New York City

Just got back from New York City. Some Friends from college, my wife to be and I all went up to experience New Years in Times Square. This has always been something on my bucket list and I was glad to complete it with such great people.
I really love the energy of New York and, since 911, have always been impressed with the friendliness, helpfulness and humility of the people who call Manhattan home. We went to a lot of touristy sights I had seen before, but I got to take some good pictures of them this time for the portfolio.
This trip to new york was also the first time I have ever been to a Broadway musical. We went to see The Phantom Of The Opera at The Majestic Theater. It was awesome!

I was so impressed by everything about the performance, and especially enjoyed trying to figure out how the stage pieces and special effects worked. If you are like me and have been putting off anything associated with word musical, I urge you to take a chance and go see a Broadway musical the next time you are in new york. Most likely you will find a new form of art/entertainment that you will enjoy time and time again.
I look forward to visiting the city that never sleeps again soon. There is always something new to see, do and experience there and the energy is contagious.

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Washington D.C.

I have just visited Washington D.C. for the sixth time in my life. One of the things I really like about visiting our nations capital is that no matter how many times you visit, there is always something new to see, discover, or, in some cases, re-discover. I spent a day in D.C. this time, so didn't have any time for the museums I usually enjoy, but saw and re-capture a lot of my favorite sites and saw some new ones.
Seeing the Pentagon Memorial for 9-11 was a very sobering sight to see in representative form, the number of those who died on the ground and in the plane on that day.
Next I went to see The Air Force Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery where I saw the changing of the guard ceremony, then the White House, The Mall, The Washington Monument and The Lincoln Memorial. Here are some highlight pictures from the day.

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Triangle, Virginia

I recently took a road trip with some friends up to New York and on the way we saw this beautiful building on off the highway while driving through Virginia to Washington D.C. We decided to stop and see what the building was and take some pictures of it. We soon found out the building is the recently completed National Museum of the Marine Corps and Heritage Center. We arrived after closing time, but just in time for some great twilight shots with the moon and stars in the background. I really enjoyed studying the light that came out of, through and bounced around this very well designed architectural sculpture. If you are heading to D.C. from the South, I recommend stopping by this unique place with great design and so much history inside. You can check out the official website by clicking here.

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Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo is a laid-back fishing town that has been and continues to be converted over to a surfing town and a major tourist destination for foreigners. I stayed in a great hostile with a talkative parrot outside in a cage. I spent my time relaxing, improving my surfing, and hanging out with my newfound friends from Quebec who were staying in a nearby hotel. I really enjoyed the great surfing, amazing sunsets, relaxing atmosphere and friendly people. I greatly improved my confidence and skill in surfing and my appreciation for the skill and fitness the sport entails. I would love to go back and visit Tamarindo as it is a great place for relaxation, fun and surfing. Pura Vida!

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Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a beautiful country and it has learned to leverage that for its tourist industry. Its most popular form of tourism he is called eco-tourism which promotes exploring its beautiful national parks, beaches, rain forests, volcanoes, and mountains. After a 12 hour layover in Atlanta, allowing me to visit my family, I headed to the airport for my final journey of the trip. The three hour flight to Costa Rica was an easy one and by far the shortest I had taken. I flew into Liberia, Costa Rica where I stayed for one day as arranged transport and lodging for the rest of the trip. The following day I visited Santa Rosa National Park home to volcanic hot springs and boiling mud pools, as well as beautiful rain forest, the Colorado River and one of the most beautiful waterfalls I've seen in my life. I met some new friends from Quebec Canada and hiked most of the trails with them. I heard monkeys, saw a unique raccoon and a large spider while on the hike. At the end of the day I headed back to my hostel in Liberia and rested up to get ready for my trip the following morning to Tamarindo.

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Seoul, South Korea

I had a twenty three hour layover in Incheon Airport which is just a short bus ride from Seoul, so decided to head into Seoul, get some sleep and explore a bit. I arrived late at night so I found my hostel and went to bed. The next day I spent my time exploring about some of the palaces, markets full of dried anything from the ocean and walking around the main road near my hostel. I didn't spend enough time to have real feel for Seoul, but from my time there I did enjoy it and wouldn't mind visiting again in the future.

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Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne is a city with a very creative and artistic feel to it. There is a huge focus an design both in the architecture of the city and in the universities and around it. Melbourne feels a little more laid back and relaxed feel than Sydney, but is just as much fun and interesting none the less. I stayed with a couple friends while visiting and was amazed at how broad a reach the local transport had and how relatively easy it was to get around on. One of the highlights of my trip to Melbourne was going with some friend to see an Ausie Rules Football Game! If you have never been or seen a game I highly recommend it. It seems to be a mix of the speed and intensity of soccer with the rules similar to American Football and the no pads roughness of Rugby. It is awesome! I also got to catch up with new and old friends, take a day trip along the Great Ocean Road, See some Kangaroos in the wild, eat Kangaroo for the first time and go to a Pixar Exhibit. I really enjoyed the atmosphere, design and culture of Melbourne and if I had to pick where to live between Sydney and Melbourne I think I would pick Melbourne.

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Sydney, Australia

If I had to pick another country to live in permanently so far I would have to pick Australia. The people are friendly, fun and adventurous. The landscape is as varied and unique as the people and the atmosphere in the cities I visited was full of excitement, pride and friendship. Sydney is another city that seems to do a great job of mixing skyscrapers with nature. From the tallest building in Sydney it is about a fifteen minute walk to the Royal Botanical Gardens. The Gardens are impassively large and full of beautiful and unique plants and flowers from all over the world.
They are open to the public and free to explore. I really enjoyed seeing the beautifully designed Opera House, Botanical Gardens and most of all catching up with some old and new friends. Australians seem to have a good live play balance. Occasionally a little to much alcohol is involved in the play, but for the most part, they know how to have a good time and welcome others to join in. I was fortunate enough to take a friends generous offer and stay on her couch in Manly, a beautiful surfers paradise that reminded me a little bit of Seaside in Florida.

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Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is an amazing city. It's size and population are stagering. It is a city that in it's busy parts never sleeps, but, surprisingly, on the outskirts can feel like a small town and can be very peaceful and quiet even at lunch time. The metropolis of Tokyo consists of 23 city wards, 26 cities, 5 towns and 8 villages at over 12 million people There a difference of 2 million people in Tokyo between night and day due to the amazingly efficient and vast subway system. I really enjoyed visiting Tokyo and experiencing a taste of both the amazing energy, technology and night life as well as the beauty serenity and peace that can be found in the same amazing city. While their I rented a city bike for three dollars a day and used that to explore my area. I also used the subway extensively and was amazed both by it's complexity and scale as well as how intuitive, easy and most of all punctual it was. I visited the Electronics District Akihabara, The Tsukiji Fish Market, Shibuya, Asakusa Temple as well as Kappabashi Street an are full shops with all kinds of kitchen gadgets and even plastic food that looks so real it makes your mouth water. I hope to return to Japan in the future and further explore this beautiful country that seems to do a great job mixing cutting edge technology and culture with tradition and nature.

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Koh Chang, Thailand

If you want to go to a beautiful and incredibly inexpensive beach paradise I highly recommend Koh Chang Island! The water is beautiful, the people are amazingly kind and generous and the atmosphere is fun, and relaxing. I stayed in a bamboo bungalow right on the ocean. The Sunsets here were some of the best I've seen with Palm tree silhouettes and beautiful calm water.
I had a very relaxing time and met some new friends from Germany while there. We all went on a snorkeling trip on one day and got to see the beautiful underwater life of the Gulf of Siam. I hope to visit Koh Chang again in the future as I developed a good friendship with the sweet hotel owner and loved the beautiful and relaxing atmosphere.

