Nice, St Raphael, France, Frankfurt, Germany, Beijing, China - Day 17,18 Eurotrip
I woke up with an exploding head, whereupon Betty and Sam had to fill me in on the parts of the night I’d missed. Betty was going to take us out to our parents via the SNCF.
The train was majorly delayed at Cannes as police hunted through the train for drugs. I didn’t get to see any major Law & Order France moments though.
After checking out Betty’s parents awesome mediterranean style house, we headed down to the beach for some diving.
You can see the Ile D’Or in the background. Betty is convinced that inspired the cover for Herge’s “The Black Island”. What do you reckon?
Bit posey, but black and white makes everything okay.
I actually took this photo cause of Harry high pants on the right… but it came out pretty nicely anyway.
Then I built a pretty sweet replica of the tower on the island, which came out all metaphorical like.
Legend that I am, I managed to drop Betty’s sister’s mask after a dive. I remember looking at it having sunk to about 12 metres and realising there was no way I was going to reach it in swimming goggles.
After that we returned back to the Malard’s in order to head out on the family boat. It was a fairly beautiful and warm evening, so we docked near the two rocks that occupy the middle of St Raphael Bay - Lyon de mer and Lyon de terre (lion of the sea, lion of the land).
That’s us on top Lyon de Mer. The statue is of Mary.
Finally it was back for another BBQ, this time of the famous Cuisses de Grenouille, The Malards even asked me to play a song for them, which I was pretty happy to indulge.
Then on a train back to Nice for the last night of my trip that I wouldn’t be locked into a flying cigar like trussed cattle.
Walking down the train tracks I remember we were trying to explain to Betty how to sing MGMT’s “Electric Feel” but she wouldn’t stop pronouncing it, “Electric Heel”.
We were pointing out the difference to “Eel” and “Heel”, to which she replied, “There is NO FUCKING DIFFERENCE”.
Heh, case closed.
This is one of the last photos I took- not sure why they let a samurai sword on the plane. Maybe because they’re too small for him to be able to swing.
Finally I began a long journey back, which purely for cost saving reasons meant I flew from Nice to Vienna, Vienna to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Beijing, Beijing to Shanghai then Shanghai to Sydney.
Betty met us at the station then grabbed us breakfast, which was of course coffee, baguettes and pain au chocolat.
I then went down to the pebbly beach to make use of the sunshine. Plenty of English accents were to be heard round the cafes near the shore.
"Ah, well it’s a might hot innit?"
"Where on earth can ye get an ‘alf decent meat pie?"
Ida and her boyfriend Juillian then met us on the beach to take us for a quick tour up the hills around Nice.
The view over the city was amazing- how did everyone know to get the same colour tiles, eh?
After that we stopped for some more Pastes at a little side street bar, then went back to their place for wine and yet another BBQ of multiple courses, Rose, beer and other awesome stuff.
Betty, Ida and Juillian all lived in the same building in the “Old Town” of Nice. One of the cool parts was the way the apartments overlooked the little cobblestone alleyways that wove through the buildings.
After that it was out for more clubbing, finishing up drinking on the beach. I was first to pike by a long shot.
We got up early for our Medoc wine tour, which was a bit of a multi stop trip. First up was the Chateau D’Arsac. The Chateau had had rather a chequered history, but the culmination was that a rich investor had rebuilt the chateau, restarted the wine business then set about populating the spot with his ever expanding collection of modern art.
Key to the guy’s strategy was putting an enormous iron beam in front of the Chateau’s structure, which has meant the wine’s label changed from this:
I couldn’t find a copy of the new labels with the beam in them… probably considered blasphemy by some wine peeps but I kinda liked it. The piece itself is called “La Diagonale d’Arsac” by Bernard Venet.
The whole complex was dotted with modern art, including the cask room, a few of which I’ve snapped.
La Fontaine aux Oiseaux by Jean-Michel Folon
Walla Walla by Jim Dine
The wine itself tasted like it needed a bit more time to mature, didn’t help that it was freezing in the cask room.
Then it was on to the Chateau Lynch Bages. Lynch for the Irish guy that bought it in the 1700s, in case you thought the name didn’t sound particularly French.
The Chateau itself had preserved all of the old wine equipment, in spite of currently using stainless steel barrels.
They also had an exhibition of the Spanish Artist Antoni Tapies, who most of the tour scoffed at due to his style being fairly abstract.
Personally I found the style a little tortured and full on for a bunch of tourists kicking around pretending to know about wine (myself included).
We then had a pretty awesome lunch at the restaurant of the Chateau, polishing off the above bottle and enjoying yet another Duck Confit and Chocolate and Vanilla mousse. Sam managed to enjoy a second confit when the Nyathener wife of one of the tour party explained she didn’t like duck. Your loss there luvvy.
We then moved uphill to the Chateau Cos D’estournel for the last stop of the tour.
The cask room was entered from a huge glass gantry suspended over the barrels.
The wine itself was also pretty amazing. Pity the 2002 bottle would have set us back a cool 240 Euros.
The cellar itself was full Indiana Jones. As well as having wine that was reclaimed from the Nazis after the war going back to 1865, the shelves are stacked on Egyptian style sculpture. I half expected to see an Incan Idol centrepiece bathed in a single shaft of light from the ceiling.
After the tour we were dropped off at the obligatory gift shop, where I was ashamed to admit I felt the urge to buy several bottles. “But where will I be able to buy Medoc Appellation Bordeaux wine again”.
The supermarket, obviously.
After chilling in Grand Parc for a bit waiting for the train, we then headed to Rue de St Pierre for a couple of beers among les hipsters.
After that, we boarded the SNCF once more for an overnight train to Nice. We’d splashed out an extra 6 euro each for a “Couchette” which we were glad to discover was a bunk bed, not a tiny couch.
For some reason Sam demanded kebabs for breakfast, so we found some in the city centre and tasted chilli sauce for just the second time in two weeks.
Apparently the longest shopping strip in Europe.
We then booked a wine tour for the next day and set about exploring the city. More cathedrals were visited. They all start to blend into one, truth be told, even though they are nearly all amazing feats of art and craftsmanship. Pictured is the Bordeaux Cathedral.
As there were no proper tours open, we had to take this lame little train. I still remember the pitiless judging eyes of the locals as they watched us on their listening to the potted history through cheap headphones.
"The big bell"
Park in the city centre.
Shit, there I go again.
This pretty rad dude was skitching on our train, until the driver told him off.
Any way, Bordeaux was pretty damn beautiful.
The Monument aux Girondins
After the tour, we visited a French restaurant that Aurelie had recommended. Sam went for grilled duck and I went for pork, finishing with the obligatory Creme Brulees.
We’d then agreed to meet the girls for another street party at the base of Cathedral St Michel, which was pretty damn grand.
Cathedral St Michel
Street party with the Cathedral Tower in the background. It’s 114 metres tall, apparently.
The theme that night was DISCOPARTY… we just went with it.
I think we finished up around 2am, needing to be up at 7 for our tour the next day.
We woke up late and hungry in Algers, accidentally ordering a meat platter when we thought we were getting some sort of Quiche. Improving French, as I mentioned.
Angers was still a pretty nice looking town - all cobblestone avenues and white walls. Like this old house where they at least kept the facades as they joined with the newer buildings.
After leaving some chocolates for Lucille we again grabbed our staple lunch of bread and cheese and boarded the SNCF for Bordeaux, in the south west of the country.
Arriving at Bordeaux Station.
Sunset from our window in the deux etoiles hotel. It literally translates as two stars. SWAG. I should have taken some photos of the vaguely nautical theme. There was a rope stuck to the wall and the shower portion seemed to have been lifted straight off of an old cruiser. Also, the ground swayed when we returned home that night, but it was likely the booze.
We didn’t go far before coming across a 50s Rock n Roll themed street party, so we decided to stay.
Along the way we bumped into Sarah and Aurelie, who helped us try and find more booze when the street party shut down. We found the one nightclub that was open down a backstreet in one of the oldest parts of the city. The owner opened the door and then literally shut it in our faces.
So we decided to call it a night, crossing by the tram stop which was having its little turf patches watered.
We got on the early train that morning from Paris to meet Lucille at the Pont de Blois.
Blois is a little 18th century style village a couple of hours south of Paris. The look of the town seems quite painstakingly preserved, right down to the bridge itself over the Loire River.
The view of the village from in front of the Chateau. You had to descend a steep stone staircase to get into the centre of town.
At Lucille’s, we were once again treated to some great French hospitality at Lucille’s parents, which meant in this case at least four courses of food and wine to accompany.
After about 20 minuts of digestion, we once again jumped on a couple of bicycles to ride the 8km or so to the Chateau du Chambord.
The cycle path cut through a couple of farms.
Err… yeah obviously this was quite a non devil horns moment. Unless you really hate fuckin’ sunflowers or something. Alternate title: "Flowers and Fuckwit."
We ended up taking several wrong turns, ending up in another village called Hoisseau Sur Cosson but with some slowly improving French I managed to get directions from a Renault mechanics and turn the right way.
There were no real wrong turns in this part of France, to be honest.
Approaching the Chateau.
More about the Chateau here. Cliff’s notes are that it was built by Francois I, and that the roofline is apparently supposed to resemble the skyline of Constantinople.
Either way I reckon it photographed pretty well.
Inside one of the hunting trophy rooms.
A staggering amount of antlers?
Well, at least the look was consistent.
Side note: yes, they sold Chambord in the gift shop.
Finally after riding hard to get back by 5-30, at which time the temperature was still topping 34 degrees, we jumped in Camille’s tiny little Citroen stuffed with her uni gear and made our way to Algers.
After sampling the Crepes, we then left the girls to sleep and found a little drinkspot down some back alley. Pretty soon we got talking to a gypsy jazz guitarist who identified himself only as Chico DeNiro. We talked about Birele Lagrene and Django Reinhart, and didn’t stop drinking until rain had forced the little pub to turn itself inside out as people dragged their tables under cover.
We woke at Thomas’ around midday feeling seedy as hell. We had a go at trying to clean up some of the mayhem and I snapped a couple of shots of the scenery out the window in Sentier, around the centre of Paris.
The sloped rooflines carry into the penthouse apartments.
After finally dropping our bags off into a crusty looking double bed apartment in Montmartre, we took off to do some touristy stuff.
Like this tower thing.
And other old Concrete stuff like this and the below.
After the night’s excursions it was enough to down an average pizza and table wine in Montmartre and think about getting more done the next day.
We once again braved the Paris metro after spending way too long trying to navigate the SNCF website in French, trying to ignore the horrible unstoppable radio station that piped through, buying tickets that wouldn’t book properly and getting slightly pissed off.
Which meant we arrived at the Louvre too late to go on. Facepalm indeed.
So we commiserated with wine at the gardens in front. I didn’t get a photo of that, but here is a ladybug caught in Sam’s chesthair. Someone mentioned a minor plague of them at the time. A most delightful plague!
This was about 7pm, heading up the Champs-Elysees. You can see the stands on the left hand side set up for the final stage of the Tour de France.
We then headed to Centre Pompidou, where I took entirely too few photos, and found some food with Chilli- Tibetan.
Mad map reading skills trying to find our way to Bastille after visiting Notre Dame.
I guess these book stalls would have been kinda cool many hours previous.
One of the first rules of waking up is that you must sleep first, so I’d describe opening my eyes at Orly airport Paris as more of a jarring blink. We’d left mercifully left Erik’s place at around 4-30am after he had made a heroic attempt at staying awake, kneading his face with closed fists and blinking more and more slowly as we waited for Sam to get back from Berghaim.
