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Days 132-139: Berlin, Germany

WORLD CUP FINALS!!!

sunny
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Man, berlin's pretty fucking sweet. Got here just in time to see Germany destroy Argentina in the Cup finals. They had public screenings of the match on huuge screens throughout the middle of the city with bars, DJs, a Ferris wheel, and people everywhere. This random Canadian girl and I were crashing together in a hotel. Some locals took us to some cool spots after that near Checkpoint Charlie, a famous spot on the wall.

The next day we checked out a few sites and went on the pubcrawl. I jumped in a cab with some Norwegians and ended up on the roof of this skyscraper near Brandenburg Gate where there was a cool club.

The German team came home the next day, but we could only see the buses and tv screens. We went on a nice walking tour, though, and ate some German dinner on the river. We saw a lot of the pieces still standing of the Berlin Wall.

We went on a tour to the concentration camps in Sachsenhausen and some biergartens the next day.

I spent a day checking out the Anne Frank Center and this workshop for blind and deaf Jewish workers during the war, where some of them were able to be hidden and saved. Oh, and I got to see Anne Frank's diary. I also checked out the synagogue which is the biggest in Germany and dates to the 1800s. I went to one of the the old museums, too, where there were Christian artifacts from the 200s. There were some books from the 1300s, too. Crazy! This artist named Schluter was one of the main attractions.

I met some people at this epic museum with buildings and artifacts from as early as 4000 BCE. Yeah, there were walls and gates of ancient temples and ziggurats from places like the Babylonian and Assyrian empires. Then we just hung out at the biergarten.

I saw a gallery full of European paintings from the 13th century on. There're around 1500 works that they show there at a time. Lots of Botticelli, Jan van Eyck, Albrecht Dürer, Gainsborough, Caravaggio, Raffael, Tizian, Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Diego Velázquez, and Bosch. I went to a "beach" club later. They just pour a bunch of sand around this little river. It was kinda cool.

Finally, I saw a museum of mostly Egyptian artifacts. It had tons of sarcophagi and statues and canopic jars and papyrus scrolls and sculptures. It's famous for this one statue of Nefertiti that's from about 1300 BCE. There's also this old golden hat for telling the date.

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Brandenburg Gate/Tiergarten: 9
Berlin Wall: 7.5
Bode Museum: 9.5
Pergamon Museum: 10
Anne Frank Center: 10
Otto Weidt's Workshop for the Blind: 9
Jewish Cemetary: 7.5
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp: 9
Hacheschen Höfe: 8.5
Neues Museum: 10
Gemäldegalerie: 9.5 (even though it was too big for me to see it all)

Posted by ErnieLG 19:49 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Day 140: Dresden, Germany

Just a short stop-over

sunny 25 °C
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I took a bus here so I could carpool to Czech, but I checked it out for a few hours. It was nice! Lotsa old palaces and churches and stuff. I'll come back sometime.

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Zwinger Palace: 9.5

Posted by ErnieLG 19:51 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Days 141-142: Prague, Czech Republic

Pretty, old city....

storm 20 °C
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Well, I didn't stay here long, cuz I'm trying to get back on schedule and I met up with my friend Chanel. I did a walking tour and checked out some churches and synagogues and stuff. There's a lot of old buildings and different architectural styles: baroque, art nouveau, rococo, gothic, cubist... I also saw a... kinda cool Mucha/Dalí/Warhol exhibit. They were pretty much all prints, though, which is less impressive. And I went on a pub crawl. Dollar beers!

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Astronomical Clock: 7
St. Nicholas Church: 8.5

Posted by ErnieLG 19:52 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Days 143-148: Munich, Germany

Bavaria!

sunny 25 °C
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Went on the walking tour. Checked out the huge parks here (bigger than Central or Hyde or Golden Gate). There're lakes with paddle boats and water fowl... And biergartens next to the water! Eating lotsa wurst and sauerkraut and.. bier. Oh, and people freaking surf in the river. It's crazy.

