Ben Richards


Ben Richards

Just a guy who loves to be out there where things are happening.

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland March 24th 2011

Today's date is March 24th, 2011. Our trip finished up on October 24th, 2010. It has taken an extra 5 months for me to finish a blog for a trip that ended nearly half a year ago. For those of you still here, still reading this far along, you have my heartfelt thanks for your genuine interest. You have tripped through my occasionally miserable spelling, stumbled over rough patches of grammar, and put up with the constant misattributing of things, simply to hear an adventure. Though I'm materially poorer as a result of this trip, I'm spiritually and culturally richer than I could have ever been without this experience. Where trips in the past have been focused on going from place to place, seeing the structures and statues you recognize from TV and Film, taking a ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Hampshire » Winchester February 11th 2011

Having spent our entire journey up to this point in the larger and more famous cities in Europe, you might think that going to Winchester would be lacking in something for our grand finale. There's no public transit, no tourist spectacles, no broadway shows and no malls. However, replace all that with cozy pubs, christmas markets, beautiful churches, and people who have been waiting two years to see you again. Winchester has been, to me, a home away from home. It's not often you can walk down a street two years later and still see people you recognize, and who, in turn, recognize you. It's as close to perfect as I've found in the world, and after traveling to Berlin, London, Barcelona and everywhere else, Winchester was the right place to cap off such an amazing ... read more
The River Itchen
The Path to St. Katherine's Hill

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin January 25th 2011

The morning we travelled to Berlin, I was having some trouble willing myself out of bed. I had only slept two hours, so I'm sure no one can say I didn't have a reason. Plus, having stayed out all night, I neglected to pack any of my belongings before the morning we had to leave. So, with my alarm clock beeping loudly next to my head, and a Home Alone-esque scenario where I had to scramble to get all my stuff together so we could catch our train, I nearly just went back to bed to avoid it. But travel isn't for the meek, something I reminded myself of as I mechanically rolled out of bed and went through the motions. I had packed this bag so often that I could do it blindfolded...I even had ... read more
Nice Legs
Go Gaters
Water Snake

Europe » Germany » Hamburg » Hamburg November 2nd 2010

Sorry about the title. I couldn't think of anything good, so I went with a pun. I figured, if worst came to worst, I'd at least get a chuckle. It has been a very long time since I updated. If I had to choose a reason, I'd probably say that I was focused on enjoying the rest of the trip as it started to wind down. You have to live in the moment, especially when you are traveling, so thats what I did. No regrets. But now I'm back and ready to tell you the secrets of Germany. After a very relaxed last day in Amsterdam, we headed out the next morning for the train station. By this point, I was pretty done with trains. Let's be honest here: Trains are actually pretty awesome as far ... read more
Beatle's Venues
Strawberry Fields Forever
All Aboard the Yellow Submarine

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam October 9th 2010

Again, as I start this entry, am I in Berlin. It is nice to have here a computer where payment is not necessary, and there is no worry that you will leave behind a card reader or memory stick. It eases the mind into a state where writing flows a little more naturally and one isn't tasked with checking periodically how much this is costing them. Hence the back to back posts. It was hard to leave Bruges, to be honest. For one, I don't think any of us slept particulalrly well on our Bruges beds. Then there were the hostel stairs up to our room, a winding affair with wickedly polished steps. Think Bruges' belfry but with more backpacks. And then the fact that we were trying to catch a 10:30am train after a night ... read more
Hotel Rembrandt
At the Zoo
The Lion King

Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels October 7th 2010

It has been an unfortunate eternity since I was last at an available computer to tap out our latest adventures. Right now, I am currently in Berlin, and I have yet to even write of Belgium, or our time in Amsterdam. So, let me get to that right away. Author's note: A travel advisory was issued a couple days ago by the US Government, asking everyone out there to be careful in their travels, use common sense, and be especially cautious around high metro areas and in nice hotels. I would like to let everyone who is following us to know that we are taking every precaution in remaining safe and unharmed during this trip. I'm hoping to ease the possibly worried minds back home with this little blurb. Anyway, last time I checked, we had ... read more
Cool Building
Das Boot

Europe » France » Paris September 29th 2010

Onward we go, to the last known city on our itnerary, Paris! We boarded a train from Nice to Marseille, and then Marseille to Paris. I have to say, having been a feast for mosquitos the last dew nights, I was kinda glad to be out of Nice that morning. We had a pretty easy day on the trains, with no problems and no missed trains (though in Marseille, we had 8 inutes between trains, and managed to JUST grab some fast food and take our seats before the thing took off). With directions to the hostel, we found the place with almost no trouble. Mostly just trying to figure out what was right and what was left in reagrds to our map. We landed at our hostel, and decided to have a relaxed night in. ... read more
Skulls of the Catacombs
The Look of a Street Performer
The Jim Morrison Tree

Europe » France » Paris September 20th 2010

Last time I wrote, I believe our group was heading to Nice on the train. So, I'll start from there. Despite our good intentions, it was hard to leave Barcelona without one more good night with the gang. So, at least 2/3rds of our group was still a little buzzed when we woke up at 6:00am to make sure we caught our 8:45am train to Montpellier. There is no word in the english language to decribe how disgusting I felt leaving that hostel without a shower. But, with again no trouble at all, we made our train. I'm beginning to think that the universe might be building up our confidence for a big letdown concerning trains, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. The whole day was spent on trains or in stations. ... read more
Thats a Nice Fountain

Europe September 15th 2010

I'm back online and ready to go. We are now safely in Nice, which is nice. I can already hear you groaning at that one. Apologies, but thats just how I roll. It is hot here, but a resort town. Which means that everything has a resort price tag, so tonight it's a PB and J for dinner. Before I start, I feel I should say that this will be a long entry. If you want to enjoy it, I suggest getting a warm beverage or a sandwhich, and settling down in a place where you can enjoy this. Or whatever. We left Madrid in good spirits on the 9th. There wasn't much to say about that day, save that we had a very nice train ride up from Madrid to Barcelona. It was a ... read more
One Tori-face of Beer
Family Dinner
La Sagrada Familia

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid September 8th 2010

And Im back. Apologies for no apostrophies, and any mispelling in this entry, but the keyboards here are nonsensical. But thats because Im in Espana, and life is good. We made it from London to Madrid with very little trouble, a quiet flight (save for the family with 9 kids running up and down the aisles), and time to spare. We had trouble finding the hostel after we left the Metro, but only because our confidence got the better of us. The lesson here is very simple: no one is too good for a map. And Madrid is lovely. Having never been before, I´ve taken a liking to the place. First of all, it´s nice weather. As in shorts and t¬shirts, which is something I´m not accustomed to in Septembers back home. The hostel is clean ... read more
Must be a London Thing
El Parque de Retiro
El Parque de Retiro

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