Category Archives: holidays

how do you say…

Waiting to board one of the three flights I have today.

This trip back will not be as fun as the journey here. Sadly, Hamburg didn’t have direct flights to Vancouver.

Yesterday was a fairly low-key day. Spent some time wandering the main city centre, and shops. Visited the historic part of Hamburg, the town hall was really stunning. I was curious how damaged the city was from WW2. Nobody I asked seemed to know, so I’ll have to research it.

While out walking in the day, I stumbled across the same exact purple chair I saw at the V&A Museum in London. Well, technically the shop the manufactures it, but still how strange!

In the evening we went back to the pub, and listened to more great music and I met a few more of Anna’s friends – also music lovers. Fantastic conversation, and at one point we were borrowing scrap pieces of paper/napkins and writing out a list of artists, unknown to each other. So now I have a list of German bands to check out and I left a few audiophiles in Hamburg with a giant list of Canadian indie rock artists. Wonderful way to cap off the trip.

Oh, and Anna got me to wear lipstick (it didn’t last too long), and here’s a video I shot where I was trying to get her to translate the warning labels on the cigarette pack, and she gets a bit lost in translation…

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and the days blur into one

I have a couple of pieces of writing I’d like to post, which have been written over the past few days, but thinking I’ll hold off on doing so until I return home. They are a bit heavier in nature, and well, I still have more pictures to spam you with.

Time spent in London was not filled with tourist attractions (which was a nice break), instead there was just lots of wandering and catching up with friends. I went into the cosiest pub ever on Friday night with my friend Janette – it had an Alice in Wonderland vibe – each room you entered into had a smaller door until finally you exited into a twinkle-lit beer garden (what the Brits call a patio). And they had about 50 kinds of cider. Ah, how I will miss those selections.

We went to the theatre on Saturday to see One Man, Two Gunvors, which was hilarious. Honestly, my face hurt from laughing so much. After the show we went to a retro diner and got to sit in an old BBC radio booth, where you flipped the “On Air” switch when you were ready to order. It was here I learned that European lemonade is carbonated (tastes exactly like 7-Up). In hindsight, this makes a lot more sense, because when I lived in Newcastle I knew a lot of people who drank beer and lemonade (which I thought disgusting)…still not sold on beer and “7-Up” but I understand the combination a bit better. And of course because I can’t have it, I’ve been craving North American lemonade. I tried the UK’s “natural lemonade” it was lemon juice with ice. It gave me blue steel face for about 3 hours.

The rest of my visit in England was spent catching up with Ali. We had a lovely time wandering through Hyde Park and up to Covent Garden for dinner. We were sad to learn that the rowboats we had intended to rent were about £40 per half hour. Outrageous! Although perhaps it was for the best. How do you think I’d fair on a rowboat?

On Monday we took in the Natural History Museum and V&A and had a pub lunch and chatted outside on the patio until hopping in a black cab and heading to the airport.

I’m only in Hamburg for one more day, and I’m actually looking forward to heading home. I am tired, although I’m having fun, I miss my bed.

I did have a great night out last night, which was needed to take my mind of the real grown up stuff happening in my real non travel life at the moment. Turns out I can understand and even speak (!) German so much easier than French. So much. I’ve been told I pronounce my “U’s” wonderfully, and I have been amazed how much I am able to pick up from gestures alone. Last night at the pub I only needed a tiny bit of translation. My friend Anna’s local pub is great. She’s friends with the owner and as she’s a regular, got to choose the music. It was already good to behind with.

The best part of the night was when a table of young British boys came in and soon started yelling about football – the owner turns to me and says (in German) – “Watch this – I’m going to put on Oasis and I will sell at least 3 pints of (insert name of English beer I can’t recall).” I was able to understand obviously, “Oasis”, the point to the table, and the beer. Hilarious, as it worked! Felt like a true High Fidelity moment. We’re going back tonight, I’ll have to take more pictures, it’s a cool place.

Okay, picture spam. Trying out a new feature with WordPress – let me know what you think of the thumbnail to slideshow pictures. The street art picture with the cassette has “push” written on it, which I loved.

