Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Hello all

I arrived in Tokyo this morning and I am feeling very jet lagged. Yesterday I was on a boat coming back from Santorini to Athens for 11 freaking hours!! Furthermore I was sitting on a wooden bench for 11 hours. I even slept on the bloody bench. I guess it's handy to know I can sleep on a bench if I ever become homeless?? However, if I do become homeless I will need to use some newspapers to line the bench as it's pretty hard on your back and arse. Ok, enough homeless hypothetical situations. Yes, I am very tired. I have had 4 hours sleep in the last 48 hours.

Ok, Greece. The islands were amazing. Absolutely beautiful, stunning, picturesque. Imagine the most beautiful place you can think of and that would probably come close to Santorini. My birthday was spent in Mykonos which was a very beautiful place filled with lots of beautiful people. I had a very strenuous bday having a massage (remind me to find out exactly what a Thai massage is suppose to entail as mine was umm, interesting!), driving around on the moped (ok, so I wasnt driving but driving around sounds better than riding on the back) and lying on the beach. It was just too bad that the lying on the beach part was more like bracing yourself in the midst of a tornato as it was extremely windy. In Santorini we swam at more beautiful beaches, ate a lot (and I mean every day) of gyros and went and swam in the hot volcanic sulphur springs which was cool but stained your bathers and smelt like rotten eggs.

Tokyo is awesome. The people are so nice. This old couple I sat next to on the plane waited for me to go through immigration so they could show me what train to catch. They even helped me buy my ticket which was great until I tried to get out of the underground station and discovered they had got me a bus ticket. I visited the temple in Asakusa today and wafted some incense onto my face cause that was what everyone else was doing (nooooo, I wouldn't jump off a cliff if everyone else was doing it). I also bought some unidentifiable food which was very tasty and am shortly going to go to bed as I am kind of rocking (I think from the ferry) still. Tomorrow I am going to hit the metro again (eek) and get myself to Shibuya and Ginza.

Hope you are all well and I will be home soon. Not before I go CRAZY shopping in Hong Kong!!!!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I am an idiot

I have just realised that I have totally spelt the Alhambra incorrectly. Actually, I dont even know if how I am spelling it now is correct. Whoops and duh...

Just to update you all I am now in Italy at Lake Como, no sign of George Clooney's house yet but I'll keep on looking. Lyon was awesome. Another big nod to me for getting to the hostel without getting lost AND I didnt even have a map. Too bad it has only taken me 3 months to master the whole directional thing. I have just realised that I only have £50 and I am only going to be on the internet for 20 mins = £1.50. They are soooo going to yell at me. Crap. I wonder if Italians yelling at me will be the same as the Spanish. There was the best bakery in Lyon. I mean, the BEST. Plus there was the BEST creperie. I had two nutella crepes yesterday. I also went to this outdoor market and bought a huge baguette (they only sell them as huge or super huge) and then bought a mound of baby goats cheese and then proceeded to scoff myself silly by the river. This is after having a baguette for breakfast about 2 hours earlier. The only thing wrong with this scene is that it smelt like piss where I was sitting but there weren't a whole lot of seating options probably didnt need to know this but hey, it's all about sharing the cultural experience.

Better go and do some exploring, my time in Lake Como was cut even shorter as I missed the train from Milan ealier this afternoon.

Tomorrow it's a quick hello to Rome before flying out to Athens and relaxing in the Greek Islands.

Ohh, I had an early birthday present today - I was on the train writing in my travel journal and this lady asked me if I was doing my high school homework. Yay, I still look 17 even though I am almost in my mid twenties!!!!!!


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Almost adios to Spain

Hi all

Just a quick post to let you know what I have been up to since my last entry. It has been pointed out to me that I have been spelling one of the 7 wonders of the world incorrectly. Therefore everytime I have written 'Alambria' in my last post pretend I was writing 'Alambra'. My last day in Granada was spent in the Sierra Nevada mountains swimming at the bottom of this waterfall in absolutely freezing water [I didn't know this was possible in 40 degree heat]. It was so cold that it felt like you had pins and needles running through your body. It was beautiful though. Then, while trying to get the early bus back to Granada we got lost and for some unknown reason (this may have actually been my fault) thought we could race up a really steep hill in 15 minutes to catch the bus [it actually took about half an hour]. As a result we missed the bus, saw a funny picture of a bullfighter with braces and ended up in a thunder storm in a the middle of this little Spanish town. It was quite funny. Later that night we went to a flameco show held in the gardens of the Alambra [note correct spelling] which was amazing and also one of the best things I have done all trip. It was absolutely spectacular.

