A Travellerspoint blog

Day 54: Exploring England

sunny 29 °C

Hi all, I AM alive, I've just been having massive internet problems recently. It's day 54 into my trip, and the exploration part looks to be almost over now. I was in London for a few days after my contiki, saw a few parts of the city i had neglected, such as the British Museum and British Library. The museum was quite interesting, though I had to say the library I could have given a miss. I also got to meet up with a friend in London who I hadn't seen in about 12 years. It was wonderful seeing her again, as well as meeting her friend. Hopefully i will be able to spend a few days catching up with Katherine when i return to London. I was also up in Warwick visiting my mum's cousin Kyla and her husband Richard, who were very nice and showed me around the place, as well as taking me up through Manchester to go to Warrington to visit Kyla's mother and her husband. Had a great time up there, went to Wales to a small village called Llangollen (pronounced Chlangothlen), and even got to see a meteor shower late that night. Was a well spent weekend. I'm in Norwich for the meantime, visiting some of my Dad's cousins. Actually I met half a dozen of them last night at the pub, was quite nice to meet some of Dad's family, considering I had only really met a couple of them before. I'll be in Norwich until sunday when I leave at midday for London, where I'll hopefully be spending a couple of days catching up with Katherine before i head up to Whitstable, in Kent, to spend the rest of my time in England working. My blog posts will most likely be ending there, though i will keep up the site, in case i do end up getting to other countries once I have the money from working. I'm hoping to go to Paris, Amsterdam and Austria again, and possibly Thailand on my way back home, although I have many other places I wouldn't mind going. Decisions, decisions haha.

Dale Chapman, signing off.

Posted by Dale Chapman 01:17 Archived in England Comments (0)

Day 38: Amsterdam and back to London

semi-overcast 20 °C

Hey all, it's day 38 and our tour has just ended a few hours ago. Quite sad to leave the rest of our new friends, but as we've been reminded, it's best not to be sad that it's over, but happy that it happened. Amsterdam was quite a lot of fun, especially with the help of our good friends hash, marijuana and alcohol, though not all at the same time. We went down to the red light district on our first night and saw some... interesting performances, as well as looking down the various alleys and side streets, seeing exactly the things that Amsterdam is famous for. Our final night of contiki mostly consisted of a canal cruise, an Indonesian/Chinese dinner and then a massive pub crawl. quite a lot of drinking going on that night, had some excellent shots. Might have had a few too many, a bit too fast because i did feel a bit off for a little while, though i also probably shouldn't have started on the strongbow straight after. We all had a long snooze on the bus this morning, since everybody was suffering from a lack of sleep, so we missed quite a bit of the scenery of Belgium. We ended up getting back into London at about 4pm, before saying our goodbyes, and departing. It was quite sad, but the memories of my new friends will stay with me forever I'm sure, and I will always have those memories to share, as well as my mad ramblings on this blog to go by. Next up, Charles will be going home on Friday and i will be setting off to explore England and see more relatives, before heading back to Whitstable to get a job. The blog posts will mostly stop after i arrive back in Whitstable, though i will most likely update every week or so, just so everybody knows i'm alive.
Hope all are well at home

Dale Chapman, signing out.

Posted by Dale Chapman 11:34 Archived in England Comments (0)

Day 34: Liechtenstein and the Swiss Alps

snow 2 °C

Hey all! It's day 34 of our euro trip, and the Contiki is almost over! We visited Liechtenstein yesterday, lovely little country, small as can be. Turns out, for 50,000 euro's, you can buy the town for a whole day, and they change the street names to whatever you want as well. sounds fun if you have a spare 50K sitting around. After that we went to Lucerne for lunch and a look around, letting everybody get their Swiss watches and Swiss army knives. Pity i already have one, it didn't leave much for me to do haha. After Lucerne we drove up into the mountains and finally arrived at our Swiss chalet in the town of Lauterbrunnen (I think thats how it's spelled). The town itself is quite nice, though it seems our sunshine has ended and the rain has finally hit us. We were treated to Swiss cowbells and yodelling last night, which while odd wasn't as bad as i thought yodelling would be. Some cheese fondue and chicken casserole for dinner and we got to see the Olympic starting ceremony, before we all got back into the grog. We went up the Jungfrau mountain today, one of the three highest mountains in Europe, took a 1 1/2 hour train ride to get there and at the top it was covered in snow and freezing! Personally my day was made by the hot chocolate, my first time seeing it snow, and the amazing faceplant a Chinese man did in the ice palace, when he slipped around on the icy floor and ended up flat on his face. Cruel, i know, but it was quite hillarious. We've just arrived back in camp for dinner in half an hour, before our party tonight, in Swiss colours of red and white, so we're having a Swissco disco. should be fun, even if we're all running low on francs. Tomorrow it's back into Germany to stay in the Rhine Valley for a night, before heading to Amsterdam for our last two nights. With any luck, the Wi-fi won't cost 15 francs there and i can add a new entry. Hope everybody is well at home!

Dale Chapman, signing out.

Posted by Dale Chapman 08:22 Archived in Switzerland Comments (1)

32: Venice, Vienna, Munich and Austrian Tyrol

overcast 26 °C

Hello all! sorry for the wait, it's been a long week packed full of things to do, time has been quite scarce as of late. We explored Venice a few days ago, beautiful city, such a pity that it is sinking, so many generations will miss out on its splendor. After leaving Venice we travelled up to Vienna in Austria for two nights. With the city touring, the Schnapps museum and tasting and the partying, we had little time to do anything else before paking up and heading out to Munich in Germany. Along the way we stopped at a service station which had a beautiful mountain scenery view out the back where 'The Sound of Music' was filmed. looks like part of the area was fenced off due to too many people running down the hills singing songs from that particular musical. Munich was quite an experience to remember, though we were only there for a single night, it was quite a lot of fun. Everybody was suitably impressed with the size of the steins at the Bavarian beer hall, where we stood to sing a German drinking song every 15 minutes and ate traditional pork knuckle (or a chicken schnitzel). The beer hall was excellent fun, though everybody was a bit out of it on the bus the next day. We travelled to the Austrian Tyrol yesterday and stopped along the way in the Dachau concentration camp from Nazi Germany. The remains of the camp were quite depressing, it was like being back in the Killing Fields in Cambodia. After that we headed for Austria once more, stopping to do white water rafting and bobsledding. I didn't do the bobsledding, but the white water rafting was one of my highlights of the trip, which i'm sure i'm not alone in thinking, as everybody else loved it as well. the beautiful scenery only added to the excitement, which grew even more when our raft was chosen to be filmed for an Austrian tourism show for television. I was the one who was asked to help with the filming by having a camera strapped to my leg which, while being somewhat uncomfortable, was quite thrilling at the same time. The rapids were excellent fun, and though we all cme out drenched and shivering, i'm sure everybody will remember that trip for a long time to come. Tomorrowwe head for Liechtenstein, then the Swiss Alps to stay in Contiki's special Swiss chalet. Sounds like it will be good fun indeed. Hope everybody is good at home, and a special shout out to my Grandad, who's birthday is today, so Happy Birthday Grandad! hope you have an excellent birthday!

Dale Chapman, signing out

Posted by Dale Chapman 10:30 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Day 26: Florence, Rome, Vatican City and Venice

sunny 34 °C

It's day 26 of our euro trip. Sorry i haven't updated in so long, Wi-fi has been pretty bad and i've been sick for a week now, hopefully be over it soon. Florence was really good, got to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, it's pretty wicked. Rome after that, Rome was amazing, saw so many things that I might never see again. The Vatican was great too, the smallest country in the world, with only half a sqaure kilometre of land and so much religious meaning. The Colliseum was pretty impressive too, the walking tour we did showed us all the history of the area. We're in Venice right now, preparing for a long day of exploring the canals tomorrow, something i am looking forward to immensly. We have a gondola ride tomorrow and we'll be able to see all of the sinking city, including the area which was used for filming Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade! Everybody is getting colds now, the Contiki cold has hit us hard, but hopefully we'll all get over it in time for Austria in a couple days time. Our bus trips are quite fun, more so than i had expected. When we are late to leave on the coach, the last person to board is forced to perform 'Coachioke' which means they have to listen to a song via iPod and sing along with it, so they can hear the song, but everybody else can only hear them. usually this gets some hillarious results, and everybody runs to the coach when they relise they are late. I've already been forced to sing before, so yesterday when we were leaving to see Rome and I saw people jogging down the hill for the coach, I ran down that hill and outstripped everybody to get to the coach. Turns out everybody in the coach was cheering me on. Today we wrote love notes for people, who's names were drawn from a hat. some were very nice, others were hillarious and I'm sure from the content of some letters, some people might be thought of as sexual deviants now. Hopefully some new photos will be up soon, the Wi-fi here is too slow to actually be used to upload my photo's. Hope everybody is well at home!

Dale Chapman, signing off

Posted by Dale Chapman 12:31 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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