Here is my long awaited Paris blog, with a little of the leftover Munich adventures an a touch of Amsterdam mixed in. Sorry about the delay, finding internet in Paris was a hassle with only two days to explore the amazing city and the hostel in Amsterdam provided internet in a fairly smoke infused room... which i wasnt all too keen on. So now here are my backtracked tales told from the comfort of my Berlin hostel.
My last full day in Munich was spent exploring the town. I travelled to Marienplatz and spent a couple of hours getting lost in the streets on the way there. I met some fantastic Brisbournians in my hotel, Hayley and her two brothers Tristan and Daniel. They welcomed me with open arms and we ventured off together to the Oktoberfest. After some oxmeat in the Oxbeer Tent (yes i did say meat!!! having a chicken/fish diet in europe is really not that sustainable.... so im now a carnivourous human for the next two months!... ok well maybe not that far haha), so after the meat we trekked off to another beer tent to meet some friends. Spending time at the Oktoberfest is a sober state is a completely different experience to a drunken one... i definitely suggest having a mixture of the two. After all, you do want to remember at least a little bit from your trip to this enormous beer drinking festival! Most of you would have seen the photo of 'Frog Man' - a rather scary looking human being, the size of probably two or three normal sized human beings. He was an unforgettable character, he spoke only german and kept repeating in a slurred tongue how beautiful my eyes were.... and then continually inisting on a dance. After refusing for the upteenth time, we left the tent to prevent being fallen on by this drunken dancing frog and avoid being 'eaten'... he did look rather hungry! My other wonderful experiences of Munich included, exploring the majority of the beer tents with my new found friends, riding a rollercoater during the Munich Beer Challenge, having deep and inspirational chats in the hostel bar, being amazed that someone was able to consume 35 (yes 35!!) shots of Jäger in one night and finally, trying to learn salsa dancing on a city side street (epic fail by the way!)
Then it was on to Paris! The beautiful city of lights, the beautiful city of love. I fell in love with this city. I only wish I could have stayed longer. I was welcomed to my hostel my a middle aged Canadian woman who took me under her wing, and amused me with her tales from home. I spent the first day walking around on a free walking tour with my new Kiwi friend Shelley and these two Adelaidian girls (fancy that, i was so excited to meet some girls who knew all about the city of churches too!) I seriously saw all the major sites in one day... and my legs were paying for it by the end. Notre Dame was amazing, the outside architecture is incredible and then you venture inside and are atsounded by the stained glass windows and the mountainously high ceilings. The accompanying organ music really set the mood and let you drift back in time, or for me, to the origins of one of my favourite Disney films... (no Quasimodo in sight though unfortunately). It was then on to the Louvre where I was amazed by its size. Supposedly if you spent 30 seconds looking at each piece of artwork in the museum, day and night without break, it would take you 270 days... now thats a heck of a lot of art! I probably spent about an hour in here getting lost and of course, visiting the Mona Lisa, which was protected by seriously bullet proof glass! We saw the Arch di Triomphe (or however its spelt, you get the drift), we sat by the Sahne.. the main river, we observed countless paparazzi taking photos of Dita Von Teese - Marilyn Mansons ex wife... as she approached a Paris fashion show (yes i did also get a photo.. even though I had never actually heard of her before), we then walked to the Eiffel Tower and had a view from the bottom.. it is seriously so tall... impossible to imagine how tall it is! I climbed the tower the next night, probably would have been nice to experience it with someone but it was nethertheless an unforgettable experience. The skyline view of the city at night is breathtaking and worth the enormous climb to the top. (Word of advice: Dont be a cheapskate and choose the stairs after walking for four hours that day... your legs will be absolutely killing you the next day! Lucky for me I was on a bus to Amsterdam, so I could rest for 9 or so hours in the comfort of our Bus About coach but you may not all be that lucky!) I also had an amazing night at the Moulin Rouge with Shelley, it was expensive but well worth every cent... you cant really have that same experience anywhere else. The Moulin Rouge itself is fairly small but each table is lit with red candles... very intimate and exclusive. The show was mostly what I imagined, many female and also some male dancers with extravagant (and at times extremely minimal) costumes parading around to lively and upbeat music. The show also included a talented ventriloquist who used a real dog as his prop, a monstrously strong man who held a girl in the air on the end of his arm and a female dancer who was thrown into a tank of live snakes... and not small snakes either (supposedly drugged to keep her from harm.. well that was the rumour anyway). Unfortunately, I couldn't get any photos of the actual show as that would risk being kicked out, but I did get one of the lit up area so check it out if you havent already! So all in all, Paris was an amazing experience that definitely made me long to learn French. And if you were wondering... people actually do walk around with baguettes..... all of the time! Its so funny i wish i had captured it on camera. I think my romantic heart fell in love with the City of Love, there were so many magical moments between couples as they shared their love. Romance was so open and seen everywhere you went..... it just made me smile to see so many people that were so happy together in the world. So leaving this city was a hard one for me, I cannot wait to travel back here again and revisit the amazing Paris!
Amsterdam was an entirely different scene altogether. Still not sure on my opinion of this town.. but i guess glad I visited it to experience it for myself. There isn't really too much to be said about 'the Dam', all the tales you have heard are true. Coffee Shops are seen on every corner and the Red Light District is an adventure in itself. . . it truly is a city compared to no others in the world. There seem to be no rules, and basically anything goes... which I think many travellers (especially Aussies) seem to be living up and making the most of while it lasts.. Supposedly the government is planning a big clean up of the town by 2016.... see how that goes! The main tourist attraction I visited was Anne Frank's House... which was definitely worth the visit, I could not believed they lived in such a cramped space.. it was mindblowing and definitely prompted me to reread the book... so hopefully i can get my hands on a copy. But after all the partying in Amsterdam and unlucky pick of roommates and a shower that flooded the entire bathroom, I was very ready to move on to Berlin.
Arrived here a couple of hours ago and am already overly excited for my walking tour tomorrow and pubcrawl tomorrow night. Im here three nights, then its on to Prague and then Vienna, before I head to Italy and Spain. I am meeting some great people (mainly Aussies!! Its like they have infested Europe) but definitely miss you all back home. Hope I haven't bored you to much with my tales. One more interesting fact for the road, is the German toilet seats that mechanicly rotate and clean themselves with liquid seat cleaner... i was amazed and it definitely met the manual man seat cleaner we encountered in Bruges on our Bus stop over! Anyway thats enough from me, hope you are all well and I will write another epic blog soon. Love always, Gab xxxx