Posts about Recreation


Posted by: Gretchen A. Brown Updated: December 18, 2014 - 11:41 PM

Usually, time passes by unnoticed. One rarely realizes the significance of a moment while it is happening. Instead, appreciation is found in reflection.

For me, studying abroad has been a time to really learn to live in the moment- to realize exactly what I am doing, while I am doing it, and how amazing it is. And to truly soak it in.

My last full weekend in Europe, my entire study abroad group visited the Greek island Crete, and stayed in a city called Chania. Crete is the largest Greek island, and the farthest south- one of the closest parts of Europe to Africa.

While I would say that every part of Greece, and Europe for that matter, has beauty, Crete had a unique beauty all its own. The weather was so perfect that we could’ve swam- 70 degrees. The water was an intense bright blue that pictures do not capture. The island itself has beautiful, huge hills and a rocky coast. Chania used to be a Venetian port (think: Venice) and it reminded many of my classmates of the Italian town (minus the canals, of course).

My group did have a busy weekend in Crete. We visited an archaeological site and museum, and aimlessly explored the town. However, the most significant moments there for me were when we walked to the Venetian lighthouse by the coast, and sat as a group, just talking, laughing, and looking at the water. A Greek island, unsurprisingly, is a good place for that.

Ok, it sounds cheesy and over-sentimental. But as I write this, I’m sitting in my own house in Minnesota, and I can’t help but be sentimental about the last four months- they feel like a dream now.

In my four months in Europe, I visited eight countries and 15 cities. I (attempted to learn) two new languages. I made 28 new friendships. I stood feet away from the Pope. I hiked mountains. I saw the Mona Lisa, The David, the Acropolis, the Coliseum, and the Sistine Chapel. I swam in the sea for the first time. I ate a ridiculous amount of gelato, pizza, pasta, and gyros.

But I can already tell that what I am going to take away from this trip is more than just checking some sights off my bucket list. There were other experiences just as impactful as those: my 28 new friendships with students in my study abroad group, my study abroad advisors, and their three daughters who came with on our trip. My professors of all nationalities. The Greek woman who ran the bakery on my street in Athens. The barista at the coffee shop on my street in Rome. The tellers at the grocery stores. And the completely, utterly random people I met on every leg of my journey and bonded with for some reason or other. Every single person I have met and every single experience I have had has given me a new perspective on life. As a college student, that’s all I want. That’s all I can ask for. I just want to grow.

Climbing Mount Tibrogargan - Glasshouse Mountains

Posted by: Updated: April 10, 2012 - 9:14 AM

Just a few days ago I went on a day hike/climb with my boyfriend and a few others. Now, I am a girl who is used to the backpacking sort of hiking/climbing because I grew up going on hikes in Montana with my family. But, I would have to say that this hike/climb was something entirely different. The Mountain we climbed was Mount Tibrogargan. It was a beautiful day for hiking and being outside. I was excited to climb my first Glasshouse Mountain. I had wanted to climb it when I was here the other year, but hadn't gotten the chance to. The mountains were formed over millions of years ago by volcanic activity. 

I am always fascinated by history wherever I go and I found out that the history of these mountains are intertwined with the Aboriginal and European history. Captain James Cook saw them and thought they resembled the Glasshouse Furnaces in England, which is what inspired the name "Glasshouse Mountains". (For more information on the Glasshouse Mountains check out the link below the picture and )



On our way up to the base of the mountain, I found myself in love with the smells of nature. It is a Eucalypt forest. It's fresh and cleansing scent is definitely one scent that I love a lot!

The hike to the mountain wasn't overly bad, but as soon as we started climbing the mountain it changed completely. I have never climbed a mountain in the sense of hanging onto the mountain for your life, because one bad move could cause harm to you or someone else. But, I guess that is true in any extreme sport. I was happy to go climbing with the group I went with. My boyfriend is afraid of heights and had told me about the first time he had climbed Tibrogargan. He had worried about the heights a lot, but at the end of this hike with me he told me he didn't have time to think about himself because he was too busy thinking about me. I am definitely appreciative of him and our friends that knew the mountain well enough to guide us all. 


I was not completely sure, what to think about this... :P

I was not completely sure, what to think about this.


It was definitely an interesting experience. The view from the top was definitely worth it. I give credit to my Mom and Dad for always telling me that... "Devin, the view from the top will be beautiful and worth it." 


our Groupy! :)

Our Group

From left to right: Peter Ede (great friend of Johan and mine), Johan, Me, Amelia (Johan's sister in-law), Piet (Johan's brother), and Steve Strudwick (another great friend of ours).


Up over the mountain... steep.

Up over the mountain... steep.


This picture doesn't show the steepness. It was much steeper than this. 


I was happy to be up on top! Finally!!

I was happy to be up on top! Finally!!



The view on top

The view from the top


On the top we took a break and looked at the beautiful landscape below. I got so many ideas for my fictional novel that I am writing. It was a breath of fresh air. 


On the way down - we went down like this the whole way!

On the way down - we went down like this the whole way!


When we started getting closer to the bottom, I was definitely excited and very tired. It was my "first" climbing experience outdoors and without ropes.


the view on the way down was breath-taking as well

The view on the way down was breath-taking as well


It was a beautiful day! I definitely enjoyed it and will do it again sometime. 

If you are on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia make sure you look into hiking/climbing the Glasshouse Mountains, but make sure to be careful.
•Know your way, bring water
•climb with friends
•don't climb down too late - otherwise you will have little light for the climb down
•Be sure to bring your cell phone, emergency numbers, and also a camera (preferably a smaller one).
•Don't hike while it rains or after as it will make the rocks slippery

Follow my blog:



Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters