Location: canberra, Australia
well im back in australia, pretty much settled into my apartment for the semester, been back at school for just over a week, back at work for a week and things are going... well... ok?!!! hahaha
it has become very apparent to my brain that i am no longer travelling and nor will i be in the near future, so im feeling a little depressed about the whole thing... but i will entertain myself with all my daydreaming of many adventures to come... once i finish school!
...so... i got back to australia on the 9th of february with 9 days to find; my belongings, an apartment, a job and subjects to do this semester as well as helping my sister move out of her apartment and all her stuff into my apartment... and had to factor in 2 trips between canberra and sydney! so ive been settled in canberra for a week now since the mad dash, and to say the least, im still exhausted!
email: stick to my gmail account that ive been using since i went to europe, but my hotmail is still active if you dont have the gmail and then ill forward the gmail to you.
6/2 Playfair Pl
Emu Ridge, ACT
ph +612 6253 0703 (+16hr from toronto - +11hrs from aberdeen - no time difference between canberra and sydney, contrary to the belief of snobby sydneysiders!)
so what have i been upto.... OLYMPICS OLYMPICS OLYMPICS!!!!
so we managed to win the curling... finally. and of course the girls wons the hockey [lets not talk about the boys, im still trying to reclaim the 20mins i spent stunned beyond belief and im rehydrating after all the tears thru the round-robin :( ] another unmentionable is the disgraceful, defective canadian that won the gold medal in moguls... for australia... poor form thats all i have to say... but all in all a very good showing.
after some minor calculations, the most impressive result of 5th in the gold rush and 3rd the medal count, it could have been an overwhelming second in both catagories if mogul loser and the hockey boys had gotten their acts together... but i have enjoyed the fun of it all. so other than watching the olympics, ive pretty much spent the remainder of my time wishing i was in torino... i tried to get transfered from the bkk-syd flight to the bkk-italy flight but apparently that wasnt an option... :(
i am well aware of the fact that i havent finished my travelpage - still pictures to upload and a few updates... although im sure you are all probably very over the whole thing - im gonna have to hold on to it a little longer to getme thru the semester with my sanity :) but i will keep in touch mostly via email and phone calls are always VERY welcome, feel free to leave messages on the webpage too - i just might add a few bits every now and then for the canadians that dont get to hear from me as often as id like to talk to you all...
hope to hear from you all soon... missing you all terribly...
Location: bangkok, Thailand
greetings from the land of thai...
just letting you all know that i have arrived and am still standing, havent passed out from heat stroke yet, even tho i took a 40 degree shift!
will be doing some updating in the next little bit...
Location: aberdeen, Scotland
after surviving my night at the airport in bergamo (!) i was finally calm and relaxed as my plan took off on time, arriving in london on time again and somehow i managed to get checked in before my flight closed... apparently it takes over an hour to check in a line of about 12 people... crazy english folk.
the next airport obstacle to overcome was the painful nagging of my stomach to be fed, apparently it requires food more often than every 24hours?! with no atm in sight and a sever lack of pounds on my person the search was on for an airport cafe that would accept my visa card for a 4.50 purchase, not as hard as i thought it would be... then my food inhalation was quickly followed by a mad dash through the flight gate passageway (somehow i had managed to miss my gate number coming onto the screen, and of course it was the furthest gate!) safely on board i got my first sleep in 2 days all the way to aberdeen... 55min!
the aberdeen hostel situation was just like all the others in the last 2 and a bit months... BAD DIRECTIONS... it was suppose to be as easy as getting on the number 27 bus and getting of at the aberdeen youth hostel stop, but ofcourse the 27 doesnt run on the weekend, and having thought that i could manage to remember these directions i had not written down the address or alternate transport directions, so i was pretty much screwed... hmmmm?? but i got there eventually after a long walk in the dark (430pm what the?) and a lot of misty rain (oh the scotish weather!) i settled in for the night with a quite plate of 'pasta a la moi' and passed out with the lights on at 730pm not to regain consiouness till 9am... awesome.
