The blog is evolving!

Stay tuned for new features including journey maps, some missing posts, linked photo albums, minor tweaks and ultimately... the earlier trips...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The big questions...

So... how was it?

Amazing! I was able to see Julz again, hang out with Gavin and Sarah, caught up with Kate and Tim and did some tough laps with Brendan in Wales. London grew on me this time, Austria was pretty impressive and the Whistler adventure was all-time. We had a great crew to hang out with in the cold and in the warmth and seeing Fi and Kirst again was awesome.

Where'd you get to?


View 2008 - Whistler - Europe Trip in a larger map




Any good pics?

Yup, you can find them in the following albums...

England - 2008




And some time-lapse?

You betchya! I wasn't going to pass it up this time. Poor Julz froze a few times and I certainly did other times. Worth it I reckon.

video

Church in Vienna

video

Festung Hohensalzburg

video

Salzburg

video

Tower Bridge

video

Clock Tower - Day

video

Houses of Parliment

video

London Eye

video

Trafalgar Square

video

Clock Tower - Night

video

Hong Kong from The Peak

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Day 51 - HK

Cookie says...

Yes... I've been slack!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Day 50 - HK

Cookie says...

Yes... I've been slack!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Day 49 - HK

Kinda struggled the last two nights and mornings because I've got some slight jet lag and I'm suffering from Destination Syndrome - a state of mind where all you want to is get to where you're headed i.e. home. So, my body is telling me to sleep in and my brain is telling me I have no motivation. It's easy to just sit around some place and veg out but I thought stuff that, I'm going to overcome this debilitating disease and figured what better way to be a tourist than to go to a theme park! Gwennie. I'm sure your eyes are rolling at me now :)

Exit hotel, catch ferry to Central, found bus to Aberdeen and walked to Ocean Park. The name might be lost on most of you but it's where Hong Kong keeps it's four panda's and true to it's name, they also have an extensive marine exhibition.


Zzzzzzzz...



Hey Flipper!


There's separate enclosures for dolphins, seals, jellyfish and an atoll for a reef environment which was fairly good. The also had something which I think Craig would have lived - a shark aquarium. The park also has an extensive array of games and activities aimed at kids and the park is split between two sites on this ridge connected by cable lifts. The end at the headland which had the marine stuff bar the dolphins also had your typical rides like Dreamworlds Giant Drop, a roller coaster, a ferris wheel and other odds and ends. There was also extensive construction going around on the site so it keeps getting bigger.


Random



Lukey J will be pleased, bambo, zip ties and gaff tape holds
their construction industry together!


If this trip as done anything for me, it's cured my fear of busses. Well, not fear, more like apathy. I finished up around 2 and bussed it to Stanley. It's got a bit of a market area and although I generally don't care for markets, I looked around and even made a purchase. I'm sure those from Bridgy will see it soon enough. It's also the location of Murray House which was relocated from Central about 20 years ago. Hong Kong has a poor track record with historical buildings but they got lucky with this one. It's been rebuilt however look at the photo below and the six pillars in front were actually left overs from the building they pulled apart in pieces - go figure. It contains a good museum of maritine history with some excellent models and information on Hong Kong, Chinese and Japanese sailing including interaction with European and other nationalities. It also feels odd being back in a country where you sweat. Kinda sucks but it also means I'm closer to home. Also noticed that I was getting a little tired. I had hoped that this was a sign that the jetlag might have been dealt with but then I realised I was on the bus.


Looking at Stanley from Murray House with the six homeless pillars in front


Made it back to Kowloon and shall have a quiet night in tonight with no time-lapse as it was looking smoggier today than the last two. In hindsight that was a bit of a mistake as the night lights look okay but meh... kinda over sitting around doing nothing waiting for a camera and computer.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Day 48 - HK

Managed to sleep in today but was out on the street shortly later. Walked up and down several of the roads and encoutered a thousand Indians trying to get me to have them tailor a suit or shirt. When they realise I'm not interested they then try the 'copy bags, copy watches' routine. Most streets look similar in that they're littered with electronics stores, Indians and tourists. Walked past a church and noticed there was a Keswick conference on at the moment. Did plenty more walking and then headed back to the hotel before wandering off to the science museum. It had quite a few hands on exhibits and information on day to day appliances and how they work.


