South America April - June 2010, Eastern Europe 2009

For the sake of keeping all blog posts in one place, going to keep this Europe travel blog page rolling...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sleeping on Heathrows Lineoleum Floor

Ugh. Thats all I have to say about that.

Monday, June 29, 2009

"Cola, Fanta, Cervesas, Agua!"


This will probably be one of the last updates on our blog, which is very sad to say indeed. I cannot believe we go home in two days, although it feels as if we¨ve done so much in the past 5 weeks that I dont feel as if the trip has been short. Barcelona is as awesome as I remember it being the first time I was here, actually I would say its better because this time I actually got off my lazy ass and have seen 5 times the number of things I did the first time round. Christi and I have been keeping very busy seeing the sights, going to the beach (of course) and partying it up.

So far seen some of Gaudis (sp?) architecture, gone to the Park Guelle, the Olympic Park, and we did the Picasso museum. The Dali gallery and amusement park on the hill will be our next sights.

The nightlife in Barcelona has been a bit outrageous, by far the best of our trip. First night was pretty ridic (shortening random words is the new black okay...), we met a huge crew of people at the hostel, like 15 people, and hit the streets. Ended up going to a one euro shot bar with a completely loco bartender. When I went to pay for some drinks he literally took my hand and shoved it in his mouth, like knuckle deep, and slobbered all over it. It was so digusting. He then grabbed christi took her behind the bar and made her take photos with the bartenders. Being the rad person she is, she was able to negotiate some free shots in return for a picture with a pretty lady.

Thanks Kurt for all the skater bar recommendations, they have been fun. Met loads of skate bums from all over the world. One thing that sucks about Barcelona is the theft and prostitutes. Well boys get more victimized than we do, but seriously three of the people we have been out with so far have been robbed of their cameras. Our good Quebec friend Olivier lost all his pics of this epic 800 km Spanish pilgrimage he just completed, which left him with a really sour taste in his mouth on his last night in Barcelona. The prostitutes are crazy too, they seriously harrass the boys grabbing and pulling them into alleys. One of our Brit friends pretended to be this Aussie ´s girlfriend so that he would stop being harrassed and she ended up getting punched by one of the prostitutes. So theres been some drama, although, luckily none for us.

SO after 5 nights of being here and drinking tequila too often, I am looking forward to some down time in Van. to be honest we have literally dranken every single day (usually just a few beers :)) since weve been on this trip (yep im sure your really impressed, right parents?) so my liver is ready for a break.

anyways next steps for us are to fly back into London on Tuesday night, take a bus to a different airport, sleep in the airport til 11am when we catch our flight home. long story short we ve kind of effed around with our flight home so I am hoping that there are no issues in that respect (we cant really think of why there would be a problem) but we were supposed to fly out of Croatia not London. oops. :)
anyhoo I am looking forward to seeing everyone on Canada day and let us know what the plans are. muchos gracias.


Thursday, June 25, 2009


Christi here!

Just wanted to fill on my pees in on the change "O" PLAN!

jESSE AND I BEING THE CRAZY CATS WE ARE DECIED TO PEACE OUT OF CROATIA AFTER A FEW DAYS OF BAD WEATHER...and tornados. So we grabed a flight to London and stayed with some friends. (Tom and Matt honourable mention) thank you for having us.

After a short stay in london we were off the Barcelona to tear up the town for a few days before we are back in van to bother all of you..........if anybody acually read this. (jesse´s parents i very much appercitate the comments and support over the past few weeks).

Alright talk to yalll soon see you in a week.





This is gonna be a quickie because people are boring their eyeballs into my backside as they wait to use the computer. Looong story short we are now in Barcelona for a week, having flown through London from Croatia. To sum it up - shit weather in Croatia (tornado! although no one believes me on this...), and a general desire to have good times in the warm sun have led us to Barcelona.

Will give a better description later, but just in case we disappear into oblivion you will know where to start looking for us (have youn guys seen the movie Taken?).


