Over spring break, many Jewell students were able to use their Journey Grants for travel. Among them are Troy Williams, senior political science and Applied Critical Thought and Inquiry major, and Evan Lott, senior economics and business administration major.
Williams traveled to Berlin and Munich, spending four and half days in each city.
“My grandma is from Berlin and so her sister and also her brother’s son, my second cousin, live in Berlin,” said Williams.
While staying with family in Berlin, Williams got to explore some of the governmental buildings.
“Berlin was really cool because I got a private tour of the Chancellor’s office because my cousin is an advisor to the Chancellor. He works on her European policy team…He gave me a tour and told me about his job and how he’s helped in some of her speeches,” said Williams.
While in Munich, Williams visited Dachau Concentration Camp and Neuschwanstein Castle, both short train rides from the city. Williams commented on the beauty of Neuschwanstein, which is located in the Bavarian Alps and is the castle on which Disney’s is based.
Having studied genocide in many of his political science classes, Williams was particularly impacted by his visit to Dachau.
“I’m doing a presentation for Colloquium Day over genocide and ethnic cleansing, so to go and be there…it has an impact on you that you can’t really explain,” said Williams.
Lott traveled to Japan with a friend, visiting three cities: Tokyo, Nara and Kyoto, over the break.
One of Lott’s favorite days in Japan was when they visited Tōdai-ji temple and Kasuga-taisha shrine in Nara and ended the day at Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto.
“I really enjoyed my day at Nara because during the day we went through the deer park and through a shrine and a temple, and then we went to Kyoto after that and we went to another temple that we thought was closed initially. It just kind of worked out perfectly,” said Lott.
They were able to explore the inside Tōdai-ji and the grounds of Kasuga-taisha. They hiked uphill two and half miles to view Kiyomizu-dera, which Lott notes was worth the climb because of the view of Kyoto from the temple.
An owl cafe in Tokyo was also among the top places he visited. Lott said that there are a lot of cafes in Tokyo, but they are a bit different from cafes in the U.S. They have many animal cafes, like cats, hedgehogs and owls where you pay a fee to get in, get a free drink or unlimited free drinks for a period of time and then can interact with the animals.
“At cat cafes you can try to pet that cats, but I hear they’re super jaded and hate everyone, so that didn’t sound fun [and] I’ve already held a hedgehog…so I was like ‘well I guess I’ll go to the owl cafe’ because owls are cool and why not…They had a lot of different types of owls, some you could pet. Everywhere you looked around there were just owls perched in every direction. One did fly next to my head and hit me with his wing,” said Lott.
Among the various activities, Lott’s absolute favorite was eating at Hashimoto, an unagi, or freshwater eel, restaurant. Opened in 1835, this restaurant has a sixth generation chef and is Michelin star rated.
“I had had unagi in the U.S., but it wasn’t anywhere as near as good as that. It was actually pretty cheap because we went for lunch…The tradition in Japan when you get a good meal is that you have to eat every grain of rice, so I did and it was really good,” said Lott.
Cover photo courtesy of The Most Perfect View.