Location: Sydney, Australia
It's 2 weeks since we got back .Europe is a memory now-well LOTS of memories...
Our last day in Barcelona was spent buying presents.That night we went out to celebrate our last day in Spain & also Emma's birthday the next day.Started out by having dinner at a restaurant underneath the cathedral.Chatted to our friendly waiter while we drank a huge jug of sangria.Then ambled along to The Blarney Stone,the cheapest irish pub in the area.(Only $10 for a breezer!!)........Drank cider,beer & various other things while slowly getting drunk.About 2am we realized we had to get up in 6 hours to go to the airport,so said goodbye to our lovely bar girl,Caitriona, Then stumbled thru the alleys back to our room, taking photos on the way................Woke up with hangovers & really not feeling like dragging our bags & ourselves to the airport.After a 2 hour flight to London,6 hours in Heathrow,14 hrs to Bangkok,2 hrs in Bangkok, then another 11 hours to Sydney........We made it home!There were some hairy moments flying over Kabul & Islamabad....not to mention the suspicious looking passengers on our plane!...........................- .........Well we definitely recommend to EVERYONE to travel where ever & whenever you can.The best experience and HEAPS of fun.And use PLANET RANGER!!!!!.............over and out now......adios
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Well this is possibly our last or 2nd last update (BOO HOO....)
We're stuck between Seville,Madrid & Barcelona being our fav cities in spain.The coast was also awesome..Last night had a late night at the Hard Rock Cafe....cocktails,big meal, and watching everyone dancing on the bar! We did the touristy thing and got the city tour bus yesterday..Saw the ctiy from above ground for once.That's the only problem with the metro,all you see is a tunnel!......Not feeling inspired to write this at the moment.......Will put heaps of photos on when we get back This is our last day,it's now 2pm & we're going to SHOP ALL DAY!Along the way we've thrown out bottles of shampoo,old clothes ,books ,the tapes we've heard a million times, & shoes that give too many blisters. Made room for some of the cool spanish clothes they have here.. Warning all aussies-mullets (the hairstyle)are coming back in a BIG way.Well here anyway..Some freaky punk hairdo's are walking the streets of Barcelona...................We fly tomorrow at 2:30pm.....So GOODBYE EUROPE...........We've had the best time & maybe one day we'll have another adventure like this- (in a 5 star hotel of course with a porter!) Adios amigos......................
Location: Barcelona or Barthelona!, Spain
Left Valencia 4 days ago-the best things about that city were our nice clean cheap room,the beach,shops & the best paella yet.(not the most exciting place) Got the super fast train to Barcelona-took 3 hours (8 by bus!). Now we have our metro back again & another pension recommended by the Lonely Planet.We're in the old part of the city( along with all the other tourists). Little alleys,gothic cathedral,plazas & heaps of cafes & shops.A "Pans" or "Bocatta" on every corner.Spain's most popular takeaway shops.We've eaten so many baguettes in the last 6 weeks.And a million "cafe con leches"! ...................Barcelona is different to the rest of Spain in that the people are more alternative-hippies,gothics & HEAPS of homeless. The homeless all have pets (maybe to attract more money?-or is it incase they run out food!)..We've seen guys with 2 big dogs tied to a shopping trolley,5 cats shoved in one basket & a dancing guinea pig.Heaps of young homeless too....................We've been getting a bit lazy now that we're coming home soon.We've been going to bed 1-2am & getting up 10-11 am!!We jump in & out of the freezing cold shower & leave the room by midday.About 6 or 7 hours later we stagger back after exploring the harbour,Montjuic Hill,the alleys,La Rambla & some Gaudi sites...Gaudi was a modernist architect in the late 1800's who designed some awesome buildings,parks,palaces & cathedrals.They have to be seen to be appreciated.Really weird curvey,space age,fairy tale,spooky,colourful things.La Sagrada Familia is a massive cathedral started in 1882 & they're STILL building it! (Too many siestas?)...We climbed to the top of the oldest towers, about 100 metres.Amazing place....................The other night we met an american couple in "The Blarney Stone".Chatted for a while & arranged to meet the following night for tapas.Anyway, they stood us up!Craig was happy-he'd been dreading it all day.So we went & had a beautiful italian meal by ourselves..........Our room is a renovators dream!It doesn't have 4 corners-it has about 5 1/2!The walls curve in at various angles (on purpose,we're not sure?)....& the wall paper is peeling off like snake skin.In otherwords it's great!Well compared to the hostel that Nick experienced with us in Blarney,Ireland.Where we were studying bits of fluff on the sheets to see if they moved ,exposing themselves as bedbugs.After 10 minutes of staring we were sure some of them jumped!Our imaginations had us scratching all night................
