Thursday, June 24, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I spent the last two nights in the Sahara staying in a tent and hanging out with a Berber family. It was really an incredible experience. After a meal of couscous and mint tea the Berbers played their drums around the fire for us. I had never seen the stars so well. Other Berbers from surrounding camps slowly trickled in following the sound of the drums. People were dancing and singing; Berber, French, Dutch, and English being spoken. It was enjoyable just to sit there and take it all in.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
We just got out of the Medina, which is the largest car-free urban environment on the planet. It was really something else. We decided to hire a guide for a few hours to take us through the streets of the market place. This was the best idea we had had all day seeing as the place was practically a labyrinth. I bought some spices, tea, and bartered for a rug. We finished our tour with a helping of couscous and mint tea.
Friday, April 9, 2010
I know this isn't the most attractive picture but once again I find myself paying too much to use internet. Amsterdam is quite an interesting establishment. The city is a product of sailors and traders whose reputation precedes her. Canals that run through the city’s streets make navigating the city interesting. Many elaborate houseboats are housed throughout the canals, some of which are even hotels. On the subject of navigating the streets, I have never seen so many bicycles in my life. Our tour guide, Mason, told use that they pull 25,000 bikes out of the canals every year. There are more bicycles than people. Within 15 minutes of being in the city I was almost hit several times. Our hostel was great. It had a very warm atmosphere with really friendly travelers. We explored the Van Gogh museum one day and a bicycle tour of the city the next. It made for a relaxing weekend. Away we go to Brussels.
A mother, her two daughters, and myself seemed to be the only ones on the train from Pisa Central to La Spezia that evening. After asking the train man multiple times and having him yell at me in Italian as he didn’t speak English, all four of us determined which train we had to get on from there to get to Riomoerre. This occurance brought us together and we decided to hike Cinque Terre the next day together. The city of Riomaggiore was jaw dropping. It sat right on the water almost. The building and houses were all painted these red and yellow pastel colors. My hostel wasn’t bad. There were two girls staying in my room as well. They were from America as well and had been living in Spain for a year teaching English. I awoke the next day and met the girls at 8:00. We set out on our hike. The hike was amazing. It wasn’t too difficult either, just narrow and a lot of stairs in some places. We stopped off and had lunch in Vernazza. Our lunch was only sandwhiches but the view was enough to make up for that. We reached the final town around 16:00; took the train back to our town that we were staying in and said our good bye and went on our separate ways. That night I had three different girls staying in my room with me. There was Maria Isabel Lachenauer who was studying abroad in Scotland. Then there were these two girls/women from the States as well who had been living in Switzerland for over a year as nannies. They seemed like fun; If wouldn’t have had a 5:25 train in the morning I would have liked to go out that night with them. They were Allie Minnie and Shelley Albano. As a product of me waking up at 4:45 and hurrying out the door to catch my train I left my Chacos in my room that night. This picture is the last they were seen. It’s early in my trip and I can’t let that discourage me. Away we go to Amsterdam.