Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Roma - Part 2

Today was a huge day and I am totally exhausted right now . I am not sure I can even keep my eyes awake while I am tying to write this.

Today we woke up early and we were meant to get our washing done but Bec and I didn't get out washing down before the man left! Not a good start to the day! Luckily this was our only bad luck! The rest of our day was awesome!

We went with the group into Rome on the underground and we ended up near the colosseum. I cannot believe I actually was able to see this city. Tom when we were younger was really interested in the ancient Romans, Greeks, Egyptians and basically any ancient civilizations. So it was awesome to see these places that I have read and been told so much about.

We then went walking around Rome seeing sights like the Trevi fountain and the Pantheon and so many other sights it was unbelievable! We had another lunch, of you guessed it, pasta and pizza. After we headed into the Vatican city and saw the Sistine chapel and St Peters.

It was a really moving experience and it is so much more beautiful than any of photos can portray. Petris got quite emotional as it is somewhere he had wanted to go since he was two. This trip pretty much has been a dream come true for the both of us.

After the Vatican I was pooped. The walking had been hard as I had done all of the above on crutches and I could not move so we went to the closest cafe and sat and had a hot chocolate which here basically means melted chocolate in a cup. I die of happiness every time!

Then we end out for the most beautiful dinner ever where I had bruschetta and tortellini with a stunning view of a a gorgeous church.

Everyday on this trip is the best day of my life! Its insane, however sleep calls. Night!

Roma - Part 1

Today went to Rome! On the way we stopped at this fashion outlet mall which was kind of a let down as everything was a bit odd and the stuff people had obviously been not buying. So it was a sort of the reject market but I  still had a nice pizza for lunch. I get the feeling in Italy it's either pizza or pasta. I love both so I am not really complaining.

But Rome is amazing! We went to an included dinner which was rather average apart from the tiramisu which was the best that's have ever had in my life. I cannot express my love for that tiramisu in words alone. Many hand gestures and crazy dances need to be concocted to explain how I felt about it.

After we went to a club where everyone paid €25 and got unlimited drinks for 2 hours. I had good time but it made me realize that I don't really like clubbing and it's probably not a good idea for me to do it on this trip. 

Everyone was really excited that I was coming out and they would wrap their arms around me and lean on me which added extra weight to my leg which meant that it got sore really quickly. 

Also when people starting spilling drinks and the floor starts getting slippery I worry about falling over. I really wish that I was like everyone else but I HSBC these worries which I cant get rid of and I need to learn to accept that they are a part of who I am now and I need to make the best of my situation which is that I am in Italy right now having the time of my life.

One Of The Best Days Of My Life

Venice was incredible. I had always read about Venice and thought it would be the most magical city but everyone who I talked with said that they were really disappointed when they went to Venice. That it was a monumental let down. So I went with very low expectations and I was thoroughly surprised.

I was also really worried about coming because on they news it said that there had been heaps of flooding and I thought that we would not be able to go but actually it turned out fine as there was very little water left by the afternoon and we had clear blue skies all day!

We woke up early in the morning from our grotty hotel which has been the worst one by far. We had four girls sharing one bathroom and the toilet didn't work and it was not clean and very cold! They forgot the heating!

Anyways we woke up early and went into the old part of Venice and walked through to st Marc's square and wandered around looking at shops and exploring the alleys and I had the most gorgeous food even if highly over priced! Italian food makes me die with happiness.

That afternoon we went on a gondola ride. It actually made me so happy. Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face. How much more perfect can life get than being in a gondola in Venice with one of your best friends who keeps on belting out Italian ballards. 

My life is pretty incredible. I cannot even believe that less than six months ago I was still in hospital and sick as a dog. I am so happy and making new friends which is completely out of my comfort zone but it is becoming easier as the time goes on! 

We then went out for a lovely dinner after which I passed out on my bed. Today was one of the best days of my life. 

Who Even Won?

Today we drive to Venice I was really worried because it had been all over the news in Munich that Venice had been flooding but it looks like the weather should be sunny and the flooding should hopefully have gone down.

Today was the most amazing drive. The Italian countryside is indescribable! Like shockingly stunningly beautiful! But I am getting ahead of myself!

On the way to Venice we stopped of Innsbruck which has one of the original Swarovski shops and had an amazing little museum and stuff. The girls we in heaven. I really do feel sorry for the boys who had their girlfriends step into that shop! 

I had a really yummy lunch then I went on one of the most scenic drives down into Venice. On the way we also stopped at this truck station and their were these birds who were doing some sort of incredible flying pattern so we all stood and stared for a while enchanted.

Until we got to the hotel. We were driving in and our tour manager was like "we're here!" as we drive past the Novetell where we pull up behind and there appeared what looked like a parking building converted into a hotel. 

JB (Our awesome tour manager) laughs at our faces! It was not good. We had no heating, the shower head was not to attached to the wall, the toilet didn't work and dubious to how clean the sheets were.

