Pockets of Blue

musings of my mind

Month: September 2005

The Royal Treatment

It’s nearing midnight, and I’ve spent the better part of my day in France. It served as the climax of my stay here in SE England, precursed by many enjoyable activities throughout the week. My Aunt and Uncle have treated me like royalty, their unabashed generosity and warmth has really been great. This week I’ve been treated to several dinners around the Reigate area, namely Thai and French (all were delicious, and complemented with merry amounts of wine). I’ve golfed 18 holes on the course viewable from my bedroom windown and gone into London solo on two occasions, for sightseeing and theatregoing both. Kevin Spacey reaffirmed my faith in him as a fantastic actor, especially on the stage (second-row seats didn’t hurt).

Today was our glorified booze cruise. We took a ferry from Dover to Calais for the purpose of restocking the wine cellar and having lunch at this magnificent restaurant in Boulogne. The meal had as many courses as days in a week, and each one seemed more tantalizing. It still amazes me how the French treat food like an art form, and how the presentation is almost as carefully prepared as the food itself. The emphasis on quality, rather than guantity, is a welcome change from typical English and American cuisine. Not to mention the service; the waiters constantly topped off our wine, water, and bread throughout the meal. (I could go on for hours about French cuisine, guess it’s my inner frenchman surfacing.) They’re not so welcoming, but they sure as hell know how to cook.

After picking up a dozen cases of wine and several selections of cheese, we made our way back to the harbor. It was pretty interesting seeing French men and women mingle about on the tiny streets and squares of Boulogne where we purchased the cheese.

I have captured several dozen photos of my adventures here in England and France, and will post them when I get a free afternoon (tomorrow?). Alas, tomorrow (Friday) is my last day here before I depart for Munich on Saturday. Don’t have anything planned as of yet, so I may just lounge around and relax. The last few days have been pretty tiring (Poor me, haha).

My next post will be from Germany. Rock!

Hopped the Pond

This morning I arrived in London at around 4 am EST. I am writing this at 12:45 AM, but my body is convinced it’s 7:45 PM. It’s rather strange discovering half of your evening completely disappeared.

So a couple hours into the flight (11 PM or so) we’re cruising over newfoundland and the flight attendants start passing out “late-nite snacks” consisting of sandwiches or something. I declined since my parents treated me to a large, delicious meal at Chili’s earlier. I watched a movie and managed to fall asleep around 1 am or so. So I’m sleeping soundly (well as much as is possible on an airplane in coach class), dreaming about Lederhosen and foreign cars, when the flight attendant wakes me up for “breakfast.” I accept, since the lights had been turned on already and I had no chance of falling back asleep. After treating my taste buds to a dry croissant, I look at my watch: 2 am. Who the hell eats breakfast at 2 am? I know I’m losing 5 hours, but do they all have to be deducted from my night’s sleep? Sigh.

Other than that unavoidable aspect, the flight went off without a hitch. I met my uncle (who unsurprisingly didn’t recognize me) and entered a land of foreign cars, signs, and roundabouts galore. Nice!

The wilderness

Having just posted a recent set of images from a weekend of hiking in the Adirondack High Peaks, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the trip.  I’ve found myself being pulled back to the area more and more over the past few years, for reasons becoming more obvious.  The overwhelming serenity and peace I get from being in the middle of the woods carrying everything I need to live on my back is awesome.  Everything becomes incredibly simple, as the only thing you are concerned about are your basic needs: food, water, shelter.  Everything else just falls away.

The inherent beauty of the land, of course, is the main attraction (very evident in my photos).  But the people you meet (depending on what area of the HP you’re in) are also incredible, too.  Where else do you stop, say hi, and have a brief conversation with every person you meet?  There is a hidden, yet very present, commonality between everyone: a love of nature and the serenity that comes with the land.

Even though it probably won’t be for many months, I look forward to my next adventure in the Adirondacks.  Undoubtedly this feeling will well up into a pressing urge by the time I’m back in the states.

Prologue

Welcome to what is commonly referred to as a blog, in this case my blog.  In lieu of email correspondence, I have set this up to document my travels in Europe (and beyond) to a broader audience.  I expect to post photos galore taken by my new digi (Kodak of course) over the next few months, as well as some older sets of images.  Keep an eye on this, for there will be many developments leading up to my departure from this country.

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