Yesterday I was in Madrid which ended up being like a Spanish New York but not quite as cool. Today I am in Barcelona for a quick stop over on my way to France.


Ohh, guess what. I made it to the hostel in Barcelona without getting lost!!! Yeess! I am sooooo clever.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

So itchy

Ok, I need to have a bit of a whinge. I have been bitten by Spanish mozzies over 70 times since Biarritz. They have had an absolute feast on me. AND, they aren´t just normal mozzie bites, they are massive welts all over my body. I cannot begin to describe how itchy I have been over the last week. It´s getting beyond a joke. Every bit of exposed flesh has been bitten. I had about 7 bites on my neck a couple of days ago and I looked like I had some weird disease, or maybe a lot of hickies, I¨m not sure....

Ok, enough complaining!! Today I went to the Alambria (I think I have spelt this wrong but you get the picutre!). We had to line up for 4 hours to get tickets. It was quite commical because when you got to the front of the line there suddenly appeared these random people who had been ´waiting´with you for 4 hours but you just hadn´t noticed them. Funny about that. In particular there was this one guy who claimed he was in the front of the line and then all these people had accidently passed him and he needed to jump back into the queue. Everyone in the line was yelling at him, security was called and he still wouldn´t budge. Finally security came again and he was told to leave and everyone cheered, it was a victorious moment!

The Alambria was beautiful, that´s all I´m going to say because all I am going to do is gush and sound wanky, so I´ll do what I do best and talk about the food I have been eating. I have been eating the BEST food here. I know I say this everywhere, but the Morrocan influence in the cuisine is soooo tasty. The tapas is also amazing. For lunch or dinner you can get a tapas dish and a drink for 1.50 euro. It´s so cheap and so good. It´s also fun not knowing what you are ordering and then trying to work out what it is!

Tomorrow we are going to check out the gypsy caves, try and find some flamenco and eat some more. Then the day after it´s off to Madrid for a whirlwind visit.

Hope you are well and I´ll scratch you later.

Saturday, August 05, 2006



I am loving this use of free internet at the hostel I am staying at! Also, it's way too hot to be outside anymore so being here typing away is a great option. Yesterday, after my bitch, I walked around the cobbled streets and decided I wanted a banana. I walked around for an hour and a half looking for a supermarket as there are no fresh fruit stalls here. Let me tell you, when I finally found a supermarket in the basement of a department store it was very exciting. Kids, you don't need Christmas anymore. The only thing was the bananas were yuck so I had to buy a 6 pack of nectarines instead! Ok, enough about that story.

That night the hostel hosted a dinner party on the roof of the hostel which was a lot of fun. After dinner a group of us went for a walk around the city which was awesome. I decided to have a fairly early night but didn't end up going to sleep until 5am as I was in a mixed dorm with two snorers and people who decided they wanted to have a D&M about some girl this guy had met in the hostel and 'really felt a connection with' after two days. Argh, save it for the morning.

Anyway, after no sleep, we went to the biggest gothic catherdral in europe which was ok, but I am a little bit over seeing so many pictures of Jesus everywhere. Afterwards we went to the Alcazer which was the best palace I have ever seen. Similar to Cordoba, there is a huge amount of Islamic influence in the design of the palace, so there were a lot of water features, tiles and intricate arches. It was really something.

Ok, I'm hogging the computer now, Granada tomorrow and off to the Alambria which I can't wait to see, although I have to line up at 7am to get tickets....hmmmmm

Friday, August 04, 2006

More about Cordoba

Hi all

Just wanted to let you know about my bath experience, my morning at the Mosquita and my hellish bus ride in Seville.

Bath experience:

BLOODY BRILLIANT!!! Ok, so everyone is in their bathers (thank goodness as there were a lot of overweight men in there) and there are 3 rooms. The first room is rather small and contains the cold (I mean icy) baths. The next room is a lot bigger and has a dome shaped roof with stars and circles cut out of the ceiling, five massage tables and a big medium bath which is kind of more like a pool. There are candles everyone, Arabian music playing, and beautiful shapes and patterns painted on the walls. Then we have the final room that contains the hot baths. There are taps with hot water pouring from them and more candles surrounding the baths. Everyone has a number and you take in turns having massages with oils and while you wait you go from the medium bath, to the hot to the cold bath which is a shock to the system but makes you feel so good. It was one of the best things I have done all trip, not to mention gorging myself on deep fried aubergine with honey dipping sauce afterwards!

