Finding Peace on the Beach. Eceabat Turkey.

Eceabat Beach Turkey

Feeling the love in Turkey

After the somber experience at ANZAC cove we made our way to the easy-going Eceabat. Eceabat is this sleepy beach side town where you can look over to Asia. We all just sat around in a circle and reflected on our day and life in general. It was a perfect way to chill out and relax after the emotionally draining experience of Gallipoli. The beach was amazing and the beach bar sold cheap beer. I have become a big fan of beach bars. We sat around chatting drinking ice-cold beers and watching the sunset on this day that we will never forget.

Contiki on the beach Turkey

Everyone enjoying the beach

We pretty much had the entire beach to ourselves except for this small group of guys. They loved that we were having a great time and attempted to teach us their football teams song. So all the boys lined up in the water and started to jump around and singing this random song that we had no idea what we were saying, what language or how badly we were butchering it. The guys seemed to really love it and were so happy, or so we think. We couldn’t speak their language or them ours. But somehow that didn’t matter. It was just this mutual understanding between travellers. Music and song span languages and the passion that these guys had for that song was contagious.

Eceabat Beach Turkey

The boys enjoying the laid back vibe of Eceabat

Eceabat beach Turkey

Having a ball on the beach

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Cheers

Shane

One Life One Search.

The Day I finally make it to ANZAC Cove.

This morning we fare well Greece and travel into Turkey. Today is the day that I have been looking forward to since I learnt of the ANZAC story back in Primary School. Today I see ANZAC Cove and get to pay my respects to the ANZAC troupes that fought for the life that I now live. These soldiers fought and died so us Aussies can be free. I new it would be an emotional day but I had no idea of the power of this place. I am finding it hard even now to put what I felt, my emotions into words for you to read?

ANZAC Cove, Contiki

Kristy and Shane at ANZAC Cove. Gallipoli

I remember standing ankle deep in the water at ANZAC Cove and looking up. I wondered what the soldiers thought when they saw that huge cliff?

ANZAC Cove, Contiki, Gallipoli

Pondering the ANZAC’s

I found myself looking out from the Lone Pine memorial down over the mountains and the dense vegetation. How did they get this far? I read the names on the memorials, so many souls lost. I was taken back by the beauty of the place and how calm it seemed. Thoughts of the horrific bloodshed this place had seen not even 100 years ago flooded over me.

ANZAC Cove, Contiki

ANZAC Memorial

There was this eery calm over this sacred place that I new everyone could feel. The entire 43 Contiki crew was together in mutual silence. Everyone was in their own little place, thinking? What ever they were thinking, they were getting their own peace from this place.

Lone Pine Memorial, Contiki

Shane at Lone Pine

I would like to say I walked away from ANZAC cove with a clear head and some kind of greater understanding, but I can not. This place left such a mark on my soul, I feel needed to be there. I am blessed that I have the freedom that allows me to visit such an important place in my countries history.

Lone Pine Memorial

Kristy and Shane at Lone Pine

To the soldiers fought and those that lost their lives, thank you.

I leave you with “The Ode” I have heard this at every ANZAC day since I was a kid.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn,

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them”.

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One Life, One Search.

Fair Well to our buddies and Hello to the Newbies

Contiki in Switzerland

Enjoying a beer in Switzerland.

Well one of our first stops after the standard bus tour around Athens was the Athens Designer Outlet Mall, which we were actually hanging out for. Not for the designer clothes, as you can see I am not really into popular fashion, but I had been told that there is a camera store there and I will finally be able to replace the camera we had stolen way back in Rome. We had decided not to splash out and get another DSLR, but to get a compact camera with a good lens and if it was possible, one that takes panorama photos. We ended up bargaining with the guy and getting a little Samsung, with panorama, a few free cards and a little pouch for it. I also managed to replace my day pack that had busted its straps a week earlier, so it was a successful outing.

