Thursday, April 12, 2007

Well I am returned from my trip to Europe and I had a wonderful time. It all began with an endless 24 hour long day of flying from Seattle to Washington DC to Amsterdam to Copenhagen to Aberdeen. Sadly everytime we touched down in a new country we had to go through customs and security again even though we weren't leaving the airport. At least I got more stamps in my passport out of the deal. Here is a picture of the spot we found to hole up in Amsterdam waiting for our next flight.

The airport in Amsterdam was very impressive. The place reminded me a bit of Bellevue Square with the amount of shopping there was available. Do people really buy electronics and clothes while waiting at the airport? One of the few advantages of the long flights was all the movies I was able to see including Stranger than Fiction, Notes on a Scandal, and Man of the Year.

Once we arrived in Aberdeen we were exhuasted and collapsed into bed. The next day Jill showed us the town and it was crazy just how old everything there was. Here is a picture of her school which was built in the 1400s!!

The next stop was Ediburgh which was a much larger city and it was interesting to see the meshing of the modern city with history of the place. They even have a castle dominating their shoppping district. We stayed here at a hostel called the Globetrotter Inn. Overall the place was really nice, clean and secure and we'd probably stay there agian, but it felt strangely like being back in camp. One of a highlights in Edinburgh was the underground tour which went way way underground.

Here are some pictures from Edinburgh:

Next on the trip was to fly to Madrid. We arrived in Madrid late at night and our taxi driver had the hardest time finding our hotel. It turned out the place was very close to Km. 0 at the center of the city but it was on a pedestrian only street. Here is a picture of El Busca Del Tiempo where we stayed for four nights in Madrid:

In the end, the place actually turned out to be great. The location was near ideal at the center of everything and the restaurant in the bottom of the building gave us free breakfast every morning. We went out our first day and saw all the sights. We toured the palace and then that night we saw a performance of the Producers in spanish. The next day was the museums and the last day was spent wandering around the city. I loved how pedestrian oriented the place was. Everywhere you went was people walking. Here are some pictures of our time in Madrid:

The next stop on our trip was Barcelona. I was really excited to visit Barcelona, but unfortunately most of the time we were there it rained. We did have enough time though on our first day to catch a ride on a lion. After that we saw Las Ramblas a touristy boulevard full of pet venders and then attempted to make our way up Mont Juic only to get trapped up there in the downpour. The next day we spent mostly on a tour bus trying to stay out of the rain, but we did get time to see La Sagrada Familia as pictured below. It is this crazy cathredal being build by Gaudi which has been under construction since the 1800's and isn't expected to be finished any time soon.

The last stop on our trip was a full day in London. It was crazy busy and learning the Tube and bus system took some time. But it was sunny and in the low 70s which made walking a pleasure and we quickly walked to a lot of the downtown Lodon sights (ie St Pauls Cathredal, Buckingham Palace and The Giant Eye). That evening when we could walk no more we caught a showing of Sunshine which isn't expected to open in the states till December. Unfortunately it wasn't very good.

I know there is a million more things I could write in here and I am hardly doing the trip justice, but this will need to suffice for now. More pictures at

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