Friday, August 10, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 68

Day 68:

Wake up 6:15. Check out 6:35, woke hostel owner, he said he'd be up last night.
- Photo of early morning Bario Alto alleyway.
- Crazy man. Woman chanting seen earlier.
- Bus to airport.
- Security: check before check in, questions, security, quick question at gate.
- Accidentally brought water and swiss army knife through.
- Returned to dump water and sent through security again with no problems.
- Realize flew with pocket knife from Romania.
- Arrive 2.5hrs before flight.
- See Atlantic and Lisboa at takeoff.
- Sudden turbulence "no problem with plane" woke me from light nap.
- "Nice to be back in an English speaking country."
- Looked at art in Philly. Disappointed fitting machine removed.
- Sea of clouds back. larger cumulus clouds.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 67

Day 67:

- Take metro and train to Sintra. Love the metro. Nice bell sound, looks modern.
- Good train system.
- From train looks like suburbs, was dissappointing.
- Tourist info full. Follow sign to Palace. Nice art, see the Sintra palace.
- See Moorish castle.
- Long hike to Sintra.
- Ice cream "mini milk" remind me Chinese.
- Very cool palace. Many nooks and crannies. Exposed eroded rocks.
- Every piece of decoration worth viewing. Too much.
- Turkish holding lamps, Glass tree chandelier, other pieces.
- Courtyard (cloister) single fern tree nice.
- Strict on photos. Radioed ahead about me?
- Coral themed port.
- Gardens "like Secret Garden"
- Fern valley, fountains, streams, large trees, ivy covered paths.
- Eroded stones and wells and statues.
- Queen's throne. Reclining carved stone bench. Great view of palace.
- Moorish castle has towers in the forest. Hike to it.
- Remind me Great Wall.
- Fun towers to climb up. No railings.
- Cistern.
- See bridge in Lisboa, the pinching peninsula and ocean.
- Think about viewing invading navy/army. Flight over Atlantic.
- Hike alone in dense forest. Some, but few, people.
- Walk by very full pastry shop.
- Ask: one not know, one no English, one French lady told me (part in French).
- Had travesseiro, queijada and a fofo.
- Good fofo tasted like crap afte rthe other delicious ones.
- Had to wait for travesseiro, hot, burned my tongue.
- Met from San Jose. First time backpack after study in England.
- First stop for him, happy to meet someone doing a trip "more hardcore than him as he was worried about his 6 wk trip.
- Grilled sardines. Delicious potatoes.
- Not sure what to do with bones.
- Delicious flavour of sardines. Grilled with scales, just dark crisp skin.
- Shower, Serbian coins. Sleep early after check flight.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 66

Day 66:

- Cereal and mild for breakfast. Walk with Italian and American.
- American very frank and communal. Loved street art. Couchsurfer.
- Culture shock of Western Europe. Plane vs. Train.
- See arch, main streets, plaza and fountains, statue with elephant.
- See "golden gate" and "Rio Jesus statue"
- Tram up curvy hills. New driver, 1896 wheel, levers. Driving lever with small indicator needle.
- Lisbon view. Red roofs, bridge, river, trees.
- Have bacalau, get very salty at end. Kid bite glass incident.
- Walk around castle. Moorish like. Bought her admission. Afraid after incident she told me about last night.
- Cool courtyard with arrow slots. Walk around wall and up turrets.
- See destroyed cathedral.
- Walk back. Very old black cathedral. Beautifully painted inside. Columned walkway.
- Great view of old buildings, trams, old style lanterns in cobbled streets.
- Exchange and return to hostel through metro.
- Hostel had exposed rock wall.
- Dinner of bifteque with hostel owner. Bought him dinner and melons.
- Sit on kitchen floor (carpet and cushions and small tables). Great melon. Old rusty lanterns.
- Tired, shower. Woke up a bit. Brief talk and go to sleep.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 65

Day 65:

- Breakfast with yoghurt, homemade Korean jam, honey and biscuits.
- Drop luggage at Gara. Very leakey. Drove to palace.
- Line with tour groups always going ahead.
- Tail of English tour.
- Actually like a palace, great metalwork on skylights. Marble and chandeliers.
- 17 tonne carpet and drapes weighing couple of tonnes.
- The 6 times built staircase.
- top floors "just (boring) offices"
- Walk in rain to Piat,a Unirii. Nice tree-lined boulevard.
- Commie blocks remind me of China. Advertising everywhere. Alexandru liked it.
- A district remind me of Xi Dan and umbrella selling
- Look at map in subway.
- Salami survey, 27, no foreigners.
- Piat,a Victorii and Peasant museum.
- Peasant museum very eclectic. "You are in a very special museum, out goal is to make you happy"
- Strangely worded handwritten boards, wall writings, pieces placed everywhere, painted walls, feels like a home rather than a museum.
- Walk to gara. Ask way.
- Metro to Victorii, miss walking tour of Universit,ats... should have planned better.
- Met Romanian from Constant,a going to Hungary. "Trojan horse." -> have you heard of?" "keep in mind"
- See Baneasa, like in photos. Cute, want to fly out from there.
- Otopeni has old flip type board.
- Meal in restaurant.
- Check in open 2 hrs before. Long line. 30 min before checking in.
- Security line, 10 min. Walk around corner, see long customs line.
- Jewish very animated. Portugese not so friendly.
- Met Michelle first tie flyer.
- People cut in line and run ahead.
- Fed up and stopped a woman cutting in line.
- Run to gate-> Athens. Find flight moved since passengers not there.
- Just sit down, announcement. Crown "ooh" reaction and all move.
- Wait board, just sit down and start.
- 9 lei water. "Thieves".
- Didn't believe price, ask again, etc.
- cockpit door not locked, flies open during flight.
- Met 2nd first flier. They talk lots in Romanian.
- Arrive Lisbon. They worry someone steal luggage.
- Pick up by hostel owner. On phone. Bario Alto special driving permit. Tin roads with many people.
- Small cosy hostel, still in works, everyone almost like family.

Monday, August 6, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 64

- Walk around. Passed the Hagia Sofia replica. In church. Guilty for 1 lei and post card ticket.
- Up tower. 1st small stone and brick side tower. Creepy hallway.
- Large central tower. Cracking/uneven/shaking wood steps on metal scaffolding.
- Church bells and motors. Afraid they would ring.
- Pay at top. 4 turrets with windows. Middle tall roof. Turrets small rooms.
- Can see distant hills.
- Bought ticket and return hostel.
[cafe in Lisbon]
- Walk to train. Buy ice cream, the one I wanted to try and chips.
- chips tasted very much like roast chicken as advertised.
- Gypsy chips situation. They sell ring. I thought was begging.
(travesseiro, queijada, fofo)
- Meet Alexandru 2nd half. Talk to him and girl who was there before.
- Alexandru offer place to stay. Learn of couchsurfing in Romanian media.
- Give ride for girl. Talk about Bucharest. Not as bad as expected.
- Dinner at the caru cu bere place. La Mama full.
- Korean and very modern apartment. Chinese drawings. North Korean money.
- Fall asleep later due to birds in park.
- Driving tour. North Korean embassy.
- "these are for rich people" apartment buildings. Remind me Toronto due to highrises.
- Communist buildings (news building). Arch de Triumph. Park with lake and reflection of lights. Horrible roads in rich neighbourhood.
[Lisbon airport, 830 in morning]
- Give coins.
- Old commie block building.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 63

Day 63:

- Breakfast. Drizzle but brighter. More liveley, German band. Cheap 3 lei omlett and 3 lei coffee.
- Meet at tourist info (me and Swiss with Romanians). Horrible train times. Bump into the 2 Austrians.
- Drove to Village museum. 15 lei vs. 4 for students. Very large. Buildings mostly open.
- Explored windmills. Traditional food. Gypsy musicians.
- Friendly "authentic" guides.
- Hay roofs, twig roof, oil press, water wheeles, turbines, whirlpools.
- Fold dresses, crafts, horse cart. See the dancing. Line of peeing gypsy musicians.
- Realize gypsy has bad rep in Europe.
- 3 hr dinner at Gallery. Say meet next day in Bucharest (Christina and Radu).
- Walk around Sibiu. Swiss nap and I journal and see money.
- Eyelid windows.
- At 8 pm goto main square to meet the Germans. Realized NE not NW, easier to meet.
- Walk around to look for them. The tall woman situation.
- See in distance walking to NE of all squares. Caught up and found it really was them. Excited to have successful meeting after Mihai.
- Beer, papanasi.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 62

Day 62:

- Felt sick. Get Polish money.
- Get to bus station, grab snacks and water.
- Bus very full. Half crouching/standing on luggage. Crazy driving. Feel very sick. Met from NY.
- Pick up one more. Then sit, but feel like trowing up.
- See fortified churches.
- Medias, industrial, still like communist. Banners, but for commercials.
- Copsu Mica: grey, black. Black decaying large factory shells. Smoke from active factories.
- Couple of abandoned buildings. Throughout trip see people working with shovels, horses.
- Got off near Gara, but was confusing and no landmarks.
- Walk to town with 2 Austrians, booked hostel from tourist info.
- Unsigned building. Goto wrong one first, 2 old people.
- Met Romanians. Think of Hostel movie.
Cu drag, Michelle :-) (not real happy face, exactly like this)

- Up town hall tower/museum. Side tower then main.
- Entire room of couples, many get touchy-feeley.
- Go for walk. Heavy rain, empty.
- Dinner at LP mentioned restaurant across street. Round brick ceiling and costumes, very cool. and music.
- Expensive but best food I've had on trip in Romania.
- Met Croatian and Swiss.
- Goto Gallery bar with Romanians and pair. Slow service and relatively expensive but good.

Friday, August 3, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 61

Day 61:

- Wake up, grab some snack to bring.
- German music
- Walk around center.
- No see until 1:45.
- See Mihail and restaurant, "half hour", not show up.
- Misunderstanding?
- Street kids (smelly) ask for money.
- Draw scribble in notes with pen.
- See the English activist again. Going for bike ride. Decide wait for Mihail.
- Sit for pie in square.
- Hostel full so move to guesthouse. 40->35 lei.
- Met Polish then Aus.
- Goto concert with Aus. Romanian chant, choior, violin, trumpet, organ.
- See the (graduated priest?) woman and husband (?) on street, crowd and German band later.
- Went to dinner by self. Nice basic meal, potatoes, sausauge and steamed cabbage.
- Meet French who were leaving. The 3 Romanians and rakiu shot.
- Drink beer.
- Palinka with Aus, French, Polish.
- Rakiu with Romanians, Polish. Very drunk. Also gave us beer. Polish in bathroom and sleep.
- Drink under grape vines and light, beside fruit trees. Cats.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 60

Day 60:

- On bus met Hong Kong (Dudley) who was in my room.
- Goto Sighis,oara together. Left at station.
- Red Army cemetary, gypsey, up hill through tailor's gate tower.
- Stay at Burg Hostel. Empty, private feeling room. Washed.
- Quick walk around.
- Not find breakfast but stomach ache so lied down for a while.
- Bought cookies.
- Went up history museum/tower. Nice view, direction signs.
- Meeting with Laura and friend.
- Medieval Room first closed. Nice small collection.
- Vlad wall, blood red script for Vlad and "Vlad T,epes, - Dracula"
- Torture Room museum with 1 single room, some drawings and about 5-6 items.
- The English activist call out name walk by square.
- Story of walk, ice cream, football, waterfight, church tower.
- Decide horse card hitchhike next day.
- Story of him looking for Australian girl. Bump into the yr travelling Australian.
- Walk around cemetary (quick).
- "Same people travel Romania, keep bump into"
- Wait for French from Bras,ov.
- Eng. story of men in suits taking photos.
- Aus. girl and I met 2 Americans. (Boston)
- Up to cemetary. Closed now Aus. leave after dinner.
- Americans ask restaurant, meet Mihail who went to Brock and live in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
- Had ciorba with sour cream and hot pepper. See his pub.
[plane to Lisbon]
- Meet French, bring to hostel. Fuller at night, group not show up.
- Americans go sleep at his place. We say meet at 1 next day, possibly for drive.
- Take night photos. German tourist.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 59

Day 59:

- Moved rooms.
- Barely caught 9:50 train to Sinaia. Expensive. 2 older and 1 middle age local.
- "Japan? Korea?" ... talk about me.
- Try talk, but no common language.
- Bought me 1 lei berries from kid with basket. Count to 20, etc.
- See foggy forest. (scribble here by street kid)
on mountains. Nice train station near Sinaia. Scenic outside.
- Can't find tourist info. Eventually found way to Peles, after being misdirected by lost Frence and then locals lead to Peles,.
- Tour Peles,. Amazing details. Cool mix of styles, different styles per room. Turkish smoking room.
- Like seeing the castles in different countries while new.
- Goto Peles,or. No English. Just a sheet. Follow Romanian tour around.
- Nice, but nothing compared to Peles,.
- Gold room and 2 floored bedrooms cool.
[Before meet Germans]
- Walked into monastery. People standing and chanting and cross gesture, did not want to interrupt.
- Incense burning ovens outside in rain and mist.
- Didn't find bus so train back. Drank my beers while tracking down laundary.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 58

Day 58:

- Museum day.
- History museum in center. Sort of small, ushered through some parts.
- Walked down main pedestrian street Accidentally walked out on 10 bani short. Supermarket.
- Heckling/short talk.
- Cold: 49->35->32->12 degrees.
- clouds and rain, very atmospheric.
- Smell corn. Then see people eating. 2 lei, got corn from vendor. popular vendor, all other vendors also eat corn.
- "ni hao" from people waiting for bus.
- Museum mostly in Romanian.
- Found white tower, wonderful view. Best in Bras,ov.
- Enter tower, but empty with cartooney props and Romanian writing.
- Toilet/murder holes and nice windows.
- Walked around and found Black Tower. Also nice view. Terrace above was better.
- Walk to center and decide want wait for black church. Cold.
- Altar and organ barely fit.
- 5 lei concert. Organ very clean, muted sound. Carpets in church. Amazing altar.
- Walk back, but can't find dinner buddy.
- Casa Roma^nesca.
- The recommended and pickle salad. Red pickles good but way too strong.
- Hot peppers.
- Decide stay another night. Discuss US and Canada with DC and Montana and others.

Monday, July 30, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 57

Day 57:

Meet Austrian in main square and 11am. Checked in Kismet Dao and bought pastries. See Laura from Istanbul but she decide take tour.
- Bus to gara and walk to autogara 2, mistake. N. Korea stories.
- Bus leave soon after. Stop Bran entrance (almost). Missed view from distance.
- Castle nestled between 2 hills.
- Tour castle, nice gardens. Fairy-tale design.
- Loved all the nooks and staircases and walkways.
- Ceramic heaters and fireplace.
- nooks, walkways in walls.
- Tried palinca. Sold from refilled water bottles.
- 350ml only 10 lei. But too big for me.
- Bus to Ras,nov.
- Only 2 get off.
- Stamps, Ras,nov sign in front. very strategic.
- Ask local how to get there.
- 15 min hike up forested path, see castle up and ahead through forest.
- Quite empty. Found entrance with some difficulty.
- Small rebuilt town section inside.
- 360 panoramic view. Archery range with horses and donkeys walking around.
- Smelly toilet. balconey. Nice forest view and town.
- The deep well.
- Small museum. Lookout area with wood shades and very windy.
- Taxi try tell no bus. Bus back. Briefly met Korean. Walk back to center. slightly cooler.
- Eat at Gustari. Have the specialty. Pieces with spicy sauce and polenta and mamaliga.
- Beer. Watch sunset behind Transylvanian houses, white tower, square with fountains.
- Back to hostel, meet with Laura again. Just me, her, Aus travelling for a year in room.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 56

Day 56:

- Wake up to border guard at Ruse. Stamp passport outside cabin while talking "Canada" on radio. Hope not look for enter stamp. Flip through passport.
- Saw lights, bridge, countryside outside. Not sure if see border crossing.
- Give passports at Bul. station.
- "stamp?"
- Train leave, thought lost passport. Walk down, ask 2 officers, point down.
- Slow train.
- See car with passports and officers with stamps. Got back eventually.
- Hear other cabin ask for stamp.
- Brits say stay Bucharest and goto Black Sea.
- The wrong station/ticket con as I step off.
- Point finger and yell. Should have continued to "liar." <- Asked info (was closed when he tell me to ask).
- Very new but rather slow train to Bras,ov.
- No reservation so found a seat eventually.
- American-Romanian check to make sure not trying to get money from me.
- Chat. Selling through Amazon company. Give me 15 lei and show me the way.
- Met 2 Germans on bus. full. once see group of ~15 backpackers. They stay Kismet Dao. I moved to a guesthouse.
[ after see Mihail at restaurant]
- Met Austrian lady. Then the 3 British showed up later in day. Robbed 600 lei by taxi.
- Met Welsh. Saw main square, walked to cable car and go up. Mountains on one side and Bras,ov on other.
- Too far up. By Bras,ov sign. Also see new part with commie blocks.
- 3 lei corn not buy.
- nap. But the Brits show up. Hear them telling taxi story.
- Dinner near center with Germans.
- Set up meeting in Sibiu, NE corner of main square, 5th, for dinner.
- T,uica.
- Fried fat, pure cream and carrot sauce.
- Talk about bears, their Sinaia bear story.
- Guesthouse attached to owner's house and shared kitchen.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 55

Day 55:

- Wake up for Rila. The assigning to cab situation. Separated from Dave.
- Chicago/Colorado/smelly kid. Cool driver (sunglasses, music, good driving).
- Seat belt before police.
- Monastery small. Very well painted church inside and outside. Smoke from candles inside, many light beams visible inside from grated windows. Chanting monk. Seated someone and people around.
- Amazing yoghurt (rich and buttery), honey, beignets. Powered sugar. long line up. shake head confusion.
- Went up monastery tower. Nice views. Toilets. Painted chapel at top (off limits).
- See Dave after yoghert and chapel. Car broke down. Separate tour decided.
- Tall mountains.
- Short hike and clear, cool stream.
- Return taxi.
- Others sleep, I stuck middle.
- I go buy train ticket. Domestic -> info -> sleeper reservation -> correct office.
- Changed money for ticket. Now too much. 12 lv lent to David -> 20 euro extra change.
- Goto dinner Dave, British, Cali and the two Americans in my car.
- Short tour St. George.
- Pri Yafata again. "hate to have that as the symbol of my city"
- Boyar's Arrows "congrats"
- Beer and lemonade.
- Leave for train. Taxi. Get there 7:10.
[wait for Mihail]
- See 3 Brit (high school) on tracks. Ask.
- Train: Assigned same cabin as the 3 British.
- Leave Rusian looking station
- Decide Bran trip 2nd day due to museum closing times.
- chat and read Romanian book.
- sleep at 12.
- Cliffs with cafes, villages.

Friday, July 27, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 54

Day 54:

[Piat,a in Bras,ov]
- Missed walking tour. David slow. Talked to American teacher about war, US downfall, etc.
- Walking tour. Th main shopping street, nice mall with food.
- Mosque, fountain, ruins.
- Sofia statue. Not very impressive.
- Old church, 2 lv. small.
- Difficulty and expensive buying post card.
- Met person moving to Cali. White Singaporian on way to Soviet soldier memorial.
- Good memorial. Run down. Garbage, grafitti, broken panels and floor. Garden surprisingly well maintained.
- Palace of culture big. closed. run down. nice fountains.
- Statue on way, falling apart. "cruel joke"
- Corporation signs dominate skyline.
- St. George's, guards.
- Communist headquarters.
- Return hostel.
- Sparking trolleys.
- Dinner at Pri Yafata again.
- Talked with the hippie from Vancouver. Sounds like she had an interesting youth. To Morocco, weed, etc.
- Traminer wine.
- Decide go Bras,ov straight.
- Crazy drunk guy from LA. I decide leave Sofia so I pack up.
- Bucharest $20 cab story.
- Dave goto club. Said he had tequila shot.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 53

Day 53:

- Woken at 3am for Turkish. Wait in line and watch 2 cats play.
- Again at 430am. Did not see border crossing.
- Inspectors came with flashlights in room 20 min later.
- ~530 am got passports back. Mine not stamped. They lost David's.
- ~550, get David's back. His stamped. Fail to catch border guard before train left in hurry. Worry about stamp.
- Wake 1100.
- Conductor not happy I used sheets on 3rd bed.
- Found tram with Swedish. Before 1st stop: 4 large guys and ticket scam. Fake police call, push local away and slip women money (Swedish saw). Pulled off tram.
- Swedish refuse pay and police call.
- Swedish left when we get our room.
- Living room like place.
- Decaying commie block right outside and old trams.
- Eat Bulgarian food cheaper than expected. Nap.
- Pasta and beer. Sleep early, not feel well. Get some of what David had.
- Buy snacks. See 2 lv 2 litre beer. Almost didn't believe.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 52

