Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
It has taken me a while to up-date my planet ranger and contact everyone whom I met along my travels. But now that the festive season is over, work is quieter and my computer is finally fixed I'll stop being so slack.
So Christmas was spent with my family in the gorgeous Queenstown, New Zealand. My brother's (Leon & Ezra) both brought along their girlfriends (Jasmine & Gail) and we had a great time enjoying the fine NZ wines, berries and scenery.
Dad took us all down to Milford sounds on a day trip and we also travelled to Arrowtown, Dunedin, and Christchurch before I flew back home.
I'm not sure where in the world I plan to go next.... maybe back to NZ, I'll keep you posted.
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
SO I made it back down under!!!
I flew into Sydney where I met my parents and we drove to the north coast to visit my Sister and family for the afternoon, then headed by car and camper van up to Newcastle for the night and then the following day up to the Gold Coast, Burleigh Heads.
It's good to be home, every thing is the same and it feels a little strange... the only thing that has changed is ME and the odd building popping up here and there. It is great to have the comforts of home, the warm weather and the beautiful beaches.
Straight back into full time working hours next week. Thanks for keeping up with my travels, hope you have enjoyed reading about it half as much as I've enjoyed doing it. And I hope to see all of you that I met on my travels some time here in AUSTRALIA! you can check out more pics in "MISSING HOME" of my photo pages to see where I live. ;)
Location: Philidalphia, USA
I am now in the US of A. New York was a fun city, so much to see and do, not to mention the great shopping!!!
Had a fun day sight seeing with a Scotish fella I met in the hostel, we went on staten Island ferries across to staten island, taking pics of the statue of Liberty on the way. We also went to the 'ground 0' site, up to the top of the Empire State Building and just enjoyed strolling around the busy streets of Manhattan Island.
The following day I went for a walk through Central Park and up Broadway... all very very close to the hostel. I also found some awsome toy stores, one which had life sized stuffed toys of elephants etc... it also had toy cars for kids, a ferrari selling for usd 50,000 !!!
The rest of the time I pretty much spent shopping!
From New York City I caught the bus down to Philidalphia where I met up with Bill and Brian (whom I'd met in oz). I'm staying in their house (frat house)... let's just say it's 10x more extreme then those movies 'American Pie' , 'old school' etc! Should be a laugh though, and I'm excited about celebrating Halloween for the 1st time.
Location: London, UK
Ireland was FANTASTIC, Jerome and I travelled by car south from Dublin along the coast, we went through Cork, Galway and across to Belfast and back down to Dublin, clocked up A LOT of kms in the 5 days I was there. Ireland has some breathtaking untouched coast lines, which I really enjoyed. Belfast was also a great city that I would like to return to some day. From Dublin Kate and I flew across to Scotland for a 3 day tour.
On tour we headed north to the Isle of Skye and through the highlands. It was amazing, beautiful scenery, lots of mountains, trees and lochs. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the loch ness monster, but Im sure he was out there..... some where.
We then returned back to London and I only had 4 days to see the sights and organise myself for the big trip home via the US of A. Meet back up with Jerome, Kate and Amy! and we went to the Madam Tu Sords, it was great, I will post some pics up soon of this. I then checked out the Tate Modern and that evening we all went to the west end to see a show 'Guys and Dolls'... I was rather excited as that evening I was sitting in the park passing time, when the Queen drove past!
Location: Holyhead, Wales
From San Sebastian I toured up through France to Boardeaux and Paris, stopping only one night at each. Bordeaux is a wine region in France and here we didnt' have time to do any thing except catch up on sleep. It was great to be back in Paris again, did some shopping and visit the Sacre Cure and the Moulin Rouge again.
Then said good bye to the girls and headed back to London for a few days sightseeing..... Am now back in Wales for the weekend and in Ireland on Monday =)
Location: San Sebastian, Spain
We are now in San Sebastian for the next week. And it is beautiful!There is also a film festival on at the moment, so all glitz and glamour.
