A Travellerspoint blog

France, Rotts and the big game

By our powers combined it was a crazy week!

sunny 25 °C

Wow, this is going to be a draining entry. First things first: Melon and I made our rendez-vous with Morton and Kerr in Paris after taking a Lithuanian taxi, two quick flights, one expensive English express bus between airports and a French train into Paris.

The next three days involved knocking off major French attractions in most likely the highest culture point scoring day ever! First we hit the Eiffel Tower, then off to the Arc de Triomphe, then a stroll down the Champs Elysees towards the Louvre for our record breaking view of the "Highest Culture Point Scoring Attraction world wide" according to the Morton culture point scale, the Mona Lisa. Further to this we drank some french wine that night to completely max out the culture points for that day.

Saturday saw us heading back to the airport to pick up the much hyped and much beloved Peugeot Partner. After a few minutes to completely changing the way we drive we were off to Rotterdam and to our first Partner stop: a football friendly between The Netherlands and Australia!

Saturday the 4th started early with a breakfast of Hoegaarden Grand Cru´s and continued with a delicious kebab before heading to the Kuip dressed to the nines in our yellow Australian garb (except Morton who hadn't managed to locate a shirt yet).

If anyone has ever been to an interstate AFL match where the home fans outnumbered the visitors, think that except every single person is dressed in orange (usually pretty crazily and with an air horn), is super pumped to be at the game and also super friendly. The national anthem was sung with Advance Australia Fair sounding like only the singer was there compared to the 40,000 dutch fans singing at the top of their voice and drowning out everything!

The game was awesome as you would have seen on telly (if you watched) and you would have seen us sitting behind the goals at the end where both of the goals were scored. After the match we headed to an irish pub where the Aussie supporters were headed to party the night away. We met some interesting characters that night including "Frank the Tank" who had passed out in a chair in the middle of everyone a bit "Weekend at Bernies" and All-Australian "Dazza" who was supporting a green and gold Aussie Afro Wig and letting people sign his body (God only knows why).

We left the pub for our camping ground cabins, which were a little out of town so we decided to run a bit of the way. Morton and I got a little tired so we stopped and took it easy while the other two soldiered on. Morton and I, with our keen sense of direction found our way back to the cabin at around 2am to find no sign of either Melon or Kerr and with only one key for the cabin in Kerr´s pocket. So Morton and I got into the Partner for our first sleep in the van to wait and see if the other two arrived. An hour later I axoke to find Melon and Kerr inside the cabin playing cards. They had managed to run past the turn towards the camping ground to qnd when realising they were lost had found two Polish campers with a portable GPS machine who were also lost on their way to the campsite. After following the Poles who were going in the wrong direction to their GPS machine they bailed and flagged down a passing police car who told them they would need a taxi, so they asked what the police were doing to which they replied they were going to answer a call and said to wait where they were and they would come back and get them in about 10 minutes. Like clockwork the police returned 10 minutes later and gave the boys a lift back to the camp. I am still not sure who was more excited, looking at the photo with the police the cop looks like he was having the time of his life.

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coming up soon... more pictures and Amsterdam and Brussells

Posted by hengel 07:55 Archived in Netherlands Tagged backpacking Comments (4)

Beautiful Breathtaking Blissful (Bloody Cold) Baltics

The area of the world that allowed me to fire an AK-47, and hence, become a man

rain 14 °C

Me and my trusty sidekick Long Strides Hengel are now nearing the end of our journey through the Baltics. So to close this chapter of our trip, a few highlights from Helsinki to Vilnius, followed by some photos:

1. Arriving in Helsinki to the quiet sounds of people going about their business and choosing not to make inappropriate amounts of noise. I walked around Helsinki with my arms stretched out to my side the first few days - a luxury after a month in China.

2. Watching Finish monster band 'Lordi' win Eurovision while in Tallinn, Estonia. 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' echoed throughout old town Tallinn after this history making night.

3. Tallinn itself was a highlight. The old town surrounded by walls was pretty special. I can be seen in Tallinn's main square below.