Day 52:

- Met NZ girl going to Romania in morning and showed book and contact info.
- David gets sick again. Possibly from breakfast?
- Palace.
- Main meeting hall ok, cool chimnies in kitchen.
- Harem was quite impressive. Rest was rather mediocre for such a large empire.
- Cool tiles. Chinese porcelin.
- Treasury with treasures from all parts of Europe and Asia.
- Arm and skill of St. John. Large diamonds. 86 carat found in dump and sold for three spoons.
- Large emeralds and solid emerald boxes.
- View of golden horn.
- Sit outside ice cream. Back to hostel.
- Dinner with New Mexico.
[Sofia last night]
- Wave to local Children on train. Conductor on coach assign rooms. Cramped three beds.
- Met Swedish Couchsurfers. Share olives and lokum.
- See train off, night markets, people playing in streets.
- Very shakey train. Bounce around rails. Moon, lights, ocean.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 51

Day 51:

[coffee outside Palace]
- Aya Sofia. Scaffolding inside. Porfery everywhere in Istanbul.
- coffee with Knut (spelled Cnut in original notes, which is probably wrong!) from Norway. Talk of sailing.
- Large Arabic circle panels cool. Impressive for 1500 year old.
- See Christian mosaics and Muslim Quaranic verses side by side. Mecca-facing hold under Madonna and Child.
- Ramp to upper gallery rough stones.
- Museum display with illuminated Quaranic text (old).
- Archeological museum. Lion motif from outside Gate of Ishtar. Eclectic museum layout.
- Sunken parts for exibits, glass windows, etc. Different in different "museums."
- Found out "Alexander's Tomb" and first leather later. Missed. Ushered out at closing time.
- Sit in park. Tall slender trees. Locals. Park road and pond.

[Sofia hostel]
- Met from New Mexico in room when about to leave for dinner.
- NZ and New Mexico together for dinner.
- Rather expensive but Ottoman and Byzantine specialties.
- Bought raki and sat on roof and talked and shared travel stories. Watch HS and golden horn, ships, etc.

Monday, July 23, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 50

Day 50:

- Bump into girls met in Santorini, take ferry over. Hagia Sofia closed.
- Go into Blue Mosque. Just like seen in TV. Cool lights in the bulbous glass casings (find out used to be oil lamps judging by the ones in Hagia Sofia).
- Smelly carpet, heavy wear on carpet. Beautiful drawings inside. 4 large columns. Very open. Seems smaller from inside. Donation desk at front. Great courtyard.
- Cistern. Water dripping everywhere. Enter through "shack." Carp, music.
- Tear column, thick flared ones, 2 medusas, almost all different, Great ambiance.
- Grand Bazaar. Like a mall. Newer parts have TV panels with ads. Cooler inside.
- Not as aggressive as Morocco. People are generally nice. Sucked into carpet store on way, and taste doner.
- Turkish tea at "tourist cafe." David eat brochette.
- Walk to Suleymaniya Mosque.
- Larger than Blue Mosque. Almost same, but less decorated. Still very impressive.
- Ask person first as David didn't want to go in. Nice gardens in front and person selling bread.
- "Thank you for your donation" as walk out of courtyard.
- Cemetary and sultan's tomb. Quaran reading inside. cool light fixtures.
- Walk to Spice Bazaar. More chaotic, dirty, locals.
- Got doner on way.
- Spice and lokum shops. Speak Chinese and give sample and card. Delicious. 2nd try Chinese, not too good.
- See cool hangout with carpets, water pipes and cat on roof.
- See bridge and other side.
- Find Ali M... original store. Buy box. Strange pricing scheme.
- Formaldehyde toothpaste. 1.5 vs. 5 YTL. Then find same 5YTL toothpaste for 3YTL in store in front of hostel.
- Back to hostel for shower, water, ayran.
- Free eye pin from street vendor.
- Try to meet the Brazillian girl. Obviously not interested hang out with us.
- Goto Orient Hostel for belly dancing. They not there.
- Ate at restaurant with puffy bread and apple tea.
- OK but touristy belly dance. Limbo, involve audience. Take shirt off guys.
- "Try to meet some people." Some from Netherlands. 2 overweight older gentlemen with water and embarrasing dance.
- Meet NZ girls. Cool off on roof. Learn one roommate was Lonley Planet contributor.
- She travel by self Silk Road. Learned of it after her departure.
- Talk to another NZ... travel to Romania and beyond.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 49

Day 49:

[outside hostel to sound of call to prayers]
- woke up ~ 4:30am at Greek border, take passport (smiling woman). ~ 1 hr later, knock and get back.
- Watch train pull out of station (now almost day), cross bridge in forest, a Turkish sign, a guard with a machine gun.
- Arrive station. Ask for passport. "Canada, visa" directed into station. Small room with cylindrical heater. Pay 45 Euros. Back to train. ~ 30 minutes later, get passport back.
- Neat "commie block" type buildings and houses in countryside. Decaying wood houses. Round minarets.
- Dave sick. me too.
- Arrive find hostel. Like European city almost. Walk past HS and Blue Mosque.
- Get money and food. Quite sick feeling. Nap after. Dave in room whole day.
- Walk to river fail! Run into slums (?).
- Palace gardens, HS and mosque. Ice cream. Corn not so good.
- Read Pilot Guide.
- 2nd walk.
- Call to prayer more drawn out and melodic than Morocco.
- Hostel roof see part of Blue Mosque, HS, Asia and sea.
- Chorus of cats and music. As indicated in Lonely Planet.
- see mosque and sunset colours from hostel.
[sit outside hostel drink Ayran]
- walk around at night and return. Talk to Norway roommate about sailing.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 48

Day 48:

- Wake up 9:30 but still pitch dark. Find out window goes to inside covered area.
- Buy ticket. Eurail save 16 euros. Last use. Happy to get rid of it.
- Leave Santorini wine in fridge.
- Bus to arch. Texas woman working at church.
- See white tower and seaside.
- Goto the archaeological and Byzantine museum.
- Byzantine very well organized and presented.
- See arch. Rotunda (UNESCO) closed when we get there.
- Dave knock over postcard stand while buying Harry Potter. And knock over some snacks later on.
- Can't find catacombs. Find Agia Sofia. Closed but see outside (UNESCO).
- Meet 2 Kazakhstan. Azamat. "hate Borat. I will kill him if I see him"
- Dinner at station. Get bags then get to train. Turkish train sign.
- Train parked halfway off platform.
- Conductor lead to room.
- Chat with others. Find out elections delayed to day we arrive. Not good.
- Find out about percussion bomb a few weeks ago.
- Shaky train.
- Room for 2 ppl. Sink, soap, fridge, hangers, plug, mirror. Stained pillowcase. AC too much.

Friday, July 20, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 47

Day 47:

[Train to Istanbul]
- Jog to post office to send postcard.
- Highspeed 5 from Hellenic.
- Met group from Philly. 4 hrs. Was looking forward to ride due to the ferry story, but seas were calm so only some rocking motion.
- Took train to Larissa. Get to ticket booth before long line up. 1.5 hrs before train.
- 6hrs train.
- Tracks built on hills (to avoid farmland?). Through mountains.
- Descent from mountain on side of it. See landscape below. Pass tunnels.
- See rock outcroppings on the down side of train.
- Twisty rock.
- Smooth but slow train. Very few seem to be electrified in Greece.
- Arrive midnight. Birthday on walk to hotel. Close to station and get room.
- Elevator with no inside door.
- Get food then slept.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 46

Day 46:

- Final decision to stay. Goto beach by hotel. Very small black and other colour pepples. Very confortable but hot.
- large slipping rock makes coast. Ends in a shelf not too far out. Water very clear can see bottom.
- Wanted to windsurf but told too windy. Had good souvlaki. Talk on beach. Walk Andre to bus.
- Visited supermarket. Got stamp, cactus juice, water, figs. Figs very fresh and very big. Not so sweet. Good flavour.
- Ate octopus. The ferry scheduling problem. Decide take fast ferry via Athens rather than Thess. or Samos.
- Bought local wine from place down the street. Very dry.
- Sleep early for early departure next day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 45

Day 45:

- Goto day tour. Bought ferry tour tickets then found everyone on the "traditional" ship.
- Volcano. very hot, black rocks. Many craters. one mound of black rock from last eruption.
- Many craters. one hole/sulpoher vent with thin "steam" exiting. Put hand in, hot.
- Miss ferry so take the "traditional" boat. More rocky.
- Parked off hot springs, jump in water and swim.
- Red water and warm. Smell like iron rust. Dead figh, but I did not see them. Bubbles and hot rocks.
- Very squishy mud that stains. Many rub on skin. I did a bit.
- Thyrassia: they eat lunch. I miss donkey by a minute so I walk up behind. Smelly.
- Charming village. Small alleyways, white walls, blue roofs. Very few people. Sat, ate bread, waiting to dry.
- Bought water from small very quaint shop.
- Swim after I return.
- Ia: touristy with many resorts. Pools look very nice.
- Old patriarch and kid ringing church bells.
- Ate souvlaki and made way to sunset. Cool alleyway.
- Packet with people. Lost David and Andre. They did not see me at castle place, they go to other side to view.
- I watch sunset at a castle place, they go to other side of windmill. Clapping after sunset.
- Great colours on town. Small marina below cliffs below. Stand on internal ledge. Good view.
- Waited at top. Did not see them. Try another road but was dead end.
- Got to station at 9.
- Could not find bus so talked way onto first bus to Perissa.
- Met South Africa (living in Malawi now) kid with family. AFter left, missed family and when I was young.
- Get to hostel. do not see them, then they arrive few minutes later.
- I didn't feel well so doto bed. Andre with Portugese.
- Decide stay extra night.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 44

Day 44:

- Woke up to announcements. Arrive Ios, cheering Spanish. Stayed in bed, in/out of sleep.
- Watched arrival to Santoniti. See villages on cliffs and switchbacks to ports. Volcano island.
- Can clearly see caldera.
- Missed bus to Fira. See Hostel Anne shuttle. "looks familiar"
- Check Internet on arrival. Find is right place. 6 euros per night but had to cancel reservations.
- Large noisy dorm in basement and smelly bathrooms.
- Rented ATV after license problem.
- Went to red beach, a beach with cliffs, then lighthouse. Cool cliffs to climb around there.
- Porous red and black rocks at red beach. smooth.
- See island in distance.
- On way back bought 10 euro wine, probably ripoff.
- Learn white beach only accessible by boat.
- Went to a flatter beach then decide goto the cliff beach. houses carved in flatter beach.
- Water cold but clear. (see red beach just beside over a bit).
- Swam and into mouth of a cave. Dry off in sun then explored some shallow carved caves near beach (up a bit).
- Ride up the tallest point. See grape vines on ground in volcanic soil. See sunset from mountain. See all of island plus some far away islands. Try wine, sunset, alcoholic, rasins taste, some slime. very tannic.
- see whole island light up. Beautiful in the colours of fading sunlight. See swath of sunlight shooting up after go behind mountains.
- Dave drove back, scared of heights. Almost hit hostel when turning.
- Dave and Andre sleep, I go up and talk a while, but no chairs, so go to sleep.

