Childhood times

Remember how we used to take a piece of paper and make different cuts, turning it into snowflakes and stick it on windows? It have gone technical..You could make one right on the website (http://snowflakes.lookandfeel.com/)
Here's mine :)


Winter & North Pole

Nearing to end of my work shift, it was snowing outside (grinning). On my break, TV news and weather said it would be mix snow&rain between 6-9pm, stopped at 9-10pm, then possibly snow at 10-12pm. Sure enough when I got out, my car was covered not with snow any longer, but ice.
Later in evening, gone to Ingle aud. @ SAU @ RIT to watch "Polar Express" (pretty much first animated movie imitating humans beside cartoon characters) Its impressive movie , almost realistic (fluid movement and clear expressions) and it took 2&1/2 years to make. Sure can imagine that long with lot of work and details. It took me 6 hours to make 1-3 minutes flash for website class. This moive was worth to see if you like animation works and children story :)

When driving home, it started raining hails (not snow like news mentioned) and lot of flights were delayed. 195, TallWolf & JewWhoLovesGerman (as TallWolf called him) were lucky to missed it when flying out early this morning. I wished I had digital camera to take their lovely vehicles, which's being left at my apt to babysat, totally encased in ice. (Unf, camera's in other country with 195 :( )



Throw out the idea of retiring on cruise or prison or at lest add it to the options....Lets retire on this Hotel POSEIDON, its entirely underwater at 20 meters depth!.. It will be opened on December 2006 in the Bahamas (plenty time for trials and flaws) .

Yet, we probably wont be able to afford it unless we were rich.. It cost $1250 a night (gulps)... that's much I could figure out of french post from the french guy's blog.


New Fad "Nursing Home"

Look at that! What do you think? I would do it :)

About 2 years ago my wife and I were on a cruise through the western
Mediterranean aboard a Princess liner. At dinner we noticed an elderly
lady sitting alone along the rail of the grand stairway in the main
dining room. I also noticed that all the staff, ships officers, waiters,
busboys, etc., all seemed very familiar with this lady.

I asked our waiter who the lady was, expecting to be told that she owned
the line,but he said he only knew that she had been on board for the
last four cruises, back to back.

As we left the dining room one evening I caught her eye and stopped to
say hello. We chatted and I said, "I understand you've been on this ship
for the last four cruises".

She replied, "Yes, that's true."

I stated, "I don't understand" and she replied, without a pause, "It's
cheaper than a nursing home".

So, there will be no nursing home in my future. When I get old and
feeble, I am going to get on a Princess Cruise Ship. The average cost
for a nursing home is $200 per day. I have checked on reservations at
Princess and I can get a long term discount and senior discount price of
$135 per day. That leaves $65 a day for:

1. Gratuities which will only be $10 per day.

2. I will have as many as 10 meals a day if I can waddle to the
restaurant, or I can have room service (which means I can have breakfast
in bed every day of the week).

3. Princess has as many as three swimming pools, a workout room, free
washers and dryers, and shows every night.

4. They have free toothpaste and razors, and free soap and shampoo.

5 They ! will even treat you like a customer, not a patient. An extra $5
worth of tips will have the entire staff scrambling to help you.

6. I will get to meet new people every 7 or 14 days.

7. T.V. broken? Light bulb need changing? Need to have the mattress
replaced? No Problem! They will fix everything and apologize for your

8. Clean sheets and towels every day, and you don't even have to ask for

9. If you fall in the nursing home and break a hip you are on Medicare;
if you fall and break a hip on the Princess ship they will upgrade you
to a suite for the rest of your life.

Now hold on for the best! Do you want to see South America, the Panama
Canal, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, or name where you want to

Princess will have a ship ready to go. So don't look for me in a nursing
home, just call shore to ship.

PS And don't forget, when you die, they just dump you over the side at
no charge.


Teeth of Lesser Wisdom

29 Nov., Tuesday of 2005 was sad day indeed. Its the day when my jaws, root canal, teeth, etc were mutilated. I was having my wisdom teeth, all four of them, removed. As three were positioned sideways and refused to grow except for one innocent tooth that did but got removed as well. First two on right side went out willingly, didn't dare to rebel against pliers and all torture tools that dentist have within the reach. Unfortunately on left side, they decided to risk the revolution. One lost but another one on the bottom gave the dentist a hell of time that it had to be killed, sawed in half, and finally wretched out piece by piece. As of result, I looked like chipmunk but in few hours the swelling went down fast in other areas. However, in fourth area, where it was hardest, remained swollen up to today, going down very slowly. Now I look like half-mutating chipmunk...*chitters*


Black Friday

Raise you hands (or "blog commet hand") if you have experience or seen Black Friday first-hand (its the huge sales in limited amount of hours on the Friday, the day right after Thanksgiving) I have heard of it but never seen or experienced. Alas, I was scheduled to work on that ill-fated day at Target, forced out of bed at 5:45 AM! There was a long line of people already waiting outside Target, there was even a food stand truck provided. Once the doors opened, yep, many customers rushed in. All of them either walk very fast or jog abit, taking lot of short cuts, mainly toward electronics or toys area. It was funny to watch how they all act from my register station. I was glad that I was not among them with all grabbing and arguing, so forth. There was even bunch of people being shoved to floor at entrance of store in Missouri. My mom went shopping that day (not one of those people that stand waiting but a hour or so later when its easier to go in) with my brother. She saw a knives stand at real good deal and it was last one. There was a woman with her arms full of stuff near her, protested that she saw it first. Yeah, maybe she saw but she don't have her hands on it but my mom was too nice and just let her have it rather than argue about it. She eventually got same one in Webster where they have more. Interesting day, interesting people, interesting capitalism country, huh? :)


Secret Places

Rochester certainly know how to keep its secrets so well that you might kept on finding surprises non-stop. Two weekends ago or so, Leigh and I were heading out to Spot, the coffee house as many know, on East Ave. We happened to take different turn that took us on S. Clinton to lower part of Alexander St. away from Rochester. We spotted different coffee house on the corner of these two streets, called Boulder Coffee Co. So we thought why not checking it out so we went in. Its actually cool little old high beams ceiling, funky style among couches, small-large tables, board games to borrow and even computer provided. Only thing that was missing of that place were the mountains outside, heh. They have many more kinds of chai and other drinks which were quite good. Check it out on http://bouldercoffeeco.com/ We went there again yesterday and when we left, we turned on South Ave. aka. we found more cool places. There was a amazing old house store that sells all old house parts like door knobs, hinges, ceiling lights, doors, and many more. Its called Historic Houseparts, the interior of house reminded me somewhat of where my grandparents used to live in D.C. On that street also have neat hair salon called R Salon that cost around $19 for cut, my sister went there twice and were very satisfied with their style. Also there's cool artisc bar called LUX that I haven't gotten chance to check yet but based on Leigh and Lore's comments, it must be good place to hang out. There's still more places on South Ave., its certainly one of places beside East Ave, Park Ave, and Alexander St that you got to check out :) Want to know good restaurants spots in Rochester? Ask TallWolf :)


Coats, eh?

While working at Target, theres lot of interesting things you can see of what customers are buying these days. One of things being brought are coats for dogs. Yes, a thick coat with puffy collar and all the works that you usually see on humans in wintertime. Why would dogs need coats, beside the cute outfits for them on Halloween? They already have fur, lots of them that some of us actually envy them comparing to our hairless, freezing skin. Wonder whats next? Shoes? Already got them at Target.... Pierced ears? Possibly!


Meek News

Went Canada last weekend, partly for Ontario Deaf Volleyball Tourney. Some said, " Still coming to Canada, eh?". Yep, every chance, might eventually live there at some point, I was sure :) such as BC for summer, maybe.
It sure annoyed Jesse when I signed their signs, it was out of habit. Heck, you were on their soil. Suppose you were in Germany and you signed ASL, they would move off fast, hence, we got to adjust to its culture to get across to each other, wasn't that right?

Volleyball Tourney was short for 195's team,as they lose out. Only got to see much of game, only 3/4 of last one, didn't get to see much of old faces either. The location was terrible and barely enough room for fans. Unlike old time when it usually took place in Milton at ECD school, certainly one of best times.
Spent most of the time in Toronto, disappointingly, we forgot to stop by best Cheese store on Kensington Ave. Definitely would make a stop there when going up to Toronto during last week of Nov. to get my SIN (Social Insurance Numbers), its same as SSN (Social Security Numbers) in USA.
Until then......


Been There & Not Been There,yet...

Saw that link (http://www.world66.com/myworld66/login?redirecturl=/community)
thru 195....For fun, to see how much I've covered :)




Hmphspatz, not enough of Canada...Now I'm thinking of travel most of it this summer, hehe and more of countries in near future, hopefully. Guess I have itchy feet :)


Ain't Big Blogger, eh?

After taking time to looked at some friends' blogs in a quite while, and realized they were more blogger than I was (last post was a while ago,eh?). Time to make some post that came once in while, just way I was :)

Lately, its mainly going to sweatshop everydays and waiting to see if I was able to get in school in the wintertime for second degree. Other than that, the Rochy either saw me somewhere in downtown or Borders or
out of the town on the weekends. The weekend before last weekend, 195 and I went to his family home for Canadian Thanksgiving. Always will be happy to be in Canada and met his siblings at last. Sure liked his family, good humour people not some mean, overprotective people that eyed and sized me up, figuring whats best way to get rid of me :) TOFURKEY actually was good, it wont bite you to try literally! :)

Last weekend, went for camping (originally backpacking but short wknd so...) at Keuka Lake State Park. Its small park where its very quiet and peaceful, far from metal animals that zoomed down roads, emitting toxic smoke, occasically swerve to hit and bulk boxy things that never moved, where lot of people were saw going in with pocket full of money and came out empty-pockets, armful of things that would probably visit landfill by end of the year.
Ok, you got the picture so its good to get away from those from time to time, rite? Take look at this lovely place...... Cant wait for the wintertime (I know some of you groaned, heh) Maybe some winter camp? Snowshoe hiking? Countrycrossing? Oh yes, snowboarding! And more :) Any of you that would like to join for some camping or snowboarding, lemme know! ~the more, aka. more merry~



On Friday nite, Leigh and I opened our place as half way house to those gals, who suddenly found themselves outside, flat on their butts...as half of us, their guys decided to have a guys only poker night (their cover up to have a gossip time, they'll never admit to it) and another half of us just came for heck of mocking at their machoism with us (they didn't know of it ;-) ) Hehe
As promised, the pix was posted for u gals to copy and keep :)


Killing Time

Out of boredom and fear of mind deteriorating due to the boredom, came across this questionnaire site :) wanna see my result, eh?

You Are 80% Boyish and 20% Girlish
You have a tough exterior - and usually a tough interior to match it.You're no nonsense, logical, and very assertive.Sometimes you can't understand women at all, even if you're a woman yourself.You see things rationally, and don't like to let your emotions get the best of you.



Finally moved in the new apartment on Thrusday but couldnt bring rest of big things such as bed, desk, and etc because parents' caravan was long gone in Maine for its vacation so Leigh, my roommate, and I had to wait until Monday to finish it up. Wished had the whole wknd to settle in but at lease we were able to settle in 1/2 decent way with other 1/2 of boxes. In case if any of you weren't sure of where I was located in, its still same ol'Rochy and Leigh was going for MSSE. So she was perfect person to roommate with and for me to get out of parents house. I love my independence and own space too much, 9 months there was long enough. Fair trade through to save up for the Europe trip this summer (definitely worth it!!!!!!!!!!! Wished dearly that could stayed there longer)
Today was the first day back to the work, not thrilled but gotta earn money as usual and working in different postion this time (cashier/salesfloor). Better than saying good bye to daylights for long to work on same postion which had moved to overnights shift.
Off to my sweet home apartment to rest my feet abit and finished up the unpacking.
way of posting comments were bit different now as the word vertification was set up due to some spam being posted in comments...you guys still can post your comments without having to be a member..just be sure to enter the word vertfication at bottom of page to get it posted :)


Still busy

After Aug 10
Even the trip of Europe was over, we still got some more of travelling.. first to Buffalo for a weekend at Jesse's cabin, saw Keith, Kevin, Tiffany, Jess, Matt and his gf... then up to Canada...stop by to see Leigh whos would be my roommate this year :) and stayed at Matt Brownell's neat trailer near the lake for two nights, finally to 195's parents to see them and get some of his things. We could only stay there for one night as the next day was first day of 195's RA training (his job of year while schooling) and I was shacked with a darling girl that I was to babysit for a week...next week would be time to pack up for moving to apt on Sept 1 then going back to my work on Sept 5...no time to real laid off,eh?

Hope to start posting pictures soon, right now we were having bit trouble to download memory card into computer :P


Aug 10
The reality finally caught up, time for us to leave the summer of Europe behind. Was not looking forward it and it probably contributed to some of crankies btw 195 and I when trying to get on right tube and reaching to the gate which was 15 minutes walk inside the airport and got there in time to board. The catering for British Airways were on the strike so we wouldnt have any meals but was given a sandwich and water in "lunch bags". When boarded, it was pretty hot inside and got worse as the plane remained grounded past 8pm, the time it was supposed to take off. When asked the stewardess, turned out the starter of airplane was broken and had to be replaced. Finally after one hour, we took off toward New York City. We arrived there late at 11pm and missed our bus at 1am as the subway ride was long. The next bus was at 5:40am so we were stuck at bus station in a room full of other people and one guy seem to stink real bad. 195 couldnt stand it bu it didnt bother me that bad because my nose was bit blocked up and i was more irrated that we had to wait for several hours. Finally time came for us to wait in line for bus, what was more that the bus broke down so we had to wait for other one which arrived around 6pm! The busdriver went different way on backroads but got to Rochester in 7hours flat, no longer. We got into Rochester at 1pm so we offically finally arrived back after string of bad lucks as if North America didnt want us back. Frankly, we would be more than happy to stay back in London :)

Aug 9
Went out to Greenwich town, upitty part of London and home of 0 degree of logitude in the park of Greenwich. It was near water that bring perfect weather to the sunny day (its already cool in London). After stopping at a small cafe to grab some lunch for the park so that we could enjoy the outdoors. As we observed the people while eating, 195 pointed out a couple that was carrying a pinic basket waling down the sidewalk and mentioned that they were a true European. I had to add that the true America would be carrying a big pinic icebox filled with beers and big hunk of mean, then they would drive in car up to the spot they want to eat rather than to walk.
After our lunch, went up to top of hill, visiting the Greenwich museum and stand on 0 degree logitude. Afterward, spent most of aftertoon in park, lying on grass and reading our books. Finally went back into London, to "home" for the evening and grabbed last dinner from Indian place again :D

Aug 8
Nothing exciting and went to Camden Town (a down to earth, punky,hippie kind of part of London) They have lot of neat things at cheaper cost and foreign food courts. Got few things, not alot because its real cheap for London people but still a double cost for us (7pounds equals 14 dollars). Around dinner time we got some food from Indian place around the corner, they have real good foods there for good price!

Aug 7
All of us who went to rave slept in late except for poor Himel, he slept only for 3hours as he had to go to a wedding. 195 had little headache but Adam got a bad case that last him whole day into tomorrow when he finally feel better. I got little headache but it goes away fast when Stephen offer me a drink with solutable pill that worked real well (thinking of buying one but forgot to). A day of relaxing.

