Thursday 6 August 2015

31/07/2015 - Home

Well this is the last blog, for this eurotrip at least!
On July 26th I went to a dance festival in Amsterdam, it was fantastic! Pouring down rain, freezing temperature, different music and dancing! It was SUCH a refreshing change from Australia's electronic summer festivals, such a great experience :)
The next day after that I just relaxed and went shopping at markets and bought a new beautiful technicolour jacket.
The day after that Kalinda, Ryan and Eri travelled onto Berlin and I just relaxed at my airport hotel before my big flight home the next day.
Was I home sick? Not really! I was more torn to be leaving beautiful Europe. But at least I know it isn't goodbye for good and I'll be back in June next year.
Europe, it's people, food, music, buildings, lifestyle has grown on me so much. Leaving was quite emotional and I felt like I left a piece of me there.
I'm pretty sure when my studies end that's where I will be heading to.
This blog barely even stratched the surface of my experiences! I wish I was better at sticking to writing here but I was too busy living and experiencing :)

Saturday 25 July 2015

July 25th - Amsterdam

The last day of class and exam in Amiens went very well, I am happy with how I went!
After the exam we drove to Paris and I spent the afternoon buying lourve tickets for the next day and seeing the eiffel tower which was just amazing. Paris is so much prettier then I could of fathom. That evening I had a farewell dinner with the teachers and class and it was very beautiful and emotional saying our goodbyes. After the dinner we all walked back to the eiffel tower to see it at night because it glows and shimmers with lights. It is definitely something everyone has to see once in there life.
There were people everywhere selling champagne in the park next to the tower we had a few drinks and marveled in the tower's beauty.
The next day two of the guys from the group Filip and Luke and I walked around the city, saw the Notre Dam from a distance and saw the CBD area and then Filip and I went to the Lourve. There is so much incredible art there and the Mona Lisa was very underwhelming compared to other pieces.
That evening I caught up with Kate, my NZ friend I met on the Camino for some dinner and drinks as she was in Paris for the night. It was really good to see her again!
That brings me to today, well this morning I boarded my flight to Amsterdam and was greeted on arrival by the spectacular Kalinda! After nearly two months it was amazing to be reunited :)
Today we just checked into our hotel and did some grocery shopping and we are just going to relax and chill until Ryan and Eri arrive this evening. The weather here is horrible haha, a perfect transition to get me back into reality for Melbourne's winter.
the whole time I am here it will be about 17 degrees and non-stop raining!
Oh well, about time reality brings me down off this cloud of perfect summer bliss.
Tomorrow the gang and I are going to music festival which should be a hoot!

I'll leave it there and post again soon.
cyaaaa :D

Tuesday 21 July 2015

July 21st - Amiens, France

Oh wow, I can't believe it has been a whole week since my last entry. It feels like only yesterday! So much has happened in the last week.
On my two days off I went to Pisa and saw the leaning tower and then went to Florence. Pisa was really cute, I got some snaps with the leaning tower :)
Florence was incredible, did some shopping at there markets and saw the Cathedral and main square. It was however, 40 degrees so I felt like I was melting.
The next day I travelled to a closer beach then Cinque Terre which was called Viaggio. It wasn't the nicest beach compared to Australian beaches but the town was cute and it was good to lay in the sun.
The following day we flew from Tuscany to Brussels and drove straight to Ypres where we spent the next three days. Those days were jammed packed visiting the local war museum and visiting the western front cemeteries.
I fell in love with Ypres, cute little town with cobblestone streets and delicious food. They made a vegetarian burger which I can safely say I will travel back to try again haha... and those Belgium waffles ♡.
From Ypres, Belgium we have travelled along to Amiens in France and we have been here for a few days also visiting more museums and cemeteries. Last night I went out for a beautiful meal along the canals in Amiens, the city has a little Venice twist to it. Tomorrow is the last day of visiting memorial sites and then the following day we have to do our test/exam for the unit. On that day we then drive to Paris and have our farewell dinner with the teaching staff and students! But after then I still have two nights and full day in Paris and then 5 full days in Amsterdam with my friends from home (Kalinda, Ryan and Eri).

So that is my last week crammed into a short, short blog entry. Hopefully before I fly off to Amsterdam I can leave another entry and let you know how it was seeing the Lourve, Eiffel Tower, etc..
Hope everyone is well :D xo

Tuesday 14 July 2015

July 14th - Prato, Italy.

