Just a week left now, readers. One measly little week. Insanity!
So I'm in Amsterdam right now, perched rather precariously on the steep and narrow stairs of my hostel room, since it's the only place the wifi seems to work properly (yes. Annoying). Stairs in general are annoying. Stairs in Amsterdam are torture.
In the last week alone, I've stepped foot in five different countries. FIVE! in a WEEK! Crazy stuff, no? I'm sure you're sitting there thinking "but Mel, what WERE those mysterious and mystical five countries?" so I'll tell you, as well as a few things I actually did.
On day 75 we climbed onto the bus and left Budapest (#1- Hungary). At our first break I discovered something shocking, upsetting, and barely believable. Moo was missing. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I've said a huge amount about Moo but if you go back to the post that mentions Edinburgh (whenever that was) you'll see who he is. Or, alternatively, you can visit his blog: http://moothecoo.blogspot.com
Anyway, I discovered he wasn't in my backpack, which is where he can usually be found. Obviously I searched frantically through my other bags and on the bus for him, and he wasn't anywhere. I'm still quite upset about it actually, I liked having a fluffy little travel companion. He was a good laugh, and he never got to see Australia! My theory is I left him at the hotel in Krakow, because that's the last place I remember seeing him, and he was on my bed instead of in my bag. So of course, I got the phone number for the hotel. Unfortunately, I couldn't ring them because one phone was dead and the other out of credit (story of my life at the moment).
At lunch we stopped at Bratislava (#2- Slovakia). Yes, Bratislava. If you've read my previous post, which was just a mini-post, you already know but Bratislava is positively LOVELY. This is dissapointing, especially since I'd watched Eurotrip only a few days previously. From there we continued on to Vienne (#3- Austria) where we did a bit of a driving tour and visited the summer castle (yes there are two. Every noble person needs two huge homes with sprawling gardens). After dinner we went to the carnival, which is open all year round. Convinced by the others, I went on not one but TWO scary roller coasters and miraculously didn't die. I'm not so sure they should be legal, it wouldn't be difficult to fall out if you wanted to. We pretended the go karts were bumper cars and had a good ol' time on the track intended for young children. I still have numerous bruises on my legs. The track operators didn't like us much.
with our second day in Vienna, me and three other Aussie girls went to see one of the Lipizaner training sessions. ow I know most people are thinking "Lippywhattys?" and they're horses. They're part of the Spanish riding school, and they do dressage to music. But this particular breed (born black but turn white within a few years) a trained to do crazy ass leaps and shit (yes, that's the technical term) and rear up on command, all to classical music. It was pretty cool to watch, especially if you find dressage interesting (which I do, don't judge me). Afterwards we visted the cemtery where many of Vienna's musical greats are buried, including Beethoven and Strauss. Mozart is in a different cemetery, but there is a memorial to him with all the others. Here I attempted to call the hotel where I believe Moo to be, but found I'd lost the list of phone numbers! I took this as a bit of a hint that maybe I was meant to lose him.
After a huge pizza lunch, we met up with the bus and headed to the Schnaps Museum, to learn a bit about their famous flavours as well as sample a few. After dinner, half of the group went to a classical music concert while the other half of us hung out in the bus and watched family guy and Carl Baron DVDs. All in all a fun day.
On Day 77 we left Vienna and headed to Munich (#4- Germany) via Slazburg. We didn't have a huge amount of time in Salzburg, just enough for lunch and a browse of the markets. A few of us went to an Italian restaurant where the food was great but it ate up a lot of time just waiting to get it. In Munich we had a brief tour of the highlights of the Marienplatz, before we went to the Hofbraeuhaus for drinks and dinner (yes. In that order). Being our last night, most everyone got pretty legless, especially the tour guide. There were latenight cheeseburgers and drunken goodbyes in the hotel lobby, as is par for the course. I ripped a 20euro note in two, and lost one of the pieces. Heartbreaking. Paper money is stupid, really it is.
I spent another night in Munich, staying at the Wombats there. I reccommend Wombats hostels to anyone, if you're staying somewhere where thye have one. They're fabulous and it'll only cost you 20euros a night. AND they always save space for walk ins, so you don't have to panic if you haven't booked a place. AND they have free wifi AND a bar. It was a quiet day for me, just moving between accomodation and booking places to stay for the rest of my trip. It's all sorted now which is a nice feeling.
On day 79 I boarded a train to Amsterdam (#5 The Netherlands). On the train I discovered the sheet with the phone numbers for the hotels, and rang the one in Krakow. They said they didn't have an item of my description ("it's a cow. he has horns? kinda furry and brownish?") which is crap because I'm 99.99999999999% sure that I left him there. It's horrible to think of him, possibly still under the bed, gathering dust and loneliness. I like to think perhaps a child stayed in the room after me and Moo will make their life a little better. I've been adding to his blog still, I feel I have to finish his tales now that he's gone. Pehraps whoever find him may stumble accross it and contact me? You never know what could happen.
Now stupidly, I made the mistake of getting phone numbers off people on the last night, when nobody was sober, and I found out on the train that those numbers were completely wrong. So I arrived in Amsterdam without being able to contact them. Thankfully, I arrived to a roomfull of roommates, and they were fair decent guys so I had someone to hang out with (read: get drunk with) on my first night. yesterday the whole room slept in pretty late and I tried to get into contact with my friends. Thank god for facebook is all I can say. I met them last night for dinner and drinks and tonight we might be heading to a shisha bar or some similar venue.
Today (day 81 in case you forgot) hasn't been hugely eventful. I ran out of money yesterday. Like completely out of money. I'm waiting for more to come through onto my card and in the meantime I have my sisters spare travelex card. Unfortunately, last night I realised I didn't have the pin number for it, so it's not entirely useful. This morning I attempted to ring her to get it, to find out that despite having put $50 credit on my phone the other day, the balance was now -$35. Yes, negative. I don't know what happened, but obviously I couldn't use it. I ended up having to add more just so I could call her and get the pin number because my other phone isn't reliable enough to make phonecalls. She din't answer. I actually ended up ringing Dad's mobile and thankfully, both of them were at home so he could put me onto her. All's well now and I'll be able to withdraw cash when I need it. Was a wee bit stressful though, for a short while there.
Normally I just rmeind myself of how not-so-bad-at-all the worst case scenario is and I calm down. But in this case it was "I'm stuck in Amsterdam, without money for food or accomodation, untill money comes through onto my card which might not be till wednesday. It is now Sunday morning. I have less than 3 euros."
Oh wait that's not not-so-bad-at-all at all!
Untill next week (side note in brackets)