Monday, December 25, 2006

Graduation photos!

Cara, Patrick and Jan.

Ecstatic Cara!

The certificate!

I say, what a sophiscated graduate Cara!

The ceremony at Melboune University's Wilson Hall.

On Tuesday, December 19th, 2007 at 10:30am I graduated from Melbourne University! Sporting my black flowing gown and olive (unfortunately more like kaki- the most unattractive colour of all degree hoods) green hood I walked onto the stage of Melbourne University’s Wilson Hall to collected my diploma from the Deputy Chancellor. The ceremony was not too long nor painful and our guest speaker was both very friendly and down to earth (something that snobby Melboure University is not). My friend Rhainnon, whom I have known since first year, chose to wait for me so we could graduate together which was fantastic! Our families went for lunch afterwards at Brunetti’s (an old and famous in Melbourne Italian bakery which has amazing sweets) I am now a graduate in a Bachelor of Science. Hooray! First Australia and then the world!

Cara Bradley Bsc.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Freedom, Summer and Life's big choices!

For an in depth title one should do it justice by writing something profound and deep....all Ive got for the moment is...

I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free! I'm free!

Oh yes, and It's summer! It's summer! It's summer! It's summer! It's summer! It's summer! It's summer! It's summer! It's summer! It's summer! It's summer! It's summer! It's summer! It's summer! It's summer! It's summer!

I have already borrowed my first 2 books from the library and have big plans ahead for career investigation, self discovery and possibly a little globe trotting thrown in there too! For the first time in my life...there is nothing ahead. No uni starting in March, no a job waiting or commitments.....I doubt this will be a repeated offer so I am going to enjoy it wh8ile it lasts...not be afraid of it!

Briming with confidence and ready to take on the world,

Cara x x x x

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Oaks Day!

Friends! My first trip to the the races!

Flemmington Race Course

Pretty! Spring racing carnival = spring = flowers!

The boys!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Congratulations GRADUATION!


I have my graduation ceremony for my Bachelor of Science from Melbourne University on the 19th of December 2006 at 10:30am.


Here are some party photos of my friend Gills' 50th Birthday =):
(I met Vero and her children on the Spirit of Tasmania in...2001? I was keen to practice my French and eager to make friends with them...and we have been friends ever since...6 years later here we are! Gills is her husband)

Veronique et Cara!

Cara et Gilles...the real one!

Cara and 'Gilles'!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Photos on the net!

Hey ya!

Photos on the net of the Musex (Melbourne University Student Exchange) Par-tay!
Fun photos! I dont think my grin could get any bigger!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Council Policy Committee (CPC) of the American
Society for Microbiology affirms the long-standing
position of the Society that microbiologists will work for
the proper and beneficent application of science and will
call to the attention of the public or the appropriate
authorities misuses of microbiology or of information
derived from microbiology. ASM members are obligated
to discourage any use of microbiology contrary to the
* Shading indicates material that has been added or significantly
JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
welfare of humankind, including the use of microbes as
biological weapons. Bioterrorism violates the fundamental
principles expressed in the Code of Ethics of the
Society and is abhorrent to ASM and its members.
ASM recognizes that there are valid concerns regarding

Monday, October 02, 2006

The exam timetable is out!

Cara's last exam as an undergraduate science student! BIG OHH YAY!

526-314 Medical Microbiology: Viruses Tue 21 NOV 9:30 a.m.
REB Rathdowne 3 hrs 15 mins

YAYAYAYAY!!!! Celebrations! Exubrance! Euphoria! Wow-wee!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Claire's letter


Today's BBQ went well (pictures soon). People turned up (that's always a start) and we sat in sunny shade in the great outdoors on picnic rugs! Two great social achievements were seeing David, a friend form uni who I have not seen since we both deaprted on exchnage, he was in Virginia while I was in France and my good friend Ben who was my housemate in Lyon. Seeing him was great and he came bearing French cheese, Comte, oh the memories, oh the cheeeese!!!

The weather was amazing! Perfect! Our warmest day yet in this fast approaching summery weather I think! Couldn't have ordered better weather myself! I can't wait until I can sit outside, guilt free and not thinking I should be studying the replication cycle of polio or learning how the Adenovirus protein assembles...very useful for later on in life I am sure you will agree!

I will leave you with a letter I received from my dear friend Claire who was a teacher at Camp America and is at this moment discovering other parts The States. She will soon head off to Europe and she wrote me the following which I thought I would share. To me it is beautiful and cherished:

I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to reply, but the last 3 weeks have been spent crossing this BEAUTIFUL country, so far I have seen many broadway shows, ridden on the maid on the mist at niagara falls , visited art galleries and blues bars in chicago, went horse back riding on the badlands at sunset, visited both yellowstone and yosemite national parks, taken a thousand photos on the corn palace (in north dakota) seen Mt rushmore and the crazy horse monument, slow danced with a cowboy in Jackson hole Wyoming and saw my first snow fall. I am now sitting in a bar/internet cafe in San Francisco!!!!

Cara, you come from an incredible country!!!!!! The people are amazing, generous and kind and I have never seen such beauty in my entire life. I miss you like crazy and think on you every single day.

Love you, Claire bear

Nice hey? Goodnight. Sweet dreams of the wide world and it beauty,
Cara =)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

RANDOM EVENT...your presence required!

Hey all!

We are having a RANDOM EVENT picnic/BBQ this Sunday (October 1st)!!! The weather forecast is fine and 25 degrees!! YAY! And yes, you're invited! Go to Chelsea Bicentennial park (Melways: 93 D12). Starts 1pm till late!

