Laura Ridley

Joined April 2015
  • Day105

    And the journey begins again!

    August 13, 2015 in Greece

    After two amazing weeks in holland, it is time to fly to athens and experience the beautiful greek islands of mkyonos, paros, ios and santarini!
    Holland was full of cold wet weather one week, but then a whole week of beautiful sunshine!
    During the two weeks of relaxation, i saw my brother once again in Amsterdam for his birthday, went on many windmill excursions, and went riding on our new bikes through the country of the netherlands, visiting jasons extended family, and going to a children park, where i bought my very own garden nomes!
    After the two weeks came to and end, we were some what sad to get back on the plane! As we were enjoing holland so much, and doing nothing was exactly what we needed! However, i am so glad we are finally in greece!

    This next week and a half is going to be a lot of swimming, tanning, drinking and dancing! We have already met so many wondeful people, and have so many stories to tell!
    Athens was also very beautiful, reminding me of the dry Australian land, but also sad, seeing many poor kids busking in the streets, and shut down shops due to the economy.

    After Greece we are flying to Criatia and doing a boat cruise for a week, eith a bunch of new people! There is not much wifi here, so i cant update you all, however, photos will be posted when i get home!

    Xxx
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  • Day84

    Tours and Paris and then Belgium!

    July 23, 2015 in Belgium

    Tours france... beautiful city in France! And not a whole lot to do here! Besides the botanic gardens! One thing i love about Europe is there gardens! And there filled with farm animals! However..the tours botanical gardens had some friends from back in Australia! Mr emu, mr wallabie, mrs cockatill and mrs turtle! This kept me occupied for the next two days we were here! Especially knowing we had Paris to go to...even though we were in Paris for a week when we first started traveling, you never get bored in Paris! You always miss something! And this time we decided to go to the louve! And yes we saw the monalisa! Besides that...we watched the new terminator in 3d at the movies, and took a few snaps here and there of the places we missed first time round!

    Next stop Brugges! Finally a place where jason can speak the language! Amazing place! Horses with carrages run around, and swans in the rivers! Lots of markets on, and live music playing in the main square till midnight! Belgium is known for there chocolate, waffles and flavoured beers! And all of it is delicious! And soooo bad for me! We had horrible weather, but this didnt stop us! We visited a historical museum, which was displayed through animation in each room! Very clever and entertaining! But what was even more amazing was being showed the old town back in the 1500s, through a virtual head set! It felt like we were in a game! If video games were invented like this...id be tempted to play, as this was just crazy!

    After spending three days in brugges, it was time to take an early train to brussels! And believe it or not... they speak french...and they are the only town in belgium what dont speak dutch! Here we plan on being lazy! So far we have gone to mini europe, which is a little park with models of european city attractions! We have also visted the local fair with rides...ofcorse, because jasin cant say no! And we have done a lot of sleeping and drinking flavoured beers! We are saving our energy for the bug tomorrowland festival which is starting within the nexg two days, and goes for 3 whole days! After this we are heading to the netherlands to have a relaxing break for 2 weeks, before sun baking in greece and croatia on a boat! Feels like a dream to me.
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  • Day75

    Pamplona! The quiet town which turns into the most trashed city, as the running of the bulls festival is held here! My expectations of the festival was very mixed.... i was excited to seenthe culture...however i wasnt too sure if i agreed with the harm of the bulls! When we arrived in pamplona, we stayed with a air bnb host, which was an old man who spoke no english! Already very challenging... especially when he didnt tell us his address after 3 hours of getting there! It was very fusturating, however in the end, it was totally worth it! And heaps cheaper! The festival was one of the most trashed up places i had ever seen! Some streets just wanted to make me gag! The party doesnt stop in pamplona! And neither does the killing of the bulls in bull fights. I totally disagree with this bit. I did not want to see this part of the festival, as the bull can be stabed for up to 2 hours before actually dying. However we did see the running of the bulls, which lasted 2 minutes! People got trampeled on more than getting gorged during the run, but the bull did get his victory when jn the arena...as the runners tormented him..forcing him to ram people.... jason loved this...but i felt sad... not sure if it was for me, as my animal loving defiently showed during this time. I was more worried about the bull than the people.

    We enjoyed rides and churros, while walking through the park, avoiding the vomit which was in the streets! Everyone slept outside... either because all accomadation was booked out, they didnt know how to get home or it was the cheapest option..... not sure, but didnt look very comfortable!

    Goodbye pamplona...not sure if ill miss you, but it was an experience! Next stop San sebastian!
    Soo... we arrived in san sebastian...then jason said he wanted to go back to the festival.... ok... so not goodbye just yet! Off we go on a 4am bus to pamplona to see the run..again! Ahah the things i do for him! We arrived back in san sebastian by 12pm, and had a nanna nap just to get back the energy we had lost!

    The next day in san sebsatian we did a hike up the mountain and chilled on the beach! This place is exactly like the Australian beaches! Felt like home :) next stop tours in france! Then back to paris!
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  • Day70

    Valencia and Madrid!

    July 9, 2015 in Spain

    Valencia! The place of oranges! Unfortunetly we didnt get to see this fruit season, as it is in winter! However we dis experience th Valencian hot weather, reaching up to 45 degrees! Too hot to evem function! So we did lots of walking around the main park, watched drassic world in the air conditioned movies, and even stayed up late to check out the night life by joining a pub crawl! The next day i wanted to risk my skin in the burning sun and visit the african zoo! Because well...who doesnt like lions! And it honestly was amazing! One of the best zoos ive been to!

    Next stop was Madrid! The capital of Spain! And it seemed to get hotter and hotter! And no where to escape into the water...as we are in the desert! The first day was the day to explore Madrid! I wasnt too excited about Madrid...as im getting sick of museums and churches! But we did the touristy thing and checkedmout the main catherdal museum, and went to the main art gallery what they call the TN, where we saw salavador dali and piccas works, and lots more amazing works, especially from the 1400s! We relaxed in the park, and experienced the spanish tapas...and saw the president of Spain during a memorial service! It was such a surprise of how much protection he got from all the services! Soo many cars and bikes on the road just to protect him!

    The next day we spent the hot summer day in madrid warner brother theme park! We did all the roller coasters....and gosh they didnt feel safe! They dont clean them or keep them up to date as much as they do in Australia! However...i survived!

    Next stop...pamplona! Running of the bulls festival..... little bit worried about the next 2 days.... eeeee
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  • Day65

    Hola Spain! Barcelona and Ibiza

    July 4, 2015 in Spain

    Barcelona...the city of colour, beaches and partying! And that is exactly what we did! Besides visiting the tourist attractions...we drank sangaria on the beach while tanning! Partaking in a paella cooking class...and well..going clubbing! Such an amazing vibe in this city! And we were lucky enough to experience the spanish mardi gra! And for the bonus...i got a picture with three naked men painted in the gay flag!!

    After spending 7 days in Barcelona, we said our goodbyes, before heading on a plane to the spanish island of Ibiza! This place is insane... music blasting everywhere you go! To the point it was a struggle to breath from the base and the loud thuds of the speakers! First night we checked out a club called Amnesia! First taste of the Ibizan vibe was amazing...but we also got the experience of loosing our money to drinjs costing 30 bucks for a class of vodka and soda! Thank god we pre drunk! Tickets range from 70 australian dollars, to 150! But...i admit...its not really a club...its more a festival! So very worth the entry..not so much the alcohol!

    The next night was by far the most amazing day! First we spend the late afternoon at a pool party club called Ushuaia where we saw Armin Van Buuren! He was even more amazing that the concert in sydney! And then we spend the early hours of the morning at the famous Pacha! Where we saw David Guetta perform! This was a tad too packed for our liking! But amazing!

    We got our souvenior singlets, and added another shot glass to my collection! Next stop is Valencia, where we cant wait to get some sleep and do nothing!
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  • Day59

    Back into france we go!

    June 28, 2015 in France

    First stop Nice! This was amazing! And a really nice place to relax on the beach in the aqua blue water before heading to another big city! We visted Monoco, which is another country...similar to the vatican...which is very small, and anbsolutly full of money! We felt a bit out of place when we saw the regular ferraris driving around! We chilled on the beach in Monoco before heading back into Nice..and then it happened... our flus hit... we became sick and needed to sleep!

    A bit dissapointing that we got sick during out stay here! So our time was not much exploring and just eating bits and pieces around, and sleeping and resting for our next 3 stays here! However we did try some awesome flavoured gelatos! I was so releved they still sold gelato! We tried licorice, bailys, ammaretto! There was evern a weed flavour...... bit odd! Didnt try that one though!

    Next stop was Avingon! I would live here..not because it was relaxed and not so populated like big towns...but populated enough! But the fact he reminded me of home so much! ...not by looks, but my sounds! Cercaders surrounded the trees! Very anoying back home..but here it felt like comfort.

    We are here for two nights! Jase is still sick in bed, so i decided to explore the town in shopping! The town is in castle walls, and the best bit of this town, is the amount of different food they have!!
    First night we got lebanese, and the next vietnamese!

    Tomorrow we head of to barcelona in spain! Where im sure we will be eating a lot of nauhty foods!
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  • Day53

    Conclusion of Italy

    June 22, 2015 in Italy

    After our beautiful italian advenure of the end bit of the boot of italy, it was time to explore the tuscany regions of orvieto, Siena and Florence!

    Orvieto! A small town located on top of a volcanic rock! This small down was build before the Romans, and is very unique! Not only does the town have beautiful hill views, but has underground tunnels through the city! We did a walking cave tour through these tunnels, and it was very impressive to see how these people lived! We visted a beautiful church, and st patriks well, and was greeted by stuffed wild boar...which they eat. We decided not to try this....

    And now...siena! Again...a beautiful town surrounded by the tuscan skys, hills and vine yards in every direction! A very nice town to just walk around and eat gelato! We did a lot of relaxing during our stay here! I even took a swim in the hotel pool without a swimming cap...and yes..got yelled at! Italians dont appreciate you swimming in their pool without a cap! Siena was beautiful, but our adventure selves wanted to go exploring! So off we went! A two hour train trip to pisa! Thats right! Just to see the big leaning tower!.... totally worth the pictures of us pushing it over!

    Florence! Here we sung karaoke at the backpacking bar, making a full of ourselves and ate just about everything! We explored the leather markets and the famous bridge over the water! Florence was beautiful...but not as impressive as Rome..and i was reallg missing the beach..so we though a day trip to cinque terre was in order!

    Cinque Terre... one of the most famous places in europe to visit! I had high expectations of this beautiful place! And i am not going to lie...after visiting Capri..i was slightly dissapointed! Yes it was beautiful..amazing waters.... and a Great hike! But i felt the Australian in me..and thought that we also had pretty amazing walks as well! If i had to choose between Cinque Terre or Capri...i would have to choose Capri! Even the water wasnt as clear when you went in! I guess tourist have trashed it...and if it wasnt as populated... i bet it would of been more beautiful! However...if you dont visit the sorrento, amalfi coast, capri areas... do Cinque Terre! Because...why not!

    Conclusion of Italy!
    Is the food really amazing in Italy?
    Pasta... it is okay....pizza... pretty good!.... Gelato... life. Absolutly amazing..!

    The food was amazing in the first week and a half in italy! However it is very repetitive! Not much meat is on the pasta or pizza...and if you eat out...it can be very pricy, as you have to order 4 courses to get full!

    Next stop is two towns in france, Nice and Avignon! Then SPAIN! Bring on thd churros and sliders! Yummmm
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  • Day46

    Italian Adventure

    June 15, 2015 in Italy

    Day one

    First we got on the bus from Rome to Pompeii where we explored the old Pompeii town which aas covered in Ash by the large volcano! This we very interesting, besides the fact we had a horrible Guide! It looked quiet similar to the previous old town we visted outside Roman, however pompeii had lots of old pots and preserved sculpters of people who had died during 79 AD when the volcano hit! It even had a brothel with very exotic paintings on the wall! After we had lunch in pompeii, we went to our camping accomadation in sorrento! We grabbed a few drinks and looked out to beautiful views, just before our massive 4 course italian meal! Then we had a few more drinks and had an early night as we had to be prepared for our 7.30am boat cruise to Capri!

    Day two

    Capri! Absolutly amazing! Besides getting lost on the other side of the island, this was by far the most pretty place...and there for i allow myself to be okay in getting lost! We had a small breakfast in a water front cafe, before heading in a convertable taxi up the top of the mountain! Here we explored shops and got a chair lift to the peak of the mountain to get some beautiful photo shots, and eat yummy gelato once again. We swam in the aqua blue water before heading back onto the boat where we were greeted by the Mafia... yep the Mafia! Who showed us into the blue grotto....and all i can say is... this was and prob will be the highlight of my trip. We tipped the man in the canoe an extra 5 euros..just so we could swim for 30 seconds... and boy was it worth it..even though it is not allowed! After this, we got on our speed boat and explored the coast! And even swam in the middle of the oceane where a little waterfall was! Such warm water!! We head back to the campsite, covered in thick salt, as the water was very choppy! We had showers, and then had a quick dinner at the camp, before walking town to the city of sorrento to get some souveniors and new sandals! Yayayay.

