Archive for May, 2008

One last trip highlight

I somehow managed to be asked for directions at least once in each city. By locals.

Going out of your way to not look like a tourist may help you avoid being mugged. It also lands you questions you can’t answer (though I did get to tell that one woman who’s lived in London her whole life where the Tower Hill station was), sometimes even in languages you don’t understand.

Man: [asks something in German]
Me: “… nein?” [shrugs]

In retrospect, I really hope it wasn’t a yes/no query.

Return of the nerd

I left my memory card in Mississauga, so the 800+ photos plus brief video taken outside Notre Dame de Paris (complete with the bells ringing) will have to wait a few days. I will likely go home for dinner on Sunday with the secondary intention of retrieving it. The good news is that I inflicted all 800+ photos on my family using the basement TV and an input cable and am pleased to report that even on the behemoth my parents insisted on buying once the basement had been finished, they looked good. /me is going to get Flickr hits. Maybe.

The silver lining is that my video camera’s USB cable works with my old camera, which holds photos I’d apparently taken without realizing that there there hadn’t been a memory card inside but could never upload because I didn’t have a compatible USB cable. The moral of this story is that my nose looks almost normal when I wear makeup.

In semi-related news, I CAN’T BELIEVE I LEFT THE MEMORY CARD AT HOME. *hits head repeatedly* But not to worry, as it’s not as though I accidentally deleted all the pictures or something.

Excuse me while I silently pray that doesn’t somehow happen before I manage to retrieve my memory card.

The trip was a success overall, Air Canada’s insistence on keeping me in Europe for an additional three-and-a-half hours aside. People keep asking me which city was my favourite and I just can’t choose one — they were all fabulous — but I must say there is some bizarre satisfaction in just how amazing Vienna was. When I started telling people about the trip back in the fall, people asked why I’d bother going to Vienna on a regular basis. If someone, upon hearing you’re going to Vienna, asks why, the answer is “Because it’s breathtaking. Kerry said so.”

There will be more specific details in the trip blog once I’m able to post photos, but for the sake of posterity (and for those of you who don’t want to read a second blog) here’s the patented list of Things I’ll Remember Forever™:

  • discovering firsthand that, yes, the Thames really is that colour (and subsequently making a mental note not to drink the tap water, even if it’s filtered like hell)
  • listening to the bells at Notre Dame
  • seeing the sun set over the Alps and then rise over Austria
  • sitting in Beethovenplatz for the entire duration of the fourth movement of Symphony No. 9 (the recording of Leonard Bernstein conducting a variety of orchestras and choirs in Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall, in which all the references to “joy” have been changed to “freedom”) because I’m a giant nerd
  • chickening out of heading up the Arc du Triomphe (hey, it’s a better story than getting all the way to the top and dropping my camera or something)
  • trying to cross the street filled with ideologically hardcore (I’ve covered many a hardcore Canadian protest, including one that saw a federal building be closed as a safety precaution, and no one has ever busted out the Internationale. Ever) Parisian protesters on my way to the Hard Rock Cafe and nearly getting trampled as a result

And some other stuff I’m sure I’m forgetting (so much for “remember forever™”) because I’m really quite tired and the pictures would be a great reference point, but, alas, THEY AREN’T HERE.

Bed.

Change of plan

I’m now coming home on Wednesday instead of Saturday (the 28th rather than the 31st). Two 15-hour train rides = no thanks.

The trip has been lovely. Details to come upon my return. Sporadic postings at the blog.

Let’s go

This is almost certainly my last blog post on my laptop until I get back to Toronto on May 31, unless I end up blogging in the morning. (I doubt it.)

And with that, I ought to note the following things before launching into a completely irrelevant story:

  • I am back on May 31. My flight lands in the early afternoon, EST. I am going to be jet-lagged beyond all recognition. I will try to put together something coherent.
  • The travel blog is, was and forever shall be here, for those of you who’ve forgotten or didn’t know.
  • WordPress categories are not fully functional on the teeny iPod Touch browser, so the travel blog posts will not be categorized until I can either find a computer (apparently the Paris hotel offers laptops for the duration of one’s stay for free, if requested) or come home. Jen says people won’t care. I hope not.
  • Photos are not likely to follow until I’ve returned, for much the same reason. Except replace “WordPress categories are not fully functional on the teeny iPod Touch browser” with “Photos cannot be uploaded from a camera to an iPod.”
  • Packing is 99 per cent done, with one per cent outstanding for the simple reason that one cannot stow one’s wallet in one’s carry-on luggage while one still needs it for the first half of Thursday.
  • I have yet to purchase foreign money.
  • Did I mention the blog?

The excitement.

Always a plus

The BBC is projecting the visibility in London on Friday — the day I arrive — as “good.”

Good to know.

123 check

There is no real point to this post other than the fact that I need to get used to blogging on my iPod because I’m leaving for Europe in less than a week.

I’ll be blogging the excitement here, with things probably getting underway on Thursday night as I finally realize that I, who hates flying, booked myself onto a seven-hour flight. I’m sure it’ll be fine; my in-flight panic attack while en route to Fredericton probably had more to do with the fact that I nearly missed the flight and it had to be held for me. Terrifying.

Toronto-centric question of the day

The revamped Museum station is a work of art.

But does it really need to be?