A Travellerspoint blog

The end…or the beginning?

overcast 4 °C
View Evali's Euro on Evalikat's travel map.

Our last few days in London.

We wandered through the city and watched buskers, spent time in the West End, went to a theatre play and met with my friend, Wendy again.

London is so great. Europe is so great. India and Morocco are so great. I am mourning our time in all these places and wish it were longer.

I feel sad to leave but on a positive note I can see my family and friends.

I am taking away from this trip life lessons and fantastic memories. I see now that life is fleeting and every moment is so important. I have learnt to recognise the special moments before they become a memory. I am trying not to sweat the small stuff and live in the present. There is a world of possibility and adventure waiting to be found. I used to think it was a cliche to believe that travelling can change a person but now I see that by our experiences we grow and learn so much. I feel so blessed to have been able to go on this adventure, with the person I love the most in the world by my side. We both worked so hard and never lost sight of our goals. I see now that so many things I considered necessary and important really are not and that what is important is learning about yourself every day and being open to possibility. I dared to dream and it worked out for me. We don't know what the future holds but I know I will be with my partner and best friend through whatever adventure life throws our way, as his wife because we are getting married!

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Posted by Evalikat 19:47 Archived in England Comments (1)

London again

semi-overcast 4 °C
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We travelled back to London after a few days in Yorkshire.

This time we are staying in Southwark which is a little closer to the city. We have spent time visiting the sights and museums again as well as markets and other parts of the city we had not yet seen.

We spent a day in Shoreditch which is a very cool part of London. Whilst we were there we visited the famous Brick Lane which is a street full of Bangladesh and Indian curry houses. The restauranteurs try to get you to come to their restaurant and there are so many to choose from. There are markets in Shoreditch where independent designers sell their works such as clothing and photography. Also every second store is a vintage store selling anything you can imagine. They also have a really old school record store which reminds me of the good old days and I would have absolutely loved a place like this when I was younger. We visited a studio of a local artist who was doing some interesting things with paper mâché.

We also spent a day at the portobello markets again, this time on the weekend when they were in full swing. They were so crowded and happening it was a great place to people watch. There was an international food market with a band playing in this converted shed which had very funky decor. Most of the he clothing is vintage as well and if you were in the market for a fur coat then this would be the place for you. They also sell a lot of jewellery and antiques.

Another market we visited, the Borough Markets sells food. Lots of cheese, chutneys and bread. There are lots of samples to try and they sell locally brewed cider which was much drier than the usual cider and very tasty and very alcoholic. The day we went here it was absolutely pouring so we spent quite a while there eating and waiting out the down pour.

We sought refuge from the rain in the Victoria and Albert Museum of Design which is one of the nicest museums I have seen. There are some interesting things in here as they feature anything to do with design, like furniture, jewellery, sculpture and even ancient structures from Egypt and Asia.

Another day was spent in Camden Town. We met with one of my friends, Wendy who has been living in London for about a year now. She lives near Camden and showed us around which was really nice. Camden is one of my favourite part of London. It is virtually a giant market, selling everything and anything. We walked through for ages and Wens informed us that we had not even seen a quarter of it. Some of the markets are in old horse stables which have bronze statues of horses through them. The streets are interesting because of all the street art and interesting characters that walk along. It is a really unique place. We watched a rockabilly band play in a pub that Amy Winehouse used to frequent and the whole place is covered in Amy Winehouse graffiti. The band were really fun to watch. It was really nice to catch up with Wens and we had a really nice day together.

We loved it so much in Camden we returned the next day, a Monday, to visit the rest of it. It was much quieter being a weekday but all the shops were running and it was a full day of vintage shopping where Evan and I both purchased some great stuff.

During the week we have been doing bits and pieces like watching some comedy acts and woke early one morning to watch the sun rise over Big Ben and the London Eye which was a bit special. I absolutely love London. It is such a cool city, one that I am so reluctant to leave. I can see why so many Aussies make it their home, it is just so fun and there is always something happening. The people are lovely and we keep finding better and better things each day.

We only have two days left of our trip and I have mixed feelings about returning to oz. I am just happy to have a little bit more time in this great city and try not to think ahead, rather live in the moment.

