Location: Athens, Greece
Last weekend, we went rolling 7 deep minus the FES in Athens.
All in all a great weekend, we ate, drank, and soaked up some ancient Greek culture. These folks knew how to make a building, and they are seriously impressive, considering they made them at around 750BC. Thats a real long time ago, well before the Romans were marauding round Europe.
Only thing that is starting to bug me about going to all these places is these people who walk up to, say your restaurant table, every 5 minutes and try to sell you knock off sunnies or dvd's or handbags. I mean seriously, take your shit and f--k off, most people don't travel half way around the planet for fake Ray-bans. And we certainly don't like being asked every 5 minutes, while we are eating, by the same person - die in a fire. OK Rant is over.
Other that that, Greece is lovely, and the weather was just beautiful!
Oh and I got an awesome hat from the markets ;)
Location: Rome, Italy
Woot! Benoit and I headed off to Rome for a weekend. I was really quite impressed with the sheer amount we were able to see in one day, good job if you ask me! Rome is simply breathtaking, there is no where quite like it. Everywhere we went in Rome was simply stunning, it's hard to describe simply how beautiful this city is, its just better than everywhere else and in my opinion, is better than anywhere else I've been.
Just go if you get the chance, you'll see what I mean.
Location: Valencia, Spain
Muchos Muchos Cerveza por favor.
Soaking up some sunshine for the easter long weekend in Valencia was perhaps the best idea anyone has ever had ever. Basically the quick summary of the weekend was: Beer, food, wine and sunshine. Oh and also a fair bit of walking, which was good as well.
Tapas and Sangria would have to be the big 2 highlights for me this weekend, after months of eating shitty English (London) food, it was good to eat some decent grub, and Spain has plenty of it, these people know how to eat!
Oh and they also have a huge starship enterprise looking building, that was just freaking rad, check it out in the photo page.
I have to say, Valencia is my favourite place yet. It's just lovely, weather is great, people are fantastic and most importantly the food is just excellent.
We also caught the stations of the cross parade, as there is a very large Catholic population in Spain, and it was something to see. It went for quite a while too.
The building style in Valencia was just great too, they have a lot of old, but very well maintained Spanish style houses, and they are just fantastic, if there is anywhere I would like to live other than Oz, it would be here, very relaxed laid back place, and the people are awesome.
Location: Cornwall and Land's End, England
I went for another long ride on my bike this weekend, and headed down to Cornwall, Penzance and Land's End.
I found so many great driving roads down this way, deserted, no one around and just spectacular coast lines!
I also saw the Minack theater - a stone theater cut into the side of a rugged rock coastline. Land's End itself was very touristy, and quite frankly a bit crap, so I didn't stay long, but I rode up the coast to St. Ives which was quite simply a breath taking ride.
The Lizard, which is England's most southerly point, on the other hand was really great. I'd go here instead of Land's end - the only point in going to Land's End is really to say you've been there. Check out the photo's :)
Location: Paris, France
Hey all! been way too long since my last entry, I've been traveling round a bit and have only just found the motivation to enter all the stuff I've been doing into the website!
Well I finally made it to Paris, and I loved the place. After London, its so wide and open and spacious, and everyone was so friendly. We saw a lot of stuff when we were there, including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and explored the labyrinthine Louvre. When we arrived at the hotel, it was about midnight on a Friday night, and believe it or not, there was a police escort and about 4000 rollerbladers went past. Not what I was expecting at midnight but there you go. The Eiffel tower was conveniently placed right at the exit of the metro we walked out of and was all lit up and sparkly - we knew we had arrived!
We checked out the Eiffel tower the next morning, walked up as high as we could then got the lift to the top - avoiding the MASSIVE lift queue from the very bottom. After that we walked across to the Arc de Triomphe - it was pretty damn impressive, I'm not sure how they managed to make something so large yet completely covered in artwork - just stunning. This was of course only outdone by the Louvre, this place was just ridiculous. I mean incredible ridiculous, the entire building is huge and a work of art in itself, not to mention all the artwork in it. I'll upload some photo's now!
Location: All Over the Place, UK
Well, it's been a few weeks since I got my Bike, and I've been doing some serious riding. Getting myself prepped and ready for some long rides when winter is over.
B-roads, I have discovered, are awesome. They are these little tiny, narrow, windey, back roads, that are usually traffic free and a joy to ride on. These have become my new playground.
I've been doing a lot of riding around England's south east side. I've been up to Lowestoft: England's most easterly point, down to Brighton, and all over Norfolk, Suffolk, Sussex and Kent. I've been stopping at various castles and ruins on the way and taking photo's, and god there are a lot of them. It seems that every 15 mins or so of ride time you run into something ancient or awesome you need to look at.
I've taken some pics of Orford Castle: a Norman period castle keep, the ruins of the Church of St Andrew at Covehithe, More of a very old set of Castle ruins at Bungay, and lastly but no means least, the 13th century castle at Bodiam.
