Part 6 - Scandinavia and the World Cup Final
Trip Start Dec 10, 2005
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Day 115 -Wednesday 7th June 2006 - Helsingor
We went cigarette shopping this morning for our friend Neil who we are going to visit in Bergen, Norway and cigarettes are also really expensive there. As neither of us smoke we had no idea what we were doing and the man at the counter could not speak English so it was up to sign language again!! We came away with 2 cartons only to find that they were a bit light so we opened up and checked them only to see that they were just cigarette papers with no tobacco inside!! So we had to go back again and this time we got the real things!! We were also going to stock Misty up with even more booze and but we had been warned that we may get stopped at Swedish customs and fined so we didn't. We headed of on the ferry and it was a really short 20 minute calm ride which made Gem really happy
Day 116 -Thursday 8th June 2006 - Sweden/Norway
Today was just a feast for the eyeballs! The scenery here is rather amazing (I think it looks like a cross between the Canadian Rockies and the South Island of New Zealand!) We basically drove and drove and we went over the top of the mountains and they were still covered in snow and the lakes were still frozen over with ice
Day 117 -Friday 9th June 2006 - Bergen
Today we checked out a bit of Bergen and we went into the Irish sports bar in town to watch the first game of the World Cup. Two of Neil's Norwegian friends Ausborjn (which means arse bear so that is what he is now called by us and Lars) came along as well. We ended up partying the night away at Arse bears and having a grill (they fit everything onto a mini Weber) and drinking far too much alcohol. Arse bear kept giving us 50% vodka. There was much singing and laughing and we now have a favorite saying "You Aussies are so Vild and Naughty! It is very amusing when they say it in their cute accents with their blonde hair and blue eyes. We partied to 3.00am in the morning and it was still light!! It is very hard to judge the time of day as it stays really light to about 11.30 and then turns to the light of about a 5am morning in Australia..
Day 118 -Saturday 10th June 2006 - Bergen
For some reason we all had really bad hangovers today so we too it easy until about 3.00am before we ventured into town. Neil gave us a tour which was very interesting as he makes up absolutely rubbish about the history of Bergen and it is hard at times to tell if it is true or not... he is very funny. We went up the funicular train to the top of the mountain and checked out the view of the entire town. We have been so lucky with the weather here... it normally rains 256 days a year but since we have arrived it has been nothing but blue skies and sunshine (which the boys have been so unhappy about as all the blonde girlies lie out on the grass in their bikinis at the slightest hint of sunshine). Bergen is a very pretty little town and has a great harbor full of boats and the main street is lined with little wooden houses from the 15th century. We went to the famous Bergen fish markets which are held along the harbor every day. They are actually allowed to catch Whale here so they had it on sale everywhere (apparently it is more regulated than Japan though and they just can't kill everything) and we got to try a little bit of salted whale..
Day 119 -Sunday 11th June 2006 - Bergen
Today we got dressed up in our Australian shirts, scarf's and flags and headed into the Dubliner pub in town for the Australia VS England rugby match. We were quite a sight walking through Bergen as we also met up with some other Aussies who had their green and golds on. The pub was full of Poms and as soon as we arrived they yelled out "the convicts are here".... There was much good hearted bagging going on of each other and we were happy that we were kicking their pommy buts. At half time ¾ of them left as they could not handle the arse whipping. We won 34 to 3 and the ones that were left were good losers .... As they are used to it !!! We had a good time running through the streets back to the car with our flags and managed to pick up a few more Aussies and Poms for a chat on the way back. Gemeah was designated driver as Neil and Wayne had just a little too much to drink ! Tonight we had something we have been craving since leaving home... a big BBQ'd steak !! We had a good time meeting Monica's parents
Day 120 -Monday 12th June 2006 - Bergen
Today Wayne went to work with Neil and learnt how to install garage doors. Monica and I contacted the harbor where I left Misty's water cap and they have been really helpful putting out a search party for it. We went back to the Dubliner today to watch Australia beat Japan in the soccer 3 to 1... more Aussie's partying in the pub. This afternoon we went out to Monica's parent's cabin on the lake of one of the many fiords around here. It was a pretty spot and great to relax. The boys went out sight seeing in the boat but it was just a bit too choppy for Monica and I as we both get sea sick!! Then off to Monica's parent's place where here mum cooked up a storm and fed us with cheese soufflé and heaps of pancakes!! Yum.
