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Rach & Kel Do Europe’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 24 Jul 2007

Location: Europe

Mapokay, so if you think that it has been a while since we last posted an update (or a 2nd one at that) that’s because it was over 3 weeks ago now....clearly we have had a few computer run ins so fingers crossed this goes smoothly...
4 countries later we have just arrived in Vienna, Austria for a brief 5 hour stop over before we fly to Athens....but to bring you up to speed we are going to go back to Dublin, Ireland and start from there...

DUBLIN

Well we spent 2 days in Dublin and i have to say we were both surprised at how modern and hip this place is. Full of young funky people and thousands of cool pubs and bars. Needless to say we did not venture out to the countryside as planned but hung in town mainly around Temple Bar region which was 2 streets from our hostel (which i might add was quite bearable for our first hostel experience) with over 200 bars etc !
Of course we did the touristy thing too, the cheesy city sites bus tour around town on the first day and then Kel and i managed to somehow lose each other and without Kels phone working were left to our own devices for an afternoon. I went to a tarot reader, who of course only said good things, surprise surprise and then found the closest pub and had a beer to get out of the cold weather (it was pretty sh*t). We also ate the traditional Irish Stew followed by a few beers at Fogertys over some irish folk music where the singer and band proceeded to play 'Mary clip your toenails cos your cutting the doova' - as you could imagine they did not sell too many of their CDs that night.
We also did the Guiness Factory and got ourselves a free pint of Guinness with the entry, awesome! And the Kilmainham Gaol, which housed prisoners throughout the 1800s and early 1900.
All in all Dublin was cool - the people friendly and definitely happy to stop for a chat about absolutely nothing at all. Definitely a place we could go back to to explore more...

Next stop was The DAM......

Enough said at that really, basically it was four days of haze (well for me anyway)!! We met up with Jordan and Sarah here on the first night and realised we were staying close to each other which was good and also close to Chips, Jordan’s mate from the GC who lives in Amsterdam now, who was a really good guide and gave us incite to local Amsterdam.
We all had great intentions to climb the tower, do this, do that, but once we hit the BullDog at the start of each day - this is a chain of coffee shops, traditionally know for their pre-rolled green - we found more amusement wondering the streets and tending to the munchies, and the savoury pancakes (like a crepe really) were great!! We also tried to hang out in our hotel a little bit as we realised we majorly stuffed up our booking and instead of paying $120 for the room an night we were paying that each and walked away with a $1100 room bill – Ouch!
In my wisdom i thought it would be a great idea to drag the crew to the Ultimate Pub Crawl, which was not at any stage Ultimate, but utterly crap! There idea of free vodka shots consisted of a communal used water bottle filled with what was assumed vodka and red cordial that they tipped into each mouth...we lasted 3 out of the 6 stops and decided to meet Chips in Leidlespein, a very cool area with street music etc.
And to save the best bit to last, yes, we made it to a sex show. Well actually we nearly didn’t get to see it - after paying our €25 we sat down in the pews and Kel decided it was a good idea to pull out the camera and take a photo with the flash of us, not even the stage, but us in the crowd and of course she got busted and had to throw the camera while the girls stormed over and started yelling ‘bitches’ to us and that we were getting kicked out – luckily she piped down and were entertained for the next 40 minutes by the lady with the banana, the lady who did not much at all and then the grand finale of Mr Asian who had been working too long a shift and had to keep tugging at it to keep it up and little Miss Froline with rough edges!!