Also, I went to the "Beach" at Brighton....these people don't know what beaches are. L2Beach I say. It was rocks, not sand, not even gravel, giant friggin rocks. They may be able to make a damn fine castle but sheesh, spend less time doing that, and more time sand mining for a decent beach if you ask me.
Location: Stonehenge and Bath, UK
So...the inevitable finally happened. I bought another motorbike.
It's a Triumph Tiger 955, a touring machine, that I'm going to use to ride to as many places in Europe as I can. Screw airplanes (and more specifically airport security), they suck monkey nuts. Bikes are the future people and you should all get one.
Now, for my first weekend jaunt, I decided to do a day trip, using mostly B-roads, to some places I've always wanted to see: Stonehenge and Bath. For those of you who don't know what B-roads are, they are like alternative back road routes that usually follow main roads, but are narrow, windey, and most importantly, almost deserted. In other words, awesome biking material.
As you're all probably aware, its cold time over here, but thanks to some good equipment and heated grips, the ride was a pleasure. I hate you McKee for having heated grips all this time: you bastard.
Stonehenge was pretty amazing, It kind of snuck up on me too, i came around a bend after riding for 2 hours and it was right there, smack bang on the hill in front of me. I was a bit awestruck, after hearing about it, and seeing in pictures all thee years, it was right there. Its not as big as I imagined it, but its nonetheless an amazing thing to see up close. Ruins of something old and ancient that has somehow been forgotten about over the centuries, there really is something powerful and mysterious about the whole area that I can't quite put my finger on.
Then, there's all the barrows (burial mounds) that scatter the landscape all around Stonehenge. Who knows who is buried there, but they were probably really important in their time.
After Stonehenge (and several cups of Coffee to warm up - feckin rip off Stonehenge coffee by the way) I headed on out through the backroads to Bath.
Bath was a much larger city than I was expecting, but it really was pretty. Old Georgian architecture and the place seems old but very pretty.
I went to the Roman Baths, which are really a hot spring, that over the centuries, people have built stuff on. First the medieval Saxon's, then the romans, then the Victorians. Over the years it was built upon until it was forgotten and lay in ruins. It still amazes me that people can lose and forget about things like that in such a small bloody place. I mean I can understand losing an Aztec temple in the Amazon, its huge and dangerous, but to lose a roman bath in the middle of england? its like people were blind for a couple of centuries. In anycase, the baths were quite impressive, not due to their size, but just to see the kind of technology like, pipes, heated floors, sauna's and drainage the these people managed to construct so long ago. They must have been the first people to invent such things.
Photo's up soon, hopefully soon i'll get enough time to ride the bike from the very top of Scotland John O'Groates to the the very bottom of England - Lands End.
That oughta keep me busy!
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Belgium is awesome. Just because the whole place revolves around beer and chocolate. Or chocolate beer, my favorite new taste sensation.
Gaz and I headed over to Brussels for a weekend, and to be honest, there isn't too much to see in Brussels. But, thats not to say that it isn't a great place, in fact I really like the place. It has this very relaxed and friendly atmosphere, everyone is positively lovely, and after coming from London, you notice how clean the place city is.
There is also historical treasures everywhere. Around every corner there's a statue, or a church, or a square or something that's ancient and beautiful.
Then theres the bar, Delirium, that holds the Guinness world record for most commercially available beers. 2004 beers for sale at the one bar in fact. We must have had 15 or so, and didn't try a bad one. But then again, no beer is really bad. Except Fosters of course, but thats not beer, is fermented cat urine served in ass tasting glasses.
We saw the little guy, the Mannekin Pis, which is a tiny little status of a boy taking a leak. A guy, lets call him Frank, comes by a few hundred times a year and changes his outfit. When we were there we was dressed like a Bishop or a wise man. Seeing I don't know the difference, I'll let you choose which.
We saw the Royal palace and the Royal park which is shaped like the Freemasons logo, for all you conspiracy theorists, and of course the Grand Place, which is quite, well grand. Surrounded on 4 sides by very old gilded buildings, its really something to see. Check out the photo's on the photo page!
Oh, and yes, if its Belgian Chocolate, is is very possible to eat a good kilo in under 15 mins. Some of you aren't getting presents this xmas, don't blame me, blame the Belgians for making such tasty chocolates.
Location: Hyde Park - London, UK
I just thought i'd do a very small entry about Hyde Park in London.
I've been there a few times now, and it is really the one place in London that I genuinely find relaxing. Weather you go and have a giggle at the crazies at Speakers corner, or find a quiet grassy area to sit and read, this place is great. Its also huge. If there's one thing the Poms can do well, its a park. Hopefully i'll get some photo's of it covered in snow for white Christmas...here's hoping anyway.
Location: Dunsfold Aerodrome, UK
This may have been one of the awesomest things I've done yet.
Some of you may have heard of this little car show called Top Gear. Well Heaney and Leigh managed to get tickets to go see the show being filmed live, and so off we went. The tickets are free, but the catch is there's about a 2 year waiting list for them, so needless to say, I owe Ben big time.
We hired a car, and drove through London peak hour traffic, which was hell quite frankly, and then out to Dunsfold Park Aerodrome, the filimg location of Top Gear and where the track is.
