A Travellerspoint blog

Meat, potato and cheese - the best of Central Europe

So I thought I would try and give my fantastic blog readers a different style of blog from me, namely because I'm so behind in my writing and otherwise because it was such a whirlwind of countries and sights I think this might be the best way to lay out my Central Europe trip. So please find below the dossier of my 15day trip in Central Europe.

Trip: 15 days in Central Europe
Starting point: Vienna - Austria
Ending point: Budapest - Hungary

Countries visited:

  • Austria
  • Slovakia
  • Czech Republic
  • Poland
  • Hungary

Destinations:

  • Vienna
  • Bratislava
  • Cesky Kromlov
  • Prague
  • Czech rock formations
  • Auschwitz
  • Krakow
  • Tatra Mountains
  • Budapest

Group:
Dutch/Canadian x2
French Canadian woman x1
Canadian man x2
Scottish woman x1
American woman x1
Dutch man x2 (1 tour leader)
English/Australian woman x1
Australian woman x2 (my roommate and I)

I believe my roommate needs a special mention as she made a particular impact on my trip...judge for yourself if it was a gift or a curse!

Group generally got along well, one person I couldn't wait to never see again, but got along well with all of the women.

Roommate:
I had the lucky experience of being placed with an Australian girl who was legally deaf, and I'm sure suffered from autism. After my time with the children in Vietnam I knew no matter how lovely and well meaning they were that they were tiring to be around...unfortunately with my roommate I didn't have the liberty of going home at night and hanging out with friends like I did in Vietnam. I thought I would chronicle my experiences with her so you could get an understanding of my time travelling through Central Europe.

  • Woken up first morning with roommate yelling "what time is it?" with the curtain open...it happened to be 6.12am. Should have seen that as a warning.
  • Pushed a window out of a door in a bathroom is cesky kromlov.
  • Broke a toilet seat off in our Prague apartment.
  • Kicked me from her bed in the middle of the night.
  • Set her alarm at a pitch she couldn't hear for 5.15am.
  • Two nights in a row turned the light on at 4.30am for 30mins as she said "she couldn't find the way to the toilet" - didn't seem to be a problem for the 10 days proceeding these two mornings.
  • Woke up at 620am opening the window to busy krakow to take pictures of the sunrise.
  • Described to me in depth how she shouldn't have eaten so much saukraut that was now giving her gas.
  • Got lost for 3 hours in the mountains of Slovakia - after texting and calling her all evening she came back with a laugh wondering what we were worried about...after we felt nauseous that she was lost after dark in the Tatra Mountains.
  • Snored like a freight train when she was asleep.
  • Woke up at least 2 hours before our scheduled departure to pack her bag...after spending an hour the night before packing the same bag.
  • Locked me out of our room when she was having a shower and advised me to come back in 20mins and try the door by posting a note on the outside of the door.

Food highlights:
Well it seems like the Eastern Europeans have never met a pig, potato or cheese they didn't like.
I had some fantastic meals - but was definitely excited to have a vegetable other than a potato when I arrived in France.

Below is the food highlight from each country:

Schnitzel
Pork knuckle
Goulash
Cabbage rolls
Potato pancakes

Now if you were to match up a country with each what would you guess?

If you picked the following you'd be right:

Schnitzel - Austria
Pork knuckle - Czech Republic
Goulash - Hungary
Cabbage rolls - Poland
Potato pancakes - Slovakia

Not to mention I did the hot chocolate tour of Central Europe which was definitely worth while....I think after Italy, Slovakia had the best hot chocolates.

Number 1 highlight for each destination:

Vienna - After getting the bus to Vienna from Croatia, and enjoying the first days with Troy and Bonnie from my Croatia trip I had already got a good fill of schnitzel and some of the sights. The highlight on the intrepid trip with the group was walking up the spire of st Stephens cathedral...while it almost took my entire energy supply, and my stable mind from the +300 winding stairs with only enough room for one person going one way, the view was beautiful, and something that you can't go to Vienna without doing (even though for some people it looked like the last thing they would do in their lives as I was sure I was going to see at least one person fall over from a heart attack). As a reward for all of those stairs we went to enjoy some cake and hot chocolates to make sure we absolutely doubled all the calories we had just burnt off.