Day 121 -Tuesday 13th June 2006- Bergen
Yeh the harbor people have found Misty's water cap and are going to organize to get it back to me by posting it to Berlin... they were so helpful..
Day 122 -Wednesday 14th June 2006 (Away 2 months now!) - Bergen
Today we had to get Wayne to a doctor again to get his eye checked so that took most of the day. Neil and I went shopping while waiting for Wayne and I got my dose of retail therapy. Tonight we got our LOST fix as well and caught up on all the episodes we missed as it was the season finale in Norway. Wayne gave Neil some more cooking lessons on how to make chicken and mushroom risotto. Tonight we stayed up to about 3am playing UNO again. Gem must have picked something up at the doctor's clinic as she started to get a sore throat and flu symptoms this afternoon.... Bugger.
Day 123 -Thursday 15th June 2006 - Bergen/Stavanger
Woke up to find Neil had left us a very very funny goodbye note. We then dropped Monica off at work and headed off towards the South of Norway. Gem is really sick now with tonsillitis so Wayne had to do most of the driving
Day 124 -Friday 16th June 2006 - Kristiansand/Kragero
Well this morning started off a bit crap..
We stopped in another gorgeous well known town called Kristiansand. We found a great spot to park for a couple of hours next to a beach. As Gemeah was close to death by this point she stayed to sit on the white sand while Wayne explored the town via bike. Did we mention that nearly everyone is beautiful here... brown, great figures... very sickening. There was one old really fat dude on the beach and Gemeah got a face full of Scandinavian skin when he decided to strip naked and change into his swimmers in the middle of the beach. Wayne braved the water and went for a very chilly dip in the ocean. This little harbor is very popular with the cruise ships and we also got a bit of a fright when a submarine went past. We headed off again through more spectacular scenery and stopped the night in Kragero on one of the many harbors with a couple of other German's motor homers!!. They had a Jazz (Bernise Mountain Dog) Dog which was very old and tried to jump into our motorhome to steal the pork steaks that Wayne was cooking
Day 125 -Saturday 17th June 2006 - Oslo
This morning was spent exploring the little town of Kragero... which actually looks more like a movie set than a real life town. It is full of gorgeous bright colored little houses, shops and restaurants and everyone just scoots into town in their boats. They even have doof doof boats for young Bevans who go honing around the harbor with their stereos pumping!!. We then set off towards Oslo and again Wayne had to do the driving as Gem is still coughing up a lung!!. We explored Oslo by bike and found the main harbor where the cruise ships birth... the same boat we saw yesterday in Kristiansand is here now!! We found a fantastic spot on the Akershus Fortress which has a great castle over looking the harbor... the fantastic thing for Wayne was that they had a massive truck sized TV set up and were showing all the World Cup Games... so we just had to watch a game. Then off exploring more of the town where we had ostepolse for lunch.. these are the Norwegian hot dogs that Neil got us hooked on... they are the best we have ever tasted !!. Then we went back to watch another Football game....As we were walking back to Misty we noticed that the street was full of prostitutes and it was rather amusing to watch them work their stuff... We then headed towards the Oslo harbor where our trusty German book told us where we could park for the night for only 60 NOK ($12). We are right on the water again and have a forest behind us. We really are getting spoilt for spots to stay in Norway. The plan is to wake up early to try and get the great parking spot we had today next to the castle (in the street full of hookers) so that we can do more sight seeing and then watch the Aussie football game tomorrow (Australia VS Brazil)
Day 126 -Sunday 18th June 2006 - Oslo
What a fun day! We managed to get up early and got a great park next to the Fortress and then set off to find the tourist office. We got lost and ended up exploring another part of the harbor. Wayne had his Australian Football shirt on which has a big "AUSTRALIA" plastered all over the back and he had another guy and his wife come up to him wearing his Australia hat. They lived on the Gold Coast and were over here for 4 weeks. We eventually found the tourist office and found out how to get to Vigeland Park. This park was huge and amazing and it's central walkway is lined with life sized statues by Gustuv Vigeland... over 200 in total with a massive monolith of writhing bodies smack bang at the top of the hill... it is supposedly one of the world's largest granite sculptures. To top it off, because it was a beautiful day all the Norwegians had their gear off basking in the sun... more blonde beautiful people!!! We ran into a few more Aussies on the tram ride back to the harbor. Then off to watch the football at the top of the fortress (Japan VS Croatia... boring game no one scored but Wayne still enjoyed it). The crowds started to arrive for the Australia VS Brazil game. We got dressed up in all our Aussie gear and our flags and headed down into the stadium. As soon as we were through the gates we got grabbed by an Aussie chick named Jackie who asked us to join her at the Aussie table which they had amidst all the Brazilians!
Day 127 -Monday 19th June 2006 - Oslo and Karlstad
Yeh this morning we got to have a sleep in which was good as Gem was still ill with the flu and overdid it a bit yesterday!
Day 128 -Tuesday 20th June 2006 - Orebro & Stockholm
It was nice waking this morning to the sound of rain and we had another big sleep in as Wayne is also now feeling fluish !!! We spent the morning on the internet looking up a few spots and contacting people. Then headed off towards Stockholm. On the way we stopped at Orebro where the main attraction is Orebro Slott which is noted as Sweden's most photogenic castle. Wayne, who was now close to death from the flu, stayed and had a sleep while I explored the castle.... It was really beautiful as were the surrounding gardens. On the way back I bought Wayne a little present (to say sorry for giving him the flu)... it was a massive funky Gecko that bobs up and down from a spring... he is now swinging from the rood of Misty and will look cool in the Go Gecko mobile when we get back !! (for those of you who don't know we have a partnership in a real estate business called GO GECKO !! hence why the Gecko is significant). We found our way to Stockholm which was packed with people dressed in their blue and yellow footy gear as it is the Sweden VS England game tonight. We found a city campsite but they wanted $65 AUD to stay each night which is really expensive so we decided to try another one from our trusty German book... we found it and rocked up to find our little Italian campers from last night in the spot with about 10 other motor homes... best of all the placed is actually closed so we are all free camping next to a beautiful little river full of wooden boats!! Tonight the city was going off as it is the Sweden VS England soccer game. We walked 5 minutes to the local beer garden that was showing the game and people were going nuts!! The roar and chanting of the crowd was deafening!
Day 129 -Wednesday21st June 2006 - Stockholm
We had a nice little sleep in today which was good as we have both been feeling unwell. We headed off to find the train station to get into central station. Even the trains here are really expensive... we are only 4 stops from central but return tickets cost us $16. We found the tourist office and found out where all the things were that we wanted to see. We then hopped onto a double Decker sight seeing bus to take in all of the sights of Stockholm... it is a nice place but our first impressions are that it is just another big dirty harbor city that does not seem all that special... we will find out over the next couple of days if that view changes. They do have awesome shops though and the Swedish design and textiles are to die for. We set of to find the Ice bar which is a bar which is made completely of ice from the far north of Sweden (Lapland). We had to book to come back at 6pm as they are so busy.. Apparently sometimes you have to book weeks in advance. So off we went to try and find out how to catch a ferry over to Helsinki and then took in some more of the local shopping streets before heading back to the Ice Bar. This place was pretty cool... literally. You had to put on a big thermal silver poncho coat and gloves before entering and when you get inside everything is made from massive chocks of ice, including the glasses that you drink out of
Day 130 -Thursday22nd June 2006 - Stockholm
We got up this morning to find the place where we had to book the ferry to Helsinki
Day 131 -Friday 23rd June 2006 - Stockholm
More motor homes have arrived over night and the place is packed. This morning the workers were setting up the campsite for it's opening on Monday... we don't know why they open so late as they are missing out on making a heap of money as their was about 30 motor homes here. Today we spent the day checking out Gamla Stan which is described as the oldest and the most attractive part of Stockholm - it was nicer than the rest of it. This is where the Royal Palace is and lots of old cobblestone streets filled with great shops... many of them art shops. Wayne did a bit of shopping and bought a very funky stainless steel serving dish and because it was Midsummer Eve we both got to drink a heap of wine in the shop!!
