Thursday, September 30, 2010

The room mates

They finally arrived! and checked out the next day.

Now I have new room mates. 5 boys. Yes. 5 boys in a 6 bed dorm. i didn't even know I was in a mixed dorm! And there's an ensuite which would normally be fabulous but sharing a bathroom with boys? No thanks.

Reasons why my current living situation is bad include, but are not limited to:

1. They smell
2. They seem to think that leaving the windows shut and spraying lynx everywhere will solve all unpleasant odours.
3. They complain when the room smells, yet leave dirty socks/shirts/towels lying around everywhere. THERE'S A LINK BETWEEN THE SMELL OF FEET AND YOUR SOCKS LYING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FLOOR. And I shouldn't have to be the smart one to suggest OPENING THE WINDOW. Jeez...
4. Post-face-shave hairs end up in the strangest of places. Examples include, but are not limited to: in the sink, on my toothbrush, in the shower, in my water bottle, on the floor (and therefore on my feet, and therefore in my bed/shoes/stockings etc. etc.)
5. There's always a snorer in a room full of boys. I don't know why but boys seem to snore more. That and they're more likely to snore like defective chainsaws than cute little puppies dreaming of chasing butterflies (if my ladylike self lapses into snoring on a rare occassion, I assume that's what the sound resembles. That or the gentle buzz or a hummingbird.)
To paint the scene:
Girl snoring: jgh jgh jgh.... jgh.... hhhhmmmm.... jgh. jgh. *silence for extended period of time, like she was never smoring at all*
Boy snoring: HIOSETIOGNNKGVMIAOPWHRGNBJNJFGJGRHIOEROHIGYHOGEROHIGROH. GHGHGHGHGHGHGHJJJJGHGHGHG!!!!!!!!!... GHGHGHgjgjgjgjgsifjGHGGHG! *cue scream of sleep deprived women around the world, waking up from blissful dream of Christian Louboutin shoes to find that no, the sky is not falling, it's not an air raid, it's just the boy in the bed above in severe need of some nasal spray*
I recommend earplugs.
6. Boys seem to have no qualms AT ALL about... expelling certain smells, liquid or solids... around others. They just don't care. It's like they're PROUD if the whole room smells for hours after they're in the bathroom. And if they are concerned, they just empty a can of Lynx (or Axe, since we're in Europe) and problem solved! It. Doesn't. Work. It just smells worse!

Repeat steps one to six again and again to achieve the perfect brew of neuroses.

I mean, don't get me wrong. I've shared with boys before. In fact I spent two weeks sharing a dorm with up to 6 boys. Door to door sales reps might I add. Excercise, excessive use of foot-sweat glands etc. etc. But that wasn't so bad for a few reasons, and I'll tell you:

1. I knew them.
2. The toilets/showers was separate from the room, in fact in an entire different building, and they were gender specific.
3. Yes, they did spray chocolate lynx everywhere (that one always gives me a headache...) and leave filthy socks in strange places (on the window sill?) but at least they knew how to open said window.

So, in conclusion, I'm going to spray my perfume wherever the hell I like, and spend half an hour getting ready every morning, and leave my half finished sewing projects lying around (see leather shorts, two posts ago), because I am a girl. And nothing I do can be more annoying or inconveniant than the manblitz that I have been subjected to.

- m xx

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jumpin' on the GaGawagon

(...Yet again.)

So everyone else has already spoken about this but I feel I can’t not.
Lady GaGa. The raw meat dress.

Yes, for those who somehow don’t know, (maybe you're amish and haven't a TV, I'm not judging people who metaphorically live under hypothetical rocks here) one of GaGa’s three VMA dresses was made of raw meat. Apparently it was a comment on the US army’s policy on homosexuality (I’m not sure how, but that’s GaGa for you). Now personally, when i first saw the dress pictured, I didn’t even realise it was the meat dress. I’m not even kidding. I was like “that dress looks pretty cool” (I only glanced.) In fact compared to the Alexander McQueen ensemble (yes- complete with the Armadillo shoes)(I forgot to mention breathtakingly STUNNING) it looked rather tame. Then of course I read the caption and realised it was the infamous meat dress.

