Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The next big adventure

Tomorrow begins the next adventure and the beginning of a new, uncertain life. I have at least 8 hours driving to Madrid, and about 18 more hours of travel to contemplate the last 8 months of my life as well as whatever the next chapter may be. I am looking forward to being reflective, but also excited for all of the possibilities. Shall be a nice summer in any case.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Castaways and Cutouts

As far as I can tell, Amsterdam is as perfect as a city can possibly be. It's well designed and connected, its beautiful and diverse, and is full of gorgeous and intelligent people (which makes them so tolerant and happy). All I can say is that I am jealous and I want that lifestyle.

I will live in a houseboat somewhere someday, though I doubt here.

Sunday stroll.

The Red Light district was better than expected. Compared to Barcelona the people seemed pretty well behaved- except for all of the obnoxious groups of English guys yelling insults at the girls. Without going on a rant, I just want to say that the British need to get off their high horses (read: bar stools) because they are by far the most annoying group of tourists I have ever experienced.

Chilling with the chill in Vondelpark.

Other people chilling with it.

Bikes as far as the eye can see, at the train station.

Sleeping accommodations for the first night. Things like this afford me my lifestyle.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Okay, first legitimate update in a while. But finally I have some travels worth talking about, mainly Albania, which is beautiful, cheap, and has some of the friendliest people I have ever encountered. Highly recommended.

Pulling into the port of Vlore, after a 10 hour boat ride from Italy.

This is a walkway that cuts more than a kilometer through a lagoon near the ancient city of Butrinti, which is a stone's throw away from Greece and has a beautifully preserved Greek/Roman city.

Travelling buddy Karol walking along the path.

Old hotel along the beach of Dhermi, on the Southern coast.

Here you could swim and see snow-capped mountains at the same time. Incredible.

I think this sums up the country pretty well. Concrete bunkers leftover from times of communist isolation, a beautiful beach at sunset, and some litter for good measure.

View from out hotel, run by a super nice family that cooked us delicious fish caught by the father the morning of.

This photo sums up the interior mountainous parts of the country: snow-capped mountains, ubiquitous mercedes-benz, and old-style stone edifices.

Constantine or something, I really don't know or care.

A centuries old church left over from Ottoman times, I believe.

Town of Berat, looking down from the castle on the top of the hill featured in the following picture.

Ottoman style houses and a gentleman taking care of his business (i.e. on his way to sit in a cafe to drink coffee and smoke cigarettes all day).

Graffitti found in the town of Vlore.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spinal Scratch

In a few hours I am off to the Balkans then Italy, with almost 2 weeks before I have any work/class obligation. And I only have 256€ in my account. I've been looking forward to this for a while.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Si us plau

So things have been a little bit slow around here. I've been staying put for the most part because of visitors and lack of funds, but that will change soon enough. I've been using the time to work on personal things- now the only thing left to do is develop a solid study routine. I finally started Spanish classes last week, so I have a little bit more motivation, but I still need to start devoting raw time to reading, writing, and most importantly, one-on-one conversation.

In any case, I have been a bit more active on my bike lately, even though its been breaking down on me because I haven't been maintaining it. Last weekend I had to hitchhike back to Girona from about 15km out because my tire finally gave and I neglected to bring any tools or spares with me. Nonetheless it turned out to be a fun experience and offered me a good opportunity to make nice with some locals. This weekend I took my camera with me because during my bike rides I often pass through some strikingly beautiful landscapes and charmingly quaint Catalan villages (with names I can never pronounce or remember). I can't wait for the warm weather to come- I'm going to be a cycling fiend.

Little farming village nestled between the hills.

My red stallion, about 15 minutes before the brake went out. No worries though, on a fixed gear one doesn't necessarily need a brake.

The road into the mountains west of town.