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Vis, Croatia

We arrived to our little fisherman/ touristy island yesterday after a hellish hot hangover day on the boat. so happy to be off the boat!
The little island is very quaint, we lucked out with a very cute little apartment (the lavendar apt - named for all the lavendar that surrounds the house) that has a big kitchen and three beds. I think I forgot to mention that we have adopted another traveller with us for the past week and a bit - Erin from Aus. So the three of us were so excited about having our own little apt. We went for an intense bike ride yesterday which was actually a bit scary. It was like mtn biking without the sick mtn bike. so skidding on rocks and being thoroughly trashed around was the standard experience for a majority of the trip - I now give extra props to all u mtn bikers out there. It was a perfect day for biking though the weather was a bit overcast and windy so we didnt die of heat exhaustion. We found a really cool little cave/pool of water that Christi and I jumped into which resulted in some funny footage to maybe post. good times.
afterwards we picked up some food, some wine and some cherry brandy at the supermarket and made a huge feast while it monsooned outside. being able to make our own dinner for $12 each including everything was really awesome. the cheerry brandy, however, was not an awesome idea. maybe one glass would,ve been... :)

today we go to this other little town on the other side of the island to go adventure to some blue caves. we also say goodbye to erin as she heads up to slovenia. tomorrow we go back to split to catch a ferry to either the party/beach island of Pag or to Rijeka a big port city where we might be able to find another connecting ferry.

P.S. Happy Fathers Day Dad!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Micasa, Croatia

Tonight is the last night on the boat. I (and I know Christi too) are so ready to be out of our 4ft by 10ft little boat cabin and the severe boat rocking that occurs every morning as our our boat sails off in stormier weather than we experienced earlier this week.
I am also ready to not shower in a 2ft by 3ft cubicle of a bathroom where u literally shower in the bathroom, no differentiarion between the shower and bathroom, u can shower on the toilet if u so choose. Its pretty funny but at least we have our own compared to the other boats!

Enough whining though really - geeze eh? the boat has really been so nice. and the food, amazing, and so much of it!. fish soup, salad, fresh seafood, olive oil, olives, and flaky pastries are served every day for lunch. everything is homemade and fresh, i think the boat food has honestlly been the best we have eaten the entire trip. I see why they say the mediterrean diet is so good for u. croatians are also big into making their own crazy strong liquor 50 percent plus, which we got to drink last night thanks to our generous boat crew. oh god, so strong, burns the whole way down. but makes it a bit easier to sleep besides the biug party boats. speaking of parties tonight we celebrate our final night with a pirate slash cant believe u wore that to this party - party, then off to a club that is located in a rock cave off the side of a cliff. we,ll see how we feel tomorrow morning in our rocking boat in our hot rocking cabin :).

next up for up for us is still unchartered (no cheesy boat pun intended, i swear ) think we,ll be heading off to a desolate northern croatian island for some relaxation and scooters then either Montenegro or Italy - wherever the sea takes us I guess.

Wish us luck for tomorrow am :). hello seasickness.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dubrovnik, Croatia


Today we arrived in the town of Dubrovnik, Croatia, the biggest city on the Croatian south coast.

I should probably back up a few days and explain how we got here. I think i mentioned our random decision to take a sailboat cruise to all the major islands on the south coast of croatia. I think I also mentioned how we really didnt know what to expect of it. I think it would be fair to say that its been a bit of a surprise, I would say mostly good some not amazing but not bad. Our boat is a 60 yr old fishing boat that has been somewhat rebuilt so that it has more sleeping quarters. To sum it up the boat looks kind of like a really nice pirate ship with an eating area, a sitting deck and covered eating deck and then a top tanning deck. We are travelling with 2 other boats and ours is by far the nicest. And the smallest. So that can be for better or worse. We,re not exactly on the biggest party boat and our boat is like 90 percent girls (the 2 guys on our boat are with their g/fs). then again this has its perks - namely being able to sleep at night. Its cool though because all the boats do their own thing in the day and then dock up next to one another so at night its a big party with all the boats. we´ve been fortunate to meet a bunch of people from the other boat and locals from the random little islands we go to so nights are pretty fun.

we usually sail in the am after breakfast, so hangovers suck between 9am to 12pm, think rocking boat with barely any shade, ugh. These, however, subside once we stop in a little inlet or at a beach and spend the day swimming and hiking around the random little towns. the mediterarean weather has been amazing, if not a little too sunny (there have been some pretty gnarly sunburns for the fairer folk on the boat). Christi, as you can imagine, is killing people on the tanning front - so dark! Im jealous.