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Kanachaburi, Thailand

Home to beautiful caves, waterfalls, and a dark history, Kanachaburi is the location of the famous Bridge over the River Kwai, Hell Fire Pass and the Kanachaburi War Cemetery. After a sobering, but informative and awe inspiring visit to the War Cemetery, Bridge over the River Kwai and Hell Fire Pass I was excited to find my pre-aranged lodging for the night turned out to be a very nice floating hotel on the river accessed via motorized Thai Long Tail Boat! It was a really cool hotel and quite a treat.The next day I woke up early to go ride and wash Elephants. Elephants are very awkward animals to ride in my opinion. Not uncomfortable, but I just felt like it would be easy to fall of if you weren't careful and the top of an elephants head is pretty high in the air. It was really fun to ride the elephants and bathing them after the ride was well worth the extra money it had cost. They are amazingly gentle animals and fun to play in the water with. After the Elephant ride I went spelunking in a really cool cave and then to a beautiful water fall to swim a bit before heading back to Bangkok to leave for Koh Chang the next day.

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Bangkok, Thailand

The city of old and new, tradition and transition, poor and rich, historic and modern. Bangkok is an interesting city to say the least. It is a city with many traditions that is merging with the modern world and all the minor and major changes that bring with it. It was amazing to walk down one of the most touristy streets in Bangkok and see a mix of travelers, businessmen, street vendors and beggars/homeless all living and interacting together. I enjoyed seeing the diverse culture and visiting some of the amazingly intricate palaces, temples, monuments and statues although it was sad to see people so devoted and entrenched in a religion that causes many of them to live in fear of bad luck and disfavor with the gods.
I was also saddened to see the prevalence and relative openness of the so called sex trade there. From tourists walking around with different Thai "girlfriends" every day to the Tuk-Tuk drivers always willing to take you to a massage parlor or ping pong show for free, to the "girly" boy that asked me if he/she/it could come to my room with me. I loved how inexpensive everything was and plan to return to southeast Asia again to further explore and enjoy the beautiful people, culture and landscape there.

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Hiefa/Mt. Carmel, Israel

I had a great time and met some friendly and amazing people while staying with my newly found friend and guide and his American wife and beautiful baby. I enjoyed seeing a different part of Israel, getting to know my new friend and his family better and going to a Christian church with services in Hebrew as well as on a beautiful hike through the land of milk and honey afterwards. It was a perfect ending to an amazing time in the Holy Land.

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Jerusalem, Israel

The Holy City, The City of the Great King, City of David, Zion, The City of Gold. These are just a few of the many names Jerusalem has been called over the years. The City where Jesus taught, was crucified and buried and three days later rose again! Jerusalem is full of history, mystery and a diverse group of people and religions. It was interesting to walk through the ancient city streets and go from the Christian Quarter to the Muslim Quarter to the Jewish Quarter and then into the Armenian Quarter. I never been in a place with so many different religions and people groups living in such a relatively small area and know another place so unique doesn't exist on this earth.
I was pleasantly surprised to find how compact and walkable all the biblical landmarks are due to their close proximity to each other. In one day you can walk around and see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, The Garden Tomb, Golgotha, The Temple Mount, The Garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives not to mention many other historical and religious landmarks along the way! It was an amazing life experience to walk the streets Jesus walked and see so many of the places my savior went to and spent time at during his life on earth! Jerusalem will always have a special place in my mind, memory and heart.

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En Gedi/Masada/Dead Sea Scrolls, Israel

God blessed me with a divine appointment to meet a Christian tour guide who volunteered to take me to his church in Mt. Carmel and then on a tour of the Dead sea area with some other new friends from Oregon. I really enjoyed seeing En Gedi - the oasis where David hid in the cave from King Saul. As well as seeing the Ibex, a deer-like biblical animal that lives in the area, up close and personal. It was also amazing to hear for the first time about the history of Masada and the famous battle that took place there while being on top of the mountain and seeing the ruins of King Herod's Palace. I was also excited to be able to see the place and some of the caves where the dead sea scrolls where found and it helped me understand how it took such a long time to find them. Much like the landscape of Egypt, the area around the Dead Sea is hot desert mountains for miles and miles and finding anything buried in them pretty much takes a miracle or an act of God or both.

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Dead Sea, Israel

I really enjoyed finally being able to see and experience the Dead Sea. The sea in has beautifully clear water so saturated with salt that it has a kind of slimy texture to it and tastes like pure salt with no sign of a water taste. I was able to experience the unique experience of floating in the Dead Sea and decided to try putting my head bellow the water to experience for myself the painful sensation I had hear about. I don't recommend trying it yourself. My nostrils immediately felt like they were on fire and although I waited a good five minutes before opening my eyes, when I did they too burned and stung from the salt. I had to thoroughly rinse my eyes out before the stinging eventually subsided.
This is what the perfectly clear water looked like after I mixed it up a little bit with my hand. It is so saturated with salt that the salt distorts the light and makes the rocks hard to see.

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Petra, Jordan

Although the Jordan Dinar is currently worth one and a half US Dollars, I was pleased to find that Jordan is still relatively cheep to travel around using public transport and that a nice hostel with an all you can eat dinner of typical Jordanian food was about fifteen Dollars. My main and only reason for going to Jordan was to see Petra, although I did hear about some desert camping and camel riding opportunities that were also available. Petra is an amazing place. For those who don't know:
Petra (from the greek πέτρα "petra," meaning rock) is an archaeological site in Jordan, lying in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi or desert Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. It is famous for having many stone structures carved into the rock. The long-hidden site was revealed to the Western world by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812. It was famously described as "a rose-red city half as old as time" in a Newdigate prize-winning sonnet by John William Burgon. Burgon had not actually visited Petra, which remained accessible only to Europeans accompanied by local guides with armed escorts until after World War I. The site was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 when it was described as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage." (from Wikapedia -
It was quite an experience to walk through the beautiful natural canyon called the Siq (shaft) and to emerge on the other side to face the massive facade known as the Al Khazneh ("the Treasury") originally built as a tomb. The intricate detail and grand scale of this and other structures around Petra are both impressive and surreal. The Treasury made it's most famous appearance in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as the entrance to the temple holding the Holy Grail. If you are in Egypt or Israel, a visit to Petra would be a worthwhile side trip that is worth a day or two.

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Mt. Saini, Egypt

While staying Dahab, me and a friend scheduled a sunrise hike to the summit of Mt. Saini. We left from Dahab at 11PM and started our climb at around 2AM with Egyptians offering us camel rides for a "special price" all the way up the mountain. We reached the summit around 5 AM and the Egyptians switched from offering us camel rides to offering us mattresses and blankets for sleeping and staying warm for the next hour until the sun came up. At around 5:45AM we saw the first bit of light coming over the mountains, and by 6:30 it was sunny and hot again as we started our descent. We reached the bottom around 8AM and after relaxing for a while, taking a short nap and eating breakfast we headed into see the burning bush before heading back to Dahab for some more, much needed sleep.
That's a picture of me trying the re-light the burning bush.

