Asia, Europe · 24 Days · 36 Moments · June 2017

Benjawan's tour through Europe

13 July 2017

The keys were supposed to have arrived by today in the afternoon. We spent our day waiting a round for it to arrive and checking at reception constantly. So we decided to take actions into our own hand s and sweet talked the reception to help us retrieve the keys from the post office 40 mins away as we suspected that they won't arrive for another 2 days as tomorrow is some public holiday in France. Don't know how it turned out yet but I'm sitting by the pool waiting for the boys to get back.

9 July 2017

After kayaking we headed home but decided to explore around the area. We headed up a mountain and found a small little college where we stopped and looked around.
From Avignon we headed to Ganges where we stayed 2 nights at a camp site and spent our time exploring the surrounding towns and kayaking. The first night we arrived we decided to BBQ and it turned out terribly as it was a coal grill and the boys didn't know how to start a fire and took forever to get it going. When we thought it was going alright, laurin flipped the whole grill and all the food went on the ground. We ended up eating but some burnt and some uncooked. Ahah. The next day we went kayaking- what an experience. We decided to do a 7km route and everything was going alright until there was the first dip and I made it through alright but ran into another person's kayak and feeling terrible I tried to help him grab his kayak and ended up flipping my own and lost everything. It got better and then it started to rain very hard after we stopped for a lunch break. Adri had gone ahead of us and laurin and I kayaked together and stopped for a swim

8 July 2017

We made our way through the French Rivera where the drive is mostly on back roads enjoying the beautiful French country side filled with sun flower fields and small villages and old style French houses. Most of the road is surrounded by trees on either side making the more peaceful. We stopped through Avignon and visited the beautiful old city and looked at the unfinished bride and church. It was like a castle with walls and has its own area and all the old buildings within it were turned to accomodate new shops and outlet stores. There were so many theatres and posters for so many plays with lots of the actors on the roads advertising their plays by acting and dancing on the streets.

7 July 2017

We made our way to the south of France and found accomodation at Orgon where there is a camping spot with a beautiful lake. We spent one night there and most of our time by the lake enjoying the water and serenity of space and company.
We headed to Monaco the next day and it was decided that we would drive through the night. So we ended up sleeping in the car when we arrived in Monaco at some reserve. It was uncomfortable and infuriating. The next morning we went to explore the town and we drove so far out of Monaco that we were on a hill overlooking the whole city, a little place called La Turbie. Went and walked around Monaco and the city of Monte Carlo and Monaco ville. All was absolutely beautiful with elegance and money, nice cars and buildings fill the city and towns with little normal tourists but rather filled with the rich and money. The walk along the casino was amazing with a view of the ocean and the marina bay and leading to Monte Carlo beach. It was like the movie and more and definitely worth fighting for. It was more than an experience and definitely on my bucket list to visit again when filled with riches.

6 July 2017

We headed to Florence and decided we wouldn't have time to visit Pisa due to the late start to the day. The drive was around 2-3 hours and we parked so far out of the city we were lost for a while. It was difficult to navigate through town with so many people not understanding English. We eventually got into town and walked around to find the church. It was centrally located, we weren't able to climb this one so we just walked around inside and had a look at the beautiful architecture. We headed to other landmarks in Florence and had a day where we were able to make decisions as we went along. We walked down the busy Main Street and got robbed from buying gelato from one of the shops. It was just a normal waffle cone but it was charged €10 when the sign says €5. Throughout all of Italy I wasn't able to find one Italian flag.
The next morning we headed to Florence and Pisa. But had to turn back because I lost my ring. It was horrific as I didn't notice until we were about to go onto the highway about 40 minutes into the drive. But the boys were nice enough to make another trip back to see if it was in the apartment. But as we checked out we had locked the keys inside and so we weren't able to go back in. It took a long while and a lot of confusing phone calls for someone to come assist us and let me in. During that time I was thinking of the worst possible situations and wondered whether if I had been robbed and not know of it. So upset when the lady came to open the door was late I started to wonder whether if they understood. Italians aren't really good at understanding English and sometimes will bluntly refuse anything you say. I did eventually find the ring and it was under my bed. But I'm still confused as to how it came off my finger because I know I didn't take it off.

