May 28, 2008

What am I getting myself into?

I have bought tickets to go to Rock Werchter in Belgium in early July. This will be my first time to a huge rock festival, but better late than never, hey? I am slightly apprehensive about the whole idea, but at the moment I'm mostly excited, esp since the person I'm going with has infectious enthusiasm. I'm going with someone from work, who asked me about a week ago if I'd be interested. After bouncing the idea around in my head, I was sold after reading the glowing description of the festival on their website and seeing the excellent lineup that has tons of bands I'm looking forward to seeing, including: REM, Radiohead, Ben Folds, My Morning Jacket, Gossip, John Butler Trio, The Raconteurs, Beck, deus, and Grinderman.

There's a lot there to be excited about. The worrywart in me though thinks about heavy rain and high heat, sleeping for 4 nights in a tent surrounded by thousands of other people, long lines for the toilets, dodgy food, and possibly getting very tired of the person I'm going with. But for now my excitement outweighs my worries. And it's only just over a month away!

In the meantime, I should be looking forward to going to Mallorca on Saturday much more than I am. I can't quite grasp that I really am going on a trip soon, I don't know why, but I'm sure by the time I'm done packing on Friday it will seem more real. Hopefully stories and possibly photos when I get back.

May 18, 2008

Driving and videos

I just booked the final portion needed for my Mallorca trip, my rental car. This will be my first time driving in Europe and I'm a bit nervous, probably more nervous than I was with driving on the left for the first time. Observations like these don't help.

The part of Mallorca I'll probably spend most of my time in is very mountainous, thus the roads are very narrow and twisty. I read about one village in particular that is on the sea and can only be reached by a road that makes this insane descent consisting of one hairpin turn after another. I found this video on YouTube of someone going down this road on a bike, which almost seems safer than doing it by car. Yes folks, that is meant to be a two-lane road. Thank goodness I'm meant to get some tiny, Ford Ka-like car for driving around the island.

On a complete different note, I was checking out a page I had put in my bookmarks ages ago that had various old films from Portland. This one was probably my favourite, though it's not so much about Portland, but about the quaint times of the 1930s when not everyone had electricity but everyone wanted it because of the time-saving things it could bring to ordinary lives.

May 4, 2008

Biking around Leiden

I spent a couple of hours of today's lovely afternoon biking around Leiden, both in my neighborhood and in the center. I'm glad I finally picked up my bike from Amsterdam on Thursday. I quickly got used to biking again, though my bum is not happy with me.

I took a bunch of photos, some of which I've uploaded to Flickr, and you can view them starting here. It's a mixed bag of stuff, including photos from my street, places in the center of Leiden, plus some graffiti near the train station, which all seems to have been done as a memorial to someone who died recently. I like that, despite the quaint and academic reputation of Leiden, I still have found some great graffiti and stickers here. There is also an active squatters' movement, so it's not all boring and full of preppy students.

May 2, 2008

Australia guide photo

A photo I posted on Flickr was chosen to be added to an online travel guide called Schmap. It's a photo I took in Melbourne, from the observation deck of the Rialto Tower. You can check out the site and my photo here (it's the little photo to the upper right. Flip through the photos if you don't see the one with my name under it). The original in Flickr is here.

A lot of beautiful places I visited are listed on the Schmap site, even just in the Panaorama category. Have a look at the listings for Flinders Ranges National Park, Freycinet National Park, Port Arthur Historic Site, Richmond Bridge, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, and The Great Ocean Road.