Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris November 30th 2006

Today we fly home to the US and end our 3 month journey of Europe. We have really enjoyed our trip and keeping in touch with so many of you through this travelblog. As our final blog, we thought we would sum up our trip with superlatives. Enjoy! Best Big City: Paris Best Medium-sized-city: Salzburg, Austria/Krakow, Poland Best Coastline: Croatia Best Beer: Belgium Best Restaurant Food: France Best Snack Food: Italy Best Wine: France (Matt), Spain (Christina) Most "Foreign" country: Portugal/Hungary Most Mansions: Bordeaux, France Best Medieval Experience: Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic Best Walled City: Rothenburg, Germany/Bacarach, Germany Coolest Roman Ruins Outside Rome: Split, Croatia Best Public Transportation: Venice Most English-speaking: The Netherlands Least English-speaking: Spain (not including Marbella) Most Intriguing place: ... read more

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux November 29th 2006

The two most wonderful things about Bordeaux for me (Matt) were the wine tasting and the football match (soccer for the lay American). So, I figured I would give a compare/contrast of the two events. Football Match: 1. Cheerleaders US = cute girls with pom poms leading cheers Them = drunk guy with megaphone leading cheers and songs that EVERYBODY knows (except us of course) 2. Start of game US = flashblubs everywhere Them = first two rows set road flares on fire 3. Fan Passion US = lots of cheering and booing Them = From Stephan - our friend/guide for the game "A fan was shot and killed by a cop in Paris last night during a game, but these two teams are friendly, so I think it should be okay." Also, they closed off ... read more

Europe » France » Pays-de-la-Loire November 28th 2006

Today was suppose to be a nice day, consisting of the following: 1. Wine tasting at a little vineyard in the morning (yeah, thats right, drinking in the morning again) 2. Driving to Tours, Cheneceaux, and Blois for some chateau hopping, nice French dinner, and stay at a cute little hotel overlooking downtown Blois. None of those happened and we ended up eating pizza at 11PM at a restaurant next to a roadstop and staying at a Holiday Inn Express somewhere on the road to Paris. Here is how it went down: Wake up at Audes, get the directions for the vineyard, chateau hopping, and the hotel and head off. We had an amazing bottle of wine at dinner the night before and wanted to go taste some more and make some purchases to bring back ... read more

Europe November 25th 2006

South of France pics to the present... read more
The Unfinished cathedral in barcelona
Our Barcelona friends

Europe » Spain November 24th 2006

Because we had a lot of time walking the castle walls in Avila and because we are nearing the end of our trip we started a list of things we look forward to upon our return: 1. Steak Houses 2. Thai food 3. In-n-out 4. Understanding the menu 5. Coffee to go (and big coffees) 6. The complete season to date of Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Deadwood, Boston Legal, all 11 Patriots games, the Daily show from the week up to and including the recent election. 7. Movies in English 8. Girly gossipy magazines like People and US Weekly (I think we know who wants these) 9. Cold milk 10. Hot showers 11. Sugar substitute 12. Ketchup 13. A real martini, not premade and poured from a bottle 14. Watered-down American beer 15. Not paying 6 ... read more

Europe » Portugal November 20th 2006

1. Did you know that Portugal is one hour behind the rest of continental Western Europe? Neither did we! In fact, we were in Portugal for 3 days, but it wasnt until we were leaving Portugal, about to cross the Spanish border, that we realized it. I guess it is a sign of a good trip when you can be an hour off and not even notice. 2. WWPD - what would pedro do? For those not in the know, my freshman roommate was/is Brazilian; so of course he would have been very handy in helping us scale the language barrier and on many occassions we wished we had packed him in our suitcase. 3. The Portugese take their recycling a little TOO seriously. I mean bones for building materials is probably not what Al Gore ... read more

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Marbella November 18th 2006

1. Tangers is the Tijuana of Moracco. Dont bother. Its not worth the money, headaches, and hepatitis C. That is what we were told, and Christina had already been there, so we skipped it. 2. "Bullfight anybody?" (asked to my parents, my little sister, Christina and both of her parents) Answer: 2 yeses, 4 maybes, and 1 no. Guesses on who said what? 3. The Christians are hilarious when they take over a muslim mosque. AND LAZY!!! They come across a beautiful Moorish temple that took 100 years to build and is considered the height of Moorish art and what do they do? They make it Christian. But, do they knock down the temple the infidels built and rebuild on the sight their own church? No (thank goodness, because that would have been a shame). They ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona November 7th 2006

Overview: 1. Welcome to Spain. The land of bulls, sangria, and really fast talkers. I was pumped to be off the translating hook. Christina was not so thrilled after her first few encounters (see more below). One of my first observations was that the Spanish do not know how to help out foreigners. Usually, when we ask a question to a native speaker, not in our native language we: 1. Speak slowly - so that they can pick up on our terrible accent and know we are not native speakers and would appreciate a slow response 2. Phrase our questions in such a way that we get one word answers in response. The Spanish didnt pick up on any of this. Christina would ask "How much?" and she would get an 8 sentence answer including everything ... read more

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur November 4th 2006

General Overview: 1. Our Public Needs Us!!! Sorry for the long delay between blogs but we've been traveling too fast to slow down and write. Christina and I have locked ourselves in an internet cafe and will hammer out a few blogs to get you guys through your Monday. 2. We have added something to our Dont Judge It Before You Try It category: Rose wines (accent over the e, which are pink wines similar to white zinfendal). When the waitress at our very fancy, very Provencial restaurant suggested a pink wine to go with our meal, I almost laughed (this is the wine Provence is known for). But alas, I tried it and it was suprisingly good. So, we decided to do a little wine tasting while in the area, which leads me to my ... read more

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome October 31st 2006

Overview: 1. Don´t mess with Michaelangelo. He always gets the last laugh. "Oh you don´t like how I painted that??? Well, guess what, now I´m going to paint a very big snake biting you in a very inappropriate spot on the most important ceiling in the world. How you like them apples?" (More down below....no pun intended). 2. Please write more emails and comments to Christina. I think she´s getting bored and restless with me. A few hints that she has dropped..."I can´t wait until my parents and your parents show up so we don´t have to talk to each other any more." Also, when we meet with other Americans i.e. like we did in Rome, she wouldn´t stop talking to them. I had to drag her away and she was saying "Don´t leave me with ... read more

Tot: 3.001s; Tpl: 0.01s; cc: 15; qc: 85; dbt: 0.0261s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb