Apr 18, 2011

Canada, the second

When I heard that an organization planned a cheap trip to Québec City, me and a bunch of fellow international students jumped on the occasion. The trip was organized similar to the one to Ottawa in October, only this time there were no activities planned so we could just enjoy and organize whatever we wanted to do.

Again, we left early on Friday morning and arrived in Québec City in the late afternoon. This means that we went for a walk before going for dinner and getting ready for a night out. 

We went at a time when the Winter Carnival was on so we had plenty to do during the one full day we had there. 

Some amazing snow sculptures

The creepy Winter Carnival mascot and Zach
Between the Winter Carnival and a second great night out, we discovered the city some more.

Just hanging out

Hanging out with my friend Lise
Verdict: I love Québec City. It is very European with its architecture and mentality, has some great restaurants, and an amazing nightlife. 

Québec, je me souviens!

The gang at Winter Carnival

Apr 11, 2011

The Maine Season

If there is one season that "defines" Maine, it is clearly winter. In general, Maine is a lot like Austria - four seasons with warm summers and cold winters. However, unlike in Austria, winters here are much longer and the amount of snow Mainers get is much greater.

That is one of the reasons why I really like winter here: there is actually a lot of snow during most of winter. If I remember correctly, it started snowing (heavily) in December and until about a month ago there was always snow on the ground. A lot of snow. The campus looked beautiful when it was covered in snow.

It shouldn't come as a surprise, though, that the winter months here are very quiet. Towards the end of winter, which is about now, it is simply too quiet. There is not a lot to do outside, especially when you're stuck on campus. You really need some Vitamin D and you want to be able to leave the house with less than three layers for a clothes.

The river, completely frozen

As I've mentioned before, I went to New Orleans, that is the South, for Spring Break. Coming back was really hard because I had experienced warm and sunny weather and I didn't want to go back to cold and wet weather. However, I had to wait for about another month for Spring to come. And even then, on April 1, Orono was hit by yet another snow storm and the remains of that storm are only melting now.

So all in all, winters here are a lot like home and only differ in length and the amount of snow; temperatures for example do not differ a lot from home. I am happy I got to experience this kind of winter again, especially because it reminded me a lot of winters in my childhood. For now I am happy that we finally get temperatures above freezing. It'll be interesting to see how the weather situation develops during my last month here.

The countdown is on...