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a travel blog by pathaley

The rantings and ravings of a madman traveling across Europe.

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San Antonio, United States

permalink written by  pathaley on June 17, 2008 from San Antonio, United States
from the travel blog: Eurotrip
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Houston, United States

permalink written by  pathaley on June 17, 2008 from Houston, United States
from the travel blog: Eurotrip
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Seperated at Birth?

San Antonio, United States

I was looking through my camera when I stumbled across these pictures.

The duo bear a frighteningly striking resemblance to each other. I have come to the conclusion that they were separated at birth.

Thank you to everyone who came to visit me on my last day in San Antonio until August. I've been gone about eight hours and I already miss everyone so much. Well with the exception of this guy, he never came to say goodbye.

No worries John. I understand you were tired and I still love ya.

My flight to Barcelona leaves on June 20 and on the way back I depart from Istanbul on August 14 which should put me back in San Antonio around 11:00p on the fourteenth. I will have my laptop the entire time so if you want to reach you can leave me a comment on here or by one of the following methods:
Email: patrickhaley18@gmail.com
AIM: particlepat
MSN: patrickhaley18@gmail.com
Skype: cpt.pat


permalink written by  pathaley on June 17, 2008 from San Antonio, United States
from the travel blog: Eurotrip
tagged Houston, SanAntonio and Twins

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London, United Kingdom

permalink written by  pathaley on June 21, 2008 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Eurotrip
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Barcelona, Spain

permalink written by  pathaley on June 21, 2008 from Barcelona, Spain
from the travel blog: Eurotrip
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First Few days in Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

Here's an update on my trip from day one:
The flight over here was great. Houston to London was long, and when I found my seat on the plane I was seated next to some old nagging German women. Apparently their chairs weren't comfortable enough so the demanded better seats. This was great for me because I now had a whole row of seats to myself. And to top it off I was a preselected seat to take a survey of British Airways. Along with the survey I received complimentary wines of my choice. I managed to fall asleep for part of the flight, however when I woke up finally there was a creepy Filipino man in the chair next to mine. The layover in London was gruesome and painstakingly long. I I made several friends on the flight to Barcelona though. This couple from Florida and these two girls from College Station. When I landed I took the first train to Montmelo.

So far everything in Barcelona is great. I'm staying in this mansion run by four friends. Pablo who is from Spain, Thijs and Paul who are from Holland and Greg who is from Manchester. The place is really cool. It is sort of like a hostel and mainly fellow couchsurfers are staying here at the moment. Some of the guests and I went to la playa naturalista. It's pretty much the nude beach of Barcelona where all of the tourist that spill off of the cruise lines avoid or don't know about. La playa is really a huge beach party. After that we wandered around Las Ramblas which is the main street here in Barcelona. We missed the train that night because the last train runs at 12a and the first train doesn't start until 5a. It was a long night so I stayed on the beach with my friends Niels and Tina who were catching their bus back home in Denmark at 3. They were really nice and they said I can stay with them if I go to Denmark, so I think I'll take them up on that offer.

Yesterday I walked around Las Ramblas and found some cool little alleyways to explore. I found a small tapas restaurant that is kind of off the beaten path and had a good Catalan meal and read my book. About 2 hours later I was standing near the Christopher Columbus statue and someone bumped into me. My first reaction was to check my pockets and sure enough € 20 was missing from pocket. I sprinted after him and he grabbed another man's bag on the way. I chased him down through the metro and hopped the gates after him. He dropped the man's bag on the platform and then jumped across the tracks right before the train came and he got away. I returned the man's bag to him and as it turns out he is a wealthy architect and resort owner in Mexico. He owns a 5 star hotel in Nueva Vallarta and after posing in some pictures for him he handed me a business card and said I am welcome to stay in his hotel anytime I am in Mexico. That night the neighbors invited us over for a dinner party and paella.

Today François and I explored the west side of Barcelona on foot and walked around the gardens on the outskirts on the residential areas. We saw the olympic statdium and a really cool Greek theater. After a meal at a tapas we took the metro to see Camp Nou. Camp Nou is the massive soccer stadium that is home to the pretigous FC Barcelona.

In the next couple days I am going to try and catch a train to Portugal or the south of France. Depending on which is cheaper. I apologize for updating everyone as often as I should. I will try to update more frequently in the future. I would upload some pictures for you but it's currently 2:30a and I don't feel like doing it. No worries though, I promise to show you some pictures soon.


permalink written by  pathaley on June 24, 2008 from Barcelona, Spain
from the travel blog: Eurotrip
tagged Spain, Barcelona, Paella, Catalunya and Catalan

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Update: Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

I absolutely love this city and would love to live here one day. One of my favorite parts about Barcelona is it's artistic graffiti scene. I came across this wall a few days ago with François.

