A Travellerspoint blog

September 2010

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18 Sept 2010

overcast 55 °F

Munich stadium

Munich stadium


Can you guess what sport would have a game 90 minutes long and ends without a score...EVER? That's right, the score of the Bayern Munich game we went to yestrday was 0 -0 against Koln. Bayern Munich is famous around here so we wanted to see a game before we left. The game was good enough but the stadium definately had some negative points.
munich soccer game

munich soccer game


To get in the stadium you have to go through a security point and there are about 10 lines for men and one for women. I was in a crushing mass of women for about 20 minutes. I didn't even have a purse so when I got to the front they just waved me through. Then we go to buy a brat and some beer, wait in line, get to the front and find out we have to get an arena card and put money on it before we can get anything. I don't know if they are doing this sort of thing in the states or not but you put money on a card for all the food and for parking.
Munich soccer game

Munich soccer game


So we finally get what we want and head to our seats that are so close you can smell the grass! We were at one end of the field so we got to see everything really well for the first half of the game. The second half was a little harder to see but it was still nice to be so close to the filed. Munich made a ton of attempts at a goal and definatley dominated the game but just couldn't get it in the goal.

After the game we head back to the parking garage and wait over 1 hour to get out of it. THis was the straw that broke the camels back. I don't have any desire to see anything else that might happen at Allianz Arena!

Posted by ErinDriver 08:26 Archived in Germany Tagged sports Comments (1)

The Craziness I sign us up for!

12 Sept 2010

sunny 75 °F

Kastl Castle

Kastl Castle


So this bike and run race that we did today was not one of my greater ideas! I found a bike race while in Afghanistan that was only 25 km bike and 5 km run. I figured we should be able to do that even without much training.
So we turn up at the start this morning and there is nothing but professional looking people with their road bikes. We got hooked up with another American who now lives in Germany and works for AAFES. He was pointing out bikers who had been to Kona this past year!!! These bikes were definately out of my league. My little walmart helmet and mountain bike had no chance. I begged Curt to go home but it didn't work so there I was at the start, pedaling as fast as I could with traithlon bikes whizzing by me.
They started one biker at a time and luckily we were at the beginning. THis meant we had a head start which we needed because we still finished 15 minutes behind the last biker. Lucky for me we had a break before we had to do the 5K run. THis once again was a staggered start. We were last to start running. Despite being absolutely last to finish we still did decent on our mountain bikes and finished the thing. THe finish was at the castle in the picture and was at the top of 247 steps! I couldn't run any more at the top!
We probably stuck out like a sore thumb but everyone was friendly and we hope to do it next year on our new triathlon bikes.

Posted by ErinDriver 06:57 Archived in Germany Tagged castle Comments (1)

Dali Museum in Figueres

4 September 2010

overcast 78 °F

Figueres is a tiny town in Spain about 2 hours from Barcelona by train. We followed Rick Steves' directions to get to the train and it was a bit confusing to say the least. Between the two of us we got on the right train and had a quick lunch before walking to the museum. There is not much reason to visit outside of the Dali museum.
entrance to Dali museum

entrance to Dali museum


The entire museum is just one off the wall object de art after another. The entrance is reason enough to come have a visit.
Dali's audience

Dali's audience


The gold statues are said to be Dali's audience watching his art. In the center of the exhibit there is a model of the car he drove. Because you can never seem to get a cab when its raining he thought it would be funny to install sprinkler systems into the car. For one euro you can make the car rain on the plastic driver.
Dali's boat

Dali's boat


On top of the car there is a statue of his lover which he always stated kept him sane. So forever she will be holding up his life boat. According to Rick the blue tears from the bottom of the boat are made from blue condoms.
Dali Self portrait

Dali Self portrait


There are many tiny rooms wrapped around each other in this museum and I'm quite sure we didn't see everything. One of our favorite works was his self portrait.
Mae West Room

Mae West Room


One room was called the Mae West room. When you come in to the room it appears like a bunch of strange objects. When you climb a ladder and look through a looking glass they come together to make her face.
Lincoln photo

Lincoln photo


This photo is of President Lincoln. If you kind of blur your eyes you see his portrait. If you look closely at the photo there is a naked woman and her butt makes up his cheeks.
Dali's eye

Dali's eye


There is also a jewelry exhibit with some still odd pieces.
Dali lips jewelry

Dali lips jewelry


After stopping at a Dalicatessan for a drink we took the train back to Barcelona.
Plaza Catalunya

Plaza Catalunya


During the evening near Plaza Catalunya ther is a fountain and light show.
Fountain light show #4

Fountain light show #4


The fountain changes colors as Disney soundtracks blare out of the speakers. This goes on for a good 30 minutes spraying the crowd with a light mist.
Fountain light show #3

Fountain light show #3


Fountain light show #1

Fountain light show #1


Fountain light show #2

Fountain light show #2

Posted by ErinDriver 11:23 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Montjunc and cooking class

3 September 2010

sunny 80 °F

Our days of luxury are over and we are forced to vacate our room by 0700. One last breakfast and we wait to vacate the ship. This all occurs with the headache that I thought would be inevitable. We come off, pick up our luggage, wait in a short line for a taxi and within 30 minutes arrive at our new and not so luxury lodging – the Paraiso Travellers Hostel.
Montjunc entrance

