Wednesday, November 07, 2007


So the plan was to man up and hitch hike to Paris from Berlin. Just a sneaky thousand or so kilometers. I got a kilogram of waffles, three blocks of chocolate and a litre of water and caught a local train to a service station on the edge of Berlin. I then proceeded to ask people where they were going and could I tag along...

... 15 minutes in a frickin awesome old French dude told me he could only take me as far as Dijon... only Dijon I think? I check my map... and bang.. its 200kms from Paris. Holy moly. I thought this has got to be the best ride ever.. but it got better! He bought me breakfast (all you can eat!), lunch, dinner and a french coffee at 3am. We had to make a detour to Munich to pick up a load of timber (I helped load it and got a free jacket!). Holy moly. So I was sitting under this....... only 27 hours after I left Berlin. If that's not the dream, then I don't want to live it.

Paris is super awesome. I feel much the same about Paris as I did Italy. It would be a cliche to fall in love with Paris, but I guess its a cliche for a reason. There is so much history, architecture, museums, pubs, awesome french people and Rugby that its hard not to have fun. Here are some dudes smoking a cigar outside the Louve.. I hope they are living their dream.

We did a sneaky day trip out to Versailles a day before a massive transport strike bought the city to a stand still. You can't really say you have been to France until you have experienced a strike. Versailles was awesome, the gardens were amazing (some of the most impressive box hedges I have ever seen, I love box hedges), and the palace itself was really beautiful. This is me in the galerie des glaces (Hall of Mirrors) where the Treaty of Versailles was signed to end WWI. Wow.French food is indeed rather good. Word of advice though: Never mix camembert and pate in a baguette in front of a french man.

We did a lot of exploring in North Eastern Paris where a lot of North African immigrants live. It was awesome, such hustle and bustle. Such cheap food. So much fun. We also found this basketball court... a fully fledged cage court built under a railway line.

I shall leave you with a picture of Paris in the evening. This is the last chapter of this part of my life. The next is a return to the motherland to seek work and settle down for a while... something I hope I am capable of.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Berlin. I have heard from many many people that Berlin is absolutely fantastic and that I must go there.. so I went there.. and it was absolutely fantastic.. once I got there.

It was quite as mission. First I got a sweet sweet hitch from PoznaƄ to the Berlin Ring Road with a really cool Polish/German dude whom I communicated with with my extensive Polish and German ('spoko spoko', 'alles fitt im schritt?'). Once I was on the Berlin Ring road it took two rides, some bush whacking, a nervous wait at an semi-abandoned rest area and a mad dash across a 6 lane autobahn in my bare feet with cars passing me at 200km/h to get there!

Once I got a ride (and what a ride! Two blocks from where I was staying!) it was all good. I met up with the guy I was staying with who was absolutely fantastic... mostly as the first thing we did was go to the pub for a Berlin beer. This guys main mission was for me to try all the beers from Berlin, which was one I was happy to help out with.

Did some exploring, saw some cool sights. Like a street basketball court in the middle of Alexanderplatz next to the beautiful TV tower (above). There are some amazing museums there, especially the Pergamon Museum which houses the Ishtar Gate and the Processional Way from Babylon and if my historical biblical knowledge is in line, would be the very one Daniel would have walked past/through on his arrival in Babylon to hang out with King Nebuchadnezzar. Also of note: Dudes with BBQ's attached to themselves selling sausages!

Also saw the Berlin Wall which was pretty neat. Even if it is pretty much all gone and you can't tell which graffiti is from before the fall, while David Hasselhoff was pulling down the wall, or after it fell. But it was all pretty cool, and it was good to see Sports were represented by some of its finest ambassadors.

Lastly a neat picture of some trails from passing planes catching the sunset... I have never seen this before and it was pretty cool. Rather romantic really.. well, bromantic at least.

I had decided a while back to man up and hitch hike to Paris.. I thought I was being very brave, adventurous and crazy... next post you will see how manly I really was..