Day 132 -Saturday 24th June 2006 - Stockholm to Finland
Up bright and early at 5.30 am to get to the ferry terminal at 7.00am. We got on board and found out that this thing was more like a cruise boat than a ferry... it was huge and had everything from movie theatres, saunas, shopping, swimming, bars, casino (I kept Wayne away from that one !!), karaoke etc
Day 133 -Sunday 25th June 2006 - Helsinki
We spent the morning enjoying the water views from the harbor and then drove the 180km to Helsinki and found a few stops on the way to stock up on fresh raspberries and blueberries
Day 134 -Monday 26th June 2006 - Helsinki
We had a lovely sleep in and then off on our bikes to explore Helsinki. We like this city it is very compact and clean and easy to get around. We found our way to the famous Temppeliaukio Church (after riding up a massive hill that nearly killed us... we have to work on our fitness levels). This is a church that was quarried out of natural bedrock and has an amazing copper roof that seems to just hover above it. Then we headed towards central railway station which in itself is a stunning building and was designed by a famous architect Eliel Saarinen and is considered to be one of the most internationally admired Finnish architectural works. We found a place to watch the Australia VS Italy game tonight and then headed towards the market square which is Helsinki's most famous market
Day 133 -Tuesday 27th June 2006 - Helsinki
Below the harbor where we are staying is a pontoon that has heaps of tables and a wringing machine on it. We were trying to work out what this was for until this morning we saw all the local ladies down their washing their rugs and wringing them through the machine and then drying them over special drying racks... they call it "sport for women" in Finland. More exploring Helsinki today by bike. We had another great salmon lunch at the fish markets and then off to book our cruise ship ticket to return to Stockholm... this time it was only 75 euro ($110) where as on the way over it cost us ($280)... that's Sweden for you... double the price of everything. We explored some more markets, then the major shopping centre Kamppi and had a bit of a shopping spree buying a few beautiful glass wares made in Finland. More bike riding this afternoon where we found a spot to fill up with water (we have been having wonderful hot showers after our bike rides and have used all the water again!) and we also found power (we love the harbors) and listened to music all night and laughed our heads off listening to Tripod. Downloaded some more pictures and then nightmare!! All the files disappeared and I had to spend most of the night trying to get them back!!! Lucky I am anal retentive and had downloaded all of them to CD's as well.... Except most of them I have sent back home so hopefully they arrive safe and well
Day 134 -Wednesday 28th June 2006 - Helsinki to Imatra
Goodbye to beautiful Helsinki this morning and we headed off to the next little town called Porvoo which is another beautiful little seaside town that has cobbled streets and red wooden houses that back onto the river. We were happy to get an internet fix and get a few business faxes here that we had been waiting on. Then on to Lovissa which was another little harbor town but not too interesting so we kept driving to Kotka which was quite boring... the only exciting this here was where we stopped at the harbor and they had the world's biggest sand sculptures which were pretty amazing. We wanted to stop here and go on a day cruise tomorrow through to Russia but we learnt that you could only do this if you were an EU citizen, otherwise we would have to wait 6 days for the Russian Visa... so that is a bugger. We are so close to St Petersburg but it is frustrating not being able to just pop over there!! We think we would like to come back and do Moscow and St Petersburg and Lapland where Santa Claus lives and all the Eskimos (although you are supposed to call them Soumi's) in the winter when it would be cold but beautiful. We then drove on to the next town called Imatra where we have heard that they have a massive dam in the middle of town and they open it up every night to let the water through to the canyon below and have a light show
Day 135 -Thursday 29th June 2006 - Savonlinna
Next to the harbor was a great little swimming area that I wanted to go for a dip in today. However, the weather suddenly changed from 18 degrees to 12 degrees and raining!! So we slept in instead and then Wayne cooked great pancakes for brunch. We went into town and checked out the big dam which was actually quiet beautiful, then off to Savonlinna. We drove close to the border of Russia most of the way and I wanted Wayne to drive over and see if there were any checkpoints but he was boring and just kept driving !! We arrived in Savonlinna and saw the Olavinalinna castle which is the best preserved medieval castle in the northern countries and was used by the Swedish and Russian overlords. Today it is best know for the setting for the month long Opera Festival which starts here on Saturday and is said to be the most famous festival in Finland (too bad we are not going to be here!!). We are hoping that it is still cold tomorrow as we want to visit the big Spa that is here in the city and have sauna's and go swimming in the heated pool.