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Dahab, Egypt

With hostels beds at around $5.00 and food as cheap as $1.00 for a good filling meal, Dahab is by far one of the cheapest, most relaxing and most beautiful places I have been on my life! I really enjoyed snorkeling and see the incredible beauty and color coral and fish of the Red Sea. The underwater life here is breathtaking, plentiful and being only about twenty feet away from the shore, incredibly easy to get to. Recently tourism has taken it's toll on Dahab and the town is getting more and more commercial, but a good hour walk along the beaches will take you to the locals homes with half to all naked children playing in the clean water and fishing in the plentiful waters. Due to the popularity of Dahab as a tourist destination, many activities such as scuba diving, kite surfing, wind surfing, Mt. Saini hikes and desert camping can be easily arranged by any local hotel or travel agency. If you looking for a taste of Egypt with the incomparable beauty of the Red Sea reefs, I highly recommend Dahab Egypt.

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Luxor, Egypt

Home to Luxor temple, Karnak Temple(one of the seven existing wonders of the ancient word), Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens and Hatshepsut's temple among other sites, Luxor is a must see for anyone looking to get a good look at the architecture, artwork, and engineering the ancient Egyptians left behind all in one stop. From the largest temple in the world to the beautifully restored colorful wall of the Pharaoh's tombs, Luxor was full of amazing things to see. I really enjoyed going into some of the tombs in the valley of the kings and seeing the cartouches and paintings of the ancient Egyptian gods and rituals as well as seeing the massive size of Karnak temple and the Muslim masque accidentally built on top of Luxor Temple many years before it was unearthed.Mosque built on top of Luxor Temple. It is a fully functional Mosque to this day.
Illegally covertly taken picture inside the valley of the Kings. Photos were not allowed in the tombs and those caught taking them were threatened with imprisonment!

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Abu Simbal, Egypt

This purpose built location is the second and probably the final home for two amazing ancient Egyptian temples. Do to security risks in southern Egypt as well as the increased possibility of heat stroke in the afternoon we had to leave from Aswan at 3:30 in the morning by armored guard escort for the roughly three hour ride to Abu Simbal. Both temple interiors and massive facades had been cut up and moved piece by piece from their original, now water covered locations, to this location in the the south of Egypt near the Sudan border. The impressive exterior sculptures and carving are complimented by detailed and highly carved and even colored interiors of the temples. I really enjoyed seeing both the temples and feel the it was well worth the time, money and effort even though it was a little hard to get up so early in the morning.

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Aswan, Egypt

Home to one of the engineering wonders of the world - Aswan Dam - as well and many beautiful ancient temples, Aswan is a good mix of old and new. I visited the dam, the siet(or market) as well as one of the temples that was actually moved stone by stone so that it would not be flooded one the dam was completed.

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Baharian Oasis, Egypt

Egypt's deserts are as varied and beautiful as it's ancient ruins. I went to see the Red, Black and White Desserts and got to spend the night in the white desert with a friend of mine and a friendly Egyptian guide. Going to the desert from Cairo was sucha nice change of surroundings. The desert is everything Cairo is not - clean, quiet, peaceful and full of natural beauty. If you have the time in Egypt, I highly recommend at least a night out in the desert

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Cairo, Egypt

Chaos. If I had to describe Egypt's capital city in one word it would be Chaos. From the crazy driving, to the seemingly unmuffled taxi's to the piles of garbage and junk all over the roofs of the buildings, Cairo is a crazy city. Full of pollution and many old, once beautiful buildings Cairo is a unique mix of old and oldest as it is home to the Great Pyramids of Giza. It was so strange to ride through the cluttered dirty streets and see, above some worn down apartment buildings, the tops of the Great Pyramids in all their glory. The sheer size is enough to impress even the most jaded of tourists, and the amazingly intact structures can't help but inspire awe and wonder for these thousands of years old architectural wonders. Me and a friend went on a sunset camel ride one through the Giza Area, and explored the sphinx and one middle pyramid the following day. I recommend trying the camel at least once for the experience, but only for a short tour, and after that definitely recommend the more comfortable and faster horse.

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Effusus, Turkey

Effusus is home to the biblical town the book of Ephesians was written to. It is home to some beautiful ruins the most impressive of which is two tier over 40 foot tall facade the of the Library. Although I didn't spend to much time looking through the ruins, the Library alone was worth the visit in my opinion as it is one of the most well preserved, delicate and beautiful ancient ruins I have seen.

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Pamukkale, Turkey

A strange geologically active area full of cascading calcium pools, Roman ruins, hot springs and beautiful blue pools, Pamukkale was definitely an interesting place to see. I went here with two friends and spent a day exploring the area before heading on to Effuses. I loved the natural beauty and felt as if I was looking at another planet as we explored the strange calcium rich landscape. The Roman Ruins here were also interesting and included an amphitheater in really good shape for it's age. If you are in the area and have time I recommend making a day trip in Pamukkale.

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Cappadocia, Turkey

Full of strange rock formations, beautiful landscapes and famous for it's rock dwelling and underground cities, the Cappadocia area is one of the more interesting places I have seen in my life. With a strong resemblance to the mid-west in the states, what sets Cappadocia is it's thousands of years of history as a refuge from oppression. Paul visited the Christians here who were avoiding the Romans and many churches can be found throughout the area. I highly recommend visiting Cappadocia and I know for myself, it is an experience I will not soon forget.

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Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is the city where east meets west, where the Asian continent and European continent connect. It bridges the cultural gap and is a pleasant mix of both eastern a western cultures from it's beautiful mosque's, flower lined streets and ottoman charm to it's European-like efficiency and order. I found it to be a somewhat addicting city. I had planned to see the city in about five days going to two or three main sites per day, but I ended up just seeing one or, at the most, two sight per day as I found myself content to stay as long as I could in this charming and culturally diverse city. I made a many good friends during my two week stay here and was blessed by the friendship and hospitality of some new Turkish friends as well. I think Istanbul is a perfect city to glimpse a taste of Muslim society without the full on intensity and American resentment found in other parts of the Muslim world. I highly recommend visiting Turkey and Istanbul is a must stop, but be warned, the city an intoxicating charm that may cause some to spend longer than intended exploring it's culture, sights, smells and sounds.

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Meteora, Greece

Located in the center of Greece, Meteora is an area full of strange rock formations that monks have built monasteries on top of. If you are in Greece, and have the extra time, I would recommend checking it out as it's unique features and monasteries make it a very interesting place to visit. I have also been told that it is a great place for mountain climbers to improve their skills.

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Corinth, Greece

I took a day trip to see Ancient Corinth - The City Paul wrote to in his letter to the Corinthians. The ruins were worth the visit and had a beautiful Mediterranean backdrop as well. It was amazing to see all the history that the place had with traces of early Christians, Ancient Greeks, and of course the Romans.

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Santorini, Greece

If you ever get to go to Greece, I highly recommend a visit to Santorini. More Specifically Perrisa beach. Santorini is one of the most beautiful places I have been in my live and I was able to spend 5 relaxing days there during the easter holiday. I found the people amazingly friendly, the scenery breathtaking and the atmosphere laid back and relaxing. Santorini was formed by an apparently massive volcanic eruption as the island is actually the remains of the middle and some of the sides of what used to be there. Because of this the geography is one of a kind and there are black beaches, white beaches and even a red beach on the island. Santorini is also famous for it's sunset's and of course, it's traditional white and blue Greece Island houses and churches. When the time came to leave the island I was not ready to go, but felt as if I wasn't the only one who was less then willing to leave such a beautiful place.

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Athens, Greece

I enjoyed seeing the famous sights in Athens a lot (The highlight of course was the Parthenon, which unfortunately is sorounded by scaffolding for repair work wich isn't supposed to be finished for at least three more years!) but overall found the city to be dirty, noisy and busy(kind of like Rome) and after touring around for a day and a half felt like I had seen what I wanted to and was ready to move on.

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Thessaloniki, Greece

A seeming boring port town, Thessaloníki can actually be quite interesting once you dig a little bit bellow the surface. The locals are friendly, the nightlife is lively and there are some interesting ruins and churches scattered throughout. I enjoyed my time here and was lucky enough to get taken out by some locals which was really fun.

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Bucharest, Romania

After getting swindled out of a substantial amount of money for a cab ride as a welcome, I was glad to find most of the Romanian people very friendly and helpful. Me and some friends even got escorted by a friendly cop to one of his favorite traditional Romanian places to eat and he came back halfway through the meal to check and see if everything was alright! While in Bucharest, I visited the Palace of Parliament, formerly known as the People's Palace (which is the second largest building in the world, second only to the Pentagon) built during the Communist rule using the people's money while over 70,000 people lost their homes and many more starved in the streets just so it could be built as a house for the dictator. It was an amazingly lavish building and a perfect example of how bad greed mixed with power can be for those being ruled. I hope to visit Romania again, but instead head to Transylvania to see Dracula's castle.

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Prague, Czech Republic

Charm and Beauty. Prague is by far one of the most beautiful and charming cities I have ever visited and wouldn't be surprised if I never see as beautiful a city again in my life. The entire time I was in Prague and walking through the streets it looked an felt like being in a fairy tale with well preserved beautiful beautiful building, old bridges, a castle and of course a nice church or two. I really enjoyed the seemingly laid back atmosphere and joining of the past and the present. I was lucky enough to be there during a festival of sorts and got to try some really good traditional food from the stands as well as see some of the traditional crafts or souvenirs such as intricately hand painted hollowed out eggs. I was sad to move on when the time came, and hope I will be able to visit this beautiful and relaxing city again in the future.

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Copenhagen, Denmark

Full of beautiful architecture, beautiful women, and a bike friendly atmosphere, Copenhagen seems like it would a nice city to live minus the cold weather and high prices. I enjoyed just one full day here and was able to walk around the downtown area as well as visit Christiana - A "freetown" within Copenhagen run by hippies, the formerly homeless, pot heads and the like. It was interesting to see the different systems used to replace those normally run by the city, such as garbage collection, upkeep(or lack there of) and public facilities. I have recently learned that the police are trying once again to shut Christiana down, as they have attempted to do many times in the past. After visiting Copenhagen and feeling the cold and realizing the cost to travel through Scandinavia, I decided to catch a night train to Prague.

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Berlin, Germany

Berlin is a city full of tense history and filled with a culture that does a great job of learning from the past while looking to the future. It was surreal and amazing to walk around the city and see so many places that had such an impact on the world. I really enjoyed learning about the history of the war here, as well as the more recent Berlin wall and how it eventually came down. I had planned to spend only two days here, but found Berlin to be a city with so many layers and secrets that after leaving four days later, I still felt as if I hadn't even scratched the surface on the city's history, secrets and more recently, vibrant culture. Berlin is definitely on my list of favorite cities in Europe!

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Although famous for it's openness of ideas, and general lack of morality, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this city is filled with not only unique history and reputation, but also beautiful architecture, an amazing pedestrian bicycle system, great museums, and even two Christian Youth Hostels! I really enjoyed meeting up with some friends from home and seeing the sights together. It was such a great experience to visit the Van Gogh Museum and see the masterpieces this artist is famous for in person, as well as to discover why he painted, lived and died so uniquely. We also went on a tour of the city learning more about the culture, history, architecture and engineering that allowed this city to be reclaimed from the sea. Overall, I really enjoyed Amsterdam, and was glad to find that it has much more to offer than it's more famous attractions(to some) of just legal marijuana and prostitution.

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Hamburg, Germany

Unfortunately, I didn't get to spend more than a night here, but from what I did see this seemed to be a very beautiful, pedestrian friendly city and it was also a common recommendation among the Germans I spoke with.

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Koln, Germany

Home to the Dom Cathedral and to the bones of the three wise men. It is quite a sight coming out from the main railway station and seeing the massive cathedral towering above all the other buildings. It was also interesting to see the definite difference between the old town area, where the bomb damage in WWII was repairable, and the the new town area, where rebuilding was necessary. It is so strange to see the effects of war on humanity and civilization.

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Budapest, Hungary

When I think of Budapest in my mind's eye I see Buda, some Indian people, Communism, war torn streets, poverty and crime. I guess this is because I had no idea what Budapest was like before I went there and just assumed it was related to Buda the Indian god. I couldn't have been more wrong on all accounts. My first surprise upon getting into the city was that it was not very different from the central and western European cities I had visited. I went out to a club in the subway with some friends the first night, and got a real appreciation for the energy of the city. I was also surprised to find out how safe Budapest was. I felt safer walking the streets at night here than I had ever felt doing in Italy. The next day I went for a walk around this beautiful city and enjoyed the laid back atmosphere that can be found in many places even while the hustle and bustle of city life continues around you. We went for a night walk to see all the important buildings lit up along the Danube, and it felt like the entire city was all sleeping; it was so peaceful. We walked along a main road, but the street was pretty much deserted on 9PM on Sunday. The next day we went to a Turkish bath house which was one of the coolest things I have done in my travels and one of my favorite things I can remember in my life. It was great to just relax and play in the water jets, air bubles, and warm pools. It was a great final thing to do in one of my favorite cities in Europe. I then said goodbye to my friends and headed for Koln, Germany.

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Vienna, Austria

I really like the feel of Vienna. It is a very nice city with a great public bike system that allows you to rent a city bike for free for the first hour and just one euro an hour after that. I really liked how well the bike lanes were laid out all around the city as well as the pedestrian walkways which seemed to be plentiful and full of nice places to shop. I also enjoyed going to the Sunday flea market toward the center of the city with all kind of antiques, toys, and garage sale junk for sale. I was even able to find an automatic(no battery required) Swatch watch for about ten US Dollars. After touring around the city for a day and half I decided to join some new friend on their trip to Budapest as I found out my rail pass included it.

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Portifino, Italy

While in Santa Margarita me and some new friends took a morning walk to Portofino - famous for diving, high prices and rich people. It is a beautiful and very Italian feeling town set right on the water with a small port, that is said to be packed in the summer, and a lighthouse as well. I really enjoyed walking around this beautiful area and enjoyed having an authentic Italian guide - my new friend Leticia who is a PADI (SCUBA Diving) instructor from Milan.

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Santa Margherita, Italy

I came to Santa Margheritta to meet up with a friend of mine I had met in Breckenridge, Colorado. It is a beautiful town with a small bay and some nice beaches on Mediterranean. It reminded me of Cinque Terre a lot in it's beauty, but has a much more wealthy feel to it than Cinque Terre. I had a great time catching up with my friend, as well as making some new ones and was afforded the opportunity to tour of the five million dollar yacht my friend is the captain of in the summers! I enjoyed learning about yachting, sailing and about how hard, but rewarding the work can be. I am planning to look further into being a deck hand when I return to the states as it is a great way to save up a lot of money fast. After three fun and relaxing days I said my goodbyes and headed for Vienna Austria.

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Milan, Italy

If you ever have a chance to stay in a ten euro hostel in Milan, then make sure you don't go to it for the first time after dark. I arrived in Milan at about 6 and after finding an internet cafe and looking up hostel options, decided to stay in the cheapest hotel yet. I took the subway a couple stops and then got out ad started walking toward my hostel. For the most part the walk was fine, and definitely felt safer then the train station, but as I got closer I soon realized they my hostel was in an alley off of another alley off of a back street and looked like a safe-haven for crack heads and drug dealers. I realized now more than ever, that you get what you pay for in life and decided at this point it would be better to just sleep here then to continue back on the streets looking for another place, so I checked in. As it turned out, the looks of the hostel were by far the worst part, and to my delight and surprise I didn't meet any crack heads or drug dealers while there. After the fun hostel adventure I went to see the Duomo the next day and walk around a bit and enjoyed the feel of the city in the day much more than at night.