Big city = big ads, one Yank tourist said this was the biggest lunchbox... ever


Afterwards I picked up my gear for some time-lapse and headed up to The Peak. Jumped onto the Star Ferry for the first time and went to Central (Hong Kong Island). Located the bus that goes to the Peak Tram Terminus and jumped onto the funicular. Got to the top and looked around for a vantage point. There's a lookout with two levels which isn't used as much as a Peak Tower has been built however the lower (what I thought would be the less popular balcany) still attracted some attention. At one point I had a bunch of tourists I think from Japan singing some tune and a dude who spent 20 minutes point around the city. I feared that I'll get a bunch of frames covered with hands and fingers but a preliminary review seems it's come up negative. Mind you, a careless Pommy managed to kick the tripod... grr... got talking to her and her friend after lending the careless one my little tripod (her night shots were covered with motion blur) and some other Indian who currently lives in the US. As expected, our conversation turned to cricket.


A view from this lookout


Back to the hotel and did some more blogging etc (I've got a bit of a backlog) and watched three episodes of That 70's Show hoping that I'd get tired and get to bed before 12.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Day 47 - HK

Entering Hong Kong was quite a simple affair. Landed, passed through border control without a single question, picked up the baggage (relieved that it had arrived after hearing stories about Finnair), bought an Octopus card for public transport and made for the train. Could have taken a more scenic route to the hotel however I was tired and smelly so just wanted to see if it was too early to check in.

Caught the Airport Express to Kowloon and after initially thinking I could walk it to where I was staying, I thankfully ended up on the free shuttle service. Unfortunately it was too early to check in however I was able to leave my bags and go for a wander. Thought I'd head down to the front that looks towards Hong Kong Island and met some Indian who claimed he'd had a vision he was to meet me and foretold all these great things that were to happen to me soon (all of which could be applied to anyone). He really just prays on tourists with fortune telling and then tries to fleece money off them. Managed to give him the flick and headed up one of the streets while checking out some of the shopping precincts containing more brands you could poke a stick at. They were attatched to the harbour so cruise tourists were their target. Found an old school Germany Football spray jacket from the 80's. Tempted to buy it because for some reason people think I live in that era. If only it was a Bon Jovi denim jacket!

Gave up walking cause I was still tired and smelly and made my way back to the hotel. Sat and read until 12 and asked about the room again and thankfully it was ready. Found the room, got some of my nerd gadgets charging and had a shower. Had a bit of a nana nap too although it balooned from one hour to three. I woke a few times to my alarm and a message from mum and when I checked what I'd replied with a few hours later, I realised I was so tired that whatever I sent her didn't make sence.

Finally left the room and after experiencing a seniors moment and leaving my tripod behind, I picked it up and grabbed some food. They have a 'Symphony of Light' each night so I found a vantage point to watch it and try a time-lapse of the view. Naturally the end result was only getting half the view in because I wasn't sure where it was located and it was really wide so couldn't get all of it anyway.


What a heap of junk!



Not Mikey's skyline but Hong Kong's


Once it was finished, I came back to the room to try and catch up on photos and blogging. Just hope my snooze hasn't made me too tired to sleep!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Day 46 - ENG

Another day lost to commuting today. Rose at 5.30 to finish packing and said good-bye to Gavin. Yesterday he said that gale force winds and rain were expected for today and the weather forecasters weren't wrong. I consider myself lucky to not have experienced much in the way of typical weather up until today so i prefer to think that England was crying that I was leaving. The end result was me and three bags being rather damp by the time I'd dashed to the tube.

When I rose I check the status of the tube and it was all good however just before I was leaving, one of the lines had minor delays and by the time I was on the line, both Wimbledon and Piccadilly lines had issues. Of course, those were the two lines I needed to get to Heathrow. Was this England's way of telling me to stay? Finally made it to the airport and checked in and waited to depart. The winds had affected flights all over the board with cancellations to destinations like Rome and others still in doubt. Our flight to Helsinki experienced only a minor delay and so off to the skies with Finnair.

Had a good old chin wag with a Finnish couple next to me who had just had a belated honeymoon to Bali and were on the way home after changing planes in Hong Kong, the destination of my connecting flight.


Similar conditions to the Bris - Syd flight
but being on the otherside of the world, it was all upside-down


Landing was without issue and I made my way around the terminal to burn some time. When I went to board for some reason my ticket wasn't initially but after a ten minute wait, it was all sorted.

This however was the bumpiest ride I'd ever had but it wasn't due to turbulance. For the first time in a long time I had an isle seat with our middle row of four taken up by broad chested adult males and as it seemed that I was invisible to everyone, it resulted in people smacking into my shoulder whenever anyone was moving around. Eating out meals was a tedious process too.

Nine hours and no sleep later we landed in Hong Kong around 8 in the morning.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Day 45 - ENG

Julz, Sarah and I were off to HTB again this morning for church however knowing that it was my last full day in Lomdon, it took the shine of anything we did and put me in a bit of a mood. After making it to South Ken we shared in Sarah's religious activity of having a Ben's Cookie. I'm sure I mentioned it before but they really are very good.

This morning Tim Hughes was leading worship which was nice to see. The worship team had more depth which added a richness to the music but that didn't drown out the congregation. Sang both familiar and unfamiliar songs including some songs with actions which the girls got into.

After the service we met with Gavin and headed to a pub. Service could have been better and we were squished into tables better suited to little people however Sarah and Julie said they were fine. Once that was over, we observed another of Sarah's pilgrimages to the Hummingbird Cafe. This time it was Gavin who bought the bessa block sized chocolate brownie and we retreated to Sarah's to sit, eat and talk.

As Julie lives so far away, she had to leave mid afternoon. Much to Sarah's dismay, neither Julie or I shed a tear although we both knew that it wasn't easy and knowing that we'll see each other again mid year for Brookes wedding gives us something to look forward to.

Gavin and I finally left and once at his place, he, Jo and I ordered some Japanese and we sat watching crap TV and being nerds on our computers.

Set my alarm early as I had a flight out at 10.20 and it was a bit of a hike to get to the airport especially when the tube is quite the unknown factor when it comes to getting somewhere on time.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Day 44 - ENG

We had a few things to do today but Windsor Castle was our main destination. Julie, Sarah and I met Lauren and Kristy at Clapham Junction and we trained it to the station near Windsor and Eton. First stop however was a cafe for some morning tea. Shortly after we reached the castle and joined a walking tour around the main precints. The Royal standard was flying which indicated that the Queen was in residence however as she didn't come greet us personally, I doubt she was and someone stuffed up.


Can you tell I washed my hair today?


One of the popular things to view there was the Queens Dollhouse. I'm not sure it was entirely all it cracked up to be but good to see none the less. One things for sure, if the Queen can dedicate a chunk to it then I can dedicate a room in the townhouse to Lego! Sarah was keen on checking out the chapel there as King Henry VIII was laid to rest next to Jane Seymore as she's mildly obsessed with this Hen-Rye chap. Actually, tonight she went and saw the latest movie about him (or the Boleyn sisters really).


I found the throne and I even sat on it!


At this point Julie and I left as she had an appointment around Clapham for a dress fitting for Brooke's wedding. On the way out I managed to tick another of my tourist check boxes much to the embarassment of my better half.


Josh... do you think I'd make it as a cop?


