Posts by Country

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hola Granada!

Today I got up at 6:30a for a 7:20a bus which I missed due to the extremely slow metro in the morning… I ended up paying for a cab with some others that missed the bus which still cost me 45 euros. This wonderful strike of luck was followed up with a 40 euro fee from good ol’ RyanAir for them to print out my ticket. Finally I was headed for Madrid where I caught the metro to the bus station in order to get to Granada. In Granada I walked three miles for my hostel in the middle of the night.
Today I got up early and went to take my placement exam. I ended up scoring lower than I hoped because of the super fast accent and general shortening of the pronunciation of words in Spain. After the ridiculously stressful exam I went to a bar for some tapas.
Today I went on a tour of Granada with a guide name Saul. We went to many places including viewpoints of the Alhambra and a Moorish garden. After the tour I took advantage of a siesta and went looking for a room. I talked to my friend Thomas from Germany who told me about a place which ultimately ended up being my new home. After finding a piso I went with my friend y companero de piso Kirara on the tapas tour.
Upon moving in to our piso we found out from our other roommate Fee that not everything was as it seemed. Utilities may cost more than the limit of $60 which means we will have to pay the extra amount. We have to buy the gas for heating water and we don’t have internet. Also, I have to find a replacement when I leave due to the year-long contract breach fee of 250… otherwise the place is pretty nice and cozy. After moving in we had some spaghetti for dinner and I worked on my book project.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Au Revoir Paris


Today I moved back to Caulaincourt and went on the tour of Paris. After the tour I went to the Sacre de Couer then returned to the hostel where I ran into Garrett. Lee showed up shortly after with her friend Kelly and we all went for Crepes. I had a flaming crepe which tasted like lighter fluid due to the excessive amount of alcohol it had on it. After that we went back to the Sacre de Couer and watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Today I went to a new place to stay with my friend Lee who found it on a site called
Tyler and I went to the Toulleries instead of the tour because it turned out to be at 1p not 2p. At 7:45p Lee and I finally got going for the meeting at the Newman’s which was supposed to be ending at 8p, but it was a 5 minute walk so I figured it would be best to at least show up. We ended up staying there and talking for probably a good hour, so I’m glad we went. I learned that the Louvre is free friday nights so on Friday I plan to go. When we got back to the place the owners (Phillip and Eric) had set me up a blow up mattress in the closet - plenty comfortable and at 10 euro/night it's a steal compared to the 25/night at the hostel!
Today I went to the sandwich place and had a very unique and tasty “grilled cheese sandwich” with a drink and flan for dessert. Later, I went with Lee to the marche (market) for some very French handmade fromage (cheese), a super fluffy baguette and a bottle of wine.
Today I woke up late and got a slow start only to finally leave for the Louvre at around 5p. The Louvre is free on friday nights for people younger than 25 so it was a pretty awesome deal.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bonjour Paris!

This morning I arrived in Paris and met up with my friend John Brooks who lives there. We went to the Lord’s Table meeting and everyone spoke French which was confusing but cool. Afterward, we went for lunch at a really good Vietnamese restaurant and then John and his wife Elaine helped me on my way to my hostel. After stopping to withdraw cash from a machine that only existed on my GPS I located a different cash machine and then walked 2 miles to finally settle into Caulaincourt Hostel in Montmartre.
Today I woke up and had breakfast at 9a then went back to sleep until 2p. After waking I went down and worked on an itinerary for Paris and met some new Aussie friends. At 7p we all took the metro to the Eiffel Tower and had a picnic. At the metro I kept noticing strange advertisements with young teens photoshopped to look super old and creepy... very odd.
Today I went down for breakfast then at around 5p I met up with a couple other Americans (Tyler and Garret) and went to the Arch de Triomphe where we looked for car accidents. Down beneath the eternal flame commemorating the dead from the world wars was once extinguished by a couple Aussies trying to cook a hot dog over it. After visiting the arch we went back and ate some interesting snacks out in front of the hostel.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Today we all went to Greenwich (pronounced "Gren-itch") and saw the Royal Observatory where we stood on the world-famous Greenwich meridian line. Then we went back and all had dinner at Pizza Express after which I ran off to catch my bus for Paris!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Today Annie and I went to Bath where we saw the Roman Baths and I drank bath water. The Roman Baths seemed a bit more like a museum than the real thing, but I was still pretty impressed with the site and it’s scale. After the baths I ran over to the Royal Crescent and back to catch the bus.

Today Annie and I went to the Globe Theater where I got “Picadilly Whip” Ice Cream and waited outside until we could get free tickets to see “Bedlam”.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More London

Today I walked to the National Portrait Gallery where they had photo, oil, marble, etc. portraits featuring many different types of subjects. Then I walked over to the British Museum and finally to Tate Modern.
Today we went on the typical path of pilgrimage through London. We went to Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s and to the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great where a few movies have been filmed for the dramatic environment. The Church had a wooden cieling unlike most that we had seen which have stone ceilings. On the way to Southwark Cathedral we stopped at a wall with obituaries of people who died saving others.
This morning we went to St. Paul’s again, this time to go inside for a “super tour” (no pictures allowed). During the tour we heard a lot about the history and culture of the cathedral and the architect, Sir Christopher Wren. In the end I went up to the whispering gallery where one can be heard whispering from the other side of the dome.
Today we went to the Sir John Soane Museum where we saw use of a lot of “light, space, and invention.” Soane is one of my favorite architects because of his dynamic use of light and his overall boldness and ecentricity. A lot of his architecture is playful with hidden displays and themes reminiscent of the Temple of Doom. Since Soane passed a bill to preserve the museum it has been left how he had it – with a few mysteries to be solved by visitors.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Museum of London


