Denver, Purdue

Ok so I've kind of neglected the blog, I bet you're all DYING to hear what I've been doing?

So the last few days at Denver were nice. Bettina took me to this fantastic nightclub inside an old church, how ironic. Chris stopped by Denver for a few days, so we did the Rocky Mountain National Park and museums etc together. Rocky Mountain National Park was some 3800m above sea level and so cold! We weren't quite prepared for the 7C temperature coming from 30 something in Denver! The view was spectacular though. Colourful volcanic rocks, alpine terraine and breathtaking views of the valley below. It is a pretty gorgeous state Colorado is.

I was sorry to leave Denver, but after a four hour train delay I couldn't wait to get on it. The train ride was pleasant, people were surprisingly friendly and easy going, even if there were some terrible food.

I arrived West Lafayette, Indiana very early in the morning, good thing the wonderful international department sent someone and he was still waiting there! Orientation at 9am the next day hurt a little though, even though totally worthwhile giving me the chance to meet the 15 other Australians around, not to mention the hundreds of other internationals from all over the world.

The next few days was spent getting to know the uni, the people and the lifestyle. What a change to being at home. Everything here revolves around the university, there's nothing within walking distance that doesn't have anything to do with the uni. It's bizarre and hard to explain. The campus itself is beautiful, with water fountains and buildings fit for a museum! I live in a big dorm on the other side of the campus so my legs have been getting a work out walking back and forth all the time. Hillenbrand Hall (My dorm) is the newest and nicest of them all, and by golly I'm paying for it too. The thing I find funny is that there's a female wing and male wing, and people of the opposite sex are not allowed on floors without being escorted. This is true for all the dorms.

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So only one more week left to my Denver part of my journey, and it feels a little sad, for a week goes by quickly, too quickly most of the time.

Friday night saw another big night out in town, this time to a bar opening called 'The loft'. We went in a limo! Even though the limo driver was completely hopeless and drove around in circles for an hour before we finally reached the place! To top it off the limo broke down on the way back so after waiting around for an hour we finally got a taxi. Other than that the club was really nice, the chairs were actually clean and the floors unsticky... yet.

Saturday was rather uneventful apart from a company picnic which resulted in far too many bratwursts! The Germans sure know how to put on a show.

I finally managed to partake in white water rafting on Sunday in an area called Browns canyon along the Arkansas river. It was fun, pretty wet and cold in places but definitely put a smile on my face. The highlight came when two boats piled one of top of another (yes it really was like that), resulting in a swimmer which was eventually picked up by our boat, then few boats took 10 minutes to find the swimmer's bright red crocs. Moral of the day: Don't wear crocs when you're going white water rafting, it'll be $30 down the drain easy. But it was highly amusing, and provided conversation for the rest of the day.














Royal Gorge was the next stop. This is supposedly the highest suspension bridge in the world, standing over 300m above a gorge! The scenery was spectacular, and the engineering to be marvelled at... until you stand on the bridge that is. Then the wooden planks that make up the road begin to feel rather dangerous, especially when I could see all the way down through the giant gaps between the planks. The bridge also sways... brings back memory of first year statics & dynamics when they showed us the pictures of that bridge that was all twisted as an example of torsion, anyone remember that? I wasn't the only one that felt nervous, some boy refused to walk across the bridge half way, standing there looking petrified. But the view was really spectacular. There was this awesome railway that resembled bird cages and went all the way down to the bottom of the gorge at a 45 degree angle. Plus some other world record breaking aerial tram from which the above picture was taken. Although I couldn't stop thinking about whether the cables are able to hold us up.


Left: cage train. Center: from the bottom of the gorge looking up at the railway. Bottom: View from the bottom of the gorge

I can't get the pictures loaded up right. Someone tell me how to use this thing?

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What a great city!

It possesses the cosmopolitan feel of many big cities yet it is still clean! So I'm over half way through my Colorado part of my journey and I'm loving it! Work's good, especially the people I work with (YES I KNOW YOU'RE READING THIS!), they're awesome! And Vegemite is still mentioned ten times a day (SOMEONE SEND ME SOME SO I CANT STOP THEM!). A very nice lady from work has been taking me out and showing me the sights of Denver, and it's been so much fun!

Last Friday night was a first as we went karaoking! Yes I sang! Scary as it was I had a ball. Then on Saturday we went to the Renaissance fair, this bizarre festival where people dress up in medieval costumes and drink too much. There were traditional games like axe throwing competition and jolsting, there were hilariously funny yet politically incorrect and immensely rude shows like 'Iris and Rose', and cute little shops selling everything medieval that you ever dreamed of. Not to mention people with REALLY bad english accents and push up corsets. It was definitely and experience to be had, fantastic fun!

Sunday I ventured into downtown Denver and it was still clean and orderly, not like some crazy American cities. There was a lovely sixteenth street mall with more Starbucks than shops on it, and colourful ceramic cows all over the streets (I don't get that).

Wednesday night we went to a pro baseball game, the local Rockies team against the Brewers! Needless to say we didn't watch much of the game... but the hotdog was good, and the atmosphere was fun, even on a Wednesday night. I love baseball to begin with and watching sports live is ten times better! Afterwards we stupidly went to a piano karaoke bar where me and Bettina got up on stage to do a terrible rendition of Waltzing Matilda, too bad I don't know the words.


Notes: Apparently toilets spin the opposite way here when it's flushed, someone tells me which way the toilet spins at home?

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