Contiki in Greece

Visiting Ancient Greece

As all tourist do when they arrive in Athens is head up to The Acropolis and Contiki are no different. It is definitely the place to see in Athens and is worth the look. From up there on top of the mountain you can not help but imagine what it would of been like back in Ancient Greek times. This giant building in sparkling white stone perched high up in the sky’s, looking over the town below, it really would of been a sight to

Contiki at the Acropolis

I could just imagine

see and show of strength and power. The day was super hot, not uncommon for Greece and as we had slowly been accustomed to, the Acropolis was covered in

Contiki in Greece

Preserving these ruins for generations to come

scaffolding. I can understand that these ancient structures need some repairs to keep them for generations and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but you always hear some annoying tourist complaining about the unsightly scaffolding.

That night we had our farewell dinner for the departing portion of the tour the “Southern Trek”. It was an emotional dinner as we had grown very close to the entire crew over the last 21 days together. It is quite amazing how quickly you grow relationships with strangers when you pretty much spend all day ever day in each others pockets We all had mixed emotions, we were excited to meet the new crew and eager to get to know them but saying good bye to our new life long friends was unexpectantly hard.

In the morning the new crew members started to turn up and we all started to get to know them. We had decided that we would play a practical joke on the newbies, in an attempt to break the ice. We had Nathan pretend to have Tourette’s syndrome and would yell out MUM at the top of his lungs just randomly. We had this full storyline behind it and even had a few of the newbies fooled for awhile.

Contiki at Thermopylae,

Shane doing his best Spartan impersonation.

We were soon back in the coach and heading north towards Kavala we got to see the mythical Mt Olympus, Greece’s highest peak. We stopped at the famous Thermopylae, the location of where just 300 Spartan Soldiers held off the invading Persian Army’s masses of thousands. The next day we were about to visit the one place that I really wanted to see and such a special and emotional place for all the Aussie’s that make the pilgrimage, Gallipoli. I didn’t know how to prepare myself and was lost in my thoughts, the entire build up got the better of me and i was just waiting to see it myself.

 

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One Life, One Search.

Georges Boat. Nuff Said

Well we have made it to Corfu, this is one of our extended stays so we get 3 days here. I had been told that Corfu is a party island and to look forward to the infamous Georges Boat Tour.

 

Georges Boat Corfu

Are you ready for Corfu???

We set up camp, and wondered down the path to the beach. It is right there, just there only 1 minute walk. This place is awesome, there are bars and restaurants quite literally on the beach, you can hire an umbrella and deck chairs so you can hang out with all the “Cool Kids” on the beach. As you do when on Contiki you grab a drink and start to Party. We then jumped straight on the famous Georges Boat tour and met the one and only George, I don’t think this planet could handle two of this man. 

We were told not to drink until we hit the first of the island stops and had a try at all the adventure water sports.

 

Georges boat wakeboarding

1st Every attempt at wakeboarding

I learnt how to Wake Board which I now think is my new hobby as I just loved it. Then my wife and I went parasailing, it was just brilliant up there. You could see for ever, it was like you were flying. Until your legs started to get numb from the pressure on the harness. You had to try and sit in the harness to take the pressure off your legs. At one stage the driver slowed the boat down so much that we were able to run on the water. Well Kristy could I got dunked as I am almost a foot taller then her.

 

Georges Boat, Parasailing

Walking on water

At one of the first stops we were all jumping off the boat and our little Japanese pocket rocket Ren, was doing all these crazy front flips and just going nuts. It was so brilliant to see. We were told of a tunnel that you could swim through right up on the cliff face. So we went and investigated, it was pretty tight and there was no way that I was going through it but a few of the guys did. It would of been pretty bloody scary and squeezy.