After arriving at Clapham Junction, we headed for the dress shop via Nando's. I was only a late convert to Nando's back home (thanks to Josh, Jonno and Richard) and we both enjoyed our meal. We made it to the shop and Julie tried on some unimaginable number of dresses and asked me for my expert opinion. She fancied three of the six she had to chose from and managed to reduce it to one which did look good on her.

The others returned from Windsor just as we were leaving the dress shop so we headed to Sarah's to get ready for tonight. Sarah was off to the movie's and Julie and I were heading into town for dinner with Kate and Tim. Kate had suggested a Latin place and we met them there. Nice food and good company made for an enjoyable dinner. Kate and Tim had a party to attend afterwards so we bid them farewell and walked along the Thames, over Westminster Bridge and around Westminster Abby before heading to Victoria Station where we bussed it to Sarah's. We beat her home so we packed our gear for tomorrow and hit the hay.


Another drunk looking Kate photo : )



It kinda looks photoshopped but trust me, we were there
and it's just a rare dud photo I take

Friday, March 7, 2008

Day 43 - ENG

Although we woke on time, it was still a bit of a rush this morning. Julie gets a lift to school with Natacha but the time she get's to the house varies so Julie always rushes to get ready and then has to sit around for her ride. Natacha arrived and I got a lift to Chafford Hundred. I was tasked with getting tickets for Lord of the Rings from a half price mob. Sadly and worryingly enough I kinda got lost coming out of Fenchurch St. Station. There's two exits and I could never work out where this other one surfaced. I wandered around the stupid gerkin / cucumber / whatever building for about 20 odd mins. I was annoyed and worried as I thought the ticket place opened at 8 and I knew I'd cop an earful if I didn't secure us seats.


Guilty as charged!


Finally got onto the Metropolitan line at Aldgate and man, that station sucks. Circle line is intermittent and hardly any Metro trains operate. I think I was there for about 20 mins before I got out. I ended up going some silly direction to Kings Cross and then down to Leicester. Finally made it there around 9:40 and turned out the place didn't open till 10 and I was about 10th in the queue. All good in the end, got the tickets and then I headed to Hampton Court Palace.


The entrance to the palace


Sarah had been at me to make sure I'd visited this place. It's a court that had been built by Cardinal Wolsey but was confiscated by figure in Sarah's eye - King Hen-Rye VIII. So I trained it from Waterloo and got there around 11. It's an impressive place in a nice area with some neat gardens. I could understand why he took it from Wolsey when he branded him a traitor. I did two tours which although had different names, went to the same places and talked about the same stuff... bit disappointing. Strolled around the rooms and then the gardens. I even walked through the maze and got to the middle.


One of the courtyards



Part of the gardens


I bailed and tried to get to Temple Church before four when it closes however when I arrived, it turned out that it was closed today anyway. I don't know much about it apart from it being the only surviving circle church in England, was built by the Templar Knights and featured in The Da Vinvi Code. I still had some spare time so I squeezed the National Portrait Gallery in until I was to meet the othres. I don't know which one however Sarah says one of her earlier house mates has a photo in there which the gallery bought after it was displayed. Quite a bit of stuff there too.


Temple Church. Just like Wales... it was closed


Then it was time to meet Julie. She was coming in later than desired but we met and found Sarah and grabbed a bit for dinner and then we were off to West End for the show. And what a show it was. Well, it was pretty good. The orcs were moving around with either arm or leg extensions allowing them to run along like apes or bounce around and do flips with the fight scenes. It (like the books and movies) was long but it moved with pace and unlike the other two shows I saw with Sarah, I didn't drift off.

After it was over we headed to Sarah's to stay as tomorrow we were off to the home of the Queen - Windsor Castle!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Day 42 - ENG

Yet another late start today and this time, I missed the train I was aiming for at Fenchurch St. by just a single minute. Oh well, not to worry as it gave me a chance to have some lunch and besides, Julz was on bus stop duty.

