Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bike Trip Photos: California

For me, the best part of the trip was cycling through the redwoods on July 4th, just north of Orick, CA. There was almost no traffic on this part of the route, and it was even slightly downhill. Here are some pictures of Ryan being dwarfed by the trees:

Soon after the redwoods, we hit the northern part of Highway 1, which was the hardest part of the trip for me. The weather wasn't cooperating, so we had a headwind most of the time. And in addition, this section of the route has lots of small hills, so we were never able to relax at all.

But we eventually reached San Francisco, which was an awesome feeling. (I actually think that was more exciting than reaching Mexico!) Just before crossing the bridge, we saw this depressing sign which told us that we had another 778 miles to go. Fortunately, the sign was talking about the Coastal Trail, and we only had 700 miles left.

After stopping in Berkeley for two days, we headed back out to tackle Big Sur. After completing the northern coast, Big Sur was pretty easy. Here's Ryan at Hurricane Point:

At Pfeiffer Big Sur, we didn't need the tent; we just slept out under the trees. It was pretty awesome.

But the next night, we stayed in the best campsite of the whole trip, at Kirk Creek Campground. Our campground was on the edge of a cliff, right above the ocean. So cool.

Here's Ryan, at the top of the last hill of Big Sur. From here to Mexico, the route was mostly flat, with just one more big hill (the one just north of Gaviota).

If you're a fan of Arrested Development, then you'll understand why we had to stop at a banana stand on Balboa Island, in Newport Beach.

And finally, after 2140 miles, 37 days of cycling, and 4 rest days, we reached Mexico! I was happy just to look at the border, but Ryan felt that he had to go stick his foot (and his bike) across it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Bike Trip Photos: Oregon

I still haven't posted pictures from most of our bike trip, so I'm going to try to catch up on that. In this post: pictures from Oregon.

Here's an example of one of our campsites, at Sunset Bay State Park. Here I am, dutifully cooking breakfast, while Ryan is off taking photos. Thanks for the help, Ryan! Just kidding, breakfast was always really easy, since it was just oatmeal.

Here's Ryan snacking on some blackberries that he found on the side of the road.

And here are a couple of Ryan's pictures. Even bicycles get tired sometimes!

Here we have Ryan letting out some of his energy on the beach at Harris Beach State Park, our last stop in Oregon:

And finally, I leave you with a selection of pictures of the beautiful Oregon coastline:

Friday, November 2, 2007

Salamanca, Daytime

Okay, time for a photo tour of Salamanca!

First of all, here's the view from the balcony of the apartment where I live. Since it's on the top floor, it has a terraza overlooking the city. From here, it's about a 10-minute walk to the Plaza Mayor, which is the heart of the city, and a 15-minute walk to school.

The walk to school is a pretty nice way to wake up in the morning. This is the main street that we take, with the Universidad Pontificia at the end.

We also pass the Convento de las Ursulas (which rents out some of its building to a popular nightclub called Camelot):

And the Iglesia de la Purisma:

But the most stunning sight in Salamanca is the cathedral. You see it over and over again as you walk around the city. From a garden near the cathedral:

From the Puente Romano:

And from the University of Salamanca:

The cathedral and the university both have amazingly facades, and each one has something hidden in its facade: on the university, it's a frog, and on the cathedral, it's an astronaut. (The frog has been around for a long time, I think, but the astronaut is obviously a recent addition.) Here's part of the cathedral's facade:

And the plaza in front of the university, with its facade:

Another building which shows up time and time again in Salamanca is the Convento de San Esteban:

Salamanca also has tons of fountains and statues sprinkled around the city. Unfortunately they're not usually labeled, so I don't know what they are. The last statue is supposed to be a bull, but I think that someone cut its head off in the past year or so...

And finally, the Plaza Mayor during the day, without the giant pumpkin in the middle: