December 24th, 2010
by Kobi

This is the last posting of Wanderlust, coincidentally on Christmas Eve.  My travels are at an end for now and hence I am putting Wanderlust on hold until my next big trip which hopefully won’t be too long from now. You’re going to have to mosey on over to 390nm if you want to keep getting a glimpse of my photographs.

My time spent in Europe has been unbelievably good. I feel that I have learned more about the world in the past few months than I do in 5 years living at home. The people I have met and the things I have experienced have been absolutely life changing. Some of the best people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, I met during this period of my life. The only downside is the inevitable goodbye that had to happen. Over the past month people have been heading off to their respective homes, and being one of the last people to leave, I had to watch them go. Naturally, this sucked a great deal. My only consolation is that I hope to do a European reunion tour as soon as possible.

This photo is from the last full night I spent in Brno. I’m glad Nina and George were there to show me off. The last words I shall post come from the great J.R.R. Tolkien who states that “Not all those who wander are lost”. I wholeheartedly agree.

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December 23rd, 2010
by Kobi

Well I’m back from Belgrade. It was a pretty swell trip. We stayed at a hostel named The Chillton. The excellent punnery gave me a chuckle. Other highlights include eating a kilogram of meat at a restaurant that opened in 1823, checking out the largest Orthodox church in the world,  walking on what may have been an active mine field and going to see Nikola Tesla’s ashes.

Oh we also climbed on old Soviet tanks.Here’s that big ol’ church I was telling you about. A bartender and her daughter that we met at a nearby establishment showed us around. It was fun. If you look closely you can see my travel companions Robbie Bishop, Ciara Capozzi and Jaden Fedorová.The day before we left for Belgrade, I helped my good friend Ksenija cut down a Christmas tree and hoist it up to her balcony (which is somewhere around 10 metres from the ground) using an ingenious clothes-line rope.  We then decorated said tree as well as made wreaths. It was fun. Note that Ksenija herself took this photo of our captured prey.Oh right, I lied earlier. I’m not ‘back’ from Belgrade because I have yet again left Brno. The only difference is this time it’s permanent. I’m writing this from the Wien airport, starting the trip that will return me to to Canada. For those of you who live in a box, the weather all over Europe has been messing with flights pretty bad so there is a decent chance I’m going to be spending Christmas in the Frankfurt airport. Wish me luck.

This also means that last night was my last in Brno with all of the amazing friends I have made over the past several months. I shall be posting tomorrow for a special edition of Wanderlust centered upon how difficult it was to say goodbye to everyone.

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Serbian Nights

December 17th, 2010
by Kobi

Since I am in Belgrade for the weekend, I shall not be posting on Sunday. Instead I am posting a photo that has nothing to do with my trip.

This is Louise Magliano. She is from Rome and is an amazing dancer.

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December 16th, 2010
by Kobi

Schedule for this ongoing week:

Saturday – Study. Write a paper till 3:30 AM

Sunday – Study

Monday – Write two exams. Study

Tuesday – Write two exams. Study

Wednesday – Write an exam. Study

Thursday – Write an exam. Study I don’t have to write my Thursday and Friday exams. It’s a Christmas Miracle!

Friday – Write an exam. Bus to Vienna. Fly to Belgrade

Pictured is Adam Lewis, Robbie Bishop and myself up till 5:30 AM studying for our Czech exam on Tuesday. I would not recommend doing this.

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Party Portraits

December 12th, 2010
by Kobi

Well friends, turns out that for this week I am busier than a monkey in a banana plantation. I have 5 exams in a 72 hour period. This period starts tomorrow morning. I also have a paper to polish off. I am not looking forward to this.

On Thursday I was slacking from my homework by helping out some friends shoot a zombie film in our dormitory. This included standing outside for somewhere around 45 minutes in a t-shirt. I didn’t realize when I agreed to this that it was somewhere around -10 degrees with 20-30 km/h winds. Unpleasant.

Anywho, one of the scenes included a rather large party. I took the following photos during said party. This is Anna, you may remember her from my Krakow post. If you look carefully you can see a solitary dreadlock among the rest of her hair. I think it is awesome.Next up is my friend Stavros from Athens. If there were one expression that I wish I could replicate, it is this one.

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Scavenger Hunt

December 8th, 2010
by Kobi

I am ridiculously busy with exams and paper so super short post today. Here is a photo from a scavenger hunt a few weeks ago. I think I stole it from Ksenija but I cannot be sure. I have no idea where I stole this from as Ksenija has informed me that it was not her photo. Weird. Sometime ask me about this in person, there is a decent story to it but I don’t have time to write about it now.  Pictured from left to right is Robbie Bishop, Russel Murray, Asa Holley and myself, Kobi Thomson. Oh PS – I feel less bad about stealing this because this is what it originally looked like.

