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Rach on Tour - Europe

Welcome to my on-line travel diary. Set up to keep me organised and everyone back home up to date on where in the world I am!!

First stop Spain........

Diary Entries

Sunday, 08 October 2006

Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Hi all.
With Jan in Scotland having a ball. First night we went to a cailidh for one of her friends 21st"s. That involved scottish dancing... yep and everyone dances. Was fun met a lot of Jans uni friends.
Yesterday we went north to Loch Lomond a lake just north of Glasgow, it was really big and nice, didnt rain till we got there and then it was only misty - so im going well with the weather here , everyother city it would storm the first night i was there. Kind of ironic when im in Scotland and it not raining that much.
Last night Jan and her housemates Claire & Ailidh and me went out bar hopping in Glasgow. Umbrellas are the ultimate accessory here and the clubs make a killing from cloak rooms to hold them all. The last bar we went to was a converted cinema so the dance floor was MASSIVE and the mirrorball was just as big to match. Music was cool - pretty old school danced to a bit of The Doors - kinda wierd.
Today after getting up around 12 Jan showed me around her uni - looks pretty cool.
Halloween is pretty big here which is strange, but got me thinking about dress up parties..... if not around time of any assignments/swoty/exams (which probably is) we should convince someone to have a halloween party - good excuse to dress up..... the boys nxt door always throw good dress ups .....

Be home soon guys, cant wait. Hoope you are all having fun, not working the brains too much and that all is not stressful. See you in a few days.

Saturday, 30 September 2006

Location: Berlin, Germany

Hi all,
My last night in Berlin - has been awsome. Great weather and so much modern history. Spent the entire day walking around the city its fantastic!!
Fly to paris tomorrow night - am planning to watch the footy grandfinal tomorrow lunch at an auzzie bar I have found .. go broncos!

See you all soon.

Thursday, 28 September 2006

Location: Munich - Oktoberfest, Germany

Hi all,
Even though its raining I am having the best time in Munich!!
Met Ashley the first afternoon I got in - she is awsome and we get along so well just like we have known each other in person for the full 12 years rather than just written letters.
Oh and she is absolutely lovely!!
Yesterday I did a walking tour around munich city and learnt about its history and the history of Barvaria it was pretty cool, included all the war stuff and that Munich was actually the birth place of the facist movement - I even had a half stien in the beer hall that hitler made his first speech - not that you could tell - unlike berlin , munich has washed over the war and there is not much to really say that it happened here.
Last night ash and I went to oktoberfest and into the beer tents - now thats kinda a steriotype - they are not tents they are like MASSIVE barns!!! one for each kind of beer and there is 6 main beers in munich but like 1 third of all the breweries in the WORLD are in barvaria so this place ROCKS!!
The deal at oktoberfest is that to be served you have to be seated at a table in a tent - which at 730pm we found is almost impossible - but the waitress found us a space and we met some different people it was fun. Hilarious...... the band, complete in traditional dress were belting out american classics in english!! and about every 3rd song they would sing something in german were everyone raises there glasses and cheers(prost) and drinks more and more and more. So proud to say I drank my first stien and it didnt take too long - if i was there with all of you im sure a few more would have went down easily, but have to keep your head on.
Any way - off to dachau with ashley today on another tour, probably to the beer hall/brewery across the road for dinner tonight and thn fly to berlin early tomorrow morning.
Soon be home guys!!

Monday, 25 September 2006

Location: Mykonos, Greece

Oh yeah so sorry I cant upload photos - dont know whats happening and it keeps telling me it will take like 50 mins - will have to do a slideshow when I get back ... hmmmm i'm sure you will be all rivited lol

Monday, 25 September 2006

Location: Mykonos, Greece

So sorry guys - Ive been pretty slack on the updates, but I keep running out of time on my internet cards.

Currently I am about to Leave Mykonos so I guess I better give you an update on what I go up to in Greece and the islands.

So arrived in Athens and it was poooooring rain which I thought was just my luck! Hostel was good they upgraded me to a single - happy about that. I reallly like athens felt totally safe compared to Rome went walking around at night no probs. On the sunday I started the tour I went to the flea market in athens awwwwsome bought so much stuff im having trouble fitting it in my bag!