BERLIN

We boarded our first leg of the busabout trip in Amsterdam and started the 9 hour journey to Berlin, Germany – home of the Hoff!! We have to say, the bus is great, better than expected, its actually great chance to book sectors of the trip, watch a movie, sleep of the hangover etc.
Berlin was a great city, its absolutely massive and very modern which was a surprise. We were lured into another pub crawl, ever so reluctant after the first experience we thought for €10 we would give it a go and it was brilliant. The shots were actually vodka or jager from the bottle and we visited some cool places around town, wrote ourselves of and got the good old kebab on the way home – which had a whole block of fetta in it, the best kebab we have ever eaten!
We had 2 days in Berlin and spent most of the first day trying to find the Jewish Holocast, which we confused with the museum which meant we literally got lost 6 times, walked the same streets, took the wrong tubes but eventually found it! After that we decided we deserved a drink and went to a cute little bar in the park on the canal path, that had makeshift sand to appear like a beach (had to feel sorry for them coming from the GC) to watch the sun set.
Sarah and Jordan arrived into Berlin a day after us and we all managed to do a bike tour around town with NewEurope tours – going to give them a plug, awesome concept where you do not buy a ticket but give a tip at the end on what you think it was worth, it’s a new company that has just started and I happened to meet the CEO in Edinburgh and found out all about it. our guide was great and the day was so much fun. We definitely plan to do the tours in Munich when we get there.

PRAGUE - CZECH REPUBLIC

We heard that the locals of Czech Republic were rude, but I do not think we were prepared for actually how rude they can be. They do not want to help you but if you try to do something yourself so you do not bother them in their job (what the!) they get narky at the too!! In the end we found it funny but these people need to get a grip on what it means to be employed and what a job description is!
On the way to Prague we stopped at Terezin Concentration Camp that saw 32,000 ppl throughout WWII. It was a pretty horrific experience to see the detention room, the size of two toilet cubicles that would house 60 Jewish people with one small window, requiring them to sleep standing up for 2 weeks, and that was if they survived the time. We also walked through a memorial tunnel and throughout parts you could feel it getting colder, quite eerie.
Prague itself though was a beautiful place, with cobblestone roads (a bitch to walk on tho!) and some picturesque sites!
We did a little partying in Prague and hit Middle Europe’s biggest club with Sarah and Jordan……..apparently it had 7 floors…we found 4 and that included some half levels but the absinthe and music was good so we still had a good time.
We also went to a jazz bar which was very cool, smashed a few bottles of wine and were the last ones to leave. Sarah had told us the train line was open 24 hr, so after wondering the streets for an hour, talking to anyone along the way we find the line, that was closed and then it started raining!! We ended up finding a cab so it was not too bad in the end and headed to our hostel, which was nice but seriously miles out of town.

CHESKY KRUMLOV - CZECH REPUBLIC

Well Chesky was cool. It’s a little town surrounded by a mote about 4 hours south of Prague with a population of 14,000 ppl. We arrived to quite bad weather, overcast and spitting and was told by Bevan (absolute dick – the name says it all) that the weather was only going to get worse and that we should do the rafting trip that day – so there was about 15 of us that did! And of course the next day – 30 degrees and sun shining! Besdies that the rafting was heaps of fun, we loaded up with beers for the trip, stopped off for some travellers on the way and after 3 hours ended up at a floating mojito bar…lots of fun. Other than that there is not a whole lot to do in Chesky, which was the great part about it, nice to just chill and relax. So obviously on the 2nd day we decided it would be a good idea to buy some bottles of wine and sit at the hostel and drink, after a few bottles we ended up at what we thought was a nice restaurant on the canal for dinner. It was too bad until, after more wine, we got the bill which was inaccurate. Trying to talk to a rude Czech person about the bill did not go down to well and it ended in a screaming match, him calling the police (his friends), us telling another table to not eat there and then scrounging together our money to give them what we thought was fair and basically bailing asap with a ‘f--k you’ from the waiter (ironically his only English words!). The girls thought it would be a good idea to start running at this point as we were 40 kronom short (about $2) and on our way what did we see, the police car coming towards us and Kel, me and Lauren (fellow busabouter) diving into the closest shop we could see. The police car managed to drive past and we ran like never before to hide at the bar of the hostel to smash as much wine as we could when at 1am the Police arrive, fortunately only for a noise complaint. That was last night and we were very glad to be getting out of Chesky this morning, but we did have an amazing time.

So there you go, 3 weeks as brief as possible!

Off to Greece for a week to meet up with Jordan, Sarah, Smuts, Carla and Julia for the Greek Islands cruise which we have been waiting for the entire trip. Bring on the sunshine, cocktails and good times!

Hopefully not as long till the next time we update. Hope everyone is well back home, we hear its cold, bugger hey and don’t forget to fill us in on the goss!

Ciao
xox