beautiful sexy cool. Devendra Banhart and his girlfriend Rebecca Schwartz in this short film together created for Oliver Peoples Eyewear. So beautiful its enough to make any of us singles out there choke on our own vomit.
Walking through the gates at Brisbane Airport and seeing my Mums smiling face waiting for me was the cutest thing ever. It felt so great to finally be back in Australia, in the heat! First thing I did in the car was take off my winter boots, aaaah relief!
After a week of pure relaxing, at home with my parents I wasn't feeling the usual withdrawls that I've had in the past after arriving home from a holiday. I was actually content to be back!
Seeing my family again, and my friends has kept me busy. Some friends I still haven't seen yet, but all in good time.
I've been home 8 weeks already! In this time, I've been to a wedding; watched two of my best friends start the rest of their life together. I've had brilliant Christmas, New Years Eve, found out another one of my best friends is pregnant. Had numerous lunches and outings with my family. Celebrated my Grandmothers 91st birthday, my Stepdads 60th birthday, frollicked at the beach, been severely sunburned a few times, been asked to be a bridesmaid in my brothers wedding AND started a new job. With all this happiness around, who's got time to complain?
So the job is working in the hotel industry. Something I started becoming interested in whilst travelling. I feel comfortable in my new role, working with really lovely people and I think this job will keep me busy for quite a while.
With all the excitement and love around me I found it hard to ever contemplate moving away from Australia. Why fix something if it aint broke and why leave a place that really and truly I am happy in? It's home.
Since I'd been home I had maintained regular contact via Internet with Patrick. What I hadn't realised back in Europe was how I was going to feel upon coming home. He had invested quite a lot emotionally in 'us' and was quite dependent on me and hopeful that I would return and we would start a life together over there which in the end only made me uncomfortable. I don't share that same hope, and for me continuing any kind of relationship over the internet is not what I want in my life. I need something real, a man here, right now to do all the fun coupley things that new couples do! I've been completely honest and ended things a few weeks ago. He can't move here, and I won't move there. I don't want to. I love my life, I'm happy and Mr Right will be around the corner, waiting for me and with him there will be compromise and freedom for us to do and plan whatever we want, together.
So after arriving in Munich I spent the final two weeks of my trip there. I had a lovely time and Patricks family took me under their wing and I was treated wonferfully as a guest in their home. It was actually a god send as it saved me a lot of money and I was seriously running out. I got to see another side of Munich again, this time having a Bavarian show the ropes. We went to a live Soccer Game, it was craaaazy! Bloody weirdo ultra fans, yuk. Went to the Zoo, but it was too cold so most of the animals were hiding! It was a pretty relaxing way to finish my holiday.
On my last day there weren't any tears, I was prepared and ready to come home. As I had been sick. The weather was the coldest I had ever experienced and I had terrible flu so all I could think of was getting my hands on some cold & flu medication and relaxing. I've never spent time in a place that was so cold, this was 0 degrees and just way out of my comfort zone!
I took the train to Amsterdam for my final night. As this was the city I was originally supposed to end my trip in and fly home from. As I was sick and not there for long I did not venture out or bother to mingle. I packed my bags ready for my flight the next morning and slept well.
As I was leaving the hostel, somehow I took a wrong turn walking back to the main train station! I was walking around the gorgeous city, lined with Canals, and plenty of those "special" coffee shops, I had to ask someone where the station was! I turned around, evetually got to the station, only to find the airport train I was on was delayed. I was stressing a little as I was SO ready to fly home by this point. I did not want to miss my flight.
I arrived at the airport about 45mins before takeoff. Sweaty and stressed I wondered if customs would question me thinking I was a drug smuggler! Thank God it was all smooth sailing, straight through I went, sat on the plane and smiled with pure excitement as the plane ascended into the air to soon be seeing my family and friends again. I say goodbye to Europe it's been a great three months, I'll be seeing you again soon.
After an 8hr train ride I arrived in Paris. I stayed in one of the better hostels but quite far out of the city, about 12 stops on the metro. Paris is a really dirty city, like rubbish everywhere and it smells like pee. This is the first city I have really been surprised by. I checked into my hostel which is the most expensive one I have stayed in throughout Europe and also the worst.
The girls in my hostel were lovely and we had dinner downstairs in the Restaurant and Bar. I had a vegie burger with blue cheese, fries and of course red wine. This place was the cheapest place to eat and drink around. It was pretty cool too. It was not a late night, the girls were all leaving the next morning.
While we were having breakfast, an Australian guy came and sat with us. His name is Scott and was staying in Paris the same amount of time as me so that was good to have a mate to hang out with as the other girls were checking out.
Our first day we did one of the New Europe walking tours of the city our guide was amazing. He was a Kiwi and very intelligent and excited to be sharing his knowledge. Informative, plenty of sight seeing and its always a great way to meet people in a new city. During the tour we came across a bridge, featured in many movies i.e Sex And The City and the fence is covered in padlocks - Love Locks! Couples come to the bridge, write their initials on the padlock, lock it to the fence then throw the keys in the river as a symbol of their everlasting love. We learned about the Nazi Occupation, French Revolution, Napoleons Empire, Parisian Architecture. Saw all the important sites, Tuileries Gardens, Champs -Elysees, The Lourve, Musee d'Orsav, Arc de Triomphe. Our guide took us out to lunch afterwards (optional) I had a quiche lorraine with salad and a glass of wine.
