Friday, June 29, 2007

29.06.2007 Venice, Italy

Hello from Venice! (Or Venezia as it is called locally). This is the most beautiful city! I am falling in love with Italy just like I already have with France. It is GORGEOUS here!!! I can't wait til I can post more pictures!

I can't write too much here, because I don't have much time online, but I will be sure to tell more details as soon as I can! Already had some gelato here and it is amazing! Anyway, I'll write again soon, and bring you all up to date.

PS just a quick note....the "hostel" we are staying in tonight is definitely reminiscent of a KOA campground and we are definitely living in an actual tent tonight. Great fun! Who'd have thought a 40 bed dorm would ever be preferable!?!?


Thursday, June 28, 2007

28.06.2007 Munich, Germany - Day 2

Hello again! Today has been great so far....we got up to our lovely toast and coffee that our hostel happens to provide here, and then were off on our free walking tour of the city! Our tour guide this time was a guy named Issac from Wisconsin. Good times. We saw all the main sites of the old city, including Marianplatz with the famous glockenspiel.....not going to lie, it was pretty lame....although the bells were being cleaned so all we saw were the characters dancing in silence. We went on from there to see the Frauenkirche (church of our lady), then to St Peter's church, and then for a break at the Viktrulienmarkt. Its the market in the center of the old city which instead of being torn down, has been preserved and still thrives today. At the center of the market? A beer garden and a maypole!

I had lunch at the beer garden and had the ultimate in what I usually think of as baseball food: a bratwurst (on a bun with mustard) and .5 liters of beer!! Yes I have a was awesome! Though for those of you who may not know, I will fill you in now on the history of the "biergarten". Originally people dug cellars beneath the ground in order to keep their beer cold during the summer months, and in order to keep it even more cold they would plant chestnut trees above the cellars. Later the idea came about to serve the beer beneath the chestnut trees and allow people to bring their own food as long as they bought their drinks from the beer garden.

We went from the Viktrulienmarkt down the street to the most famous brewary, the Hofbrauhaus! We walked through and even saw a Bavarian band playing while wearing lederhosen....this has been a fabulous day (haha).

After the tour Katherine and I walked about a block farther and visited the southwestern corner of the Englischer Garten, which is something like double the size of central park in NYC....the place is HUGE! We only went a little way in though, and then headed back....

On the way back I picked up one souvenir from here....for ya can't guess what it is!!

Anyway, we're just back in the lobby of our hostel now basically just killing time until our train leaves tonight for Venice at 11:40pm.

I can't believe I've been here for a full 2 weeks already! This time is flying by, and in less than a week I'll be in Paris! So exciting!

I'll update again as soon as I can, and hopefully be able to dump some more pictures on here so you can see all these places I keep talking about! Love you all!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

27.06.2007 Munich, Germany

Hello from Munich!! The beer capital of the world!

We arrived here around 6:45 am yesterday morning.....the train was nicer than our last overnighter, but the seats were like airplane seats that just recline, so neither of us got a terribly good night's sleep. We didn't have any trouble finding our hostel though, since it is one street away from the Hauptbanhof (main train station). The hostel we are staying in is called 'Jaeger's'.....which is funny to me.....some of you will get why. (and just a cultural note: the beer 'Jaegermeister' here is the one that all the homeless people drink......interesting....).

Anyway, our room has 40, yes 40, beds in it! Though it only seems like 10 since there are 4 seperate alcoves each with 10 beds. So funny though....It really is different! And I'm definitely glad that I am such a hard really wasn't hard for me to get to sleep or stay asleep!

Yesterday was spent mostly just sleeping in the lobby of the hostel, going for a couple of very short walks, and sleeping some more once we got into our room. We both needed a bit of time to recharge!

Today, though, was much more productive. We got up and caught the S-bahn to Dachau. It was a very sobering experience for me. And it was especially difficult to really get my mind around what had actually occurred there not too long ago. We went through the iron gate that says 'Arbeit Macht Frei', just as so many prisoners had in the 12 years that camp was open during the Nazi reign. Dachau was the first concentration camp opened and became the model for the many to follow. It is frightening how many main camps there were, then to think of all the subcamps, of which there were at least 15 just for Dachau.

