Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

And, finally, Rome

And now for the final episode of "Highlights From Europe." Today's featured city is Rome. Tune in next week for our new series, "Highlights From Québec City."

This is an Egyptian Obelisk in Piazza del Popolo, near our hotel. It dates from the twelfth or 13th century BC, and was stolen from Egypt and brought to Rome in the time of Augustus. Neat!



Here's the Trevi Fountain. It looks innocent enough by daylight, but once the sun sets it become home to the notorious "Flower Guys."



The Pantheon! Unfortunately, half of the dome on the inside was covered by scaffolding for "restorations," much like every single interesting site we tried to see.



This is the site of four ancient Roman temples that were only discovered recently when a developed tried to build a condo on top of them. One of these temples, fascinatingly enough, is where Julius Ceasar was murdered. It's also a cat sanctuary, hence the cat. You can't really tell from this photo, but there were cats everywhere. Like, anywhere there was even a patch of shade, there was a cat. It was kind of ridiculous. Mainly because I'm pretty sure Chris and I spent more time admiring the cats than we spent looking at any other site on the entire trip.



Next, a spiral staircase in the Vatican Museums. It was pretty. Prettier than the Sistine Chapel.



Catholics seem to have some sort of strange fascination with death and bones. This is the bottom half of a statue dedicated to some Pope in St. Peter's Basilica. If you can't tell what it is, it's a headless skeleton holding an hourglass, presumably coming up from hell to take him away or something. This is vaguely confusing, as the top half of the statue shows the Pope surrounded by four women representing virtue, justice, and, uh, two other good things that Popes strive for. If he's so awesome, why is a skeleton coming to take him away and not, say, Jesus? Huh? HUH?!???



This is the ridiculously elaborate canopy that the Pope sits under during mass. It's directly under the dome of St. Peter's.



Once again, Chris braved the climb to the top of something tall. This is the view of St. Peter's Square from the top of the basilica. (By the way, if you're at all claustrophobic, don't attempt this climb. It starts out okay, but as you get closer to the top the stairway gets narrower and narrower, and the walls curve inwards with the shape of the dome. It's like one of those nightmare scenarios where it just keeps getting smaller and smaller until you get stuck and can't get out—until you starve for long enough that you lose enough weight to move again, that is.)



This is in the forum—behind the ancient pillars is a medieval church. It's amazing how quickly you stop being impressed by things that are only 500 years old when you're surrounded by other things that are over 2000 years old.



This is the Palatine, which is the ruins of various things, including palaces and grounds used by several emperors.



Guess what this is! Too bad about the bridge through the middle of it, built for, once again, restorations. If you look closely, you can see the cages where the animals used to be kept underneath the bridge. That all used to be underground, but they've excavated it now, most likely to impress all the fat Americans wearing ass-shorts that we saw.



Some authentic Roman graffiti. Just down from this was "Stef, Sara & Lindsay BFF!" Yep, there's nothing like vandalizing cities you don't live in.



And, finally, this is an interesting old area of Rome called Trastevere. Apparently the people who live here consider themselves the only true Romans (ironic, since Trastevere wasn't even part of Rome until relatively recently).

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Double WOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Are you guys ready for MORE PHOTOS?!? Next up on the list: Paris! (I'm doing these one city at a time since, like I said yesterday, it's extremely tedious. Also, my friend Courtney's in town and I told her that I had to go to my parents' to do laundry this afternoon and therefore couldn't hang out with her. Ever since then—which was about two and a half hours ago—I've been sitting in front of my computer at home. Fuck, I'm even still in my pyjamas. It's going to be a bit of a shock when I suddenly have French class to go to five days a week, hey?)

Anwyay! Paris!

This is me with a bottle of nasal spray. It was our first day in Paris. I was sick.



Next, some hilarious graffiti on a poster in the Bastille Metro station. Look closely at/around the soccer ball.



The French have strange grave markers. This was outside a mausoleum in Montparnasse Cemetery (where, incidentally, Jean Paul Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir are buried together, along with several other famous philosophers/artists/politicians who I can't remember off the top of my head).