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Mont Blanc/Chamonix, France

If I ever get a chance to take a ski trip to Europe, Mont Blanc, France will be my destination. Situated high in mountains, this was the first place on my whole trip I got to see snow falling. To get to Chamonix requires a beautiful train ride hugging the side of the mountains up into the heart of the Mont Blanc region. Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Europe, and from talking to the skiers who were living at the hostel I stayed at, the terrain is as diverse as it can be dangerous with everything from glacier skiing to ice climbing and para-gliding. The mountains here are beautiful, and even though the typical ski resort feel is starting to set in, there is still a little bit of the small town charm sprinkled throughout the town. The map of the ski area reminded me of Whistler Blackholm in British Columbia, but even made that look small in caparison.

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Interlaken, Switzerland

Interlaken is a beautiful classic-swiss feeling town situated between two lakes as well as two mountain ranges and as one might imagine is breathtaking to behold. It is one of the more beautiful places I have seen and I really enjoyed my short stay there. I stayed in a the most famous hostel in Switzerland, and one of the most famous in Europe - Balmer's Herberge, the oldest private hostel in Switzerland. I really enjoyed the atmosphere, staff and people I met here, and will definitely return her if I come back to Interlaken. I was pleased to meet the owner who everyone calls Uncle Eric, who is one of the friendliest and most generous people I have met as well as his kind daughter who works at the desk sometimes. So far on my journey this has been my favorite hostel not only for the location, but also for the atmosphere, people, and home-like feel. I went ice skating on one rainy day with a couple of Canadians I had met in the hostel and due to my unsuccessful attempt to skate backward on hockey skates, had to get a doctor to apply butterfly bandages to my eye brow. It didn't hurt much at all, but was deep enough to require a hospital visit to see if it needed stitches or not.

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Bern, Switzerland

The capital of Switzerland and home to the famous Bear Pits. Bern is a beautiful, fun and lively city that provides a beautiful foreground for the majestic mountainous backdrop. I had planned to stay here for only a day, but after two days, was somewhat sad to leave. I met a horse Jokey who generously showed me and some others a fun couple of nights out on the town. I also saw the Bear Pits where currently three bears are kept as a tribute to the origin of the city's name, and the rose garden, which is not much to see i winter, but has a great view of the city. I really liked the feel of the city and the friendly people I met while there, as well as other places that come from there and have made many friend from my short visit there.

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Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich Switzerland is situated at one end of Lake Zurich and is a pleasant city for sightseeing and relaxing. Unfortunately while I was there the weather was pretty bad, but luckily it cleared up enough for the last of the Carnival celebrations in the streets complete with a band dressed up a a bunch of chickens! Lake Zurich is beautiful and on a clear day I have heard taking a boat ride from one side to the other is common and very enjoyable. I enjoyed Zurich's charm and energy, but in end felt as if it was similar to many other cities I have visited.

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Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck is a beautiful Austrian town sandwiched between the alps with a beautiful vibrant blue river running down the middle. It's breathtaking beauty and fun atmosphere is hard to leave. When we got to Innsbruck they were wrapping up their Carnival celebrations as well and after a day of walking around the city and visiting the base of Nord Park, we went down to the main street to watch some parade floats full of drunk Austrians and playing deafeningly loud music be pulled through the street by snow plow tractors. The next day we took the Gondola up to the top Nord Park for a great view of the town, surrounding mountains, and to play in the snow. I came back the next day to do some skiing and decided that the best all season skiing seems to be in the US, as the snow was somewhat rough and a little wet. I enjoyed the skiing none the less and was glad to have gotten at least a day of skiing in for the season in the Alps.

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Munich, Germany

Munich Germany is the Capital of the Germany country of Bavaria and so far one of my favorite cities. The people are friendly, the atmosphere is lively, and the beer is delicious and served in glasses up to almost a gallon in size! I was able to have my favorite beer in the world - Paulaner Heffeweizen on tap which was even better than the bottle, and by far the best beer I have ever had. We were there toward the end of their Carnival celebrations and got to enjoy the live bands and fun costumes along with other locals and tourists alike. I really enjoyed the classic and beautiful architecture of the city, walking through the largest park in Europe with the locals out with their children, spouses, pets and friend all just enjoying life. Inside the park is a famous beer garden where we stopped for lunch, chatted with some kind old locals wearing the traditional hat with boars hair, and leather pants, and enjoyed the live music. Munich seems like it would be a great city to live in, and I would not hesitate if given the opportunity to visit again or live there. If you have to see one city in Germany, I've heard you should see Berlin, but if you can see two, I highly recommend Munich.

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Mt. Vesuvius

After spending the previous day at Pompeii and having some amazing Pizza for dinner in Naples, we headed up to Mount Vesuvius. We took a bus to the entrance gate and then hiked the hour and a half round trip path up to, and around the crater. I really enjoyed getting outdoors and hiking again and we were blessed with perfect weather so the view was perfect.

It was a great experience to see the crater left by the previous eruptions of the mountain and the depth that the next eruption would have to overcome to once again rain down ash and lava on the surrounding area. Scientist say it will erupt violently again at some point, and I would not want to be around when that happens.

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It was surreal and amazing to see this famous ancient city complete with a coliseum, the remains of street-side soup shops and a whore house with a McDonald's type ordering system(ex. I'll take position 4 and 7 with fries and a coke.) It was really amazing to see a couple of the people in the exact state they had been in when the ash fell. The people looked like rough clay models covered in ash and were amazingly preserved.One thing that was very puzzling about this area is that even though it is common knowledge that Vesuvius is still an active volcano and will erupt again, many people are moving into to the area surrounding Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius and some towns are even closer to the mountain that Pompeii. The Italian government is even offering people thirty thousand euros to leave their home and move away in order to try and reduce or avoid all together the imminent disaster.

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Naples, Italy

Naples was worth a visit as it has a really big and beautiful royal building in the shape of a semicircle, and well as a couple of castles, some cool churches, a fun shopping area, amazing pizza at really cheap prices and is a good base for day trips to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. On the downside the city is riddled with crime and even has a little bit of mafia running some things behind the scenes. On the train from Rome to Naples we were able to ancient aqueducts running parallel to the train, as well as an old church that had been bombed heavily in WWII.

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Vatican City

The Vatican is as impressive as it is small. With treasures rivaling that of the Louvre, it's collection of riches and historical artifacts are priceless. I really enjoyed seeing the Sistine Chapel and witnessing for myself this masterpiece of Michaelangelo himself. Recent restoration has made the frescoes in the Chapel as colorful and bright as the day they were painted. Saint Peter's Basilica is one of the most impressive and the largest Church I have ever seen in my life. The massive size is astounding and humbling, while the amazing detail and priceless decoration are overwhelming. We were able to see the Pope give a short sermon from his apartment window on Sunday and received his blessing in English.

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Musilini's E.U.R. - Birds By the Thousands

On the next to last day in Rome we went to see Mussolini's E.U.R. the ideal Fascist city full of grey buildings with few windows and massive columns and doors. It felt very militaristic and of course very Fascist. We had come to try and see a Museum full of scale models of ancient and modern Rome, but unfortunately all the museum's seemed to close at noon for some reason. As we headed back toward the Metro we saw hundreds of thousands of Birds all collecting in the air above a lakeside wooded area. As we got closer we stood in wonder as we watched all the bird flying in synchronization with each other and eventually coming to rest in the trees. we watched for about thirty minutes until seemingly all the birds in Rome had come to rest in the small area. As more and more came and congregated in the trees, the sound grew from a whisper-like rush to a waterfall-like roar. It was an amazing sight.

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Rome, Italy

Rome is amazing city with the unique ability to take you back in time to the days of ancient Rome. Seeing the Colosseum, Forum Pantheon and other Ancient structures was surreal and breathtaking. I was very surprised at how relatively new the Ancient structures looked and how well preserved or restored many of the places were. It was such a great experience to see and be in places I had studied in school and read about in the Bible - it really made history come alive.
I really liked seeing how modern Rome exist side by side with ancient Rome and there is an great appreciation, respect and protection of the historical sites. One of the weirdest thing I have seen in my life I saw in Rome. Near the Spanish Steps me and Isaac went to visit a seemingly normal church, but with a crypt decorated from the bones of hundreds of monks. The bones are used for wall and ceiling decoration as well as archways for the more distinguished monks skeletons. If you are in Rome and have the time I recommend a visit as it is a sight you will not soon forget.

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Venice, Italy

Venice is a beautiful city. It was everything I thought it would be and more. We spent three days exploring the many small streets and bridges as well as the canals. We also visited Murano, the island where Venetian glass is made; and the Cemetery island covered with graves of Venetians. I really enjoyed riding throughout the Canals on the water taxi and seeing how everything was worked out with only walking and boating as transport.

We were lucky enough to arrive at the beginning of Venice's Carnival Celebrations and got to see a beauty pageant, some band performances, a play, and some amazing costumes. I really enjoyed the beautiful and peaceful canals, unique culture, transportation and people of Venice

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Florence, Italy

The city of Michelangelo's David. Florence was a very pleasant city rich in history, art, and florentine pride. In case you didn't know it is also home to Michelangelo's David and I would guess that there is at least one store on every street with the name David in the title. I really enjoyed walking around the city and seeing it's beautiful white, green and pink marbled Duomo, complete with the third largest dome in Europe, as well the unique bridge called Ponte Vecchio full of Jewelry stores from end to end. While there I saw many famous sculptures or replicas of famous sculptures and also enjoyed a couple hours of looking and learning in the Science museum full of one of a kind antique instruments for astrological measurements and viewing including a jar with the finger of Galileo himself!

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Pisa, Italy

For a town that is known worldwide because of a mediocre engineering feet made famous by a geographical mishap, Pisa is a colorful city that is pleasant to visit for a half a day, but didn't seem to have any thing that would make one want to stay much longer. That being said, the leaning tower is a sight to behold, and worth a day trip.

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Cinque Terre, Italy - Riamogorre

Cinque Terre is a series of five small colorful towns set along the hills of the Italian Riviera and one of the most beautiful places I have been in my life. It was so refreshing and relaxing to visit these laid back villages where the people are friendly, the food is good and the wine is even better! To our surprise and excitement we were welcomed to Cinque Terre with a free upgrade from our booked 6 bed hostel to a two bed apartment complete with a living room, full size bathroom, and kitchen! We celebrated the occasion by inviting some new friends over and cooking some delicious Pesto pasta for dinner. The pace here is so slow it is not hard to lose track of time all together and forget about the "real" world. While here we hiked the national park trail that connects all five villages of Cinque Terre National Park and were rewarded with amazing views and the extraordinary beauty of this section of the Mediterranean coast. If there is one place I will be sure to visit again sooner or later it will be Cinque Terre.

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Nice, France (at night)

We arrived in Nice at sunset, and left on the train shortly after sunrise. During our brief time there we visited the old town area filled with many fun restaurants and bars, and walked for a bit on the sand-less pebble beaches. Nice seemed like it would be a nice place to visit in the summer months for sure.

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Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is lively and fun city with people and an atmosphere as unique as it's architecture. If you have never heard of the famous Spanish architect known simply as Gaudi I highly recommend doing a little google searching to read up this interesting man, and to view some of his beautifully strange designs. The main street in Barcelona, called Las Ramblas has a pedestrian thoroughfare about thirty feet across that extends from the heart of the city all the way to the docks on the Mediterranean. I really enjoyed seeing the unique architecture, strolling down down Las Rambles both day and night, and also seeing the Mediterranean for the first time in my life! I am not a big fan of cities for the most part, but as far as cities do go, I really liked the look, feel, atmosphere and layout of Barcelona.

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Granada, Spain

Granada is home to the Sierra Nevada Mountain range(yes same name as the ones in the states) and the famous Alhambra Palace. It is said that if you have died without seeing the Alhambra, you have not lived. While the Moor built palace was worth the visit (although similar to the free student admission Royal Alcarzar Palace in Seville) I think the saying is a little over the top. I did really enjoyed seeing the amazing detail and craftsmanship that went into this exquisite palace while at the same getting a glimpse of the Moorish architecture more common in Morocco and parts of the middle east. Granada is a beautiful place with a laid back atmosphere and free Tapas with the purchase of any $2.00 drink at the bar. As our last small town stop in Spain before heading to Barcelona, Granada was a great place to relax and meet some cool people and seems like it would be a great place to live with a similar charm to that of Seville.

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Ceremony in Seville, Spain

On Sunday afternoon as we were resting and researching for our next week of travel, we heard a band playing in the streets and decided to go investigate. As it turned out, the band was making a lap around the town to draw a crowd and then ended up at a small church where locals, tourists and even news crews complete with video and film cameras were waiting for something to apparently come out of the church. After waiting for about ten minutes the church doors opened and slowly, but surely a small procession of people came out followed by a float with a very young virgin saint depicted on it. The float was carried by children between the ages of five to fifteen by my estimation, and rested atop their heads as they methodically and ever so slightly swayed side to side while moving forward in rhythm with the band who had started playing again and was following the processional. We followed the ceremony for a little while all the while in wonder why there would be such fanfare and a seemingly worshipful ceremony on the Lord's day for someone other than the Lord. upon returning to the hostel, we were told that the ceremony was a practice for one of the many ceremonies held in Seville during their easter celebrations. We were also assured that on easter at least one of the many floats would actually have Jesus on it which was comforting since the purpose of easter in mind is to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His free gift of salvation to those who accept it.

3-14-07 Ceremony in Seville Update!

I found out from my friend Isaac, that the ceremony in Seville I had thought was honoring a virgin saint was actually honoring Jesus. The statue that looked like a little girl to me is actually supposed to resemble a vision of Jesus that was seen in Prague at some pint and is very celebrated. I may be relaying these wrong, so feel free (especially Isaac) to correct any mistakes. None the less I was grateful to find out that all the festivities were in honour of Jesus instead of a small girl saint as I had first believed.

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Seville, Spain

Seville is a beautiful city full of culture, bright colors, friendly people, history, and charm. I would not mind moving here to live or retire one day. While in Seville we went to Mass in the Cathedral of Seville - the third largest cathedral in Europe and possibly the world. It was a great experience to see how others worship and hear the gospel read in another language. Also it was amazing to hear the incredible sound of the organ in that majestic and awe-inspiring church. I really enjoyed the beautiful decorative orange trees lining almost every street and the use of vibrant warm colors on the buildings. I am looking forward to visiting the even smaller town of Granada and seeing one of the most amazing palaces ever built - the Alhambra.

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Madrid, Spain

Madrid was worth spending a day in, but I could not see spending more time there as it is a city and does not allow one to see the warm bright and laid back culture we later saw in Seville. While in Madrid we went to the Prado museum, the Royal Palace and Plaza Del Sol among other highlights. We also went to see the Statue of the fallen angel.

One of only three statues in the world of Satan. It is in the Park of Madrid and is worth the time for the curios visitor. After a day we decided to cut our Madrid time short and head to Seville.

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Paris, France

Paris is a beautiful city full of art, fashion and public displays of affection around every corner. While in Paris I was pleasantly surprised to find the people friendly and helpful which was contrary to the stereotype in America of the Parisians. I would start every conversation by saying bonjour and then ask if they spoke English. I think most Americans may just assume everyone speaks English and start the conversation in it in turn possibly offending the people with the assumption that is not always correct. We had our first couchsurfing experience here, and enjoyed learning about the culture, people, history, city and government from Melissa our host who was actually from California and has been studying in Paris for a couple years. I enjoyed seeing the museums, sights, people, and eating the delicious food, but do am not a city person and was glad to leave after five days in this busy and beautiful city.

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Aran Islands - Inis Mor, Ireland

The Aran Islands are a group of three islands of the west coast of Ireland. The biggest of the three with a population of around 800 is Inis more home to the viking fort Dun Angus built in 2000B.C. We took a ferry from Galway to Inis Mor and were lucky enough to witness an Irish Coast Guard practice rescue performed from a helicopter onto our ferry! Once we checked into our hostel, we went on a walk around the island with our new friends Mary from Colorado, and Gordon from Boston. The island is mostly made up of green pasture land sectioned into 200 square foot areas by miles upon miles of rock walls. We saw an old Light house and then continued on to the fort. It was so amazing to see a fort that had been around 2000 years before Christ came to earth! The fort is a semicircle situated with the open end of the half circle on a 420 foot cliff dropping into the ceaseless ocean waves bellow. After seeing the Fort, we headed back to the hostel. made some pasta for dinner, and then went to the local pub for a bit before heading to bed so as to wake up in time for our 8:30AM ferry back to Galway Bay followed by a bus ride, a plane to Paris, and a Metro to our hostel the next night. Ireland is a beautiful country with beautiful culture and friendly people.

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Connemara, Ireland

After spending a day in Dublin, we headed out to Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Galway is a decent sized town with a college, many shops and tourism options and commercial fishing. It is a great hub for exploring the Cliffs of Moor, Connemara, and Taking a ferry to the Aran Islands. We took a day bus tour of Connemara and saw some beautiful Irish scenery including plains, mountains, and coastline. We also saw Kylemore Abbey and Gothic Cathedral set in a picturesque lake side valley between the green mountain of Ireland. Ireland is a beautiful country with a laid back charm all its own. The people are friendly and the accents are great to listen to.

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Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is a fun city to spend a day in. The people are very friendly, the atmosphere is lively, and there are some must see sights. After about a day me and Daniel felt content that we had seen about all there was to see for a short visit to Dublin and were ready to get out into the countryside. While in town we saw Trinity College Campus, The Book of Kells, The Custom House, Dublin Castle, The Dublin Spire, a park, a shopping district and the highlight of the trip - The Guinness Storehouse. I would highly recommend the Dublin Castle tour, The Guinness Storehouse and, as a must see, the Book of Kells. Everyone was so friendly, helpful, and in good spirits. I look forward to spending a few more days getting a glimpse of the people and culture!

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Oxford, England

Oxford is a town full of history, prestige and reputations. It was a great experience to see the famous and world renowned campus. While there we had lunch at The Eagle and Child, a pub that is famous as a favorite hang out for C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien! The food was good, and the atmosphere was even better. It was so cool to be in a place that had been a thinking tank for two amazing Christian authors. We met a really nice Father and Daughter From Florida as we were leaving the Pub, and talked to them about football, college, and traveling. I really enjoyed the amazing gardens, buildings, and lively atmosphere while touring the massive campus.

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Rugby, England

Rugby is a town of about 80,000 halfway between London and Birmingham. My friend Isaac from Auburn is an Episcopalian youth pastor there, and after touring London with him on Friday , we headed up to visit with him and see Oxford on the following day. Rugby is actually the birthplace of the game with the same name, and has a very prestigious boarding school with a statue of William Webb Ellis - the school boy who first had the idea for the game of Rugby. The town is very cozy, and I really enjoyed meeting the locals, hearing about the history of the town, and getting a much better idea of the cultural and religious differences.

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London, England

If you have not been to London, I highly recommend it. It was amazing and awe inspiring to the see the buildings and landscapes where my ancestors and the much of the history of Christianity resides. The age, detail and craftsmanship of the buildings and homes is very humbling and truly makes one realize how young America is. Many of the buildings are from the middle ages or before and going in them gives one the feeling of going back in time and makes history come alive. During our three day stay in London, we saw The National Gallery, The Imperial War Museum, The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, The London Eye, St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey, Albert and Victoria Museum, The Science Museum, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Hyde Park, and many other small highlights. It was fast paced and lots of fun. I look forward to the possibility of visiting again in the future.

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Back on The Road!

After more than five months of staying in one place, I am finally making plans to travel again. The destination this time is Europe and I can't wait! I am heading out on January 9th and planning to stay for 3 months or until I run out of money whichever happens first. I have had some great memories from my years here, and look forward to the possibility of returning in the future, but for now am glad to close this chapter of my life and plan to move to Colorado or somewhere out west when I return to start my career in Industrial Design. I am unsure what God has planned for my life in the future, but am enjoying seeking him and discovering His will for me day by day and following it.



Auburn, AL

Well after a fun two months of traveling all over the mid and eastern US, staying in hotel rooms, and eating out more than I ever have in my life, I am back to my home away from home on the Plains! I love the laid back down to earth atmosphere of Auburn, and am excited to be here for one more football season! I will be living here until the end of December, at which point I am hoping and praying to move overseas for a couple years to work, travel, and experience new and different cultures!
P.S. check out this link to read what's what makes being an Auburn Tiger so special! the story is called I Am Auburn



New York, NY

Every time I visit New York I like it more and more. The city is vibrant, diverse, and always moving. I don't think I could live there for more than six months, but it is a great city to visit. I got to visit walk around and see a lot of the city on foot. One of the highlight was seeing the new Apple store on 5th Avenue. The entrance is a solid glass cube about twenty feet high with glass stairs leading down into the store below. You can view a Quicktime VR of it here and here.
We had our eleventh and final event on the southeast side of the city, and had a lot of fun. There was the largest crowd yet, and all the finalist we had met at the previous events were there. I had a great time on the tour and got to see a lot of new and exciting places and have some new experiences. I am really glad for the opportunity I was afforded in working on this tour, and look forward to the posibility of doing similar promotional work in the future.

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Minneapolis, MN

I got to visit a good friend, and see the largest mall in America with a theme park in it! Mineanapolis was a realy nice city. It feels welcoming and neither too small or too big. The weather was perfect, the city was fun, and the people were friendly.

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Des Moines, IA

Des Moines is just as boring of a city as you would think, but the Iowa State Fair is probably the best thing to do see in Des Moines. We had our event at the fair on Friday, and the street was packed with thousands of people by the time we left. If you plan on visiting, I suggest you visit during the state fair if you must visit at all.