We checked out some of the palaces and paintings inside. It was pretty big. And from the... 19th century? We also got a tour comped around this hippie festival. Organic Indian food, beer, and ice cream. That's all good! And we got comped a dinner at one of the oldest breweries in Munich (17th century?), and they invited us to an exclusive Bavarian dance. It went all night, and it was a ton of fun. I wish I knew I'd be interviewed. I would've worn shoes and done my hair. ...And thought of something witty to say during the interview.

We went to the first concentration camp for the Jews that they made in WWII. And then we hung out at a Biergarten. We also went to this neighborhood's festival and met a famous German blues singer. And we hung out with his mom and neighbors, and they invited us to a private party they were having. They put us on the guest list for these big clubs, but... We already had a long enough day.

Then we checked out some galleries and museums. Saw some Miró, Dalí, Picasso, Warhol, Lenbach, Kandinsky (though he's not really my favorite)... And a buncha old artifacts from Ancient Greece and Rome. Some statues and things dated to 4000 BCE.

I went to an 18th-20th centuries painting gallery. Saw some Manet, Monet, Cézanne, van Gogh, Gauguin, Lovis Corinth, Gustav Klimt, Munch, Rodin (sculptures), Lenbach (wow, that guy's epic), .... And we went to one of those puzzle/mystery rooms where you have an hour to solve a mystery or escape. Ugh, I was so close! If I had some better teammates, we could've done it.... I'll haveta try it again.

We also went to this huge castle in the countryside that was the model for Disney's castle. It's from the 19th century, but it was never finished. It was pretty cool, in general.

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Englischer Garten: 10
Frauenkirken: 8.5
Tollwood Festival: 9
Nymphenburg Palace: 9.5
Hofbrauhaus Bavarian Dance, Dinner, and Beer: 10
Dachau Concentration Camp: 8.5
Festival?: 8
Lenbachhaus Gallery: 9
Glyptothek: 9
Museum of Antiquities: 8.5
Pinakothek der Moderne: 9
Neue Pinakothek: 10
Hint Quest: 10
Neuschwanstein Castle: 8.5

Posted by ErnieLG 19:53 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Days 149-151: Innsbruck, Austria

Beautiful town surrounded by snowy mountains

sunny 20 °C
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Wow. This town's so pretty. It's right at the bottom of the Alps. There're a few rivers that go through it. There's mist and old buildings and roads. I guess the town itself is the big tourist draw (other than the alpine sports). My friend Patrick from California lives here, which was kinda convenient.

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Posted by ErnieLG 19:54 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Day 152: Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich Street Parade!

all seasons in one day 20 °C
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So for the Swiss national day they have this epic street party in Zurich. It's like a rave parade. Everyone had crazy costumes and stuff. I just wore these gold booty shorts and some leis. And my hiking boots (cuz my new dress shoes are so hard that they made my ankles bleed. Through multiple layers of socks.). Don't be surprised if you see pics of me. Or of just my gold butt. There were over 200 DJs, some big names, too. I met a local who showed me around a bit. We went swimming in the lake (the polizei came). We ate some nice burgers. We hung out at some of the stages and danced. But man... So expensive. Beers at the stands were like... 9usd. I can't even tell you how much the burgers were...

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Zurich Street Parade: 9.5

Posted by ErnieLG 19:56 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

Days 153-158: Paris, France

Lovely art everywhere... not enough time!

sunny 25 °C
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Ended up staying with someone who lives near the Arc d'Triomphe when I came into the city. Kinda cool. I met up with my old roomie, Alexandre, who lives in the north of the city. I hung out around the Seine for a bit, went to some churches and parks (I saw some red pandas and wallabies at the menagerie), and I saw the Pantheon. It's full of epic statues and art, and it has a ton of dead people! But awesome people like philosophers Rouseau and Voltaire, mathematicians and scientists like Lagrange and the Curies, and freaking awesome writers like Alexandre Dumas. And you can see straight ahead of you the Eiffel Tower. I really wish I could've gone to the Curie Museum, though.

