Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A subject line is like a screen door on a submarine

And here we are in beautiful Prague. Many sites have been seen, acquaintances met, and booze boozed all since our last post.

After the cataclipse (you'll have to ask Charlie) in Attnang-Pucheim (pronounced pooheim...POOOO-heim) we arrived in Halstatt, a small town that has a lot of salt and old people. It's also ridiculously beautiful. Like a beautiful painting. I could think up more metaphors that compare one thing to a likeness of that thing in a completely unhelpful manner or you could use the google already and look it up for yourself, or wait till I get back and sit for an hour while your eyes glaze over as you placidly feign interest in my photo album.

Halstatt also closes at 6. Like the entire town. And every bar sells one beer, Zipfer. This is apparently the Budweiser of rural Austria, except deliciouser. So at night for our entertainment purposes we purchased some locally brewed bubble wine, and two types of schnapps - peach and dandelion. I think it was dandelion at least - there was a picture of a dandelion on the front but it smelled and tasted like fermented grass clippings. The wine wasn't all that much better. Alas. I did win two games of poker, so at least it was a wash.

After a day in Vienna admired the mighty fortress (and jawlines) of the Habsburgs, we arrived in Prague, which is my favorite stop on the trip so far. We went on a walking tour of the city and broke a bottle of Becherovka, a Czech liquor which does in fact "taste like Christmas," to quote the girl who talked us into the purchase. There is Absinthe everywhere, and we'll probably pick up a bottle for later in the trip. The real highlight is definitely the beer. Pilsner Urquell, the original Pilsner from the Czech town of Pilzen can be had in most bars for 30 koruna (about a buck fifty) and it pairs excellently with World Cup soccer.

Speaking of which, we're off now to watch the game in the Old Town square. Go Yanks!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stupid Americans

Welcome from Prague!

Before arriving here, we spent a few days in Austria. Our main location was Hallstat, a picturesque little town built in the Alps around an absolutely beautiful lake. A place like this would certainly be extremel commercialized and exploited in the United States, but this quiet town was incredibly peaceful and often empty. Walking the street(s) past 8pm, and we were unlikely to run into a single person. Even on a Saturday night.

We went on a tour of the worlds oldest salt mine (somewhat neat), and the naturally occurring ice caves of Hallstat (incredible). Thereis a USB port on this computer, so I'll try and upload a few pictures here soon.

Off to explore the Czech Republic! Hope everyone is doing well back home!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sailen Oon Da Poezenboat

Our trip began bleary eyed, stumbling through the city in a jet lagged daze. The local liquor project began with a bottle of Jenever that we purchased from a corner store. Jenever is the traditional spirit of Belgium, Netherlands, and Northern France. Like Bourbon and Champagne, it can only be designated as Jenever if it it produced in select counties in these regions, making it a truly local phenomenon. Juniper flavored, it is the precursor to herb-heavy liquors like English gin.

After sampling a bit before venturing out to watch some soccer, we packed the rest in our bag and shared it with some fellow travelers in need of a sleep aid the next day. I can't say we really splurged on the good stuff - apparently Jenever can be quite enjoyable in the proper context - but the majority of the group found the stuff nearly unpalatable, some bastard mix of rum and table wine. Not that it stopped us...anything seems drinkable
after four Natty saturated years in college.

Amsterdam, though a bit touristy, was a lot of fun. We biked through town checking out the parks and museums and happened upon an advertisement in the tour book for a floating feline sanctuary. As visions of Charlie, wildcat aficionado, being mauled by a pack of mangy alley cats danced through my head, we arrived to find some lame ass pet shelter with some lame ass cats not one of which attempted so much as a swipe at old Chuck. Apparently they hadn't been told how much he appreciates a good scratching.