I was going through my camera today and came across my mate Pete. He was a cool guy and we parted ways several days ago. Hopefully we should be in Amsterdam the same week though.

I've also been getting quite a few questions and emails about the mansion I'm living in. It's a huge villa located a short train ride from the city center in a suburb of Barcelona called Montmeló.

Here's the back yard of the place. The hairy Englishman you see in the picture is my mate, Greg. He is one of the owners of the house and is a cool guy. He's one of those people who has a thousand stories to share.
  • *edit: I have a feeling that Greg and I are going to be friends for years to come. I know we'll be parting soon, but I'll come across him again one day.**

  • Today has been a lot of fun. I met these two Canadian girls a couple days ago and we've been hanging out all day. We went for a swim in the pool and then took a walk around Park Güell.

    It's a famous park in Spain, but I don't want to bore you so I'll spare the details. We took the metro to the beach and chilled there and just watched people for a couple hours. We came home around 8:30p because all of Paul's and Thijs's old school mates came to visit for a few nights and Greg, the house chef, cooked us a paella feast to celebrate. This weekend will be an interesting one. Not only are there a bunch of crazy dutch guys running around, but Greg's mates from Manchester will be arriving soon too. And to top it all off, Sunday is the final match of the UEFA Euro; Spain vs. Germany. Luckily both England and Holland have already been eliminated or it would be a blood bath in the house. The last few games when Spain progressed through the quarter and semi finals Barcelona has turned completely chaotic. Whenever a goal is scored the entire city erupts with fireworks and cheers of joy. I'm looking forward to seeing the game from the city center.

    Here are my Canadian friends. Melissa (left) and Tammy (right). When we got back from the beach all of the Dutch guys were passed out all over the house so they decided to stir one of them from his slumber. He was very surprised to say the least.


    permalink written by  pathaley on June 27, 2008 from Barcelona, Spain
    from the travel blog: Eurotrip
    tagged Spain, Europe, Barcelona and GoodTimes

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    Queidersbach, Germany

    permalink written by  pathaley on July 1, 2008 from Queidersbach, Germany
    from the travel blog: Eurotrip
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    Last Days in Barcelona & First Days in Queidersbach

    Barcelona, Spain

    My last few days in Barcelona were great. I was really sad to leave. I spent the last day by myself long boarding around the city. I decided to take this picture too.

    Also I put a couple videos I filmed on YouTube. You can see them both by visiting the following links.
    Video 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEk4I7q6seg
    Video 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkqHi0f6k8w

    By the way, I love this picture. The yellow stuff on the ground are flower petals that fell from the trees. The trees were in full bloom and the entire city was covered in these yellow flower petals.

    When I got back that night we had a video in honor of me. It was fun and here are a couple memorable photos. On the left you'll see an egg dripping from my face, it's pretty self explanatory. Then on the right you see Paul, myself, Carly, and Paulina.

    Also I took a couple videos of Las Ramblas literally about five minutes after Spain beat Germany.
    Video 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fx-rk1EwffM
    Video 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f5MsmTU4pk&NR=1

    Unfortunately my time in this city has come to an end. I woke up early Tuesday morning and caught the train to Barcelona Sants to catch the bus to the city of Reus, where my flight was. At the bus terminal a goofy short man started speaking to me in Spanish.

    Now this was a challenge because I speak a very broken Spanish. Meaning I can somewhat understand and somewhat communicate with him. I usually just pick out key nouns and verbs and piece them together into one sentence and hope for the best. And to speak the language is another thing. For example when you go to a restaurant you say, "I would like a water and the paella." When I speak it though it sounds like this, "I want water and paella." But I always seem to be excited when speaking Spanish so it comes out as, "I WANT WATER AND PAELLA!........please." All in Spanish of course.

    Anyways the man told me that I had missed the bus to Reus. I was freaking out because the next bus wasn't until 4:00p, several hours after my flight. Then he offered to take me in his taxi to Reus... By then I knew something was up so I told him to go away. He was trying to trick me into a nice €70 ride. Well low and behold when the bus finally showed up I was able to relax and all the anxiety of travel disappeared.
    I awoke to the sudden stopping of the bus and I was in hell... The Reus airport. It was very small and seemed nice. When I stepped through the front door I was greeted by a frenzy of Scottish, Irish, and German tourists. It was sooo incredibly loud and there were too many accents for one room. I stood in a long line to check my bags. Well as it turns out my bag was 2 kgs over the limit so I crammed some stuff into my carry on and then had to file back into the end of the line and made my way back to the front. I guess I didn't realize how much a kilo was because I was still over by one when they weighed my bag again. I tried to take some more stuff but they said I had to pay for it because they didn't have enough time... It was already 12:15 by this point and my flight departed at 12:30. So I had to go to another desk and pay €15 and then file back into line again. Well I made it to the terminal and the plane hadn't even arrived yet. I noticed the sign on the wall for Ryanair. The banner read Ryanair: The on time airline. It was 12:20 ten minutes until departure when the plane arrived. I thought the banner was ironic but somehow we were in the air at 12:31. And not only were we on time, but I think they made everyone with small children and babies sit in the back of the plane! That was the best part about it. However it was like all the crying children were eerily in sync with one another.