The plan was to meet Julie at her school after hours as on Thursdays a handful of teachers and staff get together and play some football on the astroturf out back. Apart from all the walking I'd been doing, I'd not been to active and after last nights game, I was looking forward to playing. It was good fun and some of the players were actually quite good. I managed to wind poor Big Dan (and we were on the same team!) however he gets hurt in every game he plays and Little Dan played in his pants, sorry, trowsers (pants over here are underwear) and socks. There were goals a plenty and fun was had by all.

Once that had finished, Julz, the Dans, Amy and I headed out to dinner. Initially we seated ourselves at some Italian joint but Big Dan was restless as he wanted refillable drinks so we did a runner and headed to TGI Fridays instead. It was busy (and the Italian place was not) but they squeezed us in and our meals arrived relatively quickly. Once again Little Dan dropped us back at Julz place and I said farewell and I might catch him soon as he's spending six weeks or so here mid year.

The last thing to do was to sort out what was happening tomorrow as we'd decided to go see a show and eat beforehand. It was nice getting into bed. My body was sore as I think I'd strained twice the number of things I usually do when I play sport. No sympathy from Julie either, all I got was 'I'll point and I'll laugh'.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Day 41 - ENG

Really slow start to the day today as I had some photos and blogging to catch up on. Mind you I only had three things I wanted to do: U23D this arvo, time-lapse at dusk and the football tonight.

Finally stepped out at lunch and trained to Waterloo. I spied some football game being played near the station so walked around to watch it. I thought it might have been some school comp however I soon found that it was adults playing and I suspect it was a company comp. Only saw about 5 mins worth and from what I saw, the standard wasn't too crash hot, they were obviously employees reliving past glories and sadly enough... I'd have fit right in!

I moved over to near Tower Clock to check I could find a decent spot for the time-lapse. Found an okay spot however I'm still not sure how it will turn out as I didn't use the best settings and the angle's a little odd. Oh well, you can only do what you can. It just gives me an incentive to come back again!




The mighty Thames... it's as 'clean' as our Brisbane River!


Headed to the IMAX opposite Waterloo station and booked my ticket. I grabbed a bite to eat and sat down for the show. Tell you what, it was an impressive show. I've now seen them live and own their two recent concerts on DVD and this experience still blew them away. Murray... you'd loved to have seen this hey! Stereoscopic vision is seriously cool and the depth perception was amazing!

Once it was over I headed straight to my vantage point. This time I was up against a statue so didn't stick out like a sore thumb so no police interest. Sarah met me so I packed up and we tubed it to South Kensington. She took my gear to her place and I met Gavin and Jo (albeit a little late) at the shopping centre near the stadium. We found our seats and proceeded to enjoy the game. Chelsea won 3-0 and were a goal up after 5 minutes through Ballack (Germany's captain) and Frank 'Fat' Lampard 20 minutes after that. We had a goal in front of us in the second half. Once again it was amazing to listen to the crowd chanting away either supporting Chelsea or giving Olympiacos a right serve including one song asking if they are West Ham in disguise.


I think this time-lapse has turned out okay, shall wait and see



Stamford Bridge in all it's glory


We also felt like yo-yo's as you have to stand to see once people in front of you stand up. You usually stand for two things: a goal / tense moment in the game or someone starting a chant that if you love the team you stand up. I had a fine specimen of physical form (a man mountain who must have been locked in the pie truck as a youth) who kept standing up for song meaning I needed to stand resulting in an entire bay reacting to his every move.

After surviving the rush to the tube, I picked up my gear from Sarah's and returned to Gavin's for the night.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Day 40 - ENG

Yet another touristy day today. Scored a lift with Natacha who picks Julie up of a morning and she was kind enough to drop me off at Grays station. Made it to Tower Hill where I wandered around seeing if there was a decent vantage point I could use for a time-lapse of London Tower and had a crappy English breakfast.

