Monday, June 20, 2011

Adventure Awaits!

I recently got back from an adventure with my Aunt Cynthia and Paul.

We went to...
  • Manchester
  • Llandulon, Wales
  • Ruthin, Wales
  • Abergavenny, Wales
  • Bath
And, we rented a canal boat and cruised at a leisurely 2 mph (the speed limit is 4 mph) along the Kennet and Avon Canal from Monkton Combe to Foxhangers.

Tomorrow I'm off on yet another adventure...

Paul and I are going to go visit his family in Scifelli (a small town near Rome).
Then, we're going to Chateauroux, France to see a stage of the Tour de France.
Last, we'll spend a few days in London before flying home on July 13.

I probably won't be able to post while away - sorry!
But I'll be sure to update this little old blog once I get home :)

Here I go!
Scifelli - Merino - Fossacesia - Chateauroux - London - Vancouver

Friday, June 10, 2011

Just letting you know...

I'm going to be travelling for the next few weeks and probably won't be able to update my blog.
But, fear not.
I'll be sure to blog about my adventures when I get home :)

I'm ready to go!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Animal Otley Run

Marko's residence did an Otley Run last week, so Paul and I tagged along.
The theme was Noah's Ark, meaning that there was a large group of animals and bearded man roaming though the streets of Headingley and Leeds.
I was a lady bug, Paul was a shark, and Marko was a kangaroo.

Kangroo or Pikachu?

Some of the animals decided to play some basketball - Farm Animals vs. Exotic Animals.
The Exotic Animals won due to the advantages of height and hopping skills inherent to giraffes and kangaroos.

Shark attack!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kirkstall Abbey

Paul, Marko, and I went on an adventure to Kirkstall Abbey the other day.

The Abbey is basically the ruins from a 12th Century Cistercian monastery and was really cool.
The Visitor Information Centre also had a mini museum with artefacts and scale models and all that sort of thing.

Paul and I made the mistake of walking to the Abbey.
We thought it was much closer than it actually is...Google Maps was very deceiving.
It also didn't help that we got somewhat lost.
But we eventually got there, after walking past rows and rows of identical red brick houses and accidentally finding an old church with a scary graveyard.

 Oh, and then Marko planked in a coffin...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Lake District

A couple of weeks ago Paul and I went on a day trip to the Lake District.
We didn't have the greatest weather, plus the Lake District is known to be very temperamental, but it was still a good day.

First we went to Keswick.
I have never seen so many sports stores in one little town.
Or dogs.
I have seen very few animals while in Leeds and while in Keswick I saw about a million dogs and a bajillion sheep.

We didn't do much in Keswick, just walked around the lake and through some forest, had lunch, and avoided some torrential rain.

A fallen tree :(

Bowness on Windermere was basically the same as Keswick.
Except Windermere is a much larger lake and Bowness is a much smaller town.
There were also a lot more tourists and a lot fewer outdoorsy people with their gortex outfits, hiking boots, and dogs.

We went for tea at a little cafe, which was really nice, especially since it was pouring rain.
I had a raisin scone with jam and whipped cream (mmm...whipped cream) and Paul had a chocolate muffin.

Oh, and I saw Canadian Geese! 
They followed me all the way to England!
And, I saw ENORMOUS swans.
They were slightly terrifying.

Monday, June 6, 2011


The last stop on our European Adventure was Berlin.
Berlin was really interesting, the city is full of so much history.
It was like AP Euro History had come to life.

The Brandenburg Gate

We went on a bike tour, which was a lot of fun and really informative.
I learned that...
  • Berlin was completely destroyed by WWII, so the city is almost entirely new
  • A lot of the old-looking buildings were just made to look old by burning the stones
  • The hills in Berlin are actually piles of rubble
  • Synagogues and other Jewish centres have 24/7 security people patrolling the building
  • The Victory Column is adorned with cannons stolen from the French and was moved to its current location by the Nazis
  • The Holocaust Memorial is just down the road from the site of Hitler's Bunker

Humboldt University
Some famous alumni: Einstein, Marx, Engels and Bismark

The Reichstag

Otto von Bismark

The Victory Column

A REAL old building

Hotel Adlon
aka: the hotel where Michael Jackson
dangled his baby off the balcony

"Luxury apartments" in East Berlin and the site of
Hitler's Bunker (it's just under the parking lot)

We did our own tour of the Berlin's Cold War history.
Basically, we went and saw all the things related to the Berlin wall.
Every so often the murals on the Berlin Wall are whitewashed and new ones are painted, pretty cool, huh?

Checkpoint Charlie
(for crossing from East Berlin to West Berlin)

Paul on the East Side of the Wall
(Cobblestones run throughout the city that mark
where the Wall once stood)

We went to Museum Island (but not inside any of the museums...)

The best quote from the trip: "The best view of Berlin in from the TV Tower because you can't see the TV Tower". (The TV Tower is that disco ball on a stick on the right).

We also went to Europe's largest chocolate store - Fassbender & Rausch!
(I thought Belgium or Switzerland would have Europe's largest chocolate store, but no, it's in Berlin).

We went to the Holocaust Memorial which is this giant piece of interactive art that has no set meaning, but is very, very cool.
The blocks are all different heights and they get progressively taller as you move towards the middle.

We went to the Reichstag on our last night to climb up the glass dome.
The view was amazing and the whole experience was super cool.
You walk up with looong spiral ramp while listening to an audio guide that describes the view to you.

We also did other German things like...

Drink a litre of beer in a beer hall

Wear Birkenstocks

Appreciate Ampelmännche
(the little crosswalk man)

  Oh, and beer is cheaper than water in Berlin.

Paul, my dad, and I also went on a Berlin Underworld tour, which was SO cool.
We went into an old bunker, which was pretty scary, but cool at the same time.
Some of the rooms were set up to show how they would have looked back when they were in use, and other rooms had various artefacts from WWII.
It was really neat.
Sadly I don't have any pictures because cameras were prohibited :(