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Bratislava - Bratislava was a great day trip on the train from Vienna. While it was a small city, it was lovely to take in a city that really feels like college town. We had a great lunch at the local university hangout after a trek up the hill to the castle of Bratislava. While it wasn't my favourite place, it was a nice train journey and day trip from Vienna.

Cesky Kromlov - a beautiful unesco heritage site, Cesky Kromlov is a small village, with winding cobblestone streets, small artists shops, barely any cars and once all the tour buses go home from their day trips, a beautiful enchanted place at night, with the castle built into the hill beside the river lit up at night. However the highlight of this city, was one of the meals. We went to a small restaurant that cooked everything on an open fireplace, and had the most amazing pork knuckle with fresh horseradish in what looked like a cave, drinking wine out of goblets...it felt like a scene out of medieval times.

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Prague - Prague...how do I pick just one highlight. You can understand why it was the #1 most visited destination in 2011 as its absolutely beautiful. While all the buildings are gorgeous, and the castle on the hill overlooking the old town of Prague was breathtaking, I would have to say the highlight was walking the streets of Prague, you can get lost down the alleyways of the place, walking up and down the hill to the castle, around the old Jewish quarter, through the square when then clock is opening up and chiming and through the markets that pop up at night where you can grab a crepe or a bratwurst. It is just like Paris in that respect, you can enjoy the city for its beautiful surroundings on foot, at all times of day or night, especially as we were lucky to have an apartment in the old Jewish quarter.

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Czech rock formations - lets just say this was a filler destination! Not much of note, all I know is that it was the coldest I had been my whole trip...and the rock formations left a lot to the imagination, but I think between the craziness of Prague and the sobering Auschwitz.

Auschwitz - a humbling and sad tour of a place steeped in modern history. To be at the place where so many lost their lives was very difficult, but the tours were run very beautifully. The tour didn't go without a tear or two shed, especially after hearing the story of people who have returned to auschwitz after being in the concentration camp and finding their bag in a display that they carried in on the train decades earlier.

Krakow - Poland was the one country where it was assumed that I was polish, I had people coming up to me all the time asking me things in Polish, so after feeling like I should be polish, I was particularly fond of krakow. The city itself has a beautiful old town which you still at times walk through gates in the old wall that surrounded the city, and while we splurged one night for dinner in the middle of the square in krakow which was beautiful, the highlight of the city was visiting the salt mines just outside of krakow. Previously a huge salt mine, the miners used to spend time underground creating sculptures of mostly Christian scenes. The highlight was a huge ballroom that they had carved into the mine, including chandeliers carved out of salt, and even 3D murals of the last supper. It was amazing what they did under there, and their beautiful artistry. As the polish are very religious, it was a way of feeling closer to god and safer underground in this big mine!

Tatra Mountains - the Tatra mountains were absolutely beautiful, when you look out the window of our room you can see some of the huge peaks. Hiking these beautiful mountains were the highlight. We did a stunning 5 hour hike through the mountains. It was really interesting as there had been high winds most of the week which meant that many trees were down over the path, so it felt almost like orienteering than hiking. The scenery was stunning.

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Budapest - the highlight of Budapest was the walk up to the Pest side of town to look down over the river at all the beautiful monuments throughout the town, it's such a beautiful city, filled with alleyways and Turkish baths. Overlooking buildings as beautiful as the House of Parliament beside the river was amazing, not to mention seeing all of this while listening to a live band and having a gin and tonic...sometimes it's the simple things (especially after prohibition all through the Czech Republic).

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Overall, this trip was fantastic, while my roommate left a little room for improvement....the places we went were beautiful, and I can't wait to return to places like Hungary and Poland to explore more.

Once this trip was done, it was back to France to see Sarah and down to La Rochelle to see some of my amazing friends from Vietnam.

So down I went on the train from Paris to La Rochelle to see my partner in crime Clem, and the lovely Nans.

Unfortunately Alban had escaped La Rochelle after he heard I was coming down...or maybe he had work in England, either way, I was lucky to be picked up by Nans at the train station and then spent the rest of the week at Clem's place, trying to improve my French while eating all of Clem's mums beautiful food, seriously, months later I am still dreaming about it.