5 July 2017

At lunch we found a place just the corner of the Trevi fountain that served €10 buffet. Then we headed to explore the city, the ruins and buildings around Rome are magnificent. So much history within the ruins and the ones still standing are just a marvel of the quality of work that went into making it. We headed to the colosseum and didn't go inside as it was such a big line up so we stayed by the area and look at the buildings surrounding the colosseum.
Rome- st. peppered basilica was a magnificent sight. Even though it was difficult to get in as a woman would not enter of her shoulders and/or legs were showing. But the climb to the top of the dim was what really killed me. To access the inside of the church it cost €6 to walk up or €8 to get an elevator and being with the boys of course they chose stairs. The climb was both intriguing and yet painful as the ventilation was poor and trying to catch a breath is impossible as the people behind you want to keep going and everyone is huffing and puffing as they climb. But it was all worth while in the end visiting all 3 access zones outside and inside the dome. The view of Rome and the Vatican City from above was magnificent. The Trevi Fountain was bigger than I originally expected. It was like nothing I've ever seen, as big as a 3-4 storey bulling that are beautifully created with fine details on the sculptures and the water coming out from the statues make it even more impressive. 💰

4 July 2017

We have left the amazing camp ground in the border of Italy and now have arrived at our accommodation in Rome. When we arrived and adjusted to the place we headed out to explore the city. It was already 7pm when we arrived so heading out to the streets at 8pm was great to see the city at night time. Even though it was still light out for a while it was a great opportunity for us to see the Spanish steps and fountain in front of it. It was crowed and full of people trying to sell unnecessary stuff to us. But we continued on after we filled our bottles. We were looking for a good place to eat and I stumbled upon a small pizzeria in a small alley way, the food turned out to be amazing. The pizza was nothing like pizza in Australia or the one in Germany. It had minimal topping and lots of flavour. They also provided us with a jar of oils and spices to share which was just like chilli and herbs in oil that can be put on top of the breads and pizzas. It was a great find.

3 July 2017

Crossed the borders of Austria What a beautiful country. Driving past the naked alps is amazing, and I thought I was going to miss out because there's no snow. The drive was beautiful and mesmerising, lots of amazing houses that have olden looks with cool windows and paint. The windows are so different to the ones elsewhere, they have incorporated different shapes and colours to make their home stand out. Making their windows into scrolls with paint or having different shapes like triangles and semicircles on their window. The drive to Italy at where we're camping is beautiful. Past a beautiful lake this is so pristine you can see the bottom of it until some distance - people were fishing. And in the background the Italian apps can be seen still covered in snow from the winter. Beautiful.

29 June 2017

The next morning we got up had breakfast and checked out. The car trip was a bore and there was no talking. Just complete silence, where laurin and k would occasionally talk about the road. 7 hours of it. She still now hasn't approached me to figure things out and didn't tell us what is going on. Till this point I didn't know whether she was actually leaving or not. But when we reached Bonn and silke picked us up. She said to her that she was leaving and that her mum already paid for a ticket and she can't stay. After that she went with silke and k went with laurin to his school choir concert. We came home and didn't speak, where she was petty to leave me the polaroids she took of me on my bed. She left for her flight the next morning and I didn't see her since the night before. Bye Felicia 👋🏽
But then they came over with gelatos and because I know it was amazing, I suggested that she go get her passport stamped. But she said no, and then said 'can you not walk away from us like that?!' I said, I didn't even know you were gone until I was half way down the block. She then said 'I've kept my mouth shut this whole trip' but 'you're such a controlling manipulative bitch'. So I continued to say 'don't take it out on me just because your man isn't replying' which then she replied with 'it has nothing to do with Hayden you stupid'. And then continued to say 'I've had enough, I'm going home'. And with that laurin and I worked out a route back to the studio and we all sat in silence on the bus. When we got there she went on the balcony and called her mum, where she had asked her to book a ticket home. All night she didn't try to talk or figure things out, she just left it as is and didn't bother to explain how she felt and what went wrong.
For the muffed Jews. I didn't want to take pictures as it don't think it's appropriate. So laurin and I walked out of the memorial and waited at the end for her. We continued to head down to check point Charlie following google maps. And then laurin decided to make a detour so that we can go past the concert hall. I was a little hesitant and annoyed at first because I just wanted to get to cpc and then decide later what we wanted to do but I followed. We were getting closer to cpc and I was following my phone map, when we were separated by a group of people. I crossed the street and followed the map and I didn't realise that they weren't behind me until I was half way down the block. I continued to follow the map as I know I would be more lost if I went back. And we were going to meet each other at the end destination anyways so I just continued on. I made my way to the cpc and took a picture and got my passport stamped and I saw them. So I sat and waited for them to take pictures
This is were it all exploded. Still don't know why and how but this is the reason she left. I was told it was because of my inability to be discreet and the fact that I was a 'controlling manipulative bitch'. So we were walking around Berlin and when at the Mercedes museum I went to the bathroom and suggest that she did the same- so she wouldn't have to go to a dirty public bathroom and not to pay. She said she didn't need to go. But before we left to pay I asked again if she should go to the bathroom and that's when she got snappy and said- ' I don't need to go'. So at this point I thought I should leave her alone and give each other space. We walked off and reached the gate where we were departed by corsets of tourists- plus they were being filmed. I got to the gate and went to sit down in the shade, she called and asked where I was and they came to find me- which was only seconds as they were just in the other side. We made our way to checkpoint Charlie where we past the memorial

27 June 2017

Berlin. It was a great start to the beautiful city. The drive was long yet joyful. We arrived to the Airbnb and then left to explore the teirgarten where the Berlin victory Column is located. The next morning we made our way to the train to go to Berlin tv tower- had some complications with the ticket. When we got up there we were greater with an amazing 360 view of the city. I had a rosé and was a bit tipsy. We then made our way to the Berlin cathedral. The big green dim that can be seen from the tower. It had amazing old architectural beauty that had very to little damage. So much details in the work and big arches. We made our way past museum island and towards the Berlin gate. On the way we stopped for refreshments at the Mercedes museum and had lunch. We headed down to the gate, it was now crowed but still shows beauty- from them we walked to the memorial for the nurses jews. Then headed down to checkpoint Charlie.

25 June 2017

The next morning Silke took us for a hike up Drachenfels (Dragon Rock). It was a tiring and difficult hike which ascends the mountain directly and made for a wholesome workout. There were possibilities to catch a train up but apparently kindy kids do the climb, so I couldn't give up. There were two castles on the mountain one were a relatively new one made to look old, which stands at the middle of the mountain and charges and entry fee. The second part is the actual Drachenfels it self, ruins of what once would have been an amazing castle over looking the river Rhine. There were two significant walls of the tower still standing and shows the shape/outline of the previous beauty it could have been. The view from the top is extraordinary, seeing over the side of Bonn, the river Rhine and in the distance the city of Köln. There were donkeys that were available for hire to ride up the mountain for only €12 but I couldn't bring myself to put them through the pain. The ice cream -reward

24 June 2017

I'm the morning we sat down and had a proper talk about how everything is going and explained and came forward with our feelings. We then left for breakfast at Tommy's house and he suggest we go into town and look around. We caught the train to the next stop and walked around to the the botanic gardens. Along the way there were some beautiful, elegant houses that are more than 100+ years old that are still in perfect condition. It was a lovely was seeing such old European style houses. We arrived at the botanic gardens and they were having a cacti market and the place has extra Cacti than usual. There were so many different types and varieties of plants all sorted out into different sections all according to their climate and environment. It covered a lot of ground with many different sections and the centre of it was the beautiful yellow mansion that stand out from the rest. After the gardens we headed to town to buy a couple of things, went to the haribo outlet store and pandora.