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Snowballs and Blue Skies

December 5th, 2010
by Kobi

Last night we had an enormous snowball fight in the courtyard in front of my dormitory. This courtyard is somewhat visible in the bottom of the bottom photo of this post. Between 40 and 60 people showed up which was absolutely epic. A shoutout to Ksenija for organizing this delightful romp. I don’t have any photos from this but I know Ksenija bravely toughed out the fight with her trusty camera by her side. Perhaps there will be a guest photo by her if she is so kind as to lend me her intellectual property. She was indeed awesome so here is a group photo. By this point a lot of people had left and thus it is not a good indicator of actual participation rates but I still like it. Since I have no photos of the snowball fight, I dug through some photos from early on in the semester. I found this shot out of my window that I took one of the first days of living in Brno. I had to post it for the severe juxtaposition with Wednesday’s post. Too bad the angles were not a bit closer. Completely off the topic of myself and Europe in general, I recently came across this short film by a friend of mine, Pravin Narsing. If you are ridiculously perceptive you will have noticed his Flikr account linked to on Wanderlust’s sidebar. This is because he is a photographer who puts my skills to absolute shame. I highly recommend you give his film a watch and his photos a browse through. You will not be disappointed.

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Snobody Hates Winter

December 1st, 2010
by Kobi

I had the delight of experiencing my first Brno snow a few days ago. I really am enjoying it as it reminds me of the cold winter days of my youth. Similar to the interior of British Columbia, the snow is crisp and dry as opposed to the thick slop that falls upon Vancouver Island. It is currently dumping quite severely.

This shot I took 15 minutes ago. I feel rather bad for that lone office worker. I imagine it’s quite gloomy inside that building right now.  After class yesterday, myself and two friends decided to make an impromptu trip to Brno’s crypt. Now as you may recall, I’ve seen my fair share of dead folk, from Kutna Hora’s Bone Church to the Parisian Catacombs, but Brno’s crypt still managed to make a rather substantial impact. Whereas my previous experiences with crypts involved bodies stripped right to the bone, Brno’s crypt included people with skin and flesh left on them. After 300 or so years pretty much everything was a indescribable rotting gray colour which was both fascinating and mildly nauseating. Unfortunately, seeing as the trip was unplanned I didn’t have my camera with me and thus there are no photos to post.

I’m tired and have more studying to do than I’d like to admit so once again this week’s Wanderlust is cut short. This is not really what I intended with the creation of Wanderlust; I wanted to write more stories and post less photos than it’s 390nm counterpart but exam period has resulted in a lack of time to write elaborate tales of whimsy. Oh well, here’s a shot of my friends Karin Carlson and Jessica Lee Sanders to pacify you.

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November 28th, 2010
by Kobi

I couldn’t sleep the other night so at 2:30 I grabbed my old photo-capturing friend and headed out from my room. Unfortunately it was, according to some Spanish folk I ran into in the hall, ‘even too cold for Canadians’ outside so I was confined to my residence building.

This first shot is a self portrait lit by an emergency light that’s always on in the corner of a common room. The second photo is the hallway outside my 4th floor room.

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Getting Polish Up in Here

November 24th, 2010
by Kobi

Well folks, I’m back from Poland. It was a very awesome trip despite the six hour ride in a disturbingly stuffy bus each way. The Polish have been some of the friendliest people I have met in Europe thus far. Most of our time was spent in Krakow, but we also visited Wieliczka and Auschwitz. Krakow was super cool and we got to see a bunch of places where scenes from Schindler’s list was filmed. One of the girls we were traveling with happened to run into a McDonalds to use the washroom. This is what it looked like.There was also some really cool stuff such as Nicolaus Copernicus’ house and some less cool stuff such as a legend of the Wawel Dragon. It’s not that this legend wasn’t interesting, it was just that it was repeated to us so many times I almost would have preferred listening to a Justin Beiber song rather than hearing the story one more time. Almost.

The organizer of this trip happened to bring her dog. This dog got her own seat on the bus and came pretty much everywhere with us. Pictured is her sitting in Wawel Castle which apparently cost somewhere around 2 billion present day Euros to build.Next up is Anna Antal from Hungary, chillaxing outside of the aforementioned Castle.On Sunday we headed up to Wieliczka where we toured a salt mine that has been operating since the 13th century. This makes it the 13th oldest company still in operation. This mine was one of the most incredible sights of my life. I cannot do it justice in words or photos. The mine is absolutely huge, being around 300 km long and reaching a depth of 327 metres. As the tour guide said ‘if somebody gets lost, it usually takes around a year to find them’. There are statues and carvings throughout the entire place and the walls, the floors, the statues, the ceilings are all carved from rock salt. If you rub your hand on a wall and lick your fingers you can taste the salt.

The closest thing I can think that anybody could relate to is the Mines of Moria from Lord of the Rings. I mean honestly, check this out. This is a cathedral around 130 metres underground. You can even get married here.This mine helped make Poland rich in the 1500’s as a barrel of salt was worth enough to buy an entire village.

You may have noticed I have taken Frowntown down for now. This is because I have been having some major problems with the coding I was using to display the photos. Frowntown will have a reunion tour once I can manage to get it working properly again.

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