Machu Picchu

So it’s been a while (intentional understatement), and I admit I’ve just kind of gotten lazy (traveling more than once a week for 5 months is entirely exhausting), so the blog kind of got put on the back burner. I’m hoping I’ll be able to recreate everything, but in case I can’t, I had to blog about our trip to Machu Picchu. Honestly, with the exception of Stockholm, Barcelona, and the Galapagos, there hasn’t been a whole lot to blog about. Hopefully I’ll be able to do those three, and I think I will. Read the rest of this entry

Bergen and Fjord Country

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Today was our full day in Bergen. We managed to (at a high cost) find a fjord tour leaving in the early afternoon, and figured since we have no idea when the next time we’ll be here is, we had to do it. Before that, we had the daunting task of finding a reasonably priced lunch. This task quickly changed from “reasonably priced” to just “lunch.” For those of you that have heard me bitch about the cost of things before, I take it all back. All of it. There is nothing that can describe just how expensive everything is here. In multiple normal restaurants all around, if you want a regular entrée, spending $30 is a bargain, $40 is perfectly normal, and $50 is…well…also perfectly normal. We found a “Mex Tex” (side note: WTF, that sounds stupid) restaurant serving $50 fajitas. The smallest size french fry at McDonald’s is $5. Five dollars. Anyway. We eventually settled on 7-11 where I spent $22 on two hot dogs, a Mars bar, a Sprite Zero, and milk. Score! Read the rest of this entry

Denmark

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

We went tø the airpørt, and I went tø the baggage øffice, while they went tø check-in. After a bit øf a search, we føund her bag in the øffice, which was a relief tø everyøne invølved. Shørtly thereafter, we bid Catrina farewell, and caught the bus øver tø Terminal 4, where øur flight tø Cøpenhagen leaves. We checked in, gøt McDønald’s før breakfast, and made øur way tø the gate. By this pøint, bøth øf us were struggling tø stay awake! Eventually, we bøarded, and after a shørt technical issue, were øn øur way tø Cøpenhagen. I døn’t remember much øf the flight, but we landed øn time arøund 3:00, and headed tø Cøpenhagen Central statiøn tø catch øur train tø Esbjerg, where øur friends frøm øur Bulgarian adventure are (there will be a cøntest with a prize tø be determined før the persøn that can prønøunce “Esbjerg”) cørrectly. The train was pleasant enøugh, and after abøut 3 høurs, we were met at the statiøn by Nanna and Simøne. We wandered thrøugh the tøwn, which was a wønderful departure frøm the big cities in which we’ve spent møst øf øur time. Read the rest of this entry

Madrid and Toledo

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

We arrived at Madrid-Chamartin around 9 am, without a place to stay, or any idea what we were doing, except that we knew we were going to the Real Madrid match that night! The stadium was very close to the train station, so we jumped on the Metro for a couple of stops down to the Bernabeu, where we…shockingly, ran into our Texan and Canadian friends. Apparently, they’d decided to head over to Madrid on the same train because Adrian really wanted to go to the game, too. After we all got tickets (in different areas…we weren’t about to spend 90 Euro on a ticket like they did), we found a place to get some breakfast. Eventually, we went our separate ways, and Jordan and I headed over to the popular Plaza del Sol to find a hostel. After getting some free internet at McDonald’s, we found a hostel very close by that would work. We headed over there, and got settled in. The hostel was comfortable enough, but it didn’t have a great social scene. Read the rest of this entry

Portugal

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Today we got lunch with our new Australian friends, Jessica and Cerene, before heading over to the train station to get our bus to Lagos (pronounced “Lagosch”). It took about 4 hours, but I could tell I was going to like Lagos more or less from the minute we arrived. We didn’t really know how to get to our hostel, but fortunately a group of Australian girls (noticing a theme here…they’re EVERYWHERE!) from our bus had directions, so we more or less tagged along with them. Once we arrived, we took a break, before heading out to get what would become the our food staple during our time in Portugal: piri-piri chicken. Piri-piri is a spicy oil-based garnish that is very common in Portugal. There was a restaurant nearby that served half a charcoal grilled chicken with piri-piri, fries, and a drink for 5 Euro, which was a steal compared to what we were used to. That’s probably why we had it 3 times in 2 days… Read the rest of this entry

