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Europe 2004

Hey everyone! Welcome to my online journal of my trip this summer. Iīll hopefully update it every week. SO now that Iīve been here a while I guess Iīll start with at the beginning. P.S. Sorry to those with 56k, but itīll take hours for this to load for you with all the pictures... (NOTE: PLEASE EXCUSE MY SPELLING, FOR I AM A HORRIBLE SPELLER AND DO NOT HAVE A SPELL CHECKER. THANKS!)

Week 1

Well, my trip didnīt start off to well. I got sick about three days before I left and unfortunatly wasnīt able to shake it before I left. So, my cold continued through my travels to Europe and into my first week. Upon arriving, I went and visited my friend from Bellingham Lisa, (who is originally from Austria) in her home town of Bad Ishl, Austria. Her brother and father were also there. Bad Ishl is a beautiful town in the mountains, but unfortunatly I didnīt take any pictures. So after spending two days there, and thanks to her dads remedies (he is a Homeopathic Doctor) I began to feel better and headed down through Austria to Villach where Nora lives. I spent another 5 days there with her family while she finished her job. I spent most the time resting so nothing exciting to talk about there.

Week 2

SO, now comes Saterday the 13th. We got up at 3 in the morning and were on trains all day heading to the French Riviera, or the Cote DīAzure. There we found a campsite about 3 miles inland in a small town not far from Nice, and Monte Carlo.

Welcome to Monte Carlo

The place where the rich and famouse come to relax. The harbor is filled with $20 million Yachts. Old cars stand out like foreign objects among the Porches, BMWīs, Mercedes, Ferraris and anything else expensive you could think of. Need a taxi? Expect to enjoy the comfort of a BMW or Mercedes cause thats what all the taxis are...

We spent a while relaxing on the beach...

Then headed to Nice, which was also nice (been there before) So, after one full day on crowded Cote DīAzure we headed down the coast. We reached the town in southern France close to Spain called Lourdes. This is considered a very holy town and many many people make journeys here. It has an amazing church as shown in these pictures.

I regret to inform that all this time I had been discovering that Nora was not the person I thought I knew. For her privacy sake, and for fear of losing your attention, I wont go into details, but Nora and I are no longer together and at this point we split ways. Donīt be sad because all this trouble was causing me stress, and at this point I was free!!! SOOO!!!! Off to Spain I go!

Barcelona

Welcome to the city that never sleeps...well its sleeps just not at night. Save that for 8am to 12pm... this has to be one of the most amazing, beautiful culture and history filled cities I have ever been in. I spent most of a day on trains getting here but arrived in time to walk around a bunch and find a place to stay. Within minutes of being here I knew I was going to love this place. I started my first full day here early. I started by walking to the Gothic Dicstric where there is an amazing church sadly under heavy restoration. This district is over 2000 years old! I didnt take any pics of the outside of the church because you couldnīt see much. But here is the inside. (and one outside from a distance)

Another random church...

So after getting lost down the many beautiful windy roads and passing many shops, cafes and such..

I made my way to the ocean. Here lies the harbor, which houses their World Trade center, tour boats an aquarium an Imax and much more. But I headed straight to the Columbus Statue which Spaniards convinced the Catalonians that he was from here, but actually historians say he was from Italy... No he isnīt pointing to the Americas he is actually pointing more towards Libya...

So after that I did what all tourists do, since the city is so big, I took a site seeing bus. Next stop, the Picasso Musium. That was amazing, but of course no cameras... so after that, on to temple of Sagrada Familia. This has to be my favorite site so far. This Cathedral is the only one in the world which isnīt finished. It was designed by my now, favorite architect Antonio Gaudi. His modern architecture facinates me. His building, park and church designs are all quite eccentric. A native Catalonian (meaning from Barcelona) his art can be seen all over the town. He designed an intire park (which sadly I didnīt have time to get to) and many building including the two I did see. This is the first. As you can see, it doesnīt exactly look standard for European style, but I think it is quite interesting to look at. Very out of place :)

So, now to my favorite. The Sagrada Familia! This church confuses you when you first look at it because it doesnīt look like any other cathedral you have ever seen. My favorite aspect of the cathedral are the things Gaudi incorperated into it. All the details. Inside, the pillars are designed to look like trees because Gaudi was a firm believer that there is a devine connection between nature and God. And so he included nature in this cathedral through the pillars and animal statues such as snakes and more climbing all over the church. His exentric ways of symbolizing things. For instance, a statue of a somone handing a terrorist a bomb, and someone waving a purse at a thief, to symbolize the tempation and sin of man. This gothic mass is only partially finished and isnīt expected to be finished until 2021! It is being built intirely on donations. So, now here are the pictures!

So, now on from there, not much could compare. That had really impressed me. I hope some day i can see it when it is finished because as projected pictures and models I have seen, it is going to be mind blowing and amazing. BUT, there were still many cool things to see. Such as...this statue (not sure its purpose

and the National Museum (didnīt have time to go but its an awsome building)

And then where they held the 1992 Olympics...

And then....an amazing view...(sorry for the poor picture splicing job, didnīt have much time.MAKE SURE TO SCROLL RIGHT ===========>>>>

As I said this city doesnīt sleep (at night) infact most clubs dont even open until midnight and donīt get rolling until 1:30 am. Unfortunatly I had no wing man, and no proper clubbing cloths so I merely sat and watched the people pass by. Plus there was plenty else to do. Live street entertainment was everywhere from great music, to funny clowns, to those guys with the cups and that ball that you guess where it is, and they screw you out of your money...man i saw some British guy lose like $100 in thirty seconds. He was soooo mad. And then the police drive by and the guy dissapears quicker than he took your money.

SOOOOO....that concludes my trip so far. I also visited the history museum which was interesting but they only had so much of what they had to say in English so it was kinda hard. And now im sitting, my last night in Barcelona writing this. SO...I think Iīve said enough and its time to go enjoy my last night. Tomorrow I am off to Madrid, then to Southern Spain, and if time, Portugal. So I will try and update in a week. Im hoping I can find another Internet place that will let me upload pictures. If not, they will have to wait until the end. Until next time...

Adios!