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Global Insanity Tour

Well we have finally left the shores of Australia onwards to the rest of the world. This has been a long while coming so it is really great to actually be 'in transit'!!!

We hope you all enjoy catching up on where the two of us are and what mischief we have been getting up to.
There is soo much that we would love to see & do (and intend too), so heres to our tour of the world......

Bring on Global Insanity!!!!

Diary Entries

Saturday, 09 May 2009

Location: Island Hopping, Greece

Well it’s official…. Greece was the best holiday we’ve ever had. On Saturday we woke up and headed to the airport with optimistically packed bags, filled with summer clothing. We hadn’t had a summer in 18 months due to snow chasing and badly timed continental moves. We were over ready to shed some of our pale skin so we had high expectations. Flying into Athens we were greeted by warm air and a long bus ride to the ports. We hadn’t planned anything so we figured we should stay by the port that night and catch whichever ferry left first in the morning for the islands. We were up at 6.30am and down at the dock eagerly boarding a Blue Star ferry to Santorini. The trip was 8 hours but as we were sitting in the open air (cheap tickets) with the sun on our face and the Ocean around us it was hardly a waste of a day. We met some interesting people on the way including an American studying in Rome and a French man who spoke not one scrap of English. With Craig (very) limited French we managed to stutter through an hour or so of conversation. The last people we met were an English couple who we stuck with until we hit the island. They had accommodation booked for their arrival so we jumped in their hotels van and caught a ride up the sheer cliffs that greeted us. Definitely not a ‘turn up and walk it’ kind of destination. We managed to negotiate a pretty good deal with one of the hotels on the Cliff top for 50 Euro a night. Much better than their advertised 100 Euro. And the views over the Caldera were utterly breathtaking. We went and watched the sunset in a bar which overlooked the Caldera Roofs and spent the night drinking Ouzo and congratulating ourselves for making to Greece. The next day we hired Quad bikes and spent the day with Katie and Tom (English couple) riding around the island. We covered all the beaches and even managed to watch some pretty amazing sunsets from Oui which is the northern tip. From here you can see the most typical Greek style houses.

The next day we booked tickets to leave to another island so we spent the afternoon hanging out by the water and sun tanning. We went back to the ferry port (this time legitimately by our own transfer) and hopped on a ferry headed to Naxos. This thankfully was only two hours away. When we arrived it was about 5 in the afternoon so we quickly hired another Quad bike and asked what the nicest section of the island was. After finding out that we needed to head east to find the best beaches we set off to Aniga Anna. About 10 minutes out of town we were stopped by the police and fined 360 Euros for not wearing helmets (something we had been assured was ok). We went back to the guy we hired the bike from and he laughed when we said we had been fined. Apparently in Greece the police are well aware that tourists are not traceable for their fines. The fine is only valid if you are in the country. To make their quotas look better they will quite often sit in areas frequented by tourists and hand out fines. We also coped a fine for ‘not having insurance’ the truth was that we couldn’t read our insurance because it was in Greek – but then they knew that. Let’s just say we didn’t pay any fines...
We ended up at the beach we decided to stay at close to sunrise. We found a little Greek kitchen and rented a room for the night above it. We then walked up the beach a little further and had THE MOST AMAZING seafood. The Calamari was indescribable and the fish was so fresh. The next day we woke up to the sound of the beach lapping right outside our room, we had left the balcony open all night but were smart enough to have slept under a mosquito net.

After having a light breakfast we took off across the island riding down dusty paths that lead through the middle of cornfields and farming communities. There were lizards of all various shapes and sizes everywhere running under the bike and up the walls. We got quite used to seeing stock tied by their horns to prevent them running out onto the road. Fences anyone?
We found beach after beach that were absolute perfection. The clearest water ever and the whitest sand possible. Add to this the fact that there was NONE around and we were in heaven. It was amazing. After a day exploring all the sites and finding perfection after perfection (yes you can tell I was in love with this island) we pointed the bike back towards Paros and the ferry dock.

We went back to Athens with heavy hearts (and sunburnt skin).

