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

1 comment:

  1. People think Obama is Muslim because of his name and family background. Anyhoo, I love the fact about being shit faced. That's something I never knew. Aha, that sucks that you ended up having to ride boats for such a long time. 8 hours would've driven me nuts. Was there any thing to do on that boat? Either way, at least you had a great time at the isles.

    Ah, Scotland. So cool! I've always wanted to go there. My surname is Scottish, but I couldn't tell ya how much Scottish is left in my blood. I'm like a Heinz 57.. all I know is I'm mostly Irish and Dutch, but lets face it I'm pure American lol. Oh yeah Mel, when your trip is over you ought to mention which country was your favorite to visit. Hell, you could even list them in order of best to worst. Haha, okay kidding a little on that.

    I've gotta commend you on keeping up the blog, even if it's not as frequent as you'd like. I used to blog all the time and it was fun and helped me vent. I think Facebook kind of killed blogs off. I used to use Xanga and I briefly thought I would do blogspot, but I ended up sticking with Xanga until Myspace came out. Then I got lazy and stopped keeping up with my blog when I moved to Myspace and then my blogging days were over with my move to Facebook. Nowadays the emphasis is wall posts, or Twitter posts at 140 characters or less. Nobody wants to blog anymore and I wish I still did but I am glad to see that you’re keeping up at it.