Saturday, September 29, 2007

What can I say?

We are geelong, the greatest team of all,

We are geelong, We're always on the ball,

We play the game, as it should be played

at home or far away

our banners fly high, from dawn to dark

down at Kardinia park


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Achtung!!!! baby

So we crossed the border into Germany without really meaning to it just happened all of a sudden, this whole no borders EU thing is kinda weird. We still haven't got a stamp saying we have left the UK or arrived on the continent, oh well.
We decided that what we probably needed was a road map so we exited at the first town across the border to buy one. We got the map but it turns out this particular town was some sort of black hole that just kept sucking us back in. After a frustrating 20 minutes we were back on the road again and heading in the general direction of Bremen. We weren't sure how we'd do for time but there were loads of camping grounds marked on our map so we figured we could stop anywhere along the way.
Turns out we made good time and pulled into Bremen in the afternoon at another really nice campground, these guys have got camping down to a fine art.
The next day was time for a bit a sightseeing so into the centre we went, aaah, we never knew how much missed town squares like these ones. Big hulking town hall in one corner, massive looming cathedral in the other and lots of pretty little shopfronts and cafes in between. Not to mention a massive statue of the towns protector, a knight called Roland (ha!) smack bang in the middle.
The old fishing/redlight district was cobbled, windy and cute and a slightly different sight was an Art Deco alleyway commissioned by the creator of decaffinated coffee. We capped off our wandering with looking at some mummified human remains in the cathedral, all in all a pretty good day.
Back to the campsite and we have found that we are cooking more now than we have in the last year since we left home. Can't say we've lost the skills either which is nice. We haven't found camping or cooking a drag yet, it is actually nicer than looking for somewhere to lay your head and then trying not to blow your budget while filling your stomach.
From Bremen we took a scenic tour through Lüneburg, a wonky old Hanseatic town where we had some type of wurst for lunch (one of many) in the market square and moved on to Hamburg that arvo.
Hamburg is the third largest town in Germany so we were not knowing what to expect with regards to traffic, pollution, hustle and bustle and whatnot. The traffic was not too big a headache and the city centre was really lovely to get around on foot with a lot of canals to walk along and a promenade from where we could watch the huge shipping port (the largest in Europe) at work. We climbed our first church tower just to remind ourselves how unfit we are and munched on pickled herring rolls and, of course, sausage.
We kept tracking north and ended up in Lübeck for a night. It was a little, chilled out village, ringed by a river and with the patchy old and new architecture that crops up in a lot of these towns that were bombed in the war.
As we walked in to town we observed a rather nasty looking roundabout and commented that we would be staying well away from anything like that for a little while, sounds ominous no? Sure enough the next day Eva decides she is going to drive for the first time on the right side of the road(and she hasn't done a lot of driving in the last year) with Adam navigating. Through no fault from either party we took the wrong turn and ended up smack bang in the middle of town going around this bloody roundabout! Baptism by fire.
We were beginning to think about heading to Berlin to check out the nations capital but decided a night in the middle of nowhere would be pleasant first so chose a campground on the edge of a little lake. It turns out the campground was a trailerpark but it was a very neat, tidy, German trailer park and the no motors rule on the lake made walking about it so peaceful. Eva managed to spot and catch a frog in distress of course. As we were cooking our dinner (a very tasty Thai green curry) we heard a knocking and looked up to find a woodpecker bashing its brains out against a tree. Adam had a smile on his face for the next hour.
So now we are in Berlin, catching up on our blog. We have scored accommodation on a hostel boat right by the largest remaining section of the Berlin wall. Tonight we are in a double room and then we are camping on the deck for the next few nights - random!
Photos: Enjoying our lakeside retreat, The gates of Lübeck, These bells were left where they fell in a bombing raid at a church in Lübeck, A leaning church tower in Lüneburg, The view across to the docks in Hamburg, Blue skies in Bremen, Eva enjoying some fine wine from a plastic cup in Bremen

On the road again...