The first night was great we went out for dinner to a traditional greek resaurant and saw greek dancers pretty cool. My room mate is from melbourne and is EXACTLY like Rach bum so we get along awsomely so that was sweet.
The next day we did the acropolis which was amazing and left for our lovely long bus trip to Olympia.
The hotels are awsome - bars jewlery shops, pools spraling lobbies so swish and the food is fantastic soooo much better than the other tour.
The next day we got up and toured the olympic site - we are talking original olympics BC - I ran the 100m in the very original stadium where all the ancient greek naked oiled up men used to - was heaps of fun. We then drove to Delphi where the temple of hera and appolo is and of course the oracle (turns out she didnt have divine prophecies - she was stoned!!)
Awsome ruins though and fantastic view - the night club there was awsome!!!
Next day was Kalambaka or Meteora where there are monestries right up on top of there massive igneous rocks that was an amazing sight to see - lots of photos.
Then back to Athens on a 5hr ferry to Mykonos (and thats all I have to say about that) Mykonos resort - not that great and it rained but some good recovery time - finally managed to shake the contiki cough.
Back to athens tonight and into munuch tomorrow.
sorry its so short - limited time
See you all in 2 weeks :):)

Friday, 15 September 2006

Location: Naples, Italy

Hello all,
Its been a while since I have updated this thing. I think I was in Florence last - which was absolutely beautiful! The best part of Italy so far. I got to see the statue f David which is just jaw dropping.

After Florence we went to Rome which was pretty cool but I started to get a head cold which just makes touring fantastic! We toured the Spanish steps, The trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona the first day and then a guided tour of the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel yesterday. Added on to the end of that was walking around the biggest Basilica in the world - st peters. Was feeling ok at this point but then we went to the coluseum and I started to go down hill.
Oh but on the way to the coleseum (by public transport) my room mate was warning our tour group that a pregnant gypsie girl was trying to steel our things, when the girl caught on to the warning she went straight up to shannon and started yelling at her and slapped her in the face ... bloody gypsies - theyll throw thier babies at you!

Coleseum was ok, but it kind of takes the shine of old ruins when they do them up so tourists can walk through them but hey wasnt in the best of moods which was a shame.

Yesterday I caught the train to Napoli with Shannon (she went onto sorrento) and for the first time it started to rain on me... great! So I didnt get to see the beach, but ran into an old Aussie couple this morning that said its nothing compared to ours anyway. But yesterday arvo I explored some castles and the national archeological museum in Napoli with some spanish and belgium girls I met at the hostel (really nice hostel by the way strongly reccommend it).

This morning in to pooring rain I caught the eXtremely late bust (bloody italian transport) to Pompeii and explored (with Shannon - met her there) the muddy wet ruined city with Mt Vesuvious in the background. The picture of the pair of us very wet in our ponchos with a soggy map, fluro umbrella, wet shoes and both really fluey just made us laugh - we are not the smartest of travellers going out in the rain when we are both really sick. But it was fun, saw some of the bodies and a dog fight. There are so many stray dogs here in Napoli, and there is shit on the street everywhere - I will NEVER complain about dirty streets in Australia again, but Ill give europe that it is A LOT older than we are.

Anyway off this afternoon to catch the train back to rome, transfer to the airport (lets hope I can manage that) and sleep/try my hardest to stay awake at the airport until my flight leaves tomorrow morning at 9 30am.

Really looking forward to greece! Just hope my hostel is as nice as this one was.

Well arividerci from Italy
Hope all is well

Sunday, 10 September 2006

Location: Florence, Italy

Ok I swear this country is crawling with aussies and yanks. Went to another bar tonight (kareoke... and no I didnt sing) and it was full of us and ausn but still a goot night. actually just came from there so amazingly typing is good.

Not in munich yet but this bar had "shuttles" whic is like 3.5 lt f beer in a keg type thing... soooooo wanted to steal it!!!! Am having a hard time with equating cash we all are like 24 bucks for 2lt of spirits no prob.... except then realise its more like 48 au dollars ... sigh!

So shopping in florence is good - if you want your luis Witton or Gorgio Marmaini put your orders in now. :)

Anyways this thing is yelling at me... always running out of time.


