Tag Archives: travelling

Midday drinking

We started our day in a cafe with coffee and cake. Mum ordered a chocolate filled pastry-thing and a cappuccino. I had a double espresso. An unfortunate habit I’ve developed since travelling Europe, not because it’s a double espresso, but because I tend to have a total of three throughout the whole day.

We’d overslept and were heading to the Louvre much later than we’d hoped.

When we got there the queue was already snaking its way back and forth from the door to an undesirable length. Men brandishing selfie sticks tried to sell us unofficial tickets repeatedly as we hovered at the information board, deciding what to do. Continue reading

See you in Paris

I arrived in Paris late. My rucksack was heavy and I wanted to go to bed. I’d been on the move for fifteen hours since waking up at 4:30am and boarding my first train in Konstanz at 6:30am.

Mumma was meeting me off the Metro at Pigalle. She’d travelled out the same day but had arrived earlier and already checked into our hotel. We were staying at Hotel Sacré-Cœur, not far from Montmartre.

Montmartre and the surrounding area is famous for being home to The Moulin Rouge, and frequented by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Henri Mattise, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Suzanne Valadon. Drinking, smoking, collaborating, and living here, Montmartre became known as a haven for artists during the period of 1872 to 1914.

It was here that we were staying.

Here that would be home for the next three nights.

Mum was excitable and chatty. I showered. The hot water washing away the day’s travelling. I could hear Mum shouting something to me from the bed room, “I can’t hear you!” I called back. Continue reading

On the other side

It was 11:00am and I wanted to leave.

Stuart was smoking. “We’re not in a rush, are we?”

“Umm, no, we’re not in a rush.” How could I say we were? We weren’t. But I wanted to go. I didn’t want to “chill out” and “slow down”. I wanted to go, go, go. I had a town to see. Sights to explore. An environment to take in.

I could feel myself getting fractious. Irritable. Continue reading

Guns and coffee

We got up, packed and were on our way to Cesky Krumlov by 11:00am. We took the number 16 to just outside of the coach station. We had six minutes before our coach was due to leave.

We couldn’t find it.

We found a yellow bus with “Cesky Krumlov” written on the list of stops on the side of the bus. “Could this be us?” I pointed.

“FlixBus are usually green. But they do sometimes contract out… I’m not sure.” We asked the driver, he nodded, or at least we thought he did, until we showed him our ticket before trying to board.

“THIS IS NOT FLIXBUS!” he shouted, pointing dramatically at the bus logo on the side, placing his hands on to it for extra emphasis. “NOT THIS BUS.” He took our bags out of the hold with dramatic exasperation, sighing loudly.

We wondered what to do. If this wasn’t our bus, then our bus wasn’t here. Had we missed it? Continue reading

Travel Buddies

The previous evening, chilling in my PJs, I met Stu. He was from Canada, had been travelling for seven months, with another three to go. We chatted and laughed. Went for a beer and bought takeaway pizza. It was nice to feel a connection with someone. I’d been sad to leave that behind in Berlin.

In the morning we exchanged numbers. “Leave your data on so I can message and come find you when I’m ready. Check your phone, like, every five minutes.”

I laughed, “Every five minutes? You’ll be lucky if I check it every hour.” I wasn’t joking. Travelling alone, separated from everyone, I was enjoying it. I didn’t want to feel attached to my phone waiting for a text. I wasn’t even sure I wanted company.

The weather was brighter but chilly, the sky had cleared. My plan was to cross the Charles Bridge, visit Prague Castle, and then go to the monastic brewery.

I caught the number 22 to Narodni Trida and from there walked the streets until I found the Charles Bridge. I wasn’t in a rush. I was happy to see where the roads took me. Continue reading

Portishead in Prague

I got back from PAX BAR the night I arrived in Prague, and went down to the hostel bar. I was uncomfortable. I didn’t want to step out of my comfort zone. I was safe in my bubble of being alone. But that’s not the point of staying in a hostel. You’re supposed to talk to people. Meet other travellers.

I sat in the bar, alone, and thought, Why isn’t anyone talking to me? And then, Well shit Hope, you might actually have to be the one to start the conversation. The prospect was horrible. A pub quiz was taking place and everyone was sat round tables in groups already. I spotted one table. Kept telling myself to just go over and join them. It felt so unnatural. Continue reading