Sunday, September 30, 2007


So things aren't going as smoothly as they started. That's OK, just gotta think a bit, do some extra planning and have some hope.

I wanted to write about what I was thankful for while I'm out here without all my stuff a few days ago, and now would be a good time to do it, no?

I'm thankful that I told my mom I wanted to go to Europe a few months ago so she could freak out then and not freak out when I told her that I was leaving for Europe... three days before I actually did. I'm also thankful that she's handling things especially well.

I'm thankful for Andy and Andy's brother Anthony and how they let me know about Global Freeloaders. While I didn't use that system myself (it honestly looked kind of ghetto) I managed to find something else just about as good called CouchSurfing. It's led me to awesome hosts so far in Dublin and now Edinburgh, all of whom have made me feel so much at home and welcomed into strange new lands.

I'm thankful for these awesome hosts who have done absolutely everything and more to make my experience here in Europe amazing. I could not ask for more from them; they have been fantastic. Suz and Matt in Dublin were fantastic, and Rob, Nick, Karin, Jason and Holly are so hospitable it's almost a crime.

I'm thankful for the music that Tim has given me. It's truly been awesome to walk around in new places listening to new music. One of the best things that's happened is hearing the new iPod Nano commercial song come up in my headphones as I'm walking on the streets of Dublin. Such a pleasant surprise. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can watch the video here.

I'm thankful for e-mail, without which I wouldn't be able to send messages to my mom to keep her from worrying about me too much. Also to respond to some other important emails.

I'm thankful for the shoes I bought. They're made by Keen and they look weird since they give you a lot of space for your toes, making me feel like a clown. Let me tell you, these are the most comfortable shoes I've had for long distance walking. I can go for miles with no blisters, no aches or pains. They just keep on going and going. Speaking of which, also thankful for Smart Wool socks. My feet are normally sweaty, but these socks pull the sweat away and make my feet unbelievably dry.

I'm thankful for free internet (when I can get it) since it's expensive here. Here's a testament to how fast it is over here: I'm in Edinburgh, Scotland, and their internet is up to 16 megabits per second. Normally 8 megabits. WTF!

I'm thankful that my mom, who could almost be considered Amish when it comes to computers, can respond to my emails and tell me what's going on at home, even though in her words "mom sound like a broken record." Still getting the hang of it I suppose.

I'm thankful that these countries are not developing nations so I can drink the tap water and save 2 pounds/euro per bottle.

I'm thankful that I'm still young and healthy enough to drag around a laptop, a giant camera, and all my crap with me on my back without collapsing or complaining (too much). I'm also thankful that I haven't been robbed yet. Or died (thanks Oyoung).

I'm thankful for all the memories that I've had with my friends. They make me laugh even though I haven't seen anybody in a few weeks. I'm going to stop talking about this now so I avoid being homesick. I don't want to talk myself into coming back so early...

I'm thankful for being such a cheapass I don't have to worry too much when I decide to splurge on food. Because seriously, traveling means eating strange and wonderful things, and I wouldn't want to limit myself there.

I'm thankful for Europe for being there and for trying its best to preserve what history they could by restoring certain historic sites and opening them to the public. And for most places that let me go nuts with the camera.

I'm thankful for cold weather since it means I don't have to sweat so much.

I'm thankful for being able to bring my camera and my laptop so I could work on things as I go.

I'm thankful for you, my friends and family, for sticking around and (hopefully) reading this stuff as I go. And also for letting me know who may be out here in this continent too =)

Off to Glasgow now. See you later...

Oh yeah, news: I'm headed to China in a few weeks...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Great day, not so great late night news

Past two days:

Edinburgh Castle - Cold. Very cold. You get to see the Scotland Honours though (Crown Jewels).
Real Mary King Close - Underground tour of original Old Town Scotland. Conditions were pretty horrible back in the day.
National Museum of Scotland - Is huge. Very cool insect exhibit.
Palace of Hollyrood House - Where Mary, Queen of Scots lived.
The Salisbury Craggs ... I thought I climbed Arthur's Seat, but alas, no dice. I had no clue which one was the right path but I kept going up until I reached some kind of peak. It was like 7:30 and it was freezing and raining by the time I got to the top.
Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands - THIS is what Scotland is all about, folks. The Highlands are where Scotland's beauty really shines. And you got the Highlander from it. Played by a French guy. Trained by (supposedly) a Spanish guy, played by a Scotsman, Sean Connery.