Monday, July 16, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 43

Day 43:

- Dave goto museum.
- Bought ferry tickets.
- Andre student ticket Acropolis situation.
- Windy at top. Restoration. Good theatre. (2)
- Great view of Athens from top.
- See ocean, many buildings, hills (with church), mountains in distance.
- Couple of temples at top of Acropolis. On big cliff (with excavations in it).
- Bought Greek pears. Get to Pireaus, jogged to ferry.
- Sat and sweaty.
- Get comfortable with ferry since 15 hours. Surprisingly rocky. Difficult to walk. Did not find good sleeping spot. All taken.
- I slept between wall and vent. Quite cosy.
- Andre's overcharged tiropita and order wrong thing while David was undercharged due to bread covering meat.
- Andre's water bottle incident.
- Creepy staring Indian guy.
- Ferry made smoke rings.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 42

Day 42:

[patio in Santorini]
- A bit late so took taxi to bus station. Bus to Delphi.
- Pretty villages on hills.
- Painful dust storms.
- Delphi on hill. Large expansive valley with olive trees and town on a body of water.
- Walk to museums. Andre pay more (no student card). Lost ticket but then call seller, so let in.
- Carving with music notes in museum.
- See ruins, temple of Apollo. Theatre was cool and had foot race in stadium at top. 170m.
- Models nad paintings... must be amazing when it was not destroyed.
[ferry to Athens]
- Missed the gym area.
- Andre call and we meet Cleopatra. Quick walkin gtour then sat at a bar and talked.
- Police grafitti incident.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 41

Day 41:

- Woke up late. Reduce stay to 3 nights.
- Walking tour. Adrian's arch, Temple of Zeus, squares, markets, changing of guard, gardens, stadium.
- Split for day with Dave since he already did Acropolis.
- Goto Acropolis, find out on strike Sat and Sun.
- Gate Archeological museum.
- Student card: 4->7 euros.
- Eat good souvlaki.
- Cool things. Old monolithic, pottery, ceramics, the tablets I saw on TV about theory of exodus. swirl designs.
- Walk back. Eat gyro and souvlaki and Joy's fast food. Saw argument and hear plate smash. Andre told me the guy behind counter smashed it not client.
- Bought chain. Fruits (small plums). Bought Alpha beer. Sat in apt eat and drink.
- Internet Dave sleep.
- Quick visit to bar. Bed relatively early.
- Basket with different coins in it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 40

Day 40:

- Woke up 530. Up at 545, disembark at 620.
- Train station right beside.
[ Ferry to Thira]
- Arrive Xylochistron at 9. Wait at empty station for cousin.
- Nice vacation town feel.
- Large 5 story house (apt. building) and garden with lemon, mysterious fruit, etc.
- Asked too many questions and found history. Brother's death, etc. Apt. used to be busy but not empty.
- Met Andre's grandmother's sister. Nice. Altzheimer's. Beautiful house and garden of trees.
- Went to beach. Saw Greek orthodox church. Beautifully painted on inside.
- Walk through pine forest by ocean. "Danger of fire" "biblical catastrophy" "a bit exaggerated."
- Clear blue waters. Small pebble beach. Seaweed, rocks, sea urchins.
- See mainland Greece across.
- Ate dinner and get on train. Greek salad. Crazy Greek guy from Kaito to Athens.
- Liked CSA (South) and then say hate Bush/love Moore. "higher evolved." old artifacts, new train. olive conversation.
- Train double back. Dave call when we on metro. Meet at Acropoli station.
- Apartment pretty comfortable. LCD TV, kitchen, towels, AC.
- Great view at rooftop bar.
- Free ouzo shot. Andre tires so drunk after 2 ouzo and 1 beer. David first shot.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 39

Day 39:

- Play cards in beach house with Minnisotans.
- 11 person game of asshole.
- Headache and tingle. From too much cheap wine?
- Late lunch at snack place, hand out for hours.
- Stories: Doug and his things auctioned off, bat chase, etc.
- Remember story of bus chase by Minnisotans.
- Rest of day on beach.
- Take bus from the beach town.
- Hang our at port with Minnisotans. Ship late due to rough seas. Large ship from Venice.
- Wood panelling. Escalator, shops, 7 decks or more. 5-7 passenger. Like a cruise ship.
- Seemed very significant when docking. Large bay doors open, lights inside, slow manouvering and rumble.
- People set up to sleep in parts of ship. We set up on middle deck between bathroom and outside door to first outside deck, partly covered.
- watched departure and slept.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 38

Day 38:

- Wake up at 1130 or so.
- Beach entire day.
- Large waves and swimming.
- First time swim in large waves.
- Lunch at snack corner in town.
- 1.5L water bottle wine.
- Lost control in wave once. Rocks near shore.
- Decide take next day's night ferry.
- Ferry misinformation from reception. Found on internet.
- Wine bitter and dry.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 37

Day 37:

- Wake up 230 to stars. Cold, go in sleeping bag. See coast of Italy behind and sea around.
- Wake up before 6am to warm rosy light and dewey deck. See coast of Albania/Greece.
- Windy.
- hoisting of flag... sunrise.
- Pink bus on arrival. Many English/Spanish.
- Briefing at reception. Shot of pink ouzo. The Bryan getting beat up and bartender story. "eye gouge" "remember me"
- Drinkable water situation. Phone misinformation.
- Blue waters, cliffs, green and spike trees.
- Kayak tour. Stories. Retsina, canned food.
- Athena island with moonshine with herbs and cactus.
- The ritual. Amazing views form the rock.
- Kayak and swam in far out ocean and around rocks. (strange formations). Clear blue water, salty. Sea urchins and some fish.
- Room close to beach. Tag on wrist like resort. Hostel is like a resort in almost all ways (but cheaper). Only 3 beds and has bathroom. Like a hotel room. (and fake AC). Spanish baristo. Andre said the others stayed in a much nicer room, but farther from beach.
- Dinner together. I take nap. Andre drink with some people me met.
[train to Xilochristron]
- Greek dancing and plate smashing. Missed ouzo.
- Stars on roof and meteors.

Monday, July 9, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 36

Day 36:

Get up at 7 to the train to Bari.
- Hole toilet on train.
- Eurail ripoff.
- Met Trevor and other at port.
- Top deck of ferry. Noisy air intake? plastic benches, chairs.
[ ferry morning]
- Left port, travel along coast of Italy.
- Useless Eurail.
- Sunset, small flash of green as sun went behind distant mountains.
- view of other ferry, smoke and trucks. Dinner. Other ferry (Blue Star) pass us.
- Played cards.
- setup sleeping bag on bench at back.
- Deck emptied out later.
- sleep at 0030 Greek time. See stars and coast of Italy.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 35

Day 35:

- Kept running into Jushua throughout the day.
- Travel with Stephan.
- Walked around Napoli downtown. People selling cameras and phones. Shanty town behind main avenue.
- Ate very large pizza. Walked around historic center.
- Maritime station mixup.
- Train to Pompei passes around Vesuvius. See Capri island.
- Stephan come along with us all day.
- Pompei entire city. Dusty, brothel images and sleeping dogs. Few plaster casts. Less creepy then expected.
- Trees, some preserved streets and mountains in background. Views like a poor rundown mountain town.
- See Vesuvius, coutyards, stairs, stand in house, upstains. fountains, paintings, mosaic tiles.
- The theatres were cool. Large one had tunnels and arches under the seats.
- Pizza restaurant. Great food and good prices. overcharge. "computer mistake" lots of yelling.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 34

Day 34:

[ train to Napoli]
- Find out girls borrowed key actually returned it and took our 10 euro deposit.
- Worried about Napoli. old man to Andre: "only thieves there"
- walk around Roman forum. Pieces are scattered everywhere. Nice view with moon.
- Feels like post-apocalyptic landscape.
- The Capitonelli (?) museum. See the Romulus and Remus statue, the Marcus statue, and marble and bronze constantine colossus. Foot, hand, elbow, head. Giant sized.
[train Caserta]
- Get off train, feel like getting ready for battle. Andre's time mix up. Can tell Andre is worried all the way through. Grafitti, almost like a shanty town. Lots of garbage, etc. Charming in a way.
- Hostel was very clean, new and modern. Movies. Arched ceiling in common room.
- Bought frozen pizzas for dinner. Hang out and meet Stephan and Joshua and others.
- Vesuvius and skyscrapers.
- Circumvesuviana.

Friday, July 6, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 33

Day 33:

- Italian waiter.
- Vatican museum and audioguide. Much better after knowing the meanings of the paintings.
- Amazing porfery works. Bathtub an dthe 2 circofagus. Porpery tiles on the sistine chaple.
- Went in St. Peters. Amazing light beams change as sun sets. Mass with organ and choior add to effect.
- Still moved to feel like crying even at second visit. Saw the famous work (that was damages).
- Andre also feel like crying.
- Statues, ornamental walls. Light beams. Men and women monks mingling with other crowd. Franciscan monk.
- Saw box containing remains of St. Peter.
- Old Bridge ice cream. 3 large scoops and whipped cream. Large line up. get suggestion last night from the sister. 2 euros.
- Drink wine and cola with table of Spanish. "Spanish drinking game"
- Good conversation. share. brink back drink, etc.
- "no water, drink"

Thursday, July 5, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 32

Day 32:

- Took tour of Coleseum. Amazing inside.
- Inside looks muich larger than from outside.
- Learned about porfery, 17000 pounds per cubic inch.
- very intricate and tried to imagine when it was in use.
- Andre decide to extend trip.
- Tour of Palatine Hill very cool. Many pretty fountains there. Especially the ponds/dripping down moss.
- Circus Maximo is only a ditch now.
- Expensive 13.5 euro dinner in view of coluseum. Worst dinner in Europe so far. Horrible waiter, bottle water situation, chicken was processed chicken. The demeaning girls from UPenn and the 2 older guys here for funeral, biking across and overly friendly.
- bitter/citrus rind Campari soda.
[last night Rome. in room]
- sat to write journals. Met 2 roommates. Other brother and sister join, group of 6 walk to Spanish steps. people sit around and drink. Sell beer from bags. Walk to Trevi. Ice cream.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 31

Day 31:

[diesel train to Rome]
- Miss alarm, feel sick on bus. Sweaty. Miss train so take next one. Bought bag all day.
- Village on rock on the way. Andre go to Uffizi and Pisa.
- Walk through gate to Il Campo: most amazing view.
- Picture perfect every street. See sand cleanup and square, realize this is where Il Palino happens. Turns out it was 2 days ago! Feel bad for missing it.
- Very medieval and the flags in the (winning?) neighbourhool.
- Sat in square and had a large, fast melting ice cream. Duomo: like Flornece in style but grey stones in place of green ones and more ornamental.
- Wander around town and see S. Domenico
- Large plain brick church.
- Pidgeons landing on walls.
- Have small diesel train to Chuisi. 2 cars, one 2nd class, one first. No separate engine part. See other train first, lots of smoke as it left.
- Like sitting in a large truck. Engine sounds, powerful breaks, diesel smell, feels like shifting gears during acceleration.
- Surprisingly fast.
- Gear shift takes longer time. Very small tunnells like subway. Extreme pressure changes.
- [sit in M and J (Mario and Luigi) hostel]
- 1st BellaRoma cancelled reservation since we not arrive by 18:30. Took long time to find. Kept our security deposit.
- They call M and J. I get ther eand they say they full. I thought they had reserved 2 beds.
- They call and find another hostel. Leave Andre a train of messages and worry.
- Met Californians and run to the hostel like in Amazing Race. Get call from Andre while walk there. Very happy to hear voice.
- Old man in car with kid ask if we need place to sleep.
- Met in Termini. Andre tell story of wrong station and old man drive him to Termini.
- hungry, tired, dirty, no privacy, don't know where I'm sleeping, see other families, etc... feel homesick a bit and see life differently.
- Imagine if I didn't have an end to this and no money. More understanding of how poor feel of rich people.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 30

Day 30:

- Met people at breakfast. Get to Uffizi about one hour late. Called on cell.
[train to Siena]
- Meet Chinese people from Edmonton.
- Wait 3.5 hours. The Boticelli room is amazing. Birth of Venus and Spring are both there.
- Andre go to Academia with 8 other people. Waited 6 hours.
- Not a large museum but many important works. Feels unrushed since museum is reasonable size.
- Originally plan on meeting all at the Venus but did not see them in line or museum so left.
- Santa Croce -> floor and walls covered in lavish headstones and monuments. Marconi, DaVinci, Galleleo, etc...
- Some worn almost to flat marble... like their memory is being slowly erased.
- Wood beam ceiling and cool balconies (the walkway).
- Meet Andre and others back at camp.
- Met the English dude that threw up on tent. "Is that the dude that threw up in our tent?" Drink at bar and Plaza Micheangelo overlooking a misty Duomo. Andre's story of peeing off of Plaza Micheangelo.

Monday, July 2, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 29

Day 29:

- Woken by loud talking Russians.
- Eat at pizzaria by Duomo.
[In line at Uffizi]
- Andre amazed at Duomo. Climbed to cupola (Micheangelo's Lantern). Narrow, the final stretch was stairs carved directly into and up dome. Taller than tower, meet Jackline.
- Went to Duomo after find museumes closed.
- Jackie's Napoli story.
- Tuscan dinner.
- Returned to same Irish pub as was in winter. Talk and bar/disco suggestion.
- Bartender's Napoli story.
- Walk around, found book inaccurate. (Andre's book). Red Garter filled with westerners.
- Find someone in tent. Throwup by door and some puddled onto my bags. Moving them made it worse. Discovered throwup by stepping in it. New roommate sleeping in my bed.
- Try to switch tent but others were reserved. Ride on vespa and drunk girl leaning on tree.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 28

Day 28:

- Woke up at 9 got up at 10. Wander around Venice. Ate the sardines and squid ink sauce pasta at restaurant by a small canal (started to get smelly later). 3.5 euro fanta.
- Ate fruit cup by Rialto, sat on steps by water. One last walk to S. Marco and took train back to check hostel. Realize no hostel for 1st night. Write journal and Andre read guide on train to Florence.
[pizza shop by Duomo in Florence]:
- Camsite filled with olive trees.
-3 beds/large roomlike tent.
- Hang out with group of Canadians by buar for Canada Day.
- Flags and pins.
- Small shope in camp site. Walk to plaza for a night view, but most blocked by some concert scaffolding.
- Sort of happy to leave "touristland" of Venice.
- Concentrated tourists in Venice, out of way streets are deserted, however.
- Learned camping is a good way to stay/travel in Italy.
- Mosquitoes.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 27

Day 27:

- Went in bike tunned even after knowing shouldn't. Hotel filled with Chinese (owner is Chinese).
- The Chinese refusing to pay the full amount for "burn" in room. Got free breakfast. Chinese plates and was Chinese food at night.
- Train to Venice across bridge. See in distance. Met another Portugese when Andre look for lost waterbottle.
- Wandered to outskirts of Ghetto. Saw Realto and San. Marco. Went up the tower. Great view, can see all the islands (but can't see canals).
- Went in cathederal. Great mosaic gold tiles on ceiling. The St. Mark's altarpiece was huge and completely studded and filled with gems.
- Went to palace. Very tired. Rape of Europa... wasn't sure we saw it since we were expecting more. Not so impressive. Wish know significance. The large meeting room very impressive. Paintings (the black rag), decorations and reliefs. Size and the largest canvas painting very impressive. The bridge to prison cool with 2 sides.
- Prison closest thing to what I imagined a dungeon to be.
- Delicious lasagna.
- Andre crashed. I washed some, shower, read new book (Romania) and write. Try to meet Chinese in lobby but only employees left.
- Then I fell asleep and didn't hear Andre's shower. Woke up, Andre awake due to jet lag.

Friday, June 29, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 26

Day 26:

- I take short trip to Monaco while Andre sleep.
- Beautiful hills and ocean on way.
- Underground Monaco
- Monte Carlo station excited to see name. Walked to Casino.
- Escalator stretch 1/10 across country!
- Regal building, looks very fancy inside, but can't get in due to dress code.
- See good cars.
- Beautiful view of mountains and clouds just scraping the top.
- Went to hill where palace is. Beautiful view of Monaco and yatch harbours (giant yatchs). Can see the entire country by looking at both sides. Packed buildings, some classical, on hills gives a layered look.
- Walked by palace in time to see changing of the guards. Old style city in front of palace.
- Walked up hill in Nice and saw the panorama. Nice waterworks and fake waterfall.
- Night train to Venice. separated from Andre. Had snacks and guitar players next door.
- Andre's room had older people glaring at him. Mine had 3 Indians, 2 snore, one not happy with snoring. They came aboard later. See moon and coast on ride.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 25

Day 25:

- Felix leave at train station and I leave to pick u Ndre.
- Come out late about 1 hour after land.
- Andre tell story about being kicked out of Heathrow so wondered for 4 hours at night.
- Booked ticket and spent rest of time on beach. Water gets cold farther out and down. spooky so swam back.
- Bought roast chicken and baguette for dinner.
- drank on deck outside I had 1.5 bottle of wine (almost).
- Sat on beach to drink and talk about politics then Morocco.
- Drive girls away but I get them back.
- Going to bar but Andre tired so go to sleep.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 24

Day 24:

[on train to Florence]

- Train to Nice. Hotel full of Australiand and Canadians. Some Americans.
- Nice square with fountain and two story carousel. Ate baguette and stuff on park bench overlooking beach.
- Saw Cannes and beautiful beaches and white sand from train.
- Nice: pebble beach but bright azure waters. "Cote d'Azure" that turn blue farther out.
- Wait for Andre for 2 hours. Get message when return but already checked in. Chicago flight cancelled.
- Hang out at beach. Swim among large crashing waves. Walk along beach at night.
- Beautiful moon reflection, crescent of lights, and the square with the ring of light. guitar player there.
- Lighted castle on hill and view of boulevard.
- Seeing the rock tubler motion and sound of the ocean on beach.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 23

Day 23:
- Day trip to Avignon.
- Theme park/minigolf-like town walls. Old-style town.
- Pope's palace on cliff.
- Boring commentary/very long commentary for both.
- Avignon bridge (song stuck for rest of Felix trip). Nice view from end (of palace).
- Cool double-decker chapel.
- Pope's palace very big place. Cool layers of vaulted rooms.
- Cool to see models of construction progression.
- Took local train back by accident.
- countryside and lots of vines.
- walk around old town Marseilles. Walked to the large church. Drawbridge. Good view down and of hills.
- Busy waterfront near harbour with lots of restaurants.
- Walk back to hostel. Small streets, plum tree (purple). Beaches/waterfront.

Monday, June 25, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 22

Day 22:

- [Train to Marrakech.] See Pyrenees as pass border. Beautiful ocean villages. Tunnels.
- Tourist info closed as enter Marseilles. Felix start flip out as no accomodations. "we'll just have to sleep in the streets" (Bonnevienne found after asking a series of stations and places.)
- Stop Montpellier four hours. Very classic French architecture. Drink wine and eat crepes.
- Asked train station info -> asked metro. Give map and told to take to Rond-Pont and bus 44
- Ask bus driver. Driver shouts and few youth in back say they go there. Difficult to converse and they seemed like a gang. Very relieved to see they get off right stop (and ask someone) and then especially when I saw sign. Was afraid they'd lead us to alley and mug us!
- Saw Montpellier acquaduct and hills from the main park.
- Felix relieved when hjear hostel is in guide books. I relieve as see HI sign in front.
- Strange mix of people in hostel. Older people too. 2 French from Morocco in room.
- Managed a conversation with then in broken French and motioning.
- Cheap and hearty food.
- Took walk to beach. Relatively close and see kite surfers, surfers, windsurfers.
- Good sunset, wind, and waves.
- Nice lights and curved beaches. Went to sleep relatively eary.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 21

Day 21:

- Woke up a bit disoriented.
- Slept to about noon.
- Walked around the main road (La Rambla)
- Visited Cathederal. see roof. Cool dark vaulted ceiling and lighting. wood carvings in middle.
- 2 pastries overloaded. "not enough" to "too much." sugar high. Not want pastries for rest of day even as Felix loves pastries.
- Crazy street performers. Grouped markets. Colon turns out to be Columbus.
- Visited oldest Gothic cathedral (San Marie del Mar?) Roof many black old looking parts.
- Decide go to mass in Sagrada Familia.
- Dinner just outside.
- Mass in small fenced off area (where wedding was before?)
- Strange symbols (the 4 crecent moons not cross).
- Catalan or Spanish? Small band section.
- "church tour"
- My 1st mass and Felix's first in a decade. I tried to follow. People surprisingly lax.
- Good, relaxing and friendly music with Spanish tune. Simon and Garfunkle. People crying and touching cross after mass.
- Take metro to the fountain.
- Ginormous musical and lighted fountain. Skyscrapers and the twin towers. Like the ones in Venice according to Felix.
- Promenade of fountains.
- Much more street excalators. Nice misty effect somtime. Giant layered waterfalls with clever engineering including up nozzles at base... great engineering for great effect.
- Fountains lined escalator. The large fountain at top seemed small by comparison.
- Great view from hill and the beam lights from the top lighted building. (looks like crown).
- Very good impression of Barcelona overall. Borderline shortlist but still have to study society.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 20

Day 20:

- After sleepless (relatively) night. See the "Torre Catalunya" sign. Arrive Barcelona.
[at Venice Hotel in lobby]
- Walk to hostel. 2x ring bell (Felix 2nd time). German lady looks grunpy and not take Lori's bags.
- Lori mad. Store bags at bus stop. The woman with cat on leash and puppy. (saw 2x)
- People speak with lisp.
- Gaudi: Casa Batillo. Very ocean-themed. Cool vents, enlarging of balconies, color shifts to suit lighting, ceiling swirl, patterns, attention to detail amazing.
- Sagrada Familia. Very impressive. Long slender pillars inside. Tall scaffolding, mist added to effect. Finished windows cool. Did not go up due to wait. Again, detail is amazing.
- Praise Gaudi. Shocked when saw the plans. 20-50-80 years estimate. but I'm not sure seeing 125 years already. I believe 80 years more.
- Wonder if reconstructed plans actually same as Gaudi's.
- Marquee around towers, fairy tale clounds, etc.
- The park. wonderful pillars and "overpasses". Gingerbread houses. Street escalators.
- Checked in hostel. Was afraid she'd be mad due to 11:00 check in time. We return afternoon.
- Cheery greeting and ramble about spitting, littering, mugging, "uneducated". offer mousetrap and tips.
- Figure she was crazy. Marion was very nice but very high strung. "electrician friend" "many ideas but he say bathroom indicator lights were enough"
- Sent Lori off at bus stop. Told of San Juan festival.
- Gracias and Barcelona with lisp.
- Fireworks, like firing range. People drop them as they walk, dangerous.
- ppl on beach, drink, fireworks, music (different bar areas).
- 1st touch of Mediterranean Sea. Bought beer, not enough. Bought 2 campaigns. Mine Cava. 3.5-4 euros.
- Felix drunk. No fireworks (turns out is next day). Was going to dump leftover in sea, but finished.
- Both of us got blasted by fireworks. Makeshift earplugs of toilet paper.
- Note: loved the beer and tapas in the bars. 1 bar and free tapas each bar.
- Felix meet high school friend at dinner.

Friday, June 22, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 19

Day 19:

- 5/6 hr bus to Madrid... All trains to Barcelona full. Theorize about solstice festival. (like 5 trains)
- Bus: have to wait for 9pm bus, other nearly hourly bus full.
- Discussed an dbooked 10:30 bus.
- Walked aroun dMadrid. Quick tour for Lori. Nice cafe and desserts.
- The stop at around midnight was good. Brisk air woke me up a bit.
- Drug advice.
- Realize rail pass is crap in most countries. Amazed at low quality of Spanish transit.
- Very good buses. 2 movied Granada->Madrid. Madrid-Barcelona: had same map at first like airplane info screens, but the info screens did not work and turned off eventually. Davinci code shown on bus! (from Granada)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 18

- Walked around Albycin. Reminds me of Morocco. Layout chaotic, like Morocco.
- "no gypsy town"
- Decided not ot walk up ot gypsy otwn.
- Walk into pole. Pidgen crap splashing. Unlucky day.
- Train station: all full! Granada trains full for 2 days.
- Decide take bus to Madrid and train to Barcelona.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 17

Day 17:

[on night train nto Venice. Just in Ventamiglia]
- Alhambra. Interesting Muslim/ Christian mix. Parts with Muslim, parts Christian. Old Muslim seals exist.
- Can see snow peaks of Sierra Nevada. Good terrace on bell tower to see town and Albycin.
- Lion fountain gone for restoration. Wonderful gardens and thin columns. Very impressive waterworks.
- The water staircase is cool idea. Amazin gto see Moroccan influence in Granada. Water staircase is less impressive than what I had expected.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 16

Day 16:

[resting after 1st dinner with Andre. I'm laying in dark room on my back]
- Busy street, etc. Many tourists. Go up rock. Many monkeys. See them grab at things.
- on emonkey nonchalantly walks up to me, we look at each other. Then he jumps on my back (on backpack). "hold on" "that monkey just jumped on that man" They got aggressive when food.
- 3 monkeys in th efamily and the baby breastfeeding.
- Bus from Algecerias to Granada.
- 1st hostel full after walking through what seems to be Morocco again.
- Check in 2nd. Beautiful view from roof bar. The puppy kicking incident.
- sleep with Lori next 3 nights.
- Almost like a private Spanish flat.

Monday, June 18, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 15

Day 15:

- Bought ticket to Ceuta from what seems to be touts. Local bus. 50dh. walk away.
- Unexpected switch at Tetouan. Hectic bus scene. People selling/rushing/dirty and disorganized.
- Try to ask baggage money again.
- get to (Flidilk?)
- 55dh grand taxi reject.
- Police wave taxi for us, tell should be 3-4 dh each. See Ceuta jutting out of ocean. Taxi says is free, gave 15dh.
- Touts 1dh for forms.
- Fill out exit form. Went to special line (non-Moroccans)
- Double exit chech. Ceuta x-ray: no stamp.
- Bus to center. Very different. Much cleaner than Morocco. Tourist office and walk to port.
- See Gibraltar from Ceuta.
- Amazing view of Africa and Europe. Passage to Atlantic.
- Very windy. Catararan. Arrive Algeceras and bus to La Linea.
- "Marrk Lii from US"
- Cheery Gibraltar border guard. Lori show upside down passport cover with hand cover some letters.
- Guard give advice on where to find map. (at airport).
- "Monopoly money" stamp.
- Plane crossing, had to wait.
- Gib pounds. Taxi to Europa Point.
- Walked back through some tunnels, Dark but safe according to driver.
- Saw beaches. View of mountain in Africa. Very clean. Can see Ceuta.
- Missing 20 pounds.
- Dinner in British p7ub. Realize Gib. is amazingly British and quaint.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 14

Day 14:

[on beach in Nice]
- Sleep in. See the spring and waterfalls. People doing laundary, sheep, and hanging around.
- Walk up to abandoned mosque. See grafitti on agaves, soft plants again.
- Beautiful sunset view of Chauen and hills and villages.
- Went up mineret of abandoned mosque.
- Dinner in beautiful restaurant. Alladins Lamp/ Magic Lamp. Feel loney.
- Old style music -> I felt almost colonial looking down on square. Beautiful lamps, cat, etc. Decor.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 13

Day 13:

- Very bright breakfast on terrace. Spanish music.
- Decide take hike up mountain. Got supplies (bread, guy put money on it. Remember small bread bakery in Fes medina). Changed to sleeveless as soon outside city walls. City =stops= after wall.
- Holes in wall to pass through all along it. Few people outside walls.
- Decide take village rate.
- Walk by garbage fire on slope with people, goat, children on it. Being sold weed.
- Follow path into village through pot plantations. Afraid to take pictures. Path ends at hotel!
- Returning, met a local in van, with kid smoking in back (long bong/pipe). Give directions and offer ride "very clost but not easy" (french).
- Decide to tackle mountain straight up. Ran into trail and climbed to saddle.
- Felix and I go to top. Too high! Chauoen so far away! look small from up there. Come back down to sit below rock with Lori and eat bread and drink water. See the silver spinning thing in sky.
- Lori cannot see it and almost had bonoculars. Beautiful view of mountains and lakes.
- Lost path on way, popped into pot field around corner. "need to better mark parths in Morocco"
- "pot field or precipice dilemma"
- Notice if down precipice, more fields.
- Didn't see any guards or farmers around.
- Walk through field. "uh... Mark?" see broken irrigation line and water streaming out. Fix it hecticly. expression on face. Later notice line connected to sprinklers below. Wonder if anyone noticed. - felt foot catch on something.
- Later commented it was like a Harold and Kumar movie.
- Walked briskly through fields to arrive at another precipice. Dead end, so climbed down a stream bed with spikey plants everywhere.
- Nervous near road, scared of possible guards. Felix very nervous again.
- Relief when get to road but still tense. Smiled at a farmer close by. Dog follow, more people.
- Relief when walk a distance and nothing happen.
- A shepard's sheep herd baaed and followed up a bit. I looked back at man and walked slower. Goats stopped near bend.
- Long walk and some good views. Throughout entire day saw wheat/pot fields dotted with poppies and women working wheat fields.
- Offered week within one minute of walking through city gates.
- Sunburn, effect until Nice.

