Monday, May 4, 2009

Home again. just the start.

beginning euro-gorn.

end euro-gorn.

Euro-gorn is now euro-done. My trip has concluded but the journey has just begun. The point of travel is never to go somewhere but to learn. On my trip I have learned more than I thought I could have even if I was expecting to learn a lot. I landed at KCI this past Thursday and was met by t
wo of my favorite people in the world.

How blessed I am to be home.
How blessed I am to have a place called home.
How blessed I am to have people to make it a place worth calling home.

Throughout my trip I met amazing people, made some great bad decisions and saw lots of our world's cultural and artistic foundations. Everywhere between the UK, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, Scotland and back again I never took a step that was not an entirely new experience. I wish I could sum up every minute I traveled in such a short way but let's be real here, that won't be happening. However, I do have 2,073 photos for sharing. From Big Ben to the Alps I have stories to share and memories to cherish.

All of this is just a start though. To my mother's chagrin I already have my next trip in mind. Perhaps a cycling trip through Germany? I feel Eastern Europe calling out. Who knows, maybe it is time to try a little haggling in Istanbul. Regardless I hope that there will be many more travel entries to be written. Hopefully the will be worth reading too. That will have to be left up to the future.

Now as far as an overall summary goes I will give it my best few sentence shot.

Never in my life have I more clearly seen God's provision. Most people know or have heard the idea that God provides and all that jazz. But what if we truly saw and really understood even a sliver of the amount that God cares for us. On my trip these past two months or so I believe I can see at least a little better how our Father loves us. He provided for me, watched over me and guided me (literally) through places I have never been.

Being in a place where the only person to rely on is Jesus is the best place to be. The sad part is in reality we all live in this same place everyday. We deceive ourselves into believing we have any measure of control. Honestly though we must consider and bring to mind who the true giver of each day is to us. The food in the kitchen, the air we have to breath, the safe bed to sleep in and the loving people come home to are no less of blessing and provision than a free meal and a bed while traveling.

Lots of people have asked me whether or not I felt alone on my trip. The truth is that no, I never did. Sure I felt lonely but only in the sense that I longed to hug the people I missed. But I never felt alone. Never in my life have I more stongly felt the strengthening hand of God. Sure I was sitting alone on train, planes and what have you but I always felt in my heart that I was actually just spending some sweet quality time with Jesus.

With all the distraction so of life pulled away perhaps I could more easily hear the voice of God. I also could see the real value of many of those distractions. Which always came to be pretty much nothing. Nothing compares to the greatness of knowing Jesus Christ as our savior and Lord. Read that again if you need to but consider that all of life is lived for one purpose or another. Unless your life is lived for the purpose of knowing Jesus more and more that ultimatly life will seem meaningless. I can not offer any validation of that claim other than to challenge the searching of your heart. I know you will feel it is true.

Well that is that huh? God is God and boy he is good. I hope to talk to many of you who have kindly followed my rantings here for the past months. This last post has been long but thanks for enduring and humoring my words. Thanks for your support and many of your prayers. Thanks for your friendships. Thanks for being you and thanks simply for the time taken to read. Soon I hope to be off again with perhaps maybe even more ridiculous stories. Either way give me a call, I would love to have coffee and share photos and stories, especially if you buy the coffee.

finally, from the ole' USA, cheers and yours always,


*see the below link to view thousands of photos. they are not all fixed, edited or complete but it is a start. sorry for the embarrasing ones, but that is how it goes you know.

Monday, April 27, 2009

four leaf clovers and waterfalls, which I did not chase.

Tomorrow I say so long and farewell to Ireland. My time here has been more relaxing then all of my journey added together. The Scanlon family has been more kind to me then I could ever deserve.

This weekend was loads of fun. Saturday John, two of his sons and myself set off for a horse race. Their horse came in second place and made for an exciting finish. Going to a horse race with horse owners makes everything a lot easier to understand to a newcomer. As with everything there is much more to a thing like riding a horse over some jumps then first imagined. I am learning that a lot here.

Yesterday I saw my first Irish rainbow, had my first drive through the Irish highlands and decided that although black pudding tastes good I never want to know what is in it. Also we spent time at a beautiful waterfall. We spend more than an hour climbing on the rocks, throwing a frisbee and trying to take photos of the waterfall with my camera. Batteries seem to go bad at exactly the worst possible time. Funny though.

Today is my last full day here in the land of four leaf clovers. A few thoughts:
-First off, four leaf clovers are much smaller than people think.
-Secondly they are super hard to find.
Besides, the grass here is such a shade of green that it is easy to become distracted with the scenery. Spending time hunched over looking for penny size clovers has continualy escaped my priority list.

Tomorrow I head to London for two days and then homeward bound, just like the kids movie with the two dogs and a cat. Go rent it if you have no idea what I am talking about. My goal is to put up a few photos of the horse race and waterfall later today. This post may not be as full of fun filled excitment as others but I promise that Ireland the place to go if you are into great history, peaceful relaxation and of course the obligatory golf.

Cheers from the green groves of Ireland.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ireland. enough said.

Well it has been quite some time since I have updated. I have been really busy relaxing here in Ireland. Now to be fair, usually when I have been traveling I spend the days going place to place never stopping. Here though I am blessed to be able to rest. The family I am staying with is more welcoming than I could have ever dreamed. I am truly blessed and God truly provides.

Tonight I made chili for the family! To be honest it was the third time I have ever cooked it but what do you know, it came out wonderful. Sometimes you get lucky.

The family is made up of John, Eimear and their three boys. I have thus far learned three new games unique to Ireland. When I get back I am determined to spread Hurling, hurling being a sport and not another word for vomiting, of course. This is absolutely worth googling. I have been told it is the worlds second fastest game behind hockey. If this is not true it might as well be. Hurling requires the hitting or kicking of a small ball into a goal or above through uprights. Each player has basically a big stick-paddle made of wood that you use to hit the ball. Imagine lacrosse, football, hockey, soccer and baseball put together with no pads. I give it two thumbs way up.

Apart from getting beat up in hurling I have be able to see much of the country side and Dublin city proper. This Saturday I even am being taken to a horse race. Sunday we are going on a drive through the country and I hope to visit another one of the major towns.

Sometimes when traveling rest is a precious gift. This week means lots of down time and reading. While I have been reading I started reading through some lesser sited books of the bible. While reading through these latter books of the old testament I came across a few beautiful pictures of God's love for us.

What I saw was that we all have a shepherd. Perhaps your shepherd is success or maybe happiness. These won't satisfy and are fleeting. If your shepherd is family or money again you will be led astray. We all are given up to our own sinful ways and if we are honest, truly honest, at the end of the day we will agree that we are lost.

Jesus is the true Shepherd. This is such a cliche that due to over use falls on deaf ears. Think about a God who will go to the ends of life to bring back just one, you. This is what Jesus did. He through his death brought us back home, back to God our Father.

What is better? To be wandering around life thinking we can figure this thing out on our own or to be found, to be lifted up and carried in the arms of our Father back home, back into the fold? Personally I know with how many times I get lost on buses here traveling, much better do I trust being found by Jesus than finding my own way. Our own ways only find dead ends.

A week from today I am home. Sadness and joy both overwhelm me when I think about this. I apologize for the long post but this all has been on my heart today. Hopefully it made sense through the rambles.

Cheers from Ireland.

Normally I like to weave in photos with story but today enjoy some random photos from Germany to Ireland.

sketchy eastern berlin car-time

cow-time one

cow-time two

Friday, April 17, 2009

munich, wittenburg and berlin

to wittenburg.

The past few days have meant me treking across most of Germany. So please excuse the typos. Yesterday I bid farwell to Munich in hopes of spending a few hours in Wittenburg. Munich was a bunch for fun. The Baverian region is where lederhosen, beer and bratworst actually live in harmony. I saw everything from where the Nazi party started to the second most over-rated tourist attraction the Europe, the Glockenspiel. Please YouTube it and be amazed by the slow motion movements and out of tune bells.

the most impressive street musicians ever. please note the cello, oboe, flute and baby grand piano.

Now, on to something really great. Witternburg. For those of you who have not yet Googled the name Wittenburg is where Martin Luther (the monk not the King Jr.) spent much of his life and posted his 95 thesis on the Castle Church doors.

To say the least, awesome.

95 thesis doors and me.

Now granted the actual church doors that Luther posted his thesis on burnt down with the rest of a church but they did rebuild the church in the same p
lace to the same specifications. Doors are the same in the same place, tomato-tomoto. It was wonderful though to walk through the admittedly overwelming mueseum that was once Luther's house. Every peice of history displayed represented the standing up of God's people for the true Word of God. In Luther's time men were only allowed to study theology as the highest of pursuits. First they were required to master science, history, liturature, language, philosopy and mathimatics. Only then would one be let into the study of theology. It was considered the most difficult and worthy of pursuits. Sadly that recognition seems lost today to some degree.

After leaving Wittenburg it was on to Berlin and Berlin is where I write this post. Today I was up and out early from my host Casper's flat (yes like the friendly ghost). First I visisted the German parliment building and then it was off to a walking tour of Berlin. It would take far too long to describe what all I learned and saw today but I will list a few and then let the photos speak for what they show.

1. Germans never, never and lastly never cross the road unless they are at the proper location and have the go ahead from the signal. Seriously, jaywalking is some sort of grave sin here.

2. Berlin Wall: no less imposing and important than I thought, but not as thick. The wall is only four or five inches thick. Still though, the shoot-to-kill death zone and barbed wire added a bit to the lethality of the whole ordeal.

3. Tram system here: Not quite as good as London but on par with Paris. It is however much better than Rome which can be easily compared to a five-year-old pulling a three-wheeled red wagon.

4. Lastly, the German people are kind. Almost everyone you meet here is happy to help and usually smiling. Compared to many other major European cities this is a rarity. The city is clean and I really like it here. Berlin feels a lot like Chicago. In fact, Berlin's city symbol is a Bear so there you go. I think my Dad would fit in here except they have no baseball team losing all the time here to get mad about.

museum island upside down.

east and west of the berlin wall line.

That is Berlin so far. Two more days here and then to Ireland. I hope to post one
more time from Berlin with even more photos.

Good night from Berlin!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I once heard a story. no photos for this post.

There was once a farmer who was sitting by his fireplace during a terrible winter storm. As he was sitting there with a warm blanket and a cup of coffee he heard a sharp pounding sound from outside. The farmer went to the window and discovered birds.

These birds were caught in the storm and upon sensing the heat from the farmer's house determined to try to get inside. The birds were pounding their bodies up against the glass trying to reach warm safety.

The farmer felt sad and wished he could help these helpless dieing creators. He decided he wanted to help. So during the height of the winter storm the farmer went out to his barn. There he put lots of warm hay around, turned on lights and made the place as warm as possible. Lastly he flung wide open the barn doors.

The birds continued to hit their heads up against the house windows.

The farmer tried to push the birds in but to no avail. They simply scattered and flew around in fear. To the birds, the farmer simply looked like a huge scary creator waving around. Even though sure safety and survival lie only feet away, the birds did not follow the well intentioned farmer.

The idea came to the farmer that if for only a moment he could become a bird he could lead the others into the warm safety of the barn. He could lead them from the storm to shelter.

This is the Gospel. The farmer finally understood, and helps us understand why Jesus had to come and die for us. Yet many of us still bang our heads up against a window.

Yesterday I thought lots about this idea, the idea of shelter and hope. Yesterday I visited the NAZI Concentration Camp Dachau. This camp is what happens when men forget God. This camp happens when men forget the worth of a human life and where it comes from. This camp happens when people revert to primal thoughtless selfish urges.

This camp is what happens when sheep follow the wolf instead of the Shepherd.

Honestly I am not quite sure what to think about seeing this camp. I saw ovens where people were burned and I saw walls that of which people walked in but never walked out. I apologize for the less than light hearted post but it was a less than light hearted day.

Surely, apart from the saving blood of Jesus, we have no hope.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

settlers of catan


I just won at the game Settlers of Catan. They will mean nothing and everything depending who you are. I went with the "buy development cards and build roads method." I know someone who uses that and well, she usually beats me. But tonight, yes tonight, I was victorious. It is a small victory but again, to those who have played, there seems to be a post game glow that lasts perhaps 15 minutes or so. I think this is my second time winning so today is indeed a good day.

More importantly, and everlasting to say the least, is the fact that today is Easter. To some Easter is merely one of two days to attend church. Others though find that today is the most joyous day of year.
For believers today is the specific day to celebrate Jesus's resurrection. Granted, we should celebrate this equally each day. But there is something indeed special in the selective choosing of this one Sunday so sing a bit louder and specifically remember.

Jesus is risen! This means that as He rose so do we. Even though we sin, fall short of the standard and miss the mark Jesus rising means our record is wiped clean. We are forgiven, loved and given hope. A life without this hope is a scary one to face.

travel time.

Today we (Brooks an
d I) joined our host family for a bike ride through a forest. We ended up in another beautiful village where we went and hung out at the local brewery. So today consisted of church, bike rides, Frisbee, a brewery, settlers of catan and an amazing home cooked Easter feast. I can not think of a better day than today. How amazing it is when I look back and see all of the circumstances come together to make days like today.

God is so good to us.

biking riding on the Rhine River.

Happy Easter to all! Next is Munich and then Berlin. After that I move on to Ireland for a week and finally a few days in the UK.

Good night from Germany.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Switz, Brooks, Autobahn, Photos

Ok, well great news. I am in Germany, St Lion to be specific which is just outside of Heidelberg. Today I met up with my great buddy Brooks studying in Istanbul this semester.

So our original goal was to couch surf in Frankfurt. Well we decided that Heidelberg would be way more fun so we jumped onto a train, literally, it was leaving and we barely made it. And now we are blessed to stay with an American family here in Germany, thanks to our friend Matt from KU.

Alright, short post, lots of photos. These photos are all from Switzerland.

Enjoy. Love you all. God is good, today he provided a friend from home and American hamburgers.

view from my balcony at my host's house time.

ski time.

alps time.

hiking time.

rest time.

smile time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


My time here in Varen, Switzerland (google it) has been amazing thus far. Each day I am able to sit on a balcony overlooking the Alps while I drink tea and read. I feel really rested. You might not think it but while traveling it is easy to forget to rest. Truly, I praise God for the time he has given me here thus far.

The area where I am staying is a village of about 600 people. The village is more than 700 years old and some of the families have been living here that long. So far I have planted potatoes, hiked through some mountains, road a bike down a mountain and learned to ski.

Skiing is now on the list of things I really enjoy doing.

Skiiing, not hard, but hard to get really good at. Learning to turn and do little jumps comes easily but I do not think I am quite to the "jump out of a helicopter onto a mountain face" stage of skiing. Maybe day two.

Today the family I am staying with is taking me to the local hot springs. I am pretty excited for the whole hot springs in the alps deal.

Next up is Germany. I will meet up with my friend Brooks in the Airport and we hope to do a tour through some of the smaller villages. So Ciao from Switzerland and next I will post from Germany!

p.s. I will put photos up from skiing soon. Need to eat lunch.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Well hello from Switzerland! Right now I am staying with another amazing family. The view from my window here in the Alps is awe inspiring to say the least. Photos to follow.

