worldwide walkabout the tiniest bird takes a walk.

26Sep/100

sweet sophia! munich, germany

lovely sophia whom i had nice adventures with in jordan insisted i come to munich for a visit. she was just returning after seven months of internships and travel but was still energetic to show me her beautiful hometown! it was so nice to meet her friends, her sister julia, and the rest of her family. sophia and her family are great chefs! i was completely spoiled.

we arrived just before the start of octoberfest-apparently months are spent setting up/tearing down for this monsterous festival. the whole place was certainly gearing up! watched the assemblage progress of the ferris wheel and other rides. sophia and julia work as pretzel vendors each year and have interesting stories to tell...

26Sep/100

outstanding prague, czech republic

finally! made it to prague! even the metro tickets were beautiful!

stayed in a lovely hostel by the vltava river which felt more like an apartment. enjoyed collecting groceries, unlocking doors with my big set of keys, and pretending that my home was here! gorgeous place, aside from the horrible money changers who prey on tourists (who aren't paying enough attention).

in addition to wandering the gorgeous old town, prague castle, and parks, i also made it to a ballet at the national theater. the performance wasn't quite what i expected but it was beautiful nonetheless. i sat next to a former ballet dancer/fashion model from brazil and it was so interesting to hear about his life. he's currently working in prague as a biologist and i was impressed that he seems to have fit in so many lifetimes before reaching age 30!

9Sep/100

misadventuring in slovakia

from zakopane i made the short jaunt to slovakia in hopes of hiking in better weather. spent one night at a wacky hostel in zdiar, hiked in more very cold rain (there was snow in the mountains when i was leaving slovakia) and met some guys who were heading to bardajov, a place they called "toy town." i decided on a short whim to join them and thought i'd be able to make it back to zakopane that same day.

turned out toy town was a bust and the bus schedules were amazingly inconvenient all over the eastern side of the country! we spent most of the day on various buses, spent the night in an lukewarm hotel in kosice, enjoyed what we could of the place and in the morning we all headed separate directions. spent the whole next day on buses in order to connect back to poland! should have taken more photos of the many hours waiting for buses.

i enjoyed some cheap, tasty meals in slovakia and most of all loved finding a super awesome abandoned hotel from the pre-communist era. here are some slovak highlights:

9Sep/100

rainy zakopane, poland

when i got on the bus to the tatra mountains, zakopane i expected a quiet mountain village. i was in for a surprise! i arrived on the friday afternoon of a festival weekend-streets were absolutely packed with polish tourists and my hostel was right next to mcdonalds.

because of the cold rain, i was only able to hike for part of the day. for some of it i was also hiking on a paved road with tons of people! that part was a bust. i did, however, meet a hilarious old lady who sold me some strange secondhand outfits. she poked me in the crotch with her finger when showing me one of the outfits.

9Sep/100

auschwitz and birkenau, poland

journeyed to oswiecim to pay respect to the millions who suffered or died in the holocaust. one only begins to get an idea of the scale of the crimes which occurred in these death camps by the size of the sites, by the seas of belongings pillaged, by photographic records.

9Sep/100

craic! krakow, poland

from berlin i took a shuttle to szczecin a polish border town. immediately it felt like a new country-the streetcars were antique, people's faces were distinctly different, and i noticed that polish folk like beer!

the train car to krakow was a rotating door of characters: one man was bringing home two orchids, another snored and smacked his mouth (and overslept for his stop), another was so drunk that the train conductor had to shake him many times (he offered the conductor a cigarette instead of a ticket in the end), and my favorite-a man who spoke to me in polish for a long long time. i caught a few words like "karate" and did a karate chop for him. he offered sandwiches. then he insisted on sandwiches. then he shook sandwiches in my face so i went to sleep. he woke me up later so that i'd listen to his mp3 player.

krakow was much different than szczecin and i was surprised by all of the fancy malls and restaurants. the main square was beautiful and there was much to see close to krakow, including the wieliczka salt mine museum. with 700 years of history, it was the oldest underground mine. there are apparently thousands of kilometers of tunnels but now all the salt is gone-no more mining. the walls, floors, even the chandeliers where made of salt which made me want to lick everything.

3Sep/100

vast berlin, germany

what a relief it was to arrive in berlin-the prices suited me! i even found some trader joe's products in the supermarkets...felt right at home. there's so much incredible art in vast berlin!!! (vast in history, vast geographically, vastly rich in culture) i especially liked the bauhaus archive.

after wandering around for a few days at my leisure i met up with felix, a german guy i met hitchhiking in the patagonia. he and his friends were just moving to berlin from hamburg so it was a few days of absolute mayhem.