Tuesday, June 01, 2004
ok, i know i have been lax on the emails but finding internet access has been harder than i expected and much more expensive (venice = $10 per hour!) now i am sitting at a free computer at the tourist office.
i have travelled through london, paris and venice and now am in my fourth location.
here is a short summary of my trip
london was lovely. i visited my good friend sean and his wife in their lovely home and attempted to focus my travels on ethnic london, visiting brick lane, a bangladeshi community, and brixton, a carribean community. london is bustling and weathly. there is gentrification everywhere which is sprucing up the architecture and leading to the rebirth of whole new areas of the city.
my first trip to paris was a big success. my parents had rented an apartment on the left bank in the heart of everything. that meant i was able to walk to almost everything. i spent six days seeing everything! and i mean everything. my mom and i bought three day museum passes so we spent all those days in and out of museums and really learning alot. i also had plenty of time for long mornings in cafes reading the papaer and drinking cafe ole (yes, for those of you that know that i dont drink coffee, i did in paris, afterall its what the parisians do!)
i was struck by how historic everthing in paris is. its amazing that they have been able to keep it so beautiful and fight the development forces. i do think that i was best not born in the ages of kings. those houses seem awfully big and cold, compared to my small cosy tastes!
for a waterfront advocate there could be no more perfect place! i rode the ferries so much that i began to sway on the sidewalks. i basically explored by boat and would just get off at stops i had never been to and see whats around that area. it worked really well, since i was able to escape the MANY american tourists and see where real venicians lived.
i have never been somewhere so magical. the buildings are ornate. the islands are charming. i went out and watched glass blowing and sat for many hours reading the paper over yummy italian food.
ok, now to a really cool place. this is a lovely little city brimming over with charm. there are tons of outdoor restaurants surrounded by historic buildings under the gaze of a castle on a hill. the people here are very nice and seem quite well to do. this has always been a wealthy hamlet that was part of yugoslavia.
on my first night here, i arrived at the coolest hostel in the world! its in an alternative arts area and was a former prison that has been beautifully renovated by a team of artists. each cell/room has its own individual design. they still have the original metal gates. in the lobby of the hostel there is a bar and a restaurant. there was a fantastic band on the first night along with one of the soccer games in the euro 2004 tournament. the place was hopping.
the second day, i went down into town and the streets were filled with people and i mean filled. there was a road bike race in one street and an outdoor rock concert in a nearby park. and of course and group of hari krishnas playing music to make the experience even more unusual! everyone was young. there were people sitting in all the outdoor bars. it was kind of overwhelming! (in a good way!)
today, i am wandering around. tomorrow is their national holiday, so tonight their philharmonic will play beethovens 9th and the streets are supposed to be alive with more activity.
tomorrow i am off to budapest!
hope all is well!
Posted by Cordelia