Canned Butter

Category: Travel

Sleep When You Die #24 – Sydney, Australia

Sleep When You Die #24 image
Sleep When You Die #24 image

Time flies when you’re paying bills, and it’s been a long while since #23 in Granada, Spain. However, hard work has paid off, and I currently find myself down under in Sydney, Australia. What a city! Everyone is pleasant. There’s no litter anywhere. The urban green-spaces are each some sort of Terabithia. And everything I’ve eaten or drank has been top-notch on the ol’ palette. They even have custard creams!!!!! I love it here!

Keeping with my little tradition to forego sleep in lieu of a photo op, I slipped out into the calm AM darkness to hoof it up to the infamous Sydeny Opera House for the spilling of fresh light into a new day. It was so lovely I might do it again tomorrow morning. Sleep when you die, mates.

Sleep When You Die #23 – Granada, Spain

Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image

The Granada expedition requires two entries because it was just such a brilliant morning.

After the arduous ascent that I was not entirely prepared for in the early morning hours, I reached the Alhambra gates at 8:40am to find that there was quite a queue already started since the 8:30 opening. Weary with nothing better to do I joined this queue to practice that ever precious virtue, patience. The queue moved slow. Very slow. At 9am I had moved probably a mere 20 paces closer to admission when an announcement come over the P.A. first in Espanol and then English, “The tickets for the Palacio Nueva have sold out for the day. However, you may still purchase admission to the gardens.” There was a collective deflative “umph” from the queued crowd and some people instantly packed it in and headed out. I was rather exhausted and the prospect of walking back to town was not as attractive as simply hunkering down for a bit in a sort of standing repose.

The queue crawled on, and I had pulled out my sketch pad and was putting more time towards an El Greco from El Prado when I was approached by an middle-aged woman along with a her younger colleague. After over-coming the routine language barrier, I came to understand that these two women had an extra ticket to the very recently sold-out palace! They explained that they had booked their admissions 5 months prior, and the third person in their party could not be present. Wow.

Turns out, these two fabulous ladies were in Granada for the weekend to lecture at the local university as they were both doctorates of Philosophy. I made friends with them quickly needless to say, and I ended up spending an entire tour of the castle with these angels. It was a truly amazing stroke of fortune… like Athena herself intervened. That is how patience and I received entrance to one of the most epic displays of geometric pattern-design I will ever witness.

Sleep when you die!

Sleep When You Die #22 – Granada, Spain

Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image

This morning I awoke and left an hour before dawn in order to hike up a steep foothill that overlooks the majestic Alhambra Castle here in Granada. It was still dark as I scooted across the ancient and empty cobblestone streets to the trail that was to lead my way. After coming across the largest snake I’ve ever seen outside of a cage the prior afternoon on the same hill I was excited but cautious as I snuck through the lonesome, dark woods.

Once out of the woods new cautions came into consideration as the trail at times was either overgrown, really steep upon the rocky slope, or lead up to make-shift shelters that I preferred not to know who was sleeping inside them. The Native American came to the forefront within me. Senses all firing.


Sleep When You Die #21 – Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia - Gaudí image
Casa Batlló - Gaudí image
Casa Mila - Gaudí image

I was promised loads of sunshine! Well, I didn’t get much of that. I did get some great early morning snaps of a few brilliant buildings that Barcelona holds dear: La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, and Casa Milà. These three buildings were erected by one of the great visionaries in Spanish history: Antoni Gaudí. I stayed right across from the Mariana metro stop in northwest Barcelona so these three were in walking distance as I set out on this gloomy weekday morning to see the city in a much less bustling mood.

No one I talked to in Spain knew who Dr. Seuss was…
but I had to continuously make the comparison: the architectural equivalent of Dr. Seuss has to be Gaudí!

Sleep When You Die #20 – Dublin, Ireland

Sleep When You Die #19 - Dublin, Ireland image
Sleep When You Die #19 - Dublin, Ireland

I flew from San Francisco to Dublin yesterday, and I cannot for the life of me sleep on a plane. Maybe I need better medications in my life.

Before I took the time to calculate how many hours I had been up I was in the pub drinking a Guinness to commemorate the arrival. Needless to say I had no problem catching z’s last night.

This morning I was up at dawn and after sneaking down from my hostel top-bunk I hit the fresh dawn air and headed towards St. Patrick’s Cathedral to snap some photos. Dublin oddly enough reminds me a great deal of Portland for various reasons. There’s pubs everywhere. There’s a lot of bikes coming and going. The city is cut in half by a river. These are obvious.

Less obvious is that there really aren’t spectacular sights to see. You know, as in touristy things to do. Hell, when a brewery (in this case Guinness) is at the top of the list you know there isn’t a whole lot going on. This is actually a nice thing for me because then the culture takes precedence as a main attraction. Simply listening to people’s accents and conversation becomes a great thing to experience. Also, I walked around all morning and saw only ONE dog being walked! That was an amazing realization. I walked probably 5 miles in all and there was no dogs anywhere… let alone dogs on leashes and people talking bullshit about them. Huge win for Dublin!

Sleep When You Die #19 – San Felipe, Mexico

Sleep When You Die #19 - San Felipe, Mexico image
San Felipe Coastline image
San Felipe Geetars image
WIFI in San Felipe image
Dune Buggy in the Sand image

Along with a good friend I found myself in Mexico yesterday. We hauled is dune-buggy for some fun in the sand, sun, and mountains. The first morning I awoke near dawn and was greeted by the sea out back of our little beach bungalow.

I was blown away by the sleepy town on the Sea of Cortez. I’ve never been to a place quite as under developed as San Felipe and it was a paradise of sorts. Visiting a place like that really makes you realize how simple life can be and how complicated we can quickly make it. The Dos Equis went down one after another like water and the street tacos from our main man downtown filled our bellies three times a day. Talk about a simple paradise. I want more.

Sketchy in NYC

Lady Peel at the Frick Collection image
Lady in Gold Klimt at the Neueu Galerie
Picasso Bather Sketch at MoMA image
Picasso Gertrude Stein at the Met image

Go to the greatest galleries in the world and pass the time… this is how I like to live… how I connect with the past, live in the moment, and push on towards the future. Happy days.

MoMA Monet

Monet Water Lilies Perspective at MoMA image

Find a Monet, people, and stare into it until you can’t feel your feet, breathing deep and inhaling the luscious colour until you realize an afternoon has passed and you escaped time. There awaits God… or boredom!

Sleep When You Die #18 – New York City

Ethiopian Cuisine and Mobile Phones image

It’s the city that never sleeps, and I am exhausted. It was a birthday romp for me and most of my wishes came true with some unexpected bliss like singing a Bowie at a midtown karaoke, a Picasso sculpture exhibition at MoMA, finding the sacred custard creams in West Village, and eating brunch across from the mother from “The Wonder Years!” Bahaha

This morning I woke up early enough for this burnt out Down Under the Manhatten Overpass photo. The Dumbo neighborhood was my favorite. Amazing coffee at Brooklyn Roasting Co and sleepy cobblestone streets great for a wander on a lonely Sunday morning. Looking forward to a return for sure.

A Neutral Joke:

Switzerland Flag image

What is the greatest part about living in Switzerland?