J-term Trip 2018

Day 7 and Day 8: Barcelona and Athens

Day 7: In the morning, we got up and took a bus to Parc Guell which was designed by Gaudi. It was far from our hotel, so we were thankful for the bus! We had our Barcelona guide with us, who walked us through the park and also allowed for a few minutes for free exploration. We drove by the site of the Olympics back in 1992 as well. After the park, we went to a house that was designed by Gaudi. The house was so cool! While going through the tour, we were given a headset and a device similar to an iphone. While walking through the house, there was audio giving history of the room. You could also point your devices camera at the room and be able to see what the house looked like before it was a museum! After that, people were on their own to get lunch before a two hour class session. After class, people went to get a quick dinner before heading to the FC Barcelona game! The game was awesome, there were so many fans! Messi scored two goals fairly quickly, and soon enough it was 4-0 at half. Some of the group went back to the hotel at half time, others stayed till the end. The final score was 5-0. It was such a cool experience!

Group photo with barcelona in the background

A few of the girls at Parc Guell.

Selfie from the FC Barcelona game.

Day 8 Athens: We woke up bright and early and headed to the airport to go to Athens. Once in Athens, we took a panoramic bus tour to get a feel for the city and look at a few sites. After, we checked into the hotel, got organized, and headed to a group dinner. After dinner, everyone was exhausted and headed to bed to rest up for a fun day exploring Athens!

J-term Trip 2018, Uncategorized

Day 6: Barcelona

We had nothing going on in the morning, so we were all able to sleep in, eat breakfast, and do some more shopping. At 12:30, we left to take the subway to La Sagrada Familia. I never knew it was that huge! We had whisper headsets again with a guide. It was neat to hear the meanings behind the engravings on the church. The inside was magnificent! The ceiling was huge. They told us the estimated completion date would be in 2026. After the tour, we were on our own to find lunch and make our way back to the hotel. Because it has been mid fifties, walking around has been fun and enjoyable! With the night free, people are using it to do some shopping, homework, and relaxing. Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day as we are going on a few tours and to the FC Barcelona game! Whoo!

Group Photo outside La Sagrada Familia

Inside La Sagrada Familia

J-term Trip 2018

Day 5: Barcelona

We were able to sleep in this morning because we did not have class until 12. With the morning free, people slept late, went to breakfast, and did homework in the hotel lobby. Some even got up to explore! During class, we learned how to find a golden ratio, buttresses, and different kinds of arches. It is cool because we have seen so many of these arches already! After class at 2, we all explored Barcelona. Most people went to the market for lunch, and then to the beach to see the ocean! There is a main road in Barcelona called La Rambla with a ton of shops off of it. People were able to shop for souvenirs and FC Barcelona gear since we are going to a game on Thursday night! After exploring the city of Barcelona, we had a group tapas dinner at 7:30.

La Rambla

Beach in Barcelona

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Day 4: Granada/Barcelona

In the morning, we woke up for a classroom session. We learned about homogeneous transformations, which we will see a lot of at La Sagrada Familia. After we had class, we packed up our stuff to store at the hotel. We were on our own for lunch. Many of us went out in small groups to get lunch and do some shopping. A lot of us went to check out the cathedral, it was huge!! Many of us also took the time to work on some homework and group projects or play card games during the free time. At 4:15, a bus took us to the Granada Airport to go to Barcelona. After we almost lost a student’s luggage and the bus was late, we finally made it to the hotel in Barcelona at 11. Many of us went out for dinner as we were all very hungry! Looking forward to exploring Barcelona more tomorrow!

P.S Happy Birthday to Joe!!

A couple of people went to mass in the Cathedral and were able to snap a quick picture of the inside.

Walking towards the Cathedral and the city center of Granada.

J-term Trip 2018

Day 3: Granada

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

J-term Trip 2018, Uncategorized

Day 2: Toledo and Granada

We started off our day with an hour classroom session learning about different types of Frieze patterns and wallpapers. The classroom was in the lobby of the hotel (pictured below). Afterwards, we had a two hour walking tour of Toledo. Even though it was raining, it was awesome to learn about Toledo while walking around! Afterwards, everyone was on their own to find lunch, explore the city, and work on some homework! We then took a four hour bus ride to Granada. On the way out of Toledo, we were able to stop at a scenic overlook that gave a panoramic of the city. We stopped to take a group picture (below). Many of us took the time to rest and work on homework on the bus. We arrived in Granada at 8:30 and were on our own for the night.

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Day 1: Toledo

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.

Italy, J-term 2016 Trip

Day 21 ~ Bologna

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

Some of the guys outside the Ferrari museum




Italy, J-term 2016 Trip

Day 20 ~ Florence/Bologna


Dr. Shakiban and some of us girls in Florence

Dr. Shakiban and some of us girls in Florence


Touring the Galileo museum

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.