Georges boat wakeboarding

Getting some instructions

 

Geaorges boat Wakeboarding

1st shot at standing up

George is this larger then life bloke who if you met him anywhere else in the world would be a Seedy Old Man but as he is in Greece and runs a boat tour that is famous for his Seediness it just works. He has this sticker on the cabin. “Sixty and Sexy”. You can also buy his famous singlets, if you have any friends who have done a George’s boat tour they would have one. They are completely wrong on all levels and are seriously inappropriate, however I did get one. Now I am a little inclined to get naked fairly often and not ashamed of it, so I was a little disappointed when I heard that Nudie Bay/ Hanky Panky Island or what ever it was called had been banned. It didn’t really make a difference I jumped in and got nude, so did a few of us. It was so funny when George slowed the boat down he would yell out, everyone off the boat and you had to just jump off the moving boat.

George gets everyone up on the front of the boat to sing either their national anthem or a famous song about there country. So country by country got up. It was pretty cool as we had, Aussies, Kiwis, Canadians, Americans, South Africans, English and a Japanese. That night we partied at the famous Contiki Toga party. It is a great night but be prepared, it is a little seedy, but a lot of fun.

Corfu Toga party

Our Contiki crew partying it up, Toga Style!

The next day had us some free time and we just kind of wondered around Corfu, checking out all the little shops, markets eating at the local spots. I got addicted to Gyro’s, the greek version of the Kebab. We found this little shop in the old town who made awesome Gyro’s. We stopped there every day and ordered a different Gyro. Gyros are these wraps with what ever you want in them but they also have french fries in them, just brilliant, especially when you are hung over. I just loved that place, we always gave them a big tip for all the great service. He must of loved us as we always brought more and more people back each time. On the last day we turned up ordered our food and all these extra drinks arrived on our table. I just wish I remembered the name of the place so you can all check it out. It was a small cafe in the old town and on a corner, hope that helps? We also decided to get some tattoo’s. I already had my design and we found a place that was recommended to us                      “Dimitris Grapsias Koi-Tattoo“. We had been talking about the tattoo’s for a little while and ended up with 6 of us all getting inked.

Corfu Tattoo

One Life One Search is my philosophy.

 

The next day we were once again on a ferry and heading to mainland Greece and to hit up the Greece’s capital Athens. Sadly we would be saying good by to half of our crew but soon to gain the new peeps that we will spend the next 2 weeks with, travelling up Eastern Europe.

Thank you for stopping by mykombiandi, if you liked this post please feel free to share with all your friends. You can follow me on facebook, instagram, youtube or on wordpress by clicking on the “Follow” button or even via email, simply click on the “Follow Via Email” button. Thanks again.

One Life, One Search

Ancient Brothels and Lemocello

This day was a whirl-wind day, we started in Rome, had lunch in Capri and dinner in Sorrento. We started early, on a ferry ride from Rome to the Island of Capri where we could get a glimpse of the “High Life”. This Island is for the rich and famous. It was so expensive we could hardly afford to buy lunch and a few beers stretched the budget and almost destroyed a few of the younger Contiki crew members. We got together for drinks and hired a little dingy, so we could see some of the famous spots.

Nathan and Shane in their Dingy

Cruising around Capri, backpacker style

It was a bit of a rush as we had to catch the ferry back to the mainland for dinner that night in Sorrento. We drove the boat to the Blue Grotto and jumped in for a swim. The water was blue as blue and so clear you could easily see the bottom. This was an added bonus as we could see the rocks lying on the sea bed. As we were leaving we noticed another bunch of travellers who were stuck right up close to the cliff in their hire boat. They had dropped anchor exactly where they were told not to, on the shallow rocks. We couldn’t leave them like that so we went over and gave them a hand. We pulled up along side them, tied a rope to their dinghy and pulled them off the rock that their anchor was attached to. Once they were free we carried onto the amazing Hole in the Rock (Scopolo) which we were told “DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH” the Hole in Rock.

The hole in the rock

Do not drive through the hole in the rock

We seriously thought about driving through, it was huge but our better judgement decided not to. We carried on, having a few drinks, stopping now and then for a swim and bumping into some of our friends.

