Page 7 of Jay and Alex Travel Blog Posts


Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome October 26th 2008

We are out of Milan ... thank god. We hopped a train to Rome in hopes of acquiring some sort of Canadian identity for Jay. The first night in Rome was quiet as we had spent the previous night in the airport and most of that day running around trying to sort things out. Fully refreshed after a good 12 hours of sleep, we went out in seek of Canadian soil. The embassy was only about a half hour walk from our hostel and it took us through a nice suburban area of the city. The people at the embassy were actually very helpful. There were no trays of timbits or back bacon as I had hoped but it did almost feel Canadian. It only took about 2 hours, 10 forms and 100 euros before we ... read more

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Milan October 23rd 2008

We decided to book a cheap RyanAir flight to Brussels instead of taking the train (mistake numero uno). Because our flight was at 8:00 am and we had to check in by 6:00 am we decided just to spend the night at the airport. We weren't the only ones with this idea, all sorts of folks ended up waiting for early flights like this. Alex and I had prepared well, buying cheese, bread and apples to sustain us through the night. Around 8:00 pm we decided to eat, and Alex went to wash the apples. I took out the bread and cheese and went to reach for my leatherman in my small bag. To my horror, it was gone! The knife was the least of my worries because all of my ID (including my passport), our ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Berne October 22nd 2008

We were sorry to say goodbye to Andy and Austria, but chocolate and fondue were beckoning. We wanted to visit Switzerland a bit before flying from Milan to Brussels. We had a hard time deciding where to go but Andy said the capital city, Bern, was beautiful so we went with his suggestion. We got off the train starving but because it was a Sunday all the grocery stores were closed. We poked our heads into McDees and quickly bolted when we spotted a Big Mac meal for 13 Swiss Francs ($13 CAD). I broke down and ate a Kebap (Alex's favourite, a turkish scary meat thing on a giant spit). Switzerland is a very pricey country for everything except Swiss Army knives (no joke). We spent 3 nights in Bern. The first night was in ... read more

Europe » Austria » Tyrol » Innsbruck October 19th 2008

We left Budapest and took the train to Vienna, spent one quiet night there before heading straight to Innsbruck to meet our Oktoberfest buddy Andy. Even though our train was an hour late, Andy was there to meet us at the station and walk us to his flat. He had a business meeting so our first night in Innsbruck was pretty uneventful. The next day (friday), Andy got off work early and took us on a walking tour of downtown Innsbruck. It's a beautiful city, much like Whistler village but without the touristy tackiness. Andy was already excited for the christmas season because all through the town people set up booths that sell hot wine, egg nog, roasted chestnuts and other christmasy stuff. The whole downtown turns into a giant, slightly tipsy christmas market halfway through ... read more
Innsbruck
Innsbruck
Innsbruck

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest » Buda October 15th 2008

We decided to head to Hungary on our way to Austria because we thought the transportation would be cheap. Well it was! For about $4 CAD we managed to get a four hour bus ride from Bratislava to Budapest with complimentary newspapers, coffee and even an English movie! It was when we got off the bus in Budapest where things got a wee bit pricy. But it was our fault. In every city we have been in so far (and that is a lot of cities) the public transportation system runs on the system where you buy a ticket and that lasts for a certain time (generally an hour or so) or works within a zone. So we assumed our ticket in Budapest would be the same. Oh how sadly mistaken we were. Imagine the supprise ... read more

Europe » Slovakia » Bratislava Region » Bratislava October 11th 2008

Our two-day whirlwind tour of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, was a success. Due to our usual dodgy planning, we showed up without a hostel booked and had a chance to see the sights with our packs on as we walked to every hostel in town. We did eventually find a nice little place and just relaxed for the night. We were looking for something to do on day 2 when we heard that the local hockey team was playing that night. Two Canadians go all the way across the world to experience new cultures and the best thing they can come up with is a hockey game? This was definately a Slovakian experience though. They love their hockey here NEARLY as much as we do back home. It was about $8 CAD for corner seats ... read more

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague October 8th 2008

We decided to follow the beer theme of the past week and a half of travelling and hopped a train from Munich to Plzen, Czech Republic. Plzen is famous for brewing the world's first pilsner style beer back in the 19th century when they dug mine shafts under the city to ferment the lager in giant wood casks. They still do it like that to some extent today and it really is one of the best in the world. Very natural ingredients and most of it here in CR is un-pasteurized. We stayed at a creepy (empty) hostel in the middle of Plzen and relaxed for a few days after the craziness of Oktoberfest. We did the brewery tour and enjoyed the city before moving on to Prague. Prague is a great backpacker city. Cheap compared ... read more

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Munich October 3rd 2008

We finally made it. This is what I'd been looking forward to since the beginning of the trip. The mecca for all beer aficionados: Oktoberfest! Due to our usual lack of preparation the train from Paris to Munich was sold out by the time we got there so we had to hop on a late afternoon run instead. Predictibly that train was late getting to the connection in Stuttgart so we were even further delayed. After finally arriving in Munich we figured out the tram system and made it to our campsite at about 2:00am. We set the tent up in the dark (surprisingly well actually) and finally retired for the night. Having slept in the next morning, we didn't make it down to the Theresienwiesn (festival grounds) until about noon. Wow what a spectacle! It's ... read more
Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris October 1st 2008

The city of lights really lived up to its name. We only had three days in Paris, but made the most of it. Alex and I got off the night train at about 7:45am. We couldn't check in to our room, but were allowed to drop our bags and get in on a free breakfast. Alex was super happy about this! We saw an ad for a free walking tour of Paris at our hostel and decided to take it. The tour was not just a four hour tour of Paris, it also educated us as to the history of the Parisien people. As we walked past areas of the city such as the Latin Quarter or the national mint, our guide had a multitude of stories associated with each building or area. There wern't as ... read more
Paris
Paris
Paris

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Nice September 25th 2008

Hello all, We have made it to Paris now but we'll leave that for another entry and talk about our stay in Nice all the way down in the French Riviera. After running into some Aussie blokes that we had previously met in Spain and now crossed paths with in Marseille, it was decided we should coordinate our stay in Nice. We got into the St. Exupery Villa which is continually voted as one of the top hostels in the world and for good reason. They had a cheap bar and meeting area in a converted chapel where their in-house chefs would prepare reasonably priced pizzas and dinner specials every night. They even did your dishes for you after you were done. That's high class. The first day there we headed off to Monaco which we ... read more
Nice
Nice
Nice




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