First shock upon arrival to Jordan? The fact that it was dark at 8:30pm. The second shock? Well, we were told when we left for Paris not to accept a taxi from just anyone, but to only go to a taxi rank and take one from there. When we flew into Amman and stepped out of the airport there were a lot of people in blue shirts saying “Taxi? Taxi?” and no sign of a taxi stand. So we decided to cautiously turn tail and head right back into the airport to ask where we were supposed to take a taxi from. Turns out it was from the guys in the blue shirts out front. It was an interesting taxi ride, but I was seeing signs saying One seemingly dodgy, half hour taxi ride later we pulled up at our hotel and proceeded to crash. Hard. We slept through breakfast the next morning. Instead we just relaxed and enjoyed our day off, watching movies and terrible MTV shows. The relaxing continued as we ordered room service for dinner. The next morning we did make it down for breakfast (the start of our week long love affair with hummus, amongst other things) and then packed our things and took a taxi to the hotel where our tour was going to begin.
One 5 hour bus trip later we were in Pamplona. We dumped our bags in our tent and got back on a bus to go on a walking tour of the city. We saw the Plaza del Castillo, the town square where the festival starts, the path the bulls (and the crazy people) run through, and the arena that they all end up in. The roads are really not that wide, and cobblestone as well, it’s pretty crazy to think that 6 fully grown bulls race down them. When we got back to the campsite the majority of the other people there had started getting into the sangria, some had probably started when they arrived. To be honest I probably wouldn’t do a tour with this particular company again. It seems to be very big on drinking/partying, which would be great for a night, but not for 4 straight days that we were there. In any case the San Fermin festival was pretty amazing.
Seriously, Madrid was crazy. In an awesome crazy way. The 5 days we spent here were pretty full on and you’d be hard pressed to actually plan it.
Editors note 13/07: Seeing as though I’m about two weeks behind, I’m just going to speed this up.
First thing we did in Madrid was walk around, get to know the area. A quick stroll down to Puerta del Sol, then out to Parque del Retiro. On the way we found the most amazing frozen yoghurt place ever. It’s called llaollao. If you’re ever in Spain look it up. First unexpected timing coincidence of our stay – Madrid’s gay pride parade. On our first night. It was crazy. Probably took the parade about 5 hours to shuffle one whole kilometre. Sangria everywhere, water being thrown by the bucketful from balconies. It was intense.
After a fun filled week in Nice we were back in Paris, and the weather looked like it came back with us. We decided to head out Saturday night for more live jazz and more dancing. The venue was an awesome courtyard and it was great to walk in and see so many people dancing. It was pretty fun, and im glad we found it, except they danced the shim sham to a different song. We almost missed it. There was even a jam circle or two which were interesting to watch. Oh, and Nicole got asked to dance. And then I got asked to dance. Good times. That wrapped up about 11:30, but we had a few drinks afterwards with Anna and Amelia who came with us. It was just a fun night out.
We went to Nice! Okay, so this wasn’t on our original itinerary but after two weeks of rain in Paris we were ready to bail to somewhere sunny. We woke up to an epic lightning/thunder storm, flooded streets on the way to the airport, we were happy to be leaving. When we got to Nice we met the awesome Albert, whose apartment we were staying in, before heading out to see the town. We walked down the main shopping street, through the old town with it’s markets, down to the beach (made of stones. No sand here). We followed the coast around to the port and then started climbing a really big hill.
What have we done in the last
week two weeks three weeks, I hear you all asking… right? Well we’ve managed to squeeze in a couple more outings quite a lot actually around getting stupidly sick (it’s okay, we’re better now).
Editors note 29/06: I started writing this post two weeks ago but we kept getting distracted by more awesome things. I’ll try and finish it soon. If you are reading this it means I have finished it.
Editors second note 2/07: We tried putting the SD card from Nicole’s camera into my tablet, same as last time, except this time it didnt work… and now the SD card is corrupt. Anyway, without pictures this blog entry was starting to look like a massive wall of text, so I have decided to split this entry into 3 separate retroactively published posts. Enjoy.
It’s been a week since we left our quiet little home town of Perth, so I figured we should probably write an update to let you all know how we’re going.
For our first ever long haul flight we spent 10 and a half hours flying from Perth to Dubai. The whole customs process was relatively painless, plus I got to be scanned for traces of explosive materials! (the second time that’s happened)
After saving for a little over 12 months, planning for 6 and frantically booking things up until two days ago, we are finally off to the airport today. Nicole just received an email from Emirates reminding us that our flight leaves tonight, and I just got one reminding me about our accommodation in Paris. It still feels a little surreal, like today is just another day. It doesn’t feel like this time tomorrow we’ll be in Paris. Give me a couple more hours and I’m sure it’ll start to sink in.