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We, Burning Giraffes. » hello europe!!
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Greetings from Berlin

June 23rd, 2007


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Why hello everyone from sunny and rainy Berlin. I know we’ve faltered a bit on the updates but that’s because we were so busy in Amsterdam…

But seriously, about Amsterdam. If you ignore all the stoned tourists sexing it up with the prostitutes, it’s a complete paradise. The transportation system there is unlike anything I have ever seen. Businesspeople bike to get to work. Trolleys run on tracks along the most important roads — and they actually move quickly. There’s very little traffic due to the biking and trolley alternatives.

On the other hand, everything is expensive. Our hostel was overpriced and charged for minutiae, which gave us a bad feeling even before our stoned roommates kept us awake with their poor coordination and heavy snoring.

We also managed to secure a pretty good deal for a train from Amsterdam to Berlin. The trip was fast and we befriended the other travelers in our car. I definitely prefer the train travel experience to the bus travel experience, but trains are unfortunately too expensive to be the main mode of transportation for this trip.

Stay tuned for updates on Berlin. Ethan continues to take pictures so those will surely be up soon.


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Hello everyone!
This post comes to you from lovely Brussels, where Sacarny and I are sitting on a nice bed, in a nice house, courtesy of Bregman and Sonia (man the beer is amazing here!)

Aye, sorry about our lack of positng. The issue is that the nature of this trip doesn’t really lend itself towards a updated travel log. Its quite hard to upload pictures and write when you are only saying in a city for 48 hours. Time is of the essence and all that garb.

(For those of you who don’t know, our itinerary is quite intense…something like this: Dublin –> San Sebastian –> Barcelona –> Paris –> Belgium –> Amsterdam –> Berlin –> Pargue –> Florence –> Rome (at this point sacarny leaves, and I continue onwards) –> London –> Conwy, Wales –> Dublin)

So yes. Enough rambling, lets shake some dust and start at the beginning!!!

Below are some updates with pictures on Dublin, San Sebastian and Barcelona. Please don’t mind the probably great deal of grammatical and spelling mistakes. They were written in pieces, at different times, in different states of mind and on different levels of sleep. So, yah, hopefully they make sense and are somewhat fluid.

(Also, as per Jeremy’s smart request, the sidebar on your right now displays a random image from the Europe photo gallery)

Hurrah!


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A cheer people shouted!
Barcelona!
Hurrah!

A city obsessed with its Gaudi legacy and beautiful architecture, probably one of the more stunning large metropolitan areas I’ve ever seen. Everywhere we walked there random statues. cathedrals and fountains. We stayed on a stirp called “La Rambla”, a very active part of the city where there is an insane amount of “living statues” (people dressed up as statues, who dance/ride bikes/meow/do-whatever for you in exchance for some change) and additionaly, temporary pet shops where people sell everything from bunnies, to ferrets to pigeons to chickens.

…Click below for the full story (pictures and captions included, hurrah!)

>>>>>>>>>>>> Read the rest of this entry »


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That quote, courtesy of a very drunk high schooler who led us to a sandwhich place on our first night at San Sebastian…

Anywho, San Sebastian this tiny city right on the water, is probably one of my favorite stops along this trip so far.

The interesting thing about it was that it was our first part of the trip where we really felt like foreigners. It was a different language, cuisine and way of life. Dublin was crazy, but we felt too comfortable there.

Digressing! Sorry!

Click to read the whole story below…

>>>>>>>>>>>> Read the rest of this entry »

Dublin!!! (boring title!)

June 16th, 2007


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Dublin

Dublin, the first stop of the journey.

Upon first landing we quickly realized how beautiful and old this city is. Its also quite tiny and intimate. Everyone seems to obey the crossing of roads and there is very little if any trash on the sidewalks. Additionally, everyone was amazingly nice to us and helped us get to the Avalon Hostel, where we stayed in a room with 30 some-what-beds. I could go on about dublin, but it would probably bore you.

Click below for the story of Dublin, told with both pictures and text. Aye!

