Last night I attended the Beltane Fire Festival on top of Calton Hill in Edinburgh, and it definitely makes the "top ten experiences of my life" list. Pictures couldn't come close to capturing the scene, but I'll post what I've got later this week. I also caught Edan on Saturday, definitely one of my favorite hip hop acts lately.
Picked up the new Streets album last week, very enjoyable as usual. If it's not out in the states yet, I can send some love along. Anyone pick up the new Soul Position? Nowhere to be found in Edinburgh. Also been listening to...
Madlib - The Beat Konducta vol. 1-2
Brian Eno and David Byrne - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
Woody Guthrie - Long Ways to Travel
Hank Williams - The Ultimate Collection
Deda - The Original Baby Pa
Hmmm, I think that's it as far as news, except exams getting closer. So here are some travel pics/thoughts.
I definitely regret not hitting up Lubijana and Bucharest during my time in the East, but time is finite and destinations are not. I just know I'm so incredibly lucky to be able to see the places I did, definitely a different world over there. The dollars went further and the history was sorted and vigorous, but I was definitely impressed with how laid back everyone was.
The Jewish Cemetary. Because of limited space, generations of Prague's Jewish community were buried on top of each other, bringing in top soil and crowding the stones together.
We got playoff tickets for about eight dollars. The Prague Spartans advanced to the semis. Attending a professional sports match is always an excellent way to experience the real culture.
Beer and a brat = $1.50
Let's go Spartans
Capacity crowd + cheap beer = lots of security
Chris Ben Josh and Matt have started a Christian rock band, Pentecost Prague
View from the Vysehrad, a medieval fortress overlooking the city
Three days of bad touristy food led us to the new Tesco down the street. For eight dollars, I got four huge bags of groceries, including two bottles of wine, gourmet cheese and bread, baked goods, fruits and vegetables.
Full and Happy
Another hill another castle
I liked Prague, but I wished I could have seen it ten years ago. We did our best to get off the tourist track, and going to the hockey game and a few of the spots Kelli suggested helped. But overall we found it difficult to find the real Prague in four days.
So on to Budapest
some goofy dudes
Marissa Matt and Chris
Matt is very serious, all the time.
On top of St. Nicholas' Cathedral. The city faded away in a haze on the horizon, an absolutlely massive city. I think I read about 1/4 of all Hungarians live in Budapest.
Ellie said it best in Cologne: Our job is to take pcitures of cathedrals
Several weeks of downpours combined with melting snows brought on devestating flooiding throughout Eastern Europe. The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bosnia and Bulgaria all took pretty big hits as well as Budapest, where the Danube overflowed the riverside streets.
Is the bus running?
Nothing more demeaning to a nation's currency than taking a picture in mockery. We thought about pooling all our cash and taking pictures waving the fanned out money around, then thought better of it.
10,000 forints = about $40
View from the Citadel in Budapest
Just a gigantic city.
After only two days in Budapest, we headed back west to Vienna, a city I fell in love with. As I wrote earlier, my patience grew short with the palaces, but check this out...
The car that Arch Duke Ferdinand was shot in! His bloody uniform was nearby, but the guard walked by so I couldn't snap a pic.
Austrain Parliament. That's me looking up longingly. Ahhh, Democracy.
Josh and a Palace (good band name)
Beer and a brat
Couldn't be happier
So the fellowship was broken. Josh and Marissa headed over to Corsica, Matt to Barcelona, and Chris to Venice. I realized that they all had their train reservations, hostel bookings, and the majority of their itineraries solidified. I on the other hand, was getting ready to take a train to the war-scarred Balkans, with no other plans than a car rental reservation and a travelling companion I hardly knew. I'd like to say I was my normal cool calm and collected self the night before Allie and I went to Croatia. So I'll say that, and lie.