Hello! It has been an eventful past two weeks! I apologize for the delay in writing but I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the boonies with no access to a computer. It’s been kind of nice except now I have a lot of catching up to do!
First things first…Maurice and I are engaged! Maurice proposed to me on the steps of a little church in Italy, in a town called Bolzano Vicentino. It was very romantic and sweet, and we are looking forward to making plans for the wedding and getting on with our future together! We both want to share the news with the people we care about, so consider this a “hello” from Maurice as well 🙂
Italy was wonderful! We spent a really nice day in Venice, window-shopping and walking along the canals. Some of the buildings are built about 2 feet apart with little cobblestone pathways between them. There were a lot of stores selling Murano glass, which is made on an island near Venice. The rest of our time in Italy was spent with Maurice’s family and taking little day-trips to nearby towns. One town of particular interest was called Marostica. They have a gigantic chess-board in the main square built into the pavement, and every two years they have “human” chess games! It is an old medieval town with lots of charm, and great pizza.
After Italy we drove north to Germany, stopping in Austria for breakfast. We drove past Innsbruck
and then into a little town off the autobahn, and had some fresh brotchen (rolls) and jam. It was the cleanest establishment I’ve ever been into – meticulous! The drive was about 8 hours total. From Austria we continued north and into Germany, driving past Munchen (Munich) and into the heart of Bavaria.
Maurice grew up in a TINY town called Birnfeld (sound familiar?!?!?) which is about 20 minutes away from Schweinfurt. Birnfeld is an adorable little hamlet of traditional German houses, an old “Schloss” (think miniature castle or really large estate) where monks now live, a bakery, and a lot of ducks. There are ducks waddling around everywhere, everyone seems to have a cute little dog or cat, and the fields are the greenest green I’ve ever seen! The hills just rolled on and on, speckled with little homes and shops. Oma told me that the stars are wonderful because there aren’t any big lights to ruin the view. Unfortunately it was cloudy the entire time we were there, but I can imagine how it must look. Most of Maurice’s entire extended family lives there and we had a great time. I even learned how to make a traditional dish called “Lende” which is like schnitzel. We ate Marta’s famous yogurt cake
and of course, we drank a lot of gluhwein.
From Germany Maurice and I caught a train to Prague. It was a 7 hour ride from Schweinfurt to Prague, through some nice hills, but mostly through old communist villages that would look right at home in Houston (no offense, but it’s true). After arriving in Prague we were able to find my apartment rather easily, with the exception that I brought WAY too much luggage, and as a result sent Maurice home with half of the things I brought, hehehe. Anyway, we did some exploring of the city together, I tried my first glass of white Moravian wine (not bad) and have spent the rest of my time settling into classes and trying to get my sense of direction. Now I am fully engaged in my classes and trying to adjust.
Well, that’s about it for now! I apologize for the lack of pictures. Neither Maurice nor I have been especially good about taking them, and the ones we do have are on his camera, so…hopefully he can post them online soon 🙂 I love you all and have you all in my thoughts and prayers! I hope you are all well, and look forward to hearing from you soon.