Austria

Austria is not just Vienna or Salzburg, it is a perfect balance between man made and nature architecture.

 

Our first stop was Flirsch and since it had rained solidly for the past week we decided to treat ourselves to a roof and a warm shower. We stopped in Flirsch, normally a ski holiday destination, and struggled to find anything open. Finally we saw some movement and stayed at a stunning hotel called Basur (translating into peaceful surface) was the towns tavern since 1300’s. And as soon as we entered the pin to pay for the room, the sun started shining, so bright it burned as it burns at altitude. But we were happy with our deal: room, dinner and breakfast included in the 40€ fee, which seemed like a bargain after Switzerland. Their English skills were surprisingly poor and when we ordered a glass of wine each, they came with a bottle. We wolfed it down, went to the original bar that gave the name to the hotel and had the best Weiss beer ever.
With a slight hangover we headed to Innsbruck and what a city it is! Home to probably the strangest crypt ever constructed, a beautiful baroque church where you can lose yourself in the details and a house with a gold rooftop that is the inspiration for most street artists in Innsbruck’s old town.

 

Well… it rained again but this time we decided not to make the same mistake as the previous night and we headed for a campsite thinking “it’s raining now… but it might get better like yesterday”. Oh how wrong we were. It rained so much you would’ve thought the ocean had been sucked up into one massive cloud. The ground wasn’t ready for such a discharge and we were almost floating inside our tent. In the morning it was like it never happened. Achensee is a massive glacial and thermal lake with two beautiful villages on its banks.

I don’t really remember how we came across Krimmler waterfall but I’m glad it happened. It’s an incredible trick of nature that rises 380 meters from the ground and spits out tons of water per second making it the largest waterfall in Europe!

 

Another unplanned stop was Mittersill. The idea was to head to Hohe Tauern national park and go for a couple of hikes and in this village was the closest to us with a tourist information office. The weather was starting to improve and we were feeling confident. Stayed 2 nights in a private campsite owned by the cutest old man I’ve ever met – Schmidt. We didn’t speak a word of a common language and yet we managed to converse. His house was right next to a cow farm, we made some friends there and meat has now completely left our dietary options. For the walks we chose a lake and a summit and in both occasions we had high altitude picnics, for some reason a tomato and cheese sandwich tastes much better high up or maybe it’s because we were half starved. Hiking always makes me smile and I normally feel I could plod along all day. That day I was feeling like something was missing, something wasn’t quite right.
I tried to ignore that strange sensation of misplacement and focus on our surroundings. The higher we go, the thinner the vegetation is. Tree roots are used as steps, somehow they found their way to the surface and are desperately trying to go back underground. After we reached the end of the trail, we decided to carry on for a bit longer. There was barely no grass and the ground was now bare and muddy and dotted here and there with drifts of melting snow. We stop upon a big patch and I have this urge to build a snowman, my first ever snowman! Way too excited. He was small, misshaped and quickly melting, but those 5 min made me forget completely whatever it was that was bothering me.

 

Our next stop was nothing short of extraordinary – the temperatures are hitting the mid 30’s, hiking was becoming a sweat fest and the idea of winter was way past our minds. So… we visited the biggest fridge in Europe! A huge ice cave right at the top of a 1700 meter hill. There was the option to use a cable car to take us there, but 30€ for a total of 6 min (there and back) of fun wasn’t really on our plans. We walked there. When you read about the way up they try to scare you – it is too steep, too high, too unsafe, you need to be experienced and have a helmet. We went anyway obviously, using 30€ for that wasn’t an option and it could be a bit of a task for the faint hearted ones, the path is a bit narrow and with massive drops – but on the way we passed a couple with 3 kids clearly under the age of 10, 2 middle aged, overweight men and an elder man with his dog. I think this says it all.

From here our way was down towards Slovenia. We will be back for you Vienna!

Switzerland and Liechtenstein

 

After the first couple of days in Genève the weather took a dramatic turn as the skies opened their sluices. As expensive as it is beautiful, Switzerland will give you with stunning views over Mont Blanc and the Alpes, exquisite architecture and an untouched blend of rural and urban, historic and modern. The country's neutrality allowed it to prosper, maintain its original history and remain one of the world's best run economies. And the stereotypes? All right! – chocolate, cheese, watches and banking.