Montjunc entrance


The room isn’t ready so we store our bags and head on the subway and up the funicular to Montjunc or “Mount of the Jews”. We cannot get our debit or credit cards to work and the machine will not take a 50 euro bill so we are forced to walk to the top instead of ride the gondola. It is not a bad hike and soon we are at the fort.
wall of Montjunc

wall of Montjunc


In 1929 they had an international fair up here and in 1992 held the Olympics nearby.
Curt and the big gun

Curt and the big gun


The former fortress has an impressive view over the city and the port. It was built in the 18th century by the government to keep an eye on the citizens and prevent a revolt so I guess this makes sense. It was previously the cite of hundreds of political execurtions. Today it is just a beautiful place to overlook the city and have a sandwich.
churros con chocolate

churros con chocolate


After a rest we walk downtown to have more churros con chocolate! It really is a great snack, especially since the Spanish eat dinner very late.
Argentinean teaching us to make Paella

Argentinean teaching us to make Paella


We had seen a flier for a cooking class and decided to meet at the Travellers Bar to see what it was all about. 23 euros later we were sitting in a back room of another bar and restaurant eating tapas and learning how to make paella and sangria. The guy teaching us was from Argentina but it still felt more authentic than the “fast food” paella we had been eating from the restaurants on the street.
paella

paella


It had shrimp, clams, mussels and calamari. The only problem was the shrimp aren’t beheaded before they go in the mix so there were little tentacles broken off everywhere. Other than that it was a pretty great experience.
Curt and I with Sangria

Curt and I with Sangria

Posted by ErinDriver 10:46 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Palma de Mallorca

2 September 2010

overcast 75 °F

Palma sign

Palma sign


The ship arrived in to Palma at 1400 today so guess what we did – right – sun worshiping by the pool. The port call was nearly 12 hours and our excursion was not until the evening so we got off for a walk.
yachts in Palma harbor

yachts in Palma harbor


The cruise port is very close to the yacht port and there is a walkway along the water all the way to the town center. Don’t get me wrong – it is not exactly near by and since I had done no research and we were not on an excursion we had no idea what we were passing.
church in Mallorca

church in Mallorca


It was still nice to stretch our legs and there is a beautiful cathedral in the down town. Anywhere with that many palm trees must be gorgeous. We had some gelato and and made our way back to the ship to get ready for dinner.
cathedral in Mallorca

cathedral in Mallorca


Tonight excursion was the show Son Amar in a traditional Spanish house about 14 km away. The show occurred during dinner of salad, steak, pototoes, vegetables and vanilla ice cream. There were lasers, horses, and dancers of all kinds. The show is entitled Rock the World so the intent was to have entertainment from across the globe. They did have some flamenco that I was excited about. Can you believe that the entire last 15-20 minutes of the show consisted of every song that Michael Jackson has ever made. And might I add that this was performed by a black woman. What is with these Europeans and Michael Jackson?

Posted by ErinDriver 10:27 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Tunis, Tunisia

1 September 2010

sunny 73 °F

port in Tunis

port in Tunis


An early morning put us in the La Goulette, the suburb of Tunis which is the capital of Tunisia in North Africa. The first stop was just for photos at the Punic Ports where 200 ships were able to come in at one time.
overview of carthage

overview of carthage


Next we hit the ancient city of Carthage which is a world heritage site.
bathing area

bathing area


Most of what is left is part of the Roman Baths since the resources were taken to build things like a fort when the city was overtaken. The Roman Baths had a basement with 2 levels of baths. The floors and water was heated by stoves in the basement. Currently that is all that is left to see.
carthage monuments

carthage monuments


Curt and I in carthage

Curt and I in carthage


Carthage monument

Carthage monument


hallway of carthage

hallway of carthage


A 40 minute bus drive took us to the Arabic Medina (or city) where we went to the Souk. This was not quite the experience I was envisioning.
entrance to Souk

entrance to Souk


Inside the Souk

Inside the Souk


It had an indoor feeling with small shops – not as much of a market as I thought. Because we were on a tour we were taken to the place where they get a cut of the profits.
carpets

carpets


We were shown some carpets and Curt and I thought about it but they were just too expensive. They started with a 900 euro runner. They chased us around the store and were down to 400 euro but we were thinking more like 50 euro. Somehow 10 percent of the GDP of Tunisia is from Burbur handicrafts like carpets and jewelry. I don’t know how because the jewelry looked cheap and the carpets were very expensive.
perfume bottles for sale

perfume bottles for sale


More interesting was a visit to a perfume shop. Tunisia produces a lot of the bases for perfumes including Chanel No. 5. They had tons of cute little bottles and we got a tiny bottle of jasmine. We took about one step into the residential area of the medina but that was it. Our “free time” amounted to 15 minutes in which 10 of it had to be spent walking to the pick up location for the bus. By this time we were tired of the people begging us to buy something so it was okay anyway.
Black tie night

Black tie night


Need I say that the afternoon was spent by the pool until dinner? Tonight was the Captains Dinner which was to be black tie. I think about 4 guys wore a tux and more women dressed up but it was clearly just a suggestion. The food was basically the same and other than the name it wasn’t any different. I had a good time dressing up though.

Posted by ErinDriver 09:44 Archived in Tunisia Comments (0)

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