Location: Novy snovakia, Slovakia
Well today has been a big day in which I have scaled mountain peaks. Simply beautiful.
Slovakia is a beautiful country in which the locals are very friendly and willing to share their pristine country.
Yesterday the weather wasn't so flash and the fog took all day to lift however it doesn't stop us from getting amongst nature and the mountain lake.
I'm sorry that I haven't been able to post photos as all my access has been from the iPod. It's brilliant!
Time to go for another yummy dinner, I'll be home in ten days.
Love to all,
Location: Villianus, Lithuania
It's been a little while for this I apologise. Currently I'm in Villianus, Lithuania.
This is a beautiful city with a wonderful and strong culture of family and the arts and religion. However this nation only received its independence from USSR in the 1990's. This has shocked me somewhat as that is in my lifetime and I (in my ignorant way) tend to think of war and freedom from dictatorship and communism as something of history.
Today I went to the genocide victims museum which highlights the partisian wars here and throughout the Baltic States after WW2. I have been blown away by how the independent people of Lithuiania fought for their independence. Also by how they were punished for their resistance. The museum was held in the KGB headquarters here, and so the museum also highlighted the role of the KGB and the attrocities committed by this organisation.
On the good side I went into a beautiful church in the city here which wasn't much from the outside but simply amazing inside. I was fortunate to catch the mass and enjoyed listening to the musician sing his hymns of praise throughout the mass.
I'm ok but very tired and my glands are playing up every couple of days. But only 19 days till I'm home.
Love to all,
Location: Tallin, Estonia
Rigth now I´m in Estonia, itś a very cool place with a wonderful community atmosphere. Last night we met up with our tour group for the rest of our trip. Unfortunately they have already made quite good and tight friendships with each other and were exteremly rude to both Nat and I. To the point in which I had to speak to the Australian guy and let him know that if he wanted I would discuss his issues outside on the street with him. I think he decided to pull his head in a little! Very interesting, however Nat and I met some British lads who are a blast and we have endevoured to spend as much time getting to know people who come our way and just have a great time no matter what our tour group would like to do.
Today we spent the day checking out the New world community communeś festival. They had music and street soccer, street massage, music, poetry slams, artist exhibitions, fire juggling, more music jazz and dixieland and just general good stuff. Really great place. WE have seen the sights of old tallin also as it is a heritage listed area and it is once again amazing to walk around a place ssteeped with so much history. I´m overwhelmed at Australiaś youth.
Time to go to bed as last night was very late for me.
Love to all 24 days till I´m back in Oz
Location: Tallin, Estonia
Well here I am in Tallin. It is our first day of rain since Ireland and we are joining the Tucan tour today. I'm a bit nervous as the tour group have allready been to Russia together and we are the new kids on the block.
Yesterday we arrived in Tallin which is a quaint little capital city with a historical old town in the middle. It has all the cobbled streets and little shops. I'm having breakfast and listening to the people here speaking Russian, it's such a different sounding language to Spanish or German, (two languages that I really heard a lot of).
Not really sure what to do when it rains... So yeah!
If the year twelve girls are reading this... I'm thinking of you lots and hoping that all is going well. Hang in there and keep studying and revising those quotes.
Love to all,
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Well here I am in Helsinki, which is a beautiful city of parks and clean streets and quiet. I love it!! Although it is rather cold here around 17 degrees we had today which I heard you guys had in Sydney also. But hey I'm in Helsinki. Today we went to the zoo. Had to take the ferry there and back as it is on an island which reminded me of going to the Taronga zoo when I was a little girl. My favourite animals there were the Lion family, two cubs, a mother and papa lion also they were adorable and rather huge!
Helsinki is a city that has reminded me of Switzerlandd in many ways. It has military neutrality, which means no allies with anyone excelp Finland. and seems rather peaceful and calm, it also has lots of Russian influenced buildings and architecture, which is fantastic, sinc e we weren't able to get into Russia (Due to our visa issues).
Tommorrow we head to the Semolina Fortress which has a rather long history, so I'll hopefully explain later.
Can'tt put any photo's onto the site at the moment as we don't have usb access but will try asap.
Love to all
Location: Madrid, Spain
Today I´m in Madrid after being to the La Tomatina festival in Valencia.
Valencia is a beautiful city in which I would have liked to spend a little more time in. It has a wonderful history and the La tomatina festival was amazing!!
It was truly wild!!!!! 30,000 people in a street approximately 7metres wide and maybe 100 metres long, you just get packed in and then 5 large trucks full of tomatoes get brought in with people in the containers allready throwing them at you. It was truly awesome!!! I´ll attempt to show you some of the photo´s!
Travelled on the train from Valencia to Madrid this took 6 hours as we took the country train to save some money.
But last night we went to a flamenco show. It´s a pretty special sight and one in which I´m glad I didn´t miss.
Today we are hoping to do a couple of tours and then a night time tour of the fountains and lights aparantely it´s awesome.
Hopefully I should have some good photo´s but getting time and internet access is a little difficult at times.
I´ll try update some of the missing dates today.
Love to all
Location: Florence, Italy
I'm in Florence, Italy.
I don't like Italy very much it's been very humid and very fast. Too many people here but it has also been lots of fun.
We are drawing to the end of our topdeck tour through western Europe and I have met many wonderful people (More Aussies) than in Australia, though. Some who are living in London and have promised to show us around when we get there. Yay!!
The world is so different here and Iàm in awe of it's history!
I saw the Cistine Chapel yesterday and St Peters Bassicilla amazing!!!
Time to go,
will write soon with much more details
Love to all
Location: Salzburg, Austria, Europe
I'll try to update my diary page tomorrow or soon but for tonight here are some photos (more of me and others to follow)
All is good but am very tired and a little sickof travelling and seeing cities so quickly.
Salzberg, Austria is lovely and I'd love to live here. The snow seems to be manageable also.
Very warm and I'm enjoying my second summer!
Location: from London to Amsterdam, UK
Arrived in London last night and that was a little scary as we didn't have any accomodation organised, had to navigate the train and underground all betwen 9-11pm. Aaah!!
But we got there and stayed at the Umi hotel which was where we were picked up for the tour. This is a quick whirlwind tour of Europe so we drove to Dover to get on the ferry and cross the ENglish Channel to France. Dover has some amazing white cliffs, made out fo calcium and Flint. the calcium is so very white.
Basically we spent the day travelling and guess what here in Europe you have to pay to use the toilets! Between 20 - 50 cents! Yeah me being the stinge am trying to get away with minimal payments as I can.
Arrived in Amsterdamm and went straight to my favoutirte food in the world. Cheese factory, they also made clogs there. Bought some special danish cheese and unfortunately had to eat it whilst on tour as it doesn´t export back to Australia very well. But it tasted great in my tummy!!
Aparantely i was supposed to end up with some form of food poisining but yeah risked it anyway.
Amsterdamm at night was amazing with all the canals and water system. it´s all lit up and we took a cruise down the canals. very relaxing and peaceful.
I like Amsterdamm although it was a little confusing to navigate.
Location: Dublin, Ireland
I'm here in Sunny Dublin (that's a joke) as it seems to always be raining here!
Dublin is a busy city with some amazing coloured buildings and again such history.
I went to the GPO building today which is the general post office. Here the war was declared in Ireland and the southerners rose up, declaring independence from Britain and through a bloody massacre received their freedom. Very cool. I've also checked out trinity college and of course a bookstore. Ok time to go.
Love to all,
Location: Doollin, Ireland
I've been trying to update this for a couple of days now and will fill you all in with a little more details later on this week.
So far I'm fine and having a great time. We have been travelling around Ireland for the last couple of days and it is an utterly different country from Australia. So green! We have seen a number of castles and they simply remind me of how old this country really is. Today we went to the cliffs of Mohair and the Doollin Port, it is the rocks and sea of the west coast of Ireland.
The Irish people are friendly and have been happy to talk to a traveller, last night we spent the night at (guess) a pub this place was fantastic, almost like a medival castle inside, but it was packed and warm good food and of course good wine! Although the house wine was no other than Lindemans. A trio were playing some traditional Irish music which was great. No drum, just the accordian, flute and banjo. It wasa a great night. Today we are heading across the country to the east coast and then up to Dublin tomorrow where we can hopefully finalise our visa's for Russia.
