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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Pre-Europe tidbit

Hello all,
It has been a while since my last update and I have heard that some are interested in my current whereabouts and activities. My life here drastically changed from a simple Hebrew class every day to a full schedule of engineering courses, reading assignments, and lab write ups. And, with that said, it is only fitting that the only time I have found to write this update is now, let me paint a picture:
The clock in the upper right hand corner of the screen reads 5:03 am. I have an electronic post-it informing me that I need to leave my apartment by 6:50am. Approximately 7.3 minutes ago I put the final touches on my packing and gave my parents a quick run down of my approximate location for the next 17 days. I haven't slept much this week, and I am hoping to squeeze in 30 mins of zzz's before my relaxing shower before a day of travel. I love life!
Tomorrow morning at 9:40am I embark on my newest adventure (as if my life in general isn't one already). I am flying to Rome to meet a good friend of mine, Sabrina, who is currently studying in northern Italy. After spending a few days in Rome, I will travel north through Italy, and eventually end up in Venice where Sabrina will be my private tour guide of the area, although, I'm not quite sure of her gondola skills...
Next Wednesday I will hopefully make a quick trip up to Vienna, Austria and then back down to meet my roommate David in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This is where the real fun begins: we have no plans from this day until we fly home on April 15th. We have our rental car and the beauty of the Balkan states (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Serbia) at our fingertips and nothing but the wind to guide us. I have great expectations. Any experienced travelers in these states feel free to give me tips!
Most recently, I have been quite busy with school but finally managed to squeeze in a short trip to Jordan where we saw Petra and Wadi Rum, a desert preserve in southern Jordan. Both were incredible. I will try to tell some stories later.
Then last weekend I made a tour of some of southern Israel. Three days of hiking: 1-in the "maktesh" the large craters in southern Israel, 2-In the Judean desert (beautiful) on the syrian-african rift (if you're interested in plate techtonics and/or pangea), and day 3 was spent hiking around ein gedi, a desert oasis near to the dead sea with some remarkable views. That afternoon I enjoyed the most buoyant feeling that I ever have felt in my life. Swimming in the dead sea is something beyond words, but perhaps, in another episode I will put my writing abilities to the test :).
I apologize for this being so brief, but I am racing the clock.
I will try to keep the updates coming more as I get back into a travel swing, and may even fill in some of the missing gaps from the last few weeks. :)
Pictures are the best way to portray everything that is happening. I have not had the time yet to make an online album. So, I will put a link to my roommate, David's, photos. We have been together for almost all of the traveling and he is a good photographer. Enjoy them and I will supplement them later.
This has been short and sweet but it definitely has the raw flavor of an "update."
I hope all is well with each and every one of you.