Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beards would be convenient

So Chelsea and i have left London, to continuing being its rainy crowded self. It was great to see Canden, again thank you! And thank you to the whole Schwantes family for the gift, i really appreciate it!
We took a plane to Dublin on Saturday and spent a few days exploring the city. Our hostel in Dublin was nice but let me tell you, worst showering experience i have had in a long while, the showers have these little push knobs so the water comes in spurts and you have to keep pushing the button the whole time, plus there is no way to control the temperature. The joy of having hot water was quickly over powered by the fact that our skin was scalding.
We went to the Guinness storehouse one of the days, where we took the tour and got to learn all about the process of making Guinness and the history of the brewery, with a free Guinness at the end (apparently they have a 9000 year lease on the property-9000 years there is some foresight for ya) We saw some cool churches and some really cool buskers on the main streets. We also went to the Jameson distillery where we had real Irish coffee, and Jameson hot chocolate (both delicious!)
Our last night in Dublin we went to the Temple Bar. We had heard a lot about it but it looked pretty small from outside so we had passed by it a few times, but it was our last night so we had to stop in for a quick look around. Turns out it has all these different rooms and live music every night. It was super cool, so a quick look around turned into a full night out, listening to really good live Irish music and sing alongs with the whole bar. It was fantastic.
We have left Dublin for now and are currently in Cork, where it has been constantly misting since we got here. I really don't care though, i love Ireland! Last night we met this cool couple who are also from the states, we ended up talking all night in the bar at our hostel. They told us there are buses everyday that go the Blarney stone so we may end up doing that later today.
Well, off to see more of misty, cold, absolutely awesome Ireland. More later!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I can't Believe It's not Australian!

Chelsea here, So our Aussie friends left us a few days ago and we havent really known what to do with ourselves since then. London is interesting for sure, I am looking forward to not almost getting hit by cars every time I cross the street. But its just kind of cold and wet here (like home!) and its very big. Theresa's cousin Canden was really great and since we could finally sleep in, we did. A lot. we also watched a couple movies which we havent done since we were back in Oregon. We needed that time to just chill though. We were kicked out yesterday and in an effort to save money we decided to walk to our hostel at Hyde Park. Mostly I just hate the tube, with a firey passion. So with our massive packs on our backs, and smaller ones in our arms, we trekked out into the cool night air with our maps in hand. Eventually we took refuge under a tree in the park, our feet and back aching. We contimplated sleeping there but then we thought of the free breakfast in the morning and heaved ourselves up. (it ended up being that we had gross tea and white bread with fake butter and jam, they snatched the cereal off the table before we had a chance to have any) Finally we made it, our last night in London was uneventful, we watched crappy music videos in the lobby and then went to bed. But we are both geared up for Ireland! two minutes left on the computer so Im signing off.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is is Paris? Is It Amsterdam?...No...It's SPACE PICKLE!

Theresa Here-
So the "reliable" internet has arrived and i though i would take this opportunity to write a few little things about Amsterdam, even though Chelsea and I are not there anymore, and may not get to go back as we originally planned. Amsterdam deserves its own post i think.
So to recap a little on how we got to Amsterdam- We met two girls from Australia, Katie and Nicole, in Rome. They were heading to Paris and then on to Amsterdam. We thought we would go to Switzerland, Germany and then Amsterdam, but somehow on their last night in Rome they had us clanking our glasses together promising to meet them in Paris. So we did, we spent our last night in Rome in the creepy nun hostel and then hopped on a last minute plane to Paris.
Our Paris hostel was not quite as creepy, just sort of reminded me of a boat a little, but that didn't matter because we really didn't spend anytime there. We met up with Nicole and Katie and walked around Paris, my knees were hating me by the end. We saw a few random sights, and then of course the Eiffel Tower, where we had a lovely picnic of cheese bread and wine and watched the lights. ( The Eiffle Tower gets lit up with red and white lights at night, it has this sort of search light at the top, and for a few minutes after dusk it lights up with flashing white lights all up and down the Tower, very cool.)
After Paris we caught a train to Amsterdam, and then of course we were in Amsterdam.
Soooo Amsterdam....was amazing, besides the fact that all four of us could not feel our feet (or hands or arms or faces) for 90% of the time, due to the ridiculously cold weather we encountered there, we all loved it. The people there were all so nice and everyone rides bikes. The best part about the bikes are the sort of family bikes. They have little seats on the front and back of the bikes or a sort of wheel barrel things on the front that kids ride in. Like the mini van of bikes. Pretty cool (and a little weird). We stayed in a pretty laid back hostel that we booked ahead of time (for really cheap) turns out they messed up and gave us a private room for the four of us with our own bathroom for the same price, we kept our mouths shut! We spent alot of time wandering around, went to a few museums saw a lot a bridges, found a neat little market. The house of Bols and the Anne Frank House were both really interesting.
One of the first nights we were there we stumbled upon (and by stumble i mean spent twenty minutes walking around in circles looking for) a cheap, cozy out of the way pub. We thought we would just stop in to get warm, but we started talking to some of the people and the bar tender convinced us to come out with him after the pub closed. I have no idea what the Pub was called but the bar tenders name was Bryan, so for the remander of our time in amsterdam we just called in Bryans Pub. It was our temporary local.
The time passed to fast, Amsterdam is by far one of my favorite places now. But we had to get to London so Katie and Nicole could catch there flight home. That is where we are now, and will be for a few more days, then on to Ireland!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This needs no description....

