Paris was spectacular! The weather was a bit drizzly, but I did get one full day of sunshine as I made my way through a four day whirlwind tour of monuments and museums.

The first museum I visited was the Louvre. It is huge. I cannot believe how big the building itself is! I spent several hours there, and it was incredible. The Mona Lisa was flocked by tourists and heavily guarded. I was surprised how many people were just flocking to the famous works listed in the map...

I also went to the Musee d'Orsay. I was impressed with all of the work I saw, but I found Monet's paintings particularly interesting. The clarity of his painting (out of chaos) impressed me the most.

To keep my religious bearings, I visited Sainte Chapelle, Notre Dame, and Sacré Coeur. They were all very impressive. The Sacré Coeur has a pretty amazing view of Paris, especially at night.

The Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, and the catacombs also got some of my time. The Eiffel Tower was an impressive piece of architecture, but it seems a bit out of place compared to its surroundings. The catacombs were very creepy! I could not believe how many bones were down there. It definitely made me cringe.

All in all, Paris was a great experience. I feel like I got a quick revue of the city and its culture (including the nightlife). But I will have to return someday to see the many things I missed.

Eurotrip - Five Days in Barcelona

Sun 03 April 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

I had an exciting five days in Barcelona. The weather was nice, the time changed (to DST), I saw some great Gaudi buildings, and ate some amazing food.

My hostel was located on the south side of the Eixample neighborhood, in the middle of huge clothing stores and near La …

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Eurotrip - Four Days in Firenze

Sat 26 March 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

I had an absolutely wonderful time in Florence! It is clearly a city for tourists, but the museums and landmarks are, none-the-less, magnificent. I was completely exhausted every night from walking around the small city and its museums. I probably gained five pounds just from eating the gelato every day …

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Eurotrip - Three days in Zurich

Mon 21 March 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

I arrived in Zurich 21 hours after leaving Seattle. I took the train from the airport which provided some pretty exciting views of Zurich.

I love the feeling in Zurich. The buildings are mostly old. The windows all have shutters. There are lots of cobbled streets and narrow walkways.

I …

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Eurotrip Day 1 - Toronto!?

Thu 17 March 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

After staying up all night celebrating the end of my academic career, I was whisked to Toronto, Canada via Air Canada.

I had a six hour layover, which lead to an exploration of the Toronto airport. Turns out Coyote Jacks Grill is a pretty good 'fast food' concept. By American …

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