It is solved by walking.
— Algerian proverb
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jotravelbear

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About me

I'm Female, from Australia

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My route

Singapore
Denmark
France
Belgium
Ireland

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Jotravelbear's Europe Adventure

Nov 1999 - Jul 2015

1

2

In transit

12:00am

Travelling is often a strange experience. It yanks you firmly outside of your comfort zone. On the plus side, you tend to notice things you wouldn't ordinarly. Things which break up the montony of waiting.

Like for example, when did having ipad like customer feedback (complete with emoticons) in airport bathrooms become a thing? I saw them today in Brisbane International Airport as well as in Changi. This thirst for feedback also extends to information desks and the indoor garden in Changi. Qantas has a twitter hashtag: #qantasfood. The food was quite good but even if I did use twitter, I don't think plane food would be tweet worthy!

Other reasons to smile here in Changi: there is an outdoor cactus garden which is barracaded off for 'improvements', all cacti hidden from view. I did get a sample of Singaporean air though and absorbed some humidity.

There's also a gorgeous indoor garden where I discovered an orchid named after this airport. It's a lovely airport, one of the better ones I've been to but I can't imagine naming a flower for it! I wonder what flower we would choose to name after an Australian airport ...

Almost up to my 11th hour of travelling and passing in and out of the zombie zone. Hopefully this post doesn't contain too many spelling mistakes and the next post will be written with less jetlag!

Thinking of you all <3

Copenhagen

10:02am

I'm slowly unwinding in beautiful Copenhagen. I've fallen in love with this city. It was a quick courtship, only took an hour to embrace the beautiful colourful buildings, funky cafés and cobbled pavements. The proximity to the sea gives it temperamental weather but the overcast days don't detract from the city's wonders. Yesterday I had a great time getting lost (something I don't say often) in different streets of the city.

Met some beautiful people too. On the flight from Helsinki to Copenhagen I was seated next to this beautiful Finnish lady and her son. She thought I was Danish, on my way home from Australia! My powers of blending in! (I've been mistaken for Russian in Russia as well). We spoke English and helped each other in finding where we had to go. Her son only spoke Finnish but we communicated in the language of smiles. Funny how words aren't really needed. So many kids everywhere speaking different languages really adorably, with energy and enthusiasm you see everywhere. We really are all the same.

Mum said:
Posted: 29 Jun 15, 02:40pm

Great blog. Really enjoyable reading.

Sole traveller

9:21pm

It's funny I keep getting asked the same question by people who know me and people I've just met: are you travelling all by yourself? What's that like?

The truth is that it's fantastic. There is enormous freedom in setting off on your pat malone. You decide where to stay, what train to catch, when to take a break. My daily itinerary is entirely my own and if I'm exhausted I can give myself the day or the afternoon off.

Anyone who knows me would know that I am someone who worries about the little things. Sometimes anything and everything. So travelling alone is really good for me. I may worry about how I am going to get from the train station to the hotel or from the city to the airport but basically I just have to work it out. I'm learning that stressing doesn't help but if I'm concerned, to try and get done info beforehand. It goes without saying that successfully arriving gives me a feeling of accomplishment every time!

There is also a great generosity of spirit shown to love travellers. I have been humbled and cheered by it. I am grateful to Anna, my new Finnish friend who chatted to me and then helped me buy metro tickets at the airport. I am grateful to the danish lady who saw me with my map unfolded in the Main Street of Copenhagen and asked if I needed help. I give thanks to the Danish guy who I sat next to on the plane from Copenhagen to Brussels who convinced his Belgian friend to drop me at the train station. Finally, I am thankful for the Ghentian family who gave me a tram ticket with one remaining trip on it, when I first arrived hot and exhausted. I happily handed my tram ticket with remaining trips on it this morning to a tourist. I think it's important to maintain this circle of generousity. It may have made them feel good, I hope it did. The effect it had on me is incredible. Travelling makes you feel vulnerable and in that moment of generosity, I felt part of a community.

Paris

5:38pm

Paris and I are indifferent to each other. It is a strange to say that is a city many have been seduced by, their love affair driving them to poetry and painting. Monmartre is my exception to this rule. There Paris is unrestrained with none of the reserves elegance which is found elsewhere. It is a crazy melting pot/culture clash, where African immigrants sell cheap souvenirs alongside artists and musicians plying their trades. You can get your portrait drawn or painted and then purchase a crêpe Nutella banane made in front of you. In the centre is the bascilca sacre coeur, white domes reminiscent of a church in the Middle East. The interior is hushed and there's a gentleman to ensure people respect the silence and are dressed appropriately, miming for people to remove their hats. The interior of the middle done is painted with a magnificent mural of Jesus with God above him and the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove in the middle. I stayed in a hostel 2 minutes walk from this beautiful church, my favourite in the world. Paris I think is aware of my indifference with this one exception and has had fun laughing at me today. I've eaten too much over the last couple of days so Paris has obliged by providing plenty of stairs for me to climb in the metro. Happy to say I can confidently lift 15kg! The bus to Orly airport was hidden behind the entrance to the catacombs. The line at the baggage check in was enormous with a hot blooded Frenchman getting upset when others behind the who were on a flight leaving before him, we're served first. My boarding pass was scanned 6 times. The guy at security who thought it was funny to joke that I had to eat my sandwich before going through security - the lady who wasn't joking when she told me to scull the water left in my water bottle. The final guy at security who told me he liked my name.All part of the experience right? In response to this trickery and joker sense of humour, I shrug nonchalantly and say that's why I arrive in advance. Goodbye Paris, leave perhaps no longer completely indifferent but slightly amused at your antics.

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