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My name is Nathaniel. I was born Nov. 23, 1987 in Richmond,VA. I am attending Charleston Southern University for one more semester.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Study Abroad in Europe

June 4, '09- Traveling Days (Warsaw,Poland)
Surprisingly I was able to sleep last night. I thought I would be like a kid on Christmas Eve. We got to Charleston Airport and at 10:30am and boarded the plane at 12pm. We flew from Charleston, SC to Detroit, MI. We had about 3 hours of layover (we played on the train inside the airport to help pass the time). Got on our International Flight at 5:40pm. We landed in Amsterdam, Netherlands at 7:30am (the next day). I watched 3 movies on that flight: Taken, Yes Man, and Defiance, I started Quatum of Solace but didn't finish it. Being above the clouds at night over the Atlantic with a full moon is a spectacular sight. Then we grabbed our last flight from Amsterdam to Warsaw,PO. We were picked up in Warsaw by a guy who looked like Mario (learned later that he would be one of the people in our group). They told us not to go far from the hotel because a terrorist had caught word that some Americans were headed to Warsaw and that they were possibly after us.

June 5, '09- Kule, Poland
Woke up for breakfast at 8. We then headed to the US Embassy in Poland at 9:30am met FBI and other high ups in the Embassy. We then went to the Polish Supreme Court and met one of the Chief Justices. (Got to sit it the President's seat). Then went to Old Town Warsaw that was not destroyed in WWII. We then got in cars and headed our typical 2 hrs a day to Kule (which was a 5 American hr trip). We made it to the training center. We were told terrorist were on location they made it in the lobby and flash bangs went off and shots were fired, one guy was shot in the head and the other was detained by a SWAT guy who jumped from the roof. Had dinner then finished the night off at the sauna.

June 6,'09- Auschwitz Day
We got up at 6:40am and did some self defense. Learned how to take down a guy with a gun. Then we had breakfast then back to training with a loaded gun. I took a shot to the stomach. We then headed to Auschwitz). We were told it would take 1 hr ended up being 2-3 hrs. Auschwitz I was a main concentration camp. Later during WWII ('43 & '44) Burkenau (Auschwitz II) it was created to quicken the pace of deaths. This was one of death camps. AII could hold 90,000 people while AI could hold 20,000 people. AII's conditions were awful 2,000 people had to share 300 toilets. Most had to chose either to eat or use the bathroom in the mornings. Anhiliation (Death Camp) meant to be killed from labor with little or no food. (only the strong survived). After the tour drove back to Kule. Finished the night off at the sauna and a little party with our Polish friends.

June 7,'09- Presentation Day
Went swimming at 7:30am then went back to sleep. We then began our presentations at 11:30 they lasted until 2:30pm we did powerpoints on how the US Criminal Justice System works (or doesn't). We then packed up and headed to Wroclaw,PO where we were staying at a prison. We ate at an Egyptian looking restaurant in the Market in Wroclaw. Had creme broulie it was amazing. Tomorrow is going to be a packed day.

June 8,'09- Everything Day
We went on a tour of the prison we the Warden gave us each medallions. They simulated how they would take down a non cooperative prisoner (we thougtht it was real until the end). They brought in a dog to take out a package that ended up being a bomb. We then travelled and watched an autopsy of a man who shot himself just under the chin with homade bullets (scraps of other bullets were found lodged in his brain). We then went to Police Headquarters and watch a demo of them taking out Terrorist who had a bomb on board of a car. They used flash bangs, guns, and their bomb disabling robot and a speed chase. We then travelled to Luban, PO. We went to the shooting range I did alright for the first time ever shooting a gun. It was an exaushting day but we had another little party on a lake with our Polish friends.

June 9,'09- Bye Bye Polish Friends
We got up and watched SWAT take down a terrorists on a train. Had lunch then went back to the range (I did better). After lunch our Polish friends (Prosecutors, Solicitors, and Judges) left to go back to their homes all over Poland. We then head off to Prague, Czech Republic. It is bitter sweet leaving Poland. I will miss our friends, but it will be nice to see other countries.

June 10,'09- Touring Prague
We got stopped after our first metro ride luckily Elizabeth and I snuck by the guards and did not have to pay. We then toured Prague all day it is a very beautiful city. We toured the Castle, Clock Tower, and Charles Bridge. Altogether we walked probably 10 hrs.

June 11,'09- Veg Day
We got up and went to the mall then we went to the market and to the top of the clock tower. During lunch there was a bad storm we order and got our drinks but then left with our drinks without our food (pretty much got free drinks but was still hungry). The storm tore up the place tore off umbrellas from the restaurant. We risked our metro tickets being 2 hrs late and made it safely. Probably the most anxious moments of my life. We got lunch and took a nap then went to the Jewish ghetto were a lot of Jews were taken to the camps in WWII.

June 12,'09- Traveling to Vienna
Woke up at 5:45am randomly packed then went back to sleep until 10am. Headed to Vienna at 12pm. Got to Vienna via train at 5:30pm and ate at the market. We met up with 3 guys in the Army that were stationed in Germany. We ended up going to the Leopold Museum for a get together.

June 13,'09- Vienna Day
We met Herbert, Meila's Husband ( Meila is the head of one of the departments at CSU). He told us what we would be doing until we headed to Budapest. We went to the market (it was 20 times longer than the Charleston market and was all homade foods, delicious). Tasted some sauerkraut and pickles. We then went to the Hapsburg Summer Palace, I have never seen so many beautiful flowers. We then toured the city and headed back to the hotel. We were supposed to meet Herbert, but ran into some tram problems. We were supposed to bring our laundary at 6pm we got there at 7:30pm without our laundary (really awkward situation). The restaurant we ate at was amazing.

June 14,'09- New Experiences
We woke up and went to mass at 9am to see the Vienna Boys Choir. After mass we had lunch at an Italian restaurante and headed back to the Hotel for a nap. We were again supposed to meet Herbert at 2pm but didn't get there until 3pm. We threw laundary in and headed into the city. The girls and myself left Dr. Fish and Herbert and went to the ballet to see Anna Karenina (it was awesome). Dr. Fish informed us that we couldn't get the car for the next day so we would look for a train.

June 15,'09-Hectic Day

Today we got on a train at 9:45am to Salzburg which was my town to plan. I really wanted to go to the Sound of Music tour but we were not in Salzburg long at all. We got there at noon. There was plenty to do but we only had 6 hrs there. We then got back on the 3 hr train ride back to Vienna. Dr. Fish and I took the luggage to the next hotel on the other side of Vienna and the girls were supposed to go to Herberts which was near the hotel. They got there an hour and a half late. We had dinner at 11:30pm having to get up at 6:45am tomorrow.

June 16,'09- Krems
Met Herbert at 6:45am. I slept on both trains. Each way was an hour and a half. We went to the Prison in Krems. The prison was as good as a 5 star hotel. We went into one cell and both prisoners had tvs one with a ps2 and the other a dvd player. They had keys to their cells. We went to Stein for lunch where we picked up a boat 2 hours up river to the Melk Monestary.We got back to Vienna had chinese and said goodbye to Herbert. Courtney and I went to the Hundertwasser House (http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=hundertwasser+house&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=OQ1lSriYM86CtgfV9JD5Dw&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1). We got back to the Hotel very happy because we did not have to get up early the next morning.

June 17,'09-Budapest Travel Day
We traveled in a compartment on the train. We had the day free once we got to Budapest. We went to the market to shop. Had some adventures later at night and met a flight crew from the states.

June 18,'09- Free Day in Budapest
We went touring all of Budapest it is a very beautitful city. We got off at the Castle and toured it. Then traveled around the city and saw some monuments. Got back to the hotel swam and saunad up. We all napped from the exhuasting day and woke up at 9:30om to go to dinner.

June 19,'09- Hang out Day
Did more shopping today in Budapest kind of sad to leave Europe but I know when I get back I will turn around and do an East Coast/ North East/ Mid Plains tour.

June 20, '09- Traveling back to the States
I watch 4 movies on this one of those was Grand Turino great movie. Traveling back was not so bad except for we had to run from our Budapest flight through the terminal in Amsterdam. We held up the plane for 30 mins but our original flight out of Amsterdam was an hour and a half earlier. We got home at midnight and I was picked up by my babies: MC and Daisy.

June 21,'09- Northeastern mid-plains travels
I was on 2 more flights from Charleston,SC to Charlotte,NC to Harrisburg,PA where Matt and Nick thought the airport was 15 mins away............... it was an hour and a half away.

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