Highlights of Topdeck:
- replacement New Years Eve in the Swiss Alps, where it started snowing halfway through the night.
- Mitch, a South African on the tour, giving us all the slogan ‘My life is not average’ and a song about shitting on Paris.
- heading up the top of Jungfrau, one of the highest peaks in Europe and home to the highest railway system in the world. This ended in a snowfight 3000m high.
- stopping off in Verona and seeing the Juliet balcony.
- Gondola rides, unsuccessfully attempting to scare pigeons with a horn and a mask party in Venice.
- our Dutch bus driver pulling out a knife one night when he was drunk
- beer in Munich. That’s pretty much it, because we got there at 6pm and left at 8am.
- staying in a castle in the Rhine Valley, which was a really gorgeous area with castles, towers and lovely little villages lining the river.
- Anne Frank House, the Heineken brewery, the ‘I Amsterdam’ sign and a bike tour, plus the nicest hostel I’ve ever seen, in Amsterdam
- delicious chocolate and waffles, plus horrific beer out of a horn glass in Bruges
- ferry ride back to London where I’ve been for the last four days, still having the time of my life and getting ready to fly to Johannesburg tomorrow for the final part of my adventure!

My life is not average!

Highlights of Topdeck:
- replacement New Years Eve in the Swiss Alps, where it started snowing halfway through the night.
- Mitch, a South African on the tour, giving us all the slogan ‘My life is not average’ and a song about shitting on Paris.
- heading up the top of Jungfrau, one of the highest peaks in Europe and home to the highest railway system in the world. This ended in a snowfight 3000m high.
- stopping off in Verona and seeing the Juliet balcony.
- Gondola rides, unsuccessfully attempting to scare pigeons with a horn and a mask party in Venice.
- our Dutch bus driver pulling out a knife one night when he was drunk
- beer in Munich. That’s pretty much it, because we got there at 6pm and left at 8am.
- staying in a castle in the Rhine Valley, which was a really gorgeous area with castles, towers and lovely little villages lining the river.
- Anne Frank House, the Heineken brewery, the ‘I Amsterdam’ sign and a bike tour, plus the nicest hostel I’ve ever seen, in Amsterdam
- delicious chocolate and waffles, plus horrific beer out of a horn glass in Bruges
- ferry ride back to London where I’ve been for the last four days, still having the time of my life and getting ready to fly to Johannesburg tomorrow for the final part of my adventure!

My life is not average!

2 notes

So the last time I posted was in Berlin about two weeks ago…what a two weeks they have been!!

I got the train from Berlin to Paris and spent a couple of nights in a hostel there before meeting up with my Topdeck tour group. The highlight of my stay was probably the Catacombs, an old mining system which became a tomb of sorts for 6 million bodies when the Paris cemeteries got too full. The bones are all stacked in perfect formations, and its quite strangely beautiful. I also went into Sacre Cour and Notre Dame, and went up to see the Gargoyles. I saw Napoleons Tomb and went on a bike tour around Paris with the Topdecks. It was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done on the trip, and was a great way to get to know people a bit better.

We were also in Paris for New Years, and it was an absolute disaster. It was raining, there were people everywhere, our group was getting split up (though I tried to keep everyone together by holding up a 1.5L bottle of fanta and vodka, which earned me the nickname Fanta) and then at midnight the Eiffel Tower didn’t even have fireworks!! Not to mention the disaster of getting home, with Metro lines closing and people being refused taxis. But we got home safely in the end.

So the last time I posted was in Berlin about two weeks ago…what a two weeks they have been!!

I got the train from Berlin to Paris and spent a couple of nights in a hostel there before meeting up with my Topdeck tour group. The highlight of my stay was probably the Catacombs, an old mining system which became a tomb of sorts for 6 million bodies when the Paris cemeteries got too full. The bones are all stacked in perfect formations, and its quite strangely beautiful. I also went into Sacre Cour and Notre Dame, and went up to see the Gargoyles. I saw Napoleons Tomb and went on a bike tour around Paris with the Topdecks. It was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done on the trip, and was a great way to get to know people a bit better.

We were also in Paris for New Years, and it was an absolute disaster. It was raining, there were people everywhere, our group was getting split up (though I tried to keep everyone together by holding up a 1.5L bottle of fanta and vodka, which earned me the nickname Fanta) and then at midnight the Eiffel Tower didn’t even have fireworks!! Not to mention the disaster of getting home, with Metro lines closing and people being refused taxis. But we got home safely in the end.

1 note

Merry Christmas everybody!!

Been pretty busy the last week or so, moving through Budapest, Prague and Berlin.

I can’t remember when I last posted, so I’ll start with Budapest. Only a few nights there but they were jam packed. The hostel was big on organised parties so every night was something different, but it made it easy to meet people.
Caving underneath the city was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done, and I got my first taste of the European Christmas Markets. Lots of warm drinks and delicious food! 

Prague was an extremely pretty city. The castle and St Vitus Cathedral, the astronomical clock, Charles Bridge. All gorgeous. And the beers and food were incredibly cheap! I did a couple of walking tours in Prague, which I had avoided up to that stage. I really enjoyed it so now I wish I’d done more! A few guys from the hostel went on it as well, which was really good. We went to an absinthe bar and I tried that for the first time. I didn’t like it at first, but I’ve had it a few times since so it can’t be too bad!

And now I’m in Berlin. It was snowing on arrival which was incredible, as I’ve never seen snowfall before. It was also pretty damn cold, but my jacket and thermals have served me well so far!
I find the history of Germany to be extremely interesting, and did a walking tour which took us to all of the major sites (Checkpoint Charlie, Holocaust Memorial, Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, the bunker where Hitler took his own life etc). Unfortunately I picked a bad few days to be here as most of the museums are closed for the Christmas period, but hopefully I can sneak one in over the next few days.

I’m still having a great time, and met some great people who I can hopefully keep in touch with.

I hope that everybody had a great Christmas. I’m heading to Paris next, so that should be a bit of fun.

xx

Merry Christmas everybody!!

Been pretty busy the last week or so, moving through Budapest, Prague and Berlin.

I can’t remember when I last posted, so I’ll start with Budapest. Only a few nights there but they were jam packed. The hostel was big on organised parties so every night was something different, but it made it easy to meet people.
Caving underneath the city was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done, and I got my first taste of the European Christmas Markets. Lots of warm drinks and delicious food!

Prague was an extremely pretty city. The castle and St Vitus Cathedral, the astronomical clock, Charles Bridge. All gorgeous. And the beers and food were incredibly cheap! I did a couple of walking tours in Prague, which I had avoided up to that stage. I really enjoyed it so now I wish I’d done more! A few guys from the hostel went on it as well, which was really good. We went to an absinthe bar and I tried that for the first time. I didn’t like it at first, but I’ve had it a few times since so it can’t be too bad!

And now I’m in Berlin. It was snowing on arrival which was incredible, as I’ve never seen snowfall before. It was also pretty damn cold, but my jacket and thermals have served me well so far!
I find the history of Germany to be extremely interesting, and did a walking tour which took us to all of the major sites (Checkpoint Charlie, Holocaust Memorial, Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, the bunker where Hitler took his own life etc). Unfortunately I picked a bad few days to be here as most of the museums are closed for the Christmas period, but hopefully I can sneak one in over the next few days.

I’m still having a great time, and met some great people who I can hopefully keep in touch with.

I hope that everybody had a great Christmas. I’m heading to Paris next, so that should be a bit of fun.

