Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Land of Frenchies and Scots???

Paris is a place to behold. 1 day is not nearly enough to explore everything this amazing city has to offer. I only managed to spend 5 hours in the louvre and just barely scratched the surface. Saw the arc de triumph, eiffel tower, champs el laise, etc... One thing i never thought i would see in france is the amount of guys running around with kilts on. Yes the scots are in town and they let everybody know it. The rugby world cup is going on here and france is playing scotland tonight. Think I might go to a bar and watch. There were about 2,000+ scottish rugby fans at the eiffel tower drunk as ever at 4pm, singing and cheering to just about anything. They pretty much took the place over. Outside of that, they speak a lot of french here and despite what people think, they are pretty friendly. Huh, who would have thought. Off tomorrow for the last 5 hour train trip of this little adventureand then back to US and A.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Bedford, NH, USA

Back home! Admittedly, I could easily have spent another week, two weeks, a few months traveling. It's always great to sleep in my own bed but the traveling mentality - and not working through a daily routine - is certainly a refreshing way to burn the hours. And with all the ridiculous sites I encountered out there the most memorable moments were meeting all the different people.

Going through the 350 pictures I took it's easy to see why people travel and even before I got home I already started planning another jaunt out into the world. Pat left a pair of shorts in Germany so I may head out to Montana in next few months. (I've been saying that for the last few years).

At this point it's time to list my "Best of" Awards so here goes. Pat you need to weigh in here too. I'd have to say the best destination is Chamonix, France for it's stark beauty and the mountains that frame it. The best spot to people watch (with Belgian waffles) is the Grand Place in Brussels. The best bar: Goupil le Foy in Brussels. Best restaurant: Mukkefuck in Garmish-Partenkirchin, Germany. Best Hostel: Backpacker's Villa, Interlaken, Switzerland because we met people with the best stories there; like Paul from Australia who'd been traveling for an entire year; and Lauren, a korean who'd seen more of the U.S. than I have, and because it had the best set-up and cleanest rooms - in my book it is a hotel. Worst Bar: Hooters again, in Interlaken. Ok so this isn't an exhaustive list but whatever. Other places to check out are L'Archduc in Brussels (too high-class for these guys but supposedly a sweet jazz bar. You have to ring a door bell to get in); Dan Murphy's Irish bar in A'dam and Vondelpark also in A'dam; and, according to a guy we met in Switzerland there's an outdoor movie theater just south of Latern Restaurant in Interlaken that shows Swiss patriotism movies with english subtitles and it sounded pretty sweet.

I woke up late last night at home and had no idea where I was and that only rarely happens to me. I'm already feeling the itch to get back out there and it's going to kill me. If anyone's been on a kick-ass trip lately let me know; I need some ideas for the next go-around.

Chinque Terra and Torino

Now that I am out on my own until Friday I decided to see a bit more of Italy. After 2 nights in a small town near chinque terra called Bassia (worst hostel by far, imagine a bell ringing every half hour right outside your window) I have headed up to Torino to take in the sights of this ancient city and see where the 2006 olymipcs were held. It is pretty cool with grand piazzas and palaces but a little to posh to spend more than one day here. Tomorrow I think I am going to head up to Lake Como to see what all the fuss is about. I have heard it is nice and maybe I will run into George Clooney or some other famous faces. Anyways, after Italy I am going to head up to Paris for 2 nights to meet up with a friend and visit the Louvre. Should be amazing, I cant wait. After that it is back to Amsterdam to catch the early morning flight back to the states. Although I think this trip so far has excited me to see what else the world has to offer, I think I am ready to take off from europe. Next year is hopefully a motorcycle and who knows after that. Justin, you still planning on Alaska by motorcycle? Hope everyone is doing well, miss you all.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Train Time and Bad Weather

Well, our luck has finally cought up with us as the weather here in Garmisch is awful. It rained on the train here and has not stopped since. The zugspitze will have to be for another trip. On the other hand though, this place is pretty cool and the apple strudel is amazing. Kev takes off tomorrow back to Amsterdam and I think I am going to head to the coast of Italy near Genoa. With the reccomendation from Heather, I think I will check out the Chinque Terra area. From there, who knows. I was thinking maybe back to Switzerland to see the Zermatt but maybe a stop in Torino is possible as well. Anyways hope everyone back home is doing well. Gotta run.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Interlaken, Switzerland

Hey everyone!, we're now in Switzerland. Yesterday we took the cable car up to the summit of L'Aguille du Midi. I've never been on a cable car before so this was a terrifying initiation but well worth it. We met some folks at the top from Palm Springs who were here for a week and then on to somewhere in Switzerland for three more. I wanted to ask what the hell they do that they can just take off like that but instead told them how I'd never been on a cable car before, which they enjoyed. Patrick did some laundry and I booked a single room at the Best Western to save a few euros; the room came with two twins anyway, and we snuck out in the morning. Americans 1, French 0. Heck yeah! The train from Chamonix to Martigny, Switzerland was something out of a mix of the Sound of Music and the Lord of the Rings with a sprinkle of ginger bread houses. Just amazing views and perilous heights. The lakes in Interlaken are a sea-green/blue/undescribable. Up until a few months ago there was a train that ran practically straight up into a mountain but mudslides have since shut it down. Met a guy named Paul from Australia, between Sydney and Melbourne, that has spent the last year of his life traveling the world. We played ping-pong for about an hour and just listened to his stories of how he worked at Beaver Creek, CO for a few months, loved Edinburgh, and can't wait to get to Thailand. We're planning another death-march/hike tomorrow that will get us above 3000m again with some ridiculous views of Jungfraujoch. Hope all is well back home. -Kevin

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Chamonix Mont-Blanc, Hiking forever

So we spent more than our share of time on something like 6 trains to get to Chamonix and the first day here we spent 9hrs+ hiking up to Montagne de Blatiere and over to (and into) the Glace de Mer and back to town for a Guinness and a listen to a Partkinkerschin, (sp?) German traditional folk brass band. Unbelievable stuff. There's a folk festival going on today that we'll check out after we ride the cable car up to Aguille Du Midi (3842 meters). I'm here in an internet cafe listening to REO Speedwagon and Rush. So weird.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mont Blanc/Chamonix/Trains

That is how the travels go just not in that order. We have made it to Chamonix after 11 hours on trains and quite a few tranfers. We got here when it was dark out so no sightseeing yet. Might spend a couple days here. The town is really small, low key and pretty cleared out of tourists. Hiking and biking may be on the menu. On the way here though we managed to navigate through the Paris subway system with ease and take the tram through Geneva to our connecting train without getting lost. I think at this point, big cities have lost their charm and now it is time to actually get out and see the country side. Hostels have been really cheap, $18EU a night so money is good but now that we are in the mountain towns things may cost a bit more. Max, I wanted to let you know I saw a technique extreme store here like the shirt you have. It was closed but I will check it out tomorrow and maybe get a shirt. Other than that, everyone has been fairly friendly, even the french, and other backpackers have been really cool with helping us out when needed. Hope everyone is doing well. Miss you all.