Archive for September, 2011

Europe, Days 4 to 6

September 14, 2011 Leave a comment

On Monday morning, I took a train from London to Paris. While seated, a mildly attractive Swedish woman asked if she could “have the pleasure of my company”. It quickly became apparent that she simply wanted the two open seats across from me so she could lay down and sleep the entire time. Oh well.

I got to Paris and took the metro (that’s a subway in English) to my hotel. After walking around the general vicinity for thirty minutes, I finally found the hotel. It’s no great shakes, but it’s perfectly adequate to give me a place to sleep, shower, and eat a free breakfast.

My first stop was the Eiffel Tower. I went all the way to the top which was pretty cool. I finally befriended some Americans–two middle-aged black women, one from Minnesota, one from Georgia. I’ll tell you what–if that was my type, I’d be golden because middle-aged black women love me. Anyway, after descending, I bought a two-day boat pass along the Seine that would let me hop on and hop off as needed. It was cool because most of the major attractions are along the Seine, so I got pictures of everything.

When I got back towards the hotel, I wandered into a local bar. Now I quickly realized that me trying to order in French made me sound either retarded or deaf. Nonetheless, I was able to get a few beers and a huge salad. Along with the bread on the side, this was the most I’d eaten on the trip.

On Tuesday, I sauntered out to the Rodin Museum. Unexpectedly cool and spent a lot of time there. That guy produced over 6,500 pieces of art–kind of like the James Patterson of sculptors. Lot more dongs than I expected, but I guess that’s par for the course when looking at French art. I also went to Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe, both of which were cool to see, but nothing to write home about (unless, of course, you’re trying to fill up a blog).

Today I went to this cemetery which was really an excellent trip. Just wandered around with no real plan. Jim Morrison is the most famous inhabitant, and his gravesite is the only one that’s guarded (due to people vandalizing it). There’s a tree next to the grave where people leave their tributes (like writing lyrics on the tree). I was never really into the Doors; not being a pot smoker probably lessened my appreciation of the music. Oscar Wilde is also buried there–it’s a custom to kiss the marker while wearing lipstick; alas, I left mine at the hotel.

After that, I sat in a park for a while and composed this post. Might try to find something to eat, then I got to the Louvre tonight. Probably bum around during the day tomorrow, then I take a sleeper train to Rome tomorrow night.

In all honesty, I’m so-so on Paris. I enjoy seeing all the historic stuff, and I’m glad I came, but I don’t see any reason why I’d come back again. Sort of the way I felt when I went to Tokyo. Much different than London, which I think I could go back to multiple times and enjoy.

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Europe, Days 2 and 3

September 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Yesterday, I took a train up to Liverpool. About a two hour ride. Seemed like a decent enough little town. Obviously, Beatles stuff proliferates the downtown area. Then I went to a Premier League match–Everton (the local team) versus Aston Villa. I sat next to an older man who didn’t say much other than muttering the f-word every ten minutes. The most interesting thing there is that you can’t take beer into the seating area. I expected a British soccer match to be a beer-fueled experience, but it was quite civil.

Today, I went to Windsor Castle. Weird to see a place that’s basically four times as old as our country. My favorite part of this trip was when the tour guide said, “The Queen has been on the throne for sixty years”. This made me giggle.

I then went to Stonehenge. On one hand, it seems very mystical. On the other hand, it seems like it could just be a bunch of rocks. There were about a thousand sheep no more than 50 yards away and they didn’t seem to have any superpowers.

My last stop was Bath. I was looking for the filthy Wife of Bath, but she was nowhere to be seen. I drank this mineral water from a hot spring that the Romans thought had magical healing powers when they built baths around it about a million years ago. We’ll see if it helps with these blisters.

Back at the hotel now, following the Phils game via the iPad and listening to a British guy recap the Eagles game. Stuck watching the Giants-Redskins game, but it’s better than the British TV I’ve been stuck with. Also fun to watch the NFL hype fantasy football to a British audience, as the ads go over pretty much every rule as if explaining to a six-year old.

Next update whenever I get steady Internet access again.

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Europe, Day One

September 9, 2011 2 comments

I’m safe and sound in London. As I have not slept in over a day and am paying for the Internet by the hour, this post will be short and sweet.

I’ve walked so much that my right foot bled. Need to remember to break shoes in prior to going on vacation next time.

People in London are very fashionable. My Banana Republic polo/jeans combo paled in comparison to 98% of the other people I saw today. The most notable exception was the chunky fella pushing a stroller while wearing a Kansas City Chiefs t-shirt. I somehow saw him three times today.

I thought I saw the Spice Girls and Paul McCartney walking around, but it probably wasn’t them.

Oh, I got hit by a car today. It wasn’t moving fast enough to even wrinkle my pants, but itndid hit me.

Bedtime…train to Liverpool in the morning for a Premier League match.

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