This place was amazing.
This place was amazing.
First statement: IT IS HOT! Dubai was hot but you could escape it in all of the lovely air conditioning but alas Malaga is just humid and hot but delightful at the same time.
Now my arrival in Malaga wasn’t the greatest – there is an extreme lack of information about where anything is. Very frustrating for a tourist that knows no spanish. I asked the train information lady for information about the trains and she didnt have any – how convenient! I finally ended up finding random toothless old dude to point me in the right direction and i finally made it to the hostel. Thinking oh no check in might be closed i was incredibly mistaken as everyone is late risers lol. I walk along the closest beach esplanade full of restaurants and people are only just setting tables out at 8pm. By 830 people are starting to enter restaurants with their kids, but 930/10 is the pumping time for the restaurants! talk about a change in eating habits. I decided to pull an early night and see that the girls at the hostel are leaving at 11pm to go out hahaha…fail for me!
My first day,however, worked out to be as ideal as i had hoped.
I woke up about midday and went to the supermarket then to the beach and paid 4 euro to hire a beach umbrella and chaise lounge and laid by the water for 5 hrs taking quick little dips. At one point I believe i must have fallen asleep. It was magic.
Once my day here was complete I went back to the hostel for a few hours and at about 9pm decided i should take a stroll to the city. I managed to find the Bull Fight stadium and am now tempted to go to one though i fear i would not like the brutality towards the bull. I also managed to find several beach side gym set ups. There are a heap of random equipment in a random open part along the esplanade. No wonder everyone in this area seems so buff! Lastly I discovered that there are about 50 cats living amongst the rocks on this esplanade – creeepy!
From here i had dinner at one of the many beach side restaurants, spanish omelette, grilled king prawn kebeb with the smallest king prawns ive ever seen and calamari which was yummo!
When i got back to the hostel i made a friend and she told me the city is pumping for the fiesta so tomorrow i intend to journey there!
I try to stay the night again in Antwerp as the Bar Leon guys said there was another music party in the square near the hostel this afternoon but unfortunately there is no room in the inn so I decide to travel to Gent/Ghent ( two spellings). I return the bike to the friend who lent it to me and YES i find it We were all surprised i think haha and drop my bus. card round to the bar to say thanks and good bye to the boys, then off i head to the centraal station.
I am so over how heavy my bag is and am seriously considering ditching more clothes ha.
The train to Gent takes me through corn fields and massive green pastures which are just sensational even though I am struggling due to my antics from yesterday. I arrive and Gent and am winging it that this hostel has room. Already the buildings are making me think I will like it here. I arrive at the hostel and not only is it available but I am one of like 3 guests, and it is a crazy awesome building. Like staying at a hotel. I am very pleased.
I have a nap – like i have for the past week or so then head in to town, it is absolutely gorgeous. So many photos and quite a few people surprisingly – I think a few peeps had the same idea. Scoped out the food and ate a snack at the soup lounge – this is a place where you have a choice of 4 veggie soups and they add cheese, croutons, meatballs and some veggies. Pretty cool for 4 euro.
I think tomorrow I will try and stay at the hostel another day and take a bike ride around the country side it looks to pretty not to. But the final question is WHAT SHOULD I HAVE FOR DINS TONIGHT!?
They have these crazy little maps here that are meant to be a locals view of the city – highly useful to get a grip of where to go. Once i have brought my charger I decide i should trek to this market in the Theatreplein (plein means square). I take the random street way to get there and come across this lovely park in the middle. There are all these birds… and cute fluffy white rabbits which i find amazing in the middle of this park. The park is surrounded by run down houses and streets which must be the way things are here…there is also the constant distant smell of sewerage…yeah…
Anyways I make it to these markets and it is basically food galore, delicious cheeses, meats, olives and bread everywhere and my tongue almost falls out of my head… not a great place to be when you are hungry! These markets run every saturday and sunday so if you’re ever in Antwerp you should probably check them out. They would be the perfect start to your day or if you were going to have a night in you could feast on all of the pretty cheap treats.
As it is a crappy wet-wannabe day in Antwerp today I go up to a coffee place that was recommended by the map – Caffeination. To me the coffee tastes a bit burnt but the place has a pretty cool ambience – it actually reminds me of a coffee shop – jamaica style- in amsterdam minus the pot smell. The apple pie that I have complementing my coffee though is delicious…probably due to the amount of sugar that is in it but still.
I then go for a walk to what is supposed to be a cool bar but cannot find it, and when i get to the rock bar i am too intimidated to go in as I forgot my leathers. I find a spot to get a cheap hair cut so off goes my hair and then i head to a small ‘student’ bar as it is called where i find the first amount of peeps….get myself a beer but feeling pretty pooped. I was thinking I would just head to Bar Leon again to chill out with some wine and tunes, the map says there are a heap of bars to party in but I just wanted chill out and stay close to the hostel. The weather is not helping as it is definitely snuggle up on the couch with a dvd weather.
