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tomkane


7 Blog Entries
2 Trips
0 Photos

Trips:

2009 Trans-Siberian
2007 Mega-Road-Trip

Shorthand link:

http://blogabond.com/tomkane




Quasi says, "Bonjour!"

Paris, France


Paris is awesome! I am so glad to be here.

When I was five years old I decided that I would climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower. My parents left my brother and me with some neighbors and took a two week vacation in Europe. Before they left they told me about the Eiffel Tower and how they were going to the top. When they returned from their voyage they presented me with a miniature replica of the Eiffel Tower on a marble base. I remember being very excited about the tower and I kept that replica for years. I would probably still have it if it hadn't broken off its base. Anytime I looked at it I remembered the plan to some day overlook Paris from a great height.

At some point the childhood dream faded into the background and became another one of those awesome goals that just isn't very reasonable and might happen someday...but probably not. And then one day, 27 years later, I'm standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower trying to understand how I got there.

It was, of course, very different than I expected. In some ways it was disappointing. For example, I was hoping to climb to the top. (I like to climb things.) But, as I suspected, it doesn't work that way. They have elevators for that sort of thing and can't be bothered to cater to the dozen visitors each year who want to spend a couple sweaty hours ascending 273 meters (896 ft). You can climb to the second floor, but it's really the second floor to the top that interests me.

But in some ways the experience was better than I imagined. The thing that strikes me most about the Eiffel Tower is not how tall it is -- I've seen taller things and been less impressed -- but how tall it is in comparison with its surroundings. It dominates the entire landscape. I've never seen anything like it. From the ground, it is the only thing in sight taller than six stories. From the top, you can see for miles and appreciate the texture created by sunlight and shadows on thousands of buildings far below. I really enjoyed the Seine River cutting through the city and the various streets that carved in and out of the uniformly off-white buildings.

It's unusual for me to enjoy something so much. I think I usually get caught up in the hype and then the real thing just doesn't cut it. But the Eiffel Tower came as a surprise. I wasn't even planning to be in Paris. I just found out a few days ago that an acquaintance is living in Paris and that was enough to bring me here. I'm thankful for a place to crash in her tiny apartment and for her tour of the city.

I knew the Eiffel Tower was here in Paris but I kept that in the back of my head until one day I'm crossing the Seine River with my friend Beth and there it is. Sha-bam! The Eiffel Tower. Bigger than life. One more childhood dream achieved: Check.

permalink written by  tomkane on October 9, 2009 from Paris, France
from the travel blog: 2009 Trans-Siberian
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Now where?

Cologne, Germany


We're all back in Cologne. Now I have some decisions to make. Where to go next? This map needs more lines on it.

permalink written by  tomkane on September 27, 2009 from Cologne, Germany
from the travel blog: 2009 Trans-Siberian
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Ingolstadt, Germany

Ingolstadt, Germany


Stayed at Hotel BB in Ingolstadt -- within striking distance of Munich. Very affordable (skipped breakfast). Free wifi!

permalink written by  tomkane on September 25, 2009 from Ingolstadt, Germany
from the travel blog: 2009 Trans-Siberian
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Munich

Munich, Germany


Visited Munich on Sep 24 & 25. Very pretty city. Ate & drank some expensive but tasty food & beer at Oktoberfest.

Saw the Rathaus-Glockenspiel (a life-sized cuckoo clock) in Marienplatz. Visited the Residenz Museum. Accidentally walked into what appeared to be a Nazi party election rally in Marienplatz. (No joke.)

permalink written by  tomkane on September 24, 2009 from Munich, Germany
from the travel blog: 2009 Trans-Siberian
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Nurnberg, Germany

Nurnberg, Germany


Stayed at Oscar Hotel. Very wide selection on the menu.

permalink written by  tomkane on September 23, 2009 from Nurnberg, Germany
from the travel blog: 2009 Trans-Siberian
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There's Nothing Like Family

Cologne, Germany


This is the "end" of my Trans-Siberian journey. It is the farthest ahead I planned to travel.

I reached my brother's place in Cologne, Germany. I'm visiting with him and his lovely wife and beautiful daughter.

permalink written by  tomkane on September 20, 2009 from Cologne, Germany
from the travel blog: 2009 Trans-Siberian
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Parting Ways

Berlin, Germany


I traveled with Anne & Sophia from Dunhuang to Beijing. Then Anne and I went from Beijing to Berlin. Now we are parting ways and I'm moving on to Cologne to visit with my brother and his family.

I just plotted the journey using blogabond.com. It's quite a stretch. I wish I knew the distance.

tk

permalink written by  tomkane on September 19, 2009 from Berlin, Germany
from the travel blog: 2009 Trans-Siberian
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