I had a great time in the seaside town of La Rochelle visiting, it's a part of France I hadn't been too before, but it was really beautiful, and a much slower pace than the crazy cities Eastern Europe that I had just visited.

Here is a quick snapshot of the couple of days I spent in La Rochelle with them...now I need to get them out to Australia!

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This was my last jaunt in Europe, it was an incredible 2 1/2 months...and I really felt like I ticket some items off my ever growing bucket list! Thanks to all my friends new and old that welcomed me to their houses, or toured with me, or just met me out for a drink...can't wait to return!

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"A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles" - Tim Cahill

Posted by Rosie Anderson 05:50 Comments (0)

Australian invasion in Croatia.

After a couple of days in London to celebrate my gorgeous friend Penny's birthday it was back on the big metal plane across to Split, Croatia.

Arriving in Split the weather was gorgeous and the sun was shining. The old city that used to be a palace was walled almost the entire way around.

I lucked out with my hostel in split, it had only been open for 20 days when I got there and was small and super clean. I met some really cool people at the hostel and we spent the next couple of days hanging out and enjoying the beautiful city of Split. Here are a couple of shots taken at night of the old city:

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Croatia definitely was the invasion of the Aussies. It felt like you couldn't turn anywhere without hearing them...they almost seemed to be outnumbering the croatians at some points of the trip....anyway, sidetracked again!

So after a couple of days in Split it was time to get onboard the boat for the week. An entire week of sailing the Dalmatian coastline. Everyone that I knew had done it before had a fantastic time...and I certainly didn't break that mold.

Our boat was called Maja - and it was definitely a character. The boat was relatively small compared to the other boats and we were later told by our rafting instructor that it was the oldest and worst in the fleet. Either way it was our boat and we loved it.
Here is the boat in all it's glory:

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We had a great crew on our boat who made sure we were always entertained...

  • Marko - quiet and sweet 25 year old accounting student, 2nd week on the job (I am sure he would soon be broken by the sailing and all the Aussies)
  • Captain - least friendly Croatian in the world, only took a liking to Troy from our group and let him steer the boat for a little while...other than that he was a deeply unhappy man.
  • Pere - chef, couldn't understand a word of English so spent the time when out of the kitchen wandering around and laughing, was also caught numerous times swimming in his undies
  • Luka - barman that seemed to be paid to get wasted. He could hold his liquor like noone else until the infamous Thursday when he passed out downstairs and josh shaved half his leg hairs off and rubbed toothpaste into his back

My roommate was Chantal. We were in the lucky position to be stuck between the bar and the toilets...what better position could you want. We had a good groove as roommates by the end of the trip and even shared resources like her torch (the two small lights inside the cabin didn't help you see anything).

21 people on the boat, 17 of them Aussies. 1 kiwi and 3 poms. The beloved English thought this was going to be a relaxing and restful week long trip...how wrong they were. Of course all the Aussies had heard about the trips before from their friends and knew what to expect...while it was relaxing at times (many times) it definitely wasn't without its partying.

The age range on our boat was from 23 to 35, with the median age of about 26.

Everyone got along on the boat and it was very harmonious. Looked across at some other boats and was glad to not be stuck on them for 7 nights. We all enjoyed hanging out together on the boat deck in the sun and partying together at night.

Here is a photo of some of the group on our night partying in the cave. We were themed with either sailors or pirates:

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During our time on the boat it was mostly spent lying on the deck, enjoying the sunshine, chatting, reading magazines and jumping off the boat for a float in the sea. My friend Becci had bought heaps of magazines from the UK and with most of us not having read a gossip magazine in a long time it was like giving a addict crack! Haha.

The coastline of Croatia was simply beautiful. Definitely earlier in the mornings it was nice to sit upstairs with a couple of people and enjoy the start of the day sailing between the islands.

When in the ocean we were particularly attached to some of our floaty toys...until one night when we were out and another boat stole them all...it was a dark time for us all, punished for being out enjoying ourselves, but revenge was to come. A night later Luka and 3 other girls and I from the boat did a reconnaissance mission to get our toys back. It was a stealth mission and we got all our toys back (and maybe a couple of extra with the thrill of the find).