That night we went on a Pub Crawl. Hmm what a disappointment. There was no nightlife in Paris on this night ...a Tuesday night, the bars were dead, the drinks were overpriced and it was just super lame. We also were not told the Metro stops running at 1am so when we went to the metro at 1.04am and discovered it was closed up we had to order a taxi! The highlight of the evening was a ham and cheese crepe I ate, it was so fat and tasty. Next time I need a feed at home in the middle of the night and drunk all I will want is a ham and cheese crepe!
The next day we went shopping in the Layfayette district, but I was not overly impressed. Its quite cool if you have a lot of money but otherwise window shopping is all that can be done. The Louvre was opening this evening until 10pm so that was the plan for our day. We arrived after dinner and I was surprised to see we are allowed to take pictures inside, just no flash. So we viewed some of the most beautiful artworks in the world, most importantly the Mona Lisa. She is a small painting but very impressive.
Next morning the weather was not great but we made our way to the Eiffel Tower. It is quite impressive from a distance, but up close I can completely understand why the Parisians hated it. It is an eyesore, a monstrosity of metal. I went up to the second level and did enjoy a nice view of the city though. We then had a plan to head to the red light district but got lost, so decided to head back to the hostel for a meal and some drinks.
The next day we visited Notre Dame. It was magnificent. I would say this gorgeous church was my highlight of my visit to Paris. Inside their are many tombs, stained glass windows, candles. It has a dark gothic ambiance, a very peaceful energy. I sat on my own and said a prayer for my family and friends. Afterwards Scott and I walked around, checking out the souvenir shops. We ate more crepes, yummy.
After my fourth day in Paris, I was starting to feel ready to leave. I had one more night to stay as I was waiting on mail to arrive to my hostel and it had not yet come. I had decided after Paris I would go back to Munich to visit Patrick. It may have seemed silly and a risk, but I had no definite plans or bookings for after Paris so I decided to go back to Munich.
After more sightseeing, Scott and I went back to the Hostel. I checked at reception to see if any mail had arrived for me. Much to my surprise, both letters I was waiting on had arrived early! So realising I had no reason to stay, I asked if I could have a refund on my final night, which I could! So I received back my 35euros. I then raced up to the metro, caught the train back into the city to book my ticket to Munich! It was all taken care of, everything fell into place and I knew Munich was where I was meant to be going.
Overall, I know I need to see Paris again. I need a real Parisian to show me the beautiful city, I need to see the ins and outs, the underground! Not just the tourism side. I want to come back and get to the heart of Paris, I will give it the second chance it deserves. I just know that I will need a wad of cash to be able to afford it.
I look forward to returning to Europe and giving France a lot more of my attention.
So Friday afternoon, checked into Yoho youth hostel, a really nice place! It turns out the tour of the ice caves I wanted to do is closed for the season, aww but it's ok.
First night alone of course I make a beeline for the bar at happy hour. There is no one at the bar, awkward! So I go to the computer room. I notice a young Australian couple and we get to talking. Cam and Ash, very nice people, we went to the bar, had dinner, a couple of beers and chatted about our times. Ash went upstairs to go to bed while Cam and I finished our drinks. The bar was starting to fill up and 4 guys came over and asked to sit with us. So here we have Alex, Philip, Tasos and Patrick. Guess where they're from? ... bloody Munich! They were funny, interesting, great to talk to. Cam went upstairs and I stayed with my 4 new Bavarian friends. It turns out its Tasos birthday and they are here to celebrate.
The 5 of us headed off on foot to find a bar, with frozen faces, beating hearts and much laughter we eventually get to the river which is where we find some action. We go to a bar called Roses, drinks are a little expensive but it plays a good mix of music and has a good mix of people around.
A little dumbfounded I realise Patrick has an interest in me, the drink will do it to ya. There was a mutual attraction though.
I went to the bathroom and met a great girl named Sarah we bonded straight away as she had spent some time in Australia and loved it. She bought me a Spritzer (wine & soda) and we had a lot of fun, I met all her friends, so we had a pretty large group by the end. What's funny about the Austrian hospitality is they will buy you a drink as a 'guest' but then you are not allowed to buy in return!
After however many hours, me and the boys went back to the hostel. I woke in a haze the next day, my brain was not processing much. I met Patrick downstairs and then we walked the city up to the castle. The sun was shining , we had such a nice day! I really enjoyed spending time with these crazy Bavarians! Sadly I waved them off at the train station that afternoon. Sad again of course I am really hating these goodbyes.
I slept for 12 hours that night. I woke, had breakfast and then watched the Sound Of Music. What a lovely story, I cant believe I had never seen it to the end! I walked the city then had another early night as I was leaving early for Paris the next day.