MY LIFE...continued

TRAVEL!

This is to document some of the places I saw and people I met while being schooled and travelling abroad.

After the first trimester at Lancaster University, I bought one airline ticket, packed a small back pack full of clothes, grabbed my passport, and hit London's Heathrow Airport. Leaving at just after midnight, I arrived in Athens, Greece at around 4 am local time. I caught a bus by 6 am and made it to the Acropolis to see the sunrise. I wandered about Athens on no sleep, saw a bunch of stray animals, eventually washed my face and hair in a sink several hundred yards away from the Parthenon, and scored a ferry ticket to the island of Samos on the understanding that the ferry ran daily to Kusadasi, Turkey. I finally got on my boat and passed out, sleeping for 12 hours. Upon getting to Samos, I found that the summer schedule does have trips everyday for Turkey...the December one does not. I met a guy from L.A. named Rob who was convinced that the only way we'd get to Turkey anytime soon was by catching a flight back to Athens and getting the train to Istanbul. He was right... the first boat to Athens was not for two days, the first boat to Kusadasi not for four. So we laid down $60 for nearly an hour's worth of turbulence, ran to the train station with no directions, and caught the train just in time. We got to Thessaloniki by 5 am and ended up waiting 'til 4 pm or so for the train. We finally hit Istanbul 38 hours after we started the train ride... the same day the ferry would have hit Samos... maybe.

We bummed around in Istanbul for two days. One of the greatest cities to visit. One of the few that lies on two continents. It's more than just a They Might Be Giants song. Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque are two of the true wonders of the world. I eventually got to Kusadasi and had a great time staring at Samos and flipping them the bird...it was Friday. I checked out the ruins at Ephesus and a museum and castle in a nearby town. I saw the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Original Seven Wonders of the World. I then caught a bus to Izmir to see some more ruins. Then I caught a bus for Ankara.

In Ankara I looked for something to see, but it was REALLY a mistake. A very industrial city with very little tourism interest. I had a day left 'til my next flight, so I wrote a bunch of letters and looked for a shuttle to the airport. I found out that even a bus would cost me close to $20, the same price as the cabs. Since $20 will near get you from one end of the country to another on a luxury tour bus, I decided to take a stand. Literally.

The next morning I got up at 7 am and started to walk. I saw quite a lot of cool things... A guy herding turkeys down the highway that ran through the city as one of the better ones. Some retarded kid followed me for a while. I nearly got attacked by two rabid dogs. A pony walking on the side of the highway. Crazy. All told I walked over 20 miles to get to the airport. Pride is a silly thing. But I caught my flight to Istanbul so that I could grab my next flight...to Cairo.

I linked up with a girl named Rose in the Cairo airport for ease of travel. I was her "husband" so the guys wouldn't hit on her as much. It also made accomodations cheaper and safer. We bummed about the ultimate tourist trap, and tried to see as much as possible. We went to see the big night show at the Pyramids the night before we got to go inside them. The next day, we went nuts. I went inside everyone one of them...the tunnels are only three feet high in many places and the planks that you walk on are so worn down that they're slippery. But I took this picture inside of Chefron against posted rules. They don't want the light to damage the interior. They've also got video surveillance inside, so this is really not legal. I snapped the picture and then slid down the railings to get out... lots of fun.

After Egypt, I went to Israel. It sucked to get into the stupid country and sucked to get out. I am very prejudiced against them, both for their politics and for the way they treat tourists, so I can't say much about them. Masada was cool, as was old Jerusalem. I was also there on Christmas, so I guess that's an added plus. I stayed with the really cool family of a girl I went to school with in England... Dalia Kopp. They put up with me and let me sleep on their floor...even gave me Christmas gifts! Totally great people. I also met up with the ultra-cool Jen L., who was with her family visiting her brother Daniel (who was going to school there.) They took me on tours of the country and out to dinner... one of the greatest families I've ever known. They pretty much adopted me.


A cool sculpture outside of the Holocaust Memorial
You can probably figure it out...

After putting up with the bugs I picked up in Egypt (even from drinking and using only bottled water...) and getting searched at the airport in Israel (they broke Jen's Christmas gift to me...bastards,) I finally got out of that terrible country. Jen and I caught a flight to Paris, France and stayed with the family she lived with a year before while attending school there. We saw the Eiffel Tower and some other things the first day...the Louvre was the next day, I believe. It was so damn cold! We got treated very kindly by the Parisians for some reason. We were there for New Year's... definitely the coolest of my life.

After that... I returned to England, travelled to Bath for a day or two, and then went home to Lancaster to return to school.

Oh. here's some strange place I saw on the roads outside of Salisbury.


ME in TRAFALGAR SQUARE, LONDON

But enough of this gay banter... the story is much longer and much more interesting than you probably care to experience right now.

NEXT PAGE of MY LIFE!
A coupla shots of my friends from the UK