    Well when I landed my cousin Lara picked me up at the airport and now I'm sitting on her couch writing this blog. Lara and Kevin have a cool little apartment in Queidersbach, Germany. Let me tell you, this is wine country. The hour long ride from the airport was very scenic and had rolling hills as far as the eye can see that were covered with vineyards. I'm really looking forward to my time here. Sometime soon is Chicken Fest. I can't remember the German name for the festival but you basically walk around, drink beer, and eat fried chicken. That's all I have for now from Germany.


    permalink written by  pathaley on July 2, 2008 from Barcelona, Spain
    from the travel blog: Eurotrip
    tagged Spain, Travel, Germany, Flowers, Europe, Barcelona, LongBoarding and Euro

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    Kaiserslautern, Germany

    So far Germany is really fun. What I like about where I'm at is I'm not in some huge city like Berlin or Munich. I'm in Queidersbach which is basically a suburb of Kaiserslautern, which we call K-Town. Downtown K-Town is small but really neat. The way a lot of these German cities work is there is one main downtown area, but there are surrounding towns and villages that are only a few kilometers apart that make up the main city.

    Here's an interesting photo of a local pizza joint (according they have good pizza).

    There were actually seven or eight of those delivery cars but I only managed to get one and a half cars in the photo. They're called Smart Cars and they're very energy efficient. There are a lot of small cars here. Gas is extremely expensive. Last time I looked gas was €1.63 a liter. That would be $2.56 per liter and there are 4.56 liters in a gallon! So technically gas is $11.63 per gallon.

    So people do a lot of walking or cycling. Kaiserslautern has a great trail system that has about 800 kilometers worth of trails. The other day Kevin and I went for a good hike. We walked from Queidersbach to Linden and then from Linden to Hordbach. Somewhere in between Linden and Hordbach we stumbled upon this ancient graveyard, it was actually quite peaceful. We turned back at Hordbach because we worked up quite the appetite and surprisingly Lara is a good cook.

    Today I was supposed to catch the train to Amsterdam, until we noticed that Lara had booked the train for the wrong day. So I leave for Amsterdam tomorrow instead. It was a simple mistake and I wasn't upset or anything. Besides it gave me a little more time to explore the countryside. We didn't find out until around 8:30p so as soon as I found out I loaded up my backpack and took off. It doesn't really get dark here until around 10:30 so if I left by 9:00 I could make some distance and then set up camp when it got later. I had Kevin take a picture of me before I left.

    I hiked through Linden and over a mountain before it was too dark to see. I found this meadow and I thought it would be a good place to set up camp. I turned on my flash light and noticed I was surrounded by beady little eyes that shimmered with the light. This freaked me out and all I could think about was Hansel and Grettle. So I decided to keep going. I made it down into the valley and found a spot under some trees. I figured it was a decent place because I heard a river nearby and also some train tracks. So I made camp in the woods and read a little before dozing off.

    Here's my camp, it's very minimal.

    Of course I was very cold throughout the night and sometime early in the morning it began to rain. Luckily Kevin let me barrow one of his army toys. It was like a Gortex sleeve that you get inside of with your sleeping bag so it kept me dry. I woke up this morning and noticed I had made camp next to a creepy fog covered lake and also right next to this old building that looked like an abandoned insane asylum. Oh and I had slugs all over me when I woke up. There are slugs everywhere! It's hard not to step on them while walking.

    I made it back to Lara's place at 8:00a So I'm guessing I left camp around 5:00. I was early, but still very scenic. I estimate that the whole trip was about 15 kilometers. It was fun but I could really use a shower. It also appears that I'll have to clean myself really good because I just found a tick on my arm... Oh well I guess it was worth it.

    Until next time,

    permalink written by  pathaley on July 6, 2008 from Kaiserslautern, Germany
    from the travel blog: Eurotrip
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    My name is Patrick. I am an amateur traveler on a very important mission. The only problem is I don't know where I'm going and I don't know what my mission is yet.

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