This here's Notre Dame.



Chris braved his fear of heights several times this trip when the peer pressure to climb to the top of tall things got to be too much. This is the view from the top of Notre Dame. Neat, huh?



This is a guy fire-spinning (or whatever you call it) in a little square called Place de Saint Catherine near our hotel. It had several good restaurants, making it a rare and exciting find in Paris.



This is the Eiffel Tower at night. It was sparkly. And pretty.



Alright, there's a very limited selection of the dozens of photos week took in Paris. Stay tuned for Rome!

Hey, you like ants?

So yeah! In non-travel-photo-related news, I was having a pretty bad ant problem in my apartment for the last few days. Like, seriously, these fuckers were everywhere, couldn't kill enough of them. Finally, I bought some ant traps yesterday, figuring the deathblow had been struck. Sadly, I was wrong. The baiting part of the traps seemed to work far better than the killing part of the traps--which, of course, resulted in way more ants. Today, I bought some Raid and nerve-gassed every ant I saw to Ant Heaven, which I assume is just a larger, more food-crumb-filled version of my kitchen here on Earth. It felt good, and the ants seem to be gone, so I, uh, got that going on.

Also, apparently someone broke into our apartment building and then into the laundry room across the hall from my place twice to then break the washer and dryer and steal the paltry amount of coins within. My strange old Eastern European landlady seemed adequately concerned by this, but confusingly kept talking about how she should further reinforce the laundry room door. Gee, Pauline, I think I'm a little more concerned by the fact that people keep breaking in through the front fucking door, only to then gain access to the laundry room. You know... maybe we should be working on that. I tried to suggest this to her, but it only caused her to furrow her brow and then wander away, muttering about how she's going to put bars on the laundry-room window. You know, the window, which was clearly not used to gain entrance, as opposed to the laundry door, which was covered in crowbar scratches. OR the FRONT FUCKING DOOR, ALSO MARRED BY REGULAR FORCED ENTRY. Sigh.

Monday, June 27, 2005

WOOOOOOOOO!!!!

That's right: after more than two weeks of slapping my keyboard with open palms and screaming like a retard, I've finally figured out how to post more than one photo at a time on here. So, friends (or at least those of you who are still reading this), are you ready??? (Sorry in advance for the quantity, by the way. Considering I had 205 photos to choose from, I don't think it's that bad that I could only narrow it down to 28.)

Alright! So this first one here is in Toronto. Ah, friends. Remember what those are like? Here we are at the Victory Pub (they have Grasshopper on tap!). Clockwise from left, that's Kris Meen, Christie, Christie's friend Christine, Sunita (I hope I'm spelling that right), Ken, Chris, and Heather. And yes, including me, five of us that night were named K/Chris-something. Our parents suck:



Next, we have good ol' Big Ben, with the London Eye in the background:



This here is Westminster Abbey. Soaring!



And here are Chris and I in St. James's Park. Aren't we adorable?



And this here is Notting Hill, made famous by those two crazy lovers, Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. Specifically, this is a street called Portobello Road, known for its street market selling everything from antiques to food to tacky shit for tourists. Also, the houses (or "flats") are pretty.



This is a statue of Queen Anne outside St. Paul's Cathedral. It kind of looks like she's about to kill you with some kind of sceptre-laser:



That skinny building in the middle is called Ye Olde Cock Tavern:



And this is Queen Victoria's monument to her husband, Prince Albert, in Hyde Park. It's also a perfect example of British arrogance at the height of the empire.



Okay, that's London. Stay tuned for Paris and Rome, but this is incredibly tedious and I don't want to do it anymore.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Thomas Pooper!

Okay, well, we're still having some difficulties getting these pictures onto the blog, and we're sure by now you're all even having more difficulty caring about these photos. But we seem to have found one, kind of retarded way to do it, except that it involves only being able to put up one photo at a time. We may do this, but not right now, as that's boring.

In the meantime, please enjoy this photo of one of the pieces of graffiti we found on the wall of one of the towers in the Tower of London. Prisoners did this to pass the time when they weren't being killed. This guy's name is humourous. BYE!