Scottish Breakfast - Same as Irish breakfast. Just this time it has HAGGIS!

What is haggis, you ask? It's basically all the parts from a sheep that you don't want to think about mixed with oats, onion, spices and salt. It sounds disgusting. Oh ho ho, but how does it taste?

In a word? Heavenly.

While at a mill in the highlands, I stopped by a whiskey shop for some free tasting (woot woot). Bought some fantastic single malt Scottish whiskey.

Got home. Reading email. My host for Paris had her heart broken from her first day (crap apartment, expectations destroyed), and will be going home in a few days.

I have lost my host for Paris =(

Having trouble buying a ticket to China. Paper ticket only? $45 to ship? WTF.

I'm afraid to even look at my photos. I don't want shit to blow up there.


Figured out how to fix ticket buying issues. Had to look up tickets at instead of, silly internets.

It's like Ryan said, some days are ups, others are downs. I was just feeling so at home here, lost among the Old World with new faces, new friends, new locations. Got shaken up a bit, and feeling a bit lost but in a different way.

Anyway, I'm pretty bummed. I was so looking forward to having a travel buddy in Paris.

Time to call in the backups.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I am not prepared.

Stepping off the plane in Edinburgh, I immediately notice my very visible breath.

Scotland may be beautiful (as seen flying over it) but it is also freezing.

Bus to city center. The Edinburgh Castle is right nearby (it's built on a volcano!) and so, I head toward it. Unfortunately, it is currently 8 am and the castle doesn't open until 9:30, so I have to occupy myself. Perhaps I should find an H&M or something so I can get some warmer clothes. Crossing the street I see... an H&M. Excellent!

It's not open yet.

The wind is blowing even harder. And it's starting to rain.


Before we continue, I would just like to point out to everyone to please visit this link and watch all the episodes.

Adult Swim Rules.

See it now. There is no excuse.

Back to Dublin, Ireland

Headed back to Dublin today to catch a early morning Thursday flight to Edinburgh. Went early to the Kilkenny Castle to see if Idé, the pretty tourguide was around. Alas, she was not to be found.

Back to town, it's time for... Irish breakfast!

Here you see the sausages, rashers, black and white pudding, the fried egg, baked beans, sauteed mushrooms and toast.

I've decided that all breakfasts should come with sauteed mushrooms. And an egg of some sort.

Now at the train station... waiting for the bus.... which is 10 minutes late... A station worker comes out and tells us that the bus will be one hour late. To quote Tan, POOP! Bought a ticket to the train instead (twice as much, poop) and got on. It's nice and toasty on the train, and a much more relaxing and comfortable ride than the bus though.

Back in Dublin, I decide to hit up the Kilmainham Gaol (pronounced 'jail' because it is), an old jail built in 1796. It was important in Irish history because it imprisoned and executed many Irish leaders, which added fuel to their campaign for Irish independence. You can wiki it, I'm just here for photos.

It's quite a surreal place to walk around in.

After the Gaol, went back to find St. Patrick's Cathedral since I missed it on the first day. It took a while to find. Damn city and it's inexplicably difficult signage placement.

Killed some time at the Internet Cafe looking up directions, planning some Edinburgh stuff, and reading up on things.

One more of The Spire before I go.

Goodbye, Ireland. You were a blast!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Little more Kilkenny

Walked about Kilkenny today, going to such places as this, St. Canice's Cathedral.

Close up:

HDR done right looks so good.

Over at St. Canice's also, you can walk up this giant tower called the round tower. It's tough to get up, especially for me, since I have a backpack full of stuff and the tower gets narrower as you go up. A lot of holding my breath to get higher.

You could imagine how long it took me to get down.

Later in the day, decided to find some good eats (again). Found a place called Zuni, recommended by the hostel caretaker. In Ireland (and possibly other places in Europe) they have early bird menus, or pre-fix menus for 5-7 pm. You can do two or three courses for a decent price. I got some salmon soup thing with a realllllly delicious salmon entree and pesto.

Delicious with the potatoes and chilli mayonnaise.