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Chicago, IL

Chicago is a great city in the summer. We got to visit for four days, and really enjoyed the cities architecture, museums, gardens, fountains, and parks. It is a beautiful city, and the weather was perfect, but I would not want to be there in the winter. While there I went to the Field museum were I got to see a King Tut exhibit and the man-eating lions from Tsavo, that the movie The Ghost and The Darkness is based on, among other things. I also went to the top floor of the Sears Tower and the John Hancock Buildings. I also went to Millennium Park, The Chicago aquarium and the Da Vinci Exhibit in The Museum of Science and Industry.

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Columbus, OH

In Ohio I got to go to my first state fair. It was fun, with lots of things to see, do, and all the junk food you could ever want. We got to watch a great fireworks display both nights, once when we set up the stage, and the next night as we took the stage down. Our event was fun as well and we had a good crowd come to watch. I didn't get to see downtown Columbus, but plan to visit it sometime in the future.

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Atlanta, GA

Home sweet home! While in Atlanta, I got to visit the fam, lot's of friends, and host an event at Turner Field. Unfortunately I was unable to go to the game because we had to set up and tear down the stage in one day. It was a good time to relax, recharge, and re-unite with loved ones. I will miss my family and friends when I move overseas, or out west in December, but I know the Lord will provide new ones, and hope to stay in touch with my currents as friendships have no distance boudaries.

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Austin, TX

Home to the University of Texas, and over 47,000 bats. The video can be viewed by clicking here. The bats come out from under the bridge at sun down ever night, and it is an amazing site to behold. Just when you think that there could be no more bat's living under the bridge, thousands and thousands more come out and head south to feast on on insects all night.

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Jacksonville, FL

We didn't get to stay in Jacksonville very long, because we opted to go to New Orleans, and Panama City on the way to Jacksonville. New Orleans was strange to see after Katrina and Rita. I had been there before the hurricanes, and it was terrible to see the devastation and ghost town looking neighborhoods surrounding the city. The French Quarter looked exactly as it had been before, ands was by far in the best shape. After New Orleans we went to PC, and relaxed for a couple days on the beach. Next it was time to head to Jacksonville, FL for the Kingfish tournament. Jacksonville seems like a great city. I was able to see My Uncle Steve and his family, and had a good time at the Tournament event over all.

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Charlotte, NC

Charlotte Is a very beautiful clean, and relatively young city. I really enjoyed visiting, and would not mind living there if the snow skiing was better. I got to do the giant swing drop ride at Carowinds theme park, which is similar to Six Flags. It was so fun, and makes me want to go ski diving ASAP. I got to visit my friend Kight and see his really cool loft apartment right next to his office. It was a lot of fun, and I look forward to possibly going back to visit in the future.

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Tampa, FL

We had an event in front of the Florida Aquarium which was fun because we got to go into the Aquarium for free and were able to have their kitchen clean our dishes, a process that usually takes about 3 hours and usually clogs up our hotel room tub. I got to spend a couple hours catching up with my Grandparents, and got a small tour of the Tampa and the beautiful campus of Tampa college. Florida is really hot!

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Dollywood, TN

After a relaxing time in Knoxville, we headed out to the redneck tourism capital of the world -- Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. If you ever have a lot of money you want to waste, I highly recommend the innumerable attractions and useless gifts that can be found in Pigeon Forge. On another note, I was very impressed with the size and amount of unique shops and rides that Dollywood had to offer. The best coaster in the park was Thunderhead; a wooden coaster that wraps over and under itself thirty-one times! This was the most fun wooden roller coaster I have ever ridden, and would highly recommend it.

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Charleston, SC

Charleston is a city full of history, old buildings, and beautiful churches. While there we hosted an event at an old plantation with a beautiful oak tree lined entrance. Every corner of the city seems to have had some important role in our nations history at one point or another. One night we went to a rooftop restaurant and bar. From the roof you can look around the city and see all the church steeples in the city.

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Philadelphia, PA

Stopped in Philadelphia for a day, and visited the Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall, China Town, a cool Market under a building, and of course grabbed a cheese steak.

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Boston, MA

Boston is a very unique city full of history, old buildings, and tradition. While there, I visited Harvard, M.I.T., Cheers, and explored many of the old part of the city including the Church where Paul Revere signaled from the steeple to warn that the "Red Coat's are coming!" I really enjoyed the mix of historic and modern throughout the city and suburbs.

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Washington, DC

After a week of training, me and my three other team members headed out from Atlanta on Saturday morning. We drove through the day and arrived in Arlington, VA at midnight. The next day we woke up , hopped on the Metro, and headed to DC. We went to see the Museum of Natural History, a couple art museums, as well as the Lincoln, Vietnam, World War II and Washington memorials.

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Summer Travel Schedule 2006

This summer I will be going on a mobile marketing tour to promote PAM cooking spray. Me and a team of three others will be traveling to eleven major cities, setting up "cook-off" competitions, and enjoying our great country. Bellow are the dates and location we will be.
  1. June 17th .................................................... Boston
  2. June 24th .................................................... Charleston
  3. July 1st ........................................................ Dollywood
  4. July 4th ........................................................ Tampa
  5. July 8th ........................................................ Charlotte
  6. July 16th ...................................................... San Antonio
  7. July 22nd ..................................................... Jacksonville
  8. July 29th ...................................................... Atlanta
  9. August 5th ................................................... Columbus
  10. August 11th ................................................. Des Moines
  11. August 19th ................................................. New York

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2005 Travel Summary

I had a busy year last year. I started the year out in Breckenridge, Colorado working at the ski resort in Guest Services. I had the best job I can think of. I would have two thirty minute shifts standing at a map to answer questions, and the rest of the day it was my responsibility to cruise the slopes, talk to the guests, make sure everyone was having a good time, and call ski patrol if anyone was injured or needed a ride. I skied about six hour a day and was on the mountain over a hundred days during the season.
After I finished working in Colorado, me and some friends headed on a road trip to visit Moab, South Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, San Francisco, Las Angeles, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and Mesa Verde. I love road trips and experiencing more of God's creativity in his beautiful creation.
Once we finished up the road trip I headed back to Atlanta, only to fly to Taiwan the next week. I was fortunate enough to join with my favorite professor, and eight other students from Auburn on a two month Industrial Design Study Abroad trip. I stayed at a small university in south Taiwan, and got to travel almost every weekend to locations including Taipei, Kenting, Hong Kong, and many other beautiful and unique places. I loved living in Taiwan and experiencing another culture. The Taiwan people are very friendly, hospitable, and fun. I would love to visit or live there again in the future.
After two months of enjoying Taiwan it was sadly time to head home to Atlanta. One day after arriving back in Atlanta I headed out with my parents and younger sister to Tanzania for a mission trip. We had an amazing time of growing closer as a family, while growing in the Lord as we served, ministered, and were ministered to in a small village called Karansi. After spending a week in the village, we headed out for a five day Safari on which we got to see Cheetah's, Elephants, Giraffe's Rhino's, Antelope, Lion's and many more amazing and beautiful creatures. It was an experience I will remember for ever.
Once we got back to Moshi, Tanzania my parents and some of the other team members headed home, while myself, my little sister, and seven others headed out to get ready for our trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro. We took seven days to trek up the mountain, with all nine team members successfully reaching the summit of 19,340ft. God gave our team unity, strength and endurance and over twenty-five thousand dollars was raised as a result of our climb to go towards AIDS intervention and education. You can view a video of our treck bellow.

After our successful summit of the tallest mountain on the African continent, we headed home to Atlanta. Once I got back home, I got a job as a waiter for Macaroni Grill, and took my last 14 hours of core classes at Georgia Perimeter College in order to graduate with a BS Degree from Auburn University in Industrial Design in December.

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