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Return to Europa 1986

1986 part one

LEAVING AMERICA

I had decided to go to Europe in late 1985. I figured that I could save up
enough to travel by mid summer 1986. I had a idea that would return to Ireland and
go to Holland and Sweden and wherever else suited my fancy. In Late Spring my
brother decided to come along -though he could only join me for a couple weeks.
We would leave on August 19 from New York City and I would return alone in
October.

In air -aug 19 m plane
My aunt Mikie dropped my brother Jim and i off at the train station where
we took a train from Boston to New York.
Jimmy was going to spend the first two weeks with me and I was going alone
the rest of the way.
On the train we did some more trip planning since very little of the
itininery was set in stone.
The train stopped in Manhattan so we had to work our way over to Jfk
airport via the subway.
On the way we stopped by the Empire state building to see if we could get
Jim a Eurail pass-but there was a line at the travel agency we went to. We
took a special six dollar airport subway.in time for our afternoon flight. It was a chartered Sabena Airlines flight that took us between NYC and Brussels, Belgium. For whatever reason we couldn't
sit together on the plane. So we had to get together on occasion in the
aisles. At one point the full moon was out in the sky-it was lovely.

IN BELGIUM & THE NETHERLANDS AUGUST 1986

Netherlands aug 20w Amsterdam
We arrived at the Brussels Airport , we exchanged a little money ,got
some coffee, I got Eurail pass validated, and decided to take the train to
Amsterdam.
The experiences in our first few minutes in Brussels were exotic. The
train station was right below the air terminal. I remember a travel poster
on the train and townhouses along the route. We arrived Central station
in Amsterdam, we went over to a long line in the tourist office to book a
room. They didn't book any B&B's so we stuck with booking a more
expensive hotel. I wish we had booked ahead. It was cool almost wintry
that day. The hotel was a a reasonably long distance from station- and we
actually walked it ,which was a stupid thing to do on jet lag. I made
some strange decisions some times because I was on a limited budget.It was
a typical smaller euro hotel. The man who ran it was not overly friendly.
Jimmy slept all evening .

Netherlands aug 21 t Amsterdam
Jimmy barely made it the next morning for breakfast-the next day we went
to a bed & breakfast which wasted a lot of the time that we could have
used touristing . We actually had to buy a guidebook, (frommers) cos Jim
had lost my Lets Go.We stayed at A Madam Schimochowa's who we referred to
by a lady named Ursula. Ursula was actually the person listed in the
Frommers guide book. Just figuring out the trams was hard-so I don't
think we did so much that day.
Although I loved Amsterdam -it could be a frustrating place. There were
scarcity of cheap places to buy groceries.Jimmy liked to go to the shops
and restaurants -he could get by without seeing the museums., A place
like Amsterdam was particularly distinctive.

*Netherlands aug 22 f Amsterdam
On Our last day in Amsterdam we went to the zoo. We got there via bikes.
We rented bikes at the railway station. Jimmy got pictures of me getting
mauled by goats
at the petting zoo. We then took independent bike rides. Jimmy's bike did
not work well and so he did not go too far. I attempted to bike to South
Flevoland -but only got as far as Diemen when it started to rain. I had
to turn back anyway,to meet up with Jim.. This was my first time biking in
the Netherlands and it was just a fabulous place to bike..I don't remember
what we did that evening..I do know we had some laundry done and ate
peanut butter.

IN FRANCE AUGUST 1986
France aug 23 s Paris
We got into Paris in the middle of the day...We had the not too fun
experience of trying to find accommodations-Jimmy wasn't feeling well. Just
working the phones was troublesome. Paris had a preponderance of credit
card phones and we didn't have the cards for them-so decided to go search
for accommodations by foot.(without our baggage) We still had trouble -but
ended up in hotel on the left bank-Near the Sorbonne and the Pantheon....

France aug 24 s Paris
Sunday morning, I booked us in another cheaper hotel.We stayed three days
in the same fleabag hotel on the left bank.It was located atop a movie
theater, I couldn't afford to break my bare bones budget by staying at
real hotels .It was rainy...That day or the next after we visited the
Louvre, cos it was the day that admission was free. Supposedly we also
went to Rodin Museum one of the better museums we visited.My wallet was
lost or stolen in a pet store. (why were browsing in a pet store in
Paris?)I lost something like 200 dollars in currency (American, French,
and Belgian)
France aug 25 m Paris
On this day we walked over to Notre Dame and the Pompeidiu Center,
something that I would repeat on October 22.
France aug 26 t Paris
We went to the Eiffel Tower in the evening...I think we went there
twice.....