Day 136 -Friday 30th June 2006 - Savonlina
We actually got up early this morning despite partying to the wee hours of the morning with a retired Swiss couple who piled us full of Swiss red wine !! What a fun night we had with Mulurd and Helen who live near lake Konstanz. They invited us to come and stay with them in Switzerland when we eventually get there
Day 137 -Saturday 1st July 2006 - Somewhere in Finland
We said goodbye to Simon and Fraenzi at about 11.00 and hopefully we will be able to catch up with them if they have returned home by the time we are in Switzerland. Then enjoying the electricity we watched a DVD (The Shaggy Dog) and then enjoyed the beautiful lakeside setting watching kids and their parents jump in the lake!! We drove of to the next town Heinola where we walked through more markets, but again there was really not much here so we kept going to Lahti
Day 138 -Sunday 2nd July 2006 - Finland to Sweden
This morning we got up bright and early to line up for the ferry to see if we could get on a day early. We soon found out that the woman in Helsinki where we bought the ticket had made a mistake and we had to pay an extra 95 euro (we knew that price was too good to be true!!). We ended up getting on the ferry but this time it was not the same boat as the first one we came over on... it was much smaller (not so good you could feel it rolling) and not as lush. Never mind. So today it is goodbye to Finland, a quiet place compared to the rest of Europe, with many pine forests, more mousse, beautiful lakes, saunas but the most famous thing they are famous for is the invention of NOKIA !!
Wayne spent the day playing in the X-Box room and I spent the day watching DVD's and reading while watching the archipelago cruise by. When we finally got back down to the car deck, Wayne had an American guy come up and say "Mate, are you from Australia... as he had seen the stickers on Misty). Anyway they got talking and this guy had lived in Australia for 6 years and had been married to an Aussie girl, but now lived in Sweden and was married to a Finnish girl. He was a very friendly guy and invited us to come and stay at his place in Hallstahammar. We had already been through this area on the way from Oslo to Stockholm so we were not sure but then we met him and his family at the traffic lights and we thought what the heck! Well we are glad did as we had a great time talking until 1.00am in the morning and Michael offered to take us sightseeing the next day. It was a bit ironic as his situation was a bit similar to Wayne and I, he had been injured at work and was now a house husband and his wife, Katjia, was an Occupational Therapist and went to work
Day 139 -Monday 3rd July 2006 -Sweden
It was a stinking hot day today at 28 degrees and really sunny, so Michael took us cruising in his new soft top jeep and we had a great time seeing the local sights which included some of the lochs in the canal ways, the little harbor towns, and a couple of the Royal families palaces..
Day 140 -Tuesday 4th July 2006 - Sweden
Today was spent doing more cruising in the Jeep around the local town to see the sights as well as meeting some of Michael's friends who were Kiwi's. We wanted to buy the game Kubb which is the old Viking game that we saw all the Swede's playing on Midsummer's day in Stockholm. His mate Neil the Kiwi owns this massive store called Nisses which sells absolutely everything and is a cross between Super Amart, Spotlight, Crazy Clarkes, and Bunnings. So we got our game here and then we went shopping for a few other things and I was very excited a 12 volt hair dryer and 12 volt fan for when we don't have electricity (it's funny the things you get excited about when your motor homing !!)
