Friday, October 12, 2007

Day 32, Rørvik, Namsos - 6.30 is fine in the cold, a great breakfast, thank you Swedish girls, the ferry to Namsos, the beautiful fjords of Norway,...

...tourists in Namsos; the map, finding our way, the lovely kind and really helpful people of Norway!!!!, everything went better then we could have hoped for!

Friday October 12, 2007

Day 31, Prague, Oslo, Trondheim, Rørvik - Mr. Memory, the long check-in lines, goodbye, expensive french (belgium) fries and lots of phone calls, ...

... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Norwegian rules, back through security in Oslo; they got the sun-tan lotion, the Mosambique drums, free seating sucks, whoever said Iceland was expensive isn't from Norway, frost in Rørvik, the stars and the milky way, sleep in the bunk bed.

Thursday October 11, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Day 30, Prague - The Barbie museum, sightseeing, postcards and last day jitters

Wednesday October 10, 2007

I've been sober for 7 months today, wuhuu! :D

Day 29, Prague, Kutna Hora, Prague - Sightseeing, The Bone Church, The bones of 40.000 people, the 4 cathedrals of Prague, traffic and more

Tuesday October 9, 2007

Day 28, Prague - Sightseeing the bridge and castle area

Monday October 8, 2007

Day 27, Little town, Liberic, Prague - Good times, Super Bad, THE bus rides, THE phone call, decided to go to Norway on Thursday

Sunday October 7, 2007

Day 26, Prague, Liberec, Jablonec, Little town - The hurry to the bus, Optimism Rules, Radnik from Liberec (like Ferdinand Porsche), ...

... meeting THE Jack, walking around Jablonec's forest scenery, a wonderful lunch with an amazing view, beaumaziful, the dogs of Czech: "Actually...", Killer mushrooms, Moon-a-knights, Bush never ceases to amaze me (veto's childrens health care bill funded by smoking), the amazing family...a sort of Little house on the prairie meets Heidi, Traditional homemade Czech food, picking an apple from a tree and eating it on the spot, a wonderful evening, sleeping on "wood"!

Saturday October 6, 2007

Day 25, Prague - Sightseeing, the Museum, finding the Student Travel Agency, the hill ("Adrean!"), the bus station communication problem, ...

... Powder Tower, Chinese food with a taste of classical-ness, Old-Town square, the astrological clock tower, the ringing of the clock, "Hi my name is Gulli, and I'm a brie addict" the addiction is fully admitted.

Friday October 5, 2007

Day 24, Berlin, Prague - 1st class decision, Starbucks, the Brie addiction, taking a train between countries (1st time), Alone in first class, ...

poems and sleeping, the communication problem, traditional Czech food, the information desk?, picking up Helena at the airport, a great hotel, a wonderful resteraunt that waters it's customers, walking around Prague.

Thursday October 4, 2007

Friday, October 5, 2007

Day 23, Berlin - Returning the car, storing the luggage, prayer and meditation at the Haubtbahnhof, the City tour bus, highest flying helium air...

...baloon in the world, the Gestappo headquarters, Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburger Tor, The Germinator...for real announcing that the Germany festival is closed (the wall rebuilt), Juden Denkmal, the wierdness of the German national holiday, Journey to Bruno the couchsurfer, going out on the town even though exhausted (great metal bar and wonderful Falafel).

Wednesday October 3, 2007

Happy birthday Mummi, gratz on 40 years :D

Day 22, Auschwitz, Berlin - Good breakfast, Auschwitz 1, I started crying, Arbeit macht frei, the horror of it all, 1950 kg of Jewish hair, the...

...overwhelming feeling of horror, Brickenrau, the railway to the Gas chaimber, Dr. Mengela, getting rid of the bodies, the total loss of all feelings...too much, the crazy drive to Berlin, the parking lot at the main station, no Avis, walking around Berlin in the middle of the night, the short skirts, sleeping in the car in the nice warm parking lot.

Tuesday October 2, 2007

Happy birthday Sindri and congrats on being 1 year away from 30 ;)

Day 21, Budapest, Slovakia, Polland (Auschwitz) - The boat trip on river Danube...finally, Driving through Slovakia, the red moon, the AMAZING...

...castle in the middle of nowhere, dinner with the top down in the middle of a field looking at the awesome stars, the Polland border, crazy roads, getting lost in Polland, the sleeping outside Auschwitz idea, a lovely hotel, the burnt bodies dream wake up call (6 am)!!!

Monday October 1, 2007

Day 20, Salzburg, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest - Waking up in the car, The beautiful castle of Vienna, conquering the hill, relaxing in the park...

...going for dinner in Bratislava, Bratislava (a really beautiful city with a lot of beautiful architechture) McDonalds is the same everywhere, border control, sleeping at Steinunn place...again ,)

Sunday September 30, 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Day 19, Bregenz, Füss, Münich - A great breakfast, Bodense, the AMAZING countryside, Neunsschwansstein, Wienkirche, Münich (computer, OCTOBERFEST)!!!

Saturday September 29, 2007

Day 18, Karlsruhe, Black Forest, Zürich, Bregenz - Breakfast at the castle, the Swartzwaldhochstrasse, Rheinfall, Zürich (beautiful architechture, ... festivals, live techno concert being shown online), driving to Austria, Gesthouse Lamm (lamb), filling in all we´ve done.

Friday September 28, 2007

Day 17, Luxemborg, Trier, River Rhine, Karlsruhe - Sightseeing in Luxemborg, Amazing Chinese food, postcards, Burg Eltz, CRAZY road, River Rhine...

...and a 1000 castles, taking down the roof of the car at 23.30, driving with the roof down listening to techno music at 180-90 kmph around midnight, stopped by the really nice police officers in Karlsruhe, finding a hotel...a much needed bed sleep :D

Thursday September 27, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Day 16, Köln, Brussels, Waterloo, Luxemborg - Stairmaster Köln Dom, Road trip cd's, Belgium autobahn, Brussels (Amazing market, wonderful churches...

...palaces, gardens, cathedrals and sugar free belgium chocolate), Waterloo monument, Looking for a hotel in Luxemburg, internet at the wonderful hotel and sleeping in the car.

Wednesday September 26, 2007.

Day 15, Hamburg, Köln - Renting the sports car, Me driving on the Autobahn at 205 kmph, Köln, The river Rheine, The Disney castles, Köln Dom...

...The tour guide, Roman entrance to Köln, Tourist information, The brewery Fruh, Walking around Köln in the night, the chain bike and the guys celebrating their last day as German Soldiers.

Tuesday September 25, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Day 12, Hamburg - A lovely market, Jungfernstieg, Chinese market, Amazing acrobats, City Hall, St. Nicholas Church, St. Michels Church ala Stairmaster time at the top, Under the river Elbe, Bismark, Reeperbahn: Erotic Boutique Bizarre, Schweinske, Grosse Freiheit, Safari: Live sex show, Rock Bar, Herbertstrasse:Men only, the respectful hooker, spraying on other women, The Esso Station, Walking around Hamburg in the middle of the night, Speicherstadt, St. Katarinas church, water peeing and the looong spooky, beautiful, scary amazing walk home.

Saturday Septemeber 22, 2007

Before I say anything, Steinunn happy 25th birthday. May all your adventures prove amazing and all problems prove miniscule!! :*

Woke up around 11 for this action packed amazing day, filled with new and exciting experiences. The market was the first thing on the agenda but the walk there and back even proved a great experience...

(Sleep calls....finish tomorrow before we head out to Köln and Belgium :D )

Day 11, Athens, Munich, Hamburg – Taxi ride ala old, Last meal of Greece, long walk to gate 37, Germans in Iceland, Einstein, The river Elbe...

...a change of plans, getting acquainted!

Friday September 21, 2007

Woke up and got a taxi to the airport, decided to do that and with it “buy” me some more sleep. Had a great ride out there with the taxi driver. He actually managed to make me feel really old. I looked at him and thought that he was much older then me. Turned out that it was 2 years and that he had a 3 year old son. Then he said that I looked 33 or 34 to him and the funny thing that even though it made me feel old…I took it as a complement???

My last meal at the airport was of course….yes you guessed it…Tzatziki and Greek Salad. Gotta love it. Enjoyed it a lot and took my time since I was right next to the gate….or so I thought. If you are ever at Athens international airport and have to go to gate 30-39 and are at the sign that says those numbers….you are FAR away from your gates. I almost started running when the corridor was so long that I couldn’t see the end of it. But somehow I got there in time….even thought I thought I wouldn’t. Now a thought here. I’ve been through loads of check ins, after today 6 in 12 days, and I never have any luggage I check so I always have all my luggage on me. So now with the new security measurements I cannot have more then 10x 100ml (or smaller) bottles (or equivalent) of fluid. But I’ve never showed it to them, except on the first flight, and they haven’t commented on the 7 fluid bottles I have to carry in a reseal able see-through plastic bag…hehehe :D Love security, could have been smuggling between countries for a while now…they’re lucky I’m in an honesty program ;)

On the plain to Munich I met a great guy. He’s from Berlin and he and his son have been all around Iceland. We talked a lot and he gave me his number and his sons number and hoped that we’d meet up in Berlin when me and Carmen go there for the National Day of Germany, October 3rd. He told me to come the day before since all the major parties are then. His son is a musician and he said that he could show me the music scene in Berlin…looking forward to go there.