But I have to say, I’m pretty impressed. I mean, for a dress made of meat it looks damn hot! I especially like the details, with the matching meat-wrapped shoes and little meaty hat thing and the fishnets. Imagine putting a meat dress on over fishnets! Outrageous! Incredibly, she wore raw meat and still a damn sight better than a lot of others did.

(I’m looking at you Cher. The body stocking from the 21 year old ‘Turn Back Time’ film clip? WHY?!)

She may be crazy, but she’s still a genius. (GaGa. Not Cher. Just clearing that up.)

-m xx

p.s. I told you I had something non-travelly and not even me related to blog didn't I? Oh I've missed these posts...

EDIT: 69th post wew. About GaGa. How funny.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 62

Can you believe it’s day 62 already, readers? As of writing this, it is 27 days and about 6 hours until I land back home. Where have the last 3 weeks gone? How can I have less than 4 weeks left in Europe? It’s truly mind boggling, really it is. Then again, I can hardly believe it’s 2010. 2010! Remember the Olympics? 10 years ago! Jeez. I’ll tell you what, I’m getting old. But i digress... from the topic I hadn’t even started. How is that even possible?

Anyway it’s day 62 (ZOMG) and I’m sitting (cross legged, knees covered by a quilt because I’m too lazy to pull it further up) alone in my 6 bed dorm in Berlin. Alone. In a 6 bed dorm. Surrounded by 5 clearly freshly made and therefore post check-out, pre check-in beds. Where are my 5 room mates? It’s actually a little bit eerie, but I’m not sure why.

So what have I done over the last 9 days? I’m sorry I’m two days late but this way I only have to write about 5 days in the next post. Woot! The last week-and-a-bit has taken me from Ireland back to the UK and onto the plane to Munich. My last flight until the final destination- home. With our second day in Dublin, day 54, we did the free walking tour. I’m sure you may have noticed we like these tours. If you do go to Europe, do them wherever you can. They’re a great way to get your bearings. In fact, they have them in Sydney! That night we went to a thai restaurant for dinner. It was excellent, though not as good as tommy thai in West Ryde of course. But the pad thai was pretty incredible. I’ve come to learn just how many thai restaurants there are in Sydney! I mean, find me a suburb without one. They’re here, in Europe, but not as many.

Day 55 involved a 3ish hour ferry ride (hopefully the last boat trip I have to endure) to Holly Head wharf, then (2h? Can’t remember tbh) drive to Cardiff, Wales. The one good thing about the ferries is they have duty free shopping. I finally got YSL Parisienne, after lusting after it since... well since it came out. Damn you Kate Moss. 50ml EDP for only £37 ($70). Impossibly cheap. Of course Steph, being in the room, insisted on doing the actual purchasing, since she has this fear I’ll end up penniless and sleeping on the streets of Germany. We also found these really awesome purse-sized perfume bottles. They’re glass free (plane approved!) and have a little valvey thing at the bottom so you can FILL THEM UP FROM ANY PERFUME YOU LIKE! Well any perfume with a nozzle... JUST LIKE A ZIPPO LIGHTER! It’s super exciting. I got the pink one, to match my perfume :) Awesome sauce.

Some awesome things about Cardiff are:
1. The shopping
2. The shear number of Indian restaurants
3. The Doctor Who exhibit at Cardiff Bay

Being there only one night, I’m sure there are many other awesome things but I didn’t get to experience them. I would have liked a bit more time there, the shopping street really is quite awesome. But after our one night, and a visit to the Doctor Who exhibit (ftw!) we had a long drive to Bath, England. On the way (well technically not because we actually went to Bath to see if we could check in first etc.) we went to Stone Henge (!). It’s actually more awesome than I thought it would be because they rope it off so you can’t get too close. Which sounds horrible, but it means there are no people in the way of good photos. And really, what’s the use of going up close? It needs to be viewed as a whole anyway. I’d love to spend a full 24 hours there and photograph it under varying light from every angle or something. I’d need a lot of caffeine though... It’d also be fantastic to see covered in snow.

The next day we said good bye to Brittania the car and Gerald the GPS (Steph was heartbroken) and made our way (on foot) back into the main town of bath to take in the sights (i.e. cute little shops) before making our way back to London (via the train.) The hotel in London was a bit unusual. It was like an old terrace house with lots of bedrooms, converted into a hotel. I would have loved it to be my bedroom. It had this awesome big window (I believe they’re called bay windows in dreamy romantic novels) which was begging for a seat. It would be my reading/youtubing seat. That night we did our laundry and had dinner at this fantastic Italian restaurant across the road. I had gnocchi, it was awesome. We went to bed fairly early though, since we had a 4am wakeup to look forward to (yay!).

