Location: Hopfgarten, Austria
One word to describe our last two weeks in Hopfgarten - BRILLIANT!!!!!
Minus the 30 hours in total from Edinburgh to Austria to get there, the trip has certainly ranked in at No:1.
Two weeks of snowboarding (no major injuries), lunching at Austrian Gastoffs (resturants) on mountain peaks, snowing Christmas night and New Year Day - how better could it get.
Luckily enough, some of the couples (including us) were upgraded to Hotel accomodation which meant a 3 course meal at the local Gastof most of the nights we were there. We could not of been more lucky.
Contiki did an amazing job making Christmas the best it could be when away from family. Certainly something we will remember forever. We were fortunate enough to have a baked meal etc for dinner and all the other traditional foods around that time of year. All whilst being in a room/hall with everyone else, decorated to the max and being waited on by the Contiki staff. Even Santa was even able to find us in the middle of know where!To top if off, when leaving that night it was snowing - (pics on website) - awersome end to a special night.
New Year was spent in the main street (1 of 6 streets in the village of Hofgarten) at a street party. A DJ was there and bars set up outside serving copious amounts of schnapps and gluwein (hot red wine topped with cinamon and sugar) - YUMMM!!! - Fireworks bought in the New Year and the locals walking down one of the mountains in the formation of 2007 holding candles (pics on website). Brilliant night all round.
Myself and a few other girls did a day trip into Innsbruck - the capital of the Austrian Tyrol. (pics on website) - it too was a lovely city set in the middle of the Austrian tyrol mountain ranges - some great scenary.
There are a fair few pics on the website, but we just couldnt choose which ones NOT to put on there. As you can see the scenary is breathaking - hope you enjoy.
We hope your all well and had a lovely Christmas and New Year - (we certainly did). All the best for 2007.
Would you beleive we have been away now for 5 months - time flys when your having fun!!!!!!!!!
Jamelie and Mark
Location: Scottish Highlands, UK
The weekend passed - our friend Cam, Mark and I and our flatemate Karliegh hired a car for the weekend and took to the Highlands in search of Nessie, courage to try some haggis and some of the best scenery we have ever seen.
We started off with a quick stopover at St Andrews - the home of golf. Whilst, it will cost you about $300 to play a round, thankfully we were allowed to walk the 18th hole for free and snap a few pics.
We headed North into the heart of the highlands where some of our best pics were taken (check out the website). We stayed at Port Augustus (the home of the Loch Ness Monster) and also in which the Loch Ness runs through. Bid some time (bit too much time) at the local pub with our pints and even had the courage to try some haggis - spicy mince is all i have to say!!!
Our road trip ended with a visit to the home of William Wallace (Braveheart).
Hope you enjoy the pics.
Mark & Jamelie
Location: Ediburgh, UK
Sorry for not updating the page as often as we would like - but thankfully we both have settled into jobs and days seem to fly by now. To update everyone, Mark is working at the good ol 'local' - Terlford Arms Pub. His full time there, and enjoys the fact that he can literally walk to and from work. Its only about 300m down the road from us - so convenient plus! At the moment its only to get him by until his glazing comes about - but lucky its more of a family sort of pub. The owners and locals have already claimed him - even though they cant believe he is Aussie and not Kiwi (must be the fro I say)!!!
I am working with Dundas and Wilson - one of Edinburgh's top legal firms - earning an awersome £9.50 p/h - equivalent to about $24.00 - LOVING IT!!! - the work is great and people are friendly. To the girls at webb and boland, audio dictation is a nightmare now - the Scott's accent is trebled when they dictate making it so darn hard to type - anyways, I will get by!! I am working for about 5 Solicitors and 1 Partner - so you can imagine the workload. I am in Construction and Engineering and really enjoying it.
The weekend before last we hired a car and went across to Ayr - literally one side of Scotland to the other - and only took 1.5hrs.. crazy!!! For those who know Ben Colley and Jane Hamilton - this is who we went and stayed with - (pics will be on the website soon). Ayr is small in relation to things, its very green and cold and windy. But it was nice. Thankfully Ayr had a ten pin bowling alley - so time spent there. Whilst here we were able to catch up with 'Recko' Kelly - Damien (another Moree lad) who has been over here for about 5yrs. Talk about a Moree reunion in Ayr!!
All in all we are still having a blast - we are loving Edinburgh and there is always something new to do on the weekend. Oh, which reminds me, we (yes Mark - i dragged him along) went and saw Chicago on stage - so good!
I think its only about 7 weeks now to our Austria tour and can not wait. So solid work and saving until then!
Hope your all well back home. Certainly missing the friendships, but we are having fun.
Take care and much love
Jamelie and Mark
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Hello from Scotland....
Home of kilts and hagis...great!!!
Well by the looks of things we have made Edinburgh our home for a while. We took the 6 hour journey from London on Sunday and arrived in cold drizzling Edinburgh. Its a great city though. A lot less busy, chaotic and intimidating then London. The people are so friendly (on the off chance that you can understand them)!!!
Hopefully by the end of the week we both will be employed and have a home - which we both are looking forward too.
We will be sure to keep you all up to date. We only have 8 weeks until our Christmas tour - Hopfgarten. So there is money to be made!!!
Hope you are all doing well. We certainly are.
Jamelie & Mark....
Location: Mykonos, Greece
Hello from Mykonos
The holiday after a holiday was certainly the best thing we have done. Our "contiki cough" has disappeared and the tiredness subsided.
Our days are spent either on the beach watching the waves roll in whilst sipping Caronas or hiring cars/scooters and cruising the island and beach hopping.
The contiki resort is only a 15minute drive from the main town of Mykonos, which is such a cute little fortress. Streets and alleys lead off each other, all cobblestone and out the front of each shop is their owner with their "nonna" (grandmother) and dog - its hilarious. Its all very casual here in Mykonos, nothing ever runs on schedule or by time.
We only have two nights left here and then we head back to London and then on to Edinburgh, back to reality. Funny enough we are looking forward to a bit of reality for a while.
Today we have hired a scooter for the day and are planning to head to Paradise Beach - self explanitory really. Its the most popular beach in all of Mykonos and often a bit of a celebrity attraction.
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
We last left you jumping off mountains in Hopfgarten, Austria and white water rafting the Austrian Tyrol. From here we headed to St Goar, cute little wine making region in Germany and then on to the Netherlands, Amsterdam.
Our first impression of Amsterdam was a 'surprise' stop in the Red Light District of Amsterdam and a ticket to one of the most popular 'LIVE' sex shows in town. No comment... use your imaginations...As I am sure most of you know, marijuana is 'tolerated' in Amsterdam so the pubs in town have a special level for all the joint and bong smokers (your not allowed to have alcohol on this level), another level for just drinking and then another level for whatever goes.... interesting!!! Most people are sitting back having their drinks whilst scouffing down a space cake or two.....
The next day was spent in town, cruising the streets walking by Anne Franks House etc... That night was our last night on tour. As you can imagine it was a huge night had by all. We started off with dinner at one of the little fishing villages outside of Amsterdam and then on to a cruise of the canals through Amsterdam. Free grog for about 2 hours, music, dancing all whilst cruising around Amsterdam. We left here, back to our hotel where we parited to about 3 in the morning - not too concerned about the 7.00am departure time!!
All in all - we both have had the time our of lives. Its too hard to sit and say what was our favourite place or thing because we had 28 days of jam packed, fun filled stuff. Places and things we will most likely not see again.
From this, we thought what better way to finish a holiday with another holiday. On Friday we fly out to Mykanos, Greek Islands for another week of sun, sun, sun and more sun - and a much needed rest. Maybe a detox for that week as well!!! From here we will most likely be heading to Edingburgh and start getting back to reality - working. We will only have over 8 weeks until our winter/christmas tour so we best be depositing funds, rather then withdrawing!!
We will be sure to update you again in Mykanos with some more relaxed style photos.
Hope you are all doing well.
Mark and Jamelie
Location: Lucerne, Switzerland
We last left you in Corfu and since then we have been to Italy, Austria, Germany and now are in Switzerland.
We arrived in Venice and spent two days here cruising the canals and walking the streets. Venice is our favourite alongwith with Florence so far. The days were deadly hot but the view and the lifestyle is amazing. We spent our days in St Mark's Square (Bascillica) feeding the pigeons, Gondola rides and sitting in sidestreets cafes eating our gelati or sipping cafe lattes - absoloute bliss. Photos will be on the website from our Gondola rides and the rest.
On to Munich - Germany - the beer halls are crazy. Spent a night at one of Hitler's previous speaking halls sculling back some steins (3 for both of us - and yes Mark pretty much had to carry me home)!!. Worthwhile though. Sadly we were only able to spend one night in Munich but in saying that we did the touristy thing and saw the Glockeinspiel and a few other bits and pieces (photos on website).
Next day we headed to the Austrian Tyrol - simply breaktaking. Both Mark and I have fallen in love with this part of our trip. The scenary is crazy. You are forever surrounded by snow top mountains and huge rolling hills. (Photos will be on the website too). Our first day was spent white water rafting the rapids of the Austrian Tyrol (photos on wesbsite) and jumping of a mountain in Hopfgarten - nothing like having a 6ft blonde Austrian strapped to you and jumping off a mountain - both Mark and i did this and was the best thing so far. We were only 'flying' for about 6 minutes in the air but it was definately worth it.
On to Switzerland - we are staying at Mount Pilatus. It is the highest hotel in Europe and the views are nothing like we have ever seen before (photos on website). It is about 30minutes in a cable car to get to our hotel right at the top.
Tomorrow we head to St Goar and then on to Amsterdam. Sadly enough our tour ends on Sunday. The month has flown for us.
We have made some really great friends and the best fun ever.
Will be sure to do another diary entry when we arrive in Amsterdam.
Hope you are all well and happy.
Mark and Jamelie
Location: Corfu, Greece
Well well well...
Corfu - amazing!! It is exactly like the pictures that you see. Crystal blue waters and hot temperatures. Funny enough though, they dont allow toilet paper to be flushed down the toiled - a small basket is provided near the toilet (yet to come to terms with this). The streets are all cobble stone, little greek nonnas dressed in black are everywhere and the sun is always out - just glorious.... loving it.
Yesterday was spent on Georges Boat - George and his yacht cruised our group around the island of Corfu stopping at different spots to take a swim in sea. All you can eat and drink surely made the day worthwhile (photos will be on the website too).
From here we are on a cruise ship for two days heading to Venice.
Will be sure to post more pictures in the future.
Love all round.
Mark and Jamelie
Location: Corfu, Greece
Sorry for the lack in diary entries but Contiki is no holiday - therefore no spare time. It has been on the go since day one. Early mornings, late nights and up to 12 or 13 hours on a bus daily. But in saying that we are having the time of our lives.
To bring you up to speed (as you can gather from our photos) - we have so far covered, France, Spain and Italy. Paris was amazing and exceeded any expectation we had. Definately will be going back some day. Barcelona was the opposite - as amazing the shopping was, the poverty was unbelievable. Every corner was a home and begging ground for the young and old. Night life rocks as well..
Italy... have fallen in love with. In particular Florence. Both Mark and I were amazed with this city. Shopping was fantastic (new purchase of a leather jacket for me and a nomination bracelet for mark - will explain later). Every corner in this city exposed something new and exciting. The architecture was similar to Paris but the life in general was no where near the hussle and bussle of Paris.
Nice/Monaco was amazing - definately a lifestyle for the rich and famous. Our day in Nice was spent on the pebble beach sipping cocktails which was great. That night we headed into Monaco Casino rubbing shoulders with the filthy rich - countless Ferraris, BMW, Mercs, Mazaratis and Bentlys. The views overlooking Monaco were priceless as well...
Roma.. Rome... was beautiful and what we expected. The Collessum and Vatican were breathtaking and gave you shivers at the same time. Unfortunately, we both caught the Contiki Cough here (as well as about 30 people on our tour) but are still having the time of our lives. Onwards and upwards....
At the moment we are sitting in a little internet cafe in Corfu - it is a sunny 30oc and is awesome. We only arrived at 4.30am this morning by overnight ferry (an experience itself) and are about to do some serious touring... By what we have seen it is beautiful. White buildings, blue sea and an overall casual atmosphere... bring it on....
Signing off for now. Hope you are all well and happy.
Hope you enjoy the pics...
Mark and Jamelie
Location: London, UK
Well we made to big ol' London Town - and it is FANTASTIC. We have only been here for three days and already have mastered the 'Tube' which is this huge underground network of trains, experienced our first broadway production - Stomp and drank a Pint - (and yes Jamelie finished all of hers!) - they are HUGE glasses.
We went on the big red bus tour yesterday and did and saw all the 'Touristy' things - Big Ben, London Bridge, Tower of London, Westminister Abbey, Trafalgar Square, the Thames, St Pauls Cathedral and the list goes on....
We had our first 'domestic' experience at the local Laundrymat - i can honestly say now that whites, blacks, swimmers, towels and all coloured clothes wash safely together on a cold rinse - our parents would be so proud.....
Sadly, our time is running up in London town but only to get better - on Monday 21 August we start our Contiki Tour - 28 days around Europe and the Greek Islands - can not wait.
Mark & Jem
Location: Sentosa Island, Singapore
Sorry for the delay in the diary entry - but as you can tell from the photos - we had an absoloute amazing time. We didnt want to leave and definately recomend it for everyone.
Happy hour by the pool bar sipping a 'Singapore Sling' or 'Sentosa Sunset' was probably the best bit - but then again, being able to go to dinner at a restuarant with sand between your toes and the beach in front of you was pretty amazing as well.
We spent a day at the zoo which was great (photos should be on the site soon) and so glad we went. Now we dont have to go to Africa!!! White Tiger, Lion, Elephants, Rhinos, Zebra, Chimpanzee, Orangutan, White Polar bear, monkeys monkeys and more monkeys.... so awersome. We were able to have breakfast with the Orang Utan (a big mumma and her baby) that was great too.
Was sad to leave and hopefully (if the finances allow) may stop there again on the way home.
Take care everyone
Mark & Jem