Helloooooo from Bangkok!!
I am now ridiculously (and somewhat predictably) behind in the blog, as you are well aware, but the good news is that my diary is up-to-date and complete, so whenever I get chance to sit at a computer machine, I can still inform you of adventures past (however belated it may be!!!)
So I am currently sitting in central Bangkok, just off Khao San road, having just done a 3 day trek in Umphang, and enroute to Ko Chang. We had to come back here in between to pick up our passports, which should hopefully now have a nice shiny Vietnamese visa in them (unless they've been sold, but we'll find out in about an hour or so when the shop opens!!!).
So much has happened since I last blogged (geeky terminology), so I will start where I left off.....you'll have to be patient for the rest!!!
I last left you in Croatia (about 6 weeks ago!!! SORRY!!!) about to head to Vienna.
My diary is with Luke (who's off somewhere getting breakfast), so this is going to be relayed to you by memory, so maybe with less details than before, but this is ok, as I think Austria was my least favourite country in Europe anyway.....
When we arrived in Vienna in the afternoon, we made our way to Strawberry Hostel, and checked in. Keen to contact home, as I'd not done it in a while, we skipped over the road to a backpacker's haven / bar type thing that offered super cheap calls. What do you know?? it was happy hour, so our first evening was actually spent in the same road as the hostel, supping on 1 Euro lager beers!!! So easily led......
It was quite fun in there though, and I tried their speciality "legendary snuff shot" which was one of the most hideous things I have ever tried. Someone bought it for me as a gift for beating his friend at a bar game, and I was led over to the bar, where a wooden contraption was placed on top. The barman explained that I needed to drink a shot (provided) first, then lookreally closely into a small mirror that was at one side of the wooden "thing", and inhale deeply. Next I had to move my head along to the other end of the "thing", to where what looked like a horse's tail was. Confused, and slightly paranoid that the whole thing was a set up just to make me look stupid, I repeated the instructions to myself several times to make sure I had it right! Then off I went, Shot. Inhale. Tail.
It was AWFUL!!! The shot (which made me sick about 6 minutes later!) tasted like sweetened meths (if such a thing were to exist I'm sure), then, when I held my face to the mirror and inhaled, the barman flung a load of "snuff" (menthol) powder into my face, which (of course) wentup my nose, but also unfortunately into my eyes!!! (only me...)
The final stage was a big let down. I held my face to the "tail", which was tickled in my face, supposedly to provide a sensory sensation, but I was pretty much blinded by the menthjol powder at this point, and could only concentrate on the pain in my eyes!
Legendary Snuff Shot - My Ar*e!!!!
After our drinks, we wandered to Stephensplatz to look at the big cathedral, which was pretty and lit up (we saw the next day that it has a tiled roof, which was quite cool) and had some food, followed by the best Gelato ever (according to Luke - ice cream expert in residence!!!)
The next day we took the train to Bratislava (Slovakia), as Vienna and Bratislava are the world's closest Capital cities, and Im sure we would have realy enjoyed it had it not been FREEZING!!! Rainy and grey and not at all what we'd grown accustomed to over the last few weeks!! Still, we got on with it and saw what sights it had to offer.
Our first stop was the ATM. My guide book explained that We needed to withdraw Slovak Koruna, and detailed the conversion rates, etc, so we went over, and worked out what it was we needed to withdraw. We figured about 20 euros (equivalent) should do us for the day, so were quite pleased when the screen on the ATM showed us both the Euros / Koruna amounts on the screen - made it easy for us! We thought they prob did that as lots of people came over from the Euro zone, so would need help converting. Imagine our surprise when a crisp little 20 Euro note popped out the machine! We then realiesd that Slovakia had joined the Euro some time ago, and that my "trusty" guide book, was not so trusty after all!!!
There was a lovely little craft market on, and we saw a blacksmith at work, jewellery makers, etc. Usually in such cold / rainy circumstances we would've found a pub to sit in for the day to enjoy, but prices would not permit, so we gave up the ghost around 3pm and took the train back to Vienna.
We spent the last day there (Sunday) wandering the streets, but weren't really too impressed with the city. I think it's one of those places that if you know what's there and where to find it, it'd be great, but we went there blind really (and that was BEFORE the snuff shot!)
We did see lots of Mozart memorabilia - and his statue! And we visited the Museums Quarter, where all the cool kids hang out after dark, with outdoor bars and seating surrounding by fountains.....that was probably the best bit actually! That and the ice cream....not bad sausages either!
So from Vienna we left for Krakow on another overnight train.....and you'll hear about that soon I promise!!!!
I'm going to go now.....mainly to check if I do have a passport left and so will be able to continue on my travels. I hope you are all ok at home and missing me as much as I miss you all!
Please keep me update with news......BIG LOVE!!!!!
Danielle x x x
(and Luke!) x