Sunday, August 30, 2009

Back to the States - In Food

I decided to document my trip back to the states with food so here it goes.


Early the morning of the 28th I found myself in the Birmingham Aiport settling for BK.


On my Aer Lingus flight from Dublin I chose the Beef and Pasta over the Chicken and Veg option.


My first meal back in the states was a moderate half-rack of ribs and loaded mashed potatoes from Chilis. (Oh yeah and a Coors Light)


Back at the house on the 29th I enjoyed some Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing and an ice cold Pabst Blue Ribbon.

And later that day I attended a feast and pretty much enjoyed the best that the USA has to offer. I have missed the food here. Go Mountaineers.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Adios England

After returning to England I spent some time in and around London with my friend Bex that I met while traveling in Argentina. Sadly I was all pictured out and didn't get any real pictures except for this one from the train station in Chorleywood (quite a happening locale).

Other than that I have spent my time here saying goodbye to my friends


I will miss that even on a Monday things can be busy (now back to WV) where things are barely busy on the weekend.


I am not sure what to type about this photo but I thought I'd throw it into the mix anyway.

I fly out tomorrow at 8am into Dublin and then from there to Washington DC.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to England

I have now made my way back to Birmingham after a couple of great nights in London. I will be here until the 28th when I fly back to the states. I am sure I will post some pics sometime soon but right now I am just recovering and eating a lot.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Played at the Park... now I'm going home

Helsinki, Finland appears to be my last new stop on the EuroTour for now. I have booke my flight back to London for tomorrow and will be in England for 1 week before my triumphant return to the states. It will have been right at 7 months since I was on US soil and I think it is about time for me to take a little time off (wait I haven't actually worked in a long time).

That said I have tried to make Helsinki interesting and today while sightseeing some new friends and I found a park that wasn't being appreciated.

video

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

ON A BOAT

video

Tallinn Estonia

I am just now leaving Tallinn, Estonia after 4 epic nights. While in town I stayed at the GIDIC hostel in a "tube". The dorm I slept in had 16 beds all recessed back from the main hall and equipped with their own lighting, power, and curtain. This was needed because everybody was sleeping in due to the late nights.

I managed to actually get motivated enough to head to one of the local beaches (on a cold day) to look back at the city (pop. 400,000).

The city itself is great and conveniently small. I can't claim I did too much sightseeing but what I did see was quality.


This is me looking shocked that the rain actually held off long enough for me to take this picture. It started raining again 4 seconds afterward.


I would go back if I was given the chance but now I must look forward to Helsinki, Finland tonight.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tallinn Estonia - PLanning my return to England and the USA

I have been up here in Tallinn Estonia for a few days (a place where the local brew is A. Le Coq) and I am planning my trip back to England (from Helsinki to London on the 21st) and then back to the USA a week or so after that.

Ciao Riga

Granted I have now been in Tallinn Estonia for a few days but I thought I'd post this pic from the sea in Riga. My host there (really it was hosts) were great and even reminded me to pack my plastic t-shirt (raincoat) when I went to town.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

I am currently in Riga, Latvia and I have some decisions to make. Originally I took this most recent trip to avoid high fares home from England in early August and hopefully make it to Spain but it is coming time for me to decide what to do.

Here are some of my choices:

Go to Tallinn, Estonia (THIS IS THE FIRST STEP OF ALL THE CHOICES)

1. Head to Helsinki Finland and fly back to England en route to the USA
2. Head to Helsinki and fly back to England before going to Spain and then the USA
3. Slowly make my way back from Tallinn to Enlgland by land and extend the trip
4. Choose a major city or two and just go there before England and the USA
5. Work my way back to Spain and then England before the USA

Not sure which way to go but I should have it figured out by tomorrow. Oddly the thought of home is sounding good after about 7 months and if I can save a little cash I might get to go travel again a bit sooner.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Riga Latvia

I have made it up to Riga Latvia and it a great change from Berlin. The city is so much smaller and more laid back.


I am also couchsurfing again so this has been a cheap trip to a new city


Like all the towns in Europe the architecture is great and the city is far more walkable than those in the US.


I have been in the city for a couple of days now and I am sure I will miss it when I head to some other large city in Europe with a faster pace.


At times it feels like my life is going from airport to airport and I am always looking up or down one of these ramps.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stranded in Berlin - boo couchsurfing

Last night I was set to meet up with the second couchsurfer in Berlin, Germany. She had told me that she would be available on the night of the 9th around 8pm to meet up in a well-lit part of town. I sent her multiple confirmations but got no other word back from her so I went to the location at 8pm and started the sit.