Is that a baguette in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

These are our two aussie friends Katie and Nicole! We had a lovely picnic under the Eiffel Tower with them, yay! They really made our Paris experience awesome...

This is a picture of Theresa in our creepy-tastic nun room in Rome. Complete with thunder, lightning and deafening sirens at 5 in the morning. We thought we were going to die.

This is us with our fellow Corvallisite Ky!!! Its not as wierd if you werent there but he lived in Corvallis for eight years and we even have mutual friends, what a small world!

Photo Story

Our extremely friendly and not at all freaky friends from Rome. We love you guys!
We only spent a day in Venice (and it wasnt even a full day) but it was beautiful...and here is a bridge we saw! enjoy!
This is Theresa in her makeshift Ferry bed. Surprisingly comfy!
This is chelsea, lounging on our lovely bed on the Ferry that we took from greece to venice. Two days on the deck of the ship in pool chairs. Cant get much classier than that!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Internet? What Internet?

Hello all,
So chelsea and i wrote a post this morning all about our time in paris, and our new travel buddies and getting to Amsterdam. Unfortunatly the internet at the hostel we are staying at is crap, and so it was all erased. Niether chelsea or I have the energy to write a whole new one so we are saving it for a rainy day in london (where we will be very soon).
I will breifly update our trip though. We went to Paris with two girls we met in Rome. Stayed there for a few nights saw the Eiffel Tower...yeah yeah. It was amazing and Chelsea and I will definitly be going back on this trip. Then the four of us got on a train and now here we are, Amsterdam.
We will try to upload pictures and add some more posts soon, hopefully there is reliable internet in our future.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

When In Rome

Chelsea and Theresa speaking. Theres no way in hell that I could properly express the last fifty or so hours spent in the wonderful, entrancing, lively city of Rome. I say hours instead of days because when in Rome, days blur into nights blur into mornings blur into afternoons until you dont even know what day of the week it is, all you know is that some how, you ended up staring up at the huge, magnificent, Coliseum for the third or fourth time since you have been here. There comes a point in your travels when one stops and just has to say "Im in Rome. To hell with sleep" birthday. It just so happens that we end up at Hostel Ivanhoe where from the very first glance at my passport, Jeff (the reception master) was determined to give me the best birthday celebration that ever was, coupled with the fact that neither theresa or I had ever even been to a hostel before. Yes it was a good night coming. Theresa was planning to make me a pasta dinner so we went to the market and got the fixins. We come back and Jeff takes over and makes us the best damn birthday meal I've ever had! (sorry mom, but its true) Fresh salad, huge freakin avacado, you get the picture. Theresa took me outside to get some fresh air and on our way back up we ran into Jeff. He covered my eyes and led me into a room full of about thirty people shouting Happy Birthday at me while I blew out the candles on yet another chocolate cake, and we passed out punch.
There is no way we can possibly relate back all the things that happened that night, but we can try, every single person we met was amazing and determined to give chelsea a good birthday, no a great birthday, no the best damn birthday she's ever had. Success!
We will try to paint a clear picture for you.....
Its around midnight, apparently the night is still young as we rally the troops to go out on the town. We stumble down the cobbled street outside of the hostel only to get pelted by tomatoes and bags of water...? Which we were told is common here. After making a very noisy and some what quick gettaway we find all thirty of us (maybe a couple got lost on the way) at an Irish pub. The night was just begining. The next few hours were spent taking crazy pictures (some of which include a few people jumping into a fountain) getting questioned by some cops ("oh yeah they went left i think" works great in that situation) roaming the city for another pub, all the time our numbers dwindeling, till about six of us found ourselves standing at the Roman coliseum at three in the morning. A perfect way to end the perfect birthday.
I would say that we got plenty of rest and spent the next day recovering and sight seeing but that would be a lie. I think that we were just so happy to be in the presence of people who are so full of life that the party just kept going and going. We might leave Rome tomorrow, we might not. But what I can say is that hostel ivanhoe is not some where that you should go if you are looking for a quiet relaxing vacation. And we love it for that.
If any of you who were there that night are reading this, thank you for making it such an amazing night!
That is all for now, but pictures from the last week or so are on their way! So hold on to your hats ladies and gents, the fun is about to begin!

