Location: Nice, France
well it has been awhile but we ve had a whirlwind of countries to see and many things to do and the interent started to cost alot..
So we coughed our way thru Cappadocia which looked like Star Wars and coincidentally some of it was filmed there. Lived in a treehouse and dipped in Cold Med sea water in Olympos before saying goodbye to Turkey and beginning one of many ferry trips to Greece.
We did Rhodes Island which is very medievil, Santorini which was the typical white church blue top wonderful Greek sunset island and Corfu where we toga party our butts off. We of course had time to stop off in Athens to check out that pesky little Acropolis.
Then we scootched off to Italy for daily dishes of Gelato and some of the most important tourist spots..in a very short amount of time. Italy was wonderful but it blew a huge boot shaped hole in our wallets. We kicked er into high gear in Rome doing Vatican city, coleseum, Panthenon and the Roman forum in less than a day headed off for Pisa, ran into the leaning tower; checked out David and the Duomo in Florence and got lost in the hundreds of canals in Venice...almost missing our train SOOO not impressed that evening.
Then it was off to Switzerland where we hiked around a bit, and I finally did my bungy jump.I had been talking Nats ear off for ever so I couldnt not do it...but it was an amazing 10 seconds!!
We are now in Nice in the French Riveria, checking out famous ppl at the Cannes Film Festival. Today we rubbed elbows with Woody Allen and Penelope Cruz...woo hoo
all is well but we only have a few months to go..Africa might be in the plans!!
love J and N
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Ok we survived the Caving, and it was so much fun! We got geared up in our "Zoolander" Coal mine out fits (complete with head lamp) and skidded, crawled, squeezed and groped (we had a section that we did in the complete dark) our way thru 3 hours.
Budapest is a beautiful city, but Nat still being sick, we chilled at our hostel for alot of the time, recooperating and amusing ourselves with endless episodes of Scrubs (if only they had had Friends, I would have never left). Also Nat began an obsession with a rubix cube..feel free to mock her! Our last minutes in Budapest were tainted when some dink pickpocketed me and stole my wallet. They got everything of importance except my passport, so its proving to be a pain in the rear replacing things! Ill accept any monetary donations.. :)
Our next stop was Bulgaria, we just keep adding random countries to r list. We decided to ditch Sofia the capital immediately and head to the Black Sea Coast to Varna. Still sick we rested again, and had some nice walks in the Sea Garden and along the coast..dipped our toes and almost got Hypothermia..still not warm enough to go in.
We are now in Istanbul, Turkey, which is a nice little mixture of Asia and Eastern Europe. Its quite the city, and we are in the middle of it all. We have been having sleep over parties with 20 other ppl in our rooftop dorm room, which overlooks Hagia Sofia..a famous mosque, church and museum. And now I am sick as well..woo hoo.
We are off to Cappadocia, in central Turkey to see some wild stuff..And then off to live in Tree Houses on the mediterranean...
sniffles and coughs from our end... but we'll survive!! J an N
Location: Krakow, Poland
Hi all, so here's whats been happening the last little while.
After Vienna, we found a cheap ticket to Krakow, Poland which is where part of Schindler's List was filmed (we saw the actual factory that was his as well as used in the movie) a city that Pope John Paul II was very familiar with and the gate way to Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
The latter took a whole day tour, where we walked the grounds and in some of the buildings where anywhere from 1.1 to 1.6 million people died. Those being Jewish people from all over Europe or homosexuals, or gypsies, basically anyone they decided to put there. It was a very sobering and educational experience, and important that we visit there and learn.
The next day we visited the Wieliczka Salt Mines which lie 300 meters below the surface. They were mined for 900 years and miners would carve in the salt, including the world's largest underground chapel which took 2 miner brothers 67 years to complete.
After speaking with some fellow Canadians and deciding that The Ukraine was safe for us to get to, we found a cheap ticket to Lviv, which is the second largest city and apparently becoming a hot spot in Eastern Europe. Well we sure didn't see it..by far the most untouched place we have been in Europe so far. No one speaks English except for a few people who aren't Ukrainian, and we basically just pointed at food that we wanted...really if you think about it, it doesn't get any better.