The whole experience was surreal, all the set, the interview chairs, which you could sit on, the awesome cars, and of course chatting with the hosts was all kind of like a dream, somehow not real.
The 3 of them really rip into each other off camera by the way, and they swear like troopers off camera, which is like a regular Top Gear show only more funny.
So, the episode we saw live, is being shown this Sunday 2 Nov, and has Louis Hamilton, and James Blunt as guests, Hammond drives a real F1 car, and they review the new Holden VRX 6 liter V8, as well as try out some very old vintage cars.
It was a lot of fun, and I'm going to put myself on the ticket list, in hopes of passing on the favor to someone who's over here at the time they come up.
This may or may not be news yet, but it was also James May's very last episode ever. Apparently something is wrong with him (medically) and he wont be back next season. Even the other hosts didn't know what was wrong with him. Not sure if this was playing to the crowd, or if they genuinely didn't know, but you heard it here first. But I for one will be sorry to see him go, and am very happy I got to see him live before he left.
I got some photo's of the trip there but unfortunately none in the studio, as camera's weren't allowed inside, ahh well.
Location: Brisbane, Australia
WARNING: Shameless Plug Ahead.
Somehow, I've managed to find time to develop a news and complete content management system, in a new language (PHP with MySql) specifically.
My Brothers and I have launched a collaborative effort, which aims to be an alternative and *gasp* accurate news source. As my bro is a Journo, he'll obviously be doing most of the writing, but it is a community effort and people can submit their own stuff if they wish!
Please check it out all, and pass on the link to people you like, and If you've got a blog or website of your own, link us (pwetty pweese).
*End Shameless Plug*
Location: London, UK
Sorry for no updates, I know no updates make you all sad pandas, or is it pandai? I think I could be making up plurals......or is it plurai? I'll stop now. Promise.
Reason I haven't been so active on here is well because, I've been doing stuff around London in the past few weeks, and I have no Idea where all the time goes.
First thing I should write about though is Guy Fawkes night. I remember my Dad telling me about this back in Aus in the "Good ole days" when you could blow shit up and no one cared. Then they banned fireworks (cept in the ACT of course) and that was that. Well over here the tradition is alive and well, we had a good 2 solid weeks of fireworks and explosions, and went to one of London's various parks to see the Bonfire and fireworks. Bonfire was good, though there was no "Guy". I should explain, "Guy" short for Guy Fawkes, is usually a straw dummy effigy they put on top of the Bonfire. This is what they did to Guy Fawkes after he was hung, drawn and quartered for Treason: he tried to blow up Westminster when all the politicians returned to parliament. The fireworks were good, but were really just like a shorter version of skyfire, good nonetheless. I took a photo of the bonfire, but it was with my phone, and its crap. But you get the idea, it was very very big.
Next thing on the agenda is the soccer. I'm still quite simply, refusing to call it football. Its not: it's soccer. Gaz, Ben, Leigh and I went and caught the Australia v Nigeria game at Fulham. It was actually pretty cool, the stadium doesn't have a single bad seat, and I've never been so close to the field before at a game, I felt like I could touch the grass. It was made even better by the fact we won 1-0.
Now, folks who've been over here will tell ya that Fulham and Shepherds Bush (or as the vast majority of Aussies will tell you its actually "She Bu" Pron: "Shay Boo"), are actually small independent states of Australia. That is, you have to be Aussie to be allowed to live here. This was made very clear when, while we were strolling along to the Soccer, we walked past I would say a '98 Holden SS commodore, with Queensland plates. A little bit of home right there.
All in all it was a very Aussie day, we got up earlyish, voted, watched Australia in some kind of sport, and then went and saw Rusty Crowe in the cinema.
So there ya have it, I have been busy, and I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff, but I can tell you I've got a Brussels trip planned, and Denmark soon after that!
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Wow, I mean just Wow. Amsterdam was freaking cool. Its like a busy city, but so laid back and pretty at the same time. Maybe its because everyone is high, but who cares.
I had a great 4 days here, Nigel, Benoit, Gaz and myself headed over for a long weekend and had a blast. We smoked some of the good stuff, saw the Red Light district, and did the stuff you're expected to do before you're allowed to say you've been to Amsterdam.
But, this city really is beautiful, lovely canals and tress all though the city, huge old dutch style buildings, and a massive abundance of bicycles, means that there isn't many cars about. And you wouldn't need one. You'd only crash it cos you'd be high.
We managed to time this trip (completely by accident, i mean no we meant it, we really did) with a dance festival weekend. We got to see HedKandi, in the biggest nightclub in Amsterdam, conveniently located next to our hotel. Needless to say, we danced to the very very early hours.
By the way, the dutch are frigging tall. There really is nothing like walking into a night club full of 6ft+ blond, gorgeous dutch chicks. Part of you goes, wow, what did I die of, clearly it was cool enough to get me into heaven, the other part goes, dumb ass, stop smoking those, they are messing with your brain.
Smoke on: (literally this time).