I have never really traveled like this before. In school while studying European history, I immediately fell in love with the cultures and people of these countries. However, it has always been a distant fondness. Now is my chance to experience it firsthand. No doubt, this is going to be the trip of a lifetime.
I am traveling with my best friend. We are going to France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovenia, and finally Italy for the Olympics! I am doing this blog so that all can follow our journey through Europe. However, those that know me well understand that writing in this thing is going to be a low priority of mine. I will not want to waste a minute while I am there...However, I have promised to many that I will at least post pictures with captions to give a taste of what we are doing.
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Wish us luck! I will miss you all. Take care!
February 8th 2006
Sorry for the long hiatus, but most places we go only have one computer and there is always a long wait. Besides, we have really been enjoying meeting people and planning our days instead of surfing the web. Bret posted an updated entry yesterday at www.travelblog/bloggers/honest-abe. So, that should give you an idea of what we have been up too. Since last time we have been to Warsaw, Cracow, Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. This afternoon, we are taking a night train to Venice. And will be in Italy for awhile (Venice, Florance, Rome, Pisa for two hours, and then Torino for two nights to get a taste of the Olympics). Hopefully, its not too romantic... I basically wanted to post an entry so everyone knew I was alive. We are still having a blast. Sad to ... read more
January 30th 2006
Berlin was an amazing experience. One I will never forget. We ended up staying a week because it was so interesting and cheap! We owe a lot to Chad Robertson and his roommates for putting us up and guiding us through Berlin. The first part of the week was cold. When you would step outside and breathe in you would lose your breath. Thats how cold it was. And it wasn't just because we were from Texas either. All the locals were complaining. It was something like the coldest couple of days in sixty years. So, when most sane people were staying inside we were out walking around all day. But, you actually get used to it...eventually. As I mentioned the first night was really a culture shock. The rock band was very friendly and open. ... read more
January 24th 2006
When we arrived in Amsterdam it was already dark (it gets dark at 4:30). So, we were immediately lost. We made a reservation for a cheap 'hostel' at an internet cafe. Being Americans (and men at that) we refused to ask directions to the ferry (yes, a ferry, as in going over a large body of water ferry). Finally, we were approached by a runner for the hotels named Mario. Mario, an unshaven hunchbacked italian, tried to get us to stay in a hotel near town, but we had already given a credit card number to the 'hostel' through the internet. So, he, although rejected, gave us directions to the ferry. After the ten minute ferry ride, we walked down the pier (yes, a pier, as in a place to dock a boat pier) to find ... read more
January 18th 2006
The last night in Paris was an amazing cultural experience as well. However, not a french experience...a German one. We met a 30 year old German dude who is finishing up his last year getting a PhD in neurology. We talked for 3 hours about social issues and politics. It was amazing to hear his account of the reunification, etc. Also, it was fun to talk about the differences in perspectives of history (esp. WWII). Although, it doesn't seem that the Germans try to ignore or skew the past. Regardless of the details (which I could write a book about, but do not have time to here) it was an amazing conversation. Then we set off for Brugge (Bruges). It is a very small historic town. It rivaled Paris in the 14th century but its harbor ... read more
January 16th 2006
Paris has been great! I got here at 11am yesterday and walked around (with my huge backpack) for 5 hours until Bret came in. My shoulders hate me. So to ease the pain Bret and I figured we go to a local bar and have a drink. Well we met three french guys who quickly became friends. They knew very little english but some italian. So, with our spanish we could kinda communicate. We sat and watched a soccer (i'm sorry... football) match. It was the bartenders home team. Thank God they won b/c I think he would have closed the pub had they lost. It was fun to watch since they were so into it. After that they taught us a very complicated dice game (especially since we couldnt really talk to each other). No ... read more
January 13th 2006
My last full day at home. Should be fun. My bro's band is in the talent show. I am going to go watch them rock. Then, I have to begin saying goodbye. I am going to miss my family, friends, and Sarah very much. However, it is only five weeks, and I will be so busy that I know it will fly by. Next time I write I will be in Paris!... read more