When I got to Hamburg the German experience really started. It was really great to meet Carmen finally, after only having been in email conversations for what 8-10 months now through work. She works at a travel agency in Germany and I of course have been working at Hotel Hellnar where her company books a lot. I met her once last year when she came to the Hotel but I had forgotten what she looks like. Fortunately there are a lot of pictures of me on the internet and she had seen em and we found each other. We went to her small, old, German car and I loved it…it so increased the whole experience. We started talking and talked all through the night. We ended up going to the restaurant Einstein for some great vegetarian cooking.

After that, on the way home, we had to stop by the river Elbe as the moonlight was playing with the river and the ships were going past with the pretty lights. Walked a bit around but mostly just sat on the bench and soaked up the atmosphere :D

All through the night our plans for the next 2 weeks started changing. We had planned to stay in and around Hamburg but it soon became apparent that this would not be the plan. We ended up deciding to stay a few days here in Hamburg, seeing the sites and then renting a car. We’re going to see loads of places in Germany, Belgium, Luxemborg, Austria and most likely we’ll enter into more countries, ending up in Berlin for the National Day. Good times ;) We kept on talking and talking and got better and better acquainted. I’m really glad I came here and I’m sure we’re gonna have loads of fun on the trip….the trip that has now been turned into a ROAD TRIP :D

Day 10, Athens & Hydra – Motorcycling through real traffic, speed boat, Norwegian girls, Walkabout, Fire lessons, Sunbathing, swimming in the ocean...

...“boatseeing” on the way back, taxisleep, Italian food, Malakkas, Ti, Poss, Potte…PU?????

Thursday September 20, 2007

Yiannis picked me up 8.50 and we drove through the traffic again on his motorcycle. This time the traffic was REALLY heavy and kind of crazy to see him manoeuvre in it…but loads of fun :D We made it to the harbour area from Glifada and there he helped me buy a ticket and on the Flying Dolphin X I went. I was going to a Greek Island and I didn’t really even know which one since I asked them, Yiannis and Fani, to pick one out for me. They had said something about “eethra” (that’s how they pronounced it) and then I saw the ticket: I was going to Hydra….like the mythical many headed dragon and all of the sudden I got even more excited for the trip.

On the boat I met some great Norwegian girls. Sat next to Kamilla, she’s getting her doctorate in biochemistry if I remember correctly. Kind of funny to see 4 beautiful Norwegian girls, out to sunny country partying, and then finding out that they all have masters degrees in advanced science courses…doesn’t fit in that picture…that’s what made it soooo great :D Had fun talking with them and wish them the best of luck and Kamilla keep travelling while you still have no children ;)

When I got to the Island my breath was taken away. The harbour area is magnificent, with lovely architecture. What is most amazing about the harbour area and the whole Island as a matter of fact, is that there are no motorized vehicles of any kind allowed (no cars, motorbikes or anything like that) and they must have included all cranes in that. I walked around the main town, went up to the hills and witnessed the beautiful architecture up close and personal. The narrow alleys and walkways were so charming and the winding stairways were priceless…I could have spent a day just walking around this little town and taking a moment every now and then to just soak it all up. I’m really glad that the BIG dog at the top of the hill had a chain around his neck…otherwise I would be missing a big chunk of my leg. The little dog on the other hand had no chain and I’m just really glad that I have a way with dogs ;)

Met a New Zealander, travelling with his Aussie wife, who works in Greece putting out forest fires. This year there were very many forest fires and there was so much for them to do, I’m glad I donated to the forest fire survivor fund. He said that most people got killed since they panicked. I asked him how and he said that if there is a forest fire close to you, don’t leave your house. By the time your house catches fire the fire will have passed your house. Just fill your bath tub and go in it and put wet towels under the door and cover your senses. The people that panicked fled in their cars. The engine stopped working because of the heat from the fire and then they got roasted in the car… I told him, on a lighter note, that I would always know how to react thanks to meeting him here. If I were ever asked why I knew this, in a middle of a forest fire, I would respond: “Don’t you get it man…I’ve been to a Greek Island!”

Next was lunch, Tzatziki and Greek Salad ;) with a view of the surrounding Islands that was a big competition to the view of yesterday.

Then I walked to the west side of the Island, then the east. At the next east town there was a lovely beach by the hotel there. Lay down and bathed my body in the sunlight available there ;) The music at the bar was really really good so I recommend this place if you get there :D

Then it was time for the ocean and the main town had a cool place to jump in so I went back there. Didn’t know anyone there to keep my stuff so I looked around for the next person on the rock beach that I thought I could trust and walked up and introduced myself. Ended up being other Norwegian girls and they were more then happy keeping my stuff while I swam in the ocean…which I did. Getting to know them I found out that they were all around 40, but they looked around my age…27-28. Guess vacationing a lot in Greece is really good for youth so after this experience I recommend it. Telling them how old I thought they were really went down well with them…as I left they told me that I made their day.

Boat left at 5.30 pm and it was a speed boat with like skis on the bottom of the boat. I stayed in the back of the boat for the whole hour and a half, standing since the sea got the seats wet almost in the beginning (and kept doing that for the remainder of the trip), and enjoyed the awesome view. I met an Irish man there, Gabriel, who was really great to talk to. He told me that the 2 greatest places he had been were the Rockies (especially in Canada) and then Afrika and told me that I definitely had get to the places he recommended there. Also told me about a train that goes through the whole Rocky range, starting from Denver I think and ending up somewhere in Canada, that has the most amazing views he’d ever seen. Good times ;) I just kept enjoying the views there of the wonderful Islands of Greece.

Got back to the docks of Athens, got into a Taxi, and slept my way to Fani’s place….tired ;) We had some fun when I got home and joked around, especially after Elena came. Booked my ticket for Hamburg for the following day…decided to go meet Carmen as planned. Then we met Yiannis at 22.30 for dinner at an Italian place. The whole evening was just a roll of laughs and I don’t know how many people fled the area because of our super happiness ;) but there were probably a few. The owner was a friend of them all and sat with us for a part of the time and he was a good guy too. I’ve been saying a lot: “Who? What? When? How?” and a lot of them over and over again. So they taught me the Greek saying for it and it became the joke of the night: Ti = What, Poss = How, Potte = When, Pu = Where, Yeti = Why. “Ti, Poss…Potte????” ;)

It was really hard to say goodbye to these wonderful people…but I know it won’t be for good. I’ll meet them again and they’ll contact me when they know where they are going for their next vacation and I’ll most likely go there and visit them :D For now…I’ll go to dreamland…I know I won’t be alone there ;)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Day 9, Athens – Athens traffic, Swimming 1 km, Hadrian’s Library, Roman Agora, Acropolis, Jewlery museum, Zeus Temple, Zappeion, Stadium...

...Presidents Palace, National Gardens, Parliament, Syntagma, Lykavitos and finger food ;)

Wednesday September 19, 2007

First of all I’ve been abstinent (sober in OA) for 6 months today!! Wuhuuuu!!! :D

Woke up this morning and Yiannis came an picked me up on his motorcycle. This experience is something that I’m sure almost all tourists miss out on. We drove in Athens morning traffic, wizzing in between cars almost like they were not there. To have real pro drive you around like that is awesome. You see all the sites and the real part of the city, see the people themselves up close and personal (waved some of them and said hello to others), get to ride right through traffic like there was none and of course wearing shorts and no helmet, just sunglasses. I for one loved it a lot and had great fun!!!

We went to Yiannis’s second job, a life guard at a swimming pool where he also gives personal swimming lessons. He’s training swimming at another swimming pool in a city close to Athens. Anyway…I went swimming in the pool to feel the difference and again I could feel how spoiled we are to have our pools. The pool was a bit cold, even though it was 30 degrees outside, but I stuck through it and swam 1 km. :D

After that it was time for sightseeing. I decided that today had to be efficient so I was not going to meet a lot of people (hehehe…hehehe). I headed down to the direction of the Acropolis. On the way were the ruins of Hadrians Library and I checked them out. There I found out that everything in Greece that is historical or cultural is free for students in the EU so Steinunn thank you again for reminding me to get my ISIC card before I left…by getting yours ;). Found some good shorts for only 10 euros and the first pair I tried on fit me…thank you god for OA ;) After that I found a beautiful church and since I didn’t have much time for morning prayer I stopped there and prayed…was really good. Next was lunch time and I ended up having lunch at a beautiful place with a view of Acropolis and right next to the Roman Agora and the Tower of the Winds. Lunch today was of course my favourite in the whole Greek world: Tzatsiki and Greek Salad :D Then checked out the Agora and the Tower and now it was time for the Acropolis.

The Acropolis was such a treat for me that I could write a whole blog just devoted to that.

(have to quit now…but I’ll be back ;) )

Of all the people I’ve met the most travelled ones have been Australians. But the ones that were all over Athens that day were the Polish. After getting some sun protection cream from some wonderful English ladies, I met polish people after polish people…like a lovely girl who didn’t want to be in her own picture and a couple with a pink camera who taught me how to say thank you in Polish, which I have now forgotten ;) All this happened while I was checking out the theatres below the Acropolis, the Herodes Atticus one and the Dionysous one, and the ruins in that area. Entering the Acropolis itself was like a dream come true. I gotta say that I didn’t expect it to have this much of an impact, especially since the heat was giving me a real experience of it’s own, but it really did! I’ve been to the cradle of civilization and stood where…and they…and then the…AHHHRRRHHH….wuhuuuuu. I’ve been to Acropolis!!! Up there I met great Australians and some nice New Yorkers that helped me photograph the are like I was a model getting paid for every picture.

But then the heat got to me and I needed something to drink. Outside Acropolis there is small store…don’t buy anything there and come prepared with drinks when you come to visit this amazing place, otherwise you’ll have the same experience as me. I paid 4 euro 50 cent for a glass of lemon juice (only thing I thought would quench my thirst successfully…and it did…and of course it was sugar free) but compared to how thirsty I was I would have paid more.

When I was walking away from the Acropolis I could see a Jewellery museum and since all the other museums at the bottom of Acropolis were closed for some makeover I decided to check it out…and do not regret it. Not only is the staff amazingly wonderful (had a much better drink of LOADS of water and a coke zero at their cafeteria and got the water for free from an old Greek woman who taught me Greek without speaking a word in English) but the exhibit was actually really interesting and beautiful for me. Ladies…a must see for you and gentlemen, watch your purses at the gift shop if you are taking your ladies there :D

In a direct line from the Acropolis with the Jewellery museum as the middle, you’ll find Zeus’s Temple, a really cool monument and since I’m a Greek mythology buff it was a must. Of course I met some polish people there, a lovely family and I think the mother was trying to get me to date her daughter… ;)

Then really close by I saw the Zappeion, a wonderful monument indeed, and helped some people from Taiwan take some pictures there…find it so funny that most the Asian people here seem to have tripods, big ones, for their cameras. Then there was the first Olympic stadium EVER and it was kind of great to go there and touch a part of greatness. Walked past the President’s palace after that and saw the royal guard. They are wearing like a big fluffy thing on their shoes and a skirt…really funny and hard to describe, but I’d rather go up against some of the really tough guys in Iceland then the guys in those costumes.

Then the park….National Gardens to be exact. The garden is quite beautiful to say the least and it’s really great to see all the people there. There is also a small zoo there with farm animals. I saw some ducks there and a mother and her children feeding them and immediately thought of Iceland and the pond there…seemed like just the same and now I know where the Greeks go to do this ;) After walking around I decided to do some breathing exercises. But then I thought that I had to try sleeping on one of the benches in the park…all the homeless people do it so it had to be a good experience. I fell asleep for about 5-10 minutes and it was great and nothing like I expected: No one tried to rob me, rape me or fool around with me in anyway. ;) But a new experience for the bank :D

Next was Vouli (the parliament) and then Syntagma square. I was gonna walk right through the square but then I remembered what one of my friends told me. She said that I had to remember to sit down every once in a while and check out the people around me…and I did and it was really nice. Thank you Sólrún! ;)

Yiannis, yes…the amazing Yiannis, came straight after work (6 pm) and picked me up on his motorcycle. We went to the hill of Lykavitos and saw the amazing view all over Athens there and also the big theatre up there. We drove around for a while after that, went to a church built into the hill (prayed a little there), and then we climbed the Lykavitos from a lower position and went all the way to the top, to the church of St. George.

After that it was time for something that I would say was my favourite experience of Athens, riding around on the back of Yiannis’s motorcycle through almost all of the city (going to the place we were gonna eat). I could see so many things that you almost never see as a tourist, like the Greek people arguing (the hot blood hehehe) almost fighting, I could get a feeling for what all the different streets were like and what kind of stores and people were where in the city and since the most important stimulus for memories is smell then I have to tell you that I smelled the whole city, luckily more good then bad ;)

Then we arrived at a lovely restaurant where the food was served a little different. We of course had some greed salad and Tzatziki, then came the real food. There were no plates at this restaurant and the food was meat and French fries….really good :D Thank you again Yiannis.

After that we went to his place for some internet connection and melon time ;) And of course checking out a ticket for my next flight to Germany. There was a real struggle inside me because Yiannis and Fani, being the amazing people that they are, offered me to stay longer in Greece and come during the weekend with them to another smaller town and see some of the sites around there. I couldn’t make up my mind so I didn’t buy any ticket then ;)

The rest of the evening was lovely. Went to Fani’s and there we played some darts and Fani let me use her computer and download the pictures from my camera and burn them to cd’s (which were hers). Yes, we are talking about the amazing Fani. Then it was sleepy time at Fani’s place, after having decided that tomorrow I was going to go to a Greek Island since I had seen the most important sites in Athens. :D

Day 8, Budapest, Thessaloniki, Athens – Airport, Andrea, Timed internet, Thessaloniki, Pete the pilot, Souvlaki, great company and a bike ride

Tuesday September 18, 2007

Woke up around 11 and got the final touches ready for my departure. Said goodbye to Steinunn and Maggi and Ingibjorg. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! You have been such wonderful host, doing so much for me and asking for so little in return. I’m so grateful for everything that you have done for me and the chance you gave me to experience Budapest and to spend some time with my good friend Steinunn. And even when I lock you inside your own apartment (sorry again Ingibjorg) you just respond with a smile. Steinunn you are wonderful in every way imaginable...!!!

If you ever have to get to the airport just take the blue line away from the center of town all the way to the end (as far into Pest as any line goes), get off and take the bus 200 that is right outside. That whole journey actually only took me 30 minutes and cost 1 euro for the bus ;)

At the airport I met a really great girl by the name of Andrea. She was so wonderful right from the start that I immediately trusted her to take care of my bags while I went looking for food and water (something that took 3 hours with Laci and Feri, only so long because there was a 3rd person there and the opportunity did not present itself earlier though). She also took care of my stuff while I tried to do some internet stuff on the airport. You could use the internet and it was a coin slot thing. For one Euro you got 10 minutes and I don’t know if it was seeing the time count down like that but I got nothing done…I was always looking at the count down or something I guess. So that is something I don’t recommend, especially when the keyboard is new to you and totally different to your own.

But I and Andrea talked a lot before that and we sat together on the plane and talked a lot more. There was no one on the plane. That’s when Andrea explained just how lucky I am…it’s the end of the season for flights to Thessaloniki. I couldn’t find a straight flight to Athens so I got a flight first to Thessaloniki and then to Athens. The ticket to Thessaloniki was 25 euro and this was the last flight of the season…hehehe. I’m so lucky, I love it :D Andrea is a major in Art history and is going to take her Doctors degree soon and I wish her the very very best of luck…not that you need it ;) Andrea also told me about EVS, European Volunteer Service, which is a program her sister is a part of. Her sister is in Thessaloniki as a part of the EVS helping blind children and Andrea was going to visit her there. In the EVS you can volunteer until you are 30 and you pick the country and they provide language lessons and a place to stay. If you are interested in helping others and experiencing new countries…check it out ;)

When I got to the airport it was time to say goodbye since I had to catch my connection to Athens and Andrea had to wait for her luggage. I said goodbye and walked out. I don’t know why but I got this idea that one of the girls waiting there was Andrea’s sister and I walked up to her (even though she looks nothing like Andrea) and asked her…and what do you know…it was ;) I told her how cool I thought it was that she was volunteering her time and hugged her goodbye and good luck.

When I arrived in Athens I got on the x96 to Glifada, just like Fani told me, and there I met Pete. He’s an Australian and is a pilot. He told me all sorts of interesting stories, he used to do direct flights to Iraq until a missile flew past one of the flights and they were cancelled. He told me loads of stuff about Australia and the world…he’s flying 4-5 times a week all over the world so he had a lot to say. Thank you Pete…really great to meet you!!!

When I got to Glifada, there was Fani awaiting me with her wonderful friend Elena. They took me to a restaurant and we had some great salat, Tzatsiki and 2 Souvlakis (had to have 1 for me and 1 for Helena, since she is stuck in Iceland). Man the food was good, the company even better and the combination made everything perfect. Yiannis showed up when we were about finished and we had a great night of laughing and more laughing. I found out the Elena actually competed at the OLYMPICS!!!! for her country in Judo. Amazing Elena….you are really amazing!!! The big joke that night was that I could never finish the sentence of what I was going to do tomorrow…the furthest I got was: “Tomorrow I’m going to….” hehehe

On the way home I went on the back of Yiannis’s motorcycle…great fun! We got home to Fani’s, planned tomorrow ;) and then the bed was calling…or better yet, Fani’s couch. A great day came to an end after yet another country and 4 flights in 8 days :D

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Day 7, Budapest - Heroes Square, City Park, Castle of Vayjolahunzad, Anonymvs, the zoo, Szecheny Bath (massage), Argentina, buying a ticket and party!

