A Travellerspoint blog

Watch out for Pick Pockets

Madrid Home of Flamenco Dancing, Bull fights and Pickpockets

sunny 15 °C
View Kiwi' don't fly on djrkidd's travel map.

DSCN1128.jpgAfter making a fool of myself on the train from Paris to Madrid by opposing the ticket inspector after he wanted to keep my passport overnight we finally made it to Madrid an hour late. It was not until the kind English speaking gentelman sitting beside, told me that he would collect everyone's passports, that I settled back into my seat red faced under the bemused glare from the rest of the carriage.
Once negotiating the Metro with the help of a lovely old lady who persisted with this lost Kiwi by speaking Spainish a million miles an hour and dragging him by the hand to the entrance of the Metro, I found a hostel to stay at.

Much to my horror there was a football game in town and no accommodation to be had anywhere, infact the hostel already had people sleeping in the common room and kitchen. However I think I must have drunk enough Guinness in Dublin to still have the luck of the Irish as a room came free while I was using the internet.

While cooking up my 60 euro cent pasta I met three Canadian girls Laura, Lauren and Kristen and a couple of Australians, Adam and Anna. After a quick round of drinking games it was off to the metro to go Flamingo dancing. As we walked down the stairs the call went out "has some one got the address ........." yes at least half of us replied. Soooo after half an hour walking around Madird trying to find the dancing without an address it was into the first bar we came across for Tapas and 1,30€ Cerveza.

Next morning I bumped into Laura and Lauren so it was off to the El Rastro which is a huge flea market stretching at least 1km and branching off into the side streets also. Dave's key buy was Ipod speakers.

During the Day Laura had been telling me how she had been pick pocketed the previous Friday and what a hassle it was to get her credit cards sent to hostels futher along on her trip. Long story short, we get back to the hostel only to find that Lauren's wallet and passport had also been stolen. When we went to the pub where we were the night before we where told: " you are in Madrid, what do you expect!"

I have just got an email from these girls, it looks like the pick pockets just about got the Canadian hatrick, Kristen discovered a man with his hand in her handbag on the Metro and Adam also lost his wallet that night.

Madrid turned out to be okay, a very modern city. I am now off to Lisbon on the night train, wallet in tack.

Posted by djrkidd 16:58 Archived in Spain Comments (2)

Storming the coast of France

Out of the UK and checking out the Normandy landings.

semi-overcast 10 °C
View Kiwi' don't fly on djrkidd's travel map.

The ferry journey was uneventful mainly due to the "quiet" beers my flat mates had for me the night before, so I slept the entire 7 hours it took to cross over to France.
I arrived in Caen (pronouced "carn" for all you non speakers ) at 7am and managed to find myself a lovely 1 star hotel in the middle of town for a heafty fee of 29€. For this money I got a room 2 by 2.5m a sink that wouldn´t empty, a shared bath room in the hall and a good case of bed bugs mainly due to the fact the sheets had not been washed for god knows how long.

So with my best French in tow I managed to get the right bus out to the Caen Memorial. This is the bees knees when it comes to museums on the D Day landings.

From Caen I went out and check out the artificial harbours that the allied towed over from England which was the key to the invasion. That meant that they could land anywhere along the coast. The British one is still visible 60 years later which is quite an engineering feat.

The American cemetery is on land above Omaha beach, ( the beach where the Americans lost over 3000 soldiers during the first wave of the invasion.) This cemetery is actually American soil gifted by the French it is immaculate. Over 9000 soldiers are buried here.... now that number of lives is hard to put into perspective until you can see row upon row of white crosses in this 70 hectare space.

I looked at other locations where the Gun batteries are still in place. These locations were heavily bombed on the night of the invasion. The bomb craters are still here today and they are huge, 3m deep by about 8m in diameter. The Germans were having a bad day at the office that day.

I am about to head off to Madrid so I have 19 hours of travel to look forward to ya.

I have photos to come but can´t up load them.