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Posted by Evalikat 19:12 Archived in England Comments (0)

Yorkshire, the proper English countryside

rain 4 °C
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Yorkshire is beautiful. It is exactly how you would imagine the English countryside, as if it were plucked from a book and pasted in front of your eyes. The farmland is green and lush, with patchwork quilt style of different shades of green. The fences are made of mossy stones and the hills surrounding the area are textured with rocks and water.

There are beautiful manor houses here with huge driveways and lakes on their land. I can see where the landscape artists of the Romantic period got their inspiration, the whole place looks like a Turner painting!

It rains virtually non stop here. We saw some rain in London but this was intense. Evans friend mentioned that this is normal. Because of the rain, people tend to look for indoor activities so there are many cafes, theatres, restaurants and huge indoor activity centres that have golf, laser games and even an artificial wave for surfing, rock climbing and ropes course and artificial snow slope where people ski and snow board.

We visited York while we were there. It is a really cool little village with cobblestone streets and old city walls. The shopping is excellent. The streets were so crowded and apparently this is always the case. There were lots of old buildings and churches to see there as well as inns and restaurants that looked as though they were very old. It is a very quaint place which we loved visiting.

We also went to a football (soccer) match at Old Trafford Stadium to see Manchester play Fulham. This was really exciting as we had never been to a match. The crowd was huge, about 70,000. They are very vocal as well, which made the whole thing very fun to experience. The game ended in a draw. They also had vegetarian pies there so I was able to have a pie at the footy, something I could never do in Australia ha ha.

We had a really relaxing time in Yorkshire, it was really cool to just chill out and stay in a house rather than a hotel room. Evan's friend was very kind to us and even gave up his bed! It was loads of fun staying in the very picturesque Yorkshire. Oh and the locals have the coolest accents!

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Posted by Evalikat 19:07 Archived in England Comments (0)

London Town

rain 7 °C
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We arrived in London on the 1st February. We booked accommodation in Kensington, the posh part of the city. Our hotel was in Bayswater, opposite Kensington Gardens near Notting Hill and Portobello Road.

It was nice to stay in another part of the city because last time we visited London we were very central, in Russell Square and did not venture too far away from the city centre.

We spent five days exploring this area, visiting the famous Portobello Markets, and walking through Hyde Park. We also walked into the city some days to visit Buckingham palace, Covent Garden, as well as the city centre. The Chinese New Year celebrations were happening in Soho and Trafalgar Square the first day we walked into the city. This was a big celebration, with a huge stage set up and food markets in Trafalgar Square and China Town in Soho was absolutely buzzing.

We also visited some museums like the Serpentine Museum, The National Gallery, The Tate Modern, The Natural History Museum, all of which are free to visit. This is fantastic because London is so expensive! Our dollar is worth 49p which is horrible to think you are actually spending double your money. We have not been letting that bother us too much though cause this is our last stop and want to have a good time.

Theatre is huge in London. All around Leicester square there are ticket booths selling tickets for musicals, plays and any show you want to see. We decided to experience this and went to see the Lion King. What a fantastic show! The costumes and music were amazing, not to mention the performers. Spot on!

Evan's good friend has been living in the UK for a few years now so we went to visit him in Sheffield, about a 2 hour train ride away. I was excited to see other parts of England and to visit Yorkshire.

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Posted by Evalikat 19:05 Archived in England Comments (0)

So long sunny Marrakech

sunny 25 °C
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Back in Marrakech we were wandering the souks again, bargaining with people and getting lost in the hustle and bustle. We decided to do some shopping. Nothing is marked with a price and if you so much as look at an item, the shop keeper is suddenly by your side hassling you. "Very good price, you like? Come into my shop, just looking, looking is free, what you need? Spices? Pashmina? Handbag?" This happens about 20 times a day. Some people even try to get you to follow them to their cousins, brothers, fathers, uncles shops but we have become very good at saying "no!".

We had chosen the things that we wanted and the way it works is first they tell you a price and then you tell them a price and back and fourth it goes till you meet in the middle somewhere. Sometimes though you can pay a great deal less than they suggest. For example I brought a beanie. He said 280. I said 10. He said 200. I said 10. And on and on it went till I agreed on 30. If you were not able to barter you would end up paying way too much. I found this exciting and became quite good at it, always paying what I wanted.

