Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Installment #3: Bath to Paris

Well I've done quite a bit of travelling since I last wrote from grey old London and many stories to tell but I will try and keep it brief so as not to bore you all to death!

was amazing. It was the first time since I've left (other than the living out of a backpack part) that I've felt like I am actually travelling. I spent last Monday planning my travels for the next few months and it started by getting out of London and seeing a bit of England's countryside. I had found myself questioning why I had left Sydney for a place as grey as London but as soon as I'd been on the bus to Bath for about 30 minutes I realised why. The English countryside is gorgeous. Apparently there is a water shortage here at the moment but no-one would know. Everything was lush and green and quintessentially English.

To my amusement we arrived at Spa Bath Station around 3 hours later (yes Dan, Bath also has showers). It was absolutely freezing. So while I had tried to out-do the boys in minimalistic packing stakes I froze my toes off and they remained snug and wrapped up in every item of clothing they had packed. Luckily the sun was shining and as I have a new found sense of direction and somewhat impressive talent for navigating public transport I took the lead and managed to keep us in the direct sunlight for the remainder of the day. We booked into St Christophers - the only part of which was saintly was the fact that it was opposite a church, and started exploring (by the way, 'we' is David Pashley & 2 of his mates Nat & Sean).

First stop were the Roman baths. I wandered around by myself for the majority of the time and loved it. I couldn't get over how old everything was and archeologists are still finding ruins now. I couldn't help thinking that it was a shame that the Baths aren't open to swim in. Its disappointing that nature provides us with such a blessing only to be deprived of it for the sake of historiacal preservation.

We were truely blessed by the weather the following day. It was really clear and sunny - so much so that I was only wearing a singlet and jeans for the majority of the day. We walked around the cobblestone streets for a few hours then up to the Circus (a circular building) with a park next to it and pretty well lay in the park for the remainder of the day. It is school holidays over here and its seems all of the teenagers had the same idea. All you could smell was marijuana, car fumes and promiscuity!!!! It was very amusing watching all of them. David decided to join in a soccer game that was being played and managed to attract the attention of numerous pretty young things - much to his disdain Nat & I took the role of reminding him of the legal age of consent and he swiftly decided it was time to depart.

anything in London without a car is a massive pain!!! I am really angry at myself for bringing so much stuff over here. I overpacked in a big way due to the 2 different halves of my trip - 1 travelling: I packed pretty well for this phase with only one backpack. - 2 working: it was absolutely pointless for me to pack work clothes. Everything is so comparatively cheap here that I really didn't even need to bring my suit, it would have been really cheap to set myself up with work clothes - Tree/Joey/Lopps & Jelly you 4 are being held responsible sans waring!!!! Anyway - I had to move all of my stuff (A backpack, a big suitcase & a hand luggage case) from Bretts at Fulham to Mo's at Balham. This is akin to moving from Ryde to say Frenches Forest - in short, a massive struggle on public transport. I looked like a donkey. No I looked like a sweaty, smelly, very lost and frustrated nomad with a broken down donkey who had kicked the bucket only to leave its ownere with the load to ship. Luckliy Mo met me at his end and drove me, the pack horse and my luggage to his place. I AM NOT MOVING IT ALL AGAIN (sorry Mo, you are stuck with me now).

Paris - the city of love....
for defacating in public places, for one's own language and ripping off foreigners. Then again, I haven't attended the ballet, been proposed to under the Eiffel Tower or been for a stroll in the park with my poodle. I am not impressed by Paris. My first impression was that it stinks (people use the Metro statiosn and tunnels for going to the toilet as you have to pay for public ones). I have found it absolutely filthy thus far and have the raw, dry hands from constant washing to show for it. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh. I did explore the city by myself today and the arc de triumph was amazing. The Eiffel Tower is also nice but I've heard it is better at night so if I make any friends tonight I may aim for that tomorrow night. I have been told by lots of people that Paris is amazing - I don't know where I'm going wrong. I do feel very ignorant that I haven't made any effort to learn French but it also seems that there aren't a great deal of other English speaking tourists here. Everything is geared towards French speaking people followed by Spanish, German and Asian countries. I'm sure there is some political reason for the lack of English translation of signs, tours etc but it does make it quite difficult for a foreigner (excpet for the public transport - again I have mastered this.... I know, its unbelievable, I think it is some sort of survival gene that has been passed down by my parents).

I am in Paris for another day and night then heading to Canne. I am really looking forward to this but I am yet to find out how I can get there! If you call an information line it is all in French and no-one can help direct you in the right way. Similarl to all of the information centres.

My travel plans....
As I mentioned at the start I've made plans for the next few months of travelling..... this is where I'm headed and when:

France until 18th April
London until 22nd April
Ireland until 30th April
Malta until 18th May
Munich until 21st May
Busabout tour of Germany, Austria, Italy, France & Switzerland for about 1 month

If anyone is planning to travel during this time let me know and hopefully we can catch up!!!

Well I am missing you all and love hearing from you so please don't stop texting or emailing.

Lots of love



No comments: