A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: ClintW

Oktoberfest Munich Germany

In case you're wondering, no we're not professional travellers and haven't won the lotto, though yes, we did have one of those summers where you just have time to wash your undies and pack them again before the next trip. This time, just what our livers needed after copius amounts of Spanish wine, tapas and San Miguels - Oktoberfest Munich!! We spent the opening weekend of festivities visiting Mark, a very good German mate of ours that spent a year working with Lisa at Canberra Hospital.

Munich is an amazing city - beautiful buildings, friendly locals, great transport and a passion for beer, pastries and anything else that looks and tastes great!

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After strolling around the city centre we thought we'd check out a darker side of the city as there's no-way we could do this place with a hangover following our Oktoberfest shananigans. Dakaar is a World War II memorial site on the site of a Nazi concentration camp.

My grandpa's brother was one of the first army platoons that was sent in to liberate Dakaar at the end of the war. It was a very moving experience imagining what he must have seen.

I think most people have their own views on this time in our history as human beings so i'll leave you to yours.

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...and now for the main attraction - Oktoberfest!!

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We were doing it local style with Mark, who lives a 5-minute walk from the festival. Pretty handy when a campsite a 30 minute train ride from the fest cost 100euro a night!

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It was such a nice sunny day that we pulled up a table in the beer garden just outside one of the main tents with a crew of Mark's buddies from Munich.

You get a beer dude/chick that looks after your row of tables.
I was hoping for a scantly clad German waitress but we got this guy.

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I was disapointed at first, but it wasn't long until we were cheering him on his beer runs - this guy was a seasoned campaigner - unbelievable at around 2kilos each glass!!

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The beer factory - all old school style straight from the barrel!

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Over 10,000 people a day Oktoberfest is a celebration of all things Bavarian - beer, food, friends, rides, costumes, fun and pretzels - real big ones!

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and what happens when the sun goes down - more of it!

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We spent our final day in Munich strolling off our hangovers
in Europe's biggest, and i'd say most beautiful city parks.

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Not the place you'd expect to bring your surfboard but those crazy Europeans will do anything for a wave. The misplacement of a concrete block in a manmade canal in the park has formed a standing wave. Surf's up!

Great to hear what's going on in your world, even if it's not surfing in a German park two hours from the ocean!

clintwright1978@gmail.com
lre200@hotmail.com

Posted by ClintW 11:48 Comments (0)

sun, sand and siestas - Portugal and Spain

After 5 weeks straight of rain in London (in the middle of summer, thank god for the pubs!) we were well due for some European sunshine. With our good mate Keiran still onboard, we loaded up on sunscreen and set sail for Portugal and Spain.

First stop was Portugal's capital Lisbon.

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A taste of some Portugese sunshine and Lisa was about ready to find the nearest banana chair shop and set up camp.

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Rich in history, and pastries, it was a good first stop enroute to the beaches of the Algarve.

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All aboard toot toot! We took the train down to Lagos, a hot spot on the southern coast of Portugal.

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Home for the week was an apartment in the old town of Lagos - think whitewashed buildings, cobblestoned streets and to top it off a crazy cleaner called Maria that couldn't speak a word of english but loved knocking on the door at 7am to give us fresh towels and clean the kitchen - like having a Portugese version of your Grandma on holidays with you...

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A 10 minute walk through the town and we were at our local beach. Check the cliffs where we saw some of the local kids running and jumping off the end!!

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Walk 10 minutes the opposite direction and we were at a harbour full of some amazing yachts. Keiran and I are deep in conversation because growing up in a place that is 2 hours from the ocean - we know boats...

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Arrrr me matey come aboard an i'll make ye walk the plank (in my best Pirate accent). We all jumped aboard a boat and headed out around the coast to explore the Lagos grottos. Check out the pastey white London legs...

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For those that know him - and even those that don't - nice hat Kezza, it really brings out your eyes. hahaha....

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Plenty of photos but I think I can basically sum up the week
with 3.

