Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A long post...take some time and read!!

So this is my chance to write a fairly long entry. I am still in Germany although Dan and Ben have left for their final conference in Amsterdam and then are heading to the United States for good. We had some scheduling conflicts so I am here hanging out in Germany for two days by myself.

It is nice and odd to be in a town where absolutely no body knows me and where I have no responsibilities! I was able to fill the day with a nice run, a trip to the supermarket for some groceries, an hour bike ride, a trip to a coffee shop (where I had a hard time but was able to order an ice coffee), a lot of reading (a lot of reading), some cleaning up, some writing, and took considerable time making my meals (egg tortilla=good, homemade banana pancakes=not so good!)

Tomorrow I am heading to Wittenberg to see the stomping grounds of Luther. It is a quick 30 minute train journey and since I have the time I’ll be able to engross myself in the all the fanfare the museum and town proclaims about the reformer.

The following day I fly back to Edinburgh and attempt to get back on my schedule. It has been very strange to be in countries the past 2 weeks where no body speaks English as a first language. I miss being able to understand simple conversations or being able to read newspapers and signs.

I was going to save the details of my travel for later since I hadn’t told my family about my travels yet. However, I can’t get the phones to work here and I have the time to write.

On July 10th, Dan, Ben and I set out for our trip. To summarize we would go to a city or an attraction and then at night find a campground to sleep at. There are a lot of campgrounds and each night it only cost us around an average of 7-8 Euros. That included a bathroom and a shower at most places. Since I am on the subject of the campgrounds it should be mentioned that it was always fun looking for places to stay. Some of the campgrounds were quite typical, some RV’s, a lake rope off for swimming, a little shop to get some food. But the best were the campgrounds that were isolated. We found one in Germany that was pretty much a guys backyard that lead to a dock with a spectacular view of the German Alps. The following night was at a campground in Austria that was pretty much a football field that smelled of waste!

Ok so where did we go and what did we see and what did we do? Everywhere, a lot, and travelled! I don’t want to list places and countries in an effort to impress people. However, that being said, I will mention our rough circle to give you an idea.

We headed from Germany through Holland to Belgium. We hit France briefly, just for one town and spent a significant amount of time in Switzerland, Southern Germany, and Austria. We went through the Czech Republic on our way back just to make a quick stop in Prague.

We did visit a lot of big cities, but as we predicted before the trip, a city is a city. There are only so many churches, statues, and waterfronts you can look at. Sometimes we would have a purpose when going into a city, (like Munich to visit the main site of Oktoberfest or Luxembourg City to see the walls ) which made it meaningful. However, other cities, like Prague and Vienna we didn’t have anything in particular to do, so we left in a hurry.

The best part was the scenery and of course the company. I would mess up the names of places but we were able to go swimming in some great lakes, hiked some nice trails, we explored small castles, big castles, and became experts at going to bed around 10 and up before 7!

There are a lot of little events I could share but will keep it down to just two. First, while in Belgium I sliced my finger in the car with a knife. We wrapped it up and decided to just press on into Luxembourg. When we got to the campsite the lady told us to definitely go to a hospital. So from the time I cut my finger to getting to the hospital it had been about 6 hours! Let me say this, the hospital in Ettlebruck, Luxembourg is great! I forgot my insurance card but they didn’t care. Within an hour I had 7 stitches in my left index finger and was out of there! They weren’t sure about making me pay but I would have felt guilty dodging it and it will give me a chance to use my insurance at least once this year!

Second event, we were rear ended in Austria by a man who claimed to be a musician and was happy that Dan and Ben were working for a Christian organization. He was on the phone and we were stopped in traffic when he rear ended us. The trailer hitch save our car, expect for a little crack, but his car took the brunt of the damage. We exchanged info but nothing else happened. Although the half empty bottle of beer in the car made us suspicious!

Ok this is a lot and I will write more tomorrow since I will have the time. Until then, chow

Monday, July 24, 2006


I am back from my trek with Dan and Ben around Europe. I would say more but I haven't spoken to my family yet and I suppose they deserve to know some of the details first. I have two more days left here in Berlin and then I am flying back to Edinburgh. Some family visits and then I fly back to the United States....

Hmmm... I feel some deep reflection coming on but I will wait until tomorrow to write more and share about my ventures in Europe.

Stay tuned

Saturday, July 08, 2006

quick post

I have wanted to write more but just have not had the chance. Everytime I get online I have been doing research for trying to find tickets back home and preparing my travels.

Tonight I leave from Glasgow and fly to Berlin. So I will be gone from July 9th-July 27th! Dan, myself, and another volunteer working with Dan are going to do some exploring. We don't have any hostels booked and we don't have an exact route to follow. We are just packing a station wagon, a tent, some belongings and hitting the road. It sounds like one of those soul-searching-deep-meaningful explorations. However, it is more of a chance to see the world and spend time together.

The best way to get a hold of me will be via e-mail. I'm sure there will be internet cafe's that we can use. We will be visiting Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Belgium, and some other places!

When I come back I only have 4 days of work before I start to wind things up here. I hope to write more in detail when I return. Until then, take care