I suppose my trip to Europe in January 2009 was so long ago that many folks didn’t even know I went. Well, before my stint in South Korea and after I had finally successfully defended my Master’s thesis, I backpacked parts of Western Europe. I did a whirl-wind trip through England, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Holland, and Belgium. This is a photo essay of my first trip by myself, solo, single, and all on my own. You can see more at my Flickr album.
On the first of January (the cheapest date to fly), I flew from Winnipeg to London, England, early in the morning too!
When London became too expensive for me, I flew to Rome to finally see the Colosseum, Vatican, and a statue of Julius Caesar. Sure there were other things, but those were the highlights.
While in Rome I heard mixed views about Naples, so I decided to go. I trained it down to Naples and Pompeii and absolutely enjoyed myself. Despite being run by the Comorra, the city is alive with an energy and a pulse that I couldn’t find anywhere else. On top of that, I saw Vergil’s tomb, he was the dude who wrote the Aeneid.
After surviving Naples I went through Rome to Florence and Venice. Both cities are gorgeous. Venice I got lost in more than once and just missed the carnivale by a few weeks.
In Venice I made the choice to go to Vienna and fucking loved it. It was in Vienna that I encountered my first drum n bass club called “Flex”. I even bought a drink for a blond-haired beauty from across the bar, the bartender delivered it, she raised it, nodded and smiled, then turned to her friends. Ouch.
I also found out that it is a city obsessed with death, or “the human condition”, as it were.
After missing my train to Prague several times (much to the amusement of the folks I’d met in Vienna), I arrived at night and found a cheap hostel which had a very large trance club underneath it. The only banging I got there was the bass thumping.
Just outside of Prague I visited a small town called Kutna Hora in which there existed their only tourist attraction, the Sedlec Ossuary: a church decorated by the bones of the plague victims. Fascinating.
Since Berlin was on the way to Amsterdam, I decided to drop in. Bad decision. I arrived at 10 pm and only stayed for 14 hours. I was enthusiastic about Berlin because it’s music scene is known around the world. But… it was Tuesday, nothing’s on. So I visited some sights around the southern train station and the film museum they have there. Had I arrived a week later I could’ve attended the Berlinale, the famous film festival held every February.
After Berlin was Amsterdam, a trip which was characterized by smoky coffee shops and giggling about it on the streets. Oh, and the Red Light District. Wow. There are some things you cannot un-see. Just… wow.
Amsterdam to Rotterdam. I made a point of visiting the Rotterdam International Film Festival going on at that time. The tickets to all the good films were taken, so I had to content myself with seeing a bunch of horrid films instead. I was simply shocked and disappointed that they would be accepted.
Rotterdam to Brussel where I picked up some chocolate and made arrangements to fly back to Canada since both London and Paris were snowed under.
And that was my first trip on my own overseas. If you’d like to see more photos of my trip to Europe, check out my Flickr page.