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May 17, 2007 - 6:15 PM Romance Daylight Time (EDT + 6)

For those of you still checking, I'm getting ready to head out of Alicante. I've had a pretty busy last week here, so I haven't made any updates. I do have some cool stuff, though, including the sunrise on the beach from Tuesday morning.

After I leave here on Saturday at 1:40 AM, I'm taking the bus to Barcelona, where I will catch a flight to London. I'll be there until Monday morning, when I'll fly to Dublin. I'll be there until Thursday morning, when I'll fly back to US. I should probably have tons of pictures from those two spots as well, so look for another update in about 2-3 weeks. I'll see most of you soon!

May 9, 2007 - 5:30 PM Romance Daylight Time (EDT + 6)

After a whirlwind tour of Europe, I have spent the last two and a half weeks in Alicante. I can't say I've been too let-down, though. The weather has been very nice, especially during the past week. I've spent a few mornings and afternoons on the beach. I also saw Spider-Man 3 on opening day (in Spanish) on the 4th, and went bowling/skee-balling/mini-golfing about a week before that. I start finals tomorrow, and then I leave for London to end my time in Spain on next Saturday, the 19th. My goal (along with a couple more books I need to read) is to spend a ton of time on the beach, as I probably won't have that option for a long time after I leave. It has been great here, but I'm also very ready to get back to the things and people I know and love in "The States." Only about two weeks now!

From April 4 - April 22, I took a Spring Break trip through Paris, Germany, Prague, Vienna, and Barcelona. Over the next week or so, I'll be adding the pictures and stories. I've taken about 360 pictures, so I'll only be adding a little bit at a time. I'm going to try for once every two or three days. These updates might be less-detailed than the previous ones.

May 9, 2007 - 5:00 PM Romance Daylight Time (EDT + 6)

Barcelona, April 21-22

We were only in Barcelona for about a day, but we still had a fun time, and I got to see some more beautiful things. We arrived at night, and Scott, Sara, and I checked into our hostel where Amanda was waiting for us. Dave stayed with a friend in town. The hostel, Kabul, was very-well located and had a good party atmosphere, but was very cramped and kind of the opposite of our hostel in Vienna. We ate dinner, which wasn't expensive, but also wasn't particularly tasty. The sangria was good, though. After dinner, Scott and I went to an Irish pub, and I had some very delicious (but very expensive) Guinness. We met a couple American girls and a bunch of people from Iceland and had a pretty fun evening.

The next morning, I woke up for church, hoping to attend Mass at the cathedral. However, by the time I arrived, it was pretty full, so I went back to a smaller church that I had passed on the way. It was still a very unique experience, as it was said in Catalan. I understood it about as well as the French mass on easter. I did tour the cathedral, though, and it was...about like the others I've seen. It had a cool attached garden area that I liked, though.

After that, I walked by some Gaudí houses and then met up with Dave. At that point, my camera battery ran out, so I don't have any more pictures. We went to a park near the city's Arc de Triomf, where they were holding a Latin-American and Earth Day festival. The weather was beautiful, and we had a nice time just walking around and hanging out.

The trip back to Alicante was the adventure of our Barcelona journey, though. We made a mistake and got on the wrong train, thinking we were going to the airport, but ending up on the way to Tarragona, a city about an hour from Barcelona. By the time we figured out our mistake, it was too late to go back, so we looked in Tarragona for car rental, buses, and trains, but found nothing. A friend of ours helped us out, though, and we found out there was a bus leaving from Barcelona at 11:30 PM, arriving in Alicante at 7:15 the next morning. It was our only choice to make it to class in time, so we hopped the next train back to Barcelona (another hour), took the subway to the bus station, ate some Turkish food, and got on the bus. I arrived at home just in time to grab breakfast, change my shirt, put my books in my bag, and catch the bus to school. I slept well that afternoon.