Once we reached the mainland we got our bearings and caught a bus into town. After exploring the Acropolis and Zeus’ Olympian Temple (in INSANE heat) we found ourselves on a bus heading back to the port to collect our things before hitting the airport. We didn’t have our bearings as well as we thought because lo and behold we stayed on the bus too long and had to walk for about half an hour back towards the port. By this time we were running late until we got to the airport and realised we had mucked up the flight time and we were early.

All in all we came back to London with a tan and a great memory.. But Greece is a goer and probably the best holiday I’ve ever had.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Location: Plaja De Aro, Spain

Eater weekend with four days off work and we managed to find a deal we couldn't refuse. For about 190 pounds we found a package deal including all flights, transfers,accom, three meals a day,and a free bar. Set right on the spanish coastline overlooking the beach, we decided we had to do it.
Darryn,Amy (Texas), Amy (Morris), Steph, Matt, Craig and I set off on Friday for Spain. The flights went smoothly and before we knew it we were at the resort. After a few hours relaxing and exploring the area (and the bar) we decided to go for our first swim in the Spanish Sea. The next day we spent enjoying the sun by the poolside and meeting some of the other guests. There were some very public waterfights which resulted in all of us and two other polish guests ending up swimming fully clothed (and not by choice). We moved onto the beach for the afternoon and enjoyed the evening sun before heading to the resort restaurant for our very nice (and very free) dinners. The buffet selection was impressive and the wine was flowing. After some impromptue salsa dancing (not very skilled) and some chicken dances that left the children around us in hysterics, we met with the bartender to head into town to a few nightclubs. We had a long night and an early morning and slept till lunchtime the next day. We were met at our door by some Spanish children who spoke no english. they over the next few days were attached to us whenever we went outside. The weather wasnt as fantastic the next afternoon so we went for a walk around the coastline through tunnels in the sides of the cliffs. There were some amazing views and after some fresh air we were all feeling better. Onto the next night which was a lot more low key and more about enjoying a LONG meal with new friends. The next day we had an 11am checkout time where we moved down onto the beach to hang out and relax as we were scheduled to be picked up at 8pm that night. Luckily the day was gorgeous and we slept, read, ate and talked on blankets listening to the waves crash. We snuck back to the restaurant for lunch and were suprised to see no one was there. Later that afternoon we were told that as there were very few guests staying on, that they were shutting the resort and sending everyone to another place. We said farewll to the staff and some other guests that had been hanging out with us and went back to the beach. We strolled through the nearby town and went back to the reception to meet our shuttle. Strangly enough there was absolutly no one in the place so we wandered around feeling like we were the last survivors of some nuclear war. Very Creepy. After heading to the airport (with some disgruntled guests who had turned up to find the place closed) we had some dinner and boarded our very late flight to head back to London.
Not a very touristy Spanish trip but alot of fun and very relaxing. And for the first time in 18 months.... We got a (very little) bit of colour....

