Upside down

This morning I browsed to my domain and I saw that my last post was dated the end of June. Time flies… especially when you are having fun.

Biggest news is that my visa came through and I am finally allowed to stay in Oz indefinitely. That means that starting now I am able to hunt for jobs and to join the rat race again. I had to go overseas to get the grant and decided to go to my home country and travel around Europe.

From my perspective Europe has always been a large continent, with most countries larger than the one I lived in. It is great fun to travel with an Ozzie and see astonishment as it is so easy to cross borders by train. We travelled through the Netherlands, crossed Belgium and France to get to Spain, visited the French Riviera and continued to Italy, Switzerland and Germany, to end up back in the Netherlands and to return to Oz from there. It felt a bit like ‘National Lampoon’s European Vacation’, too many stops crammed into too few a days, but somehow I survived. So how great was it? We had the best of fun as long as we stayed away from the tourist traps. We deliberately did not visit some of the great landmarks, as entry fees and waiting queues were not tipping the balance in favour of a visit. We also stayed away from the food locations at the main drags. We ventured out through some locations ‘off the beaten track’ and kept our eyes open for establishments that were mainly occupied by locals. Good quality food for decent prices, ordered by sometimes picking dishes blindly from a menu and sometimes explained to us by using sign language and always served with a smile.

Cities we visited:

  • Amsterdam
  • Leiden
  • San Sebastian
  • Madrid
  • Barcelona
  • Nice
  • Genova
  • Pisa
  • Rome
  • Florence
  • Venice
  • Zurich
  • Koeln
  • Utrecht

Beautiful cities with beautiful arts and architecture. Inspiration a plenty.