Czech me out: Brno edition.

20140731-151625-54985258.jpgI really had no plans when I set out to Brno. I had read that it was an upcoming city in the Czech Republic and it was cheap. I was a little down and out since I could barely eat or talk after piercing my tongue but five minutes in my hostel I met Max.

He was the only other person in my room who spoke English so it was a perfect match. We went out and climbed to the top of the castle/prison and then down to the city center to see the Cock Clock. We also hiked over to the cathedral. That night was the bohemian jazz festival, which wasn’t really jazz.

We decided on a road trip the next day since we’d covered all of Brno in one day and found these caves that were a 20 minute train ride away. They’re called Pukka Caves or Macocha Abyss. The tours were all in English but they gave us english pamphlets to follow along with the rest of the group. It’s strongly recommended booking in advance or arriving early. We arrived at 11 and when we finished out your by 12, the tours were sold out for the day.

We hiked to the next town of Sloup to see their cathedral and then caught the bus back to the train. Along the way a storm appeared and I lost my wallet. Losing your wallet could be a major set back but for some reason it wasn’t a big issue to me. My hostel receptionist called the bus company and no one had turned it on so I called home and got my cards cancelled. I only had to go three days with a credit card and thankfully since I was in Czech Republic my Euros were in my suitcase.

All in all, Brno is an up and coming tourist destination for Germans and Czechs, not so much backpackers. The people, though most can’t speak much english, were incredibly nice though. One boy helped us find the bus in Blansko, another carried my suitcase up the stairs in the train station. If you’re up for an adventure, I recommend it.



Vienna in photos.

I’m only uploading photos for my stop in Vienna because I didn’t really do much or talk to anyone. There for my advice is useless.

Schönbrunn Schloss








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20140717-153754-56274579.jpgI thought I should give a little update since my whole trip has been rerouted. I had some complications arrive with France and realized Barcelona wad a long was to go if I went to Vienna. Also the ferry from Barcelona to Rome was 20 hrs and 88€ if I took it on a Monday but 115€ if I took it on a Friday or Saturday which were the more convenient days for me.

Anyways so I’m not going to the south west I’m going to the east. My trip has changed from Berlin, Munich, Perpignan, Barcelona, Rome to Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Budapest, Bled, Venice, Rome. This way I get to see more cities and countries. I’ll also be able to say I visited Slovenia which I know most people can’t. And this way I get to see Venice. Magically it worked out so I get to Rome at the same time too. Now I just need to find accommodation in Munich!

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My 5 must do’s in Copenhagen

I just spent 3 nights in Copenhagen and I think it’s the first city I’ve truly explored. The bus system was great and got us all over the city. But I also had a Denmark native showing me around and explaining everything too so that was a bonus. So of course I got there and we went and saw:

1. The Little Mermaid. She is a very famous character by Hans Christian Anderson, or remade by Disney. I found out in the real one she dies because she gave her heart instead of her voice like the Disney one. I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up, she’s tiny. And when I was there, there was graffiti on her boobs. Also her head has been sawed off three times. But she is the main attraction of Copenhagen so you can’t not visit her. It’s best to go in the evening because during the day there will be lines to get a picture with her.

2. Tivoli Gardens. Now I’m a big fan of amusement parks and was pretty upset I didn’t make it to Liseberg in Gothenburg so I knew I had too. If rides aren’t for you, you can still pay to enter and see the gardens and restaurants all inside the park. I was pretty upset to see that Passenger was playing the day after I visited but they have live acts all the time. The best ride is for sure The Demon, corkscrews and loop-d-loops. But the gardens are beautiful and there’s an aquarium in there too.

3. The round tower. This is just different. I’ve climbed up church towers with the terrifying stairs before but never a tiled ramp to the top. Apparently the king who built it didn’t want to walk up it, he wanted his carriage to pull him up. It’s located in the center of town so you can see all the sites from the top of this tower which is pretty neat. There’s also a library halfway up that you can check out. It costs 25 krones to climb or $4.80 Canadian.

