I was off back to good old London town as I had booked my flight to Sweden from here. I had been to london several times but had always been a really shit tourist. I arrived quite late on a train from Galsgow. The train ia a really nice and comfortable way to travel but unless you book it really early it’s quite expensive. As I am very unorganized I left it to the last minute but managed to get a ticket for £45 which is ok. A flight would have been cheaper of I had been more organised. The next morning I met up with Lewis to go on the worlds most round about pub crawl with the most closed pubs. Kirsten and I met Lewis in Cusco. At first we thought he was a bit of a douche (sorry Lewis) as he was working out in the room and just seemed like another Perth meat head. But then we started to talk to him and found out he was actually quite cool, just never ask him about Harry Potter! We ended up hanging out for a few days and eating heaps of food as he is just as obsessed about food as Kirsten is. Any way he is now living in London and managed to show me around afew bars that were actually open, how to finish a crossword and where to get the best Kebab in town. I really hadn’t made any friends in the hostel, mainly because I hadn’t tried but thankfully Danny who I had met in Dublin was in town. I met up with her and her friend from home Brandon. They were much better tourists then I was. We met at the British Museum and went and learnt all about ancient Greece and Egypt. They were pretty interesting exhibitions but poor danny was sick so we didn’t spend too ling in here. That night we went to see a musical called Beautiful. I had never heard of it before but we found cheap tickets (£17) on lastminute.com and it was one Danny really wanted to see. It was a musial about a musician named Carol King. I thought I had never heard of her but i soon found out I knew all of her songs. It was a really good musical and a really fun night! The next day I was a loner but decided to continue being a tourist and headed to the tower of London. It was amazing! A def must if you are coming to london. I think I had come here as a kid but I didn’t really remember it. I did one of the tours with one of the beefeaters which was a highlight as they told you all the interesting facts about the place and about some of the famous guest of the tower. I then had a walk around and checked out the armour display in the white tower (the big castle in the middle). It was pretty cool and had all different kids of armour that they wore throughout history. It was then off to see the crown jewels. There was a bit of a line to get in but i thought it was well worth it. The jewels were AMAZING! They have the worlds biggest diamond here and it is absolutely massive! Sadly you couldn’t take any photos in here so you will just have to google them or go and check them out yourslef. All up I think I was at the tower for a good 4 hours so allow lots of time if you plan to go.
Its was time to leave cold wet Ireland and head to even colder and wetter Scotland. Thankfully Chris (another person I had met in Thailand) had offered to pick me up and a place to crash. As Chris is currently between jobs he had a lot of time to show me around. We went to the William Wallace memorial and learnt all about Scotland’s first hero. There was actually a lot to learn as I had never heard of him before as I had somehow never seen the movie Braveheart!
We then went to have an exotic lunch at a very Scottish resteraunt called Nandos. Yes we have this South African resteraunt that makes Portuguese chicken in Aus but chris was really excited to go there so why not. We then went to go and checkout some of Chris’s home town attractions. First we went to the aquarium where we saw loads of sharks, fish and some cool frogs. We then headed off to the Kelpies. These were not dogs as i had suspected but these huge horse head statutes that decorated a lock. They really had no purpose but they looked kinda cool and I still have no idea why they are called kelpies. We also checked out the Falkirk Wheel, which is a huge lift for boats that connects two major canals. It’s actually very impressive how it works but sadly it wasn’t in action when we were there so I just had to watch a youtube video instead. We then went home to Chris’ house where his mum played a very gracious host and I finally got to watch Braveheart!
The next day it was off to Glasgow to catch up with Jamie. I met him when I was travelling around Vietnam 6 years ago and he made me eat the worlds biggest garlic clove! Chris came in with me as he had some stuff he needed to do there. We went and had lunch as I had time to kill before Jamie finished work and then i went to one of the biggest Primarks! Primark has to be the greatest store ever for backpackers! Now I know morally Primark isn’t the best stop with all of the clothes come from sweat shops and probably using child labour but I just can’t walk past how cheap everything is! When you are on a budget and need another jumper coz you packed for summer not the middle of winter then I think its ok.
Jamie had finally finished work so I jumped on the train to head over to his place. He was staying in a very cute shared apartment in the west end of Glasgow. It was a pretty nice area that had lots of very funky bars. After a few drinks at home we decided to head out and check out these bars. First stop was a tiki bar which was a bit ironic as it was freezing cold and there was a storm outside! We then walked to another cool bar and had a few drinks there. Apparently this bar had a nice rooftop section but we obviously didn’t check this out as it was still pouring rain.