Took a little tour around town. Walked by the Notre Dame Cathedral, some fountains and bridges and arcs, the Louvre (saw the glass pyramids and stuff), the Obelisk of Luxor, the Tuileries Gardens (beautiful gardens and sculptures about a km or two long), and the Champs Élysées. Which took a long time.

So I checked out le Louvre. I was there for maybe 6 hours. And I only really saw one of the three wings. And I was going pretty quick. But I saw some cool things: Aphrodite (the "Venus" de Milo), the Mona Lisa (and a lot of other Leonardo da Vinci), Michaelangelo (like the Captives), Donatello, Raphael (so I saw all of the TMNT), Titian, Gainsborough, El Greco, Murillo, de Goya, Gros, Jaques Louis David, Delacroix, Ingres.... But I know I missed some van Eyk and Peter Paul Rubens.

I saw a fairly epic exhibit about Marvel heros. There was a ton of original full-sized inks and paintings starting from the 1930s. There was a ton of Jack "the King" Kirby including some finished pencil drawings. Along with Stan "the Man" Lee, he was the most influential person in comic history. You know him from ??. I saw some more of he old masters like John Buscema (who made Nova), Bill Everett (who made Daredevil and Namor, and I saw original pages from the first issues of both and from Marvel Comics #1, the first Timely/Marvel comic from 1939), Don Heck (who made characters like Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Wonderman, and Mandarin), Steve Ditko (who made Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, and Shade the Changing Man), Jim Starlin (who made Thanos). I saw original inks from Giant-Size X-Men #1, Tales to Astonish, Tales of Suspense, Journey Into Mystery, Strange Tales. I also saw work by Bruce Timm, Carlos Pacheco, John Byrne, John Romita (Sr. and Jr.), Alex Ross, Jae Lee, Art Adams, Joe Madureira, Jim Lee, Adi Granov, Gil Kane, Jim Steranko, Frank Cho, Joe Quesada, Todd McFarlane, Terry Dodson, Tim Sale, Frank Miller, Mike Mignola.

I also went to the Musee d'Orsay which was super-epic. Full of epic paintings and sculptures. Gauguin, Cézanne, Picasso, Manet, Rodin, Van Gogh, Matisse, Pissarro, Seurat, Monet, Degas, Henri Fantin-Latour. Lotsa Sisley and Renoir, too, but I'm not the biggest fan.

There're a lot of cool spots and bridges and buildings to check out. I went to the highest point in Paris which was a 59 story skyscraper. Everything else in Paris is like... Under 8 stories. Anyway, there were cool views of the city and Eiffel Tower. Then I went to the tower and watched its little sparkly light show and stuff. It was pretty cool, I haveta admit.

Lastly, I went to Versailles. I didn't really have time to go inside, but I saw the gardens which were pretty epic. They were originally like 8,000 acres or something, but now they're more like 800. After that, I took the subway to the bus station to the airport to he bus station to Trevor's place in Dublin...

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Pantheon: 10
Plant Gardens/Menagerie: 8
Tuileries Gardens: 9.5
Le Louvre: 10
Marvel Heroes Exhibit @ Musee Ludique: 10
Musee d'Orsay: 10
Montparnasse Tower: 9
Eiffel Tower: 9.5
Arc de Triomphe: 9
Alexandre III Bridge: 8
Chateau du Versailles Gardens: 9
Il de la Cite: 8

Posted by ErnieLG 19:57 Archived in France Comments (0)

Days 159-165: Dublin, Ireland

Hanging with Pakistanley.

all seasons in one day 20 °C
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Well, things didn't exactly go according to plans, so I ended up sleeping outside. Irish summer is pretty cold. Luckily, it was only windy, not rainy. Must've been between 5 and 10 degrees.