There is an extensive museum with loads of information in the main building of the camp. The mood there was incredibly somber as we read stories of individuals and their experiences there. As you enter the museum you go through much of the same route prisoners would have taken....through the rooms where they were made to undress, then as they were shaved (sometimes with razors that did not quite work and just tore the hair out causing bleeding) then put up to the neck in the disenfecting solution which would burn, then through the showers (which actually were showers here, and not another name for the gas chamber like at Auschwitz). Finally to come out at the end with prison clothes that most likely did not fit, and made to stand in the main yard for roll call, sometimes for hours on end.

We saw one of the barracks which showed inside what the living conditions were like.....three bunks high, the rooms full of beds, with healthy and sick people crammed into these small spaces with one another.

One thing both Katherine and I wondered as we left was how a camp as horrible as it was could have existed in the middle of a middle-class neighborhood. It was not out in the middle of nowhere, as I had imagined, but actually just in the middle of a town.

Part of the memorial is a plaque in several languages that reads 'Never Again'.

The experience is one I will never forget, most definitely.

On another note, it has been absolutely FREEZING here for the last few days....while we were at the camp we were wandering in the pouring rain. Neither of us came prepared for weather quite this chilly. On our way back, we decided to ride the metro an extra stop into town so we could go to H&M. I bought a sweater, as I definitely need it here!! We are en route back to the hostel now for hot showers and dinner of cheese, bread, nectarines (which we just bought from a street vendor for only €1,99 for 1 kilo! Its amazing how much cheaper it is to eat healthy here....with the exeption that beer is cheaper than either water or soda!) and various other random things....

Tomorrow we get up and check out of our hostel, then we will go on another free walking tour with the same company our tour was with in Berlin. Its fabulous....they have these tours in almost all the rest of the cities we're going to! (Amsterdam, Paris, London). Then we have the entire day to simply wait until our night train....we leave Munich tomorrow night around 11:30 and get to Venice the next morning around 7:45!!

Love you all, and I'll write more soon!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Some links to my pictures!

Okay, so it was much easier and faster to put my pictures up on another website of mine, so here are some links that will take you to those pages so you can see some of the places I've been! I would put more on, but I don't have my camera cord with me right now!!

25.06.2007 Berlin en route to Munich

Hello again from Berlin! Sorry I couldn't write too much last night. Today however, I have plenty of time!! Our train doesn't leave for Munich until 10:15 tonight! So crazy.

So anyway, our tour yesterday was AWESOME!!!! We saw all the main famous sites, which was great because Berlin is such a huge city and everything is spread out here. We started at the Brandenburg Gate, then walked through it onto the eastern section of Berlin. (From there we could see the Reichstag). I had never really known all the history of the wall.....but it was actually a wall that encircled West Berlin (yes, it encircled the free portion). Today there are inlaid cobblestones among the streets and the occasional plaque which shows where the wall stood. It was hard for me to really get my mind around the enormity of what has occurred in this city. From WWII and up to the Cold War.....not to mention numerous events before, after and in between the two!

From the Brandenburg Gate, our tour took us along the Eastern edge of the Tiergarten to the Holocaust memorial (look up a picture! It is very abstract, but very humbling at the same time. From there we walked to the site where Hitler's bunker had been. Nothing of it remains today, only a small sign to note the site.

From there we saw the site of the former SS headquarters and then the section of the wall which is still standing. It is not spectacular to see now, however just imagining the speed with which they put it up (the entire wall was standing within 56 hours), it really is an amazing feat.

We then went on to Checkpoint Charlie, which was very interesting to me specifically. There is a museum there, which I did not go into, but there are also posters/boards lining the sidewalks...all with information about the timeline of events there.

After a short break we continued on to the gendarmenmarkt....a French square in the middle of Berlin! There was a German Lutheran church on one end of the plaza and a French Hugoenaut church on the other! It was incredibly beautiful!

We then went on to Humpboldt University to see the square where the burning of 20,000 books by the Nazi's took place. The memorial to it is a glass square where you can look down beneath the square and see empty bookshelves. Very moving.

We then ended the tour on Museumsinsel (Museums Island) in the Lustgarten. The name made me laugh.

Today I went back to the Pergamon Museum which everyone had told me I must not miss while I am here. The museum looked enormous from the outside, however was only about 4 galleries on the inside....not cool.