Aug 6
Slept in at last and did some laundry as theres not much left for us to wear! Chatted with Stephen, Adam and Himel bit of how our trip went and they fill us in of the bombings in London. They still got the newspapers of it, glad that none of them were in those places at time of bombings.
Most of day, boys were watching the cricket finals (very popular game in London, as well as Australia) I learned an quite about it and watched some of it with one eye reading the book that I was almost finsihed with.
Finally at 18:30 we got ready for the Deaf Rave (which was taking place at some church, weird isnt it?). Went with Adam out to meet up with Himel and his friends at a bar for few hours before going to the Rave. When we got there, it was pretty packed on every floors (three of it) and pretty dark. We lost eachother easily but managed to stick with one or two of us most of night. However toward late of night, we lost eachother almost for good. 195 couldnt find me or anyone else so he finally decided to head back to "home" and bumped into Adam at bus stop. He also had trouble finding anyone so hes going home and ran into 195. Now 195 would be able to get in home because hes planning on waiting on the step! As for me, I sure enjoyed Rave alot and saw few familar faces and met some new people...later I realized I didnt see my crowd or 195 so I started looking. One guy I was chatting with was looking for his friend too so we went looking together for his friend and me for 195. We didnt have much luck but I found Himel and stuck with him for the remaining hour and that guy's friend eventually found him. We got out at 7am when the rave ended. I was bit surprised that I was actually there all night toward early morning! I was sure that 195 was at "home" but still was relieved to find him there, sleeping :)

Aug 5
Last day of Dublin and of visiting new countries for we were heading back to the start of our trip, London, England! 195 wanted to check out Jameson Distillery, product of Ireland. Apparently they dont gave any discount for deaf people and they got phamlet explaining the parts of tour so we felt its sufficent that we didnt take a tour afterall. After checking out their store, didnt find anything to buy, went over to busy street of O'Connel, where lot of stores were located to get some things for the family. 195 didnt find anything of Ireland for its mostly sourvieor that he found to be cheesy,had to agree with that. Only thing I bought was a thimble for mom and nice shirt for brother. Went back to hostel, mulling over whether we should make our late lunch or wait til the airport. At that point 195 noticed that its 18:30 as we thought it was 17:30, were planning on taking bus at 18:00 to airport. So we rushed to the bus stop, unfortunately it seem to be the busy time of day for there were many people and we all had to crammed in with only one enter and exit on the bus. We arrived at airport in time and have enough time left to sit and wait for our plane, that was a close call. Certainly enjoyed Ireland but wanted to visit again to visit the rest of Ireland as they got several very intruging places to see such as Gaint Cuaseway that we didnt have time to see.
Landed in London within a hour (short ride, eh?) and found out that we were way outside in the outskirt of London and we had to take train toward center of London (more money going out of our pockets) and took tube to the Elephant Castle stop. When we arrived at the Elephant Castle,we wanted the bus toward Old Kent/east st where friend, Himel and his roommates lived at...so we were looking around for right bus stop as there were several on the same street. One guy asked if he could help so I wrote the number of bus (#63 or 168 toward Old Kent st/east st) we want to take, he didnt know. So we went our way and starting to remember one location that bus stop at but the guy stopped us and said he know and kept gesture us to follow him. He was very insisting so we followed but turned out he thought the number was the number of house..finally he got that we wanted the number of that certain bus, he felt awful and paid for our bus fare, sending us in right direction at last. It was nice of him to help, in a way we could have arrived friend's house earlier if it was not for misunderstandings but least we got a story to tell, heh. Our friend, Himel, was glad that we got there as he was wondering if we were arriving that night and almost ready to go to sleep when we arrived. I told him that we would arrive around 11pm but with all that long train ride into city and confusion with the guy, we arrived his home at 1am. Very beat out and light out shortly as we hit our head on temp beds (the couches, hehe). It kind of feel like we were returning to home already, we sure liked London alot and wouldnt mind to live there.



Aug 4
Decided we wanted to (more on my side) visit outside Dublin to nearby towns so that we could see more of Ireland itself. The tickets for train wasn't that cheap and the ticket was stamped at the gate (based on experience, conductor often didn't check the tickets when already boarded so it was bit waste of money) That led to the decision to buy roundtrip ticket to Howth (one of two towns we want to stop at) as it was closest than Drogheda. We went to Drogheda first, not much to see except for its old fort and one remaining gateway for it was a fortress in its old time. Several battles had took the place there and the rally, calling for peace between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland not too long ago took place there as well. After peek in one or two shops to see if could find Ireland wool sweater, no luck, we hopped back on train toward Howth. It started to rain when arrived there so we popped in a restaurant for a lunch and it was still raining when we were done eating. We took a quick walk around, along the shore and up the hills to take some pictures of true Ireland harbor town. Then decided its not worth to stay any long so we took train back to Dublin and stopped at food store yet again for our dinner (stayed at another hostel that was reserved for other two nights due to cheaper $$). Got a Guinness made for foreign market that had higher percentage, it taste strong and ok as the Ireland's way Guinness taste better.

Aug 3
Bright and shine, with some breakfast in our stomach, we took to route we saw in book with some of our add ons. Stopped at O'Mallory's pub that some famous people like JFK had went there. Got a draft of good ole' Guinness of Ireland there, the barman said to let it settle first then he would fill the remaining to proper level once it settle . Its quite different to another drafts. It was only 11 in morning and pubs were already opened early. Stopped at Trinity College, one of oldest and well known college where the grass were green because people were not allowed to walk on it but it look bit threadbare to me (wondered if there was school of students sneaking quiet stampede on it during darkest of the night).
Went through one small park where life-like with life-like color statue of Oscar Wilde (famous poetry?)on a rock and a big park, many people lounged out on the clean cut grasses on their lunch breaks and business men taking a stroll along its several ponds.
After small detours we reached to the vegetarian cafe where there was a long line of people waiting to order (quite surprising for it wouldn't be seen in east of north America for sure), enjoyed a good meal. Went to Guinness factory to take a tour of it, didn't get much of discount and had to agree with 195 that the Heineken Experience tour in Amsterdam was more worthy.
Hence to say, we saw most of Dublin and head back to hostel for the evening of unsuccessful attempt at cooking the vegetarian burger mix that we bought in Hungary for its in Hungarian language so we tried our best to guess. No luck as it crumbled and we had to ate it that way and tasted pretty bland too.

Aug 2
Gathered up our things and slung it over our shoulders once more and head out... No, not to train this time but to the airport of Brussels. However, it was half true because we still had to take a train to Charleroi (45 min out of Brussels) where airport was. The first train we hopped on said its heading to Charleroi but only to stop at next station and all people got off. We were puzzled why and tried to catch another one and missed. Still to our luck the another train going this direction was coming shortly afterward and arrived the destination before the another one we just missed. Also we left early so there was nothing to panic about missing the plane. We eventually got to the airport, checked in our bags, to our dismay they had a weight limit on bags and any that was over the limit was charged 7 Euro per 1kg. Mine was just barely at the limit (15.9), while 195 was 23kg. We took out some things but not to much of success and ended up paying 55 Euros.
Arrived at Dublin in nick of time and took the bus into the city (30minutes away) and got off on O' Connell Street as our hostel was nearby. After walk up and down the street several times, still couldn't find it so we stopped at an internet cafe (its everywhere! on every street!) and found out that it was Talbot Place not Talbot St (both intersect eachother thro). One thing to know about Ireland's streets were that their street name change on every block so one stretch of road will not have one but 5 different street names if it got 5 blocks on it. It sure make it easy to find a place for there was little chance of missing it but it sure confused hell out of new faces in the city.
Found the hostel and signed in, while 195 was at internet cafe, using up remaining minutes. Once I signed in I walked back to internet real fast that guy practically ran and was relieved to find me. He apologized for forgetting to have me sign the receipt and was friendly that on way back to hostel, he asked what I think of Dublin so far. Told him that its interest place but hard to say yet for it was only first day being there and after signing receipt, couldn't resist the temption to joke by asking the guy if there was no other thing that he might forget, he laughed and said, "Yes, that was it." 195 and I zoomed to the food store just down the street after make ourselves at home in the hostel, to buy some food for the dinner and the next day. Walked down the street abit before calling it the night.