Wednesday, 04 March 2009

Location: Paris, France

Onto Paris!
We had booked accom that morning so we vaguely knew where we were headed and found our Hostel with only a little overshoot. We were greeted with French attitude and felt like shoe filth straight away. Bless the rude customer service. We went walking for a pizza and balked at the prices (about 26 Euros for two SMALL pizzas). They weren’t even good. We slept well though and woke up early for breakfast. Which turned out to be croissants and jam, very French. We set out on our way to St Michel’s fountain in the Latin Quarter for a free walking tour. We spent about four and a half hours walking around Paris taking in all the sights and hearing about the history behind the buildings and monuments. Its impossible to remember all that we were told, but I will try for a few. Close to St Michel’s in Notre Dame cathedral (no hunchback in sight). We talked about how Napoleon was crowned Emperor of France in an elaborate ceremony there. He invited the Pope up from Italy to crown him in front of the masses but just as he was about to place the crown on his head, Napoleon snatched it out of his hand and told the crowd ‘Not even God’s representative on earth is worthy of crowning me’. Back in the times that was a HUGE thing to say so it was a sensational moment for the people. He also was exiled later on in his career for leading his troops into Russia in the middle of winter (duh) causing the loss of thousands of lives and an embarrassing retreat. When he escaped form the island they had stranded him on, thousands of troops waited on the beaches for him with the order to fire on site. As they were his former troops he marched straight up to them and cried ‘let he among you who would shoot his emperor fire now’. No one fired and he was lead back to Paris with cheers and excitement. I bet that confused the new ruler.
Close by to Notre dame was the New Bridge. It is actually the oldest bridge in Paris but it was the first made by materials that lasted long term. On this bridge there are hundreds of carved faces that look HILARIOUS. King Henry the 4th was known to be a bit of a party animal in his time. When the bridge was close to finished, he held a party for all his friends to celebrate. When they were drunk he snuck artists in to sketch the way his friends looked. The next day he employed stone carvers to carve the faces into the bridge. Making this bridge the first ever Face book. Can’t untag yourself from those photos unfortunately.
Other stores included the gardens in the centre of the city that used to be tile factories. Sadly for the people that worked there, Marie Antoinette didn’t like the fact that she could see them from her windows so she had it all ripped down and replaced by gardens. I don’t think they had severance pay back then. Talking about severance pay we learnt that its origins were in France during the guillotine days (last in 1978!!!!!) where the families of the condemned would pay the executer to sharpen the blades to make sure the head was severed in one hit.
We also learnt about the last standing of Nazi’s during the end of the war. Paris was taken at the start of the war as a repayment for the treaty of Versailles which ended the first world war. The Germans occupied the city until the near end of the war. The order came from Hitler to burn Paris to the ground if it looked like they were losing the ground. There were cannons lined up around the outside of the city and explosive wired to all the important monuments. The lead commander had a last minute crisis of faith and came up with a plan to deceive Hitler. He took the cannons and aimed them away from the city and sent troops to fight in the outskirts of the city where there isn’t anything of great importance. He took the explosives and set them up in the Grand Palais which is HUGE and empty on the inside. When the order came to burn the city, he set the explosives off and fired all the cannons. All the smoke and fire, combined with the troops noise was enough to convince Hitler that Paris no longer stood. Ironically even the Grand palais had no damage done. A few days later the allies marched down the Champs Elysees and liberated the city.
After the walk we were pretty exhausted but decided to use the rest of our afternoon constructively. We went to site see at the Arc De Triumph, where the eternal flame sits. We had a laugh when we found out that twice in the history of the flame it has been extinguished. Once was when a drunk football fan urinated on it. When this happened it turned into and international incident with ambassadors from brazil (where he was from) having to come for relighting ceremonies, and the PERMANENT deportation of the man. Another time it was put out when a group of 5 Australian men where toasting a marshmallow on it. Lets just say they got a free ride home as well. From there we went down to the Eiffel Tower. During the day it is quite nice but it looks unimpressive so we were a little disappointed. We decided in the interest of recouping some of the lost money (see Amsterdam and Prague!) we would walk the first two stories. It was a mission and a lot higher than you think! We mucked around on the levels taking our time making our way up. When we finally got in the lift to head to the top< Craig and Amy suddenly decided they were afraid of heights and lost all colour and knee strength. Sam thoroughly enjoyed the ride though and took in the sites. At the top we actually couldn’t believe how high it was. We read a little about the history of the tower and were surprised to find it had actually been built for the world fair in the 1890’s. It was only supposed to stand for 20 years and was designed to not only be a talking point but to be the entrance to the fair and a landmark for people to find their way to the festivities. The way they decided on what to build was to hold a competition. Gustav Eiffel obviously won, but some of the runners up included things I would love to see erected in the centre of the city of love. There was a Cyclops, an elephant and a ship made of metal. My vote would have gone to the Cyclops.
After we had seen the sunset from the top of the tower we made our way down to the bottom. Just as we were crossing the road away from the tower the lights went on for the first laser show of the evening. We were actually awestruck and went crazy snapping photos. I can tell you we understood the power of the tower when we saw it at night. As we made our way back to the hostel we kept stopping over and over again to take more photos. We finally found a supermarket and stocked up on sandwich fillings and a few baguettes. Home for the night and a very deep sleep. We had been on our feet for over 10 hours.

The next day we woke up to find a rare thing in Europe at this time of year. A BEAUTIFUL day. Not believing our luck we header straight to Mont Matre cathedral where we sat down overlooking the entire skyline of Paris listening to streets buskers from down on the road in front of us. We had a baguette picnic and lay in the sun enjoying it. After the longest time we decided to head to the next level and we found a street performer working for donations. He was an amazing singer and had great persona so we found ourselves sitting on these steps in the sun for about an hour singing along with people from all over the world (he kept asking people where they were from). We bought his CD and gave him 10 Euros for his collection. After that we went to see the inside of the cathedral. It was quite beautiful but being inside seemed like a crime so we were quite quick there. We went on our way walking through the city towards the Notre Dame cathedral to go inside. As we had learnt a bit about it the day before we were excited to see what it had to offer. We walked in in the middle of a coronation of a French Cardinal so we sat through a French service with no idea what was happening. Afterwards we were a little clued up and moved around a little. We saw the world’s largest organ and some amazing stained glass rose windows. Not to mention the worlds largest flying buttresses… You’ll have to ask Craig about those. After wards we walked slowly along the river taking in some of the sights we had seen the day before at our own pace and made our way towards the Louvre. We had been told on the walking tour that the museum was open for free to under 25’s on a Friday night after 6 so we were aiming for that. Once we had made our way into the museum we made our first stop to find a map. The Louvre boasts over 35,000 pieces and if you were to spent 30 seconds in front of each piece without sleeping eating or bathroom breaks, you would be there for over 3 months.
First stop for us was the Egyptian exhibition so we could see the Mummies. After we had done that area pretty thoroughly we moved along to the Mona Lisa. We knew it was going to be smaller than expected and quite disappointing all round but we went anyway as it is ‘the thing’ to do at the Louvre. It was as we expected. Afterwards we treated ourselves to a starbucks and continued on out way to take some night shots of all the main things. It was pretty cold outside and after two days moving on our feet we were ready to call it a night. Back to the Hostel at about 10pm to pack our things ready to leave the next day. After an uneventful flight home we were ready to head back to London.
For Craig and I it was just heading home but for Amy it was the start of another adventure.

Bring on London.


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Recent Messages

From Dean and Peta
Hey hey! I was cleaning out my waaaaay overloaded e-mail inbox and found your original message from when you guys left Aus. So your old Glenferrie Rd neighbours are now in the UK for a year or so, too. Living in Edinburgh at the moment. Let us know if you ever come up north... we should have a pint or two!
Response: Hey just checked this, Sam & I have been really slack with updating this over the past 6 months or so since our laptop broke. Will definately let you know if we're heading north, likewise if you're headed to London. Take care in the meantime!!
From mum
come on lazy update this site....bye the way we just had another wedding anniversarary...ok that spelt wrong....now officially old married couple.....
Response: yeah yeah Im getting to it.. next is running of the bulls.. only updating when we travel to a new country. Happy 25th.. the Silver!
From Mum
Hi babe... greece sounds like a place i just gotta go.....
From Mum
cool reading but you now need to update it......miss you heaps and love you....bye mum
Response: done and done
From Marisa
Leaving love, updating page...someone has to aye Sam
;o)
Response: Hey I've been a good little updater!
From Kerry
Hi Sam & Craigo,
Just a little hi to see how my friends are doing?! Happy belated new years to you! Hope you are still having a wonderful time exploring new places. Love reading your info and looking through photos. Keep it coming! Here's to a fab 2009! Miss you guys, Love Kez xxx
From Marisa
LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Response: aww the sweetness of it.. I actually just left you Love as well.. Great minds my Poppet.. Great minds....
From Hamish
Always wondered what sam would look like without a hair cut every 2 weeks or so......
Response: Hey Im still cutie cutie :)
From Marisa
Hey guys!
Hi Leonie i'll email you my cell now....well in about 5 minutes :o)
Missing you Sam! xxxx
From kez
hay, touch base guys, just 10 words so we no all is good, bn 2 weeks since we've seen any sign of u.
love u both, hope/sure ur haven a ball, but try and keep in touch.
chow
kerry
Response: Hi I sent a quick email but net access is a little slim.. i sent you a number to call on :) missing you guys like crazy!!!
From Mum
Hi Marisa next time i up in auckland i will call n we can meet up email me u cell
hi craig and sam this site is not up to date so fix it babes havent heard from u guys n need to know u r ok
Hi cameron about time u said hi back or i come to the shed
love u guys heaps but let us know what u r up to
Response: Hi ma!

