Hello!! I am so sorry for this last entry taking so long but the internet in Italy has not been cheap!! Any how. I am well and having a fantastic time.
It was quite a shock at first travelling alone. I know it was my intention all along but when it actually happened it was rather a shock. When Marley left in Munich i still had a couple of days left in the city and some friends at another hostel. So i moved back to where i knew some people so not to feel so alone! As you all know i am not realy much of a drinker let alone beer so being in Munich some might say was a tad pointless, never the less i still enjoyed the company of friends at the Opera house beer garden ( Signature mark HB ) where traditional German music and food overwhelmed the night. This beer garden was however a little special as it turned out this was the place Adolf Hiltler gave his first political speech. One of the Aussie guys who was with us was a history teacher and was able to point out of the details and facts. The next day i head of to the Disney Castle a gruling 4 hour train journey outside of Munich. I have always remembered the poster i had in my class room when i was 10 of the castle and asking my teacher where it was and was determined one day to go and see it. So this being a little dream of mine i paid the inclusive 40 and had a guided tour to the castle. It was simply magnificent. I took a hell of a lot of photos! It was just how i had imagined. The Gentleman how built it King Ludwig II was a little bit of a nutter so i am told. Ludwig never finnished the castle as he died before it was completed and spent a total of 156 days in the castle overseeing its progress.Ludwig was not fond of women and reportedly had certain encounters with other men hence.He dedicated the castle to Wagner (i think i spelt that terribly wrong ) so it contained many elements that appear in Wagner's plays ie many motifes of swans, and loves. As well as a mini theater and artificial cave between Ludwigs study and lounge. The decor and design was stunning possibly enhanced by the fact it has never been lived in and from its construction has been perfectly preserved. I have very fond memoires of the day and hope to now find my prince charming and live in my Fiary tale book castle....................hmmmmm
After Munich i headed for Venice the bus journey was long and tiring and when we finaly reached i was exhausted! One of the aussies i had been travelling with since Prague was heading into the city as he had only the one night. So i decided to accompany him into the famous maze of cannals. When we jumped on the shuttle bus the sun was shinning by the time we hopped of the sky had turned a meanacing dark blue/grey colour and was firing lighting across the city. Everyone was running and huge blustery winds took street sings and rubbish bins flying. We got absolutely drenched and both wearing white and flip flops were terribly unprepared. Despite the weather it turned out to be a lovely evening! We found this quaint Italian resturant and sat for about 2 hours drinking wine and having Pizza ( one, if not the best pizza i have ever had !) My first night in Venice turned out a little differrent than expected but if anything it has made it more memorable, one of thouse nights i will never forget.
The next day i saw i much transformed city from the deserted blustery one i had seen the previous night. The sun was shining and made the water of the cannals sparkle brightly. I walked around the city in awe. Around every corner is a picture opportunity. It is one of the most unique, beautiful cities i think i will ever see. Initaly what strikes you is the lack of cars which creats a silence rarley found in a main city. This alloud the sounds of the every day Venecians to echo out into the streets. The 5 nights i spent in Venice i lived predominatly on Slices of Pizza ( 1.50 for a huge slice) and gilato which was hevenly refreshing in the humidity. I spent all of my days roaming around getting lost and discovering little untouched squares where i would sit and listen to the buskers for hours. I never made it on a gondala ride as they are very expensive if you are doing it alone, but i have promised myself i will be back when i have a bit more money to spend. Venice is one of those citys where you could wine and dine all day long and never get board. There is so much i could say about this little island but my time on the computer is running out so i will just skip to my last day when i toured the glass blowing islands with some new Aussie frineds i had made! We went to 4 different island all of which had a unique character. The first was called Moreno where Moreno glass comes from. We went into a factory and saw them at work.My favourite island of the four was famous for lace and its multi coloured houses.
I was realy upset toleave Vencie but little did i realise my next city Rome would be as equaly memorable. I am going to have to fill you in on that another time as i have to go and catch my train to Naples where i will be reuniting with Marley.
All my love
Natalia/ Chelsea xxxxxxxxxxx
P.S i have not spelled checked the entry so please be patient with my spelling and grammar. thankyou :-)
Location: Munich, Germany
Hi there peeps,
Well we finished in the Czech Republic and went to Vienna for 4 nights, going to a terrible night club with grossly over priced drinks and Euro house music. We visited a Royal palace which was beautiful but mainly just swam in the Danube for 2 days. The water was so clear you could see as deep as anyone dared go and the lack of a current and the weather made it a great few days out. Natalia had a but too much of the local wine to drink (a glass or so) then decided to swim across the river and back (200m+ each way) which she made look like she was swimming the channel, nearly collapsing on her return, but thankfully she made it. (A bed to differ on that point) Vienna is a nice city but I think the fact that we found such a nice swimming spot made us not do as many touristy things as we should have.