The Rest

Time to finish up the rest of last part of Europe!!! 195 sure managed to do most of his... ah, at least the lull give you some time to catch up on reading them all :)

Aug 1
Last day in Brussels, grabbed that day to explored the east side of the city. Went over to see the Atom that were often seen in books or postcard of Brussels. Turned out it was closed for repairs, another one where you just stand outside and snap the picture with all construction obscures. Walked over to the Japanese park nearby, eyed beautiful Japanese building which wasn't not open on that day. It got me thinking about traveling Asia next. Made a brief stop at internet cafe to check on process with finding an apartment for the fall back in the Rochester. 195 got some beers which was quite strong and bit too much. The end to long day of walking of Brussels.

Back to July 31
Took advantage of the LAST day of our Eurail Pass by taking trip to Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (smallest country in Europe, slightly smaller than Rhode Island, USA) Beside Vatican or Monaco or Andorra.
Only three hours ride from Brussels to Luxembourg City(almost center of country), small, eh?. It was an old city with old walls still standing around most of city. It got one of really peaceful and nicest park set up in the valley outside the wall (looked it might once was a river or creek but long ago blocked off) It got excellent trail to run or walk. There were several little rail tracks for children to ride in small train, playground and great section of hill for sledding. It even got a pond, wouldn't be surprised if it was even used for ice skating in wintertime,and quiet little creek alongside trail. When we wandered into city (tips suggested to just wander through the city as we would came upon most of major sights), we stumbled into a medieval festival going on with everyone dressed up in medieval time except for the visitors. Bought ourselves a medieval lunch, a wrap with spread of onion and herbs..Another is with potatoes, quite good! But it left us a strong onion breath and burps! We took a walk on the route where there was brass triangle on ground point us the way to best parts of city.. Wandered along most of it and nearly lost 195's water bottle but someone was kind enough to put it on the side of trail, whew!
Finished the city to our satisfaction within approx. 4 hrs and headed back to Brussels early than we anticipated. On half-way back, a shy girl across us on the train finally worked up her courage to talk to us. Turns out she was a hearing girl from Luxembourg City on way to Brussels for her university year and she learned some sign language through a deaf girl who was in her class that introduced her to other deaf people. She signed in France Sign Language so we mainly communicated by writing for she know English as well. She got her deaf friend who lived in Brussels to meet up with us so that he could tell us more about Brussels better than she could. The guy, Reno, was nice guy and give us lot insights of what Brussels were like and how was it for the deaf people. There were still some oppression there but they were fighting back, unlike in North America where there were lot more rights.
They drop us off at the hostel after the bar place where we sat down to chat for while for it was already late in the night and bars were only ones that were open that hours. Nice end to the day of two countries visit despite Brussels' constant rainy days.


Day of Brussels

July 30
The day of walking enroute lair of Brussels, 195 and I chose the one that seem to be in the middle/lower class part of city, other was in business district and another was in rich part. Started out with the eagerness to wear out the soles of our shoes after a stomach-filling breakfast provided by hostel, quite filling mark my words...went past one of old church, walked through shopping centre with glass roof covering walkway between two buildings, got our hands on Beligan waffle (too sweet and it got syurp that reminded me of sugar cane syurp that my roommate loved for she was from near the New Orleans, where most people use sugar cane syurp rather than maple or else)...went thru Grand Place, an open square of the most oldest and most well preserved buildings around the edge of square of Europe. Flower fesival was held there annually where they made a design with flowers covering the whole square, too bad that day was long gone by the time we were there.

Ah ah time agoinggggggg, sorry got to leave you hanging

July 29
Forgot to add one thing of previous day.. we visited the Sex museum (hey, is that gasping and tsking come to the mind from some of you, eh?) Afterall, it was mentioned by some friends and a cousin who went there and practically Asterdam was the one that had it so I was wondering what it was all about. Basically it was all ah, better save the details for the sake (for those that didnt want to know and for those who do, better let them see for themselves)
Now back to day of July 29, uneventful day as we travelled straightaway to Brussels, Beligum after signing out the hostel. Brussels was only three hours away so no need for overnight trip or to waste the day in Netherlands when we could see Brussels on the same day. After dumping and taking claim of bed at hostel, we went out to explore Brussels alittle as it was late in afternoon. Stopped at food store across street to stock up for the dinner and getting some Beligum beer, naturally. Beligum was known for its wide varitiety of beers with higher percentage than rest of europe (most). 195 got a free map that have three suggested walking routine hightlighted on the map, it look interesting and pass most of the major sights and insights of city as well so we marked it in our mind to do on the next day. Until the next...


July 28
Nothing much left to see for all its famous tulips were long gone in may-June, they even have farms of it which reminded me of the tulip farm back in west that I saw when I was young. It sure fascinated me to see an "endless" colorful field of flowers back then. I also didn't see any windmills but we sure did see lot of modern windmills which were use to make electricity in Germany and Netherlands. Stopped at small greenhouse which supposely to have world largest water lily but it was actually second largest water lily for the other kind of lily that was largest cant survive in Netherlands' climate.
Stopped at library where they provided 30minutes of free internet, did the usual things but with limiting time so we went to an internet cafe aft it to work on our travel plan after Brussels, Belgium. Through all those bickering and mind-blogging, 195 and I figured out best way was to fly from Brussels on budget-saving airline, RyanAir, direct to Dublin, Ireland (in my delight that we had time to least visit it) Wanted to have 3 days tour around Ireland but time and money wasn't abundant so Dublin would do for time's beginning.


July 27
After short breakfast, headed to our reserved hostel to check in and dump our packs then nabbed a free map of city. Started out looking for well-known statue of penis in front of Casa Roma, in which, I was not familar with until 195 point it out alongside recommended places to see on the map. No such luck of locating it, since it was not most desired so we didnt try hardest to find it and headed to the Heineken Brewery for a tour. Interesting to learn how it was made and I am sure some of you were drooling at thought of it. Afterwards, tried to find a park that had a human-size chess, no such luck. Then tried to find vegetarian cafe, same thing again.. so finally we stopped at a coffeshop for a snack of brownie and cups of coffee so that we could use their toilets. Amsterdam's streets were pretty confusing sometimes and some places that said to be there didnt exist at all.
We looked up and found another vegetarian restaurant that we eventually found but meals was bit expensive that we went to yet another coffeeshop for dessert. We had cholocate cake and hot cholocate drink (amsterdam must love cholocates for they were plentiful and most of desserts were them!) Headed back to hostel for the night but got bit turned around and went in circle for bit before finally finding it. Stayed in for rest of evening, not in mood to get lost in their streets at evening where things looked different.

July 26
Time to leave Berlin to the next stange land but alas not before we stopped at the post office first. To send a postcard and for 195 and me to shed some extra pounds of unneeded stuffs, surprisingly mostly his :D Ah yes, I did have some things that I would love dearly to dump but backpack still got room for it so why not enured it and keep myself in shape ;)
Jumped on the train toward Hamburg, Germany, when arrived, we realized that it was city with little significant to see even thro it said to be most bomb riddled city out of others in Germany. Most or almost all of it was long ago repaired and rebuilt so not much to see of its damages. In end we decided to turn our tails and board back on train, heading straightaway to Amsterdam, Netherlands, hoping the hostel we reserved for the next night had an availibity for us that night.
Arrived at late evening but plenty of people out on street with interesting smell smoke coming out from coffeshops and plenty of red-lighted windows with women standing in them. A whole different environment, not exactly my atmoshpere but we got see much as we could of Europe, eh?
The hostel as not surprising was full and they referred us to an office that help people to find a room, apparently, it happened everydays :) We managed to get a room at 30€ per person (60€ in total) which was not baf for it was 5€ more than the hostel we reserved for the next two nights. This room we stayed was right on the corner of the building, with excellent view of busy street down below. Lights out.