Now it wasn't all lying around getting a suntan, there was serious business to attend to...like going out!

Croatia has some great night life and the boat definitely made the most of it, and on some nights we didn't go to the party, the party came to us.

Some of the more memorable places to party were a nightclub inside a cave where we all dressed up as pirates or sailors. The sunset beach party in Hvar which looked like a scene out of Ibiza. The free shot club in Hvar where Dee and I worked our way around getting free shots for most of the night. All these nights were great fun and most of all we all enjoyed dancing and laughing together. The last night of our trip was also a big night which ended in a huge superclub where they even had cage dancers...need i say more! They definitely went on late into the night...or you might say early morning.

There was one time that was not in a club, and not in a cave...it didn't have a theme but let's call it 'infamous thursday'. We were meant to be going to the island of mjlet, off the coast of Dubrovnik but the weather was too bad and we weren't going to be able to go there, we were going to have to dock in a small port that didn't have anything more than 1 cafe and a supermarket so most of the day was to be spent on the boat....and as the weather was not nice we were confined to the dinner cabin where the bar was. Everything seemed relatively normal, until I went in for breakfast and was greeted by a jäger shot as my morning wakeup call. Each person who then got up and followed were treated to the same punishment.
I don't know if it was the confinement or the bad weather but the jäger was chased with a cider and it all went from there. I am sure that everyones bar tab doubled in that one day. It was a great day though, and a day when I think everyone on the boat became just a little bit closer.

Here is our barman halfway through 'infamous thursday':

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With all this limited sleep and strange type of hydration everyone slowly developed the croatian cough...an illness that spread like wildfire on the boat and would plague us for days after...maybe weeks, I'm still not past it!

Our sailing trip was from Split to Dubrovnik. I would definitely recommend the trip to anyone and suggest doing the one way trip.

Ending in Dubrovnik was great. The old city is completely walled and is absolutely beautiful. Here is a shot from the highest lookout in Dubrovnik which gives you an understanding of how the walled city works. My best meal in Croatia was at a Bosnian restaurant in the old town, definitely worth checking out if you are in Dubrovnik. The rest of the food I had in Croatia was not that amazing...but then again I had just been terribly spoilt in Italy and Paris.
There is also a bar on the outside of the walled town which feels like an oasis and is definitely worth checking out.

After a couple of days in Dubrovnik I decided it was time to move north towards Vienna if I was going to make it there by Saturday to start my intrepid trip. So it was off to Zagreb I went.

It is a 10 hr bus ride from Dubrovnik to Zagreb. The bus seemed to let everyone and their cat on, and even at times it was so crowded that there were groups of people standing in the passageway. After some horror stories about crowded and late running buses I was glad to get in after 10hrs and 5 mins on the bus.

My hostel was really good and Zagreb was super quiet. I ended up having a room to myself, but after finally crashing and slowing down after the sailing i was too sick to go out and do anything. The lady at the hostel felt sorry for me and would bring me tea each night to my room.

On the day I felt good enough to venture out it was raining so badly that all I could do was go to the bus station and get my ticket for Vienna the next morning. Finding a girl wearing the below tshirt was the highlight of the day:

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6am it was on the Bus to Vienna from Zagreb...goodbye Croatia, you have been good to me.

"Only fools and passengers drink at sea." -Allan Villiers (and what fools we were)

Posted by Rosie Anderson 03:37 Archived in Croatia Comments (1)

When in Rome...

After a great trip to Paris and a relaxing time there it was time to get my travelling boots back on and see some new sites. Having never been to Italy before I was very excited to see both Rome and Florence, two places that so many of my friends had loved and somehow before this trip Italy hadn't made it on my list to visit.

So I find myself in Rome and its BOILING. While I am happy to have escaped the cool climate of Melbourne most of my traveling has been met with very warm weather...almost too warm when you are trying to sightsee.

Even getting the shuttle bus in from the airport I was already getting so excited. Driving past the Colosseum on your way to downtown from the airport was a real trip. When I drive from the airport to the city at home I get to see the westgate bridge as a highlight! Haha.

