The bus trip to Prague seemed extra long for some reason so we were happy to finally arrive. We stopped on the way at a concentration camp called Terezin.

Prague Castle 

Prague Castle

It was a bonus stop that we didn’t know about so Adrian was pretty happy cause we missed the one the day before. We’re staying in our first dorm room here, it hasn’t been too bad actually I thought it was going to be a lot worse. It’s just a bit annoying when people come home after you and when they get up in the morning before you. There was also a guy on our first night that snored so loudly, luckily both Adrian and I had ear plugs!

Prague Castle 

Prague Castle

Yesterday we visited Prague Castle, for some reason I thought it would be a good idea for us to walk there and it took us nearly 2 hours! The castle was very pretty and there were markets that were selling all different locals crafts, I thought they were pretty cool Adrian didn’t look too impressed though 🙂

On Charles Bridge 

On Charles Bridge

Our next stop was Charles Bridge, there were again heaps of stalls selling various souvenirs and crafty stuff. We then went to Town Square where the Astronomical Clock is. We were told that we must visit that because every hour on the hour it does some kind of display. So we waited around for about 45 minutes to see it and there were hundreds of people crowded around waiting too. We were very disappointed with the display let me tell you in wasn’t much at all it just made some noise and something moved and that was about it! But apparently this clock was built in the 1300’s so I’m not sure what we were expecting.

Overall Prague hasn’t been what I imagined, I think it was talked up too much by a lot of people. Don’t get me wrong I still have enjoyed our time here its been great.

Guten Tag

History wise, Berlin is easily the most interesting place I have come across. So many huge events have occurred here over the last century. Our bike guard said he was having a coffee with a 90 year old woman who has lived here her whole life and has never left. Gees she has been through some interesting times.

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial

The holocaust memorial fascinated me. It looks unreal from so many angles. I took heaps of pictures. Rach just said behind the Star Wars exhibition this memorial is the most I’ve taken pictures of. It has just over 2,700 stone blocks making up the memorial. It has been quite controversial for a few reasons. It only commemorates Jews. Hitler killed many other people including disabled, homosexuals and generally any one that didn’t follow his thinking. Also the company contracted to apply the anti graffiti coating to the rocks was the same company Hitler used to manufacture the gas he used in his gas chambers. There was a massive public uproar and as a sign of trying to mend the past, the company supplied the coating all free of charge. For pictures of the memorial click here.

Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall

We were over the top of where Hitler’s bunker hid metres below, where he committed suicide. At first, surprisingly there was not a single marking or note of the massively historical site that laid beneath us. But the more I’ve been here the more I hear about how the Germans are really trying to distance themselves from what happen, as well as they don’t like talking about their dark history. Apparently Hitler was not even liked by the majority of Germans when he was in power. It’s a shame that you can’t go underground to see it but I respect why there is nothing mentioned any where about the site.

Victory Tower

Victory Tower

There is this really funny huge tower named the Victory tower. It symbolises some Victory over the French. It really is a big “Ha Ha We Won!” to the French. It is metal is made entirely of melted down guns captured from the French. It has canons around it that were all captured from the French. It has gold plated bits that yes again, were captured from the French. It also has a statue of someone pointing in the direction of France too 🙂 Apparently the French don’t like it. I can’t see why? 😉

At any Jewish religious site there are policemen 24 hours a day. Not because there is a high chance of being vandalised but more that on the very unlikely chance that vandalism were to occur. It’s there to prevent any bad publicity as you can imagine the media would make a frenzy of it world wide.

I highly recommend seeing the DVD titled “Downfall”. I saw it just before we left. It was a new release from VideoEzy. It’s in German with English subtitles. It’s about the last week or so of Hitler’s life. After hearing from the guide, the movie is very factually correct. I thought the movie was very interesting. Hitler was really insane. Towards the end he never listened to any of his top Generals that they were to crumple. One woman was so passionate about Hitler that she could not think of a world without Hitler in power. So in Hitler’s bunker she killed five of her six children and then herself. Even after top raking Generals urged her that there was still time to escape before the Russians arrived. She just though life without Hitler was not worth living. One word that comes to mind is “fanaticism”.


Berlin has been really good, it is so interesting because there is so much history behind everything that we have seen.  The weather has been great which is always a bonus! We went on another bike tour yesterday (yes we love our bike tours!) it was really good the tour guide was so knowledgable he knew absolutely everything.  There is so much to do in Berlin we haven’t even touched the surface of things to do and see.

Last night we went on a pub crawl with some other busabout people it was a lot of fun we visited 4 clubs and at every place we got a free shot as you can imagine Adrian was pretty happy with that!  We had the walk to each club so in between the clubs the guides poured yagameister and apple snapps into our mouths!   The last club we went to was pretty big it had 3 different rooms but the music was pretty crap in all 3. We got home at about 3:30 so today has been a bit of struggle to get motivated to do stuff. 

This afternoon we were going to a concentration camp about 40 minutes out of Berlin so we went to the train station to catch a train and sat there for about 30 minutes waiting for it and then realised that the announcement over the loud speaker in German that had been repeated several times was saying that our train had been cancelled!  Adrian was most upset because it was something he really wanted to see but apparently we stop at a concentration camp on our way to Prague tomorrow. 

I’ve got 2 minutes left so I better go.




Bikes, coffee shops and red lights…

Amsterdam is an interesting place. The Netherlands was once all water and no land. They pumped out bucket loads of water to make it all dry. Apparently all of the Netherlands is under sea level and Amsterdam itself is built on top of a river. All of the quirky things about Amsterdam all have a perfectly legitimate reason behind it that always dates back centuries ago e.g. Cannabis was decriminilised because some guy back centuries ago didn’t think it was fair to jail all of the young kids because they were smoking cannabis.

Some other things to note about Amsterdam:

– There are more bicycles here than there are people. Seriously, there are 1.2 million bikes and only 700,000 people. Bikes have right of way and they are everywhere. They even have car parks but for bikes, I guess you could call them bike parks? Even dominos pizza is delivered on pushbikes.

– Every one knows about the red light district but have you heard of the blue light district? Well if you walk down the blue light district area the small difference is that all the pretty girls aren’t girls! Did some body say she-male?

– The red light district is actually heavily funded by the government. Apparently all of the girls work items are fully tax deductible e.g. implants, other types of plastic surgery, lube, toys etc… Apparently if any one takes a photo of one of the girls, you should expect to see some heavies come out and jump on their camera and then on top of them 🙂

– Amsterdam is nowhere near as picturesque as Paris, but I guess that’s to be expected. It’s just so varied and random with no consistency e.g. you’ll be walking through a block of buildings / homes and they will be all different styles and colours and everything.

Big Clogs

Big Clogs

– There are coffee shops and cafes. Coffee shops specialise in cannabis. Cafes specialise in coffee 🙂 Both types of shops have wide varieties of their respective products.

Yesterday we went on a bike tour. Not as good as Paris but still worth the money. The highlights were seeing and old style windmill and visiting a clog factory and cheese farm. Rach and I bought some cheese from there. It’s great. It’s made the old style way too.



Later that night we headed to the red light district. Nothing special really. I was expecting a lot more from what everyone described. It was really just woman in Windows with underwear on.

Today we went to the house that Anne Frank hid in. She was a jew hiding from the Germans. She wrote a diary of her encounters and that has been published in many different countries. If you’re interested check out the below link:

Paris – Day 3

Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa

Today we went to the Louvre. This is one of Paris’ most famous museum and is home to the Mona Lisa. We managed to get a photo holding the Mona Lisa 🙂 The Louvre is huge. To cover all of it you would need a full day or more.

After that we headed to Notre Dame to get a closer look and to walk around inside. It is huge. I really don’t know how they built this building in their times. It’s very tall and you can walk around the top to see Paris.

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur

We then headed to the Sacre Coeur which is a huge church but the main attraction is that it is on a hill which looks over a large part of Paris. Paris is quite flat so the view is great. It’s right near our place, so we’re gonna head back tonight to go have a look at Paris at night. It should be a great view, just as it is in the day.

So tommorrow we are off to Amsterdam. My mum told me I should go check out the “coffee shops” and she said the red light district is worth a visit 🙂 hehhehehhe just kidding. Hi mum if you’re reading!

Bonsoir (Good evening in French)

In our hotel lobby I found a brochure for a Star Wars exhibition:

Pod Racer

Pod Racer

So of course I had to go, you gotta see all of the famous Paris sites 🙂 They had two full size pod racers (see pic below) and heaps of other full size objects used from all six movies, including costumes (see storm trooper pic), light sabers and other bits and pieces. They had loads of sections where you could read up on the history, how they did things and so forth. Any way it was well worth the ten euro (16 skippy dollars).

Storm Trooper

Storm Trooper

Further to what Rach has wrote. On the way into France there were so many massively large fields that were so lushiously green. Better than lush golf greens. It looked really clean and fresh. They’re definately not in drought over here.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

All of the cars here are Renaults and Peugeots. It’s funny to see Mercedes Benz taxis 🙂

When we went on the hour long cruise as a part of the bike tour, we got to see lots of paris at night time. It’s a lovely place and is well lit up. Along the river we were on every now and again we’d see these tents. The guide informed us that once a year the Parisiens (The people of Paris) doing something nice for the poor. Apparently this year they bought the homeless tents. So heaps of the homeless have got tents! Any way, every hour on the hour the Eiffel tower sparkles like crazy just like a sparkler. That’s what that photo is.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

The metro (short for metropolitan rail way) is just as easy to use as the tube, except for that it’s in French. It’s quite interesting trying to buy a ticket from some one who only knows French. The first time I just pointed at the place on the map and held up two fingers meaning two people.

The bike tour was so funny, there we were a group of 15 taking over the streets of Paris stopping traffic all in bright fluro vests. The tour was 24 euro and well worth it for 5 hours, some good excercise, a one hour ride on a river boat and some wine to go with it.

The Eiffel tower is an interesting sight, especially when you’ve always just seen it on post cards. It put a big grin on my face to see it as popped out of the metro and starting walking towards it and then it appeared. Rach and I were a little alarmed at the French military walking around with big machine guns. I guess we’re just not used to seeing guns. But I guess they think they need it since September 11th. These guys looked so bored and mean that I bet they’d be keen as to let a few shots go.



It poored down today in the afternoon about 6. Lucky I had Ness’ emergency poncho to save the day. We had dinner made up of items from the local supermarket (sandwhich, dips, cruskits, ice cream with cookie dough. Nothing special). The super market makes you pack your own bags and their trolleys are really little carts that hold the normal hand baskets. It only gets dark here about 10pm which is really usefull. Any way gotta get to sleep got a big day of free museums.

PS. I hate the French keyboards. The letters A, M,W and Z are in a completely different place to ours and you have to hold shift to get numbers.


Well where do I start? Today is our second day in Paris and it has been great so far! Paris is absolutely beautiful I had no idea how amazing it was.

Tube Stairs

Rach – Bike Tour

We went on a 5 hour bike tour last night which was so much fun. It was so crazy we were riding on the road weaving in and out of traffic I thought one of us was going to get hit for sure! We saw the eiffel tower, notre dame, louvre plus lots more other stuff and went on a cruise down the seine river.

Today we went back to the eiffel tower, we were going to go up but the weather was pretty average so we’re going to wait until tomorrow. We also went to the Arc de Triomphe. It is situated in the middle of a roundabout that has at least 12 streets going off it and its absolutely crazy theres cars going in every direction and theres seems to be no rules everyone just goes anywhere. Apparently there is an accident every 6 minutes but we didn’t see one today.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

The first sunday of every month musuems have free entry so we are going tomorrow to visit as many as we can.

One thing I’ve noticed is theres such cute dogs everywhere! On the bike tour lastnight I saw a dog that looked like Harvey crossed with a sausage dog it was so cute!

Ok thats all from me now I’m sure Adrian will write some more about Paris.


Tube Stairs

Tube Stairs

Dinner last night for Jo’s birthday was good fun. We went to this unsual restaurant that served thai buffet with the usual stuff, prawns in stir fry, beef meals and what not. But the only catch is that it was all tofu shaped and coloured to look like real meat, even the prawns had the orange lines painted on to them so they’d look like real prawns. What the! Any way it was great to catch up with Adam, Jen and Kate. I also met this girl Belinda, who I knew of and after talking for a while we both know heaps of the same people and we just started drawing connections left right and centre. She also went to my high school too and knows friends from several different circles. Small world.

Any way, just quickly a few other things about london:

– You have to have a paid licence to watch TV!!!!!!!!! And you have to pay for it to watch free to air!!!! Did i mention paid? What the!!!! Check this out: Apparently they hunt you down too and knock on your door and demand payment. People pay on a monthly basis too. 25 pound a month. Rip off!

– The pciture above is of the largest tube escalator. The photo doesn’t do it justice as I’m already a fair way down, but these things are so steep. According to the injury prevention signs around the place, people get injured a fair bit. When I say steep I mean steep, like you can see down the top of the person in fron of you 🙂 Just kidding but I guess you know what I mean?

– Apparently getting cash out at the same time is only a new thing here and half of the staff don’t know how to do it…

Any way, today we’re looking for secure storage to go store all our stuff in while we go for our big journey.

Ness wanted to know what we ate for dinner on our first night, well we went to a pub, Jo warned us of the some times lame standard of pub food. I ordered a chicken breast with bacon on top with melted cheese, chips and salad. It sounded good. Well what came out was different it had bbq sauce squirted all over the top like as if they had 3 year olds adding the sauce. The salad (if you could call it that) had the basics but nothing to write home about. The chips looked like they had been cooked for an hour 🙂 Overall the meal didn’t look pretty 2 out of 10 for presentation but it got a 7 out of 10 for overall taste so I guess you can’t complain. Rach had a rissotto which she said was great.

Any way gotta run. It’s great seeing the comments. Keep them coming. Nadia, kindly informed me that the castle is London Tower. I also put the photo up as well.


Rach & Jo

Rach & Jo
Adrian & Rach

Adrian & Rach

Today we caught up for lunch with Jo and sat right next to the river Thames where we could see the gherkin building that Jo had talked about as well as the apparently famous Tower bridge and some castle and the city hall.

A few quick points about London so far:

-At an early glance, things here don’t seem that expensive even after conversion from pounds to dollars. We went to an equivalent of Rebel sports where brand name clothes and shoes were cheap as compared to Australia.

Some Castle

Tower of London

Food prices don’t seem that bad either, sometimes the same or a little bit more, nothing that I would call “expensive”. No doubt we’ll see the expensive side before too long.

– There one dollar coins are the same size as our two dollar coins. I first thought I’d been given back extra change i.e. 2 x 2 pound coins but sadly it was only 2 x 1 pound coins.

London Bridge

Tower Bridge
City Hall

City Hall

– The car selections here are so much better here than back home. Lots of different brands, versions, diesels and station wagons that we don’t have home. Holdens are called Vauxhauls here too.
– The police drive BMWs not Holdens or Fords.
– It took us a while to see our first traditional style phone booth 🙂

Later tonight we’re going out for Jo’s birthday dinner. It’ll be good cause Rach and I will catch up with all of our other friends here in London.

Ps. The blog time is now in London time.


We touched down in Heathrow airport at close to 6am and it was fresh 5 degrees outside. Customs was easy as, I thought it would be harder along with a few more grueling questions. Signage around the place was useful and in no time at all we were on the underground tube. It felt like it was the afternoon because we’d been up for 3 or so hours but really it was 7 am and London was all going to work and school. The closer we got to central London the more packed the tube got. It was busy enough that at some stops people couldn’t get on to the train. We thought we were going to have a hard time getting off the train with our already difficult to carry luggage (I had to carry Rach’s big back pack as she was struggling with it). Teri met us at the station and we went back to her place from there.

The tube is easy as to use. There are helpful maps and signs every where in the stations and on the trains. I hope that we pick a place to live that is close to the tube as it’s so easy to get to places on it. Rach and I have been back and forth and via different routes a fair bit so far with no probs. I read it once before and totally agree, the tube map is something you will become very familiar with. Being on the tube makes you feel like you’re in Sydney because the maps of the tub network look like the same maps of the Sydney rail network. As well as London being very multicultural just like Sydney, you’d never know you were in London just by looking at the crowd.

