A Travellerspoint blog

London Bridge should have fallen on my head

View Spain/Portugal 2007 on therook's travel map.

London is depressing. Probably because the dollar is so weak to the pound ... 100 american dollars equals 48 british pounds. so i literally cannot buy anything. even a small meal is exorbitantly priced. I got a sandwich for 6 american dollars which wasnt bad, but to ride the damn tube it was 10 dollars (5 pounds). Shit. and for an hour bus ride from the airport to here it was 20 dollars (10 pounds). To say the least, I am not happy. I am hungry. And i am tired. And it cost 15 dollars to check my baggage this morning. I have spent more today than it seems like i would spend in a week in portugal.

I would come back to London for sure if I was a rich american bastard, but even then my money wouldnt last long. I would love to go shopping here though, so mush nice clothing. And the food looks good too if it wasnt 20 bucks. I guess it was a bad place to end my trip. Since I'm pretty much out of money, being in London is just... painful. I have some pictures, but they wont be up for a couple of days. I can only use the internet for 30 minutes here. On the plus side it should only cost another 8 dollars to ride the tube to the airport. hopefully. people here like to tell you tons of different prices. ah. I'll be happy to be home, and just relax.

Even being in Britian i feel like people are speaking another language. Maybe they are.

The countryside in england is very nice though. today was all blue skies. hopefully tomorrow will be nice as well.

Posted by therook 11:48 Archived in England Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

~First Day in Porto

shopping until you cannot climb another hill

overcast 16 °C
View Spain/Portugal 2007 on therook's travel map.

Hello. My first day in Porto was filled with shopping. I didnt buy anything because most articles of clothing are straight out of the 90s like Brian put it. Bright, and striped, with words and glitter. But it was fun to wander around and endure all the terrible american music here. And, to stop and have a pastry every few blocks. yum!

All of the churches in porto have these wonderful tiles all around them. It makes them stand out ~from the buldings around them, and from churches in other towns.

This store would have been Michelas paradise. Thousands of necklaces and earrings in all colors and shapes and styles. I want to send the girls to spain and portugal so they can have new wardrobes. so many polka dots and shoes!

Along my shopping route, a griffin? statue.

The centro of Porto. Where all things colide. Food and wine and shopping and tourism and business.

A view from my room.

The sky over porto at dusk. Very beautiful!

This was a painting i did a while ago in Pico, Açores. I forgot to take a picture though until last night.

The painting i did last night before watching some news and some weird english programming.

Here, I have seen more news than i have in my entire life. Its like there is a shield around america and we dont get any real news. I feel like i know FAR MORE about whats going on in the world than i did at home. Some Spanish guy on the news compared Bush to Hitler. was he wrong? you decide. There is also news of iraq SHOWING the bad things.. bombs and people killed. Nothing like america.

Posted by therook 11:06 Archived in Portugal Tagged foot Comments (0)

Coimbra ... the town that just didnt

I went there for one reason, and i didnt get to do it.

semi-overcast 19 °C
View Spain/Portugal 2007 on therook's travel map.

I went to coimbra to see a forest. I didnt get to go because of the weird bus hours. So, i walked around and went shopping. and then left. It was okay.

This is the coimbra university. It is one of the oldest in Europe, being founded in 1100 something.

This was near the university. They seemed to have some very radical views there. And clothing styles.

There were tiles murals all along one street. I liked the fact they were all in blue, and looked like they were sketched almost.


This was the university botanical garden. Very beautiful. And finally, a FREE garden!

A wall running by the university.

Also by the university. Im not sure what though, it wasnt marked on the map.

Some old houses by the university. Coimbra was very colorful.

Architecture in coimbra. I forget who made this one. Its supposed to be a rennasaiance style, but i dont know.

And lastly, I bet GRACE would want one of these. Its an electronic bus timetable that tells you which bus, and how many minutes until it will arrive at the stop. Its almost a relief.