At 5am on day 58, we three climbed into a taxi, destination Heathrom Airport. Mum got on her flight to Rome, and Steph and I on our flight to Munich (via Hamburg, for the cheapness). Now, my one piece of advice for anyone going to Oktoberfest. Do. Not. Stay. In. A. Tent. Unless you know it’s going to be unseasonably warm. The thing about tents is, they’re cold. Very cold. In fact, you’d be better off attempting to sleep standing up outside your tent than lying down in it. Because you’re close to the ground, the cold just radiates through you and nothing you can do will make you warm. Honestly. I slept in a long-sleaved shirt, 3 jumpers, leggings AND trackies, a scarf, a beanie and explorer socks, as well as wrapping myself inside a fleece blanket, like a little furry burrito, and I was still to cold to sleep. And when you do miraculously find just the right position (most likely uncomfortable) to radiate maximum body heat within your burrito, some wanker will make noise. Like the guy in the next tent who snored like a chainsaw. I dreaded bed time each night. It’s so good to be in a hostel again...

Being the 200th year, Oktoberfest was, unsurprisingly, well packed. I’ve never seen so many people! And a surprising number of children I might add. Who brings kids to a beer fest? Our camp had its own bar, which we visited on the Saturday night, when the fest was just TOO crowded for us to handle. In the 5 minutes me and Steph stood there, chatting, we got hit on 3 times. 3 times! In fact, a warning: don’t go to Oktoberfest if you hate men. They will hit on you. A lot. Even the old/fat/gross/ugly ones who have less chance than hell freezing over will try. It’s irritating. Don’t try the “I won’t wear makeup” approach, it doesn’t work.

Beign the genius I am, i bought a torch from the little gift shop at our camp site, so we could have a light in our tent. Being also a bit of an idiot, I didn’t think about the fact that, since it’s one of those torches you need to hold the button down to keep it lit, you can’t really hang it in your tent and use it like a lamp. Steph suggested a bandaid to keep the button down, which worked a treat! I rigged up our little light and hung it, then realised I couldn’t really turn it on and off with ease. Ah well a torch is a torch.

Yesterday, day 61 was the day we got to say goodbye to the tent and each other as I moved on to Berlin and Steph got on the long flight home. I woke up with some mysterious illness that I can only assume was food poisoning since I don’t like beer enough to drink enough to make me sick. I threw up in the morning and felt pretty wretched all day. The only thing I ate was about half a packet of peanut m&ms, which I then threw up about an hour later. I took the hint and stuck to liquids after that. I arrived in Berlin, at 6:30pm, unable to function properly, with no bed reserved for the night. Thankfully i had the address to the hostel Steph stayed in last year, Wombats, which is supposed to be the best value-for money hostel in Berlin. It’s won awards and stuff. I got in a taxi and the driver got me here and luckily they had space for me! For one night only. I was pretty thankful to climb into bed (the top bunk, AGAIN). I rugged up out of habit, and not only did i find myself warm enough, but I actually had to remove my socks and jumper! I was too warm! Oh the novelty of it all.

Today dawned like any other. I’d set an alarm for 8am, ready for check out at 10. My 5 room mates were all showered and gone but about 8:10am, which I though was a bit unusual. I decided to read for about half an hour. When I put my book down, i checked the time on my other phone, and realised I’d made a big stupid mistake. The phone i’d set the alarm on, hadn’t been used since England, so was still on English time- i.e. an hour behind German time. I’d set my alarm for what I thought was 8am but was really 9am! At 9:43 I sprung out of bed and into the shower. Embarrassing, but i was only 15min late to check out anyway. After I checked out, I asked the reception lady if she could recommend any good hostels in the area, and miracle of miracles, not only was there space for me to stay tonight, but she did some reshuffling and 15min later I’m booked in until the 3rd of October, when my Topdeck tour starts. So i get to enjoy this rather fantastic hostel for another 5 nights. Win at life. Of course, I had to wait until 2pm to get my key and get into my new room, so i did some wandering around my local area today. I found a grocery store after a bit of searching (whilst wondering which way to walk down a street I saw a bright yellow sign that said “we have cheaper prices!” in German, thought perhaps that would be a “Surpermarkt” and luckily enough, found it to be one) and picked up enough pasta ingredients to feed me for 3 or 4 nights. I also found a rather impressive charity shop, and my most exciting thrift store purchase to date: a pair of leather shorts. After months and months of wanting a pair, and searching high and low for some I could afford AND fit into, i’ve found them! They fit perfectly, and were only 19€ ( $30). They are a bit 80s in their style, a bit too long for today’s fashion and they kind of flare out at the bottom. But I’m going to just fold them up a couple of times and stitch them in place (once I find a sewing kit) and both problems will be solved! Take that Mink Pink and your $80, probably-not-even-real-leather-despite-being-beautiful-pair.

