Monday, July 30, 2007

Heading towards home

So today was our last official day of "seeing what there is to see" here in Europe. We have spent the last several days in Seville, Spain. It is a wonderful, old city in Southern Spain. We went to an incredible Flamenco show the other night. Man those people really do dance with serious passion! The other famous thing to do in Seville is see a bullfight. While the spectical must be fascinating, neither of us are very interested in seeing a bull killed in the ring, so we decided not to do that one. So after our fill of fascinating culture, ancient sights, interesting people, and unpredictable food, it is time to head on home.

Over the next 2 days we are going to gradually work our way to Lisbon where we will fly out on Thursday morning. Our last great adventure will be braving the Spanish train system once more! We really look forward to seeing all of you again. This will likely be the last post from our European adventure. See you soon.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Traveling Spain

So Barcelona was interesting in a weird and wild sort of way. We went to the Sagrada Familia Cathedral, which is one of the most fascinating and beatiful buildings we have ever seen.

Then we tried to travel by train in Spain. The trains that our Eurail passes covers are only slightly more efficient than walking. Yesterday it took us 15 hours on trains and in train stations getting only half as far as we had expected we would. Our latest train yet: 2 hours delayed! So today we broke down and bought a ticket on a high speed train, but decided that we would need to cut down out some travel becuase there is no way that we could reach all the places we thought. Unfortunately we had to scratch Granada off our list, so now we are going to spend the next few days in Seville. Just checked into the hostel, and we are about to head out and explore the city. With any luck we may see some flamenco dancing!

Less than a week left in our trip. The idea of heading home is sounding very nice.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Sorry for no posts for a while. Affordable internet connection is hard to find as a tourist.

Since we left Sienna we have been to Cinqua Terra national park in Italy where we stayed in Vernazza and hiked the coast. Then we went to France in order to be distained by French people. Actually most French were quite nice, but the rude ones certainly know how to leave an impression. We stayed in Arles the town where Van Gogh did a lot of his painting. Really pleasant little city.

Today we arrived in Spain, the last leg of our journey before we head home. After almost 3 weeks of traveling we are really looking forward to home. We just checked in here in Barcelona, a very bustling and crowded city. I think we are finding that the smaller towns are more our favorite places to really experience the different cultures of Europe.

Well, not too long before we are headed home. The comfort of home sounds nice these days.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Not all roads (or trains) lead to Rome

So... we never actually got to Rome.

So we took our first and last night train intending to go to Rome. The affordable sleeper cabin resembled an oven both in temperature and cramped space. The train conductor swore the air conditioner worked, but I am skeptical. So we basically spent the whole night sweating. To make thing worse there was an older German man who snored loudly and was in a pretty foul mood. I am pretty sure I got cussed out in German at around 1 am for moving around (but it was all Greek to me). So when the train stopped in Florence early in the morning we decided to forgo 2 more hours of sleeper train travel and skip Rome.

Florence was nice, and Siena has been a delightful city to explore. Apparently it is still quite similar to how it was in the middle ages. Lots of fun. It is also nice to hear from all the tourists coming from Rome how everything you would want to see is surrounded by sweaty, angry throngs of tourists. Sounds too much like a sleeper cabin to me.

Friday, July 13, 2007


We are finishing up our second day at L'abri. It is a Christian intentional community here in the Swiss Alps. We spent this morning studying and writing in the amazing library and this afternoon working and picking fruit for the others to eat. Some people stay here for years, but we are only able to be here for a few days.

It is nice to stop being a tourist for a while and spend some peaceful days of study and discussion. We like that for now we don't have to sleep in a different place each night. We may leave on Sunday or Monday we aren't sure.

Next we will go back down to Italy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Today I spent 5 hours in the town where my grandfather was born. No one in Ortona, Italy spoke English or recognized the names of my relatives that left there over 90 years ago, but it was a wonderful town with a castle and warm and friendly people. We loved it.

Tomorrow we will be going to L'Abri in Switzerland.

I'm out of internet time and must go. See you later

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Leaving Greece

Yesterday I caught the bus to the ancient city of Mycenae, which was amazing. After that we had another wonderful evening in Nafplion.

Today we take and overnight ferry to Italy. We could only afford passage sleeping on the deck so pray for nice weather.

Probably won't have internet access for a few days, but hope to be back with more news soon.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


We are now spending 2 days in Nafplion. This is more our speed. It is a beautiful little city on the water. Then tomorrow night we will be taking a ferry to Italy.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Athens, Greece

We arived in Athens this am. We spent most of the day walking around the old city. We are both a bit jet lagged. It is fascinating to realize that you are walking in the same placed where Aristotle, Plato, and Paul taught. But right now in my jet lagged state Athens strikes me as a bunch of old monuments surrounded by a polluted and over populated city. Looking forward to getting on the rails tomorrow.

I think Athens, Georgia may be more my kind of city. It wasn't the cradle of western civilization, but it is home.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Backpacking in the Old World

Joya and I have packed our bags and we are off to see the world! Our plane leaves today. We will be backpaking Europe while riding the rails for the next 4 weeks. I'll try to post some updates on where we are and what we are doing on Gridbook Notes when I am able to find affordable internet connections. I expect that the Gridbook Blog will be quiet for the next month, but hopefully afterwards I'll have some interesting musings inspired by different peoples and cultures to post.

Sorry that I didn't get to say goodbye to everyone. Life was a little crazy there with both moving to Georgia and packing for our big adventure. I miss you all.