A Travellerspoint blog

Reykjavik

The Continuing Dream


View Europe 2015 on kidd1200's travel map.

Need to quickly get some stuff out of my mind before my memories get wiped by imbued treats. Today did a combo of adventure time antics. Got up at the crack of dawn, or more like the crack of dusk as Iceland starts to gradually move into that weird part of the year with short days. Did a Volcano and Caving tour, which was a step into yet another weird world. Got a potted history, in glacial terms about Icelands tectonic formation. Dofri, my first guide of the day, related the time scale of Icelands formation into 24hrs, I think Vikings arrived about 6 seconds ago. Was one of those moments, as he said, when you realise the insignificance of all you do and are, a fleeting moment in time is all we have. Truelly, it was quite a humbling experience the entire day. The majesty of nature, and for that matter existence, often smacks you in the face and leaves you a blubbering mess of incomphrehension and awe. So it was today. The landscape that is Iceland, is simply mezmorising. So there are a number of active volcano systems scattered throughout the island. Most of the land is, well more or less all of it is formed from the lava flows, over eons, from volcanic eruptions that have occurred. So the predominate landscape is black, hardened lava flows, with only a moss/ lichen that grows on it. The occaisional tuft of hardy straw grass pokes stubbornly out, defying the cold, blistering winds and inevitable snow. Much like a nations characteristics and humour is derived from the living conditions, this was evident that their harsh exterior is really covering a soft porous inside, just like the landscape.

The area we went to was, Krýsuvík so if you again play along at home it should be fairly easy to find, south southeast of Reykjavik. I would recommend having a look at some photos on the interweb because my paltry attempts cannot convey the majesty of this area. I mean the colours are of the charts. Something about having a black backdrop, with the verdant green moss, then the elemental colours from the geothermal springs causing a de-nucleosynthesis into prime spectral goodness. Everyone probably knows about geology and geothermal antics, I don't really so was excited to learn about all this stuff. To keep things interesting I'll spare you my thesis, just remember that the red comes from iron oxidising when it comes into contact with the air, the greens and blues and yellows from all your other cool chemicals like sulphur and magnesium probably some beryllium in there, other nitrates as well, mixing around and getting up to all kinds of elemental mischief. How about a photo now just to give a bit of an idea.

Actually, to get an idea of the colours just check out photos on the web. Here is the general area we were in. It was cold as a thick blanket of rain/fog rolled in.

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Interestingly, Dofri decided to start this tour when he was a councilmen during the GFC. This obviously got him thinking as to why no one saw it coming, or had planned for it. Around the same time he had a physic friend tell him of a vision of lava running through Reyykavik. He began to ask geologist friends if this was a possibilitiy. Found out that it was, in fact one of the closest and potentially more destructively located volcanos, in terms of its lava flow, erupts around once every 500-800 years. The last time was 850 yrs ago. So. He then investigated if the city council had a plan for such an event. A mass evacuation of Reykjavik in the event of a volcanic eruption. No. Some seven years later, there is a plan for a plan. Both Dofri and his brother, who led the lava tube caving trip in the afternoon, displayed brilliant Nordic humour. More on that later.So he said that they are trying to become a really good tour group, and have now raised the proportion of people they bring back to 70%. Quite a high standard.

Following our trip up and down the geothermal active area, located above a magma pond some 1km, we got to talking about the Finninsh and their drinking abilities. So it seems, as I remember from ProgPower that of all the Nordic countries, the Finns are the crazy drinkers. They, the Finns, have three kinds of coffee he told us; coffee, which has a dash of vodka in it; coffee normal, which is 50:50 coffee to Vodka and; coffee royal, which is straight Vodka. Also, the Swedish who had a fair few fights with the Finns, have a saying; 'we fight to the last Finn'. Not sure as to the veracity of this claim.

After this tour ended we had an hours break for lunch then met for the second tour, which was run by Dofri's brother. Both of these guys work for the search and rescue service, so are pretty accomplished mountaineers. They also run the Stormhike, which only operates when everything else has been cancelled. I was pretty keen on doing this, but it operates only from around March, when the weather is totally nuts. They do a bit of a an education about the search and rescue operations, then don some quality gear and drive to a blizzard. Then have fun in the extreme weather. So, need to come back here in Winter. Actually, James, I'm sure you have been told to come here, but the scenery is just insane. Rekon you would dig it a lot. On that note, I'm going to break out of the city and hire some wheels on my Sunday and go to the South coast. Just need to remember they drive on the right hand side.

Some more lava based information then. The natives in Hawaii have a word for the two kinds of lava flows that solidify as they cool. One for the smooth slowly cooled flow is, can't actually remember. Which is not the point. The sharp edged, rough crazy formed stuff is called Owei owei, because it hurts to walk on. Not sure if this is true or just Dofri humour. Anyway, there are definitely very different kinds of flows. The lava tubing we did was pretty spectacular. Completely different to the limestone caving that we are familiar at places like Buchan Caves. They form when a lava flow cools, hardens then there is some kind of tectonic movement that occurs and kind of drains the still hot inside lava out, forming a tube. This then, during the next flow can be filled with fresh flows, creating all kinds of weird structures within the tube. Seriously, despite having no colour like limestone, there are similar structures but formed in a different way. So cool. the best part was after crawling through narrow spaces and getting all kinds of cranial knocks, we all turned our headlights out.

Now, I generally use the tried and true method of sleeping with my eyes closed to keep the monsters out at night time. That is not darkness. Darkness is been underground. It fills your vision, smothering and creeping into every pore of your conscious. It was dark. I mean, stick your head into a tub of black paint. Then close the curtains and head over to the dark side of the moon. But don't listen to the album, cause that will destroy the effect. Instead, slightly turn on every tap within a 3oom radius so they all drip at different intervals. Try and get some Fibonacci drip sequence happening. That was kind of what it was like. Imagine, then, if someone sings an Icelandic lullaby. About a women telling her daughter about all the horrible things that are out in the world. The trolls. Monsters. Evil spirits. And worst of all, Love. Because that is the most horrible thing that can happen to anyone. To love and loose. Just to clarify, this is part of the lullaby sung to Icelandic children when they go to sleep. I don't nescesarily endorse the opinions contained herein. The sentiment of the song is that you should hurry up and go to sleep and stay asleep as long as possible.

Again this partly helps explain the character of our guides and perhaps the country more broadly. They have been whispered this lullaby from an early age and consequently have a low expectation of what life can offer. They will then never be disappointed in what the day may bring. This part I dig. In all cerealness it was a beautiful lullaby. Especially sung in a such a void. Not for the last time I had the old tingle down the spine. As well as a waterdrop that constantly found a way to penetrate my neck and cascade down around my nodule. That was shout out. So if it makes no sense it wasn't for you. We saw plenty of evidence of trolls and elves throughout this lava tube. But that may be a conversation for those younger of spirit. This entry has been written al over the time space continuum, so apologies if the sentence are more

Disjointed than usual.

Now, I just got back from kicking around downtown, not for the last time. Thought I had found all the urban delights. But like a deliscious roast pork, when you think you have scraped every last portion of yumminess from your plate, there always seems to be seconds. Now the ratio is never the same as you first serve, but that often makes it better. Always more vegetables, less of the meat and generally all the potatoes are gone. But hey, you get a massive smothering of gravy, and if your sitting opposite someone who doesn't like their pig fat/ crackling. Boom. Jackpot. Throw in some day old bread. This is straight out of a conversation I had recently. I might open up a bar that does Sunday roast every night. And you can ask for seconds, for a reduced price and as stated, the ratio is all changed. So, I picked up a few additional sweet treats from Reykjavik, urban style. I mean I hit some primo locations. Big pieces. There really is a stack, but I'll only post a few. And a panoramic picture. Sorry this has been a pretty massive entry. But hey, gotta keep myself entertained.

Till next time. May the monsters stay out of your dreams.
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Sorry, can't make the panoramic photo any bigger.

Posted by kidd1200 06:56 Archived in Iceland Comments (3)

Reykjavik

Airwaves, Surreal Dreamscapes and Northern Ponderings


View Europe 2015 on kidd1200's travel map.

Flying into Keflavik airport was easily one of the most amazing spine tingling experiences of my life. For a brief 15mins I was nothing but synaptic energy bursts. Truly a straight up, ethereal, otherworldy cool landscape. It was also bizarre because I was finally reading the rest of my Juxtapoz magazine that I have been carrying around with, in the off chance that I sit next to some amazing women and can look really cool just chilling and reading about Banksy and other cool cats. Totally contrived casualness. So this particular issue has a section on a dude called Turf One and he was describing some of his influences, a major one been the fantastic movies by Caro and Jeunet, especially Delicatessen which also happens to be a favourite of mine. This is where things, in the way that the universe seems to display that chaotic non linear time linkage craziness, get weirder. Emma and I had been having on and off conversations about things we really dig, including my love of this movie and the entire time I was carrying around reference to it. I don't know, seemed like an odd co inky dink. And, it also has a photo of Turf One holding a pigs head over his face. The porcine connection is back. Felt like one of those odd moments. May also have been the chills from a 5 degree arrival temperature. I felt like I had arrived in a place unlike any other. This post will be written more like a straight diary, so if I get a bit introspective it's because I no longer have an Emma to listen to my 'sound and fury'. That was a straight reference at stream of conscious writing. Or sometimes I like to think 'unconscious crap' in my case.

Another reference then. If Slartibartfast won an award for his Baroque addition of Fjords to Norways coastline, then I sure hope whoever designed Iceland got some recognition as well, because it be truly beautiful. Just re reading this, might start taking a Dictaphone around and start talking to it, 'Emma, had a dam fine cup of coffee and cherry pie today'. That will be the last cultural reference for the moment. Maybe.

So this morning, I awoke after one of the most comfortable sleeps under a doona in my life. So toasty. Headed out to get a beanie because it's cold. I mean, the last time I was this cold was when I went on a survival camp with scouts, in Mt. Buggery or some silly named mountain, I mean there are a few in the Alpine National Park, should have been Mt. Freezing Cold When All You Have Is a Rubbish Bag To Sleep In. Guess I survived it. So, it's a bit chilly. Well nothing that 5 layers of clothing can't keep out. Job done, I strolled down one of the main streets in Downtown Reykjavik. Saw a stack of street art. So you may well get multiple postings from me whilst I'm up near the top of the world. Oh, just remembered. Last night, had a look out my window, and bam, the Northern Lights decided to pay a visit. Crazy. Superlative superlatives would not be able to describe that moment. I headed down to the bay, it was pretty cold. Probably need a few more adjectives to describe the level of cold, but, for real this was bonkers. Laid on my back on a volcanic black rock that is the predominate terra form up here, and just blissed out. Actually had a tear roll down my cheek, which promptly crystalized. You could make some pretty cool potion out of that tear, because it contained a heady cocktail of emotion. All kinds of fun times for sure.

Checked into the festival today, now my wrist is sporting two tokens of musical goodness. Still rocking the ProgPower band. Going to try and pace myself with the sites and sounds of Reykjavik. Am back at the biscuit factory about to listen to a Reykjavik band East of my Youth. They were great, the singer had a divine voice. I have a stack of photos already, so will probably post quite a few. This place is epic, for sure. Need to do some research and listen to bands I want go see, that's it for now. More to follow no doubt!!. Also a picture of Harpa at night.large_DSC_0038.jpglarge_90_DSC_0027.jpglarge_90_3D4E3638B9BFE85B84F3D9104A39B6DD.jpglarge_90_3D43DFF2CEBCE795F8A55D4B4D6EADD2.jpglarge_3D3F8DFDF428E95B18CFB3AB29151E42.jpg