INSTEAD, i came across this massive music festival in the square i went back to report it to the hostel then decided i should go for a couple at Bar Leon anyways. End up having hours of convos with the guys that work at Bar Leon, they tell me i should join them to the square for this awesome dj set that plays gypsy music. It rocked. They were then heading to this party in the oldest building in Antwerp. I didn’t think I would be able to make it but their friend had a spare bike for me to borrow for the evening – having not ridden a bike in 10 years i found this daunting – but i think the booze and no helmet or safety really allowed me to let go and just bash it out haha. This party was insane, people everywhere all locals and totally rockin’. At about 230am i decide I probably should head home so I get the bike and head back through the city, luckily due to my walk earlier I had an idea where i was going when I had been biking for like half an hour and got lost.
Crazy random evening.
On my arrival to antwerp I am at first amazed at the beautiful central station and its surrounding buildings then as I walk on down the street everything seems to turn to a dull beige…people look drained from life, everything is grey, beige and dirty looking. Semi-daunting on arriving to a new town.
Where the hostel is situated there is a lot of Moroccans…and other cultured people so all along the main road is dingy looking kebab and mini-mart shops. Amongst these are some awesome looking bakeries though with fancy looking treats that I am yet to try.
Walking down a random back street, i finally come to the hostel, praying that it will be lovely inside and it is! Fantastic. It used to be an old chocolate factory so there is a big warehousey trendy looking living area with a little tv, some tables and a bit kitchen. Bridget the owner gives me a walk through and tells me that they have eggs for breakfast – fancy or what!? haha. They have a little bathroom to be shared by all the rooms i believe but they are nice enough. I seem to be the only girl that has elected mixed accommodation which is funny, I am in a room with an american and two canadiens – it was pretty chilled.
I decide it is time for a nap as I am exhausted from Amsterdam. So I crash out. At 5pm I wake and try and decide what to do. On the map in the Hostel Bridget has outlined some cool little local places so I decide to give them a try.
Bar Leon is the first – a trendy bar just beside a big park square where there are tonnes of kids playing about and even an icecream/waffles van that is going round. I stop in for a rose – delicio – good tunes and very nice bar staff. Didn’t look like they have any food but on return to the hostel I was told they only do food on Thursday and Saturday, which is weird but typical of the area haha.
I walked over to another map suggestion called Carrods. This is basically someones house that cooks entree, main and dessert for a few tables a night 15 Euro. Crazy Awesome. I rock up and she is closing but since it was just me she was willing to cook me up something – minus the entree. For dinner I get a slab of salmon on pasta with various spices – please note I had no idea what the menu was you just sit and wait to get whatever food it is! – for someone that never eats salmon, this was the greatest fish dish i have ever had – so tasty, yummy spices and cooked perfectly. Amazing…random place win. For dessert I have a mojito sorbet with apple – this almost blows my head off but i leave feeling very full and very content with my choices for the evening.
I return to the hostel looking to chill out on the couch with a dvd and perhaps some planning of my trip ahead, all of a sudden two dutch girls and the american dude from my room rock up and are up for a chat. Instead of watching the movie we end up just sitting round having a chat for hours – and when i say hours i mean like 5 hours. I decide i need to go to bed about midnight and leave them to it haha.
I am in my final day in amsterdam and am finally finding some ‘me’ time to allow me to catch up on some blogs! I have so much to tell as I am incredibly behind so I figured I will work backwards.
Today I decided to sleep in – even if it was hard due to epic construction work going on beside my hostel. I am sitting in a Bakery or Bread house perhaps – Broodhuys. Funky place with nice staff – ordered a beef tartare sandwich looked to delicious to pass up….unsure how my seediness will go with it but hey gotta explore. And I was not disappointed this is amazing!
The rest of my day is taken up by laying in the wonderful Vondelpark drinking a 10 Euro Heineken keg. The day is so beautiful you could not have made a better choice. Everything here is so green and vibrant.
From here we continued the party at this awesome irish pub on the canal. Sensational view making my what to live in a houseboat even more! There is music playing irish fiddling, the pub is full of irish people who love aussies and it is just a great vibe, especially when the irish lad who had just flown in that day was playing at the pub – think coldplay covers, u2 fun.
I will definitely return to amsterdam – the more i talk about it people keep telling me about all of these great places around the outside towns which sound worthwhile checking out.
Today was another serious walk to get the ladies the most amazing pomme frites…of course I had a salad – you will be proud mother. Nothing much else happened for most of the day as we found the local delicacies to pass the time for us. The day ended with us all feasting on about 6 different cheeses that we had brought in a beautiful park called Vondelpark. It was amazing – so green and blue skies.. we couldn’t have asked for a better day.
In the evening I decided I was sick of walking the same track to the pubs so we ventured towards a part of town called Pijp(pronounced piape i think). Here we discovered some cheap local type bars where english wasn’t as good. This is my kind of scene. We stop in at several places but end up at Cafe Toko where we find a dutch bartender that has lived in Australia for several months – so lets just say we hit it off…We stayed here for a couple of beers and shots and ended up making the shots ourselves… great find. He then directed us to where the dance party scene was – but our stinginess prevented us from paying the 6 euro to get in. Instead we go to a big square of more american/britisized pubs and clubs. Bit of a trashy dance at Cafe de Maard/Vaard….then we hit the Last waterhole. This is a hilarious pub where randoms go up and basically rock out with the local band – think ACDC, ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin….I was in heaven, unfortunately we arrived here at the end of the night so alas this pleasure was short lived. Who would have thought a city like amsterdam would shut down at 3am haha!
This is one thing that i have been finding, the days are starting late and ending late – how will i ever cope with a job again?!
Fun times but it really would be good if you knew the local knowledge about where the great finds are. Time out is a great website for touching on this.
After not much sleep for the past few days I rock up in Amsterdam tired and in need of a shower…I also arrive ignorant as hell to think that the dutch would basically have heaps of english translations everywhere – Failed it. So basically I am travelling about blind and just trying to relate word to the english language.
I get to the Hostel and meet this lovely guy that works there who calls me ‘lady’ – Hey Lady…hillarious but of course i love it, I check in and lay down in bed to relax then decide shower and a nap is on the cards. I feel wonderful and lay back down in bed…. then my stomach is like HEY I NEED TO EAT….so off i trot with my wet laundry(due to a run in with Tehyas washing machine) to be done and need for food. ABout 15 aussie dollars for a lady to do my washing – don’t know about launder mats….. but this was it so paid away and the discovered this wicked pizza place where i proceed to have the best pizza i have had in years – amazing.
after this i cant fight it any longer and proceed to pass out at the hostel…the girls arrive and we do a walkabout in town…then decide we are all stuffed and need more sleep… so fairly quiet eve.
What an epic journey of a day this was…I wake up early because i know i have washing to do…the washing machine ends up dying on my and leaving me with incredibly saturated clothes that i have to wring out individually – NOT what i want to do in the state I was in. Fail of a morning with a light at the end of the tunnel.
Coffee and toastie at Camden Coffee House – a chat to my delightfully tired and grumpy man… the day was starting again. My cousin had the day free so we decided that it was a great idea to do a monopoly tour – this means have a half pint (never of the same things) at as many places on the monopoly board as possible…and just to sweeten the deal, when we reached a set of three ticked off we would have a shot….fun times.
This is how we went….(we did some epic note taking at each place)
Euston Road – The Doric Arch – Honey Dew – Easy to drink slight hint of honey which made it delicio.
Marlebone Station – The Globe – Old Speckled Hen – tasteless, dirty water flavour.
Mayfair/Marleborough street – Marleborough Head – London LIghtning – you could drink this beer for a while – nothing outstanding though.
Oxford St – Henry Holland – Spitfire – never get this it was like drinking dish liquid…gross.
Bond St – Duke of York – Youngster London Gold – Not a bad drop similarities to little creatures or mountain goat.
Regent St – The Clachan – Dragon slayer and as it was our third green – a shot of JAGER mmmmm yeah!
Coventry/Piccadily – the Comedy Club – Strongbow extra cold and extra crap too.
Pall Mall – Texas Embassy – the most expensive budweiser in the world. Fiizzzy.
Trafalgar Square – Chanos – Samuel Smith Lager – there have been worse beers drank.
Leicester Square – Zoo Bar – Half price specials great time – Magners Golden Draught – i liked it, and as our third yellow – Galliano shot.
The Strand – Neil Gwynns – Guiness with Black – sweet yumminess. I really liked this small bar.
Fleet St – Old bank of England – London Porter Yummy as and complimented by our final white sambucca shot as we reached another three.
This was the end of our journey and i think we did a good effort considering we didn’t plan where to go and spent the first two hours wandering!!
Lets just say my night ended with a ft long meatball sub and bed…Subway subs here shite all over australian subway.
The next day to my surprise i got to continue the journey as i took a long bus ride past whitechapel and to fenchurch st station… i am well aware of all the places on the board now AND…i have no idea how they got such a useless order of it! haha
Almost forgot about this day. Fairly chilled sleep in then i go and meet my cousin who has just arrived from Machester at the worlds end again. Transformed in the day to a heavy metal music scene the toilets are still vile but the beer tastes good. From here we have a local friend of Chris’ where we head to a few different bars along the Canals. I am in love with the canals….we also go to the Hawley Arms which is a Amy WInehouse hang out… lets just say i am seeing the sights…
Head back to the house and meet up with Tehya and friends for a quick drink before heading home and sleeping sleeping sleeping.