Well, as the title suggests we are once again on the road, this time quite literally as we are bringing our car and roadtripping it.
A couple of Thursdays ago we said a farewell to the George (well the real farewell was the Tuesday night-phew) and hit the road to Newcastle. We had headed off fairly early which was just as well as we didn't have a clue where the ferry terminal was and the one page missing out of our map was the one we needed! Good start.
We boarded the ferry OK although Adam got patted down, I think we still looked a bit seedy after Tuesday night. The next morning - Amsterdam! After coping with his doubts about driving on the wrong (right) side of the road we set off and made it to our first campsite, Camping Zeeburg with no major hiccups.
We spent three giggly nights in Amsterdam, checking out the canals, the red light district (oooher), the really pleasant Jordaan district and doing a lot of wandering about. The city was beautiful and great fun just to poke about in. We were really lucky staying at a campground which was only 10 minutes away from the centre by tram - so much cheaper than any other accommodation and so much fun too, even in the rain. Half the fun was walking past everybody elses' tents on the way to and from the amenities and just hearing muffled giggles coming out of every second tent followed by curious smoke signals.
On our last morning in Amsterdam we headed out early to an outlying area to catch the Aalsmeer flower market, the biggest in the world at 1 000 000 m² or the size of 200 football fields. We could walk over the market floor watching thousands of trolleys of flowers of every description be shunted about by hundreds of people as well as watch the auction rooms where the flowers are bought. It all felt a bit like a school excursion to the Coca Cola factory but was really interesting and colourful, quite different to the usual city centre sight seeing.
We hadn't planned anything from Amsterdam so we drifted towards the German border to see where that would lead us....
Photos: The first thing we hear and see in Amsterdam?!?, The market floor at Aalsmeer, A pretty canal.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Lets get connected

Oh my goodness what a weekend. 20 000 people in wee old Inveraray all here for the same thing, with the exception of a few, the first ever Connect Festival. What a huge weekend!! We were originally only going to go to one day of the festival but as it turns out we ended up getting three day passes and as it worked out with a fantastic roster (thanks Kris and Matt). On Thursday morning we prepared the hotel for the worst changing over to plastic glasses and taking away anything that could get stolen or broken, but the crowds all seemed to be fairly good with no real problems at all, but we were extremely busy for the most of the weekend. The hotel also obtained a late license for all three nights until 2 in the morning. Eva went up for a little while on Friday night to see what was happening and watch a few bands, as Adam was working until late into the night (morning). It was an amazing set up although it was very ill lit. The festival was set up around the castle and the surrounding grounds, quite an amazing sight and it was hard to believe that just a week ago the paddocks were being used for highland cattle. The ground did not hold up too well though as typically here in Scotland (as we may have mentioned) it rains almost all the time and the ground became quite muddy, so muddy in fact that about 99% of the crowds were wearing wellies. The mud was so bad that in places it was almost a foot deep but this all added to the feel and uniqueness of the festival. On Saturday we both worked in the morning and headed up later on with a whole bunch of people from The George and had an amazing time, we saw some brilliant live performances by Modest Mouse who where fantastic and Primal Scream who were great as well, just to name a few, we then danced the night away in a few of the dance tents. One of those tents being called the Unknown Pleasures tent which was quite an eye opener as it was staging a burlesque type club with tassel twirling twins, a black Elvis, and a hermaphrodite with an angle grinder, quite an interesting spectacle especially with everyone dancing with their rubber boots on. On Sunday we awoke very slowly and sore and headed on down in the early afternoon just chilling out for a few hours drinking the local ale made especially for the festival and having a bite to eat. All weekend the weather was fairly good only a few drizzly showers thank goodness otherwise it would have been an even bigger mud fest. We then poked around watching a few acts here and there. We watched an absolutely amazing set by M.I.A. she was totally amazing! We have seen her before at the Big Day Out back home but this time it was even better. Her set ended though when she called everyone up on to the stage and much to the security's dismay the stage got stormed by fans and the power blacked out, not a bad way to end a set.. We then wandered around waiting for Bjork's set to start, we were quite excited to see her as we have never seen her before. Her set was absolutely mind blowing better than we had imagined, she knows how to perform with lasers, lights and ticker tape, a brass band and amazing sound. What a show!! we tried to catch a part with our camera but it doesn't anywhere near catch the atmosphere. What a performance. We then caught the start of LED Sound System and Hot Chip who were not too bad but we decided to go catch a with a few friends in the dance tents. We ended up catching up with half the town in the Enchanted Forest which was a dance floor set up amongst old trees, quite an amazing experience. What a huge was so amazing to be here in Inveraray for this festival. Tickets go on sale today for next year and our hotel is already fully booked.... I think it was a success.

We are now in the process of finalising everything for our departure from the George in 7 more days, it has been an amazing opportunity to be here over the last 10 months, it will be sad to leave all the people we have met behind.

We are of on a ferry to the Netherlands next Tuesday for our next adventure driving around throughout Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France. Can nee wait...

Happy Birthday Nicole!!!!!!

Photos:Bjork on the Oyster stage, Dun Na Cuaiche above the Oyster stage, MIA creating a riot-she's on the right with her legs apart, These boots were made for slurping, Inveraray castle an island in the mud, Bjork's finale