David and Lili's World Tour

EUROPE

September 2004 - London, England

London is possibly the most-expensive city on Earth. "Cheap" rooms start at USD $60 - more evidence that the world's currency exchange rates are sometimes wacko. I love the fact that London is a grand multi-cultural city, where it is common to hear any language other than English. This is a really cool city and visiting is worth the extra pounds, especially when staying with friends instead of hotels. I've been living out of a flat with my old friend LILI plus two other Brazilian women and a bloke named Bob. I came here to visit LILI and other friends: Valentin and Tonia (whom I met in India) plus Stephen and Ela (whom I met in Moscow). Valentin is a tattoo artist, and I gave him a chance to practice his craft!

Editor's note: This is where LILI enters DAVID and LILI'S World Tour :-) We met in Brazil at her sister's wedding in 2002 (photos). This website used to be called David's World Tour, but now Lili is on board for the duration :-)

September 2004 - Paris, France

Bon Jour! Paris is chic. Paris has been on my travel list since forever. Paris has the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. At every turn there's another cool statue, cafe, or something interesting. Of course, it's Paris! It's great to finally be here, and with a free place to stay, too (thanks to my Brazilian friend Elida's friend Dani). Mostly we enjoyed the local's city, with parties in the flat and nights on the town. Magnifique!

August 2004 - European Road Trip (Part 1)

Arriving from Indonesia, I spent five hours in Paris, just long enough to walk to the Eiffel Tower and then enjoy an expensive cappucino at an outdoor cafe... I had a train to catch, to Angers to meet my friends from India, Petite Nat, Jerome and Malba. It was a nice reunion! We went camping in the countryside with other friends, then straight on to Spain and the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, five nights of full-power music on four stages. Everyone says that this is the best music festival in Europe. I believe it. The Spanish understand very well the meaning of the word fiesta.

I speak French every day. My group has another guy who speaks Spanish, and a girl who speaks English, so I usually have a living dictionary handy. I'm able to have a conversation, but my pronunciation has a long way to go. That's the way it is around here: young Europeans communicating in whatever language works best. Camping with them is radically different from the tourist program. After a year in Asia, Europe reminds me of the USA. But I think Europe is more interesting, with the pressing influences of many cultures, and a deeply rooted history. It's time to go hit the beach. Not exactly Bali, but it'll do :-)

August 2004 - European Road Trip (Part 2)

My brain was getting tired from trying to speak French all the time (I am much more comfortable with Spanish), so with one week to kill before the Boom Festival in Portugal, I made a side trip to Barcelona. What a great city! I was impressed. I saw Fahrenheit 911 (in Spanish). Earth to America: Get rid of Bush! If you're not registered to vote, get on it now, please.

I met my French friends again in Cáceres, Spain, a city with a well-preserved Medieval quarter. We took siestas during the day and went out for the fiestas. Then we went to The Boom. The music, Goa Trance, was not as interesting as the variety found at Benicàssim, but the atmosphere made up for it. For the record, I have grown to like alternative electronic music (often called "techno"), if produced by talented musicians; the good stuff is great dance or chill-out music. But I prefer old-fashioned instruments.

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