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28 August 06 - 01:59Comforts before London again

Back in the north of Germany with the family. It really is great to have them here it has made the trip much better. The ability to relax as if at home and not be in a dorm room full of people. The great food and bed is of course even better.

Berlin was good. Things have changed since I was there in April. Massive big new main trainstation. Its amazing and a lot of the construction which was going on while I was there is finished. I managed to get almost all the flags I was missing and also got myself a book to read. So the reasons for going to Berlin were achieved.

We went to Hamburg yesterday. Went on a boat tour and a bus tour. Was nice to see the town and the habour in such a fashion. We got off the bus tour early to head down the shopping street. Found the Lego store :) Man I wish we had one of those when I was a little fella. There is this big pick a brick wall and you can fill up buckets of whichever bricks and colours you want. There is also heaps of colours now nothing like what I use to have.

Today we went on a drive south and west... I think... Saw a couple small villages on the river Elbe. Nice old towns. We also went and saw this huge double water lift thing. Picks up boats on the river below and lifts them about 80m up so they can carry on. Rather Amazing.

I fly out to London on the 7th of September. Which is a Thursday... I thought it was a Saturday when I booked it. Bit dissappointed to find out I have to spend even more time in London before the Oktoberfest tour. In hindsight though I might just be able to watch some footy in one of the Aussie pubs. I need to look into that.

Toohey - default - one comment

22 August 06 - 23:51Hofbräuhaus München

Well the night train was all in all one of the better night trains I had. For more than half of the trip I was able to lie across a couple seats and get some sleep. Only being woken by the ticket guys and then the german border check.

Munich has been nice enough. Weather has been a bit on and off though. Met up with Shakey from work and had a good afternoon drinking at the Hofbräuhaus. Great place! Massive. Its like oktoberfest in there but all day everyday. Well thats what they say. Had lunch there a couple litres of beer. Went back later after dinner for another Litre too.

Nice headache this morning. Walked around a bit before seeing Shakey off at the train station. Went out to the Olympic park and went up the tower out there. Other then that have just been walking around the city. Berlin tomorrow morning for a stop off and a nights sleep and then back to the family :)

Toohey - default - seven comments

19 August 06 - 00:29Roma and the boata? hmmm lame...

The ferry ride from Patras to Ancona was... well... painful. The eurail pass gets you a deck passage (still costs 46euro due to taxes) and a deck passage means you sleep on the top of the boat almost out in the open. Fun! You could tell the people who had done it before as they had blow up matresses and stuff. I on the other hand attempted sleep in the benches which hold the life jackets. At least I would have one before everyone else if the ship did go down.

Anyway after the lovely 21 hours on that floating pain vehical I arrived in Ancona. Found the train station and the train to Rome was in 45mins. The train to Rome was a regional train which meant it stopped at every station and took 4.5hrs to get to Rome. Bah.

Rome. Amazing place. Today I walked a very long distance. Went to the Vatican, saw the Trevi Fountain, climbed the Spanish Steps, visited the Pantheon, saw several of the amazing squares and the Colloseum. What do I have left? Im sure I will find something :)

My train to Munich on Sunday night is booked. Will have a couple nights there where I will meet up with a friend from work. Will be nice to see someone from home.

Should be good.

Toohey - default - No comments

16 August 06 - 16:00Ahhh, Athens!

The last three nights have been great here in Athens. (As great as can be without Elaina as she has flown away :( )

Went on a day trip to Corinth yesterday which was nice as I got to see a bit of Greece that I would not have otherwise. The canal is very impressive and the old ruins and fortress was very cool to see. Also went down to the beach for a nice swim.

The nights here have been good as the hostel is full of aussies and the roof top bar has been the perfect place to kick back each evening.

Tonight I am off to Patras for the night ferry to Italy. Then Rome for three nights before hitting Munich for a couple.

Toohey - default - seven comments

12 August 06 - 23:04Over Bulgaria, South to the land of the Greeks

Off to Athens tonight. Nice long train south from here (Sofia) with another border crossing that I am so dreading.

Sofia is nice enough. Some parts are very modern and pretty but other parts are old and falling apart. It seems they are trying to build themselves up to a higher standard of living but theres still a lot of issues. Interesting enough place though even if there is not much to see and take photos of.

Athens for a few nights should be nice. Then another one of those boring ferries to get back to Italy. Rome for a couple nights then back to Germany as fast as I can.

Toohey - default - No comments

10 August 06 - 01:23Serbia to Bulgaria

Here in Varna, Bulgaria. Its quite nice... although the Bulgarians can be right bastards.

The train trip from Belgrade to Sofia was the most interesting train I have ever been on... full of smugglers. Will be a great story to tell when I am home. I won't even try to put it into text :) Then after the many many hours getting here to Varna we get screwed over by the guy running the hostel we booked at. Then we get ripped off by the Taxi. Still we had a bed for the night so it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Went into the local Irish bar and the guy who runs the place was very helpful and suggested a few better places to stay. Worked out cheaper or should I stay we broke about even after the screw around.

Off to Sofia tomorrow morning. Hopefully the hostel has free internet :)

Toohey - default - one comment

04 August 06 - 23:35Kicked out...

Guess what? Romania does not like Australians.... bastards....

The night in Bad Gastein was nice. They gave me a free upgrade to a private room and it included breakfast. All for just 16.45 Euro. I had a nice Austrian meal for dinner too. 

Met up with Elaina again, no problems, in Salzburg and then carried on to Budapest. Budapest is nice enough everything is very old and the city itself is not very large. The place we stayed in was nice and the bloke running it was very helpful.

On the night of the 2nd we jumped on our night train to Brasov, Romania... (bad idea) Hit the border patrol heading out of Hungary... No problems got a nice new stamp in my passport and then the train headed on the Romanian side of the border... This is where the Romanian border police tell me Australians need a visa for Romania and that I have to get off the train and go back to Budapest. Yay. 11pm at night and the next train back to Hungary is not for 3 hours (and it was late by more than an hour). So the border guys confiscated my passport and Elaina's for good measure. There we are sitting at the station for more than 4 hours waiting for the train back to Hungary hoping that the police people will come and get us... Fun Night. I did get a nice souvenir though a bodged up passport stamp and a piece of paper stating why I was kicked out of Romania.

Back in Budapest 7am and off to the Romanian Embassy. The visa would have taken more then 24hours to get and cost 40 Euro. This would have cost us 2 days of our time in Romania... so... I gave Romania the finger and headed south east.

Serbia... I am in Serbia... I never thought I would ever come here but... well... I am... Staying two night in Belgrade the capital of Serbia and Montenegro. The city is massive, huge high rises and massive amounts of commerce. Not what I was expecting.

Tomorrow night we are off to Bulgaria and to the Black Sea. Should be nice once we are over the almost 20 hours on a train.

Toohey - default - one comment