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History Tours to Germany: Confronting the Past

Student group travel doesn't always look like dancing the night away in Spain or living on a diet of cheese and chocolate. Sometimes when we travel, we encounter the not-so-pretty parts of history. What we do with that knowledge and experience is up to us. Read how student group travel blogger Vince Greenwald confronts an ugly reality during his trip to Germany (read with care as this post will cover more sensitive topics).   Last Friday, I went to a Concentration Camp. Just outside of the sleepy, historic town of Weimar is Buchenwald. Two hundred and fifty thousand inmates … [Read more...]

Baylor in Maastricht: We Came, We Saw, We Pragued

By Madeline Wieters We left for Prague at 8pm on Thursday. I was traveling with four of my friends, but there were 3 other groups going separately for a grand total of 14 loud Baylor bears packing the trains. Thankfully, we made it to our night train that left at 11 after lots of sprinting through train stations and almost-missed trains. We found our sleepers, and after talking to a couple from Chicago and a girl who had studied in Maastricht with whom we were sharing a compartment, we went to find the train restaurant. We crowded up the hallway and annoyed our fellow sleeping passengers … [Read more...]

Baylor in Maastricht: Life in Maastrict

Church in Maastricht

Madeline Wieters While my weekend adventures are inevitably more exciting, I have yet to share anything about the little town I get to call home for the next 2 months. Maastricht is about as far southwest as you can go in the Netherlands before crossing into Belgium. In fact, the first night we were here, some of our friends accidentally walked to Belgium, and it took them all of 30 minutes. It is the oldest town in the Netherlands, and the buildings that have been there the longest are beautiful. There's an old church downtown that has been converted into a bookstore, … [Read more...]

Baylor in Maastricht: Berlin, City of Surprises

By Maddie Sligh I never intended on going to Berlin. In fact, after spending so much time driving through Germany on our group trip, I was pretty dead set on never setting foot in the country for the rest of our trip. The universe had other plans. Due to the floods in Prague and Vienna, and the fact that I had just come from Paris(literally, I walked into the travel planning room off of the train from Paris, backpack and all), my friends decided upon Berlin. The first of many surprises.  The six of us left at the always exciting hour of 4:30am to begin our walk to the train station to … [Read more...]

Baylor in Maastricht: Switzerland

By Madeline Wieters I love the mountains more than almost anything in this world. I love the quote from John Muir, "The mountains are calling, and I must go," because there are some days that I would literally give anything to just sit under the Aspens and stare at the Rockies in the perfect mountain air. I live in a constant countdown from one trip to Colorado to the next. That's why I'm moving to Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. We decided on Switzerland on Monday, booked our hostel that night, and our night train on Tuesday morning to complete our group travel. I left Thursday evening … [Read more...]

Baylor in Maastricht: A Taste of the Parisian Life – My Day Trip to Paris

Seine River

By Maddie Sligh Bonjour blog followers! My best friend Ellen Klitgaard has been in Europe since early January. She participated in the Baylor in Maastricht semester program, and then decided to take summer school in Paris. I immediately jumped at the chance to visit her, experience her new life and stay with her host family instead of in a dorm or hostel. I have no class on Tuesdays, and Paris is only three hours away. So I decided to take a whirlwind day trip to see the city of lights with my best friend. I left Monday night from Maastricht and arrived in Paris around 10 pm. … [Read more...]

Baylor in Maastricht: Viva Espana!

By Maddie Sligh Siestas, sunshine, and sangria on tap. The Spanish people are onto something. If you know me well, you know it has been my dream to go to Spain since I was in middle school. Spain was the reason I started learning Spanish and developed my love of language. I have fantasized about the Spanish culture and my potential adventures there for years, so to say I was excited to spend my week of independent travel time in Madrid and Barcelona was an understatement. Our first day, we flew from Brussels (about a 3 hour train ride from Maastricht) to Madrid. My Spanish was already … [Read more...]

Baylor in Maastricht: The Rhine Falls & Verdun, France

Baylor in Maastricht Verdun

By Maddie Sligh Continued from Baylor in Maastricht: From Lichtenstein to the Swiss Riviera... We also stopped outside of Zurich to view the Rhine Falls, the largest waterfall in Europe. This site provided scenic views of the incredible rushing waterfall. The falls were formed about 17,000 years ago. Our group enjoyed adventuring through the caverns and getting very close to the waterfall. On day five, we spent the majority of our group travel day in Verdun, France, the site of the WWI Battle of Verdun. Evidence of this horrific battle is everywhere in and surrounding the … [Read more...]

Baylor in Maastricht: Tree Camping in Germany

Baylor in Maastricht

By Madeline Wieters Week 1 and 2 I learned that while taking initiative to get things accomplished is not necessarily a bad thing, my planner personality needs to chill out and enjoy what I'm seeing/doing. This week, my Type A-ness took a hit when we reached Wednesday and had no idea where we were going for the weekend. No hostels booked, no train tickets purchased, and everyone else seemed to have everything finalized. So, week 3: I learned to go with the flow. Pinterest came to the rescue. My roommate and I had both pinned this way back:   It was just something that … [Read more...]

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