So that brings me to where I am now. An hour later, still on my bed, (no longer cross legged though, my legs are straight out and I’m leaning against my pillow. Reclining one might say.) still sans roommates (seriously, why don’t I have roommates? The hotel is booked out!) and just a wee bit hungrier.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Just quietly

Sunday's blog post is obv a wee bit late. If i can get to wifi tomorrow I'll do it but I've spent the last three nights in a tent and today I have food poisoning and I can barely function. But it'sacomin' I swear! You may even get two, if you're lucky! I've got something non-travelly to talk about so yeah.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 53

Ok so it’s day 53, about 6:30pm and I’m sitting on my bed (shared with Steph. Bah) in the hotel room, trying to drown out the sound of the locals celebrating a victory of either Cork in the Gaelic football or Manchester in the regular football. Not sure, they both play in red... I’m guessing Cork, this being the republic and all. Either way it’s driving me up the wall. (EDIT: ok so just went out on the street to go get stuff from the car and after taking a closer look to find “corcaigh” written on the back of people shirts I can now say with certainty they’re celebrating Cork’s win. Also, our hotel is the headquarters for the Cork fan club or some shit so the ruckus is actually coming from directly below us, not the street as I thought. Balls.)

The mood update has somehow managed to give me the shits so you can just... guess my mood or something maybe. I kinda wish blogger had those mood and picture thingys that myspace has. Ah myspace... you were so awesome once. (What happened to you Chine, you used to be cool? Hey China still cool! You pay later! Later!) Anyway that would be so much better than typing it within the blog, like it could be up the top somewhere. With an appropriately themed smiley face and such. Yup.

So something I need to mention. I’m so so sorry that my music has been the same for ages and you’re no doubt all sick to death of DJ Earworm but I can’t remember my music host and it’s tough to find ones that work so blah blah I’ll change it soon. Because i’m digging a lot of music up here, particularly when I was in Paris actually so I’d like to give you all a taste of what I’m listening to here! Anyway just wanted you to know I’ll get to that. Oh and my photo HAS dissapeared, because i deleted it to put up one that isn't you know over a year old and showing me with a dark brown VB bob that i clearly no longer have, but I couldn't find one that I like so I gave up. I'll pick one some day...

This week was a pretty momentous one, because, believe it or not, we had our first properly rainy day in the UK! Monday, aka day 47, we went up to the “Haaaaiiiiiighghghghghglends” (Highlands) and it was raining basically all day. I must say though, the rain up here is mostly light drizzling. Haven’t really seen it piss down here yet. So, seaking refuge from the rain, we shopped. And what did we finally find, after searching around London, Nottingham, York and Edinburgh under the recommendation of various sources? Primark. Oh yes. Primark. It’s kind of like target... but more awesome. I bought a ball hat (yes J. Screw you! It’s awesthoooome) and two (yes TWO) “snoods” which is the bazaar name Primark likes to give loop scarves. I’ve been hunting for one for aaaaages and I found these excellent ones at American Apparel... for £35 ($70). No thanks. So when I found ones that were not only warm, in a lovely pale grey or beigey/pink colour, not disgusting, a good length but only £4 I was ecstatic! I couldn’t choose a colour, so I bought both. We’ve been inseparable ever since.

