Hey there and welcome to my project...
I'm overseas, currently spending 80 days abroad as a part of my second year out of school. Living it up in Europe before I settle down back home in Australia to study journalism.
Bit of a brief spiel, I departed Sydney March 9 and have a return date of May 25, spent the month of April on a Contiki touring a lot of the continent, and visiting lots of fam on either side.
Living and learning is what it's about... let's see how it pans out!
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April 26th 2011
Day 23 and we're headed to Hopfgarten in The Austrian Tyrol. This was our third Contiki special stopover, where we had accommodation in a Chalet. Only one night booked in here though before we are back on the road again. The Tyrol was a new addition to the European Contrasts tour this year, having normally 2 nights in Venice instead. So glad we got to stay here, the Chalet was beautiful and the picturesque countryside from the window just made it all that much more memorable. We departed Munich early; thankfully this was only a short travel day. Just before departure off the coach, we got an opportunity to get a taste of action - we could opt in to go paragliding in the countryside! Although I did not sign up for this, there is definitely ... read more
April 11th 2011
Farewell France, welcome Italy. A travel day, more card playing, sleeping & snacking on pringles. So the girls (and some of the guys) got a little excited this morning over this one; our first stop of the day was at a perfumery. This included a brief, (and when I say brief this must have been a good 75 minutes) tour of the production process and followed by a long ramble where one of the ladies got her sales voice on, tried selling us a whole lot of stuff we didn't need... or want! So back on the coach, after a few hours we had crossed the boarder, officially in our second country as part of the Contiki tour experience. We stopped in Italy just past midday, just at a local service station where we had our ... read more
April 9th 2011
Our last 2 nights in France were spent in the French Riviera, staying in the village of Antibes. Getting really into the rhythm of the Contiki ways, breakfast at 7am, bags to coach at 7:45am. Waved goodbye to the Chateau at 8am, bound for our next 2 nights down the far south of the country. Took us a 6 hour journey to get to Antibes. There were thankfully washing machines on site in Antibes, almost down to my last set of clean clothes! Upon arrival, a nice surprise waiting for us once we put our bags in the cabin accommodation. We all strolled up to the breakfast room, no it wasn't actually breakfast, nor would you want to eat these for brekkie either! Contiki on-site crew brought plates of... wait for it... Cuisses de Grenouille, otherwise ... read more
April 7th 2011
A bright and early start once again, heading south today into the Beaujolais region! We did fortunately make a stop via The Louvre this morning, with its closure the day before it was nice to go inside while we were in Paris. Most importantly we saw The Mona Lisa, and it's so much smaller than I imagined! Now, exiting The Louvre was a nightmare; someone allegedly got caught damaging an artwork (no one on Contiki thank goodness!) so the whole building was in lock down, no one could leave the exit as they were all closed off. After a good 30 minutes, I managed to get out alongside a few others and the next struggle was trying to find where the coach was parked! Ran back to the coach, virtually drenched in sweat, with mostly everyone ... read more
April 4th 2011
Contiki begins, what better than a 4:30am wake up... Just a quick run down of what Contiki is, a tour company advertised for 18-35 year olds that go not only to Europe but most countries around the world. Ranging from 3 day tours to 50 day tours, there is definitely at least one suited to everybody. Contiki are generally good value for money, providing breakfast daily, dinner every second night (roughly) and the transport around from county to country! From the reception of The Royal National Hotel where Contiki begins their tours from we boarded the coach and were on our way to Dover where we would then board a ferry to Calais, France. Everyone was feeling a little nervous and somewhat slightly apprehensive on that first coach ride with not too much conversing happening. Weird ... read more
March 23rd 2011
Next place to visit, the nation's capital! I departed Bath railway station on Sunday morning, had to catch a bus to Swindon as they were doing trackwork. Then I had to wait 30 minutes at Swindon station for the train to London Paddington, interestingly enough at the station cafe they had pokie machines; for those commuters that plan on betting before the trip to work, here I thought a book was good enough! I pulled into Paddington approaching midday, bloody freezing at this time... and all the train travelers were packed in like sardines as everyone makes there way down to the underground. My accommodation was on Oxford St, a youth hostel - YHA, the room was what you would expect for £100 for 2 nights. The curtains didn't really fulfill their duties by providing darkness, ... read more
March 14th 2011
Hi everyone, finally got my act together and compiled another blog entry. ... these last 5 days; a time of getting lost, card playing (and winning) and sight-seeing. So these first 3 weeks of my time abroad aren't busy with plans, just a nice time to relax for a while and spend some time with family. I've spent a lovely afternoon with my aunty & uncle, Martin and Jackie and cousins Will and Jess with her partner Steve and also my second cousin George. We dined at The Lock Inn, sitting down to a delicious pub meal and also a brief chat to owners Dick & Jane. Indulging in Aunty Beryl's jam every morning is always a great start to the day, spread on top an English Brekkie Muffin = delicious! On the topic of food, ... read more
March 12th 2011
Day 3 into my time overseas and I spent the day in the World Heritage city of Bath, found in the countrys south west. The city of 85000 people is the home of the Roman Baths, The Royal Crescent & The Circus, each of these having a cultural historic significance to the area. Currently I am staying in a B&B in Freshford located just outside of Bath. Jackie, my aunty dropped me at the top of Ralph Allen Drive (one of the main entrances into the town) after we had a cup of tea with my great Aunty this morning. Although it was 10 degrees today, the 20 minute walk down into town doesn't take long for the body to heat up! I walked around the town for a good 5 hours, which has changed immensly ... read more
March 11th 2011
Well the flight wasn't too crash (good choice of wording) hot, the first leg of Sydney - Bangkok we flew a Boeing 777-300, a plane smaller than a 747 though was quite nice. I unfortunately managed to be seated near a man who kept wanting to initiate a conversation about how Bruce Willis always gets the woman he wants (amazing that inflight entertainment and what conversations arise from it), though luckily there was a spare empty seat between me and him. That flight was 8 hours, with 2 meals served. The stopover was brief, with a 45 min walk around Bangkok airport it was a nice chance to get that blood circulation flowing through the legs again!! So back on board the same plane for the second leg Bangkok - Dubai, took 7 hours and was ... read more