I know last post I said I would update more, I am trying. It is hard when day to day you are place to place. But here it goes. This post is Venice and Zurich. Next time I will get into Switzerland, possibly the best place I have ever been.

San Marco Square. Venice.

First impression of Venice: worst, most rainy place ever. Water above, water below.

Second, day two, impression: Won
derful! Gustavo the Gondolier says Ciao! I ended up meeting four other americans and we five traveled all day together. And yes, we really road a gondola. Our driver had even been a previous Italian Bronze metalist. I guess there is not too much money in olympic rowing.

Gondola style.

I even ran into, believe it or not, fellow Jayhawks. A group of travel abroads students were visiting Venice and were wearing Jayhawk shirts. They saw my hat, we hugged, joy overflowed and all rejoiced.

Zurich, way over rated. Do not ask why I decided to go to one of the most expensive cities in the world. It is beyond me. On the plus side I got to have the best chocolate I have ever had, see watches that cost more than my college education and meet a bunch of cool aussies.

Still though, unless you are rich avoid
Zurich. Just my opinion.

Zurich Morning. Reflective moment.
(look, a nice shirt, I triedto fit in with the locals.)

Know that I miss all of you with all of my heart. It bring tears to my eyes when I remember how much I miss seeing and being with everyone. God has surely blessed me with friends and family strong and loving.

When I find my heart sad and down I continue to be encouraged and renewed b
y God's spirit. He has sustained me more than I could have ever believed. I pray and ask God for traveling companions and then no sooner do I run into people and we spend days together!

God is so good. He is so good to us.

Yesterday as I sat on a Swiss bound train I really felt my heart renewed and refreshed. As I travel from place to place I often think of everyone at home. On the train I was reminded that truly, this world is not our home at all. Our hearts cry out for goodness, justice, love and peace because our hearts were made for heaven, our true home. These things are but shadows of the true goodness awaiting us who call God Father.

And so my heart feels full. God is in Heaven. Jesus died and rose to cover my sin. And the Holy Spirit lives in us. What could we possibly find to worry about?

Alright, I love you all and miss you. I promise, for real this time, that time permitting I will update tomorrow with photos from the home of the Swiss Family Robinson. And believe it or not, everyone here carries huge mountain horns to chase away goats. Who knew. They are hard to carry on bikes though, the horns I mean, not the goats. It would be impossible to get a goat on a bike.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Italy: three cities, one post. sorry.

Hello and Ciao from Florence, Italy! Well actually, I am outside of Florence by about forty-five minutes. Currently I am being hosted by some of the most wonderful people I have met journeying thus far. This family has made me really feel comfortable and at home. Whether it is harvesting their own honey, painting and designing, or even cooking, they do it with all of their hearts. I will miss them and remember them when I leave.

That being said, you can be certain that the food here is awesome. Italy has shown me some of the best food on my journey. I even enjoy eating olives here!

Sorry France.

Alright, down to business. Last time I updates I was trying to get a few quick words in about my plans. The past few days have been, to say the least, interesting.

Let us start in Cinque Terra.

This has been one of the most magical places I have visited. As you train through the tunnel laden mountain side you catch quick glimspes of small villages. Finally I came to rest at my place of interest, the village of Vernazza. I stayed here three days and spent my time hiking between the five villages, or terras.

I could not begin to describe the views, smells and people. I did finally have real italian coffee and I love it! However fears have begun to grow in me concerning my new ability to drink espresso so quickly and feel no affec be continued. I will return to this place, and I hope to bring my family. I know they would fall in love with the place, even you Mom.



Dear Rome,

How are you? I am well. So rry I only could stay for a few days. You offer so much to see and I felt overwelmed w ith the history. You do not smell as bad as Paris though, so cheers to that.

The Colloseum was awe inspiring. The Forum, not so great . I am glad I had a free ticket. The people I met in my hostel though were great. Tha nks to you Rome I was able to travel with folks from Washington, Boston, Hong Kong and Israel. Not to mention I did in fact meet a recently retired Dipolmat of Isra el.

