooms with out food or water for days, and that was how a lot of them died, but there are two other ways that happened a lot, and they are getting beaten to death or being gassed in the gas chambers, where you would be put in a large room with a lot of other people, and the room was filled with shower nozils that the gas would come out of. The people in Auschwitz would also be shot on the spot if they did not follow directions when they were working, for the people there had to work all day every day, and they did not get much to eat and drink, so they were not very healthy which made it hard to do work. This was a horrible place where many people were killed, and tortured.

July 4, 2013

Hank: Sweden

Sweden: Sweden is green and wet and fresh and as most people reading this are aware, Austin Texas is not. All the people are really nice. It is really hard to sleep the first few nights you get here because it never really gets dark in the summer. When it is midnight here it is about as bright as 8:30 pm in Texas. We saw a baby moose which was really cool. It was standing in a ditch and at first we thought it was a donkey. I also caught my first pike. It looked like an alligator gar. In the area of northern Sweden that we were staying in there was the highest brown bear population in all of Sweden. Unfortunately we were not lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one. I also caught a brown trout that we ate one night. I learned how to make concrete with cement, sand, and water. It is really tiring and gets you super dirty. You dump a mixture of sand, water, and concrete into big metal barrels that spin and thicken the mixture. After that you pour and flatten it and when it dries you have concrete.
June 9, 2013

Kurt: Our trip plans

globeWe plan to travel overseas much of the next twelve months. Hank, Nadine and I departed Austin on June 9, 2013, flying to Europe. Sarah will join us in early July for parts of the trip. We plan to travel in Europe, South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. We will try to keep a somewhat flexible itinerary. If we hear about a great place to visit, we may change our plans and go there. We hope to meet people from other places and understand a little bit about their lives and what is important to them. Feel free to send us information about specific places or people you think we might like to visit. Some of our goals for the trip are to develop a greater appreciation for what our family has in Austin; to begin to understand what life is like for other people where they live; to have Hank and Nadine understand the value of learning another language; to spend time with our kids before they grow up; and to have fun and relax.

If you want to see the other blog posts from our trip, they are under the ARCHIVES tab located at the top of the home page.