We therefore set about fixing our problems with a few bottles of wine at our quiz night! And who won? Who knows!

Drunken Munchin

Yesterday I left Munich and went to Daqou. Daqou is a concentration camp outside of Munich. It was one of the most moving experiences. It reminded me to be thankful to be alive and really living. The history was fascinating but also incredibly sad.

The thing that got me most is that some of the prisoners were so mentally damaged that when the war ended in 1945 a whole group of prisoners stayed in Daqou and people lived there til 1965. They had no where else to go and no one to look for them or vice versa. The Nazis had broken these people so much that they could not even contemplate leaving jail.

I wondered if this happened for other things. When you have something traumatic happen in your life can you ever really move past it?

That evening I really needed a drink and luckily we were going to the Hofbräuhaus
 which is the oldest beer house in all of Munich. It was seriously amazing! We got these litre jugs of beer and I got this huge pork knuckle! It was actually amazing and it did a good job of lifting the somber mood. 

Sooo this morning was hard to get up but we managed to do it and went walking around Munich this morning. It has a huge amount of history, not all good, but very interesting.

I especially liked the park  in the middle of the city. The leaves in the park were all falling off in true autumn fashion and they were seriously the most beautiful color surrounding these jaw dropping lakes. The whole experience was mind boggling. We really do miss out at home not having all of the seasons.

After walking/crutching around for three hours I was in serious need of a rest so I went to a German pub and I had meat with meat sauce. This is no joke they love their meet ever so much.

I ended up going home and having a nap in the afternoon before going out for a dinner where I was literally served half a chicken! I could not eat it all. 

 Pork Knuckle
 The Park
Could you finish it?

Dreaming And Deep Ends

We left Berlin at what I like to call sparrows fart. For most people they just call it 9AM! We then drove to Dresden a small German town which was basically flattened during the war. It was so stunning as they had rebuilt everything so you would never know. We had such a lovely lunch then we headed to Prague. 

Its rather convenient but also a tad sad because we don't get our passports stamped when we drive between the countries so my passport will still be very empty when I return home! Anyway we got to Prague and went up and looked at the Palace which was really pretty and got to see the sun set over Prague. 

Everyone got dressed up as tonight was the night of the great Prague pub crawl but yours truly still being on crutches couldn't go but was still fun seeing everyone get dressed up in their sunday best. 

I had such an amazing day today! I was ready to go by 9:30AM!  I was super proud that I have been waking up early (I just sleep earlier than most of the people here, potenchly could go into the running for biggest nana to ever have lived) and I went walking around the town.

Prague is stunningly beautiful. I know I say this about everywhere but it is true there is so much history and beauty in these major European cities. Walking around the cobbled streets I could not believe my eyes. Even a very pretty blazer happened to catch my eye as I wandered past Zara....

I walked around for about 2 hours (which with a broken knee cap is a serious achievement if I do say so myself) after which I went on a boat cruise which was ok. It was beautiful to see Prague from the water but if I could have I would   have liked to walk more around the town.

After the river tour we walked home and on the way home took a detour to the awesome outdoor market where a pretty scarf was acquired and another trip to Zara was made! Hard life right! 

This evening I went out for a very nice dinner on the roof of a hotel. It had glass walls so you can look down into the square. It was stunningly beautiful and it made me so happy to be alive. I am in such beautiful place with such lovely people.

It makes me so happy to see these beautiful places and to be eating such yummy food. It kinda seems surreal that this is my life because after spending so much time in hospital I honestly thought that I would never get out. 

I have dreamed many a time to come to these places but to actually be here and alive and in remission it makes it hard for me not to smile.

I really did through myself off the deep end with this Contiki people. I have made almost no new friends in the past year and I am extremely out of practice. All the Contiki people seem really nice but I just need to get over my shyness and make some friends.

So please wish me luck as I dive into the deep end!!

Ich Bin Ein Berliner

This basically means in German "I am a jam doughnut" and it was said by none other than JFK in 1963. What a bad mistake to make when reassuring the people trapped in east Berlin that the west had not forgotten them.

This is why I love Berlin though. At the moment I am sitting in a coffee shops on one of the main drags and from my perch I am able to see the whole world go by. This main street is not like others though. In the middle of the road there is checkpoint Charlie. Checkpoint Charlie was a confrontation between the east and west which almost caused world war three to break out and for all out nuclear warfare to ensue but opposite it is a Maccas and you can't help but reminded that this is a city where the old and new have become one.

I love Berlin as a city. It's amazing and incredible and I would move here without a second thought. It think it might be my favorite city in the world. I like how old and the new seem to coexist so beautifully. 

I like the history but more than that I love the feel of this city. It seems so alive. There is public art everywhere and it is a truly beautiful place.

I never want to leave but tomorrow we go to Prague. Hard life right...