All in all, thanks Rome for a great few days. Next time I visit. Perhaps there will not be so much Easter going on, that way the crowds will be less.


Ok, here is the most recent, FLORENCE!

The start of my trip here was interesting. I decided to make a day trip to Naples to try pizza. I did not have enough time to find the classic "we invented pizza here" type pizzaria so I did my best. Not bad, but not great.

When I finally arrived to Florence my goal was to catch a bus leaving the city to meet up with my hosts. I was suppose to get off at the Casa Rossa, or the red house. I surmized this to mean Street Casa Rossa, or a specific stop named, Casa Rossa. I was way off. Literally, I was suppose to get off at the big red house. This could be classified as dumb traveling move number 36.

To make things more fun, my cell phone died. So please, for your viewing enjoyment, see the following photo called "Chris Gorney lost in Italy with a bus driver who speaks no english and a dead cell phone." Long name, but you get the idea.

The whole thing ended well with my feeling like a five-year-old lost in a Walmart toy section right before Christmas. As the bus driver let me use his phone, he ended up talking to my host so he could figure out when to tell me to get off the bus as we made the return journey towards Florence. Well, at least it is a good story.

The rest of Florence was not as eventful but no less enjoyable. I spent the whole day wandering through streets looking for back roads and hidden shops. I was able today just to slow down and appreciate what was around me. I really enjoy Florence. To return here would be a pleasure.

Gorn-Seige of the Castle.

Over the past few days I have been blessed with lots of time to think. As you can see from my posts I have walked around a lot. The thing that keeps coming to my mind is the idea of quantifiable looks into how Jesus saves and changes us.

Then I was brought back to something I read in Ezekial. God talks about how when we are saved He actually removes our hearts and replaces them with new ones. He takes our sinful hearts of stone and puts in new flesh beating hearts now beating full of the understanding of His love for us.

Simply, God loves us like a perfect Father loves his son. He knows what we need, we need not repeat mantra and penance to redeem ourselves. Just remember who He is.

I can remember feeling as though I had a heart of stone. Even though I would have said I was a good person, deep down I knew that I was missing something, that I was off the mark and hurting.

Now though, I see and feel more each day how God has changed me. When I remember and look back God shines large and mighty as the one true God, as the one who began this whole crazy thing called life. And when I remember who He is, it is a lot easier to know who I am. And that is Loved, by a Dad. One great and awesome Dad willing to do anything to get His children's hearts back.

Well sorry for the long post. But from here on I will try to update more frequently so as not to extend a little into a lot.

Love you all.

Ciao from Italy.

Monday, March 30, 2009

quick update, post soon with better description

Ok, here it goes.

Got to Rome! It was pretty awesome but I wish I had more time here, next time, next time.

Stayed in an awesome Hostel with people from all over the world. We cooked each night and I traveled with folks from Virginia, Boston and Hong Kong.

I met the recently retired diplomat from Israel...very funny. Yea he is friends with Nelson Mandela

Found couches to stay on in Florence! Actually outside of is going to be beautiful.

I saw so much in Rome that it is a bit overwelming, will have to spend time writing it all down.

Today I am off to Naples in the morning. They invented Pizza here. I am going to have lunch. Then I am off to Florence to stay for a few days. It is going to be wonderful. Then Venice. Then Switzerland. I get to learn to ski!

Ok that is about it for the re-cap. I saw the Colloseum and it was awe inspiring too. Photos soon.

God continues to provide. This hostel, couch surfing, great coffee and people everywhere to spend time with. If I step back and look at his provision I have to wonder why I ever worry!

Alright, to naples. Pizza is waiting.