In SWITZERLAND AUGUST 1986

Switz. aug 27 w Geneva
Jim was only going to be in Europe for two weeks, which meant that we
couldn't travel too great a
distance on his leg of the journey, so we decided not to go to Switzerland
instead of Scandinavia.
In a effort to save scarce funds we stayed in a actual youth hostel for
the first time. It was in what appeared to be a old school. Everything was
painted a sickly green. Geneva was a pretty town, though there was not
much to see.

Switz. aug 28 t Geneva
I took a long walk along the river and to a bridge going by a field, and
a crematorium along the way. I also visited the Rousseau museum, the
guide started to speak French and for some reason I let him till he
realized I didn't understand him..

Switz. aug 29 f Zurich
The trip on the train from Geneva to Zurich was pleasantly pleasant-scenically scenic.
In Zurich we stayed at newer hostel slightly on the right side of the
lake.

*Switz. aug 30 s Zurich

Strangely, I went to a pool (trying to justify bringing my bathing
suit).Cool pool design well the locker room at least. Yes, -there wasn't
much to see in Zurich. I went to one end of the city to a overlook-where i
talked with a bird on a ledge.
It was one of those places I saw from a distance and said-"oh hey why don't
I go there". Jim cooked dinner for us in the member kitchen.I Climbed Utelberg a
foothill on the lower end of the city. It was the only mountain path that i have
been on that had streetlights. Somehow I ended up taking a bus to get back to the
hostel.Ultimately, we didn't do anything in the real Alps but we didn't have much
time or money. I Didn't really climb that many hills -the limitations of traveling mainly
in cities.

various aug 31 s Lucerne/night train-
We started the morning in Zurich -We played Chess three foot pieces at
the hostel. Jim took a picture of us. We took something of a day trip to
Lucerne, one of the prettier Swiss cities. Like the other two cities,
Lucerne was built on a river on the corner of a lake. There was a pretty
covered bridge crossing the river.In the afternoon We got separated by
mistake.I spent
much of the afternoon looking for Jim.How we found each other is beyond
me... At one point I sat by Lake Lucerne and wrote a poem..I went to
church in the late afternoon there. We went to dinner at the Massengill
restaurant-and then somehow found our way on the night train to Brussels.
The night train journey was rough. It seemed as if we might have gone
through Luxembourg,but I doubt it.

IN BELGIUM/ HOLLAND/ GERMANY & DENMARK September 1986

Belgium sep 1 mon Brussels
We found our way sleepily to the modern Brussels hostel. It was a 1980's
building attractively situated next to a church.Jimmy was sleepy or sick
during much the trip.
We went to the Grand Place-Jim looked for lace for the Spillanes.
We had dinner at some restaurant. Brussels had some cool fudge
confections.

Netherlands sep 2 t amersfort
THIS WAS THE DAY JIM RETURNED HOME.
Jim and I switched our packs-I took Jim's backpack and he took my red
bag back home. I also had a second blue bag-that I used to drag around
pamphlets and raincoats etc. My packing job left something to be desired. It
isn't easy to tool around Europe for two months without a few things.
We went to Brussels airport-from there Jim went back to NYC. At that point
I was alone-Thousands of miles away from anybody I knew for this first
time in my life. I wanted to go back to Amsterdam to do some more biking,
but when I got there i found that it was hard
to book a spot in a hostel-so I decided to go outside of town. I ended up
spending two days in Amersfoort. Going from place to place can be time
consuming, by the time I was settled in Amersfoort most of the day was
gone. The hostel in Amersfoort was a bit out of the way. The hostel was
overrun by a school group- I spent part of my evening watching the film
they were watching. This was my first experience with a coed hostel dorm.

*Netherlands sep 3 w amersfort
This was the day of my fabulous bike journey from Amersfoort to Alesmere.
Annoyingly ,I didn't rent my bike till the middle of the day. It was a
sunny afternoon.
I biked through Eemes, Baarn and Hilversum. At one point in Eemnes I
stopped at a farm in Eemes and talked with the animals while looking
across a beautiful farm field. Since, Holland is flat there would often be
long long views of the horizon, At one point I tried to bike along a small
stretch of highway-cos that was the only quick way to Flevoland-but that
proved unworkable and so I followed along through the Gooi up past Naarden
to the the northeastern bridge between the mainland and Flevoland. By the
time I had gotten to Flevoland it was getting later in the day, and it was
getting overcast, and i was having problems with one of my peddles and so
decided to turn around . I decided once I got into Bussum to take the
train
the rest of the way back to Amersfoort. This journey and the prior
August 22 bike jaunt around Amsterdam- made a tremendous impact on me. But
for some reason, I went the next day to Scandinavia, and although I
returned to the Netherlands in late September-I did not do any biking in
September. After I got home I had a great desire to return to Holland and
do a independent bike tour, but I did not return for twelve years .

various-sep 4 t night train
On Thursday morning I took the train from Amsterdam to Copenhagen, a
train that would ultimately lead to Stockholm. The journey doesn't seem
like it should take that long -but it does...Sept 4 marked the first time
I had visited Germany or Denmark. It takes nearly 24 hours to get from
Amsterdam to Stockholm on the train,I believe I stopped at Hamburg on my
way to Copenhagen....Annoyingly, at one point along the journey I was
stopped by two undercover German custom police who wanted to search my
bags for drugs-perhaps because I came from Amsterdam. I asked them to get
the conductor -since I wanted to confirm they were legit. I have two other
distinctive memories of this leg of the journey. One, was crop burning in
the fields in Denmark, the other was sitting on the train in empty
compartment sort of planning my trip. I only had a limited amount of money.I
only had about 800 to 1000 dollars to cover the remaining 45 days , but I
was due to receive some money from Jim. I got to Copenhagen in the
evening. Strangely the train took a ferry that crossed to the east of the
Danish mainland. With the construction of bridges in the 1990's where
some of ferries used to be- there is no longer the necessity to use
these ferries. On the overnight journey to Stockholm-I was closeted
in a crowded compartment with four woman and strange young bald man. Three
of the woman were light haired Finns. One was middle aged and the other
two were younger-one had a fascinating lappish look about her.
The three ladies I saw later in the Stockholm train station and I saw the
bald guy in town.

IN SWEDEN September 1986

Sweden sep 5 f Stockholm
As often was the case, I was unable to book a space in any of the official
hostels. I ended up staying at the Zinkin Student Hotel. This was the only
accommodation that ended up returning to in 1998. It was in
Sodermalm-South of the Center of the town.-I took Stockholm's Tunnelbana
to get there. The Stockholm subway was interesting and colorful.I also
Visited the Katrina Elevator in Sodermalm as well as a church. It soon
became rainy and dreary... I took some pictures at a park near the
hostel-and ended up getting duck dung on my sweater....
Sweden sep 6 s Stockholm
Attempted rather strangely to visit ABBA's offices but they were not
located in Baldersgaten
I had forgotten about ABBA's offices being moved.I suppose I got to rather
dull excursion to the University Section of town out of it.It was kind of
silly to go there anyway. On this day in Horterget .my camera was stolen,
I also bought some Lp records-it was just amazing to look in the stores
with all these ABBA related records that I had never see, Supposedly this
day I also walked over to Gamla Stan,the old section of Stockholm.
Sweden sep 7 s Stockholm
I went to Skansen and to Grona Lund. Skansen had old structures moved to
the site such as farm structures and freaky looking churches. For
entertainment there was some Swedish folk dancing, Grona Lund is an
amusement park. These were located in the East side of town on the
peninsula of Djuragarden. So this would be the most eastern place I had
gone in the world.
various sep 8 m night train
I visited Stockholm City Hall and found where out where Polar Music.was.
I left Sweden kind of sooner than expected-I decided to devote some time
to traveling the railroads of Norway. With my unlimited Eurail Youth pass
it was economical to spend a lot of time on the train. I would save on
three nights of accommodations in the next eight days.
* * * *