Monday September 17, 2007

When I was praying and meditating last night as I was going to sleep a thought occurred to me. After I received the wonderful news on msn my travel plans had changed. Now all I needed to decide upon was what to do with the next couple of days…how would I change my plans. Then as I was meditating it hit me…I’ll go to Greece, Athens baby yeah!!! So I’ve decided on that!!!

Wowwwww....this was a jam packed day filled with adventure and all the trimmings a day out in the world should have. As I said I would I woke up at 9 am, but Steinunn was not exactly on the same page. Woke her up around 10 and the famous: "Just 10 minutes longer" sentance came. Of course it was cool with me...if I had 10 kr. for every time Steinunn has waited for me because of sleep or helped me wake up or something like that....then I would be rich I can tell you that. Anyway...while she was getting ready I went and posted the blog for days 4, 5 and 6 and then around 11 we were ready to ROCK!!!!!!

First me and Steinunn went to the Yellow line in Budapest. Budapest only has 3 metro (subway) lines, blue, yellow and red. The blue is the longest one, then the red and then the yellow. The blue is kind of the shabbiest one, the red is really well taken care of I think and looks new and then there is the Yellow line (which I was taking for the first time) that looks so cute and cosy ;)

We went out at Heroes square and what a square it is. Looks really cool and there were Hungarians that said that this was the Arc de Triomph of Hungary (Laci and Feri to be exact). The Hungarians had very cool moustaches I’ll give em that J Beautiful square with very cool sculptures and a must see if you ever come to Budapest.

Then behind the square we have City Park and Steinunn told me about the politics here in Budapest being like home in Iceland, it’s all about who you know! There was this pond on the right to us that had been dried up just because one of the politicians wanted to have a party there… hehehe. But the park is beautiful to say the least and you could spend a day just there.

There is a castle inside the park, Castle Vayjolahunzad, was next on the agenda. There soon after entering is a beautiful little chapel, cutely decorated with the apostles. Steinunn was so not in the mood for the museum inside the castle, nor the chapel so we did not dally diddle around there. We did stop at the statue for Anonymvs, the famous anonymous person that seems to still write a lot everywhere to this day :D He apparently wrote a lot against the ruling government at the time and “seems” to still be famous for it ;) After that…a small sit down in the park.

Next on line was the zoo. It was a cool zoo and I’m really glad we went there, it’s so long since I went to a zoo. What I really loved about it was how close you could get to the animals. There was a walk in chamber in the tropical area (Steinunn had to run out of that place because the humid heat was tooooooo much for her) in which you walked in through chains that covered the doorway instead of a door. On the inside there were bats, yes bats, that were not in cages or anything like that. At one point I was so close to them that I could have reached up and touched 10 bats at once…they were just hanging above me in their cool upside down position. My favourite moments in the zoo are without a doubt nr. 1 the panda bears (sooooo amazingly cute), the huge snakes, the flamingos, the chameleon (had never seen one before, and Steinunn took a picture of it while it was sleeping. It opened it’s eyes and it can look in 180 degrees with each eye and it was so cool to watch it watch Steinunn), the lions, the lion cub (was so cute…our little Simba), the Tigers (they were amazing…me and Steinunn stayed a long time there), the giraffes, elephants and the rhino (was an animal program being shot there about the Hungarian rhino). There were a lot more animals and I’m sorry if you didn’t get named, but maybe next time ;) The only bad thing about the place was the horrible cafeteria food.

After such a long and hot trip to the zoo we decided to go to the famous Szecheny bath. We both agreed on getting a massage and Steinunn got a 15 minute foot massage and I got a 30 minute whole body massage. The massage was great, fast and hard, and even though the Hungarians said I’d be massaged by a beautiful young lady…I was massaged by a man that only shared one thing in common with the ladies…tits. But he is one of the best masseuses that I’ve ever had and after running around Europe I could use it :D

The bath was kind of funny. It had beautiful architecture and was good looking but I found out here today that we in Iceland are really spoiled. I also figured out why foreigners are so amazed at our normal swimming pools. This bath didn’t really have that hot water in the “hot” pools and Hungary prides it self of geothermal water. And you really couldn’t swim there and more little differences. It was a great experience though, the massage was amazing, the bath itself was really beautiful and it was great fun to be in the circle. The circle is a really small, streaming artificial river that takes anyone who enters the “circle” for a fun little ride…I liked it, but I love everything like this…what can I say, I’m a really big kid. We also met some nice Americans on vacation. The guy had some really cool tattoos and a long beard and hair. His hear was red so I had to find out where he was from, thought it was Ireland. His name’s Russ and hers is Patrice and we talked for a while and they invited me to come visit them when I come to the States in December. Who knows…maybe I’ll see em then ;)

After such a day it was time for some good dinner and we ended up at a little pricy (hehehe only for Budapest…ended up paying the same amount as for one steak in Iceland) cosy and generally good restaurant called Argentina (like the one in Iceland) and had REALLY good food. We both ended up ordering the same steak, but different starter, and both medium well done (hehehe…we are so alike even though we are totally different). Enjoyed the meal and the really great company…a real treat.

Then I decided it was time to buy the ticket to my next destination….most likely Athens like I had decided earlier that day. I went back to Svenni’s and Ebbi’s flat and these guys are amazing…I was crashing their flat while they were studying and they told me that I could of course stay there and be on the internet. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! You guys rock. Regarding the flight, I contacted couchsurfers that had stayed at my flat in August that were without a doubt some of the most amazing people I’ve met through couchsurfing, if not in my whole life, earlier that day. Yiannis and Fani said that they could of course host me whenever I came and I ended up booking a ticket for tomorrow, the 18th, even though I was not going to leave until the 19th. Then I was going to go to Prague but now I’m going to Athens tomorrow instead :D

After that there was only one thing that was left….PARTY! Budapest is a party town, also, and the Erasmus students party every day so away we went to meet the Finnish people (Olli, Joona and Sirkka) at a party held by Belgiums (Jan, Willem and Flo). When we got there I just knew I was going to have a great time. These were the same great Finnish people since last time and now they had just added 3 more great people into the mix. We had loads of fun and if you want to know more you can see a video Willem (Willem Huybrechs) uploaded on Facebook (and maybe U-Tube too) called “Iceland Rocks” hehehehe Good times ;) Went off to a bar later on called Morrison’s and I really enjoyed hanging out with these people and I hope I meet them again, especially Olli. Got to bond with Jan, an American that went to Belgium when he was 14, and I hope he realizes his dream after he’s done with school and just goes travelling no matter what his parents or anybody else thinks. Good luck and gods speed my friend!!!

Next I had to get a Taxi home and I went over to the hotel across the street and found a really nice guy at the desk who was so helpful. I also found postcards so I could write my grandmother a postcard and he took it and mailed it for me and everything. After that he translated for me some sms’s that I had received earlier that day from a friend in Iceland. She had written me some dirty sms’s in Hungarian and you should have seen the face of the guy in the desk when he was translating them. He kept saying how lucky I was and laughing mid sentence and stuff like that…a really funny experience. The Taxi driver was kind of funny, first guy to speak a word in English and I found out that he had been doing this for 26 years. Good man and a good end to the party evening.
I got home around 2.30 am, early, so I could pack for the departure that wasn’t really scheduled for tomorrow. Steinunn got home an hour and a half later and I was finishing up and it was time for bed. Said goodnight to her for the last time in person for a while. Great to start the day with her and end it. Thank you again Steinunn, you rock!!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Day 6, Budapest - A long needed sleep, Goulash soup and Hungarian Goose specialty, R&R, Internet and staying up writing this blog

Sunday September 16, 2007

Ufff….man….I tried to wake up a few times but it just didn’t seem to compute with my body. So I finally woke up at 6 o’clock. But man, all that I’ve been doing has so been worth it. I’ve had so much fun. THANK YOU STEINUNN, YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!!!!!! If you ever are as lucky as me to get to know Steinunn then you should definitely take her up on any offer that involves hanging out with her a lot and another country! ;)

She was still in bed also so I walked into her room and soon she had risen from the dead and we decided that the only measure that should be taken is going out for dinner. We went to a wonderful restaurant that’s called Octopus, walking there I figured out that there was no noise outside…my ears were just ringing from the concert last night. I asked the waiter what I should have that was truly Hungarian and was good here. He said that the famous Goulash soup was great here and also the Hungarian Goose specialty. I took him up on his offer and man…I don’t regret that!!! It was really good. After that I had a Macchiato with honey instead of sugar and Steinunn had a fried banana. We talked about all the things we want to see tomorrow in Budapest…we’re going sightseeing. :D

Next on the agenda was Internet and again, Svenni, YOU ARE THE MAN!!! He loaned me his computer again and for a long long time. Thank you my friend…I had one of the best msn conversations I’ve ever had!!! Made me so happy to get the news I got!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wuhuuuuuuu!!! :D

I wasn’t finished by a long shot with all the things I had to do on the internet but I didn’t have a computer and Svenni had to talk to his girlfriend. Thank you again Svenni. So I went to the store and got some food for the household. It’s 24 hour store and I bought A LOT of stuff and it only cost 5780 HUF or Forint’s which is like less than 2000 Icelandic kr. Hehehe I love this country! ;)

When I got back Ebbi said it was ok if I had some pizza from the guys. Man I don’t have any words for these guys. They don’t know me from Adam and still they invite me to their house, let me use their internet, borrow their computer and give me food….amazing guys I tell you.