Thankfully, my old roomie from Madrid picked me up the next day and gave me a couch to crash on for the week. He showed me some of the sites around town. We visited the port town nearby and got some fish and chips. :) And we just went to a little house party with his acting troupe.

We explored his hometown to the north where there's more beach, and we ate all of his mom's food. I got to hang out with some of his sisters and parents.

I went on a little trip to the mountains and valleys and lakes near Dublin. Ireland's landscape has a lot of undulating plains. It has like.. The fluffiest grass in the world. Not great soil, I think, but lotsa grazing animals. I also saw the Guinness family estate and some maybe 10th century monasteries and cemeteries.

I also took a trip to Northern Ireland. I explored the rocky northern coast. There're rope bridges and cliffs and this epic volcanic (I suppose igneous?) rock formations that are hexagonal pillars jutting out of the ground at the beach. Saw a castle originally dating to maybe the 13th century. The whole coast was pretty cool. We also stopped by Belfast, the capital. Just hung around the church and looked around.

Trev took me to a play with some pretty famous actors. The play was new and weird, but one of the leads was this guy Ciallan Murphey from movies like ..... And We had some pints of Guinness.

I spent a couple days on the west coast around Galway. The hills are all green and grassy and covered in limestone. This is where they film parts of Game of Thrones. Actually, these rocky coastal areas are home to 75% of Ireland's flora and were the home to neolithic people about 10,000 years ago. The limestone cliffs are really cool, and they're 203m tall. There're little towers and castles all along the coast. Galway is a cool-looking town. A lot of the walls and buildings date to around he 14th century when the Normans invaded. It's the region with the most Irish-speaking people.

Around Galway, I also saw the mountainous bogs and inlets in the countryside. This is where they filmed parts of Harry Potter. It's full of lakes and quartzite mountains that're about a km high. There's also a castle out there from the 19th century that became an abbey. There's a mausoleum and Victorian garden and gothic cathedral, too. And we saw some more ruins in little villages.

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St. Stephen's Green: 7.5
Glendalough (Valley of Two Lakes)/Wicklow Mountains: 8.5
Carrick a Rede Bridge: 8.5
Giant's Causeway: 9
St. Malachy's Church: 8
Cliffs of Moher: 9.5
The Burren Region: 8
Connemara Region: 8
Kylemore Abbey: 9

Posted by ErnieLG 19:59 Archived in Ireland Comments (1)

Days 166-174: London, England

OMG, so expensive!

sunny 20 °C
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Did an awesome job navigating the airport and tube. Went to a real nice party near the east side with lots of food and drinks and a hot tub.

I went exploring around the Brick Lane Market and got some clothes and records. Checked out a modern art installation gallery that had a few cool things like super old photography from the 19th century. And just checked out the area around. Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, London Eye, all that shit.

I went on the NewLondon tour which, and I actually had a really good guide. Hung out in some English pubs. Oh, and I saw. Guardians of the Galaxy. Hella good!

I picked up some things from another market, and I got a free pocket square. And I checked out London's cathedral which was pretty epic. I got some sweet views of the city from the top of the dome which was over 100m high. And it's first iteration dated all the way back to the 7th century.

I went to this old mansion that had art and arms from the 14th century. Things like Titian, Muller, Delacroix, Paul de Vos, Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Gainsborough... But it was the armory that was really awesome. There were full suits of plate mail and arms from around Africa and Eurasia. Scimitar, falchion, shimsham, katar, flanged maces, halberds, tridents, katanas, rapier, two-handed swords, shields, guns, axes, daggers, chakram... I also checked out another gallery that took me two good days to really see everything. There were beautiful da Vinci paintings and cartoons (studies), van Eyck, Botticelli, a ton of Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian, Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Velazquez, de Goya, Murillo, Caravaggio, el Greco, Gainsborough, Ingres, Van Gogh, Rousseau, Cézanne, Seurat, Degas, Renoir, and a few new favorites like Parmigianino, Anthony van Dyck, Paulo Veronese... Oh, and I saw a really cool digital interactive art exhibit. Lotsa lasers, interactive videos, old-school games, and stuff.

