My shiny little online spot to help y'all keep track of me while I galavant around London.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quarterly Roundup: The Return

As my few remaining readers (as in, Joie and Daorcey) have pointed out, it's been a while. So here's more words to read, tho I warn ya, it's essentially a repeat of last round... as in, places I've been. What else is there, really?

So when we left off, I was about to head off to Spain for Christmas there with my parents. It's the first time since I moved out to London-land that I haven't gone home for Christmas, so it was good they came out. Otherwise, I probably would have drunken myself near-death out of sheer depression. So yay for that.

We stayed near a town called Estepona on the Costa del Sol. It's all very lovely, but it is dead over the holidays. Our resort was beautiful, and the only other person we saw there was the security guard. On top of that, we had hella shitty weather -- note the name. Costa del Sol. It's supposed to be sunny 330 days of the year. It rained pretty well every day we were there. It's not supposed to do that.

That said, we still got out and saw a lot of stuff and it was wonderful to spend so much time with them, even if it did bring out the grumpy teenager-like side of me. Seville was beautiful, tho we didn't visit the barbers. Rhonda and the pueblo blancos were super cool. The bullfight we saw, not so much. My mom and I actually walked out after the second fight -- my mom felt sick, and I wanted to punch someone. Cheering wankers on for torturing animals to death, not really my kind of thing, you'll not be surprised to learn.

We also took a day trip to Gibraltar, where the highway runs across the airport landing strip, and I nearly got bitten by a monkey. I would say that Gibraltar is like Britain, but warmer; however, it rained.

I also managed to talk my parents into a trip to Morroco. Neither seemed too keen on it, but then we were standing on the Rock (aka Gibraltar) looking out toward Africa, and that seemed to convince my dad. I loved Tangier, and would go back anytime. It's dirty and colourful and lots of fun. We did touristy stuff like ride a camel -- harder than it looks -- and my mom got hassled by a rug salesman. He actually followed her around the market. And I had as much mint tea as I could... I love that stuff.

Back in London, in February, it snowed. I mean, proper snowed. This doesn't happen often here; a light dusting is enough to shut the airports down, and we got several inches. Even better, it was the wet stuff -- perfect for snowballs and snowmen.

I worked from home that day, but managed to sneak out of the house for an hour to go for a walk. So much fun! There were snowmen built everywhere, like they were invading. And in a few places there's be three big snowballs feet high lined up -- people had clearly tried to make massive ones, not realising it's rather hard to stack them when they're that big...

At the end of the month, I had a work trip to Cannes, so stayed up for the weekend to tour around. On a friend's advice, I checked out a chateau a few miles out of Cannes called La Napoule. It sits right on the sea, and was rebuilt by an American artist and his wife. They filled the garden with crazy-ass statues and carved faces and animals into the walls. Everywhere I looked, there was something random to surprise me -- a weird statue, a face above a window, and above the main door, they carved the fairytale phrase "once upon a time...". Very sweet and beautiful.

From there, I wandered down to Nice, which had a cool carnival going on, and was a good base to visit Monaco and Monte Carlo. On the way to that tax haven, I stopped off at a village called Eze, which is set up on top of a cliff overlooking the Med. Again, perfect views. I want a house overlooking the sea...

In March, I managed to travel for FUN not work -- crazy times, I know. Kris is living out in Berlin for a few months this summer, so went to see him. Berlin was pretty cool, and it's always good to have a tour guide. And, a free place to stay. Did all the usual touristy stuff -- saw the Brandenburg Gate, bits of the wall, Checkpoint Charlie -- but also wandered into the Turkish district, where we had some damn fine Shwarmas and mint tea... noticing a trend here?

Berlin's weirdly cheap for a capital city. Kris and Tina have a two bedroom apartment for less than I pay to live in a five-person houseshare, and the beer and food and transport is all well cheaper than London. Time to learn German, then?

And that's it for travel... for ten days at least. (Noticing another trend here?) I'm back home in Calgary for a week -- need to visit my preggers sisters. (Yes, plural, they've synchronised.)

In May, I've got DarNat visiting, and we're heading out to Stockholm -- mostly because it was cheap -- for a weekend, and who knows what else we'll get up to. I predict pubs and beer will feature rather frequently...

Pictures are all up on Facebook and a few random London ones are on Flickr.

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Blogger Daorcey said...

Huzzah for the return!


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