Hence the Berlin

July 25
Another typical day of sighting, one plus side I got my wish to see at least one building that showed the evidence of its war scars. It was a bombed-out church that partily of it was kept standing and its surrounding buildings were completely destroyed; new buildings now stand in it old spots and there even was a new modern looking church built beside the bombed church. It was intriguing to look at all old photos of the church and its surroundings in its former state and afterward. Then went on our way, peeked at Reichstag (Parliment) building that had torando shaped mirrors all way up to roof of its dome with long line of people way out into the building's lawn so we skipped going inside. Kept going to Soviet Soldiers memorial park, Terror wall where the SS headquarter used to be, and famous Charlie's checkpoint (they had huge picture of some soldier on the post front of check point station, didnt get to find out what it was all about of this soldier), and saw some of remains of Berlin walls scattered around the city as most of the wall were long gone (probably taken by some low budget construction company who saw the chance at free materials). Went in circles, almost in the vain, to find the square where books burning took place. Eventually did found it, thanks to our stubborn heads.... not much to see through except for glass window on the floor showing a bright white room with empty shelves and some cries from burning book can still be heard. The heavy rain broke out just as we were heading to subway for our hostel after a fast glance and snaps of the Red Town Hall, used to be Soviet's.


Bearlin (yes, Berlin but mascot of Germany was Bear, heh)

July 24
Another fretful sleep on the train, arrived in Berlin, Germany around 5am, literally hoped that we would get the beds right away. After a short ride on bus to the All Time Hostel (almost same name as the one in Krakow, Poland thats called Any Time but werent even open early in morning) This hostel actually lived up to its name for we got our wish, the naptime :) The staff was friendly and helpful that he even change the sheets on bed that one occupant unrightfully slept in it. The place was also most clean of all hostels we had been to. Rested up most of day, planned out of what we wanted to see of Berlin for the next day..did bit of wandering in the area of the hostel.

July 23
Correction to my little error, on July 22 ("yesterday"), we spent our whole day at those castles and hit internet cafe (no, not to rob them) when we got back in Munich to reserve the hostel for Berlin before calling it a night. So as of today as you already got the preview, we went to Rothenburg. No need to make any more addtions to it to bore you out for we basically wandered around, gawking and gaping at how it managed to remained standing throughout many centuries (also was once the largest city in Germany but now an ant-size in comparision to Munich or Berlin), plus snapping pixs like every other tourists. Now on to the next day....


Hey there.... 195 and I were in Brussels, Belgium! :)  The internet were more expensive in Euro countries so we barely got time to do the internetcafe hunt for a good deal.. hope to do blogs before going to IRELAND! Yay! :)



Slowly, but surely

I was slowly trying to catch up on blog train! I was still forever hanging on the rail out in the back at the end of train to in effort to keep up with the blogs!

July 22
Got up with castles on our minds, caught a train trip down to FÜSSEN, the charming little town admist greenish meadows and farms with blue/green lake, where Neuschwanstein castle perched atop its rocky spot up in the mountain...sounding very unrealstic and something out of storybook, eh? It actually does look that way, it was no wonder why King Ludwig II had it built there :)
We planned on seeing those famous fairy tale castles built by King Ludwig II and then, visit some medival towns among "Romantic Road". This term actually meant those fairy tale castles and towns that were left in its medival period, hence considered romantic to most of the visitors. We took two hours train up to Neuschwanstein castle and its neighbor castle for couples of hour and walked on its bridge high up across the gorge of appealing waterfalls where you can dip in its ponds at end of falling water (wish I gotten the chance and time to do that!) Then took another train trip toward Rothenburg, the medival town.. truly medival town except for its 1/4 of recreation in which it was destroyed in WWII bombing. Finally, took the overnight train from Wurzburg which was also one of Romantic Road spots but it was nighttime already so we headed on to Berlin, Germany.

July 21
Enjoyed the most of Munich, making reservation for hostel in the next city, Berlin and set the plan for the next day to see the castels among the Romantic Road (series of city between Munich to Frankurt. One of highlights of interesting Munich that its park had interesting parts to it for one part of its creek had an unique wave where you can actually surf there. It also had a nudist meadow where there were actually naked people there instead just being mentioned in the tour phamlet but no where to be seen, of course, we walk pretty quickly thru it to get to another side of park :P


München-Berlin, Germany

July 20

195 and I arrived at the Jager's Hostel in München, bleary eyed near 7am in which the guy at reception exclaimed taht we were early! In the turn, the rooms were still full from the last night and we had to wait untip 2pm to take the claim on our precious bed spots. It left us to leaving our backpacks in lockers provided by hostel and ate all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet from 7am to 10am. We certainly took our time with the breakfast, helping ourselves much as we could and checking the spots, circling them, on the map of what to see until 2pm. Around 10am, we proceed to explore the München, checking out St. Michael church where King Ludwig II and his brother Otto were buried at. King Ludwig II was very well known for his fairy tale castles, one of them was Neuschwanstein castle that was frequently seen in tourist phamlet, caledar, 3-d puzzles and more all over the world. Then zoomed back to the Marzienplatz where the Glockenspiel clock was built at townhall in the celebration/gift for the wedding of Hofbräuhaus at 11am to watch the statues play and go around...the travel book warned that pickpockets practically had a field-day picking tourists' pockets while they gazed upward to the Glockenspiel clock (it didnt happen to us as we had almost nothing on us except the paper map that was worthless to them, grinz)

Ah! Time already ran out for me.... sigh... to be paused until then :(

For those who took time to send/post comments on blog... Thanks! It sure ensured that the homeland was still there and you guys were still existing :) Keep up, would love to hear a tid bit peep from you guys, smiles.


July 18-19

After the tumble, we stopped at places we wanted for some stuffs then made a headway to hostel, grabbing our backpacks while zooming over to the train station to head down and left of this country which was Ceskey Krumlov, Czech Republic. It was a charming medival town that got stuck in its time. It used to be a hometown of large generation of noble families but they later lose the interest and moved off to more attractive city...later the industry period came but this town lacks of natural resources or any major railway. Hence, it got left behind in its medival period without any modernization. 195 and I stayed there for one night and viewed the luxury castle and walk through the medival town and found yet another vegetarian restaurant with some bavarian menu choices. Then got down to the train for Munich, Germany but found out that they accepted only cash and we didnt have much left so 195 had to run all way back to center of medival town for atm machine (whilse it would made more sense if the medival town didnt have it but the outside part of it would!!!) Anyway, we finally got the ticket and made our way up to Munch, Germany on another overnight trip on train.

***currently in Munich, soon to be heading to Berlin tomorrow (23 July)***


Now in Munich (München), Germany, adding parts on Prague,Czech

July 18

After packing up and leaving our backpacks in the luggage room at the hostel so that we could go up the Perin Tower and stop at two stores that we wanted to check out for our stuffs for it was closed on the day before. After climbing up the trail to the top of hill where the Perin Tower stood. It was a simple tower that in somewhat looked like the Effiel Tower in Paris, France or the Spaceneedle in Seattle, Washington state. It did have elevator (very small, only for one handicapped person to fit in) while rest of us who were healthy climbed the spiral staircase that go around the evelator tube. The view was indeeded worthwhile and we could see in the all direction of Prague and the land itself was a relaxing rolling hills, almost flat. There was a house of mirriors nearby so we went into it for heck of it and laughed at some ridculaous reflections of ourselves. Took a short cut through the park down on little dirt and grassy part of park where people vetured off the paths. It was bit steep and I went down bit too fast as I didnt want to walk down tenatively.. but in the turn, my body went too fast for my legs to keep up and I knew the turnout would be worse so I took a roll/tumble and stratched up my left leg and ankle, it sure hurt alot but I was allright with all of my limbs still attached! :)

As of July 17

Had a late breakfast for they served it an hour later on sundays...went out to enjoy the last day in Prague after pack up our backpacks and left it the luggage room of the hostel. 195 and I wanted to check out two or three places to buy some things of the Czech. We stopped at Jagr's restaurant for a drink and light snack for the place was owned by very well-known hockey player, Jaromiar Jágr, which was unkownst to me beside the Domik Hasek who was also from Czech and was best hockey goalie (his name was forever etched in my memory files for my high school classmate, Ryan, was crazy about him and would talk alot about him, heh...at which, I was sure he would be green with envy that I got to see the place that his favorite hockey goalie was from)
Afterward, we stopped at internet cafe (got to made the best use of the countries', which was not part of Euro, cheap prices) , updated much of our blogs and other small errands, got in touch with some people, then left to check one restaurant out that supposely to have some good vegetarian selection. When we arrived there, it didnt look like they have much for us to choose so we decided to head to next street where there was also another restaurant that have good selections as well. The restaurant was called BarBar, very laid back and artsy atmosphere with local artists' works being displayed on the walls. They sure did have resonably selection of vegetarian which was really good even through their prices was bit higher than the one we went to on other two nights. After the dinner, we mulled over whether we want to go to palace that have city view or walk up the park that had Perin Tower that gave you excellent view of city but at that time of evening, it was already closed. It was decided that Perin Tower would be climbed on the next day so we went for a stroll back to our hostel.

