Trip Start Jun 01, 2006
124Trip End Ongoing
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Fresh from the Switzerland update and a night spent sleeping well in the 'shut for the summer' school classroom, I thought it was time again for my view on the last part of our European journey before heading off to Mother Russia tonight.
At least I hope the school was shut. The lesson plan for morning Geography would change quite quickly if they came in to find us pair sleeping under the blackboard on story carpet. If anyone is wondering, I think from the facilities, that its a school for big kids. There has been none of that always amusing scenario when, say, you go back to your old primary school. Where, if you go to sit down on the tiny loo your knee's would be up around your ears or you have to take a small chair for each buttock just to sit.
As with last time I'm going to give my thoughts, pen pick style, on the different venues of the passed few weeks.
Dubrovnik (again) - I forgot to mention last time that we stayed in the Lapad Peninsula away from the old town, which I feel is a good idea. It was much cheaper and quieter to stay there and kept you away from the daytime organised tours that come in off the cruise liners
Train Mostar to Sarajevo - Special mention for this journey. High up in mountains then into long green valleys. Awesome
Sarajevo - Great position with hills on all sides. Stayed a day to long to watch the dire England V Equador match. Lovely women also.
Sofia - Its fair to say we didn't do Sofia or Bulgaria any justice. Sorry Polly. Great night out though. Lovely women also.
Bucharest - A big city. Its centre piece, the 2nd biggest building in the world palace of parliament, far from being beautiful comes across just a bit.....weird. Lovely women also if you like girls with moustaches! Unique.
Brasov (Sinaia) - Beautiful place. Thick forest covered hills on all side mountains within touching distance. Sinaia, a perfect day trip and ski resort in the winter, lovely castles and monestary. Perfectly timed (as Mike said) Louis Armstrong 'Wonderful World' moment with some great guys from the top looking down.
Budapest - Loved it. Great place for a weekend. Lovely buildings and people.
Jona (Rapperwil) - I love mountains, lakes, old buildings and good friendly people. Has all four.
Krakow - Unfortunatly only one night. Largest medieval square in europe. Another great place for a relaxed fun weekend
Tallinn - Again with the weekend. Lovely old town lots of cafes with people watching each other. When sat in the old town last night a streaker ran through (wedding night rather than pervert) The whole square started laughing and taking photos. So good humoured people too.
Okay, so here we are sat in T'internet cafe in Tallinn waiting for our midnight train to St Petersburg. Hoping that no complications will arise at the boarder that will require us to use our far from extensive Russian. Concisting of 'Da' yes and a list of every single Russian Footballer or sporting high achiever I can think of.
I'd also like to make a promise to return to Europe again. Next time with more time and money. I appreciate that we have been 'big city' travellers at the moment. We would have both loved to spend much more time finding out places other people have never seen. However, we do have a long term goal and with that comes a long term budget which has been taking quite a bashing. So we need to get ourselves to (Ode to a Cockney) that little place south of London...............Asia
On a more serious note. One of the most interesting things of our trip so far is learning about all the countries as we pass through them. None more so than the political climate in Bosnia, with the serb, croat and Muslim peoples. We have been privileged to hear the story from all sides. Wether it be numerous conversations with Croatians. Breakfast with a whiskey pouring Muslim or being shouted at by the head of the worst serbian smuggling racket ever. All sides are obviously angry and feel let down by each other and the international community. I think that feelings are still high and are going to take a long long time to calm down. Just the week before we arrived in Mostar a Muslim guy got shot for supporting Brazil when they played Croata. Now I realise there is always two sides to every story and I'm just little me but its all still bubbling and seems very very strained.
On a much lighter note
The human body. Hats of to us and high five humanity. I think we do very well with this body of ours. On this trip I've again been reminded of quite how flexible and intelligent the human body can be. It doesn't ask for much a bit of nourishment here a rest there every so often a little animal instinct.
Body drops hints and adapts. For example a 24 hour train journey. 6 hours in, Body decides he's getting a bit hot - Throw in some sweat. 18 hours in, Body is getting irritable and wants a wash - Throw in a full body stickiness and lets start drying out his mouth with the flavour of old milk. 24 hours in, Body is pissed - Throw in a headache, stick all clothes to body and the all over odour of farm animal! God I'm looking forward to the six day train journey Moscow - Beijing.
Body can make changes. Perhaps he's used to 3 meals a day, the portions of which a family of four could put away. Instead in a three day period you give him a two bags of crisps and small sausage toastie. He doesn't complain.
Body is also willing to learn and knows a little thing or two about comfort. Again back to the 24 hour train journey. Body is full and drops a hint with some low down rumblings, so you take him to the WC. It turns out to be a hole in the train floor, covered in lots of other people former body rumblings and the train is moving around at quite a rate. Body can suck that thought back in for another 24 hours if needs be. Although 24 hours later you will have to be like 'the mathematician' and spend twenty minutes working it out with a pencil!
Enough of that and time for me to sign off. Thank you to europe and all we have met. I hope everyone is well and having fun. Until next time have fun and I apoligise for the amount of toilet humour
Todays entry was bought to you by the number 2 and the letter P