Isle of Capri

Swimming in the bluest water

The Blue Grotto

How blue is that water???

Now when I say that Capri is for the Rich and Famous, I am not pulling your leg. Check this Mega Yacht out. This private Mega Yacht was chilling out in its own private bay. It was HUGE!!!! We struggled to get the entire thing in a photo. I could not see anyone other then the workers on the yacht. There were people cleaning the many levels of decks, some people painting the boat and what I think was an electrician changing a few light bulbs, I was thinking that could be me.

That night we found ourselves walking the skinny side streets in Sorrento, over looking the sheer cliffs and over the magnificent views of the coast and the Bay of Naples. My wife was in heaven tasting the delicious local liqueur Lemoncello. Which we ended up buying some hand painted bottles in the shape of an “Italian Boot”.

The painting's on the wall

Menu???

The next morning we stepped back in time to check out the well preserved ancient ruins of the infamous city of Pompei. This place amazed me as it has amazed millions of people. It was incredible to see the remains of ancient life frozen in history. I think our tour guide made the experience even more memorable. He was a legend and just oozed passion for Pompei.

Pompei resident

It was amazing how they found these people

Pompei Ruins

Beautiful day to explore Pompei

Pompei Ruins

Pompei Brothel

How would you like it sir?

I found the worlds oldest industry in Pompei very interesting. I don’t really know what that says about me but it was interesting for me, coming from a country town in regional Western Australia that is well known for its colourful history of brothels. We walked through one of Pompei’s brothels and there were still well preserved paintings on the wall. The tour guide explained that the paintings were a kind of “menu”.

Pompei Brothel

Menu sir???

Pompei Brothel

Comfy beds

Pompei Brothel

Penis Paver

I remember a story that the guide told us. He said that if you were wondering around the maze like winding, skinny streets of Pompei, how could you find a brothel? He said this looking down and we all noticed the penis shaped paving brick that we were standing around. Apparently the direction of the penis directs you to the nearest brothel. An ingenious way I think?

Mt Vesuvius

View over The Bay of Naples

After visiting Pompei we were treated to a surprise trip up tp Mt Vesuvius. The drive up was impressive, with really tight turns and sheer cliffs drops at the edge of the road. Our awesome coach driver Rado got to show his skills behind the wheel of the huge Contiki coach. The path up to the volcano rim was riddled with loose rocks that if it were not for the volcano I was certain were there to trip you up. Once at the top we were treated with an amazing view over The Bay of Naples.

Mt Vesuvius

At the top of the Volcano that buried Pompei

Mt Vesuvius

There is always someone trying to sell you something.


That night we boarded an over night boat from Italy to Greece, ready to get our party on in Corfu.

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One Life, One Search

Perspex Police Stations, Thieving Backpackers and Ancient Rome

Well Rome hit home hard. It was one of the places that I was most excited to see but just ended in a bad experience. The first night we got our expensive DSLR camera stolen and lost 17 days worth of photos. So Rome started off in the pits. The Contiki coach had been used over night to pick up another Contiki crew from a club in town that was serving cheap drinks.. They had spewed all over the seats in the coach and had managed to nick our friends bag with their phones which were found after a full tent search. But we never found our camera. So that morning after trying to settle myself down and keeping my wife from going crazy we missed our Contiki’s tour of the Colosseum and spent the morning aimlessly wondering around the dodgy back streets looking for the police station arguing with each other. Have you ever had to find a place in a strange city with a map in another language, just trying to match street signs? Well it is not easy, especially when you are arguing and you’re both so worked up as it is, it just does not make for a very pleasant way to start a day.

After a few hours of bickering and sweltering in the Roman 40+ degree summer heat, asking for directions at tiny little shops and having to buy a chocolate to get directions we noticed a Polizia car drive past. Then we turned a corner and saw another one and then the sign! The Polizia sign was like a giant neon beacon in the sky. Well not really, it was an almost ancient sign in the same condition as the colosseum. We looked inside and it was this dodgy derelict building, with dirty faded green paint and a very scary looking police officer behind a perspex window which was barley see-through. He started to speak to us in his language to which our bewildered looks must of gave it away that we did not speak Italian. “English” is all I could say to which the response was a shrug of his shoulders and he walked off. I thought that was it, after hours of wondering around we were not going to get service anyway. A few moments later another officer said “Come”. We walked up the stairs and into a decrepit office, he put a piece of paper in front of us, it was in Italian and some English. We figured out what we needed to do. So filled it out, the officer signed it and we were off. The officer really didn’t care one bit, he knew that we just needed it for our insurance. So it was almost as if he just made it easy for us, get us in and out, without much speaking.

So now we were free to roam around Rome. We could see the colosseum, as you can pretty much everywhere in Rome, it is huge. As we got closer we saw the crowds and we started to get the typical tourist hotspot scammers coming at us. Little did they know that we were already not having a good day and they were just in my way. I think they soon got the picture.

Juice in Rome

This was the saving grace of our shit day

We decided to stop for something to eat and drink at this little café that we had passed earlier a few streets back. Lucky we did as we had this amazing fresh juice. It doubled up as a way to de-stress after the excitement of the morning.

colosseum tour

The colossal colosseum

When it felt right to move on we made our way to the colosseum. I was not going to let a thieving backpacker ruin my Rome experience. We brought a guided tour and it was pretty bloody awesome. Turns out it was a better tour then the Contiki crew did. We got to go under the stage and right up to the very top. These two spots are only accessible with the official tour. We got to see how they operated the stage floor and even got a close look at how the roof parts were connected.

The official colosseum tour

Shane under the colosseum

As you could imagine we were not in the mood for much after our morning so we just wondered around, brought some lunch at a rather expensive café on the hill over looking the colosseum. It was ordinary food but a bloody good view. Later that night we caught up with our crew and had a few drinks and a swim in the pool. A nice way to end a shit day.

Official tour of the colosseum

Kristy at the Top of the colosseum

Vatican City

The Vatican City

The next morning we wondered up to the Vatican City. Another country off the list. Now a little tip: purchase your water before walking into the Vatican City. It is much cheaper in Rome then inside the gates, more then double the price actually. I suppose the pope needs to make money some way? Any way back to the Vatican City, it is huge and it is grand! I am

Vatican City Rome

The grand entrance to the Vatican City

not religious at all but this place is pretty special. The amount of money here is astronomical. There is gold everywhere, grand statues and huge paintings. My wife and I are always conscious of what we wear when visiting religious areas. However we did see some tourists being asked to cover up and offered cloth, if they didn’t cover up they were not let in. Please, if you are a visitor to any religious site please be respectful.

We wondered around and visited the St Peters Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. We met up with a few of the crew and chilled out on the steps in the summer sun, until we were told to move on by the guards. To which we then found ourselves at a bar down the road. All in all Rome is a place that you must see. I’m happy I did but I won’t be rushing back. It is dirty, it is hectic and it is full of scammers and dodgy people. However it is full of history and magnificent ancient monuments and you can escape the chaos and find your little espresso café in a back street and see how the locals live. Maybe just maybe not have a scammer trying to do you over. Go see Rome but keep all your personnel belongings close by, do not flash your smart phone or cash around and certainly wear your travel bag under your shirt.

What was your Rome experience?

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Thank you Vee for letting us steal some of your photos.

One Life, One Search

Thinking on the Tower of Pisa

We all left Venice with sore heads and headed towards Florence. Our Contiki coach wound its way through the Apennine Mountains and through the breathtaking Tuscan country side to the “Renaissance” city of Florence. We stopped at one of the most recognisable site in Europe, The Leaning Tower of Pisa or simple “Tower of Pisa”.

