Location: Manchester, UK
Well, Ive only been in London a few weeks and im already jack of it. The older i get the less i seem to like big cities. Anyway, i made a last minute decision to take off up to Scotland for a couple of weeks but i thought id just stop over in the town of my favourite team for a night to see where all the magic happens!
Went to Old Trafford this afternoon and had a walk around the newly renovated stadium. Very impressive but somehow it doesnt look all that different to 10 years ago when i was here. Probably just that distorted memory kickin in.
Also went for a walk around the city and spotted another aussie walkabout pub. They just seem to be everywhere in the UK.
Other than that i cant say there is a hell of a lot here. Just another city to tick off the list but im glad i came back. Might check out the cricket ground tomorrow but im heading off early so i get to Edinburgh with plenty of time to look around. See you all for now,
Location: London, UK
I was staying with my friends Seb and Mel in Paris so when we got there we set out to find the hostel Beau and Shane had booked.
I wasn't getting picked up till later that night so we dumped our stuff at the hostel and went to check out the old girl....Mona Lisa.
The Louvre is absolutley huge and you would never have a chance of seeing everything in one visit let alone ten! So, we just went for what we knew. We also saw the egyptian section which was pretty cool but museums aren't really my bag baby.
After that we decided to get some dinner back near the hostel. Trying to find a reasonably priced resteraunt in Paris where they also speak english is like trying to find a humble collingwood supporter in collingwood. So we settled for just reasonably priced.
Shane and I played it safe with steak and pasta but Beaudene thought he'd be adventurous and ordered some form of french sausage. Now ive seen Beaudene eat some pretty rank stuff but this thing was too much even for him! To put it bluntly it smelled like a fresh turd and i can only imagine it tasted like one from the look on his face. Never the less Shane and I had a good laugh as im sure the waiter and chef did when we left! The next day Seb took us on a guided tour of Paris. We saw Jim Morrisons grave, Sacre-Coeur, Napolean's Tomb, Notre Dame, The Moulin Rouge and much more. There really is too much for one day but we gave it a good nudge. That night Seb and Mel took us to dinner at his parents resteraunt. Mel's sister and her friend Celine who are also friends of mine from when they were living in Oz came too. Well, let me just say thet we were absolutely spoilt! Probably the best food i have ever eaten in my life and great company as well. It was a wonderful day and night all round that we will always remember.
The Next day Celine escorted us to the Eiffel Tower, where the bike tour leaves from. Even though she lives in the city we conned her into doing it with us and it was a lot of fun. By the time we finished it was too late to go up the tower so we just went to a bar to kill some time as we had a party to go to. All my life i have heard stories of how rude and arrogant french people are but i must say ive never experienced it myself. The party we went to was a house warming for friends of Seb and Mel and once again everyone was so accomodating and nice. All three of us had an absolute ball again and even got driven home after the party.
Saturday was our last day so there was one thing left to do. Go up the Eiffel Tower. Once again Celine shaperoned us there and this time brought her friend Delphine along. Both of them had not been up the tower since they were kids so i think they enjoyed it as much as we did. For those of you who havent done it, its an amazing 360 view of Paris which is an amazingly beautiful city. We didnt go right to the top as the view was good enough on the second level and the line was ridiclulous! We soaked up the view for a while longer as it was a really nice day and then once again headed off to a bar to have a few frothies. Just to top off a perfect stay in Paris we got to the Bar just in time to see Scotland beat France 1-0 in the Euro qualifiers. What a stay in Paris! The next day we all jumped on a plane and now here we are in Sunny England.....Innit!
Location: London, UK
Well we finally made it to London, After two months on the road i thought it would never happen but now that im here Europe seems so long ago. Most of you probably wont know but Jayne and I split up in Munich and I finished the trip with Beau and Shane. Thats all I'll say about it for now.
Any hoo, I'll start with Berlin. Definately one of my favourite city's as there is so much history there and the people are so friendly. We did a bike tour around the city and visited places like hitler's bunker(where he actually died), the brandenburg gate and of course the Berlin Wall. Its amazing to see how a city that was once so divided now lives in such harmony. We also had our own hotel room there so it was a nice change from the tents and smelly hostels weve been through. After Berlin we headed on to Amsterdam. On the train there we met a dutch couple and the train ride turned into a massive drinking session which awesome but we turned up at the train station pretty pissed and then had to find our hostel...not a good idea for the future.
We stayed at the Bulldog which was the first coffee shop in Amsterdam to sell pot. Since then they've spawned a decent sized corporation and are fairly big in Amsterdam. The hostel is also in the middle of the red light district so you can imagine the sort of people that hang around there. You cant walk ten feet without being offered some form of illicit drugs. As you will see in the photos we did the Heineken Brewery Tour, it was ok but its really all about the drinking. We also foud an Aussie pub and we watched the AFL and NRL grand finals back to back. Go the Broncos! Other than that i'll just say that we sampled the local culture and the rest is a bit of a blur!
From Amsterdam we went on to Brussels, Brussels is a little bit like Brisbane in Europe. Big but small. Its a really nice city but there's not a hell of a lot to do there. Oh, and if you don't like beer, dont go to Brussels. Belgium is famous for its beer and we found a place called the Delerium Cafe which stocks 2004 different beers from worldwide. Their menu is like reading war & peace so its pretty tough to choose, but we managed. We saw the Manniken Pis which is a statue of a little boy peeing. Apparently on sundays he pisses beer, id like to see that! As you will also see in the photos there is a structure called the Atomium which is meant to be how an atom is structured only much much bigger. If i remember correctly it is about 130 meters high. You can go up
inside and you get a great 360 view of brussels. Next we went on to Paris but there is so much to tell i need a whole other entry!
Location: Barcelona to Vienna, Austria
Well I know its been a while but boy have we been busy havin fun and taking in the greater Europe. Il start with Lisbon, even though it now seems like an eternity since we were there in reailty its only a couple of weeks! After leaving Valencia we were a bit disgruntled with Spain and really didn't know what to expect in Portugal. Im happy to say we were pleasantly surprised and Lisbon has become one of our favourite places so far. The people are a hundred times more friendly than your average spaniard and the place is really clean, slightly cheaper and probably more beautiful. On the first day we did a bus tour round the city. There isnt a great deal of famous sights but what little they do have is great. We saw the 29th of April bridge which you will see in the photos. Called this purely because that was the date they named it....simple, yet effective. We also saw Bellem castle which was built by the king in a year i cant remember to guard the port.
St Jorge Castle though is the real prime tourist attraction in Lisbon and from it you get a 360 degree view of Lisbon. We also made a trip to the Casino, apparently its the largest casino in Europe. Pretty impressive for a casino. Our next port of call was San Sebastien back up the top of spain. After a 14 hour train ride overnight with no beds(an experience we'd all like to forget but probably never will) we arrived. A beautiful beachside town is probably the best way to describe it and it was just what we all needed. A few days of not much and a bit more of the same. We met some really cool people there and celebrated Chloe's bday with dinner on the beach.
Our next little venture was down to Madrid for a night. Mainly so we could get our cheap flight on to Prague but also for a sneak peak at Spain's capital. Had a bit of look around for the afternoon but cant say it really grabbed me. Maybe if we had more time but we have schedules to keep people!
After a two hour delay of our flight we finally got on tired and weary. About and hour later any sleepiness that anyone was feeling evaporated as we hit some unexpected turbulence. Somebody screamed and Jayne grabbed my arm so hard i nearly screamed! In plane english...get it..plane! we thought we were gonna die. But, im happy to say we made it. Obviously, because im typing this email.
Prague, what an awesome place. Also quickly jumped into our favourites list and home of the finest hostel yet. We got in late the first night so the following day we did a walking tour organised by the hostel which was really awesome. A crazy German guy who is incredibly likeable gives you the history of the town along with a few laughs. The hostel actually has its own pub downstairs and we met a whole crew of people who we hung out with pretty much for the time we were there. Couldn't recommend Prague enough to anyone thinking of going. And PS. The castle is absolutely stunning plus the view of the city you get.
We probably could have done with another day there but we decided to make our way down to Cesky Krumlov. Its a tiny little town about 3 hours south of Prague. We took the bus this time as our eurail tickets dont work in eastern europe and boy was that an experience. They pretty much just cram as may people as they can on the buses there and toilet stops, waste of time. Jayne was about 30 seconds away from going in the aisle when we finally pulled in to the station.
The town is only tiny but the country side around is just beautiful.