We went to our 1st contact orientation day. We caught the tub in to some where and grabbed some lunch from Subway. Subway here don’t have chicken fillet. What is going on? At our orientation, they spoke to us and about 30 other people all from home, NZ or South Africa. At the session we signed up for our bank account and got our UK sim card and a phone call card.

Later in the day we caught up with Jo. After to speaking to her for a little while it felt like we’d seen her just last week, even though it was really almost a year.

Woo hoo!

What can I say, we’re finally off. This morning was funny on the phone to my sister saying “Hey, I guess I’ll see you in Barcelona”. It’s just not normal every day conversation that you have with some one. Pretty exciting.

There was hardly any waiting on Sydney airport which was great. They delayed our Canberra to Sydney flight a few times, which meant by the time we got through customs in Sydney we pretty much jumped on the plane headed for Singapore. This was the jumbo we caught from Sydney to Singapore:



I was most impressed when some one from Singapore airlines offered me 30 minutes of free wireless internet (you normally have to pay and at a crazy price no doubt). I’m currently on my laptop (I knew it was gonna be good for something) sitting in these uncomfortable chairs. It’s 3am Canberra time and according to the LCD screen in front of me we are traveling at 948km/h, we’re 9573 metres above sea level, it’s minus 35 degrees outside and we have 11 hours and 31 minutes of flying time left. I’ve got some Panadeine Forte, so hopefully that’ll knock me out for a few hours.

So far it’s been pretty uneventful. The flight to Singapore was easy as and went quite quickly. Singapore Airlines have been great, highly recommended so far. Loads of food (they’re trying to load us up again with another four meals on our second flight). They have a great in flight entertainment system. You can play Nintendo and play multiplayer games against other people on the flight. There’s a large selection of movies and you can make them start, forward, rewind and pause them when you want. There’s also a good selection of radio stations including a cool channel mixed my Ministry of Sound exclusively for Singapore Airlines.

A couple other quickies: Singapore airport has those world famous squat and drop toilettes. Each toilette area had at least one. I guess the locals must use them? Different strokes for different folks. And Bernie will love this one. We’ve got a crying baby near us. I guess you can all imagine it.

Any way, I’m gonna get back to counting down 11 hours and 31 minutes. Ciao.

The clock is ticking. Only 6 sleeps to go…

Farewell Invitiation

Farewell Invitation

So Rach and I have both had our last days of work and the previous weekend we had our farewell party. Thanks to every one who came to the farewell party. Rach and I had a fantastic time. It’s always great to have all of your friends in the one room. The photos from the night are up here:

Map of Trip

Map of Trip

The whole concept of moving to a different country for a while still really hasn’t sunk in. In 2 weeks from now we’ll be in Paris. Three weeks in Prague. It’s all quite strange really. If you click the map on the left, it will show you all the places we are heading to. As you can see where covering such a large part of Europe in a little time. We’re in a new place nearly every three days. One day on a bus, the next two travelling, and then it starts all over again. The bus will be Rach and I’s best friend by the end of the trip 🙁 Visit the itinerary page if you are unsure of what’s the name of one of the places or if you wanna know when we’ll be some where.
My head feels a little lost as I’ve still got a fair few things to do before I go but it should all be under control soon. I better get back to all of that now 🙂

My first post (I couldn’t think of anything better as a title)

I created this blog in hope that during my travels around Europe & the UK I’d keep a record of what went on. This is because I know that by the time I get home, no doubt I will have forgotten or at least forgotten to mention large parts of the trip. I think I’d also like to be able to look back at what’s on here and reminisce and laugh about my adventures. This blog will also allow me to upload and show you photos of some of the great places I’ll visit along the way.

It’s just so easy to communicate with every one via the net. Anyway, I thought this blog would be a good place to start.

Please feel free to register and submit comments. I’d love to hear from you all. Your first post will need to be approved first, so you won’t see it online straight away but from there after it will pop up straight away.

For those who care, the term blog is the short version of web log. For more info click here.