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Monday, 13 November 2006

Location: London, England

Well this is the last entry i will probably be writing on my travel page, how sad. I fly back home to the land of Aus in 3 and a half weeks.

We have been back in London now for a few weeks now. It is getting colder and colder, and darker too - i cant believe it, it is pitch black at like 4:30pm!!! very weird!! but that has not slowed down all the social activities going on here - have pretty much had something on every night since we arrived!!! never a dull moment!!

Loz and I are living with Alex Temp until we leave back to Aus. All three of us in one room, nice and cosy!! Lots of fun!! Its like a sleep over every night!! We have been temp working during the week trying earn back some of the money we have spent on the trip - unforunately didnt get work the first week back, so have not had a pay cheque as yet, so scraping by on what we have left - lots of pasta for dinner koz its cheap!!!

Lozzie has decided to stay a bit longer in London to earn the pound for a while and pay off debts, so unfortunately i will be flying back to Australia by myself (scary!). Definitely looking forward to summer when I get back and seeing everyone again! Also looking forward to getting home and getting my hair done (yes its been almost 9 months since ive seen a hairdresser!! my hair has got so long i look like a hippie!!), sleeping in my own bed, not having to live out of a case, having my whole wardrobe of clothes back again, not having to wear thongs in the shower and not having coin operated showers, and eating proper home cooked meals again, not tinned pasta!!!

But at the same time it will ve very sad to leave everyone here, it has just been so much fun and ill miss everyone heaps. We have had such a ball! I have had the best 9 months of my life!!! However, I have an ancestery visa so am free to come and go up until 2010, so this very well may not be the end of my London time!!

Thanks to all of u who have been reading about my adventures, I hope u have enjoyed living my adventure with me!

Over and out!

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Location: Italy

Back to the beautiful country of Italy again, but this time different places than what i did in June - we have been to Venice, Florence and Rome. And this time the hotels have been replaced with tents and cabins, and the nice meals out at restaurants have been replaced with cold tinned tuna and vegetables in the communial eating area! Nowhere we have stayed in Italy have had kitchens, so we are both dying for a hot meal!

All the cities have been amazing. Venice was very different with all the canals through the city, and very romantic with all the gondolas! Lozzie and I felt the love! The S.Marco Basillica and square was amazing - but may too many pigeons!! Loz got
some of the food and they all flocked to her, she freaked out!! Very funny!! We also went to Verona for the day from Venice which was great - saw Juliets house, the castle, the huge stadium -there was a big annual religious event on when we went, the Pope was going to arrive in the next couple of days, the stadium was packed.

Florence was beautiful, but we had some rainy weather here - and we were camping, sothat was not ideal! But luckily it cleared up after the first day and we got to explore the city. Saw all the sights, did a LOT of walking!! Our legs were so tired after each sightseeing day - all worth it though!

We are in Rome now and are leaving tomorrow back to London. So much to see and do in Rome it is great! Amazing city. We had 4 full days to sightsee, so we have managed so see everything we wanted to. The Vatican City was the highlight - Sistene Chapel
and St Peters Basillica. Also loved the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain (which looked magical all lit up at night), and all the pretty Piazzas (Squares).

We have now finished our 'travelling' part of our trip which is sad. We have had such amazing adventures and seen so many different places. But it will be good to head back to London to have a base again, unpack from our backpacks and earn some much needed pounds again!! Still plan to see Amsterdam and Paris before leaving Europe, so I will still have a few more diary entries to go!

Sunday, 15 October 2006

Location: Nice, France

Back out of London again to the South of France. We stayed there for 4 nights, based in Nice, but doing day trips out from there to other places. We saw Monaco and Cannes as well as the city of Nice. The weather was beautiful, and so was the country! A lot of money in the area, especially in Monaco - there were HUGE HUGE HUGE private boats everywhere there!!! We couldnt believe some of them, they were just unbelievable! We also saw the 2007 Grand Prix track in Monaco - it already had the sign up for next year!

