This morning we woke up and headed out to the Alhambra. Little did we know, we were going to have to walk up a huge hill to reach the Alhambra. We stopped to take some pictures halfway just to take a break. When we arrived at the Alhambra, we met our tour guide, Ramon. Ramon was awesome and gave a lot of history of the city of Granada and the Alhambra itself. The Alhambra is not just one palace, but it is basically a city! There were three main palaces, a ton of other buildings, and many beautiful gardens. After the tour, we were on our own to find lunch. A group of us went and ordered tapas to share. After lunch, we all met back at the hotel for class. We learned about transformations in class today and then did an in class worksheet practicing the transformations. After a quick quiz, we left to go get ready for a group dinner. The group dinner was at a Flamenco restaurant. We had a paella dish for dinner and then after enjoyed a Flamenco dance by both a man and a woman. It was awesome! After a long day, we headed back to the hotel to get some much needed rest. Tomorrow is our last day in Granada before we leave for Barcelona tomorrow night.
P.S One of our classmates took over the UST snapchat today. Add @UofStThomasMN to check out our trip!
This was our tour guide, Ramon. We all had head headphones in and Ramon was speaking into a microphone so we could hear him well.
This is an example of a wallpaper from the Alhambra, which is something we’ve been learning about in class!
This is an overview of Granada from the Alhambra
This is a picture of the nine girls on the trip
Hola from Spain! After we landed in Madrid, we took an hour bus ride to Toledo. When we got to Toledo, we dropped our bags off at the hotel and went to explore Toledo! By explore, I mean, we went to find food 🙂 Shortly after, we had a classroom session. We had a lecture about Linear Algebra and reflections. We learned about the History and Geometric Patterns of the Synagogue of Santa Maria La Blanca. Right after, we went to visit the Synagogue in person! Later that night, we had a group dinner at La Abadia. La Abadia was in old caves which was really cool! On the way there, there was a parade for the national holiday tomorrow, Epiphany. There was even fireworks! Everyone is exhausted, but excited for our walking tour of the city tomorrow! Below are pictures from the dinner.
Our last day in Europe! We met up this morning and took a bus to the Ferrari museum in Maranello. There were so many cars to see, and we loved seeing how the engines worked and how the cars were designed. Some of us were even able to test drive the cars! When we got back to Bologna after we were finished at the museum, we broke into small groups for lunch. We had class in the afternoon and had a general wrap up lesson and went over the final exam and had some time to ask questions. We had a few hours free after class to wander around the city and do any last shopping or sightseeing we wanted to do. We met up again in the evening for our farewell dinner and walked to a nearby restaurant. We really enjoyed our meal!
We cannot believe our trip has come to an end. We were so lucky to be able to experience so many things on this wonderful trip. We are incredibly thankful to our professors, Dr. Shakiban and Dr. Hennessey, for putting together such a great course. We are looking forward to coming home and seeing family and friends, but we will miss Europe so much. Arrivederci, Italy!
Some of the guys outside the Ferrari museum
Dr. Shakiban and some of us girls in Florence
Touring the Galileo museum
Today we got up early and walked to the train station to board a train for Florence. After a quick train ride, we met our guide at the train station in Florence and began our walking tour of the city. We spent three hours seeing all the major sites in Florence and learning about the history of the city from our guide. When our tour was over, we all went together to a restaurant for lunch. After lunch, we had an hour to see some of the sites we missed on our tour. Some of us went to see Michelangelo’s David, some of us climbed the bell tower of the Duomo, and some of us crossed the famous bridge full of shops. We all met up again at the Galileo Museum and toured the museum for an hour. As a group of mathematics and mechanics students, it was so cool to see all of Galileo’s machines and how they were designed.
We had the entire rest of the afternoon free to explore the city of Florence. We went shopping and went to some museums and enjoyed one of our last few days in Italy. We took the train back to Bologna in the evening and went back to our hotel to do some homework and get some much needed sleep.
We are loving Northern Italy! Today we woke up early and boarded a bus for Pisa. We had a two hour ride and spent the time working on the lat few pages of our homework packets – we are getting so close to being done with them! When we got to Pisa, we walked a short distance from the drop off site to get to the main square. We spent some time taking the classic leaning tower pictures and then met our guide. She took us around the whole square and showed us the cathedral and the town. We went back to the tower and were able to climb up the almost 300 stairs. The view was phenomenal and we thought being on top of the tower was so cool. After we climbed down from the tower, we walked to a nearby restaurant for lunch and then boarded the bus to head back to Bologna. Our evening was not extremely eventful. We spent most of our time after we got back doing homework and finding places to eat nearby. We are looking forward to seeing Florence tomorrow!
A group of us taking a classic picture at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Our group in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Today we made it to Bologna! We left the hotel in Rome in the morning and walked to the train station to board our train for Bologna. We spent the two hour train ride doing homework and napping. When we arrived in Bologna, we had an hour or so to get lunch on our own before meeting up for class. We had three presentations by our fellow students and then we took a quiz.
After class, we all met up to go on a walking tour of Bologna. We met our guide, Fabio, and he took us around the city for about two hours. We saw so much of the city in a short period of time, and our favorite part of the tour (for most of us at least) was seeing the leaning towers for which Bologna is famous. After our tour was over, we met up for dinner and walked to a nearby restaurant. The food was amazing and we had a great time. We are incredibly excited to go to Pisa tomorrow!
The leaning tower in Bologna
A street view in Bologna
Another angle of the leaning tower
Our last day in Rome! We got together this morning after breakfast and boarded the bus to go to the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit. We were able to see many of da Vinci’s inventions and sketches and we loved it. As a whole group of engineers, we were so excited that we got to play with all the machines and build toy bridges with da Vinci’s designs. After the exhibit, we walked around the neighborhood and across the Tiber river to get to lunch. We ate at a local restaurant and enjoyed some classic Italian food.
After lunch we had some free time to shop around and soak up our last few hours in Rome. We met at the Vatican and toured the Scavi. We were very lucky to be able to tour the Scavi as it is extremely difficult to get tickets. Thankfully our professors got reservations two years in advance! The Scavi was so interesting and we were able to see the tomb of St. Peter.
We all went back to the hotel after our tours. A few of us went out for gelato with Drs. Hennessey and Shakiban and we all broke into small groups to get dinner around our hotel. We are very sad to be leaving Rome but very excited to get to Bologna!
The view from the bridge as we crossed the Tiber river
Quick correction to yesterday’s post: we did not go to the Leonardo da Vinci museum today, we will be going tomorrow. Today we went to the Vatican!
We met up in the morning for class and listened to a presentation by some of our classmates on the life and works of Leonardo da Vinci. Dr. Shakiban then taught for the rest of our class time. After some lunch on our own, we met up outside of the Vatican museums. We got our tickets and had a short orientation by our guide on what we would be seeing in the museums. We were in the Vatican for over four hours seeing everything from the popemobile museum (all the different types of carriages and cars that have carried the pope over the years) to the Vatican gardens, the Sistine Chapel (which was absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking) to the coffin museum of all the marble coffins found in the Vatican. We stopped in St. Peter’s Basilica after our tour and saw Michelangelo’s Pieta and our guide explained the significance of the art and sculptures throughout the Basilica.
The rest of our night was not very eventful and consisted mainly of doing homework and finding some dinner. We are starting to realize how soon we will be heading home and we can’t believe how fast the time has gone! We are loving every moment of our trip!
Listening to our guide during our tour of the Vatican museums
Our group in the Vatican gardens with the dome of St. Peter’s in the background