Friday, June 15, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 12

Day 12:

- Bus to Chauoen. Bought tickets day before but realize we left one day early from Fez.
[waiting for Andre in airport]
- Beautiful mountains and clouds skimming the top. See Chauen at base of mountain.
- Enter hostel in beautiful medina. Beautiful new rooms inside as well. Give us own room but no lock. Blue walls, road outside.
- Lots of laundary.
- Terrace see mountain and towns and ruined mosque. Sunset on mountain spectacular.
- Bought nuts at suggestion of some British. Ate nuts and dates on terrace at night. Crows, donkeys, rooster, dog sounds.
- Beautiful square and octagonal minerets. Much better fed cats. PC the pregnant cat of hostel.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 11

Day 11:

- Breakfast where can peoplewatch. Saw the saddest mule! Sad eyes, trembling lip. Like cartoon.
- Hired tour guide.
- Tannery: nice views of pits and houses behind it.
- Carpet: amazing to see the double-knotting and amazing colour changing silk rug.
- Bought 3 rugs. 1400/1200 each to 700 each. Still I think is high price. -> Since offered 600 in Rissani. Huge price difference there.
- The walk through Mella. Children selling picked prunes, swarmed, pictures, pear/postcard. -> Guy took crushed pear. when I was thinking of giving it. when write "get it" on postcard. Confused everyday in Morocco!
- Lori also bought camet seat for 700. I warned too high as 350 asking in Marrakesh for similar. See 19 euro in Granada.
- Had dinner at same place after meeting Hank and Joy. Joy and Lori go to girl hammam.
- Walked around, but not find what Lori wanted.
[sitting in Albycin facing Alhambra]
- Joy and Lori tell of hamman. Tile floor, boob rub, cold water down underpants, door banging, we were horrified.
- Went to hammam. Bought black soap. "Ali Baba" to Hank.
- One local guided up in French. Hank translated. Changed, walked in to room and lied on floor to warm up. Scrape off dead skin. Uring smell near entrance.
- The ceiling was cool.
[on bus to Madrid]
- Old man get me and Felix. Lie on tile floor, sort of smelly. Massage like the ones (Turkish) seen on TV. Strange noises and twisting/stretching. The back bend holding hands and feet. Scrub, hold arm up while scrub under. Unexpected face scrub. Smelly abrasive cloth. Dump water... etc. After done, he stuffed cloth in side of underwear and walk out. I rinse with warm then cold water. Use old tomato can. Hank walked in and say his guy can't find his soap, see it with us.
- Short period of confusion then walk out. I forgot the shampoo and soap.
- Hand tells someone saying happy to see others experienceing other culture. "all the same/brothers"

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 10

Day 10:

- Met Nabil in morning. First hesitant due to tout experience, but he was very nice.
[Terrace Chauen, last night]
- Saw mosque ruins, mauseuleam of king. Person reading Quran down near King.
- Long walk, embassies. Felix and him talk of US ("liars").
- Cella.
- Eel pond: one possibly live eel, many small fish and a dead bird. "I thought they were bigger than that"
- Many storks and other white bird. Beautiful valley. Fake palm (antenna) -> 3 prongs on top.
- Got to train tracks 1 min before train arrived. Train packed, stood until major transfer station.
- Met little kid and an older man who talked in French. Both from Meknes.
- Walk from station, group of school (girls) heckled and swiped and pinched. Found hotel Cascades (town backdrop and mountains) just inside of Bab Bou Jaloud. Beautiful view from terrace. See gate and mosque and hills.
- Met Tarik, Nicole, Ryan.
- Took, walk around. Very long medina. Slightly less touts. Narrower and more hectic streets.
- Ate at the recommended sandwich stall (spleen and beef). Their recommendation.
- Nicole had tight pants and showed shoulders. Heckled and hit on. Many problems. She was like Maria Panagopoulous.
- "It's not a tumour"

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 9

Day 9:

- Wake up, almost lost in medina for breakfast. Took taxi from medina to train station.
- Train to Casa, saw hills, cactus fences.
- Saw Hassan II. Amazing to see people still create wonders in modern day. Fountain room was favourite.
- Sat along ocean while waiting for mosque. Atlantic, kids swimming, kid borrow bonoculars. See mosque through that is cool.
- Train AC and heating problem.
- Japan, konichiwa, arigato, Jacky Chan. Starving kitties.
- Cab driver short tour. Rick's cafe. Palm picture.
- Got Lori's tickets.
- Post cards and train to Rabat.
- Arrive Rabat, protest in front of parliament. (told is common)
- Stately buildings, wide palm avenue. Obvious capital look.
- Hotel very good, TP, etc. Dissappointing terrace. new -> Borrowed tape from door.
- Tape from door handle.
- Walked around medina. ery different feel. Nice to have few touts. Ate at cafe Jeunesse, very typical, grungey, cheap, but good food and view.
- Bought corn... like Chinese corn. Strange bucket of water, chose not to dip.
- Walk, man ask for money then corn. Give... 2nd man want. Give to 1st man.
- Bought fruit, man approach and talk about Chinese youth. I was very confused.
- He was called away by the call to prayer. "C'est mon dieu..."
- Bought snacke and went ot bed.
- Walked around kasbah at night. Blue and white, expect like Chauen.
- Beach. Orange juice stand. Cactus. Boardwalk. Bunch of teens and picture of "Japonais"

Monday, June 11, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 8

Day 8:

- [sitting at terrace at Chauen]
- Walked around and visited the madrasa and museum. Amazing detail in medrasa. Museum: good lighting, the 3 fountains, light and music. Sat for long time.
- Tannery. Smell not as bad as I thought. Walked among the pits. Afraid I'd fall in. Didn't use mint sprigs much.
- 200 dh asking for tour, immediately accept 10dh.
- Ate lamb head and brains in square as well as 2 kinds of soup.
- Waited fo rLori at corner. Walked around the mosque.
- Many donkeys, smoke, smell, garbage.
- Met up with Lori and walked to hostel. (3 Brits in same room).
- Ate tripe and cake and tea.
- Felix snoring. Lori and I both poked from both sides.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 7

Day 7:

- Bus to Marrakech at 830. Drive through Atlas. Amazing views. Some snow on mountains.
- Evenly spaced bushes. Windey mountain roads. Saw a "donkey parking lot" near a market town. Got eventually greener. See clouds ahead an dbecame somewhat overcast after Atlas.
- Amazing red mountains, green trees, blue sky. Rocks held percariously over road on obviously eroded soil. Can see rocks blocking erosion in some places.
- Walk to Medina. Had problem finding hostel since map and web names different.
- Flooded by touts due to looking helpless. check in, tout yell at us due to not give money, continues next time we see them too. Assigned hostel room by checking each one. No lockers. Waked around and saw the souks. The square amazing. People set up food stalls near sunset. Food people try very hard to sell. First very nice then mean. "sissy boy," "crazy man", "promise." Tries many food stalls, sausages, snails, soup, etc.
- Visited the palace (ruined one) climbed through ruins. Feel like explorer.
- storks, pipes, tiles.
- Beautiful lantern shope at night, but man in chair with gangreen... juxtaposition. Made me think of beauty an dhorribleness of society, life, etc. Possibly due to lack of sleep, but was a very deep moment fo rme. Throught about all night. Sent postcard, visited terrace. Call to prayer very impressive in such a place.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 6

Day 6:

- up at 4am. climbed dune from ridge and saw sunrise with others. a bit cloudy.
- windy at night, get cold later on.
- needed to go, so went in a stee plarge crater at top of dune.
- Berber with long hadscarf, left hand an ddrop in sand. feel bad after. confused.
- Camel back. Jakob said mine was "badass." was dard, sped ,mean, mohawk.
- lost shirt.
- vallies and Todra Gorge. trickle of water makes luscious jungle of palms and olives.
- sick salad story.
- tasted spring at todra. like bottled water. seeing late at ouarzazate make me very happy. realized importance of water.
- Mohammd talk about how we need more money and how he didn't like the tourism industry since he has to pretent to care.
- Night life great. huge square. kids playing hide and seek, chasing cats, picking up puppies, playing soccer, etc. traditional Arabic and Berber dress.
- Morning dunes yellow and blue tinge. met Arafa, had ice cream.

Friday, June 8, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 5

Day 5:

-Breakfast from patisserie. Met Mohammed at 8am. Drove through to see Draa Valley.
- Amazing palm forests. (Day 7: 13 or 14 year old zooming through square with bike)
[sitting in museum in Marrakech, music, water, sultan palace feel]
- stop in Tazzarine for lunch. Call to prayer everywhere. Before: stop for view, get off, Mohammed pulls car ahead and two ppl with lizards came. Was scared for a moment!
- Risani like a movie set. palms, old buildings, white earth, whirlwind.
"rag" desert amazing. features: tableaus, cliffs, layers that look like rock fences.
- stone (and distance) markers all along highway. talk politic and islam.
- feel small and insignificant in erg chebbi.
[on train to casa]
- turn off before Merzuoga to an almost non-road. See dunes in distance.
- glow orange-red. Deep blue sky. Took short walk in desert. very quite. hear wind howeling on sand, rocks cutting through air when thrown.
- Met 3 slovenians and 1 quebec. ride camel. up nad down great. remind me star wars.
- barefoot up dune. low sun, amazin gview and colours. top ridge of dune very sharply defined, shadows. camp couple of tents. climbed dune, but not in time for sunset. climbed straight up. bad idea. can see the edges of erg on all directions. returned for soup tagine, fruit with cinnamon in a candellit camp. many flies, other bugs and scarabs. lied outside camp and enjoyed the star, galaxy, meteors. slept in bed outside camp. windy. even with clouds, cna see milky way without glasses. starlit, palms, dune, dunes in distance. beautiful. not much sleep. bed at midnight.
- nicholas translator. bathroom "anywhere".
- wore headscarves to prevent sunburn.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 4

Day 4:

- Wake up 620 before alarm. Went to airport early and found out plane. Checked in bags. I am nervous.
- Plane: Morocco card with french, arabic. Arabic over plane announcements hard.
- Arrive Casa, Felix almost exit, but I dragged his back to right door. Very different feel, Arabic and Moroccan star.
[on bus to Marrakech]
- Old prop plane. Obvious wear. arabic stuff and drinking glasses. Cargo hold with nets.
- steep takeoff, see dry earth below. Fly over Atlas, see clouds being blocked. Spactacular descent after mountains. gorges, ravine, desert (rak) landscape.
- very hot, sun directly overhead (almost). immediate pictures. strict customs. pic of king. All closed, cop call taxi for us. wait outside, police around, hot bright, Arabic elevator music, Arabic signs. Car switch, sales pitch, meet Mohammed. Arrive hotel and agree Ait Benhaddou, got taxi in town. had 2 in it, then 2 more got in (6 total)! Squeeze in middle, old men and 2 girls with traditional clothing. got change, water, lunch. Most stores closed. found way back with some difficulty, met Mohammed for Ait Benhaddou. Stop by kasbah, Altas, then Ait Benhaddou(AB). Dry riverbed, bridges just piles, no railings. Explored AB and sat up top wathcing colour changes as sun gets lower.
- Dinner in hotel and sleep. Town wakes up at night. Bought nail clipper for 3dh.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 3

Day 3:

- Walked around and got internet. Just missed changing of guards.
- South Madrid and botanical gardent and park. Sat fo rbeer again and some snacks. (Note olives were great from day before)
- A couchurfer from Florida came. all go ot dinner. Wanted to infite fito, Sebastian, and Raquel but had Fit, Racquel, new arrival (who liked pickpockets) and Racquel's friend. We pay 30 euros each for dinner for all. Talked for while in room before sleep. Excited about tomorrow. Decide goto Merzouga. Said bye, liked first CS experience.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 2

Day 2:

- Cleaned sink, shower... mysterious window to middle of building & other bathroom in bathroom. Did some laundary.
- Elevator talk & small. Wait for Felix. Around 1 hr late.
[on flight to Casa, just filled customs card.]
- Dropped off bag. No electricity! We worried we did something. Saw pot plant. he had it because his friend's dog ate it so he gave it to him.
- Left note and walked around. Sat and had beer in Plaza Mayor. walked to Sol & Atocha, Gran Via. Royal Palace.
- Went to restaurant, don't know what to order. German phrasebook.
- Ordered the "two person" meal. Beef, potatoes, some special peppers.
- Found out forgot to pay electric so no lights. Some candles.

