Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Month of October

Well, its been a long time since our last post, and this will be one of our final posts. Before the onslaught of pictures begin here is a brief summary of where we were and what, if anything notable, happened. I believe our last post ended with partying at Oktoberfest. Since then we have been to 8 other countries. Our next stop was Vienna where we had a great time couchsurfing for two nights and exploring the city. From there we met up with my very good friend, more like brother, in Banska Stiavnica. Andy Giandomenico, friend from high school, is living in this small town in the heart of Slovakia teaching english with a Fulbright Scholarship. We had a leisurely four days here as we recuperated from all the fast travel that we had been doing. From there we traveled south to Budapest for another two nights with couchsurfing awesomeness. Then we went to Bucharest and couchsurfed yet again. We decided to leave the car with our new friends Andrei and Christiana, we are very trusting but they were very trustworthy, and made our way to Istanbul by train so we would not have to pay for the expensive car insurance. Istanbul was a beautiful city even though our only days of bad weather this entire trip plagued us for the four nights we were there. Here our paths began to split :(. Jack flew out of Istanbul to Latvia to get his motorcycle and start prepping it. Richard and I began our first adventures hitch hiking. Though successful it was definitely not the easiest day in the world, but we made it to our next destination, Sofia, Bulgaria. Here we had another great experience with couchsurfers and after two days hitch hiked back to Bucharest where we spent the weekend hanging out with our awesome hosts who had made sure the car remained safe and secure. From there we took the car and drove to Belgrade, Serbia to meet up with Jordan Maze, a fellow CCer, who shared this really cool city with us for three days. Inspired by our travels, or so I like to think, Jordan hopped in the car with us on our way to meet Andy G., my high school friend, for a tour in Italy during his fall break. Andy studied in Venice while in college so he was a wonderful guide for two days in Venice. From there Jordan took a train back to Croatia to travel a bit and we continued down to Florence. Florence was beautiful as well and we were there during Halloween which is always a fun night :)
Here are da photos!!!:

The view from the castle in Slazburg, Austria

A castle near Banska Stiavnica, part of the inspiration for the Disney Castle apparently

The three of us in front of the castle

One of the many gold mines in Banska Stiavnica

Andy and Richard in the Tea House

Budapest - Looking at the European side from the Asian

Our host Peter being our guide in Budapest

Our hosts in Bucharest, Andrei and Christiana, who are so badass we left them our car and then came back to hang with them some more. Check out that sticker!

The Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

Blue Mosque again.

Everyday people fish on the bridges linking the two sides of Istanbul

The bazaars of Istanbul

Jack flew to Latvia and we attempt to hitch hike to Sofia.

The first sign was too small so we made another.

Richard posing at a fountain in Sofia, Bulgaria

While we were there we saw the ceremony of the Prime Minister of Bulgaria welcoming the Prime Minister of Estonia. They looked all fancy playing drums and flashing guns.

The amazing Bulgarians who drove us the final leg of the journey to Bucharest. Momchil on the right and Orrin (sp?) his brother on the right. Another great story here.

First sights in Belgrade, buildings that were probably bombed by us during the Balkan War.

...and down the street a protest going on for construction workers. The riot police and gear came out.

As the sun sets in Venice, myself on the left followed by Andy and Jordan. Rich has the camera.




The leaning tower of Pisa! (a.k.a. the leaning tower of Cheesa)

Letting Andy drive the curvy roads outside Florence while giving some lady friends from the hostel a ride into town.

View of Florence from the Piazzale Michelangelo

A Sfuzo! The greatest thing in Italy. Gotta love Prosecco on tap.

... and, again, Venice :)
-- Ezra