Posted by therook 10:23 Archived in Portugal Tagged transportation Comments (0)

The Last of the Lisbons

sunny 21 °C
View Spain/Portugal 2007 on therook's travel map.

I am on the slowest computer ive ever used, besides a broken one that didnt work at all. here is the end of my lisbon tale...

This is the Monastery of the Geronimos. Id say the most elaborate monastery ive ever seen. or imagined.

Another view.

I was very excited to see this statue because the hippocampus, the half horse, half fish, was one of my favorite mythical creatures, and ive really never seen any artwork of it!

There was some cool art on the ground that showed the different conquests of portugal throughout the ages. these people are standing in europe.

These people are standing in the americas.

Where i am!!

Where i went earlier....

I went to a tropical botanical garden. I wonder how much money ive spent on going to gardens and churches and such? this one was different though, because all the plants were from the asias and africa and such. very nice.

Some very interesting bamboo. I would like to have some in my yard.

San Francisco or Lisbon? You decide.

I havent the slightest idea what it says, but i like the idea of a clock for a head.

This was the weirdest textured building i saw in lisbon. But dont get me wrong, there were lots of strange buildings!!

On the walk back to the hostel, there was a plant growing out of the wall.

I left lisbon on their independence day... April 25. It was the day Portugal was no longer under a dicatorship. The carnations you see are a symbol of the peace. On that day in 1974, they put carnations in their rifles to show that there would be no more.

They had a tram system in Lisbon a lot like San Francisco. Some going up and down extremely steep hills. Like in San Francisco.

A very tasty place to get a pastry by my hostel. A very old one too.

The metro stop by the hostel. I was sad to leave it and took this photo.

This is a sink in a mall at the train station. They even have art in their sinks!!

The subway stops each had a different type of art. Some very classical, some new age. some very strange. but all very nice. or at least nicer than plain, boring, subway walls!

Lisbon and Seville have been my favorite cities so far. I would definently like to return to lisbon! and even stay in the same hostel with paulo and maria and jo. They were all great!!

Posted by therook 09:51 Archived in Portugal Tagged train_travel Comments (0)

Lisbon, oh Lisbon.

Center of arts and histories and plentiful churches and castles. And fresh seafood.

sunny 20 °C

This is the first half of my lisbon story. I spent a lot of the week just wandering around and looking at things. The first two days I went to castles. Sao Jorge in Lisbon, and the Moorish castle in Sintra. After that, i was exhausted of walking. But Lisbon is a great city. Filled with artists, food, history, statues, fashion (good or bad..), small shops, and tourists. Oh and cheap wine. Always cheap wine!

This is the hostel cat, Jo. She was very friendly and slept on my lap more than one night. She reminded me of louis.

The first real day I was in Lisbon I went around the town with a German guy. We went to Sao Jorge castle, and this is it.

This is a view out from the castle. The castle is perched on a high hill, as most castles are, and looks out over lisbon and the river.

View of the river, the rio tejo.

The confusion of lisbon houses. It looks easy to navigate, right? I like all the different colors.

On the walk back from the castle, the German and I stopped at this wine shop, and they had some very old wines. There was one from 1985 for 80 euros! and there were some older for even more.

We then went up to the top of this building that was essentially a big elevator and a platform on the top that sold snacks and beer. But it had a nice view. This is Rossio square.

This is a view of the Sao Jorge castle over the city.

The next day, I went to Sintra. And I walked the whole way from the train station to the castle top. It was all uphill and probably 4 miles. No wonder im done with stairs and castles! My legs were shaking after I finally made it back down to the train station.

This is a decorative door on the way up to the castle.

Also on the way.

Most of the walk was through some sort of forest. It felt like I had gone back a century or two.

Outside the castle. These are some of the original moorish walls that were not rebuilt. The original parts of the castle were built in the 9th century, and then later restored and used in the 14th.

Inside the castle. There were many trees, probably grown up over the years of neglect. But it made for a wonderful atmosphere.

And here is the castle, hanging on the the side of the rock.