Love to all
Location: Doollan, Ireland
Today we drove from the big old farm house near Latton, County Monaghan to well lots of places really. This farm house was our tour guide Kiara's aunty's house who had generously loaned it to us for a couple of nights. The place is simple wonderful and old, with its own chiming clock. The country side here seems sgreen everywhere. With the housing made mostly of stone and haveing bricks in the corners of the building and around the windows. Lots of the new houses are painted and look a little fake, but that's just my opinion!
However as we drive across the country to the west coast of Ireland the houses are predominately famr houses with rather traditional building styles of stone work and white washed windows, timber doors and window frames (yes Sall's favourite). I do like this look a little more than some of the more modern builds and have many times thought ah it'd be nice to buy one of these and do it up.
So today we drove to across the country to Bunratty Castle. It cost a little more than we were expecting so we went to ...
yep you guessed it a winery, here we taste traditional Mead, which is very sweet and honey flavoured. I didn't really like it at all. Next we had a try of Portcheen (moonshine) this is a traditional Irish spirit that is extra strong and made from rotten potatoes. Yeah, I'm not sure I liked that either.
Went also to the Burrens and the Cliffs of Mohair. and to Doollan.
Photo's will explain all especially how different this country really is.
Love to all
Location: American Folk Museum - Omagh, Ireland
We'll today I'm in North Ireland. and we went to the American Folk Museum. This is an outdoor (yeah it rained) museum of Orish history, through the exact and replica's of Irish housing and lifestyles. This leads through a variety of time through to when the Irish immigrated to the America's and the housing of the Irish after settling in Pennslyvannia, USA. It was amazing to see, touch etc. the accomodation and lifestyles of the Irish and how their lives progressed through wealth and depression.
Today we also went to Leslie Castle. This wasn't what I'd expected in a castle. It wasn't disney land that's for sure. The main house was kinda like a big Manor, not a long building with turrets and a moat. However it was rather grand and amazing to consider taht this building itself is older than Australia's settlement.
Today I got to drive in Ireland which was cool. They drive on the same side of the raod as us. so not too scary. I'm impressed by this counrty and am looking forward to seeing the west coast.
Love to all
Location: Monaghan??, Ireland
My fisrst impressions of Ireland. WOW! lets just start with the fact that I'm in Ireland!!! This in itself seems so surreal. I've met some wonderful people who've been as warm and inviting as anyone in the land of Oz, except for one minor problem, that i've been so tired that i haven't really been concentrating and therefore haven't been able to understand a word that has been said at times.
Ireland is a wet country. It#s been raining and well grey since we arrived really. Although yesterday I think I saw the sun for a moment, but apparantley I'm told that this moment was very brief and to savour it while it lasts.
That being said Ireland is a beautiful country that is very green, which is a little symbolic of the nation's optimism and new growth of the country. It seems that the 'Aussie Battler' mentality is alive and well in Ireland also. The nation has such history and this has at times awed me. The character and depth of Ireland is simply amazing and like nothing i had or could have ever imagined.
Having a blast
Love to all
Location: Abu Dahbu, United Arab Emirates
Well we've made it throught the first leg of our journey and I've discovred that I don't really like planes all that much.
This is a strange airport where the heat hit me like a hot oven being oepned and i was glad that we were headed for cooler pastures.
I've allready felt totally out of place in my t-shirt and was confronted by the amount of men working at this ariport. This is a trully different country and one in which I'm definately not sure how operate in. I had to push my way onto the escalator 'none of the ladies before men' customs that i have grown accustomd to in Ungarie.
Time to go, flights to catch and walking to be done, I'm still a little stiff.
Love to all
Location: Ungarie, Australia
Well Hi all,
I thought I'd kick of the diary thing a little bit early and then email everyone I know and let them know that I'm diarising my travels right here.
It's been an interesting lead up to our trip and for those that know the story: Nat's dad has some homeopathic medications that the Doctors here couldn't beat and that has helped him out. Amelia had the tumour removed last week and with minimal complications and now we are just waiting on hearing the results of the bioposy.
Ok I'm five days away from leaving the country and feel a little nervous and apprehensive about the whole trip. But i guess it's the nervous energy that sometimes drives us toward greater things.
We firstly fly into Dublin to spend approximately ten days with a friend of Nat's who lives in Ireland and will check out Ireland withour own private tour guide which will be nice. We also have to apply for our Russian Visa's over there as we ran out of time in Australia.
That's about all,
Looking forward to being in Dublin when I next type in the Diary,