Andalusia

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Today was a hectic day full of uncertainty. We get to the airport about 1:45 before our flight. When we get to the check-in counter, they can’t find EITHER of our names on the manifest. Sigh. After digging around for awhile, she found mine on the late afternoon flight, which was definitely not what I asked the AAgent for when I called to make changes. It’s probably my fault for not double checking the itinerary, but I could’ve sworn I’d written down all the changes on my old itinerary. Jordan’s, on the other hand, was a bit more of a mystery. In order to make any changes, we’d have to go over to the ticket sales desk, which was staffed by one person to deal with 3 or 4 groups in front of us. Time started to run short, but eventually he got to us, and told us to come back behind the counter to use the internet to find Jordan’s ticket #. Since he was doing something with mine, he basically left me alone to figure out what Jordan’s deal was, using SABRE, oneworld’s computer system. Although I definitely didn’t know everything, I knew enough to give myself peace of mind that it would be really, really easy to learn it. Fortunately, we were able to get everything resolved. It’s easy to get upset when things aren’t going your way, and I can’t help but feel bad for that guy, since he was in a pretty thankless job, but he knew exactly what he was doing, and was able to do them all quickly enough that we had no problems making our flight. Read the rest of this entry

Istanbul

Monday, August 29th, 2011

With 3 more nights in Istanbul (which is a lot for us), we didn’t feel too bad about taking a “personal” day to relax and recuperate from the length of the previous day. After waking up around 12:30/1 when our new English roommate, Simon, arrived (he’s living in Dubai), we wound up talking to him for nearly an hour before we all decided we were hungry, and set off in quest of food. Although we got a good recommendation from the guy at the front desk, and it all worked out, it’s worth noting that it’s still Ramadan, and on top of that, a bank holiday in Turkey, which meant that options were somewhat limited. The casserole dish, though, was really good, despite it being basically the only thing they were serving. Read the rest of this entry

Switzerland aka: Alpine Paradise

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Today we woke up, and went to go have brunch with Janine and some of her guy friends. Jordan and I basically had no idea what was going on, since the conversation was almost entirely in German, but these guys were already shit-faced at about 11 am. Apparently, it’s the cool thing to do, according to Janine. *shrugs* Read the rest of this entry

Germany

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Today we went to Berlin. Our train left at 10:30 in the morning, which meant we quickly woke up, and checked out of the hostel in Prague, and ventured over to the train station. The train was comfortable, if not uneventful, and about 5 hours later we were in Berlin. The Berlin train station is a really interesting criss-cross of train tracks all under one massive glass roof. We had no problems finding our hostel (if you haven’t noticed, we’re pretty damn good at this whole traveling thing now!), and hung out there, drinking cider, surfing the web, and eating dinner waiting for the Manchester United game to start. I got in touch with one of my German friends that I met in Australia last year, and she offered us a place to stay if we wanted to come visit. She’d be finishing her last test of the semester on Wednesday, so there was going to be a large group of people partying that night. It sounded like fun, so we committed to head to Mainz, about an hour west of Frankfurt, on Wednesday afternoon. Read the rest of this entry

Prague

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Today I went with several friends from the hostel on a self-guided tour around Prague, and across the river to the Prague Castle, which is the largest in the world. Prague, in many respects, reminds me of Budapest, in that it is a city divided in two by a river, and that each side is very different from the other. Like Buda, the western bank of Prague is much more mountainous, and overlooks the eastern banks, where most of the city is located. I enjoyed Budapest more, but Prague is a beautiful city itself. We crossed a famous bridge to get over there (the name of which escapes me at the moment), but it’s somewhat comparable to the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. Lots of street vendors and performers, but it’s more of a traditional bridge. Read the rest of this entry

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