Saturday, April 24, 2010

And then Steve Irwin was like...

So today we bought a glass bull full of Sangria.

We're at our 3rd hostel altogether, and our 2nd in Barcelona. Yeah, Spain. WTF, who let this happen???
This place is pretty nice, and right now it's about 11pm and we're in the common room, which is playing some odd grrl-power metal shouty music which is in English, but still isn't making any sense.

Last night we flew in at about 9pm, and quite successfully made our way to the hostel without getting mugged or lost, despite the slightly dodgy aura of the whole city we've seen thus far. We slept pretty badly in the hostel bunks because not only were we in the NOISIEST BUNK EVER, the mattresses were pretty uncomfy, and I kept waking up to check the time. Then this morning we moved to our other hostel, went out to La Sagrada Familia and took some photos, wandered about a bit, had some drinks and lunch at a weird Italian buffet place where the staff really wanted us to stay and eat, and the food was pretty good, then came back and napped =P

Anyway, here's a quick run down of our meals in Spain thus far:

Dinner 22/04 at Candelas Raval (as recommended by Corinne)
Chris: Asparagus risotto
Liz: Linguine with wild mushrooms (nom nom nom)

Breakfast 23/04 complimentary hostel breakfast
Chris & Liz: Crappy white toast with jam/vegemite (Thanks Razz)

Pre-Lunch Drinks at an empty little bar while we waited for lunch menus to start

Lunch 23/04 strange Italian buffet near Sagrada Familia
Chris & Liz: Carrots, pasta salad, lentil soup, peas, beans, some weird boiled-looking sausages which were tasty nonetheless, "roast beef" which looked and tasted like pork.

Pre-Dinner drinks at 'London Bar', which Chris pointed out had an English name, Irish decor, was in Spain and was playing AC/DC...they also had a trapeze hanging from the ceiling...

Dinner and dessert 23/04 at Candelas Raval (again, because we're big wusses)
Chris: The House Burger which, it turns out, is just a rissole, no bun or anything. It was pretty nice anyway. Raspberry cheesecake (on the menu it's listed as raspberry and fresh cheese pie =P)
Liz: Truffle and parmesan Ravioli. Omg yum =). Chocolate 'coulant' (I thought it was just chocolate sauce, but it's actually a little chocolate pudding type thing with warm melty chocolate in the middle) with pistachio icecream. The pistachio icecream must have run out thought because I got mango sorbet and a couple of pistachios on the side.

So far that's it. Chris has been drinking Estrella, which is everywhere here, and he says it's pretty good. I've been sticking to wine because it's easier to order than a mixed drink, though I did have a chocolate cocktail at the lunch place today, which was yummy.

Well, I'm sure we'll put more photos up before we leave Barcelona. We're going to try to empty our camera out while we're here because there's full size computers that we should hopefully be able to compress the photos on before uploading them to somewhere.
We're here for 5 nights before heading off to Zaragoza, which I think will probably force us to speak real Spanish instead of just pointing and nodding and smiling...
We'll be checking emails pretty much every day if we can. Oh, and the sangria bull. Yeah. Someone's going to be getting that (empty) in the mail probably =P


Monday, April 19, 2010

A Picture Post

I thought it was high time we had some photos!

Ignore the pink eyes...this is one of many super squirrel friends we've made thus far. This one was in St James' Park in London.

Look at that sky! It hasn't rained the whole time we've been here (not to jinx it...)
Obviously, this is the outside of St Paul's Cathedral in London.
And this is us being blown off the top of the cathedral...Chris' head and the London Eye. Too pricey for us on our cheapskate budget =P

And this is Chris, falling in love at a tiny weeny pub in Victoria somewhere

At Marylebone station, waiting for our train to Stratford. I was wearing almost all the clothes I had. A bit chilly, wot

The beer collection here at Stratfrord. It's still growing.

And this was the trout farm yesterday.

Today we were off to the races, but unfortunately didn't have any luck in our bets. I did, however, have a little nap in the semi-sun, and all round it was quite a nice day out.

Tomorrow, we're planning on hiring some bikes and riding about the town and along a cycleway, so expect the next post to be full of saddle-soreness and walking funny =P


Friday, April 16, 2010

Of art and wankers.

Right so we had to leave the Tate before security escorted us out thanks to the stupidest thing I've ever seen.
Homeless people could do better than this.
I think it was probably done by Gypsies.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry, someone made money from this, which I find funny as they hoodwinked a lot of idiots, but its also on display in a major gallery (major waste of space?) and thousands of people go through every day to ooo and aaah at it.
The abomination I am referring to is this:

Joseph Beuys ~ Lightning with Stag in its Glare
Have a good look.
Yes, those are poops made from clay.
Yes that is an ironing board coated in aluminium
It's strange to look at, but whatever floats your boat.
It wasn't until I read the description that I became slightly upset.
Brace yourself...
"In the massive installation Lightning with Stag in its Glare (1958-85), the suspended, bronze triangle embodies the energy of a powerful flash of lightning, which illuminates a group of half-formed creatures. The ‘stag’ of the title was originally made from an ironing board and then cast in bright aluminium to suggest the glare of the lightning. The cart represents a goat, and the clods of bronze on the floor are primordial creatures. A small compass, mounted on top of a box, is another reference, with the lightning flash itself, to the natural energies of the earth."
Right, those of you who are still with us (assuming some of you have perished after your heads exploded), lets recap.
The huge bronze triangle represents a lightning flash, right.
Half formed creatures, also known as poops. I wasn't aware poops were sentient, I feel a bit bad about flushing so many of them now, oh well.
The 'stag' is made from an ironing board, good(I like how the idiot who filmed this overlayed dodgy pictures onto it, makes it much easier to see.)
The cart represents a goat.
At this point I started screaming about the obscenity of it all. I went through about 15 emotions in 20 seconds from the sheer ridiculousness of it all. We were asked to leave after I tried to strangle some twat wearing a turtle neck and carrying a mac. If the goal of this piece was to trigger emotions/start a genocide of arty types then mission accomplished. Maybe that wasn't the goal, maybe the artist was just high, but whatever the case arty farty turtle necks are first against the wall when my mutant super soldiers take control of the cities. At least the tate was free, it was shit house.

Even before we'd been chucked I'd had 3 better ideas.
1) (obvious but...) replace all the crap with planes, you can never have too many air power museums.

2) The tate is built in an old power plant, so my themed idea was a magnetic race track that would go all over the floor, through some tunnels and up the walls, and upside down on the roof. Racers would mount harleys with metal wheels and then race all around the inside of the tate. The tate would also be renamed to The Thunderdome.

3) maintaining the idea of poops, we will suspend the poops from the roof, the viewer will don a space helmet or fish bowl and run through the poops, being smashed in the helmet as they go. I propose to call this shitstorm in space.

St Pauls Cathedral was awesome and certainly not free at 12 pounds 95 p for entry. Good old tax free christianity, some things never change.
Found the british home of the church of scientology, another trustworthy tax free pyramid scheme

nice digs for religious chaps eh?

and then we found a brilliant pub with spitfire on tap and everything was ok again. Not a bad day overall.. but really just save your cash and go to the RAF Museum, it's fucking awesome. They also have spitfire, both kinds:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wherein we are artists

Here we are (were) on a train from London to Stratford. I couldn't get the wireless working on the train, so I'm writing this in word and it will be posted some time later this evening probably.

We've spent the last 2 nights in our first hostel, and it wasn't bad. The people were friendly, the rooms and bathrooms were clean and he food was decent and cheap. We spent yesterday hoofing it around London, starting at St Paul's cathedral where we took illicit photographs and climbed a million stairs up to the 2nd topmost dome. The cathedral was pretty magnificent, and Chris was full of tidbits about it, because he watched a doco about it on the plane from Dubai.

After that we walked across the Millenium Bridge to the Tate, where Chris proceeded to make fun of the art (I'm sure I can convince him to write a rant on one piece in particular) and so we left after about 15 mins.It was very noisy and full of school groups from some very loud country, so I wasn't too miffed about leaving. Some of the pieces were pretty cool, but reading the descriptions was just too much for me. Jack – make Andrew promise that if he beomes a world famous artist, he won't take himself too seriously.

After the Tate, Chris and I stumbled upon a small park full of small children in bright yellow safety vests rolling down a hill while their nannys watched was very peculiar.

Then we decided we would open our own art exhibition with a model of he Titanic and kittens in lifejackets. Then we will be rich because everyone loves kittens.

On to the London Eye, where we decreed the line to be too long and the prices too expensive (£17.80 each!?) so we sat and rested our weary feet for a few minutes before pressing on to Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, where I sat and ate a Tesco sandwich and Chris had a Yorkie bar (Not for girls!) and we watched the world go by. From here we attempted to get to Harrods but instead got kind of lost and found a Topshop, where I bought some socks and a tshirt...though it's more jumper weather here, I'm holding out hope that I'll get to wear it soon. By then it was almost 5pm, so I found Chris a nice little (very little) pub as a reward for letting me shop, and we lounged there for another hour or so, listening to the vey British businessmen at the next table and the South Africans on the other side talk very loudly about the economy and voting and things which concern us not.

Bits and Pieces

I think we've confused a few shop-people with our “see you later”s and so on. And one gentleman who walked into me told me not to apologise as it was his fault entirely. And then another guy actually stopped, turned around and apologised for accidentally knocking me with his backpack. Basically, there are a lot more polite people here than at home, so it seems.

Catching the Tube wasn't as daunting as it first seemed, especially after we'd gotten our Tube maps and realised you can pretty much get anywhere by about 10 different routes. I must say though, we've come across a lot of non-English speakers on the Tube and in shops and stuff, which for me at least has made the fact that we're on the other side of the world still seem kind of unreal.

Oh, and we had a fun game of semi-charades with the Polish(?) girl at the cafe we had breakfast at yesterday morning wherein she was baffled by our swipe card (hey mostly use microchips in their cards here) and then it turned out we only had to pay £13, not £30 which is what I misheard her say...

Yesterday evening we sort of made friends with a couple of Spanish girls in our dorm at the hostel, who got very excited when we said we were from Australia, because they were in London to see the John Butler Trio.

And Chris thinks French people are the noisiest he's ever met. =P

More later, I promise! We'll be in Stratford until the 22nd, when we fly to Barcelona and really throw ourselves in the deep end. I'm sure there will be some stories after that particular adventure.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

We're alive!

Today is our first full day on the other side of the world!
Our flight yesterday was OK, but we were kind of over it by the second leg. Emirates were pretty good, and the food was decent, but I'd have been happy if they'd just fed us cheese and crackers the whole way.

We arrived in London at 8pm last night, and managed to stay up until about midnight before crashing. Jet lag doesn't seem so bad from this end, because today I feel fine.
Chris is making himself a toad in the hole while I write this, and guess what - it's SUNNY outside!
We'll be going to Camden markets today with Corinne and Jamie, and then probably just wander around the city this evening. Maybe go out for dinner...

Not a lot else to update with at the moment, so I might go have some breakfast.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

T Minus 15 hours

We're still milling about the house, still packing, and it still isn't quite real...
How's that for a first post, huh? I've been trying for a few hours to think of something vaguely interesting to put in here, but nothing has been forthcoming, so there you go. Enjoy!

There may be an update from Dubai, but I don't know if we'll get internet access. I suppose I could write a post on the plane...crazy Emirates and their airborne internet.

We have to leave the house at 2am for the airport tonight, so wish us luck!