I only had one full day in Rome so it was up early the next morning to try and beat the heat and the crowds. Unfortunately I wasn't able to do either...by 11am it was 39C and trying to get a photo without thousands of people in it was impossible.

So it was off to see all I could of Rome in a day. Unfortunately the public transport were striking (well the part that you get transport to the Vatican with) so I was unable to get across to see the Vatican. Will just have to do another trip to Italy...shouldn't have to twist my arm too hard.

So in Rome I was able to see the colosseum which was really spectacular in real life, to envisage that was a real stadium being used in the roman times was hard to get my head around. Its even harder to understand when Australia is such a young country in comparison.

After the colosseum I was able to visit the Trevi fountain, Spanish steps and the pantheon. Unfortunately most of Europe does refurbishing of their important monuments during August so many of them were half covered in scaffolding when I was there.

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Not only did Rome offer great architecture I also had a fantastic gelato...my first but definitely not my last in Italy!!!

The next day it was off to Florence on the train where I would meet Sally. After weeks of just missing each other in places it was exciting to meet up with her and have a travel buddy for a while.

The trains in Italy run super efficiently, and I was in Florence on time. Florence was going to be the first time I used airbnb.com which is a website where people rent our rooms or whole apartments all over the world. We rented a room in an apartment in the old town in florence. The best thing about it is that you can come and go as you please, and it's the same price as if we both paid for a bed in a hostel.

The apartment was on the less touristy side of the river in Florence and our host gave us good suggestions for eating out and where we should definitely see in Florence.

Sal and I spent each day walking the streets of Florence, taking in the food and the sights. Each day continued in the same way temperature wise...HOT!

The first night after Sally arrived we went out to eat in a small square near where we were staying. It was the start of our very good luck with places to eat. The entire time in Florence we were lucky enough to only find very good food. We stuck almost exclusively to eating on our side of town rather than in the more touristy part where all the galleries and duomo are.

The second day we decided to go and walk up to the main lookout of Florence which gives you great views of the entire city. It's at Michelangelo square where they have all the ripoffs of his famous works. The view from there was fantastic, and it seemed like in the huge heat that a lot of the crowds were not out. There is also a monastery on the very top of the hill that was very tranquil. After descending down the hill and having a fantastic lunch of bruschetta and beer it was off to walk the town.

Unfortunately on this day we hadn't prepared ourselves to go inside the churches as we were both wearing singlets (something we hadn't thought about at the time when getting ready in the morning) but Florence is a beautiful town to walk around. That night we went exploring down some alleyways and came across a fantastic restaurant serving a specialty of the region which is a ravioli filled with Gorgonzola and pear in a cheese and asparagus sauce! It was something that we thought we must try and after an odd first bite we were soon sold on how delicious the dish was!!! Of course on the way home we made a mandatory gelato stop...

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The next day was another day of exploring, but this time we actually were prepared to be covered up enough to go inside some of the churches. Like France, if it really took your fancy you could spend the entire week visiting churches. We went to a couple of them that took our interest, one in particular that had the tomb of Michelangelo.

As Sally had been previously to Florence I was on my own when adventuring to see 'David' at the Academy gallery. It was awesome to see the actual statue in real life.

It was another great day in Florence...but sal and I might have pushed ourselves a little bit too far walking wise, as we went to bed with sore ankles and waking up the next morning they still hadn't faded.

On our final full day in Italy we had booked into a day trip of Tuscany. We started the day in the rain (shock horror) in Siena. Siena was a beautiful town with the most amazing church. It is entirely marble, both the exterior and interior and we were lucky enough that the marble floor had been totally unveiled the week before so we could see the entire church in all it's glory. It really was quite breathtaking.

After Siena it was off to have lunch and wine tasting at a vineyard in the Tuscan hills. We had a great time there and the sun really started to shine. You can imagine how people fall in love with Tuscany and want to buy a house there and live the 'under the Tuscan sun' dream.

Once lunch was over it was onto another beautiful town in Tuscany that was completely walled. It had some beautiful views high on the hill of the entire Tuscany region and we got some great shots up there. Sal also dabbled in a little shopping picking up a new leather bag.