We visited a beautiful garden right in the city. The garden was created by a French artist who came to Marrakesh to paint. It was opened to the public in the 40's and still is. Yves Saint Laurent also loved this garden and maintained it once the original owner had died. There is a memorial to Yves in the garden as well. Inside the garden walls it is so tranquil with beautiful fountains and dense greenery. The plants came from all over the world and different parts are dedicated to certain plants. My favourite part was the cactus garden, I had never seen such huge cacti before. The pots in the gardens are painted yellow, orange and of course the colour unique to Morocco, Indigo. This blue is so wonderfully bright and looks amazing.

Today was our last day here. We spent it enjoying the sights and visiting a tomb. In the evening we went to the big sqaure and participated in a really weird show. We paid some money to a busker and he invited us to sit down to watch. There were musicians playing and in the centre, a man dancing around a chicken and dove. He was putting the dove on his head whilst dancing and our participation was that he put the dove on us as well. Lucky we are bird lovers.

After the initial shock of Marrakech we have found ourselves fitting nicely into the flow of life here and feel very happy. It will be sad to leave, as it is sad to leave every place we visit. Our next stop is London. So goodbye beautiful weather and onto the cold rainy climate.

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Posted by Evalikat 12:39 Archived in Morocco Comments (0)

Beautiful sunsets, sunrises, desert and camels


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When we arrived at Merzouga we were taken straight to the camels and away we went. It was such a surreal experience. We were all excited and chatty but as soon as we were on the camels, it was deadly quiet with just the desert, sky and us. It is not so comfortable to ride a camel, it really strains your inner thighs and some people we hopping off and walking but despite the discomfort there was no way I was hopping off and giving up this experience. We stopped and watched the sun set, one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. The dunes shift and change in the light and the untouched sand has ripples and patterns. The colours are so vivid, always changing and I have never seen such broad spectrum of red colour. It was dark when we arrived at our camp site. There were only a few lights so we sat virtually in complete darkness. The stars out there looked so bright. The spread of and amount of stars was unlike anything I have ever seen. It was a very different sky to the one we see at home, heaps more stars and the constellations can be seen much more clearly.

We had a delicious dinner of tagine and rice, cooked by our Berber guides. They were funny guys, very happy and likeable. They called us by stereotypical names, like kangaroo for Evan and I and Japan for the Japanese. It was not offensive though. They played some music for us and Evan joined in with the drums. They told him he was very good at the drums, like Africa.

We slept the night in a tent and typical to the desert, the warm day was followed by a freezing night. It was so unbelievably cold in the tent. We shivered the night away and were woken by our guides at 6am to a still dark sky. We rode our camels back to civilisation and watched the sun rise. It was again so beautiful and the cold desert became warmer as the sun rose higher in the sky. By 8am we were back where we started and were provided a much needed breakfast. Then we were back on the mini bus for the 10 hour drive to Marrakech. The desert adventure was one of the best things I have ever done, and we had not even planned to visit Morocco until we were in Paris and went to a Moroccan restaurant in the Latin quarter and met a really nice guy and thought, "why not go to Morocco?" What an experience!

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Posted by Evalikat 00:14 Archived in Morocco Comments (0)

Heading for the desert via the Atlas Mountains

sunny 25 °C
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We left for the desert early in the morning. We were taken to a minibus which drove us to a point and then we were told to get off and hop on another minibus. The people on this bus were confused as we were about the plans for the three day trip. We were all given vague information and sharing pieces of information we were able to get some idea of what this trip was going to be. For the first half of the day the minibus was practically empty and as we drove the winding roads through the Atlas Mountains we were able to spread out and make ourselves comfortable. The first place we stopped offered fantastic views of the mountains, which were very interesting to behold with the contrast in texture, shape and colour. Some mountains were made entirely of rock, others had some trees and the ones higher up were covered in snow. Next we stopped at a kasbah which is famous because many films have been made there such as Laurence of Arabia, The Mummy, Indiana Jones and Cleopatra among others. To get from the road we had to cross a river on little rock stepping stones ad one the way we saw goats and donkeys. We visited the home of a family that lived there and saw they way they cook food and where they sleep. The whole thing is made of mud brick and we saw a man constructing these bricks to make more buildings. We climbed many stairs to the top and the view from there was fantastic. For miles there was rock and dirt and then in the middle, an oasis of palm trees and the kasbah.