IN NORWAY SEPTEMBER 1986

Norway sep 9 t Oslo
I booked into the Grefsen Heraldsheim (Oslo's hostel) which was located a
few miles from the city center. However, I took the wrong train to get
there. I ended up somewhere in the countryside well to a place called
Arnes., indeed at one point
the passengers on the train were transferred to a bus, eventually -I
realized I was not on the proper line, and so I headed back to Oslo, to
find the correct line. When I got to the hostel -I spent some time
sitting on the hill outside overlooking the city..
Norway sep 10 w Oslo
Went into town tried to go parliament they were closed, and so went to
Military Museum.
I took a boat across Oslo harbor to the Bygdoy peninsula. I visited the
Fram Museum, but chose to forgo the Kon-tiki Museum. I walked up the
Bygdoy peninsula back to the closest railway station,but , I forgot to go
by the Vigland Park, a park with statues by famous Norwegian sculpture
which was sort of on the way.
Norway sep 11 t Trondheim
I got into Trondheim in the early evening after a long train journey from
Oslo. Somehow I was
able to stay at the hostel there. The Oslo and Trondheim hostel blur
together in my mind.
Both had windowed lounge areas near their respective entrances.
I didn't stay long in Trondheim-it was the only place that I slept in that
i did not stay long enough
to see some of the place. I saw some of the harbor-I remember the red
boat sheds and I saw
a beautiful view of the fjord from the high overlook of where the hostel
was located.
*Norway sep 12 f Mo

I Arrived in Mo I Rana in the afternoon after a long train ride from
Trondheim. The visitor office was closed. Mo is a small town located off
fjord about 100 miles south of the Artic Circle. It's just a stop along
the train line along the way to the Bodo. I went there cos there was
hostel located there. It was small town with a ore factory which for some
reason had a certain fascination for me ,even though i really didn't have
much a chance to see anything-the only real site to see was a nearby
glacier. Glaciers are good things but i didn't have the money or the time
to see them. The place was just far and away... off the beaten track.
Warmer than expected and sunnier. I had dinner at some place in town, and
i walked over to a subdivision and a ski-lift..In the evening i stayed in
a little cabin- the regular hostel building's accommodations were closed
for renovations. Being in the little cabin was somehow liberating...

Norway sep 13 s night train
Saturday I walked through town while waiting for the train to Bodo. I
walked through the town by a dirt road, a kid playing drums ,a fern
forest, by a town common... and near the water... The train then went up
the coast to Bodo via the Artic circle. I got to Bodo in the late
afternoon. The town had some fascinating rock patterns. I walked around
town for a couple hours whilst waiting for the long overnight return
journey to Trondheim.

Norway sep 14 s Oslo
I arrived in Trondheim in the morning, but did not stay. I returned to
Oslo after a day spent traveling back from Trondheim. I returned once
again to Oslo's hostel. I recall running into a fellow traveler who
noticed how well acquainted i was with the route to the hostel.. I
remember going to a small store near the hostel and buying TAB. You could
only get TAB in Norway or Ireland. By 1998 you could only get TAB in
Norway-and it tasted like Diet Coke.
various sep 15 m night train
I started the morning in Oslo-I think it was early in the morning-it felt
like a normal working day
in the downtown-they were reconstructing part of the train station-lots of
jackhammers.
One of the vendors in the new section of the station was playing Agnetha
Faltskog's -"The Angels Cry" which was on album I had bought in Stockholm
but not heard,. On the way South I stopped in Goteborg, Sweden -whilst
waiting for train-but didn't buy anything. I ended the day somewhere
in Denmark. I recall going to the top of one of the Kattgatt ferry boats
and dropping a coin.

IN GERMANY SEPTEMBER 1986

German sep 16 t Koln
I had no great affection for Germany, the people were not friendly and the
scenery was
had no particular appeal to me. But we had not visited there in 1975 and
so it was another new country to see.,a country that happened to be on the
way. On this day I visited Koln's Cathedral and a cool art Museum. The
hostel in Koln was actually located on the other side of the river in
Deutz near a Ford motor plant.
German sep 17 w Munich
This day I traveled from Koln to Munich. I took an attractive, newer
German train on a line that parallel the Rhine much of the way.
The Rhine had little castles on hills along the river.At one point I found
somebody's jewelry and was given a reward by the lady who lost it. I
stayed at a student hotel....I visited Olympic Park. At night I swam in
the pool in the basement of the student hotel.