BYO: food (munchies and/or thangs to BBQ), friends, frisbees (any kind of outdoor toys and games), alcohol, rugs.....dogs!

IMPORTANT: BYO friends (the purpose of random events is to have fun and the more the merrier! To meet randoms you need to bring randoms to share! Bring fun people that you never get the chance to catch up with, or new people who you'd like to get to know better through work or uni or socially or good friends or family or.... if in the end its all to hard you wont be penalised if you bring yourself!)

Cara =)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What's happening!

On a completely different note....I have been fine....dandy...? Im on holidays from uni so things are a bit calm. Found some motivation lying around somewhere too and bought a cap and goggles the other day and am turing acquatic! Well I have only been once but tomorrow is looking good!

Friday, September 15, 2006

My favourite place...

Mordialloc might not be anything special to many but I love it. It is a special place....the place for sunsets, breathing in fresh air, looking out at the endless horizon and having deep conversations with my soul. I must admit that I missed it while I was away. I never found anywhere (in Europe or the States) where I could look out at the sea and feel as content. xoxoxoxo

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Photo from a friend!

My freind Ivan, whom I met on my flight from Zagreb (Crotaia's capital) to Hamberg (Northern Germany) and who kindly showed me the best parts of Hannover (south of Hamberg, has just finished cycling around Croatia with his brother! He took this photo for me! I love it! =) It's fabulous!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Tahiti photos

Greetings and Welcome to Bora Bora!

Going into Papaette

Swimming...or floating with my cousin Kaylen! Look at the colour of that water!!! Paradise!


Today the air was warm, still and fresh.
Today, for the first time since I have been home, I opened the door to let the fresh air in.
Today I smelled summer.
It is coming. It might rain next week or in the near future but it is coming.
Today I smelled Australia.
I smelled the gum trees, the red dirt, the kangaroos, the cockatoos.

Several days ago I went to the Dentist. The waiting room is full of all kinds of posh magazines. I read an article on the current Chilean president, a single Mother of 3, a pediatrician, who was imprisioned, tortured and exiled (to Australia) after the military coup of 1973.

'Because I was a victim of hate...I've decided to dedicate my life to turning hate into understanding, tolerance and - why not say it?- love'
-Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile

'They can cut all the flowers, but they cant stop spring'
-Pablo Neruda, great Chilean poet.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Cara the Aussie Girl!

Cara the Skippy Chick!

My boxes finally arrived. One from Germany and 2 from France (sent on the first of April)...speedy hey? They contained all sorts of goodies- mainly books, postcards and souvenir ticket stubs & pamphlets for my 'non-existant but perfectly planned in my head' scrap book. You can see my Bescherelle in this photo...the French verb bible! I imported my own copy! YAY!

Good to be home! And yet....the travel bug continues to bite...where to next...after university and some decisions?

Monday, August 21, 2006

For those in Melbourne:

Hi Everyone! Salut, Ciao, Szia, Guten Tag, Hoi, Hola, Bok, Aloha, Sawatdee and Ei!

***************Cara is back in Melbourne!!!!!*********************************
I have returned from my world tour and its time to par-tay!!!!!

WHAT: Coming Home Party/House Warming (yes, I have moved too!)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHEN: Saturday Aug 26th...let's say 8pm so people turn up sometime before midnight!

WHERE: My new house! 62 Keith Street Parkdale (Off Nepan Highway, Melways p87 F9)

WHY: To have FUN and catch up!

BYO: Alcohol, munchies also welcomed, photos of things that I missed and anything else entertaining really!

Crashing: You are welcome to stay the night since most people arent local....comfort isn't house has hardwood something could be sorted out!

R.S.V.P. if you like....however that seems to be no ones strong point so SEE YOU ALL SOON!

Cara =)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Moorea and Melbourne!

Hi everyone! I am home! I have reurned to Melbourne once again!

Moorea was great. We stayed in nice hotel huts on the beach of the Black Pearl Resort. Very posh. I then made my way back to Papette on the island of Tahiti to fly out for Melbourne. Between very bad airplane food and long delays in Sydney as the planes were coming from Melbourne frozen (urg,cold!) I was glad to get home eventually. I am organising myslef for uni and cleaning my still disasterously dishevelled room! Coming home party....or Reutrn to reality party soon!
Cara =)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Island hopping in Tahiti!

This is our last day in Bora Bora. The last couple of days have been slow, lazy and lovely. I went to the Hieva festivities which basically celebrates July (why not celebrate the whole month right?). Bora Bora is known throughout Tahiti to have the most beautiful Hieva celebrations. I saw dancing and singing. It was wonderful and similar to other Polynesian dances...the Hula in Hawaii and Haka in New Zealand....only this was local people performing for themsleves as much as everyone else. All other performances that I have seen have been just that, a performance, a show. I dont know how they can hula for 2 hours straight! Went to Club Med yesterday. Took a boat trip out and went snorkling...the water was incredibly clear and that perfect blue colour!

Tomorrow the gang is off to Moorea. I think everyone is excited for a change....Bora Bora seemed a bit small to contain everyone. Moorea should promise many things to do. We will be staying at a dreamy 5 star resort apparently...what more could you ask for in paradise?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

En Tahiti!

Salut et Bonjour!

Je suis en Tahiti! I am in Tahiti! In my element speaking French again! I love it! It is wonderful! So what has happened so far?