Friday, March 27, 2009

haggling hotels and motorcycle adventure

Currently: Cinque Terre Region, Italy. 2 days
Next up: Roma, Italy.
Well hello and Buongiorno from Italy. The last few days have been crazy. I got to tour the French Rivera by motorcycle! With the gentleman I couchsurfed with we road the coast during a beautiful day. The best part of couchsurfing is that you get to meet local people and experience local life void of typical tourism. I had the best meal I have had in a while.

motor-gorn, french style

Long story short, do not trust a French train station information attendant. They could for instance tell you a train exisits at the next stop for your desired destination when in reaity one did not appear for eight hours. Yep, eight, one more than seven and less than nine. Luckily though I other lost Americnas and local characters to bid my time. Five in the morning never could come quicker than this past morning.

Currently I am in the "five terras" region. I would put my photos up but lets be real, they would not do justice. So do yourself a favor, google Cinque Terra and click on images. This is where I will be sleeping tonight. After some haggling I was able to find a great single hotel room for less than half the price. If even has a shower, which when compared to the number of times I have showered thus far, is cause for celebration.

Once again, God sends people to lighten my heart and renew my spirit. Today at five in the morning a random Christian man came up to me and started talking to me. I do not even know how he knew I spoke english. And after a sleepless night sitting on the beach God gave me sweet rest on the train. I ended up having almost an entire sleeper cabin to myself! Amazing. I sprawled out and sleep sold for a few hundres miles along the coast here.

More and more I am able to see how Jesus is supplying my every need. The sad thing is that I had to come here to begin to rely on God in more of the way we should everyday. Sometimes the very act of finding food or a train station is cause for prayer. Yet God has been taking care of me his often faithless foolhearty son.

The truth is that God cares much more for us than all of creation put together. If God takes care of the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, much more will he care for us his children. As I travel I see purpose put front row. Everywhere I go people are living for one thing or another. Each country I go to I see the same disatisfied lives. People are all running, all around the world, after joy and peace but save Jesus come up empty.

God has given me opportunities to talk about his love with every person I have stayed with thus far. I pray that my words are backed by his spirit. Please pray that God continues to use me and give me a humble spirit conscious of my reliance on his grace and provision.

God knows every hair on our heads. This understanding requires active response. It also lets us sleep at night knowing our lives rest firmly in the hands of a God that is much greater than any problems of this world.

Enjoy some photos. Welcome to Italy. I am super pumped for great pizza.

Nice, France

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dear France, au revoir.

Well the time has come. I should be leaving France tomorrow. First off I am excited because the keyboard here are different. Typing takes much longer. It beco,es qt leqst ,ilkdly qnooying. (that was typing as if on a normal keyboard)

The past few days have been a whirlwind. I spent time visiting Normandy, the region where the D-Day invasion happened. I saw the American cemetery, battered German emplacements, Omaha Beach and the site where the American Rangers had to climb 150 foot tall cliffs. It was awe inspiring for me to be where so many men my age gave their lives for the sake of an ideal. Every step taken by allied forces pushed liberation one step closer to the oppressed and imprisoned. The type of man created in those times of turmoil does not often exist today. Plus, it was just awesome to see the impact of naval bombardments, even 70 years later. Photos to follow.

I was not only kindly hosted by a French couple in Caen but I was invited out to meet many of their friends, most of whom spoke at least some English. They were very warm and welcoming to me making me feel right at home. I also spent a whole day traveling again with two random Americans. We met in Bayeaux. This is the city closest to the D=Day invasion sites as an entity. Chris, another one, is from South Dakota and Richard is from Atlanta.

Personally this was a point of praise for me. I have been praying that God would encourage my spirit and send believers for me to spend time with. Once again God is so faithful. Meeting Richard at the hotel where our tour was based I find out that he is a strong believer. His family could not come so just Richard traveled this time. It was such a blessing being about to be encouraged in faith by an older Christian. And in of all places, Caen, France! God is truly good.