However, I did get to see the Pergamon Alter, which was an ancient greek alter, either to Zeus or is reconstructed inside the musum, with much of the original frieze sculpture surrounding it. Look it up! Its worth knowing more of the story, for sure!

The other main attraction in the museum is the Gates of Babylon (Ishtar Tor). Though it is slightly misleading since they only have a few of the original bricks (which are colored a bright blue) and the portion which is reconstructed is only a small side gate. Which is still incredibly enormous! It was amazing to see this though!

Since the museum did not take nearly as long as I had hoped or planned, I ended up wandering a bit more today. Which brings us up to now, where I am just killing some time online while I wait for Katherine so we can get to the train station!

Tomorrow I will be in Munich!!

Love you all!!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

24.06.2007 Berlin, Germany

Hello everyone!! I don't have too much time to write tonight, but I definitely will write a better update tomorrow! Today we did a nice 4 hour walking tour of Berlin! Fabulous was free and in English!! Berlin is an amazing city with a very rich history.

Better update tomorrow, I promise, but for are some things I've seen today!

Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island, Holocaust Memorial, the French Hugoenaut church, a German Lutheran church, Humboldt University, the portion of the Berlin wall still standing, an exhibit behind it (on the western side) of the 'topography of terror' which shows some of the underground Nazi complexs.....

It has been another amazing addition to my adventure to be here and explore this city!!

More news tomorrow!!! Love you all and missing home!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A few pictures

opera house, Vienna, Austria

Budapest, Hungary

me atop the citadel in Budapest

23.06.07 - En route to Berlin!

Hello again! Today I'm in Dresden, and this afternoon we leave for Berlin where we spend 2 nights! Yesterday was long and interesting....our train was (of course, knowing our luck) late leaving Prague. Oh well, no big deal, it was only about a 2.5 hour trip anyway. We got across the Czech border and its amazing the immediate difference between Eastern and Western Europe. Its crazy how noticeable it is. Dresden is a beautiful reminds me a bit of Tours in the size of it. It is a big city, however not nearly as big as Paris or Vienna or any of those cities. We found our hostel around 5:00 pm and then went out to find some food, and to wander a bit. Everything is much closer here than it appears on a map. We walked to all the main historic sites last night! I saw everything I wanted to, so I'm pretty much ready to move on to our next city!

We had dinner at the Kebap place just next door to our hostel, and the Kebap guy was totally flirting with Katherine! So funny....she was so awkward about it! Good times though, it made me laugh for quite a while.

We walked through the Albertplatz, and down a beautiful pedestrian traffic only street and straight to the river. We saw the Golden Rider, the old Palace, the opera house, the catholic cathedral (absolutely GORGEOUS building!), the Zwinger museum, the Church of the Holy Cross and the Church of Our Lady. Beautiful buildings, all of them. It really is heartbreaking though, because all of these buildings I've mentioned are blackened from the top down, from the bombings. It is so sad that so much damage remains from that time. It is a fabulously gorgeous city though.

Today has been quite fun as well! We got up and showered and packed our things so we could check out and leave our backpacks in luggage storage. Then we rented bikes (they were insanely old, and free!!!) from our hostel, and rode down into town. We split up and I just rode for a short while (its cold and drizzly today).... I must say though, I was very proud of myself for being able to ride in a foreign city....I don't even remember the last time I was on a bike!! So crazy....but definitely a good time. I think I'll go now to the cafe down the street and just wait for Katherine. Miss you all so much, and keep writing, I love hearing from you all!!

OH! and by the way, congratulations to Lacey!!!! She and Eric are having another boy!!!! YAY!

Friday, June 22, 2007


Today we leave in just a couple of hours for Dresden, Germany! (By the way, Dresden is the former Saxony). Yesterday was a great day exploring Prague! So much fun! Woke up a bit late, but oh well....I'm enjoying my rest on this trip. I don't want to be running myself so ragged that I don't enjoy what I'm seeing here.

I started wandering, and took the metro to namesti republiky (a stop further in town...near the old town square). Wandered through that section of town, and I saw several major landmarks: the Astronomical Clock, Tyn Church, St. Nicholas Church, the Powder Tower, the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, and St. Vitus's Cathedral.

