Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Waking up not knowing where you are going to fall asleep

Hi Everyone, I'm on a Eurolines bus somewhere between Copenhagen and Hamburg and discovered that you can use the internet so BOOM! Blog time.  

I owe you all a very long blog, since I have been to four different countries since I last wrote in this blog.  I have a lot to cover, so I am going to use mainly pictures.  

My first couple of days on the road began in Dorset, England with my friend Brian and June!  They are both really amazing people and I was really happy I was able to spend sometime with them and wind down after all of my friends from the UConn in London program had left.  I was able to meet up with Garrett who has been living in Germany and travel with him to Dorset which was really great!  We spent Easter there and the next day met up with Tom Murphy.  That night we had an amazing dinner that Auntie June made for us (she fed us WAY too much, I literally couldn't move by the end of the three days.)  Ok, time for you all to look at some pictures:

With Brian in Portland, Dorset!  He was stationed here in the navy in the late 1950s!  We went for a great walk here!

Auntie June in her garden!

Tom and Garrett are really excited for Auntie June's cooking!

Me, Brian and Garrett at Lyme Regis

Me, Brian and Tom

Me, Brian and Garrett

Of course we needed to get Ice Cream.

 The last night we were in Dorset, Tom treated us all to dinner at a place called "The Priory."  Now, I will not be able to explain this dinner in a way that will do it justice, but let me say, it was an experience I'll never forget.  We had to wear ties, and when we showed up they put us in a waiting room, where they brought us drinks and little snacks while we waited for our starters to be ready.  Once our starters were ready, we moved down into this amazing dining area, where they brought out some great wine and food!  It was a great way to celebrate Brian and June's 60th Wedding Anniversary (Big props to Tom Murphy!).

Auntie June and her henchman

Two of my favorite people.

Competition: guess where this was and what its referring to.

Our first champagne cocktails: oh god.

So, the next morning we left Dorset, and headed to the airport.  Garrett met up with his host family later on that day and Tom and I headed to Dublin.

 Upon arriving in Dublin we found ourselves a bit lost in Beelzebub (our hot red Opel Astra rental car).  After driving around Dublin, mainly on the dreaded N-11 for about an hour, we found our hotel "Harrington Hall."  However, our nerves quickly went away when we realized somehow that we ended up in this room:

our ceiling...no big deal

Our living room area/ my bedroom : no big deal

our stairs: no big deal
  So, anyways, we went to a pub that night then turned in early.

The next day Tom and I explored Dublin.  We went on a sight seeing tour, saw the Book of Kells, visited Patagonia (of course), went on a tour of the Guinness Factory (best Guinness in the world is right at the factory), and capped the night with a dinner at a pub in a hotel along the river with live music and Irish Dancing, it was great!

St. Stephen's Green


The next morning we left Dublin and headed for the Wicklow Mountains, where we decided to do a walk: it was really great: the pictures will do this justice: (oh yeah, and we got lost on the N-11 again)

After this we decided to go to Kilkenny: I'm not going to say much about the ride from Wicklow to Kilkenny, but I'll just say that we got lost on the N-11 and all about Ireland for a long time.  Bit stressful, but Beelzebub got us there!  The next morning we visited Kilkenny Castle and then headed to Cork.

We got to Cork (with no problems and without the N-11!)  We mainly walked around, went to a pub (had a Murphy's of course) and then we got in a cab with Frank Murphy, the friendliest cab driver I've ever met and the first man who spoke English that I literally could not understand.  Anyways, he ended up driving us around the city and took some pictures for us, it was pretty funny.

We then decided to go to Blarney and stay in a Bed and Breakfest, the house we stayed in was amazing and made it pretty easy to get to the Castle.  Here is another sunset for you guys:

The next morning we went to Blarney Castle and I kissed the Blarney Stone.  According to legend, kissing the stone gives the kisser gift of great eloquence or skill at flattery (the gift of gab).  Anyways, we will have to see what happens.   Afterward we went on a great walk around the area. 
Blarney Castle!


Oh yeah!

 After Blarney, we decided to head back north towards Newgrange, where there were some pretty great 5000 year old burial grounds.  So we decided to head there.  We spent our last day touring around those sites and then relaxed before Tom headed back to the USA and I headed to Stockholm.
Where we stayed in a bed and breakfest

Something about Irish Sunsets

It was an amazing week as you can tell and it was great that Tom was able to come out and go around Ireland with me.  It was great to see him and spend time together, thanks Tom!

So, then I was off to Stockholm.  I arrived and met up with my friend Alex at the bus station!  Then we went to his host family's place in Taby outside the city.  The next day Alex had class so I went into Stockholm and walked around.  Then I met up with him for lunch and then we went into the city for a bit.  That night we ended up meeting up with my friend Katie from UConn in London as well.


The next day we just hung out and walked around Stockholm some more.  We spent a lot of time in Taby and played on a trampoline and I tried unicycling, which didn't go over too well.

The next couple of days I just hung out with Alex, which was great!  It was good to not really feel like a tourist, but just have a place to stay and hang out!  Alex and I went swimming on my last day there, it was funny thinking that my first swim of the summer was in Sweden.  Then we went fishing, it was a great way to spend time in Sweden.  The Marcko family who Alex lives with were all great and made me some great food!

It was funny waking up my last day in Stockholm not really knowing where I was headed, but also really exhilarating.  I found a cheap bus ticket to Copenhagen that night and took the night bus from Stockholm to Copenhagen.  I arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark around 8:00 AM, brought my stuff to a hostel and toured the city.  It was really good to just walk around and relax.  Then, I got to talk to my mom for mother's day which was great!

The next day I met up with my friend Brenna who is studying in Copenhagen!  It was really cool to see another person from home in Europe!  I also went to Christiania, which is a self proclaimed autonomous neighborhood.  Brenna was telling me that the government has been cracking down on them more, so they march around Copenhagen all the time and protest.  There was also apparenlty a protest where 300 teenage girls walked around the streets chanting "Justin Beiber" trying to get him to come to Copenhagen...anyways...  It was really funny to see.  The residents don't want you to take pictures because they sell weed there all the time, but it was basically like a communal village tucked away.  It was hippyville, it was really awesome!

So, now, here I am...on a bus on my way to Hamburg!  I think I'll be here for a couple of days, we will see though, I'm aiming for Italy, not really sure where I'll go in between though.

I hope you are all doing alright!  Thanks for reading I really appreciate it everyone!  Also, it appears that this bus might be getting on a ferry, that is cool.

On a bus, that is about to go onto a ferry that is going to Germany. 



  1. Hi Stephen,
    The drought is over! Great post and far to long between updates. We all missed your adventures and I know I will be getting calls that you have "updated"!
    The pictures tell a wonderful story. You, Tom and Garrett made June and Brian very happy! Mr. Murphy couldn't tell the stories of his time with you in England and Ireland without laughing so hard that you couldn't understand him! memories that will stay with you both!
    Enjoy your time traveling alone and enjoy every moment!

  2. Stephen,
    How exciting! I love the pictures, you are seeing so many beautiful areas. Well these next few weeks you really get to live the life of a traveling man! Good luck and God Speed!!
    I love you,

  3. Hi Stephen,

    Great to hear about your travels. Enjoy the rest of the trip. You'll always be glad you took the time for this adventure.

    Take care,
    Uncle D.T.

  4. Hey Stephen,

    Reminds me of the old movie "if it is Tuesday it must be Belgium"! Thanks for the ride so far, and already looking forward to the next update.

    Tom S