Missed part of July 16

I forgot to added that after leaving the Miss Deaf World, we stopped at one local bar called U Sudu that had series of catacomb rooms, where you go down the stairs toward basement, you would enter one room tables and bar..but there was yet another enterance into another room..hence when you enter that one.. you would see another one off in the corner or so. The barman was friendly and quite animated, it was entertaining time.. we stayed there for a simple drinks them headed back to hostel for the night.


Remaining part

July 16
95's birthday was TODAY, 25----->26 (no longer considered a youth adult by Europeans standard for discounts) sorry, honey. We slept in bit late on courtesy of 195's b-day and headed out to the internet cafe the first thing of the day to find out what was the plan with Magda for the evening as she said there were a deaf event in which we didn't know exactly what it was yet. After a good amount of time to do our stuffs on the internet, went out on a stroll toward more outer part of Prague to check out the market. It was ugly and pretty much poor part of Prague with some bums' homes scattered on bank of the river, the market was already closed in the early afternoon. Ah well, time to head back over to grand side of Prague and settled on eating at same restaurant instead of stopping at our hostel for the time was running out before the meeting time with Magda at the metro. We got to the stop of the metro that Magda told us to meet at bit late, thankfully, Magda was a patient gal. We met some other deaf people and got on bus (grinning at spite of ourselves for the bus was full of them with some isolated hearing person) We arrived at a hotel, in which, we finally discovered that the event was actually a Miss Deaf World pageant. Sadly, the whole program was run by hearing people down to every bit parts of it excluding the deaf contests (I hadn't seen them signed either!) Magda explained that her organization that was formed 5 years ago to fight for more of deaf rights had tried to get them to change some things such as TV screen to show big picture of interpreter and hearing spokeperson in small box instead the other way around that they had always done in the past. None of her organization's requests had been taken into action by those hearing people but Magda still hope that one day some differences would finally got through.

July 15
Ah Prague, Czech Republic! Yes, 7:30am was early but plentiful of people were already up as well. With our bleary eyes and backpacks as usual, 195 and I went to find a cafe and internet to have some breakfast and check on the email to see if 195 got anything from a gal, Magda that lived there, on where and time would we be meeting up. Flabbergasted, there were none cafe opened but McDonalds was! So we ate there but outside under one of tables w/umbrella (hoping no one would bust us eating at McDonalds) with much of grumbling but our stomachs were happy to have something to fill up. The internet cafe nearby opened at 9am, after even bit longer of sitting at McDonalds, 195 was able to check the email in which we now know that we would be meeting Magda in the afternoon in the same area that we were in. After looking up the hostels, we found one that was located right on an island in middle of Prague's river, Vltava. So we zoomed over there, hoping that it was not already filled up (no, not water but the travelers like us) and to our luck, there were a room for us in the dorm which actually was in a gym, interesting place (Travellers Hostel)! The day was still at beginning so 195 and I lounged out on one of benches scattered around the park around the hostel for an hour and went back into city, meeting up with Magda. She in the turn took us on a tour, went into Old Town first, saw its square and a church that had a beautiful clock in which the poor maker had his eyes took out just because the city leaders didn't want him to make any more for other places (very selfish of them). Alongside the way, we went over the Charles bridge, very old and was one of King Charles' projects. On the other side of river, we saw the Kings Garden and the Prague castle where before leaving its gate, we get to watch the change of guards, which was quite young between 16 to 20, I would say. One of them barely suppressed a smirk. We parted with Magda and went a down to earth restaurant and hit the sacks shortly after the dinner.

Remaining part of July 14
In our vain to find the way to Auschwitz Holocaust camp, the another local pointed us the exactly same direction that the woman at train station did. So we headed down with our backpacks on our back, enjoying the sweat creating creeks down our back. After a good distance, we didn't see any sight of bus or anything that show Auschwitz was in that direction, so we stopped while 195 went into convenice store to find out. The cashier pointed us back to the train station and putted down the bus numbers that we could take to that place. We were puzzled and wondered if the other locals were having a heck of time by telling us wrong directions. Finally we arrived at the Auschwitz and started our tour after deposited our packs at the luggage room (sure was glad that there were one). The Auschwitz was free and got various museums set up throughtout the buildings where the Jews, POWs, and some others were held at. It was around 5pm by the time we were done with looking, reading, and pointing...dued to the time and diminishing daylight, we decided not to visit another camp, Auschwitz II, which were even bigger and had lot more massacre done there. 195 and I headed back to train station area of Oswiecim and ate at the local restaurant which had surprising good selection of vegetarian plates. We helped ourselves to pretty local plates which was pedrogies (cabbage and onions), borsch soup w/boiled egg (beet soup), and cheese pancakes (crepes with ricotta cheese and powder sugar spiked all over it). Good and cheap! We later relaxed at the bar next door, also owned by the restaurant, enjoying cool drinks and watching the locals. At last, it was time to get on our train that was stopping in Oswiecim at midnight, arriving in Prague around 7:30 am.


Prague, Czech Republic

Ignore the first post on Prague for this computer I am using refuse to allow me to type anything in the box except for the title box so I had to resort to sending the blog via email.....

July 14
195 and I had simple breakfast provided by hostel, which was coffee with bread, lettuce, tomato, cumber, cheese, and HAM! Of course, we excluded the ham whilse putting together a sandwich to chow down on. We was thinking of another visit to this vegetarian restaurant, Greenway, that we liked so much but didn't want to waste the day so we headed to train station to take a train to Auschwitz where the holocaust occurred. Soon as we arrived there, we purchased yet another bone-rattling overnight sleep on the train to Prague, Czech. Back to Auschwitz.. We weren't sure where to find right bus that would take us to there so we asked the woman at ticket booth.. She made a walking gesture with her fingers and pointed to the street going down away from front of the station. We still wasn't sure if we understood her so 195 asked another local that was waiting at the bus stop.


Krakow (Cracow), Poland!