Location: Valencia, Spain
Well yesterday was a public holiday in Spain & everywhere was closed.So we walked to Valencias beach(1 hour each way-& Nick says we don´t walk!) Had the best paella yet,on the beachfront.Stayed there a while then walked back.Went to the Irish pub again.
This morning we bought a 1 litre carton of sangria for $1:80 Aus!!Yummmm ..Anyway-muy bien,adios.......................- ....
Location: Valencia, Spain
Well obviously-we´re in Valencia!!Arrived this morning.Nice city,has a beach wich we will attend tomorrow...Great shops,we´re in shopping mode now,as it´s the end of our hol. It´s now 10.30pm and we just came from Finnegan´s Irish pub.So someone´s a bit tipsy(needless to say who!_Craig!) (or is it Emma?) Better go before one of us falls off the stool...............Will check in soon.....
Location: Mojacar, Spain
150 Malaria tablets for sale!!They´ve even travelled around the world - what a waste......... Oh yeah...Craig did an excellent job at driving on the wrong side of the road.(for us anyway!) Out of the cities was easy,on the open country roads.But finding our way back to the car hire place in Almeria city was fun!They have weird separate lanes & flashing lights-then throw in some one way streets & driving on the right hand side, it all makes for some fun...He did well though. Nothing changes, we cooked a meal for the 1st time in months & there was enough for 8 people!So we´re right for food for a few days. We don´t want to backpack again.This beach life is lovely.3 more days then on the road again............
Location: Mojacar, Spain
Forgot to tell you ,we went to a flamenco show in Seville.Not the touristy dinner/show thing.It was at a cultural centre & we were in the front row.There was 2 guys singing & playing guitar,& a lady dancing.The very 1st song must have been a really sorrowful story as the guy singing broke out into this loud wailing.But the funniest thing was his facial expressions.He was inadvertantly pulling the ugliest faces & we had to stop ourselves from laughing out loud!It was like being at school & you get the giggles & can´t stop laughing ,but everyone else is silent. Anyway,the guy stopped pulling faces & the dancing was excellent! -Bit of trivia,here in España they have sausage pillows on all the beds,you just get one 5 foot long pillow! --We´ve come to the conclusion that the spanish have the best working hours.Not only are shops etc. closed for siesta(anywhere from 1pm to 7pm), but most close sunday & some even Monday!We always seem to get hungry or arrive in a new town at these times!It´s been great having the freedom of a car for 4 days.Now we have to use our legs again,wouldn´t be so bad without 15kg on your back!! We´re going to stay in Mojacar another 5 days.This will be the little beach holiday that Bali would have been.We have our own apartment with kitchen,loungeroom etc...We´ve already stocked up the bar with sangria & cocktail ingredients!There´s 2 huge pools in the complex,cafes,bars ,restaurants,tennis,ping pong,mini golf etc..& entertainment at night.This is the life!! Back to hardcore backpacking for the last 2 weeks (ha).. Yes, we´re flying home from Spain on the 13th November-Emma´s 28th B´day (& the new grey hairs are showing it!) At least we´ll get free drinks on the trip to celebrate!Craig´s already said it´s his shout.......
Hey now!Just to remind you all it´s SO easy to leave a message & we LOVE hearing from anyone out there!! You know it´s just been the two of us for SUCH a long time,we need some alternative stimulation...........Where are you Boon???Brin?? Mum´s ,Dad´s & Bro´s?