Venice. The Pit Stop.

Our stay in the beautiful city built on water was a short but sweet one. We were there a total of ten hours which were spent roaming the streets, markets and bridges. We ran into Lenny and Carol a few times (small city!) and had to say good bye everytime, just to see them again in an hour or so. We contimplated staying the night but it was way too expensive, so we bought train tickets to Rome on a whim! The train was to leave at 11:30 pm, and as we were walking down the street we ran into Lenny and Carol again, turns out they had planned a birthday celebration for me and they were hoping to find us before we left. So the night was spent eating chocolate cake (they had candles and all!) and drinking champagne. It was more than we could have hoped for. We said goodbye (if you are reading this, you made our night! Thanks!) and hurried to catch the train. We were hoping to get at least a few hours of shut eye but ended up making even more friends in our compartment. We met a guy named Jose who didnt speak very good english but he spoke italian and spanish so we spent the evening drinking wine (out of plasic cups and water bottles, classy). When two more italian guys joined us the rest of the conversations were disjointed translations, Jose translating italian into spanish and theresa translating spanish into english. its interesting how, even if you cant communicate with words very well, you can still make amazing friends just for a night. On. To. Rome!

Feeling tired? Have some Raki! Hungry? Have some Raki! Don't like Raki? Have some Raki! Yamas!

The title pretty much says it all. We made it to crete, met some wonderful people, saw some beautiful sights and enjoyed the sun and sand as long as we could.
First day we arrived in Iraklio at five in the morning, it was peaceful and serene, because everyone was asleep. We had to kill five hours before we could use internet or go to the hostel. So we found refuge in a starbucks (which i hate to admit but thank god for it) and had the biggest cup of coffee we could buy. We planned on going to zaros to stay with vivi, and her dutch friend Erwin who was also in iraklio rescued us and we rode with him to zaros. We had our first taste of snails and liver, lots of Raki (which people on crete drink like water) and the best meal of our trip so far. Vivi is an amazing cook and has a sweet little tavern which we spent the evening at.
After Zaros we went to Chania for a few nights, hanging out with a group of people in the building next to us playing music and snacking all night. (and of course there was Raki).
Thats the jist of Crete.
Forty some odd hours later, after taking a bus to a port, then a ferry to yet another port, then a metro to a train, which took us to a bus, which in turn took us to another train, where we waited for twelve hours to take a thirty some odd hour ferry to venice. Ahh the joys of travel.
In the Ferry waiting station, we met a family who was waiting for the same ferry. Carol, Lenny, Ryan, and Lilly. They are from Florida and on the last leg of their trip. We spent the majority of our wait time sharing travel stories ( i think we've almost got them convinced to go to burning man! If your reading this guys you have to go!) it made the wait much more bearable. We finally got on the ferry and said GOODBYE to Greece! And hello Italy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

We All Have Salt Beards

So the plan was to leave Milos on the 26th. Our Ferry left at 5:25 in the morning we left our room at 5:20. We ran with our backpacks and all, to the dock (which in our defense was only a five minute walk away from our room) just in watch it sailing away. So what do you do at 5:30 in the morning with all your belonging, a loaf of bread, some yogurt (which we were planning on eating in the comfort of the Ferry) and a very small carton of orange juice? Well, we sat on the bench in the port watching people waking up and feeling very sorry for ourselves. It wasn't so bad except the next Ferry didn't leave for two days. But two more days on a small greek island really isn't the end of the world.

Since we had two extra days we decided to find a part of the island called Parafragas. Supposedly a very beautiful part of the island. But the bus driver had other plans for us. He stopped at a bus stop miles from any town pointed at the side of the road and said "papfragas". So we got out, and found nothing.
All we wanted was a beach, so we gave up on finding Papfragas and hiked into a deserted little town with a quiet little beach and finally went swimming!
Then, because the next bus that came through the middle of no where didn't come for over an hour, we walked to Pollonia the nearest town with food and a place to stay. (Which took us at least an hour-and lots of hills, not to mention all of the chafing)

We found a nice german couple who rented us a room for cheap and we explored the town of Pollonia for two days, then we made sure to catch the early bus and be the first in line for our Ferry to Crete on Monday.