The first leg of my trip is Morocco. Zac Mason and his parents and sister are picking me up at the Casablanca airport on Wednesday. Zac and I have been good friends since high school. He has spent the past year working on water construction projects in the Peace Corps in Mali and speaks French and Arabic.
June 9/June 10: NYC to London to Madrid to Casablanca
June 10: Casablanca. I’m pretty sure that the whole reason Zac wants to go to Casablanca is to go to Rick’s Cafe, it’ll be an interesting (and very American) first stop.
June 11: Casablanca to Rabat (the capitol of Morocco)
June 12: Rabat
June 13: Rabat to Fez
June 14/15: Fez
June 16: Fez to Chefchaouen (in the Rif Mountains)
June 17: Chefchaouen
June 18: Chefchaouen to Tangier
June 19: Zac takes the train to Casablanca to catch his flight to Mali. I take the ferry across the straight of Gibralter into Algeciras (Spain). From Algeciras, I’m taking a bus across the Costa del Sol of Spain to Malaga. Donde esta la autobus para Malaga? I’m hanging out on the beach in Malaga until June 22, when I fly to Copenhagen to see Jill.
June 19-22: Malaga, Spain.
June 22: Malaga to Copenhagen.
Jill and I have been friends since she brought me home before the 7th grade middle school dance. We spent countless nights playing Nintendo and raiding her Mom’s Costco-stocked pantry. Copenhagen has been a big part of Jill’s life for the past few years, and I’m excited to see her adopted homeland!
June 22-June 28: Copenhagen.
June 28th-July 11: Berlin, German/Bern, Switzerland/Zurich, Switzerland/Vienna, Austria. This part of my trip is a little sketchy. Basically I’m taking the train from Copenhagen to Switzerland via Germany. I’m meeting up with my D.C. roommate Andrea’s sister, Julia in Switzerland (Andrea and Julia are half Swiss). Julia has been living and working in Vienna for the past few months. The train from Copenhagen to Switzerland goes right through Germany. It seems silly to take the train right through a beautiful and unfamiliar country without stopping. I’d like to go to the Black Forest, but unfortunately I think that its too far out of the way. Berlin, however, is not entirely out of the way (via train).
July 11: Vienna (or wherever ) to Paris. There is a Kandinsky exhibit in Paris that I’d love to see. Kandinsky is part of my thesis (more on that later), and it would be helpful to see an exhibition on his work.
July 12: Paris
July 13: Paris to Barcelona. I’m staying with the Carabens, good friends of my parents from when they lived in Barcelona.
July 13-July 18: Barcelona.
July 18: Barcelona to Madrid.
July 19: Madrid.
July 20: Madrid to NYC (a direct flight!).
After I get home, I have about five days to relax and get over my jet lag. On July 25/26/27 the Snyder side of the family are all meeting in New Hampshire to hike in the Presidential Mountains. I’m leaving for Montana soon after that. My Dad and I are driving from New York to Chicago on or around the 30th of July, and then my Dad is taking the train from Chicago back to New York. Dad loves the train, and always complains that it is not long enough. A twenty hour train ride should be about right!
After Chicago, I’m driving to Minneapolis, eastern Montana and finally stopping in Missoula, Montana in the western part of the state. I have about 6 more credits to go in my (seemingly) never-ending pursuit for a Bachelors degree. 3 of those credits will be a thesis (through Georgetown) and the other 3 credits will be through the University of Montana and transferred to Georgetown. If all goes according to plan, I will officially be a college graduate in December of 2009 and can walk in May 2009.
I’m writing my thesis on dualism, the idea that there is a separation between the material and the theoretical. I’m focusing on Plato, St. Augustine, Galileo and Kandinsky and exploring the relationship between their dualistic philosophies. I picked these four authors because they span chronological and liberal arts spectrum. Plato was a philosopher (maybe even THE philosopher), St. Augustine was a Christian, Galileo was a scientist and Kandinsky was an artist. I like the idea that all of these philosopher had a common thread despite their varied backgrounds, that they were all reaching for a timeless truth.
In Missoula, I’ve arranged for a room at the base of Mt. Sentinel on Hastings and Madeline in Missoula and a part time job. The only thing I haven’t done is signed up for a University of Montana class – there are just so many that I want to take!
Signing off for now – I have some last minute packing and filing (for Dad) to do.