Location: Mojaca, Spain
Ola!!! We enjoyed Seville,very cruisy old city..Went out for Tex Mex one night.Had the biggest cocktails you´ve ever seen!Someone got a bit tipsy.....Another night went to the Irish pub to watch more soccer/football.......Next we were on to Granada mainly just to see the 11th century Alhambra- a huge sultans palace & fortress..Pretty impressive.We got the train to Almeria & hired a car for 4 days to do the Costa de Almeria-a beautiful stretch of coast on the east.Stayed in San Jose 2 days.Did some washing (the first in 4 weeks!!) There was a blackout at night in the whole town so it was a very early night. Next drove along the coast road,stopping at some gorgeous beaches-the water is so blue. We got Mojacar yesterday which is actually somewhere that Craig´s family holidayed at 20 years ago!!We even found the exact resort village they stayed in,still the same! Freaky!!
The weather here is beautiful-so is the beach-lucky as we just found out all the later flights out of Barcelona are booked out,so we have to go on Sunday!!So it´ll be a rushed trip up the coast.. This is our last beach stop! We may even be home in a week or so ,with the current situation in Sth. East Asia... Spewing big time... That doesn´t mean to say we´ll be going back to work any earlier than originally planned though!! We´ll still be on hols,just not where we wanted to be! Can´t believe our holiday will be over so soon & cut short like this.Very sad... Hasta luego España..................So many more paellas to be eaten & sangria to drink....
Back again...Having trouble checking the messages today.Hope there´s lots though.It cheers us up to get them.Thanks Boon-come on everyone else.! You know whenever you feel a bit home sick,you can be sure to hear Kylie Minogue or Natalie Imbruglia on the radio anywhere in the world!
Wednesday arrived in Lagos (Portugal) @ 7pm after our bus broke down & they got us another after an hour.We had the best room,3 floors up-our own balcony,cable tv & a great comfy bed.Found beaut beaches with big cliffs & nice little grottoes but unfortunately not much sunshine.Went out for dinner every night in Lagos- seafood,chinese & indian (all really traditional Portugese food!).Found a nice cocktail bar-$5 cocktails..& met a guy from Collaroy.
Next went to Tavira ,a little town close to Spain but still on the coast.It´s full of really old buildings,little alley ways & 13 churches.We got a room with a portugese family..Our own kitchen,bathroom..They spoke no english,but we got by with hand signals & the odd word here & there.Went by short ferry trip to a big sandy island.Had a swim in the atlantic ocean.
Now it´s Tuesday & we´re back in Spain,in Seville.It´s literally a maze here.Tiny,narrow streets that all look the same.We got lost yesterday looking for our pension.Beautiful city,not big & noisy.Really old with some great peaceful parks.Saw a pet shop selling these poor tiny little squirrels,baby turtles & iguanas........You can wake up now it´s over!!!!!!!!!
We´re back......& yes we heard about Bali the day after it happened..Very scary.Still working out what we can do with our flights & Bali plans.Feels weird to be talking about our happy travels after what happened,but we need to let you all know what we´ve been doing for the last week.here goes:-
Found a beautiful park in Madrid last Monday while waiting to get our bus at night.Craig was so happy as it was full of conkers,the most he´d ever seen.So reverted to his childhood & we played conkers for 2 hours! In this same peaceful park & a jesus look-a-like spanish freak asks us if we need any help.We say no thanks & he starts lecturing us about how everyone needs help & it´s arrogant of us to say we don´t.Apparently it´s people like us that sept. 11 taught a lesson to.He just wouldn´t go away so we soon left this park & it´s resident mental patient. The bus to Portugal was 1st class literally-huge leather seats,earphones,radio stations & movie.Although we had someone with a bad case of BO behind us. Arrived in Lisbon at 6:30 am & were not in a state to search for accomodation.Got the good old metro.We love it now,Sydney really needs one.It´s so cheap & convenient.Get accross town in minutes. Lisbon is the capital of Portugal& is right near the water.Steap cobbled streets & large squares with fountains & statues. Went to the oceanarium built for the expo ´98.It´s excellent,massive tank full of 7-8 foot sharks,stingrays etc.Also 2 amuzing sea otters & a whole lot of penguins who swim in the same tank as the sharks & chase fish bigger than themselves.-Left Lisbon after one day as we were on a mission to find some beaches.Believe it or not this travelling lark gets very draining! We´re sure someone keeps sneaking bricks or something into our bags.No matter how much we send home,they just get heavier & heavier!
