places i have been

updated 8/5/01

Feet's European Odyssey 2001 - Part III

martin and feet

Above: Martin is goofy

Right: Our hosts Leo and Azzurra break into dance

After all the back slapping and hugs, media interviews and posing for zillions of photos -- we got down to the serious business of celebrating, which involved massive alcohal consumption on the hotel patio before sleeping the sleep of the just.

leo and Azzurra

Miriam and her bike
carl and martin

Left: Miriam (event organizer) and her bike; Above: Carl and Martin are both goofy

post contest gathering

Above: Neils (Netherlands), Daniel (Ireland) and Edwin (Netherlands)

Left: Moretti Beer - doesn't taste all that great but featues a pretty cool mafia guy on the can

Monday morning we gathered on the patio for a last cappucino and to say our goodbyes. While most of the other sculptors had planes to catch, I caught a taxi to the Cervia station for the next train to Milan. It was on this leg of my journey that the worst thing to happen on this trip occured --

Monday Night - night train from Milan to Amsterdam
...sharing this cucchette with 3 geeky college nerds that can't shut up.... SAT's this and girly gossip that and how Italy should be more like the US.... bleah!!!

Moved to the bar car where I can sip merlot and write and the atmosphere is much improved.

Well, I now have my first international contest win under my belt. I won't fool myself - our victory was largely due to Carl's "mama terra" and her expressive nipples but it was very much a team effort and I have all the aches to prove it.

I left Cervia on the 11:30 train to Rimini and the trip to Milan was fairly smooth with one notable exception -- I left my pith helmet on the train. A Tony Schaub original, it was one of my most prized possessions and there won't be another like it... Major bummer and I felt like crying when I finally noticed my naked head in a bathroom mirror. But nothing will bring it back and I guess I must just be happy for the time I had it....

back in Holland

another train window view

rembrandt After 14 hours on the train, it was a major relief to see Martin, Lars (with his dog, Pom) and fellow sculptor Lip, waiting at the Amsterdam station to greet me. We stashed my suitcase at the nearby Rembrandt Cafe (operated by a friend of Martin's) and I was treated to my second taste of Amsterdam. Unlike my first visit (in '98), it was a warm, sunny day, so we started with a stroll through a wonderful outdoor market: lots of new and used tie-dye and leather, multi-colored Doc Martins, imported shades, jewelry, musical instruments and other goodies.

From there we went in search of a place for me to plug in my laptop. It took a while, but we eventually found a place that would let me use the phone line and I was finally able to download at least some of the 600 e-mails that had accumulated since my departure, as well as dash off a quick message to the parental units to let them know I was alive and well.

left: Lars, Pom, Lip and Martin at the Rembrandt

hanging man

Walking around Amsterdam, one sees interesting sclpture everywhere.

Left: Hanging man spotted in a shop

Below: Sawing man spotted in a tree

sawing man

Below: Martin, Lars, Henry, Lip, Baldrick

Dutch Sculptors

old!!! That accomplished, we headed back to the square to meet up with a whole slew of Dutch sculptors - Henryand Baldrick of the notorious Sandaholics and some other folks who work with them. I was really honored that they had taken time away from busy work schedules to come sit around and drink beer with me. Thanks to sand sculpture, I am constantly making new friends all over the world. Professional sand sculpture in Holland is experiencing some major upheavals and a big boom, and we spent some quality beer-drinking time discussing how we could all use the internet to unite European and American sculptors in some common goals.

feet beer

After a tasty and satisfying munch at an outdoors cafe specializing in Spanish Tapas, Lars and I said goodbye to the Amsterdam contingent and caught a train for Lars' apartment in The Hague, where I would be crashing for the night. The next day would be another travel day.

Wed. afternoon - on the Eurostar from Brussels to London
I am writing from the first class car on the Eurostar under the channel from Brussels to London. (Since I won some money in Italy, I thought I might as well splurge.) The seats are very comfy, the meal gourmet, and since there are only 5 people in the car, the steward amuses himself by keeping my wine glass filled. Not a bad way to travel...

I really enjoyed my visit with Lars. We have become good buddies since I met him on an Inaxi project in Belgium two years ago and it was a real treat to meet his dog and see the funky/comfy little place he calls home. After sitting up late talking, we got up this morning and strolled around the center of town. The weather had taken a turn for the worse, so every time it started to rain we would duck into some lovely ancient place for another cappucino. Good time to shop - I will only have to carry the additional weight in my suitcase as far as London.

It was sad saying goodbye to Lars at the station but will look forward to seeing him again in Aug. when we compete against each other at the doubles contest in Quebec. Also hoping to get him back to SPI in Oct. for the 14th annual Sand Castle Days contest.

It was raining in London (based on my experience, it always rains in London) when I arrived but I was able to secure a cheap room near the train station with enough daylight left to locate a nearby pub. Good soup and more wine but no conversation - the folks in there just don't seem to be as friendly as the other places I have been on this trip. Got to Gatwick via the tube early enough the next morning to do some more shopping, catch my flight and back to SPI on schedule and without incident.

Lars and Pom

Lars and Pom

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