July 13
Here 195 and I, in the Krakow, Poland (I was not kidding that they actually spell it Cracow in their language) That left me wondering why heck did the Europe spell their "K"s with "C"s and "C"s with "K"s, ie. Canada -> Kanada, Krakow -> Cracow... Ah, soon as we stopped at a train station just before our final destination, the hostels representatives (they were all young adults) got on and start going from seat to seat, asking us if we want to book a room (we already booked a room a day before due to high season) Not one but several of them came by, forcing us to shake our heads more than the usual. Once we arrived at Krakow (keep in the mind, we arrived there around 5:30 AM in the morning) and there were even more of them, the aggressive hostel representatives! Soon as we escape the hoarding reps..We headed straight to our hostel, Any Time Hostel (keep that name in mind)...It was not that far and we were already used to all walking :) (I believe 195 had lost some weight)
When arrived, the door into hallway was open but there was no reception or any staff around.. After wandering around abit, trying to find someone.. I peeked at the note tacked on the front door for someone that was supposely to arrive there at 5am and discovered that they didn't have staffs 24 hours and would be opening at 8am. Now you see why I said to keep the name of the hostel in the mind..."All Time", eh? .... It was 6am by then so we wandered even more around the district, enjoying quiet roads (sparsely filled with cars but plentiful of trams, seemly their main transportation) And stopped at cafe for some pastry and two coffee each of us to kill the time. Finally, we got in and viewed the room, pointing out to the staff that it got no pillows or blanket (apparently someone decide to be pig and help themselves more of pillows for the staff looked surprised)
At last, 195 and I took nap for we couldn't really sleep at ease on the vinyl seat with some draft from the train window. Slept for good two hours (actually two for 195 but one for me.. Couldn't sleep for a while), once refreshed, we ate our lunch out in the porch (hostel supposely to have a kitchen for us to use but there was none, hm!) Afterward, we headed out to visit the old town...looked at Wawel Hill castle that had been there for over 500 years and buried 45 monarchies there, then wandering out in the streets, looking at random stores and spotted this internet cafe to keep in the mind. Lot of stores sell amber stones things such as little statues, jewelry, and more at cheap price for Poland was known for its amber stones (plentiful of it). We stopped at a sourvier store, looking for a certain thing, near St. Mary's Basilica and we stepped out just in the time to see a man in tower playing the trumpet for it became a tradition in the honor when the guard, having spotted Tartars army on the horizon, started playing his trumpet to alert Krakow's citizens and was killed by one of the invaders' arrows in the neck. It was well into the afternoon, so we started to head back to the hostel to shower and get ready for the dinner out at a vegetarian restaurant that we spotted in the book. On the way, we stopped at the train station to find out the time and prices for the train to the town called Oswiecim, where Auschwitz was located outside of. We would be going there tomorrow before heading out to Prague, Czech on yet another overnight train.
After struggling with the water temp in the shower, I finally managed to get cleaned, faring 195 a good luck with it when it was his turn. Yes, soon as we were ready.. We headed out with food on our mind and arrived at Greenway, the name of this vegetarian restaurant (forgetting the thought of "should I bring umbrella?" for it did rained abit earlier) This restaurant turned out to be one of best vegetarian restaurant we ever been to and the prices was filthy cheap! I strongly recommend this place to anyone that happen to visit Krakow, Poland whether they were a vegetarian or not! :) With stomach full and a smile on our faces, we huddled against the rain (regretting for not bringing the umbrella) toward the internet cafe.......You know the rest :) (it sure was strange to be doing the blog of the day on the same day of this day..) Until then........!


Budapest, Hungary

July 12
195 and I enjoyed sure enjoyed the time at Zoltan and Erika Wahl's place but we had to continue our trip out to Krakow, Poland. After a good breakfast and more chatting with picture-showing of their friends and enage party. The hunsband wasnt present as he had to get up at 4 30 am everydays for his work. We also took the picture with the family, minus the hunsband :( , in which we will post later on when we were back in our country. We headed out to the mall to do more blog updating for you guys, smiles! We were going to see some more places such as labryinth of the Castle Hill and statue park, citadel & liberation monument, and great synagogue today before catching the overnight train to Krakow, Poland.

July 11
The day was bit cool and gloomy as we head out by noon toward the city park (Városliget) where they got a park, palace, zoo, and amusement park. It was deaf day where all deaf parents, grandparents even that were not working that day brought their children to amusement park at discounted price. 195 and I parted our way at there to view the city and the spots. It was rainy and I failed to bring my umbrella so we only got to see St. Stephens church where they got a mummified hand of King Stephens but we could hardly see it in its glass case. We went to an Indian restaurant for a simple lunch then headed to the mall to use the internet at the book store and bought some food from Spar. We finally arrived back at our host's place around 9pm even through we said we should be back by 8pm, they said, "oh, dont worry as you got to see much as you want for its once in the lifetime" The wife, Erika, had the dinner ready for us (195 had told them that we didnt eat any meats that shocked them and after I explained that I was raised that way and 195 liked it so he followed as well without my part in telling him to be a vegetarian) Erika managed just fine, cooking up quite great and stomach filling dinner consisted of hard-boiled eggs in spicy sauce and oil alongside with a potatos and cheese soup (I am not sure what else was in it) but 195 and I both loved it. One thing we noticed that they tend to give us lot to eat and kept telling us to have second helpings while themselves only had one helping. We incidated to them to have more too but they just said they were already full, very generous host and hostess!

July 10
The train that arrived on evening of July 9's couches was manily of couchettes, only two couches were sleeperettes but 3/4 of it had to be reserved so the non reserve part was pretty full. We finally found a seat in one sleeperette where two other couple offer to share their space for most of people seem to be pretty selfish of their space so taht they could have more room to stretch out to sleep. Ah well but we managed to sleep most of night and woke up pretty early on the morning of July 10, out of Croatia, in Slovenia and into Hungary. When we pulled into Budapest, Hungary (they had three train stations), 195 and I mulled over which one of those should we get off at as we want to go to internet cafe to see if 195 got reply from his friend who was born in Hungary but moved to Canada at age 10 and still got a friend back there. We decided to wait until the second stop at more big train station, Keleti, in more inter part of city. At the turn out, we were glad that we got off at there instead for as we walked toward the exit of station, 195 spotted a guy standing with name sign, saying his name. I wasnt pay attention and almost went past that couple with the sign it was lucky that 195 spotted his name and realized that they were looking for us. Hence, we were lucky to catch eachother at right time and place. After a discussion of what to do next, look for a hostel with the deaf couple's help, their name were Zoltan and Erika Wahl. The wife, Erika, suggested that we stay at their place for we were going to stay only for two nights. We were grateful for it and it certainly nice to have a local deaf guide to show us around. They lived at edge of Pest part (Budapest was actually made up of two parts of cities, which were Buda and Pest) in a cozy small apartment with three small rooms, dining room, and kitchen along with half bathroom and shower/laundry room. They had two boys, one was 10 years old named Zsolt, and two 1/2 years old named Dániel. Both boys were hearing but signed real well. We dumped our backpacks in the playroom where we would be sleeping in and ate a light dinner then the husband, Zoltan, took us back to the center of Budapest to see some spots. We went to see the Chain Bridge (Széchenyl Lánchid) with its lights on at evening, they closed off the bridge at evening so that people could walk over it enjoying bands that were scattered throughtout it alongside the food stands. 195 and I were already drooling over a stand that cook vegetables on big round iron bowl so we got some; it was very delicious. Then with our guide, Zoltan, we head up the stairs toward tne Castle Hill (Várhegy) to get the city view and of the bridge. After it, we walked down to Matthias Church, its extior was covered with fanicful scluptures and carves with colorful mosaics on its rooftop. At last, we headed back to Zoltan's home around 10pm with him reminding us of the routine to take toward his place for the tomorrow as we had to transfer metro or tram then to bus then to metro, last bus to his place for the part of metro was under the construction.


Continued to be Continue...

July 9
Here I am, at internet cafe to bring the blog up to the date and killing the time as our train depart at 10pm to Budapest, Hungary..long day, long wait until then......

July 8
We again relaxed for the day at beach, reading book.. later 195 went to Omis by bus this time to send email to a friend for a place to stay in Budapest, Hungary if we were lucky. Then we read some more, the most mistfortunate happed for the side of bed where Michael was lying on snapped and the bottom fell from the frame to floor. We summitted the woman and fixed it best as we could, keeping the room door closed for the woman didnt want her mother to see what happened to the bed for it was a new one, through not the strong kind. The next day was the day we were going to take overnight train toward Budapest, Hungary. I couldnt believe that it had been three days already as I felt that we hardly getting started our relaxing period in our 2 and half hetic months of travel.

July 7
I went out to a small market down the street while 195 was still sleeping to buy some food for a good breakfast. We cooked the onions, garlic, tomatos, and cheese with some oregano that we put in the bread alongside with chocoloate with wheats mixed with hot milk, it sure was good breakfast in a while. We then treated ourselves a day at beach, reading book, and basically relaxing blissfully.