On the walk back down the hill...

And a romantic moorish fountain.

The next two nights i pretty much lounged around with the hostel worker, Maria, and we made some food and had great conversations with other people there. And we watched some CSI. good times!

Posted by therook 05:47 Archived in Portugal Tagged tourist_sites Comments (3)

Last Day in the Azores

Dissapointment, but Sun and Beach

sunny 19 °C
View Spain/Portugal 2007 on therook's travel map.

I went to Horta to look for information on my family. Unfortunatly I needed the church they were associated with and there were ten to choose from. I felt lost. I crossed an Ocean and I wasnt any closer to finding out about them.

This is the view of Horta from the ferry.

Horta Porta. Probably the most interesting port in the azores if you remember all the paintings for good luck there!

Boats and Houses.

View of the Island Pico from the Port.

Oh, by the way.. I think in the azores I found a strange translation in food items. A hamburger is actually a slice of ham plus a hamburger patty. And a steak snadwich with cheese and lettuce is actually a piece of steak, bread, cheese, and a slice of ham. WHAT IS WITH THIS HAM THING?! I only think of Ryan´s eating habits and laugh. the more types of meat the merrier!

A street on the way to the beach.

Beach! It was a very nice day and I laid out for sometime, and forgot my frustrations about my family.

Me! and the beach. I was very happy.

Then back to Madalena to spend the night because it was cheaper than Horta, ferry rides included, to stay the night.

So, I didnt leave on a bad note. The last day was very nice, and i appreciated the weather.

Posted by therook 11:29 Archived in Portugal Tagged vegetarian Comments (0)

Pico Island

Madalena to Lajes do Pico to Sao Roque

all seasons in one day 15 °C
View Spain/Portugal 2007 on therook's travel map.

This was my time on Pico Island. My favorite place was Lajes. They had a nice little restaurant and place to stay. I painted there and met some people to talk to and had a couple glasses of wine.

This is on the ferry ride to Pico island. The water was a little rough, and I was a little ill. Stayed the night in Madalena.

I wandered around the town, Lajes do Pico, on the next day until I found a nice place to paint. This is along the way.

I have climbed many stairs. I am officially done with stairs and castles.

The sidewalks here always have interesting designs and images. Sometimes i wonder why i havent run into anything while looking at them!

Still me walking around.

Night is coming while I am still painting.

This is from the restaurant that was part of the residencial i stayed at. They had very nice people there and i talked to them well past closing time.

Night. The little dot you can see in the middle is Venus. The sky was amazingly clear.

This is a picture of a picture of a flood they had before they built a barrier wall next to the sea. The place you see is the place i stayed. The giant rail crate you see was supposedly floating around and smashed into the building. You can imagine what happened to the car!

This was on the shop next door. The American view of the world. Looks familiar eh?

The next day I went to Sao Roque. Which i was bored. I must have walked for miles and miles in my boredom. I had to hitchhike to get there, other wise spend 4 hours on the bus circling the island. Some old eccentric couple picked me up, and im surprised they didnt run anyone over!! If anyone EVER goes to portugal, please watch out for motorists. they are damn dangerous.

They had natural swimming pools like this all over the azores. They fill up with the tide. this one, the tide is out. People would also just swim in the ocean, and even do laps. Badass!

Another view of the mountain, Pico.

When I was walking around I saw this house way in the middle of the Pico ¨forest¨ and it looked very difficult to get to.

The calf was very cute. I thought grace would want to see it. I felt bad I probably ate its mom or dad while I was on the island. I was almost impossible to avoid meat. Unless i wanted bread and cheese for every meal! But now on the mainland im back to a veghead.

These were rocks in the ocean.

And these were some vines i thought were pretty.

Overall of Pico I liked Lajes the best. Like i said, i would like to go back with a tent and more time. and maybe a car...

Posted by therook 10:41 Archived in Portugal Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

(Entries 1 - 7 of 30) Page [1] 2 3 4 5 »