Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
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I had absolutely no intention of going to Cyprus when I started this trip, but I am very glad I did. Cyprus is a wonderful country with an intricate history, major elements of which are playing out as we speak. As best as I can understand, it goes something like this:

Cyprus defines the border between West and Non-West (though not necessarily "East"). Througout history it has been conquered and reconquered by Roman, Turkish, Greek, and just about every other major force in the known world (at least, known to that region) at the time. As such, figuring out who "historically" owns Cyprus is not an easy task. At the end of World War I, at least, Cyprus was owned by Turkey, though the majority of the island's population was of Greek heritage. Turkey, heavily in debt to England, offered England joint ownership of the island in exchange for debt relief.

This continued up until World War II, when Turkey sided with the Germans and England, much put off by this, decided to take ... [more]
As I was widely told, the best way to see Europe is by train. By and large, it's fast, reasonably cheap, and efficient. Of the many Eurail options available to Americans and Austrailians (it's not open to Europeans or anyone else, as far as I can tell), I took the $500, 5-days in 2 month option. That means on five different days I can ride on most any train in Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, and France. All you do is get on the train, flash the Eurail pass, and you're home free (perks such as sleeper cars are extra, though you do get to ride First Class). All in all, it was a very positive experience. The one glaring exception being Italy.

I go to the Eurail office. I wait in line. Eventually I sit down to talk to the woman behind the counter clearly marked "Eurail Information". Thus, I don't think it's entirely unreasonable to expect that she would know a thing or two about Eurail. Sadly, I was mistaken. I explain to her the route I'd like to take and the rough period of ti... [more]
Though originally targeting Interlochen, I ended up heading to Zurich and could not have been happier. Zurich is an incredibly pretty town, with amazing clock towers in all directions.
Though completely inconceivable, this moutaintop castle, surrounded by an idyllic park and graced with unbeatable views of the mountain, is actually home to an active prison. As such, they say it's the country's tallest mountain: though you can get up in just a few minutes, it takes years to get back down.

Copyright 2021 - David Barrett -