Then our next stop we picked up more people, who filled our minibus which was no longer so comfortable. The people on the tour were mostly French but we also had some Japanese, Spanish and one American. They were all so kind and after spending so much time together in such an intimate setting we became good friends. Everyone was so interesting to speak with and we all had different stories to tell. We spent the night in Zagoura which is classed as desert but not the real desert as it is mostly rock and dirt.

The next day we headed for Merzouga where we were to spend a night in the desert. On the way there we stopped at a gorge which was so overwhelming as it was the highest rock I have ever walked through. The sky was a perfect blue and the temperature was just right. There were natural springs there and stones along the river where we saw women with goats and donkeys. We also stopped at a small village to see a community of people who work together to make rugs. During the winter the nomads from the mountains are given shelter here and then in the summer they head back to the mountains to live in caves. All the materials are farmed there for the rugs, even the plants to make dyes. The colours are so vibrant and the rugs were beautiful. We saw women washing the wool in the river and some young kids came running up to ask for chocolate. They were very sweet kids.

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Posted by Evalikat 14:32 Archived in Morocco Comments (0)

The highs and lows of Marrakech

sunny 23 °C
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In the souks, people are selling mostly beads, jewellery, handbags, wooden figures and pottery but there are some less desirable alleyways within the markets that sell animal skins, skulls as well as live animals such as falcons, lizards, turtles and hedgehogs. These animals were kept in such horrific conditions, I could not stand looking it was breaking my heart so now when I pass an area like this I look away. I wish I could help them all.

The way that animals are treated in general is so horrible that Evan will not even eat meat here. We walk past a slaughter area to get to the square each day and the sights here are horrendous. I am not even going to describe it but you can imagine. The donkeys are worked so hard they tremble and look like they will collapse. It is so difficult to see this all. Marrakech is an exhausting place because one minute you are having fun, enjoying the vibe and then the next, your heart is breaking.

We spent time mostly in the souks and main square a first but have ventured to the new city since which is very different to the medina. The shops are more commercial and people are not bartering or trying to sell you anything.

In Marrakech there are some amazing places with beautiful mosaics and beautifully coloured pot plants. The colours of the spices, materials and bags stand out brightly. The quiet little streets that branch off from the main parts of the souks often have treasure in them like an ancient gate or door.

There are some beautiful tranquil gardens here which are like a lush oasis in a land of dust. The buildings are all terracotta coloured earning the city the nickname the red city. Watching the sunset behind the minaret of the mosque is so beautiful with the palms trees silhouetted against the sky.

We have organised a three day trip into the Sahara desert stopping at a kasbah ad spending one night camping in the desert and riding camels. It will be fantastic to see what it is like out of the city and it is quite a long drive so we will see lots of nice scenery.

There are so many aspects of Morocco that are like India and Turkey, but each place is so unique and has its own thing going for it. I am having a great time here, it is such a change from Europe and the nice weather has been wonderful.

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Posted by Evalikat 13:29 Archived in Morocco Comments (0)

Welcome to Morocco!

sunny 23 °C
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Arriving in marrakech was a surreal experience. After our drama at the airport in getting here we were emotionally drained and were not prepared for the onslaught. We jump into a prearranged taxi which drives us crazily though the streets, dodging traffic which consists of not just cars but bikes with entire families aboard and donkeys pulling carts.

Then suddenly we stop in a busy marketplace and a man from our hotel is waiting for us. Another man comes from nowhere with a wheelbarrow and offers to take our luggage. We follow the man from our hotel through a seemingly endless labyrinth of twisting narrow alleyways to a black door. On the other side it is beautiful. We are staying in a Riad, a square shaped building with an inner courtyard. The courtyard is so peaceful, a complete contrast to the chaos outside.

Once we have eaten delicious lemon coconut cake and mint tea our Riad manager, Nabil, offers to walk us to the main square. He tells us to pay attention and points landmarks out to us as we walk back through the labyrinth, into the souk (market) taking so many turns my head spins finally arriving at a huge square. I can hardly remember the last two steps of the journey back, let alone the whole range of twists and turns but this is a matter for later when we decide to head back to the Riad.