Sent an email your way hopefully it made it.. you nevber know what with internet elves these days.. Give us a call sometime k?
From Marisa
MWAH!!
Loving the photos...still
Hi Leonie!!! :o)
Love to you and miss you :o)
From Hamish Falconer
Wow, I really should have got onto this site earlier, so many good pics and some sweet lookin powder runs. The van bunk looks ghetto. Noice 1.. WILSON, the BMW sold?!
Response: Yeesa.. it sold from what I can tell. You oughta get a holiday & catch up somewhere!!
From Mum
Hi babe yep this is proof we been here really cool site keep it up the photos are awesome but dad says you werent on the great wall of china is memory says it was heaps bigger love u guys with all our hearts n will keep reading this now hi marisa and cameron long time no see gotta catch up bye babe
Response: haha nice to see you finally made it on here. Yeah I was only on the miniture great wall.. much easier to walk :)
From Amy
hey peoples :)
photos are beautiful
love you guys lots!!
take care xoxoxoxoxo
From kez
hello, thinking of you both heaps, hope (nay) know u have'n a ball. would love to gass bag, maybe we can arrange a time by email to skipe. luv ya. kez
Response: Online now... Ja, we're having a blast so hard to get net time though. hopefully it will get easier as we get a bit further along. Missing the kids alot though. will def arrange some net time.. the 12 hr difference makes it a bit harder though.. will mail ya
From Hamish
Hey brutha and Sista, so im wondering, a new credit card has arrived for you at my place, im thinking with no permanent postal code, it must mean i can look after it? just throwing it out there...
Response: Bounced it around for a while and decided to throw it back with a big fat NO attached :)
From Amy
haha sorry it was me :)
xoxo love yas
From kimi
i miss u when u be online next
realy want to talk
Response: Not sure but whenever I am I will check to see if your on Skype. I love you lots & miss you too!
From kez
well i always said sam would end up in a monestry. ye ok spelling is crap. love the photos of the budda's.
that be me.
love ya both, talk to u again lata. ps. kimi came to the shed buzzing after she rang u the other day. thinks she all grown up, can ring her aunty on the other side of the world without mum. toad.
chow babe.
Response: Haha I cant ever see me ending up in a monestry without paying some sort of fee or taking lotsa photos :) random tourist that I am :)
It was so cool to talk to the kids. as usual I think they were more interested in Uncle Craig. Keep in touch ok? Wont have great net access for the next month though ok..
From
LOVE the "where are we?" . .. .. . . ON SUM STREET!!!! hahaahhaa
Response: Yup.. pretty cool photo.. had me buzzin out :) Who ever this is can you leave your name.. I have no idea who it came from :)
From cameron
hey guys whats with me having to find out you have this web site thingy through others jeez and i thought i was your favourite!! lol hope you guys are having heaps of fun!!!!...
Response: Hey ya spaz.. CHECK YOUR EMAILS :) or our Bebo sites.. ya know how mine has this address plastered ALL OVER IT :) Missing you hun :)
From marisa
LOVE the photos babe!
i was just saying to alex that you'll take random photos like i would!
so needless to say theres another country on our list of places to go!
cheers :)
love to you and take care :)
Response: Its awesome here although I would say its more of a "stop over" type place.. feels a bit small after a few weeks (and I'm from NZ!!). The only problem is you begin to feel like a frumpy giant when you start to look at all the TINY hot stylish Asian chicks :) Needless to say Craig has mastered the art of looking like hes not looking :)
From Kez
Looks like you two are having a blast, just love the photos! Take care and enjoy every moment of your adventure together.
Love always xx
Response: we are :) Its so nice over here. Although I really miss the summer weather :( Its FREEZING over here.. well maybe it only seems that way after all the 30's :)
From emma
Hi Guys,
You sound and look like your having sooo much fun. Love the pics! xxx Em
Response: Hey Emma, great to hear from ya... Hope your keeping everyone in line back there :-) Take care!