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11/18  Rhoads, Greece
10/28  Matala, Crete Greece
06/06 Edinburgh, Scotland
07/04 Amsterdam, Netherlands
09/18 Paris, France
06/27 Oslo, Norway
11/04  Crete, Greece
06/26 Copenhagen, Denmark
10/10  Rome, Italy
07/20 Burgen, Norway
10/15  Positano, Italy
09/28  Baden-Baden, Germany
11/21  Marmaris, Turkey
06/07 Inverness, Scotland
06/25 Northern Europe

11/18 Rhoads, Greece

When we reached the port we began to wander about.  We really didn’t know which way to proceed but luckily we crossed paths with a couple who spoke English.  They were retired Americans who had been living abroad for the last three years.  Instead of joining a country club or pursuing some hobby back home they decided to see the world at a slow pace.  They explained that they would live in a different city every three months or there about and they planned on doing that indefinitely.  

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10/28 Matala, Crete Greece

I woke to what I thought was a scream.  Eventually I realized that it was the manager of the hotel yelling at somebody.  Apparently Dawn had spent the night with a young man who got himself caught on his way to the bathroom.  That was the sign I needed to change locations and find a new room closer to the restaurants.  I managed to locate a much nicer room directly across the street from what I had labeled the best restaurants and it was a whole lot cheaper.  I guess this time I didn’t to have to compensate a taxi driver. 

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06/06 Edinburgh, Scotland

We headed north into Scotland.  Initially we didn’t wander too far from the train stations but eventually we stretched our arms and headed into the countryside.  The weather had been wonderful.  I truly believe the sun had been following us for weeks.  The primroses were in bloom and the fields were scattered with frolicking rabbits. 

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07/04 Amsterdam, Netherlands

We wandered among its narrow streets that radiated out like spokes to a wheel. Bicycles danced across our path. Up one of these many streets we spotted a small coffee shop adjacent to one of the more picturesque canals. It was a good day for mischief. It had a large window and we noticed that the table upfront was vacant and had a nice view of a small flower market.

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09/18 Paris, France

Sometimes when I take photographs I place more value on where I am standing than what I am looking at.  In Rouen I stood where Monet stood.  I preferred the light and shade of a subject, the dark spaces that define its character and capture the surroundings of the moment, revealing its alternations.  That evening’s twilight was a symphony colored in grey and rose that I watched as I waited for the sun to set.

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06/27 Oslo, Norway

We ended up in Oslo’s train station an hour and a half earlier than we had originally planned.  We had eaten and kind of ran out of touring options and found ourselves debating on which train to depart on.  One train left at eleven and the other at midnight.  Jim was having another one of his bad days, randomly complaining about everything and anything that came into view.  I wasn’t up for spending much time sitting in this vacant station with only Jim’s attitude to entertain me.  When the first of the two trains arrived, Jim walked the length of the train while I watched the gear.  “There’s no first class, so let’s wait for the next one” Jim demanded. 

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11/04 Crete, Greece

The sunrise was a picture to behold.  Sitting on that beach was like being the only person on the planet.  Once we were all up and awake we attempted to hide the remains of the burnt telephone pole and headed up to meet the first bus to Nicolas.  We were in need of a shower and food.  We took advantage of the stop over on the way to Nicolas which provided enough time to grab some real food.  We were all so hungry but still skeptical after the last experience.  Once we stepped off the bus in Nicolas a little fat kid’s persistence persuaded us to follow him to an available room. 

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06/26 Copenhagen, Denmark

We rose early and spent the entire day wandering the pedestrian streets and central squares popping in and out of small cafes and trendy boutiques.  That’s right, trendy boutiques.  The young ladies that gather in these places are quite attractive.  Carlsberg and then followed the tree-lined avenues to the harbor.

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10/10 Rome, Italy

Early morning trekked across town and I followed the cats to the Coliseum.  I was disappointed it was a ruin.  I would really have enjoyed if it had been rebuilt and had the opportunity to see mock gladiatorial games or mythological dramas within its walls.  When I was young my exposure to that type of history was either through reading books or viewing movies but to actually stand in such a historical site awakened the senses of my imagination.  I could almost make out the roar of the lions and the cheer from the crowd.

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07/20 Burgen, Norway

I wandered through the station lingering on familiarities.  It’s amazing how routines destroyed time and sped things up.  There were so many unexpected avenues, detours, new faces and outright pleasures that it seemed as if it had been months since I left here, not days.  I got talking up with a couple on the train that had been reading the same travel guide and discovered out we were going in the same directions. 

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10/15 Positano, Italy

Just as the sun was setting I was on a train bound toward Sicily.  I entered a compartment were an older gentleman and two young ladies had made themselves at home.  First I thought that he was a dirty old man trying to pick up two young Italian beauties.  Once he found out that I spoke English he included a few English words in every other sentence as if he was trying to invite me in their conversations.  

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09/28 Baden-Baden, Germany

I woke up with a serious problem.  I don’t know if it was the combination of the exercise the other day, the consumption of alcohol or both but my arms had stiffened to the point where I could not extend them beyond a forty five degree angle.  I tried carried my bags first in one hand and then the other using the weight of the bags to help stretch out my muscles, very scary.

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11/21 Marmaris, Turkey

I was up early, grabbed a table and a few chairs and set them up on the sand.  I sat and gazed out on the empty bay writing until the others woke.  A pot of coffee soon followed and then breakfast. The girls were taking about exploring the city’s bizarre, a female shopping ritual.  I on the other hand I was invited to go with the men.  Bear hunting was on the agenda.  We all loaded onto a friend’s boat and headed along the coast to a location that supposedly had a recent bear sighting. 

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06/07 Inverness, Scotland

We took a tour bus around the lock, walked along the water’s edge, waited and watched but never did see a sea monster.  I took off my shoes along its edge and waded ankle deep, for only seconds.  To a California boy this was cold.  One old man told me that this sea monster stuff had a lot to do with how much whiskey was drunk, but that didn’t help either. 

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06/25 Northern Europe

At first light, Jim took advantage of getting up first and had wandered off to the water closet to do his business.  In his absence, our late night compartment addition opened up mood tapes, the kind of stuff like mountain brooks and ocean waves.  When Jim returned and opened up the compartment door, he first thought he was in the wrong place but his expression of doubt left once he noticed me sitting over in the corner.  The mood tapes were nice, I could live with them.  But they were only a prelude. 

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