After staying in Venice for a few weeks it was finally time for me to begin my journey back to the US of A. I rode a bus all the way from Venice to Fiumicino, which is a town in Rome, where the Leonardo da Vinci Airport is. I stayed one night in Rome at the Hilton Rome Airport hotel. It was really nice for an airport hotel. Unfortunately I didn’t get to my hotel till late that night so I didn’t really have time to find a shuttle to take me into town to explore. So I decided to go to the hotels bar and grab my self a little nightcap. I also had to wake up early in the morning for my flight so it’s probably smart that I stayed in that night.

Fiumicino Airport

I was not looking forward to my plane ride home. My flight left Fiumicino at 7:30 am. It stopped in Ice land, Boston, and then Colorado. So yeah, I had a huge day ahead of me. Plus my flight doesn’t get into Colorado till 3am and going from Europe to Mountain Time is quite a big change for ones body. Oh and did I forget to mention that when I landed in Denver I had a four hour drive ahead of me to Grand Junction.

 

I bet you are wondering why my final destination is Colorado and not Seattle. That’s because I’m meeting up with my good friend Rob Wilson. I’m going to be working for him at his window tinting shop, Grand Junction Window Tinting. So I can save up some more money for more adventures across the ocean. Rob and I both went to school at University of Washington. The both of us also dropped out of college together as well. I left school to travel and he left to start his own window tinting business, which he has been doing quite well actually. Business has really been expanding for him and he’s started to build a good reputation around town.

 

Colorado was so much fun! It was my first time ever being there and I loved it. I arrived there in February, which was perfect because the mountains were covered in snow and I love snowboarding. I grew up going to Crystal Mountain in Washington. I worked five days a week for Rob and snowboarded every weekend at Powder Horn. Some people will rag on Powder Horn because it’s a smaller mountain than Aspen, Keystone, or Vail. But I really enjoyed it because the snow was good; it only took me 30 minutes to get there, and it wasn’t as packed as the other mountains. Occasionally I would make trips to Aspen or Telluride.

Powder Horn

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After I spent the summer of 2014 in England I flew back home to Seattle. I was back again to work at the Four Seasons, Seattle and stock up on some cash for my next adventure. Except this time I wasn’t working as a pool boy again. My old manager had a full staff at the time, so he wasn’t able to offer me a position, but he said he would ask the restaurant manager of the Goldfinch Tavern, which is the restraint in the hotel, if he had anything available. I waited around about a week for my manger call me back. Monday my phone rang and it was my old manager calling to relay the good news that he had been able to find me something at the Goldfinch. The restaurant manager had recently had to let go a server and was in need for a temporary one for a few months, so I was the perfect guy. So there I was back in the working trenches. Just trying to make that money to get me out of the states again.

 

As always I really enjoyed my time working at the Four Seasons. After two weeks of working at the Goldfinch I received my first pay check, which was much larger than my check as a pool attendant, so I was very happy I landed the serving job instead. Plus when I worked at the pool all of the tips were pulled and split amongst the whole staff. Making tips not as good as they could have been, but at the Goldfinch all I had to do was tip out the buss boy, other than that I got to keep my tips for myself, I averaged $150 to $200 a night in tips. Which is much greater than the pool. Since I was making much more money as a server than I was working at the pool I was able to save up enough money for my trip much faster.

 

It had been two and a half months of working at the Goldfinch, when I was serving a man by the name Daniel, who told me of his recent travel in the Czech Republic. Right away I was interested in his story. He told of the wonders and beauty in that country. I too shared my story and the amazing places I have been. We talked for hours giving each other advice on places to visit, which hotels to stay. Daniel then told me that he owns an apartment in Prague, which he stays in when he’s there and that I could stay there whenever I wanted to, all I have to do is ask. That’s when a light bulb went off in my head; “I’m leaving in two weeks to Prague”. I told Daniel I wanted to be there as soon as possible, he said, “all right ill let my building know and make the arrangements”. I gave my manger a two weeks notice and booked my tickets that night. I was so excited to be finally traveling again. The whole time I was home I was craving an adventure and couldn’t decide where to go next. I decided I was only going to be in Prague for a couple weeks and then come back home to work again.

 

It was ending of October when I boarded my flight for Czech Republic. I landed in the Václav Havel Airport Prague early morning. Flying over Europe was gorgeous! I hopped on a shuttle to get to the Luxury Prague Apartments, located in the heart of Prague right by the Vlatava River. Its location was perfect for exploring the city. The apartment was nicely furnished and roomy. With a beautiful balcony, over looking the city.