Well I arrived in Tahit...made it and everything with my Mother and Patrick chasing the airport bus at 5am with my plane tickets....gosh, made it 'round the world fine but home is challenging it seems! I pulled another all nighter packing...can't seem to kick that habit! So, I flew first to Sydney and then onto Tahiti, the best known island in French Polynesia which has a total of 180 islands. I met my grandmother Nonie at the airport and went to stay at the Sheraton Hotel! Nice, nice, very nice after my extensive budgety trip in Europe and Thailand's 'charm'. It was nice to see everyone again- my Papa Chuck, Aunt Jill, Uncle Danny and cousins Jason and Kaylen. I took a shower and was feeling the heat abit since I had just come from Melbourne's winter and before that Thailand's heat and before that Europe's average temperatures! My body must be begging for stability! Had a quite night after that.

In the morning it was buffet breakfast (just in case you didnt feel completely spoilt in the hotel already) complete with mago and banana juice. We then walked into the city, Papaette. Where I went sightseeing....a bit different to Europe! I saw the main church which had stained glass windows with dipictions of Christ and Ialnd themes...very different to Europe. Did you know Christ has a conch shell!?! lol. Tahiti is a translators dream as most things are bilingual in French, English and Tahitian! So I spent ages in the Peral Museum reading everything 2 or 3 times!

The next day the family flew to another island...the island of Bora Bora. Beautful blue water and white sand that you see in the photos....that what you see in Bora Bora! We have rented 2 condos. The first is a house on stilts over the water...where I am currently couch surfing with Noni8e and Papa in the bedroom. The second is designated to the Colegroves and is across the road on the moutainside supplying nice views of the water. We have also rented a tiny green Fiat...the next size up from a smart car or golf buggy I tell you! We squeezing 7...yes, SEVEN people into this tyiny thing....I am stikll not sure why. I guess people can't seem to decide what we wantt o do each day and since the island is so so so incredibly small (32km of round circumnavigates the outside) it doesn't make sense to have 2 cars doing nothing. It is even more of an insentive as the pacific franc here is pegged to the Euro so everything is nice and pricey!

So yesterday we went swimming and snorkling right off our front deck. The water is clear and warm (although Thailand wins the warm water award thus far for Riley beach in the south). There is a ladder into the water and shower to rinse off. Its lovely and Cara feels posh as! We then tried out Auntie Jill's 'seven to a car theory' and circled the island in our green golf buggy. Nonie made scones in the evening...imported from of the falvours was California cute is that!

Today we were going to spend the day at Club Med doing activities and going out on boat trips but we post phoned utnil tomorrow as the wather looked questionable! We ventured to the Bora Bora hotel for another posh breakfast! And then the rain started! And it still continues as I am writing this...however I am prefectly happy sitting in pardise whether the weather it is wet or dry (a few days of rain and I might reconsider that statement). I am borrowing the Activities Room in the Bora Bora Hotel on this rainy day! Bye for now. Maybe photos soon thought probably not as it seems a bit too much to ask of Tahitian computers!

Love Cara xoxox

Friday, July 07, 2006

Cara was home....and now she is off again! To Tahiti!

Hey y'all!

The blog shall continue even though I am home.....because I am leaving again already! And I promise photos of home when I return! You are just going to think I jet set like this all the time!

I leave for TAHITI in 3 hours....that is, a 4:40 airport bus on Friday morning! I am off to Tahiti which is an island in French Polynesia for a family reunion planned by my grandparents (on my Mum's side). This 2 week holiday of fun and sun involves my Aunt Jill (my Mum's sister), Uncle Danny and 2 cousins Jason and Kaylen. Sadly my Mother and Patrick cannot come as they have to run the chocolate store which is really running them!

I picked up guides to Tahiti organised and prepared! I blame the library system I tell you! I am also pulling an all nighter to pack and prepare....I am currently trying to shove lots of things into a tiny tiny suitcase (which I am oh so proud to be taking)and an even smaller back pack. Its working and I refuse to take a lot of luggage! Besides, I don’t need room for souvenirs as everyone says Tahiti is very very expensive....guess they have to ship everything to that tiny island in the middle of the Pacific!

On the HOME does feel weird and the real world is scary! What have I been doing for the past week and a bit now that I am finally back in Melbourne, Australia? I spent the first couple of days being really lazy, sleeping a lot, trying to get used to the fact that the days go so quickly because it gets dark so early and UNPACKING!!!! For those of you who don't know my parents moved while I was gallivanting around the world and so all my worldly possessions were boxed and moved into a beautiful new house several streets away. And then those boxes were placed into a very nice new room....full of boxes! I think I had a difficult transition…going from carrying everything you own on your back for a year (or stashing it in a sparsely decorated apartment) to sorting through EVERYTING....clothes, stationary, craft, furniture, heirlooms and things that I've had since I was 10 years old. The question I repeatedly asked myself was "Do you want to keep this?' and myself just kept shrugging and looking at me blankly! I also passed a lot of time being shocked that I was actually home, calling a billion companies to announce that my address had changed (you hate the one company who wants it in writing) and generally at a lose end with myself! The last couple of days really improved however!

MONDAY saw me going into the city of Melbourne to visit my university and 'sort things out'. I also had the small goal of investigating my future! Ooohhhh, scary! I need to look into what 2007 holds for me! Right now I would rather not do Honours (a fourth year of study) in Science and am pondering a graduate certificate (6 mo.) or graduate diploma (12 mo.) in a artsy subject like Creative Writing or something new and exciting like that! I also looking into a Masters in 'Media and Communication, Science and Society' which allows graduates to work in varying positions usually associated with scientific journalism or promotion. It sounds quite interesting actually...more interesting then it sounds now. Monday evening I was invited to dinner with my old friend Dave and his parents. We had Thai food....which was yummy and seeing as Australia is so multicultural, it was very authentic! And I should know! I was eating real live (live with, honestly it was fine!) Thai food on the streets no less then 2 weeks ago! Dave and I watched a movie afterwards.... and old favourite of ours.

