Thursday, March 27, 2008


Hello All,
I did not have any internet in Berlin and my days were simply JAMMED, so I did not have much time or means to update this lovely little blog of mine.
For those of you who commented looking for a new entry, here it is...sort of.
I don't have much time to write about my experiences in leaving Prague and in Berlin right now but I will make a point of doing so tomorrow.

For now, I offer up a new set of PHOTOS HERE.

I did not have as much free time to shoot as I might have liked, but I am fairly confident that I will be returning to Berlin, probably in June, and will have another round with the city. 

Coming Attractions: Taking off for Bangkok on Monday.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Prague - Day 2

I went for a short walk today, just a couple of hours into the city...a slightly different route this time: through the Prague Castle. It's really more of a small city than a castle with shops and restaurants lining the inner roads. For someone like me, who hates tourists, I suppose this was probably the worst route to take, but I had a plan.

Yesterday evening I realized the potential for a small series of portraits. I decided that I would photograph the 4 (or more) castle guards everyday until I leave. They are easy subjects--unable to move or speak--and with a little creative depth of field and arranging, I think these guys could produce a nice group of images. Here are the first 4:

After moving through the castle I headed across the river and into a slightly different part of the city. Even MORE tourists than yesterday! They are spreading. It started to rain and so I decided to head home, on my way capturing some fairly stunning sunset photos which can be found on flickr!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Prague - Day 1

For my first day in Prague, I decided of course to go for a nice long walk--just to get a feel for the city.

First Impression: This city is old, REAL old, and very beautiful. There is a lot of history here--a lot of culture and character. There are also a TON OF TOURISTS. It was pretty annoying having to come to a complete stop for almost 30 seconds on the Charles Bridge because of the tourist congestion. Aside from the tourists, I like Prague quite a bit. There is a feeling in the streets here of something different, something detached every so slightly from western Europe. It really feels like you are on the fringes of the eastern block; I like this feeling.

Tomorrow there will be more exploring. For now, there is a new set started on flickr of shots I took walking around today.

As always, please feel free to comment if you see something you like! 
I love to hear back from any and all who are reading. 

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Milan - Strasbourg

I left Milan early tuesday morning with 12 hours of train ahead of me. I had my book, Life of Pi, in my hand and Lost In Translation queued up on my iPod: I was ready for the journey.
I began reading after a short nap early on. By the time we reached the Italian/French border, I was deeply absorbed in Pi's fight for survival and didn't even notice that we hadn't moved in over an hour. We were delayed for almost 2 hours at the border due to what I can only assume was a backup in the long tunnel through the Alps. I resigned myself to missing my next two trains and pushed on in my book. 

The Alps are extraordinarily beautiful. Every twist and turn of the train revealed a different village hidden away on the mountainsides of these enormous mountains. Snow fell outside the train as I watched the smoke curling out from the tops of chimneys and the clouds floating low through the mountains--it was just too picturesque.

I made it to Lyon around 16:00. The next train left for Strasbourg at 17:08, getting in at 22:23--three hours later that I had originally planned. In the end, it didn't matter much. Julie was waiting on the platform for me and my journey was finally over. I had two days to relax in Strasbourg with Julie before continuing on to Prague early tomorrow(Friday) morning.

A quick update about my last post: I never got to go up on the Duomo. As I finished typing that entry and gathered my things to leave, I looked out the window and noticed that it was pouring rain. I guess it was a sign.

There are a few new photos in the Milan set on Flickr. 

Also, I just wanted to wish my brother a happy birthday. He turned 19 yesterday, March 12, and I wish I could have been there to celebrate...actually, I wish he could have been here to celebrate! Either way, happy birthday pete! 

Monday, March 10, 2008

Last Day in Milan

Milan turned out to be a period of rest for me. I have gone out every day shooting but not in the same style as before--I have traded in my 10 mile walks for metro rides and strolls. I finally reached that point where my body just can't keep up with the pace I have set for it, I needed a few days of rest to get things back where they should be.

Good news is, my lack of energy has not necessarily translated into lack of images. I have managed to come away with at least one or two images a day that I am more than happy with--which is all I can really ever hope for.

Bad news is, we had internet here at the apartment for less than 24 hours before it mysteriously cut out again, that means no new pictures.

