7.07.2006

The Trip Is Over! More Content To Come

Thanks for tuning in over the last month, we appreciate everyone taking time out of their days to see what we were doing with ours.

In case any of you don't know, Joe opted to return to Georgia for another two weeks to film a documentary about the murder of Sandro Girgvliani. Sandro and our Georgian friend Budzgu grew up together, the tragedy can be fully explained once Joe's video is finished and a web site is up. A certain Nini may also have something to do with Joe's return to Tbilisi. Joe's roadtripping it out to his new job in L.A. at the end of August.

Ryan is in New York City until the end of the week, purchasing work clothes, drinking Dunkin' Donuts coffee, and wandering the city aimlessly. He returns to Billings, Montana in a few days and will be off to begin work in London at the beginning of fall.

I returned to Minnesota on Wednesday after spending a few days in The City. I'm still in culture shock, but it feels good to be home. I'll be in the Twin Cities for two weeks and then I return to Europe, tough life! You can check out my continuing travels at Travel Blog Dot Org. After the trip it's reality time, and I plan to move to NYC to pursue a career in...something. Any ideas?

Over the next week or so I'll add pictures from our trip, each with a separate theme. Check back daily and leave those comments (we crave 'em).



Istanbul Airport in the very early morning of July the third.

7.01.2006

Synagogues, Churchs, and Mosques, Oh My!

Sofia, Bulgaria is a beautiful city rich with history. Many of the sites are sunken into the ground with age and offer a portal into a different time. Thursday we took a walking tour of the city with a guide from our fantastic hostel ("Hostel Mostel") and saw famous buildings and the many different places of worship for various religions. While the city offers beautiful ruins and Soviet relics, the real experience occurred within the confines of our hostel. After traveling for a few weeks, touristy ventures lose some of their appeal. The attractiveness isn't lost forever, you just want to do something else, like play chess with other travelers, swap stories, or maybe watch the World Cup. I'm never as awed as I feel I should be by beautiful site and landscapes anyway, people fascinate me to a far greater extent.

We met a whole slew of interesting travlers at the Hostel Mostel. There was Mike the friendly Australian Pharmacist living outside of London; Alex from Northfield, Minnesota (where my brother Mills and Sister Melley attend college) who received a grant to study graffiti in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa; The Texan who attended BC; and the incredible and humble Australian guy who had been riding his biycle for a year and a half (he started in Singapore). That's just a sampling of the interesting folks we encountered. Meeting all these people, I can't tell if it's a small world or a massive one.

Thursday night we gathered everyone we could and hit the Sophian nightlife. It's always interesting when you pay a cover to get into a club, and discover that the bartenders mysteriously have no change and you still have to pay to use the bathroom.

The following day we walked around a bit, but mainly just stuck around the common area of the hostel chatting with fellow travelers. It may sound like a bit of a waste, not taking full advantage of a rarely accessible foreign city, but I learned a different kind of knowledge from these people than I did walking around and taking in the city's history; it was well worth the sacrifice, not to mention a damn good time.