Our last stop for the day was at the leaning tower of Pisa! We did many of the must do shots using the tower. It was a great way to officially celebrate my seven week on the road mark, and it was so nice to share it with sal! Here is a little synopsis of the day in Tuscany:

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The next morning it was off on the train to Milan to fly out to London.
I can't wait to come back another time to Italy and eat my way around other areas....it's definitely a TBC for Italy and I!

“When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” – William Least Heat Moon

Posted by Rosie Anderson 03:25 Archived in Italy Comments (1)

How many pastries can a human consume? A question for Paris.

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After departing Copenhagen after having a great time with Kat it was back to being with Sarah again - but this time in her city...Paris.

I arrived in Paris in the early evening I was met by Sarah and taken to MY OWN APARTMENT in Paris. Sarah was looking after a friends place which I was able to stay in while I was in Paris.

I arrived in CDG airport ready to board the train into central Paris...not without realizing that I don't know the pin on my credit card, and therefore have to rustle up 17€ in coins...easier said than done unfortunately. I must have looked like a deranged person going from booth to booth hoping one would let me pay in cash...before realizing if I had simply turned around at the initial machine there was a change dispenser behind me. Haha.

Once on the train it was to be squished like sardines into the metro. I am proud to say within 3minutes of getting to the metro I already had to yell at someone in French to let go of my backpack as they thought it was a very convenient way to stabilize themselves on the sometimes erratically moving metro.

I disembarked at Sarah's metro stop to be greeted by her and led to my apartment. It was all very exiting until I was 4 stories up, with 17kg bag on my back praying for the pain to end...within 2 more stories I was finally there. 

I must say, the whole backpack thing is awesome in theory...and most days in execution...but if I could occasionally swap it for a fancy bag WITH WHEELS I might almost be the happiest traveller in the world.

Ok, i got off track there for a moment...

So while I love Paris and it brings back some great memories of my trip with school in 2004, my main reason for coming this time was not to be a real tourist, but to enjoy Paris with Sarah as she has been living there for 3 years and I still hadn't visited her there and seen her life set up over there.

My visit had some must dos on the list...firstly it was to visit laudree with Sarah. For those of you who don't know laudree, shame on you...google it, anyways after having some laudree chocolate shipped to me for my birthday a couple of years ago by Sarah and hearing all about the delicacies of the place I was dying to try it out - and lets just say I wasn't disappointed. Sarah had some amazing ice cream cake concoction which I would have had food envy over if she had not graciously shared with me. I had the cake version which was also delicious. Anything with lychees and raspberries has me sold...but Sarah specially asked to have violet ice cream with hers which was life changing...it was beyond delicious!!!

Here is a quick snap of the happiness that is laudree:

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Sarah and I also shared a picnic under the Eiffel tower in true touristy fashion...with my favourite things to eat in Paris including baguettes, saussicon and goats cheese (which they are almost giving away its so cheap over here).

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Paris is such a gorgeous city, and was amazingly quiet away from the large tourist spots as most of Paris leaves for the month of August and heads somewhere near the water. We did lots of walking around Paris to see the Paris plage (a fake beach they install by the seine in summer...not exactly Anglesea, but a good substitute I guess for those stuck in Paris), Montmartre to get fabric for Sarah to use, the padlock bridge and the amazing bonne marche which is like a big version of the Harrods food department....mmmm, so much delicious food. 

Like all of those super fancy supermarkets you can't believe how much stuff they stock that is just beyond ridiculously priced...my favourite of the day was a bottle of water called "bling" which was probably 1L and cost €30....FOR WATER. Unless its some kind of holy water that makes you instantly become thinner, younger and more tanned you would have to be one of the silliest people on earth to buy it...or so wealthy that it just doesn't matter. I could imagine someone like p-diddy drinking that just because he knows it's a ripoff.

Paris had a big heatwave while I was there which made the city almost unbearable to inhabit (most places don't have airconditioning...my 6th floor apartment being one of them) so when we learnt it was to be 39C in Paris on Sunday, agatha, Sarah and I were on the train north to Deauville (a lovely beach town on the north coast of France).

