England, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway
16.07.2007 - 23.08.2007 20 °C
For the summer of 2007 I decided to bum around Eruope visiting some of my favorite friends from my studies in Australia. I visited Lilou in her flat in Paris, Kathrin's hometown as well as Uni town, Marie and Anders showed me that there is much more to Denmark that can be expected, Heidi took me exploring in Finland, Morten introduced me to the fjords in Norway and Adele kept me up all night in Newcastle! Seeing Europes sights played a close second to seeing the friends I had missed so much. But pictures speak louder than words....(wish I hadn't lost most of them in England).
Lilou, Perrick, Miguel, Ashley, Olli and Warrick
I began my trip in Paris, staying with Lilou and even getting a chance to see Perrick, Ashley, Miguel, Olli and Warrick...quite the Aussie reunion. The first night I landed Lilou took me, Olli and Warrick out on a beautiful dinner boat that ran down the Seine river.
Seeing the sunset from the river along with all of the sights, so romantic!
I spent most of my days touring the city of Paris by foot on my own while Lilou was hard a work. I walked from East to West, North to South and everywhere in between. The more I walked around the more I realized how little about Paris I really knew (especially when I realized I had been taking pictures of the back of the Louvre instead of the front plaza). I loved exploring this wonderful city as well as spending about 2 hours collecting my lunch...wine from the wine shop, bread from the bakery, cheese from the cheese shop.
The week got even better when for Lilou's birthday Miguel, Ashley, and Perrick arrived. We spent the nights drinking and laughing, and the days walking around the city.
Getting to spend time with these guys was priceless!
Me and Kathrin
After leaving Paris I took the new high speed Euro train and was in Stuttgart so fast I barley had time to catch a quick nap. There Kathrin picked me up and brought me to her home town of Esslingen. Our first stop was a handball game which I had been dying to see ever since her and Marie told me about it in Australia. The game was played down town and I loved the houses that surrounded the match...I really felt like I was in Germany now!
Kathrin not only showed me around her home town of Esslingen but also drove me down to her Uni town to Tubingen. We went paddle boating down the river, toured the old houses and castle, and of corse had time for...
I left Kathrin and headed to Berlin for what I imagined would be the greatest historic city touring of my travels...I was wrong. I had greatly underestimated the amount of damage that had been done to Berlin which resulted in the need to rebuild most of the historic city. So I climbed through construction sites and tried to drown out the sounds of cranes in search for the real Berlin. Unfortunately it was a very hot day so I did my touring in my swim top!
The capital building was very impressive!
And I definitly enjoyed see the Berlin wall
But most I enjoyed a beautiful sunset with a beer!
Marie, Anders, Erik, Markus and Elin
Next stop was Aarhus, Denmark to stay with Marie and Anders. They showed me such a great time I may even consider moving to Denmark...well only in the summer We spent a day on the beach, BBQ and swimming in ice cold water.
testing the water...FREEZING diving in!
Then it was time for the Aussie reunion Dannish style! Markus, Elin and Erik fly/rode in for a great few days of riding bikes around town, laughing all night, great meals, and dancing...dancing...dancing!
We visited the Queens summer house to play in her garden. Rode to the beach for a funny game with stick and lots of bending over (but only if your winning) and some footie. Played silly string games and made the most impressive drinks you have ever seen and drank till the sun came up! It was so hard to leave but there is just too many friends to see...nice problem to have.
Me and Heidi
After stopping off for one day in Stockholm, Sweeden (one of my very favorite cities in Northern Europe) it was off to Turku, Finland by boat to see my sweet Heidi! I couldn't be more excited to arrive in Turku and Heidi got right to work showing me her Uni town and then whisking me away to her beautiful cabin outside the city. We rowed a boat out to check out the beautiful lake, sat in the sauna then ran into the freezing water, and just enjoyed the absolute beauty of Finland.
Finland adventures didn't end in the woods though. We made it back to Heidi's Uni town to do a bit of physical work on the rock climbing wall! It was so much fun! And then Heidi was nice enough to take the ferry boat back with me to Sweeden so we enjoyed an extravagant seafood buffet and a beautiful boat ride with late night sunsets and cheap booze! (well cheap for Finland )
Me and Morten
"Reunited and it feels so good" hahaha A quick train ride from Sweeden and I arrived in Oslo, Norway. Me and Morten spent a few days hanging around Oslo, seeing the city and enjoy the bit of sunshine we got!
Looking out over the port in Oslo
Then we took a ride North/East to see the famous Fjords which were amazing, impressive and breathtaking. Unfortunatley, I only have my memories and one photograph on the way up to the fjords to remember it by.
Snow in summer...hmmm
Norway was wonderful and of corse it was great to spend some real time with Morten again but my trip was not done and there is only one person that I could imagine cheering me up after I had to leave Norway and that person is the crazy Adele!
Newcastel and London, England
Me and Adele
After a long month of bumming around Europe and one very long night of sleeping in the streets of Bergen, Norway arriving at Adele's house to a traditional English Sunday dinner was priceless. Adele's family couldn't have been better to me while I stayed and their house in Boldon Colliery.
And in true Gail and Adele fashion we went out like rockstars and in the process lost my camera, wallet, everything but my passport (I guess I'm not completly unlucky). But hey the journey was fun! Adele also took me out to see the castles of England and see the countryside, the beaches and the city. It was amazing to see her and there is never enough time when it comes to my girl Adele!
My last stop was jolly ol' London. I had about 36 hours to see the city so I set out on foot to do a crazy walking tour of the downtown sights. I basically had run out of money at this point as well so taking the underground to help out was not even an option. No matter, if you have ever traveled with me you know I love to walk around a city!
The next mornig I flew out of London and back to the US, never imagining that in 8 months I'd be heading right back!