on my quest for coffee and the girls new flat i passed by a cute old church and as it was just about to start thought i might join them, welcomed openly with a few confused looks as to why i was carrying such a large bag to church with me that day! the walk after church would have been somewhat more dounting had it not been for the nice guy at starbucks that gave me directions to their flat (since its not in the range of the general distriubution tourist map) but i arrived, a little weary, but full of coffee, and to my delight there was a glass of wine waiting for me next to 'fireplace' aka electric heater!!! hehehe a quite and relaxing afternoon was spent catching up on the adventures of the last few weeks and once we all got a little restless and hungry, a walk to the scotish wal-mart : ASDA was underway in the hunt for bedding, kitchen supplies, food and more wine...
what will the troublesome-trio get upto in the next 8 days...?
stay tuned for another fun, food and wine filled update about my last week in the vascinity of the european continent...
Location: milano, Italy
just got back into milan after taking a quick trip down to cinque terre with my australian buddies kathryn, ben and ang. am kinda filling in time before i head to the airport top agian, fill in time till my flight leaves in the morning... super fun :)
i will be flying from milan to london and then london to aberdeen (scotland) where i will be meeting up with dixie and jenna on sunday morning which will be lovely. will update on the last few days once i get settled over there.
hope youre all well... check out all the photo updates ive been busily doing, i will write captions asap!
Location: strasbourg, France
BONNE ANNEE and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
i hope you all enjoyed your respective restivities... i certainly had a humourous evening in this small town with no open bars... what the...?
im waiting on my train to milan via nice so i thought id check in with you all and catch you up on my new years activites and my plans for the LAST 2 weeks of my european adventure, time sure do fly!! so currently i am in strasbourg where i arrived on thursday night after a super exciting 4 hour train ride from paris, where i may or may not have been caught trying to use a eurorail pass with dixies name on it and not mine... who would do such a thing?! but i escape any kind of detainment for fraud or identify theft and got off with a smurk and a highly elevated stress level, in this day in age you gotta try whatever you can to save a buck really...
arriving in town at the stupid hour of 1150pm it was quickly brought to my attention that the buses stop running at 8pm, and not having a map on me, or any idea of even which direction to start walking in; in steps the ever present and much appreciated local that can see the 50pound pack on my back and figures im going ot the ONLY hostel in town... clearly by the state of my pack and my scruffy attire im not headed for the 'novatel de ville'! after patiently listening to my horendous french and accompanying sign language and over expressive gestures she spoke v-e-r-y --- s-l-o-w-l-y ' la bus de nuit... numero deux... place de pierre... marche a la gouche' perfect... but being as nice as she was she still waved down the bus for me and pushed the stop button before my stop qnd pretty much pushed me off the bus... how i do love these french people :)
so i came to strasbourg to relax and thats what ive been doing, coffee, people magazine (jess im glad you finally came to your senses and left loser nick! but really, does anyone emlse agree that matthew mcconaughey is the sexiest man alive, i think not) more coffee, bottle of wine and plenty of roaming the streets and just enjoying the atmosphere of such a great little town.
small towns are lovely, but when it comes to new years my roommate from brazil (so many brazilians, they are so lovely!!) and i were a little concerned as to what we might do for entertainment... no bars, no cheap restauraunts, no beer festival, not even a free disco to attend... the only choice... kebabs and cheap beer from the convenience store, super cool. although eventually we found an open cafe that was serving beer, but it closed at 11! never fear, more cheap beer and a quick walk and we had found ourselves in the company of many hundreds of drunk french locals armed to the teeth with explosives - awesome.
with no actual organise fireworks display in town the locals take it upon themselves to light up the sky... for 2 hours, fire crackers and fireworks flying, beer cans and wine bottles exploding and so many crazy french boys running around like 2 year olds with sparklers... a wonderful new years after all :)
other than that strasbourg has been very low key with nothing actually open until 12pm today, leaving me to wonder the streets with the new years stragglers on their way home until i finally found a cafe and some fine french chocolates...
so im off to milan in a few hours, there for a few days then to cinque terre for round 2 and then im jetting off to aberdeen, scotland to hangout with the lovely ladies for about 10 days before i fly to thailand on the 16th... time is running away on me!
ill be seeing some of you soon, some of you sooner and the rest of you ill send you an eamil or something ;)
much new years love to you all...
Location: paris, France
oh how i do love paris, i think i wrote that last time but this time it is even more true :) whether you are a 'mr.big' fan or a fan of 'the russian' it is safe to say that they both had it right, new york is wonderful, but paris is the best city in the entire world!
so i was telling you that when i arrived in paris i was all smiles and excited about exploring town, in general feeling wonderful, that only lasted a couple hours till a rumbling in my tummy turned into a volcano out of my mouth... clearly i got far more than id bargained for in brugge... FOOD POISONING! not so good at the best of times, but even more crappy when youre on your own in a hostel with 5 boys who just think you are hungover and theres no one to go get you coke and soup (dix i needed you!!) this joyous experience lasted christmas eve and most of christmas day, finally venturing out into the world in the late afternoon on the 25th.
the walk from the louvre to the champs elysèe c'est tres magnifique avec beaucoup des lumier et les chanson de noël, bonne bonne bonne! i spent the entire afternoon wondering thru the streets between the rue de la champs elyèe and la seine, remarkably lots of the markets started opening in the late afternoon and by about 6pm (vous dites seize heure en française 18:00) the streets were like any other day... FULL OF TOURISTS!! to cap off my first christmas alone i took in a movie, narnia, which was quite good, although when i bought my ticket i was pretty certain that id gotten the english version, or as they say la version originale, not knowing that it also included french subtitles, so as i watched the french preview and listened to all the french conversations around me in the theatre i still wasnt sure if i was in the right place till the actual movie started!
the next day did not go quite so well, full of optimistic enthusiaum i walked down to la centre pompidou expecting to see the world renouned DADA exibition... apparently everyone else in paris had the same idea... the line was all the way around the building (and this is no small building!) at 10:50, 10min before opening... change of plans had me walking half way accross town towards la musée d'orsay but half way there i lost my will to go on being a big baby and pouting all the way home to do my laundry and try and recouperate a little more from my previous illness...
this experience signalled the need for a new plan of attack... the slow switch! now jenna i know you probably dont think i have one of these and you probably dont believe that i had the strength to flip it in paris of all place, but in my situation it was the only way to make any progress whatsoever... my daily habits went from 9am get up and go, go, go, to 10:30 get up slowly, find a starbucks, sit and drink coffee and eat pain au chocolat for an hour or two and then go and do whatever activity took my fancy for the day, quite nice actually!
with this method i managed to enjoy la defense, the chirstmas markets, getting lost in the biggest park in paris, caught the effiel tower all lit up, tha picasso museum, finally got into the pompidou center and on my last day i took a mamoth walk from la republique via pompidou, notre dame, the arab institue, st germaine, UNESCO and la parc de critön... thats pretty much clear accross the entire city in the matter of 4hours! i found some amazing buildings along the way, found some more starbucks', turns out there are atleast 3 in the city and really got to enjoy the atmosphere of downtown paris as well as the lower suburbs.
but once again my time in paris was over... but not without a final night, crazy party in my 6 bed hostel room, occupants numbering 8??!! unfortunately the 2 nice guys were deported to other rooms leaving the rest of us stuck with a crazy, literally psychotic, drunk, 40year old russian lady to annoy and freak the crap out of all of us for the entire night! i dont think i actually slept a wink in fear that she might decide to do something odd in the middle of the night... exactly what im not sure, but she certainly couldnt be trusted...
so yeah, paris started and remains my favorite city in the world, good luck to any city that might like to rival it, the culture, the atmosphere, the french... nothing better! and im still wondering who started the rumours around the world that the french are rude, havent met a rude one yet (...must have been the americans!) and to make paris even better i actually improved my french to the point that i had one lady convencied that i could speak french... till half way thru the conversation when i ran out of words.... bwahahahaha
on to the far east... STRASBOURG!