 

IN GERMANY SEPTEMBER 1986

 

 

German sep 18 t Munich
Visited the Deutches Science Museum, and the Alte pinotek ( art museum) in
the evening..

German sep 19 f Pullach
Visited the New Pinotek Art Museum. Went to Marianplatz.
Somehow I ended up in Pullach, an obscure suburb of Munich. I stayed at
hostel that
was sort of a remolded castle. It was convenient to the s-bahn.

IN AUSTRIA & Liechtenstein September 1986

Austria sep20 s Salzburg
I got into Salzburg midday on Saturday ...Austria was the tenth country I
was to visit
In Salzburg I stayed at student hotel that seemed to be run by expatriate
Australians,
In the Am I had a cornflake breakfast at the student hot
That afternoon I visited a very strange .Natural History museum.

Austria sep 21 s Salzburg
On Sunday I  Visited the Hohensalzburg  castle . After the tour down the
mountain and elsewhere-
in futile quest for a McDonalds I settled for some soda in a beer hall.

Liechtenstein sep 22 m Schann

I wondered into Liechtenstein on a sunny Monday.To go there using the train involved traveling to Zurich from Salzburg,connecting from there on a train to Buchs, Switz. Then walking into Liechtenstein from there. This was the first time I had ever crossed a unguarded international boundary (this was before the EEC had fully implemented some of the loosening of internal EEC borders.)It wasn't a particularly busy border-Liechtenstein is a very small country-the size of Washington, Dc. It was a valley and a piece of a hill on one side of the valley. You could almost see the whole country. The hostel was in Schann a village, in the northern part of the country, not far from Buchs. It was an attractive,modern, fun hostel. I met a number of people there notably a Canadian named Tom Wolf. As usual I didn't do much-whilst there-I did take a walk up

down the road and up a hill, . decided not climb to the top of the hill, cos of time

constraints--it was getting late. Aside from that minor difficulty, the trip to Liechtenstein was unstressful and a good time...perhaps simply because the weather was good

 

IN ITALY  September 1986

Italy sep 23 t  Milan
On Tuesday morning I went into the capital Vaduz and visited the postal
museum
and bought some stamps. Then somehow I found my way out of this little
Liechtenstein
and took the train to Milan.I probably should have stayed another day.
I got to Milan kind of late -it was dark when i got to the hostel- which
had a strange
1960's design.

Italy sep 24 w Florence
I started the day in Milan-I went to see the Last Supper. I actually I
encountered a beggar
a lady and her daughter accosting people at the Last Supper. The last
supper was unimpressive
well it was situated  poorly, the painting was being restored. Their was
high admission charge
to see it. There were only two paintings at the church vestibule that it
was located in.
I also took the subway across town to see Milan's Duomo and then proceeded
to take the train to Florence
The train ride was unpleasant-the train was crowded -so I actually
standing much of the way.
I nto Florence later in the day, and so I had a little more trouble
finding accommodations.

Italy sep 25 t Florence
There were numerous things to see in Florence mostly Renaissance Art.
Accordingly, I visited Bargello, Santa Croce, Duomo on Tuesday.

Italy sep 26 f Florence
Uffizi Gallery, visa trouble, I climbed Giotto's bell tower.   I went to
dinner with two Americans
Clyde and Rob.  at some point here i also saw David at the Academy.

Italy sep 27 s Florence

Went to Cathedral museum which had all the valuable art work from
Florence's Duomo.
I  went to  Florence's central FOOD market to get grossed out. I took a
train ride to  visit
Siena but didn't have to time to walk into the center of town from the
distant rail station-
I considered going to Pisa but apparently it was even further away. I kind
of regretted not going
to see leaning tower of Pisa.

various-sep 28 s  night train
Traveling across Europe could be time consuming., Supposedly I went
through
Basel,Switzerland on this trip from Florence to Den Haag.