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4. I fired a gun! Yeaaahhhhhh! It wasn't just any gun either. Me, Hengel and our English travelling buddy, Pete, all fired three bullets out of an AK-47 in an old soviet bunker in Riga. The noise the thing made was unbelievable. We weren't supposed to take photos but I did get one in. See below.

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5. Orange Bar, Riga, Estonia. I was given this tip by brother Ed, and it turned out to be a real winner. Me, Long Strides and Pete ended up here every night because it was just better than everywhere else. We even had a lock-in one night. The photo below is mainly for Ed.

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6. Riga. I put Tallinn in here so I better put in Riga. Great place. Best city of the Baltics. Below: Riga from above.

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7. Bobsled track. Not anywhere near as great as it could have been. In winter you can go down this track in a bobsled with the Latvian bobsled team. In May you have to walk down it in the rain throwing water bottles down the track. Still fun.

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8. Hill of Crosses, Lithuania. An unbelievable number of crosses layed out over two Hills to commemorate Lithuanians killed or deported to Siberia over the last century. These Baltic states have been screwed over the past one hundred years.

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And another one from the hill of crosses. Culture points must be maxed out by now...

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9. Vilnius. Maybe not as good as the other two cities but still has its own charm. Haven't found great nightlife here yet but there is always tonight.

And some more photos......

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Every Finn needs a pair of these

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Dreaming of the Greek Isles

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Biking in Helsinki is the way to go. Free bikes that you can drop off and pick up wherever you go. Shame that they're a little fruity.

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Our Baltic travelling partner, Geordie Pete, sharing a beer with Long Strides in a German beer hall, Estonian Style. Beers served by wenches taste better.

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Me in Riga.

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We visited the former KGB prison yesterday. Pretty scary stuff. The soviets were a bunch of #$@&%!!!!

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Celebrating the annual day of the Kankle in Vilnius

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There is a small area of Vilnius which has declared itself a seperate republic to Lithuania and has it's own constitution. My favourite is 'everyone has the right to look after the dog until one of them dies'.

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In Ye Olde times, all prisoners were this excited at getting the chance to have cabbages thown at them.

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A nice castle we visited today. Extremely Ye Olde.

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In Ye Olde times, all photo galleries would finish with a photo of a chump.

Sorry it's long. Thought I'd do the lot in one go. Love to all. We shall be in touch again during the next and most exciting part of our journey. Thanks to the guys who sent photos of the Greece game too. Looked bloody great. Shame to miss it. We will endevour to repeat the performance when we see the 25er in action in a few days time.

Melon

Posted by MOB 08:20 Archived in Lithuania Tagged backpacking Comments (10)

¡Hola! from the weirdest ´Hostel´ in Europe

I spy a novelty photo or two

sunny 32 °C

Ahoy there all,

Our last entry from Espanola before we embark on the Partner trip and the madness that is the World Cup. The 25er edges closer day by day...

Brief highlights
- Ordering a round of beers at a pub that was pumping like nothing I´ve seen at 6am. Even weirder, this felt entirely appropriate. (Needless to say and true to form I washed up pretty hard though)
- The riot police turning up while we were celebrating with the Barcelona fans after the big win
- Seeing a team of ten year olds playing for Barcelona junior FC outside the Nou Camp throw tantrums (kicking bins, throwing boots) after losing 1-0 (we watched a whole half, it was quality)
- Our current hostel. Remember the tourists who turned up to steal our rooms just as people went home from St. Mary´s after they finished exams, we hated them. Now in Barcelona, we have morphed into those people- this college is brand new and has a pool though, sweet... Although we feel like sellouts and are so far out of the city, it´s hilarious because it´s so weird

Now to the good stuff
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Yes in Spain Ricky has been made the patron saint of comedy (For ´What do you think of that? What? Lick It!´ and his Office dance)
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The coolest dog ever. We sent it to Tommo but decided you should all share the goodness
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Sorry couldn´t pick up a literal Spanish translation a la Pood, but we enjoyed this (going out to Melon for his efforts in Beijing)
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On our tour of the Nou Camp, we came across one big fucker

Morto

Posted by MOB 07:53 Archived in Spain Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

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