Anyways so far we have seen a lot of islands and have pretty much fallen in love with all of them. We re trying to check a bunch of them out to figure out where we want to come back to, maybe rent an apartment as we would really like to have a kitchen. the next few days will entail going back up the coast to the port town of Split, stopping at some national parks to check out waterfalls and to do some skootering until Sat. I think christi is posting some new pics - so enjoy!

Monday, June 15, 2009


so we re sailing and have very minimal amount of time on this internet right now to write but just thought id update we re still alive on a tiny island off croatia.

will give a better update later.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ljubljana & Bled - Slovenia

Today Christi and I went to the best place ever (Bled, Slovenia). And our camera was dead. So this means I have to verbally describe to you how insane this place was.
Okay first, picture snowcapped alps that frame the little village in the hills. Then picture a lake that is glacier water blue. In the middle of this lake is a Church, fittingly called the ˝Church of No Assumption˝. It is an old church on a green little island with wide steps that crawl up to the doors of the church. It is boat access only. Then picture on a hill that overlooks the lake a huge old castle. The water is warm even though it is glacier water and pink lily pads rim the outside of the lake. Not only are there lily pads, there are also white swans that lounge on the beach of the lake. Yeah, swans.

So pretty much we spent the day walking the 6km around the lake and trying to suck in as much of this place as we could before having to leave. On a whim (as well as a on random spurt of energy) we did some laps up and down a set of stairs then stripped down to dive into the perfect lake, in the perfect mountains, in a perfect little village. perfect.

ok so i will stop gloating now. tonight we leave Ljubjana, where we have been staying the past day (we only did a day trip to Bled) to take a hellish 11hr overnight bus ride to Split, Croatia. O.m.g. I am dreading this trip, although I still have luckily one last book to read to get me through it (Susan Sontags Critical Essays on Theories and Works of Art - sure to put me to sleep)(kidding, Im actually excited to read it).

We have also done something fairly drastic. Oh the suspense...
We booked an eight day sail boat cruise around the islands in Croatia. Its costing us an arm and a leg but hey, we only live once, right? Right. I think it could be the highlight of the trip so far, although, it could be filled with Euro chatchis wearing speedos. I think our mentality either way is that it is going to be AMAZING (positive thinking), how could it not be with us on it - kidding!

Anyways I will try and find some google images of Bled to really colour in the current image in your head.



Saturday, June 6, 2009


Vienna, vienna, vienna - what can I say, one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. We arrived yesterday and spent the entire day walking around this pretty enormous city (we also spent a significant amount of time shopping, which is bad).
After coming from more dirty, chaotic, non-English Budapest, Vienna was like a dream - clean, pretty, and loads of English speakers. Today we are going to go visit a palace, supposedly more extravagent than Varseille, and then go to this famous market and the museum.

In terms of night life both Christi and I have been pretty lame. Definately have been in bed by midnight the last three nights. A combination of walking our asses off, drinking every day, and sleeping in snoring infested/ loud talkers in the middle of the night environments, have led us to be thoroughly exhausted by the time night rolls around. I think deep down we also know that hanging out in Croatia and potentially Greece or Italy is going to be a partyfest, so we're stocking up on sleep reserves right now.

Plus the only places people are heading to are big clubs or trance bars - not especially my favourite places to chillang.