IN THE NETHERLANDS AGAIN  September-October 1986

Netherlands sep29 m den Haag
I still had to get a visa to get into France -so I could take a boat to
Ireland..and
so I could come back to France to take the plane home...I decided to
pursue that visa
in the Netherlands instead of waiting another few days in Florence.I had
to get new  visa photos
cos i misplaced the visa photos I had taken in Florence. I went to the
Hague
cos I assumed the France consulate would be there-but it turned out that
the consulate
was in Rotterdam....Not a big deal -Rotterdam was short train ride away-so
I decided to stay
in the Hague for a few days.
Met  Willie and others at the hostel in Den Haag which was not in the
center of town.

Netherlands sep 30 t den Haag
I Visited Madurodam-the world's coolest miniature town- and  the state
parliament.

Netherlands oct 1 w den Haag
I Walked Kijkduin which was a beach located on the North Sea in Den Haag.

Netherlands oct 2 t rotterdam
For some reason I decided to move to rotterdam-perhaps to get another
Dutch city in....
Saw Rotterdam cubes houses and  went to library.

various-oct3 f train
In the morning i visited  Rotterdam's Euromast,and a nearby  park-i then
proceeded to take
the train from Rotterdam to Paris and then from Paris to Cherbourg.

 

IRELAND OCTOBER 1986

various -oct4 s boat
I arrived in Rosslare and spent some time  around cliffs and musing
philosophically
, Talked with Armin and family. I had met Armin on the boat -he was a
German who decided
to move to Ireland.

> various -oct4 sat boat
On Saturday morning , I transferred for the train to Cherbourg. I had to
transfer mid route on to the Cherbourg line-and at the stop I got into a
conversation with a cigarette smoking French girl who was waiting for the
train going the opposite direction back to Paris. When I arrived in
Cherbourg I walked to the boat terminal from the train station. I waited a
little time in the waiting room to get on the boat. In the boat wailing
room, I got my boarding pass.... I did not have reservations because could
not get them from a travel agent. In the Cherbourg boat waiting room a
little girl tried to change coin at the bureau de change and the clerk
gave her a disgusted look. How could the little girl know that there was
usually a minimum exchange amount and that coins were usually not
accepted?
In the waiting room I met a German man named Armand. We had a short
discussion while sitting in the dark waiting room. By the late afternoon I
was on the ferryboat from Cherbourg to Rosslare Harbour, Ireland. Passage
on the boat was an added benefit of my Eurail pass. I only had to pay for
accommodations (such as they were). Flying or taking a boat from England
was not an option on my limited budget. The disadvantage of using this
method of transport was that I would have to go back to France and that I
had spend a whole day on the boat. The boat was typically Irish at the
time...not overly fancy, not well kept up. The best thing about the boat
was that I did not get sick. My four- bed cabin was buried deep in the
bowels of the ship...the smell and sounds of the engine room were nearby.
The two journeys on the boat merge in my mind. The boat was big enough so
there was some room to walk outside ... it was there that I encountered
Armand again and had another conversation with him. I also spent some time
sitting inside by a window eating cereal and reading and writing. I didn't
have much money so I did not take much advantage of whatever amenities the
boat had.

 

Ireland oct5 sun Rosslare
I woke up on the boat, and the highlight of the morning was a sonic boom
from a overhead supersonic jet.
I came into Rosslare Harbour after getting off the boat from France.. It
had been 11 years since I was last in Ireland... I had never been to
Rosslare before. The port was really not much of port. There was lots of
dirt...There was some construction going indicating that there would
expansion in the future. Seemingly, the harbour was just used for the
ferry to France. As I was leaving the boat -I was stopped by Armand yet
again. This time I met his family. They were hanging out in their VW bus
drinking coffee. I visited for time with them and then went off into the
town to find the hostel, the town was not very large...there wasn't much
to do there. I had to wait for the hostel to open and while i waited I
did a long walk along the cliffs that lined the southern shore. There was
something of a cliff path and whilst walking on it-I mused into my tape
recorder about my life.
I stayed in Rosslare because it had hostel accommodations, and .The
train and boat schedules were not well synchronized and so I had to wait
around the next morning for the train to Dublin. The hostel was sparse
though; it had nice thick comforters on the bed..

 

Ireland oct6 m Dublin
I spent morning in Rosslare Harbour waiting for the train to leave for
Dublin. I went to the small grocery store, went to the bank (or maybe it
was closed...) and walked by a hotel. . Waiting for the train seemed
rather inefficient but there was a couple waiting as well. I was not the
only one waiting...
That evening I spent in Dublin's main hostel.