I also checked the modern art gallery which had some kinda weird abstract stuff, but a lot of cool stuff, too. There were a lot of installations but paintings and photos, too. And yeah, some Picasso, Kandinsky, Dali... And it's in what looks like an old, super-big dry dock.

I went to this thing called Secret Cinema which is a lot like a Rocky Horror performance, but much bigger. They recreated the whole town of Hill Valley from Back to the Future, and they had actual shops that sold things from the 1950s. There were actors all over randomly acting out scenes and interacting with the normal people. They even had a whole band and high school for the dance scenes. In the evening they screened the movie and acted out everything at the same time. They even had some Delorians. We went on a Ferris wheel. Oh, and everyone dresses up like characters or people from the 1950s. And you couldn't bring any technology or anything. I got a bow tie. :P But it's the only bow tie I have which actually ties. Last time I think they did Saturday Night Fever.

I went to one last market that was more like a flea market selling random shit. But it was pretty cool. Oh, and I went to a party on a houseboat. In a dry river.

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Brick Lane Market: 10
Spitalfields Market: 8.5
St. Paul's Cathedral: 9
Whitechapel Gallery: 8.5
Trafalgar Square/Houses of Parliament/Big Ben/Queen Elizabeth II Tower/Westminster Abbey: 8.5
Buckingham Palace: 8.5
Wallace Collection: 10
National Gallery: 10
Digital Revolution @ Barbican Center: 10
Tate Modern Art Gallery: 9.5
Secret Cinema: Back to the Future: 10
Portabello Market: 8

Posted by ErnieLG 20:01 Archived in England Comments (0)

Days 175-181: Edinburgh, Scotland

Whiskey! Castles!

all seasons in one day 15 °C
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Well, I'm staying at a very funny place where there are a million people and travellers. But at least i have a couch! In London I was mostly sleeping on floors... I caught the very end of the Fringe festival which I suppose is the largest art festival in the world. So I saw some stand up.

I went on a tour of the city. Apparently this is where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter. There was a lot of Harry Potter related this, but I obviously won't get into that. Edinburgh is a very cool-looking city, and it actually has like two literal layers. You can go under roads to see older parts of the city.

There's a big hill, about 300m, that overlooks the city, and I went up it. It was super sunny, so it was pretty nice. But still. It was like... 15 degrees. Maybe 10. Jesus. I checked out some other hills and monuments, and I also went to the palace and old abbey. It was pretty cool. Mary Queen of Scots lived there. It's one of the places where the royal family lives.

I hung out at the National Museum for a long time. It had a lot of biology and Scottish history. Which was interesting. And the library had some of Charles Darwin's letters and a first edition of On the Origin of Species. OMG. Oh, and it had one of the tortoises he found that ended up living for at least a couple centuries. There were some letters from Sir Arthur Conan Doyal, Burns, Lord Byron, and some other people.

My friend Ahnjili took me to a bunch of local pubs and galleries which was pretty funny. We went on a little pub crawl that night, too. Good craic.

Oh, and I went on a little tour of Loch Ness and the highlands. Saw some old castles and plains and stuff. Suppose it wasn't that impressive after seeing Ireland's countryside. But there was a fireworks show waiting for me back in Edinburgh over the old castle. :)

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Princes Street Gardens/ Sir Walter Scott Monument/ Old Town/ Royal Mile/ New Town: 9.5
Greyfriars Church/ Greyfriars Bobby Monument: 8
Arthur's Seat Peak/ Holyrood Park: 9.5
Holyrood Palace/ Holyrood Abbey: 8.5
Carlton Hill/ National Monument/ Nelson Monument: 8.5
National Museum of Scotland: 10
National Library of Scotland: 9
Glencoe, Loch Ness, and the Highlands: 8

Posted by ErnieLG 20:02 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Days 182-196: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Pretty boring, but a nice break? Eh.

sunny 30 °C
View Summer 2014 on ErnieLG's travel map.