With this week, came the purchase of an ipod car stereo cable, and the making of our roadtrip playlist full of awesomeness and joy! It’s 342 songs of excellence. Sexcellence. It provided the perfect soundtrack for a scenic drive past Nessie, and our trip to the seaside to get on the 2 hour stormy ferry ride (grr) to Belfast, Northern Ireland. So we were only in Belfast for a night but it is worth talking about because we did a black cab tour, which takes in a few of the key sites surrounding the history of the Troubles in Belfast. For those who don’t know what I mean please google it because it’s not exactly something that can be explained in a wee blog. That and i know i’ll get comments of “oh it’s not about religion blah blah blah,” so yeah. But it was pretty eye opening, especially the murals by Shankill Rd, in the Protestant part of the city. The brown clan (and Moo) made their mark on the wall separating the two sides, just like many before us. Didn’t write anything inspiring, it’s a bit difficult with so many already in front of you. One that particularly stood out to me was “Killing in the name of?- RATM” and i can’t think of a much better way to say it.

Belfast was our only stop in Northern Ireland before we left Britain behind and headed south to the Republic. Strangely, Gerald the GPS (who we picked up in Nottingham) has a lot of troubles picking up satellite signals here. I guess he’s just being a suppressive English bastard or something. Galway is a place where “a quick drink” can turn into skipping dinner in favour of a 6 hour Bulmers fest VERY quickly. We certainly met some interesting characters that way, including local crazy Derek (dropped the joint he was trying to roll in disgust at the mention of Stephen Hawkins, that “cretin,” after pulling a can of spaghetti out of his bag when we mentioned being peckish, AFTER saying “don’t mind me, i won’t bother you, just pretend I’m not here” Bah). I love bartenders in Ireland. You tell them there’s a crazy guy filling up his glass with a can of cider in his pocket and spilling drugs everywhere and breaking glasses and they just go “oh aye? Illicit drugs. Hmm.” And walk off. And when you spill your drink, clearly intoxicated, they pour you a fresh one for free! Different to back home indeed...

So a few things I’ve learnt over here, just to sum up a wee bit.

• It’s impossible to get schnitzel chips and gravy anywhere I've been so far in Europe.
• Likewise, they don’t seem to know what lemon lime and bitters is over here. Yet THEY HAVE BITTERS AT THEIR BARS.
• There’s no such thing as a line on the continent. It’s every man for himself, particularly with lifts.
• Athens really is, the biggest hole above ground.
• Having red hair AND a tan, makes you stand out a bit in the UK. I may as well walk around without pants on.
• Drivers in the UK and Ireland are really polite.
• People who’ve never been to Sydney, may sometimes speak to you like you’re from a wee village. Take the man from the car rental place in Nottingham for example, who seemed to think he needed to warn my mother that there are half a million cars in Nottinghamshire. Half a million... OOOOOOHHHHH! Honestly, he was like “oh there’ll be a few more cars than your used to.” We’re from Sydney. Our population is about the same as the whole of Scotland. We have a couple of cars on the road.
• Coffee is good in Italy, France and Greece, and shit in the UK and Ireland. It’s so bad I’ve been drinking hot chocolates here! I actually had an incredible one the other day that was sooooo chocolately and topped with like 3,939,492,878,492 mini marshmallows (the best way to improve something. Make in mini!) on top. It tasted like my childhood... rainy days, rushing home to watch Saddleclub with a hot chocolate in hand, about 8 teaspoons of nesquick in each one... ah nostalgia.
• The indicator is on the LEFT on the steering wheel- now if only mum would remember.

And just one more thing i need to mention that I feel deserves more than a dotpoint. Now, as the name of my blog would suggest, it is (normally) a blog that focuses on fashion, to a degree at least. So i do need to talk about it from time to time, despite the temporary subject matter shift to “travel blog for three months!” European (continental) fashion verse UK fashion (London in particular). Now, Paris and Italy are famous for fashion. The women there pride themselves on looking impeccable at all times. Something I noticed was, none of it really appealed to me because I’m mostly influenced by the affordable, high street, trendy style you see executed best by some of my favourite fashion bloggers. Style doesn’t seem to vary much by age on the continent, whereas in London i noticed it to be very much like home- the young crowd are the true fashion indicators. They may not own a single designer item, or dress with classic style, but they’re up to date, on trend and far more creative than the men and women a bit further east. Shopping in London feels like shopping in Sydney, six months in the future. Basically, London feels like home, minus the schnitzel and mushroom gravy.