Posted by kidd1200 06:32 Archived in Iceland Comments (2)

Cardiff- London

Signposts and Goodbyes

It would appear some of my weird crazy ramblings have elicited some positive, if not vaguely concerned comment from Mrs Fryer about some of my writings. It did get me thinking on some rather odd tangents, like, as one of my work colleagues would attest too, an old boss of mine always had what I termed an 'eloquent turn of phrase'. This boss, a Chemical Pathologist, so not without a level of intelligence stratospheres above mine, used to take the longest way around when needing to describe something. It used to annoy a lot of people. I really liked it. This then got me thinking about the skill of concise writing. James once related a story about Winston Churchill, so bear with me as this has a vague connection to the UK, a young officer was tasked with providing a written report on something related to the war effort. On handing it in, he apologised 'Sorry Sir, if I had more time I would have made it shorter'. Mr Churchill, was well chuffed with this response and duly promoted him. I was then reminded of another story related to my brother, his graduation from high school, if memory serves, and a teacher used this to describe one of James' contemporaries; 'if he was any more laid back, he would be unconscious'. Given that this has stuck with me for nigh on 17 odd years, clearly it has resonated for some reason. Something to aspire to. Squirrel.

We did see some down at the park. Like distracted children, we did hang around watching their crafty ways. I mean they literally squirrel stuff away. So cool. Some dogs seem to be as amused and intrigued by their dashing skills of digging holes to hide their proteaceae delights away in as well. Other things that Cardiff had to offer, apart from the consumption by me of enough potatoes to send Cardiff back to the Scottish 1850's, was a bay area which we caught a water taxi down to. Strangely they have a Norwegian Church down by the water, which must have some historical reason for been so placed. I couldn't work it out, but it was curiously adjacent to the site that Scott embarked on his ill fated Antarctic expedition. We went to the Cardiff Castle, but decided to abandon its internal interests as the cost was 12 pound each. Instead we walked around the Natural History museum for free. Well, it only cost a small amount of patience due to the entire pre school population of Cardiff been on various exciting excursions. Must be holidays. Anyway, it was pretty average. But cheap. More spare change for potatoes and gravy. We also drank some Corn Moonshine out of a jar at the bar in the hostel. Delicious like potatoes it was not. Cardiff, plenty to see and do. We pretty much saw and did enough. Even went to the movies for the budget price of 4 pounds. Saw 007 do his thing. Was cool because we almost saw ourselves walking around London in the background.

I will probably be in London finishing this post off, which is weird because currently I'm in Cardiff writing about a future that hasn't happened but would have by then. If you think that made no sense, spare a thought for me in two days time when I accurately predict a win by NZ in the big game. I'm going to get Emma to read this, so as to verify that I didn't go back and alter it. I mean I could just edit it out by then, including this sentence so I don't come across as being totally unhinged. Or not. We shall see. Or maybe only I will? Now my head hurts. I better go pack all my stuff away in preparation for tomorrows departure, in my sweet new wheeled travel case. Some room to get super fun presents for the young niece.

So I did end up showing the previous paragraphs to Emma, it appears it will be a little strange but that's okay. Pretty much how I talk and act in real life..........I always liked authors who write like they're talking to you. Reading back on the posts, things did get progressively stranger along the way. Which is reflective of the company I was in. Hopefully will manage not to almost knock myself out like I did the other morning when putting my shoes on. Almost had to go to Hospital and find out how good this NHS system really is. But I was alright, just a semi-concussed ouchie. What an amazing few days. Crazy. Surreal. I mean, NZ won!!!! Am now writing these parts on Monday the 2nd. Iceland Airwaves festival is about to receive me as a guest.