Sunday, 10 September 2006

Location: Pisa, Italy

Choa Bellas & Bellos,

I am in Pisa and this morning we are off to fix the leaning tower. This afternoon we hit florence and we are staying right next to the Duomo which is perfect for sight seeing. This arvo we are also going to the academia museum to see the statue of david!!!! Its going to be amazing to see a piece of history like that!!!

The next day we have a free day so when in Italy and Florence what is a girl to do but SHOP!!!!

Have to go,

Friday, 08 September 2006

Location: Nice, France


I am in Nice - went to Monaco last night and gambled at Monte Carlo Casino - Not as grand as expected, but then we werent exactly in the high roller rooms!!
The beach here is all rocks like smooth skimming rocks so very interesting but missing the sand!

Okay so a catch up .....
When we left Barcelona we traveled to Zaragoza to see a bassilica, then onto Avignon where we saw the papal palace, we also saw the castle where they filmed robin hood men in tights.

After Avignon we travelled to Aix en Provence (markets were awsome)then to Grasse for a tour through a real french perfumefactoryand arrived in Nice late afternoon.

Tomorrow I will be in Italy!!!
We travel through a few small towns and beachesuntil we hitFlorence - going to see the statue of davidtomorrow so pretty excited about that!

Ahh almost have to go - have put some new pics up


Tuesday, 05 September 2006

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Still in Spain cant believe its only been a week missing everyone so much, but loving the different culture even if it means randoms walking up and talking to me in spanish and all i can say is si si lol.

On Sunday I went to a bullfight - a must do - but not pretty! Emily you were so right they kill them, and its not just one round they had 6 bulls, so a bit sickening after the first. An experience Im glad to have done but glad to never do again.

Arrived in Barcelona yesterday and this place is soo cool. Not quite as much to see as in Madrid (unless you want to spend all day in museums picasso, dali, gaudi) but the arcitechture is absolutely amazing. We are staing in the old gothic aria which is pretty cool.

This morning I went to the museum of Barcelona and when to the archeological exhibit - they have excavated underneath the museum to reveal ruins from ancient times - was awsome!!!

Going Flamenco dancing tonight which should be good. As much sangria as you can drink ... im about ready for more red wine now after the RE.

Having heaps of fun taking lots of photos, wanted to put them up but this place only has usb not cd and I brought along the wrong cord - might come back a little later.

Off to France tomorrow :)

Hope you are all well!!


Saturday, 02 September 2006

Location: Madrid, Spain

Tonight I start my Contiki tour should be exciting. Ive talked to some of Ades friends about what I should go and see out of the extras offered and when I have free time so hopefully I am pretty set for the next 15 days.

This morning We headed to the Prado Museum, unfortunately when we got there the line to get in went right around the block so no go. But all worked out for the better I went to the Reina Sofia museum and saw the Picasso exibit and the famous Guernica - very depressing. Also saw some Dali and really liked his works. Will be posting a poster home tomorrow so girls you can open it when it comes, I just didnt want to lug it around europe.

Tomorrow I am doing a tour of the royal palace and hopefully the tour to the valley of the fallen will run also.


Friday, 01 September 2006

Location: Madrid, Spain

31st of August

Real Madrid Stadium

Not the biggest soccer fan but I am interested and definately did this one for the guys.

Headed out to Bernabeu where Estadio Santiago is - the home stadium of Real Madrid. I was lucky enough to do a tour which is pretty cool. The place is MASSIVE bit different to good ol suncorp.

After the tour we did the very spanish thing - went to an irish pub. Loved it was a lot of fun.


Friday, 01 September 2006

Location: Madrid, Spain

ON Wednesday I went into the centre of Madrid. Walked down Alala past the Puerta de alcala and I managed a better pic this time - no road works on the other side. On the walk to Sol (centre) we went past Plaza De La Cibeles - this has a massive water fountain in the middle and when Read Madrid football team wins this entire plaza is just packed! In the background of this plaza is a huge castle looking building that is the communications building and the post office - kinda beats post office square in Brissy.

Arriving at Sol - Point kilometrico the very centre of Spain and the origin of the major highways. Sol means gate to the sun I think. Just past this I went to Plaza Mayor which originally was home to major bull fights, then theatres before being partially burnt down and now a huge touris attraction.

