Friday, June 22, 2007

Hong Kong

Since last week I am staying with Eurico and yes, he took me to the Far East.
In fact, we just came back from
Hong Kong. We were there for a 3-days business trip sponsored by HSBC. It took us 18 hours to go and 18 hours to come back to London! We stayed in a very nice and confortable hotel, in central Hong Kong (see picture) and enjoyed the rush and hectic life of a different part of Asia. Eurico was very busy all the time but I had plenty of time to stroll around town all day. Unfortunatly, I have no pictures of this. But, I’ll come back one day.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Goodbye Axel, Sirkka & Patrik

Last night, I said goodbye to Axel and his wife Sirkka. They left London to go back home to Stockholm. I had a very good and intensive week with them: wondering around with Patrick in Stockholm, visiting Helsinki with Axel and comin’ to London with Axel and Sirkka.
Before Axel and Sirkka left, we had a nice dinner in the centre of London, together with Reza and his wife Emma (picture left) and with Eurico (with whom I am stayin' now in London, but who is not on the picture).

It was a very pleasant evening and I heard rumours of travellin’ to the
Far East … (although I don’t know if I understood them well).

So long Axel, Sirkka & Patrick. It has been good to know you. Thanks a lot for your hospitality.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

London, U.K.

Tonight I arrived, together with Axel, in London. What a city … I didn’t have much time to look around yet, but this is … thrilling. All those cars driving … LEFT !!! Incredible, this is dangerous, folks!
We passed by the
Tower Bridge. Very impressive at night.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Helsingin tuomiokirkko

The Helsinki Cathedral is probably the most prominent building in the city, and its symbol. This picture was taken at 10:20 p.m. as you can see on the cathedral’s clock. It was a nice evening here with Axel in this rather small and intimate, lively but not bustling city.
Tomorrow we are leaving …

Monday, June 11, 2007

Helsinki, Finland

I was ramblin’ around in Helsinki for the whole weekend. On Saturday I did some records shops to look for the original Finnish Tango music. I found what I sought, nice records from Maria Kalaniemi, Lasse Santakankaan Yhtye, Olavi Virta, Reijo Taipale and many others. Here you can hear a typical tango of Reijo Taipale.
On Sunday I was walking around admiring the nice buildings and monuments. I also visited the harbour (did a little boat excursion). A the end of the day
I crawled along the Esplanade and stopped at the statue of the Finnish national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg. Great man, this Runeberg, the national poet of Finland who wrote in Swedish, and also exercised a great influence on Swedish literature. He wrote very nice poems, like this one:

Who has given the wind wisdom,
Lent the air a tongue so lightsome,
Ready speech to the yard's rowan,
And the small birds' tender bevy?

Think about it... while you listen to Reijo Taipale.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Helsinki Rautatieasema, Finland

This morning I arrived, together with Axel, in Helsinki.
It’s almost midsummer’s night, so the nights are very short here in the North. Sunrise is at 4 a.m and it’s getting dark around 11 p.m.
Tonight at 10 p.m. I was sitting in front of Central Station (Helsinki Rautatieasema ) among some nice colourful flowers and the Nothern Lights in the background.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Stockholm, Sweden

Since yesterday I'm staying with Axel and his family (wife Sirkka and son Patrik) in Stockholm. Today I went out cycling with Patrik through the city. He forgot to bring his camera, so I only have this one picture. I was taken with his cellphone near the city hall of Stockholm. This will be the only picture from Stockholm, since tomorrow I am already leaving with Axel for … Helsinki.

Have you noticed my new button? It’s a souvenir from Berlin.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

One year on the road ...

Today, it’s exactly one year ago since I left my home and family.

On 06.06.06 I started to ramble and but a few days later Yolis brought me across the ocean. Since then I have travelled from North America via Central America to Latin America. In March I crossed the ocean again to spend quite some time in Central Europe and today I arrived in Scandinavia.

Last year I have travelled with Yolis Van Dorsselaer, Freya Van Dorsselaer & Erik Raul Hernandez, Sophia Acosta, Misael Chavoya, Pablo Chufeni, Aissa Zakrzewska, Danny N., the Rheinhardt family and today I just met Axel Brandenburg.

Thanks to all these kind friends I have been in Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Argentina, Poland, Lithunia, Germany and finally, today I arrived in Stockholm, Sweden.

In total I hitchhiked 38.467 km (23.902 miles) since I left home.

One year ago, I was full of doubts about this adventure. Today, I have faith in the future.

I have met so much friendship and love that I know this world is a wonderful place.

Some of you I’ve met before since I was your guest. Thanks again for your hospitality. Most of you I never met but I hope this will happen soon. Until then, stay tuned!



Tuesday, June 05, 2007

And the beat goes on ...

Today is my last day in Berlin. I’ve been stayin’ here for about a month, most of the time with the Rheinhardt family: Almut, Matthias, Joachim and Dorothea. Usually, I was goin’ out with Joachim and Dorothea, two wonderful kids who play the drums (‘Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain. La de da de de, la de da de da’).

I had a wonderfull time here in this lovely city, but I have to move on now.
Tomorrow, I am travellin’ with Matthias and Almut to …
So long
Berlin, bye bye, thanks a lot for your hospitality.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Weltzeituhr, Alexanderplatz

The World Time Clock (Weltzeituhr) is one of the Alexanderplatz's most well-known features. It was constructed in 1969, is 10 metres tall and is weighing 16 tonnes. It features a revolving cylinder with the world's 24 time zones bearing the names of major cities in each zone. The mechanism is constructed in a way which enables the current time in each zone to be read.

The world clock is a popular meeting point for the colourful crowd. Since the end of my stay in Berlin is near, I am looking at the clock dreaming of a next place to stay …

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Alexanderplatz was once the centre of East Berlin. Today, the place is still a dynamic focul point. Here you see me in front of the Park Inn Hotel which is 132 m. high and has 41 floors.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Irgendwann fällt jede Mauer

Eventually every wall falls ...

Today, it’s hard to believe this, but this beautiful city was cut in two by a concrete wall for more than 28 years! The building of the wall started on August 13, 1961. The Wall was over 155 km long. Many families were split. Many East Berliners were cut off from their jobs and from chances for financial improvement; West Berlin became an isolated enclave in a hostile land.
When on
August 23, 1989 Hungary opened the iron curtain to Austria, East German tourists used their chance to escape to Austria from Hungary. In September 1989 more than 13 000 East German escaped via Hungary within three days. It was the first mass exodus of East Germans after the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961.
Mass demonstrations against the government and the system in East Germany begun at the end of September and took until November 1989.
Erich Honecker, East Germany's head of state, had to resign on October 18, 1989.
The new governement prepared a new law to lift the travel restrictions for East German citizen.
At 06.53 pm on November 9, 1989 a member of the new East German government was asked at a press conference when the new East German travel law comes into force.
He answered: "Well, as far as I can see, ... straightaway, immediately."
Thousands of East Berliners went to the border crossings. That moment meant the end of the Berlin Wall.
I must admit I am deeply moved when I am thinking this over… here in front of a remains of the Wall

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Berlin Bear

Did you know that the bear is the symbol of Berlin? On the Berlin film festival, the festival’s top honour is the Golden Bear.
The bear on the flag and coat of arms of
Berlin represents the first half of the city's name, German Bär meaning bear. In the city you can find colourful street bears (just like you have those painted cows in many European cities).
I love those bears. Reminds me of my teady bear I left home…