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. crewfinder.com.
- 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.