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hallo

So my travel updating fell to crap, eh?

The insomnia that kept me up in the first few days, which gave me the ability to post faded midway through my stay in Paris. Days spent walking and wandering and nights out expended any extra energy.

I had some time alone to write in my journal, which was lovely though.

Currently I’m in Hamburg with my friend from Newcastle. I just spent 4 days in London and had a wonderful time. I’ll post pictures shortly.

For now just one I snapped on Sunday. I think it looks a bit like Banksy’s work. What do you think?

I also saw a great sign nearby that read “Be Civil. Disobey.”

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gold leaf

I knew the Palace of Versailles was huge. I just wasn’t expecting it to be that huge. Sure my mind knew that thousands of people used to live on the grounds but that’s hard to translate.

It only took us about 45 mins to get through the main palace and then we wandered the grounds, which for me was the most spectacular part.

We rented bikes and took our baguettes (mine sticking out of my bicycle basket) and rode to Marie Antoinette’s “cottage” from the main ground. This was a wonderful break from all the walking, even if some in our group had forgotten how to ride a bike. Amusement nonetheless.

After returning to the city we went to the Rodin Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. The evening took us back out for another wander to the St. Germaine area, where I saw lots of street art.

We ended the day at the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up at night.

My feet are on ice.

Tomorrow visiting various cemeteries and just wandering. I’ve hit all the places I really wanted to see.

Gone through 67 band-aids too.

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spiral staircases

I’m very happy with the decision to rent a flat instead of going to a hotel. Being able to come back periodically and make a snack, or light dinner has really saved some money. Also it’s nice not being confined to just one room.

Yesterday was the Tim Burton exhibit at the Cinematheque Museum, which I thoroughly enjoyed. His journals were amazing. I didn’t realise how deep his catalogue went. It was also great to see some of the costumes from his films. I’ve attached a few pictures below.

After the exhibition it was the great shoe hunt (as you can see from my bandaged feet). My good shoes are still drying after getting caught in the rain.

In the afternoon was the Pantheon. I enjoyed this more than I expected. The architecture was stunning. Sadly, most of my photos are in my actual camera, so only one to share from my phone. The area in which it is situated was also fun to wander. Found some great used book stores and record shops!

The eve was spent wandering the latin quarter, where I saw these huge meringues. I mentioned the French live dessert right?

Today started off with a two hour wait to get into the catacombs. Again, no pictures from my phone, in fact I only took one photo inside (took many of the quarry, but not of the actual bones). It felt disrespectful. I had mixed feelings from the whole experience, but I am glad I went.

Next off to the Museum d’Orsay, which was a bit underwhelming but stunning architecturally. I think the Museum of Modern Art will be better in terms of art I would like to see. I did snap a great picture from behind the clock inside.

Tomorrow is Versailles and the Rodin Museum. And hopefully some crepes.

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darjeeling

Today was not filled with as much walking as yesterday, but enough that I will be buying new shoes tomorrow.

Last night after we returned from the day, we decided to head out and enjoy the night life…and did not return until 2am so the trip to the catacombs scheduled for today was postponed.

Instead it was a leisurely morn, and I met up with another friend living here from my Newcastle days and she took me around the city and we went out to a tea house. The fanciest tea house I have ever been too. I’m still using the web from my phone so I can’t link it but I will later. There were at least 500 teas on the menu. We also had brunch, which in France always comes with dessert. Im convincing myself all the walking I’m doing will cancel out the indulging.

Tonight will be an early eve because I plan to be up early and take in the Cinematheque Museum and the Pantheon. So I’m watching The Simpsons in French and resting my feet. I feel that’s allowed as it is 9pm.

Here are a few photos I took last night, just around where I’m staying.

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to the top

I walked to the top of the Eiffel Tower today.

Then to the Louvre and walked all the way through the gardens and then to the Arc de Triomphe.

I’d say at least 15 km.

Highlights of the day:

View from the tower.

Seeing a lady carrying a 50lbs bag of baguettes.

A dozen buskers – a super group if you will – playing all together in the metro.

My computer Internet does not seem to be working, so no photo batches to upload, but thought I’d share this one from my phone.

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