The Tower of Pisa's massive lean

The unique Leaning Tower of Pisa

This very unique structure obviously was never designed to lean. However during construction the famous tilt began, caused by an inadequate foundation. I completed my apprenticeship in the construction industry and am well aware of the importance of a good foundation. Something that that caught my eye on this tower is you can see that the builders attempted to rectify the tilt. Near the top you notice that they have adjusted the levels in an attempt to correct the tilt. This just adds to the uniqueness of this bazaar tourist attraction.

Inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa gardens

Inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa gardens

When we arrived at the Leaning Tower of Pisa we were given a challenge, everyone who visits the tower all ways takes one of the famous photos of the tower, you know the one. The one where you look like you are holding the tower up. Well we were given the challenge of the “Most Unique Photo” of the tower, would win a 6 pack of beer. Now we’re backpacking on Contiki so you could imagine free beer was a BIG prize, so everyone was thinking of the winning shot. We had people standing on top, the usual holding up photo, the boys did the giant doodle photo, we even had one bloke do the “Sneaky Nut” on top of the tower a rather unique one, but I took out the prize. I took the “thinking” of the most unique picture quite literally and posed as “The Thinker” sitting on top of the Tower. Yay for me a 6 pack of beer, which funnily enough was used as payment to a local when our coach driver got lost in Albania, but that is another story.

I loved Florence, pity I have no photos of the beautiful city, thanks to a swift, dodgy traveller in Rome. Sorry I bet you are all getting sick of me talking about my DSLR getting stolen. The city is so beautiful and full of those little places that I just love getting lost in. Those little back streets with cool little shops, bars and art work. The artwork in Florence is a little bit extra awesome, Michelangelo awesome. We visited The Statue of David; Ponte Vecchio the Medieval stone bridge over the Arno River, which has some cool shops on it; the Medici Palace; the awe inspiring Duomo Cathedral; Basilica Santa Croce; Giotto’s Bell Tower; the Baptistery and Piazza della Signoria.

 We were treated to the usual Contiki stop at Leonardo’s leather making and watched as they showed us the regions traditional art. That night we headed out for a Tuscan dinner and partied on at the Florence’s biggest club, Space Electronic Disco. Where we were treated to amazing Karaoke and some very bad drunken mumbling into the mike. At one stage I had two glow sticks through my ears. Once again in the morning we were packing up our tents and hitting the road to Rome.

Thank you for stopping by mykombiandi. If you liked this post you can follow me on facebook, instagram, youtube or on wordpress by clicking the “Follow” button or via email, simple by clicking the “Follow Via Email” button.

One Life, One Search.

Contiki, Florence

10 litre Beer? YES PLEASE!

Contiki Florence

1 massive Cocktail at Red Garter Karaoke

Contiki, florence

The boys and their 10 litre beer

Contiki Florence

Sing your heart out boys!

Contiki Florence

The tiny little Karaoke bar completely packed out!

Contiki Florence

More Karaoke and a Gremlin

Killer Pigeons and Wet T-shirt comps

Well we made it to one of Europe’s most famous cities, Venice. Venice has been known by many names, “La Dominante”,” Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The floating City” and the “City of Canals”. Maybe one name they have forgotten is “The City of Kamikaze Pigeons”. The crazy pigeons fly at break-neck speed at head height straight for your face. It was kind of funny at the start but it did get a little ridiculous. We started to see if we could give them a whack when they were trying to dive bomb us. Venice has been described as “undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man” by The New York Times. Yes it is

Thanks Vee for these photo's

Venice Gondola’s

beautiful and is steeped in history, but that is a BIG call. I have visited countless beautiful cities and would consider Venice up there with the best of them but it is now over-run by tourists and it shows.  It is dirty, there is rubbish everywhere, the famous canals are filled with all types of tourist waste and the usual scammers and pick-pockets are everywhere. One of the Contiki crew got their bag nicked. They had to chase the guy through the streets with the pick-pocketer throwing stuff out as he ran. They were lucky and got everything back minus their money. They did however miss the ferry back to our campground. I think they hitched a ride with some random guy. They told us that the police in Venice did not want to have anything to do with them and just moved them on.