Fact of the week: The term "graveyard shift" can be traced to two origins (both, funnily enough, involve graveyards). Back in the olden days, before post-mortems really existed, people used to watch over graveyards at night, just incase someone hadn't actually died before they were buried. as well as this, grave robbing was rife due to the shortage of bodies available for medical studies. Because of this, a fresh body in good condition, could fetch a few bob. There were cages that coffins could be buried within to prevent theft, but for those who couldnt afford it, a friend or family member would have to volunteer to sit by their grave, all night every night, for a full two weeks (the amount of time it takes for a body to decay enough to no longer me usable). Morbid, but fascinating i feel ahaha.

Anyway, i’ve bored you enough. Time to redirect my attention to Xtra Factor, which seems to be on at all times here.
Until next time
-m xx

Saturday, September 18, 2010

This vid could be automatic, systematic, hydromatic...

Why it could be Greased Twilightning.

Bah Shane Dawson=Happiness

Monday, September 13, 2010

The promised summary!

Hoorah! By some devine miracle I'm actually following my own plans. DO YOU KNOW HOW RARE THAT IS?!?! I live in a world of procrastination and half-finished projects. I think maybe... I'm... maturing.


Anyway it's day... 47?... and It IS a Monday which makes this post one day late but I wrote it yesterday so screw you it's my rule anyway. I do have a special request this post though: comments. Please. I feel like I'm... talking to myself via the internet or something. Which isn't good... So please. Leave me comments and love! (I'm reminding myself of myspace somehow... like when people would put up a new dp they'd post a note about it asking for comments? and people would take "ownership" of photos? It got pretty competitive... Ah myspace. You were so lame... I digress.)

I must apologise ahead because I get the feeling it's riddled with spelling mistakes, especially with place names and such but whatevs. You probably wouldn't have noticed if I didn't mention it but now it'll be eyeballs to the screen, trying to catch me out of mispelling Rome or something. Oh god I hope I didn't mispell(sp?) Rome... Also I wasn't in the best creative mood yesterday so it's not really up to my usual outstanding level of wit (baha) but shutup you're ugly.

Anywayyyyyy... without further gilding the lily, and with no more ado, here it is; my life's work:

Summary summary summary. Summ.a.ry.
Oh it’s a lot to squeeze in but i’ll keep it as small as possible.

Italy, days 19-23:
Days 19 to 23 took me through venice and back to rome, bringing the end of my Simply Italy tour. Venice was better than I’d expected it to be. There was a hot train ticket inspector, a walking tour, lots of purchasing, a glass blowing demonstration, cheap prosecco, skipping a gondola ride for some solo time, being told not to touch things in a shop because obviously i’ll break them, rtd bellini, peach table cloths, a boat ride with drunken tour mates and purple street lights. Fun times.

The drive from venice to rome was our longest yet, but there was Autogrill (roadside food chain) to make it endurable. Oh Autogrill, how i miss you... That evening in rome involved a speedy walking tour consisting of the city’s highlights, missing out on what im sure was an incredible included dinner at the hotel in favour of dinner in Piazza Novona, seeing a violin minstrel jamming with some bluesy guitarists, free limoncello and a scary situation with a side salad invaded by the devil’s fruit- olives. The next day i skipped out on the tour of the Collosseum for whatever reason and instead failed miserably to locate a net cafe, shared a corner in Maccas with a dog (and his Italian human family), and did some shoe shopping. At the Vatican we all came close to dying of boredom thanks to our ever engaging tour guide and the whisper boxset. I entertained myself by playing the Paparazzi game, which involves sneaking up on people and trying to snap a quick photo, while saying “paparazzi!” or “Taylor Swift visits the Vatican” in the case of Alyssa. However, the Sisteen chapel is DEFINITELY worth a visit (and the torture of the whisper tour guides) so if you do find yourself in Rome make sure it’s on the to do list. I did locate a net cafe AND a laundrette that afternoon, but of course completely failed to book a hostel for my last night in Rome and ended up just booking an extra night in my fabulous (read: vomit inducingly hideous, complete with matching upholstery) Contiki hotel. Less hassle, more money. The tour came to a close with our farewell dinner, a cacophony of flavours, opera songs, photos, blonde Italian ladies with impossibly large boobs (SMACKIN’ BEWBS!) and of course, wine.