Anyways off to Slovenia tomorrow - will let you know whether the Alps are better than BC's mtns after that :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hike to random abandoned castle

almost falling off a ledge for this photo - Rasov

church in buda


We have arrived in Budapest! well actually we arrived yesterday after a somewhat confusing 1รณ hr train from Brasov.
We are staying at a crazy hippie hostel that has camping outside, hammocks and outdoor loinging beds, where the staff make communal goulash and live at the hostel. im sure theres something like it off of commercial drive. Budapest is a very large city but we have managed to literally walk half of it (both the Buda and the Pest side). one thing that is apparent with hungarian architecture and sculptures is the scale to which they have been created, meaning everything is very grandiose and a bit gruesome - sculptures depict violent war scenes or very evil looking old men stealing babies, etc.

today we are heading off to spend some time in the thermal public baths that are scattered across the City, then are planning to go to an old soviet building that has been made into a cool outside bar. tomorrow we are taking a 3hr train to vienna to stay a night or two then heading off to Slovenia to go see Bled, a beautiful town in the Alps.

other than the fact that i left my camera in Brasov, and am desperately trying to figure out some way to get it back before we have to head home, things are good.

also we are extremely jealous of the nice weather u are experiencing back in Vancouver, and are desperately hoping croatia will give us good weather!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Transylvania - Brasov

The last three nights we have spent in a hostel in Brasov, the biggest city in Transylvania. Transylvania is gorgeous and incredibly green, so it has been nice to spend some time somewhere that reminds us a bit of Vancouver.

Two days ago we took a tour of Bran, Sinaia, and Rasov to visit the castle that inspired Dracula, a citadel, a palace and a monasterie. The palace was incredible and so crazy ornate with gold plated ceilings and walls, hand carven staircases, and stone statues that littered the front lawn. Draculas castle was also cool but definately a huge tourist attraction so Christi and I were able to fill up on cheesy tourist crap.

On the tour we met some British boys and with who yesterday, we rented a car to Sighisora (spelling??), the oldest Medieval town in Transylvania. Half the fun was getting there renting the car and driving in crazy Romanian traffic, where horse drawn carts are no rare thing and cars pass each other at insane speeds on blind corners. I got to drive the way back which was a bit nerve racking, especially when we got back into the City with big roundabouts and small one lane alley roads. On the way back from Sighisora we decided to spontaneously pull over on the road and hike up to some crazy castle on a mountainside, which was really cool. It would have made the best playground ever and it was fun to be able to see a castle that wasn't touristy with no one around in the middle of the forest.

Today all of us are hiking up to this big Brasov hollywood-style sign on the mountain, then taking a sleeper train to Budapest where the weather is supposed to be warmer. yeah - transylvania has been like Cold Mountain weather (this is where it was filmed) - I have pretty much worn the same thing everyday, meaning my only warm clothes.

So overall things have been so good I'm not sure I am going to want to come home in a month :)

Hope all is well in Van,


Friday, May 29, 2009

Charles de Gaulle Park - some Romanian leader thought he would replicate the Champs d' Elysses and create a park that emulates the Eiffel Tower park - so here we are, at the French inspired park.
Crotch shot.

Piata Uniri - Romanian Fountain.

After the Museum of Romanian Peasants - smelled like dead people and was all in Romanian. still cool, however.

Musty Switzerland photo after 16.5 hrs of flying. goats, birds and Ricolla.
So far so good on our trip, doing all the touristy things - checking out museums and walking the streets. Christi and I are both suffering jet lag, yesterday was espcially brutal - kind of felt like a hangover, although a bit more groggy and nauseous than anything. Sleep it still a rare commodity, I think we were both up all last night.
Today taking the train to Brasov in Transylvania with some American chatchis from Florida. Looking forward to hiking and biking the mountains and checking out Draculas castle. will update on those endeavours later.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


also to clarify I didn't "lose" my visa per se - it got sucked into a dark gaping black hole, otherwise known as the bank machine, never to return for all eternity.


This is mostly for the parentals, but thought I would announce that we have arrived safe and soundly after a looong day of travel.
So far, so good, other than the fact that I lost my Visa within the first 20 mins of arrival into Bucharest - my parents aren't shocked, I'm sure. So upon arriving, tired, hot, hungry and having lost a key piece of money/ id, we got to beautiful Bucharest without any other major hitches.

Favourite parts of the trip so far:
- bird, cowbell, and goat noises in the train in Zurich Switzerlamd (maybe also a faint RICOLLAA in the background).
- bottomless elevator we almost stepped in
- 2 dollar beers
- a significant lack of English.

Talk soon,

Thursday, May 7, 2009