Friday, 30 January 2009

Travel Observations

Well I spent the past two months travelling a bit and I have observed a few things that I'm going to write about right now. I'm not going to bother writing too much detail at the moment, you will have to travel yourself.

It's also "part one" of a "series" of more then one parts that I will write about based on this trip.

Firstly, if the Parisian parking inspectors started to enforce parking laws in the same manner that you see here in Australia the government would be a hell of a lot richer, and the number of available parking spaces would be at least halved.

Incidentally French people seemed rather willing to speak English. It also helps if you know how to ask if they can in French. Will be writing more on Paris.

Brussels is rather boring but if you go in the off season you can find really cheap, good three course meals for about 10 Euros (about A$20). It's one of those choose from a set number of choices menus but one of the choices was a pepper steak.

Den Haag is nice and rather relaxed and unlike Amsterdam is far more car friendly.

If you are an Australian never, ever think of food portions in Australian terms when in Germany. I ordered a "kleine portion" at the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum in Bremerhaven and was given three plates of food.

Prague is quite nice in the winter. The only problem is that since all the touristy things are located close to each other you will be surrounded by tourists.

Insurance companies in Europe are far more understanding then Australian ones. Until they offer you a hire car which comes standard with summer tyres. Does not help when you want to cross the Alps.

Germany has many cigarette and gumball machine things that you see along the side of the roads. If they did that here the machines would be stolen within minutes. Also cigarette packets only tell you that smoking can kill you. No pictures.

The same goes for pedestrian malls. There were no bollards protecting the Mac shop in München from being ram raided because they don't seem to do that thing there.

If you happen to head over the Brenner pass and you stop at the Europabrücke to look around, don't go to the McDonalds at the rest stop. Honestly, take the time and go to the restaurant instead.

The roads in Italy have along the sides of the roads either a) rubbish, or b) prostitutes.

I have many things to say about the Italian version of Wheel of Fortune, but I'm going to write a whole post on that.

The Forum Romanum is not very well signed, and the Colosseum has no signs at all. The official Colosseum tour is only 4 Euros, the other tours from some group thingy include the Colosseum and the Forum but are far more expensive.

For a tour guide for Rome (and the Vatican) one name: Jason Spiehler. Will definitely write more.

Incidentally Rome is quite expensive, and Roman pizza leaves a lot to be desired. (Time and the fact that Naples was flooded are the reasons why I didn't get to see Pompeii, or eat pizza from the birthplace of the food).

15 Euros to climb the Leaning Tower. So I didn't.

If you go to the Königsschlösser I personally think you shouldn't bother seeing Hohenschwangau. The tour is very rushed. Neuschwanstein however is far more relaxed.

I do wonder if Wagner was somewhat annoyed that they stopped work on the castle, considering that it was designed to be an embodiment of his operas.

Malaysia is ok to go to at the end of the wet season, except if you want lots of humidity. More will be written here as well.

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