Once making it to the airport the flight was an aforementioned blink that offers of cold sandwiches didn’t manage to disturb. Then it was simply a matter of braving the Paris metro in order to get to… wherever it was we’d written down on that ticket stub.
After making our way into the city centre, we finally found Mike at one of those ubiquitous little subway side cafes and began our day.
After being graciously hosted by Clem’s father Alain, we had just enough time to pack our stuff back up and head to meet Mike’s friends in a Parisian park that I was too zonked to remember the exact location of.
Incidentally, Mike mentioned Alain had been a pop singer in the 80s, so I dug up one of his old videos for posterity.
Once we hit the park, it all caught up with us .
But soon the smell of Rose and cheeses gave us some vitality, so we sat up, wiped away the eye boogers and kicked on.
Behind us, a well rehearsed acoustic trio had started jamming, which was a nice accompaniment.
Thomas above was the recipient of our “first Frenchman we see in a striped shirt” award.
After a few hours of relaxation, the park had become full of queuers, who were looking to buy alcohol to entertain themselves once the park itself had closed and the single onsite bar was the only place to continue getting tanked.
Given the park closing rule was rather new the group was a little annoyed and we opted to move our stuff back off to Thomas’
After another 45 mins of powernapping and an amazing Chicken meal, it was time to head out again, this time to a huge club night Mike had picked out earlier.
The club itself took place in an enormous cirque style tent complete with dome and bleachers.
This photo sucks but you can kind of take in the look of the place.
We kicked on til dawn, as they say.
We said goodbye to the most hardcore of the group and headed home.
Sam didn’t get back to Erik’s til around midday, by which time I was almost ready to move again. We got back on the bikes and met Betty and Ida near the Reichstag building, but quickly decided that we’d be better off nursing our hangovers back at the Tiergarten nearby.
After all it was a damn nice day. We then decided to go get a beer at Der Visionaire.
And then some pizza… at this point I was quite capable of asking for “Vier Berliners, Bitte” so was feeling quite pleased with myself. Fuck knows what would happen if I wanted five, though.
This is Sam being what I suppose he calls “charming”. Again something I’m not really knowledgeable about.
We took the girls via the Berlin wall on our way back to meet Erik, where I was able to confirm that genre, “Funk Rock” has been relegated to a busker style in trendy Berlin, much like, “Folk” and “Gypsy”.
After which we spent a fair bit of time discussing whether Sam should leave us to go to Club Berghain. When I say discussion, I more mean Erik telling Sam that it was the single worst place in the entire of Berlin and perhaps Europe, and Sam nodding and thinking about how he could slip off into a cab and just get going.
Daniel wasn’t taking part in this debate. I believe he was writing some lyrics in his head. Have you ever heard German hip hop? I think I actually prefer it to Australian hip hop. But then again I prefer that noise that underground trains make when they grind against a hard corner to Australian hip hop. Still, the language lends itself to rhyme reasonably well, I think.
INSERT RANDOM GERMAN HIP HOP ARTIST (note: I actually found Daniel’s myspace page but didn’t think he’d want me putting it here)
Eventually Sam did get away, so Erik, Daniel and I visited Astro Bar, Kptn Muller, Primitiv, and then a whole bunch of other bars that I was by then too sloshed to recall. After all, we had a 5am flight to Paris to catch, so sleep was never really going to be an option.
On a side note, nearly all of these places have a 1 Euro glass charge, where you end up collecting a bunch of buttons for each glass you take, which you can return at the end of the night along with the glasses for all the money back. So do you think we ended up with pocketfuls of Euros, or of plastic buttons?
We were pretty glad to get out of Singer109 and find a touch of privacy, so we packed the stuff up and shipped off to Erik’s near Frankfurter Alles.
Erik had a million albums to review so we again found Tom near Alexanderplatz.