Love the coastline, the beaches and hills, all really nice to walk around. Although its fairly cold here in the mornings we are still able to enjoy a few hours in the middle of the day at the beach and playing with the hackie and bats and ball.
This is the area the ETA terrorist group are apparently from and that bombed the cars in madrid. They have their own language here and they want to be separate from Spain... which i didnt know before.
But so far everyone has been so so friendly, we are staying at a place called Olga´s Place and they are great! they dont speak english, but are trying to teach us some Spainish and are a lot of fun. From here we all split up and go our own ways... I will run into Amy again and Kate later on in the trip.
Location: Madrid, Spain
Back in Madrid for 2 nights. It was a lot better then the last time we stopped here, it had cooled down A LOT, we actually had to get out our winter clothes! Our full day in Madrid happened to be a SUnday and nothing really opens on a Sunday except for the flee markets.... so we strolled around there and I got a hackie sack, just for fun!
Sunday is the big day for the bull fights so we got the metro to the bull ring and bought our tickets... not quite sure what to expect..... and WOW........ I only lastest 5 mins, I felt so ill and faint and had to leave... could hardly even watch the fights on the tv screens just outside the main arena.
After playing around with the bull for a while and teasing it, they bring out a horse and the man on it stabs the bull in the back of the neck with a spear.... then the matadors (cant spell it) come out and stab it more with spears which hang from the bulls neck... blood and bits of flesh flapping around everywhere! then after around 20 mins the matador gets a big spear and puts it right through the neck into the heart... and the crowd roars if he does this first try..... other wise he keeps going until the bull is dead... then they drag it out with some other horses that come out into the ring........ IT WAS DISGUSTING. Amy, Kate and Kristy seemed to get use to the idea and cheered along with the crowd and managed to watch quiet a few of these killings... I was just a big sook I think.
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
It was sad to leave Lagos and our appartment and head to another capital city... LISBON. But it was very nice... I cant really be bothered writing about it, but will post the pics at some later stage.
Location: Lagos, Portugal
NEW COUNTRY! always exciting, new language, new cuisine and drinks to try out. Lagos was the first place that has reminded me of home, a beach side town. We had an appartment for 4 nights with a well equipped kitchen and a courtyard with BBQ! Got to work on the tan here and get in a bit of much needed exercise.
Location: Seville, Spain
From Granada we went to Seville.....
It was really nice here and coincidental that I was reading about it in the book Digital Fortress, that I just happen to have been reading at that time! It had awsome shopping and we saw some Flamenco dancing, which was very much enjoyed by us all.
The highlight would have definately had to been Kristys 22nd birthday, lets just say too many sangrias..... ! I didnt get back until 6am, had time for a shower and then straight into breakfast with all the regular people that sleep at night..... was getting some strange looks and spent the entire next day in bed!
Location: Granada, Spain
Spent a night in Madrid and met up with Amy who is now travelling with us also... so now it is 4.
Madrid we didnt get to see much of in one night, but we return there again in a few more weeks and hope to see some bull fighting there.
The past few nights have been spent here in Granada, a fairly small town in Spain. It has a pretty amazing castle at the top of the hill at the back of the town, with real beautiful gardens. It dates back from the 14th century and has amazing architecture as well. Thousands of people visit here each day, so we got up at 7am to make sure we got our tickets and explored it for a few hours.
We have eaten plenty of tapas here also, its fun ordering as we never really know what we are going to get!
Location: Valencia, Spain
Well well well........ we made it to Valencia from Barcelona. Nice town, feels safer and is much prettier... The beach is half hour bus trip away and the sand is brown and the water warm.... so we have spent most days seeing the sourroundings, going to the beach and gearing up for the LA TOMATINA festival.
If you havent checked out the pics yet, have a look now!
I thought I was a dead girl this day, the crowd was overwhelming and I was crushed up against the brick wall each time the trucks of tomatoes and throwers would squish past us. I thought, if I am going to die here, Id might as well die fighting, so I still got in on the action trying my hardest not to fall into the knee depth tomatoes. Most the time tomatoes would smack me in my head and then land in my hands, as I was so squashed against everyone there was no room for them to even fall to the ground.