Posted by djrkidd 06:28 Archived in France Comments (1)

The Emerald Isle

St Patrick's Day in Dublin, Shamrocks, Guinness and enjoying the Criac

all seasons in one day 2 °C
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It really has to been seen to be believed, Dublin on St Patrick's Day is crazy day of partying, national pride and as the Irish like to put just good old craic (fun).

Gary and I flew over on the Saturday morning and meet up with his mate Andy who manages the Foggy Dew one of the many pubs in the Temple Bar area of Dublin. It wasn't long before the first pint of Guinness was poured and the festivities began. The parade was watched and a big night was had by all. Oh yeah my phone had a slight swim in a pint of Guinness and no longer works so emails only from now on team. Other than this and play fighting with random Kiwi’s on the footpaths I managed to keep out of too much trouble.

Sunday was round two with Monday being a bank holiday. First stop was St James gate to have a quick look at where the black stuff comes from and then into a pub in Temple Bar to watch a live band. Then to our surprise it started to snow which could only motivate us to stay put.

Monday began at 7am with a very cloudy head and another one of those dam good byes as I left Gary to sleep off last night fun and games and headed for the ferry port. The Ulysses left on time in heavy snow flurries only to arrive at Hollyhead in Wales and have to circle in the heavy swells off the cost until the winds had dropped enough for the ship to be able to dock. As you can imagine this was just what I needed after a large weekend. This delay snow balled and it was five hours later than planned when I walk through the door in London.


Posted by djrkidd 15:18 Archived in Ireland Comments (1)

Two Years In Two Boxes

Leaving parties, to do lists and last minutes

sunny 14 °C

Sitting on the floor in my room with mixed emotions, everything I own in the world packed into two tea chests ready for the three month sail home. Most people complain about the time it takes to get their possessions home, for me however they will have to wait for five month before I open them again.

Had the leaving dinner two weeks ago, great turn out and in true 4 Hillcrest Rd fashion ended in Karaoke and all weekend bender taking in the Church and my last snake bite at the Red Back Tavern. Thanks to everyone that come, sorry about the whole more people that seats thing.

So this week has been full of the last minutes, sending stuff home, buying the last odds and ends, sorting out work and saying good byes. Have to laugh London still manages to do my head in even after all this time ...... I went to get my watch strap fixed and they told me that they would have to send it away to get a new one at a cost of 25 pounds and a 3 week wait .... Ah situation normal.

Finally cracked Libya and have sorted out my visa .... some guy I got onto over the net will meet me at the border and sort it all out once he has fleeced me of quite a few of my hard won pounds. ..... Hmmmm Meeting up with strangers from the internet isn't that something they worn teenagers about?

So come Saturday my time here is done and it’s on to the next adventure, St Patrick ’s Day in Dublin. To be honest I rate my chance of survival with strangers off the net than with my Irish host Gary and all his mates.

There is so much I will miss about this place, from playing touch at the common to a few "quiets" down at the local but rather than write an emotional testimonial I thought a quick slide how would be better. You know a picture is a 1000 words and what not.


Posted by djrkidd 20:39 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Haere Mai - Welcome

So here's the plan

overcast 9 °C

Adventures are funny things you spend all your spare time planning them, dreaming and longing to be on one. Then when you are actually on one you wish you where anywhere else.

So here is my adventure, 31 countries, 8 months, 1 goal. To travel from Dublin to Sydney by any means but flying. Quite simple really enjoy a quiet Guinness at St James gate then travel South East by boat, bus, train, foot, donkey, camel, rikhaw until I can see the white curves of the Sydney opera house.

The stand response to "Oh yeah I just going traveling for a while." is
"Oh cool where are you going?" As I explain the eyes open and then come one of these three responses;

- A bemused "Yeah good luck with that??"
- "You'll be KILLED!"
- Or my personal Favorite "You Kiwi's are all f@#ken mad!"

So I invite you come along on an armchair adventure and share my experiences, highs and lows and of course the misadventures as I take the long way home.

Posted by djrkidd 14:53 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (8)

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