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Travels in Europe.

Just got back from spending almost two weeks in London, and while I’m glad to be back, I had a great time exploring all the city had to offer. I hadn’t planned on going to Europe for several years, but when I managed to get tickets to a play based on one of my favorite movies I figured why not. Thankfully I’d saved up some money otherwise I’d never have been able to do it since the dollar isn’t worth much right now; everything I bought cost around 1 1/2 times more.

I saw all the typical tourist sights (Big Ben, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace) while wandering around, and even managed to get to Portobello Road, the Sherlock Holmes Museum and the London Zoo which were a little out of the way but definitely worth it. I actually went to the Zoo on my birthday, which was a great way to spend the day since you get to get up close and personal with almost all of their animals, and then afterwards went to see Wicked at one of London’s many theaters.

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Since I had a bit of free time I went up to Scotland for the day and then down in to Paris for a day as well. I enjoyed Scotland, it reminded me a lot of home, but France . . . not so much. I did get some pictures of the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower that I think turned out pretty good though so I wasn’t too disappointed.

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All in all it was a great trip, long, but good.

Later.

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Memories from China.

I was looking through a world history book yesterday at work and I stumbled across some pictures from China that got me thinking. It’s been nearly eight years since I went there and I’d really like to go back. Last time I went with my grandma, and though I’ll be forever grateful for her allowing me to tag along, I didn’t really get to see and do everything I wanted. Sometimes it was because there wasn’t enough time, and other times because she simply had no interest in doing it, but either way I ended up missing out on several things.

I’m not saying I didn’t get to do anything, but our interests don’t exactly match up so in the end her choices were the ones that mattered. Me, I enjoyed the history of the country; seeing all the temples, learning about the different eras, and of course all of the amazing scenery. For a country with so many people it sure has a lot of beautiful places. I could spend hours just wandering through their temple grounds and exploring the shrines. I’ve yet to see any other place like it.

Walking along the Great Wall was something I’ll never forget, and the Terra Cotta soldiers were a sight to behold. It was also fun spending time on the Yangtze River and seeing the different colors the water turned with each new location. I remember one place we went, though I can’t remember exactly where it was, where we walked down this small street that was lined with trees. There were hundreds of bird cages, filled with all kinds of birds, resting on low hanging branches and sitting on benches. The people were taking their pets out for fresh air and socialization.

The food there was really pretty good, and coming from someone who can’t usually stand tofu that’s saying something. I even ended up building up a tolerance to peppercorn since they use it in so many dishes. Desert was always some sort of fruit, which was awesome. I had so much watermelon that trip. 🙂

I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to go there, I enjoyed myself immensely, and hope to be able to go again in the future . . . right after I go to London and Japan.

Later.