Lots of this

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and lots of this

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and a final snap to sum up the Portugese way of life.... chilled

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Next stop was Sevilla in Spain - the birthplace of Tapas and Flamenco. At a scorching 41c in the shade cruising
about was kept to a minimum. Thank god for the roof top pool at our hotel!!

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and when the sun has gone to bed, the streets are lined with endless Tapas bars, yum yum

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Continuing east and towards the southern coast of Spain we entered the world of the English package holiday. Much like the gold coast though far more burnt Englishmen.

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Keiran's not looking too bad but check out the other two burnt Englishmen/women!!

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Puerto Banus is the so called jewel in the crown of the Costa de Sol (coast of Southern Spain), and has long been a playground of the rich and famous. The only day we saw a cloud in Spain we took a stroll amongst some of the most impressive boats i've ever seen.

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There's only so much lying on a beach without waves that an aussie bloke can handle so we saddled up and headed for the mountains - super mario karts style!

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sun, sand, cocktails

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and sore heads!!

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Next stop Oktoberfest - just cause we didn't drink enough beer in Spain errrrr.

Clintwright1978@gmail.com

lre200@hotmail.com

Posted by ClintW 13:18 Comments (0)

Summer adventures

-17 °C

It's been a crazy couple of months with not much time spent in the same postcode. The backpack and Lisa's suitcase (silly girl), has been dragged around Edinburgh, Dublin, Cardiff, Southern Spain, Portugal, Munich and the canals of Oxford.

First stop, the Edinburgh festival with our good mate Kezza who came to visit from Oz

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A feast of comedy, music, theatre, culture and lots and lots of untalented weirdos. This guy was balancing on the ends of at least 50 old toothbrushes and popping balloons with a stockmans whip - yep you guessed it, a very untalented aussie trying to make it big on the world stage.

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Another one of my favourite street acts was these guys that looked like they had come straight from a cave in the highlands of Scotland. Check that beard!

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You probably don't want to hear about the shows we walked out of, so here's a couple of our highlights.

Firstly for you arty folk, here's a little peak at a crazy Spanish crew we saw that combined moving installations, dance, music and art. Look closely to see the two ladies flipping and running across the luminescent wall.

The Silent Disco was our highlight of the festival and not just for the free sunglasses. Take note of the industrial sized headsets.

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As you enter the venue you are given headsets with two channel selections tuned into two DJ's live on stage. Chose the green channel and you get some pretty hard dance music, the red channel something a little groovier. Take your headset off and it's complete silence apart from a few whoop whoops from the crowd and the tapping of feet on the floorboards - throw ten vodka cranberrys into the mix and well.... A strange concept to imagine but it was great fun. For those of you with Ipods imagine going into a bar wearing your ipod and everyone listening to the same dance music.

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Nice moves guys...


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After dropping Lisa back in London the next stop was a boys trip to Dublin.

Most of our time was spent in Temple Bar, a street of wall to wall clubs and pubs.

There's probably only so many photos in nightclubs like this that you can stand (sorry about the blonde Lisa - it was a boys trip)...

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...though we did soak up a bit of culture at the old jail and a tour of the whiskey factory

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Photos on my camera seemed to end at around 3am on the Sunday morning except for a couple of a kebab shop so that was Dublin folks.

These next couple of snaps came after our Spain and Portugal trip though thought i'd better sneak them in while it's still relevant. No prizes for guessing where we were.

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The amazing Cardiff Millennium Stadium in Wales. Australia vs Wales.

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Nothing like being in the green and gold when the home side are belting out their national anthem.

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This is my London flatmate Hannah who we had quite a few beers with after the game. Her Mum is Welsh so that was good enough for me to say she was from Wales and make her lick my Australian flag. Sorry Han!!

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Some long winter nights ahead of us in London - very jealous of those back in Oz that are probably dusting off the thongs and getting the boardies ready for a big summer!!

What's happening in your neck of the woods??

clintwright1978@gmail.com
lre200@hotmail.com

Posted by ClintW 12:36 Comments (0)

Barcelona Espana!

-17 °C

After a seedy couple of days at work after our Rock Wertcher adventure, Lis and I dusted off the backpack and set off to meet my bro and Rachel (his now soon to be wife!) this time in sunny Spain - Barcelona!

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We hit the tourist trail pretty hard to begin with checking out some pretty crazy looking buildings, the work of an ecentric 1800's Spanish architect/artist/designer/nutcase - Gaudi. The school of architecture where he studied were quoted as saying 'we don't know if we're giving a degree to a genious or a madman.'

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From buildings to a park, we took a stroll through another Gaudi wonder which was like walking through the type of dream you have after one of Pete's magic pies (you pie people will know what I mean!)

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Gaudi's final project was Barcleona's unfinished church. When he knew he was going to die before the project was complete, he devoted his final years to teaching his methodology to as many people as possible so the church could continue on - and they're still going! funded through anonymous donations, due to be completed in 2010, they think.

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The Spanish lifestyle can't be beat! Work till midday, sangria, seafood and a siesta, then back to work till around 8pm. Freshen up and hit the town around 10pm, then do it all again. We tested this new philosophy minus the work bit, and quickly slid into the Spainard's pace of life.

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Life is on the street in Barcelona, and every corner you turn there's something new to keep the crowds entertained.

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This crew reminded me of a young Clintos trying to do backspins on Mums kitchen floor - not a bad effort on the concrete eh?!

We ate, we drank, we toured, we rode a big lion

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Loved it.... especially the sun, been raining in the UK five weeks straight. It's looking like there will soon be a north and south island of England. Seriously!!

Thanks for all your messages, great to hear what you're all up to

clintwright1978@gmail.com
lre200@hotmail.com

Posted by ClintW 08:19 Comments (1)

Rock Werchter Belgium

There's a choice of around 100 music festivals in Europe and the UK over Summer. For the last 20years a little town called Werchter in Belgium, an hour out of Brussels, is transformed into Rock Festival craziness! 80,000 people and 4 days of mayhem with a line-up to rival the UK's biggest festival Glastonbury. Killers, Pearl Jam, Kaiser Chiefs, Chemical Brothers and Metallica to name a few. Throw in Belgium's global Stella brewery 20mins from the festival site and you can imagine what comes next....

We found this Murtle - half man half turtle at the start of our trip at the Eurostar terminal in London.

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For those that haven't been in the trenches at a camping music festival here's a little glimpse of tentlife. There was around 20 campsites like this spread out around the festival site.

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Nothing but dome tents as far as the eye can see, then I stumbled across this beauty - gotta love a bit of Aussie ingenuity. I held my breath and poked my head inside to find a least 20 beds wall to wall and what looked like a couple of dead corpses.

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Front and centre main stage.

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Our festival crew amongst it, fresh Stellas all round!

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There were a few showers to cool the crowd...

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Highlight band - The Killers well and truly rocked the crowd to new levels!

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Ever been in moshpit?? Quite a soft one so i dived in to get some footage from the floor.

There's always plenty of craziness amongst the crowd at a festival and we found our fair share of it with people from all over the world. These clowns were on another planet though. For those that joined me at The Block Party for my Aussie farewell I can gladly say I - At least I didn't get naked - or did I??

Unfortunately these two were Australian - the guy at the bar is ordering beers while he takes a leak and his buddy - well I think the pictures tell the story... priceless. Mum you might want to quickly skip past this bit!

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An afternoon in the main square Brussels, chowing down pots of garlic mussels will cure any festival hangover.

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Glad you can't quite see the squinty little black dots on our face formerly known as eyes.

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Thanks for all your updates, we love hearing your news.... What's happened to the rest of you??

Drop us a line at clintwright1978@gmail.com or lre200@hotmail.com or get us on Facebook.

Posted by ClintW 12:30 Comments (0)

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