Category - Europe

Here’s the thing about chasing an endless summer

19 Dec

tikal-guatemala

We love summer – don’t get us wrong – but we’ve been in it for possibly longer than the last 365 days, and have realised that there is definitely good cause for cooler weather. Right now we’re technically in winter, and for most of the Northern Hemisphere, it’s in full force, but we are closer to the equator and are experiencing a blissfully sunny and sweaty season. We’ve been absorbing all the vitamin D we can, enjoying the crystal blue sea water with a daily swim and relishing the feeling of shorts, t-shirts and sand between our toes, because we know that for us, winter is coming in the extreme. So I found myself thinking that I should write this post before I find myself freezing my butt off, cursing our decision to move to Canada and dreaming of warmer days, and to be a constant reminder that winter isn’t all that bad. Read more…

Eurotopia

23 Sep

week-1-london

We’ve been out of Europe for a while now, but because the blog posts are a few weeks behind us (in fact we’re headed to Mexico today), we wanted to write a summary of our time in Europe, reflect on each week we spent there, what we did, and go over our favourite photos. We’ve put together a collection of our top moments from each of the 13 and a bit weeks we spent there, and wanted to take a moment to reflect on the things we were most grateful for. We certainly have a good life and are grateful for that.

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Düsseldorf

20 Sep

dusseldorf-frank-gehry-05

We won’t lie – we went to Düsseldorf because it was the cheapest place from which to fly into Russia. But we’re glad we did. It’s German – clean, simple transport and good beer, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t drink beer at all (how did I manage two beers with dinner? It had to be German and fresh from the barrel). Read more…

Amsterdam – The Truth (from our perspective)

18 Sep

amsterdam-buildings-4

Amsterdam is the strangest mix of old and new, conservative and overtly open minded, clean and dirty. There is no doubt that there are dark sides to the city, and they are more open about these sides than any other city we’ve been to, but it doesn’t seem to affect everyones approach to life here. People just kind of accept it, and get on with life and being in love with their city.

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Amsterdam – Exceeds Expectations

16 Sep

amsterdam-building-2

After a horrendous night of no sleep, followed by a 3:30am wake up call, trudging down to the bus station in pitch black, a bus, a plane, a bus, a train, cancelled half way, another crowded train and one more train, we arrived completely dazed, at our sweet garden bungalow, complete with two cats and a few gnomes. The place was comfy, homely and somehow familiar, and our host reminded us of a good friend back home.

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Goodbye Europe

13 Sep

amsterdam-sunset

Today we say goodbye to Europe. We’ve spent an amazing 93 days here exploring this incredible and culturally diverse part of the world, and will seriously miss plenty of the things we’ve become accustom to. Here is a sneak peek photo (and probably the photo we are most proud of to date) of Amsterdam – the city that will we both miss the most. Wish us luck as we navigate our way from Düsseldorf in Germany, via Moscow, Russia to New York City!!!!

Swimming, Sunsets + Sea Organs in Zadar

9 Sep

DCIM102GOPRO

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Plitvice Lakes – Croatia’s best National Park

6 Sep

plitvice-lakes-9

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Let’s make like a banana and Split

4 Sep

split-croatia-1

We are rounding on 3 months of travel now, and we seem to have hit a little wall. We’ve spent the last week and a bit in Croatia, and we’ve decided more or less to slow right down. This is partly due to me feeling a little under the weather, partly due to the actual weather (it’s so perfect and sunny here), partly due to the lovely beaches we’ve been lounging on, and a little to do with the design work that’s been coming my way. As a result our adventuring has slowed, and we haven’t done a great deal. Having said all that, we still have photos to share, and so the next 3 posts about our time in Croatia will just be photos. Enjoy, and we’ll be back to writing this time next week.

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Italy – Its Best + Worst

2 Sep

We spent 5 WHOLE WEEKS in Italy, which we think is almost long enough to say you’ve lived there, so we thought we’d do something a little different and list the best and worst things about the country, because to be honest, there are both.

bummer

1. Street Vendors. In the big cities, the tourist spots are filled with pushy sales guys, offering you hats, water (1 euro, 1 euro, 1 euro), umbrellas and even roses. Yep we saw one guy shoving roses in womens’ hands and demanding money for it. They are pushy, and won’t leave you in peace unless you walk away.

2. It’s dirty. Italy is not the cleanest place. I’m proud to say that Australia is one of the cleanest countries I’ve ever seen. Cigarette butts are a dime a dozen here, and people generally have a disregard for the cleanliness of their streets, yards and beaches, and litter often flies away from the communal street bins (no individual green bins here). It’s not great.

3. Beaches aren’t free. As I’ve mentioned before, the beaches aren’t free. Of course the water is, but most of the paid beaches involve an umbrella and chair and spot to put your bag. Also, these paid parts of the beach are cleanest. If you are willing to rough the pebbles or even rocks, you can visit the beaches for free.

4. Toilets aren’t free. In fact toilets are hard to find in the first place. The most we’ve paid for a toilet is 1 euro (you have to be desperate), and most days, you just gotta hold it until you get home. Truth. It’s a little gross really – lets just say we’ve seen people doing things on the street that are less than hygienic.

5. It’s hot. The heat can really get out of hand in the European summer. Don’t forget that if you plan on visiting. It can become so uncomfortable you may snap out of frustation. Just sayin.

winner

1. The food. It really is as good as they say. From pizza (you really can’t find bad pizza here) to pasta… did we mention the Ligurian foccacia bread? Or the trofie (a form of gnocchi)? *dribble*

2. The water. It’s free and fresh and clean and cold, and just about as available as toilets in Australia (odd comparison, I know).

3. The colour. From the buildings to the landscape and everything in between, Italy is vibrant and gorgeous, with so much to take in.

4. The history. Everything is just so old, which is sooo good because there really is NOTHING like it anywhere else. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you can clearly see it.

5. The people. They are kind, understanding and mostly speak English. They are willing to help, will pick you up from the station, cook you meals and go the extra mile. We will miss the hospitality for sure.

There you have it. Have you been to Italy? Got any thoughts?
You might also want to check out our highlights of Italy:

The Views on Lake Como || Pisa not Pizza || The Cinque Terre