Today I am in Nice, pronounced neece. I met the Mediterranean today. He is nice. One thing is for sure, people here are terrible at skipping rocks. Perhaps there is a business opportunity here for Americans to come teach French people how to throw a rock in the water. I know it would be more outsourcing but perhaps in could help the economy somehow.

After a wonderful French dinner at a hidden local restaurant and some Gelato I am ready to go to bed. The folks I am staying with tonight, Julian and Maria, have been more then kind. I like them a lot. Everywhere I seem to meet the most wonderful people. Tomorrow may include crossing the Alps on my way to Italy, who knows.

I promise that my next post will be much more full of witty quips and funny stories but I will leave the communist rallies and clothes wearing dogs for next time.

Meeting the Mediterranean

My backpack home.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Paris = done town, USA

Well here I am, tired, smelly and ready for sleep. Paris has been a whirlwind. I have a lot of new friends. These past three days have introduced me many people I hope to keep in contact with for a long while. Couchsurfing is proving to be more than expected. Sharing life with these folks means seeing the cities for their true selves and having insight and advice to the musts and must nots.

I am learning some key phrases in French. Very important. So far I can say "Hello. Pardon me but my French is not very good. Do you speak English? Thank you." This phrase has allowed me passage to the very rarely viewed nice side of Parisians. They can be nice, you just have to search a bit.

I have spent the past three days traveling by foot through
Paris with two other guys. Chris, from Philly, and Graham from the UK. Both are great guys to spend time with. Both are traveling solo as well. Yesterday we covered everything from the Eiffle Tower to the Notre Dame capping the day off with a sunset from the best view in the city. Cobble stone street with espresso cafes have been breakfast and an afternoon rest. Paris is wonderful. Today, after the Louvre, seeing the Mona Lisa and friends, we went to a Paris CouchSurfers picnic at a castle. This may be the most amazing place I have ever been. This park/garden/lawn was massice and beautiful. It was almost like a dream. We played frisbee, drank coffee and ate french pastries.

: Metric system: not bad. Celcius Temperature readings: so annoying.

Tomorrow I am off to Caen. I will see where the American Allied forces landed during D-Day. This is a part of my trip I have been looking forward to for years.
Please pray that God continues to encourage my heart and give me the right words to speak. People here all seem to be searching for something. Jesus is the only answer that will bring joy and purpose. Those seem to be two things lacking so far. Here is where I am at, tomorrow is where I will be. I hope to show photos.

Things I miss. (the now to be semi-regularly updated list)

1. The universally understood knowledge of the awe inspiring nature of KU Basketball.

2. The ability of people to play sports that involve throwing, not kicking.

The Louvre's newest and best sculpture.

Coolest place i have every thrown a Frisbee.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

London, France...yeah, underpants.

So here I am. I wish I had updated yesterday in London. It was wonderful. I spent the evening eating Japanese food cooked by a Kenyan family living in London. Go ahead, reread that if you need.

Hopefully I will be able to give a bit more detail soon but here are some highlights. London was great. The Queen and I played frisbee at Westminster Abbey and then went for a walk. Minus the Queen and frisbee that is exactly what happened. Big Ben, pretty cool but Ben wasn't there.

Note to self: British folk drive on the other side of road, easy to remember, hard to put into practice, almost got killed by an upset in-a-hurry cabbie. Also true, all Brits wear scarves, smoke pipes and carry umbrellas reguardless of the weather. Well, almost universal.

-Trains are much more comfy than planes.

-Chunnul, really a 20 min. long tunnel. Still fun, a bit over rated.

Right now, I am sitting on the top floor balcony or a Paris apartment overlooking the city. I am a three minute walk from the Eiffle Tower. Wonderful. I will be here three days.

Well, bed time and more gorning to do. Look out Paris, lets play.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ready, set, go!

Today is the day. My next post will be from London rather than Dustin's living room. Please pray for my safe travel. I get to stay with a wonderful family from London and I hope to cook a meal for them. Perhaps breakfast for dinner? Maybe a stir fry?

Here we go.