Steinunn went to sleep soon after that but I stayed up writing my blog…like what I’m writing right now. I’m not asleep yet but I guess I’m going to sleep pretty soon. Right now it’s 4 am, my ears are still ringing, and we’re waking up at 9…going sightseeing. Going to stop for now but I’ll finish the blog the next time I get to a computer. Love you guys and I want you all to know that I’m really happy. I was just thinking to myself today that even though I’d die now, which I’m not going to do, I’d die happy and content. I’ve seen and done more than a lot of people do in a lifetime. I’ve certainly met my share of people…let’s face it, I’ve met lots of people’s share of people! ;) One of the best gifts my father ever gave to me was telling me the day before he died how happy he was with his life. I’ll probably die in 80 years and then I want you all to know that I couldn’t be happier with my life…even the sad parts :D They just taught me so much and made me appreciate the happy parts even more. So….NOTHING BUT LOVE!!! :*

I’m going to go dream soon about the good news I got on msn!!! ;)


After I wrote the above I did a little yoga, had some fruit and half an episode of Friends. I fell into dreamland with not a care in the world and started dreaming about good times ;)

Day 5, Budapest – Losing my camera, West End Mall, New cloathes, Internet (finally) at Svenni‘s and Ebbi‘s, Paul van Dyk

Saturday September 15, 2007

Woke up at around 2 o‘clock and noticed that Steinunn wasn‘t at home. She was out looking for a ticket for Karolina to come see the nr. 1 DJ at the moment, Paul van Dyk, tonight. We decided to meet up at the West End Mall and I got ready, put on some jogging pants got all my stuff (camera, phone, etc.) and decided not to take a bag since my pockets seemed to hold it all anyway. So I went out and to the metro and when I got to the metro station where the mall was at I decide to take a picture of the sign of the mall and the metro station together. And what do I discover??? NO CAMERA in my pocket! I‘m really glad that my first instinct was not to panic, I just thought: “Ok, can’t change the past…just what you are going to do with the present” But it’s kind of cool that it happened cause it gave me a new experience of Budapest. First I tried to talk to the woman at the ticket office but she was helping some Swedes, and since she didn’t speak any English I had to help them and then of course the woman at the ticket office couldn’t help me. I met up with Steinunn and she told me that she had coppied the pictures from my camera, all of them, to her computer that morning. I told her that even when I’m unlucky I seem to be lucky :D The pictures were all that mattered anyway. We then found a guy that spoke Spanish, Italian, Portuguese but not a word in English. He had to take me to the tourist information office so that she could translate what I was talking about for him. He took me to the metro office and called the train stops to find out if anyone had seen a camera. I was sure I’d lost it while sitting on the train since I noticed that the pocket formed a loop of sorts when I sat down. The answer was of course no…or I think so, cause none of the people at the metro office could speak English and the tourist information was too far away. I had to rely on the head shaking and pointing language that everyone in the world seems to speak ;)

While we were at the metro office I showed Steinunn the “extra key” that I had taken from their apartment, which I had remembered her talking about. Before I left I had been “alone” in the apartment for more than an hour and I called to make sure there was no one there…because you need a key to open the lock from both sides of the door. With this in mind I locked the door and left. Now…back to the metro station where I’m showing Steinunn the “extra key”…her face turns black, red and finally her jaw drops to the floor. “You did what?????” Steinunn asked, and she explained that there was no extra key and her flat mate must be locked inside their apartment. She made a phone call and so it was…I had locked one of the people inside that were so graciously hosting me! Steinunn took the “extra key” and hurried home while I went to the West End Mall since I was in some serious need of clothes.

Like I said before I only took with me a small backpack, a computer bag I used when I had a laptop in school….and in that kind of bag you don’t really pack a lot of stuff ;) All my clothes had been used and I needed a T-Shirt, underwear, socks and some pants. To my amazement I tried on jeans that were 38 inches and they were a little big on me…I love losing weight…it’s the only losing I like but I guess that’s something…right? ;) Then I got the underwear, socks and went to the Nike store where I fit into jogging pants that were XL…gotta love the losing ;) Bought my Jean Paul Gaultier perfume and was on my way home after going to a computer store, getting to use their internet for a minute to get the mobile phone number of Carmen…the woman I’m staying with in Hamburg….so I could sms her :D

When I got home I met Steinunn’s flat mate, the one I locked inside. I did not have words to say how sorry I was for locking her in. She was so nice about it, said that she’s so afraid of thieves that she’s rather be locked inside then out and that she hardly noticed. She was asleep, taking a nap, when I left out and didn’t hear me. I invited her to come with us to the Paul van Dyk concert, my treat, but she wouldn’t hear of it….soooo kind and nice!!! Thank you!!!

Next on the agenda was internet usage, I hadn’t been able to use the internet for a while and we went to Svenni’s and Ebbi’s flat (they live in the same building as Steinunn). They are Icelandic and also Erasmus students here in Budapest. They are so kind, especially Svenni who loaned me his computer so I could blog and answer emails!!! Thank you thank you thank you Svenni and Ebbi!!!!

When I was taking a shower I noticed something lying on the bed. It was my camera!!!! Evidently it had fallen out of my pocket just before I left the apartment. Hehehehe…even when I’m unlucky I’m lucky :D

Karolina, German Erasmus student, met us at the train station next to us and we went to Stefan’s, Jim’s and Laura’s flat. They are all from the Netherlands and are also here as exchange students. They had just made a Tiky bar from scratch and man it was cool. I got the whole picture tour of the making and the royal debut and everything. We then all headed out for the “concert” of Paul van Dyk. We were all kidding around a lot and had loads of fun just getting there.

I don’t really have words for the concert itself. We were there from a little before 11 and left at 5 (except Karolina, she left around 3-3.30, took a taxi) and it was A W E S O M E ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! I danced from the moment I entered, all through the night…in the line for the bathroom I was still dancing!!! Party time!!! The DJ’s were all really good in my opinion and I had loads of fun!!! Thank you Steinunn for recommending this!!! There were somewhere between 10-15 thousand people there and the light show was awesome as well as the fire that shot from the stage as DJ Paul van Dyk was there.

On the way home Jim was playing some more Trans music as well as more electronic music and I couldn’t stop dancing…even on the way to the metro, at the metro station and everything!

When I got home I spent again a lovely moment with my “Friends” and was asleep around 7 in the morning. The thought of the day is that Budapest seems to be a more extreme version of what Iceland is famous for. Iceland is famous for its partying but we’re only good at it on Friday and Saturday and not in the way the Hungarians are. The Budapest night life is everyday and there is always a party. There is also a lot of geothermal water here and a lot of beautiful nature…hummm…was wondering why I liked this place so much. With this thought I fell asleep.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Day 4 - Budapest... Gélert hill, Buda Hill, Margaret Island, Gélert Hill again and party hardy!

Friday September 14, 2007

Woke up after noon, really needed the rest after the crazy 23 hour day (almost 24 hour) before. Steinunn and I went out for breakfast/lunch/coffee time at this resteraunt that the law students usually hang out in...pretty good 2 course meal. Next we walked our way to Gélert hill, where there was a statue of Gélert. We really didn't have a plan for the day, just decided to start walking and see what was interesting on the way. When we saw a statue a small part of the way up the hill I really wanted to walk up to it and finally convinced Steinunn. After a hard hike getting up there we really couldn't see the statue any better but we could see that you could climb higher up the hill and we decided to check it out. We walked, and walked and finally saw that there was something to see at the top (almost didn't continue). When we got up to the top we saw this cool castle and an amazing view of all of Budapest. Soaked up the view and had some water. There you could also go into a museum inside the castle area, some sort of bunker from 2nd world war. Wasn't really interested in the museum, just wanted to see the view of Budapest from a little higher up (the castle walls). But man was I wrong, what a cool museum. Looking through the museum we saw flags, pins, medallions, marks, pictures, both kind of cool and then very very disturbing. If you go there and don't want to feel very sad and kind of sick to your stomach, then don't go to the bottom floor (devoted to kids that were the victim of the war in Budapest) and don't go to the room devoted to Jews. But even though my stomach was queesy I must say that I'm really glad I went to see it, a truly interesting museum that gets you to see what war is all about. Like I said to Steinunn: "Reminds you that there is nothing cool about war at all!" Also you can see why Buda has newer buildings than Pest, since Buda was bombed more in the war. The view on the top of the castle wall was also really amazing. And let's not forget the statue's at the top were cool too.