For 2 days we sat and ate, (yes perogies for every meal). We even had our top trip meal. It was at an undisclosed location close to the town center where only locals go. To get in we had to knock on a big wooden door with no restaurant sign and say that we wern't russian soldiers in Ukrainian, and there were drunk Ukrainians with old Army helmets and guns singing and danceing with an accordian..and the food was unreal. Sorry mom but the best cabbage rolls ever, complimented with the biggest kuba sausage we have ever seen, some borstch and of course perogies...we were stuffed and undoing our pants on the walk home.
We are now in Budapest, Hungary. Nat has copped a cold so I'm trying to be a good friend and let her rest and not drag her everywhere or nag her to eat chicken noodle soup (she hates it, altho I swear its a god send). Tomorrow we are going caving, so lets hope the 20 extra pounds i've gained doesnt get me stuck in a tight situation!!
All is well..missing and loving you all..J and N xo
Location: Vienna, Austria
Hey all, greetings from Vienna, Austria!! Yet another beautiful city on our stop.
After all the Wurst in Germany we headed to Prague in the Czech Republic. It was told to us that Prague is very untouched, but we somewhat disagree. With trams all over the place and nicer stores than we have in Saskatchewan, we feel it is pretty 'touched'.
We did have a lot of fun there tho, meeting some fun people, trying out some Czech beer (which is supposed to be the best in the world, but we prefer Belgium's) checking out a club and walking about town.
After Prague, we randomly decided to hit up Bratislava, Slovakia (it was the cheapest to go there) But as soon as we entered the town we got a 'not a place we want to backpack around in' type a feel so we immiedatly booked a bus to Vienna, Austria.
Vienna is beautiful, rich in museums etc. We are definitley getting our cultural fill. We are off to Poland tomorrow a.m. including a trip to Auschwitz and some salt mines..we'll let u all know how that works.
Half done the trip now..wow time flies..J and N xoxoxox
Location: Munich, Germany
Happy April Fools day everyone..yet the joke is on us. Silly girls we missed our 6:15am bus to Prague from Berlin and had to buy a whole other ticket to Munich.
Then to top off what started out as an already incredible day, Jan spilt moustard all over the inside of her purse...like Im talking loads...so now she is purseless..and crossword bookless..and not impressed. We spent all day on the bus and got to Munich and immediatley booked tickets to Prague..we ll try again I suppose.
Today we did a tour of Munich, learned more about Hitler, saw the most famous Beer Hall in the World etc etc. And we decided to possibly make 2010 Oktoberfest here in Munich a trip for the future.
All is well, Czech next, then Poland and then Greece..yay sun and beaches!!
Hope all is well at home xo
Location: Berlin, Germany
Guten tag..ya spelling not my forte lately. So since our last entry we visited the land of chocolate (Belgium of course)and on the Easter weekend. How fitting. We did a chocolate musuem tour and spent hours walking around the beautiful cities of Brussels and Brugge (Brugge more than Brussels if anyone is going to Belgium one day) It was snowing tho,so it made it cold and wet to walk around.
We said goodbye to Irish Laura on Monday and boarded a train for The Netherlands..("Im in Holland..isnt that Veird??") Gator I hope u like that one. Amsterdam is a beautiful city but so confusing when u first get there...so we ended up walking around forever looking for our hostel with our packs on in the snow. But we found it. did a city tour and tried not to stare at the chicks in windows in the Red light District...apparently they are ppl too...but still weird for us.
After a few days in Amsterdam we headed to Berlin via a night bus. No sleep made us very tired so we crashed in our beds as soon as we checked in to our hostel. Went on a pubcrawl that night and hit up a lot of great clubs.
Today we did a city tour and learned an encyclopedia amount of German history. And we got to see remains of the Berlin Wall, which Ill be honest is the only thing I knew about before coming here (how sad and Im even half German) Nat knows alot more..the little stinker is always rattling off random knowledge..its true kids are sponges (haha..hey she calls me grandma)
So we are off for Prague tomorrow bright and early, a few days there with a stop back in Germany in Munich for some more sausages and beer, and then we will begin our tour of the Eastern countries..hopefully chepaer than what weäve been paying.
All is well in travel land..xo
Location: Dublin/Galway, Ireland
Pog Mo Thoin pronounced pohg ma hone...and the only irish we learned..means du du duuuuu kiss my ass...haha.
So weve survived Ireland with its whiskey and pints of beers and leprechauns and its national holiday. And seeing as how I am typing on a Belgium computer pad this will be a short entry: Swear its like a drunk dude randomly put letters in rows:::
Jans friends that she met in South America were brilliant let us stay with them and showed us loads of Ireland. Coastal and Inland. St. Patricks day was celebrated the day before cus Irish ppl have to work the day after Paddys::Lets just say we had a 3 pub ..er pub crawl.
Jans bday was spent in Galway;she remembers little
In Belgium for a few days::Hopefully the Mussels from Brussels Jean Claude Van Damme will visit his homelqnd::is he even famous anymore?
Lots of love..Jan and Nat who are still getting along great for those of you wondering x
Location: Edinburgh/Glasgow, Scotland
Laddies...we made er to Scotland via possibly the windiest, most curvacious road ever...not to mention skinny and bumpy...but we made it!!
Scotland is well, rainy of course..as we expected..but so what it looks like in the movies. Edinburgh is a beautiful city, made up of the New side and the Old side. The old focuses on the Royal Mile that begins at Edinburgh Castle and ends at the Queens Palace.
Our first night we took Rich and his friend Ben out for a pint and some fish and chippys to thank them for driving us all the way there...
We did a FREE...yes Free walking tour of Edinburgh where our guide really knew her shizzle. We got a crash course in Scottish History, saw where Robbie Burns once resided, also where the man who was the inspiration for Dr. jekyl and Mr. Hyde lived, as well as where Mr. Harry Potter came to life. We also saw the beautiful private school that was Hogwart's inspiration which is also where JK Rowling's kids go to school..is that her name anyways? Nat was a tad too excited for the Harry Potter spots...haha.
We spent an hour or so in the Edinburgh Castle which is much more enjoyable from the outside..of course being touristy they wrecked it by putting museums and such in it, and of course there is some sort or restoration going on up there..kinda takes away the authenticity.
We are now in Glasgow, and leaving tomorrow for Dublin, trading in our kilts for hmm what are the Irish famous for..ah yes a pint of beer. Neither of us have ever had a beer so we'll have to try that one out...;)
With our steady diet of Rice we are well on our way to becoming budgeting backpackers...you have to when you pay £15 a night to sleep and apparently that's cheap here..Brutal
Off for another skip in the rain..J N xoxoxoxo
Location: London and Sheffield, England
Cheerio...haha we haven't actually met anyone who says that..but we've been having a right smashing time here in grand ol England..ok ok enough of that!!
So we flew into London on Monday and stayed with Jan's friend Sarah Michnik..awesome to catch up and have a nice warm comfortable bed to sleep on...we've been sleeping on wooden boards with a half inch piece of foam on top for the past 2 months...
We got to see all the sites thanks to a classic double dekker bus tour around London...Big Ben gave us a ring, checked out Westminster Abbey and Lizzy gave us a wave from Buckingham Palace. We learned the Tower of London is actually a castle (the bunch of liars) and dined on classic fish and chips with a restaurant full of mice (God we hope it was fish!!)
After chopping off our right arms to pay for a train up North we reached Sheffield where Jan's friend from Australia lives..the one and only Rich. He has been wonderfully hospitiable picking us up from the train station, giving us another comfy bed to crash in and showing us around..not to mention a lovely pasta dish for our first dinner that wasn't a 99 pence sandwich from the corner store (we are really learning to make ever pound count!!)