Geneva and Lausanne

 

 

Both on the shores of the largest alpine lake, Lac Leman, these French speaking cities were a fantastic place to start our visit. The Broken Chair standing in front of the United Nation's offices, a monument to Peace and its fragility it's worth a visit. I first learnt about the Glacier Express in Genebra and boy did I want to do it!! I guess that's one of the downsides of bringing Fanny along – we couldn't just leave her and comeback whenever… we would probably be broke by the time we paid for parking. I digress… The drive around Lac Leman is stunning and you have to keep yourself from stopping every few meters to take pictures. Le Chateau Chillon is probably the highlight of the drive around the lake. A medieval castle on a bit of land protruding into the lake.

Col des Mosses and Oeschinensee

 

Camping in Switzerland can be as expensive as staying in a hotel anywhere in Europe. And warm water is not even a given. In Col des Mosses we stayed in a lovely campsite surrounded by mountains. There was an interesting Canadian man in a wife beater doing all sorts of wood work, a Portuguese man that seemed reluctant to speak to me, considering that we shared a language, and his wife and I were trying (between French and German) to work out how much we owed for the night spent – since Mr Donc, with whom I have been texting all night in broken French, was a no show.

Beautiful drive to Kandersteg with a whopping hill of 28% took us to the base of our walk for the day. Oeschinensee lake sits at roughly 1600 meters and some Scottish girls believed in the healing powers of the lake's mud – as seen in the picture. You can chose to walk or take the lazy and stunning route by cable car. My first toboggan ride was awaiting me at the top, I was a bit scared to start but half way through I couldn't go fast enough.

Interlaken, the magic Eiger

  

It's hard to be objective when talking about some of these places since, most of the time, I associate that said place to something that happen or to the people we met along the way. In Interlaken we stayed at a nice campsite with a stunning but somewhat foggy view of the Eiger. It sat right in the middle of two hills closer to us – the perfect frame for a picture but I didn't take one. My thought was – Tomorrow it will be much nicer and I'll end up deleting this one. The thing is… next morning, the Eiger wasn't there… peak, base, body… all gone! And it rained. I could say I haven't seen rain like it, but we've been to Sri Lanka during monsoon season and I would be lying. We left disappointed for not being able to safely go for a walk to the mountain and around the area that claims to have the most waterfalls per m2. This gives us 2 reasons to have to come back to Switzerland now. Bummer…

Lucerne and Euthal

 

 

Although we knew roughly what we were going to see in Lucerne (medieval very cool bridge), it was a very nice surprise. Not only did the weather decided to give us a break, but also the ice creams were terribly cheap in a tres cher country. By waking around we kind of go through a resume of the whole country in that small bit of land – lake, river, beautifully decorated facades, watch and cheese shops everywhere. After this we camped in what was my favourite campsite so far – another lake, a sunset, a rainless night, wine and cheese and crackers.

 

 

Liechtenstein was heartbreakingly disappointing. The only thing of interest to us we couldn't actually do because of the weather. And it truly is tiny. 20Km or so from one end to the other and all concentrated in Vaduz. It's not much different from Switzerland either, but I might be unfair.

20370267_10154924406977861_328434506_n

Speak Out

South of France – Le Midi

Transient

The home of the movie Chocolat and inspiration to Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. How much of you went unexplored. A first timer in this region of France and this time I didn’t make the same mistake as for Spain. I had no expectations!
If you go to south of France expect peaceful walks through medieval and Roman villages, endless fruit fields, the beautiful smell of fresh baked bread and of course, a never ending supply of the best cheese.

We really didn’t have a set itinerary for the south of France when we left Andorra. Basically we decided to search the quickest way to Switzerland and to stop on the way. That didn’t last long, since we found some unexpected treasures and culminated in the one of the highlights of the trip so far.

Carcassone

 

The main attraction is the medieval castle which inspired the tale of Sleeping Beauty. As you walk up the hill its impressive structure catches you almost by surprise. Although the interior is now a tourist trap, crammed with shops, cafés and restaurants, it is still a nice place to visit and spend some time.

There are food markets, beautiful streets and loads of carts pulled by horses which gives the town a medieval feel to it.

Nîmes

Probably one of the most interesting days on the trip. If you like Roman influence and history, Nîmes and Arles are probably the places for you.

Roman Amphitheater

Buying a ticket for the Arènes de Nîmes is the best way to make the most of it. Starting with the dream crushing your of the Amphitheater. I don’t know whether to be happy or sad with the way they demystified the role of the Gladiators; Very few died in combat and the ones to whom the thumbs down was shown, had to be paid for by the events organiser. Most of them weren’t actual slaves, they voluntarily got rid of all the privileges of a free man in search of glory and fame. Oh! And the thumbs up and down? Not a real thing.

 

The secret for this arena to be the best preserved of them all is that it has always been used (for different puposes) since it was built.

 


Maison Careè

Another fantastic piece of architecture, very well preserved. Inside you get to watch a movie about the birth of Nîmes as a city made in the image of Rome.

 

La Tour Magne

It was an 18 meter stone tower built to show off; to let the enemy know they were being watched and how high the Romans rose above them. Stands at the highest point of the city and offers a beautiful view.

 

Arles

This city is a poor man’s Nîmes. And to think that, back in the day, they built Nîmes to reach Arles standard. But we weren’t there for more Roman business, we went with the promise of a Vincent Van Gogh tour of his favourite spots. I don’t know what I was expecting, but that wasn’t it. Obviously, the painted scenes weren’t what he saw in the late 1880’s but well.. I guess I don’t have a suggestion to make it better. The Langlois bridge was my favourite – it’s a little bit outside town, but it’s the only thing that stays true to Van Gogh’s paintings.

 

Aven D’Orgnac

We are nearly two months into our trip and this place still remains on the top 3 of our favourite spots. Thanks to Robert de Joly, a chappy from Montpellier, we can now walk through a section of the 40km stretch of caves. 121meters below surface, magic happens. A kind of magic that takes millions of years to get to the punchline. We had the best guide ever! – Quentin, you are a Legend! – and the tour ended with a show of Sound and Light by Yann & Guilhem Cléophas (if I did this right, you should be listening to that same music as you read this post).

 

Chateau de Rochebonne 

Epic drive with about 10 hairpin turns and a 25% incline to get to this hidden treasure. I know nothing about it. But whoever lived there had one of the most stunning views of the Ardèche region.

 

Aix-les-bains and Annecy

 

Beautiful lakes and a warm up for the prices we were going to face in Switzerland. Annecy, sometimes called “The Venice of the Alps”, had a beautiful view over it’s lake and two main canals that flow through the old town.

Andorra 

Andorra, andorra… where to start? 

I was disappointed at the start. We drove right into Andorra-la-vella and it was just like an outdoor shopping centre. People rushing about, a bit of traffic and obviously stupidly low prices for petrol. As we got further away from the centre I saw the real you – and you are just shy of my ideal place to live. Absolutely stunning scenery, smiley people, beautiful smells of wood, flowers and cured meat.

Going in May has it’s ups and downs. You practically have the place to yourself, the trails are empty, the roads quiet and everyone seems generally relaxed. BUT (and it’s a big but) there’s very little going on, no real lowcost accommodation and the choice of campsite is close to zero. We had to choose between the one right on the main road or the dodgy looking one.

It wasn’t too dodgy in the end. The man in the reception had a massive grin on his face, looked like he knew something the rest of the world didn’t. He put us next to the river – “you don’t mind the river do you?”- “No problem”, I said. Little did we know that the “river” sounded more like a storm drain but we were very tired and ended up staying for two nights.

Route Prat Primer

Fantastic walking routes and Refugis (shepherd huts) led us to our first walk. Nearly 1000 m up from where we were. The way up was stunning, you could see the gradual thinning of the flora, tall trees being replaced by small ones and these being then replaced by bushes, until all you have left it’s just a nice and massive grassy field. Up there everything was big and small at the same time; the air was Crisp and clean, the colours were brighter and the mountain lines well defined.