After some misadventures on the train to Hallstatt, where we lost Andrew and then my baggage, we arrived intact to the Alpine utopia of our next destination. Hopefully I can figure out how to post pictures, as words hardly do it justice. And now, time for a nap. Steve OUT

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


June 16th:
Steve and Andrew depart JFK 9:50 PM

June 17th:
Steve and Andrew arrive AMS 2:20 PM
Meet Corey and Charlie at Heineken Bar in Schiphol Int'l
Stay at Durty Nellie's Irish Bar and Hostel

June 18th:
Depart Amsterdam on Red Eye Train

June 19th:
Arrive in Hallstatt
Stay at Gasthof Bergfried

June 20th:
Stay at Gasthof Bergfried

June 21st:
Depart on Red Eye Train

June 22nd:
Arrive in Prague
Stay at Hostel Tyn

June 23rd:
Stay at Hostel Tyn

June 24th:
Depart Prague in the morning
Arrive in Munich
Meet Krystian at Jaeger's Munich at 7pm
Stay at Jaeger's

June 25th:
Stay at Jaeger's

June 26th:
Depart Munich on Red Eye Train

June 27th:
Arrive in Split
Stay at Mediterranean House

June 28th:
Stay at Mediterranean House

June 29th:
Stay at Mediterranean House

June 30th:
Depart on Red Eye Train

July 1st:
Stay at Origo Hostel

July 2nd:
Stay at Origo Hostel

July 3rd:
Exit Krystian, pursued by a bear
Steve, Corey, Andrew, and Charlie depart BUD at 6:55 PM
Arrive LHR @ 8:35 PM
Stay at Charlie's bro's

July 4th:
Stay at Charlie's bro's

July 5th:
Stay at Charlie's bro's

July 6th:
Stay at Charlie's bro's

July 7th:
Stay at Charlie's bro's

July 8th:
Steve and Andrew depart LHR at 7:30 AM
Arrive JFK at 1:10 PM


Stay Sweet, America

The notion of going to college to get a good job has been engrained in me for as long as I can remember. I went to college, and it only took me four years to graduate! I mean seriously, shouldn’t people be begging to hire me? It hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. Who cares? That’s why it’s Eurotrip time with two of my best friends, and two acquaintances I’m bound to like a whole lot or very little by the end of this.

Andrew, Charlie, Steve, and I will be flying into Amsterdam this Wednesday. After abandoning Charlie in the Red Light District, We’ll be spending time in Salzberg and Prague before meeting up with Krystian in Munich. From there we head to Split and Budapest before spending the final days of our trip in London with Charlie’s brother. Hopefully Charlie has caught up to us by that point.

I see Steve has already begun his attempt to convince you that our consumption of alcohol will be the most culturally broadening of our European experiences (Heck, he almost convinced me with that fancy Ivy League vocabulary). I’ll do my best to provide some semblance of reality with my posts and pictures as we imbibe (See? I can use college words too), feast, and party our way through this 21 day, seven nation tour de shenanigans.

See you in a few weeks, America. Good luck ASU baseball in Omaha!

Monday, June 14, 2010

To the Old Country

Alcohol has flowed bountiful through pitchers and pipes and pint glasses since the dawn of average looking men trying to entice above average looking women to sleep with them. It provokes all manner of songs and crashes and fights and embraces. It is the lifeblood of social gathering. Men and women flock to the bars for the communal celebration of their triumphs and the assuagement of their disappointments. Ideas are shared, disputes are settled. While the living goes on outside, here is where it gets recognized and recorded (and often just as quickly forgotten).

Andrew, Charlie, Corey, Krystian and I will be in Europe for scant 3 weeks. In this time, we face the challenge of every tourist: the enormous task of understanding and reorienting oneself to a culture that is hostile to one's own provincial schema - all in a laughably short window of time. Does the Eiffel Tower tell me anything about what it means to be a Parisian? Does a tour of Buckingham palace teach me about any Londoner (God) save the queen? Not to belittle these experiences, but from my point of interest, probably not.

In this blog, we'll seek out the local liquor in each region in which we stay and attempt to give a brief history. A nation's identity can be revealed through it's drink of choice, and how it is consumed: the comforting warmth of a Scotch highland whiskey, the easy decadence of a glass of French wine, the carefree belligerence of an American kegstand. We'll find the neighborhood bars, drink with the yokels, swap some stories, share some yucks, and try to sell Charlie for bread money.

So, a toast to our followers: may you always drink well, and never drink alone.