And of course, the Bulmers.

It glowwwwwws.

Kilkenny and Ireland's countryside

Gathering all my stuff together, I bid farewell to my awesome host Suz, drop the key back in their mailbox, and set off for the bus station.

Down at the city centre, I see a sign for a Full Irish breakfast, which includes something called black and white pudding, baked beans, and sauteed mushrooms, among the regular sausage and rashes (sort of Irish bacon, but bigger). I ask the security guard nearby what the pudding is, and barely comprehend anything he says through the thickest Irish accent I have ever heard. So... I walk off.

Two minutes later, I think "fuck it!" and turn around to get my Irish breakfast. The restaurant is upstairs in some kind of department store, and I get the full shebang, all for about 6.4 euros, which is like 9 dollars. Bit pricey, but it was delicious.

Black and white pudding is some kind of pork mishmash put together into what looks basically like a puck: a small, cylindrical object that looks... well, black. The white one just looks like the color of meat. Both of them taste too good to be healthy. It's like a heart attack pill, seriously. Which is why I finish both of them and almost everything on that plate. So hungry, I forgot to take a photo (again).

Off to the bus station. Buy the ticket, get on the bus, fall asleep, wake up. Ireland's countryside is lush and green, owing to the fact that it rains all year round. It's pretty awesome traveling to the boonies and seeing nothing but rolling hills and green everywhere. Not like disgusting brown California. Hooray!

Arriving at the train station, I take off to find the hostel with my printed Google map. I always feel so lost when I arrive at a new place, even with the map. Once I walk it and have my bearings, I can get lost and figure my way out easily, but those first few steps in a new area always mess with my head.

Dropping off my stuff at the hostel, I take off south through the town centre and arrive at Kilkenny Castle which overlooks the river Nore at the bend.

Kilkenny Castle, from the castle grounds.

View from the castle overlooking Nore River.

Going inside, I whip out my trusty UCI Student ID, which has saved me many a buck (and now euro) and buy my pass for the tour. I can put my bag away at the coat check (woohoo!) but I have to check in my camera too (sob). Oh well. Sitting in the room waiting for the intro video, in walks this really cute blonde girl. She looks around, pauses for a moment, and begins to speak. What comes out of her mouth can only be described as ear candy, a core of English honey coated with the sweetest Irish accent ever. Think Veronica Mars doing really thick Irish.

Suddenly it's not so important that I have no camera. I'm really going to enjoy this tour.

Ide the tour guide starts with the castle history, beginning way in the early 12th century, possibly earlier than that. Some Irish king named Strongbow (because he was excellent with the bow and crossbow) takes over the area, eventually passing on the titles and things to a Butler family. Fast forward a couple centuries, the decaying castle was sold to a restoration society for 50 pounds. They restored a ton of the interior and it's what you can see today.

Great looking library room. Fantastically detailed paintings, furniture, wallpaper, rugs, couches---everything looks amazing. Moving onto the highest floor, the gallery room, painted in a deep red. Tons of paintings there, beautiful furniture also, and excellently bright because of the skylight. Too bad I can't show any photos.

After the tour, I went back and got my photo stuff and begin exploring the area. Down to this underground passageway lined with bricks and ... modern architecture. It's kind of a weird composition.

The ceiling is made out of a mishmash of sticks and mud.

Out on the other side, I find that it comes out to where the tour ended. Hey, I can sneaker around a bit and possibly get a photo...

I is such a ninja.

I hear footsteps and (stealthily) sneaker my way back down, past the rope, and back to some other unexplored area. Ide walks by, and I ask her about the photograph policy. Turns out another house had a bunch of stuff stolen and they thought it had to do with allowing the public to take photos. Er, OK. It's too bad though, because next to us are a bunch of photos of the castle itself, and they look beautiful. She tells me of some of the photos, about how some of the rooms aren't finished for the public yet. I love asking her questions. It means I get to hear more of the voice.

She takes off to do some tour guide business stuff. Damn, was just about to ask to take her photo. I head off toward an exhibition with lots of Burma photos, excellent portraits of children and people from Burma. I wrote something in the guest book, and take off.

Oh look, Ide's at the coat rack place.

So I borrowed her from the coat rack for a photo.