xx

3 notes

The Basilica Cistern, an old water supply for Istanbul/Constantinople, is such a beautiful place (probably helped by the lighting that has been installed). At the rear of the cavern are two ‘Medusa heads’, one placed upside down and one placed on its side. They seem to believe that by turning the head, it removed her ability to turn people to stone. The detail in some of the pillars, and those Medusa heads, was incredible. I took a LOT of photos haha.
I also went to the Grand Bazaar, and learned that my haggling skills leave a lot to be desired. It did, at a very basic level, remind me of an older and fully enclosed Queen Vic Market, but I enjoyed my time there and bought a few things.
And yesterday I went to Gallipoli, which really was an adventure. It is a 5 hr bus ride from Istanbul, so I was prepared for a long day of driving. I got picked up at 7am by a non English speaking Turk, and was terrified that this would be my guide for the day and I wouldn’t understand a word. Thankfully he was just the driver.
So I got on the bus and met my fellow travellers. Kim (a kiwi), plus James and Jenny, a Canadian/Japanese couple who had no idea what Gallipoli was and thought they were just being transferred to a nearby town. They became really interested in the stories though, and I think that in the end they were glad they came.
The actual Gallipoli peninsula, with Anzac Cove, Lone Pine, Johnston’s Jolly (with the trenches still dug out beside it) and other sites was incredible. We had a gorgeous day and an amazing guide, who really helped me appreciate the battle from both sides. While I think its important to know that the Anzacs were fighting for our country, the stories of their companionship and respect for the Turks is what made it so amazing. Having shooting competitions across the trenches, helping clear the wounded from the battle field and applauding each others singing (even though the Anzacs were actually applauding the Turks prayer).
Seeing the terrain first hand was also remarkable, and seeing how little ground they actually gained in the time they were there was a bit sad to be honest, as it showed how futile the loss of life was. The sunlight when we were at Lone Pine was absolutely perfect and something I won’t forget.
The trip there and back was where all the real ‘fun’ happened though. On the way there we took a ‘shortcut’ through small, dilapidated Turkish towns with terrible roads (which I actually enjoyed as it meant I got to see a different side of things), and stopped by a small ‘animal park’ (aka torture centre) which had camels, deer, dogs, sheep and ponies locked up in tiny cages. It was very strange and we were all a bit disgusted, but I guess that its normal for them.
And the trip home. Oh boy. Thankfully Kiwi Kim was staying in the same area as me, so I wasn’t alone. We got loaded onto a bus in Eceabat, and were told that we would be taken to Istanbul bus terminal, and then there would be a shuttle bus to take us to our hostels in Sultanahmet. WELL. We got on our bus, with no English speaking people, and made it to Istanbul. Once there, nobody would speak to us and there were buses everywhere, but no direction or signage as to which one we needed. Finally someone said they would take us, so we hopped in their bus. And then were left to wait 20 min while he went inside and drank coffee!! Then he finally comes back, and we double check that we are going to Sultanahmet. Yes, he says, before speeding off into traffic with no care for speed limits or lane divisions. You haven’t truly stared death in the face until you have been sped through the narrow one-way (supposedly) streets in a minibus. He then proceeded to drop us a 30min walk from our hostels and told us to get a tram. After much angry discussion, we realised there was no point arguing and got off his bus and onto the tram. We did get safely back to the hostel eventually, but I certainly won’t remember the experience with fondness!

I’m at Munich airport at the moment, waiting for a plane to Budapest where I’ll spend the next few days.

Absolutely loving it!

The Basilica Cistern, an old water supply for Istanbul/Constantinople, is such a beautiful place (probably helped by the lighting that has been installed). At the rear of the cavern are two ‘Medusa heads’, one placed upside down and one placed on its side. They seem to believe that by turning the head, it removed her ability to turn people to stone. The detail in some of the pillars, and those Medusa heads, was incredible. I took a LOT of photos haha.
I also went to the Grand Bazaar, and learned that my haggling skills leave a lot to be desired. It did, at a very basic level, remind me of an older and fully enclosed Queen Vic Market, but I enjoyed my time there and bought a few things.
And yesterday I went to Gallipoli, which really was an adventure. It is a 5 hr bus ride from Istanbul, so I was prepared for a long day of driving. I got picked up at 7am by a non English speaking Turk, and was terrified that this would be my guide for the day and I wouldn’t understand a word. Thankfully he was just the driver.
So I got on the bus and met my fellow travellers. Kim (a kiwi), plus James and Jenny, a Canadian/Japanese couple who had no idea what Gallipoli was and thought they were just being transferred to a nearby town. They became really interested in the stories though, and I think that in the end they were glad they came.
The actual Gallipoli peninsula, with Anzac Cove, Lone Pine, Johnston’s Jolly (with the trenches still dug out beside it) and other sites was incredible. We had a gorgeous day and an amazing guide, who really helped me appreciate the battle from both sides. While I think its important to know that the Anzacs were fighting for our country, the stories of their companionship and respect for the Turks is what made it so amazing. Having shooting competitions across the trenches, helping clear the wounded from the battle field and applauding each others singing (even though the Anzacs were actually applauding the Turks prayer).
Seeing the terrain first hand was also remarkable, and seeing how little ground they actually gained in the time they were there was a bit sad to be honest, as it showed how futile the loss of life was. The sunlight when we were at Lone Pine was absolutely perfect and something I won’t forget.
The trip there and back was where all the real ‘fun’ happened though. On the way there we took a ‘shortcut’ through small, dilapidated Turkish towns with terrible roads (which I actually enjoyed as it meant I got to see a different side of things), and stopped by a small ‘animal park’ (aka torture centre) which had camels, deer, dogs, sheep and ponies locked up in tiny cages. It was very strange and we were all a bit disgusted, but I guess that its normal for them.
And the trip home. Oh boy. Thankfully Kiwi Kim was staying in the same area as me, so I wasn’t alone. We got loaded onto a bus in Eceabat, and were told that we would be taken to Istanbul bus terminal, and then there would be a shuttle bus to take us to our hostels in Sultanahmet. WELL. We got on our bus, with no English speaking people, and made it to Istanbul. Once there, nobody would speak to us and there were buses everywhere, but no direction or signage as to which one we needed. Finally someone said they would take us, so we hopped in their bus. And then were left to wait 20 min while he went inside and drank coffee!! Then he finally comes back, and we double check that we are going to Sultanahmet. Yes, he says, before speeding off into traffic with no care for speed limits or lane divisions. You haven’t truly stared death in the face until you have been sped through the narrow one-way (supposedly) streets in a minibus. He then proceeded to drop us a 30min walk from our hostels and told us to get a tram. After much angry discussion, we realised there was no point arguing and got off his bus and onto the tram. We did get safely back to the hostel eventually, but I certainly won’t remember the experience with fondness!

I’m at Munich airport at the moment, waiting for a plane to Budapest where I’ll spend the next few days.

Absolutely loving it!

3 notes

So I’ve had one full day in Istanbul and it is gorgeous. A lovely old city, with untouched centuries old buildings.
My hotel is right near the Blue Mosque (aka Sultanahmet Mosque), which is still used for prayer. I don’t recall ever being inside a mosque before so it was really interesting to see how the set-up is different to a church.
Hagia Sophia (pictured) is an ex-mosque that has been converted into a museum, and I’m pretty sure its dome is (or was) the largest in the world.
Topkapi Palace is the old residence of the Ottoman Sultans who used to rule over this area. It had old Sultan clothing, old weapons and armour (there was one huge sword, taller than me and wider than my arm. Hardly practical.) and also a room full of Sacred Relics. This room had things like the Sword of David (of David and Goliath fame), the Rod of Moses, the (decomposing) arm and skull of John the Baptist and Joseph’s turban. As a non-religious person, it was really interesting to see these real objects attributed to the prophets.
I then went to Galata Tower which gave me a great view of the city, and stayed there for the sunset. I love a good sunset.
I’ve stayed in a hotel for these first two nights, but moving to a hostel today so I’m looking forward to that.

Still haven’t been taken.

So I’ve had one full day in Istanbul and it is gorgeous. A lovely old city, with untouched centuries old buildings.
My hotel is right near the Blue Mosque (aka Sultanahmet Mosque), which is still used for prayer. I don’t recall ever being inside a mosque before so it was really interesting to see how the set-up is different to a church.
Hagia Sophia (pictured) is an ex-mosque that has been converted into a museum, and I’m pretty sure its dome is (or was) the largest in the world.
Topkapi Palace is the old residence of the Ottoman Sultans who used to rule over this area. It had old Sultan clothing, old weapons and armour (there was one huge sword, taller than me and wider than my arm. Hardly practical.) and also a room full of Sacred Relics. This room had things like the Sword of David (of David and Goliath fame), the Rod of Moses, the (decomposing) arm and skull of John the Baptist and Joseph’s turban. As a non-religious person, it was really interesting to see these real objects attributed to the prophets.
I then went to Galata Tower which gave me a great view of the city, and stayed there for the sunset. I love a good sunset.
I’ve stayed in a hotel for these first two nights, but moving to a hostel today so I’m looking forward to that.

