Trip Start Mar 31, 2009
Trip End Oct 13, 2009

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, May 25, 2009


Well here I am in the North of England where the people speak funny.

Since my last update I have been to Pai in Thailand.  Nice place but very hot, not humid as such, just hot.  Luckily there is a pool there, so after finding somewhere to stay a group of us headed there for the afternoon.  We spent a large chunk of the next day there too.  After two nights I headed back to Chiang Mai, then on an overnight train to Bangkok where I had breakfast then got a bus to the new airport (big with lots of exposed steel beams and glass but really just another airport), then on a plane to Frankfurt, Germany. 

The flight was ok, but there were no individual entertainment units, which was a surprise - a bit retro really.  They had the big screen on the bulkhead and the smaller tvs up the aisles.  The movies were mixed, ranging from 9 - 5 from 1980 and starring Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda to Valkyrie starring Tom Cruise.  I actually thought it was a little ironic showing a planeload of Germans a movie about Nazis.  Most of them watched the movie so I guess they didn't have a problem with it. 

Anyway, got to Frankfurt on Saturday night and got to my hostel ok.  The next morning I asked at reception where the nearest supermarket was, they told me it was around the corner but would be closed as it was Sunday.  Apparently pretty much everything is closed in Germany on Sundays.  Frankfurt was pleasant enought but there isn't a lot to do there, unless you are into museums - there are lots of musems in Frankfurt.

On Tuesday I got a train to Stuttgart then on another train to Schwabisch Hall where I got a bus to Kupferzell where Jawad lives.  I had a pleasant couple of nights there with a day in the nearest biggish town where it seems half the buildings look like they are going to fall over.  It was great to catch up with Jawad and to meet his wife.  On the Thursday I got a bus back to Schwabisch Hall then a train to Stuttgart then another train to Cologne then another train to Brussels then the Eurostar to London.  Phew! 

My mate Bert met me at the station in London and we headed to his place at Colliers Wood where I stayed a couple of nights, then I moved to Richmond where I stayed with Julia.  I didn't do a lot in London, apart from wander around the Science museum and British museum, and catch up with Karen and go to see a band called Idlewild play.  Then on Thursday I got a coach (would have used a train but you should see the cost of travelling by train over here!) to Manchester to catch up with Sarah.  On Saturday she took me to the Lakes District (very nice) and we stayed at her friend's place in a town called Keswick (don't pronounce the w, I told you they talk funny up here) then on Sunday saw some more of the local area before heading back to Manchester (well, Oldham to be more accurate, which is part of Greater Manchester). 

Tomorrow, Tuesday, I get a coach back to London where I have a night booked in a hostel close to London City Airport, as I need to be there at 5.45 in the morning to get my flight to Montreal (via Munich - it is a Lufthansa flight so I guess a visit to Germany is obligatory).

I have enjoyed my time in the UK.  I enjoyed catching up with Bert, Julia, Karen, and Sarah.  The weather hasn't been great (apart from the Sunday in the Lakes District) but it is always nice to see friends and I look forward to seeing them again somewhere sometime.

Distance Travelled         17399k's by plane
                                     4582k's by train
                                     1950k's by bus

Song of the Day : Brave Words by the Chills

Right, that will do.  No photos cos I haven't taken many and the light has been crap anyway since I left NZ so there.

See ya
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