We arrived early in the morning to be greeted by rain...and it was quite cool...not really the kind of day we had in mind. It was also rather cool and we couldn't believe that it could possibly be 39C in Paris when we were experiencing this. We spent some money on a beach tent and spent most of the day huddled under there trying to stay out of the rain. We eventually gave up and went into town to get an early dinner and to warm up. In the time it took to get dinner the weather had done a complete 180 and it was now lovely and warm outside and so we spent our last hour on the beach enjoying what we had intended the whole day to be like before getting back on the train to go home.

My last day in Paris Sarah and I did some shopping at printemps and admired all of the things we wanted but couldn't afford before we headed to Le Marais, a lovely district that Sarah used to live, for a much needed champagne and early dinner. It was a great place to go people watching and enjoy the surroundings. It's also fun to find the Aussies in the crowd as they are usually so distinctive against the European backdrop. Let's just say when you wear rugby shorts and a singlet to dinner you are not fooling anyone into thinking you are anything other than an Australian.

This is what Paris life is about:

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I loved my time in Paris, dabbling in my horrible French, spending time with Sarah and eating all of the things that make France such a foodie destination. Noone does pastries like the French...noone!!!

"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list." - Susan Sontag

Posted by Rosie Anderson 12:34 Archived in France Comments (0)

Finding the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen

So after all the excitement of London it was onto Denmark at 430am the next morning.

It was a long awaited reunion to see my friend Kat who I met 3 years ago in the US who is half Danish, half American and the perfect Copenhagen tour guide.

Kat sweetly met me at the airport for my early morning arrival. It was so good to see her after speaking to her over the past 3 years but never being in the US at the same time of year since. Even though it was 3 years passed it felt like time had not passed at the same time.

We went back to her new apartment in Copenhagen where she has just moved with her lovely boyfriend Peter. Their apartment is really cute and in a really close but quieter part of Copenhagen. Copenhagen is a beautiful city - it is smaller than I expected and very green.

Kat had a whole itinerary planned for my arrival which was fantastic. She had all the nice places planned out for my visit. I felt so lucky to have her clearly looking forward to our time together.

I arrived on a Sunday where we spent the day seeing Kats new school, Copenhagen Business School, where she would start in the summer, we enjoyed the gardens close to her house and also went downtown to see the main part of Copenhagen before enjoying a much lusted after home cooked meal enjoying a BBQ in the garden outside their apartment.

As Peter unfortunately had to work, it was left to Kat and I to enjoy some time together and explore the city for the next couple of days. Both days we headed into the downtown area of Copenhagen.

The first day we went to Tivoli - the oldest amusement park in Europe. It has beautifully manicured gardens and old rides along with many nice restaurants. It was beautiful to walk around and a nice morning stop.

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Afterwards we walked up to the famous Copenhagen harbour for lunch. The harbour was filled with people enjoying lunch and the great sunshine we had.

Here is a photo of Kat and I enjoying the harbour:

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After lunch we headed over to Christiania - an independently managed community in Copenhagen. Not before stopping to see The changing of the guards at the danish palace.

Christiania is a free state, not very big, full of people buying and smoking pot and hanging out. It was an interesting place to visit but not somewhere that particularly interested me to stay in for long.

After Christiania we enjoyed a beer by the river where lots of people hang out, tan and swim when the weather is good.

We spent time in the gardens in Copenhagen when I was there, enjoying the sunshine and the relaxing atmosphere. Also spent time finding the little mermaid in the canals of Denmark! Luckily we found her...here she is:

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Kat also took me to a great pizza restaurant in the meat packing district of Copenhagen which is an up and coming area of the city, with some factories still in use and others being converted into restaurants and bars.

Not only did we have a great meal we then headed into some local Danish bars near Kats house to enjoy some beers. I learnt a new typically Danish game with dice and cups which is about bluffing your opponent. We played with some locals which was very amusing.

I have to thank my lovely host Kat for such a fantastic time. After a great break in Copenhagen I am convinced to get back there when I can. Such a beautiful city.

Next stop...Paris!

I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within. - Jillian Smith

Posted by Rosie Anderson 03:49 Archived in Denmark Comments (1)

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