Day 141 -Wednesday 5th July 2006 - Sweden
This morning we spent the day down loading Aussie music for Michael... he is so funny... he is such a Yank but he misses Australia so much and has loved having company as he is home by himself most of the day. We have been invited back by Michael and Neil for Christmas and as they all have houses in Finland they have said we could stay and that they could also get us some winter tires to borrow from one of their mates who owns a tire shop!! They said that we just have to see Sweden, Finland and the top of these two countries (Lapland) in the winter.... We would love to do this so we will see how we go with time and money!!! Everyone was also asking us to stay for the big event that weekend called "Power Meet" this is where everyone from Europe comes to Vasteras to show off their big American historic cars and cruise.... Some of them had arrived early and we got to see them all showing off in their cars...very funny... we would like to stay but we don't want to miss the World Cup final
We were all really sad to say goodbye as we have had such a great time and feel like we have known each other for ages. We headed off towards the next big town of Norrkoping but on the way we were sweltering in the 31 degree heat so we stopped off at one of the swimming holes in a big lake and had a very refreshing swim as the water is so cool. We then headed off towards Norrkoping only to get stuck on the highway which was closed for an hour due to road works. We found out what was happening from the guy in front of us and he said he was also going to Norrkoping and knew the back road... well he was obviously a courier as he was driving a white van and drove like a maniac... he lost us a couple of times as we were on a dirt road full of pot holes and could not go anywhere near as fast... we found him waiting on the side of the road a couple of times for us and then he would take off again and we would loose him again.... It was very funny... but he got us back onto the highway and then gave us a big wave and took off at double the speed limit!! We briefly saw the city of Norrkoping and then took off to another little harbor side town called Loftahammer so we could find a TV to watch the second football semi final.
Day 142 -Thursday 6th July 2006 - Sweden
We woke up early this morning because it was so hot and headed off to find a swimming spot... we found a lake near one of the camping spots and it was in a stunning little inlet... we jumped in and got refreshed as the water was really cold. We then had a great breaky while catching up on some business phone calls. The rest of the day we spent driving to the area called "Glass Riket" which consists of all the little towns that make glass products for which Sweden is famous for. So we went shopping in the towns of Nybro, Kosta, Boda and Orrefors where all the famous Swedish glass is made. These were just little villages in the middle of the pine forests but certainly made some beautiful things. It was much cheaper to buy stuff from here as well, we have a Kosta Boda vase at home worth $500 AUD and we also saw it for that price in Stockholm, but here it was only $200. We bought a few pieces but could not go berserk just because it is so heavy and would be impossible to get home (I am also saving the $$$ to go jewelry shopping in Venice). We then drove onto the next town of KARLSKRONA WHICH was really quite big and we did not like the look of so we went to the next town of Karlshamn to spend the night. Today we also stopped at Sweden's most famous shop.... The one which prints nearly as many catalogues as Bibles...Ikea!! It was like a small city and was absolutely packed !!
Day 143 -Friday 7th July 2006 - Sweden
Today was basically spent driving south and stopping at beaches to jump in and cool off. A couple of the beaches though were not so great as they were full of stinky green seaweed. We visited Ystad which was quite a cute little town with cobbled streets and timber houses....but because we have seen so many similar towns now and because it was stinking hot we took off again to try and find a swimming spot... no luck all the beaches were full of seaweed... not that it stopped most people but we thought it was rather gross. We finally got to Trelleborg and went to go and make a booking to get on the ferry. We spent our last Swedish crown on some ice blocks to help cool off!! We then went back to a spot just outside of Trelleborg where a heap of mobile homes and caravans had set up in a free camping spot in a field next to the beach!! Wayne cooked a posh dinner and we drank Moet while enjoying the view!!
Day 144 -Saturday 8th July 2006 - Sweden to Germany
Today we woke up bright and early so that we could get the ferry from Trelleborg to Rostock... only a 6 hour trip this time. Again we were really fortunate as the sea was totally flat so there was no sea sickness for Gem. We met a great couple from Austria Ingrid and Chuck (he was American though... it's not hard to tell with a name like Chuck!!) as there we no seats left on top of the deck so we asked if we could sit with them at their table. They had a German Sheppard called "Heike" so we spent ages playing with her as well. The boat was a little disappointing as they were allowed to smoke everywhere inside and it was rather small compared to the ones we went on from Sweden to Helsinki. The funny thing was though was that they had a conference room just for people who had dogs and you were not allowed to smoke in there.... so when it started to rain we went downstairs with Chuck and Ingrid to the dog room and played with a couple of dogs and then spent the rest of the time playing cards with them and talking to some Swedish people. The time went rather quickly and then it was straight back onto the autobahn to Berlin. Gem missed the exit that we were supposed to take on the highway so we ended up driving right through the heart of Berlin city which was rather chaotic but great at the same time... tonight is the match between Germany and Portugal for third place in the world cup and the city was absolutely pumping with everyone dressed in their German colors and more people than we have ever seen as well as thousands and thousands of police... and that was about 5 hours before the game even started. We arrived safely back at the Sellien's and got the keys from their neighbors as Holger and Christina are in Cologne. Tonight Wayne went into the city to watch the game (unfortunately Gem was sick and had to stay near a toilet!!!) and it was rather amazing. He was in a crowd of about 1 million people watching the game and the roar was deafening! We are so glad Germany came third. Even out in the suburbs where Gem was it was deafening as people were letting off firecrackers all night, blowing hooters and sirens and just partying because they beat Portugal and came third!! Wayne came home rather pissed and his face covered with German war paint colors!!
