Page 21 of Bellini Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam May 6th 2002

Like other European capitals, Amsterdam certainly has a distinct atmosphere defined by its architecture. Its sedated pace is created not by the overflowing coffee shops, but by the locution - boats inching down the canals, bike lane with long limbed Dutch riding to work, streetcars grinding along the tracks, ususally leaving only one tight lane for cars to squeeze through. The museums are quite good but I recommend walks outside of the city center, and a trip to Rotterdam for a more authentic window into Dutch life. There are more photos below.... read more
Amsterdam Canals1 2002
Heineken Brewery2 2002
Rijksmuseum 2002

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin June 10th 2000

Marnie the Aussie drove me across the country from Dingle to Dublin, which only took about four hours, and every person we passed waved to us. I was pretentious enough to want to visit the tower from the beginning of Joyce's Ulysses but got more enjoyment from drinking a Guiness next to a painting of him after the brewery tour. A whole section of Dublin smells like hops on certain days. Dublin is like most other European financial hubs - really good for sightseeing, lacking in other cultural experiences; with all the wonderful options on the west coast, I'd limit my time here.... read more
Dublin - James Joyce Drinking a Guiness 2000
Dublin - Tower from Ulysses 2000

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Dingle Peninsula June 8th 2000

The town itself used to have a dolphin that I'm glad I didn't bother to see, and was pretty nondescript and touristy, but the surrounding countryside, including the Three Sisters, the ruins of monks' homes, and the rocky coastline, were beautiful enough for several movie sets, and the Blasket Islands were even more stunning, perhaps the most beautiful part of Ireland, though I only landed on the uninhabited Great Blasket, whose miserable climate gave us a break that day, being warm enough even to walk barefoot on the beached and to hike around relatively comfortably. I've never taken more photos. Thus, there are many more photos below.... read more
Dingle - The Ballintaggert House Courtyard 2000
Dingle -- Off the Dingle Peninsula 2000
Dingle -- The Three Sisters 2000

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Killarney June 6th 2000

The ferry to Ireland left me in Cork, and when I asked the bus driver there how long it would be to Killarney, he said 1-2 hours. I didn't appreciate his Irish humor as I glared at him from my seat 7 hours later, after a pleasant journey, doubling as a school bus along the way and a 14 year old girl sitting on my lap and asking me to explain the Monica Lewinsky scandal to her, eventually arriving at my hostel in Killarney with enough time before dusk for some quick photos of the green, empty landscape, hoping that when developed they'd capture the beauty somehow. I rented a bike the next day and circumnavigated Lake Muckross, which was flat and pleasant, exploring ruins along the way.... read more
Killarney Muckross Lake  morning 2000
Killarney - MuckRoss House 2000

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Cherbourg June 4th 2000

I still can't pronouce this town so that any French person can understand it. I wish I had been a runner back then - jogging between the hedgerows on those country roads would have been spectacular. I wanted to get to the beaches but there wasn't any good mass transit after the bus from Cherbourg to Sainte-Mère-Église, so I had to get a taxi and nervously watch the meter as it rose up to and beyond the money I had, but the driver was nice about it and took less, though still not enough for the return trip after walking the broad and haunting Utah beach under the heavy pallid sky beneath which there was nowhere to hide for those Allied soldiers who mostly made it across unharmed, their experience presented in the small, mediocre museum ... read more
Hedgerows on roads between Utah Beach and St. Marie Elise 2000
Tank in Front of Museum at Utah Beach 2000

Europe » France » Île-de-France May 25th 2000

It was quite expensive there before the Euro, at least compared to the south of Europe, so I had a hard time enjoying myself when going out to eat, but the ambience along the river, the cohesiveness of the architecture, and the checklist sights were all pretty fabulous. I always say I'll go back there when I'm older and can really afford to enjoy it.... read more
Paris -- The Seine 2000
The Eiffel Tower 2000

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Munich May 24th 2000

Looking back on it, the old Let's Go travel guide's recommendation of Mike's Bike Tours (still exists at is what made this part of the trip special. Coasting through the spectacular city parks, past the Glockenspiel, stopping at beer gardens for oversized soft pretzels and eventually to the Hofbrauhaus, and then deep into the night, eventually forced out of our bunks by the cleaning woman at noon the next day, and then self-motivating to take the short train to a more sobering (pun intended) experience at Dachau just before dusk of the next day. There are more photos below.... read more
Munchen - Das Glockenspiel 2000
Munchen - Nymphenburg Palace 2000
Munchen - Swastika in Ceiling of The Hoftbrauhaus 2000

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence May 19th 2000

The art is worth spending a day here, but there weren't many Italians, except ones who zoomed past on mopeds through the narrow streets. Checkmark city. There are more photos below.... read more
Florence - Along the Arno River 2000
Florence - David 2000
Florence - The Arno through the blurry glass windows of the Uffuzi Museum 2000

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome May 18th 2000

Rome was much bigger, louder, faster, and more diverse than I'd expected, but the history oozes into surprising places - ruins at intersections and aquaducts on the skyline - and I knew I hadn't allowed myself enough time. The Forum was my main interest, and I paid for a tour there, and the guide had Mark Antony's "Friends, Romans, Countrymen" monologue memorized and he performed it with passion at the end of the trip and I got chills and he was tipped well.... read more
Rome - from the top of the Spanish Steps 2000
Rome - Coliseum
Rome - The Pantheon 2000

Europe » Greece » Ionian Islands » Ithaki May 16th 2000

I went here, to the Island of Odysseus, to walk to some mythic sites, hiking along the roads to the beach (pictured) where Odysseus supposedly landed at the end of his journey, but though it was pretty (again, the photo, but that is a misleading angle), it was full of lounge chairs and a bar that unsurprisingly exploited the said footnote. The 15 hour ferry left Greece from Patras, picked me up in Ithaka, and went to Ancona, Italy, where I took a train to Rome. The seas were rougher than normal and I was deathly ill, probably from the ice cream I had the night before, and then having to sprint around the mouth of the harbor to catch the boat in the late morning, so I splurged, switching from a space on the deck ... read more
Ithaka - Harbor view from near Menelaus's cave 2000

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