On the way to see the royal palace I found the spot where Madrids first building was constructed - a church - not all that remains is the crumbling foundations.

Arriving at the Royal Palace was amazing - you turn the corner and its just these massive buildings one is a cathedral and next to that lies the palace and its MASSIVE gardens. Will be doing a guided tour of the palace with contiki on Sunday.

Friday, 01 September 2006

Location: Madrid, Spain

Hola guys in an internet cafe at the moment so cant really write much - but I will put some pics up

Will explain them in my next entry when I have a little more time.
Hope all is going well. i am having heaps of fun!!


Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Location: Madrid, Spain

Arrived yesterday!!
The fights were good wel kinda - Qantas was excellent except for the freakin aircon too cold to sleep off the hangover and seedily said no to all wine offered.
Singapore best airport ever - not worried about going there in January.
KLM 747 to Amsterdam ot looking fwd to my klm flight from Amsterdam to Madrid but was pleasantly surprised with a nice little virgin type plane.
So everything was going fine till I arrived in Madrid (no customs by the way) and my mobile wasnt getting through to my cousin, but after playing with it for about a good 40 mins I decided I wasnt sure if I could go the metro alone - changed my cash and used a payphone - all was well Ade thought I was flying in around 11 not 10.
Note from that experience - not tooo many people speak Enligh in Spain hmmmm.
So apparently (according to Ade) the best way to reduce jetlag is to stay up and drink!
So we headed out about 1pm for Tapas and Beer - pretty good very dehdrated it is sooo hot over here, but beats Bris - no humidity.
Walked around had more beer and tapas - walked to Parque Del Buen Retiro a park about 3km square built for the royal family. the only place in Madrid where there is grass that is green - explains who gets the water! Lovely big lake in the middle about the size of 4 swimming pools and people are rowing their little boats around it. Statues everywhere, gorgeous flowers.
Next we took a look at the old gates to the city.
Last night we went out for more beer ....
Headed to the museum of hame - yep thats right HAM. Spanish go crazy over proccutto. This place - more like a resaurant has massive legs of cured pork hanging in mass from every wall!! Tommo would love it!
Managed to stay awake till about 1, got up this morning at 7 so no jet lag.
Today we are heading into Sol - big busy area. The centre of Spain. And yep ..... more beer so cheap about $2 AUS for a big 1 litre bottle from the supermarket.


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Recent Messages

From Candice
not long now, you're on your home stretch. i love oktoberfess its great!!!! i hope you enjoyed it and drank alot of beer. mmmmmm. Went to gundy with em, emma and meg didn't end up coming. it was a blast. we all felt pretty sorry for ourselves the next day having to drive back to brissy. but it was still great and our outfits looked awesome. Vet Ball is this weekend, so its another big weekend. yipee, we've become big alco's here.

i hope you are having fun still.
See you soon.
Response: sweet! i want to see photos when i come back of gundy and vet ball - what are you wearing.
Im at jans -went to a calee last night - scotish dancing was pretty cool. heading out tonight again and today to loch lomond - and its not raining!!!!
From aunty yvonne
Hi Rachael love the web have just loged on you rare havinga ball,it takses us back 30 years when we did our spain, french munch beer hall 10 months traveling have a great time talk soon love yvonne
Response: Thanks, have had a blast - not long till i come home now.
From Candice
Sounds like you are really having a great time. Nothing to exciting is happening here except that emily and i got the biggest delivery of chocolates and spent a whole day counting them. It was thrilling we have the cocktail party for rach and ryan tomorrow after our last exam!!! yipeee. Well continue to have a blast and keep up the updates.
Response: Chocolates :) from who?????

