After a not so memorable stint back in Tallinn that lacks enough substance for a post, I headed to Jordan to meet my brother for a couple weeks of being a tourist. Famously home to Petra, Jordan frequents the bucket list of a lot of avid travelers. With my brother forced to take more traditional American vacations, we organized what resembles a pretty normal vacation. Well, the cheap version of a normal vacation.Continue reading Never leave fish to find fish
Since this is primarily for my family, I’ve been really bad about writing this one, because after all they were all there. So here I am, like 8 months later vividly and accurately recalling all the good times we had without aid from anything but my memory. And by that, I mean reconstructing what we did from these pictures (most pictures that I have stolen from the family). Continue reading You write, I tour, we make it work
Despite its nice parks, Bucharest was still a bit urban for my liking, and I was happy to escape. Away from Wallachia and into Transylvania. Super excited about that, as I’m just a huge Twilight fan. It’s like Dracula, but better. So what better way to celebrate one of the greatest novels/movies of the century than to visit the famed motherland of the vampires.
Continue reading Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring
From Porto, I took the train down the Lisbon, but went directly to Sinta for the weekend. The town is 40 minutes outside the city center towards the coast. Very touristy place, but more space to hike around and see some palaces, castles, coasts, and beautiful homes. Rumor has it that Madonna just bought a place here, so how bad could it be? Continue reading We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away.
Porto is one of those popular “digital nomad destinations” due to its European culture, nice weather, low cost of living. So I decided I’d go there for a bit. I’m actually staying in Vila Nova de Gaia, the city right across the Duoro River from Porto. It’s the side with all the wine on it, where I belong. Continue reading I’m a rebel just for kicks, now
Return trips for me are rare, but Edinburgh is a nice place. Forget all that sunshine, beaches, and warm weather in Spain – not sure how anyone tolerates all that. I’ll take this constant sea of 60 degree mist any day. After arbitrarily choosing a hostel, upon arrival I realized it was the same one I stayed in over three years ago. I get older and the kids in here stay the same age. JK it’s an old person hostel. Continue reading Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, The hills of the Highlands for ever I love
My host sold the place I was staying and bought a new one, so I had to switch for my last few days in Tallinn. The new place was in the up-and-coming neighborhood where there is TONS of construction going on, and I was staying in one of the new buildings. Like, so new that they are doing another one right next to this one and it’s not even close to finished. But it’s much more modern, has a little enclosed balcony with a view of the sea, and it’s just a few steps from the seaplane harbor and old soviet prison. Extremely convenient if you like hanging out at defunct prisons or fly seaplanes.
A rainy day in Berat kept me cooped up most of the day getting some work done, then I took a bus from Berat to Gjirokastër at 2. The bus driver took two breaks, one to sit down and eat, on the 4 hour journey (in the middle of the afternoon, mind you). So because I didn’t get in until 6, I decided to stay two nights here instead of one to give me enough time to look around a bit. Continue reading Because when all was said and done that was the price one paid for sincerity
Worked most of the day in Kotor since there was only one bus that went, and it was at 3:15. So I took the nearly 4 hour ride in a small bus that seats about 20 with a group of locals through the Montenegrin countryside. Apparently Zabljak is not a popular destination this time of year. As I dozed in and out of conscience staring out into the dark, it occurred to me how comfortable I had become with a situation like this, which not long ago, and to most now, might seem rather concerning. Only way to get around though, if you ask me. I mean, they’re on the Euro, how bad could it be? Continue reading Every Allied country gave me a medal, even Montenegro
Continuing my ongoing quest to use every London airport, I left from Stansted this morning and flew to Budapest on Ryanair, which went extremely smoothly. My hostel is fairly centrally located, and I quickly located the nearest Starbucks, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Hooters, so I don’t think there will be any issues here. Continue reading The plot thickens, as they say. Why, by the way? Is it a soup metaphor?
Found the hostel without much trouble. Stayed in for the night, wandered around the neighborhood for a bit to get my bearings on where I am relative to the main shop area. I more or less remember it from when I landed, and I’m not very far from the center so the location is pretty good. Continue reading You can get a story from everything you touch
Thursday did not involve anything special, as the weather was terrible and I wanted to get some work done. I did walk over to Partenkirchen to see what that half of the town had to offer, and it was much in the same as Garmisch. Some nice little shops. With the cold weather and rain, more and more snow had accumulated on the mountains, making it a very pretty time to be there.