For now, it is all about taking in this craziness that is Marrakech. I can hardly explain what we saw to do it justice but basically we were confronted with men wearing fezs with long tassels that they spin on their heads whilst banging cymbals asking you to pay for a photo. Then we see monkeys, some wearing Nappies and dresses being led around on a chain. There are men with snakes piled up on mats, some cobras being 'charmed' with a clarinet type instrument, others just being frightening snakes. The men have smaller snakes in their hands, and they can come up to you at any moment asking whether you want a photo with them. There are groups of people standing around watching what we thought were buskers but were in fact comedy acts that consisted of a man standing with thongs strapped to his head so the looked like ears being hit but other men with sticks. Another group was gathered around people playing music and one man was tap dancing on a steel drum. People are selling all sorts of things. We saw a man with a card table set up covered in human teeth as well as used dentures and we were totally baffled about this, why would anyone want to buy used teeth? But we later found out that this man is offering his services as a dentist and would happily extract your tooth if needed. Now it all makes sense.

Waiting to be on the train to the wrong airport

Waiting to be on the train to the wrong airport

We made it.

We made it.


These hoodie/dressing gowns are awesome. Love the pixie hood. Everyone wears them here.

These hoodie/dressing gowns are awesome. Love the pixie hood. Everyone wears them here.

Second hand markets

Second hand markets

The revolting business of selling skins of murdered animals.

The revolting business of selling skins of murdered animals.

One of the most horrible things about this place, animal cruelty. Poor baby falcon.

One of the most horrible things about this place, animal cruelty. Poor baby falcon.

Markets

Markets

Markets

Markets

Jam session. Nothing is free by the way. Not even listening.

Jam session. Nothing is free by the way. Not even listening.

This guy wears thongs strapped to his head and let's his mates hit him with sticks. Pretty standard entertainment for the locals. Any questions?

This guy wears thongs strapped to his head and let's his mates hit him with sticks. Pretty standard entertainment for the locals. Any questions?

Yes a horse and cart is perfectly acceptable amongst traffic

Yes a horse and cart is perfectly acceptable amongst traffic

Standard transport option for Morocco

Standard transport option for Morocco

It's warm enough to have a running fountain, something we have not seen for a long time

It's warm enough to have a running fountain, something we have not seen for a long time

Just chillin in my trailer

Just chillin in my trailer

Side street outside of the main square

Side street outside of the main square

Entrance to the Souk, or market

Entrance to the Souk, or market

A wall dedicated to the King

A wall dedicated to the King

A wall dedicated to the King

A wall dedicated to the King

Spices

Spices

Spices

Spices

Street boxing match anyone?

Street boxing match anyone?

This guy is trying to make some money

This guy is trying to make some money

Cous cous

Cous cous

One of the dressing gowns with hoods

One of the dressing gowns with hoods

Just chillin in my trailer

Just chillin in my trailer

Shisha in the courtyard

Shisha in the courtyard

The courtyard

The courtyard

The courtyard

The courtyard

The courtyard

The courtyard

The courtyard

The courtyard

Our room. We are staying in a Riad

Our room. We are staying in a Riad

Posted by Evalikat 13:22 Archived in Morocco Comments (0)

The most testing of days.

overcast
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Evan's recollection of this day:

Starts out at 5am, arriving to Frankfurt airport for an intended flight to Marrakech, only to realise that we are at the wrong airport. Our airport is 100km away, and we have 1 hour to get there. An anxiety riddled, snail paced ride down some dark stretch of the autobahn with a taxi driver not fit for the task and 200 euro later, we arrive, and are met by 2 stone faced and stone hearted RyanAir staff members who inform us that we are 5 minutes late, checkin is closed, tough shit!, "there is no way you can take this flight."

Thankfully some more empathetic airport security staff are able to pull some strings allowing us to board the flight. Only catch, we have to throw out any liquids from our bags that we were to check in. This includes souvenir wine from Bran castle that we have been lugging around for 4 months, and all of our toiletries. I got off lightly cause I don’t have much, but Ali had to hand over her vast collection of lotions and potions, which I dread to think how much that adds to the days bill. Just to give us an extra kick while we were down, RyanAir also decide we have to pay an extra 100 euro for our bags because of the inconveniance to them. The plane left on time and arrived 25 minutes early.

On the bright side, we made it. Oh and did I mention these Moroccans are fucking insane.

Posted by Evalikat 02:34 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Visiting Frankfurt and saying goodbye to Europe...for now

overcast 3 °C
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I really enjoyed my time in Frankfurt. It is an architecturally interesting city with crazy angled, huge, glass buildings. There is also an old town which is very beautiful. When standing in old town you can see the extremely modern buildings rising up behind the quaint old ones, creating a real contrast.

We did a lot of walking here. There is a nice river walk, parks and lots of shopping. I had read bad things about Frankfurt, that it is boring and a business city. I did not find this at all. I liked all the nice areas that are ultra modern with interesting statues and sculptures.

While we were here we found an English speaking cinema and watched a shitty movie, The Wolf Of Wall Street. It was still good to watch a movie even though about halfway through, the movie stopped and we all sat there for quite a while before it resumed again. After our movie we went to a beer bar which sold apfelwein, a local cider. The man that owns the bar was so nice to us and discussed at length the types of beer they sell and which are better. He then put some Australian music on just for us, Little River Band who we did not even recognise and he had to tell us they were Aussie so that was a bit of a shame for him but then he played AC/DC and of course this was more familiar. He was so nice to us we had a great time there.

I am sad about leaving this city because this is the last time this trip we will be in Europe. Our next stop is Marrakech, Morocco. I am looking forward to seeing another culturally different place. It will be a nice change before heading to the UK.

I wish time would move slower.

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Posted by Evalikat 10:29 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Hamburg, ho-hum

overcast 0 °C
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We spent five nights in Hamburg. The weather was awful for the first two days. We visited an art museum, the Kunsthalle, which has some amazing artworks but one in particular that I have wanted to see for many years now. Its a painting by Caspar David Friedrich, called Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog. It is a beautiful Romantic painting which I became fascinated with because it captures the beautiful and powerful aspects of nature, while reminding us of our own mortality. The wanderer is a man on the edge of a misty cliff in contemplation. I love Caspar David Friedrich but in particular this is a favourite of mine. As well as this painting, there were some Edvard Munch paintings, always a pleasure to see in particular, the painting called Madonna.

The next day we joined a walking tour that was ran by an extremely enthusiastic American man who had so much to say he was constantly running out of breath. He told us many stories about the city including one about a real life pirate and took us to some interesting places.

We spent the rest of the time in Hamburg visiting various areas, such as the port which is a relatively new area that is still been developed. There is a big shopping area in the city centre which strangely shut down completely on a Sunday, which did not make sense to me as this is a big city and surely the retailers would want to stay open on what is for most people one of the the two free work days of the week. Anyway it was like a ghost town this day and it was so cold we stopped wandering the streets and went back to our hotel.

Another part of Hamburg is called St Pauli which is known for debauchery and craziness. This is the red light district and there are many strip clubs and bars along the main street, the Reeperbahn. The Beatles lived in St Pauli before they were famous and there is a Beatlesplatz there too which has some sculptures of the band playing their instruments. We spent two nights here, drinking 50c shots at a wild dirty pub that was filled with pommies on a stag night and then visiting a dive bar that was made out like a home so it felt like a house party. There was a continuous flow throughout the rooms, with a kitchen, living room, bedroom and laundry. It was very unique and had a cool vibe. St Pauli is messy and crazy and not really my scene but it was fun to visit and we always try to see all aspects of a city to understand what it's all about.

In the heart of Hamburg there is the remains of a church that was bombed in World War Two. The city has turned this into a memorial. We went to the top of the 75 metre tower which was so windy and cold we didn't last long there. Underneath what's left of the church is a museum which talks about life in Hamburg during the continuous bombing that they endured and the way they prepared and survived. It was interesting to see a museum that sympathised with Germany. They were very careful to remind at different points why they were bombed as if they didn't want to appear too much like victims.

There is another part of Hamburg called St Georg which is full of drug dealers, prostitutes and drunks. Walking through is a little worrying but I soon realised that the only associate with their own kind and don't even give a couple like us a second look. We were staying right near this area so we walked through there a couple of times heading to other places.

We saw a movie there too, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It was pretty good. The fun part was being able to enjoy a beer while watching the movie.

I didn't really like Hamburg as much as other cities. I had a nice enough time but the city didn't really offer as much as I thought and even though we went looking for action and researched thoroughly I felt that there should be more to the city. I was disappointed with our time there but in retrospect I am glad I went otherwise I would never have known. I guess I can't love every place we visit.

Next stop, Frankfurt.