TUESDAY, I met Rhiannon to exchange some things from Thailand. Most importantly she gave me all our photos on DVD! YAY! In Thailand Rhiannon and I decided to share picture taking (or 'documenting' as I like to say) responsibilities. So took photos with her film camera and I was assigned to digital duty. After prisoner exchange, I took the train into the city again (something which I am sick of already!) and met my university friends Laura and Jennifer. We chatted for 3 hours solid before I trained it back in the other direction to meet my buddies Blue and Kristel for a dinner invitation with Blue's parents. Uncooked chicken brought back fond memories of our childhood holidays to Blue's country house...we lost Kristel at this stage due to sickness induced from raw chicken but Blue and I soldiered on to go and see Xmen 3 at the movies!

WEDNESDAY I doddeled away the day a bit at home and chatted with a future Lyonnais exchange student from Melbourne Uni telling her everything I could think of. I once again went to the city that evening for dinner with Lisa and Michelle....close university first semester of last year we completed identical subjects and had identical timetables to match. Michelle didn't know I was coming so it was a big surprise....I love surprises! We had dinner on Lygon Street (famous for a multitude of Italian restaurants) after which we tried to hunt down my ex-Lyonnais house mate Ben (a Melbournian). We finally found him and it was great to see him again! Something familiar...some element of my world tour now in Melbourne with me.

TODAY, THURSDAY I was sooo conscientious and again spent time organising things at university. I joined the university student union which is now voluntary due to changes made by the government. It was a good thing to do as students can take advantage of many services and the more people who join the more money the union has to spend on services. Also, to work for the union as I did before I left (in catering, gowning graduates, media etc...) I had to become a union member. I am officially the first student to join the voluntary student union. They took photos! Watch the international press! I got a show bag too! Then it was home for a chiropractic appointment (Cara loves her Chiropractor as he is the best in the world), a bit of shopping, packing, packing, packing (with a visit from Kristel in between)........ I almost feel reincorporated into society again...and now I am leaving!

Talk to form Tahiti!

Cara who thinks you're awesome! =)

Friday, June 30, 2006

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Home Coming..... :-)

We're shopping our hearts out in bangkok & Can't Wait to see you all!!!


Friday, June 23, 2006

Thailand explored

Hi Guys,

Sorry I haven’t written for a while, but it has been a kinda hectic and busy holiday. So where was I last, where have I been, and what have I been up to?

I think I was in Ayutthaya last. We spent an extra day in Ayutthaya, going round Wat’s (temples) getting a book stamped, so that when we got back to the tourist office we could get a special medalian for free-apparently they do this every year, and this year the medalian was to commemorate the King’s 60th Jubilee which occurred while we were here-they absolutely love their King. We then went out and had a look at some of the temples which are lit up at night-they look absolutely amazing, so different to the day time.

The next day we got up early to catch a train to Khorat, but the early train wasn’t running so we sat in the train station for a couple of hours until the next one. When we got to Khorat we caught a bus straight to Phimai, where we visited the most stunning Wat. It is an old Khmer Wat, and is the most extensively restored Wat in Thailand-and also the most beautiful we have seen. The carvings on it were just amazing-so intricate, and beautiful-even thought they were so old and weathered.

The next day we had a look around the National Museum in Phimai, had a look at another ruin, and then at the old City Wall gate, about all that is left of the City Wall. We then got a bus to an old Archeological Site. It took a bit of finding, as the directions we were given were once again not accurate-it seems the way in Thailand, you really need to triple check everything to make sure you get the right information. The Archeological Site was really interesting. There were 3 digs, and they had mainly uncovered bodies, from between 2500 years old to 500 years old, each era having a completely different style of burial. You could visit all 3 digs, but only the first one really had anything to see, and the other 2 just had a couple of small objects in them.

We then went back to Khorat where we booked into a Hotel which looked alright, but when I got into the shower, I discovered I was sharing it with at least 5 cockroaches, as well as numerous ones we also saw later in the room. We decided we couldn’t stay there and found a better one just down the road. The next day we saw a monument in the city (about all there is to see in Khorat), and the old City Wall, did some shopping, and then caught the train back to Bangkok. In Bangkok we had a quick look at the night bazaar, and then caught another train to Surat Thani, where we had to get a bus to get to Krabi.

We wanted to have a quick look at Surat Thani, but were told by everyone that there was nothing to see, and were basically hearded onto a bus, without having the chance to even see anything-we were not impressed. The bus then took us to a bus stop, and then had to wait for a mini bus. The mini bus was then jam packed with people, the luggage on the roof. When started to rain they attempted to put a tarp over the baggage, which didn’t work, so it all got wet, plus they didn’t know where they were going and got lost, so by the time we got to Krabi we were less than impressed.

I had met some Americans in Bangkok who lived in Krabi, so we gave them a ring and asked if they would like to go out for tea as it was my birthday-they were so happy to hear from us, and took us to a lovely restaurant in Ao Nang.

The nest day we decided not to stay in Krabi, as it wasn’t near the beach, and went to Ao Nang instead, it is quite resorty, and on the beach front with a couple of quite nice beaches.

