Sunday, June 26, 2011

Brand New Experiences

So far this trip is Europe has been surprise after surprise... I have not been sure about any of the next steps I will take since arriving in Rota, Spain.  I am not even sure which day I arrived although I could figure it out with a little bit of calculating and the date on my EU Railpass.  Yes, I really need to draw a map of my travels.  This trip will be worth it even if I have to eat Ramen Noodles for the first half year of my career as an officer!  But I doubt very much this will happen...

Anyway, now I am in Vienna, Austria and it has been quite an amazing adventure.  I lost one computer plug in Delft, Netherlands... and one quick-dry towel: location unknown.  Otherwise I have everything, and more importantly everything that is important.  I have been taking more and more pictures as the trip progresses and seen many old faces from Coimbra.  Sometimes I have heard or seen things that answer questions I had when I left Portugal, and sometimes I realize that I myself am different from when we were in Portugal.  I am more confident, I speak a little more all the languages I have tried, and I am confident about traveling around.  And yes I realize I have repeated myself a little.

So obviously I did not materialize in Vienna.  I arrived in Rota, Spain with some spontaneous allies: graduates of academies besides myself.  However, of the four of us, I had the most experience (in my opinion from what I could gather) in Europe.  Unfortunately was one guy with a guide to travel Europe which he had highlighted in many places.  I still believe there were many different ways for him to go about his travel plans and traveling with us was not optimal for him.  Somehow or another we ended up sticking together to get out of Spain and we went from Rota by taxi to Cadiz, Spain which was a recommendation from one of my friends who did Erasmus in Coimbra.  He said Cadiz was a nice party and university town, and indeed it was a great place to stop for the night.  The next day we got lost finding the train station, which was the beginning of my annoyance with Guidebook Boy who insisted that all the pointless walking was the true European experience.  The bastard had a fancily packed proper hiking bag mounted lightly on his shoulders and I was carrying my duffel bag, and had no intention of hiking around with it anywhere... I had not packed hiking boots for just that reason.  At any rate at the train station I convinced everyone the bus was better to get to Seville, and from Seville the other guy and myself bought EU Railpasses, which makes rail travel free!  But you still have to pay for reservations on high speed trains, but it easily pays for itself when you look how much you have saved.

There are more intricate stories I promise, but now I need sleep again.  This is what I will leave you with: from Seville to Madrid to Barcelona, all in Spain.  Then from Barcelona to Paris and for a few days there with a friend, and then Paris to Delft in the Netherlands and finally from Delft to Vienna.  I have tried one entirely exciting new thing after another sometimes food, and sometimes experiences, once a drinking game which I highly do not recommend but that story must wait until I get some sleep and have a computer and internet once more... adieu, adieu... ate logo

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