Saturday, September 27, 2008
It was really sad for me to leave Portugal as the people were so warm and friendly. But going to France is always a delight for me and I just love Paris. My headcold is getting worse. I think maybe I caught it from Jakub, who I travelled with. hahahaha Also I have the added problem that the bed bug bites seem to getting worse and I feel like the elephant man as they are so itchy. Melinda gave me some oil to put on them but I just feel bad about them and I may have to go to see a doctor. Hopefully one who can speak english.
I caught a train to Rennes and my friend Melinda met me at the railway station. Wow what a beautiful city. Straight away she took me to see a special exhibition at Les Champs Libres. It had all of these old fashioned games which we played and also it had a special exhibition of the worlds spiders and also showed photographs from a famous french photographer of people around the world. It was great to arrive and to see this straight away.
We then walked the streets of Rennes, which I have to say is one of the most beautiful cities in France. We eventually ate at a creperie. I ate a galette with ham, cheese and egg as well. It was so tasty. I also had the local cola which I liked as well. The Rennes people seem to be so friendly as it is a university town and it has such good vibes about it.
The following morning Melinda took me to the local flower and food markets. They were so colorful and her brother, Maxime was working at the markets so I got to meet him. Melinda said my french has improved, but maybe I dont agree as I still have the aussie accent. Its great to see Melinda after first meeting her in Melbourne and then again in Wellington. Her apartment is brilliant and full of small tokens of her travels. I also bought some french movies today and Melinda will burn some music for me.
I cant stop thinking about how friendly the french people are in Rennes. They seem to be smiling all the time. Probably they are laughing at the way I use their language so poorly......hahahaha Anyhow I took a bus to Mont St Michel which was really stunning. I had a crepe with sugar there, which is traditional for this area...just delicious. I also took some great photographs along the way.
Then I travelled to Saint Malo which is where Melinda my friend was born. It is a really magnificent coastal town and I met some great German and British backpackers in the hostel. We cooked dinner together and we stayed up chatting. The following morning I walked along the beach into the old city which is so historical and really gorgeous. I think I could easily live in France. I caught the bus back to Rennes, which is now one of my favourite places in France...along with many others.
Monday, September 22, 2008
The bus ride to Porto was scenic but this young portuguese girl stole my seat when i got off to have a cafe and i knew why she had done it. There was a noisy baby behind her so she took my seat deliberately to get away from him. When i asked her to move she refused so I took her seat and luckily the baby slept the whole way.
Upon arrival in Porto I had hassels finding the hostel and I met a few not so friendly people and also a few very friendly people as well. Its all part of the journey. Finally upon arrival at the hostel I met a few backpackers who were really nice.
I met Jakub from Poland in the hostel and we had some dinner together and we spoke with Max from Austria. Anyhow Jakub was going to Braga the following day so I arranged to go there with him. It will be good to see another city in Portugal.
We set out the following day and Jakub showed me around Porto. Wow what an amazing city. We went up to the cathedral which had the most amazing views of the city. Then we went across this bridge which had stunning views of the city of Porto and also views of the river. It was very beautiful. He also showed me a really nice park where I took heaps of photographs.
Then we went back to the train station where Jakub bought our tickets for Braga. I let him do the talking as he speaks spanish which is similar to portuguese. He has been living in Madrid. The train ride to Braga was really scenic and we talked the whole way. He told me many things about Poland and also the second world war.
Upon arrival in Braga, we went through the city centre. It has beautiful fountains, gardens and cathedrals. It also has the nicest old buildings. We then caught a bus out to this cathetral called Bom de Jesus Monte. It had amazing views of the city and the gardens up there were just beautiful. We talked heaps up there. Jakubs cold seemed to be getting worse and I seemed to be catching it, as I was sneezing heaps by the end of the day. There was a storm brewing so we decided to catch a train back to Porto, which was a good decision as there was a lot of lightning and thunder.
The whole way back in the train wee watched the rain falling down and upon arrival we used the internet cafe and then caught a bus back to our hostel. On the bus we talked to some lovely italian people who were stayiing in our hoste. Once back at the hostel we had a drink with Max and the Italians and also a guy from Prague. It was a great day of travel. Jakub is such a nice guy and very thoughtful and I hope to see him in Melbourne some day soon. He is so organized and heaps of fun to travel with.
The following morning I saaid goodbye to Jakub and the two spanish guys who we shared breakfast with. It was a cold day and raining heavily. Last night I had a dormitory to myself. No snoring to keep me awake.
The following day I walked around the city with Max from Austria. A really great guy, and so easy going. It was great to spend the day with him and we had a few beers beside the river. Life is sweet. The old buildings and the beautiful bridges make this town so so gorgeous. Max is coming to Australia soon so it will be so much fun to host him in Australia.
Spent a restless night in the hostel in Porto where this british guy snored his head off. It was so so bad. The worst I have ever heard and it kept everyone awake. I had breakfast with three really nice spanish backpackers and then hit the road. I walked around the coastal area of Porto and then caught a bus into the city centre. Its jusr a stunning city and im lucky as my last day here and its so sunny and hot.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
The night bus ride to Portugal was long and noisy as there were a couple od drunks on the bus and they were singing African songs. I met a nice guy named Pedro from Uruguay on the bus and he was great to talk with. The longer we were in the bus the drunker the african giy became but he was funny as he had everyone cracking up.