I checked out of the B&B fairly early on Friday and hopped on a train to Munich. I’m staying at a hostel a few stops from the main area, so it was a bit of a walk. Once I was checked in, I used the rest of the day to work, only straying a little ways from where I was and making plans for what to do in Munich. Continue reading I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
I arrived in Prague on Monday, staying at a hostel kind of out of the way from all the others, across the Charles Bridge near the castle. I didn’t do much the first couple days except for some casual sightseeing. I’d get up in the morning and wander around, look at the old stuff, and then go back to the hostel to work for a while. Continue reading She loved to walk down the street with a book under her arm
So my flight was moved back a day due to “technical difficulties” so I had basically two days in New York. Since I didn’t have a whole lot else to do, I decided to ride around on the subway for most of the day, while doing some work.
The flight was a bit more “budget” than the one I took to London. It didn’t come with a blanket and pillow. Very disappointing. I was sitting next to a cute girl, but there was an open row where I could lay down and sleep, so I snagged that right at the beginning of the flight. Priorities, ya know? Continue reading Everything you look at can become a fairy tale
It’s the weekend, so now I have to do things. After not being able to find a place in Belfast, I booked my rooms in advance this time, which unfortunately meant my touring options were limited. There are a lot of 2-day to 5-day tours up to the Isle of Skye (a 2-day or 3-day would have been nice), but I had to settle for the 1-day intensive course for the Scottish highlands.
The day started at 8am and ended at 8pm and involved about 8 hours on the coach. I took lots of naps. Continue reading I would walk five hundred miles And I would walk five hundred more
On Friday I started off by visiting a start-up hub in the city. Someone there gave me a tour and showed me everything that was going on. It was alright – not as exciting as I was hoping, but still pretty cool to work in that kind of environment.
Finally Saturday came, meaning it was time to take my tour to Giants Causeway. It’s a hexagonal formation of layered basalt due to volcanic a long time ago. But as I’ve figured out with these tours at this point, they make you see other things too.
Game of Thrones is shot in Titanic Studios (right next to the museum I was in earlier in the week) and also throughout a lot of Ireland that we visited on this tour. I’ve only seen one episode, but a lot of people were really into it. So now I can say I’ve been where Game of Thrones is filmed at least. Continue reading You know nothing, Jon Snow!
There are really only a few things to see in Kilkenny, so I figured I might as well get up and see them. I went up to see St. Candice’s Cathedral and Black Abbey. Unfortunately, they were both closed so I just kind of walked around like an idiot. Continue reading I want to take shelter from the poison rain
As much as I wanted to do Ring of Kerry and Dingle, I decided to skip them and just move on. So I rose bright and early in Killarney and got on a bus towards Cahir.
After a couple hours on the bus, I arrived at Cahir Castle. It was, of course, raining. The guy at the desk let me stow my bag so at least I didn’t have to carry that around, and then I walked around the castle. Continue reading Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
Sadly, it was time to finally leave Galway this morning. I relaxed a bit in the morning and took the 9:00 express bus to Limerick, then transferred to the bus that took me to Killarney.
It’s kind of a cool little town. Lots of shops. Lots of restaurants. Lots of pubs. All more or less copies of each other, expanding out down a few different streets. I circled through everything this evening but just decided to go to Tesco and buy some things to make for dinner. Continue reading For everything that’s lovely is But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
Work was annoying yesterday, so I decided to take an impulsive trip for a break this morning. Maybe I’d bump into Kate Winslet. “Board the Bus to Bunratty” doesn’t exactly have the same alliterative, romantic quality as “Meet me in Montauk” but it’s what I have to work with. So I got up a little early to take the 7:05am bus to Bunratty, which is just over 2 hours away. The destination of choice: Bunratty Castle. Because if you don’t make spontaneous trips to castles when in Ireland, then what’s the point. Continue reading Have fun storming the castle!
I’m ending my 3-day tourism run with a tour to Connemara National Park. Bought some nail clippers and finished my left hand before they broke. So I went Dr. Jeckel & Mr Hyde all day. Continue reading The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
After another relaxing day of work, jumping hostels and getting settled in I decided to finally hit the touristy trips. My main concerns right now are my fingernails, which are growing uncomfortable and I can’t find clippers at any of these convenience stores. In other news, my beardcation growth is substantial and it’s now at the point where it will become increasingly ragged. I’m going all Paul Bunyan on Europe. Continue reading Boys I ain’t never seen nothin’ like a Galway girl
Stepping off the ferry, I could almost smell the locals’ hatred for what the rest of the world has done to St. Patrick’s day. Not that they don’t enjoy the holiday, but it isn’t a reason just to get hammered. Even I couldn’t help but cringe at some of the tourist ensembles (most of whom I assume are college students here on break). Continue reading Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.
Like the rest of the world, things don’t really open until at least 9 on Saturday. I actually had trouble finding a coffee shop to work in (I was out of the hotel at 7), but eventually found a place to get some work done. Continue reading Chapter One. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved.