Category Archives: Pictures

InterRail Post #1: Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

Welcome one and all! This is the start of a great adventure covering no less than 7 countries, 5 currencies and 10 hostels! The journey actually began a long time ago when I set my sights on the idea back in the summer before going to Unviersity. At the time I was going out of my mind with boredom and my dad suggested that InterRailing, the idea of getting a single train ticket that covers all of European’s railways, was a great way to travel on a budget and with little planning needed. However at the time, I was lacking the funds, friends and confidence to get the impetus to just do it. Then the first year of uni came and went and the summer went even quicker. Before I knew it I was in second year before the idea crept back into my head, but this time the barriers were lowered. I started mentioning it to a few friends and several ideas were formed, but still nothing concrete. The money thing was still a concern, but after getting the placement at Sony I decided that there was no excuse to not do it before final year, and it was possibly my last chance to take on such a trip before going into full time employment once I graduated (fingers crossed!)

It got to February 2011 before finally finding someone who could actually bear the thought of spending a month with me, and had the money (or at least the stupidity) to join me. And that person is…

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Sophie Dean! Ex-housemate from first year halls and all-round good friend :) Sophie may not have all the qualities one looks for in a travel companion, but if she’s one thing then that’s organised! Take it as a blessing or a sin, but it made planning the trip a lot easier.

The next step was to decide where the hell we were going to go! After all, Europe is a big place, with 30 countries covered by the InterRail pass! We set about, as I can imagine all avid travellers do, with great expectations of ventures in Rome, Spain, Denmark, Greece, Croatia and France to name a few! But after much debacle and prolonged debate, our expectations were contained and we approached the beginnings of a plan! See below:


View Inter-rail Trip in a larger map

This turned out to be our final route, now we just needed to decide how long we’d stay in each place… Here’s the lowdown:

  • Day 1 to 5: Copenhagen
  • Day 6 to 7: Hamburg
  • Day 8 to 9: Berlin
  • Day 10 to 13: Prague
  • Day 14 to 16: Vienna
  • Day 17 to 19: Budapest
  • Day 20: Train
  • Day 21 to 22: Split
  • Day 23 to 25: Dubrovnik
  • Day 26: Boat
  • Day 27 to 30: Rome
  • Day 31 to 32: Venice

Now all that’s left is to pack and go! And that’s exactly what we did…

Today (Tuesday) is day 2 of the trip and I am writing this from Copenhagen! Sneaky peak at the next post? Oh, go on then:

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More Than Words

So I’ll start in the same way I seem to have started lots of my posts recently, and that is by saying how lame I am for not posting more often recently, but I really am busy!

Just 6 weeks I will have finished my placement at Sony, moved into my new house and started my epic 1 month backpacking tour of Europe. I’m making provisions to make sure that this blog gets updated regularly during the trip :)

But that’s all to come… a couple of weeks ago we went to Edinburgh for some jolly japes (and to celebrate Julie’s 21st, but whatever :P)

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^ Castle times

whisky

^ One down. 2,999 to go…

conquered

^ Conquered

You can find the full set on Facebook :)

  • Happiness. 9 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 1 out of 5 – I’m staying with Viv this week and Anne’s bed is the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in!
  • Free Time. 1 out of 5 – Final report joy :)
  • Last Meal. Black bean curry with noodles
  • Song of the day. Kate Voegele – Top Of The World
  • Thought for the day. Making bad chemistry jokes because the good ones Argon.
  • What I’m Doing Now. Moving into a house tomorrow!

She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain

It’s on it’s way… I’m just a bit pre-occupied with this moving house, travelling around Switzerland and Italy, birthday party, and boating malarkey.

But not to worry, I’m only off to Scotland on Thursday, back off to Switzerland next Monday and then in Sheffield the following weekend… And then I move into my NEW house :)

So, yea, just ambling around…

switzerland

^ Switzerland

italy

^ Italy

father

^ Father

mother

^ Mother

boating

^ Boating

  • Happiness. 9 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 5 out of 5
  • Free Time. 0 out of 5
  • Last Meal. Tuna pasta
  • Song of the day. Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson – Gangster of Love
  • Thought for the day. …it’s beating twice as strong
  • What I’m Doing Now. Packing. The story of my life.

Free Cat Food

A whole week in the country! And I’ve spent all that time in Guildford! Since getting back from Switzerland a week on Friday life seems to have slowed down a little bit. Two lazy weekends barely leaving the house, just catching up on sleep and sorting out a few things.

Sophizzle and I

Then a week in the office getting plenty outstanding things done and starting to realise that I only have two months of this job left. And God knows they will fly by as quickly as the last 11.

Last Saturday was a bit of a laugh since I met up with Katherine for some breakfast at 1pm (what? I said it was a lazy weekend, and besides, I don’t have any food in the house…). We went to Gourmet Burger Kitchen for a massive burger and even bigger Oreo milkshake! A couple hours later we left, noticeably larger than when we arrived. Then we went and opened a joint account, as you do, for the house next year. Then I was offered some free cat food and Katherine got 40% off rugs. What more could you possibly want? Well, some bread, milk and mayonnaise to get me through the week… Literally that’s all I needed.

Today I’m off to Switzerland again for another 2 weeks, lots and lots of work to do! A few cool pictures will need to be taken too… this never gets old :)

My new hotel room view

  • Happiness. 8 out of 10 (leaving some room for later in the week)
  • Tiredness. 3 out of 5 (still haven’t got used to this early start on Monday)
  • Free Time. 1 out of 5 (and loving every minute!)
  • Last Meal. Giraffe breakfast at the airport
  • Song of the day. Jason Wade – You Belong To Me
  • Thought for the day. You make my heart beat faster, and skip a beat somehow
  • What I’m Doing Now. On the LX317, listening to some guy whistling "loving you" by Minnie Ripperton… now that’s going to be in my head for the rest of the day! Grrr….. I hate not having an MP3 player.

Special Post #48: Accommodation Series #18: Imhotep Is Born

part five of the nearly completed accommodation mini-series about my trials and tribulations to find a house for final year…

#9: Imhotep Is Born

We now have 6 people, a house and a contract. Operation house-for-final-year was nearing completion. The last piece of the puzzle for me was to meet the one housemate I didn’t know… Simon.

simon

Simon, like Katherine and Liz, is a Mathematician going into his final year of study. He seems like a really nice guy and I finally got to meet him just a week after the deposit gubbins when it was Liz’s turn to get a year older.

We all met at a local pub and ended up having a really good evening. if Katherine had been there we’d have had a full house, but it was still a great chance to chill out as a collective for the first time.

liz

There’s just one small detail left in order to call the mission accomplished: a name. Every good house needs a name. Being a house of geeks, which is what we essentially are, we all love a little show called Look Around You. Produced by the BBC last decade, it’s a spoof educational series that mocks those videos you used to watch in school when you had a substitute teacher. If you haven’t watched any, and you like Monty Python, Blackadder, or Brass Eye, then I highly recommend it.

look around you

Our favourite episode is Maths. And since half the house are studying maths next year, it seems very appropriate. Skip to 2:46 if you just want the reference, but our new house name is IMHOTEP.

#10: Boat Bondage

To get to know everyone a bit better, and get a taster of how easy it was for us to live together, I suggested we go on a boat trip. And that’s exactly what we did at the start of April. A week-long excursion from Swiss life to live up the Birmingham countryside… It seems a bit backwards to take a holiday from Switzerland in Birmingham, but I had a great time!

welcome

We all got on like a house on fire, so to speak. It’s really made me look forward to living with them all! But the trip made me realise that something like that is what was missing from my house this year. I just turned up one day and started living there. No big hello, no trips, no parties… And that’s maybe why our house has never felt, to me, like a home. We all go off and do our own thing, rarely around enough to wear the carpets down. While this year has been great, I’m now itching to move in with my new housemates.

Imhotep

Coming soon “Mind The Gap”

A Thousand Words

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^ my new camera

inter-railing

^ Sophie and I book our first flights for the Inter-Rail trip… the adventure begins!

climbing

^ Sophie Jones trying her best to defeat the climbing wall’s toughest feature… the rock boob!

charlotte's 21st

^ Julie gets hungry at Charlotte’s 21st Birthday party

bus

^ Charlotte and I waiting for the bus :)

port

^ Graeme and Mum get acquainted with Victoria’s bottle of port

view

^ Switzerland never fails to deliver stunning views

dolci

^ literally translates to “dessert buffet”, or as we say in England “heaven”

train

^ A weekend in Switzerland turns into a day in Milan!

piazza

^ Merely 3 hours after sitting at the breakfast table wondering what to do, here we are at the Duomo!

view

^ The view (courtesy of Hywel’s iPhone)

life

^ Life. It doesn’t get any better than this.

balcony day

^ On Sunday Hywel and I relaxed on the balcony with a few beers

balcony night

^ Until sunset and beyond

night

^ Lugano at night

mmmmmmmm

^ Dad’s birthday party in the church. ‘M’ theme resulted in everything: Maps, Morris dancer, Magician and Moon-face…