PICTURES DONT EVEN DO THIS JUSTICE... just imagine little me stuck between this crowd x1000
Location: Valencia!, Spain
From Nice we travelled to Avignon in France, it was a very small place, but real real nice. The city surrounded by walls and the Popes church inside the old town.
From Avignon we went to Barcelona! what a crazy crazy city! on arrival to the hostel we were greeted with music and free Sangria! Got straight into the SPainish culture with a siesta, then out on the town. Its actually rather scary in Barcelona, but lucky we were in a big group from bus about. Even then the cops were telling us to keep off the streets that we jsut happened to be strolling down. Saw a lot of drugs etc too, people shooting up everywhere... BUT other then that the city is awsome. Gauda´s work is amazing, some real interesting buildings and parks. Enjoyed a bus tour of the city.
TODAY we arrived in Valencia. The hostel is the best yet. Each room themed!!! ours is China, so I dont need to go there! Tomorrow we will be gearing up for the famous LA TOMATINA FESTIVAL... we need ear plugs, goggles and some old white clothes. Will be sure to tell you all about that when it happens.
FINALLY realised today that people have been posting me messages on here, so Ive worked out how to answer, you should find these posted under the pics.
Location: Nice, France
We are now in Nice the South of France.
Its lovely here and nice to be back on the French Riveria in a new and exciting place! Last night we went to the beach for wine with some new people we met in the hotel we are at. Its great meeting people from all over the world and hearing about their travels and their contries they are from!
The beaches here are so crowed but they are so rocky it hurts your feet and butts!!!! its a very different experience then at home, so still enjoyable.... although I much prefer the white sandy beaches of the Gold Coast and Mykonos.
Location: Postojna, Slovenia
Arrived in Postojna for 3nights. its a beautiful very small and quiet town, but great to get away from the big cities for a change.
We visited the Postojna caves which are very famous. They were absolutly amazing. Were only 8 degrees inside and we went down 20meters underground and 40meters above ground into the mountain. Had a relaxing time here in a great hostel which almost felt like the Sheraton!!!!! and everything so cheap!!!!
Location: Venice, Italy
Back in Venice again! I love Venice, we stayed in a different camp ground then last time with Contiki. Here we stayed for only one night before going to Slovenia. In the morning we had 4hrs before our train to Postjna in Slovenia, so we enjoyed Gelati in the streets of Venice!!! YUM
Location: Munich, Germany
stayed in munich for a night, meet up with Kristy from my contiki tour who will now travel with us. We went on a pub crawl tonight with a group of friends we made from the bus. It rained all night, but we still had plenty of beers and visited enough beer halls to have a good time.
Location: Salzburg, Austria
Today it is raining, and we are in Salzburg. Lucky we did the sound of music tour yesterday. It is so so beautiful here, the prettiest place Ive been to so far. All I want to do is run around skipping and twirling singing, "the hills are alive with the sound of music"... but Im not so sure Im that graceful... it is fun neather the less.
I wish we had longer here as it takes my breath away and there is a lot to see. The hostel we are at plays the movie every morning at 10am... unfortunatly i missed it with my hang over today after enjoying a few too many at the monks beer hall here, then I hit the dance floor in one of the local clubs for many many hours!
Tomorrow we are heading to Munich where I will meet up with Kristy from Contiki tour, she is from the Gold Coast also! So soon there will be 3 of us!
Location: Vienna, Czech Republic
Spent 3 nights in Vienna. Wasnt as good as my expectations were, but there was a beautiful palace with some amazing gardens.
Location: Chesky Komlov, Czech Republic
The last few days have been spent here in Chesky Komlov. A beautiful very small town with a river running through the centre of it.... After massive nights on the beer and absinth in Prague the first day was spent mainly in bed hung over. We did manage to get up and walk to the castle and see the 3 bears they have kept in captivity there. Climbed yet another bell tower to see the views over the town. It was nice to chill out and relax.... next stop we head to Vienna.