First: Charles Bridge is AMAZING!!! It is only a foot bridge (no auto traffic) and there are towers at both ends, with 30 Baroque statues lining the sides. Also lining the sides were street artists....with original oil paintings and photographs, jewelry, etc. I even saw a band playing! It was incredible! The Vltava River (which it spans) is one of the most beautiful I've seen so far! It is incredibly wide, much larger than anything I'm used to. There were motor boats and paddle boats all around in the river as looked like so much fun!

I got across the bridge and found a traditional Czech restaurant for lunch. It was the coolest place! It was downstairs in this building, in a cave-like room. I ordered a "Budvar potato pancake with meat mixture". And oh my god! It was delicious! It was basically a potato crepe with chicken, onions, mushrooms, leeks, and cabbage sauteed in a delicious sauce and inside the crepe. Wow. Amazing!

From the restaurant I walked up the stairs to the hill upon which sits Prague Castle and the complex surrounding it. So gorgeous. I walked through, and went inside St. Vitus's Cathedral. Which is very possibly the most beautiful cathedral I've ever been inside up until this point! The stained glass was incredibly beautiful! Very gothic in style, which I definitely like more than Baroque, but both definitely have their place.

As I was wandering down the other side of the hill to catch the metro back to the hotel, it started raining, sheets. It was wonderful because its been so hot the last few was a welcome relief from that!

Got back to the hotel and only went out again to get some rolls, cheese, fruit and chocolate at a grocery store! (oh and watched German MTV....and saw South Park in German....AWESOME!).

Well, as I said before, we're off to Dresden today, and tomorrow to Berlin, so I'll write again soon! Keep writing to me!! I love hearing from all of you....and what's going on at home! Miss you all so much!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Prague, Czech Republic 20.06.2007

Budapest, Hungary

Hello everyone from Prague! It has been a crazy couple of days! Last time I wrote, was our last night in Vienna. The next day (18th) we caught a train into Budapest....such a gorgeous city! We had quite the ordeal getting our tickets for the metro then finally getting to our hostel. That was very interesting....the hostel was called "The Downtown Hostel"....such a dive. Although there was a Best Western across the street. We were in a 6 bed dorm with a couple from Tel Aviv and two girls from Vancouver. They were all talking about some of the bad trips they've had on shrooms....yeah...that gives you an idea of the type of place this was! The lockers were broken, and we didn't even have a key to the place!!! The door is always open!!

I am ashamed to say as well that we were so incredibly starved for a filling meal by that point that we found a Burger King around the corner and got some yummy cheeseburgers. Horrible, I know, but it was a nice touch of home....and a filling meal!

We climed to the top of the citadel and had an incredible view of the city! On the side we began on, we found the Cave Church....which is actually a Cathedral/church inside a cave in the side of the mountain! It was unbelievable!

On the 19th we got up and moving and walked across and up the banks of the river to the Buda castle. I never knew this, but Budapest is actually almost 2 cities that have merged into one. The area on the west side of the river is called Buda, the east side, Pest! Very we were on the Buda side, seeing the Buda castle! We took a tram up the hill (no more climbing mountains!) and wandered around the castle complex. There were many street vendors selling traditional Hungarian trinkets and souvenirs. We even found a folk art festival! So cool! I bought an awesome bracelet! We then walked along (with a specific destination in mind....)

The Buda Castle Labarynths. So amazingly cool! Its these caves...tunnels beneath the city! We went down into them, and walked through them all. They are very pagan in nature, with statues, and cave paintings. We even saw a 'gypsy' looking woman beginning to perform a ritual in one of the rooms of the caves. It was amazing.

After that we got our things and went to the train station to catch our night train to Prague. The train we were taking was supposed to go through Vienna, however instead, it went through Slovakia. We all of a sudden got to Bratislava, and were slightly nervous. Our rail passes are not good for Slovakia. The ticket guy who came through didn't speak any of our 3 languages (English, my French, or Katherine's German)....but he did know enough English to say "Austria ok. Slovakia nicht!" (or however you spell no...or whatever he said!). It was quite funny've been to Bratislava!! I had to give the guy a 50 euro note to pay for that section of the trip!
We finally got into Prague at 6:00 am yesterday morning. We had a very difficult time trying to find our hostel...which we found........
It was a very run-down, seedy looking building on the side of a highway, graffitti written on all the walls. It definitely did not look safe. I called Justin to have him help us find an Ibis hotel in town (oh, yes, the hostel was definitely on the very outskirts of town....not even on our maps!).
We got checked into our Ibis, which feels like heaven! It's fabulous! I even did some laundry last night, its drying on my lovely clothesline in the room as I'm writing!
Now I'm off to explore Prague! I'm heading down to Old Town, then across the Charles Bridge to the Prague Castle. By the way....Prague was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire! In case any of you didn't know....I definitely didn't until I was reading up on my guide book pages before I left!
Talk to you soon! Keep writing! I love hearing from everyone! Miss you all so much!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

17.06.2007 - Second day: Vienna

Hello again from Vienna! I'm so glad that you all are actually reading this! It really makes my day to see your comments, and get your e-mails! So, today was my second full day in Vienna. I had the realization this morning'm in Austria! So cool!

I woke up a little on the late side this morning at about 9:30. I took my time getting moving as did Katherine, and Rob and Rachel. Katherine and I left around 11:00 for the center of the city. We went to the Museums Quartier. It's this entire block, enclosed by a giant building, with museums all over. There were probably 5 or so large museum buildings inside the outer ring of the block!

I was planning on buying a duo pass, which would get me into 2 different museums for fairly cheap. However, we got to the first one, and it was under construction so only 3 of the 8 floors were actually open. I was quite disappointed with it. It's the Museum of Modern Art here (by the way, the logo looks much like the MoMA logo of NYC) I was expecting great things, but it turned out to be not as great as I'd hoped. I normally don't have a problem of what is considered art (as most of you already know) however much of the 'art' in this museum seemed to be in bad taste. A lot was very avant garde, which is great, but the bottom floor especially was...well...slightly disturbing. There were some pretty graphic photographs of bloody, naked bodies, and experiments and such. Needless to say, I hurried through that section and left.

On to the second museum of the day...This was called the Leopold Museum. I was very excited to go here because I'd read about an exhibition of Klimt's works. There were some wonderful artists other than him featured as well, however when I finally found the section of the museum with Klimt's works, I was disappointed to only fine about 5 or so....and only 1 signature famous piece. My favorite ended up being one of his I'd never seen before, called Attersee. Its a beautiful seascape....somewhat impressionist in the feel of it.

After the museums it was about 14:30 and Katherine and I split up for the rest of the day. I went wandering from the Museums Quartier to the Opera House, which is insanely beautiful! And from there I ended up wandering up the street towards St. Stephensplatz (the church square). Along the way I was hungry so I found a nice sidewalk cafe and sat down for a delicious pizza and diet coke. I had a great time just sitting there, writing in my journal, and watching the people go by. I was surprised by how busy things were for it being a Sunday. I guess not everywhere in Europe shuts down completely on Sundays! I had a fabulous time just wandering the center of the city. It really is beautiful here. The architecture is amazing....the style is much like what I saw in France, however there are many more colorful buildings here....I even came upon a bright yellow church!

One of the best parts of my day today was when I got to St. Stephen's again....I went inside (for the 3rd time now) and I took some great photos of the building, the architecture, and even better, the people. As I was wandering, the 17:00 mass started. I even filmed a little of it. It was very interesting to just do some people watching while I sat at the back of the cathedral. There were many tourists taking pictures but there were also many natives (and non-natives most likely) coming in for the mass.

After more wandering (and much picture taking) I headed back to the hostel to rejuvinate a bit more. I got a nice coca light (or cola light here....I'm still used to France.) And layed on my bed for about 30 minutes. After which I got up and went for another destination: Zanoni's....which serves the best ice cream in all of Austria apparantly. It was delicious....I got a cup with 3 scoops (nutella, straciatella, and mango) for only 2 Euro. I was planning just to walk for a little while until I finished it and just work my way back toward the hostel, however I'd only gone about one block when I ran into Rob and Rachel!

