Europe 2000 Paris Eindhoven, Amsterdam Mannheim, Heidelberg, Berlin Mannheim, Heidelberg, Berlin Prague Vienna, Budapest, Venice Vienna, Budapest, Venice Grenoble, Cannes, Monaco, Nice, Barcelona Grenoble, Cannes, Monaco, Nice, Barcelona Edinburgh, Scotland Highlands, Isle of Skye London

(2000-07-07) Day 24

The overnight train to Grenoble dropped us off in Geneva, where we switched. This was our token stay in Switzerland, although we didn't even have time to get postcards. 

Grenoble (2000-07-07) Day 23
Vince looking out from atop the Bastile in GrenobleWe spent the day way up on the mountain at the Bastille. This city is central to many ski resorts, so we were actually there in the off-season. The mountains of the Alps are amazing! We could see Mt Blanc as well, 4800 meters high. We met Arnoud and had a splendid dinner of sausage from Lyon. Sleep this night was as the dead enjoy, as the sleepiest way to travel does not seem to be on the sleepy car (an advertisement had claimed this in Amsterdam). 

Cannes (2000-07-08) Day 24
Vince and his wine in CannesA five-hour train ride has brought us to the French Riviera. Most enjoyable! We prepared a fine spaghetti & peppers dinner with a bottle of wine, only $6 for the both of us. On the way to the beach we partook of the French drink Pastis, which has a strong Anis flavor. The beach at sunset was perfect, and before we left we made a large Serpinski triangle in the sand.

Cannes (2000-07-09) Day 25
Vince in the old city of CannesThe movie stars come here for the film festival, and it's a beautiful place to come. The sidewalks by the beach are full of handprints from the stars. We spent the morning on the beach, and in the shady grass. Palm trees, rocky hills, and a southern style of architecture make this place just so darn cozy.

Monaco / Monte Carlo (2000-07-10) Day 26

I went off on my own today and took a train East along the Mediterranean coast to find Monte Carlo. If you're a computer graphics buff (I am) than Monte Carlo is a must, as it has the icon of all randomness and chance, THE Monte Carlo Casino! Quite impressive, the city is most beautiful. The rocky hills thrust their way up out of the ocean and sprinkled along them are the wealthy buildings of the city. 

Nice (2000-07-10) Day 26

Nice was not nice at all. I got off the train on the way back from Monte Carlo just to be rained upon for an hour. Cannes is much nicer than Nice, in my opinion.

Cannes (2000-07-10) Day 26

It was raining, so everyone was at the hostel. We had some fine conversations with people from all over... [Sweden, England, Slovenia, France]. It's almost time for our night train out, just a quick stop for Internet. 

Barcelona (2000-07-11) Day 27
Vince in travel gear at the Spain-France borderWe decided it would be great to get a taste of Spain while we were close. A sleeper car in, and a horrible morning trying to find a place to stay. The place we did eventually find was one city South! An hour bus ride got us there, only to find all restaurants closed. Whatever, so I did find a bottle of wine, which I inhaled half of (quite a nice way to consume wine), and we just wrote in journals and so forth and got some good rest.

Barcelona (2000-07-12) Day 28
A view of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral from within one of it's spiresWe took a bit waking up, and decided to get out on a sleeping train. So, let's see, that left us less than 5 hours to see all of Barcelona! Well, we stepped up to the challenge and darted right out. We followed the advice of Mark, from Quebec, which was to see the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. It is a work in Progress, but already stunning. Most of the steeples are up, and the plans were finished. It is of a style of architecture known as Modernisme (which contains many organic elements (the pillars branch as trees, and the vault ceilings resemble leaves. After, we saw the Parc Guell, which was wonderfully designed, and offered a grand view of the city and Mediterranean. There I was toasted by another visitor enjoying wine, as I finished the second half of my bottle. We raced downtown and saw the Palau de la Musica Catalana (for the Modernisme again) and the Esglesia Santa Maria del Mar's Cathedral (which was also very stunning). Whew, all that and a race to the train station and we were out.
Ryan in Parc Guell looking over Barcelona Vince in Parc Guell, Barcelona
Postcard of Parc Guell Postcard of the columns in Parc Guell

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