EuroTrip 2009 – Digest #1 – Germany and Amsterdam

Hi all,

So I arrived safely and actually 45 minutes early in Europe. We landed in Frankfurt but immediately took a train to Koblenz, our destination for a few days. When we arrived, it was only 9AM local time. This meant that we had a minimum of 5 hours before we could check in at the hotel. However, we wasted no time and immediately headed for the city of Trier, leaving our luggage back at the Hotel.

Trier is the oldest city in Germany. Some of the structures date back to when the romans conquored Germany, the very first time. It was a beautiful city full of amazingly old and eligant buildings. We saw a church, ruins of a building that I do not know, and an ancient amphitheatre (Think Gladiators). After our 28th hour awake, we headed back to Koblenz for some much needed R&R.

That night, we had our first German delicacy, Schnitzel. It was amazing and surprisingly cheap. The next morning we headed for the sights that Koblenz had to offer. Koblenz is a quiet little city on the shores of the Rhine and Mosel Rivers. Also situated near the river’s junction was a large fort. After hiking up nearly 20 stories, we had anamazing view of the city from the fort. The fort itself was not much to see as the majority of it was under renovations.

The next day we just toured around the city, checking out the city hall and surrounding area.

The next day we headed for Amsterdam making a quick stop in Cologne (Koln, as it is spelled in Germany). As we walked out of the train station, we were instantly amazed by the intensly HUGE “Dom”, a medival cathedral. We only went in the front entrance because there was a spiritual mass going on as it was a Sunday. We did, however, go into the cathedral treasury. In the treasury, there were tonnes of ancient artifacts including the only remains of the three kings.

In Cologne, we also headed for the Lindt hocolate factory. Tonnes for free samples and well assembled exhibits made this museum quite entertaining – it even had an indoor rainforest. Soon after the factory, we headed back to the train station to get some lunch and continue our train journey to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam, upon first glance, was a little intimidating. Thousands of pedestrians combined with hundred of bicycles make for an interesting hike, regardless of where you walk. Not to mention the cars, trams, busses and scooters that speed flying past you. The first night, we opted to go directly to the hostel for a much needed sleep-in. Though in a somewhat sketchy neighbourhood, the hostel is very nice and new. We have “loft” beds in the room with six beds, but as of right now, we are the only ones in the room.

The first day in Amsterdam was spent in the Keukanhof Gardens. Think thousands and thousands of tulips!

Today, we went to the Rjiksmuseum (sp?) and the Van Gogh Museums. Both were equally amazing. It was kind of neat being able to actually see paintings that are so famous (think Rembrant and Van Gogh). After the museums, we headed to a local cinema to enjoy Star Trek, with Dutch subtitles.

Well that is it for now, I will keep you posted.


At it again

Here I go, once again to travel the great wide world. This time, however, we aren’t perusing the Australian outback but rather the lively streets of some of Europe’s greatest cities. The map below shows our rough destinations.

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query: [from: Frankfurt, Germany to: Koblenz, Germany to: Trier, Germany to: Koln, Germany to: Amsterdam to: Rennes, France to: Tours, France to: Paris, France to: London, England to: Edinburgh, Scotland to: Stirling, Scotland to: London, England to: Bath, England]

Aussieland & NZ Trip – Final Digest #10

Hello Everyone!

I know this post is a long time coming, but even though I have been back for over 2 months, I thought I should put an ending to this story. I left you off just as we were flying to the South Island of New Zealand. The south island is essentially BC on an island. We departed Auckland and about 2 hours later we arrived in Christchurch.

Christchurch is an interesting city; it has a small town feel but it is most likely the largest city on the southern island. However, that is not saying much considering the population of Toronto is significantly larger than the population of the entire South Island. We did not do a whole lot in Christchurch, well, mostly because there was not a whole lot to do in Christchurch. Continue reading “Aussieland & NZ Trip – Final Digest #10”

Aussieland & NZ Trip – Digest #9

Hi all,

This will be a rather short one, I do not have a lot of time and the Internet here is really expensive. I believe I left you guys off when I was just about done in Cairns. Cairns is a nice city, very warm. However, I was getting a little bored there. We left for New Zealand on the 27th of November and arrived in Auckland (biggest city in NZ) around noon. The first thing I noticed was how green everything is. Australia was in its worst drought in over 30 years but NZ is flourishing! Again, we rented a car but we did not hesitate to leave the big city and head for Paihia.

Paihia is known as the gateway to the Bay of Islands. Consisting of 144 islands, the Bay is quite remarkable. We took an eight hour sailing trip through the islands making a stop at one of the bigger islands. Other then getting somewhat sun burnt, it was amazing. We also managed to see some bottle nose dolphins, the biggest of the dolphins, while we were out. We also saw a penguin swimming in the ocean. While we stopped at the island, the crew prepared lunch consisting of smoked chicken, roast beef, and fresh mussels (in fact they dived down while we were stopped to get them…). They tasted alright, but I could not get over how they looked…if you have seen one, you may know what I mean. Although, I do not expect Lili to get it. We left Paihia the next morning and made a six hour drive to Waitomo Caves. Continue reading “Aussieland & NZ Trip – Digest #9”

Aussieland Trip – Digest #8

Hi All,

I think I left you when I first arriving in Canberra. Canberra is the capital city of Australia, not Sydney as most believe. Canberra is much like Ottawa; it was full of amazing sights but most of them are boring. We went to the War Memorial: very immense and definitely the best war museum I have ever been to. I learned a lot about the Australian’s involvement in WWI and WWII. We then proceeded to the Parliament Hill, toured the building and promptly got lost. Canberra is made up of a bunch of semi-circular roads that get very confusing on foot. Looking at a map they are all pretty and well organized but in person they are difficult to navigate and the distances between attractions were huge.

Continue reading “Aussieland Trip – Digest #8”

Aussieland Trip – Digest #7


I think I last left you guys as we arrived in Robe, our first stop outside of Adelaide. Robe was a very nice little sea-side town, much reminding me of town in New Brunswick or PEI. We had dinner at a hotel (pub) and then took a walk along the beach to collect shells. There was a wide variety of shells and plant life but nothing was as impressive as the algae. The algae growing on the seaweed gave the plants both red and blue colours. It was quite neat and colourful. Continue reading “Aussieland Trip – Digest #7”

Aussieland Trip – Digest #6


I know it has been a while since my last update; I have been busy recovering from a very busy and stressful couple of weeks. I think I left you off just as we were on our way up to Darwin, somewhere in the outback.

I believe that I forgot to tell you about a few things that we did before we left for the great journey to Darwin. While we were waiting in Sydney for the container to be released, we made a trip to the Blue Mountains. An interesting fact is that the Blue Mountains are one of the very few places in Mainland Australia that gets snow. Apparently some of the southerly towns may get a light sprinkle of snow, but usually it disappears in less than a day. We stayed in a city called Katoomba, a nice little town that kind of reminds me of some of the smaller cities in the Rockies. Nothing like Banff, but it was still quite nice. The main attraction of Katoomba is the Three Sisters. The three sisters are a rock formation that has an aboriginal story attached to it. I do not know all the details but it has something to do with an aboriginal father that sent his three daughters into the mountains because some evil people were coming into their region and he was scared for their safety. In the end, the daughters died while trekking the mountains and the legend says that he created the stone formations to represent them. Continue reading “Aussieland Trip – Digest #6”

Aussieland Trip – Digest #5


It has been quite a while since my last update. Unfortunately there has not been much to report.

Brisbane is a dull city. I wish that we didn’t stay there as long as we did but unfortunately we had to wait in Brisbane in order to pick up a rental truck that will tow our trailer with the solar car in it. There was not much to do in Brisbane other then walk; and so we did. In fact, we walked for 10 hours on one day and 6 the next. The other 4 hours of that day were spent getting on and off the river ferry system they had and watching the movie “Superbad”. Contrary to the title, the movie is not super-bad, but rather it is a comical look at the last few weeks of high school when everyone is trying to get laid before going to college. I did, however, manage to get most of my souvenir shopping done in that time. On Monday, October 1st 9AM we picked up the truck and got the fuck out of that damn city. Continue reading “Aussieland Trip – Digest #5”

Aussieland Trip – Digest #4

Hi all,

I know it has been a while since my last update. I assure you that I am alive and well, it has just been hard to find a reliable internet source (or at least a cheap one). If I remember correctly, I left you guys off when I first arrived in Brisbane. Well one thing is for sure, the time since then has been amazing and fun!

We did not stay in Brisbane very long; we arrived one night and left the next morning for Noosa Heads. I know Noosa Heads sounds like a weird place to visit but we went there for two reasons: 1) Eric’s uncle lives very close to there and 2) It is known for its celebrity population, so we thought we would give it a shot. I am glad we went; it was home to one of the nicest hostels we stayed at. The rooms weren’t the greatest but the rest of the place was beautiful. The hostel itself was located on a hillside and looks a lot more like a bed and breakfast than a backpacker’s haven. It had balconies on every room and even a restaurant and lounge that rivals even some of the fancier hotels I have been to. Furthermore, the view from the hostel lounge was amazing with the “Glass House” Mountains in the background and an array of winding rivers in the foreground. Continue reading “Aussieland Trip – Digest #4”

Aussieland Trip – Digest #3


The past few days have been relaxing and I think I managed to improve my tan by at least 3 shades! I left you guys last at our first night in Byron’s Bay. We have now traveled about a sixth the way up the eastern shore of Australia! We are now in Brisbane, a beautiful inner city.

Byron’s bay definitely lived up to its reputation, a surfer’s haven! The beach was beautiful and definitely wavy. The sand was soft, so soft, in fact, that it squeaked when you walked on it. Yes, I said squeaked. Not like a little squeak, but a clearly audible and loud squeak. I do not know what causes the squeaking, but I have to say that it is mind boggling. Other than the squeaky sand, we did not do a whole lot other then sit on the beach. Continue reading “Aussieland Trip – Digest #3”