From Ao Nang we went on a 4 island tour round the bay. We went to one island which was stunning. It was low tide, so you could walk from the island we landed on to another 2 islands, across the sandbars. The sand was so white, although the beaches weren’t all that wide, and they had a fair bit of rubbish on them. We then went around the corner to a place called chicken rock, named because it looks like a chickens head, and went snorkeling-it was so nice and warm, and great to see some coral, tropical fish and lots of sea urchins. I have never been swimming in tropical waters before. We then went to another island to have lunch, and walked up to the end of the beach to look as some monkeys, they are so cheeky. Finally we went to Raily beach where it was raining quite a bit, but went swimming anyway, and the water was so warm, it was about 32 degrees. When we got back to Ao Nang we went for another swim, but the water was not clear, and not as warm, so was not nearly as nice.

We decided to hire some bikes and head out to a National Park, which had quite a few waterfalls in it. As it happen in the rainy season, it poured while we were at the National Park, and we might as well have been in a shower, we were absolutely soaked, but the 2 waterfalls we visited were very nice, and worth the drowning we got for it.

We then decided to go to Phi Phi, so got a speed boat over and visited the Phi Phi Ley on the way. We went to a lovely lagoon, which had the most gorgeous coloured water in it, before heading to Phi Phi Doh where we were dropped off. There is not a whole lot to do on the island, mainly sit on the beach which we did the day we arrived. However it was raining the next day-not exactly beach weather, so we went up to the viewpoint, and looked out across the island, it was just stunning. It would have been nice to have nice weather, but as we didn’t have a lot of time anyway, we decided to head off to Phuket, as we couldn’t really enjoy the beach on Phi Phi. We met a guy on Phi Phi who had lost both his son and daughter-in-law in the Tsunami, when they were here in their honeymoon, and a family of 5 who had been on the beach when the Tsunami hit, and amazingly had all survived-how they managed that one is a miracle.

In Phuket we spend the day shopping and went up to the viewpoint which looked out across the town. It was quite nice, but not as nice as Phi Phi, there were a lot more houses, and not as much beach. We also went to a large Buddha statue on the way up the mountain, which was huge, one of the biggest we have seen.

That’s about all for now, we are now heading back to Bangkok to do some more shopping, and maybe a little sightseeing, before we fly out in only 3 days-its been too soon since we arrived here, we really didn’t have enough time to see nearly what we wanted to.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Thai photos!

It took ages to download these photos so I demand that you ENJOY! Here is Rhainnon and I today in Ayuthaya which is north of Bangkok. We visited Khmer temple was fantastic. They are beutiful! It was scorching HOT all everyday really! We like these photos becasue we don't look too moist and sticky....we dont have that many pictures of oursleves for that very reason! We look too shiny and I keep saying...'oh, there another one to print out in balck and white!' (can't see the shine and all). Lots of love to everyone. We are safe, happy and of course sweating our asses off!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Bangkok, Chiang Mai,'re now updated!!

Hey Everyone,

Cara and Rhiannon (Cara’s friend from uni) are in Thailand!!!!!!!!!! We are having an awesome, hot, sweaty, non-touristy time. We are slowly increasing our Thai vocabulary. At the moment we cant read nor understand a thing and think the Thai alphabet is squiggly lines (Rhiannon), exotic (Cara) but we can say 5 things- hi and goodbye/sa-wat-ti-ka (same word- its like aloha, ciao, namaste, salut), toilet/hong-nam (very important and learned after getting tired of miming at 7/11’s), thankyou/ka-pu-ka, how much is this/tow-rye-ka (after which everyone replies in Thai so it is not soooo useful) and no/myow (we are still working on yes). Today we added ‘See ya/Pu-knee-pope-can….don’t look at the phonetic spelling all of you who know fluent Thai! Thai is a tonal language….something which we are currently ignoring and therefore probably saying all sorts of stuff!