Picked up Sarah's keys and dropped off the suitcase at her place. I then figured as I was in her neck of the woods, I'd go check out a few things around there. First on the list was the Natural History Museum. It's pretty big and has several sections like dinosaurs and marine life and stuff but a bit of a highlight was that they were hosting some Shell sponsored wildlife photographer of the year event so I check it out. There was some amazing photos in there with interesting stories to go along with them.

As it was actually part of the same building, I headed around to the Science Museum. It was pretty interesting and spread across several floors. There was space stuff on the bottom along with other machinery and stuff. Left level had boats and stuff including decent sized models of countless passenger liners and war ships although I didn't see one for the Titanic. Above that there was stuff for medical developments and for flight. People whinge about wars (and rightly so) however as necessity is the mother of all invention, without the world wars there would be many developments like radar, flight and engine technology and rocket power which would not have been invented and refined during the times which they were.

Headed to the VNA (Victoria and Albert) Museum next which has a hugh collection of just stuff. There's cartoons (actually big paintings in this case by that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle inspired artist called Raphael), iron (there was some intricate stuff here however ironwork is kinda lost on me), glass, architecture, regional exhibitions, sculpture and other things that people might like to look at.

Then to bide my time I wandered along one of the high streets. Ended up strolling into Harrods and it was pretty apparent that I was the pleb amongst the crowd. Managed to locate the entertainment section which had a Pioneer display. Us Aussies usually get screwed with pricing however unless it's just Harrods, we aren't the only ones. The screens I'm contemplating between for the townhouse were almost the same in pounds! So we're not doing too badly.

Met Sarah and bought dinner for later. I headed back to Gavin's to get the notebook and then had dinner at Sarah's and stayed the night.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Day 39 - ENG

Cookie says...
The last time I spent most of the day at Julie's, it was pretty much a dead day with the two highlights being seeing a movie with Gavin and Sarah... and waking up...

This time it was different. Julie took the day off school as her sickness had overcome her. Turned out that the other teacher from her trip had also called in sick. Sleeping in was the order of the day until we decided that the washing had to be done and there was a fair bit to do.

The rest of the day was made up of countless cups of tea and water, we watched a few Planet Earth movies (they're truly amazing to watch and are on the list of high def titles I will buy should I ever move into my townhouse), I made a few trips to the shop and cooked us some pasta for lunch. I hadn't cooked this dish for close to a year so I was a bit worried as although it's fairly simple, it's easy to get wrong if the timing isn't right. Fortunately Julie liked it (although her sickness might have stuffed her taste buds) but it was pretty yummy.

So, this time I really enjoyed hanging out here and I think Julie did too as I was here to see to her every need : )

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Day 38 - DE

Cookie says...
Once again Adam was up before us and with breaky done, we were outa there. Decided to find some botanical gardens which we walked around for a bit. Just before we left we descended upon a playground and had some fun with some of those seat see-saw's for a bit of mindless fun in the morning. Thought we'd try some tough laps for a bit and take in what the city looks like and then after dropping the car off, we headed for some lunch. We wanted to find a typical German pub or beerhaus however all we could manage was a cafe. Wasn't the smartest of moves as we bussed it there and hoofed it back at a great rate of knots to try and make the next bus to the airport. And that was a no. So we sat in the railway station for a bit and then we bailed.

Trip to the airport was quite a way however this time we could see the country side. Offloaded ourselves, checked in and sat around waiting with a few hot chocolates. I picked up some chocolate duty free too. We boarded our plane and as this airport probably wasn't the biggest and busiest around, the pilot was able to taxi and leave in one swoop and just to show he was either good, tough or a bit of a cowboy, he'd actually gunned it while half way around the corner coming onto the main drag. The landing at the other end was a bit sudden too. I think the gound snuck up on them but we hit hard and stuck.

