A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: DBassler

Ireland

Ireland, the final destination! Today is the 24th, which makes tomorrow the 25th. Shortly after that it will be the 26th. A three day weekend and then the 29th! The 29th we leave to Frankfurt, which is just a mere 36 hours from a short plane ride home. That's the easiest way to think about it...a way I've been thinking much lately. Kind of like a kid approaching Christmas. I love Ireland, but I love Moscow too, and since I havent seen Moscow in three months, and since I've already been in Ireland for a week, Moscow tends to be on the mind more. A lot more. We have been spending our days doing the typical travelling: pictures, eating, pictures, frisbee, eating, and then more frisbee or pictures. Same routine, same results, same enjoyment.

We are pretty much exploring Ireland out of Killarney, a nice little tourist town that has access to everything that Ireland has to offer. We have traveled the Ring of Kerry, will see the Dingle Peninsula and will surely make it to the surrounding villages full of views, story's, and history. Spending three nights in Dublin to start our Ireland trip, we were able to see much of what it has to offer as it is not that big of a city.

We toured the Guinness Brewery.

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And got a free (14€) Beer! It was the freshest beer I'd ever had.

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A week more, but here is some scenery...and a little wildlife.

I ranged em at about 30 yards, maybe not that.

Either way, farther than last fall :)

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And some sights.

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St. Mary's Cathedral in Killarney.

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A funny little hut. The roof may be a fire hazard.

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And of course. A Castle.

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Ross Castle

Posted by DBassler 11:58 Comments (0)

Even more Pictures

Time is running out, but we are still taking a ton of pictures. There is not time to write right now, but pictures are worth a thousand words, right? These pictures tell the story of early May. A quick run-down since Athens...Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, and now Dublin. Here are just a few of the hundreds taken, beginning in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is beautiful...here is the typical street.

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And they sure love their bikes.

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None other than the Eiffel Tower.

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Every hour on the hour at night...special lights!

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The Louvre

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And here is Brussels

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The Famous Little Pisser

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Belgian Waffles. It's what they're famous for. I had the one smothered in Strawberries, Whipped Cream and Chocolate. It wasn't very good. I swear.

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Posted by DBassler 14:24 Comments (0)

Athens

We had heard amazing things about Greece before arriving. It turns out much of what we heard was describing the islands and rural areas...if there are any. Athens is overpopulated and bursting at the seems. Not much law around here and it is always noisy. Cant get away from the noise. We went to a starbucks just to try and get away, like should be possible in a coffee house, but no luck. No sleep either. The honking never ends. The starbucks was so bad we had to get up and leave to find another one. Amazing how like five girls can make soooo much noise. Not even conversation, just plain noise. Putting us out on the street to risk our lives. Live everywhere in Europe the traffic is seriously dangerous. The lines dictating lanes mean nothing, especially to scooters and motorcycles. I'm pretty sure actually, that there arent any laws for scooters, which isnt good since everyone rides them, and usually with a passenger. Go figure. I dont know how many fender benders we have seen. Too many people to contain. We have been to lots of big cities thus far, but all have had the ability to hide the people or at least maintain some cleanliness and the apperance of order. Athens just cant hack it. Too big and too many people. I dont know how they do it. I dont know how we've survived just three days. Definitely cant understand a word that's being said around me.

The Acropolis is like the little getaway in this city.

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There are still mobs of people surrounding the sites, but at least you can get your bearings from the top of the hill, and take a breath of semi fresh air. The views are still amazing too, if you can see through the smog.

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The sites are great as well, I just wish they would take down the scaffolding and seize the restoration efforts. It's not like restoring them is really a great idea. No way it's going to be as good as the original. Meanwhile, we cant see the ruins for what they really are. Still amazing.

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Our place is basically a reflection of our latest luck as well. We booked a two bed, nice looking, affordable place. We got one rickety old bed, a clogged up shower, and a door that essentially doesnt lock...and mosquitos. Yep, already got some bites. I guess I am still optimistic that it's not bed bugs or some other virus passing insect.
Here is a picture of both of us...finally found someone to snap one off for us. Still happy and in good spirits despite the change of luck.

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It's hot here and nice, but when we leave tomorrow we will be ready for a change of pace.

