Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Michael's Section

Michael’s first post!!!!!

Well Brian has somehow done a pretty good job keeping this blog going with fairly frequent updates, not really sure where he finds the time, especially with always having to go on adventures to find the internet. Now that we have easy internet access I guess I have no excuse not to contribute a little bit.

So far this trip has been pretty awesome!!! Sure getting all our luggage lost for a week, and having to race on rental bikes was a little annoying, and by a little annoying I mean it kind of blew. Oh well though, at least we got to spend those days hiking around in the Pyrenees (which are awesome mountains), and driving the scenic drive to Barcelona and back.

Andorra

Andorra was awesome, Brian has done a pretty good job filling you in on that one. We had a great time. The place can get a bit overwhelming at times being such a bustling city, but the mountains were pretty spectacular, and one gondola ride puts you up above all the chaos on to one of the coolest bike parks around.

Barcelona

From Andorra we traveled back to Spain again, a few wrong turns later, we found ourselves right in the middle of the city center, a nice reward for having almost no clue how to navigate the ridiculously confusing highway system. We drove right past a bunch of the big monuments and squares with all the giant statues and what not, I recognized a bunch of I from the trip I took to Spain back in High School. We explored around there driving down random roads for a while, half just checking things out, and half having absolutely no Idea which way was the right way to go. Eventually we made our way back out of the city and south toward the airport, we found ourselves the cheapest hotel room we could, (TIP, when traveling with a group of five tell the hotel people you have 2-3 and hide the others while your there, seeing as they charge per head, and we don’t mind sleeping on the floor we find ourselves doing this quite often. Our day off in Spain was pretty rad. After finding the hotel room and unloading all the luggage off the roof of the car we got ourselves some food and headed to the beach to relax for a few hours. I hadn’t been to a real beach in six years I think, and seeing as I spend almost every day in the mountains I was looking forward to this. I would of stayed out there all day but unfortunately we still needed to deal with getting our luggage back.

The Fiasco

Not really an exciting read but this is how it all went down. If you get bored reading as I do I would skip to the next part.

So Brian and I both did a pretty good job I think not freaking out about our lost luggage, and bikes, I’m pretty sure about 99 percent of the people in this world would not of handled things quite so well. I guess that just the way the two of us go about life though, getting all worked up about things and letting it ruin your day, doesn’t make anything any better.

With that said though, I was still pretty frustrated with dealing with the airline people, they were full of nothing but promises and never delivered. Now wanting to do nothing but hang out on the beach, Brian and I headed back to the Airport. My 3rd time there in less then a week. After talking the guys at the car rental lot into letting us park there, we headed in. We had lost the paperwork needed to clear security to get to the lost baggage people (and by we I mean Brian), so after dealing with a bunch of unhappy people, me speaking poor Spanish and them speaking poor English. I got in, Brian was cut of and had to wait. After a half hour of phone calls, they tell me the luggage will hopefully arrive back to the airport sometime the next day. I in no way believed them after they had failed to come through everyday for the last week, but we hoped this time things would work out. The next day we went back to the air port again early. I worked my way through security with the right paper work this time. I get the the office, they call around and now tell me that the baggage wont be back now for 3-4 days, from what it sounded like it was close to the airport, but this is how much time it takes them to get stuff checked back into there system, After letting them know as nicely as I could that this was completely unacceptable, and how bad they were messing up our vacation due to the contents of the luggage, they were able to make a few more phone calls and that 3-4 days turned into 1 hour. Funny how that works. They send us to some back office across the street from the main terminal, I guess this is there way of getting around the check in time, and soon a truck pulls up with all of our stuff, and surprisingly undamaged. Needless to say we were quite relieved to have our stuff back and to finally get on with our trip.

Scottland

Traveling to Scotland was a breeze. All our luggage arrived so already we were about a million percent ahead of last week. The Train ride up to Ft William was absolutely gorgeous. This time last year I didn’t think Scotland was a place I’d get to anytime in the near future, so all in all it was pretty awesome to be there. I’d say so far from all the traveling I’ve done it is definitely up there amongst my favorites. Racing there as well was on another level. The locals are so into the sport, and the atmosphere was awesome. Oh yeah, and they have this Bannana Milk there which is basically like the best stuff ever put in a bottle.

France

Now were in France, I was hoping to do a little better recap on my thoughts of the trip so far but its getting late and I want to get some sleep as we will ride all day tomorrow.

The riding here is really good, and from what it sounds like we have just scratched the surface. We’ve somehow managed to find ourselves a place to stay in this really nice chalet. We were wandering around on the streets and asked a random dude on the street riding a bike if he had any recommendations on where to stay around here he made a phone call and set us up with this guy named Simon who owns this place.

Its off season right now and the place isn’t technically open, there are two other guys more or less living here for the Summer and then the caretaker. So 7 of us total living in this huge place. So basically its like were staying in our own private mansion.

Lots more to talk about but I’m going to bed, more to come tomorrow, and hopefully lots of sweet photos.

1 comment:

barb buell said...

Was wondering when you would be getting a word or two in of your own!Hope you guys keep checking all your comments, I see some added onto previous dates. Yes, Dad has told everyone he knows about this and I've also shared the site too.You may not have gotten my e-mail warning Brian of it,or anyone else who contributes.What color are your new jerseys?On the racemsc home page Gene Hamilton has a write up about Kain Leonard qualifing to race in Italy too.Sounds like a fantastic time, and wow,how you lucked into the accomadations.Hope it goes as smoothly in Italy?When do you head there?Thanks for all the info, love to read everything you can think of to write.Love,Mom