    Day 3

    Day three was very relaxing...besides the big early wake up at 6am in the morning...and the scary cliff roads around the amalfi coast on a big bus!! Here we explored the beautiful small towns around the coastal line, where we grabbed breakfast and lunch...and had a nice swim on the beach!

    Now we are back in Rome, very tired from all this relaxing! Next stop tomorrow is orvieto!
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  • Day41

    ROMA!

    June 10, 2015 in Italy

    ANACONA....a small holiday town 4 hours from Venice. Lucky for us, we missed our busabout bus from venice to Anacona, so we got to experience the Italian trains.. just wow...absolutly...not luxury... no air con...people staring at you..and the constant harrasment of gipsys and indian sales men, who try to either sell you something, ask for money...or steal your belongings... just perfect.
    Either way..we got to Anacona, and did absolutly nothing for the two days we were there, besides enjoy the italian beaches! Lovely water, lovely sun... but not quiet like the Australian sand...as we were stepping on hard rocks! Not so nice, when we have such sensitive feet!!

    After two days, we were ready to head to the Ancient city of Rome! One of my favourite places to visit! But not a place I would ever live... the traffic here is crazy! No one cares about pedestrians on crossings...nor do the people care about older people standing up on trains... we gave up our seats almost every train ride...and everyone was shocked...giving us weird looks! Atleast we made Australia proud!

    We did so much in the 7 days we were here! We walked absolutly everwhere..and boy do my feet hurt! I even broke my sandals :(
    We visited the typical attractions around Rome! We did a walking tour first to see where everything was, and the basic history around such attractions. We saw the pop at the Vatican, which is actually its own country! Smallest but richest country in the world!

    On our lazy days in Rome we visited a water park which was so much fun, and also went to the beach, where ofcorse we turned into lobsters.... very red lobsters.

    We did a day trip out to a city 30 minute away from Rome, which showed a small ancient town, which was invaded by the bavarians, and soon was quarantined due to an invest of malaria. This was very interesting as you were able to see the whole town... the houses, gardens, ampetheatre and all the amazing sculpters, almost in perfect condition! However no roofs were preserved.

    One amazing fact I learnt in Rome was that the sculpters which are white, wernt originally white! They were only white because of being hidden under the ground for so many years!

    Next stop is Pompeii, the amalfi coast and Capri, on our Italian adventure tour, for the next three days! This part of the trip i was most excited for! Cant wait, however a big 5am start tomorrow, so I better go to bed!
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  • Day34

    Italian adventureee begins!

    June 3, 2015 in Italy

    We stopped one night in Munich, as we are returing in October for Octoberfest! However, we thought we might as well tryout a beer hall, just to get a glimse of the bavarian way! Beer, beer, beer, pork knuckle, beer, snitizel and beer...that sums Munich up! I tried on some traditional clothes, however, i am still on the look for that one outfit for October.

    Next stop was two night in a small country town in Austria! Very relaxing out here, and not much to do, however this was exactly what we needed for our trip...a break before Italy. We went walking and on cable carts up mountains, ans also treked it into a larger city to enjoy some water slides and spas! Only thing what shocked us and what we were a bit dissapointed in, was that we paid for the saunas...however they were full of naked men...apparently clothes were not allowed...so there goes a bit of money..as i completly chickened out after that.

    The next stop is Venice... also known as venezia...and one of my favourite citys so far! This italian city is completly different to anything i have seen. We enjoyed the beautiful Italian sun... while on the local ferries, which were completly packed! It was a nice change from cars, and great to know that there were no bikes or crazy european drivers trying to run us over! The city had canals everywhere! Ive never seen or walked up so many stairs in my life! My feet are killing after everyday, as we walk from one side of the city to the other! There are masks, which were absolutly beautiful, and murrano glass, and hand made lace Everywhere! Thr food wis amazing...having pizza ans pasta everyday is not something to complain about in Italy, as it is always fresh! Gelato i have been having everyday! Trying all the different flavours. There are si many tourist here though..which dont know how to keep to one side!!!

    We are here for 5 nights, so there is plenty to do around the city. We watched an italian theatre show, which taught us the history of venice, and commedia dell'arte masks, which was great as i learnt this in high school. We have been visiting all the different roman buildings, museums, churches, galleries and the magnificent palaces!

    Our room is great as well, and has a kitchen, so we have been mostly cooking our own meals, as Venice can be very expensive.

    So far i have bought a new leather bag and a painting! But looking forward to go tourist shopping tomorrow for some little gifts!

    Next stop, Florence!
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