I rented a room for a week from this old, funny chef. It wasn't bad actually. He cooked some food for us, too.

I went to the gallery here. It was pretty good. Saw some faves like Anthony van Dyck, Renoir, Sisley, Degas, Monet, Gauguin, Rodin, Poussin, Miró, Picasso, Warhol, Henry Moore, Delacroix, Munch... They had some decent Canadian and. Native Canadian stuff, too.

I checked out the museum, too. Arms and armor dating to the 5th century or so, which was pretty cool. There was a really awesome geology and paleontology section.

I went to a... PorcePrelain gallery. It was pretty and all, but... Can't say it's really my thing. But I went to the library and they had a buncha comics! That's cool!

Paige and I did this cool thing where we walked on top of the CN Tower. We were strapped to a railing on the outside. Apparently it's the highest edge walk in the world. It was a nice clear day, too. :)

I took a little day trip to Niagara and some spots in between. I went on a little boat to the falls also. Niagara is actually really pretty. I liked it. And we went to some pretty expensive wineries that make ice wine. They only harvest them when they're frozen at night in winter.

Turns out I know a few peeps here, too. There's Paige, and her family cooked us dinner. We hung out with some of her friends and went to the gay part of town. I stayed with Sahar a while, too, which was fun. And I saw Lucas. Did quite a bit of relaxing and watching tv, though.

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Niagara Falls and Cruise: 9.5
Art Gallery of Ontario: 8.5
Royal Ontario Museum: 9.5
CN Tower Edge Walk: 10
Gardiner Museum: 7.5
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir: 7
Toronto Public Library: 8

Posted by ErnieLG 20:04 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Days 197-199: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The capital...! Quaint.

all seasons in one day 25 °C
View Summer 2014 on ErnieLG's travel map.

Ottawa is actually really nice. I stayed with a couple who cooked us a nice dinner and breakfast. And I stayed with another couple for the next couple days on the Quebec side of Ottawa who let me use their bike. Everything's all French again!

The war museum was pretty interesting. Learned a lot about canada.... Like, they interned tens of thousands of Canadians during WWII: Japanese, Germans, and Italians. They even threw in a couple thousand Jewish-European refugees. And what I'm still confused about: the war of 1812. But I'll just haveta research some more. There was a nice art gallery, too. Nothing amazing, but some good Canadian works. A little Warhol, Gauguin, Camille Pissaro, Paul Cézanne, Titian, Rembrandt, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Thomas Gainsborough, Nicolas Poussin, Murillo, Eugene Delacroix, Canaletto, Tintoretto, Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Vincent Van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Anthony Van Dyk, Edvard Munch, Salvador Dali, and Henry Moore. Here was a history museum that had some cool First Nations stuff, too. Some cool coloring stations... :)

There're a ton of rivers and canals and lakes, so there're lotsa nice places to run and bike. Lotsa green. Little locks like water gates to let boats in and out.

I spent a day doing some serious sightseeinglarge_IMG_5107-Edit.jpglarge_IMG_5115.jpglarge_IMG_5116.jpglarge_IMG_5123.jpglarge_IMG_5124.jpglarge_IMG_5128.jpglarge_IMG_5129.jpglarge_IMG_5131.jpglarge_IMG_5133.jpglarge_IMG_5137.jpglarge_IMG_5143.jpglarge_IMG_5146-Edit.jpglarge_IMG_5152__2_.jpg, and that's about all it really took. There're some nice buildings and monuments. Small town, but friendly. I saw a Terry Fox statue, which is a famous Canadian runner. Very funny.

I missed a few things like Rideau Hall, Laurier House, and Westboro. But it's not bad, as long as you leave on a high note. And so the hitching begins...