July 6
195 and I decided to walk to the nearby town for some internet and to look around for Croatia was mostly the place for us to relax after all of moving and sighting. We walk and walk, hoping one of bend would brought us into the sight of town that we passed on the way to our location on the night before. We finally arrived there after approx. two hours of walking. The guy at tourist office was nice enough to walk us to the location of internet cafe in which we found that it will reopen at 4pm. It was 3pm so we ate at pizza restaurant nearby for we were starving. I first thought we would order one but 195 thought we should have one each (pizza in europe was usually thin and one whole pizza was enough for one person to eat it all) We didnt think with all of travelling and eating alittle habits that would leave our stomach small so as result we stuffed ourselves too much. I ended up feeling not too well and got headache. Nevertheless, we went up to an abandoned watch tower or fort that become an attraction to walk off some food then went to the internet cafe for a hour. I wanted to take bus back to our place while 195 thought we should walk to save money but I wasnt up to it with nausea and tired feet. At the end he won because four or more buses went by us without stopping so we walked afterall. Back at place, we looked at the map and found out that we actually made it all way to town called Omis that was 8km away.

July 5
It was 9am, 195 and I finally hopped on the train and napped for bit in sleeprettes but have to change the trains in Maribor, Slovenia toward Zagreb, Croatia. In Zagreb, we waited two hours before got on a train to Split, Croatia. It was brand new and functioned like an airplane for it had stewardresses and a lunch provided but unfortunately, it didnt have sleeprettes so we had t nap best as we could. We arrived at Split late at the evening, around 9pm and asked at bus station which bus going out to Lokva Rogoznica, where we would be staying at. We were told there were no more bus going there until the next morning which puzzled us for the woman at the place that we would be staying at sent us a schedule of bus times and instruction of what bus to take if we arrive after 8pm. We kind of stood around trying to figure out.. (that train station had lot of agressive women advertisting their home rooms for rent).. one woman was following us and looking at us.. so I showed her paper that I printed from my email of the intsructions. She saw Lokva Rogoznica and enthausically wrote that her grandmother was from there (she look about 60 years old but she sure wrote english very well) She beckoned for us to follow her back into station where she proceeded to speak to the woman behind desk of our desition. In end, there was a bus going that way afterall (hmphspatz!).. thankfully for her help, we made it to our place. The storm broke out on the way but luckily the place was just right across the bus stop, bit up on the hill. The room was nice with closet and shelves, plus balconey with table and chairs. They got a kitchen down below for anyone to use, as well as a tub in bathroom. We were directly across the ocean. We hit the sacks for the night with beach on our minds.

July 4
Here was where our day got interesting....in morning we stopped at the train station to buy the tickets and leave our backpacks in the locker before visiting the church. We arrived there and went straight for catacombs.. at first, they showed us the coffins of dead priests then another room with in-wall tombs that was covered with marble wall with inscriptions of dead person that was buried in each boxes.. naturally I was bit disappointed for I wanted to see the creepy part..(I was too impatient) for in next minutes we actually headed deeper into the basement down to realistic creepy part.. dark hallway made of old brick and stones, the floor was just a dirt.. the guide led us to a room with window-size opening with metal bars over it. Inside it held bones of people with some of clothes still clinging to its bones. I wonder why they need bars for that as I dont think those bones could get up and walk away, leaving people puzzled with the empty room. The guide then led us to more rooms that held even more bones piling up everywhere. I was truly satisfied to finally seen a catacomb but secretly wishing that some of my friends were there with me for I would love very dearly to spook them! (yup, you knew me well, grinning devilishly) We headed to train for our train but soon as we got our backpacks and looked at the tickets, it was when 195 pointed out that it seem to show the train was leaving from another train station. So we double checked and realized that it was true and we got only 10 minutes left to get from one side to another side of city.. we ran and walk fast to U Bahn but we failed and missed it by measly 2 minutes!.. There was no another train going out to Croatia until 5am on the next day. I wasnt too happy and didnt want to be stuck in Wien for a night so we looked at the schedule and hopped on a train to the next city that would take us close to the border as possible. We finally arrived at the border town, Spiegfeild..however there was no trains going out to Croatia's capital city, Zagreb where we could take train toward our destination, Split. Hence, we ended up got stuck at the train station in Spiegfeild for 9 hours from midnight to 9am where the first train going to Croatia will stop there. We had to slept on the benches.. not exactly comfortable night but an experience to remember, grins.

July 3
After looking over the map of the city, 195 and I agreed that we can see most of it within one day unless it was closed or otherwise. We went out on the U Bahn and stopped at a Scohn Palace with an excessive backyard that was open to public to enjoy. It got nice arrangement of flowers on the lawns, making some kind of design.. it also got bush mazes, small marble ponds with statues, and a sunhouse. It even got a public pool and spa for people to use at a fee. There were lot of people milling around and some of people use it for execrise, mainly running and biking. After it, we hopped back on train toward another palace that was converted into museum of different categories such as expensive arts, armours, music intrusments, and more. We planned on seeing the section on armours but got detoured to the museum of modern arts. It was ok-ok for we find most of art very weird and almost pointless ( I kind of wished we went to another museum across it with possibly more interesting arts but I went for that one as I thought it might contained modern scultures, architecuture, furnitures not the art) We finally went to the Palace museum in the opposite direction and found out that it was only half hour left before it close so we decide to drop it and headed out to the church, St. Stephens, that got catacombs that held many bones of victims of plaque. However, it was already closed and the church was getting ready for the mass so we hold it off for the next day morning before we take overnight train to Croatia.

July 2
Here we were, in the Vienna (Wien), Austria. 195 and I went straight to the internet cafe to look up for hostel for we didn't have the chance to reserve one beforehand. The internet cafe was quite nearby from the subway which was called U Bahn in Germany regions. We found one at good price as usual for we will always go for cheapest one and they were usually clean places with good services so why go for fancier ones when you can get the same for the less? The one we got seemly to be in former hospital building for it was near the hospital but nevertheless its quiet and nice place that includes breakfast! Yep, we do try to look for ones that includes food, smiles. We zoomed downhill to a food store, Spar, nearby to buy some food for snacks and something to drink. Later in the evening, we went out to an Asian restaurant that have good selection of vegetarian meals (we originally wanted to go to real vegetarian restaurant in the city that we found in the book but decided to hold it off until the next day) That day was Saturday evening in which we later regretted in a way that we should have went into city for that restaurant as we later found out that pretty much of stores and restaurants close on Sundays. (guess still spoiled with our countries' plentiful opening hours but in other way.. the people there were luckily to have a guaranteed day off)

July 1
Happy Canadian's Day! (it was same as USA's July 4th) The staffs at Interlaken hostel, Switzerland were in the Canadian spirit and there was plenty of Canadian travelers around wishing eachother the great holiday. 195 and I wished we could stay there for one more night to celebrate it but we already stayed there for four nights (fourth night was free, one of specials and for the canadian's day). We headed down to train and took a train out to Brig where we took the train called Glacier Express. The man at train station was friendly and showed us two routine that we can take.. one was to go around that would cost us nothing due to our Eurail pass and another one was the Glacier Express which would cost us some money but the view was worth it as it go through up and down the mountains. Ironically of this.. both routes had about same amounts of travel time. So we opted for scenic route, in which, the man smiled and said it will be worth it and the view was fanastic! In the end, the trip actually was worth it.. it went through lot of small towns, rolling of green fields, sheep munching peacefully, rugged mountains and it actually was very cool up there with bit of snow drizzle (we both were clad in t shirts and shorts). We arrived in the unattractive industrial town whereas the name escape us but it was still in Switzerland, we then took the overnight train toward Vienna (Wien), Austria.

June 30
Good ol' Zurich, which was not very big city as I thought for a capital city would be. The travel book said Zurich was very clean city that it was almost impossible to find any cigarette butt anywhere. I did found some! But otherwise, it was sure very clean.. not single litterbug. 195 and I spent most of day walking down popular street and a shopping zone, called Bahngifstrasse (it was long name to remember) that have bear statues everywhere with different pictures or styles or looks painted or put on it. We also took a peek at modern house built by Corbusier-Haus for modern was unusual and new during this period of time (in 1950s) on the edge of city park that was laid out by the harbor with great view of water and sailboats. We then headed back up into the mountains to our "homebase" Interlaken to enjoy the evening before departing on the next day toward Vienna, Austria.