So what have we done so far?
DAY 1-We met in Bangkok on June the 2nd after I fought the most amount of traffic I have ever seen to find Siam Square and Rhiannon. We met, found a very nasty and averagely priced for Bangkok (400Bhat= 13.30AUD=10Euros ) hotel room and wandered the streets taking it all in- the horrendous traffic, carbon monoxide, designer shops, street vendors selling cheap goods and scary food that would have the health authorities aghast (but was sooo good says Rhiannon).
DAY 2 was spent in Bangkok exploring the Palace and Reclining Buda (temple) followed by Thai massages and then we got up and left nasty Bangkok as soon as we could. We caught and overnight and allegedly air conditioned (ok, it got cold after a while) bus north to Chiang Mai. We had a 2am rest stop (what the?...everyone was sleeping and suddenly it was ‘wake up, off the bus’) where we bought strange packaged little round delicious(Rhiannon)/chalk like consistency (Cara) biscuits.
DAY 3 we hired bikes and rode thought the traffic mad streets exploring Chiang Mai which has more temples (or wats as they call them here) then you can poke a stick at (Rhiannon). In excess of 300, with 121 within the municipal limits (Lonely planet). All we had to do was wander or turn around and there was another beautiful and exquisitely decorated temple. Normally the exterior had dragons flanking the steps leading up to the door, coloured mirror mosaics, dogs in the yards and coloured tiled roofs. Monks in richly coloured robes are found inside outside and on the streets…everywhere. Rhiannon and I visited one very large, grand temple and ended up being asked to teach the mini-monks English which was really fun, so cute and just wow. I thought the head monk who asked us very clever for inviting us to teach- we ran through the alphabet many times, taught vowels and simple words. At the end he gave us his email address!
DAY 4 we hired the Thai version of a taxi (a sawngthaew…that pronunciation is lost on me) and visited a temple called Doi Suthep which is on a mountain and has dragons at the foot of the stairs that flank the entrance and their bodies continue up the entire 300 steps to the top. In our taxi we met Pin (Thai) who escorted us up, bought us the standard prayer pack consisting of 3 incense sticks, a long stemmed red rose and a long stemmed lotus flower. Pin showed us what to do with our prayer pack and how to shake a jar of sticks to and get an ancient Chinese Prophecy (Cara: number 16. Getting this number means you will be happy without trouble and suffering. Property, dignity and success will belong to you surely. Asking about illness, it’s already recovered from illness. As for lover he/she is very good and honest to you. Rhiannon: the 11th number tells that you are very lucky. It seems the full moon is without clouds. You benefit from your behaviour in the previous life. The lover, the cousins, and the debtor are very good to you. You will win the lawsuit.) We were all blessed in one of the temples by an old monk who dipped a bundle of sticks into water and flicked it at us while chanting. After which he gave us string bracelets which we tied on and are still wearing. I am quite fond of mine…we don’t know if we are supposed to wear them this long but are ignorance is bliss. We looked at a beautiful view over Chiang Mai. Pin then took us to the Warorot market in Chiang Mai and bought us lunch (omelet and rice). We walked the market and then got ready for our ‘cultural thing’ as Rhiannon just said. We attended a dinner and performance of Thai dancing which was very much like what I have done with my grandparents in Hawaii and New Zealand. We felt very cultured and dinner was yummy…we liked the fried banana the best.
DAY 5 we left Chiang Mai for Pai which is further north west. It is a very hippy town….full of all the Caucasians we have been glad not to see when eating at the street markets and biking around. It is perfect for those who would like to visit Thailand but not really see it and just chill out. People seem to come here with good intentions of staying bit and end up being here long term. Rhiannon and I had dinner with Patrick (USA), a random we met on our accommodation hunt, who speaks fluent Thai taught to him by the students he has taught English to in Bangkok every summer for the last 4 years. He ordered yummy things for us to eat and added chili, sugar and lime like Thais add to their meals (similar to westerners adding tomato sauce or mustard) and taught us lots of things about Thailand and its people. The Thai people are completely and utterly impressed with Patrick for speaking Thai….even more so then the French being impressed with me I think because no one speaks Thai. We were honored to be the first people he’d spoken English to for longer then 2 seconds in over a month! Go us!
DAY 6….TODAY we hired motorcycles…ok they are automatic and more like scooters I, with a wealth of experience from my single Croatia excursion (haughty voice), was ready for something bigger but had to think of Rhiannon…we both answered yes definetly when they asked us of we had experience ). We went and saw a waterfall, a village, a canyon, lots of beautiful countryside/jungle and saw and petted and fed ELEPHANTS! That’s right! We touched and cuddled and took millions of photos of them. We fed them mangoes and a reedy/sugar caney/grass thing. We have booked a 2 hour elephant ride for tomorrow which cost 450 Bhatt or 15AUD!!!! Lastly we visited a temple on the way home. We were invited into the temple by the monks, we sat down and all of a sudden were in the middle of what was probably evening prayer. The head monk gave us each a little stone tablet with Buddha on one side and a little mysterious critter on the other…..I love Buddhism!….I might become a Buddhist (an odd thing to say). I love scooters!....I keep singing ‘Ride Sally Ride’ and thinking things like ‘Open ‘er up’, ‘Pedal to the metal’, ‘I want to feel some air through my hair’ and “Varoom rooom rooom’ while flying along….Cara loves speed! I might be become a biker Buddhist. What’d ya think? P.S. We want to learn Thai.

Friday, June 02, 2006

En route to Thailand!

Hey! Am in the London Heathrow airport on my way to Thailand. My flight, BA 009 leaves for Thailand at 22:00! Rhiannon and I are meeting at Siam Square tomorrow...I have looked it up on maps and it seems easy to get to by public transport! Love you all and see you soon! Cara is sad to leave Europe!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Last stop before Thailand.....

Hello! Since the 24th of May I have been staying with my cousin Carola and her family in Bad Schönborn which is just south of Heidleberg. They are so nice and I am having a really nice and easy, stress free, relaxing time here! Watching movies, eating yummy home cooked food and here is what I have been up to in photos....these are all of my time Heidleberg. I went with Aniela (Carol's daughter) to Heidelberg for the day and met up with my frend Sam who is on exchange from Melb uni too! We were friends in Melbourne and thought we might meet up so it was pretty trippy to have it finally happen just a bit before I flew out!

The order is all mixed up:

Sam had a dinner party and I was invited!

Aniela and I eating ice cream at her favourite spot in Heidelberg! They have really good ice cream here!

Cara and the castle! Heidelberg Castle of course!

The Castle and fireworks....I think this is one of my favourite photos so far! The castel is so beautiful!

Sam, Cara and more ice cream! So YUMMY! Now how happy do we look about that!

To the Thailand....

Today at 6:50pm I will take my flight from Frankfurt airport to London (1 hour 40mins) and then onto Thailand (another 8 and a half hours). I will arrive in Bangkok at 3pm the next day.

Yesterday I bought bug spray, sun screen and some food to take. It will be bottled water and eating only boiled food for the next 3 weeks. No salad, no ice cubes (even though the heat will be stifling) and no raw vegetables due to danger of Hepatitis.

I have reduced my bag to practically nothing and intend to fill it with silky fabrics, flowy pants and things along those lines. I am hoping to be able to take my almost empty bag onto the plane with me therefore avoiding checcking my bag entirely (no one can mess with your lugguage if it is on the plane with you and locked up).

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Random facts about Germany!

-'Boh!' is an expression of 'Wow!'.
-There is a yellow light between the red and everone can get ready I guess.
-When a child is born in Germany and you decide on a name it has to be a real name. The name must be on the registry offices's comprehensive list which covers all offical names in the world apparetnly and if it is not on the list then you can't use that name so i guess you wont be getting children called Apple or Jagged Blade or anything like that.
-You loose your licence for 4 weeks for running a red light (and getting caught for it)
-With Nicole in Munich I drove 150km/hour on the autobarn which means freeway.
-With Carola (aka: Schumacher) in Heildberg we drove 170km/hour.
-There are some words that have been incorperated into the German language which sound English...but are not! Like handy for mobile/cell phone so when German people talk to you in English they usually use these's cute!
-Fashion: leather pants and Birkenstocks with socks are more common then you think. Birkenstocks aren't as hippish or cool as they are in the States and Australia.
-'Shower and Care Sport' advertises a bottle of shower gel....that combo doesnt make any sense!
-A store called 'Bad and Wellness'...Bad means bath but wellness is just well, not a word and the sad fact is I have hear it often and now I am starting to think it is a word!
-World cup fever sweeping Germany and evidence can be found everywhere. Flags are hanging in villages and towns. You acn buy merchandise practically everwhere. Berlin had massive souvenir shops which looked as if they had just been set up for the occasion. A little fabric store in a small town near Carola had football fabric and curtains. Supermarkets have backpacks and otherrandom things.
-For Nicole's secondary school it was a field trip to a concentration camp. One person fainted and Nicole said she felt sick afterwards and couldn't eat. Cara did not visit one whilst in germany.
-I am learning baby German. In the 20 baby German words that I have learnt, there are 2 sounds that I have great difficulity saying and there are no equivalents in English. My friend Ivan told me to pronounce a u like an try it...everyone all together now...
-Cara thinks everything is soooo cheap in Germany as she has been spending way too much time in Italy's big cities (or isolated areas like on the top of a freezing mountain with a bunch of crazy athletes) and France! German's however, think everything is soooo expensive because when the Euro came into effect prices pretty much stayed the same (there was a rule that they could not for 6 months) and salaries halved.
-Bus stops are marked by a green a gold H in a circle. H is for haltestellen.
-Bavaria is a state (there are 13 states within Germany and 3 free states) of Germany.
-There are hot dog vendors which walk around with a grill starpped to their tummy and a giant umbrella above them...thus far I havent had thre heart to take a picture of them...I feel to soory for them as if I had to do that job I wouoldnt wnat ti documented!

Photos of Budapest that were never shown before!

Yes, gasp! It's exclusive Budapest photos! (no, not back in Budapest just sharing the love from afar!)

Cara on the Danube River (second longest river in Europe) with Budapest's Parliament in the background (third biggest parliament in the world they told me on the tour!) Oh...just overflowing with facts!

Cara post bathing (that bathing is said with a very posh accent and a hand gesture to accompany) at the Gellért Turkish Bath! This is the most famous in Budapest and you will see it in pictures everwhere! So much fun! I went into the women's bath and swam naked! Lovely feeling minus bathers! It had to be often do you get to do that!?!

Cara and the Citadel. I can't help thinking is cute (and very cool) because it reminds me of a sand castle ('s so cute! pinches widdle castle's widde cheeks) but in fact it is a serious fortress built in the mid 1800's atop Castle Hill (also called Gellért Hill)....serious! Castle Hill is on the west side of the river which is the Buda side and from the hill you can look east and see all of Pest below you. Great view, especially in the evening sunset or at night as I saw it.

I met some American girls in the hostel bathroom (I swear I could meet anyone anywhere) who were on on exchange in Malta. Here we are having afternoon tea after high powered sight seeing around Budapest for the day. Cara, oops...I forget, Anne, Jamie!

So this was the best train trip ever...and it wasn't due to the alcohol! The journey from Budapest to Zagreb with complete train randoms (from L to R) Staffan (Sweeden), Heather and Nicole (USA) was so much fun I didn't want to get off the train! You will notice in the photo we are all holding someone else's passport! Staffan's was the best passport photo I had ever seen and definetly not a photo that would be deemed offical by Australian standards! So funny!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

To Munich!

So tomorrow at 10am I will leave Berlin and my newly adopted German fraternity family for Munich! I am getting there by carpool as trains are expensive in Europe (100 Euros for this trip) and the buses are cheaper but also slower and not so flexible. There is a well known site here called ´Mitfahrgelegenheiten´ (a word I am not even going to try and pronounce) which links riders with cars....I can hear my mother panicing already buts its very common, they have offices in the main train stations and its really ok.....and way better then some of the other stuff I have done...hehehe....just kidding MUM (those are the stories I don´t write that you´ll all hear about later when I am home safe and sound and writing my first novel)! So I have arranged it for tomorrow.

Munich is the place of October fest and most Germans tell me that there is not much to see there if it is not October however the southern part of Germany is called Bavaria and there is a bit of a rivalry (and a different accent) between it and the rest of Germany so maybe that has something to do with it! I am staying with my friend Nicole whom I met in Spain. If you look at photos from Valencia I met her the second time I was there and she is playing the guitar in the photos. We were all posterboards for the perfect youth hostel bonding experience and it just gets better that I am goign to visit her now! She is stuying to be a music teacher in Munich! I called her yesterday and she was very happy to hear from me, it´s going to be really fun seeing her again!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

´Eello ´Eello Amsterdam!