And so, that brings me up to today, my last day here in Milan, and also Italy. I hope to one day be able to return to Italy to see more of what it has to offer. I know it is a beautiful country and I really feel like it deserves more time than I gave day. Today I will be climbing to the roof of the Duomo, as I have been told it is worth the price of admission and is a "MUST-DO" when you are here in Milan, so I'll check it out. Then I'll be walking down to the "canal district" to see what that is all about. I figure by that time it will be cold, wet, and dark enough for me to come home and make myself something to eat. And so ends my time in Milan.

8am train tomorrow. Looking forward to another 12 hours of trains and transfers as I make my way back to Strasbourg. Unlike my marathon trip to Barcelona, this time I have someone waiting for me :) I can't wait.

Coming Attractions: Prague on Friday

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Milan Update

Some new photos are up here.
I am too tired to write anymore right now, but enjoy the shots and I'll post again real soon.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


It was a rough night on the train, but I got to Milan early Wednesday morning as planned.
After an exhausting and less-than-inspiring day yesterday, I decided to take a break today and catch up on editing pictures and plan out the next few portions of my trip.

I needed a break from the non-stop action and adventure, just a quiet day to myself, thankfully I got what I needed.

A quick word about the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia: it is an INCREDIBLE building, or will be, when it's finished. I was awestruck by Gaudi's vision and designs, and I felt very privileged to be able to witness the construction of such a monumental building.

When I was in Paris, I was talking with some friends about how buildings like the Sacre Coeur or Notre Dame could never be built today--that there is not enough devotion or patience for someone to design, let alone build, a structure such as these beautiful basilicas. But it is happening, right now in Barcelona it is happening. Yes, the first stone may have been lain in 1882, but the work is still far from over. When completed, it will be a structure 150 years in the making and a true testament to Gaudi and his creative genius.

That said, here are a few shots from my last day in Barcelona (went to La Sagrada Familia) and my first day in Milan.

As always there are some more on flickr. Enjoy.

Monday, March 3, 2008

La Boqueria, La Pedrera, and Hector

I started off the day today with a visit to the infamous Mercat de la Boqueria in downtown Barcelona. It is one of Europe's oldest functioning markets (if not THE oldest) and a true sight to be seen, or rather, experienced. Just about every food product you can imagine can be bought from one of the market's numerous vendors-everything from gummy bears to animal brains in tuperware is up for sale.

After the market, it was off to La Pedrera, one of Gaudi's numerous architectural attractions here in the city. At first, I was skeptical about the buzz surrounding Gaudi's work, but after visiting and learning a little of the history behind it I am a firm believer that he more than earned his spot amongst the architectural elite. The most impressive thing about his work is not only its beautiful organic shapes, but also the fact that most of his buildings were constructed around 1900. Gaudi was a man working far ahead of his time, creating things unlike anyone else could have even dreamed. I greatly admire his creativity and vision and strongly recommend you see as much of his work as possible if you ever come to Barcelona. He is one of the all time masters of architecture.

Throughout the day I had been corresponding with a friend of mine, Mr. Hector Soto, who I met in a hostel while I was in Paris back in early February. I hadn't heard from him in quite some time when I left La Pedrera, but I had told him I was there. Sure enough, as soon as I stepped out of the building, Hector came walking right over, sandwich in hand, smile on his face.

We sat down on a bench and began to chat about life, travel and Barcelona. Mr. Soto is a 30 year old singer/dancer/artist hailing from Guadalajara, Mexico. After his recent divorce, he hopped on a plane to Rome, then Paris and now Barcelona-where he is living. After catching up, we decided to head back to Yalda's apartment for dinner and drinks.

We had a fun dinner together with Yalda, whom I had told all about Hector prior to her meeting him. As Hector and I began to head out the door, Yalda volunteered to take a photo of us. You can't go wrong with a thumbs up.

Hector and I struck out for Placa del Sol, a spot not far away where a lot of locals go to hang out. It was a monday night so we figured there probably wouldn't be many people around but we decided to go check it out anyway. We bought a couple Estrella's and sat down on a bench next a few other 20-somethings. Turns out there were two other Mexicans in the group, both named Jaime, and Hector struck up a convo. By the end of the night we were all friends, especially the Jaime's and Hector, they just couldn't get enough of Hector's jokes, only half of which I understood (my spanish is mediocre at best).

I took a shot of the three of them before heading home for the night.

I have to say, I will miss Hector. I hope we can meet again soon somewhere else in the world.

Tomorrow is my last day in Barcelona. I will be trying to climb up in La Segrada Familia and also visit MACBA and/or the Picasso Museum. Then it's off to Milan!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Updated Barcelona Set

New pics up, check em out HERE.
They are the ones at the bottom, the last 30 or so.
Stories coming soon...