Still haven’t been taken.

5 notes

I’m on an adventure.

Last night I landed in Istanbul, Turkey, following two loooong flights. Luckily they had plenty of good movies to watch on the plane…The Dark Knight Rises, Ted, Moonrise Kingdom, Jeff Who Lives At Home, Never Let Me Go. I eventually settled on Step Up 4, Alexander (with Colin Farrell) and Rush Hour 2. (those are legitimately the movies the guy next to me chose to watch. I don’t understand).

It’s pretty cold here (7 degrees at the moment) and the days are really short, but I’m looking forward to getting out and doing stuff. Hoping to see Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque today, among other things.

I walked past them last night on my unsuccessful search for an ATM (i got hopelessly lost despite having a map and directions. Good start), but I’m looking forward to going inside today and having a closer look.

I’m not sure how often I’ll update this (and hopefully in the future I’ll have more exciting things to talk about than the in-flight entertainment) but I figure its an easy way to keep everyone up to date.

x

5 notes

boy-from-school:


HAPPY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY FLOORED!!!

This time last year, I was turning off my phone, turning off my computer and stressing.
 I’m proud of the fact that we went out, we had a goal and we achieved it. I’m proud of the fact I could share a little bit of my experience and my story (the working at a cinema part not the pirating part).

So with that, I retire from ever talking about Floored ever again. With this final post, I want to once again say thank you to the people who really made it possible, my closest friends, the ones I made working at that dingey cinema, while they worked I daydreamed. Thank you guys, you made my dreams come true.

WATCH FROM THE BEGINNING HERE




why aren’t I tickling your head in that screen cap? #missedthebestmomentoftheentireseries #hashtaggingontumblrtoannoyyou #improudofyou #bringonTropfest #makingyouangrywithhashtagsneverstops #pleasedonthateme #kony2012

boy-from-school:

HAPPY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY FLOORED!!!

This time last year, I was turning off my phone, turning off my computer and stressing.

I’m proud of the fact that we went out, we had a goal and we achieved it. I’m proud of the fact I could share a little bit of my experience and my story (the working at a cinema part not the pirating part).

So with that, I retire from ever talking about Floored ever again. With this final post, I want to once again say thank you to the people who really made it possible, my closest friends, the ones I made working at that dingey cinema, while they worked I daydreamed. Thank you guys, you made my dreams come true.

WATCH FROM THE BEGINNING HERE

why aren’t I tickling your head in that screen cap? #missedthebestmomentoftheentireseries #hashtaggingontumblrtoannoyyou #improudofyou #bringonTropfest #makingyouangrywithhashtagsneverstops #pleasedonthateme #kony2012

8 notes

forgoodnessakeram:

Ok, after many years of maintaining that I would never create a Tumblr, I have created a Tumblr. BUT not for the purposes of taking mirror selfies and unloading my feelings in cryptic posts that are not-so-subtly directed at people. I just thought that this would be the best way to update…

SHE’S HERE!!

2 notes

andiwasaboyfromschool:

Window Seat by Matt Low 

Is it wonder? Wistfulness? Whatever it is we all know that feeling when gazing out the window of an airplane. Brooklyn-based photographer Matt Low shot this amazing series showing people in the window seat of a plane gazing out. In this series, called Window Seat, Low explores the universal fascination with looking down from a place far above. Explaining Window Seat, Low says, “The Window Seat series… is my attempt to capture on other peoples faces the feeling I have of being compelled to stare out of the window when I fly. I fly a lot… I find looking down endlessly fascinating–it’s one of the few times that I still get a thrill of child-like amazement… I like to think that on the inside, the people I capture have that feeling too.”

Shotgun window seat.

(Source: razorshapes)

10,729 notes

The next 6 months.

Over the next six months, I will:
  • graduate from University and become a qualified physiotherapist
  • quit my job at the cinema after 6 years
  • get my full licence
  • travel to Europe for 5 weeks by myself
  • go on a safari and see REAL-LIFE WILD ANIMALS IN THE WILD!!
  • GET A REAL JOB AND START EARNING REAL MONEY!! *fingers crossed*

All the excitement.

2 notes