I cannot describe how great it is to see someone you know in a foreign city! We talked for a few minutes, and they were off to find some dinner, so I went along with them. We walked to a delicious pizza place where they'd been the night before. I was only going to have a coke while they ate, but Rachel couldn't eat all her was insanely massive, so she shared quite a bit with me. It was great getting to know some new people....they're very nice and friendly. Rob just finished his degree....he's an engineer! And....(Mom and Jolynn you two will love this!) his brother plays for Cork's soccer team! They were playing Canada today, so he and Rachel kept getting text updates from their parents. Apparantly they were ahead, but lost in the last few minutes.

So now, I'm about to sign off here and go into the "Wombar" (the hostel bar) for drinks and a game of pool! Great times....I hope to hear from you all very soon and have a fabulous day! Love you all!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

End of the day - 16.06.2007

Ah, Vienna. Today has been quite an adventure! I woke up this morning at 5:30 and couldn't fall back asleep so I sat in bed watching CNN. And some German cartoons. Very fun. And Saturday morning TV is the same everywhere, I've decided. But fun nonetheless. I left my hotel by the airport this morning to begin my adventure and search for the hostel Katherine and I had reserved. I took a bus back to the airport, then another bus to the main train station in Vienna, then walked from there to the hostel.

I'm staying in Wombats City Hostel, which is very nice as it turns out. Just a bit out of the way, but it doesn't really matter since its only a couple of blocks to the train station where we can catch a subway line into the center of the city. When I met up with Katherine here, it was about 11:00 am. We dropped off our bags in a locked room and took off for the city! Great fun! I don't have my camera cord with me right now, so pictures will have to wait!

We went to St. Stephen's Church, the main Cathedral in the center of the city. It was so beautiful. They are working to clean and restore the facade since it was bombed during WWII. The entire front section of the church looks burnt and black. It's a drastic difference from the back part which has already been restored. The interior was very gothic in style, with barrel vaulting and the triforium levels and everything. (Sorry if this is boring you! I'm putting my Gothic Architecture class to good use!). We took a guided tour of the catacombs, which were very cool, but also very creepy. It was so eerie to know that we were walking down where they had buried people in mass graves. Though we did learn that some of the burial rooms were cleaned out and used as bomb shelters during WWII. Very interesting.

We basically just wandered aimlessly until we got too tired to wander anymore, which worked out very well since we just happened upon the Stage Door to the Vienna Opera House! We walked around the amazing building to the front entrance which happens to be on the 'ring'. Vienna is separated into two main sections: the inner ring and the outer ring. There is a tram that you can take that goes all the way around the 'circle' of the town. We got on and rode all the way around the city and right back to the stop outside the Operahouse.

After that, we headed back to the hostel and both fell asleep for a little while. I woke up at about 19:00 (yes, the whole European date and time thing has already worn off on me!) and I went out for a nice stroll around our neighborhood, and wandered until I found a place to get some dinner. I went to the "Kebap-Pizza-Palace", just down the street from where we're staying. I had a falafel sandwich, which was absolutely delicious. It also was the first real meal I've had in about 3 days! Good thing I have some yummy food in me now!

I also have to mention quickly our roommates. A couple from Ireland (Dublin and Cork). Rachel and Rob. They are very nice people, and were telling us all about where they've been so far and where I should go explore while I'm in Ireland. Man do I love an Irish accent. It just sounds so sophisticated. Random. Anyway, this really is a fabulous vacation so far! And I must say....I'm incredibly proud of myself for not being any more homesick than I am! Very good times. Anyway, please please please leave comments and e-mail me! I love hearing from you all. I miss you all like crazy, and I hope your days go well! Talk to you soon!

Love from Vienna!

Vienna - 16.06.07

Hello everyone from Vienna! I made it! And I'm here with Katherine right now! Time to explore! I'll write more soon...The flights were long...and I ended up missing my connection in Chicago. I ended up flying through London, then here. As Justin can was quite the ordeal, running through the Chicago airport trying to make two different flights...but finally I made it on the plane.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My European Adventure!!!