Thank you Vee for these photo's

Tiny romantic bridges over the Venice canels.

We wondered around the city and checked out the must sees, just so we could say we have seen them, like the limestone “Bridge of Sighs” the gothic arches of “Doge’s Palace” and “St. Marks Square” where the killer pigeons attack. Venice has some great markets. I love markets and constantly find myself lost, and found in them. Venice did not disappoint. They were great to loose yourself in. I brought myself a couple of Venetian masks to hang up and even a couple of “hand made” masks that one day I can wear to a Masquerade party. I use the term “hand made” loosely as I am sure they were made in bulk and the lady probably says that to all of her customers, but they looked great and are something that I can look back on and remember.

Thanks Vee for these photo's

Gondola ride in Venice

One of the must do things in Venice is take a Gondola ride. Contiki had organised one for us and we all bundled onto our tiny little long boats and were guided through the Labyrinth of canals by men wearing black and white striped shirts and red neck tie things (yes they actually do wear that). We were told that we would be on the Gondola for 45mins but were back at the jetty in 30mins, feeling a little ripped off however it was pretty cool to see Venice from the water in something that is a part of the cities magic. We could see how the buildings actually

Thank you Vee for these great photos

Very beautiful canels

went below the water level. You could see some of the buildings had doors that you could no longer use as the water is now half way up them. But, it gave us a closer look at how dirty the water is and how much the city needs help, it is sinking and it is noticeable. I have seen photos of St. Marks Square under water; they erect planks of wood so people can walk around it.

That night at least 6 Contiki buses full of 18 to 30 something’s ready to party converged on the campground. Contiki put on the “Fusina Beach Party” which is one EPIC party. Cheap drinks and plenty of them. Everyone gets a “Lifeguard” singlet and everyone is

Fusina Beach Party Lifeguards

I am not sure how much life saving we could do???

just wearing their bikinis and boardies. It is a hot night so there is not much clothing being worn by both sexes. They had a sumo wrestler comp, tug of war and a DJ that got everyone dancing like mad. They announced the start of the “Abs of Steal” comp for the guys and the “Wet T-Shirt” comp for the girls. By this time everyone was pretty liquored up and ambitions were out the window, down the river and out to the ocean. Guys were getting all greased up by the Contiki girls and were at home flexing there muscles, the Girls were getting hosed down, wiggling and jiggling all over the stage, Much to the excitement of all the rather intoxicated male gappies (Gap year students). At one stage a wet t-shirt competitor thought I don’t need this shirt anymore and off it came. Later that night a certain Japanese man who is a complete legend and can party bloody hard jumped up on stage and dropped his pants much to the surprise and cheers from the crowd.

The next morning a few very sore heads were slowly rising and making their way up to breakie, all looking worse than the next. We sat in silence nursing our breakie, thanks Vee you are a champ until someone piped up and said, “Does anyone remember…………” . Then everyone’s stories came out and there were a few. We packed up tents, had our much needed coffee’s at hit the road to Florence.

Thank you for stopping by mykombiandi, if you enjoyed this post you can follow mykombiandi on facebook, instagram, youtube or by clicking the “Follow Me” button or even by email, just click on the “Follow Via Email” button.

One Life, One Search.

Romeo and Juliets missing Photo’s

Verona’s Missing Photo’s.


Tonight I thought that I would write about visiting Romeo and Juliet’s Balcony in Verona Italy. So I thought for some inspiration I would peruse through my photo albums knowing that I recall getting some great shots there. Then remembering that those photos’s where taken on my DSLR camera that got stolen in Rome. Dammit!

Thank you Thomas Elliotte for these photos.

Juliet's Balcony.