Every day at the station they set up one of the cars as a clothing store. And what are the outfits like? Well, I think personally the logo says all you need to know.
We tended to spend a lot of time wandering around a million cafes and restaurants trying to pick one to stop at. Of course, what we were really looking for is a special on ribs, which was precisely what this one offered. Perhaps that’s all we were ever really looking for.
Tom really hadn’t wanted to stop at any of these museums.
In the end we looked at a bunch of pamphlets and decided the real charm was the exterior anyway.
We were accosted at this point by a bunch of tourists who wanted to take photos of us. OF us. Did they think we were some sort of circus act? Maybe that Tom was a semi famous but holidaying jazz musician?
Is this the bike of a jazz musician?
We finally did end up going into the music museum. I just sunk this guy’s battleship… OR played an Em7
The Sony centre had cinemas and this crazy huge dome thing. There were other photos of us looking bewildered and stunned at this location but I think it was more the lack of sleep than anyone else, so I left them out so as not to give the Green Hornet display next to the palm trees too much creedence.
After that we met Jason at his workplace Belushi’s (a million last chance saloon stops in Fortitude Valley Brisbane) for Jager shots that by now seemed almost customary. We were off to White Trash again but then Jason mentions that Golden Gate might be the club for us that night.
Besides, apparently it was all hidden and squat looking and stuffed under a rail bridge, which is the sort of location that makes Berlin clubbing so awesome.
It was the last night for Tom, so we of course kept buying beer in bulk to mark the occasion.
For a moment, at the Golden Gate club, Tom becomes the hipster he was born to be. Hard to tell whether this was the influence of meeting French holidayers Betty and Ida or just something deep in his soul.
Realising we hadn’t eaten for around 14 hours, Sam and I headed to Moritzplatz in search of Kreuzberg, but more importantly some freaking Vietnamese style pulled pork rolls, which were everywhere and awesome. Had the first of many rather crap coffees, but that pig’s slow simmering sacrifice had made me too happy to care.
We finally found Tom again then made the decision to go rent some bikes. I concurrently made the decision to take lots of video footage from said bikes in which not much happens besides an illustration of the truly awesome weather and a sense of how damn easy it was to get around Berlin on one of these spoked contraptions. .
Dear Australian police- I had no helmet on and was using a phone while riding. And probably still a little drunk from the previous night. WHATYAGONNADO, HUH?
Here we’re crossing the Spree via Oberbaumbrucke on the way through Treptower, I think it’s called. Lots of Street art. the Berlin wall is basically North West of us at this point.
I was using google maps trying to figure out where the fuck I was and decided to just copy in the blog and let you figure it out. Thanks.
This are serious moments.
Street art on Schlesische Strasse… damn did I ever stare for ages at those little pink dudes.
Another piece by the artist Blu - aren’t I nice giving you the link?
We stopped for a bit to check out some of the graff’d up art installations across from club der visionaire. Sam wipes bird shit off his arm, it appears.
Tom takes one of the seven photos he would manage on the trip.
Screw photo taking! Ima go swing like a monkey! wahey!
Fun fact: Sam hates British band, “Pulp”.
A nice quiet beer under the willows at Club der Visionare. I really dug this place, like many of the clubs in Berlin it feels like it was pounded out of a squat that just happened to be resting in the perfect location.
"I tell ya I have had it up to HERE with these goddamn hipsters,"
"I like me some of them French Fried Potaters, mmm." - Slingblade, 1996.
Only occasionally broken up by rats swimming across.
HOLY FUCKING NATURE
Here we’re cruising along Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse past a bunch of the Museums. This particular part is an island that sits in the middle of the river.
More museums and old buildings. Heaps majestic and shit.
Shell damage still visible.
At the Berlin Wall.
The wall continues a long way - to the South the view is dominated by the massive O2 Arena.
I’m doing a little photo series called, “Tom looks on.” But what is he looking at? Therein lies the enigma.
