Eurotripping – Part II

15 03 2010


Highlight: Musikvereinsaal, one of the worlds best concert halls according to acoustic-y types. I was keen to get in and hear the Vienna Philharmonic play, but it wasn’t to be. The only thing on when I was there was a Japanese flute orchestra which I was seriously annoyed about. However – when I finally got in there and watched them play I was blown away – the hall looks and sounds great and the flute orchestra was great. The orchestra even came out at the end of the show and handed out origami cranes to everyone – they were suitably impressed by my ‘thank you’ in Japanese – about the only thing I remember from 3 years of studying it in high school.

Lowlight: Paying 10 euro for four batteries. forget that shit.

Favorite photo: Sacher torte at the Sacher cafe.  I went with my friend Mona who I met in Bregenz in July 2009, when I told her I was heading to Vienna she very very kindly let me stay in their spare room, which was just the best thing ever – so nice to have a little space after so long in hostels, also great to have two beautiful roomies while I was there.  They made me feel completely at home which was so nice!

From Vienna, January 2010


Highlight: Easily the Adventura Hostel. Was a cosy little space with three themed dorms ‘ India’, ‘Africa’ and ‘Japan’ – I was in the India room with an American guy and we were pretty much the only ones there aside from the staff. But that made it cool – we all hung out together and it was a nice chilled friendly environment

Lowlight: The weather – it poured and poured. And this was the point where I hit the travelling blues, where you are so sick of lugging around a backpack and being on your own and sleeping in different hostel beds and just being so so tired of trying to cram every tourist sight into the two or so days you had in a city. This is where I booked my weekend home to Australia to go to Gabby’s wedding. This is when I just wanted familiar faces and my own bed.

Favorite picture: The first night in town, myself, my fellow American traveller and the girl running the hostel all went out for a drink where she gave us a lesson in the fundamentals of Hungarian conversation. This is all you will ever need to know to get by in Hungary apparently.

From Budapest, January 2010


Highlight: The difference!! I loved how different the culture was, the architecture was, the food and especially the Climate – the sun felt so good on my face that i nearly cried. Istanbul was great – I wish I could’ve seen more of Turkey

Lowlight: The persistent salesmen, all trying to drag you in to carpet shops and sell you rugs you don’t want. I spent about as much time inside carpet shops as I did actually exploring! At least they give you free tasty tasty turkish coffee or apple tea. mmm!!

Favorite photo: I like this photo. It sums up both my High- and Lowlights. A dude beckoning me into his shop while outside the blue mosque at sunset

From Istanbul, January 2010


Highlight: I loved the stray dogs all around Athens – they are so sweet and friendly. There is a charity which goes around looking after all the stray dogs. The dogs are vaccinated, desexed and tagged – then let free to wander. They are great fun and have total reign over the city – I was so inspired by them that I even created a ‘Dogs of Athens’ photo series. Although admittedly it’s hard to be around some of them because they are fearless and will go running into the middle of scary Athenian traffic – I let out so many involuntary cries after them that I bet the locals thought I had Tourette’s.

Lowlight: The amount of scaffolding around every historic site, particularly the Parthenon – It’s great that they are trying to preserve it, but a shame that it couldn’t be done in stages so that SOME of it would be visible.

Favorite photo: I LOVE the dramatic lighting I was lucky enough to get on this one of Zeus’ Temple

From Athens, January 2010


Highlight: Free Water!!! All the fountains in Rome are fed from springs in a town many kilometers away – which means all of the fountains will give you better water than anything you can buy in a bottle – spring water which was still in the spring only 30 minutes earlier. I LOVED this and drank from every single fountain I went past. I have never been better hydrated.

Lowlight:  Not nearly enough time to see everything. I need to go back for a couple of extra days I think. I almost missed out on the bone church too! Was really lucky to catch that creepy sight!

Favorite photo: Me being ‘touched by an angel’ in St Peter’s Basilica, there were great sunbeams pouring in through one of the windows and I thought it would look cool to have a religious experience there – it took about a million attempts, and a lot of polite broken-Italian refusals to people offering to take a photo for me, but I got there.

From Rome, January 2010


Highlight:  My daytrip to the Chianti region – Wine tasting where I got slaughtered (I hadn’t drunk really since Munich, it’s no fun on your own, so I was not in top drinking form) – I think that was the vineyard owners aim though because I nearly ordered a CASE (at 25 euro a bottle). It was only that I didn’t know Benson’s London address that saved me that little impulse buy. Was so lovely to visit historic towns and watch the Tuscan countryside roll by.

Lowlight: The leaning tower of Pisa. It really annoyed me. I don’t know why – but I hated its stupid lean, it must’ve frustrated the inner autistic engineer lurking just beneath the surface.

Favorite photo: the binoculars at the very top of Duomo. It was impressive because I had no intention of climbing all 500 narrow stairs or whatever it was, but when I paid to go into, what I thought was the church, I was shepherded in to the stairwell and told to climb. I was pretty proud of making it all the way to the top without quitting or dying. And the view up there of the terracotta roofs of Florence was well worth it.

From Florence, January 2010



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