>>>>>>>>>>>> Read the rest of this entry »

A Short time in France

June 15th, 2007


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Hello friends. We arrived in Paris several days ago and we depart tomorrow for Brussels. In the meantime we noticed that the Parisians were friendlier than we expected. About 10% of them cannot stand to speak English — these are the bad apples that you always hear about. The rest will help you out to the best of their abilities.

In Brussels we’ll have good internet access so expect to see some pictures soon.

Barcelona!

June 10th, 2007


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Hello friends from sunny Barcelona, where the internet access is poor but the people are quite nice. It looks like tonight will be an early night, but we have seen much since we arrived this morning.

We just went along with a sizeable parade of expat Argentines, celebrating the victory of the soccer team from San Lorenzo. It was a lot of fun and Ethan got some nice pictures.

We’ve also finally got watches. They were a huge ripoff, but as I told the shopowner in broken Spanish, on a trip through Europe knowing the time is worth a lot.

Vamos a País Basco

June 8th, 2007


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Hola hola hola. We’re currently in a Pensión (a few apartments that are rented out as hotel rooms) in San Sebastián, Spain. Last night was a kind of nutty time with Professional wrestlers in Dublin, which hopefully Ethan will talk about in a future post. Today was a lot of transportation, and a lot of re-learning of Spanish.

The people are extremely friendly and very forgiving of your difficulties with the language, so long as you make it clear that you are trying. We ran into two groups of locals. The first were some people who were graduating from colegio (kind of like high school?) and were pretty drunk. One was much less inebriated and interested in practicing his English — he helped us out quite a bit and taught us about the local scene. In particular, he told us NOT to call it San Sebastián. It’s Donostia, the Basque language name for the city. Also, it’s not Spain. It’s Basque Country. Mixing up these names is almost criminal here.

We left these fellows (well, some of them ran away from us actually) and got some food on our own. After exploring by the water for a while — which is absolutely beautiful — we ran into a bunch of people about our age drinking and fishing by a dock. These guys were extremely friendly and many of them spoke English pretty well.

They were interested in the fact that we were from New York. The first thing that came up was how we felt on 9/11 (they were very empathetic and curious about our reactions). We eventually got around to the US political situation, in particular our thoughts about gun control. They were big fans of Michael Moore.

Probably the coolest part was getting to hear their views of the political situation in the Basque country. Those who we spoke with all wanted independence but were very against achieving it through violence. They were upset that mass Spanish media painted the Basque region as filled with violence, but also regretted ETA’s recent breaking of its ceasefire. These are things you can read about on the BBC but hearing people talk about it firsthand is much, much more informative.

Tomorrow will be much much more exploring, and perhaps we will see the fellows from later last night again. Overall, I am really enjoying this city and am not particularly looking forward to leaving it behind tomorrow night.

Greetings from Dublin!

June 6th, 2007


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Pip Pip!

Hello everyone! We have landed safely. And went on a grand stroll of Dublin. Some observations.

1. Dublin is small.
2. Dublin is very pretty and old.
3. Old men in Dublin look and dress like whalers-of-yore.
4. Starting an applause for students making in the grass at Trinity College gets you new friends/brings the community together.
5. Some churches are scary in the way they depict saints.

Thats all for now. We haven’t slept in a bit and are about to go on a musical pub crawl (which means either everyone sings and drinks, or the pub buidling actually has vocal chords or there are live bands. whichever one, we’ll be more than satisified) so we should probably get some sleep.

<3,
e.

Trip round two!

June 5th, 2007


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Well friends, so it begins again. I’m sitting in Newark airport on the wireless. For some reason I have an account on the airport’s pay internet service. Don’t ask me how!

Ethan is already in the air, probably a few hundred miles over the Atlantic by now. We’re both flying into Dublin airport. Ethan tells me he should be passed out asleep by the baggage claim when I arrive.

Next time I check in I should be in Europe. Stay tuned for wacky updates…

Oh yes. I must remind you. the MAP is back!.