Monday, June 4, 2007

2007 - Post-Graduation Mediterranean - Day 1

Day 1:

- Sat at Philly completing my cheat sheet.
- long flight. Some 30 min sleep, Pam's Laberinthe cut off at end.
- met 3 ppl travelling, they were also excited 1st time Europe.
-> 2x senior, 1 sophemore. 1 senior been to Paris before.
- customs no questions
- store suff at Atocha Renfe
- walked all around Parque del Retiro
- Visited Farmacias, misunderstanding -> bought toothpaste
- sunscreen expensive!
- creepy old guy at park, spoke some French. "chaude"?
-> rub my back, arm... stop when others pass by.
-> phone message & walked away as he talked to someone asking money.
- Read lots of DaVinci Code started it.
- Arrived at apartment at 8pm.
- Went to Casa Mingo & had cider & baked chicken. Their monday tradition.
-> special way of pouring, drink same glass. taste surprisingly different with special pour.
- Met some other friends.
- 10 hr sleep.
- surprising lack of English speakers.

Monday, January 15, 2007

2006 - First Backpacking Trip - Day 21

Day 21:

- Munich.
- nap, police ask guy across.
- saw sights. tower
- tower view: alps, like fairy tale town.
- hofbrauhaus, met christian: Christian Weber. Wallmenichstr. *, ***** Munchen, tel. ************, - 43 yrs old
- pork hock and mass of hofbrau.
- bought beers at place with beer from wood barrel.
- Drunk at station "tour Europa", point at shoes.
- Munich lions.
- Bavarian Music (live), electrical problem, bretzen sellers.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

2006 - First Backpacking Trip - Day 20

Day 20:

- Go up Duomo tower.
- Michaangelo plaza.
- David. - Bridge.
- Busy, street markets.
- Much cleaner, friendlier than Rome.
- Tired.
- Train: advice from two munich ladies.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

2006 - First Backpacking Trip - Day 19

Day 19:

- Train to Pisa: old, stations smell like Chinese bathroom.
- sea, hills, oranges, cacti. grapes oranges, lemons.
- Pisa, closed lost. Finally see tower.
- hills in clouds behind.
- cash incident on train.
- station: looks like slums.
- cool stairs, can see slant at top. metal railings, no curb. thin staircase. staircase wear pattern.
- great sunset. colors. many people out and stores open. very busy.
- stamps at smokeshops.
- station fight incident.
- met people from Taiwan on business trip. Piaget.
- Pub with Aus, Can. write (add to) on wall in hotel.
- restaurant with aus. Danish and Aus racist.
- sellers in pub.

Friday, January 12, 2007

2006 - First Backpacking Trip - Day 18

Day 18:

- Vatican. sun warm. met 2. dA
- Rapheal and sistine chapel.
- split up and meet up again.
- st. peters. slanted walls, curved roof. tilework. overlook inside. thinner and thinner stairs. great views.
- food, ice cream. fountain. romantic city.
- men with suitcase. collectors?
split up hostels.
- night: beers and say bye and photo.
- running vendors.
- coin toss in Trevi.
- roman fountains
- she was giggly.
- city smells.
- feel like kid. fountain, ice cream (mousse), toys, restaurant.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

2006 - First Backpacking Trip - Day 17

Day 17:

- Beautiful Italian countryside.
- hills, shacks, poor.
- rome like 3rd world.
- hectic, busy, italian houses, old, shutters.
- worried about mafia.
- tired, sleep early.
- Planned exit strategy, get reservations, etc while they go to party district.
- cats, vespas, gelatto, pizza.
- colleseum not as big as expected.
- many ruins, histories. amazing.
- accordian godfather in square. Man, fish fountain.
- writing by light from sign outside. window open, smell.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

2006 - First Backpacking Trip - Day 16

Day 16:

- Train to Grindelwald.
- lift out of the fog. phone call for weather.
- giant snow mountains.
- hilly swiss villages.
- fog patches everywhere.
- walk then return.
- more relax spa.
- soutrik bring glasses.
- in park see fog clouds around slowly shifting, can see stars and mountains in clearing.
- night train rome. italians in room.
- cramped. strap bag, no barriers in bunk.
- train travels almost all in tunnels so far.
- out tunnel -> station -> tunnel.
- snow outside tunnels
- hang jacket, see shadow on tunnel wall.
- train to Ca... snow.
- sudden change landscape.
- n train: see city light below on one side, rock carved face on other. train banks -> feels like airplane.
- station: Brig. went under swiss alps. next stop: Italy.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

2006 - First Backpacking Trip - Day 15

Day 15:

- night train.
- zurich. historic many originals.
- go to interlaken at 1300.
- clouds, hills in clouds, fields, villages, etc.
- taller and taller hills, then clearing with meadows, fields, villages, and Alps in left and front. see snow peaks and glaciers in distance.
- massive vertical wall of snow and rock.
- meadows, villages below. fog clouds rolling off.
- spa, liberal. The two watch girls.
- menthos/eucalyptus in steam room helps cold.
- cold (bronchitis?), toothache, eye infection.
- eat bread, deli meat and apples.
- fog rolls in at night. can see stars and outline of fog clouds and mountains.
- peaceful river and fog.
- hostel room face Junfrau nice view. chimmeys, smoke from houses pool in valleys with mountain backgrounds.

Monday, January 8, 2007

2006 - First Backpacking Trip - Day 14

Day 14:

- Reichstag. Jewish memorial. sony center.
- sony: modern. futuristic.
- memorial: creepy, people can scare. like a videogame especially at night.
- gluwein. pastries.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

2006 - First Backpacking Trip - Day 13

Day 13:

- tour. pub crawl. cold
- history, buildings. tower. emotional.
- vodka and orange. ben carry me. all drunk and on tram.
- turkish pizza, doner.
- most australian.
- soutrik and Barro start trying to take advantage of everything.
- zurich. seat 10, couchette 20, bed 40.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

2006 - First Backpacking Trip - Day 12

Day 12:

- walked around Go.
- saw fishmarked from distance.
- train to berlin. (ICE!)
- only 10 min to transfer.
- sausage, hotdog.
- nice view from the park. crowns on buildings in scand.
- train go toward sun. sun ~ 10:30 to 1:30 then long dawn/dusk.
- "ah, screw it"
- green fields, rocky outcroppings. traditional houses. saw archipelago.
- meet in Kob. they miss 11am train.
- house on rocks and rock path in marsh.
- walking paths, ocean, boats, castle, lighthouse, path.
- rock pile wall and moss. hills, towns.
- 5 candle decorations.
- ICE. glass door. 230 km/h
- book: dark boots and white laces "don't panic".
- meet brazil, give towels, clothing. 4 bed.
- story of east german nazis.

Friday, January 5, 2007

2006 - First Backpacking Trip - Day 11

Day 11:

- (Trapped in Oslo!) theme
- walked around, wait at station 1:15pm -> 5pm and researched possible routes.
- on train to Gotenburg.
- decided to go for a night.
- the park in oslo great. statues had frost on them. interesting effect.
- moist air- ice- lots of cloud in breath.
- peaceful harbor.
- good old/new mix.
- feels almost like Canada.
- Note Oslo train banks.
- saw big cattle from train in Halden, Norway.
- say more castles.
- eat dill and gra:slo:k chips (chives?)
- old trams.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

2006 - First Backpacking Trip - Day 10

Day 10:

- Ferry too expensive.
- walk around malmo.
- turning torso top obscured. (saw from distance).
- long bridge across to malmo.
- on train to Oslo.
- met swedish, norway in swe, iraq in swe.
- *************, Lisa Varberg Sweden: ***********
- No food or alarm in station. too full and train late.
- pass through the heavy rain damage area. (can't see anything)
- bought 3 swedish candy bars 22kr special. (Kex, Guld Nougat, Tarragona) by Cloetta.
- welcome to Norway message.
- Liza almost offered ride. many travel stories. family, car, etc. cute kids. next time.
- oslo expensive. will get out tomorrow.
- only one night at this hostel.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

2006 - First Backpacking Trip - Day 9

Day 9:

- Australian hippie.
- walk around. stately look.
- old library and new.
- christianhavn like crack den.
- firebarrel, dog, hoods, graffiti. shops, etc. with grafitti.
- curch spires, spirals.
- lose chunbarro, eat pizza buffet 50 kr.
- split up again, they stay to see girls.
- want take night ferry and see fijords but too expensive.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

2006 - First Backpacking Trip - Day 8

Day 8:

- walk around. church spires.
- elbtunnel. many restoration (winter?).
- took subway to hamburg hbf. like old european movies.
- Met friends from ICE.
- Had currewurst. curry sweet in europe.
- currently on train to kobenhavn.
- ice cream
- on boat from puttgarten to rodby.
- train on boat. Scandlines.
- can see other ships and 2 shores.
- moon, stars, planes, clouds, waves, reflection.
- surprisingly unstable. walk as if drunk.
- can see gently rolling sea swells.
- mall in ship and exchange.
- can see lifeboats.
- expensive food. almost go to oslo. > 60 kr for mcdonalds meal.
- dark central station. no money.
- communal showers (almost).

Monday, January 1, 2007

2006 - First Backpacking Trip - Day 7

Day 7:

Happy New Year!
- Missed 7 train. found passes problem.
- on train to hamburg.
- "see you in kobenhavn!"
- Meet Omuro Hideki: ********* -> Story of friend and prostitute in Amsterdam
- Germans sleep/wake early.
- Wrong station. No English. No tourist office.
- Stayed at hostel very nice. Had sausages, kroketten (origin of hamburger?).