Holidays were awesome, but having left reportage until the very end I’m ensure how to relate the adventures.
Perhaps selecting a simple sample highlight from each city will suffice:
I’m happy to report that the Eiffel Tower is pretty sweet. But crowded. Other than that not even close to disappointing. One of my all-time favorite towers.
Much sightseeing to be seen, but watching “Paris, je t’aime” on dvd and drinking champagne at the apartment in Montmartre we were graciously lent through couchsurfing was something awesome. Not pounding the pavement with the tourist hordes, but rather enjoying a civilized beverage in a Parisienne apartment and watching an excellent collection of shorts dedicated to the city of l’amour.
I still like that place. Watched AS Roma beat Inter 1-0 to win the SuperCoppa. Went to Camden Town, behind the Colosseum at the suggestion of Corentin. Yelled in Italian at the terrible refereeing. Cheered in Italian when Roma scored. The goal was on a penalty kick earned by talismanic captain Francesco Totti, he elected to have midfielder Daniele de Rossi take it. De Rossi fucking drilled it home. Much was made of the significance of Rometown golden boy and present captain Totti having hometown golden boy and future captain De Rossi take the kick.
I greatly enjoyed seeing a Roma team stronger than ever, playing against and beating last years Scudetto winners. I especially enjoyed having the chance to watch that game in Rome, with a bunch of diehard tifosi. My people. We partied.
Lots of impressive looking buildings. best of all is not any of the imperial Baroque opera house or justice palace. But rather the work of architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000), specifically his Hundertwasser House. His name means Peace Kingdom Hundred Water and his architectural vision means “hodgepodge of the charmingly absurd.”
Attended a couchsurfing barbecue on the Danube with our host Michael and a fellow Canadian. Many were there. Ate some wurst. Afterwards we stopped on the way home at an unmarked bar. They playing some cinematic orchestra and the walls were covered in black-and-white distorted grid projections. Spacious, funky, and not just off the tourist map, off the fucking grid.
My God this city is incredibly beautiful. Everything about it was awesome, excepting all the other people who were also there to see it.
Our first night there we scooted out of our hotel and were brave enough to get close to the Charles Bridge before aborting that mission to look for dinner.
We found a restaurant called Stoletti with delicious food (and beer) and rock bottom prices. We sat outside a stones throw from the Vlatva and feasted like royalty. The food was elegantly presented Czech cuisine and with appetizer, two mains, 2 beers, water, bread dessert and a whiskey it came to 25 bucks (we think; we never did get the hang of the conversion). A bargain at 3x the price.
The clerk at Lollis Homestay (best hostel I’ve ever stayed in bar absolutely none) told us about a street party going on that very night not too many blocks from us. We borrowed a couple of the free bikes(!) they had and cycled over.
The area was jammed with German punks and hippies and good time funsters clambering around the streets, beers and smokes in hand. The music was excellent including:
the dj set of fresh bigbreakbeats on the urban beach; the the 5 piece funk band with the honey-throated singer; and the experimental polka band with the sweaty, fat, pasty, shirtless bass drum player. Well worth a couple passes up the street, and would’ve been nice to hang out a little longer.
Train Ride Home
The (3) train ride(s) from Dresden to Leipzig, to Cologne to Brussels was long and not very excited. The one standout would be, after craving Burger King for an awfully long time, I managed to consume that fast and delicious food in the Cologne train station. It did make Chiara queasy, but it made me very ahppy.