I saw the sun at first...

and enjoyed the park...
Then it grew darker and darker

In the end I left around 10 pm and found internet and sent out a message to let her know I would stay until 11:30 before giving up. At quarter until 12 I paid for internet to only to find that her plans had changed and that she was not coming back to town.

This so was not my fault because I had contacted her weeks ago and had been confirming the whole time. Luckily the second hostel I tried had a room for the next night so instead of a couch I got to spend about 50+ US Dollars to stay for 2 nights, plus I lost an entire night of going out.

The jury is still out on the couchsurfing thing but I have had 2 good experiences, 1 confusing one that turned out good, and now have been stranded once as well.

I

Berlin

To see Berlin I took the Free Walking Tour offered by Sandeman. It gave me an overview of the city and the role it has played in the history of the world.

One of the many sights was a remaining section of the Berlin Wall.


I also visited the most famous symbol of Berlin (The Brandenburg Gate)


The tour was over 4 hours long and quite informative. I almost felt like I was learning something.


Checkpoint Charlie was also on the tour and it was crucial in history and almost served as the starting point of WWIII


Later I visited the university that has sculpted such minds as Nietzsche and Einstein.



Sunday, August 9, 2009

Heading to Berlin


After closing out the Prague chapter of the adventure I found myself at another train station and this time heading to Berling Germany where I would be doing a little couchsurfing.

Pictured below is this guy and Juma. He was my host for my first 2 nights in Berlin and the time was enjoyed. The first night we attended a beer-mile like event that had over 300 beers from around the world.

Then early the next morning we headed up tp the Baltic Sea (3 hours on a packed train) but it was a great day.


The water was chilly but not unbearable and a group of us sat out and enjoyed the sun and the company. The trip was unexpected because I had planned to sight see in Berlin but a beach is always a great way to spend a day.



Luckily we figured out that the busy train back could be avoided so we played games on a less crowded (yet slightly slower train).

Friday, August 7, 2009

Kutna Hora and the Bone Church

For my last day in Prague I headed to the town of Kutna Hora to visit a "Bone Church". The church might be one of the most macabre sights that I have ever laid eyes on because it contains and estimated 40,000 skeletons inside of it and most have been arranged as decor in some way.

Here is a panoramic shot of this guy at the train station (still learning my camera)


Here is the inside of the church. Note the chandelier and pretty much everything else in the room other than me.


There are some interesting things I could say about this but I will just let it go. Apparently this church was once dusted with dirt collected from Golgotha.


Do you know any of these guys?


After an interesting day I made my way back to the train station to call it a night and prepare for my trip to Berlin.

Prague Update

Here is my short early morning summary of Prague in five concise sentences (Not including this one).


When I turned up they unleashed the guards in a defensive strategy.

I met up with a friend and made some new ones.


Oddly, the architecture looks similar to the last time I was here.


Absinthe is a very odd drink that sometimes require sugar.


I have found that train journeys can be a great way to unwind during the day despite the odors emitted from the people that often sit across from me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Prague

After being in Poland I have found my way back to Prague but sadly haven't got to post nearly enough due to no wifi at the hostel so right now I have found a cable from the wall to post for a sec.

The city of Prague is one of my first real conquests in life (2003 I think) but I lost all the photos so I have taken a few more this time around.

Here I am up at the castle overlooking the city.


This is the famous Charles Bridge in town.

From across the Charles bridge though the castle really is a sight to be seen. I am hoping to get the chance to post more on here but I am staying about 3 days everywhere so I might have to just collage it all into a video in a couple of days.

Off to Berlin, Germany tomorrow... wish me luck

Couch Surfing - Wroclaw Poland

My CS experience in Wroclaw was odd to say the least but ultimately a great time. I had planned on meeting up with my host Jo when I arrived but little did I know that she had attempted to cancel on me due to a family gathering. (I was traveling overnight during this time).


Luckily she sent a friend in her stead and I ended up here.

The apartment was great but this room was taken so the first of 3 nights I would be sleeping at another apartment 3 mins away. I told them if it was easier I would just get a hostel but they assured me it would work out.

The town itself was great and I can only imagine how busy it in when school is in.


This is one of my gracious hosts.... so humble in fact he could not even show his face.


The first night was spent at a great concert venue that one of the roommates was working so I got to slip in with the others for free which saved even more money than just the cost of my room for the night.


My time in Wroclaw was great and I hope to come back someday. 3 nights were fun but I am guessing that 4 nights come Autumn would be great.