Okay guys we know we have been really slack but we have been having way too much fun and learning from our many mistakes. Now we have decided to add another tab on our blog called “Hints & Tips”. We would like to share our experiences with you and let you know what hidden gems we find and where to stay away from. Now we aren’t really sure what everyone wants to see on here so we were just going to do a general outline of our adventure so far and if you guys want our blog to be more detailed or less detailed or to have some other bits and pieces in it then just let us know and we shall try and make it happen…. I will warn you that this one is quite lengthy as it covers a fair few places but it makes for some good reading material!
Well we made the journey from Townsville to London in one piece. 28hrs of airports, plane food, and being confined to small seats made for an interesting arrival. I would also like to blame the lack of sleep for me leaving my bag behind after 5mins of being in London… Luckily I had an honest person come running after me otherwise that would have been a good start to the journey!
For our first full day in London we thought we would explore the city by foot because we are now cheapskate backpackers plus on a map everything looked fairly close by. Now after a couple of hours walking around we discovered that we aren’t exactly the best map readers and our directional skills were lacking a bit so of course we got lost. All I can say is that I think we saw more of the city then what we had actually planned. We managed to find Trafalgar Square, Chinatown, Convent Garden Markets, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Marble Arch and London Eye all by foot.
The next day Renee’s friend Ray gave us a personalised bike tour of London. In a day we cycled around all of the city of London and got to see the remainder of the token London icons. We even got to cycle over the Tower Bridge and as exhausted as we were we managed to walk up the 311 steps at The Monument (which you get a certificate for as well and I think we well and truly deserved that certificate!)
The next day we made our way to Scotland by Train – well we only JUST caught the train but that’s a story in itself. Picture two hungover girls attempting to run with 20kg backpacks at 6am and then jamming ourselves into a taxi without taking them off oh and then trying to get out – fun times.
Now being in Scotland we had to immerse ourselves in the culture so of course our first meal consisted of whiskey and Haggis – which wasn’t as bad as what we thought it would be. We stayed in Edinburgh for 2 days with our friends Ali and Ray and did our own walking tour on the first day and discovered a fair bit of what Edinburgh had to offer (including the Royal Mile and the Scott Monument – 287 stairs and another certificate woo!). We also discovered Jenga at the hostel we were staying at which gave us some pretty good amusement for a night.
The following day we thought we would do the walking tour that the hostel provided for us, all I can say is it made for some good entertainment and I would probably recommend one of the proper walking tours………………. We accidently “lost” our tour and went for a wonder on our own and came across Calton Hill (described as the ‘mini Athens’ of Scotland) and then did a tour of the Vaults with our slightly creepy but insanely good tour guide Jaime. For our last night in Edinburgh with Ali and Ray we thought we would go all out and indulge ourselves in food and wine. After some wine and Jenga at the hostel we made our way to a fantastic little place called “Mussel & Steak Bar”. Now this place isn’t for the budget conscious I’d just like to point out, but their food was absolutely amazing! Renee would like to point out that they had the BEST mussels she has ever eaten and she has had a fair few in her time. After 4 bottles of wine and bellies full of delicious food we decided to make our way to a quiet little bar that had Karaoke and there my friends we had one of the best nights ever!
Of course following our grand night out Renee and I had to wake up at 6am for our Haggis tour to the Highlands. So once again we only JUST made it to our tour, thanks to a lot of locals giving us wrong directions and once again picture two hungover girls running up and down the Royal Mile trying to find our tour – good stuff.
On our two day tour of the Highlands we got to see Glencoe, Fort Augustus, Inverness, Perth, Loch Ness (even got to see Nessie herself) and Isle of Skye. Now at this point we would like to introduce our new companion Hamish as well. Hamish will be travelling with us for the rest of our trip (that is if we don’t lose him so we shall see how far he gets).
The bar was set pretty high after our amazing experience with Scotland and in all honestly it was a bit of a letdown when we hit Dublin. We did a hop on hop off tour of Dublin and saw some pretty cool things like the Goal, the museums and just had a general wonder around Dublin. We stopped at the Temple Bar for some lunch and our first Guiness in Ireland – quite impressed and we would definitely recommend going here if you are ever in Dublin. The next day we did a 2 day tour of South West Ireland and visited the Cliffs of Moher (absolutely recommended as it was just breathtaking), Killarney, Blarney Castle (we even kissed the Blarney Stone and probably caught some infectious disease) and then headed back to Dublin for our final night in Ireland.
At this stage I would just like to say that we are both quite sick and trying to get over whatever we have but we have preserved and today we made our way to Morocco – yay! We started off in Dublin and flew to London to catch our connecting flight to Casablanca, once again there is quite an interesting story of us running through the airport and coughing our guts up to try and catch our connecting flight as the airlines are a bunch of silly pumpkins. We got such a culture shock when we hit Casablanca and interesting fact – English isn’t widely used either! Their main languages are Arabic and French which we were not prepared for at all. Once again, imagine us with massive backpacks attempting to figure out how to get from the Airport to our hotel in the city centre without trying to look like tourists – yeah right. We eventually decided on a taxi and tried to find a metered one but apparently that just wasn’t going to happen and then trying to explain where we wanted to go was a nightmare in itself and we ended up with 10 guys surrounding us trying to understand where we wanted to go. I would also like to point out if you go to someone in a ‘professional looking top’ that says “Taxi Service” be prepared to tip them, I would even say avoid them as they only point you in the direction of a taxi. Also agree to a price before you leave if you do go into a Taxi that isn’t metered. The culture in Casablanca very different to anything we have experienced before and when you get over a few things it’s actually quite nice. I would definitely say that Casablanca isn’t really for the beginner traveller but if you do decide to go I would suggest to do a bit of a tour and some of the taxi drivers will actually do a 3hr tour as well for quite cheap so that would be another way to see Casablanca. We only got to see the Morocco Mall and the beach though.
Well that is our adventure so far and unfortunately we won’t be able to update the blog for another 2 weeks as we will be trekking around Morocco. I hope you guys have enjoyed our mishaps so far and I’m sure there will be more soon as there will be camels involved shortly!
Michelle & Renee