The previous night, when Tom saw the route to Refugi Prat Primer, he said there was another hut that we could try and get to afterwards – “If you feel like it” – Refugi de Claror. I knew what was coming, and I try and keep this man with the shadow of a smile on his face. My philosophy is, keep him happy and he might cook dinner!

There was nice solid ground with bits of snow, then patches of it, then that was all you could see! I have NEVER walked or seen proper snow, the only thing I could picture was me falling into a crevasse. That is the only reference I have. So… we got to the top (2497 meters) and guess what… more snow. Even Tom reluctantly agreed, that we should head back. And so we did.

The way down was one of the scariest things I have ever done. We literally slid almost all the way to the hut, on our bums, through slate and boulders. It was loose and it was bloody hard to control your speed. There was no one there, no signal and we could’ve died as heroes and no one would know about it. But I guess it was fun once we were safe in our tent, right next to the ever calming storm drain.

Route Estany de Juclar

The next day we went for it again. A different one, but more of the same. Beautiful route with the promise of not one, but two lakes right at the top (2300 meters). What could be worse than the day before?

I wasn’t as reluctant to go on the snow as I was and the fact that there were more people doing the same route left me more at ease. I finally realised why people carry those silly walking poles around. There is a purpose to them. Those people had the poles, we had our hands and knee deep of snow.

Everything was going well – we passed the snow, the streams and river, we could see the chimney of the hut and we could see a black sky falling on us. “We’re nearly there and a bit of rain never hurt anyone”. Until we saw a big group of French people telling us about the orage. I didn’t know what it meant until I heard the beautiful and ear filling sound of thunder.

We saw the lake. Only long enough to take a picture and I was literally running down that path. We got lost, then we found the path, then we got lost again and then it started to snow ever so lightly. Tom kept mentioning how soft the snow was and I was ready to put it to the test – head first if I had to. I found a way to get us back on the path again and nearly fell to a severely handicapped future – that’s when Tom got upset and I went a little bit slower. We were a bit wet, but we were whole.

I realised that the mountains are very much like women on their down days; edgy, unpredictable and sudden mood changes! But I will always find solace and piece of mind next to them, even if it is from a safe distance.

On the road again – Central Spain

Imaginary

Leaving Home (Portugal) never feels right, even if it is to go on an unlimited holiday. Although, after a couple of hours on the road, it feels like I haven’t done nothing else but that.


I took Tom to a little “hidden” treasure – only the “yocals” know about it – the Termas de Gande. Fantastic spot of natural hot water spring that every so often hides itself under the river. You can hop from hot, tepid and cold water to your hearts content. And it is for free. Walking along the river bank you can find another treasure, not so unknown – Aquis Querquennis. Fantastic Roman Ruin of a war camp.

I was dreading our drive along the centre of Spain.

Dreadful isn’t it?



I wasn’t expecting an uninhabited city, little less TWO of them! I got in a bit of a mood with Tom because he didn’t want to go to Tiermas (we had to pass a barrier and it was illegal – but it’s only illegal if you’re caught, right?).

So… on our way to Agüero Tom spotted Esco. A church could be seen from the road, as you got closer, roofless houses still gave shape to the small cobbled road, delicate walls stood on their own, as did terraces, balconies and columns where once you might have found the village hall. All ruined, all desolate, all fallen.

We came across some, then loads of sheep and sure enough, we found the shepherd. He was with his two dogs, Tom nodded and let the shepherd be, I obviously stopped and talked to the man.

We’ll call him Julio. Julio had lived in Esco since he was a baby and is now 67. For 54 years he has lived mostly on his own, within a small community of 7 people that still have some sort of property in the area. Back in the 60’s a dam was built creating the beautiful scenery that Embalse de Yesa is. This obviously came to a cost – most of the farming fields were flooded. Three villages were paid to leave their homes. Julio seemed disappointed that people went so easily. He kept saying that it was their choice, that they could’ve stayed, but chose the easy way. He seemed fairly happy, “as long as I am healthy I’m happy” – he said. He asked a lot of questions, as did I. “I’ll soon have my holiday when July comes, a nice day out in my car. Can’t leave the sheep alone for too long you see!”, he kept saying. I asked him for a picture, but he courteously denied it “I don’t look very good in pictures” – he said. I never asked his name but his constant talk about July (Julio in Spanish) made me chose it as his pseudonym. So I left him dreaming with That day in July. As for the rest of the year he sits at the top of a ruin watching his sheep and talking with his dogs.

