Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Travels so far...

So after the AMAZING snowbombing festival I got a lift from there with bla bla car  to Lake Annecy in France. Here I stayed for three nights at Hostel Annecy It was a lovely family run place with a lovely garden out the back. Great location as it was only a short walk to the old town and the lake. Here found it very easy to make friends and ended up planning a bike ride and hike with a Canadian called George, Roger from the Uk, and Louise from Australia. Before this took place we visited the local market which takes place every Sunday morning in Annecy. I bought loads of amazing food! I got a lemon tart, crossiants, some saucisson, I've never heard of this before but it has be one of my favourite foods now. You could get loads of different variations. The great thing is you can test them all. I tried a few and ended up buying one with a combination cheese and the other garlic. They had others including donkey. Well that's just wrong in my mind. Poor donkey! Oh and I also bought some strawberrys. I saved these for my bike ride.
  So after the markets and testing out all the cheeses and saucisson we headed out on a bike ride. The four of us set off together with these great bikes that changed gears automatically. Well me being super fit was at the back. My little legs couldn’t keep up so Roger kept checking on me. What was lovely but we then ended up losing the other two. How we managed to do that on a lake I’ll never know. Either way it happened. So we decided to make up our own trip. It was a beautiful afternoon! The Lake is absolutely stunning. We did a bike of biking then took a walk up the hillside. Roger was trying to teach me some French. I was rubbish at trying to remember any of it! I think the only phrase I remember or rather two words were Ça va which in Lancashire translation means, ‘alreight’ in which you would reply the same ‘alreight’ same with Ça va. Well it was something! My brain can’t cope with too many french words. Still I ate my amazing strawberries on the hill then headed back a bit sunburnt.

The next day I met a lovely American girl called Marie from Chicago. We got on really well and chatted ALL DAY! We ate crossiants ate some of the BEST icecream EVER! Had a lovely relaxing walk around the lake and the old town. Yet another lovely amazing day! 

Tuesday morning I checked out super early! I had arranged another lift with bla bla car to be taken to Geneva. My chauffeur dropped me off at the train station in the city. I just got a coffee to try and wake up! I then put my luggage in the train station lockers and had a brief explore of the city before my auntie picked me up. It is a lovely city, very posh but the one thing I noticed that made me laugh was the weight watcher shop. They couldn't have picked a better location! It was slap bang in between two big cake shop! I know I couldn't believe my eyes so here is the photo evidence! I've been to weight watchers before and I know that as soon as I'd been weighed I'd be straight either depressed as I didn't lose any or happy and have a cake to celebrate.
Wednesday! I got up early again - and my auntie dropped me off in the city for more exploring. It was a lovely sunny day a bit windy and a little chilly. I stopped off the at tourist information centre first to get map of the city so I know where I'm going. Next door they had a small swatch watch museum. This was really cool. I liked the more retro design than the later ones. Interesting to see now styles change over time. After this I had a pleasant walk round the old town and decided to go to the modern art museum. Well this was interesting! Hmm maybe interesting is being polite. Well it wasn’t my cup of tea to put it one way. I wasn’t particularly interested in seeing the soles of some dirty shoes, a golden urinal and a suitcase filled with popcorn. Strange but true! Here are some photos of the old town - I decided not to include the golden urinal.

After my city exploring I walked up the area where my auntie worked and found a nice place to sit. Unfortunately being small and all I wasn't tall enough to get my bottom on the seat. 

After meeting up with my auntie we took a short drive to meet Roger and a few others including my uncle and cousin Olly. We took the 100m lift down the pit of CERN to see the LHCb experiment! This was soooo coool!!! Roger had to have his eye scanned to let us down. Mega top security! Somewhere I've always wanted to visit! I felt super lucky as the experiment is on shut down at the moment so it was the ideal time to visit. Such a massive place! I'm not just saying that because I am small it really was AMAZING! I couldn't believe the scale of the project and yet they are looking at something super dooper teeny tiny!
After visiting the CERN we drove back to Janes took a short car journey up the hill/mountain to a restaurant that over looked the whole city. I was an amazing view of the lake and mountians. Here I had my first ever cheese fondue! It was ace! I can't believe I'd never had it before. My list of new amazing foods is getting longer by the day! 
Thursday! Today I did some more exploring with John and Olly. We visited a different area of Geneva called Carouge. This was a very pretty area with quite a few arty shops and plenty of cute little cafe's. After roaming around this area for a while we ventured back into the main centre and had a game of drafts. Now for some this could be normal but for me it was super huge. It was like I could have been a part of the chess set and who would have known! 

After Olly and I lost to John :-( we headed down to the water front. The famous Jet d'eau was working this day so we had some fun taking a few photos!...

We also found the huge flower clock which I didn't find the other days. Don't know how I missed it as it was quite big!

Later this evening my uncle dropped me off at the airport where I had arranged another lift to get to Zurich. A lovely couple picked me up along with another girl called Rocio from Spain. They were all super lovely and we chatted the whole four hours it took to get to Zurich! They dropped me off at the hostel where I was staying called Youth hostel Zurich it was quite a big place. Was a nice place but I'm glad I only stayed here the one night as there were a few snorers so I didn't sleep that well :-(

So Good Friday I was in Zurich and nothing was open. Just as well really as it is a super posh area and couldn't afford anything anyway. It was a bit dull and rainny when I arrived and even the tourist places weren't open. I managed to have a sit down for a while to study the map. I noticed that they had a spa place and so I thought this might be a great way to spend my afternoon. I eventually managed to find the place. The train and buses were tricky to get the hang of. So I had a nice relaxing time in a roof top pool over looking the city.