I’m not entirely sure where we had ridden to at this point, but after dodging a bunch of drug dealers;
"Hey English man, Weed, Ecstacy, Coke?"Sorry mate I am right out of them at this point,"
UPDATE: I’ve discovered a photosynth of the place, it’s called Tacheles. Lookit.
We ascended some seriously graffiti covered staircases in what once again looked to be a squat to discover three stories of art galleries. I met a particular artist there called Alex Rodin. He was pretty good.
"Riders" Alexander Rodin
This is the trail through the massive Tiergarten in Berlin.
At the Brandenburg Gates
We then decided to head to the Jewish memorial nearby.
It brings out a curious mix of reactions in people. Some feel sombre, some clearly feel parkour would be more appropriate.
The Victory column in the middle of the Tiergarten. For those confused, it was for the Dano Prussion war in 1873. Not that other one that you never even think of in Berlin, ever.
Part of me thinks, “stunning Neo Greek.” the other thinks, “First level Altered Beast.”
We then decided to cross town to have a drink at Tarantino’s, so named after the spade chinned movie crasher. I had my ear chewed off by a limping biker intent on showing me his stomach tattoos and insisting he was on the run after assaulting a police officer in some little German hamlet he was staying at. We also met this seedy looking character, also named Ben, who took us to a club called Happy Burger. He insisted to everyone that he was from New York, but I just want to point out that he was rocking this outfit with SANDALS.
Tom did not really care at this point, so long as dude stopped trying to scab drinks.
Too drunk for manual focus…
That particular night went on into the wee hours, so the next day we really didn’t manage to do much other than book some flights to Paris and meet up with Erik at Jaam, one of those idiosyncratic beach bars that happen in Berlin. We also did a bunch of cycling around checking out the best spots to get roadies and drink on the Canal, but the night was pretty quiet so we settled in reasonably early.
We arrived in Berlin around 10am and jumped straight on the Bus and Train in order to track down Tom. This was made slightly difficult by Tom’s lack of mobile communications. I had set off on the trip determined not to be without my beloved mobile data and purchased a T-mobile sim from an internet cafe, only to burn through 25 precious Euros worth of data in one day due to an auto app update on the iphone. Curse you!
We managed to track down Tom at Alexanderplatz station in the city centre, which was made slightly difficult by the fact the station has 3 levels and around 8 different platforms.
Tom and beard were appearing positively soulful by that stage.
We then jacked into Jason’s wireless for a couple of hours to work out where the hell we were going to stay. An hostel near Janowitzbrucke station called Singer109 turned out to be the best bet, with the only downside being that a high school had clearly booked out half the rooms for some sort of choir trip. That left us feeling like a bunch of of Gold Coast Toolies as we descended the main staircase to go find some 1 litre beer cans to drink in the park, which we proceeded to do immediately.
Two advantages of knowing someone living local: They know how to ask for things in German without just saying the name and holding up the requisite number of fingers. (Which can be confusing anyway due to the three fingers/thumb thing so aptly covered in Inglorious Bastards)
They also know to bring table tennis paddles to use on one of the many tables present in parks all over Berlin.
Schoolin’ everyone in what is not physically possible to be called a serve.
It tastes horrible, but there is so much of it and it’s around 8% so by halfway you don’t care.
Some rather tasty Weisbiers… all of which can be had from the Servo at about 1-30 Euro.
It takes time to get used to the daylight finishing at 11pm… and some photos for proof.
Drunks clamboring on kid’s playgrounds in the middle of the night… Just that it’s still daylight.
It was then off to White Trash - touristy but quite awesome. Papa Roach were playing a “Secret Show” the next night. We knew this because it said, “Papa Roach Secret Show” on the door.
Managed to sleep in til about midday local time. That would have been 8pm in Sydney. Heard loud knocking at the door and decided to answer in my underpants. This straggly haired guy is standing wearing a quizzical expression and a cyan blue shirt, followed closely by a strong waft of last night’s booze.
"Where Isaac?" he demands, "This room Isaac’s," by way of explanation.
I mumble something about me staying there while he is away and shut the door.
Five minutes later he’s knocking again.
"Why are you here," he adds, "you come with me."
I’m a little surprised at this time, thinking the guy is trying to do Isaac a favour. I’m trying to explain things but he seems to get more and more agitated.
"I’m a friend of Isaac’s" I’m trying to explain, "I’ve had a really long flight, I’m trying to get some sleep."
He’s having none of it, not bothering with English anymore and slipping into what I am assuming is German. I’m quite awake at this point.
"Polizei!" he starts yelling, "Polizei outside, you must come!"
I open the door a crack more, by way of illustrating my lack of appropriate daywear. His eyebrows raise and he really starts to look angry, pointing down the hall and yelling, “Polizei!”
Then suddenly he breaks into a smile and says in perfect accented English, “Got ya! I’m a friend of Sam’s. Welcome to Vienna.”
"You fucking little bastard," I manage to say, "you really fucking had me just then."
After laughing at the story, Sam suggests we head back to the Donaufest.
I’m really keen to eat some Bratwurst (or any other greasy local food) so I agree.
In the end we tuck into cheese filled Kassekrainer, pork ribs, and Langos which is deep fried flat bread with garlic and salt… which I unknowingly opted to again have filled with cheese.
At one point I begged Sam to please demonstrate how to dance proper hardcore in Europe. He was only to happy to oblige. Every time he heard more than four kick drums in a row. At any hour or in any company. “It is important to be hardcore in Europe,” he explained.
Disappointed attendees attempt to suicide, only to be thwarted by cancerous global confection duo Ben and Jerry.
As you drink your Jager shot, the crane suddenly drops you from a height of 200 feet onto hard Vienna soil. It’s apparently the ultimate high, though testimonials are demonstrably scarce.
Sam applauds what we thought was a pretty cool shoe-gazey band… abruptly stopping as they take a bow in a matching series of tight teeshirts that spell out their moniker, “SONG.”
DAS IST WEINERPOP
We then decide to cook Mexican and get the rest of the students hanging around drunk, so we stop off and buy some Truthan, believing that would totally have to be pork.
Turns out that Truthan means “Turkey”, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t make a mean burrito. Highly recommended. Also recommended; realising that Schweinfleisch is pork. Clearly hadn’t been listening to enough Colonel Klink before coming.
Lucille and Camille, proving once and for all that French girls are butt ugly.
Finally passed through Frankfurt airport and got my flight to Vienna around midday the next day. Arrived at Spittelau station smelling like 28 hours of recycled air and microwaved food… probably perfect material for their local Biofuel plant.
We then decided it was of utmost importance to eat a Schnitzel larger than our heads.
The most obvious location to acquire said Schnitzels was Figlmuller, where the only small thing was the salt.
Managed to catch some footage of these fairly awesome buskers before rolling out of Vienna city centre
Finally, like two sacks of wet concrete, we rolled ourselves onto a tram and went to check out the Hofburg palace and surrounds.
Prince Eugene of Savoy
Dome, covered in protective netting
We then stopped to grab a Budweiser (Hungarian version, important difference) at a bar above the Art College.
We then had just enough energy to try and catch the end of the Danube outdoor festival. It’s apparently Europe’s largest free festival, and having walked it almost end to end the day after a 28 hour flight I am too fatigued to disagree.
Left the house at midday for a long series of flights to Vienna. None of this was helped by a two hour delay for takeoff, and a hitherto unmentioned midnight stopover between Beijing and Shanghai airport. People were starting to panic about missing connecting flights in the middle of the night, making booking arrangements, etc. I just tried to sit back in my kiddie chair and enjoy the beer.
Shanghai airport was like one huge smokey corridor…. banked up with red eyed travellers receiving their temporary visas just to be shuffled onto the same plane a bewildered hour later.
Beijing Airport was just plain huge… and confusing round 2am.