Page 3 of EricOnTour Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice July 24th 2009

Venice is one of the greatest tourist destinations in Italy, and as I said, it is always swamped with tourists. I checked into my hostel and immediately proceeded to the computer room to access the internet. There was an American (Josh) who I immediately struck up a conversation with. A very down-to-earth, and likable fellow, and the purpose of his stay in Venice (and Europe overall) is an interesting one. He told me that he won a scholarship/ special grant from Boston Architects' Society which required him to conduct architectural studies on the selected architectures in Europe with the goal of transforming/ re-building the Boston City Hall at the end of the project. He showed my his sophisticated studies on his Apple Macbook Pro computer...and it contains architectural studies/ drawings from Amsterdam, London, Paris, Venice...etc. I ... read more
Venice street scene
Passed out for a few minutes
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Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence July 24th 2009

Arrived in Florence at noon from Venice. The weather is gorgeous. The hostel is very nice, with the most friendly staff. Time is too precious to blog seriously. I will need to go and explore this famous Renaissance city state. I will provide updates whenever I can. Stay tuned. Cheers, Eric... read more

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Milan July 23rd 2009

If you are not a fashionista, or someone with a habit of conspicuous spending, there are really not many places to see in Milan. The most famous place is the Duomo area with the cathedral and the shopping mall leading to the Theatro de La Scala. Lo and behold: ... read more
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Lighting a cande

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice July 23rd 2009 ... read more

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice July 22nd 2009

Left Milan in the morning. Caught the train to Venice. Checked in the hotel and started exploring the city. This place is full of tourists...and this city probably exists for tourists with no indemnities of other purpose. Met a young lady (married) who works in Oil and Petroleum in Kazakhstan who speaks Russian, Kazan, and English. She is articulate and sophisticated. (Had a good laugh with her about Borat) We parted at the station but found each other on the street of Venice again. So we walked around Venice together. The weather is hot here. I am kind of tired, so will not write too much. When I have a chance I will post some photos. Take care. Ciao ... read more

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Milan July 21st 2009

Rolled into Milan on a "cheap continental" flight EasyJet from Amsterdam. I was skinned alive at the airport because the prohibitively expensive penalty they imposed on overweight luggage! (Damn you, "cheap" flights with your treacly phrases and seemly incredibly low fares. And before flying, you charged me 12 euros for the 16 kilos for over the weight limit. Totally blew my budget! Collateral Damage#1) Oh well, I told myself just to be angry for 1 hour, and continue on enjoying the rest of my journey. The scene at the airport where people tried to get on a bus to downtown was chaotic. In Italy, you seem to have to run over the ticket seller and beat other passengers with a stick in order to get on the bus. Met a young Dutch backpacking couple, and helped ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam July 19th 2009

Today I visited Haarlem and the Hague/ Den Haag. The Netherlands is a small country, therefore it is not difficult to traverse the country with their highly efficient railroad system. Haarlem is one of the most beautiful cities, 15 min from Amsterdam by train. Everything there evoked a sense of antiquity and beauty. The buildings are very well maintained and there is not as much tourists as in Amsterdam. The Hague is where the Netherlands's government is officially located. I remembered it was where a great philosopher Spinoza lived, and is where the International War Crime Tribunal is located. I will avoid filling up the space with words and just let the pictures speak for themselves. ... read more
Haarlem street scene

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam July 18th 2009

I visited the 3 famous museums these past 2 days: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum and Anne Frank Huis museum. In Rijksmesuem, I came face-to-face with the works of Masters such as Vemeer (Pregnant woman, Milkmaid etc.) and Rembrandt (Jewish bride, Night watch etc.) The Rijksmuseum is currently under renovation, so only about 200 works are being displayed in 14 rooms. The majority of the works are kept out of sight. What I also found interesting was the section of the Rijksmuseum where it introduced Dutch's once imperial might, its naval history, center of trade, finance and commerce, and its conflicts with the Spanish and the English fleets. Upon reflection, I developed the hypothesis that a sea-faring country, with developed capitalist systems, seem also to correlate with open, tolerant and liberal societies. (Dutch, British, and to some ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » Province of Utrecht » Utrecht July 15th 2009

There is a Chinese proverb that goes like "When one is his own country, one depends on his family. When one is abroad, one depends on his friends". I have traveled enough by now to appreciate the second part of this saying. Yesterday I decided to visit my Dutch friend Peter in the 4th largest city in the Netherlands, Utrecht. It turned out to be an unexpected high note of the trip so far. Amsterdam is an international city swamped with tourists, particularly young tourists, many came probably with a single purpose in mind. The downside of that do not get to see how the Dutch people live and interact with them. Well, it was a good decision to go visit Utreckt, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands. I went to Amsterdam Centraal, the ... read more
Utreckt Church
Exterior of Church
Statue of Liberty

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam July 14th 2009

Arrived to Amsterdam without hiccups at around 7:00 am local time. Checked in hostel at 11:00 am. Passed out for 2 hours (it is the time lag, people! not my age). Took a hot shower, and went embracing Amsterdam. What a cosmopolitan city, it is hard to walk around for 1 minutes without bumping into tourists...well, Amsterdam definitely lives up to its reputation. First impression of the Dutch kingdom...clean, efficient, courteous, and English is almost like the second language here. I think I will have a great time in this place! Okay guys, until next time, I am feeling a bit tipsy, I think it is that pint of Strongbow with the old sailor. And there is some strange smell in this cafe emanating from unfamiliar I am going to get some fresh air and ... read more
Street scene
In front of my hostel

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