A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Mike Lee

Ireland

This will only be a short entry as I am struggling the silly French key board.

I have a fantastic time in Ireland on a 6 day paddy wagon tour. The Guinness helped me
put back on some of the weight I had lost since I left aus.

When in Northern Ireland I was quite surprised to see that there is still a lot of
tension (the nice way of putting it) between the pro UK and the republicans with
cities divided by huge walls and gates.

When we were down on the dingle peninsular I did not pass up the opportunity to swim
in the Altaic ocean. I was enjoyable even though the water was cold.

Over all I really enjoyed Ireland, stunning scenery and genuine people who were
willing to have a chat in the pub.

Posted by Mike Lee 14:08 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

In a strange old land called England.

Wow ~ I have had 2200 hits so far (it is the same 20 people but 110 times each is good).

The first item to note is that I had no problems at the border!!

I have been staying with family and friends. It has been great to see people I know and have real home cooked food.

I have been across to Bristol, then to London before heading up north.

I am now in Malton! A small country town in Yorkshire. I am here staying with Mike and Angela who mum, dad and I meet in Vietnam in the 07/08 holidays. I have had a fantastic time staying with them. They have made their home a home away from home for me, for the week the Australian flag has been flying proud out the front and they covered the floor of their spare room with fake spiders and snakes so it would feel more like Australia!! It has been great to experience real country town England.

Tonight I head of to Ireland for a week.

Then I will be coming beck to England again before heading across to France for a bit.

Posted by Mike Lee 09:34 Archived in England Comments (0)

Poland

It was cold! ~ Now in England

snow

Do not have a lot of time so this is a quick one but I am now in England, staying in Bristol for the next few nights

I loved my time in Poland. It is truly a nation of contrasts.

After arriving in Warsaw at 5am on the overnight bus i spent to nights there before moving on. My time there was good but nothing terribly exiting happened so i will not cure your insomnia by rambling on.

After Warsaw I went on to Lublin. Is a town in eastern Poland with a population of about 370 000. I do not really no why i went there the was not a lots to see some castles and stuff but it was a bit off the beaten track. I found a small hostel and had a good time talking with the owner who called me "Mr Australia".
When i was there i vested the extermination camp of Majdanek. It was a chilling experience. I was one of the first camps liberated and opened up as a museum when some of the other camps were operating. So umm yer what else to say.

I then moved on to Krakow. I sent six nights in Krakow taking the time to visit some of nearby towns where my grandfather grew up before the war. As most people who have traveling in no-English specking countries would agree using public transport is always fun!!! I only made it from Krakow to Chorzow (grandads town) buy the help of some very nice English speaking people and a bit luck.

It snowed when I was in Krakow. It was very cold.

Posted by Mike Lee 09:26 Archived in Poland Comments (2)

The Baltic

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

-49 °C

Writing this entry in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Have enjoyed my time in the Baltic region. It is obviously not the pack season with most of the hostels I have stayed in being near empty. While this has meant meeting other travels has been non existent event it did mean I had 2 grate nights with the staff in the hostel in Riga were I was the only person in a 10 bed dorm.

The weather has been cold and wet. This added so adventure to my time in Sigulda. Sigulda…never hear of it? Nether had I until a few days before I got there. It is a town about 40 kms north east of Riga in Latvia and is a major sight seeing spot in the summer as it has some castles and a river. Although this time of there year it is dead. Anyway when I was there I hired a mountain bike for a day and road around the forest looking at stuff. Does not sound that exciting but it was. Only issue was that the track was muddy and it hailed. So buy the end of the day is was cover in mud and soaked to the core. But all in all it was a good day.

It has only been a short entry mainly to say that I am still alive and kicking and that I have not forgotten about everyone back home. It has been a quite past have many days since I last wrote. Tomorrow I am on an over night bus to Warsaw in Poland.

Posted by Mike Lee 11:11 Archived in Lithuania Comments (0)

In Tallinn

Almost did not make it out of russia!!

Well i am now in Tallinn (Estonia) but i almost did not make it out of Russia. As i was arriving at the border i was thinking that i have had enough difficulties with passports and visas for one trip and that nothing could go wrong but that was not the case at the Russian/Estonian border. I had a bit of trouble leaving Russia because i look a little different than my passport photo. I know it sounds surprising but i do look a little different than the photo in my that was taken when i was 14. The Russian border official was a bit concerned with the lack of similarities that she call out her supervise who was also not entirely convinced that the photo in my passport was a photo of me. I was asked to smile, frown and press my lips together. I had to pull my fringe back and tuck my hair behind my ears and they where still convinced that i am better looking in real life than my photo makes me out to be. (what can i say 4 and a bit years of growing up) so i was asked to do a signature check! I failed it! Well it was not completely my fault but i had two main problems with the check.
1st I can not remember what my signature was when i was 14!
2nd my had was shaking that much (because i was a little scared at this stage, belive me 2 big Russian women in military uniform are scary! ~my drinking buddies were much less scary!~) that i could barely hold the pen!
After another 5 or so minutes of talking a few phone calls i finally saw the stamp put to the page and i was allowed to pass. All in all it was only a 15- 20 minute ordeal but it was enough to get the heart rate up!!

Belive it or not i acutely love traveling (problems and all).

St Petersburg and Moscow were surprisingly fun cities! Things were a lot more relaxed that i had expected. I Moscow we were heading back to the hostel after dinner and we came across a band set in an under pass. there would of been about 75 people standing around listening and dancing. the police did not have a problem with it.

In St Petersburg i went to the hermitage museum (winter place). I am not normally a museum person but i actually enjoyed it.

Posted by Mike Lee 06:47 Archived in Estonia Comments (0)

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