Saturday, January 29, 2011


Either the train is moving or the world is moving around the train.
Either way, I'm glad I'm facing forwards.

The Monument & Wimbledon

I'm on the train now.

While in London, I climbed the stairs to the top of The Monument. As far as I can tell, that's its official name. It's the monument to the London fire, and its height is the distance from the base to the point were the fire started. I can't remember exactly how tall it is, but it's 311 stairs to the top. I received a certificate to prove that I managed to make it all the way to the top. The view was nice from the top and I took some photos, but I wish they'd equipped the viewing balcony with thicker, solid posts so that I wouldn't imagine plummeting to my grisly death.
For those in London, it's located near the tube station called 'monument'.

I spent yesterday afternoon at Wimbledon, a part of London I'd never been to before. It seems like a nice area. We went to an all-you-can-eat Indian, Chinese, Thai, and Italian restaurant. Quite a combination of cuisines! The place was run by Indians and, unsurprisingly, the Indian section was the best.
I saw quite a lot of the common from a balcony on the 12th floor, but I was unable to spot any Wombles.

Leaving England

I'm at Pancreas station in London, waiting for the boarding to start for my train to Paris. I've enjoyed my short sojourn in England; London and Cambridge.
On negative point is the crap I had to endure yesterday evening in my attempt to get home on the tube. I've never been a huge fan of the tube, as I feel it's slow and inefficient at the best of times, but yesterday, out of the 3 lines I could catch home, 2 were completely shut down due to a trespasser on the tracks and the other was delayed due to signaling problems. All this in peak hour.
Off to board now.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In Cambridge today

I arrived in Cambridge yesterday evening by train. The train was comfortable and fast; it took only 45 minutes. I feel that the ticket price of 20 pounds each way is a bit steep. I haven't had a chance to explore the town yet, but that's on the agenda for today.
I spent yesterday (until my train here, of course) in London where I looked around at the Barbican centre, which surprised me by not actually having a barbican at all, and then I went down to The Monument and I climbed the 311 stairs to the top and received a certificate certifying that I'd done so. (actually, as far as I'm aware, there was no actual verification process to check if you'd made it to the top or just turned back halfway; the certificate was handed to you upon exit.)

I was fairly lazy during my last few days in Paris because I got sick. I still caught up with a few friends over those days but I didn't explore many places or wander around the city as much as I'd planned to.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A l'aéroport de Cracovie

I'm currently waiting near the gate assigned to my flight. It was scheduled to take off at 10.40am (it's currently 10am here) but it's been delayed until 11.30am. The delay has been on the screen for some time, and I hope it doesn't follow the fates of 3 earlier flights which were cancelled. The reason for these problems is poor visibility, and it's hard to see anything outside from the windows here.
In other news, I went to a restaurant last night called 'U Aniolów' in Ustron, a resto known for its pirogi. I had pirogi ze szpinakiem, oliwkami i feta (pirogi with spinach, olives and feta). It was delicious, so I know why it's a well-known resto.
Well, I'd better finish there. I have some waiting to do.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I'm currently sitting in a tea room in Gliwice. It didn't exist when I lived here. In fact, there have been quite a few changes here. There's a new shopping centre. It's not huge, but a decent size for this city, and it's clean and the toilets are free (a novelty in Europe, especially the east).
As well as this tea room, there's a vegetarian restaurant, where I had a delicious meal yesterday (Zloty Osiol), so the city seems to be becoming slightly more alternative. The guy running this tea room has long hair and a shaggy beard, and the girl in the vegie resto had a flower tattoo covering most of her back. This is quite a big step forward compared to my memories of this town.
The shopping centre even has a H&M. It used to be necessary to travel to Wroclaw or Kraków if you wanted to shop there. One thing I found odd though was the chocolate shop in this new shopping centre: it sells delicious hot chocolates and other chocolate-related products, and generally portrays itself as a fine Belgian chocolaterie, but it's called 'Mount Blanc'. I realise that one can call one's shop whatever one wants, but I usually don't think 'ah, Belgian chocolate' when I see/hear 'Mount Blanc'. Maybe that's just me though.
Today's my last day in Gliwice as I'm going to Bielsko-Biala this evening (via Sosnowiec). Tak, ten wieczor, jade do Bielska-Bialej, przez Sosnowca. Poniedzialek, musze jechac do Krakowa bo bede jechac do Paryzia na samolocie.

