Monday, 30 August 2010

A long lost letter.

Dear Ether,

In my head Europe was going to be filled with intermissions for blog writing in sleepy little cafes off town sqaures. But of course Europe wasn’t how it was in my head at all, and there certainly wasn’t any time for sleepy blog writing. It was however, amazing and everything I wanted it to be – an unforgettable experience I will carry with me forever in the tiny diary with hundreds of pages scribbled on trains and yet more photos taken in both sun and rain.

And I think that goes some way to explaining why this blog post comes so late. Denial that it was to ever end: Me and L wrote a diary every single day, yet there is a space in both our diaries on the day we arrived home where the last entry was supposed to be written…

I am eventually coming to terms with the fact that I am no longer an inter-railer, traveller, camper, survivalist, or any of the other terms I liked to refer to myself as whilst in Europe, if only because I have to start writing again at some point before I end up leaving the country again…


Anyway: rather than merely failing to talk about Europe at all, I’m going to attempt a photo+summary of each place we visited on the trip:


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I think this photo nicely captures how ‘apprehensive’ (read: shit scared) we were about our adventure. I wish I could tell us not to worry.


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It’s Artemis our trusty tent! On his debut pitch, which was made v. difficult by exhaustion + ground made of PURE ROCK. Paris was huge and overwhelming – we spent our time beating the streets seeing as much as we could with our precious little time. We saw a lot, and walked further.


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Avignon was similarly beautiful, but strikingly different in its rural, fortified beauty. Also, our arrival coincided with a theatre and music festival which meant the streets were bustling with performers and actors. Wonderful atmosphere and constantly entertatining.


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An unplanned stop which yielded beauty, fun AND pizza in equal measures. We loved it here.


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Shockingly beautiful at every turn and every view, Florence really captured me. Also, good fun playing cards against some dutch girls late into the night…


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Another unplanned stop, this time just a one-nighter to see the tower (which was magnificent) before training off to:


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having been asked the question, ‘where was your favourite place?’ a few times by more curious friends and family – my honest answer has to be Rome. It is a deservedly famous place for its historic beauty encompassing two thousand plus years…


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It’s incredibly beautiful and was a great mid-trip break from being real ‘travellers’. Instead we turned into tourists for a couple of nights and just lay in the sun; eating ice cream and swimming in the clear waters. Blissssss.


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Venice is unique, beautiful, but not a great place to be in the rain. After getting fed up of the non-stop downpour we went to a restaurant instead. Take THAT weather!


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I know, a strange picture. But it gets in a lot about Vienna: it’s full of museums for one, but is also a striking mixture of new and old architecture, both striking in their own rights.

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Yet ANOTHER unplanned stop, but similarly rewarding. Fantastic lakeside campsite (super cheap!), beautiful old town and we only got flooded once…


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Another shot of camping life. I loved Prague, a city of incredible beauty and great beer!


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By now we were on a two night schedule, which didn’t feel enough time to do justice to a city as rich as Berlin. Yet as can be seen I continued to find the time to make new friends…


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Amsterdam was another city of seemingly incompatible opposites: cathedrals next to red light districts? A city with a campsite on a small island on its outskirts? It was a much loved stop and another place I’d love to see again.


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I know! We’ve already been here! But our circular route inevitably led us back to where we began. So once again we marched the streets of Paris, this time with the pavements of a dozen other cities already trampled under our feet.

I have never travelled before but now will certainly travel again: Just as our frantic dash around the continent did not do it justice, nor does this quick summary do our trip justice…

All that remains is to say a la prochaine, Europe.