Oh God, I love it when she says thingies.

Leaving the castle itself, I head off to the grounds and walk around the exterior grounds. It's a huge park, and on the side is a forest area with trails that lead everywhere. Most people seem to jog in the area.

What a beautiful place to have a jog.

Going further into the forest, I find a door in the wall that surrounds the park. Oh look, more park.

There's a strange looking statue out there by the water.

Back into town, I head north to the cathedral, but alas, it is too late. Closed for the day. Walking past the church, I get to a part of town that becomes a bit more modern looking. Kilkenny is a really old world looking town, thin streets, brightly colored buildings, arches of stone. All signs are painted, there's no neon or lighted signs anywhere.

Sidewalks made of stone. Neat.

Bought some Indian food to try it out, Chicken Tikka Curry. Jeebus, it's helluva spicy. Strange sort of sweetness to the curry also. Their cucumber yogurt thing is SUPER sweet. I prefer the Indian food back home...

Sit down for some blogging. Blog. Photo stuff. Chat here and there. Decide to go out and get a Bulmers cider again.

Heading out, I'm about to take a photo of the night street, and this girl in front of me bends obnoxiously in the way. I'm like.... OK... then I notice that she looks familiar. It's Suz! Ha! She came down south with her friend Kamila (I probably butchered the spelling) for her road trip around the southern/western coast. I join them for a bit of a drink. Heading to a nearby bar, I get the cider (still delicious) and we go upstairs to hang out, and for them to smoke. A bunch of locals come by, one of them singing along to whatever's going on, but his words are more of a slurry mumbled mess.

Drunken Irish Guy + The Girls.

Kamila is quite cute, no? No it's not the beer speaking. Declines my request for a photo. Turns out her degree was in photography. Ah, photographers hating their own photos, totally understand.

Stumbling back to the hostel, it's time for more computer monkeying and then sleep.

The Dead

Woke up late today, about 11 am. Head spinning, slight ache. Go kitchen, get water. Go bed. Sleep.

Woke up again, at around 12:30. Matt came by and asked me if I wanted something to eat. I can't turn down food. Matt's a vegetarian. He put together some kale (greenish leafy vegetable) with sesame seeds and lemon juice, and stir fried some tomatoes and mushrooms with baked beans. It was fantastic. He mentioned that there's some places nearby to check out, a cemetery and the botanical garden.

Cemetery sounds fantastic. I head out, walking along a giant wall and arrive at the entrance. The first thing you notice about old world cemeteries... is that their headstones are gigantic and elaborate in a lavish, meticulous way.

Fuck Forest Lawn, I want to come here to die, a giant stone golem representing (in my case) my delusional greatness erected amongst the other stone monstrosities. Actually, I'd want to be buried in Forest Lawn, except I'd have a bigass Irish monument of awesomeness among the pitiously inconspicuous plaques in the area, just for contrast. And spite.

My apologies to those resting at Forest Lawn. You guys deserve great monuments to your lives, not tiny plaques with a name.

Prospect Cemetery is ginormous. When you're walking through the paths, it is a forest of stone and marble. People that passed away in the 1700s, 1800s. This is a very, very old cemetery. The age shows in a lot of the older stone, weathered away, stained by eons of rain and elements. Some of them are crosses that have succumbed to vines and foliage, cracked and broken on top of other graves.

Walking deeper into the area, you see sort of a round area with sort of depression in the ground, like a moat. Except, where water would be are lots of doors, most likely burial chambers. Each of the doors have two small holes. I was curious but neglected to stuff my eye into it. It seemed a morbid thing to do, invading the private chambers of those resting for eternity.

I half expect to walk into the church, and find a legion of demons, walking skeletons, and other demonic stuff.

Weapon: Cheap tripod.
0.01 damage, +2 to stupidity

On the way out, I passed what I thought was the greatest monument, a sort of gigantic stone shrine to the cardinal or someone of Ireland, long ago. Laid out in the design of a cross, as many of them are (Ireland is predominantly Catholic), it had four small angels surrounding the stone representation of the sleeping cardinal, lying on a stone pillow. He seemed at peace, surrounded by his winged friends watching over him.

Back to the flat, I decided not to visit the botanical gardens, and instead take a nap. Delicious nap.

That.... lasted the rest of the day.

Next, Kilkenny and the countryside.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

More City Centre, Phoenix Park, and Dublin Nightlife

Woke up too early. Must be jet lag. Decided to head to the city for a bit and check out Trinity College and possibly the Jameson Whiskey Distillery, if I have time.

Odd moment on the bus. The bus takes me past a church which is uncannily the exact church that I have seen in a dream. The same look, the same architecture on its sides, and even the same steps and fenced off areas on the side. Hmm...

Walking south on O'Connell St. during the day, I stop at an internet cafe where I jot down some thoughts, upload some photos, send some emails. I decide that in the interest of time and cost, I'll write my logs and do most of the photo processing offline, then hop into some internet cafe, upload it all, and peace out. Guess I'll just write a quick blurb for now to let people know I'm alive and then take off. *That was the last blurb that I updated with this one.

Ah, Trinity College ... Very old buildings. This part of Dublin apparently used to be over a body of water.

On to the Book of Kells, a very old book of the gospels in the Bible, meticulously written and decorated with inks made from dyes from all parts of the world. Lapis lazuli, a specific kind of ore found far away from Dublin to the east. A red dye, made from pigments harvested from a specific kind of beetle in the Mediterranean. Yeesh.

Trinity Library... Fancy.

Illegal photography is really the best kind. I contemplated climbing the stairs and taking photos from the 2nd floor, but alas...

On the way back, I decide to stop off at the Stag's Head, a bar recommended in my Lonely Planet. Old women and gentlemen in the front corner getting their drink on.

I go for the meat, mushrooms, potatoes thing with a brown sauce made with Guinness. Sounds good. The reality doesn't disappoint either. It's fantastic. No beer for now though, there'll be plenty of time for that later.

Headed back to the hosts. Suz was there, and we get ready and take off toward Phoenix Park, a gigantic park to the west of where we are. It's much like Stanley Park in Vancouver, which is basically a huge park broken up into smaller areas with things to do. We rent some bikes and take off toward the recommended point. This park is HUGE. My legs totally feel the pain, especially when riding on the grass. Passing by a boring fort and riding past a bunch of trees and a semi-hidden house, I can't help but imagine myself traveling around the world of Oblivion... except, I'm on a bike instead of a horse. A lot of biking later, we reach the giant field in the center where a bunch of deer are grazing, and stop a moment to take some photos.

Continuing on... much more biking later... Alas, it was too late. The recommended area was already closed by the time we got there. Ah well. Headed back down the center road, we reach the entrance much quicker than it took to get to the back. After paying the fee, we take off back home to get ready and meet up with some of Suz's friends.

Matt, Suz and I leave the flat and head toward the city centre where we meet up with her friends, Belinda, Helen, Kelly and Renee. Another one of them shows up, Chris, a big guy with a THICK Australian accent. We go over to a Chinese/Korean restaurant. Oooh, I get to try the local Korean fare and compare it to what we have at home. Decided to get what I thought would be soon tofu, but it turned out to just be kimchi soup. Oh well, I tried a bit, it was good. Helen and Chris both opted for bi bim bap, but the spicy/nonspicy was switched, so I took the spicy one off Helen's and ate it (she got another nonspicy one as a replacement). It's good. Helluva spicy.

Cucumber whiskey + Helen.

Afterwards, we head a few steps away to the bar where the CS meet is happening. The Irish are a rowdy, fun loving, beer swigging folk. Lots of chatting and drinking. Helen isn't feeling the place for some reason (possibly a very rowdy Irishman talking to everyone passing by and making lewd jokes) so she suggests going to 4 Dame Ln (a bar appropriately named after its address). Kelly wants to grab a drink first, and I'm still really full, so instead of a beer, I went for... a bottled coke! It tastes different than in the states. Apparently, they don't use the corn syrup. Good stuff. I gotta tell you, I don't know if it's just the fact that I'm in Ireland, or I'm with all these cool people I don't know, or I'm singing along to random 80s/90s songs blasting through the air with the girls, but I'm having a fuckin blast. And I haven't even drank anything.

After we finish, we let Suz know that I'm being kidnapped away to other Irish bars and then we head off.

