Monday, July 2, 2012

Friends with Benefits

she said:

One of the benefits of making friends while traveling is having awesome new friends. A second is having very good reasons to visit places that might otherwise be off your regular radar.

At the invitations of people met while on the road we were encouraged to venture into smaller cities and towns that we hadn't considered, and sometimes hadn't heard of, and in each found different but equally good ways to pass the time.

he said:

I now know I prefer country to cities, hands down.  The great part about Europe is that even when you live in a small village with only a few hundred people it is still fully accessible to an area where you can get all of the city necessities. A few examples of such villages;

Heesch, Netherlands

Heesch was so good because we got to put our feet up for a few days and take it easy. I know what most of you are thinking, "Put your feet up, seriously?"  Well, you would be surprised how exhausting it is to travel.  You're rarely in a comfortable bed, in order to save money you create the longest itineraries with unheard of layovers, etc. etc. etc.

Anyway, back to the feet up part.  We played cards, watched movies, drank numerous coffees, and took slow strolls in the rain.  This still counts as taking in culture, even though we weren't surrounded by a bunch of other foreigners who were snapping pictures everywhere.  (At least that's what I tell myself).

she said:

Rain kept us mostly indoors, but Heesch turned out to be the perfect haven for getting over that nagging cough and lightening the section of my bag dedicated to reading material load.

A walk through the park on a less rainy day. The fried delicious that is dutch fast food:

Sommery, France

he said:

Located in Upper Normandy you can find Sommery... but you'll need an incredibly detailed map.  I think the population is between six and eight hundred and it's about 30 minutes north east of Rouen pronounced:  "rrrrrrrrrrhhhhhnnnnn" like the sound an engine makes.

I could move here. It and everything you have in the area is divine. Culture, food, scenery, life is just hard to beat.

The sights of Sommery.

she said:

Sommery meant easy train access to the aforementioned Rouen, site of Joan of Arc's death, and home to plenty of history. And as an added bonus (as if a full fridge and beds in a country cottage weren't enough) our cute as a button hostess finagled some guest insurance so we could borrow her car for a day while she was stuck at the office. I'm a over of the European train system, but for getting down and up Normandy's northern coastline, it must be a ROAD TRIP!

Around Rouen: Inside the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen. Joan of Arc Memorial site. Tour Jeanne d'Arc.

Roadside attractions from Le Tréport to Étretat.

Heidelburg, Germany

he said:

University towns have the best energy! The students all have such infectious attitudes and it might be because they live in such an inspirational place. Take an afternoon to wander along Philosopher's Walk (Philosophenweg). All the while you'll be able to see the castle, old town, and river valley.  I assure you inspiration in some form or another will strike you.

Heidelberg Castle, home to the second largest beer keg in the world.

Walking around Heidelberg.

she said:

Being the guests of a German student had other perks too! Fun nights out, access to the Mensa (delicious student dining hall), and an invite to some human-meets-street art.

"Bodies in Urban Spaces," choreographed by Willi Dorner and performed by Heidelberg University students.

Please give us the chance to return the hospitality! Thank You sooo much Lawrence, Emily, Felix, and to your families and roommates for putting up with us and showing us your worlds. Hello to all the other friends we hope to meet along the way.

 Here's to you friends!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In Bruges

she said:

The end is near and we've wanted to pack in as much as we can, the result is we've gotten a bit lazy in our writing. So though we spent the majority of our Belgium time in the student town of Antwerp  – in an amazing converted chocolate factory hostel – we dedicate this post to our day trip to Bruges.

Our reason for visiting was shallow - a very dark comedy filmed in the city by the name of In Bruges. We spent the day looking for sights from the movie, and recalling various quotes.

Please excuse the language. Thanks for being patient. Hello fairy-tale city. 

"In Bruges" said:

Harry: It's a fairytale town, isn't it? How's a fairytale town not somebody's f*ing thing? 

Yuri: You use this word, alcoves?
Ken: Alcoves, yes. Sometimes.
Yuri: There are not many people around in these alcoves at Christmas time. If I were to murder a man I would murder him here. Are you sure this is the right word, alcoves?
Ken: Alcoves, yes. It's kind of like nooks and crannies.
Yuri: Nooks and crannies, yes! Perhaps this would be more accurate. Nooks and crannies rather than alcoves. Yes.

Ray: Do you think this is good?
Ken: Do I think what's good?
Ray: You know, going around in a boat, looking at stuff?
Ken: Yes, I do. It's called sight-seeing.

Ray: Harry, I've got an idea.
Harry: What?
Ray: My room faces out the canal, right? I'm going to go back to me room, jump into the canal, see if I can swim to the other side and escape.
Harry: All right.
Ray: If you go outside around the corner, you can shoot at me from there and try to get me. That way we'll leave this lady and her baby out of the whole entire thing.
Harry: You completely promise to jump into the canal? I don't want to run out there, come back in ten minutes, and find you f*ing hiding in a cupboard.

Ray: One gay beer for my gay friend, one normal beer for me because I am normal.

Ken: Coming up?
Ray: What's up there?
Ken: The view.
Ray: The view of what? The view of down here? I can see that down here.
Ken: Ray, you are about the worst tourist in the whole world.

Ken: I know I'm awake but it feels like I'm in a dream.

Ray: And I realized, f* man, maybe that's what hell is: the entire rest of eternity spent in f*in' Bruges. And I really really hoped I wouldn't die. I really really hoped I wouldn't die.

he said:
Many apologies for anyone who doesn't find this post absolutely side splitting but I do.  If you want to understand the references and you don't mind swear words then watch the movie. If you don't then please wait patiently for our next post ;).