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All posts for the month December, 2012

In Bavaria beer is counted as a food…

Published December 19, 2012 by ElisaChristy

It has something to do with the amount of carbs in it, and because it’s so many calories, so technically, you could just have beer for your dinner, and you have eaten. Although despite the fact I know beer is 800 calories, or something ridiculous like that, it is my firm belief that beer is actually minus calories, because nothing that makes you that hungry at 3 in the morning, can possibly be 800 calories, but sadly I’m probably wrong or we could all drink beer to lose weight!

We went to the Haufbrauhaus (I think that’s how you spell it) in Munich, where the beer comes in litre steins, which are as big as your face. Seriously, they are huge. There is a shop available so you can buy yourself a stein if you wish, I was tempted to get someone one as a present, but room in my suitcase is precious, mainly because it’s being taken up by venetian masks, but I am tempted to go back to Munich to buy a stein, or at least let the person i was buying it for know how big they are! When I can show you pictures, that will definitely be one of the ones I’ll put up, a litre of beer is something everyone should see in their lives at some point.

We were only in Munich one night, and from there we went to Prague in the Czech Republic, where there was the option to do a bike tour round the city, so within two hours we got to see many of the famous places in the city, including a statue entitled Hanging Out, which is guy suspended out of a window on a pole, so he is just there hanging out the window, which is a pretty cool statue. It was done by David Cerny who did a lot of the artwork around the city, he became famous when he was eighteen after painting a green tank, which used to stand in the centre of the town square (it was bought by a collector in 2005) pink. 

Everyone saw this, they painted it back green the same day and put him in prison, but the very next day everyone decided that the tank actually looked better pink, so they released him and painted it pink again.

We saw a castle in Prague as well, the name of it escapes me( I think it was the Hradcany castle), because I was much more distracted by the fact that there were people filming a movie in the courtyard of the castle, I spent more time trying to get pictures of that than the nice scenic views we had from the top of the hill, but I got pictures of a film being filmed which to me is much more exciting than a scenic views.

On our last night in Prague, we went to the Black Light theatre which is a theatre invented in the Czech Republic, that has been going since the 20’s where they use fluorescent lights for the scenes, so our play was called Africania, which had normal scenes containing the plot, that were lit with normal stage lights and completely mimed so there’s no language barrier to worry about. Then in between each scene we had a dance by people dressed up as various african animals, gazelles, I noticed, the lions had a dance, and the weirdest one was that the grass got its own dance, which was a bit odd, anyway these were done with the fluorescent lights, so the dancer’s costumes had bits of black in them, so those bits were invisible to the audience, so it was easier hide things like people arms and legs if they were being a snake for example. I’m not sure I entirely understood the story even without the language barrier, but it was something I’m not going to forget seeing, that’s for sure.

Tonight, I think some of us are going to see the Hobbit, there’s an English version on at half nine, and in the cinema we are going to you can buy beer (why not if it’s a food), drinking beer in a cinema or eating beer as the case may be will definitely be a new experience.

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Venetian masks are my new obsession…

Published December 15, 2012 by ElisaChristy

And they are a relatively cheap obsession to have. I bought four for various people at home, for 2 euros 29 each, and bought myself one with a handle on it – admit it, you want one so you can pretend you’re in a Shakespeare play, even if you don’t like Shakespeare – the handle meant it was slightly more expensive at 12 euros. Later in the day I decided I wanted another one for myself – I told you it was an obsession – but this time with a ribbon, which are the cheaper ones, so me and my friends could have a proper masked ball at some point in the future! There are more expensive masks for about 80 euros or even over a thousand! My obsession hasn’t reached those heights (yet) They didn’t look much more impressive than the cheap ones, so they are really the way to go.

Venice was a lot colder than I expected, but totally worth going at this time of year, because you actually get to see things, as everywhere isn’t filled up with tourists like me. It is also worth being cold if you go on a gondola, as you can drink alcohol on the gondolas – wine and a trip down the canals of Venice is definitely the way to travel. In fact I want to travel everywhere that way from now on.

The main shopping place in Venice is the Rialto bridge, there are so many different ways to get there and back to St Marc’s square, that locals have taken to writing directions on the wall in graffiti – if you are in Venice and you find graffiti on the wall saying per Rialto this way, then you end up in a seemingly dodgy place – keep going! You are going the right way! The locals have just made their lives easier by writing on the walls, so you don’t have to keep asking them!