My last day in Italy was a busy blur of postal services, language barriers, laundry, a sandwich that claimed to be a pizza, no free wifi, booking my accommodation for Athens, and a fantastic dinner of gnocchi with some other girls from my tour who just happened to be at the restaurant i chose. Also apparently, 60% of Americans think Obama is Muslim. Fun fact for you there. Thank you CNN news.

Days 23-32: Greece.

Day 23 I said farewell to Italy and hello to Greece. First up, some advice: DO. NOT. GO. TO. ATHENS. Pleas, for the love of god and baby Jesus (or perhaps for the love of someone a bit higher up on the totem pole, like... Shane Dawson. Shh Youtube deserves to be a religion.) do not go to the festering cesspool of drug-fucked psychos that is Athens (to put it nicely). It’s really quite horrible. That said, I recommend the Greek Isles, so if you have to go via Athens to pay them a visit, I suppose that’s acceptable. And try and stay in the Baby Grand- it’s a fantastic hotel, and you’ll quite happily be able to shelter in the free wifi and weird wall decorations haven and avoid the streets of Athens entirely. I also recommend the iced cappuccinos in Greece.

Paros was our first island, after a 4 hour ferry ride to get there of course. Oh how I hate boats... we spent a couple of fairly relaxed nights there, enjoying super strong mojitos, beaching it up, chilling out at the shisha bar, playing with our food, frolicking with kittens, making good use of happy hour, sleeping in a wee bit and getting a boat to Mykonos.

Mykonos- the gay Island full of a suspicious amount of straight men. So many shots... Dancing to Americano, sampling different vodka flavours, lamenting over the broken aircon, laughing at various tan lines, having lazy lunches, finding moustache cat, munching on gyros and soaking up the UV rays. Oh and guess what? Another boat. To Santorini, my favourite (and the most notable) Island.

We did a (boat. Bah) tour of the Caldera, hiking up to the top of the central island to see the active crater (Mr. James would be so damn jealous.) swimming in the thermal springs followed by a quick dip in some slightly less disgusting/smelly/slimy/sewer-ish water, and catching the donkey train back into main town. It just so happens that we were in Santorini on the day that they reinact the eruption with fireworks, which we watched a bit of before our last dinner and night out together. After a lazy morning by the pool we had our final (thank god) 8 hour (bah.) boat ride back to Athens. This particular day I was feeling pretty poorly from a cold/flu type thing and a crazy fever. It wasn’t fun. Quite fitting to feel like crap while in Athens though.

Days 32- 46: The UK

Day 32, still sick as an extremely sick thing, I got to say bye bye to Athens (hopefully for good) and hello to London (after 2 planes and a private bus that got halted entirely by traffic that is). When I finally got to the hotel, I went to bed and enjoyed the English TV and a gooooood sleep. I dragged myself out of bed the next day to do some shopping on Oxford street. A decadent dinner of two minute noodles minus fork followed, and watching Jedward (I’m seriously addicted to this show. Seriously, Irish twin boys with gravity defying hair who are utterly clueless about the practicalities of life without Mum and despite a lack of musical talent are followed by hordes of screaming kids, tweens, teens and mums wherever they go). Mother arrived the next day and for the few days before Steph arrived we did touristy things like visiting the Brittish Museum, the TATE Modern art gallery, enjoying pub lunches ( I’m getting sick of pub food, tbh. Especially since they don’t have schnitzel chips and gravy! Balls. So hitting up Mary’s the second i get home) getting attacked by bees, watching TV, shopping, drinking tea, having tesco dinners, and drinking a lot of cider.

Steph arrived on day 38, and fell asleep at about 7pm after our pizza- delivered to our room woot. The three of us did a number of tours with the Sandeman’s New Europe crew, shopped some more, visited the tower of London, drank shit coffee (seriously Britain, get it together and learn how to make a coffee!) consumed our body weight in mars bars, complained about our sore legs (well at least I did...) and enjoyed more of the quality TV the UK has to offer, this time in the form of Paris Hilton’s new BFF. Serious stuff.
On day 41 we jumped on the train to Nottingham, enduring a particularly annoying young boy who wouldn’t shut up for the whole 2 hours, to pick up our car for the next couple of weeks (and Gerald the GPS of course) and spend a night in Mother’s childhood town. People actually say things like “eh up! You allright?” here, which of course can be roughly translated to “Hey, how’s it going?” Fantastic stuff. An Asian buffet, more pub food, blocked facebook, scones, Nottingham castle, and a pathetic attempt to find Sherwood forest which resulted instead in lunch at Little John’s Inn best sums up Nottingham. Our next stop was York, home of Diagon Alley (it’s actually called The Shambles). Other sites include the Minster (big ass church) and the old city wall. It’s a cute place, it really is. It’s screaming for a crappy British soap opera to be made around it.