Cannes was a beautiful seaside beach town - it actually had a sandy beach too which was a bonus! All of the towns had beautiful Old Town areas which we strolled through - Nice had the better one, it was so cute!

Stayed in a hostel where the ladies spoke only French, that put my High school French classes to the test!!! Couldnt remember much!!! The hostel was a very social place, everyone was basically in the same room, all in the same area with a few kitchens and bathrooms - so basically you couldnt go to bed until everyone else was! Everyone just stayed up drinking in the rooms and then headed out. Went out to some pub in the Old Town which was good. Met lots of interesting people there.

The shopping there looked great too, but unfortunately at this stage of the trip all we can afford to do is window shop :(

Off to Italy next!

Wednesday, 11 October 2006

Location: Spain

Back to warm weather again!!! Yay!!! Spain was quite hot the whole time we were there - about 30 degrees, fantastic weather!! We started off up the top of Spain in Barcelona, such a great city, full of life! Old buildings, winding cobblestone walkways, lots of markets, shops, beautiful sand beach - yes sand not rocks!, great nightlife and yummy food - spanish tapas!! Stayed in a good hostel called Hello BCN, it even had a gym - been a long time in between sessions so I made the most of that, and so did Clem and Lesley who didnt even have gym wear - they wore their mini skirts!! Good look!!

Alex Temp, Kath, Kat, Les and Clem stayed for the weekend then it was back to just lozzie and i again. We stayed an extra few days for some sightseeing, didnt get much done on weekend! Saw the famous Goudi buildings, including Sagrada Familia, amazing architecture. Also visited the Park Guell which was also designed by Goudi. We saw the famous fountain water / light show in the barcelona square one night which was great to see - a bit like Fantasia!!

Headed South down to Valencia after Barcelona to Valencia. Another beautiful city, a bit smaller than Barcelona. Lots of old beautiful buildings to see. Went out for the traditional Valencia drink one night at a Spanish bar.

Then headed even further south to Alicante - where Kath will be staying soon!! Stayed with her bf Michaja who was very nice and welcoming. It was great to have our own room and not have to wear thongs in the shower!! Spent the days at the beach and exploring the town - or getting lost around the town should I say!! We managed to enter a few wrong apartments in the 2 days we were there!! Kath said she got a message from Michaja saying that he was out on the balcony watching us both walk out of someone elses apartments!! hehe!! oops!!

Him and his Dutch housemates took us out for 'Ping Pong' night. I assumed this was a sporting Ping Pong competition they played in, but it was actually a drinking game at a pub!! Meanwhile I had told Mum and she had told all her friends he was a Ping Pong player!! Fun night though, lots of travellers there, esp Americans.

After Alicante we actually flew back to London for the weekend koz it was cheaper to fly into London then to Nice than to get a train from bottom of Spain. So thought we'd make a weekend of it - and did we ever!! Started partying the minute we stepped off the plane until last night!! Was great seeing everyone again after lore than 3 months, even managed to catch Kate Mac for a final drink in London before she returned home!! Also went to our Oktoberfest reunion - back on the 1 litre beers again, messy!!!

Just arrived in Nice this afternoon, seems like a great city, will be out exploring tomorrow.

Thursday, 28 September 2006

Location: Munich, Germany

Well what a week of fun in Germany, Munich!!! Oktoberfest was so much fun!! We did a 3 night Top Deck tour for the first few nights, stayed in the camping ground with heaps of other young backpackers doing the same thing. Met heaps of great people, mostly aussies, and lots living in London so will be great to catch up with them later! Was supposed to leave after that but was having so much fun that we stayed a whole week and partied with the Top Deck crew!!