Venice was the main place I wanted to go, and I think going in winter is worth it, although I would love to come back in the summer when it’s warm, and I can buy more masks! Seriously, my love for the masks grew throughout the day, maybe I’ll have to start going to Venice once a year and start a collection of cheap Venetian masks…

When in Rome…

Published December 11, 2012 by ElisaChristy

So over the past few days I have been through Florence and Rome. In Florence, we were taught how to recognise real leather from fake leather – and it has nothing to do with being able to burn it! Apparently real leather can burn, and we were shown what happens to leather when it burns – it turns into what looks like a leather bubble wrap thing, not pretty. Instead what you have to do is check the other side, if it’s a jacket you can separate the lining from the jacket and if the other side of the leather feels smooth, it’s real if it feels rougher, then its got suede on the other side and is fake. Not sure how much call I’m going to get for that skill in my life, but it’s good to know.

I also bought myself a puzzle ring from Florence – they are four rings which are linked together, but if you take the ring off your finger then the rings fall apart and can only be put back together in a certain way, it is almost impossible to do unless you know how! They are sold with instructions, but even the instructions are quite confusing – I haven’t taken mine off yet, so I’m sure when I do it will take me at least two hours to figure it out!

The story behind the puzzle rings is that when a Turkish King came over to Florence with his six wives he wanted to know whether any of them were cheating on him, so he had the rings designed so if any of his wives took the rings off for cheating purposes, they wouldn’t be able to put it back together correctly and he would be able to see who had cheated on him. I think he had trust issues.

Today was Rome. And the colosseum. The colosseum is huge. And as I am under 26 and from the EU only 7 euros 50 for me to get in instead of 12! I did think that it was going to be an empty arena, with seats all around like it was when the gladiators used it, but no the arena is gone and what you can see is the underground part of the arena, so you can see where the gladiators prepared themselves for battle and where the animals are kept – from afar of course. In Rome there really is just ruins on every corner, apparently they have been trying to build a third line for the metro since the 70’s but it is still unbuilt because everywhere they try to dig they find ruins of various ancient buildings, which shows just how much history there is in Rome – its literally everywhere!

The French Riviera is kind of like Clacton with French People…

Published December 8, 2012 by ElisaChristy

But a lot more sunny! Even in December the sea seems to be warmer then the sea at home – I put my hand in it, I din’t go swimming – which probably makes sense considering it’s the Mediterranean ocean. 

Before we came to Nice we were in Barcelona, where I managed to leave behind my adaptor – so all my chargers are useless, and I have to continue carrying them around with me for no real reason until I get back to the UK, this also means all my electronic things like cameras are to be rationed, as I have to wait until I get back to the UK to load my pictures anyway – technology hates me and won’t let me load this on this laptop – that might not be a bad thing as I can make sure the pictures I do take are all good and put loads up when I get back. I think someone does have a mac charger with an australian adaptor for Europe they said i could use, so I can still use my laptop, so it’s not the end of the world.

Also in Barcelona, they have Sangria…we got some at lunch, I say some it was more of a bowl. Each. It came in a glass so big, that you could lift it with both hands and not look stupid. 

Tonight we go to Monte Carlo! Though I have absolutely no understanding of gambling, I may give myself a limit of 5 euros and just see how far it takes me!

Wifi is alive again!

Published December 4, 2012 by ElisaChristy

So it’s been a while since I last posted, because the internet in the last hotel seemed to work for everyone except me! 

Anyway, France and the Moulin Rouge especially were well worth seeing, and right next door to the Moulin Rouge, is a bar called O’Sullivan’s. As it’s an Irish bar, there are english barmen, so much better than trying to order alcohol in french! The set up of the bar is quite strange, at the front is seats and stuff, there’s music playing quite loudly but other than that it’s kind of like a pub. There’s another room, with a dance floor in it and it’s like a proper night club, so you can easily spend your entire night there, instead of having to go to a pub and then a bar and then a club. Next time I come to France, I will definitely go back there for a night out, now I know where it is!

 

When we arrived in Switzerland, it was snowing, and seeing as quite a few people on this tour are Australians who had never seen snow before, it made me feel quite experienced, even though my basic reaction to any amount of snow is still “Oh my god snowmen!” And we never seem to have enough snow in the uk to actually build snowmen (or not proper big ones anyway) It’s nice to know I’m still more experienced with snow than some people in the world.

We were in Switzerland for two nights where I managed to buy half of my christmas presents for people, which also means my suitcase has suddenly become smaller…

We are now back in France for one night before going to Barcelona tomorrow morning. We’re staying in a chateau for the night, it’s in the middle of a forest and if any of the hotels we’re staying in are likely to be haunted, this one is probably it!