Ireland oct7 t Dublin
I found Dublin uninteresting but I did I visit the Irish museum and tried
to shop.

Ireland oct8 w Killarney
Of the destinations we visited in 1975, Paris, Salzburg, Dublin and
Killarney were the only places, I returned to in 1986. When we went in 75
, Killarney was one of the more rural experiences we had so I returned
there, but I also went there in 86 cos it was on the rail line. So there
were places in Killarney that felt familiar. When traveling Ireland solely
by train you were limited to some of the less scenic destinations. In
Killarney they actually bring a bus to the train station to bring you out
to the hostel. The hostel was in Agadoe ,which was also the location of
the hotel we stayed at in 75. It was a big old mansion house, with
interesting staff and large mosquito like flies in the bathroom...

Ireland oct9 th Killarney
I went biking in Killarney-the hostel had bikes you could rent..I biked
down to the National Park...
This was my first chance to bike in Ireland since 1975...First I biked to
the library ...I biked on the East side of the Big Lake, and then down by
Muckross Lake, I got off the bike and took a walk, going by a burned out
area, and over a overgrown bridge. I walked as far as could-but
eventually ran into some mud. That was cos this was a wetland
connected to the lakes. Going that far in the park it felt wild -you
couldn't see any civilization. Traveling without a car combined with going
to so many places was inefficient and so really good days like this one
were not a every day occurrence.

Ireland oct 10f Dublin
On this day I took the train back to Dublin from Killarney.

 

MORE IRELAND, OCTOBER 1986

Ireland oct 11s Glendalough
I started the morning in Dublin and decided to take a Dart ride to Howth.
I had never heard of Howth and was surprised by how attractive it was.
When I returned to Europe 12 years later -this was the first place i went.
I came into Glendalough in the late afternoon.... I took the train to
Rathnew It meant that I would be more than five miles away from
Glendalough when I got off the train. However, if there was another way to
get there i would have had to pay for it
I had purposely though taken a chance ... after having discussed
hitchhiking with some folks in the hostel in Dublin. In Ireland
hitchhiking was relatively safe. Saw iI walked down the road through the
avondale valley in search of a lift. I was probably a couple miles down
the road before I got one, a man with some lumber in a pickup truck who
was heading to Laragh
I helped unload his lumber, and he gave me some vegetables. It was a
slight walk from Laragh to Glendalough... I neglected to book a room ahead
in the hostel and was nearly stuck without a place to stay. The hostel
had a youth bike tour party. But the warden let me stay anyway. The
hostel was seemingly a normal house., albeit with a large building to the
left that
housed most of the hosteliers. The bike tour party made things more
interesting, they had a slide show and were energetic. I didn't really
talk to any of them...That evening i walked a little bit up the hill
behind the hostel- towards the end of sunset...and was rewarded with a
beautiful view to the west of the trees climbing cama derry. It was
one of those narcotic moments that make you hungry for more. I not sure if
got food in the small store in Laragh. But if i didn't i got some ham and
cookies the next day.

Ireland Oct12s Glendalough

The next day I walked up the mountain that was behind and to the north of
the monastery area. It turned out to be called Camaderry. It was a simple
mountain though it seemed to go on forever like most mountains...I wanted
to go near the trees I saw but they surrounded by brush -and so i didn't
get to near them. At the top of mountain there were natural dugout
depressions. Like many a hill-you couldn't really to see the bottom, once
you were on the top. I came down the mountain from the westerly
direction. There were sheep and other creatures on this side of the
mountain.
Perhaps this was someone's property. The ground was occasionally moist.
There were lots of droppings from the animals. In the distance I saw a
water tower-which I wanted to go to-but didn't have time that day. On the
way down I went by two sets of mine ruins
and a considerable number of mountain goats.

Ireland oct 13m Glendalough
The next day was a pretty much wasted day-it was overcast and Kept
expecting it to rain-So I didn't go up to the water tower like I should of-
instead i aimlessly walked around Glendalough and over to Laragh I hung
out in Laragh ,and walked a little up the road as far a monument.I also
walked over to the monastery and into Laragh. The bike party had left by
the second night...There was only a couple and there
child the second day-it was very cold in the hostel. I had to sleep with
the covers over me!