The Rathaus

The Rathaus

The Rathaus

The Rathaus

Madonna, Edvard Munch

Madonna, Edvard Munch

Wreck in the Sea of Ice, Caspar David Friedrich  at Kunsthalle Museum

Wreck in the Sea of Ice, Caspar David Friedrich at Kunsthalle Museum

Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog,  Caspar David Friedrich  at Kunsthalle Museum

Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, Caspar David Friedrich at Kunsthalle Museum

Man With a Guitar, Picasso at Kunsthalle Museum

Man With a Guitar, Picasso at Kunsthalle Museum

St Peters Church. These door handles are the oldest piece of art in Hamburg

St Peters Church. These door handles are the oldest piece of art in Hamburg

St Peters Church

St Peters Church

St Peters Church

St Peters Church

Office building for a shipping company

Office building for a shipping company

Building with sharpest angle in Hamburg

Building with sharpest angle in Hamburg

Building with sharpest angle in Hamburg

Building with sharpest angle in Hamburg

This building produced the gas that was used in German concentration camps

This building produced the gas that was used in German concentration camps

Building beside the canals

Building beside the canals

Port and Harbour area

Port and Harbour area

Port and Harbour area

Port and Harbour area

Port and Harbour area

Port and Harbour area

Port and Harbour area

Port and Harbour area

Port and Harbour area

Port and Harbour area

Beer in the cinema

Beer in the cinema

Ali Shop

Ali Shop

St Pauli, Beatlesplatz

St Pauli, Beatlesplatz

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

Sign of banned things in the metro

Sign of banned things in the metro

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Pauli

St Peters Church

St Peters Church

Symbol of Hamburg

Symbol of Hamburg

Food court with a bar

Food court with a bar

large_90_54FBFD812219AC68178789DF6F70DCC7.jpgThe Rathaus

The Rathaus

large_90_54C2C4C12219AC68176E25694E59645F.jpglarge_90_54C1AC252219AC681758D977A73B466C.jpgCanals

Canals

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Harbour area

Remains of bombed church

Remains of bombed church

Monument for murdered Jews

Monument for murdered Jews

St Nicolai church

St Nicolai church

St Nicolai church

St Nicolai church

St Nicolai church

St Nicolai church

St Nicolai church

St Nicolai church

St Nicolai

St Nicolai

Top of St Nicolai

Top of St Nicolai

Top of St Nicolai

Top of St Nicolai

Top of St Nicolai

Top of St Nicolai

Top of St Nicolai

Top of St Nicolai

Board game created by the Germans during WW2 to teach children what to do in the event of a air raid

Board game created by the Germans during WW2 to teach children what to do in the event of a air raid

Posted by Evalikat 13:04 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Hello Berlin, again

2 °C
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So going back to Berlin for two nights left us with one full day to cram anything in that we felt we missed last time. We had such a fantastic day. This time we stayed in a different part of the city, Charlottenburg.

First we visited Charlottenburg Palace which is a beautiful Baroque building with vast gardens. We had a lovely walk around and sat by the water watching the ducks. After this we went to Checkpoint Charlie and visited a free outdoor museum which spoke about the Berlin Wall and checkpoint Charlie.

We walked to the victory column which is near Tiergarten, a large park right in the centre of the city. When we got closer we saw that you we able to climb to the top of the tower which we decided to do. The view was really good from the top but we had to rush down because we had made a booking to visit the Reichstag Building.

The Reichstag Building is where the German parliament meet. The building has seen many changes over the years, particularly after it was bombed in World War Two. The security is very intense there and to visit we had to apply online and then take our passports with us and pass through security like at the airport. Once inside, you are taken up in a lift to the top of the building which is a glass dome. The building is in the centre of Berlin and there are 360 degree views so you are able to see almost all the major landmarks in the city.

We finished our last night in Berlin walking through Potsdamer Platz and Alexanderplatz.

Farewell Berlin, we have had a fantastic time visiting you!

Arrival in Berlin

Arrival in Berlin

Charlottenburg

Charlottenburg

Charlottenburg

Charlottenburg

Charlottenburg

Charlottenburg

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

large_089EE27C2219AC68174B52BC63082160.jpgCheckpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Poor little thing has a money box attached to him. His name is Macho

Poor little thing has a money box attached to him. His name is Macho

Brandenburg gate

Brandenburg gate

Soviet memorial

Soviet memorial

Soviet memorial

Soviet memorial

Soviet memorial

Soviet memorial

Soviet memorial

Soviet memorial

The victory tower

The victory tower

The victory tower, view from the top

The victory tower, view from the top

The victory tower, view from the top

The victory tower, view from the top

The victory tower

The victory tower

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

The Reichstag

Posted by Evalikat 10:50 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Science experiments, Frida Kahlo and it's so long Warsaw

-2 °C
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While in Warsaw, we also visited the Copernicus Museum which is a hands on science museum. It was so much fun. We participated in all the experiments, played mind games, saw robots and challenged our physical abilities.