Exited, boarder control came and went and then found the baggage and high tailed it for the expres train to Liverpool Street Station. Initially I'd planned on staying at Sarah's however as Julie was sick and it was dark, I decided I'd see her home instead. Turned out there was a bit of track work going on so we had to offload prior to Liverpool and then tube it to intercept the C2C service that left Fenchurch St.

Arrived at Chafford Hundred, picked up some Chinese for dinner I had a bit of a chat with the other housemates of Julie's and then called it a night.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Day 37 - DE

Cookie says...
Adam managed to beat us to the breakfast table but we soon caught up with him. We decided to walk to the station and get some info and work out what to do from there. It was a short stroll away and after renting a car, we made a B line for Heidelberg. This meant one thing: autobahn! I don't remember what car we had but it did alright although we were still were overtaken by other people at silly speeds.

An hour later and we were in Heidelberg. One of Heidleberg's claims to fame is that the oldest evidence of human life in Europe was found near here. I think Sarah maintains that I'm his twin brother. We made our way to the castle that overlooks the town and stopped for lunch. The food was okay and afterwards we briefly strolled around the outside of the castle. It was quite windy so we descended into the town to check out a few bits and pieces. They had some souviner places there and I really wanted some steins however I didn't have enough Euro's and it seemed that my Visa card wasn't accepted around the traps.


Spotted some tourists in a carpark



Julie, Sarah and I



We walked around the outside of the castle... literally



Heidelberg


Julz had been unwell through the arvo so after checking out the bridge, we jumped back into the car and onto the autobahn and motored back to Frankers. We were lucky to find ourselves a park close to the hotel and after getting ready for dinner, we walked over the river and down to an area known for more traditional places to eat. The place we wanted to get into was packed and only had room in the smoking section which we weren't keen on. Seems over here a smoking section isn't filled by a group of people who might have one or two smokers but the whole group smoked - no thanks!

There was another place a few doors up the street so we went there instead. The locals seems to like some apple wine concoction so we tried it. The guide book said that non-locals typically water it down as they can't handle it but we didn't and couldn't work out what the fuss was as it seemed no different to cider which our resident cider expert (Julie) proceeded to get stuck into it. Three of us had snitzel as it was the closest thing to a German meal on the menu and Sarah had some pasta. The snitzels were huge and came out as pairs resulting in me having to be rolled back to the hotel. But first Julie and Adam had some whisky and Sarah and I had an orange and vodka. That's right, not a vodka and orange, an orange and vodka because we maintain that there was more vodka than orange in the glass and you could have run a top fueler with it.


Not sure if Adam is squirming at the size of the meal
or the size of the jug


After getting back to the hotel, Sarah and Julie had developed a craving for chocolate. I wasn't too keen on heading out again however I kinda felt like some chocolate milk. So what I thought would be a quick trip to the corner store turned into an experience of being man handled by three strippers trying to drag me into three of their clubs. The hotel we booked (looks at Julie) was on the edge of the redlight district. I wasn't to concerned by that because in Brisbane you walk past strip joints and the person outside might say hi and ask if you want to come in. They don't operate like that here. I couldn't believe how hard they tried to get me in there. One guy even tried the ploy that I'd dropped something after I'd walked away from them. I hope the girls appreciate what I did for them because I felt dirty and wanted a shower when I got back.

Cookie points out...
There was nothing wrong with my directions, they were technically correct given the information at hand however the Blackberry's GPS wasn't the quickest device I've used to navigate and was lagging quite a bit.

Sarah's theory was only part right. I didn't have any issues with getting something from here, I was trying a theory of mine that if she only asked one or twice, she would give up.

And Julie did want chocolate... at least she might not have had the urge to have some initially however she loves M&M's and wouldn't turn down the opportunity for some as it's quite difficult to find the plain ones in London. Upon leaving Frankfurt, I bought two large bags of them so she wouldn't go without. Sorry mum, that's why I didn't have an infernal tea towel from Frankfurt / Heidleberg.

Julie always seems thinking about something...