The Mesquita:

The most beautiful place I have seen all trip. As part of the Islamic reign in Spain centuries ago, one of the most breathtaking things to come out of this was the Mesquita. Beautiful, magical, intoxicating are all honestly words to describe this place. I know I sound wanky, but seriously, I was blown away by it. The Vatican doesn´t even come close in my opinion. It was the best way to end my time in Cordoba and I can´t begin to tell you how glad I am that I went there.

Hellish bus ride in Seville:

Imagine this, I am feeling really really proud of myself as I have found the bus I need to catch to get to the hostel. I get on this bus number 32 feeling good. I start to notice that the bus stops have no names and as I have no map I have no idea where to get off other than I know it´s the end stop. So I am on this bus for a good hour thinking bad thoughts. Then I decide to ask someone. Of course no one speaks English so when I ask this gentleman beside me he starts yelling (as the Spanish do to communicate) at me. I keep on saying I don´t understand (only sentence I know) so he yells louder. The whole bus is looking at me now, so I started nodding my head pretending to understand so he will shut up. He knows I am lying so he yells louder. Then the bus suddenly stops and I fall on this woman who then starts yelling at me too. Then the guy who was yelling at me starts yelling at her. Then this other woman who has been there the whole time suddenly speaks to me in English telling me I am on the wrong bus and I have to swap to the number 32 and then gets off. So then I am on the bus for another 30mins when this other guy tells me to get off and catch the 32. When I get on the 32 it takes me back to the train station where I started. Then this new 32 bus finally takes me to the place I needed to go which ended up only being 4 stops away. Grrr. So now I am making use of the free internet time to vent my frustration!! It´s all part of the adventure!!

Ok, now it´s time to explore Seville!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Hi all

I am in the most amazing place I have been to all trip. Cordoba is probably the most beautiful place I have ever seen and I am at a loss to even try to describe it. I am staying right in the middle of the city. The city, well the old part of it anyway, is a maze of tiny cobbled streets which all surround this beautiful mosque which dates back thousands of years ago. The houses all have the most intricate tiles out the front and inside the walkways and I wouldn´t be able to count the number of religious momuments all over the street corners. Arghh, I wish you could all see this place!

It is really really hot here, when I arrived at 730 last night it was 42 degrees. I went and ate some tapas but my choice of restaurant sucked as I woke up at 3am with stomache cramps! Hopefully tonight I will have better luck!

The language barrier has caused me a few problems as I haven´t met anyone who speaks English. Well, I haven´t met anyone who wants to speak English to me. It is kind of frustating, espcially when you are lost, but then you see places like Cordoba and all the frustration quickly goes out the window!

I better go as I have to pick up my bathers from my hostel. I am going to treat myself to an Arabian bath (there are 3 different baths, cold, warm and hot and you interchange between them all and then go and have an aromatherapy massage afterwards). Then I am off to eat afterwards, at 10pm of course as the Spanish do!!

Off to Seville tomorrow which I am sure will be just as amazing!


Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Hola everyone

I am now in San Sebastian which is a beautiful place, and it would be even more beautiful if I was lying on the beach instead of stuck in an internet cafe cause it´s raining and kind of cold.

I am having a fantastic time and have met some really really cool people which is what makes travelling so much fun. Biarritz was very very cool and I spent the day at the beach and even got a little burnt. I guess that serves me right for going on about how "weak" the european sun is.

Eurailing is very interesting and so is not being able to speak Spanish. It is extremely useful/exciting arriving into a train station that isn´t sign posted with the destination (San Sebastian) and it is even more useful/exciting that there are never any maps and the directions I have seem to always be wrong. I´m sure even if I had a map and could speak the langauge I would still get lost i.e in Paris.

When I arrived at the hostel in San Sebastian there were absolutely no signs or a building number out the front so I had to ask a butcher in very bad Spanish where the hostel was. He showed me where to go but when I got into the building I had no idea where to go from the entrance. So, I walked into a room that had it´s door open and found some dude sleeping on the couch. I stood there for a while wondering what to do before pressing some random doorbell and then stood there like an idiot for about five minutes. Then this lady came down in a lift and took me to the right place. I think I was standing in someone´s apartment! Whoops.

Today I went for a walk around the old village which was really beautiful. There are so many bars filled with people eating tapas and drinking. I was really tempted to go into one but got a bit scared as I have no idea what the deal is with ordering etc and because my Spanish is so bad and the people in the Basque country are a little rude I chickened out! Maybe I will sum up enough courage tonight!

Off to Cordoba tomorrow which will be a long travelling day. I have to go to Madrid first and then change train stations there and then wait a couple of hours before heading to Cordoba.

Adios amigos!