  The Cathedral
  Gaudí House: I have a nighttime picture of this in my other Barcelona set
Other Gaudí House  

May 7, 2007 - 8:00 PM Romance Daylight Time (EDT + 6)

Vienna, April 18 - 21

Vienna was another beautiful city, although we weren't there for very long, so we didn't get to do a whole lot. Our hostel was really nice, recommended by my cousin Lauren, among others. (The Wombat, by the way, if you ever go to Vienna.) The first day, we had to do some laundry, and the laundry room was conveniently located directly across the hall from the bar (with pool table), which had happy hours from 6-8 PM and 12-2 AM (1-euro beers). We played a LOT of pool in Vienna. After our laundry finished, we went out with our Austrian roommate, Chris. He had the perfect Arnold Schwarzenegger/Austrian-stereotypical accent. At one point, the maid walked in the room and he said, "If she steals any of our things, I will crush her." (Seriously.) We went for Wiener Schnizel, which isn't actually a type of sausage or hot dog, and then to a few bars.

After the first night, we spent a lot of time walking around, touring the city. Our hostel had a really nice kitchen, so my roommates and I (mostly my roommates) cooked ourselves dinner several nights. We saw St. Stephen's cathedral (yep, another cathedral), which is about 900 years old and hosted the wedding of Joseph Haydn. It also has a really cool roof. We saw the other big church, Karlskirche, which is a little more modern. Scott and I went up to the top, where you can stand on some pretty-unsafe-seeming scaffolding, maybe 100 feet up, and look out on the city through the top windows.

We went to the opera one night. It was a little uncomfortable, as we opted for the cheap standing-room tickets, and it was a little hot as well. The opera was OK, although a bit long. The opera house was really cool, though. One of the highlights for me was the Leopold Museum, home to many works by Austrian artists. One of my new favorite painters has to be Gustav Klimt. That guy could paint. Some of my favorite works by him are (in English) "The Kiss," "Death and Life," and something that was designed for the ceiling of some university. There were some other pretty cool works there as well. Not your typical French/Spanish/Italian stuff. We also visited the Haus Der Musik, a really cool interactive music museum. Worth the visit just for some of the surround-sound systems they had. We left on Saturday, the 21st, on a plane for Barcelona.

For the record, Austrian beer isn't all that great.

Doc Brown, maybe?  
  The next few are from inside this
  Don't look down  
The pedestrians are classy A cool restaurant where we ate  

May 7, 2007 - 2:00 PM Romance Daylight Time (EDT + 6)

Prague, April 13 - 18

Prague was very beautiful and lots of fun. We arrived by train on the night of the 13th (Friday the 13th, actually). We met up with our friend Amanda who had been in Greece and would spend the rest of the trip with us. We then met up with Dave's friend, Kevin, a really funny guy who was very helpful during our time in Prague. The first night, we walked around Old Town Square, which is really cool, and went to a pretty sweet bar. The beer was amazing (as we found through the rest of our time in Prague) and cheap. Amanda and I left early, as we were both pretty tired.

The next day, we walked over to the castle, which mostly contains a cathedral. That makes about 25 that I've seen so far in Europe. It was cool, like all the others, pretty much. One part of the palace was supposedly closed for the filming of an Adrian Brody movie. After the castle, we met a friend of a friend of Sara, named Jan (a guy, pronouced yawn, like in Eurotrip). He was also pretty helpful on our trip. We had some Czech-style lunch (goulash for me), which was very delicious, and again, pretty inexpensive. And we had some more tasty beer. I can't remember what days we did what for the rest of the trip. We explored a lot, which was easy to do, as the city has all kinds of cool things to see, and is very walkable. Lucky it's walkable, because it also has one of the most confusing and difficult-to-use mass transit systems that I've seen so far.

We went to several other pretty cool bars. Many of them are underground and styled pretty nicely, and most importantly, have really good, cheap beer. We did get screwed over on price a couple times in one of the bars, until our "tour guides" Jan and Kevin helped us out. We also saw a string quartet in the Rudolfinium, which was a unique and "classy" experience. We walked around the Jewish quarter a bit, and toured the very small, very old synagogue and saw the ridiculously-cramped cemetary.

Our hostel had a decent kitchen, so we cooked (well, I didn't do much) one or two nights. We also had a picnic at a park up on a hill one day. We met up with Scott's friend Brady as well, and he hung out with us quite a bit. Prague was our longest leg of the Spring Break trip, and it definitely held its own in things to see, beauty, and fun. We left on the morning of the 18th by train for Vienna.

  Because 3 liters of beer isn't quite enough
(It was for 6 of us)
Look what I found!  
Even in Prague...  

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