So I finally made it to Amsterdam.....if only for a day. I intended to stay over night there but ended up staying with the policeman instead. We went to the seaside on Saturday and then Sunday I went off to Amsterdam by train.

The train ride was much like other train rides with beautful scenry until I saw a windmill, got completely excited and then saw another!!! Giant beautifully sterotypical windmills....YAY....what more could you ask for! The girl across from saw how excited I saw so we started to chat. She was from Belgium lives in Amsterdam and her boyfriend sitting next to her is a DJ who sells hash in cafes to make money! The after that we pulled into the main station and I saw the most amount of bikes concentreated in one place on the planet I am sure. It was a multi level parking structure....FOR BIKES! Crazy wonderful Idea! I saw the main tourist attractions purely becasue they interested me the most. I saw the Van Gogh museum and finally got to meet ´The Bedroom` which I studied in Lyon. When I asked the women at the information desk where ´The Bedroom` was she gave me this blank look as if to say ´There are no bedrooms here only galleries of Art` then she giggled...oh different languages.

After that it was to the Anne Frank house which was pretty sobering. Anne Frank is the daughter of Otto Frank, a jewish business owner. Otto Frank put his business in the name of his second in command when the Nazi´s banned Jewish people from owing bussiness. When the Germans invaded The Netherlands he took his family into hiding in his office at work along with another Jewish couple. His loyal staff cared for them and brought them provisions. They converted the upper levels of the office into a small house and Anne kept a diary which has been published in just about every language. The famillies hid for 2 years until someone informed on them and they were taken to concentration camps. The only survivor was Otto, Annes´s father. He said at the house that he imagined that he and his wife would not survive but never thought that the children would not. What a wonderfully talented writer and so young. It is more then a shame that the world did not benefit from her writings for years and years to come. We lost.

So on that happy note....after Amsterdam that it was off to Berlin, Germany by air! I slept in the airport for my 6:50am flight because it wasnt really worth getting accmodation. By the time I wasted a whole bunch of time finding something (something which I am extremely tired of doing by now) and then I stayed out in Amsterdam until midnight seeing the place with new friends and then if I planned to get an early train to be at the airport I would leave at like 3am or 4am to make sure I didnt miss the 4am train....needeless to say 3 or 4 hourse sleep in a hostel for 20 plus Euros (they are expensive in Amsterdam on the weekends) was not worth it.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Belgian photos! Cara´s day in Brussels

Cara´s day in Brussels!

The night of arrival: My friend Mike (from Mauritius, met on the train) and I out for a drink meeting Belgians next to us! Everyone was oputside enjoying the nice weather on an intersection with lots of bars. It was very alive.

One day to see it all: I visited la musee de Beaux Arts/Fine Arts museum and saw La Mort de Marat/The death of Marat...which I studied in Histoire de l´Art Contemporain/Contemporary Art History in Lyon. It was a complete surprise. I had no idea it was there. Very cool!

The off to Brussels Park...once again everyone was out enjoying the weather, lounging on the grass. Behind me is Palais de la Nation, Brussels parliamant.

Cara with a really yummy Belgian waffle! YUM YUM YUM! I ate 2 yesterday just to make the most of it. They are so good you don´t need whipped cram, strawberries, chocolate or any of those things.

Belgian waffels and Belgian chocolate! and French again!

Hey! So after Hannover I visited Munster and spent a fantastic eveing with my friend Jens and his lawyer freinds...everyone was soo nice and hand picked by Jens for their english speaking abilities. Believe it or not it was the best conversation I´ve had in ages and it was with non native english speakers! I am so lucky!

After that I spent the next day in Cologne and then entered in Belgium to visit the capital Brussels. I spent all of today there and saw it all including alot of Art Nouveau architecture and an exhibition which made me wish I had more time here....always a good thing! I ate Belgian waffels and Belgian chocolate while here and let ,e tell you it was fablous, amazing and incredible to say the least!

Tomorroz off to Amsterdam for 2 days, just a quick visit, and then I fly to Berling early early Monday morning! Forgive all the mistakes in here as I am so tired and also they speak French in Belgium so I am back to the French keyboard however I am loving speaking French again. Tonight I am staying with a Belgian policeman and his son (believe me its a long story but I am not arrested) and I have practised my French all night. They are SO nice! Belgian people are very friendly.

Cara =)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Made in Munster!

Hi everyone! I travelled west in Germany today to Munster where my friend Jens lives. We were at the same uni in Lyon. The train trip here was beautiful! Everything is so green and German countryside is completely underated! There are fields and fields of yellow flowers which I think is is so yellow it contrasts with the dirt around it making the dirt appear violet! The whole countryside was striped with yellow, green and brown. Spring really is fact Jens says that this year the weather went straight from wintrer to summer!

Jens picked me up from the train this afternoon, we got ice cream and walked around the town. Visited the river, lake, church and old part of town. I saw his university and now we are off to what we are calling a BBQ party at his girlfriend Julia´s house! I am doing laundry here and just took a shower! How about that! P.S. I think I fogot my camera cable in Hannover so thats not so good for the photos on the blog idea! oooppps!!! Currently looking for a flight from Brussels to Amsterdam....or trains! =)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Hannover with Ivan!

The Church and old city building!

Hannover from above!

A statue commemorating 7 guys who believed in the contitution over their King...wonderful idea!

Cara and the Hannover Opera.

The Hannover Town Hall which I fell in love with and think is absolutely beautfiul!