On day 44 we left England behind and headed to the... grandmother land? That is Scotland. Birthplace of the Brown clan (we have our own tartan. Be jealous.) On the way we burnt our taste buds off with too many sour straps, but not before Steph failed to recognise when we actually left England. We got to our hotel without major misshap and had a lazy afternoon (surprise surprise.) over the last couple of days we’ve done the free walking tour, been swarmed by pesky people from “the continent” who seem to think it’s possible to fit yourself and your ten closest friends into an elevator, on top of the poor lonely Australian girl who just wants to use the wifi in the lobby without getting crushed by middle aged French people, seen a LOT of kilts (current count is at 41), done a pub crawl, witnessed 250 horses and 14 bagpipes crowd the Royal Mile and, most importantly, picked up a new edition to our clan. Moo the Highland cow (“Hailand coo” in Highland speak). He’s sure to have a few adventures in my coming travels.
Well, I have now brought you up to speed and miraculously used less words than I have on a post just recounting two days. Hoorah! So lastly, just a few things to sum up the current status of the grand eurotrip.

Current location: Edinburgh
Day: 46
Countries visited: 6 (Not including airports. But including Vatican city)
Mood: Accomplished

Interesting euro fact number 2: The origin of the term “shit faced”

In the olden days of Edinburgh, the streets were incredibly narrow and flanked by apartment building up to 12 stories tall. Due to a lack of plumbing, people had to simply empty their... pisspots, if you will, out of their windows. To warn anyone who might be walking below of the impending cascade of human waste, they would shout “Gardaloo!” beforehand. Now there were only two times of day they were allowed to do this, but one of those just so happened to be 10pm- pub closing time. Of course, at pub closing time, there are a lot of drunken people making their way home. A drunk person, upon hearing “Gardaloo!” but being unable to see where it was coming from, wouldn’t have a great sense of how to move away. But of course, sensing something falling from above, they would instinctively look up, becoming “shitfaced.” Get it? Yeah? Excellent. Good stuff, thankyou Scotland.

Be proud of that (rushed, half-arsed, barely making sense at most points) effort. also the stats are from yesterday so aren't entirely accurate but that's ok.

-m xx

Friday, September 10, 2010

Time to shake things up a bit

OK so as I'm sure you all know by now I am waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayx1239583920infiinityplusone behind with blogging. It's difficult, it really is. And the more behind I get, the more reluctant I am to try and catch up. I am honestly like 20 days behind. Soooo I decided to change the way I'm going about things. I mean, there's not exactly a need for a day by day blow by blow account of exactly what I did at any given moment anyway (innitt???) So coming soon (hopefully tomorrow) will big a biiiiig summary blog, covering the remainder of Italy, Greece and a bit of UK to get me up to speed. Then basically my posts will be less specific. I'm reverting to the way my blog was before I started this whole travel blog caper. And theSunday schedule is going to be restarted and KEPT TO. Because really, how difficult is it to find wifi for long enough to upload a blog? Not very. I'm also hoping to pump out mid-week photo posts as well, but that depends on connection of course.

Anyway, just to give you a bit of perspective, it is now day 43 (I think... haven't got my note book on me) and I am in Edinburgh for the next 3 nights. For those of you that don't already know, my mother and sister are also here! Happy days and all that. And a tip: Don't even think the word "boots" anywhere near my sister. It's the only word I hear coming out of her mouth really.

Yes Steph, it's on the interwebz now.

Ok so something new I want to include in my posts (untill I get sick of it):
How I'm feeling today and Interesting fact of the week.

How am I feeling today?

Interesting fact of the week:
The name "Big Ben" doesn't refer to the clock or the tower. It refers to the bell, and is a reference to the apparently fat man who designed it. The clock tower is actually just called, The Clock Tower.

Allright so that's about it... More interesting topic matter coming soon, I promise!

Stay tuned.

-m xsx