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08/01 Gloriette, Vienna Austria
05/27 Avebury, England
11/28  Pamukkale, Turkey
05/31 South Wales
07/10 Kuopio, Finland
12/10  Amsterdam, Netherlands
06/15 Dublin, Ireland
06/22 Cherbourg, France
10/06  Pisa, Italy
07/27 Bruges, Belgium
12/08  Lienz, Austria
08/19 Nazare, Portugal
08/06 Lienz, Austria
07/08 Northern Sweden
09/01 Valencia, Spain

08/01 Gloriette, Vienna Austria

One thing was for certain, I needed a shower.  Sleeping out with element guarantees one thing, we were up early, so we took advantage and started searching for a room.  Luckily we found a room in the area that accommodated our needs, but we couldn’t check in until later that afternoon, so we reserved a room.  They were kind enough to watch our bags, allow us to scamper off and tour the city. 

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05/27 Avebury, England

One night at Mik’s place while passing around the pipe, he weaved stories of sprits possessing the trails between the white horse and the many rock circles heading north.  I could almost visualize these images he was painting and hear the pounding of drums in the wind, as I focused in on the flames dancing with the beat. 

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11/28 Pamukkale, Turkey

Walked up one of the local hills and watched the sun rise over the valley.  Then I took a trek back to the pools to get a few pictures without people climbing all over in them.  They were so beautiful and unique.  Shallow petal shaped pools with large expanses that had the texture and the look of snow.  I expected the crunch of snow but was met with the resistance of rock.  I sat alongside them for rest of the morning, just day dreamed and enjoyed the view.

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05/31 South Wales

We proceeded down through the middle of Wales, heading south toward the coast.  We followed the hedge groves that lined the road as it meandered like a large serpent, forcing the adjacent hill to bow to its will.  

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07/10 Kuopio, Finland

I darted around from one small town to another and eventually followed a young lady into Kuopio.  She explained that she had been traveling in Germany for the past few weeks and was reuniting with her boyfriend that evening.  We kinda hit it off and she went out of her way to call a few of her friends to see if they could accommodate me with a room.  She found me a beautiful cottage alongside one of the many lakes.  I understood the cottage was her parents or an Aunt but they, like most the folks this time of year, were away on holiday. 

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12/10 Amsterdam, Netherlands

I knew we had reached the Netherlands when the standard blue or green trains turned multi-colored.  Two guys had hit us up in the train station soliciting us to take a room on their boat.  I preferred being in the heart of the city where access was easier and I could be closer to the coffee shop I decide to write in, but Jenni kind of liked the idea of being on a boat.  I was leaving in a few days and felt that getting her acquainted with another group of people was also a priority. 

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06/15 Dublin, Ireland

The clouds were telling no lies, this time they opened up and delivered rain.  Bicycles were now out of the question, so we planned on thumbing our way south.  We were hardly out of town when Jim started whining again.  He’s like one of those thimble banging monkeys.  Once his key gets turned there’s no way to turn him off, until his springs loosen. 

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06/22 Cherbourg, France

Like a bunch of cattle we were herded from the boat to the train station.  It was in this company we met a group of young ladies from Costa Mesa California on their way to a concert in Paris.  We were scheduled to see U2 in Dublin but that plan kinda got left behind with a bunch of stuffed animals. 

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10/06 Pisa, Italy

I was told of a nice beach just outside of Pisa so I snuck in an early shower again and took an early train out.  Tuscany provided an enchanting landscape painted in pastels.  I followed the tourists to the tower in Pisa, gave my two cents and climbed to the top.  With all those people hanging all over it I was surprised it hadn’t fallen and decided to head down before it did.  After strolling through the Duomo and viewing Ramous’s doors I wandered across the river to get a feel for the countryside and sat along the side of the bridge thinking.  Truth, like art is sometimes in the eye of the beholder.  

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07/27 Bruges, Belgium

We found ourselves a small room above a bar not far off the main square of Brugge, claimed ourselves bed, dropped off our stuff and hit the local canals for a little sightseeing.  We roamed among the flower vendors, chocolate shops, lingered behind a cup of coffee and smoked a cigarette while standing on a humped-backed bridge.  I enjoyed the mood of the weeping willows and gazed endlessly at the reflections painted by the water.  

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12/08 Lienz, Austria

When we finally reached Villach and obtained some currency, sugar was on the menu.  I found a dream of bakeries and was operating on the ‘try everything once’ premise, but we cut that short for some real food.  We spent the rest of the day checking out shop windows.  Jenni expressed a passion for shop windows.  I suggested that she get herself a nice camera and perhaps someday she would publish a book.  

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08/19 Nazare, Portugal

The train station was a short walk outside of town but after only about fifty yards or so Jim began complaining.  I was at the point where I didn’t even hear him anymore.  He threatened to pack his shit up, fly home and didn’t like my “Go or stay but just stop complaining because you’re giving me a headache” response.  My thumb attracted a truck that had also picked up a pair of French girls who, like us, got off at the campsite. 

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08/06 Lienz, Austria

In front of the morning sun we departed toward Lienz.  We were lucky to have the company of a pair of young ladies traveling in the same direction.  An interesting conversation made the time disappear and before we knew it our train had come to a stop.  I needed to exchange some traveler’s check for cash and explained to Jim and the two girls that I would be a few minutes inside the bank.  Once I exited the bank the three had vanished.  I spent well over an hour checking one shop after another, up and down just about every street.  

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07/08 Northern Sweden

As I reached the Arctic Circle, I got off the train in what seemed to be a ghost town.  I would assume it was at least three in the morning and everything in sight was closed.  Although early in the morning the sun was still up creating an odd feeling, like being on a set of a twilight zone episode.  You could tell something was off.  I was carrying an address of a good place to stay that was given to me somewhere along the road.  At that point I really didn’t care how nice it was as long as it had a working shower.  

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09/01 Valencia, Spain

I woke early to the jingling and jangling of the vendors setting up the local market and was up and out in minutes following the caravan of wagons and carts down through the streets to the market.  The strategy was the same, I looked for food and if I could obtain it for free, all the better.  As long as we both got what we wanted out of the conversation, I could play the game.  “You picked them all by hand did ya? Your fingers are too big.  I think this one has been bruised. 

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