Next we went to Munich which is beautiful, gothich churches, huge farmers markets with loads of great sights and smells tempting countless hungry backpackers, large parks and the 3 largest beer gardens in the world. Again we spent most of our time in a huge man made park which has canals of fast flowing water running through it. Complete with a "surf wave" with inner city surfers, rapids and some slower flowing parts for swiming. So we managed to find the "nudist beach" striped off and went swimming for anouther 2 days. The first day again Natalia tried to try some of the local alchohol, 12% beer which is served by the litre and a half so needless to say after 2 mouthfuls she needed a little sleepy in the afternoons sun. We did quite alot of wandering around the streets of munich as well, with its small back streets and great architecture we could quite happily just explore for hours.
On the 27th Natalia visited the Disney castle (from the title sequences of all the films) which is by all accounts beautiful and as soon as we can we'll post some pictures here, unfortunately however I started to run low on cash so decided to cut short my travels and return to England a bit early on the free bus which had taken us there. Obviously it was terrible leaving each other in strange European cities but I'm sure she'll be fine in Venice where she's off to today then Rome before heading on to Rivelo to meet up with her dad and Co.
I however spent one night in Paris on the way back and went out for a night cap with a few other travellers from my bus. Unfortunately the night cap turned into a rather lively affair as a pub with 25 Aussie travellers would, resulting in me oversleeping and missing my coach home! Hmmm, When I did get up just in time to see my coach driving off down the road luckily I had just enough left to catch the Eurostar and head home after a root march of 5 miles with my backpack across Paris hung over, which I'm sure you'll guess was great fun! Anyway I'm back in England now saving to re-meet up with Natlia at some point near Rivelo or after that for the Tomatoe festival in Spain (a 3 day 5000 person food fight) so fingers crossed for that one and I'll be following her progress, like you on this site as I've told her to keep the diary entries going.
Much love to all!
Marley and Nat!
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Well, this morning Poland tonight Prague, or Praha as the Natives call it! Natalia had the brain wave to drive to Auschwitz, only 1100km round trip but if your not driving it's a great idea! We hired a Skoda for 50 quid for 2 days (a real beauty) and set off last night, slept in the car to save money and visited Auschwitz today, getting back an hour or two ago (guess where our bed is tonight). It was amazing, exactly as you would imagine, complete with rooms full of childrens shoes, luggage, prostitic limbs, glasses, and a whole room of human hair, pretty overwhelming really. We spent 4 hours on a tour visiting the infamous block 11 (execution block), wall of death, Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II Birkenow, site of the murder of 1,500,000+ people. Went to a museum devoted to the invasion of Poland which as you can imagine in Poland was as bigger deal as the extermination of the Jews. The scale of Auschwitz II is immence most of the housing stables are no longer there but the chimneys are still standing and stretch on as far as the eye can see in a huge field surrounded by woods which disguised 2 of the 5 cremetoria. Everyone must know what went on there but until you see it for yourself you can't grasp the horror, they had photo's of the mass execution of children, and wall after wall of mug shots of people in there late teens early twenties all of whom had been killed on the spot we were standing. To be honest as I'm sure you can tell we were both blown away by it all! All the brick structures are still there complete with the infamous railway lines leading to the gas chambers which are even worse when you find yourself standing in one.
Anyway enough of that, we're currently staying in Prague, a beautiful place. It was built in the 13th to the 15th century mainly and is as gothic a place as you could imagine, unfortunately filled with people called Dave on stag Do's from Wales as the beer is good and ridiculously cheap, a pint for 20p or 35p in an expensive bar. I don't think I'll be able to stomach London prices after this, but I'll try! To be honest there's not a great deal to do in Prague except drink as it's pretty small, but we had fun never the less!
We're off to Vienna on thursday, and neither of us know what to expect but I've heard it's nice, but not cheap!
Not much more to add except to tell you we had a funny run in with the Czech police 20 mins ago whilst driving our beloved Skoda (called Sky by Natalia, even though it's Burgundy) the wrong way up the street! The police waved us down, never a good sign, asked us for our passports, then said it's a 2000kc fine, about 50 quid, which dropped to a 500kc fine when we looked poor and upset, luckily the chip and pin machine they carried around for just this eventuallity didn't work! Ha we got away with it after pleading ignorance and trying to distranct them by asking directions to a tourist attraction that was never going to be open at 1:30 am, they we so pleased to practice their English and be helpfull they completely forgot about the cash machine behind us! Oh well!
Keep in touch and all our love to you all!