23 June 2017

We headed to Adri's birthday party which now has changed to a BBQ at Fynn's house. Laurin had said in the car that he didn't want to talk to me anymore so I did exactly that. At first it was a nice intimate group of guys that were slowly getting comfortable with us. But it turned out to be a bit of piss around when more guys arrived drunk, loud and started smoking at the table. I left and went to sit by the BBQ where fynn was cooking. He is an odd one, having lived in America for so long- strong views and opinions. I wasn't too happy with how things were going and kept to myself. Feeling tired and out of place I just didn't talk much. On our way home in the car, we had another argument where they had yet again managed to set out the plans for the next day. I didn't feel like I had an option to choose so i didn't say anything, when they asked what I wanted to do, I replied with 'i don't care' which pissed her off. But all she wants to do is meet up with Adri at the skatepark
We first headed to the Van Gogh museum, so many beautiful artworks, history of his life and the culture of his time. We then headed to H&M so we could get long pants as it was a bit cold that day. Then headed to lunch at a little cafe. And then went to do the canal ride of the city. We then headed to central station to put our bags in a locker and then headed to rent bikes to explore the city before we headed home. The rental place was in the station and we headed off. I had my go pro attached to the handle bar, the bike was a bit big-high up for me. The city streets were difficult to ride in as it was narrow and extremely busy. It was hard to get used to sticking to the right side of the streets and getting control of the bike. Which then lead to me running into a fence and hurting myself. We headed back to return our bikes and made our way out of the city and back to Bonn. So we could be ready for Adri's birthday
Amsterdam in the morning is beautiful. Fresh air, quieter streets and good breakfast and time alone to think. We met up and talked about how to make the trip better. They wanted me to speak up when o wanted something. And I told them that I wad to mad to say anything and felt as if what I said wouldn't matter. I told them that we needed to communicate better and be more organised. We agreed to take the day better and enjoy what the city had to offer
In the night I felt someone at the end of my bed and within moments, I felt a weight at the end of the bed and a hand touching my feet. Then hearing, 'shit, wrong bed'. I'm assuming he was blind drunk and didn't have a clue to what's what. The next morning I got up early, went to sit on the balcony to do my make up and left the room. Telling her that I was leaving and we needed to talk. I went and sat at the back of the hostel where they kept the rental bikes and called Blake and explained the situation. I then left for town to find breakfast and get a new sim as my one from Germany wasn't working - at a shopping centre close by. I then headed to the centre of the city at the "I Amsterdam" sign. Where I took some pictures and ordered waffles. This was when I decided to start over fresh. They met up with me soon later and I shared my waffles. I spoke to them about how I was red some organisation and planning for the trip. Example of Anne frank- booking in advance.

22 June 2017

The conflict between us hasn't passed. I was mad at them all day, didn't talk much and when ever asked I would respond with I don't care. Which pissed her off. We went back to the hostel after we found out we weren't able to get into Anne franks house. Along the way the stopped for dinner at some Italian restaurant and I sat in there with them not saying a word, as we were leaving I left to grab something from a deli next door- chicken sandwich. The hostel was now occupied with an older couple in the bunk next to us. I didn't want to stay in the room so I went to sit on the small balcony and tried to call Blake. Upset and angry of how the trip has turned out already, I sat out there for a long time. Until it was dark and I went back inside to get ready for some rest. It was such a small room with so many people to yet come in. I put up a sheet under the top bunk so I could have some privacy. In the night I heard some people come in.
Spent of of our day walking around the city without a purpose. We hadn't booked or planned anything in advance as there wasn't enough time to plan and it wasn't according to our original plan. The city is beautiful with some amazing architecture and history to everything. It started to storm really hard and I got upset and mad. It just all came out. Being mad at the place we had to stay in, being tired and overwhelmed with our situation and so upset that the holiday of my dream is going down the drain and this was the stammer of it. I was terrified of the storm and so upset that I couldn't hold back the tears, this was at a tourist booking shop/ souvenir shop. We later headed out after the rain to find something to eat, ended up at a cafe where I only had a coffee. Then headed out to do more 'exploring' where she bought numerous marijuana gifts. We then decided to go to Anne franks house, walked around in circles and when we finally reached it to find that there was a huge line up.
Today, it was decided that we would head to Amsterdam. The drive from Bonn to Amsterdam was roughly 5 hours. It wasn't according to plan but I went along with the idea. The hostel was booked by Laurin that morning, using my card but I didn't know where we were staying. The car ride was interesting, seeing the beautiful country side of Germany and the Netherlands. When we arrived in the city we did a park and ride where we parked our car outside he city and took in the tram to our hostel. From that we arrived at central station and it was grand. Heading to our hostel by team. When we arrived, it had that same hostel feel about it, being a little small and noisy from others and construction. We checked in and headed up to our room where we found that it was a mixed shared room for 10 people. The beds we were assigned were terrible. 1 of the beds hasn't been made and looked as if someone just slept in it. The blanket was crumpled on top of the bed and the sheet was messy.

21 June 2017

It was a pleasant walk down to the beer garden. It was around 9:30-10pm and it was still light outside, I couldn't get my head around this astonishing change in the sun's movement. Where at this time at home it would be pitch black and everyone would be in bed. The beer garden was right by the river Rhine, where at this time people were still out and about, riding their bikes and going for a jog. The food was good, some sort of flat bread with creme fraiche, topped with shredded ham, onions and cheese. The Non alcoholic beer was another thing all together, had the same taste to beer and infused with lemon. Which did not help the taste what so ever.
The flight from Seoul to Frankfurt was a little uncomfortable, wasn't able to sleep much at all. Was a great opportunity to catch up on the movies I've missed, and hidden figures is such an empowering movie. We arrived in Frankfurt with great time and went through customs within 30 minutes. Laurin was waiting at the gate and it was nice to see him once more. Got to meet his mum Silke, such an amazing, kind, easy going person that understands and listens. She was kind enough to take us out for dinner at the beer garden in town, that had an amazing view of the river Rhine. Tried my first non alcoholic beer infused with lemon, it was an interesting taste- not something I would order again.
Heading out to catch the connecting flight to Frankfurt. The drive from the hotel to the airport was roughly 2-3 minutes.
The breakfast buffet was as amazing as it looks. Was also serving a variety of foods from around the world, I had a taste of most of what's available and honestly best food ever. Fresh ramen made from the chef, different types of eggs can be ordered to be made by the chefs and amazing sausages.
The hotel room we got given was fabulous, all high end and modern facilities with a superb view over the surrounding area and a distant view of the nearby airport. It was an amazing sight to wake up to. Will definitely have to stay again when going through South Korea

20 June 2017

After a satisfying dinner, went to have a look around the hotel and the surroundings. Which lead to visiting a neighbouring hotel called Paradise Hotel & Resort. Which had a magnificent light show at their fountain to all different types of music, it was a spectacular sight.
The buffet at the hotel was amazing. So many varieties and from so many different countries and cultures. Was probably one of the best hotel buffets I've ever been to, with two food stations on each side of the room, one for hot meals and the other is dessert/salad bar/cold meats-meals.
Picture of the flight over. Will never get over how pretty it is
The flight from Syd to Ich was long yet exciting. It was roughly 10 and a half hours, the air food was interesting, serving some traditional Korean foods and had great service.
The layover in South Korea, Incheon was a delight. The accomodation and services given to me by the airline staff and hotel staff was unbelievably good. Didn't expect to be staying at such a high end hotel such as the Grand Hyatt Incheon, but it was amazing experience. South Korea would be a great holiday destination, I wasn't able to have a look around the city of Seoul this time but next time I'll make a holiday out of it.