Ciao friends!
Sorry it has been so long but the last 10 days have been so crazy. In Gallipoli we worked through about 12 hour days on the peninsular visiting cemeteries and battle grounds and working very hard indeed. After each day I was to exhausted to blog. The coastline there is amazing though, warm weather and a beautiful national park. It's unbelievable to think 100 years ago there was such horrors happening there. Other then the field work we visited a Turkish museum and got their perspective of the war which was very, "protected" I suppose to say the least. It's funny how politics depicts what people are told, there was a room there that we weren't allowed to visit being Australian and they said it was because of "technical issues" but my teacher said he doubted so.
On the 7th we took a day trip on a fairy over to Cannakale and saw the ruins of Troy, it was actually slightly underwhelming. I think I may of romanticised it so much and when I got there it was really just a smallish area of old ruins... And the fact that there was no proof of the battle of Troy ever happening it was a little bit of buzz kill. But still amazing to see a archaeological sight!!
Two days ago we arrived in Bologna and I did some much needed shopping and relaxed a little and yesterday we arrived in Prato, near Florence.
Italy is so beautiful and quite hot at the moment (nearly 38 degrees everyday this week). The last day of Gallipoli I did my two presentations, one on a missing soldier and the other a group assessment on Anzac cove.
Yesterday and today I have been finishing off my report for the group assessment and then I can start preparing for my test and essay that will be due at the end of the course.
I have the next few days off so I'm hoping to visit Pisa, Florence and the beach Cinque Terre if I have enough time before we jetting off to Belgium. Not much time is put aside here in Italy, just really for assignments but luckily I'll be back this time next year for my archaeology study tour for a month.
Hope all is well with everyone xoxo

Sunday 5 July 2015

July 4th Gallipoli

Since my last two full days of being in Gallipoli we have spent about 10 hours a day doing orientation which includes visiting all the battle grounds, memorials and grave yards in the Gallipoli peninsular. It is interesting seeing the grave yards for all Australian, New Zealand, Turkish and British( which included their colonies at the time such as India).
Each day I'm exhausted though, trying to absorb all this information but it is truly once in a life time opportunity having Bruce Scates our Professor take us through everything, he is a true master in this field of knowledge.
Tomorrow is the last day of full on orientation and then he said we will have more time for personal study to start commencing complying our assignments.
This unit is hard but I am thoroughly enjoying this experience and again I just feel so overwhelmed and honored to be granted this experience.
Each evening we end watching a bit of a movie, yesterday was Gallipoli and tonight will be All the King's Men.
The sheer walking through the Anzac terrain is horrific with the heat and steep steep ridges and gullies. To think these men and woman were subjected to these conditions plus with a war and other creature comforts taken from them really pulls on my heart strings.
There was no winner or loser in this war and hearing the stories shows me to appreciate all life.

Thursday 2 July 2015

July 2nd - Turkey

My flight over on the 28th ran as smoothly as possible and I then spent the last three days within Istanbul doing some sight seeing or "cultural orientation" before travelling to Gallipoli today.
A few things I didn't realise that was a shock was Istanbul is not cheap, it is almost on par with Australian prices which is scary considering how little money I have left haha. Also a lot of the men have zero respect, so much cat calling and it made me feel very uncomfortable. Other then that Istanbul is just divine... But not as beautiful as a Spain though ;)
The first day in Turkey I looked at the Blue Mosque, Hippodrome and Topkapi Palace. The Blue Mosque was so big and the jewelry in the Topkapi Palace was amazing. The Hippodrome alsi had some ancient artifacts and it was hard to imagine standing there that many years ago people use to do gladiator fights there.
The next day we visited the Haghia Sophia which was a church turned mosque turned museum. It was amazimg to see when Islam converted it to a mosque they didn't remove the Christian images but only covered them in a sign of respect. We also visited the cistern which was used as their underground water storage, it was so pretty and the waters were filled with fish. That day ended with some shopping at the grand bazaar but I didn't buy much as it wasn't as cheap and then a visit to Taksim Square to see the city centre.

Today I arrived at the Kum hotel on Gallipoli beach at lunch time and in the afternoon we went to the battle grounds of Anzac cove, lone pine, etc.. The experience was eerie, standing there knowing 100 years ago many of our soldiers were fighting and dying there. Reading the grave stones got a little emotional at times when the Lecturer told us of the soldiers and their back story with their families, etc..
Now it's time to get on with my studying and bed and tomorrow we head back to the grounds for more course work. This experience is so amazing and I feel so honored to have this opportunity given to me.

Sunday 28 June 2015


Today is the day I say farewell to Spain and hello to Turkey. The other day I ended up shopping and buying some new clothes with Giulia (which was well needed) and we have dinner and drinks together and were joined after by her housemate Katya and her boyfriend Frank for a few drinks at this amazing bar with a flower garden with fountains that overlooked the monastery.
The following day was my first day of doing almost nothing, just relaxing, tidying up things for my departurer and cooking myself a healthy dinner.
Yesterday I joined Katerina, Elena and their friend Julia to go to the beach Vigo near Portugal. The beach was very nice and I spent the day just relaxing in the sun.
That evening us girls and a few more of their friends went to check out another festival, (San Pedros I think) and that party was a sight haha. The parties here were run by this sweet old lady who cooked food for people and spoke no English and when I explained I ate no fish or meat she went and got me fruit to snack on :)
Now today 28/06/2015 I'm at the airport... I never want to leave Spain! But everyone tells me Turkey is beautiful and the shopping is amazing so it's the start of a new chapter as of now.
I can not wait to come back the Spain and complete my Camino and see all it's wonders and beauty again.