Had great weather most of the time, nice and sunny to sit in the beer gardens at Oktoberfest. Drank lots of German beer - the 1 litre stiens are HUGE!!! Was such a fun atmosphere inside the tents, lots of singing and dancing and drinking, everyone very happy (and drunk!). All the Germans dressed up in their traditional outfits, and everyone was up on the tables dancing!! We had a few falls after beer being spilt on the tables and making them slippery!!! The waitresses carried around like 10 stiens at one time, crazy!!!

The Oktoberfest grounds were HUGE, tents everywhere and also lots of rides - went on a very scary rollercoaster ride!! Dont know how people do it after drinking, i would have puked!!

Did actually do some sightseeing too, not just all drinking!! Saw Munich town in a day and also saw the concentration camp, Dachau which was very interesting.

Off to Barcelona today, feeling a little partied out!! No time for rest though koz meeting my sister Kath, Alex Temps, Clem and Lesley for the weekend, so more partying to go!!

Friday, 22 September 2006

Location: Switzerland

The Croatia boat cruise was heaps of fun! Great weather every day and the Northern Islands were very pretty. We stopped at a new island each night, many were very small quaint towns, very cute! During the days we stopped at lots of beautiful swimming places, a national park and some islands. Did a walk through national park and my thong snapped so had to walk it barefoot along the rocks! At night we drank on the boat with all the other young people and went out to the little pubs and clubs the islands had to offer. Great group of people - actually knew one girl from Melb, small world! Rolled off the boat at the end, they fed us so much!!!

After that week of cruising we said goodbye to our beach part of the the trip and got the overnight bus to Switzerland. Loved it, such stunning scenery. Stayed in Interlarked first few nights, cute little town surrounded by huge snow capped mountains. Based here and did lots of hikes and outdoorsy things during the day, took cable cars to the top, etc. Some amazing waterfalls. It was raining the first day, and we were very unprepared, had to buy jackets and umbrellas!! After that it cleared up and was actually warm! Went to Lucerne the last 2 nights, much bigger city. Did Mount Pilatus, beautiful clear day so it was really good, could see far over the swiss alps!

Had one stressful morning, was running for the train and my zip on bag broke, I didnt realise til i was on the train and it was just leaving and i saw my wallet sitting there on the platform ground!!!! Luckily someone picked it up and I got it back, phew!

Off to Oktoberfest tomorrow, bring on the 1 litre beers!!

Friday, 08 September 2006

Location: Croatia

We are now in the beaitiful country of Croatia and are loving it! It is just so picturesque!! The water is soooo blue and clear, u can see through the water out really deep!! Plus the ice-cream here is soooo yum, ive had one a day so far!!! miss piggy!!

We flew into Zabreb and stayed there for 1 night in an all-class hostel which was described in the lonely planet guide as "some say its a dump. We prefer to call it an auditory & visual challenge with maintenance issues"!! And just to top it off, it was cold and RAINING!! Yes raining, we have not seen rain for months!! Thank god it only lasted 2 days and has been back to hot sunny days ever since - we were getting very worried for our tans!! hehe!!

While in Zabgreb we went to the most beautiful National Park called Plitvicka Jezera, that was the 2nd raining day so we had to buy some sexy ponchos (see photos) to walk around in! It was amazing, waterfalls everywhere, blue blue water, etc. We did a big 5 hour walk around it then caught an overnight bus to Dubrovnic.

Guess who was in Dubrovnic when we were..... Owen Wilson!!! We snooped around and found out which clubs he went to. We went one night to the club he was at the last 2 nights, but he was not there!!! dam!!! So at 4am on the way home Ames and I decided he MUST be staying at the Hilton so we walked into there to look for him only to be escorted out by security, oops!! Technically we didnt meet him, but we WERE at the same club only 24 hours later, so we decided that almost constitutes meeting him!! We even got a photo out the front of the club with a space between us and im going to Photoshop him in later!! hehe!!