Ireland oct 14t sligo
Spent the early morning in Glendalough and had once to hitch part of the
way back to the Rathnew and then a took a time consuming bus to
Dublin..and then headed up to
Dublin and from there into Sligo. I didn't get to Sligo till dark-and had
a little trouble finding accommodation but i ended up at a at a guesthouse
called the Four Seasons. Bizarrely, I originally actually considered
going to Galway-(just to get another city in.)But after a conversation,
with the lady proprietor of the Four Seasons, i decided to stay.She
mentioned Strand Hill and I also thought of it-i had wondered what the
mound on the top of the hill in the distance was-when I went for a walk
outside in the morning over to the river.After seeing some children play I
returned to the hotel and then took a bus out to Strand Hill.Right away,
it was obvious to me, that the place was special. The bus driver got out of
the bus and went down to the beach, and got his feet wet. I too walked
the beach-I walked over towards the airport and through the
dunes,eventually I encountered a passage grave and a old church. While
walking the beach I felt my mother's presence-and I cried in happiness. In
the late afternoon , I climbed up Knocknerea the hill with the mound on
top. I walked to the south side of it.- to find the trail to the top.
From the top you could see along way.I was coming down the mountain just
as last return bus was leaving. I walked the five miles back to town. It
got dark-and so on occasion it was little dangerous-but I enjoyed the walk
nonetheless.
This was one of the best days of my life...

Ireland oct 15w sligo
The second day in Sligo was a bit of anticlimax-It was overcast. I walked
down to the Lough Gill.
Although the lake is the subject of poetry-it didn't do much for me.. On my
walk I narrated a convoluted story of an imaginary character named John
Latino. The story wasn't very good-
although I did do funny voices. The tape kept cutting in and out-due to
the voice
activated system on the tape machine.

Ireland oct 16t Dublin
Took the train back to Dublin...This was My last full day in Ireland. I
stayed once again in the
Dublin ...Did some shopping...I got some salt shakers for Mike and Jack.

Ireland oct 17f boat
I found my way back from Dublin to Rosslare and to the boat.

 

 

FRANCE, AGAIN!

France oct 18s Cherbourg
I started the morning on a ferry taking me to Cherbourg...And then upon
arrival decided to
stay at the Cherbourg hostel. a bad choice..

France oct 19s Paris
I started the day in the Cherbourg hostel. I thought that i could get a
early train to Paris, but the early train did not run on Sundays.. By the
time I got
to the airport my plane had left-and i didn't have the right plane.
So I ended up being stuck in Paris....one of least favorite places in
Europe.
It felt like I did nothing in the six days there, but I did find things to
do.
I ended staying at D'Artagen
Hostel in some strange section of town. This was the only time I spent
six nights in a row in the same town at any time I have ever been to
Europe.

France oct 20m Paris
Spoke with people at ticket office...A little depressed at being unable to
go home.

France oct 21 t Paris
Tried to map a subway station. Visited Sacre Cour church.

France oct 22 w Paris
Les Halles, Went inside Pompideui Center this time.
Finally in a better mood-

France oct 23 t Paris
I went to a consulate and checked on my visa. There were all sorts of visa
problems in France due to recent terrorist attacks...

France oct 24f Paris
I Went inside the arc de triomphe and visited bois boyne park, a large
park in the west side of Paris.
France oct 25 s Paris
I Did dry run on trip to airport... That evening-I recall walking outside
the hostel in the dark and noticing how cold and windy it is becoming,

France oct 26 s in air Paris to Zurich , Zurich to NYC, NYC TO BOSTON
Early in the morning I took a commuter train to Orly Airport. The plane
stopped in the airport at Zurich for a hour or two and then the plane
proceeded back to JFK airport in NYC..
On the way on the plane, I heard about the latest RED SOX debacle. They
were a couple
of strikes away from winning the World Series but ended up losing the
game.
Spent evening early morning in Penn Station Train Station, waiting for the
Night Owl train to take me back to Boston...

USA oct 27 M
Got off at South Station in Boston. took the Red Line to Central Station
and then walked groggily to Jimmy's apartment in Cambridge...