; castle dwellers

April 17, 2010

Well, Netherlands ; September 18th – 24th, 2009

Arriving in the Netherlands for my first semester sophomore year, I couldn’t have been more ready to live in Europe for three months. It seems so long ago now. I’m two weeks shy of being a junior in college and it almost seems like it never happened. It was three months of surrealism, a time away from real life. It’s starting to become someplace I’d rather be than anywhere else.

I don’t think I can recreate a travel journal so long after the fact, but I want to document it somehow with some images and text that hopefully can capture some of the moments.

To begin with: the place.

Dulcia addressed us always as “castle dwellers” and that’s exactly what we were. This is when the novelty was still there, and it wasn’t second nature as it would soon become. When we traveled, common language soon became, “…at The Castle” as if it were the name of a residence hall. Sleeping, eating and classes all took place inside of this outer wall, and yes, it did sometimes feel like a fucking prison. But this is how it should be remembered. My favorite view is probably from Braden’s inner tower room, with large windows that opened right up onto the moat and courtyard. Kastell Well. In the middle of nowehere.

The wine.

Dulcia: “I understand your drinking problem. I really do.” And then came the wine. Which, amazingly enough, they served to us. Cheap, no brand name wine served legally and with class in Europe is one of my favorite things in the entire universe. This was the very first, on a river cruise down God knows what random river that ran alongside our town. I’m definitely a red girl.

The bar.

While wine is all good and proper, the kids just can’t stay away from the hard alcohol. The bar at the end of the road became ours every Wednesday night for “America Night.” Complete with handpicked music from ipods, dancing on the folded up pool table, and even some bar tending from our very own. Evidence from the aftermath of some tequila and Yeager shots.

The walk home.

Braden: “Oh my God, look at the stars!” One of my favorite pictures because it just simply is. Or was. The little things with the right people made it home for a while.

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