The Old Town of Dubrovnic was sooooo pretty. Fortress walls on the ocean, we loved it! You could do the Wall Walk around the perimeter of the town which was a beautiful walk. Lots of nice beaches too! Went to the island of Korcula next which was just as nice, a bit smaller, very cute with some more amazing beaches (all stone though which is not as comfy as our sand beaches!). Korcula is supposed to boast one of the best beaches of Croatian islands, Lumbarda beach, so we went there, or thought we did, but accidentally went to the wrong one!!! oops!! we didnt think it was that great!

We have just come from Hvar island, known as the party island. Basically just beached it up during the days and went out at night. We had quite a group here in Hvar, met lots of people in our accommodation we were in (Lukas apartments) and also met up with some of Kates friends from London. Carpe Diem was one of our favourite bars! I managed to get a free nights accommodation at our apartment for helping out the owner with his email problems!! Score!

We stayed in Brac for a night after Hvar, it has the most beautiful beach ive been to in Croatia so far, Bol. Amazing. We have been homeless for the last day, had our bags in a luggage room in town and we just roamed around, had a sleep in the park and waited for our overnight bus to Opitja. Arrived at 4am with no accommodation open, so slept on the deck chairs at the beach!! Was quite embarassing waking up to people walking past us giving us a weird look!! Homeless bums they would have thought!!

Doing the cruise with Ant and Jamie Lansdown which starts tomorrow morning. There will be 5 of us, as Amy Bennison and Adam left yesterday.

