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The pros and cons of the pub crawl

Posted by Sean Blanda on Oct 31, 2008 in Commentary

On a pub crawl, things can often get ... out of hand.

On a pub crawl, things can often get ... out of hand.

There seems to be two sides to the backpacker culture that Chris and I are weaving in and out of.  On one hand you have a group of young, open minded travelers attempting to absorb a culture that is unlike their own.   On the other, you have an international group of under 20-year-old with a nearly limitless amount of free time and a little bit of discretionary spending at their disposal.

In many hostels we have stayed, the latter half of the backpacker culture often manifests itself in the form of the pub crawl/tour combo offered by local companies.  If you never have had the privilege, a pub crawl is when a group of people are led from one drinking establishment to another often receiving discounts and free entry.  In most cities, Chris and I would glance at the flyers and not think twice.  However, in Berlin we decided to change our routine up a bit and tag along with NewBerlin’s pub crawl.  The change in routine had several pros and cons:

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We’ve arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark

Posted by Sean Blanda on Oct 31, 2008 in Preconceived Notions

With the capital of Germany in our rear view mirrors, Chris and I have arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark. Like many of the cities along our journey, I do not have very many preconceived notions about this city of 1.5 million. I have read about its high standard of living, high degree of government involvement, and its socially liberal attitudes. In my mind there seem to be several parallels with Zurch, Switzerland.

It is our first official foray into what can be considered Northern Europe so Chris and I prepared to pile on the layers as we may be the only people who head north in the winter months. We have also been told by several travelers that Copenhagen can get expensive, however while thumbing through our guide we have seen several free activities we can do while there. Additionally we were lucky enough to have a local host us while couchsurfing, so by luck Copenhagen may be one of the cheapest cities we visit.

Also, on the ride here, we suddenly realized that our train had pulled into a ferry for a 45-minute trek between two Danish islands.  Being little kids at heart, we immediately ran to the roof.

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European flag similarities

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 30, 2008 in Commentary

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A country’s flag is integral to nation-building, identity fostering. It’s a shame so many are so lame.

In Europe, where much of this world’s geopolitical structure developed - for better or worse - you might think their flag choices would be more fun, or at least original.

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Phillies chance at victory, Part 2: what to do in Berlin, Germany

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 29, 2008 in Plans

Another rainy day in Philadelphia. Fans hang out in the rain waiting for the game to start between the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals on Opening Day March 31, 2008 at Citizens Bank Park. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images North America)

Another rainy day in Philadelphia. Fans hang out in the rain waiting for the game to start between the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals on Opening Day March 31, 2008 at Citizens Bank Park. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images North America)

What else could a proud Philadelphian be doing at 1:30 A.M. in Berlin, Germany than watching what’s left of Game Five of the 2008 World Series - a chance at seeing the Phillies beating the Tampa Bay Rays.

Sean has particularly followed closely, despite our international travels.

We had dinner, went out for a few beers, but now we’re getting ready to amble over to a sports bar that will be showing the only American baseball left to be played. Hope you’re tuning in to too.

Why can’t us?

Oh, and Peter Gammons is lame.. and a jerk.

Photo courtesy of Zimbio.

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Sausauges… continued in Berlin, Germany

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 28, 2008 in Experiences

Sean enjoying a sausage and fries at Curry 36, a food stall in Berlin, Germany Oct. 29, 2008.

So, turns out that Berlin, Germany has a noted food stall a bit off its more popular touristed paths: Curry 36.

Once the Lonely Plant tour guides started recommending it, though, it’s business skyrocketed and popularity soared. It went from city favorite to international stop. We had to check in on Tuesday. See video below.

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Find Enlightenment from a cartoon

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 28, 2008 in Travel Tips

Found this animation on Youtube, and if it doesn’t speak to the merits of deferring student loans, life and responsibility in general, then I don’t think anything can. Enjoy.

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Does that make you want to move?

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We’re in Berlin, Germany and we haven’t found the Internet… exactly

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 27, 2008 in Plans

Sean and I made it to Berlin, Germany this afternoon.

We found the station, our hostel, an ATM, even a world-renowned sex club, but no reliable, wireless Internet.

Some pubs tonight, and - we think - even a chance to watch Game Five of the World Series. Tomorrow, sightseeing, touring, and - we think - some posts and updates.

Photo courtesy of Trip Advisor.

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Foreign Perspectives: Bharath from Bangalore, India

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 27, 2008 in Foreign Perspectives

We came across Bharath in a hostel in Budapest, Hungary. We spoke to him early one morning in the Aboringal Hostel’s common room. He compared what he was taught about the United States and the Americans he has met during his travels.

Watch our interview below.

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Standing seats for Faust in the Vienna Opera House

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 27, 2008 in Travel Tips

The famed State Opera House in Vienna, Austria.

The famed State Opera House in Vienna, Austria.

Some things are worth 4 euros - a little more than five bucks. Like watching a production of Charles Gounod’s Faust in the Vienna State Opera House - the preeminent opera house in the world.

For a 7 P.M. show last week, I was in line for standing tickets two hours prior - behind 70 people or more. In all, 200 hundred of us squeezed into a few rows behind banisters in the back of the 140-year-old legend.

A little more on the location from About.com, considering the production was less than meaningful to me:

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Ep. 5 Eurorail. Vienna, Austria.

Posted by Sean Blanda on Oct 26, 2008 in Podcast

Click to play.

Sean and Chris talk about some lessons they’ve learned riding the rails and backpacking Europe.

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