Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Well the Balkans are behind us. They weren't as bad as what we made them sound like in the last blog entry- just different. Zagreb (Croatia) and Ljubljiana (Slovenia) were very youthful cities which we really enjoyed spending time in- lots of cool places to drink beer in the sun. 

The train ride from Ljubljiana to Lindau (Germany) was right through the middle of Austria. We didn't really take any photos as they would not have come close to describing how beautiful the trip was. If you wanna know what it was like, take the trip yourself.

Lindau is on the Bodensee (Lake Constance) which shares the border with Switzerland and Austria. We were staying with Johanna which was great. She was on holidays too and so we got to see quite a bit of the area. We went to a super old castle, we went on a boat, we went to a modern art gallery, we climbed a mountain. We even rode our bikes to Austria. 

Now we're in Köln (Cologne). There is a very large church here. We drink Kölsch. We hang out with Kylie and Aapo. We visit the Lindt chocoalte factory (maybe).

It's now less than a month before we get back but we have a lot to do before then- namely Berlin, London (again), Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

There's the photos, and here's our summary of five cities in five different countries...

Our last days in Paris were great. We had a ball catching up with Berenice, we ate the worlds best baguettes and we sat amongst the tulips in a park thinking about how good it is to not have jobs.

It was a relief to get to London home to Top Shop, vast quantities of new and used records and of course the English language. Sara, Kent, Chelsea, Tom, Matt and Elena (Cambridge) also call this place home so it was a busy but friend-filled stop over. 

The flight from London to Byzantium/Constantinople/Istanbul isn't very long but culturally, it's a world away. Lots of markets and people and pigeons and headscarves. We took a boat to an island. We ate a lot of turkish pastry things and we walked like a hundred km.

The train takes 14 hours to get from Istanbul to Sofia (Bulgaria). We think it was the same train they used on one of those movies about the holocaust. Anyway, luckily it is an overnight trip. Unluckily we got woken up at 3am to go line up for a border crossing and then again at 4am and then again at 5am. We also met another person from Adelaide on the train. Classic. Sofia was our first taste of eastern Europe. It kinda tastes like car exhaust mixed with the fading scent of cheap, dead flowers.

One night later, we were back on the train again, this time headed for Belgrade (Serbia). We left a bit after midday and enjoyed a scenic ride through the countryside. After spending four hours waiting for the train to get to full speed, we finally realised that 45km/h was the full speed. 8 hours later, we'd made and new Serbian friend called Mickey, we'd eaten our way through a shopping bag of junk food and we had finally arrived at our hostel. Serbia is just as run down as Bulgaria, however the people were very friendly and the food was good.

We're in Zagreb (Croatia) now but I'll save that for next time.