Being an amateur thespian with “Stage Left Theatre Troupe” in Kalgoorlie Western Australia, I was eagerly looking forward to visiting this famous spot. Everyone knows the Shakespearean tragedy of the star-crossed lovers. However, like all famous tourist hot spots throughout Europe it was packed, so much so that there was unwelcomed pushing and shoving in the tiny courtyard just to get a glimpse of the balcony. Remembering the fact that the two characters never existed and that William Shakespeare apparently never set foot in Verona, you cannot help but feel a little ripped off by the City of Verona. The City brought today’s Juliet’s house off the De Cappello family in 1905. Due to the similarities between the family’s names and a new tourist sensation was born. You can see that it has been “prettied up for tourist but I have come to expect that now.

Thanks Thomas Elliotte for these photo's.

Graffiti

The graffiti on the walls as you walked in was interesting to read and the tacky “lovelocks” on the gate which you had to pay to put up kind of gave the quant courtyard the “romantic” feel that it deserved. If you touch the right breast of the statue of Juliet it is believed to bring luck to all who are looking for their true love. Which brought our Contiki crew endless laughs, thank you Ren.

Thanks Thomas Elliotte for these Photos.

The Lucky statue of Juliet.

If you are in the area I would suggest dropping by and ticking this off the list but probably not worth making a special trip out, unless you are a Shakespeare fan, which in that case you will absolutely love it. The city of Verona has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the value and importance of its many historical sites. Probably the most famous in Verona is the Verona Arena (Arena di Verona) a Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra, the largest Piazza in Verona and some claim the largest in Italy. The Verona Arena is one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind. It was built in AD 30 but almost destroyed in 1117 by a massive earthquake. We walked around the Piazza Bra, checking out the little shops and cafes, which we ended up stopping at one and having some Spaghetti for lunch. The Piazza is a busy place full of tourists and people dressed up in all types of costumes trying to get you to take a photo and of course pay for it. We watched this musician play this instrument which just looked like a giant wok, but wow did it sound amazing. Apparently it is called a Hang and is designed in Switzerland, I thought I was watching some ancient instrument that was passed down in a family line from ancient times, but no, it is a new instrument first designed in 2000.


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One Life, One Search.


A big Thank you goes out to a very good friend of mine who has helped me out with all these photo's. Cheers Tom.

 

Where Am I? Why Am I Here?

Where Am I? Why Am I Here?

I catch myself day dreaming about getting away again, about hitting the road and wondering what this adventure will bring me? Dreaming about having a beer in an underground bar in Budapest;  getting a body piercing at 3am in Mykonos; walking through

A beer or two.

A beer or two.

the concentration camp in Auschwitz; or finally making it to the town where my dad was born, in the middle of Siberia. Then I realize that I am still at work in remote Western Australia, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. I feel myself wondering what am I doing here, this is not where I want to be and this is not where I am meant to be. I am meant to be somewhere else, I don’t know where just somewhere

You can not describe this place

You can not describe this place

else.  On the road, living out of a backpack trying to figure out where my next stop is? Chatting to other backpackers at the Hostel and finding out those places that they just happened to stumbled upon. Those little hidden gems that a fellow traveler passed onto them before they ventured into that mysterious country. Those that you only really understand when you see it with your very own eyes, hear it with your very own ears and smell it with your very own nose. They will explain to you that you must go to that restaurant run by this larger than life guy with one of the best moustaches that you have ever seen. You will make friends in an instant that will last a life time. You will

Jovaru Snekutis Vilnius Lithunania

Jovaru Snekutis Vilnius Lithunania

leave them as fast as you met them and just hope that one day that your paths will cross again so you can chat about all the amazing places you have seen and all those amazing cultures you have experienced.  That is where I rather be, where ever that is? I should not be here, I should be there.

To all the amazing people that I met and to all the amazing people that I will meet, thank you for being a part of my journey, you have all taught me something and you are all treasured.

One Life, One Search,

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Namaste