Today Ross and I went to the Museum of London, the Barbican Art Gallery, the Ten Bells pub, and ended up in Brick Lane - a place where a bunch of Indian restaurants bid for your business with discounts and other deals. We ended up getting two pints and a four course meal each for 10 pounds! After dinner we crossed the Millennium Bridge and went down to the river bank looking for souvenirs.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Temple Church


Today my group presented on St. Paul’s Cathedral and we went to the Temple Church. On the way we saw a bicyclist and his bike pinned fully under a bus. At the church we saw many interesting sculptures of goofy and tortured looking faces. The church itself is Gothic influence with rib-vaulting and was built for the Knights Templar in the late-12th-century.

Thursday, September 9, 2010



Today we went to Oxford where Morgan, a student and our guide, showed us around. We went to the world's first university museum, the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology followed by the Sheldonian where students at Oxford begin and end their three years of nonstop study.
Next we checked out Christ Church, home of the famous Harry Potter dining hall and the Tom Quadrangle.
Edited in the movie to look a lot bigger...

After we finished our tour of the college I went to Starbucks and took a nap on their couch. When that wasn't enough I finally decided to just get a coffee on which they spelled my name T-R-E-B-Y-S. I guess they don't have a lot of people named Travis in Europe.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Spark of… something

Today the tubes were down because of the strikes so we all had the day off for working on our stuff. I went to hang out with Bruce and we walked around London. We revisited many places I had already been such as Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye. We also went to The Churchill War Rooms and The Walkabout – an Australian pub where I had a Kangaroo burger.
Today we went to Tate Modern and Tate Britain via boat. I liked the “States of Flux” and “Energy and Process” exibits at Tate Modern and I enjoyed the “Coral Reef” exibit at Tate Britain. The “Coral Reef” exhibit was especially strange with disorienting passages and a musty odor…

Monday, September 6, 2010


Today on the way to Stonehenge we stopped at Avebury and West Kennet Long Barrow where we saw standing stones and burial tombs. At Avebury many stones were missing because they were removed by the churches; this notably halted around 1300 AD when a surgeon was crushed to death by one of the stones. Surgeons were rare and very important, so it is assumed that they stopped because of this. 

We saw some houses with thatched roofs which last for up to 100 years and are very expensive – you have to win a lottery in order to live in them.

Arriving at Stonehenge we pretty much witnessed nature’s fury, but were able to find shelter behind some of its gigantic posts.

Apparently the site was constructed in three stages; the first in 3100 bc with a circular trench, the second in 2100 bc with a outter ring of posts, and finally the third in 2000 bc with an inner ring and lintels. It would seem that many people pilgrimage to the site just to make their mark, others were probably just passing by and thought some graffiti would be fun.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Digging into London


This morning we went back to the British Museum for a special presentation by the curator. Around noon I went back and used the internet; on the way I noticed a clever sign on a bus that said "Polo for $2,900 (Watch the road please)." At 5p I went to hang out with Holly from Australia, we went to a pub and had a couple drinks then went to Yo Sushi.   


Today Annie and I went to the Tower of London, the Bank of England and St Paul's Cathedral where we saw a statue of Thomas Becket - the martyred archbishop from Canterbury Cathedral.  Next we went to Belgo Centraal where I had some really good chicken with chili sauce. Finally we went to buy some craft supplies at the London Graphic Center - London's largest art store.
Today Annie, Jessica and I went to Buckingham Palace, Marble Arch, and Kensington Palace. These places probably speak more to British pomposity than anything. With the statues of warriors, Greek gods and, of course, the lion - one could certainly get the impression that the crown is compensating for something. At Kensington Palace, on the other hand, we had "tea time" - a cultured, dainty lunch with finger sandwiches and treats.. maybe a bit emasculating but I suppose it could have a balancing effect on the brash colonial image ;)
Next we went to a Christian Rock Opra which was theatrical to say the least. During the after party we met Guami from Gana, David from London, and John-Wilson from Columbia. Finally we headed back and I made eggs and crumpets for dinner. :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010



This morning we took the tube to the coach station during which time Judy and I both managed to get ourselves stuck in the train doors... After arriving in Canterbury we met up with our guide and headed into the cathedral.

Canterbury Cathedral was rebuilt in 1070 and still holds services three times daily.

The cathedral's reputation is due to unusual circumstances. In a power play against the church, King Henry II appointed his trusted Chancellor, Thomas Becket to the position archbishop. The king imediately tried to use Becket since he himself was not actually authorized in matters having to do with the church. Becket stood with the church against King Henry II and, as the king complained, he "accidentally" ordered his knights to murder Becket. Since then Canterbury Cathedral has been recognized as a pilgrimage site.

After touring all of Canterbury Cathedral we went into the town, ate, and looked around a bit.