Next we went toward the Buda Castle, walking, and took some sort of tram up the hill....didn't walk this time. When we got up there and had looked a little around (Awesome view) we just sat down and enjoyed the sunset! ;)
The Castle Hill with Buda Castle is amazing, with the castle itself not as beautiful as I thought it would be and the Matthias Church under renovation. But the view made up for these 2 facts, as well as amazing statues and sculptures! ;) Also saw some busses coming up towards what looked like a main building, looked like a state visit of some sorts.

Next it was definitely time to fill our stomachs and we said that Margaret Island should of course be filled with restaurants...but I guess we were wrong. After walking there, partly taking the trolley, and of course having to look at the awful no no not the Select!!!! (Hehehe...private humor between me and Steinunn I guess)... we finally got to Margaret Island. It‘s a wonderful Island found between Buda and Pest on the river Danube and only reachable from the middle of 2 of the many bridges that connect Buda and Pest. But like I said, there should be a lot of restaurants there, but there aren‘t. So we walked around and saw beautiful water fountains, wonderful trees and Steinunn saw someone moving in every shadowy place around us! ;) I thought it was really beautiful and a shame that the only real restaurant that we saw had a waiter that closed the restaurant on us because there were so few people there. Anyway…we finally went to a grill place and got a really nice chicken and lamb course which we were both very happy with.

Next on line was of course meeting up with the other Erasmus students and surprise surprise…they chose this night to climb the Gélert hill ;) Hehehehe! So we got ourselves back to the bottom of the Gélert hill, and had to walk past the terribly awful Select, and for the second time that day walked up it :D When we got up to the top the Erasmus gang was still recovering from the walk up. I soaked up the amazing view again, this time in the dark. I recommend that if you are going to Budapest sometime that you go up to the Gélert hill both during the daytime and when it’s dark out, totally different view each time :D But then it was time to meet the gang, new people tonight. The Finnish gang was really great, Srika from the night before and now new Oli and Joanna. All the Spanish girls were great and great new German people as well. And I finally met Karolina that Steinunn had talked so much about. We had loads of laughs up there and since they were drinking and having beers I said that all that was missing for it to feel like we were 15-16 was to have a backpack for the alcohol and that’s when they showed me the backpack. I had to have a picture of me age 16 so I put on the backpack and held the beer and I’ll upload the picture on Facebook as soon as I can ;)

The walk down and to the pub was great fun. I was doing Pablo Fransisco, singing, we were telling jokes, the really fun German guy sent an SOS party message in a bottle into the river Danube, jumping, running, dancing, going the wrong way, screaming, picture taking and just general having fun ;)

When we got to the pub or party place if you will, then the next thing on the agenda was dancing like our lives depended on it….and we did. Dancing with all these people was so much fun and the top of the dancing itself must be dancing with one of the Spanish girls. I kept having to go to the bathroom to wipe off sweat from my “hot” body ;) At one point I left the party to get myself something to eat, had to keep up my program of eating (part of being in OA), and on the way there were 2 women sitting on a bench. It was the first time a hooker actually asked me if I wanted her services, but the way she did it was a way that made this moment unforgettable. She said: “You want a sexy time?” and the movie Borat just came screaming into my mind. When I said no she said: “It’s a very nice” and she even had the same accent as Borat and I just had to bite my lip not to start laughing. Ahhhh…good times, good times ;) Anyway when I got back I kept dancing and dancing and dancing and when me and Steinunn finally decided to go home and rest our weary bodies, my T-Shirt was SOAKING wet. Fortunetly I had met another great person at the bar, Stefan from Holland, and he loaned me his sweater/jacket…and Steinunn promised to wash it for him and return it :D

When we got home I had one meal left and I picked out Steinunn’s lap top and visited with some good old friends of mine….Friends :D A nostalgic end to yet another amazing day ;)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Day 3 - Paris and Budapest... Mon Marte, Beauvais, partying in the basement of a castle

September 13, 2007

Woke up a little before 7 am since Rachel had to go to work at 7 am. She was so kind and let me stay longer so I could clean up after me and have breakfast. Then I walked from her place up to Mon Martre. It was great going there. On the way I posted a postcard to my grandmother, a very important part of all the trips I've ever gone on....I've always sent my grandmother one postcard from each of the places I've gone to. But on to Mon Marte...the church itself is SOOO beautiful and the altar piece is amazing (the painting of Jesus is wonderful). Took a long look at the church it self, prayed and donated 2 euros to a saint that I picked out. Then it was time for Stairmaster Mon Martre since I wanted to go to the top there. Up there I met some really wonderful English people, I think they were from Norfolk, Chris and Sue. I'm really glad I met them, they have had an early retirement and are just travelling now....have a camper outside of Paris and just go back and forth, really great ;) After meeting them I started to think that it might be a problem just how easy it is for me to meet people. I'm always meeting people and it's getting a little time consuming. Maybe if I wouldn't have met so many people I would have had time to go to the cemitary where Jim Morrison is buried...but in retrospect I don't care. I'm really glad having met all these wonderful people that have certainly enriched my experience and I can hardly believe that it's only day 3....amazing.

Then I had to get to airport Beauvais, which is outside of Paris and I've never been there. That's where the flight to Budapest will take place, that Auréllion found for me. He told me what metro station to go to and I got there and met great Scots on the way and also found a wonderful store called the Store of Angels (those that know me know how ME that is). Auréllion told me to follow the people with suitcases when I got there...I took it one step further and started talking to these 2 guys and funny enough they were Hungarian and were going to Budapest too. Laci and Feri are without a doubt 2 of the most helpful, wonderful men I've ever met!!!! They showed me how to get to the bus that took us to the airport. The ride there was loads of fun and filled with phonecalls ;)

When I got there I saw Scots and they won the match the day before, 1-0, vs. France and I was congratulating them. They started arguing where I was from and one of them said I was from Germany the other said I was from Iceland: "He looks just like John Paul Sigmarsson!" hehehehe... very cool to be likened to a man that won the Strongest man in the World so many times. They missed their flight in the morning and were there trying to get flights...only 5 of them got on. If you are reading this guys I hope all of you got on a flight that day!!!

Then I went into the building terminal, after checking in with Wizz air, and got a 15 minute massage. Man I needed it and so cool that they offered that in an airport :D I had so much fun in the airport, they delayed our flight by an hour but I didn't care at all. I was with Laci, Feri, another girl from Hungary called Tekla and a girl from Transylvania (she gave a cool tatoo on my neck, 2 spots) and we just laughed and laughed the whole time and I just kept goofing around.

When we got on the plane we met a great guy from Serbia named Goran (means man of the mountain), Belgrad to be exact. He sat next to me on the plane and has invited me to come stay with him when I get there. Hope to meet him soon and come party with him in Belgrad. The plane ride was awesome and we saw the alps and kept on laughing. At one point I needed a little more massage on my neck so I sat down in the isle and Tekla gave me a neck massage...very good...and everyone around us seemed to be so interested in it ;)

Arriving in Budapest was great fun. I'm so glad I decided to come here and the people I met on the way alone seem to have been worth it. When I landed, Goran gave me a Cuban cigar...a real one :D And we said goodbye to Tekla and the Transylvanian girl. Laci and Feri took such good care of me. Helped me find an ATM machine, got me a ticket to the bus and told me what bus to get on, then when we got to the metro station they helped me buy a weeks pass for the metro/trains/trolly's (much cheaper to buy it that way, 10 euros for a week) and they were going the same way so I was with them all the way to the end....or where I was supposed to meet Steinunn!!! ;)

Steinunn was having a nice time with the other Erasmus students in Budapest and when they heard that her friend from Iceland was coming to visit her they asked her if she wasn't afraid of her friend being here in Budapest all alone??? She simply answered: "NO, not at all. He's already met 2 Hungarians and they are taking care of him. He'll be fine alone no matter where he is!" ;) I met her at the metro station closest to her house. She's renting a flat with 2 other Icelanders here in downtown Budapest and we went there and put my stuff in the extra room.

Next on the agenda was having dinner and of course to puff the magic wait....puff the cuban cigar ;) Very good but too big for one puff so I actually smoked it in 3 strokes over the night. The dinner was really good, deepfried mushrooms with cheesefilling for starter and pork medallions as a main course.

Party time!!! We went to an Erasmus party and met loads of people: Dirk, Svenja, Hannes from Germany, Daniel from Budapest, Sophie and Sabrina from France and so many more. Great time and got to know everyone pretty quickly. Then after the party we went walking to some establishment to party some more. The long walk was great fun filled with getting to know that Hannes always wanted to ride across the States on Highway 66, straight across the USA on a Harley Davidson and almost did it twice, dancing cowboy dances with Sabrina in the street and trying to pick out a place to go on the way.