That evening we returned to the dive bars for one last time before we left the next day. After the dive bars, we ate at a really fun themed restaurant dedicated to the Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo who is one of my favourites. The paintings on the walls and decorations were really cool. The food was delicious as well.

We still had not booked anything for the next day so we visited the train station to book a last minute train ticket to Hamburg although this was so pricey we decided on the spot to go to Berlin again for two nights and leave from there to go to Hamburg. So the next day we returned to Berlin for the second time this trip.

Copernicus Science Museum

Copernicus Science Museum

Copernicus Science Museum

Copernicus Science Museum

Copernicus Science Museum

Copernicus Science Museum

Frida Kahlo restaurant

Frida Kahlo restaurant

Frida Kahlo restaurant

Frida Kahlo restaurant

Krakowskie Przedmiescie

Krakowskie Przedmiescie

Krakowskie Przedmiescie

Krakowskie Przedmiescie

Christmas decorations Krakowskie Przedmiescie

Christmas decorations Krakowskie Przedmiescie

Leaving Warsaw

Leaving Warsaw


Leaving Warsaw

Leaving Warsaw

Posted by Evalikat 15:01 Archived in Poland Comments (0)

The Polish spirit, boobs on a wall and cheap beer

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The next day we joined a free walking tour of the city. We learnt a lot about Polish spirit in this tour. The guide was a Polish lady who was very proud of her history. She told us about the Warsaw Uprising when in 1944, after being occupied by the Germans since 1939 and having experienced such horrible losses and with no real army the Polish Home Army, consisting mostly of civilians, fought back against the Germans. Sadly, they did not succeed and this was largely due to the Soviets reluctance to become involved and help the Polish people at a critical moment. The guide gave us an insight into the Polish spirit when she told us that the anniversary of the uprising is never a sad day for them, regardless of the outcome, rather it is an extremely proud memory as this was the moment that the Polish fought back.

We also visited the Uprising Museum which gave us a much more detailed explanation of not only the uprising but life in occupied Poland which was so horrible and left me with an aching heart for those poor people who lost so much, in some cases, everything. We saw a 3D simulation of a plane flying over Warsaw after the Germans bombed it so violently and it was so devastating and crushing to imagine such a terrible thing, to loose your friends, family, way of life, and finally your history. It is because of the fighting spirit inside the Polish that they have literally come back from nothing.

After tackling some heavy issues during the day we needed a light refresher and explored some of the dive pubs that are popular in Warsaw. A dive pub is low key, has funky furniture, mostly lounges, with the walls covered in what is sometimes weird art (one we visited had synthetic breasts all over one wall) and cheap beer. The music is present but you don't need to shout over it and the crowd is mixed. I like dive bars for all those reasons but mostly because in Warsaw there are so many in one spot that you are guaranteed to find one that is not packed and there are lots of options. Having fun in Warsaw, it's a fascinating city.

Uprising memorial

Uprising memorial

Uprising memorial

Uprising memorial

Little uprising statue old town city walls

Little uprising statue old town city walls

Symbol of the uprising

Symbol of the uprising

Polish dumplings

Polish dumplings

Warsaw Uprising Museum

Warsaw Uprising Museum

Warsaw Uprising Museum

Warsaw Uprising Museum

Warsaw Uprising Museum

Warsaw Uprising Museum

Warsaw Uprising Museum

Warsaw Uprising Museum

Warsaw Uprising Museum

Warsaw Uprising Museum

Warsaw Uprising Museum

Warsaw Uprising Museum

Krakowskie Przedmiescie

Krakowskie Przedmiescie

Krakowskie Przedmiescie

Krakowskie Przedmiescie

Chopin mural

Chopin mural

Dive bar

Dive bar

Dive bar

Dive bar

Boobs on the wall in a dive bar

Boobs on the wall in a dive bar

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Posted by Evalikat 14:59 Archived in Poland Comments (0)

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