Date City Bookings/Plans/Info
15-Jun Vienna, Austria Flight lands at 2:10pm (Europe is 8 hours ahead of Utah.
16-Jun Vienna, Austria Great Britain is 7 hours ahead.)
17-Jun Vienna, Austria 3 nights at Wombats City Hostel
18-Jun Budapest, Hungary train from Vienna to Budapest
19-Jun Budapest, Hungary 1 night at the Downtown Hostel
20-Jun Prague, Czech Republic night train June 19 to Prague
21-Jun Prague, Czech Republic 2 nights in hostel
22-Jun Dresden, Germany train from Prague to Dresden June 22. 1 night in hostel
23-Jun Berlin, Germany train from Dresden to Berlin June 23. 2 nights in hostel
24-Jun Berlin, Germany
25-Jun Berlin, Germany night train to Munich
26-Jun Munich, Germany 2 nights in hostel
27-Jun Munich, Germany trip to Dachau
28-Jun Munich, Germany night train to Venice
29-Jun Venice, Italy 1 night in hostel
30-Jun Venice, Italy night train to Switzerland
1-Jul Zurich, Switzerland 2 nights in hostel
2-Jul Zurich, Switzerland
3-Jul Amsterdam, the Netherlands day train through western Germany
4-Jul Paris, France
5-Jul Paris, France
6-Jul Paris, France
7-Jul Paris, France
8-Jul Glasgow, Scotland Afternoon flight from Paris to Glasgow
9-Jul Glasgow, Scotland 2 nights in hostel
10-Jul Edinburgh, Scotland Morning train from Glasgow. 1 night in hostel
11-Jul Dublin, Ireland Flight or ferry to Dublin. 6 nights in hostel
12-Jul Dublin, Ireland
13-Jul Dublin, Ireland
14-Jul Dublin, Ireland
15-Jul Dublin, Ireland
16-Jul Dublin, Ireland
17-Jul Dublin, Ireland Mom arrives in Dublin. 3 nights in hotel.
18-Jul Dublin, Ireland
19-Jul Dublin, Ireland
20-Jul London, England ferry to Holyhead, Wales. Train to London. 7 nights in hotel.
21-Jul London, England
22-Jul London, England
23-Jul London, England
24-Jul London, England
25-Jul London, England
26-Jul London, England
27-Jul London, England Home!

Contact information:
I will have a global cell phone for emergencies. Call toll free from US 1.866.305.6462.
When prompted enter my phone number 44.792.44.09.329.
I will have e-mail access in most places, please write to me!
Also, I will be updating my blog with anecdotes and pictures.
My address is:

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sliding Doors

"Everything happens for a reason. You'll never know if you don't try."

Friday, June 01, 2007

So, I'm feeling a little odd, off and on lately (there are a few reasons for that, one of which is that I'm going off a medication I've been on for the last 8 months)... In my last blog, I talked about how great the beginnings of relationships are, which is so true. And after my now boyfriend read that last post I wrote, he was amazing about making me feel confident and secure in our relationship. This is starting to sound like I'm not anymore, which isn't true....In fact its exactly the opposite! I have never felt this comfortable and secure and confident in a relationship before. It really is amazing how Justin and I just seem to fit.
The thing I needed to write about is my own personal insecurities. I have these involuntary reactions to certain things, and then I get mad at myself for them. Like tonight, for example, Justin and I were doing some of those trust exercises, where you fall back and let the other person catch you. The thing that was really getting to me was that I completely trust him, I really do, but I kept flinching and having a hard time just letting myself fall. I started crying, and then I just felt dumb.
The thing is, though, it really wasn't from past least not in the way everyone tends to think. I mean, my past relationships are just that, in the past, ancient history. What isn't though, is....well, to be brutally honest, the history of my relationship with my dad. And I know this is seeming convoluted and probably very odd, but I was never extremely close to my dad. And I always felt like he built me up so much in his mind, and to everyone he came (comes) into contact with, that there is no possible way for me to live up to it all. And here's where the trust thing comes in: I've always been envious of friends of mine who completely trust their fathers and have good if not great relationships with them. And this whole issue really gets to me, because I've dealt with it for so long, and I know exactly what the problem is, and how to fix it, which is basically just let go of the anger I used to have (which I have done) and just, well, basically start fresh with things. And I have, but somehow there is still that tendency I've had since I can remember that I always build a wall up...and it usually takes a lot for me to let people in. You know how some kids have security blankets? I had this mechanism sort of thing where I just learned to bottle up the things I was thinking.... and I always hated doing that....But now, just when I think things are going great I get a little surge of that old habit.
I guess it really is just an issue of mind over matter. I just hope he knows I'm worth the trouble! ;)