United Airlines, Airport Sleepovers, and Steve Feiden

There’s no better welcoming to remind you that you’re back in America than United Airlines. After our 5 pm flight was delayed 20 minutes at a time for 4 hours and ultimately canceled, we were welcomed with complimentary bottles of water for our overnight stay at the DC airport. The one saving grace to this unfortunate turnout was a single United customer service employee who decided to help out our group of students traveling back. This employee was the one and only Steve Feiden. Despite my complete lack of trust for this man, after 30 minutes of him cranking away on his computer and not having to wait in any lines, Steve came back and had every single one of us rebooked an another flight for the morning. Some, like myself, got luckier than others with a direct flight home, and other were a little less fortunate with another full day of travel ahead of them.

The saying goes that you never know what you have until it’s gone. Never has this saying rang more true to me than last night lying on the floor of the Washington DC airport. There was no waking up to a sunrise over a beautiful city, but rather it was someone vacuuming the floor directly next to your head. Instead of the warm hospitable people of Slovenia that were always welcome to have a conversation with you, you were surrounded by airline personnel who are battling between hating their job or the people they have to deal with more. There was no three course meal for dinner followed by an hour long conversation, but rather a bag of chips at a store where I had to beg the person closing to let me make a purchase.

Slovenia, you were amazing. You left me with more memories and great friends than I ever could have imagined. You blew my expectations out of the water and I cannot stress enough the need for anyone and everyone to see this place. As I finish this last blog of the trip, I realize that I only have one thing left to do…. convince my mom to come and see this place. See you soon Slovenia.

-Marty

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A Quirk in European Dining

 

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On our trip, one of the most consistent things has been the food. It has been unbelievably delicious for very fair prices. We have eaten at wonderful restaurants and have enjoyed nearly all of our meals. Often times the interiors of the restaurants are beautifully decorated with artwork and detailed woodwork, while some establishments go for a more modern touch. You may be asking, “Whats wrong with this picture?” No one sits inside!

At almost every restaurant that we have visited, the patio is packed. But if you peak your head inside, you will find an empty restaurant. I think this can be explained for several reasons. The weather on this trip has been amazing and the locals are genuinely excited to enjoy the sunlight. In addition, there are just more things to look at while dining outside in Europe. Whether one is sitting along the Ljubljana river or enjoying a glimpse of the Slovenian Alps, everyone likes a dinner with a view.

Slovenia and My Expectations

cropped-slovenia.jpgSlovenia inherently holds thousands of opportunities for his visitors. For me, it holds the chance for me to visit Europe for the very first time. Because my traveling has been limited to just North and South America, it is difficult to imagine what the cultural and societal differences of this far away land. In the time our class has spent preparing and learning about the trip, several things caught my interest.

The portion of the trip that I’m most looking forward to is our visit to Lake Bled. Just a short trip north from Ljubljana, the lake has a picturesque view of the Alps as well as some forest area. On this portion of the trip, the group will be taking a tour of the Bled castle which sits upon the mountain top as well as embarking on a boat ride to the Bled island which lies in the middle of the lake.

I have also done a fair amount of research on Venice. The group will only be spending a portion of the day in Venice, but I think it will be a highlight of the trip nonetheless. We are taking a boat ride across the Adriatic from Slovenia to get over to Italy. Once we have arrived, we will spend the day going to St. Mark’s Cathedral and exploring the famous canals.

Coming in with very vague expectations, I know that Europe will absolutely exceed my prior anticipations. Our group is under good leadership and well prepared for a great learning experience. I will be posting throughout the trip to provide updates and other information about the trip.

–Jack Hane

A Day on the Coast

slovenia3The day was started with a brief visit to Hidria and a less brief bus ride to Piran. However, the two hours in the bus were well worth the time on our trip to this Slovenian coastal city. Piran sits on a peninsula along the shore squeezed in between Italy and Croatia. The next three days are sure to be exciting in this picturesque and breathtaking part of the world. Tonight’s plans include watching the sunset over the Adriatic and becoming familiar with the new city.

Excitement for Slovenia

As I lay in my bed tonight I find myself staring at the ceiling struggling to fall asleep. It reminds me of Christmas Eve as a child when you were so excited to see what Santa had brought you the next morning that you would lie awake for hours. That is where my level of excitement for this trip to Slovenia lies.

The chance to travel the world with 22 of your friends many of whom you may even consider your best friends is an opportunity that only few get to have and I am beyond grateful for my opportunity to partake in it. Our knowledge of the Country that we have acquired over the past month has only heightened my excitement and I cannot wait to begin our travels tomorrow.

Everything that we have heard about Slovenia and the trip we are about to embark on has been good and I am ecstatic to experience everything for myself. It is crazy to think that in the next 48 hours I will be halfway across the world enjoying the best gelato I’ve ever had while probably fighting off some jet lag, but there’s no other way that I could ever want it. See you soon Slovenia.

Marty

75% packed but 100% excited

In less than 12 hours I will be on my way to the Kansas City International Airport to begin my journey to Slovenia. Accompanying me will be a group of people I’m glad I had the opportunity to get to know during my first year at KU and another group of people that I have just recently met. Throughout the next 10 days, I’m excited to learn more about everyone and the beautiful country we will be visiting.

I’ve always been awful about packing for trips, and this one is no exception. Usually, I overpack (which I probably still did), or I procrastinate and don’t pack until the last minute (which I definitely did do). Regardless, after a weekend full of allergies, unpacking from my first year at KU, three trips to Target, and plenty of phone calls to my roommate about what to bring, I would say I am almost ready.

Because it is already late and I will be getting little to no sleep while enduring a 7 hour time change, I better leave this here and try to get a little bit of rest before our big day of travel tomorrow.

–Bailey Thompson–