Sunday, September 27, 2009

April 2009

Now that I am getting settled in Copenhagen, I think back to some of the stuff I've done over the past year. It's been intense: 16 countries in 13 months. But, when I look through all the photos from April, I remember what a particularly hectic month it was-- among the busiest of the year for me. I had most of the month off of school and spent a lot of time traveling.

I had planned a trip to Europe for most of April, but managed to do quite a few other things before leaving town. As I mentioned before, I went up to Newcastle with Craig at the start of the month. I also got to see Cirque du Soleil's Quidam and catch the Sheffield Wednesday-Derby match.
Then, I left for Milan. Writing about this in hindsight is kind of difficult; partly because the next 10 days were a bit of a blur. After landing, I took the bus to Central Station to meet up with Noah
and his friends, Camille and Ania. Camille agreed to put us up for the night so that we could play around in Italy for a bit before heading into Switzerland. He and Ania had a pretty wicked place and sorted us out with breakfast in the morning. Noah and I left our stuff at Central Station and checked out the city. I had my first taste of Italian pizza and did a bit of site seeing. We ended up seeing a lot of the city before catching an afternoon train out of Central Station. The ride through the Alps was beautiful and we got to Zurich pretty late. Noah made breakfast the next morning before we rushed to catch our train to Bern-- he had worked out a way for me to travel through the country for next to nothing. We went to Leah's house for dinner and out for some beers. The next morning, I checked out the city-- it was great to see Bern after hearing Noah talk about it for years. Noah's girlfriend drove us to Biel in her Porsche for a show that turned out to be pretty fun. Biel is a pretty small city, but there were a lot of kids partying at the bar.

The next day, we helped set up for a party that some of Noah's friends were having. It was one of the last parties at the club-- the owner lived upstairs and let us party on the roof into the next day.

Otherwise, Noah and I just kicked it around Switzerland for a while and hung out by the lake. We went back and forth between Zurich and Bern a couple times, and up to Basel for a night. I saw Renzo Piano's Paul Klee Museum, Corbusier's Heidi Weber museum, the Freitag building and went for a hike in the Alps.

Being in the Alps was pretty nuts-- we hiked around for a bit, wandered through some farms and ate some massive meals.
Julia flew in from London and surprised me in Zurich. She showed me some of her favorite places in town; took me to a flea market, made pizza for us and drank Bloody Marys with Noah and me as we watched the trains roll by.
While there, I ate a lot of great Swiss food-- and even went to Noah's mom's house for fondue. On my last night in Switzerland, we went to Basel to watch Mimi blow fire at some motorcross show, and snuck a bunch of champagne from the VIP room to go kick it with friends.
The next day, I flew to London. I stayed a night with Julia and Tim, before a busy day in the city: I had my first blood pudding, drank a pitcher of Pimm's with the Heat and saw Amadou & Mariam perform at the Jazz Cafe. The next day, I flew to Inverness, Scotland. By planes, trains and buses, I made it through Portree and onto Duntulm. This was a really cool trip, and just not a place I would ever think to go on my own. I did some fishing off the Isle of Skye
and saw a really cool sunset before heading back to Sheffield. I spent the week seeing friends, before heading back down to London. I got to hang out with Julia & Tim, and also went to St. John restaurant for Brooke's birthday-- then, I spent the next couple days with Tom.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

March 2009

I'm really tired of writing about Tom and watching football-- so, these photos could be a bit monotonous. However, I want to post them, so I can move onto some of the other cool stuff I did this year.
Anyways, March was a pretty good time. The weather started to turn so I spent a lot of time outside, walking around Sheffield. They opened a new bank in Sheffield and had the Premiership trophy on display.
I made a trip up to Manchester, got to experience some more Smiths' nostalgia and spend time with Phil and his girlfirend, Xavia.
The highlight of March was definitely a quick trip I made to Liverpool-- I got to tour Anfield, which was amazing. Football stadiums, even for the biggest teams in England, are pretty bare bones; however, we had access to pretty much any part of the stadium.
Craig and I finally got around to checking out the Sheffield Steelers-- pretty B-rate hockey, but still a good night out.
For (English) Mother's Day, Tom and I went down to Nottingham for some fine dining. In fact, it's the only Hooters in all of England-- the wings are equally as bad.
I went up to Manchester with a bunch of guys because Gray was putting on an all-day show. This was a pretty rad trip-- tons of bands, lots of partying, got to hang out with the Manchester kids and Si's band played their last show. Tom and Gus were partying pretty hard. It seemed only fitting that, on this trip, I would have the best Spoony's Ultimate Chicken Burger ever made.
We got back to Sheffield just in time to spend Sunday relaxing.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Istanbul & Bangkok

My plan was to go through last spring, pick out some highlights and post some pictures from England and early 2009; however, a lot of people have been asking to see some pictures from my recent trip to Asia. There is a lot to go through, but I'll post a few from my first few days traveling. I have some videos and a couple more-detailed pictures, but this should be a start:

On my way to Bangkok, I arranged a 7 hour layover in Istanbul; figuring this should give me just enough time to run into the city, grab dinner and come back for my late-night flight. I grabbed my visa and took the metro into town. I had read up a bit on Istanbul and had a couple spots that I wanted to check out. On my way to catch the ferry across the Bosphorus, I buzzed through a Turkish Bazaar and grabbed some street food for the ride. On my trip, I met a couple Turkish guys who didn't speak any English. We communicated by them texting Turkish to a friend, who would then reply with the English translation. I would then text English to the friend, and so on...
Anyhow, these guys were stoked on my White Sox hat and were REALLY into Kanye West. They not only took me to some sick traditional Turkish food, but ate with me, bought me mussels on the street and shared some beers.
I caught the ferry back to the other side of town just in time to see the sunset. I saw a few more sites as I figured out a way back to the airport. My flight was delayed, so I had plenty of time to hang around Ataturk Airport.
I arrived in Thailand and spent a day finding a guesthouse, figuring out where everything was and just, in general, realizing that I was on the other side of the world. The next morning, I pushed myself to get out to the Floating Market-- it took a few different public transport buses and then a pretty long coach journey to get out there, but I'm glad I did it. (Sometimes it's hard being an American abroad.)
I checked out a couple places around town and found a rooftop bar that had a pretty cool view of the city. On my last day in town, I checked out the National Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun-- all were pretty cool to see. I went for a walk, sent some postcards and met this little guy while checking out where the train station was located.

Then, the next morning, I headed into Cambodia.

Summer 2009

Damn, it's been a crazy summer. Since my last post (~3 months ago), I have been in 10 countries-- busy as hell. I've done some really fascinating things-- simply, I just haven't had time or energy to post any pictures. I guess it's time to give up on catching up-- and, just post some highlights.
Here is a collage of photos I took in Phnom Penh, Cambodia last month.