The hostel organises rafting trips and they drop you off up the river and you float back down. We were expecting some more white water but it wasnt in abundance so we just stopped at pubs on the way which made it fun too. The hostel there also had a pub and a resteraunt so we took full advantage of it as the food was brilliant and pretty inexpensive. Other than that its just a nice town to walk around in and once again we could have stayed longer but it was on to Vienna in Arny's home country, Austria. So stay tuned for my next entry and il tell you all about it and more!
The old phone has come good so all you people that have been just dying to talk to me can now! just call 0055..... only kidding its 0011447747062147 and to txt its +447747062147, cheers, and dont all ring at once, youl block the lines!
My phone is being a right pain in the behind so if you wanna call or text, Jaynes number is 0011447810687367 or if your texting drop the 0011 and put in a +
Location: Valencia, Spain
Well it feels like a hundred years ago that we organised La tomatina but the day finally came around. We kicked off the drinkin pretty early so we were nicely drunk by the time we arrived in Bunyol. Bunyol is a tiny little village about half an hour from Valencia and every year thousands of people turn up for one day of Madness. It all kicked off about eleven and there was no time wasted before the first tomato was thrown. Its pretty hard to find a whole one but there was plenty of scraps and Beaudene sure did cop a few fair in the face! Although i did pay for it and copped my fair share back but it was well worth it.
Overall it was an awesome experience but i couldnt see myself doin it again as after 45 minutes i was over being pelted and drenched with freezing cold water. The rest of the time weve been in and around Valencia but to be honest none of us have been all that impressed. We did however have an interesting experience two nights ago when Jayne and Chloe spotted a bag snaching. Its a pretty long story but Jayne, Chloe and Lucas all ended up in court this morning as witnesses. Pretty crazy hey, but we met some awesome people from England that wel catch up with over there and they were all so grateful for our help. No one speaks english here either(funny that being in spain) and there really isnt that much to do, but were heading to Lisbon tonight and all looking forward to a new country and another language that none of us can even say hello in! Well, thats all for now and as soon as find a computer with a USB plug il get some more photos up for you all.
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Im so glad to be able to start a journal entry with no bad news!
We have just arrived in Barcelona after four nights in Nice. Nice is a really beautiful city and has a great vibe around the town. On the first night we were all craving any food that wasnt Italian. After over a week on an all pizza/pasta diet we were pretty desperate. We managed to find an Irish pub and they had everything from bangers and mash to hamburgers and steak and boy did it hit the spot. I dont think any of us said a word once the food came out although there was a lot of grunting and moaning. The next day we took the train to Monaco which was a pretty amazing place. Some of the boats there are worth more than il probably earn in my entire life! Not to mention Ferarris and all sorts of flash cars gettin about. Another thing we discovered was most women arent afraid to, well, get there boobs out at the beach. The only problem is the ones that do are all over fifty or over weight! Needless to say some of the viewing was not all that pleasant!
But it was nice to go to the beach even though theyve got nothing on Australian beaches! Apparently sand here is over rated, just some nice big rocks will do the trick!
We also did a day trip to Cannes and although it was nice too, its pretty much the same as nice but more expensive, if thats possible. To get to Barcelona is a fair hike from Nice so we booked an overnight train. It was an interesting experience trying to sleep on a moving train and we were all still swaying the next day but never the less we made it in one piece. We´ve seen a little of Barcelona today but we shall explore more and il tell you all about it in the next entry. Oh, and the photos i promised should be up, see ya!
Location: Florence, Venice & Milan, Italy
Well i really dont wanna start another one of these emails with bad news but we arrived in milan today and before we could even leave the train station jaynes shoulder bag was stolen. It was my fault as i put it down to get something out of my bag and it was just swiped before we even knew anything. Fortunately there was nothing too major in there apart from jaynes wallet and credit card but the police were really helpful this time and we were able to cancel the card straight away and filled out a police report so there is a chance we can claim it on insurance. On a brighter note Florence and Venice were both beautiful and apart from poor Jayne being sick with pharyngitis(just like laryngitis but it affects the pharynx) and a brief visit to the hospital which is one of the only things that is free over here we had a great time. We got to see Michaelangelos David in Florence which was pretty special and in Venice went for the obligatory gondolla ride. The camp site we stayed at in venice was also really cool and would have been good to stay on a couple more days but unfortunately weve got bookings everywhere and a tight shedule. Il leave you with that for now as were all a bit flat after the bag incident and i promise il get some photos up real soon. Arrivaderci!