Sunday, October 21, 2012

munich and me

what an amazing small town atmosphere in munich. it is VERY different from berlin. berlin has that new york city feel to it. munich? not even close and i didn't say that in a demeaning way. munich...or shall we say bavaria is much cleaner, older population, and much less crime rate. let's say 4 berlin pickpockets to 1 bavarian pickpocket. i felt very safe in munich.

went on a free walking tour sponsored by our hostel. but you know how it is with those free walking tours. you have to tip. if you don't tip, you're an asshole. our tour guide was ozzie....best tour guide ever! i felt i became very much of a local after the tour. a non-german speaking local at that. ozzie did not just showed us the landmarks of munich. he informed us about the history, the birth of the nazi party, the positive significance of adolf hitler, difference between berlin and munich, economy, their clean water, and how much bavarians love their beer.

i really enjoyed our time in hofbrauhaus. shared a table with a bunch of good people - fellow travelers. the advantage of missing oktoberfest is the beer price. so yeah we definitely enjoyed that. oh by the way, hofbrauhaus was where the nazi party had their first meeting.

every trip changes you. mostly, for the better. that's why i encourage people to travel. try something new, see something amazing, learn something foreign, understand better, adapt, and meet wonderful people along the way.

munich is a city that embraces its identity. bavarians live among the history, not in history.

m√ľnchen mag dich!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

prague and me

prague is rich with in-your-face beauty. all you have to do is look around. the history between the old town and new town and the story of its people's faith is pretty amazing to learn about.

for me, it's quite hard to imagine that the city was walled and had a moat. the catholicism that people practice there is still very present. i got to attend mass at the beautiful st. nicholas church right in the heart of old town square. thank god (see what i did there? hehe) they read the bible verses in english as well and not just in czech. quite an experience for me since i never bothered to attend catholic masses at all. the church was very solemn. it was different.

we met four fellow edmontonians (unusual, i know.) on our castle tour. after the tour, we all decided to go up the petrin tower together. as if we are not already captivated enough by prague, eh? the view from up there was amazing. the sun was setting too so it's double amazing.

every trip changes you. mostly, for the better. that's why i encourage people to travel. try something new, see something amazing, learn something foreign, understand better, adapt, and meet wonderful people along the way.

on our second day there, i woke up early so i could enjoy a much less tourist infested charles bridge. got all the shots i wanted, enjoyed looking at every statue, and properly rubbed st. john of nepomuk's statue and made a wish. it was fantastic!

prague is very cheap....if you have euros, dollars, and pounds. i made $80 CDN last for 2.5 days...souvenir shopping included. truth fact: in praha, beer is cheaper than water. i really wish i had room in my backpack so i could've bought more stuff there.

unfortunately, i didn't go to plzen due to time constraints. look up plzen and you'll know why i wanted to go there so bad. czech food is delicious too. i didn't have goulash but their version of roast beef and potatoes was darn good! "celebrated" canadian thanksgiving in prague too. jodie and myself had chicken kebabs and fruit beers. chicken...turkey...same difference.

for way more than the second time, i am very grateful for a rad and loving family, amazing friends who doesn't require much, and being able to see and experience the rest of the world first hand. it's very humbling from where i am standing.

(belated) happy thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

berlin and me

berlin - so much history to take in. good and bad parts of history...its history. but if it weren't for the past, the city will never ever be what it is today. the bullet marks on every building tells a story.

every trip changes you. mostly, for the better. that's why i encourage people to travel. try something new, see something amazing, learn something foreign, understand better, adapt, and meet wonderful people along the way.

went to tour the sachsenhausen concentration camp in orianenberg. we all know about the nazi history but we never knew enough. the game changer really is when you visit a concentration camp. brutal.

got to meet a bunch of good people at our hostel too. most of them are staying in berlin for 2 weeks to a month...or more. fun vagabonds. lots of aussie backpackers too.

there are too many to see and experience in berlin. museum square alone...oh man, i loved that area. the dome church, specially. i highly recommend visiting this place. the architecture, inside and out, is just breathtaking. also, wilhelm's body is kept in the crypt. so eerie down there with all the different royal coffins.

definitely going to visit berlin again. four days isn't close to being enough. really. i now have a better understanding of why travelers love berlin.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

amsterdam and me

every trip changes you. mostly, for the better. that's why i encourage people to travel. try something new, see something amazing, learn something foreign, understand better, adapt, and meet wonderful people along the way.

my take away from amsterdam is definitely the locals. it is an amazing city, yes, no doubt about that. but the locals are definitely something else. they are incredibly friendly to their visitors. visitors pick up on it right away so there's a quick mutual respect right there. pick pockets? pfft. give me a break. there are pick pockets everywhere.

as far as sight seeing goes, i think i saw everything that i wanted to see. funny that the comments i got on social media we're mostly about going to red light district and coffeeshoping. but then there's me, figuring out where the begijnhof is, the oude kerk, nieuwe kerk, rembrandtplein, anne frank house, vondelpark, koninklijk paleis, etc.

there is absolutely a ton more about amsterdam than girls in the window and flying high as a kite. amsterdam is a very beautiful city!