Today, the fifth of June, officially marks one month since we took off from Christchurch Airport and flew halfway around the world to travel, live the dream and be nomads. No home, not many possessions, just the packs on our backs and each other. It’s be great! We’ve seen so many amazing buildings and historical sites, learnt a lot about the interesting and sometimes brutal history of Europe and eaten so much amazing food. But it’s travel and not everything goes smoothly, however if it doesn’t it ends up as a good story. Luckily, we haven’t had any major incidents and we’re still in one piece. So, I thought I’d re-cap a few wee lessons that we’ve learnt so far:
You always exit through the gift shop
No matter what you’re visiting; a museum, a chateau, a castle/fortress, an art gallery or a tourist attraction of any sort, you will always, always exit via the gift shop. Of course it’s a money/marketing ploy but it’s just hilarious how true it is.
Cities smell weird
The cities throughout Europe have had so many different smells; delicious food wafting from homes or street stalls, sewage rising up from under ground, sweaty tourists, dirt and sand smells from the ground, anything you can imagine, we’ve smelt it. It’s what James like to call “a symphony of smells”.
Don’t use the middle of the underground train
People are lazy, if the escalators lead right to the train platform, people will hop on the train carriage right in front of them. But if you have the energy, walk an extra 50m either direction to get on at the front or back of the train and you’re almost guaranteed, at least breathing room in a rush hour metro, if not a bit of space to stand comfortably or even, dare I say it, a seat!
I’ve never seen Lemon coke in NZ before, but tried it here and it’s just the best. No more needs to be said.
While in NZ most bottles of wine are twist top, it’s not the same in Europe. James and I wanted to have a traditional Parisian picnic, so we bought bagettes, macarons and of course wine. But we encountered a dilemma when we couldn’t open it because there was a cork instead of a lid. Bummer! So, bring your own corkscrew, buy one or get a pocket knife.
So, it’s always fun when you’re in a new city and someone is on public transport having a good ole gossip and you just want to subtly listen in on their exciting lives and dramas. You can’t do that in Europe because they all speak another language. These people are having super animated conversations on the bus and you can’t even listen in, damn.
No price tags
This one is pretty generic, but if something doesn’t have a price tag then it’s probably expensive and out of your price range.
If you try to make foreign food, it’ll cost you
After eating out for over a week in a row, James and I wanted to cook our own meal. We thought a hearty stir fry with heaps of veggies would hit the spot. But if you try to buy anything in an Italian supermarket that isn’t pasta or tomato sauce, you’re left with very little to choose from. We eventually found a flavouring packet and a small amount of rice, but it was a hassle to find and it was quite expensive. We did have the stir fry and it was delicious.
I’m loving travelling, we’re living the dream. I’m learning new things every day and my tan is coming along nicely. Can’t wait to share more stories and photos.