When we arrived in Lisbon we spoke with Daniella a girl from Argentina and we caught the metro into the city. The three of us ended up sharing a room in a hotel together. We went out to explore the city togther and we went up to this beautiful castle which had the most amazing views of the city. I liked Daniela and Pedro very much however i felt a bit out of it with them as they spoke spanish alot and I couldnt understand what they were saying. I liked the sound of their voices even if I didnt understand them.
Lisbon is a wonderful city and thee people were so so friendly while i was there. I then travelled to Oeiras. The people working in the hostel were so friendly. It wwas great to just hit the beaches and to meet other backpackers. I mett Benny and Huilya from Germany who are just lovely. We drank a bit of beer and had many funny talks as well as taking many photos of them having their surfing lessons. I also met a great Japanese guy and a chef named Lewis wh Portuguese.
How friendly are the portuguese people. The answer is extremely friendly and they are always smiling. I lovee tthem very much and yes you guessed it I will come back to Portugal for sure. I just love it here. The beaches are clean, the people are genuine and lovely and its been great to meett other travellers here.
Benny and Huliya are a big part of why i have liked it so much as they are gentle people and always laughing and smiling. As well I have met two nice turkish backpackers named Esra and Efie and a German girl named Annette.
I went to Marias house for dinner. To get there I had to catch a ferry from Lisbon across to the other side. Maria and Manuel made me so welcome. Straight away I knew they were lovely people. Maria cooked me a delicious meal, and it was fun to talk with them. Their daughters are so beautiful and it was really great to see a portuguese family in their home. Their apartment is gigantic and i asked Maria to come to Australia to decorate my house. I liked hearing the childrren talk in portuguese. I think both Maria and Manuel are the perffect parents as you see the love and fun that they have with their children and its so so nice. Maria and Manuel gave me a lift back to the hostel.
The next day it was so sad to say goodbye to Benny and Who as they have become good friends and we have spent many hours together. The time we shared was full of laughter. Even if you did let my book geet wet Benny when the tide came in at the beach, you are forgiven. I also liked meeting the turkish girls and Lewis the portuguese guy. I couldnt help but feel really sad as i left them.
The journey continues and for some reason I keep meeting the best people. I will never stop travelling as it is so much more fun than always staying home in Meelbourne. Sure I do miss my dogs, family and friends a lot but its also important to make the most of your life.
It was with great sadness that I left Morocco. I really didnt want to leave and I was reluctant to leave. I met Leah and Vince from Sydney at the wharf area and I spoke with Leah and a moroccan guy on the ferry over.
I just about cried when the ferry set sail as all i could think about were the many great friends that i had made in morocco.
We arrived in Spain and caught a train to Ronda. It was pouring with rain when we arrived and we took shelter for almost an hour. Then we went and found a pension to stay in. The guy in reception was really friendly and I enjoyed trying to learn some spanish from him.
I went out to explore the town which has a beautiful gorge and bridge with stunning views. I liked it very much. I met a nice new zealand girl who was travelling with her english boyfriend. The hotel room was really nice however later on i waas to find out that it was full of bed bugs. My first ever experience with them. I liked Ronda very much and would have liked to have spent longer there as the peeople were so friendly.
The next morning when I woke up I decided to head to Grenada. Grenada is a beautiful town and I liked it very much. Unfortunately I had been bitten by bed bugs and I had marks everywhere. The hostel I stayed in was a bit dodgy as it had these african hanging around outside offering me drugs all the time. But they trurned out to be really nice people: Because of all the bed bug bite marks I felt like I had the measles and I had an early night. I walked thee streets even at night exploring all the alleyways and also the various cathedrals as well. Grenada is a sttunning city and i liked it very much.
I decided the next day to head to Portugal. It was a split minute deecision and its one of the things i love about travel, that you can headd anywhere you like
Monday, September 8, 2008
Wow my time in Morocco has gone so quickly and I am so sad to be leaving this beautiful country. Along the way I have made so many good friends and its been a really exciting journey. I love the people, the food and the lifestyle of the Moroccan people.
The journey from Chefchaouen to Tangier was really scenic and I sat next to a nice Moroccan guy who couldnt speak much english, so I had to speak in arabic. Oh please, there is no way I can speak arabic. I found a cheap hotel and immediately went out to explore the town. I liked it straight away, except fot the Moroccan guy who tried to steal my camera out of my bag in the market area.
I really liked the beach area and also the market area. Because it is Ramadan the cafes and restaurants are closed for most of the day and the Moroccans sleep much later and stray out much later into the night. In the hotel I met Svanti from Sweden, Bruno from Brazil and Ziggy from Israel.
All really different in personality and all really great people. I also met Amine and another really nice guy also from Morocco. I spent a lot of time with Bruno who is studying law and also Svanti as well. It was so much fun to explore the city with them and to see the sights. Below is a picture of the ferry I will be taking to get to Spain but to be honest I dont want to leave Morocco.