Finding a campsite isn’t too hard, but finding a good one can be a task. On the edge of desperation I found Agüero. A beautiful little village shadowed by the Mallos de Agüero – a picturesque rock formation. The scenery is breathtaking, as is the 360 degree 2 mile walk. It was bloody hot that day which made our drive to Andorra – our next stop – almost unbearable.

Road Down Memory Lane

Every time I read my Fitas I get taken back to a fantastic time of my youth (?), seems like so long ago and I risk to say I would do it all over again.

Every year, in the first week of May, Queima Das Fitas takes place. This involves a whole week of partying, drinking, crying and, for some, studying. Every faculty in Porto gathers  in Aliados to get their pastas blessed by the towns bishop. It means something to students from every school year, but specially to the Finalistas (graduates), who are (allegedly in their final year). You are one (finalista) before you even pass your exams, which seems (is) a bit silly.

This depends on which university you study, but for a 4 year degree it goes like this:
– Student from year 1 lose their freshman garments and get to wear their Black uniforms;
– Year 2 get their grelo and pasta which is an insignia that marks your “evolution” along the praxe path;
– Year 3 get their fitas (the colourful bits of fabric where your friends will write their dedications);
– Year 4 you graduate and you get your top hat and a cane. With the cane people will hit you (literally) 3 times, wishing you something, ideally nice, for each hit.

 

The Way Forward

Week 1 – North and West of France, Basque Country & Asturias

I’m still in utter disbelief that this trip is actually happening. It wasn’t long ago that we were swearing at each other due to differences in packing skills. Now, 7 days into our travels, we’re getting into Viana do Castelo, Portugal and it feels great.

Day 1 – Aggressive driving aside, this first stretch looked a lot like England. It’s just like we’ve never left. On the maps is traced our first day! Monster drive from Calais to Rouen and camping for the night in Ranville. It was pouring down and I instantly thought: “I’m not mentioning this anywhere or to anyone. This must be Karma” – but I guess it’s all part of the fun.

Day 2 – We went to Sword Beach where the D Day landings occurred in 1944. The thought that thousands (British, Canadian, Americans, French) died even before they reached shore… it was unarming.

We then headed to Bayeux, home to the Bayeux tapestry. Some say it was made by William the Conquerer’s wife, depicting the Norman Conquest of England. I love my history, but it cost 9,50€ to see a 69 meter long carpet… needless to say that I didn’t go and poor Tom didn’t go either – he might be regretting bringing me along. Our family will dine tonight, tho!

The road took us through Nantes, into Parthenay, where we stayed for free in a lovely little village called Boismé. It was dry, lovely sunset, beautiful lake and a sky full of stars. IMG_5454

Day 3 – There’s a few advantages in taking the small roads to wherever you go.
–  We use less petrol – unless you pass the land of the roundabouts and it’s stop and start.
–  You see a lot more of what “real France” is – MASSIVE and empty! But beautiful.

We bypassed Cognac (much for Tom’s disappointment), and got to Bordeaux. The city was stunning and worth the stop. It is a young, vibrant city with loads of cafés and esplanades. Reminds me a little bit of Barcelona.

So much to see! We bought two huge baguettes for lunch and went back on the road to Dax. Finding a campsite in France it’s not hard, but finding a cheap and nice one can become a task. We were very lucky to find one that was so near the beach you could hear the waves. This was in Capbreton, called La Civelle – They need to work on their website, it is actually a lovely place.

Day 4 – It’s my dad’s 60th!! We made a very good time getting to Capbreton so we’re going to allow ourselves a bit more time in the Basque Country. Short drive into San Sebastián with a walk along the beach into Playa de la Concha, fantastic little town. If I knew what I know now, would definitely spend more time in San Sebastián, but we were keen on getting to Bilbao. It was alright… Lovely ice cream to!

fullsizeoutput_145f

We spent the night in Loredo in a campsite named Playa el Regaton. It was the cheapest and nicest campsite we’ve been so far.