Have fun at the cocktail night... so wish I was there for that one!!
From Emma
Hi Rach,
Aussies seem to be everywhere in the world!
Chel's party was fun, very grown up. We've got the diabetes ball on Friday, can't wait. Had a dinner party yesterday with soooo much food and drink, lots of fun. Keep up the updates.
From Emily
Hi Rach
Still sounds like you are having the best time. When are you heading to France? Kieran is here and he is flying off to Paris tomorrow so I have given him this site and an e-mail address cause he said that he'd love to catch up over there if possible so keep an eye out for an e-mail. Things are good here, a little chilly due to wind and rain but apart ffrom that, no more exams for a week so we're happy. Loving the updates, keep on having a great time!
Response: In paris on the 1st of October so dont know if he will still be there but would be heaps cool to meet up.
From Candice
aaah!!! how awesome you got to see a bull fight. I am so jealous. Was it scarey did the guy get hit by the bull. how exciting. Nothing to exciting is going on here, Emily and i just have one more boring exam and we are planning a dinner party for next sunday we are even considering setting up our pool. Enjoy Italy, I'm so sure you will. Cheerio.
Response: Yeah there were 3 matadors at different times with different bulls and the one guy got picked up and thrown in both of his bull fights. Good luck in your mid sems guys!!!!
From Alice and Emma
Hi Rach!
Emma just showed me your site... very cool. We're off to Chel's 21st/engagement party tomorrow so feel very grown up ha. Looks like you're having a great time!!
Response: Cheers Girls-Say Hi to Chel for me and Happy Birthday and Congratulations!!!
From Shep
so envyous!!!! can you plz take some photos of marseilles???? si vous plais. it would be great for my uni course!!!! luv ya xoxox
Response: Would do Sherbz but I only go to Aix en Provence, Avignon, Nice and Monaco in France. Have plenty of pics of those places. Went to Monte Carlo casino tonight and bet big - $5 minimum at the roulette lol
From Candice
Hey Rach
I'm so jealous right now. It sounds like you are having an absolute ball. The photos are really great. Keep having fun!
Response: damn internet cafe went and got the right cord and now thier usb isnt working properly - cant put up more photos just yet.
From Shep
hey rach, awesome to see Real Madrid's home ground. thanx for that! very jealous ! oh well have an amazing time. bye!
Response: Yeah didnt see Beckham though! Instead we think we saw some of the cast of "the footballers wives" haha
From Emily
Hey Rach, sounds like your having a blast, will keep an eye out for your package :) How cool seeing Dali originals, am a little jealous of you sight now. Not much news from home, Riverfire on Saturday night was pretty cool. Photos are great, keep them coming. Cheers :)
Response: HEy,
Thanks to you and shep for the messages at your 3am when you were at riverfire - your guys are crazy - love it! Went clubbing in Barcelona last night and walked past an "Auzzie" bar - road signs of Kangaroos and pictures of fosters everywhere!! When are they going to get that no one in oz drinks fosters lol
From Emma
Hey Rach,
Looks like you're having an awesome time, so jealous stuck back here. Can't wait to here about the contiki tour. Bit of goss from back home: Steve Irwin died which is a bit tragic, a sting ray barb went through his chest.
Response: Our tour guide jumped on the bus yesty morning and the first thing she said was steve died (she is a kiwi and the tour is about 60% auzzies). A great shame that he has died but I guess its kinda cool that is was so dramatic (if I can say that with respect).
From Aunty Val
Glad you're having a great time! Send me a photo of you and Adey if you have one.
Enjoy your Contiki tour
From From Mum
Just looked at all the photos of Madrid and the Brissy Bash
Good one!!
Will try and show Dad sometine tomorrow.
I have to go to North Starr to pick up some chemicals for spraying 1st thing in the morning , leave here about 7.00am. so had better get to bed luv Mum
From From Mum
Got your mail
Will be waiting for more news
Finally got the phone worked out. Great to her your voice.
Makes it seem a little closer to home.

Luv you Mum
From From Mum
As you can see I have been able to log on to planet ranger,
Will keep looking at this site as well as your other email address.
Have a great time.
Luv Mum
Response: Hey me being overseas might be the exact thing you needed to up your computer and internet skills. ;)
Am having a lovely time, was great to talk to you yesterday. Hope its still raining - bright blue skies over here.
From Emily
Hi Rach,
Just wondering how the jetsetting is going??? I'm sure you more than have the hang of the airport thing by now. How is is Spain?? Keen for an update. Hope your having a blast, not wasting too much time sleeping, happy travelling,
Love em and all of us here at raglan :)
Response: No sleep for me!!
Talked to Jan she is going to come pick me up from the airport when I get to glasgow - all good.