Friday, May 20, 2016

Matthew and Ash in Glasgow!

We have another first at There Be Dragons: our first audio submission!  Check out Matthew Froehling's pictures below while you listen to him give you the full run down of all things Glasgow: transportation, shopping, traveling, school, registering, eating,'s all covered!  Matthew and his dragon buddy Ash studied at Strathclyde University this spring.

Glasgow's own rugby team, The Warriors

Tulips from my trip to Amsterdam

Ash with his older cousin in London

Embracing my inner Viking in Dublin, Ireland

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sara and Samwise in New Zealand!

How To Be a Kiwi in 6 Easy Steps

Step 1:  Travel (to the FUTURE)


As much as I love flying, 16 hours in a plane can make anyone a bit stir-crazy.  Add the excitement and anxiety of going to a different country to the mix, and it’s a wonder I was able to sleep at all on the flight!  I also thought crossing the International Date Line would be a bigger deal.  Not that I was imagining a bright dotted line in the middle of the ocean, but I thought someone would at least make some kind of announcement.  I did get to see quite a stunning sunrise from the plane, complete with a lightning storm in the distance!  

Sunrise over Australia

One of the many famous sculptures on the Wellington Waterfront

A bit of the scenery on my walk to school

Step 2: Meet the locals

New Zealanders on the whole are quite friendly and always willing to help out their neighbors.  They have also done well in respecting the Maori community and culture here, and kept many of their traditions alive even in a modern, more Westernized perspective.  Wellington is known as the “artsy” city, and Kiwis get creative when there is little space to work with.  About half of the buildings have old, elaborate architecture (as you would expect in the city’s center), but with more modern and minimalist buildings and skyscrapers sandwiched in between or even added to the top.  It makes for an interesting mix.  Most walls are covered in murals and colorful graffiti.  You can also find festivals, fairs, and markets nearly every weekend!  I’ve noticed that people (including myself) feel very safe here.  Children and teenagers are often seen running around the city on their own or with friends in the afternoons and early evenings.  I haven’t travelled to the South Island yet, but the North Island feels like one big community.  I think because the country is quite small and isolated, it gives New Zealanders a more immediate connection that larger countries don’t have on the same scale.

The famous Colossal Squid on exhibit at Te Papa Museum of New Zealand

An old Maori saying.  They believe in honoring their connection with Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother, and Ranginui, the Sky Father.

The view of Wellington City from Mount Victoria's summit

Step 3:  Have a love-hate relationship with hills.  And wind.

Almost everything is within walking distance, despite all of the hills.  There are so many in and around the city that it is impossible to see far ahead unless you’re at the very top.  Once you do get to the top, the view suddenly hits you out of nowhere, knocking out whatever air is left in your lungs.  It’s full of strange, abrupt changes in scenery that somehow fit and add to the city’s charm.