A noise woke me up in the middle of the night, my first thought was:
– “They’re messing around with our pans!” Woke Tom up and all he said was “Maybe they’ll clean them.”
The noise carried on and we had to get up. The pans were safe, but the bin bag where we had a couple of tuna cans was being ransacked… We waited and a little hedgehog comes out, licking his lips. The pans were still there to be washed.

Day 5 – (Best day so far!) We went for a Run!!! 3 miles that felt like 20. Nice late leaving towards Cangas de Onís. Asturias is breath taking and we didn’t have time to explore the Picos da Europa, bit it’s on the list to come back to.

fullsizeoutput_1461When we are planning the next day, we normally have a look at where we will be passing by on the map and google some pictures. We found this massive convent in the middle of the woods and decided to take a closer look. The way to Covadonga valley allows you to go back in time. We walked for a couple of miles on a wooden path and passed waterfalls and small water streams. When you get to the top and take in the whole scenario you can’t help but feeling emotional, whether you are religious or not. It makes you realise how small we actually are and how much we can achieve when we believe in something greater than ourselves.

We camped close to the beach once more. This was the most expensive so far, and the smallest one, but the view was priceless. After a walk on the beach I taught Tom how to catch Lapas and we had a small feast after I grilled them with olive oil and garlic. We had them in out little porch because it was starting to rain. Never seen wind like it! and the rain! Pouring!!! Still don’t know how the poles didn’t snap.

Day 6 – After a very tempestuous night we got up to a lovely, windy (very windy) sunny day. No breakfast because we ran out of most things.

fullsizeoutput_1461

Lugo was our next stop before Viana do Castelo, Portugal. It is the only city in the WORLD with an intact roman wall surrounding the city. Wouldn’t go back. We couldn’t find a single place selling bread. A disgrace…

 

A world away from the working week

Is there a better way to start an unplanned trip to Europe with a practice go across the Jurassic Coast? We drove 60 out of the 95 miles of the Jurassic Coast and it was epic!

From beautiful scenery to a random night in a theme park, finishing off with fossil hunting – It was a fantastic and affordable way to spend the Easter bank holiday weekend.

dorset-route.jpg

This is Tangerine Dream. And she lived up to her name.

IMG_5005

She manage to steal all the looks as we drove through the small villages from Mere to Charmouth. We had her for Three fantastic days and this just made me want one like her even more.

We weren’t just lucky with the weather! We had the full VW experience (I’m not being ironic) when Tangerine decided to play a trick on us. The clutch cable snapped. I guess we had time and nowhere set to go, so we just chilled: We had a fantastic view over The Fleet, we boiled the kettle and read our books until the AA came to our rescue – which took 3 bloody hours!

But hey, you can’t have too much tea.

So!

Day 1

  • Drive from Mere (where we rented the van from) to Shaftesbury. We had a lovely lunch at King Alfred’s Kitchen and we filled up our fridge in the towns Tesco.
  • From Shaftesbury we headed straight to the closest beach – Swanage, Studland.
  • On the way to Studland we passed Wareham and we gazed upon this stunning piece of rumble, that turned out to be a castle in ruins! So we stopped somewhere off road and did a 2 mile walk to this stunning place. We survived raging cows, horny horses and loads of nettle. But we got there! Corfe Castle.
  • We then booked our spot at Woodyhyde Campsite and had a great meal in The Castle Inn.

Day 2

  • We started fairly early and drove down to West Lulworth to see the Durdle Door and Lulworth’s Cove. Beautiful day for an ice cream, so we had 2. There are some fantastic walks to choose from and you can easily walk from one site to the other.
  • We then drove to Weymouth and into Portland. From here we had a bit a of a wonder round and decided to go fossil hunting – on the way there, we spotted a man on a horse!
  • fullsizeoutput_efd.jpeg
  • It was on the way to Charmouth from Chesil Beach that we had our breakdown – we had loads of tea, we ate all our food supplies (rookie mistake), I read my book and took loads of pictures of the poor camper.
  • Once the AA sorted our clutch cable, we didn’t really have anywhere to stay/eat (It’s a Sunday in the UK… which means that nothing is open past 4pm). We saw the sign for what seemed to be a Theme Park of some sort which didn’t look very good – but they had a spot, showers and food – and after a few beers everything is tolerable.

Day 3

  • Smooth drive into Charmouth beach where we met this lovely old man that told us all about fossils and helped me find about 700 of them. I was convinced he was making up most of these “fossils” until he found a pebble that turned into this!IMG_5279
  • We started to make our way back to Mere when we realised we weren’t that far away from Stonehenge. And this was our last pit stop before handing Tangerine Dream back. The entrance fee to the Stonehenge is somewhat expensive as a one off visit to an UK heritage site, but you can download the guide for free onto your phone and it also allows you to go to their museum. So… all in all it’s a fairly good place to stop if you’re into this history period.

Go! Give it a try it!

I still can’t get over this scenery.

IMG_5201.JPG

Choosing a name for your Blog


I remember the day I first fantasised with the idea of having a blog:It was New Year 2014 and I thought

“How much more inspired could I be? Loads of resolutions ahead, a new country to explore and a raging hangover”.

And even though it was raining, I was adamant to start it.

“Why wouldn’t you start it just because it was raining” – you ask. 

Because I don’t function very well without a bit of sunshine.

RAINS and I’m a miserable cow.

SUNSHINE and I’m possessed by Shakespeare.

ANYWAY, I quickly got going…and I didn’t get far. 

I must admit: I’m one of those people that, if it doesn’t go as planned the first time, then I wasn’t made for it. (I once said this during an interview… I didn’t get the job. I’m sure they missed my point of view). 

AND after a few minutes I quit, for the single idiotic reason: all the names I wanted for my blog were taken. Guess there are a lot of intelligent and charismatic people out there.

Nearly 3 years have gone by and “Why today?” – you impatiently ask.

Me: “BECAUSE I CAN! I’m a woman of the 21st century!”

Valete: “Was it because you were bored to death and with too crap of a internet provider that wouldn’t allow you to stream anything?”

Me: Yes, but that’s not of the matter now.

Because I’m sick of waiting for the next Monday, the next month or the next Year! Thursday, I choose you! No more:

1. Let’s search for a good, catchy name;

2. Let’s look for the best app compatible with your phone;

3. Let’s decide what to write/ talk about before hand;

4. Let’s talk with everybody on messenger;

5. Let’s scroll through some 9GAG posts;

6. Let’s have a bath;

7. Let’s wait for a deep Kafkaesque existential revelation;

Some of these never happened (others obviously did), because I’m a lazy ass always trying to find excuses for my idleness.

So it’s with a lot of pride that I present to you my Travel Blog: Fleeing the Ordinary

Why I quit my job to travel around Europe?

Because I didn’t have enough money to go back to the Maldives.

It would be amazing to go back, but This isn’t the real reason.

Why not? Why shouldn’t you do the same?

1. Money – the first of the excuses. I don’t have much and I’m not going to spend all my savings in this trip. But you don’t need much!! you just need the will and the courage to say:

“I’m Young, Wild and Free and when I come back (if I do) I’m getting another job. Even if that means working in a supermarket to start with.”

2. I’ll do it later on – if you don’t do it now, with no mortgages, no kids, no back problems… when are you doing it? Right NOW is the time.

There are, obviously, a few things that you need to get ready. I’ll post the list we did for our trip.

3. I’m not doing this alone – I guess I’m with you on this one. But you can go alone, this will allow you to meet new people, people you probably wouldn’t meet if you were with someone else.

4. I don’t really fancy the whole camping business – even if you don’t like camping, there are so many ways to get around these days. For very little or no money at all!

Couch Surfing – loads of people, giving away their home and company for free.
Air BnB – some more people, allowing you to stay at the comfort of their home without them being actually there.
But my favourite one: World Packers now these guys are the real deal. In most places you have food, shelter, trips included. And if you don’t have money for the plane ticket, there’s a big chance that they have a host close to where you live.

If it’s something you really want, only you can make it happen.

Let’s do this. It’s time !