We finally ended up in a party in some sort of castle and the main dance area looked like a dungeon. There was electronic music in one room and then classic party music in the other and I mostly stayed in the electronic music one. Great fun there and met loads of more people like Daniel from Germany and Srika from Finland. Danced and danced and it!!!! Ended up dancing just like I did in the old days on the electro music dance floor and my belt strap ripped off...good times ;) Sweaty sweaty Mr. Bergmann :D

A great end to a great day and I must say that it was so much fun. Getting home on the night bus was cool and at the end of the day I had been awake for 23 hours, walking a lot and generally having an amazing time :) Thank you everyone for wonderful times ;)

Day 2 - Paris... Arc de Triump, Champs Elysseé, Ferris wheel, Trouffles and the Louvre

September 12, 2007

Woke up after noon, needed some rest after no sleep the day before, Stairmaster Notre Dame and workout a la Eiffel ;) Guess the travel took it's toll too. Auréllion left a cute note and the keys to his appartment before he left (man he's cool). I had some breakfast and then it was time to continue my tour of Paris.

My first stop was the Victory Arch or Arc de Triumph. It was the same there as with Notre Dame, Stairmaster time :D You have to walk up the steps and I'm so glad that I'm in good shape cause I had all my luggage with me (a single backpack weighing 12 kgs....hehehehe....for 4 months) and these steps are really narrow. Another amazing view awaited me and I must say that even though I had already been at 2 view spots in Paris that this did in no way make this place any less. If you go to Paris you have to go here. Met some really nice people from Estonia and I must say that I'd like to go there sometime after meeting them.

Then it was time to walk down the Champs Elysseé (think I'm spelling it right), THE famous street in Paris. The only store I went into (or even wanted to go into) was the Disney Store. It was great fun and I almost started playing with all the toys there ;)

When I had gone down the street and paroused the people there, then I saw a beautiful waterfountain surrounded with trees and kids playing and I decided to have a small picnic. I had some French Cheese with me and bread and fruit and I sat down on a the bench in front of the waterfountain and enjoyed the sun while eating. It was a really really nice experience.

Next on the list, after meeting Irish people and them taking a picture of me and the Egyptian needle, was going on the Ferris wheel. In Icleand a Ferris wheel is actually called a Paris wheel so I had to go on it. They wouldn't let me go alone so I went with 2 mexican women who lived in the States. Great talking with them and if you are reading my blog please remind me sometime to send them the picture I took of them. After I got off the Ferris wheel there was a woman begging for money and I somehow felt that she was diffent so I gave her some money but then I asked her if she wanted some food too. She said yes and I gave her the rest of my cheese, bread, water and fruit. When I went into the garden that comes after the Ferris wheel there is a ledge you can go on that overlooks the places I had been. There I saw her and her 4 children and possible her mother eating the bread and drinking the water and I felt so happy seeing them....I just don't know how to describe the feeling!!! Then the woman saw me and pointed me out to her mother and they all smiled to me, not as good as seeing them eat the food but a really good feeling indeed.

Next on the agenda was walking through the garden and then of course it was time for Mr. Bergmann to get hustled ;) Hehehe. I met a guy from Kenya who tried to stop me and as I always do when I see hustlers or sales people I just say no thank you and keep walking but he said: "No I am artist...this just for me!" and I actually bought it...hehehehe!!! He made me a bracelet on the spot from strings with the colors of Kenya, said that it was Kenyan Viagra. I was so out of it after talking to him that when he said give me some money I just reached into my pocket. He said give me some notes and I'll give you change. He wanted 15 euro for it....I just said no. I ended up "bargaining" him down to 5 euros, still a lot of money but a cheep lesson I have to say for getting hustled ;) and a great memory at that and now I'm going to wear that bracelet since it is a good reminder and kind of cool :D

Then on to the Louvre. The Louvre is huge but I was prepared for it. I actually have to say that it's smaller then I thought it would be. I had 45 minutes alone before Rachel, the couchsurfing host I had for that night, came. I went to see the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa and actually saw a lot of beautiful paintings before Rachel got there. Then I found out the important info....this was Rachels (age 29) first time at the Louvre. I invited her to the Louvre and then when I found this out I was sooooo glad that I decided to invite her :D It took a guy from Iceland sleeping on her couch for her to go see the Louvre. I kept her ticket at the information desk. The girls there were really great and gave Rachel her ticket when she came....nothing but love to you girls. Looking at the Louvre was really great and it's so good to have finally been there. We saw paintings, jeweles, sculptures, sphinxes and soooo much more. I know my way around now, I knew exactly where to go to show Rachel the Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa :D

Then we went home to Rachels flat and she schooled me for the morning after. She was amazingly wonderful and such a great host. I'm so glad she decided to host me. Her appartment is wonderful, pictures of her all around the appartment doing all sorts of amazing things. I met her cat and the cat slept in the living room with me. Thank you Rachel, it was great meeting you. Bon nui ;)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Day 1 - Paris... Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower

September 11, 2007 Hehehehe....I love being who I am. I chose this day specifically for traveling, September 11! Nobody seems to want to travel on this day - I FOR ONE LOVED IT!!! The morning after I came to the airport was just spent on the internet. With all the e-mails I have to finish and couchsurfing friend requests and planning my trip and contacting couchsurfers that I'll be staying with and people facebooking or myspaceing or, or or or.....If I have not answered your e-mail or anything like that please do not be offended....just have a lot of them to answer! The flight was great. Came in, sat down, put a blanket over me, fell asleep, woke up in Paris (woke up a lot of times but I always thought it was a dream and only for a few seconds). Wonderful! A train later I'm sitting at a resteraunt with the Notre Dame as a view, eating snails as a starter and frogs legs as a main course! Hey, when in Rome....or Paris for that matter! Then I went inside the Notre Dame church itself and it is awesome. I really enjoyed it and I prayed at one of the alters but I had such a strong experience there that I had to do more. So I went in for confession and it was a really really good experience. It was so not as I thought it would be. I had to wait 15 minutes for the confession "booth" and it really wasn't a booth at all but a room with glass doors so everyone could see you. Inside the room there was a table and he sat on one side and I on the other and he could see me and I could see him. I thought he would just listen to me and be quiet while I spilled my guts (so to speak) but it was actually more like having a conversation with someone and knowing that he had the understanding that was needed to hear all these things. I didn't go into detail but I did talk with him about a lot of the things that were on my mind at that time and that I had in general done through my life (stealing, lying, stuff like that). It was really good to talk to him and great to hear his comments on what I had to say. He said that since I was 27 that I should consider settling down soon enough. He said that I would still be young though until I was about 40 so I have time ;) The best part was that he knew I wasn't Catholic and he said that all I needed was faith. He told me about the first confession according to the Catholics, it was Jesus who did it. Jesus was with a crippled man and he said: "Your sins are forgiven" and then he told the cripple to stand up and walk...and he did. The priest said that confession was not just about forgiving sins but that in confession there is always also healing, like there was in the first confession when Jesus healed the cripple. And he said that I didn't have to believe in his power to forgive my sins but that he could act as a representative of God and that God would forgive my sins and heal me. I thought that was really really really cool. And when he said receive his forgiveness I could really feel it.

The interior of Notre Dame is really cool and if you go there you should really take some time to check it out. On the outside to the right (left if you are coming from the church) is a toilett and to the left (right if you are coming from the church) is the entrance to the tower. It's free to go into Notre Dame but it costs to get into the tower. In the line I of course met some people (hehehe) and they were really wonderful, Chris and Melissa from Canada. They were in Paris on their honeymoon and it was real fun to go with them to the tower of Notre Dame. If you want to travel abroad and still do your workout just go to Stairmaster Notre Dame, who needs a Stairmaster 2000 :D The Stairmaster Notre Dame boasts of more then 400 steps and the corridor is small so you have to continue walking even though you are tired as not to hold up the other people. It's great fun and if you want to make it harder just do what I did, have a 12 kg backpack on your back ;) I didn't know that the Gargoyles would be so cool. I've always loved them, the idea of them to say, and now that I've seen them I'm even more in love. And the view from the top of the top was amazing. I love Paris...I really do.

Me, Chris and Melissa stayed together through Notre Dame and then we decided to go on a boat trip on the Sienne. I love some French people, I went up to someone working on one of the boats cause I wanted to get on the boat before it left and I asked: "Do you work here" He said: "No" and held up the insignia of the boat on his shirt and smiled sarcastically. Then I asked: "Can I buy a ticket from you or on the boat" then he said "of course not...why do you think we have a ticket office" and stormed off. Hehehehehe I love some French people ;) Gotta love being in the service sector...

The ride down the Sienne was amazing and talking with Chris and Melissa was great. He's a lawyer and told me some really interesting things about his business. So great to hear about Canada and the lakes there and their interaction with the USA.