I AM GOING TO BERLIN! I apologize for the overload of capitals but I honestly cannot contain my excitement! This morning I went to the doctor who took off my cast and said that I am allows to travel. I have to wear a brace and use crutches but these are minor details!

I was so excited I went straight to the airport and got on the next (reasonably priced) flight to Berlin but I still had hours to kill so Popps (the amazing lady who I was staying with) took me to Brighton. It was awesome to actually be able to move around even if the brace is beyond annoying.

I had a wonderful day! We had English fish and chips at the very English sea side. Sometimes life sucks but today was not one of those days. Today I was sublimely happy. I sometimes feel like life likes to mess with me for a laugh but then it gives me days like today that are so utterly wonderful and I don't mind so much about the bad days.

So Contiki, beware because here I come!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A Fault In Our Stars

When I was younger I used to play this computer game (like most kids) called sims. It's a game in which you created towns and houses and the people that lived in them.

Sometimes I wonder whether someone is controlling my life, if my life is meant to be a tragedy. That person that has so much bad luck that is almost comedic if it was not so pathetic.

When I got off the plane at Gatwick I went straight to the hospital hoping to get the all clear. No such luck. I have fractured my patella.

I have to go and see the orthopedic surgeon on Tuesday to see whether I will need surgery to wire my knee back together, which is the worst case scenario as I would have to fly home and this journey would be over.

Another option would be that I would have to keep the cast on which has reduced me to being a child again as I cannot even get dressed without help and I would have to stay in London and miss my contiki.

As it is I am going to miss going to Amsterdam but hopefully they will give me a brace which has limited movement and crutches and I will be able to go to Berlin and continue my contiki from there.

This is not how I imagined my trip of a lifetime. Yet again I am in pain, yet again I cannot be a normal teenager, yet again I have to miss out on things I have dreamed about and worst of all I again i am a burden and a major worry for those who care about me.

I read this book recently called "A Fault In Our Stars" by John Green which is about this girl who had terminal cancer. Morbid reading I know but it is a really wonderfully written book and her love had osteosarcoma so i felt a little as if he was a kindred spirit. Also, in it she went to Amsterdam and she went to the Anne Frank house.

Hazel has to carry an oxygen tank around with her because the cancer spread to her lungs and when she is in the Anne Frank house she feels like she had to climb to the top because she is alive and Anne isn't.

And I totally understand where she was coming from because sometimes I feel the same. I am one of the lucky ones, one of the ones that get to live. I sometimes feel like I have to live for all those who didn't get to.

But sometimes its like life is against me living. I fractured my knee and I don't even have a cool story. Well I can say that this one time I'm Bosnia but all I was walking down Mostar bridge and it was slick and I slipped.

I did not jump off Mostar bridge and hit my knee on a rock, I was not even out partying. I was walking and I fell over and now I will not be able to go to the Anne Frank house. I will not be able to experience what I have read so many books about.

But that is life. I now just need to pray and hope like hell that I will be able to go to Berlin!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Pain Yet Again!

I can't believe this happened to me. I thought I had suffered enough. I feel like I deserve just a few months of healthy happiness.

I have been having the most wonderful time in Dubrovnik. We have been eating such yummy food and having a really good time. We went on the cable car to the top of the hill and had the most spectacular view, we have been having some delicious food and we even dressed up and went out dancing on Halloween!

Today was supposed to be another amazing day. Today we went to Bosnia and Herzegovina and stopped at two towns. It was such a fascinating place. This is a country which has been decimated by war just within the last twenty years.

There is evidence everywhere of the war. Whether its skeletons of houses which have now been reclaimed by nature and have trees growing where houses once stood. It's not like you have to go looking for it either, it's everywhere, even on their main streets.

It is strange because you have this war torn country but you also have this picture perfect old bridge and surrounding area. This is where I came into trouble though. It had rained last night quite hard (the weather has not been great) and it was patchy while we were there which left the cobbles slick with rain.

We were all having minor heart attacks here and there until it actually happened. As we were going downturn bridge. I must ave stepped onto an especially slick stone and my legs just went from under me.

As I fall though my leg twists and it has since swelled to about double the size. Poor Mum and Dad were freaking out on the other side of the world when they get a call at 1AM NZ time.

I was in good hands though. Ellen was in her element being the best mum ever and Bex and Danielle were amazing and kind. We ended up coming back to Dubrovnik at about six pm. Dad is organizing an X-ray when I get to London to see what I have done.

I hope that it is nothing serious, I feel like I deserve this amazing time after the awful year I have had. So cross your fingers and toes for me because I do not want this to be the end. I want it to be a hiccup in what is to be the trip of a lifetime.

I can deal with the pain, I have done that far too often for someone my age. I can deal with anything really but if gods out there I hope he will hear my prayers and pleas. I need him to.

Hope everyone had a fab halloween, we did!!