Canadian War Museum: 9
Parliament Hill and Buildings: 8.5
Rideau Canal: 8
Notre Dame Basilica: 8.5
Peace Tower: 8.5
National War Memorial: 8
National Gallery of Canada: 9
Ottawa Locks: 8
Ottawa Convention Center: 6
Canadian History Museum: 8.5
Famous Five Monument: 7.5

Posted by ErnieLG 20:05 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Days 200-203: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

French Canadia!

all seasons in one day 25 °C
View Summer 2014 on ErnieLG's travel map.

These Quebecoises, Marc and Bruno, gave me rides when I was hitching, which was cool. In the city, I was staying with these nudists, which was pretty funny. This guy Mike drove me all around town and cooked some awesome food and gave me a bed to sleep in. He even had a pool, sauna, and weight room. And a washing machine! No complaints! I went around to some cool spots at night, too. Montreal is kinda pretty.

I did some exploring around the west side of the mountain and saw a cool sunset at their big church. And at the gallery I saw a pretty cool exhibit on Faberge, and some of his eggs were there. Ya know, they're jeweled eggs made of rare metals and other materials. They were made for the tsars. And I saw a few artists I know like Henry Moore, Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Joan Miró, a Salvador Dali chess set, Paul Signac, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Ribera, Rembrandt, Canaletto, Thomas Gainsborough, Tintoretto, and el Greco (one of my favorites by him).

I saw some local stand-up. It wasn't bad! They were like 15min sets for a couple hours. And of course they haveta call me out for being from California and being the best-dressed. :)

I spent a day biking around and checking out churches. I have an alcohol flask that I usually just fill with water when I'm out during the day. I took a water break at a church today in the city... The patrons weren't that receptive. Bike rentals were only a dollar today! Saw a museum with some decent fossils and minerals. And I saw some pretty cool Chinese and Japanese gardens. I missed the insectarium, though. :( It would've been cool to spend more time at the canal and mountain, but... Out of time. Oh gawd, I biked 40km today. I'm in such bad shape. Oh, and I picked up a sleeping bag with a bivy. It was 150, but it looks like it'll be good for the winter. Must at least be rated -10C. Could even be -30C since it's military issue.

Notre Dame Basilica: 8.5
St. Patrick's Basilica: 8.5
Cathedral of Marie Reine du Monde: 8.5
McGill University: 6
Musee Redpath: 8.5
Botanical Gardens: 8.5
Mont Royal: 8.5
St. Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal: 9
Museum of Fine Arts: 9.5
Old Montreal: 8.5
Comedy Hostel: 8.5

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Posted by ErnieLG 20:06 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Days 204-207: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Super tiny town. Very cute.

sunny 25 °C
View Summer 2014 on ErnieLG's travel map.

Got a ride share here. Staying with a Tunisian German couple that lives here and are super cool. They work online and live really simply and love traveling. And they're hella funny. I helped with her website, and we practiced French and Spanish. They let me use their bike, too. Man, put in another 40 or so km. The town is really charming since it has an old school feel, but it's not incredibly interesting. A couple days and you could see everything. There were a lot of nice little parks and churches. And there're the old city walls from the 18th century. I biked to a cool waterfall also.

I found an awesome place to crash for the night in Montreal's ice rink. I woke up at 4am, and I was locked in. Hah. I tried all the doors, but nothing. I pushed this call security button, and this guy helped me escape. And then crossing the border was a whole other thing. They're such bitches there! I'm American! Let me in the damn country!

Old Quebec/Quartier du Petit Champlain/Terrasse Dufferin/Place Royale/Old Port/Grand Allee/Breakneck Steps/Rue du Tresor/Upper Town/Lower Town: 8
Plains of Abraham/Battlefields Park/La Citadelle de Quebec/La Promenade des Governeurs/Joan of Arc Landmark: 8
Fortifications of Quebec/Fountaine de Tourny: 8
Basilique Cathedrale Notre Dame/Eglise Notre Dame des Victoires/Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral: 8
Musee de Ursulines du Quebec/Morrin Centre/Parliament Building/La Promenade Samuel de Champlain: 6
Montmorency Falls Park: 8

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Posted by ErnieLG 20:07 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Days 208-212: Boston, USA

USA!!!!

sunny 15 °C
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Some people here are not that friendly! I stayed with a nice couple when I got here, though just to get my bearings and get some necessary sleep. I also stayed with this guy who's a huge otaku and traveller who was really nice. And... I saw the first serious rain of the autumn. Egh...