Later on after getting all relaxed I made my way on the train to lake Konstanz. I stayed in another hostel here called the Aqua hotel this was a lovely place. More hotel like than hostel. It took me a while to get there. I though from the map I could walk it but I was getting lost and so gave up in the end. A nice woman in the street helped me to get a taxi. It cost me €10 to get to the hostel but it was worth the trouble as I would never have found it.

I was in a room with 6-8 beds I think. Anyway there were only two german guy's staying here. They were doing some sort of cycle ride and were just staying here the one evening. I got chatting to them and joined them for a beer in the hotel bar. We some how ended up playing cards. They tried to teach me a german card game. I didn't understand any of it. Turned out I lost anyway! I'm sure they must have cheated! We played a few other games and I hardly won anything. In between playing cards and drinking beer I had a shot of some weird german stuff. It was horrid. Very kind of them get it for me but I won't be having it again.

Easter Saturday. The two german guys left on there bikes this morning. I then got the bus into the town centre and took a tour around the town. It was a lovely place. The weather wasn't all that great but it was by the lake and looked lovely. 
The Catherdral was really cool. When I went in they had some sort of choir with trumpets and other insturments playing some quite lively music. Makes a change from when I usually visit these places it is a very somber attmosphere. During my exploring I also found a mega nice chocolate shop called Laderach. I went in and bought myself a couple of posh chocolates! OMG they were amazing.

After tasting posh chocolates I did some more exploring and found this crazy statue 'Triumphal Arch' I wondered if there was something in the chocolates and was tripping out or something so to make sure it was real I decided as it goes...'let me take a selfie' ...

After my wonderful time in Konstanz town I headed back to hostel. Here met a french guy called Florian who was also just staying the one night. I couldn't get the hang of pronouncing his name. Some french words are just too tricky. Anyway we got chatting and so headed back into town as Florian was hungry. I knew how to get the bus and into town so I was happy to show Florian where to go. I showed him the bits that I knew and we found some food and I had some german currywurst. Thats another of my favourites! We visited a few pubs before heading back. Here it is aloud to smoke in bars. I'd forgotten how it was! Its was almost shocking to see people smoking in a public place. And the smell! Really intense! I started to noticed my clothes and hair had magically captured the horrible smokey smell. So glad that there is ban on this in most other countries!

Easter Sunday! I checked out of the hostel in Konstanz and headed back into town to catch another train to Strasbourg where I was to stay one night. I arrived here around 3pm and thanks to my great map reading skill I managed to get myself to the hostel without a problem. Again this was another great place. After checking in I decided to head out and explore the town. Strasbourg is a beautiful place! Absolutely loved it! The weather had picked up by this point so it looked gorgeous. There is a lovely little river that runs all the way around the old town so it is quite easy to follow. Eventually I got to the central area and there were lots going on. I chilled out by the fountains for a while and headed towards the cathedral on my way there was a lovely brass band playing some great music! Was really fun so I watched when for a while. Eventually I arrived at the Cathedral. OMG I've seen anything like it in my life! It was so impressive I almost swore out loud! As it was such a lovely day I bought a €5 ticket up to the top. It was lovely up here. Fab views over the city. I chilled out in the sunshine for quite a while before heading back down the spiral stair case.

After my walk around the place I came across some outdoor markets. One stall was serving something called Tarte Flambee. They look ace so I bought one! It is like super thin bread dough covered with a thin layer of creamy sauce then onion and bacon is sprinkled on top. It is then baked in wood fire oven. It was sooo tasty! And yes I did eat it all! 

Afterwards I headed back to the hostel. Here I got chatting to lovely Canadian girl called Liza from Toronto. I found out that she was living in Paris. This was great as I planned on visiting next week so we exchanged details and will hopefully arrange to meet up. We only chatted briefly as she was on her way to catch her train. So I headed off to bed and got up about 9am. There was a girl at the other side of me also getting up around the same time. I was busy getting ready and heard some commotion from round her side. I rushed over to see what was wrong and she had bashed her back on the bunk beds. She was ok thank goodness. Well not long after we started chatting. We both had to be out by 10am so we talked and got ready at the same time. We made it out at 9.50am and had just enough time to grab what was left of the breakfast. We chatted until 12! After talking for so long we thought it might be best to go exploring for the afternoon. We went a gallery fancied visiting as it was an illustration gallery by tomi ungerer. I thought this could be useful as he is a children’s book illustrator. The first floor was lovely. Great children’s illustrator. Then we went upstairs and saw a different side to artwork of erotic and semi-pornographic drawings. Over all very interesting!

Luise was a lovely person. I loved listening to her stories and she was so fascinated with languages. She had a real passion for all sorts of words and phrases. She showed me her note book where she has a list of words that she really loved. The one that stood out for me that was so lovely was Redamancy which means 'the act of loving the one who loves you; fully and returned love'.

Later that day around 5.30 Luise and I went our separate ways and I went back to Luxembourg. My two weeks of traveling have been amazing. I've met so many lovely people in a very short space of time. I am amazed but the over all kindness by others and even strangers I met on the street were all willing to help out the best that they knew how. Although I was traveling alone this last week I never felt alone. When I was in my own company I was happy to go, do and see whatever I pleased then it was equally balanced by naturally meeting new and interesting people. I've definitely not been put off by my experiences so far and I look forwards to meeting lots more interesting and lovely people who are yet to cross my path.

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