So many people in the streets. SO MANY. We head toward what happens to be ... the Stag's Head street, and I hear some singing going on in a nearby bar. Interested, we head on in to check things out. Apparently, all Irish people can sing very well, and this guy is no exception. From traditional Irish songs to U2 to The Killers (Mr. Brightside) he does not disappoint, hitting high notes and everything. I haven't had a bit of alcohol just yet, so you can trust me on that one.

Half pint (YES! You can get half pints. Serves me perfectly well) of Guinness and five songs later, we decide to head out to 4 Dame Ln again, literally 50 feet away. Stopping for a moment to chat with the bouncer of the Stag's Head, an idea pops into one of the girls, to take me to a bar called the Long Haul or something, and we take off.

Drunken moment of the night! I'm excellent at word vomiting, especially when I'm drunk. So, for some reason, I've been thinking that Kelly and Helen are much older than I am because I always think cool people that have their shit together are always mature, and older. We ended up discussing age somehow, and she mentioned how horrible it is to be as old as she is, and that she was 8 when it was 1990. Addled with alcohol, my brain starts putting numbers together, slowly. My mouth, however, is faster than my brain at this point, and I blurt out "Hey, I'm actually older than you guys!"

Whoops. Good thing they like me and Aussie's are very chill and laid back.

Arriving at The Long Haul, which is actually spelt The Long Hall. Here's where I decide to try one of the local ciders, called Bulmers. Nothing short of the most awesome drink ever created, I tell you. It's basically apple cider with alcohol. Deeeeeeeeeelicious. It's hard to sit down in one of their stools at this point.

Finally, we left and head to 4 Dame Ln, which reminds me of the bars/lounges back home. Lots of modern/hip hop music, it seems more trendy, more upscale. Another Bulmers later, we head upstairs to check out floor 2, which is playing Latin/Funk/Jazz music. We join tons of people dancing. Fantastic!

This is what the Irish think of the war. Great posters! Ha!

I'm holding..... a CANDLE. I don't know why. I blame Bulmers.

Downstairs for a little bit more, we decide to call it a night around 2, thanking the both of them for a wonderfully fun night. We all walk Helen to her place first, then catch a taxi back to Finglas road, which is where I'm at and near to where Kelly is.

Next, Irish Cemetery.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Dublin, Ireland

Arrived at 8:45 or so. They couldn't find the luggage till later. Got out of the Airport at 11 am.

Things I learned today:
1. Dublin is cold. Good! No sweating.
2. My bag is really heavy. I need to get rid of bag #2 (stupid tripod idea, I'm not carrying this everywhere).
3. Ah, prices. $1.45 = approx 1 Euro.
4. I'd rather starve than pay a lot for food.

Bought a Dublin City Pass for one day. 31 Euros, includes a 7 Euro (worth) one way trip to the city centre and free admission to over 40 different tours and tourist traps around the city. Sounded good, let's see what we make of it.

Standing in line, I look behind me and see this old Irish man with a wicked moustache and smoking a ... pipe!? I couldn't resist asking to take his photo.

On the way in to the city centre, I couldn't help but notice that I couldn't figure out where I was. There aren't any street signs anywhere. WTF? After stopping off, I realized that the street signs are plastered on the buildings, really high up. It's hard to read from the ground sometimes, and sometimes they don't even have signs on the buildings.

Well, time to be off. I'm starving at this point since I hadn't eaten anything for hours, so I make my way down south and then west to find Gruel, a tiny cafe restaurant thing. Not having a clue what to get, I ordered some kind of meat on a roll, which is a fancy way to say sandwich. Bottled water please. "Sparkling?" he asks. "Uhhh... regular," I respond. "Oh you mean still!" Oops.

The sandwich is some kind of salted beef (the color makes it look like ham), a radish concoction and some onion jam. Overall, the meat was decent, and the jam gave it a hint of sweetness. A bit dry, but with the bottled water it was wolfed down well enough.

Back outside, I head across the street to Dublin Castle, which isn't much of a castle left, more of a palace since it was burned down/destroyed so many years ago. Included with the City Pass is the tour, so I put myself in for the next one, and wander about for a bit before the tour started. I'll just let the photos tell the story.

Upstairs, a view of the rear courtyard. Looks like a bunch of swirls in the grass.