Location: Berlin, Germany
Well we made it through the red light district of Amsterdam and to be honest it was alot nicer than the one in Paris, Natalia spent the whole time fascinated by the women/he-she´s in the windows and made us walk up and down the canal where they are many times. The prostitutes weren´t half as scary as the punters, infact there were actually a few quite nice ones, but being on a budget and having a beautiful woman on my arm already all we did was look. The next day we spent 4-5 hours trying to find where we had to meet the coach but realized later that what we had actually been doing is retracing our steps from the day we arrived when we walked for an hour or two in a huge circle, it was all fun in the end and we managed to find a way of getting across town in ten minutes, instead of our previous record or 4 hours. They call it a tram and it doesn´t cost as much as we thought about 1.50 or a pound, we really shouldn´t have been so tight in the first place! We arrived in Berlin on the 10th and had knowhere to sleep so had to trapes around finding a hostel, which we did eventually. Yesterday we did all the touristy things like visit the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie, Germany seems quite subdued after what has been a very disappointing world cup, well what do they expect if all the good teams go out in the quarter finals. Nevertheless, and to my surprise, they could be bothered holding the final (Sorry Louie..... these are Marleys thoughts entirely i was backing Italy all the way!!!) all lies, well once they had won she was anyway, she was so far behind France that it was embaressing every time they touched the ball a lone English voice said in terrible french allez le bleu, then as the last penalty went in she said well I am part Italian and started cheering with the rest of us!
Anyway we´re off to Prague tomorrow where it´s said to be quite cheap so I think I´ll be able to afford to eat which will be a nice change and we´re also looking into visiting Auschwitz but so far all we could find were quite expensive trips. To be honest it´ll be nice to leave Berlin you can see why Hitler had such extensive travel and rebuilding plans as there isn´t much to do outside the standard tourist attractions, there´s a feel that it´s just about to open or that everyone is hiding from us, also a fairly pervasive smell of sewage in the air but I think that might just be spicy sauage cooking on the breaze. Anyway Stelios has decided that in his Easyinternet cafes that we can´t be trusted uploading photos so as yet nothing for you to look at, but soon I promise you´ll get to see endless artistic shots of bullet holes in statues!
Our love to all of you and keep in touch!
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Well hello there, We've been and done Paris. We stayed in two different places in Paris the first was right next to the Moulin Rouge which is in the heart of the red light district which was an experience to say the least. I've never seen so many learing Algerians before in my life, Natalia was constantly being harassed whistled at stared at and after about 9pm it's like some kind of seathing pit of human waste with wineos and pimps wandering around preying on tourists, but all in good fun. We did all the touristy things but on a budget, for example we went to the Eiffel tour but not up it, wandered around the free bits of the Louve ie the toilets! Spent some time in the Notre Dame cathedral, all free before walking the whole way around the city twice, A because walking is free and B because apart from the red light district it's a beautiful place to be. The second place we stayed was in Montmatre which is the north west of the city by the basilca which is basically a big famous cathedral on the top of the only hill in Paris in a hotel which was run by the most typical parisien I have ever met, i.e. the least helpfull concierge in the world but we had a beautiful room over looking a street filled with family run restaurants and quaint bars. Natalia spent her time answering every question with Merci, E.g. have you finished your dinner? Merci was the reply leaving a whole host of locals bemused. We also experienced the wonders of French health care as again Natalia clumsily bumped her head for the 3rd time in as many days. But a great time was had by all to an extent that we looked around apartments to rent. One of which we broke into (oops) We will elaberate further on our return! The other was 16m2 studio with the toilet and kitchen in one of the meter squared space. Natalia thought it was fabulous as she would have no excuse for burning dinner... We put the deposit down and will be moving in this september...... Only joking. We told him we would get back to him.
We've been in Amsterdam for 2 nights so far and we're off to Berlin tomorrow. We stayed in a rather seedy hotel in Damm square overlooking the grasshopper (for those who don't know a huge 4 story coffee shop full of completely messed up English and American tourists) Last night we spent in a floating river boat come hotel with rooms only large enough for one person to stand at any one time (it was the size of a pea!) and a port hole instead of a window with temperatures in the 30's at night, again Natalia's idea but not her worst. Yesterday we went on what turned out to be a mamouth bike trip around north Holland, on bikes we had rented and not adjusted to fit so we're both in some pain today and we petted a horse, which was nice. We went to a place called Monnikendamm 15km away got lost and I think we must have cycled 40km on the return journey. Natalia decided that a map was a luxury we couldn't afford (9eur or 6pounds to dear !!!) , but this way we saw more than we expected and given the lovely day, it was all fun in the end. Amsterdam is even more dodgy than the red light distict of paris, not so bad in the day but strange as hell at night, although I don't think the local produce helped any with my perceptions. We're yet to wander around the red light district but I'm sure it's something better experienced by day so I think we'll be doing that today and I'll let you all know what i thought, and how much I was offered for Nat! Anyway our time here is nearly over so I will write again soon and include many countless photo's of architecture and other such fascinating subject matter!
Will keep intouch.
All our Love
Marley and Nat x