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Recent Messages

From wendy&russell
great photography! so pleased you got to the Lauterbrunnen - good memories for us. When you get back to London please make pilgrimage to Peter Pan & Wendy statue (think it's in Kensington Gardens) we missed seeing it in 1973 - luv W & R.
Response: hi W & R! thanks 4 the message! Will definitely try and make it there before i leave for u!!
From Ames
Hi mel, just read over all you entries for the last few months from the time i was with you. We had some really fun times and some terrific lifetime memories. Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks!
Response: hi ames - we did have a ball!!! memories that will last forever!! see u in 12 days!!
From Alison
Switzerland looks so pretty! (Slightly boring compared to your Oktoberfest pics haha) Altho the toboggan looks fun too! It reminds me of Gumbya Park! Remember that place?
How amazing the concentration camp would have been.
Miss you. It was great to chat last nite on the phone
Response: yes a lot more happening in Oktoberfest than Switzerland, But was still fantastic. loved that taboggan at gumbya park. miss u 2
From Kathryn
The mud baths look hilarious! Hope you are feeling better.
Response: all better now thanks! just a bad cough. see u in 4 weeks!
From Bonnie
It all looks fantastic. You lucky thing. Love all the photos. Keep smiling!
Response: thanks bonnie!!!
From Cameron
Awesome stuff mel! hope you are having a great time and will be great to see you again :-) Keep having fun!
Response: thanks cam!!! will b great to catch up soon....ish!!!
Keep up that Mud wrestling !!
From tim and chris
great photos guys keep up the good work.
Response: who is this?? tim and chris who??!
From Peela
Hey Mouse,
Just letting you know that I am reading your news and I am jealous. Hope Mr.Lefty's not getting too sunburnt, Ha!
Misses and Kisses from Peela
Response: hey peeler! happy 2c ur reading the news!! make sure u keep Traffic going for me while im away!! hehe!!
From Ant
Wow, what fantastic photos girls,,, im definately going to greece after seeing those photos. Looks like you had a ball, and im sure you'll be still partying when the time comes to meet in Croatia. Cant wait!!
Response: see you in croatia!! cant wait!!
From Teal
You lucky little buggers. I'm at work now mel's - Desperation is setting in... Keep the pics coming??? Somebody needs to buy elephant dude some clothes - For once and all!!!
Response: very sorry to hear ur at work, im off to the beach now, hehe!! at least u have darwin to look fwd to!!
From Lani
excuse me!!! your having too much fun!!! its time to come home now. its nice and grey and cold here. YOU'LL LOVE IT!! the netball team needs you!!
Response: i would love to give up this beautiful weather for cold melbourne weather lans, book me on the next flight home!! hehe!!
From Al Temp
Dowse I just looked at the World Cup pictures... you're in so much trouble! I think some Hide and Seek bribery is in order...
Response: hehe, well the title was "World Cup Madness", so needed some crazy shots!!!
From Amelia Sutherland
Hey Melly, did you get my email about a week ago?? Haven't heard back from you so thought i'd just check to see if you got it! Miss you! Mills xo
Response: sorry millsia! have not had computer as much this week! will write bak soon, have not forgotten u!! miss u2! hope ur not too cold over there - 30 degrees here tomorrow and we going to Wimbledon!
From kate mac
ah, the stories that should be told from over here but we can't. what was that about the screaming eagle after too many snakebites? and i don't know the half of it...
Response: Hehe, fun times mac attack! Keep early December free for some more snake bite fun!
From Kath
can you burn me a copy of the italy pics. Switzerland is cold, i am in the snow but loving it - see you in a few weeks.
Response: no worries, but only if u delete that awful photo of me off ur travel page for all to see!
From clem
my god mel i cant wait to get there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! friday week and skye and ill be coming out to have a big night!!!!!!!! so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!
Response: yay!! and its warm over here too! bring on that friday night!! cu soon!
From Renee (from Uni/DCAu
Hey Mel!
Sitting here at my desk at work- it was 2.7 degrees this morning in lovely Melb!! Your trip sounds awesome- u may just have inspired me to travel sooner than planned!
Keep up the adventures, experience everything u can and be safe.
Big hug,
Renee xox
Response: well if u travel early enough i might still b over here!! hope the new job is going well!!
From wendy-russell-cairns
A very Happy Birthday to you & Doug - sounds like you're all having a ball - the villa sounds fantastic, but don't get too addicted to the highlife - remember you're meant to be a backpacker!!! Lots of love to you all.
Response: thanks wendy & russell! had a great B'day on the Amalfi coast! back to backpacker's life now though - no more seafood for dinner, back to soup and bread!! hehe!
From nola
loved ll the responses from your girlfriends, hope I am not spying!!! brings back my youth, do wish I had a daughter, drinks with mum tonite at Pams, really know 48 hrs. thinking of u meeting up all cuddles, tears and lots of talks, wish i was a fly on the wall, hope I can keep the ship together while dad away, have a great time with your mum and dad, love and kisses Nola
Response: thanks nola! you can be captain of the ship while he's away!!
From nola
Just loved receiving your email, boy what a great adventure, it must be so much fun meeting up with your school friends, a lot a laughs and also alcohol!!!! take care and look both ways, countdown b/f mum and dad arrive - lots of hugs Nola
Response: thanks nola!! ill b sure to look both ways from now on!! cant wait for italy! take care!
From Amelia
Glad to hear you are alive and well! Sent you another email...let me know if you don't get it! Mills xo
Response: hi millsia! yes got that one thanks!
From T
Hello hunny bunny's, I am so jealous of you right now! I wish i was back there in Londaon partying with you, and, how gorg is prauge! well as u know I am so so slack with emailing, but just thought id write a lil something somthing to say hi and thanks for the pics and keeping us all informed.
getting so cold in good old melbs, and all i seem to be doing is working! Although mum and dad have just gone away to europe for 6 weeks so cass and I have place to ourselves - will have to do a little more entertaining i think!

love to shaz and sick boy for me and all the other girls and guys.

miss you all heaps love
T xoxo
Response: hi babe! sounds like there will b a few parties at yours then!! will say to all from u! miss u! keep warm and think of me in hot weather!! hehe!!
From Amelia Sutherland
Mel, are you alive? Did you get my email????
Response: i am only just alive after a near death experience with a truck in Prague!!! hehe!! no i didnt get your email...???
From Lani
hi... your trusty travel agent here!! i have rebooked your flights... see you next week!

Response: yeah good luck lans!!! im staying put for a european summer!!!