Posted by DBassler 11:24 Comments (0)

Uh Oh

Things are not as good as they started. I still love being here, and I am still enjoying everything, but ya know, I'd be better if I had my wallet. That would be nice. I wasnt being stupid, and I wasnt being half fast, I got straight robbed, thats what happened. Now my I.D and locked credit cards are floating in a trash heap somewhere in Germany. Thanks Dude in the subway, you man.
The one day I couldnt lock my pack down, the one day we were in Cologne, and the one time I put my wallet in my front pocket. I always, always had my wallet locked down in my pack. Just one day and that was all it took.

We had just transferred what we needed for our five day trip to Greece in our daypacks, had just left the airport for our place, and had just gotten off the last subway for the day when I found it missing. Just a few hours away from waking up at 3am to go to the airport. I mean, wow, just a blur now, but damn, everything went wrong and now...no means. Front pocket huh? that worked. Wish I would have caught him, that way I could justify the extry pound of Leatherman I have been carrying around...woulda put that to good use. Still got my camera though, and my passport. Could be worse. Looking on the bright side. Teetering, but still smiling.

Since last time, we have been traveling like crazy. From Cinque Terra we went to Rome, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Cologne, and now Athens! The countryside has been beautiful as well as many of the cities. Places are far different than I imagined too. Athens is huge and a dump. They said Rome was dirty, but it isnt...at least not like here. Berlin was amazing, clean, big, and has an identity, though our place was sick. Even Cologne was nice, despite the one man that I have decided to hate. Venice, despite the big talk that you may hear, really isnt that sweet. Ok, its nice and all, and very unique, but not exactly what you picture. At least not what I pictured. It kind of seems like a hassle, that and it is super easy to get lost in there. No WC's anywhere either. Yeah, that's another thing. In europe, good luck finding a bathroom. It is just ridiculous, you almost need to plan your day around it. Not a laughing matter. Also, another thing that is deceiving...hostelworld.com. It is a lifesaver no doubt, but it is also full of deception. The last two places we have booked for a two beds have been only one (sleeping bags and floor). Also, whatever they say about themselves, especially directions, are probably half-truths or lies all together. It's like rolling the dice every time you book a place. You turn the key when you get there and just hold your breath. The place in Berlin, ha, yuck. Oh, the first place in Prague, I had to wrap the pillow with the pillowcase and both sheets just to think about using it. The comforter wasnt even an option. Wouldnt let a stray dog use it.
Johnny told me not to wipe up beer with it, but I told him it may be best...they may wash it if they found it wet. Maybe not.

There is this technique in Europe that everyone uses when walking down the street. So, instead of acknowledging anyone else in your way, you either look through the person coming, while still secretly looking at them, or you look away all together, keeping semi-focused with peripherals. That way you can pretend not to see anyone, and thus, not move for anything. Everyone does it. Everyone, even super old people. If they catch any sign that you see them...then you are moving for them. Like a mind game with every person. I've tried it and it works. All you have to do is just look away and you can walk in a straight line. Just dont acknowledge anyone else. Think only of yourself and you're fine. People are relentless.

Big cities. It's a chore. Like Dune. A big sand storm just wearing you down. Too many people. Way too many people. Athens is like 6 mil plus. No escape. Beautiful places to see. 3 months of straight travel is borderline too much. Should have gone to Lagos in the middle. Vacation within Vacation is a good idea.
Here are some more pictures. A little bit of everywhere the past week and a half or so.

This is Prague, a beautiful place.

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We went to the Vatican while in Rome. It was unbelievable. So much to see. This is the center at sunset, with St. Peters Basilica in the background.

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Here is a picture of inside St. Peters. This is Bernini's Canopy. It is immense and made of the original bronze from the Pantheon.

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This is from inside a large Cathedral in Vienna. Though amazing, Nothing compares to St. Peters.

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Typical Venice
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A picture from inside the Pantheon. This place is also amazing. The size is overwhelming, and the fact that this dome has survived for as long as it has is truly remarkable.

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Posted by DBassler 12:11 Comments (0)

Cinque Terra

I will write when I get a chance, but I just have to put some pictures up for you all to see.

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And just for fun, here are a few early ones from Rome.

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Posted by DBassler 06:35 Comments (0)

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