I followed these things called the Freedom Trail and Black Heritage Trail, where there are all these historic buildings from the American Revolution and Civil War. It was actually super-cool. I bought a Boston Declaration of Independence from the same place the originals were printed using the same materials with an old-school printing press. And I got some hand-made chocolate from a shop that was centuries old, too. And I saw the church where Paul Revere's lanterns were hung. I went to the Old State House where a lot of scenes from the Revolution happened like the Boston Massacre. I went to the cemeteries where many of the original settlers and revolutionaries are buried. I saw the new State House where politicians do everything. It has the painting of Lincoln they used for the five dollar bill until recently. Outside it is the Boston Common (the central park) and the Public Gardens. And there's a nice Shoah monument. The black heritage part had stops on the Underground Railroad. Apparently Boston abolished slavery in 1783, 99 years before the federal government. And I went to the Navy Shipyard and saw 5he USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) which was made at the start of the 18th century and was never defeated. Some old-school dry docks, too. A lot of the trails are around the North End neighborhood which has lots of parks and lights and buskers and shops and Italian food. :P

I went to the art museum... It was good! Saw some Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, Henri Matisse, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Anish Kapoor, Claude Monet, Paul Signac, Renoir, Andy Warhol, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Auguste Rodin, Edouard Manet, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, Anthony Van Dyck, Nicolas Poussin, Peter Paul Rubens, Velazquez, Francisco de Zurburan, Titian, Murillo, Tintoretto, El Greco, de Ribera, Canaletto, Delacroix, Hieronymus Bosch, Rembrandt... Some of my new faves are John Singer Sargent, Daniela Edburg, and Jamie Wyeth from America.

The Public Library was kinda interesting. It was kinda disorderly and in disarray which was a little uncomfortable but like an old mansion with all kinds of weird things. And it's next to the Old South Church which is just a church, but someone was playing the organ, so it was really cool. It's in a nice little neighborhood called Back Bay where there's a little night life and parkarea. Oh, and the Gibson House Museum was there, which was a 19th century house, but it has super limited hours. So I missed it.

I checked out Harvard's campus, which was nice and pretty. Missed the Museum of Natural History, though. Mount Auburn was Anerica's first large landscapes area and cemetery. It's pretty and pretty big but not that special. I mean, there're supposed to be a lot of animals like salamanders, but all I saw was a rabbit. :(

The Tea Party Ships look like they're just little ship recreations for kids to throw tea off of, so I skipped it. But it sucks, a huge Lego exhibit and a de Goya exhibit are coming soon... I missed the Marriott Custom House, too, which is a old hotel with a sort of observation deck, because it's only open at 2pm.

Museum of Fine Arts: 10
Old South Church/Public Library/Copley Square/Newbury Street/Back Bay: 8.5
Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum/Fan Pier: 6
Mt. Auburn Cemetery: 8
Longfellow House Washington's HQ National ???
Harvard U/Harvard Yard: 7.5
Freedom Trail: 9.5
USS Constitution and Museum/Charlestown Navy Yard: 8.5
Printing Office of Edes and Gill/Old North Church/Captain Jackson's Historic Chocolate: 9.5
Old State House: 8.5
Beacon Hill/Black Heritage Trail: 8.5
North End: 8
Public Garden/Boston Common: 8
Granary Burying Ground: 8.5
State House: 8.5
New England Holocaust Memorial: 8

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Posted by ErnieLG 20:09 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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