In Liechtenstein September
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 updown 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
Italy sep 23 t Milan
morning I went into the capital Vaduz and visited the postal
and bought some stamps. Then somehow I found my
way out of this little
and took the train to Milan.I probably should have stayed another day.
to Milan kind of late -it was dark when i got to the hostel- which
had a strange
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 a
high admission charge
to see it. There were only two paintings at the church vestibule that it
I also took the subway across town to see Milan's Duomo and then proceeded
to take the train to Florence
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
Italy sep 25 t Florence
numerous things to see in Florence mostly Renaissance Art.
Accordingly, I visited Bargello, Santa Croce, Duomo on Tuesday.
Italy sep 26 f Florence
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
I went to Florence's central FOOD market to get grossed out. I took a
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
various-sep 28 s night train
across Europe could be time consuming., Supposedly I went
through Basel,Switzerland on this trip from Florence to
IN THE NETHERLANDS AGAIN
Netherlands sep29 m den Haag
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
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
Madurodam-the world's coolest miniature town- and the state
Netherlands oct 1 w den Haag
Kijkduin which was a beach located on the North Sea in Den Haag.
Netherlands oct 2 t rotterdam
reason I decided to move to rotterdam-perhaps to get another
Dutch city in.... Saw Rotterdam cubes houses and went
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
, Talked with Armin and family. I had met
Armin on the boat -he was a
German who decided
to move to Ireland.
various countries -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
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
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
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
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
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
money so I did not take much advantage of whatever amenities the
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
before. The port was really not much of port. There was lots of
dirt...There was some construction going indicating that
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
, 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
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
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
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
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.
|This is the Howth section of Dublin
|I took the Dart train to Howth
|Howth and the view of Ireland's Eye
MORE IRELAND, OCTOBER
Ireland oct 11s Glendalough
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
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
was relatively safe. Saw iI walked down the road through the
avondale valley in search of a lift. I was probably a couple
the road before I got one, a man with some lumber in a pickup truck who
was heading to Laragh
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
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
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
Perhaps this was someone's property. The ground was occasionally moist.
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
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
night...There was only a couple and there
child the second day-it was very cold in the hostel. I had to sleep with
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
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
to Galway-(just to get another city in.)But after a conversation,
with the lady proprietor of the Four Seasons, i decided
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
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
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
so on occasion it was little dangerous-but I enjoyed the walk
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
The story wasn't very good-
although I did do funny voices. The tape kept cutting in and out-due to
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 oct 18s Cherbourg
the morning on a ferry taking me to Cherbourg...And then upon
arrival decided to
stay at the Cherbourg hostel. a bad
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..
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
It felt like I did nothing in the six days there, but I did find
I ended staying at D'Artagen
Hostel in some strange section of town. This was the only time I spent
nights in a row in the same town at any time I have ever been to
France oct 20m Paris
Spoke with people
at ticket office...A little depressed at being unable to
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
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,
RETURNING TO USA
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
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...
Knocknerea in Strand Hill near Sligo in Ireland...
the next page -John's Europa 1998-British Isles & Scandinavia