Skiing in the Austrian Alps

Having grown up in the foothills of the Pacific Northwest Cascade mountains, I was spoiled when it came to skiing. My hometown was less than an hour’s drive from one of the larger ski resorts in Washington, and my Saturday mornings as a child were marked with ski lessons instead of cartoons. I’d never done a proper ski holiday before, unless you count a brief stay in the Czech Republic in 2012, so when a friend invited me to go skiing in the Alps this winter, I said yes.

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My friend Sebastian sits at the top of Glattjochbahn at the ski resort Brandnertal in western Austria. Perfect weather made for gorgeous mountain panoramas of the Alps.

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Easter with the Anarchists (and some tourist stuff too)

Hey there! Long time no blog… I know, I know, I’m bad. Well, to make up for my lack of activity over the past couple of months, I’m going to write you a blog post with LOTS of pictures…

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See, here’s a picture already! That guy’s backpack says “FCK NZS” – a popular slogan here in Hamburg.

I spent Easter weekend in a rather non-traditional fashion this year: at an anarchist street festival. While Americans were out hiding eggs, Christians were going to church, normal Hamburgers were enjoying bonfires on the beach and Swedes were hanging colorful feathers on trees, the Hamburg neighborhood of Sternschanze was throwing a block party/street festival/demonstration. Continue reading “Easter with the Anarchists (and some tourist stuff too)”

Barcelona y Cadaqués

My first impression of Spain was the warmth. At the end of February it wasn’t hot, just a comfortable 15-16 degrees C (60 F).

I got to go outside with bare arms, got to lay on a beach all day, and got to use F-stop 22 on my camera. No complaints here.
I got to go outside with bare arms, got to lay on a beach all day, and got to use F-stop 22 on my camera. No complaints here.

My second impression was the mopeds. They darted through traffic like a person with a deathwish. They drove on the lines between lanes when traffic was slow, dodging cars and narrowly avoiding rearview mirrors and swerving bumpers.

Mopeds in Spain are like bicycles in Denmark - they're everywhere (though they don't obey the traffic laws half as well as Danish cyclists). I'm told this is true of Italy as well.
Mopeds in Spain are like bicycles in Denmark – they’re everywhere (though they don’t obey the traffic laws half as well as Danish cyclists). I’m told this is true of Italy as well.

My third impression was the palm trees. I’d seen palm trees before in California and Florida, but somehow it didn’t occur to me that they’d grow in Spain as well.

Palm trees were street trees, and cacti instead of shrubs.
Palm trees were street trees, and cacti instead of shrubs.

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Wasted in Wales, a traditional English Christmas, and Ye Olde Trip to Nottingham

For a number of reasons I decided not to go home to Washington for the Christmas holidays. But the prospect of staying in a dorm all Christmas didn’t exactly excite me either, so I decided to go somewhere much closer and cheaper instead: England.

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