All is "lovely" and England is wonderfully rich in history and beauty (even if splashed with rain 4 to 5 times a day). Tomorrow we are off to Scotland, via road trip, cuz Rich has offered to drive us there!!
Miss you all, but are loving every day's new adventure..Jan and Nat xo
Location: London, England
We made it safely to the land of the Queen..its cold and expensive but oh so very cool. Well cools not realy the word....more like sophisticated and full of character.
We'll post pics of London asap and give more detail...
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Home sweet home, we are back in Bangkok..its only like our 4th time being back here in the last 2 months.
Well we did claw our way into Laos..claw being the operative word as it was not that easy.
We left Phnom Penh, Cambodia on a stinky mid size bus where Jan's seat did not recline, so she got to sit up like she had a stick in her bum for quite some time. We stayed over in a town in Northern Cambodia called Sheng Trang which layed on the Mekong River..could have been a nice town but it was stinky and dirty and yet we had some of the best food we've eaten in Asia..weird!
Made our way across the Cambodia-Laos border via mini van (by paying $1 in some shack on the side of the road) and got put into another mini van which had some sort of dead animal in a plastic bag staring at us..and not some regular animal it was like a hyena or something...
Then we got transported to the back of a very large flat bed truck with 25 other people and one lady thought it would be appropriate to stick her finger in Jan's lib balm while she was using it...
Finally got to a town called Pakse in southern Laos, where we thought oh okay finally a nice tourist bus..oh no..oh no not at all..this was the local of all local buses..Crammed to the 9s with ppl they had to put stools in the aisle...at every stop people cramming dead animals on sticks in your face, we even saw an old woman get off the bus and pop a squat in the ditch right in front of us. Not to mention after our dinner stop they picked up 25 live pigs which they threw up on top of the bus, oinkin and squealing right outside our windows..closed it just in time before we got a pigs foot in our face...and then for spice they hucked some goats up there (and i mean literally hucked). Then some Laos dudes gave us a beer that they had already been sucking on, and asked if we had boyfriends cuz we were "so booteeful"..and yes we DO have boyfriends to strangers who ask.
So we made it to Vientiane after a very interesting few days...and oh wait we're not done yet. We get tuk tuked to the main local bus station in the city and yup, you guessed it have to get on another local bus to get to Vang Vieng...but don't worry we had live chickens in a bag to entertain us while we sat basically on top of one another..by the time we got to Vang Vieng we hadn't peed in almost 24 hours (as we were not attempting to piss on the side of the road with everyone watchin).
We got a hostel and the cleaning lady was cleaning the bathroom, she didn't speak english even tho Nat frantically tried to tell her to leave....
And that is why we spent the next 4 days in Vang Vieng tubing down the river, drinking oversized beers and meeting some fun people. They have swings at all the bars and they pull you in, and give you some drinks and then you zip line and swing off into the river. We had both done one swing and were feeling pretty confident. So we decided to go on the big big one..Nat was first with me right behind..bout 30 feet up at least...with "sand on her hand" so she says she took off the platform lost grip of the swing and belly flopped right in front of everyone. Thankfully her head and stomach stopped the fall...I tried to climb back down but got talked back into going up from our new friends...boo..but i made it okay..only almost drowning cuz i was laughing so hard at Nat...I checked to see if she was okay first and then we proceeded to cackle for the rest of the day..no week!! Ha ha
Bruised and sore she was a trooper and we had an awesome few days in Vang Vieng. Then we last minute decided to bus to Chiang Mai. Shopped till we dropped for 2 days and sent home a 15kg box of goodies!
Flew into Bangkok last night and just doing some last minute things. Sad to leave Asia, its been quite the experience..lots of laughs, great stories and memories. Off for the next part of our adventure...Europe. We fly into London early Monday morning.
We take gifts in the form of cash :)..as Europe will drain us completely..lots of love from this end of the world J an N