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!

Off to Munster!

Hello! So I have done Hannover and am off to Munster today to visit and stay with my freind Jens whom I was on exchnage with in Lyon. He was the diver and instigator of the St Etienne trip that I did when in France! That was an incredible may remember the photos with autumn leaves and a cascade (waterfall). It will be nice to see him. After that the plan goes continue west to Brussels, and then who knows. Amsterdam? Swisterland? Copenhagen? But the plan is to end up back in Munich and then go north to Heidelburg and Frankfurt where I fly out and where Sam (a friend on exchnage with Melb Uni) and Carola (my step dads cousin who came out for the wedding and is soo nice and excited to have me spend time with her family). YAY!

Croatia in a nutshell

Hi Everyone!

So I have left beautiful sunny Croatia and am now in Germany!

Croatia in a nutshell:

April 24th-Left Budapest (capital of Hungary) for Zagreb (capital of Croatia). My train ride was hands down the best EVER! As I got onto the train I started talking with 2 American girls, we went and found our own compartment together. Before the American girls I said some offhand remark to a Danish woman (Lis). I went back and spoke with her and she had invited me to come and stay with her. She lives on an island north of Germany and off the east coast of Denmark! YAY! The American girls were really wonderful to chat too and very interesting women. We were chatting away, went out to look at the view of the lake as we trained past and ended up invited a Swedish guy into our compartment after which time we took lots of silly photos, drank 2 shots of Absinth, complained about that and tied one of luggage tags onto each on of us somewhere…mine is on my hiking boot and will not take it off for at least a month!

April 25th-Spent the day in Zagreb touring around with a German girl. We went to the outdoor market, jumped on a tour of American high school students, saw one of the oldest and prettiest cemeteries in Europe and food shopped for our upcoming trip to the National Park which is only 2 hours by bus from Zagreb

April 26th- Cara and German girl separate as Cara needs to clense her camera of a multitude of photos. Agreeement is to meet at the bus station at 10am. German girl makes casual joke of ‘well I will just leave if you’re not there’. Photo burning takes longer then expected and Cara arrives at bus station at 10:30 therfore missing 2 possible German girl buses….hummm….where is she? Maybe she has gone to the park already? Waiting for me there? Cara decides to catch the 11am bus with or without German girl as she must already be in the park if she doesn’t make it to the bus station….all she had to do was get on one tram so she should have beat me there. Arrive at park. No German girls anywhere. There are multiple entrances and German girl could be anywhere….hurrm…ask park rangers…they are fresh out of German girls. Cara rents a big room with 3 beds and a bathroom, feels incredibly luxirous and then goes for a walk around the park! The park is a waterfalls national park, full of travertine waterfalls and incredibly beautiful! Cara meets Adam (Canadian backpacker) who is really nice. Cara and Adam have dinner and then go back to Cara’s palace sharing stories of traveling (Adam did a missionary trip to Albania and most notably slept in a tree atop his bag to avoid finding out if the wild looking dogs outside a Serbain train station were really wild) and taking long showers in the nice bathroom….separately.

April 27th- I’m up early and spend the day touring around the park with Satoshi (Japan) and Christine (Australia). Satoshi is almost retired and Chris is in her 40s so it is nice to hang with a different crowd. Chris heads back to Zagreb and I have dinner with Satoshi or rather he bought me dinner. He is very very nice and has traveled just about everywhere multiple times. Maybe I will visit him and his family in Japan someday.

April 28th- Head out early with the intention of getting a bus. Wait 2 hours with Satoshi and finally when we get a bus I remember that I have forgotten my passports cleverly hidden in my room! So its back to the little village for me. The woman who I stayed with completely cleaned the room and didn’t find it so I guess that’s good right. I am so good at hiding things I hid it from myself! So I had to wait around the park for the next bus at 5pm! I bought some lunch (yougurt and bread) and sat on the path and low and behild who did I meet. A backpacker I gave advice to on where to stay who was getting off the bus as I was getting on. We hiked around togtehr on some of the rim trails which I would have been sorry to miss and then I went and waited for the bus for 2 hours...when they say it comes at 5 its a rought guesstimate! Arriving in Split quite late I asked the guy at bus info if he knew anywhere to stay after looking for something in my Lonely planet and finding it said very little in general about the city of Split. He had a friend whos grandmother rented rooms and a free taxi to get me there. prefect. It was not that close to the town and my room with 3 beds was completley empty (a good thing if you look at it one way and alone therefore bad the other way) but at the hour I didnt care.

April 29th- Headed out taking all my stuff and went looking for a hostel and from this point on life in Croatia starts. I founf Al's hoste, run by a nice englishman and stayed there for 2 days. I met the people there who I travelled with to the Islands of Havar and Korcula. I ended my trip in a beautful city called Dubrovnik and took an overnight bus back to Zagreb where I flew to Germany with a budget airling called German wings!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Cara on top of a tower in Hamberg!

Hamburg photos!

So I met Ivan comming off the plane. He is Crotian and studies in Hanover and we walked around Hamberg togther. He showed me some of the sights.

Korculan Photos! hahaha

Cara at church (in Korcula's old town)

This is a the town of Korcula from above. Nice photo if I dont say so myself!

Cara rented a Peugeot Vivacity scooter and crossed the entire island of Korcula to visit the town on the other side of the island! YAY! And I drove through a town called....CARA!!! (ok, in all honesty the accent on the top of the C renders a different pronunciation but I am still ecstatic!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

off 2 another island...Korcula

the weather here iS sUNNY AND AMAZING. OFF 2 ANOTHER ISLND TO EXplore and then off 2 the main land flying to germNY AFTER THT. THIS COMPUTER IS NO GOD11111 AHHH....BYE 4 NOW1!1

Havar-ing a good time in Havar! haha

The island is beautiful and quite big too. Last night Pauline (French- met her in Budapest and found out we were going to be in Croatia at the same time), Marcus (USA met in Split hostel) and Bryan (Aussie- met in Split hostel) went out for dinner. Drank some wine which I am quite licking I must admit. We then went and partied a bit at the main square right on the water as there was a concert there for the first of May whihc is a holiday here. We hung out at one of the bars right on the water (the town is pretty small so there are not very many) and all tried to find out accmodation again in the dark!

Today, was my first day of nice weather since I left the capital Zagreb. It is nice not to be soggy and the colours here are spectacular. Just add sun! I spent today chilling out and it seems we have quite a big crew for dinner tonight. There is a group of people we met in a bar last night, guys who were in Split and came to Havar earlier and the group of us that travelled over here for dinner together. Should be fun. I will be here tonight too and then visit another island tomorrow. Alright, must go climb up to the castel up the top of the island. Thank you to Havar public library for letting me post this!

Cara who is safe and happy and will go to Germany at the end of the everyone can stop worrying!

Monday, May 01, 2006

From Split a costal city to Havar island.

So today I am off on the 2pm ferry to Havar which is a popular island. It is pretty chill here and I have made lots of friends who are going to Havar today and know others who went yesterday! Will try to find more net soon! Love you all....I am very safe.

I cant try to reassure the people who are concerned about Croatia. You dont know till you get here. I cant describe have to come and see for yourself. It is normal here. VERY VERY normal. There are alot of tourists but not too many that they would be targetted. There are people of all ages that work and play and live normal lives. Croatia is probably safer then most places at the moment. Croatia and most easter European countries are off the map a little bit and there is no terrorism here. Why werent people concerned when I was in western countries which were being targetted? Discussion over...everyone stop worrying. If it wasnt a public holiday I would call and reassure everyone but its just not an option.