Day 145 -Sunday 9th July 2006 - Berlin
Well today was the big day in Berlin... the World Cup Final!! We rang our friend Nina to see what she was up to and she was lucky enough to get an actual ticket to the game through one of her patients who was the FIFA vice president (she is a sports physio). So we headed into the city at about 5 and again it was just totally packed with everyone dressed in their football gear. We are hoping for France to win as we really feel that Italy are a bunch of cheats and don't deserve to be there (we still have not gotten over being robbed by this bunch of divers!!) We had to line up to get into the park where all the big screens were set up and it was hot and rather awful as we were squashed together like sardines. You had to go through a police line up and get patted down to check that you had no weapons etc.... I asked the female cop who patted me down for her phone number!!! But she was rather serious and did not even crack a smile!! We watched the game with about 1 million other people and cheered loudly for France but it seems in this case that cheats do prosper as unfortunately Italy won!! ( not that we are bitter at all !!) After the game we joined the crowds on the streets out the front of the Brandenburger Tor and waved our Aussie flags and had a great time chatting with people and laughing with some of the Police who wanted their photos taken with the Aussies!! There were certainly some interesting sights with everyone dressed up and some very eccentric buskers entertaining the crowds... even a fully painted Aboriginal playing his didgeridoo!! When we finally got back onto the subway we ran into a heap of other Aussies who were all dressed up and ready to go the biff with some Italians and they were chanting that Italy had our cup!!! It was very funny!! We got home to see that Holger had arrived safely and spent the night talking to him.
Day 147 -Monday 10th July 2006 - Berlin
Nothing too exciting today, just recovering from the party last night. The rest of the day was spent cleaning Misty - trying to extract the millions of splattered bugs across the front of her. We already have one suitcase full of things that we have bought so we have decided to leave it here in Berlin so that we don't have to lug it around with us and also if Misty gets broken into (we have been told to be really careful in Italy and France as they are a bunch of thieves !!) we wont loose all our stuff !! Tonight we took off into town to go to the movies. And tonight we found out that we are an Auntie and Uncle again to little Samuel who was born at 2.57 in the morning !!
Day 148 -Tuesday 11h July 2006 - Berlin
It was so hot today at 32 degrees that we had to escape to the shopping centre in the hope of getting into the cool... but no such luck there is normally no need for air conditioning here so the shops were also hot !! they said that this heat is really unusual and we must have bought it with us from Australia !! We had to buy an external hard drive today to back up all the photos as my poor lap top has been struggling to operate with all the downloads !! We then went into the city to catch up with Nina for dinner... she was able to tell us all her stories about treating the German National Football team and about the world cup final !! Tonight I attempted something new... coloring my hair myself !! I have never done this as mum and my neighbour are hair dressers so I had no clue what to do and only had a few instructions interpreted from German to English by Nina !! But to my amazement it actually worked and my hair is now a dark chocolate brown and did not turn green or fall out !! I had some left over and was trying to convince Holger that I should turn his grey hair chocolate brown to give Christina a surprise when she came home but he would not be in on it !!!
Day 149 -Wednesday 12th July 2006 - Berlin
More sweltering in the heat today !! We went to find another place to look at getting an air conditioner installed in Misty... lucky we did it was about 1000 euro cheaper than the other quote we had !! Spent the rest of the day shoe shopping and then went to our favourite Greek restaurant tonight with Christina and Oma. We got to talk to everyone at home today and our lovely little nephews Will and Tom who were very excited about their new play station game.