View of Prauge at night

The next day I walked around the city visiting historic landmarks. I walked across the beautiful Charles Bridge. I was surprised to read that the bridge has been around since 1402. The bridge held many unique old design and style of bridge building. Its definitely been remodeled and repaired over the years, but it still held its original look. After seeing the bridge I took a stroll through the Old Town Square of Prague. Many historic buildings surround the Old Town Square. Some of these buildings are the Old Town Hall (which is famous for its old astronomical clock), St. Nicholas Church, Tyn Church, and Kinsky Palace. As you know from my previous post my favorite thing to do is observe old historic buildings. So I had tons of fun in the Old Town Square.

Old Town Square

 

 

One of my favorite buildings in the town square was definitely the Old Town Hall, because of its beautiful astronomical clock. For those of you who don’t know an astronomical clock is a clock with special dials and gismos allowing it to track the position of sun, moon, constellations, and some major planets. The Old Town Hall clock is the oldest astronomical clock to be still operating.

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Summer time in England was marvelous! Coming from a winter in Colorado, it was nice to finally get some warm summer sun.

 

London is broken into three major parts. There is the West End, City of London and the East End. I booked a room London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale, which is located in the City of London. Its location was perfect because it put me right in thick of things. If I wanted to go anywhere special it wasn’t too long of a journey. The hotel room was immaculate and the bed was so comfortable. Probably the best hotel bed I’ve ever slept on. My room was located on the eighth floor, which isn’t too high, but it gave me a good view the buildings around me. Nighttime was beautiful to just sit by the window with a nice glass of wine and watch the city lights.

 

Ok now on to the adventures. The first place I visited in London was the Natural History Museum, London. The museum was so beautiful; the architecture of the building was probably the pretties I’ve seen for a museum. I liked its medieval style arches and ceilings. For those of you who don’t know, the Natural History Museum exhibits a vast range of specimens from segments of natural history. I loved seeing all of the bones of dinosaurs, models of extinct animals, and learning about the history of the building and its specimens. I spent hours there just walking around taking in everything I possibly could.

My Natural History Museum,London

Inside of Museum

If you can’t tell by now I love visiting things of the past and learning about history. In high school one of my favorite classes was history. It was also one of the few classes I excelled in and received an A. I don’t really know why the subject captures me, but it does. I love learning about great wars of the past, the rise and fall of great kings and their empires. Math and history were the two classes that I would never have to study for a goof grade on the test.

 

Well back to the main subject of my post. So yes if you haven’t guessed I spent my whole first day at the Natural History Museum, London. The next place I visited was Buckingham Palace, which is the London residence and workplace for the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. The palace was so beautiful and the style of buildings architecture was so cool. My amusement of the day was finally seeing the Queens Guard, which are the sentry guards in red with the big poufy hats or helmet. These guards are not supposed to speak or interact with public when they are on guard. So I had some fun and tried an assortment of jokes and dances to make a guard life. If you asked the guard he will probably tell you he didn’t laugh, but I’m pretty sure I saw a smirk on his face. There two different types of Queen’s Guard. One is the House Hold Calvary, who mounted on horses and the other is the Queens Guard who are dismounted.

Pretty Palace

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Not too many people really enjoy long bus rides, but I actually like them. Gives me a chance to meet many interesting people. Everyone I met had a unique story to tell. I met a couple on the bus that was from Hawaii, craziest thing! I thought it was funny because before I even started talking to them I thought they looked Mexican or Asian, couldn’t really tell. But then they told me they were Hawaiian and I was surprised. Right away I bombarded them with millions of questions about their homeland, because Hawaii has always been a dream vacation for me ever since I was little. We talked for hours, I told them my whole story of how I got here, where I’m from, and which city I’m traveling to. I thought it was kind of funny that I met a couple of Hawaiians in the middle of Europe. I kept asking them, “What the heck are you doing out here?” or “Why would you ever want to leave a paradise like Hawaii?” They told me that they came from a small town and wanted to branch out and see more of the world, which I can totally relate to because that was one of the reasons why I was traveling too.

 

After a full day of traveling, I finally arrived in Venice. It had been a very long day for me. I woke up at five o’clock in the morning for my bus, which departed Basel, Switzerland at 6am. The bus had stopped a total of ten times before we arrived. We did not reach Venice until 12am.

 

I booked a room for one at the Hotel Falier. It wasn’t the biggest or the fanciest in Venice, but I still really enjoyed it. Their prices were reasonable and it was in the middle of town so that made it very convenient. I loved that the Falier was vintage and small, it had really nice cozy feeling to it.

 

The next day I woke up happy to be in Venice. I walked all around town catching boat taxi to boat taxi through the Grand Canal. Which was one of my favorite aspects of Venice. The Grand Canal is this large water highway of a million boats. Word of advice don’t ever go in the water. Its really really nasty and smells bad, which can get irritating sometimes. But I highly recommend going through the Grand Canal because it is really fascinating.

 

The first magnificent building I saw was Doge’s Palace. Which was established in 1340. Yeah, it’s super old, but it was so much fun. Out of all of the buildings I visited in Venice I would say Doge’s Palace was my favorite, due to its Venetian Gothic Style. For those who don’t really understand what that means, don’t worry neither did I before I took a tour of the palace. So visit the palace or look it up, haha. It pretty much is an old architectural style combining the use of lancet Gothic arch with Byzantine and Moorish architecture influence.

Outside of Doges Palace

Inside of Doges Palace

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So like I said in my bio, my journey starts with me working one summer and saving my money so I can travel in the fall. Before coming home from my last semester of college. I applied for a pool attendant position at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle. Once school was over I was asked to come in for an interview the following week. After multiple interviews I was hired. Thanks to my previous experience of working in restaurants it gave me a good fit for the job. What a positive way to start the summer with a good paying job that made it certain that I would have enough money to purchase my ticket to Europe.

 

I worked eight hours a day and five days a week. At first I loved my job. I made many good friends at work, met and served some very popular rich people. Not going to mention names, but if you have heard of King James of basketball you know whom I’m talking about. It was cool at first, but turns out he really thought he was king and treated everyone like it.

 

Then the middle of summer came and I was sick of my job. I hated being bossed around and disrespected by rich snooty people. If I or even my managers were blamed by a guest for something that wasn’t even our faults. We were trained to just nod our head and say sorry or find some way to make up for, “our mistake” by offering to pay for a drink, food, or even a new hotel room. This is exactly what I mean when I say I don’t want to be slave to my job. Life is too short to be sacrificing our youth to help others dreams become reality.

 

At the end of that summer I was very relived to reach the end of my employment. My last day of work was September 1st and my departure date for Switzerland was September 3rd. Wondering why I chose to start my journey in Switzerland? I don’t know its beautiful and cheapest flights I could fine. I was lucky to find a good deal on my tickets since I booked them months in advance. I booked a room at the Hotel Basel. It was a regular room for a week and I was very happy on the good deal I received on the room as well. The service at the hotel was really good and the food was delicious. The rooms were very nice and the bed was so comfortable. It was very close to the beautiful down town of Basel. So it was very convenient for me to walk around and explore.

Beutiful Basel

Basel had so many interesting places downtown. The first place I visited was the Fin Arts Museum (Kuntsmuseum). The art display was phenomenal. The Kuntsmuseum has a very good collection of all art genres and epochs. The museum was vast, you could easily spend a day or two walking around and appreciating the art. That’s exactly what I did I spent my whole first day there and even went back the next day for a few hours.

If you would like to know how I found out about these places check out (www.tripadvisor.com).

 

My Basel Munster experianceMy second day in Switzerland I visited the Basel Munster after revisiting the Kuntsmuseum. The Basel Munster is a cathedral built on a hill overlooking the Rhine. It was constructed between 1019 and 1500. So yeah, it’s pretty old. The Munster had red sandstone walls, colorful roof tiles and twin towers. The cathedral is very popular landmark to the city of Basel. So I highly recommend visiting it. Its definitely worth the trip, just every aspect of the build is amazing and so many history in the building, you would really appreciate it.

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My mapHello there, welcome to my new website called The Book A Hotel Europe. I just wanted to say, “Hello.” My name is Donald and I am a young world traveler. 

If you would like to learn more about my background, you can read my bio here. The purpose of this new site is to share my life journeys. I will be blogging about where my journey began, which is in Europe, other great places I have been to, people I have met along the way, and the personal growth I have had on this journey thus far.

To start I would like to say thank you for taking your time to read about my life. I hope that by writing these blogs I can be of some help to those seeking to explore and really get out there in the world to see what it has to offer. I once was in the same shoes as you. A young shy college student feeling like there was still too many experiences out there left untouched.

I’m really excited to share my experiences because I feel like people should learn that life doesn’t have to be just school, school, then job, wife, kids, grand children, and then die. I feel like society today has been programmed to think that things always have to be a certain way. That there is only black and white. No room for color, no room to explore and see what else life can offer.

I know, I know, I’m probably coming off to you as a hippie who gets by off scraps, but really I’m not. Through out my travels I manage to find work. Its not always the most promising job, sometimes it’s a job as little as waving a sign for a business. But hey I don’t complain money is money and sometimes it’s the little things that matter most. Don’t think I just skate by, begging and holding out signs everywhere that say, “Lost car and house, need money” I don’t believe in relying on others to help me.

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