The swirls turn out to be snakes.

After the tour is over, I head on over to the Christ's Church Cathedral. It's something wondrous to see such an old building. The design of the interior is spectacular. So much detail in the ceilings and floors.

Out of the cathedral, I'm heading to the much anticipated James Gate Brewery where the Guinness Storehouse is at. It's odd, the further away I leave the City Centre and closer I get to the Guinness Storehouse, the ghettoer it seems to get. Graffiti, cramped housing...

Finally, to the top of the Guinness Storehouse where I get my pint and a 360 degree view of Dublin, Ireland. Yummm.....

Things I saw today:
Dublin City Centre
The Spire
Christ's Church Cathedral
Dublin Castle
Guinness Storehouse, and a complimentary pint
Blurry, somewhat spinning Dublin. Thank you pint.

I present to you, Evolution Guinness:

Here's the Flickr series

Got back to Suz and Matt's place at around 7:30. Jet lag hitting me. I fell asleep and leaned against someone on the bus, like three times. No internet at their place =( It's OK, I'll find places like here in the city Centre where I can do things. Bit expensive though. Posts will be sparse and infrequent. I wish I could write more, but I'm cheap. Sorry! I'll write more when I get to Kilkenny and the internet is free. Whee!

Anyone who sees my mom and/or dad, please reassure her that I'm safe and doing well. I let her know already, but it can't hurt and will just put her more at ease, hopefully.

And now, for the photos... Flickr time!

Next, more of Dublin and it's nightlife.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


6:41 am.

I have been:
- Adding songs to iPod.
- Adding photos to iPod.
- Becoming progressively hungrier.
- Adding notes on how to get to the first stop... to iPod.
- Making the most detailed map of Dublin EVER. I'll be damned if I get lost on the first day.
- Ignoring the hunger.
- Charging everything electronic that I'll need. Like the iPod.
- Constantly thinking about the last few items to pack (electronics junk).
- Not sleeping.

Still not that nervous yet. Odd.

Arriving in Dublin...

Monday, September 17, 2007


On September 20th, 2007, I depart Los Angeles on a flight that will seem to last forever, and arrive on Sept. 21st, 8:40 am in Dublin, Ireland.... without a return ticket.

This is my home away from home, and possibly where I'll jot down some of my meanderings as I go. Unless I have to pay a lot for internet. Then, well... this home is gonna be pretty damn sparse.

My journey, and yours if you wish to follow along, begins here.

What's new:

See the left side column for what's latest under L A T E S T R A M B L I N G S

Links to country specific photo sets are left at V I S U A L L Y S T I M U L A T I N G

For adventure

Some of you may know that I have been wanting to take off to Europe for a while, and it's slowly evolved from a very rigidly structured tour package (last year), into a less structured but still decently planned block of time, into a still somewhat structured but less so open ended thing, which is pretty much where it is now.

Well it's official. I'm leaving this Thursday (September 20th) to start in Dublin, Ireland, and from there work my way around the bulk of Western Europe to see, to photograph, to meet people, and of course, to eat deliciously. My one-way-ticket means I don't know how long I'll be gone. I'm gonna miss you guys terribly, but I'll figure out some kind of blog or thing you can keep checking once in a while.

Dublin, Ireland
London, Britain
Paris, France

^ Those are planned out so far. Below are the things I want to see too, but are not rigidly planned.

Brussels, Belgium
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Berlin, Germany
Vienna, Austria
Zurich and Lichtenstein
Florence/Rome, Italy - I imagine I would stay here a while.
Athens, Greece - Possibly a bit here too
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Madrid, Spain
Lisbon, Portugal

Aye, quite a long list. It's bound to change at any time. Maybe I'll feel like not visiting a certain area, or I've scratched my travel itch halfway. At any rate, I'll probably be gone for a while, and would love to see some of you out there if you feel like you're also itching for some travel, if you can afford to ditch responsibilities...

Also, if you happen to know relatives or friends out there, I'd love to know. If anything, it'd be fun to meet more people along the way~

I'll leave you with this, cuz my friend Andrew sung that one famous line, and I thought it seemed to fit. This isn't the original, but I thought it was sung beautifully.

Take care of yourselves, and I'll see you when I get back!


Next, the Pregame...