Friday, January 07, 2011


As I left the cafe, I heard the unmistakable introduction of the venga bus.
Aussi, j'ai acheté un billet pour Wroclaw. Je prends le bus.

Cafes with free wifi are good

I'm currently sitting in a cafe with free wifi, hence the number of recent posts. The song being played at the moment is YMCA.

Skiing update

The name of the place just south of Vienna where I went skiing is 'Stuhleck'. The place seems to have a canine mascot who strongly resembles a beagle.


Je pars bientot à Wroclaw. Je ne sais pas comment j'y vais parce que je pourrais prendre l'autobus ou le train. Le train est plus chèr, prend 2 heures en plus et me ferait changer au milieu. Donc le bus est préféré mais on ne sait pas s'il y a une siège disponible et la départ du bus arrive à 3h du matin, donc on ne veut pas aller à la station sans un billet reservé.
Donc je vais à Wroclaw mais je ne sais pas comment. On verra.
Aussi, à cause d'être à Vienne, je souhaite que je parlais allemand.
À la station du ski où je me trouvais hier, il y avait une pancarte qui disait 'Single-Spur' (ou peut-être c'était 'Singel-Spur'). J'y était avec un ami viennois et je lui ai demandé, 'Single-Spur veut dire quoi?'. Il ne m'a pas compris car je l'avait prononcé comme le mot 'spur' en anglais. Il a rigolé quand je lui ai montré les mots écrits. En fait, cette histoire veut dire qu'il ne comprend pas mon dialect unique.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Time stamp

Just a note to point out that all the posts that I've so far posted from Europe have actually been sent 9 hours earlier than the time marked on the blog post. This is because I'm in Europe, but my blog's timezone is GMT+10, and I can't be bothered changing the settings.


I like skiing. I'm not particularly good at it, which isn't helped by the huge amount of time between my opportunities to go skiing, but I enjoy it.
I went skiing today in a place called Stahlek or something like that. It definitely started with an S and contained an H, along with some other letters.
It was a nice place, and the view from the top of the mountain was fantastic. I'd attach a photo but I forgot to take my camera with me.
I managed to acquire an impressive bruise on each of my upper thighs after some (many) arguments with gravity, all of which gravity won. The one on my left thigh is bigger than the right, and both are more like raised welts than mere bruises.
In spite of these injuries, I want to go skiing again.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Et maintenant...

... je pense que je devrais écrire un message en français après quelque jours en France.
Je savais que j'avais oublié pas mal de mots et que mon niveau avait baissé un peu mais je suis allé à une crêperie avec des amis et c'était très difficile à comprendre et à suivre la conversation. Je faisais mieux à la fête pour sylvestre.
Quand je reviens en Australie, je dois pratiquer cette langue plus souvent.

In Austria now, and other stuff

I'm in Austria at the moment. Tomorrow should involve skiing, and today was spent in Vienna. I don't actually know where the skiing will take place other than somewhere just south of Vienna, but as I'll be travelling with an Austrian friend, I don't really need to know the details exactly. Reminds me of my skiing experiences in France. I don't know the names of either of the two places there where I went skiing, only that a place called Sept Laux was near the second, but not where we went.

So far I've been in Europe for a week, and I'm enjoying my time here. It's been fantastic catching up with friends around the place, and it's reaffirmed my desire to live here again. I don't know when that will happen, but I'm determined to make it a 'when' and not an 'if'.

I'd been in Europe just over 12 hours when I received a suggestion for a change in my itinerary; namely adding Nice and three cities in Morocco to my plan. I thought about it for a day or so, and decided to accept the change, so now I've got flights to incorporate these 4 cities into my trip. I've never been to any of them before so it'll be great to see somewhere new, and I'll be travelling with a Moroccan friend, so I'll have a personal guide.