The next day Jamie acted as tour guide and showed me around Glasgow. We went to the transport museum and had a look at lots of old cars, buses and trams. We then went for a very long walk into town where he pointed out lots of cool bars and the trendy places to live. We then went and had lunch at another very Scottish resteraunt called Cook and Indies. This was basically an all you could eat world buffet. It was pretty good but we were so full afterwards that we had to go home to sit on the couch and digest.
That night we were off to a cool bar that played jazz and motown music (well at least I think that’s what it was. I’m really bad at music genres). After sculling a pint while waiting for the train we headed to the bar in the rain. Jamie was meeting up with a bunch of people from some online thing called meet-up. I don’t know if we have it in Aus but seems pretty cool with people creating events like going to a bar or sailing or any kind of activity and people can join the event. Seems like a cool way to meet new people and everyone that we met at the bar was pretty cool. Jamie was bachelor of the year that night with all the girls very keen to get his attention! It was pretty fun to watch. We ended the night with the greatest meal ever of chips, gravey and cheese!! Best thing ever!!
The next day was spent lying on the couch feeling sorry for ourselves and watching the documentary Human Planet. We did venture out to get the best burgers and chips and buy supplies for our movie marathon but that was about it. Of course it had to be the one sunny day Glasgow has ever had but oh well.
I guess I couldn’t have stayed with Rachael forever… it was time to return to the common people and head up to Dublin. Even though I had been to Ireland before I had managed to skip over Dublin. To be honest I wasn’t really interested in it but hey when in Ireland…..
After a very pleasant train ride I had arrived at the Capital. It was still bloody cold here and raining but I guess that was so be expected. I really wasn’t feeling in to social of a mood as I was still a bit sick so decided to be a hermit in my room. Thankfully a nice Canadian guy named Terrance dragged me out of the hostel that night to go and check out Temple Bar. Now Temple Bar isn’t actually a bar as its name would suggest but rather a few streets of different bars. They all pretty much have live music of some kind being Irish, rock or just acoustic sets. We grabbed a few pints and went to a few bars to listen to the different bands. We didn’t have to crazy of a night though as drinks are notoriously expensive there. I actually didn’t think they were to bad but the price did seem to creep up as the night went on. Our first pint started off at €5.50 and the last one was around €6.50. Not the biggest jump but it was still pretty early when we left.
The next morning I decided I need to be a tourist! I made friends with an American chick in my room named Danny who was planning on going to the Guinness museum. I decided to tag along with her as I heard it was kinda cool (actually I had heard a lot of mixed reviews from its shit to its awesome but I really didn’t want to be a loner that day).
I actually thought it was pretty cool. Very touristy but set up nicely and very informative! I really didn’t think we would be there for very long but we ended up being there for hours! We had a very nice lunch there. Expensive but very nice! “Treat Yourself!!” We finished it off by pouring ourselves a pint and looking out a the 360 view from the sky bar.
After sweating our asses off for the last few days it was a bit of a shock landing in sunny Ireland. It was 14 degrees and raining!! I was visiting Rachael, a chick I had met in Phuket earlier this year. She had graciously offered to pick me up at the airport and crash at her place for a few days. It wasn’t really her place as she is also just travelling but had managed to stay with a friend she used to work with. Now I thought I would be sleeping on a couch or air mattress if I was lucky but we pulled up to a full on mansion! This house was huge and although the styling wasn’t the greatest the house was awesome! I got my own room with a nice big bed and was so greatful fretful to be out of the crape European hostels!
That night we headed out to the small town of Cashel as Rach had friends coming down from Galloway for a night of drinking. It was a good night out and I soon found out that Rachael’s friend Kristy was related to almost everyone in town! Her dad was one of 15 and she was one of 6!! Nice big Irish families! We went to a few bars and had loads to drink but I was so tired from traveling and was starting to get sick that I had to leave the party and sleep on one of Rach’s friends couch.
After eventually making it home the next day, a very hungover Rachael took me sight seeing. We started with the Rock of Cashel which is actually and old church. I have no idea why it is called that but it was pretty cool. We then dragged ourselves to Kilkenny to check out the castle there. It was a huge castle and had been done up inside to how it used to look when people last lived there. After wandering around the castle and taking some illegal photos (so bad ass I know) we headed to the pub to have some Kilkenny in Kilkenny!!
The next morning Rachael got up nice and early to go and run a half marathon!! I decided to skip this little outing as it would have killed me and I would rather do anything else!! That afternoon we were off to a hurling match. Hurling is a random sport that is pretty rough. Its kind of a combination between hokey and Aussie rules footy. I couldn’t tell you any of the rules but it was pretty interesting to watch. Rach had got me a ticket for my birthday which was super nice of her! Unfortunately I felt like death!! I had full-blown man flu and felt like I was going to pass out! I managed to make it through the game but def wasn’t up for a party afterwards.
