Friday, September 24, 2010

The Snail Trail

Falling behind here... ahhh...

     Matt and me have been high tailing it all around. When we got back from Rome we stayed with my lovely friend Maya in Barcelona. She showed us a good time there, feed us Tapas and Pilau, which prior to those i had no faith in the spanish cuisine. We spent our nights wondering around Gracia with Maya and drinking Sangria. She also took us to the famous Park Guell, another page in Gaudi's repertuar. It was fantastic, very natural and yet so bizarre at the same time, its home of the famous mosque lizard. So Barcelona became more familiar to us after our second time there, and much harder to leave. I could have moved onto Maya's couch and stayed put for good. But off ward and on ward... always saying hello and then good buy.

    Next stop was Figures, resting place to the late Salvador Dali. His museum stands there, more like a chapel for his work. It is full of sketches, murals, tapestries, furniture, installations, and of course my personal favorite was his Jewels. My oh my that man mad the most fabulous jewelry pieces out of the most valuable materials... a diamond encrusted eye ball, and a ruby heart the actually has the mechanism to beat.  This is a man to be reckoned with in the world of art, a master of so many fields and a complete mad man at the same time. We did a few more things on our way out of spain, namely spent our time in water slide parks :P. Matt got a hankering for some slippery action so we spent a few days getting beat up by the gnarlist slides i've ever been on, ????really make you feel like you getting old. I think in spain they are a little less strict with the building regulations.

    We were now driving back up to france again. Heading for a commune that i had heard about 5 years prior from a man on a train, L'Arch La Borie Noble. This commune was founded by a man Lanzar del Vasto who spent quite a few years in india with Gandhi and later in life returned to france to bring back the non-violent way of living that Gandhi had been teaching. There is no electricity at La Borie, this means every time you want to take a shower you light a fire under the boiler, every time you do your laundry you scrub each piece of clothing with soapy water. We spent our days there mainly building a fantastic mortis and tenon chicken coop (mansion.) But i also milked the cows, helped with the cheese and got my hands in the mud down in the garden. As you can guess perhaps they produce almost all of the own food, cheese, milk, veggies, along with making fresh bread every other day. I loved it there, Matt and me wanted to stay for a few months but Oktoberfest was calling us to Munich so on ward we went.

On the way out of france we went by another commune, Longo Mai, a anarchist haven. This community was huge in comparison to  L'Arch, there were about 100 residents and 100 goats as well, a radio station "Zinzine." Very cool place, a real working anarchist community that is almost self sufficient. Good stories but this is a nut shell cap on the past... who know' s how long.

We also stopped back in Lyon the see Jake again. Where we road the Velove bikes around the city. These bikes are awesome, you pay 14 euros per year and can use them when ever you want. There are stations all over the city where the bikes are kept in the weird locking mechanism. So you take a bike with you ID number and ride it anywhere in the city and leave it at another station in the area you want to hang out in. Awesome idea, seriously. There are so many people riding these bikes all over, and its totally easy to use and convenient. There are now community bikes like this all over europe but in Lyon it works particularly well, it was the first place where it was tried and took off. So we road these bikes up along the beautiful river walks and to the markets. Lyon is defiantly my favorite city in france, if not my favorite in the world. It was in this beautiful city where we tested our stomachs with the french speciality Escargot. Yes i can proudly say we have now eaten Snails, they are really not as bad as you think.

And now one can only wonder where in the world we are. hehe... next installation will be Oktoberfest so you have something to look forward to. Sorry for the brief cap on the last month but the amount of information there was becoming overwhelming.
Love to you all

Friday, September 17, 2010

When in Rome!

ROMA!!!  Yo everyone, writing you from Barcelona once again.  Rome was a trip,  I couldn't imagine heading down town Santa Cruz a seeing something as big as a Baseball stadium that was built over two thousand years ago, but on the flip side I guess they couldn't imagine seeing a tree that started growing over two thousand years ago either.  I'm glad we managed to keep a few of those around.  We flew into Rome with my pops, and after tough negotiations with the Taxi driver we managed to make it to our flat in Rome.  The people are cool and all, but it seems with the city people at least you really need to be a bit stern, its good to make them explain the extra charges to you.
  After kickin it in the room for a bit after the travels, we went out for a meal at a place called Porko Vaco which judging by the sigh means slutty cow, or cow in langere, I don't speak Italian.  Man the food was the best yet, its not like its too much different, they just do it right.  I went for plain old spaghetti with tomato sauce and was blown out of the water.  The food didn't let us down once. 
   The next day we headed to the Colosseum which got its name from a giant statue of Colossus which stood out front for what must have been a thousand years,  and I wonder if thats why all Colosseums have that name.  This place was nuts, to think slaves built it with no modern tools, and its standing today, with the help of a few modifications implemented in the nineteenth century.  Seeing this place really brought into question the whole 'civilized' idea; so we've got these 'civilized' Romans, ya know just feedin people to lions, and having gladiators hack them apart while the whole city watches in delight, then we have savage hordes of uncivilized people doing god knows what, but it can't be much worse.  We continued to waltz around ancient Rome, looking at massive arches, famous rivers, and a square that I cant remember the name of, but where again we had awesome food.  On the way back to our place for a siesta in the heat of the day (which is wise to do here by the way) we saw the Fountain Trevi.  A lot of people had this idea too, but I can see why, its a Fountain depicting the final battle over athens when Zeus cast his enemy and his winged beasts into the fiery depths of the underworld.  I just made that up, but I really wanted to make it seem as cool as it looked.  After our nap  it was off to eat again, but not once did I have Bishkut Ian, are you sure its not a Jewish dish?
  So with the ancient buildings and monuments at our rudder we headed for a holier horizon, and holy it was.  We took Vicadin city by storm, completely ignoring the warning on the internet about being "properly dressed," we figured, hey we're americans right?  Wrong.  Some guards at the door denied entry to Nima on the ground that her almost knee length skirt was too short, and that her shoulders were showing, but with some quick thinking and what looked like a drug deal with a little old lady selling scarfs we were in.  I didn't mention is was about 100 degrees.  Once inside we were stoked.  We saw all the cool sites, and we even saw Pope John Paul, he is still there incased in glass for everyone to see; kind of creepy.  At the top we caught a birds eye view of all of Rome.  The stairs to the top were a little on the sketchy side.  500 some odd steps of twisting winding and ever shrinking corridors.  Dad was gettin a little claustrophobic, and the gung-ho stair masters on our tale really added to the adventure. 
  That night we dined our last night together in the famous Campo De Florie, and were awed again by the food and the wine.  Dad and I had Feticini Alfredo and Nima had Gnocchi.  A great night to end a great trip.  The next day it was off to the airport, to once again say our goodbyes, and it really never gets easier, but we racked up another memory and I know there will be many more to come.  Much love dad and thanks for an awesome time, and to everyone else keep your heads to the east and and don't stare at the TV, you'll go deaf.