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August 7, 2013

Hank: Athens

Athens: In Athens we went to the Parthenon and climbed the Acropolis. I liked it. Nadine poked herself in the eye. My dad also had his birthday in Athens. We ate at a delicious restaurant where our waiter was a guy in his early seventies and we called him cowboy beeslayer because he liked cowboy movies and when a girl got up from her seat because she was scared of a bee he ran over yelling “do not worry!”  and he smacked the bee really hard with a menu. It was funny. He also said that my face was very clever. My favorite thing was the Happy Train. It was a little train with a happy face on it and it took us everywhere around Athens. I also got a really cool slingshot so now I can do damage from a distance. I had a dream one night that I was shooting rocks at the Parthenon and that is what compelled me to get the slingshot. Our first hotel room smelled like fish. A complex mixture of cod and sardines. An intoxicating smell that filled your lungs with a foul stench.

August 6, 2013

Hank: Georgia

Georgia: Georgia was amazing. We were there with our friends Natella, Max, and Katya. They and their family were so nice and we were able to stay in Natella’s brother’s apartment. Her brother’s name was Bachuki and he and Natella took us to so many wonderful places and fed us amazing food. My favorite food was the dolmas that we had at a vineyard in the mountains that Natella’s cousin took us to. They were also so kind that they invited us to celebrate Bachuki and Natella’s father’s birthday where they welcomed us. One of the coolest things was swimming with dolphins. YES  DOLPHINS. They even set that up for us. My dolphins name was Daisy. She jumped and spun and let me ride her around the pool. You could even pet her like a dog as long as you did not touch her blow hole or eyes. It was fun like eating a sesame role bun. Bachuki’s apartment was near the beach boardwalk and the town square. They had a small soccer field of sand on the boardwalk and I got to play soccer. The beach which was on the Black Sea was rocks so you could not really body surf. But it was great any way.

August 5, 2013

Hank: Rome

Rome. A wondrous place of beauty and floral hills. Just kidding. That is definitely not how I like to rite. Do not fret my loyal blog viewers for I have not yet changed quite that much on this trip. (Yet). Rome was very cool though. We did not stay in Rome but about an hours train ride out of it. The people we stayed with were so nice and they even took time out of there own day to show us around the country side. The mountains are a really dark green color and the small towns are beautiful. We went to the Pope’s former summer residence which is in a very small town called Castel Gandolfo. It over looks a pretty volcanic lake that many other towns sit on. Our hosts took us to a wonderful pizza place where I had a pizza with mushrooms, and sausage, and cheese OH MY. The pizza had really thin crust. We went to the colosseum. It was really cool but our guide liked to hear himself talk and dad did not think that he really knew what he was talking about due to an old Japanese man who seemed to love asking our guide really tough questions in which case the guide would just avoid the questions and keep on talking.

August 4, 2013

Hank: Florence

Florence. “Bark, bark,  bark.” They must be at the main gate. “Ya Frank ya.” My ruthless canine companion and I raced down the narrow hallways of the Medici palace. I saw a flick of cape race through a door and then we were upon him. The thief glared at me. He was the first to ever manage a feat so great as to break into the Medici palace and city court room. It was guarded by many guards. All Canine controllers because of its wonderful history.

The Medici family took residence in the city hall. The father was the duke of Florence Italy. The oldest son would be the father’s successor and the second oldest son would become a cardinal. The palace is huge with a larger than normal court room and huge tapestries on the walls and even covering the ceiling. Of course my residence is not nearly as grand but I do very much enjoy it. It is a second story apartment with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. It has a small kitchen and living room. The apartment is located about twenty kilometers out of Florence in a tiny town called Le Valli. There is lots of room for me and Frank to run through the fields and we very much enjoy it.

August 3, 2013

Hank: Paris

Paris was to big and Nadine picked it out. It is not a good place for children. The museum of natural history was pretty cool with all the animal skeletons and stuff but I did not get what was so amazing about the Louvre. The Mona Lisa looked just like all the other paintings in the museum and most of the statues were of naked athletes. The zoo was pretty cool and I saw my first Fallow deer. It was weird because the Oxen had darts stuck in them. We went to the arc de Triumph and you had to go through a tunnel just to get there. Our apartment was really nice and the subways were pretty cool to.  Then a monkey jumped out of its cage and claimed me as its master and so I became the monkey rider of Paris. Me and my monkey, Dung slinger kept through the streets fighting evil all day. The bad guys cowered in fear when they heard the screech of the baboon of justice and his fearless rider swinging through the streets slinging dung and fighting for justice. Our roost was the tower of eifleness and our throne where we sat relaxing in the sun when the bad guys had been dealt with was the top of the arc de Triumph.

July 9, 2013

Hank: Krakow

Krakow is a great city and reminds me a lot of Austin. It has about 1,000,000 people and has a big population of about 100,000 students who are attending the many universities. My favorite thing was the Wieliczka salt mine. You could actually wipe your hands across the wall then lick them and you would taste salt. The coolest thing down in the salt mine was the underground cathedral. It is the biggest underground cathedral in the world and it was one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen. They even hold masses in it. We were over 300 feet below ground in the mine. The guides showed us how the miners moved around the salt after it was mined. The miners actually had horses 300 + feet under ground to help them transport the salt. The last horse was removed in 2002 from the mine so it was fairly recent. Our apartment was on the second floor of a building that was located right on the main market square. We went to one stand in the market square where they roasted quail and had mixed vegetables, although the best thing about it was that they squeezed their own fresh orange juice.

July 7, 2013

Hank: Auschwitz

Concentration camps: While we were in Krakow Poland we went to two concentration camps, Auschwitz and Birkenau. They were very interesting but the first thing that I did was throw up all over a big tree in Auschwitz. It was white because I had had bad milk that morning. We saw where the prisoners stayed and where they were gassed. Unfortunately I could not focus very well due to my loss of food in the not very distant past so I cannot tell you any more.          SORRY :(
Actually I can but it will be hard. There were lots of pictures of men who survived the concentration camps all taken by the Soviets since the Nazis took no photographs. There were just a couple pictures of children and only one of the girls survived Auschwitz. The reason for this was that she had blond hair and blue eyes. The Nazis believed that anyone with these traits was part of a superior race. The symbol of Auschwitz was the arch at the main gate. “Work is liberating” it said although not one prisoner was ever set free until the Soviets arrived. The first prisoners to be confined to concentration camps were German criminals but when the Jews started to be taken the German criminals were made into “enforcers”. They beat the other prisoners to death even for not moving quite fast enough or tripping and falling on a loose stone.

July 4, 2013

Hank: Sweden

Sweden: Sweden is green and wet and fresh and as most people reading this are aware, Austin Texas is not. All the people are really nice. It is really hard to sleep the first few nights you get here because it never really gets dark in the summer. When it is midnight here it is about as bright as 8:30 pm in Texas. We saw a baby moose which was really cool. It was standing in a ditch and at first we thought it was a donkey. I also caught my first pike. It looked like an alligator gar. In the area of northern Sweden that we were staying in there was the highest brown bear population in all of Sweden. Unfortunately we were not lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one. I also caught a brown trout that we ate one night. I learned how to make concrete with cement, sand, and water. It is really tiring and gets you super dirty. You dump a mixture of sand, water, and concrete into big metal barrels that spin and thicken the mixture. After that you pour and flatten it and when it dries you have concrete.
June 18, 2013

Hank: Copenhagen

2Copenhagen: this place is great. There is an amusement park called Tivoli Gardens, a beach, great food, and every one bikes everywhere. It reminds me a lot of Austin. Copenhagen has lots of tall buildings. Another great thing is that they have separated bike lanes with right and left turn lanes and even mini traffic lights for the bikes. At Tivoli we rode rides like the Demon roller coaster and bumper cars. It was really great because none of the lines were more than 5 minutes. We walked to this really cool planetarium and we rode our bikes about 5 miles to the new Copenhagen aquarium, Den Bla Planet. At the planetarium we saw a lot of space exhibits and a movie on the Arctic. At the aquarium we saw sharks and reef fish and sting rays. We also rode our bikes to a park and swimming area in the river that runs through downtown Copenhagen. I went swimming and realized it was salt water and it was bitter cold and made my little toes numb. Our hotel sort of stunk. It was two beds pushed together so you could fall in between the beds while you are asleep. Although I had a lot of fun pushing Nadine through the space in between. It was really funny when she went through head first because it took her a while to get out.