I was still pretty sick the next day and Rach was suffering from her marathon so we really didn’t get up to much on my last day in Tipperary. We went and had a roast lunch at a pub near a castle and that was about it. Thankfully I had some quite time and a nice bed to help me try to recover from my cold.
After a solid 9 weeks of work it was time to head off on another holiday! Full time work is clearly not for me…. After a very quick pit stop in Perth to visit some friends and change my luggage around it was back to the airport and off to london. The flight wasn’t too bad. Sleeping tablets and a window seat ment I slept for most of the flight. Amy was also flying in to Heathrow so I decided to chill at the airport for a few hours and head to bristol with her. We spent the day shopping and getting ready for Glastonbury!!
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times! We got up really early, picked up Amy’s mum and Oli and headed off to glasto. We got there around 8:20 am. The gates open at 8. The line was ridiculously long!! We ended up being in line for 3 hours! It was awful!! We had so much stuff and the worlds heaviest tent. By the time we got in and had set our tent up I was exhausted and drenched in sweat. After we had finally recovered we headed off to explore. Little tip: if you aren’t in a large group and don’t have the taj mahal as a tent wait untill the afternoon on wed or even Thursday to turn up. Will save you the awful wait in line. If you are in a big group just carry your tent in and get the rest of your stuff later.
I didn’t realise that the actual music festival didn’t start until friday. Our first 2 days there involved a lot of walking around and eating. There are so many food stalls there you could spend your entire time eating and still not get through half the stalls. The festival is so large that it takes hours to walk around and by the end of the festival I was so sick of walking and fighting crowds.
It was finally time for the music to start! We kicked off the festival with James Bay, Chet Faker and Mary J Blige. Chet and Mary were awesome and the only people at the festival that I knew more than 2 of their songs. We then retreated to the tent to try to dry off. Thankfully this was pretty much the only rainy day. We were really lucky with the weather! With just a little rain the whole place turned into a giant mud pit! Welles were an awesome investment!! After drying off and a nice cup of tea we were off to see Mark Ronson and Rudamental. They were both awesome I think… I was quite drunk at this stage. After they were done Amy and her mum went to bed but I was set on going out.
I managed to meet a guy at the toilet blocks who I convinced to come to Arcadia with me. He didn’t have any wellies so the walk there was very difficult! Right when we were almost there he decided he didn’t want to go anymore and was going to go home. I decided to soldier in without him and head up the path to Arcadia. Arcadia is amazing!!! It is this giant spider with a dj both in the middle that shoots out flames! It was there that I made friends a Scottish girl named Laura. She had list all her friends so we decided to stick together until she found them. We stayed at Arcadia until it closed and then headed back to Laura’s tent to grab some drinks before going to Shangri-la.
Shangri-la was hectic. There are lots of crazy political things there and it has a sort of mad max post apocalypse vibe. We went to this club that felt like a huge arena. We walked in and there and it was a giant pit with people dancing all around it to heavy techno. We were there until the sun was up and we got kicked out. It was then off to the stone circle!
The stone circle is a very mini stone henge (basically just some rocks in a circle) in the hippie section of the festival. There were a bunch of people sitting around here hanging out. We hung out here for a while talking shit and people watching. Dave was even challenged to a dance off wich had to be the highlight of the night!
I left the stone circle at 9am coz I thought I should try to get some sleep and hang out with Amy. After a quick nap I went to find Amy and watch George Ezera, Burt Bacharach. I didn’t really know who they were and Burt was sooo old but still managed to put on a good show. We then went and checked out the circus section and watched a few acts. That night I watched the start of Kanye West who was actually pretty good and then headed off to find Laura and her friends at Leftfield. He wasn’t as good as I thought he was going to be which kinda sucked but thought we would make it up watching Fat Boy Slim. I don’t know why but they put him on this tiny stage and the crowd was insane. We were nowhere near the stage and were so packed in it was hard to move. He finally started and the speakers were so shit we could hardly hear. It was such a waste of time and kinda set the tone for the rest of the night. We went to Shangri-la but it was so packed there were just huge lines everywhere. We walked around for hours trying to find somewhere to go that wasn’t packed without success! We decided to give up and just head to the stone circle.
After a massive sleep in it was time to start packing. Amy and her mum had work on monday so we had to head back that night. Amy and I went and watched Hozier and then we decided to head home. There wasn’t really anyone else we wanted to see and I was very over the crowds. It was definitely an experience and the biggest festival I have ever been to! Thankfully the weather wasn’t too bad!!