Quick note to say if you want to see some photos from our top deck trip,check out Chris & Tracey's web site. www.roylesoft.co.uk We are in austria section & amsterdam,greece & others...there's some good pics.. got to go get the bus now to Lagos (south Portugal -Boon!)
Well went to the Real Madrid game last night.5-2 to Madrid..Zidane scored in the 1st 2 minutes. In the 2nd half, good old Ronaldo & his silver boots scored 2 goals!Figo 2 as well. The spanish love Zidane & Ronaldo-pity they´re both not spanish! Excellent game & great seats,happened to be next to 2 english guys! You can tell Craig´s favourite places by the amount of photos he takes, Colosseum-8 pics,star wars landscape- 10 pics, & Real Madrid-7 pics!!Greace- no pics....! Off to Lisbon tonight on yet another bus.
¡Hola! Buenas dias....Shock to the system to be back on the euros again.Well Turkey had it´s expensive moments,at Istanbul airport a large Burger King meal was $12.50 aus! We´re staying right in the centre of Madrid in Puerta del sol,our room costs $64 aus.There´s bars ,cafes & restaurants all around us.Today we went for a long walk then booked our bus tickets to Lisbon,Portugal then got the metro to Estadium Santiago Bernabeu,which is Real Madrid´s home ground.(one of the best soccer/football teams in the world for those who don´t know!)Bought 2 tickets for sundays´ game,now Craig´s a very happy camper!
It´s 8pm now & we´re deciding where to go for dinner as the spanish don´t eat till about 10.Craig fits in well with the whole siesta thing!It´s so good to be able to use the tap water again.Oh yeah-Big Mac index update: Turkey-$4 aus,Madrid-$5 aus.
Another thing that sucks about Turkey (don´t get us wrong-we enjoyed it!),is that 70% of people smoke & always right in your face,especially while eating.The buses are no smoking but the driver still smokes,so it gets pumped thru the air con to everyone-nice!
Anyway-it´s good to be in España!Love that sangria...
Went horse rıdıng in Rose Valley before leaving Cappodocıa.Thru some hills and villages at sunset. The flies here are terrible,just stick to you & bıte. Tip for ordering food in Turkey; if you order pancakes with lemon juice & sugar,expect pancakes w/ banana & a cup of lemon juıce w/ some hard sugar cubes.Also when orderıng tzatsıkı dıp,expect it to come in a bowl very runny & eaten like soup!!
Tomorrow no more call to prayer at 6am!Just sipping sangria in Spain & eating seafood in Portugal... We're over the kebabs
Back again...After the bus trip from hell..Well for Emma anyway!So the rumours about Olympos food are true..Emma must have got food poisoning from something there but it didn't hit her until 1/2 hr into a 9hr overnight bus trip!So vomiting every 20 minutes (craig was counting!)until 5 am.Terrible night had by both of us.The bus staff thought it was funny & were more concerned about getting spewed on than the wellbeing of Emma.Enough about that,anyway took 2 days to recover.So Emma could have set a record on the Top Deck chunder chart!
Now enjoying Goreme in the Cappodocia region of Turkey.Fantastic weird landscapes created by volcanic rock & years of erosion.Today went to where the scene of the sandpeople in the 1st Star wars was filmed.Explored down 8 levels in underground cities (60 metres).Went on a donkey ride across a river & explored the buildings in the Fairy Chimney valley.You have to see the pics to appreciate it.
Tomorrow night we're going to attempt another overnight bus trip-wish us luck!! (We're not eating all day..)