We ended up at the Eiffel Tower and they took really crazy photos of me where I'm standing on a ledge with about a 10 m drop or something on one side ;) Then it was time for THE Tower. I couldn't walk up the Tower since I was there after 6 pm (go before that if you want to walk up to the 2nd floor, have to take an elevator to the 3rd floor) so I took the elevator and went immediatly to the top of the top. It was amazing, this is one of the few monuments that I've seen that is actually bigger then I thought it would be. It was so high that at one point even I got a little Vertigo... :S But I bounced right back. At the top the view was amazing and soooo romantic. I saw the sunset, the sun was so dark orange and was great. At the top I met a lot of different people. The funniest without a doubt was meeting my close cousin at the top. I heard some guys speaking Icelandic and I asked them like everyone else if they wanted to have a picture of the 2 of them together. But my cousin was there with a Glasswork exhibit, he is one of 100 artist from around the world that was invited to come to this exhibit and I'm so proud of him. He's the son of the daughter of the sister of my grandmother (did you get it??) and his mother is also doing Glasswork. A close second were the 2 Australians and 2 Englishmen (3 boys, 1 girl) and we were always meeting each other around there. Then finally we ended up walking from the 1st floor down. But from the 2nd floor to the 1st I walked down with 3 Scottishmen who were there for Scotland vs. England and that was funny. One of them, young guy, was snorting some speed and the older guy was trying to stop him. I talked with those Scottish guys and a lot more Scottish people all around Paris and they were so psyched for the game tomorrow. All around Paris you could see Scots in kilts and singing songs. I talked to so many of them and I gotta the Scots.

At the top of the Eiffel Tower I received an sms from the couchsurfer that I am staying with tonight. He told me to meet him at home. Small problem was that he had told me where home was in an email that morning and I had not read that email. Then my phone ran out of batteries. So I was standing at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower with no batteries on my phone and no idea where to go and tooo many French people that couldn't speak English. Had a great 30 minute walk to an internet café and on the way tasted a real French hotdog. I finally got to his place around midnight and even though it had been more trouble it would have been worth it. This man, Auréllion (I think I'm spelling it right), is one of the most wonderful persons I've ever met. Words are just not enough for this man. Before I left on my trip I had only booked one flight, and that was the flight to Paris ;) He showed me a wonderful website, that shows you the cheepest flight available for the way you want to go. I saved 340 euro's on staying at his flat, that's how much more I would have payed if I would have stayed somewhere else. He was so much fun and great to talk to that we talked and talked long into the was 3 am the last time I checked my watch. A GREAT end to an amazing first day!!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

T minus 1....and the countdown is at an end...

Monday September 10, 2007

Woke up really early....had a lot to do today. Must say that I'm so glad to think that I managed to finish up all the things I really wanted/needed to finish up here. Got done with so much laundry, cleaning out the fridge and cleaning up after countless visits from Couchsurfers. I didn't finish all the cleaning up I should have finished but instead I'll pay someone to do it and in turn I enjoyed this last day in Iceland (for 4 months) so much more. I threw out stuff from the room downstairs, went suntanning, had veggie lunch with Marjorie from Couchsurfing, she helped me pick up my grandma's car and return the rental car I had, I went to the credit card company and got paid back some money for my trip (gotta love travelchecks: ferðaávísanir).

Next I returned the mattresses that i borrowed from my Grandma so I could host more couchsurfers and had a lovely cup of coffee with her :D

The rest of the evening was dedicated to relaxing, eating good food, taking a great walk down memory lane and having great company. Getting ready for the trip it self was a really small part of it ;) I also met my mom in the evening, said my goodbyes and received a blessing from her. Really good to meet her...a real continuance from meeting her at the Veggie resteraunt 2 days ago.

Even though the night in Reykjavík did not end the way I wanted it to, it was really a wonderful night and I'm so glad I got to experience it.

Didn't sleep at all this night so I'll give you a sneek preview on "tomorrow":

Around 4.20 I drove my grandma's car back to her house and when I got there I had to get a taxi to get to BSÍ. When she got there I asked her if she could drive me all the way to the Airport and since it didn't cost much more then the bus (with the added expense of getting a taxi to BSÍ) I went with her. Already the ODYSSEY began with the first person that would influence me. Her name is Þuríður Saga and Saga means story...and there is truly a story behind that name. I'll never forget this great taxi driver and the first mark she left on my adventure :D

T minus 2....why am I counting like it'sa military airstrike or something...hummm

Sunday September 9, 2007

Auður, happy birthday. Being 22 rocks....if I remember correctly ;) was really a wonderful experience to say the least. After driving Guillaume and Helena home I met up with a guy that I'm sponsoring in OA and we did his 5th step together. To see the change in this man is amazing...through him I keep seeing the miracles that working this program can bring about. I am very honored for the trust he showed me and the courage he found in his desperation, to fully disclose everything that was keeping him from getting better.

Around 9.30 pm, after he left, Marie and Josefine came to visit. They had borrowed my moms car (they work at the Hotel) and did the Golden circle (Gullfoss, Geysir and Þingvellir) and then came to say goodbye to me. Marie also had another reason for coming...getting a ride on my motorcycle. So we did... :)

The rest of the day was truly wonderful, a night I'll never forget....

T minus 3....and still counting

Saturday September 8, 2007

Awsome day even if I say so myself :D

Had a great start of the day but didn't leave the house ;)

Around 5.30 I headed out and me and Helena got our tickets for CHRIS CORNELL 's concert. Then veggie food for me and standing in line for 45 minutes at Pylsuvagninn (THE Icelandic hot dog stand, haven't tasted hot dogs until you taste em there) for Helena and Guillaume...a must :D Especially since it was raining like God had gone out drinking the night before and was having his hangover pee!!!

Went to the concert with Helena, Vanessa and Haukur and had an AMAZING time :D Thought I was going to go crazy when he played Black whole sun....wowwwwwwww

Next it was off to pick up Guillaume, who went to the match Iceland vs. Spain (soccer) and could talk about nothing else....hehehe like I was any different regarding the concert.

Off to Þórirs place for a small party! Soooo great to see Bo and Árni especially and get a chance to hang out with them like that before I go. A party of a thousand laughs, really fucked up jokes (especially about the teddy bear) and like always....see photos on Facebook (under Couchsurfers album 13 I think).

Around 5 I, Helena and Guillaume went to a Pizza place and went home to watch half of Super Troopers....Great end to an even greater evening!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

T minus 4...and counting

Friday, September 7 2007

I had a great day today and I think it's all thanks to the way the day started: I went to the Dentist. Lovely thing dentists. What was so great is that my teath are looking great and I only have very few cavities and there was only one tooth that she desperatly had to fix.....a great accomplishment for me ;)

Then it was off to get my 3rd suntanning...I don't wanna reflect to much sun at the other people at the beaches of Australia ;)

After that I went to pick up couchsurfers :D Yeah I had 3 couchsurfers that day and we had loads of fun just talking and stuff. To see more about that go to

Then the all important jog, important to stay in shape in such a long trip. Wish I took the time every day to jog but I guess human interaction, almost to the extreme, wins most of the time and I take that over jogging a lot. But today I did :D

After that I had a really great dinner with my mom. We went to a veggie place and had some really great food there...but best of all was the conversation. When I walked into the resteraunt she had this really big smile on her face. I could just see the pride on her face. She told me that not only was I looking really good physically but also mentally sharp and spiritually I was glowing. We had a great talk and I guess I'll always remember this dinner we had.

Next was an AA meeting, from 19.30 to 20.30, a really good one. Afterwards I met a lot of newcomers and had the great pleasure of talking to them and welcoming them to AA. Next was Grillhúsið Tryggvagötu, the AA meeting goes there afterwards, and I said goodbye to the guys.

Onwards to my friend Mummi's house to say goodbye to him and his kids. He offered me pizza and since he makes one of the best pizza's in the world..... Gulli like Pizza ;) Great saying goodbye to him.

Next I went home and talked to the couchsurfers that were staying at the house and got dressed. Why did I get dressed? PARTY!!!

Went downtown and met Vanessa, Guillaume and Helena. Met loads of more people and if you are on Facebook and have me added as a friend (search under Gulli Bergmann) you can see all of my photos ;) Great night...great people. Went to sleep around 7.30 in the morning, nuff said ;)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

T minus 5....and counting

My journey is only 5 days away and a calm has come over me. I'm really exited and all but there is a certain serenity that I feel now that the day is near and I know in my heart that this is real...I'm going on my very own Odyssey!!!

3 days ago my journey was going to start in Denmark, 2 days ago Germany and yesterday I decided on Paris, France :D I've never been and the Eiffel Tower and Louvre have been screaming at me since I had my very first thought of travelling as a kid (Yep the Louvre as a kid...I always wanted to see the Mona Lisa).

Today was a wonderful day, I resolved so many things that were needed in order to have a great trip. Highlights of this day include the wonderful time I had at Óli's, my brother, house. Me, him, his wife and 2 boys had a lovely meal and a heartwarming moment I'll never forget. Then of course saying goodbye to my friend Sigvaldi in a classical way for us mates....we went to see the Bourne Ultimatum. But like always, it wasn't really about the movie but rather hanging out as friends.

Good day, good times....preparing for an AWSOME trip. Night night y'all ;)