We kicked back into London after catching different busses from Cardiff, in time to roll into the hostel, then it was out to Bond Street to the HMV store. Unfortunately didn't get to pass GO so missed out on $200. Didn't matter because we had a more important date, it involved Enter Shikari doing an album signing. For those not familiar, like myself a few months ago, they're a band. So now your up to speed. I had the pleasure of chaperoning a superfan, and taking some photos of her and her new best friends. They all got along pretty well and I assume it's only a matter of time before Emma invites them to Auckland for a Sunday roast. Fingers crossed she doesn't open the oven door and cause all the pudding to deflate like a shipwrecked soccer ball.

We did have a cracker of a Sunday roast, actually on Sunday. Which was last night. It was good. Super great, pork of course, with all the trimmings. Considering it was our final overseas meal together, we went out on a pretty good note. For the preceeding few days we had been hitting up cheap meals courtesy of the local supermarkets. I ate 5 sandwiches in a single day. Only spent as much as the two coffees I bought in the morning. Strange. Some things are as expensive as at home, such as coffee, but if your smart about things it's almost cheaper then at home. Especially if you get someone 2 for 1 Vodkas. Which is what occurred on the post game crazy times that were experienced after the Final. Which happened the day after the signing day. Sorry if I jump around a bit, but here is some wise words for you, “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards” which strangely links us back to the time Emma and I stared out of a moving train window in Siberia and went through the looking class. Now I've forgotten what I was saying.

The day of the Final, we kicked around London. By kick around, instead of catching the Underground everywhere, we decided to walk topside. Actually, this was the day after the Final. So, the day of the Final we went to Camden. Right, I'm on track again. In an effort to avoid the 87% of London tourist, we headed out fairly early and a good decision it was too. I wanted to get some more photos on my camera, incedently my phone died yesterday. It's been repaired. Fingers crossed I don't loose all the photos. So, managed to get photos in Camden and also had deliscious breakfast at the Cereal Killer Café. They have heaps of Cereal goodness, all the sugary ones and we got super sugar highs. It was fun. Then spent some time devoted to my shopping needs. Now we were sorted, boosted back to the Hostel, discarded our treats and geared up to hit Trafalgar Square. Managed to get a pretty sweet spot, secured drinks just as the game began. Man, it was an awesome experience. Crowd was cool, I enjoyed the outcome, because Emma went a little crazy. Super excited. History, we were a part of it. High fives all over the place. We were a little tipsy. And it was only 7 Pm, so we had to keep the party going, hence the Vodkas. I had forgotten that Emma swore off Vodka after our night in Vienna when we drank every shot on the menu, then I finished off a bottle of Vodka with the barmaid. Needless to say I'm not really sure what Vienna actually looks like. So, a massive day.

We functioned pretty well the next day. Which is when this super massive walk occurred. Our hostel is near The Shard. Get a map of London for this part because it'll be more exciting to play along at home. So from Guy's Hospital, we walked to the Thames, then followed the river along past The Globe Theatre, The Tate (which as a building I really like so will throw a photo up), all the way to Westminster Bridge. From there we jumped across, said g'day to Ben before purchasing some sandwiches. Which we duly consumed underneath Churchill, in Parliament Square, whilst listening to the bells from Westminster Abbey ring for 15minutes. Pretty epic. It was also really sunny. I mean, we have had some amazing weather. Always when we do really cool adventures. So, after our pit stop, we walked up Birdcage Walk and if you are been sneaky and looking ahead on your map, you'll know that we were heading to St. Jame's Park and yep, Buckingham Palace. I mean, we pretty much did all this without realising we were ticking off all the sights. No map, just random aimless walking and inane ramblings. And some grumblings because I hadn't eaten mashed potato for about 16hrs and was feeling lightheaded. Boom. Buckingham Palace done. Walked back down the Mall to Trafalgar sq. Salutations were given to Nelson. Emma got a quick, albeit entirely inaccurate history lesson. Then we headed back to the Thames. Emma got a history lesson on my speech impediment I had when I was little. That was actually an accurate lesson. We followed the Embankment, Paul's Walk and all along the waters edge to the Tower of London, then back across the Tower Bridge to our hostel. It was pretty epic. Think it took a solid 3 hours at least. Many things were discussed, including why the Pigeons have no feet in London's Underground.

So that may be everything that's happened in the last few days. So we all know about the All Blacks winning. Heavy stuff 'aye. Good though.

Parted company this morning. It's North for both of us, except I go all the way to Reykjavik. My phone died as well. Just about to go check if the kind people have managed to restore it. Otherwise I loose a stack of photos and other important stuff. Like an alarmclock. Memories are intact in my brain though.

Update, phone has been re-incarnated as an actual functioning phone, complete with camera and the ability to alarm at 7:50 AM and wake everyone up because I'll snooze it when I go have my shower instead of turning it off. There's always one annoying person. The other morning it was the guy who decided to blowdry his hair in the room really early. I know right, a guy. Blowdrying his hair. He then put a hat on. Are you kidding me, who takes a hairdryer overseas. Just use the hand drier in the shower. Personally I have not even been using a towel. If a hostel doesn't supply one, for minimal cost, then I have been using a t-shirt. Heheh, probably why I stink.

So, here is the aforementioned Tate Modern. I think I like it because it reminds me of the 'Animals' cover by Pink Floyd. Just the same era building, it is a super ugly era to be honest but, isn't there a saying along the lines off; 'there is truth in ugliness'? There should be. I could just look it up. Good tunes on that album, which helps. Maybe some Camden art as well.

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Posted by kidd1200 10:02 Archived in England Comments (1)

Stuttgart- London- Cardiff

So I might be a little behind now, better throw some stories down whilst the memories are fresh. I arrived in my Stuttgart Hostel after a leisurely 15 minute stroll through the arts precinct, to find a very cool little hostel awaited. Super comfy couch, which I promptly crashed out on after enjoying the 2hr train trip. I think so far the best train scenery, after those glorious Birch trees that seemed to stretch on for 1/3 of the worlds surface in Siberia, would have to be the Austrian country side. The trips from Vienna- Grunnau and then into Germany were awesome. Rolling, lush, bovine filled meadows, with a dramatic backdrop of perilously steep snow capped mountains, all with a sullen layer of fog that refused to lift from the low lying fields was pretty fantastic. The changing colour of the trees also added a certain je ne sais quoi to the proceedings. Beautiful.

Stuttgart was a pretty cool little town. Vineyards were about a 20min train ride away, always visible on the hillsides surrounding the town, a huge amount of parklands, which we did our best to walk through all of them, a lot of cultural institutes, it seemed to be a pretty good place to live. We smashed out a huge walk on the second day through some of the parklands, all the way down to the next suburb across the river, called Bad Canstatt. Why? I hear someone ask. So we could cruise around "The Hall of Fame" underneath the overpass over the river. This is another site of graffiti, that has evolved over time to be a sort of permanent gallery. The quality was not as good as in Munich, or Camden, however more of a reflection of street arts origins. So some pretty good lettering styles, but if your into the mural side of things not so good. Again I did a little dance, because hitting these sites has been fun. I mean, travelling all away around the world finding graffiti/ street art is pretty cool.

Following on from this site, we decided to check out the Schweine Museum. Right, I'm a fan of our porcine cousins, they're tasty, provide a good human analogue for research in some circumstances, pretty good at sniffing out truffles, make cute pets when they measure the size of a teacup and have delicious knuckles. (Side note, sitting in Cardiff hostel, early morning, and Belle + Sebastian's 'Boy with the Arab strap" is playing........so just going to bliss out for a second). Back to this museum. It was crazy, like a man/women had been collecting anything pig related for 20yrs, then either the wife or the husband laid down an ultimatum. Me or the collection. So, correctly, they chose the pig collection, turned it into a borderline psychotic homage to the tasty trotter. When the museum then became successful, the discarded spouse came back to reunite the couples relationship and boom, together they now manage a museum with over 50,000 single items of pig paraphernalia. Complete with an adjoining restaurant, showcasing the masticating delights of the flavoured Porkys. Seriously, they even had a section to the Erotic Pig. Which was quite disturbing. Weird, thankfully my dreams were normal.

In a nutshell, that was Stuttgart. Apart from wondering around, looking at cool clothes to by, and getting very confused with what 30% off means, we smashed it out. Also made some pretty awesome meals, Emma didn't burn herself cooking which is quite the momentous achievement and I ate a lot of pasta. About 1/2kg. Come to think of it, I ate the rest of Emma's mash potato last night, which was about 3kgs worth of mash, man last nights meal was rad. We rolled into Cardiff, found a traditional pub and had Cawl for a starter. Which was like a fatty stew, with a slab of cheddar and good bread. Then Pork sausages with mash and peas. Good god it was friggin the bomb. Clearly those Anglo-Saxon genes are speaking to us.

Anywhos, might continue with our stop to London. We flew into Gatwick Airport, then caught the tube to our respective hostels. The plan was to meet at mine, near London Bridge and then head onto the Trafalgar Sq. fanzone. Emma got a bit lost. Which was just as well, because we had no time to reach TS so setup camp at the sports bar downstairs. Massive game. Thankfully the All Black's prevailed. We ended up having an early night, a combination of time traveling catching up with us from Stuttgart, early afternoon drinks catching up with me and the fact that it was pretty dark at 6:30. Incidentally, it is pretty much night time here in Cardiff at 7pm. I can only assume it will be earlier in Iceland and Norway. Not long to Iceland by the way. Plenty still to look forward to and this sojourn is not even halfway over!! So, the next day we hit Camden Markets. The maze of shops was crazy. It went on forever, located Cereal Killer Café, which will be a must see destination on our return. Then it was back to the Hostel pub in Camden for the second game. Colour me not surprised. Another corker of a match. It seems that the inevitable inertia that has been building around this RWC has eventuated and now the final that had to be, will be. Not sure where I stand on the outcome. That part of the human psyche that sees patterns/ faces in nature where there are none, for me, views the outcome of this match with added symbolism. Ladies and Gentleman, it may determine the very future of my life. Who will win?, where will I live?, the twin questions have been circulating around each other like a binary star system in a death spiral, a collision will occur, it has to, and a decision will be reached, lets be honest it probably already has and I havn't realised it. Luckily we didn't end up at the fanzone in Trafalgar Sq. as neither games were been shown there. We can only assume that it is out of spite that only the final will be been shown, why else would you have a giant screen in a public place with beer stalls and associated goodies and not show either semi-final?

Back to Camden. Managed to snap a few nice street-art sites just off the main drag. It pays to walk around the odd corner. Also saw the obligatory John Lennon mural. All these I caught on my phone, so when we head back I will take the camera and get some more stuff from down by the canal. Anyway, snapped up some good stuff in Camden, so as a treat for those without FB I'll include them. Mum, I think you should definitely cruise around Cardiff when you have some time after Christmas, think you'd like it. People are crazy friendly over here. Especially people asking for spare change, super polite. I imagine if we get held up at knife point and stabbed our assailant would drive us to hospital and call our mum's to inform them that he/she has just robbed us and stabbed us in the kidneys, but don't worry we are now safe in hospital. He/she would probably be kind enough not to take our credit/ debit cards, because that is a super hassle to sort out replacements. Cardiff, just brilliant. Good food as well. Nice craft beers and plenty of walking to be done.

So that might bring us back up to date. Few other adventures were had. I bought some more clothes and now have decided to get a wheel based travel case to use as a carry on bag so I can cram heaps of clothes in it. Also created what I think is a new word, "meonderings"; a combination of meandering and wondering to describe what we have been doing most days. Emma seems to think that meandering is essentially the same thing. I don't know, meonderings, see totally awesome word. Ty it out, see how it rolls. Your welcome! Bought a Poppy as well. Had a good conversation with my brother as well, always nice to hear a familiar voice and eagerly awaiting our impending reunion.

First two photos are from the Stuttgart Hall of Fame, the other three are from around Cardiff.

So, cael diwrnod da, think that is legitimate?!

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Posted by kidd1200 02:58 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

Munich

This is all a little crazy. Two posts in a single week. Thought I would continue rambling on, about stuff you know. Quick update on my loose plans. The only confirmed date and destination is Iceland on the 3rd. Havn't sorted out a ticket because not entirely sure about where I will be. Also confirmed is me arriving in London on the 24th October, but that weekend will be dedicated to two big RWC games, probably hanging out in the Fanzones in Trafalgar Square. Or a pub. Essentially anywhere with a giant TV and the elixir of the gods. Depending on the outcome of these games, the next move(s) will be decided. Also, my erstwhile travelling companion will be cutting away for family time when I head to Iceland. Will also squeeze in Berlin either before or after Iceland. Not sure!! Sorry, please don't hold off on your own plans J, I have confirmed accommodation in Cambridge in December, so will be able to do some revision of my own numeracy with the budding mathematician. Now that I think about it, I know it's super cold but I hear Scotland has a 'Right to roam' law or some remnant of antiquity that allows you to camp wherever you want and have fires. Hmm, might have to investigate this for December and get lost in the Scottish Highlands.

Again, we absolutely killed it in Munich. Second day in, we did our own free walking tour with the mission of finding some quality street art sights. Managed to complete this mission, and also kicked around in a giant loop of walking and through a combination of dumb luck and skilful vague ideas of directions hit all the cool joints that interest people. My highlight was finding the tunnel underneath the Angel of Peace statue. It was rad, I may have done a little dance. Yeah, I totally let the beat take over. We only have an appreciation for the outside of buildings. Having been spoilt for amazing internal delights of both architectural subliminity and sumptuous ephemera at the Hermitage and the Kremlin Museums, we are content with admiring the macro forms and scintillating detailed appendages of Gothic gargoyles that adorn the Castles and Churches we've come across since. You get the idea. Also saves money.

When we headed out to Neuschwanstein Castle, the sun rose early and made a solid start at burning away the early morning fog that shrouds these parts for almost the entire day. Clearly, we have been pleasing whichever god is responsible for carting the sun across the sky in his chariot, because he has been stoking that firey ball of flame well. And props to Thor for occupying himself on the days when we decide to have adventures outside of the cities. Whether it's a cycle along the Danube, or picnic on the lake at Neuschwanstein, we have had the clearest, warmest, unusually brilliant weather in an otherwise bleak, cold, wet and misty month. We only spent 15Euro on our return ticket, and just kicked around in the glorious outdoors for a few hours. Boom. Sorted. Smashed the photos as well. Having learnt how to blitz a supermarket for lunchtime goodies, and of course listening to the echoes of our mothers and purchasing healthy options, we have graduated to top of the Vodkatrain Class when it comes to value for money and gourmet deliscousness. Again, the little things in the life of a traveller. We splurged the other night when we bought a faintly musty, sub-par bottle of vino at the local Lidl supermarket, spent 3Euro. Crazy kids. I think we should have spent only 2.50 and got the bottle from Straya, m8!

It's a quick 2hour trip to Stuttgart, another pin in the cushion of Europe cities. Hope to check out another street art sight, underneath a train station. Hope it's cool. Also, I think we might fork out the cash moneys and hit the Porsche Museum. And it looks like there's some pretty massive parks to wander. I'm going to post a 5 panel piece from Munich. It's sweet. Maybe a photo of the lake at the castle. Just search for actual images of the castle, if you want to see what it looked like. Oh, and a shot of a gargoyle at some church in Mariensplatz, or somewhere in mainstreet Munich. I mean I presume it's a church. Could just be a big building to hold up a small clock.

See, who needs guided tours!

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Posted by kidd1200 00:44 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

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