4. Christiania. Have you ever heard of it? I hadn’t. But then again my moms the one who told me about Copenhagen and she may not have wanted me there. It’s a city within the city. Christiania was built in the late 60s by hippies who wanted out of society. I was a little skeptical because the Main Street in named Pusher Street because of the huts where “pushers” sell various drugs. But other then that the rest of the town was very peaceful. They had restaurants and only allowed bikes inside. There’s also a stage where different acts perform in the summer. In the middle there’s a beautiful lake making it all the more peaceful. It sounds crazy and the drugs aren’t legal, the police will occasionally raid Christiania and arrest all the pushers. But it’s their way of life so it just starts back up once they’re released. If visiting, you need an open mind. There’s also a no picture rule for obvious reasons, pushers.

5. The Palace. You cant go to a country with royalty and not see how the royals live. The Danish royalty seem quite relaxed, they just live like kings because the Danish people vote to keep them around. The crown Prince and his Tasmanian wife have 4 children and live in one palace, the queen lives next door with her French husband in the next palace. And then there’s two other ones. They have guards that have multiple outfits and look unhappy in all of them. But when you’re forced to wear those black fluffy hats on your head in 30 degree weather you wouldn’t be happy either.

I also strongly recommend stopping by Joe and The Juice for an amazing smoothie made by a band of men. Think Booster Juice or Jugo Juice that only hires young men. It was an experience to say the least. And my drink tasted amazing, it was called Iron Man. Also if you’re looking at shopping it’s on a street named Stroget, pronounced Stroll. It has all the stores we know h&m, Abercrombie and Fitch, and then some European and Danish stores. Just a word of advice, Scandinavia really is that much more expensive. 100 krones is a sale where that’s $20 Canadian, not a sale in my eyes.

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Backpacking help!?

So my trip has hit a blank spot where I can either go visit friends in south France and then have four nights before going to Barcelona or I can not meet up with them and have a week to spend anywhere between Munich to Barcelona. I’d really rather visit the friends in south France because we’ve never met and I’d love to use my bilingual talents. I’m just hoping to get a couple suggestions on if I should try some French cities, try a northern Spain city or venture to Madrid for the three nights.

Much appreciation.

What a Hurricane!

A few weekends ago I went to my first music festival up by Hamburg in Germany. There was me and 75,000 other people. It was a bit overwhelming. But god the music. How insane is it to see Lily Allen, the Kooks, Arcade Fire and Macklemore all in the same weekend. I didn’t watch all the bands and I didn’t enjoy all of them either. Actually my favorite ones I didn’t even know because they were German bands.

So here’s my list of suggestions if you’re heading to a festival this big.

1. Be prepared to not sleep. I came off a 24 hour party binge from my birthday to sleep on the ground in the freezing cold. Needless to say my first day I was not happy.

2. Someone in your group needs to get there early. If you want to be anywhere decent you have to have one person sacrifice their whole Thursday while everyone else takes their time.

3. Read up on the festival. This year they had literally set up a grocery store on the grounds. We’d already gone grocery shopping and carried all our groceries the 20 minute walk from the car to the camping site by the time we found out.

4. Layers. While my friends at SouthSide all came home sun burnt after the same weekend, we had lightning, torrential downpours and high speed winds. I was not expecting any of this and froze my ass off.

5. Bring beer and bitch drinks. Think about it, you start drinking at ten am breakfast and will be dancing most of the night. Wine gives a lot of people headaches and you don’t want to be so drunk you don’t remember the bands, or where your tent is.

6. Everyone is your friend, branch out. We played Flanky ball, some game I’ve never
heard of in Canada. But maybe your friends can only handle chugging two cans where you can do four. Make friends with the next camp and join their games, they don’t mind.

7. Fanny packs are coming back. Everyone had fanny packs for their cigarettes, lighters, phones and money. Much safer then a purse of backpack and you don’t have to check if it’s there or falling off all the time.

8. Your shoes will get wrecked. It’ll be dusty or muddy. Either way, don’t bring your favorite shoes.

9. Don’t only go to bands you know. I ended up loving You Me at 6, Fettes Brot and the Wombats. All bands I’d never heard of before.

10. You are going to see some fucked up shit. Pardon my French but one night at four am, a group of 7 naked men walked by. Just cause. I saw wonder women, as a man. And two other boys covered in Saran Wrap. It’s all in the festival spirit.

After this weekend I’m not sure I could handle another festival. I loved and hated it. Passanger, Ed Sheeran and Crookers killed it while Macklemore was a disappointment. To go back they’d have to have some pretty awesome bands that were rare to see, like Childish Gambino, Fitz and the Tantrums and City and Colour. Now that I’d pay to see.

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