Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Long Rambly, or: The Update

The screen on the Chromebook broke so I have really been unable to update, since that would require prying Steve's Surface Pro away from him for something other than booking bus tickets. Right now, though, he's watching The Football soooo here's my chance!

"Where, perchance, did I leave off?" I wondered to myself, swirling a glass of Tesco budget whiskey and ginger beer with dangerously vigorous movements. And then Steve's Surface Pro broke. Well, it still works, but it has to be plugged in. Also, I didn't actually break it. But Steve may have broken the Chromebook, because I left it on the floor and he stood on it. He just now dropped a can of Stella on the carpet so I'm going to say everything is Steve's fault.

Really, though, I left off in Tbilisi, Georgia. It was definitely one of my favorite places. We intended to go elsewhere in Georgia but just...didn't. We went to a couple museums, including the National Gallery, which was small but had some very cool paintings. I highly recommend it. If, you know, you happen to be in Tbilisi. We also went to the sulfur baths twice, and it basically functioned as most of my showers for the week. If anyone wasn't sure yet whether I'm gross or not, there's your answer.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Turkey and Georgia: Ephesus, Pamukkale, Cappadocia, and Tbilisi

I left off in Ephesus and so much has happened since then, obviously, since I haven't updated in approximately one million years. Natural wonders, overnight transit, Steve getting hit on in a toilet, arriving in Georgia at 3:30 in the morning, eating the best food of my life...umm, I thought I could complain about gaining weight in Greece, but I ate everything in town in Georgia. It was nuts. Literally. Walnuts are in everything.
Library of Celsus, Ephesus
The ruins of Ephesus, an ancient Greek city, is an archaeological site near the town of Selcuk in Turkey. We flew from Istanbul to Izmir, a one hour flight, and then took the train directly from the airport to Selcuk. Selcuk itself is kind of a nice little place, and there was free Turkish breakfast at our hostel. Our first night, I ate way too many roasted garbanzo beans and had the worst stomachache ever. Lesson learned. (Not really.)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Istanbul, Turkey: Gobble Pun Pending

Once again, I've taken a long time to update. I can't tell if that means I'm being lazy or not...on the one hand, it means I'm spending less time sitting around on the Internet. On the other hand, I'm probably still sitting around doing something else so...? Is playing cards lazy? 

We've been in Turkey for the last week and we stayed in Istanbul (not Constantinople (sorry, that was lame)) for five days, eating food, walking everywhere, and drinking gallons of tea.
Turkish tea
We took a 15 hour overnight bus from Athens to Istanbul and it was about as pleasant as you might imagine. Although, they did give us a couple snacks and some tea. One snack was a sort of salty shortbread thing aptly named Stick, which I found strangely addicting. The other was a cherry and chocolate packaged cake called Darky Kek. As far as packaged cakes go I'd say it was pretty much amazing.

Friday, October 24, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Girl gains weight, blames it on entire country

I haven’t updated my famous “Most Boring Blog in the World” in a while, and that’s because I’ve been busy stuffing my face. Ah, remember where I left off, in Meteora, where I ate dolmades and and a stuffed eggplant thing and, of course, a Greek salad? I do, it was grand. The restaurant also had a grand view and a bunch of stray cats begging for food. And one not stray dog.

We need to talk about Greek food. A lot of it, especially the vegetarian options, is healthy in theory, except that it’s probably swimming in olive oil. Now, I fully embrace the latest health craze assuring us that good fats are good for you, but surely you can’t eat that amount of olive oil without some consequences. Take the classic Greek salad for example: cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, maybe a few olives, some oregano, and a chunk of feta. That doesn’t sound too bad, as long as the feta isn’t out of control. But did I mention the cup of olive oil drizzled over it? Hmm.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Love Albania, and Now We're In Greece

I left off in Kotor, which unfortunately was also the end of our stay in Montenegro. We had a long day of buses to get to Tirana, the capital of Albania, where we stopped on our quest to get to Greece before bad weather moves in. 

I really liked Tirana the last time I was there. It's not a particularly beautiful city, but it's interesting and has a good vibe. It's definitely different from any other European capital. Steve and I ate dinner at Era, the same restaurant I went to last time with my mom, and it was just as good as I remembered. They had an option to try all the appetizers, so we did that and it was so tasty--lots of cheese, peppers, and eggplant.

After that we went to a brewpub called Brauhaus and it was enormous, but mostly empty. On our quest for one last drink before bed, we stopped at a bar called Duff (obviously). I instantly knocked our beers over with my big butt. Oops! 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Croatia and Montenegro: Water, Pizza, Water, and Burek

I'm really bad at updating. I'll never have a really great cool informative blog and I've come to terms with that. Information is boring, anyway, right? Right? Will add pictures later!

Zagreb, Croatia

After Ljubljana, we took a bus to Zagreb. The bus was coming from Munich and was an hour late. All we did in Zagreb was walk around and eat at a vegetarian restaurant, which was pretty great, since we got to eat some actual vegetables. I don't care what congress says, pizza does not count as a vegetable....

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes is one of Croatia's most popular destinations due to its brightly colored lakes and many waterfalls. We got a late start as usual and didn't get to Plitvice until late in the afternoon. We stayed at a guesthouse type place, which was really nice and cheap, and the owner insisted we have two shots of homemade rakija when we got there. There was a pizzeria nearby where we ordered a veggie pizza, and it literally had frozen vegetables sprinkled over it (corn, diced carrots, peas...?) but it was somehow really good. We were hungry? Pizza in Croatia is really good in general, in my opinion. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Germany, Oktoberfest, Mountains, and Northern Italy: "Where is the Kahlua?" and Other Questions Never to Be Answered

Finally, an update? I've been super busy/sick, so a lot has happened. Beer, pretzels, pizza...errm, I mean, history, cobblestones...frescoes...?

Basel, Switzerland

Basel is stupidly pretty, and I kind of wished I could stay another night so I'd have the chance to sit on the steps by the river drinking a beer. I love drinking convenience store beers in exciting places, it's at least as good as drinking beers in brewpubs. I didn't think the prices were toooo unreasonable. I mean, it's not a cheap place, but I had three Swiss francs left and I managed to cobble together breakfast/lunch from the supermarket no problem. I was feeling good about the amount of money I took out at the ATM at this point.

Then when I went to buy my train ticket to Freiburg, I used a ticket machine that accepted both euro and Swiss francs. Since I didn't have any francs left and no ticket machine in Europe accepts my debit card apparently, I paid with some euro. gave me francs back as change! Aaahh no! I was so close to having no leftover money!

Freiburg, Germany

I chose to go to Freiburg because it is nearby the Swiss/French borders and I could buy a pretty cheap bus ticket to Munich from there. It's known for its university and proximity to the Black Forest. Shortly after I arrived, it started pouring down rain. I'm not in the habit of checking weather forecasts in case anyone was wondering.

I climbed up a hill to an observation tower to get a view of the city and surroundings. I meant to go hiking in the Black Forest, but as I was on my way to the tram (called the VAG, make of that what you will), it started raining, so I went to a cafe and ate a slice of Black Forest cake instead. It's almost the same thing.