Well I think I last wrote when we were in Slovakia, which is a very long time ago! So apologies for not having written sooner, so I’ll try and limit this to the highlights. We traipsed across the border to Poland, which I loved and the sun made a few appearances which was good. I was amazed at how meticulously the towns have been rebuilt, you walk round with a guide book which at every site, states the year it was built, the year it was demolished and the year it was rebuilt. We were there over student holiday, which is basically where all the students take to the streets in vaguely organised parades partying, whether that’s on trucks or just ambling along the road. We also managed to get to Warsaw during an EU summit of culture or something which meant lots of random road closures.
Back to the UK for a weekend, which was a little hectic to say the least, but managed to see a few famous faces at the Pizza Express Jazz café and get a few more things packed, sorted and closed.
Morocco was wonderful, it was a lot less dramatic than I expected, we didn’t get too hassled and the weather was gorgeous. The only real issue we had was coming back from a day trip in the mountains to a new hotel, a little Riad, was that there was no-one there to let us in. It was quite late and we were down a little alley in a very non touristy part of Marrakesh and were beginning to get very worried. We ended up going somewhere a little busier and calling the agency who we booked through who after a very long ten minutes, managed to track down the housekeeper and told us to get a cab back to a square near the hotel where they would meet us… all a little stressful really. That said, once we got in, the place was superb, we had it all to ourselves and I’d recommend it to anyone!
Back to the UK, which was a little odd and cold after Marrakesh, a long drive to the Lake District where we had no good weather, Beck’s wedding and back to London to fly out. We stayed in the Texas for a couple of days, which helped break up the long journey to NZ. Typically the flight back wasn’t quite as smooth as planned, we got to LA to find our flight had been cancelled but luckily we’d got there early enough to get put on an earlier flight, which gave us approx 10 mins to get to the gate. When we got to NZ our next flight was delayed as the seats weren’t screwed down properly… all in all, I wouldn’t recommend Air NZ although they are meant to be updating all their planes this summer.
So now we’ve been here just under a week and we’re just about over our jet-lag and various colds and stomach bugs picked up along the way. We’ve started looking at houses but haven’t managed to think about updating our cvs yet – I’m blaming it on the fact that we don’t have any work clothes with us and will have to wait till our boxes arrive at the end of June!
Well it ended up being a bit of a rush before we left london so i never got a chance to type you an email. But we are now a week through our adventure in eastern europe and are now sitting in a strange little hostel in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Greece was pretty cool we pretty much drove around the pelloppeneseseseses (there is a small chance there is a spelling mistake in there) and we covered pretty much everything you could possible see ruin wise, except olympia and monemvassia, lots of memories of all the Kim Tattersal teachings in classics and as we looked at about 10000000000 greek vases I wish I could remember a bit more about what we learned about them.
It was about 30 degrees every day, the landscape was very beautiful and we had a very nice time trekking up and down mountains. I can now say I am definitely tired of staring at pieces of rubble, but on the plus side we now have a plethora of photos of rocks masquerading as temple pillars or market places or well just about anything.
After the pelop… adventure we made it to Athens where things went a little awry. First our flight to Sofia was cancelled so we had to rescheduled and then I experienced the joys of uncooked seafood and the resulting stomach problems. Still we managed to rush around the sites and fly out to here a day early which probably wasnt a bad thing.
It is (orthodox) easter here at the moment (easter sunday to be exact) which is a little odd. We have church bells ringing for hours on end, sermons being broadcast on loudspeakers all over the towns and of course everything is closed which is actually less of an inconvenience then we first thought, apart from when we want to visit churches of course….
Bulgaria itself is a bit of a culture shock as they use cryllic letters so p is r and n seems to be about 15 different letters and it is backwards etc etc, no one seems to speak much english and the look of the place at first was what i would optomistically call soviet bloc, however after a day wandering around we have discovered it is a very pleasant city with lots of nice open squares and we spent a very enjoyable hour sitting in the public gardens just relaxing in the sun (plus me beating nicola at cards!) So all in all I have quite a positive feeling about the city.
In the next few days we are off to Veliko Turnovo, Rila Monastery and Kopravitista before we fly off to the czech republic, it will be all be very rural so i am both excited and a little concerned about how we will get around.
On September 18th of this year I turned 29 years old. To my surprise this was an untraumatic occasion and so I guess next year may be a little bit of a shock to me.
I had decided that I wanted to stay somewhere in the countryside for the weekend of my birthday (specifically I wanted to rent a little cottage in Cork) so Nicola booked a weekend away in the Cotswold’s so I could see some of the more beautiful English countryside, at first I was a little disappointed but the Cotswold’s are very pretty and we had a nice weekend toddling around all the little old towns, walking up the hills and eating far too much. There are a few photos from this trip hiding somewhere in the photos pages of the website as well.
Outside of my birthday the last three months have been quite quiet I think we were all waiting for summer with baited breath and it never really arrived so as September rolled around we were still waiting for the good weather to go out and do things. On the plus side it did mean I saved quite a bit of money.
The main exception to this quiet patch was the wedding of my brother Dave to his long suffering girlfriend Steph. Luckily for me this wedding took place in the south of France and so the whole family made their way to a chateau an hour north of Bordeaux for a week of celebrations and merriment. The wedding was very nice and everything seemed to go smoothly and all in all it was a very impressive affair.
Now thanks to the kindness of my friends here is a little comparison of me through the years. The photo on the left was taken on my 18th birthday by Craig Brown and the one on the right was taken by Nicola on my 28th. I will let you make your own decisions on how the ten years have aged me…
I have vague memories of assuring everyone when I got to the UK that I would build a website and basically dump all the bits of my life onto it. I have now been living in England for just under two years and I have finally got around to actually doing this.
This web page is really just a place where I can put up some of the photos that I like from my travels but I will occasionally type news updates if there is anything interesting that I have been up to or there is some amusing story from my life. I have added comments underneath the photos, which are usually pretty inane, but I thought it might be nice for people to have some explanation rather then just looking at some random photos. As a final note I have only 10Mb of space to play with which has limited the amount of photos and content I can put up quite dramatically, but I do hope that you enjoy what I have put up.
The last update email I wrote was back in about March 2003 I think and I guess the main reason I haven’t written an update email since then is that life settles down and becomes a routine of working and going out in the weekends like you would wherever you are in the world. As there has been no major news I have just let it slide until now.
In bullet point form the last year looks a little like this…..
- I went to Germany for Easter
- I went to Denmark
- I finished my job at Lloyds TSB
- I went to Spain and Monaco
- I was unemployed
- I went to Croatia and Slovenia
- I was unemployed
- I went to Cornwall
- I was unemployed
- I went to Belize
- I was unemployed (anyone noticing a theme yet?)
- I got a job at a Japanese Bank
- The job was living hell – I quit
- I was unemployed
- I got another job which I seem to be quite enjoying
- I moved into a new flat
- I went to Hungary
- I went to Rome
- I went to New Zealand and Fiji
- I went to Ireland
And that pretty much sums up the main points of the year. Sadly (for me anyway) I haven’t managed to get around to writing about any of these trips in any detail, however I have typed one email about my time being unemployed. You can find this on the travel emails page or you can just click here.
Finally I would love to hear what people are up to, so if you get the chance drop me an email