Turkey! – Planning effort has hit an all time low

So Turkey is to be my last European stop for the trip. I really wanted to get to Romania to see Dracula’s castle but the flights from Munich weren’t a good option. So I instead decided to fly to a city called Antalya on Turkey’s southern coast. I chose this place based on a beach I saw on a Google image search (which I never got to) and it’s only about 700km from Istanbul. That was all I went off due to time constraints on research.

I woke up, feeling slightly below ideal, on Saturday morning after my final evening of Oktoberfest and realised I had no accommodation booked for that night in Antalya and no idea about how to get from the airport to that non existent accommodation. I took five minutes to book a hostel based on a Google satellite view of the city. I then spent another two minutes realising Google couldn’t give me public transit directions from the airport to this hostel which was a worry. However I didn’t have time to look further into it so decided to put that problem off till I arrive in Antalya.

I had a stop over in a city called Izmir. I only got the one boarding pass in Munich so I went to the transfer desk for my second. None of the information there was in English and when I did manage to speak with an English speaker who could figure out where I was trying to go he said I needed to go to the domestic terminal. It was at that point I realised what country I was in, I’m in Turkey!

This stop over almost became a very long stop over when I had a little technology fail. I never really trust my phone as it’s rooted (when you install a custom Android version) and for some reason it sometimes drops a few hours when turning off an on again. So my analogue watch is the guy I always rely on. However while sitting in a cafe having some weird savory, sausage, sweet snack thing I realised my watch had stopped… Heart sink moment. Luckily I hadn’t missed my flight but it was very much time to make my way to the gate.

Old town Antalya. I never figured out why there was a laser coming out of the castle.

Old town Antalya. I never figured out why there was a laser coming out of the castle.

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Das Oktoberfest. 4 nights of debauchery

Well that was just mental. Oktoberfest was the only event I had planned on attending and made it to since first planning my trip. I knew it was going to be good, but it was so much better than I expected. I just loved the vibe there: people of all ages and all walks of life dressing up in the traditional Bavarian outfits, and getting drunk and merry together. I would liken it to the vibe in your home towns cover band bar. A bunch of people all just there to put their arms around strangers and sing along to songs they may or may not know.

Rocking my lederhosen. I got lectured on not having the correct color shirt

Rocking my lederhosen. I got lectured on not having the correct color shirt, at least I was easy to find.

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Excursion to the gay capital of England, B-Town

So I had a few friends in London that I wanted to see again before leaving Europe. With my itinerary pointing me east, this was my last chance for a London visit. So I booked flights from Barcelona-London and London-Munich.

On the first night I met up with Brown Simon and Krumm for a few beers. Krumm and I then headed off to meet Richard and Nicky, friends from Uni, who were kind enough to give me a bed to sleep on and join me for some night frisbee on the road. I also had some of the best fried Chicken I’ve ever had at K2 Chicken.

On the Friday Krumm and I were bumming around Hyde park killing time. We checked out the sunken and Italian gardens. A very manly day. There was a nice big pond surrounded by hundreds of birds. One great big goose decided to try murder another goose. He tried drowning her and when she escaped to the shore he proceeded to maul her. (I’m assuming these are the genders, I didn’t actually check). I know it’s nature and it’s best not to interfere but I didn’t want the poor bird to get torn to pieces so I went and ‘foot shoved’ the bird away. There was a bit of a crowd watching all this and a lady with a makeshift baseball bat made from the daily newspaper helped me to shoo the bird away. Luckily it didn’t turn on us as it was rather large.

Later that day I caught a train out east to meet my friend Rosie who had just finished work for the week. I met Rosie back in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and she kindly offered to take me on a road trip to B-Town (Brighton). We took her car and set off on my first road trip of my travels.

Here's Rosie with a guy who likes to rub his nose in interesting places

Here’s Rosie with a guy who likes to rub his nose in interesting places

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The third attraction I’ve justified with having its own post – Sagrada Família

So this was to be the first non multi-day attraction I’ve dedicated a whole post to. I did however forget about my posts about the Rugby 7s and the abandoned hotel in Dubrovnik. So let’s make this number three. I don’t usually do this because in my vision for this blog I didn’t want to become a Trip Advisor wannabe site. There’s already  a wealth of excellent information available online about any attraction I visit. I loved this place so much I decided to make an exception but I’ll keep it brief. Promise.

The Sagrada Familia is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona that is designed by new favorite architect, Antoni Gaudi. I feel rather mature saying I have a favorite architect. The church is still in construction but it’s headed to be the tallest church in the world once it’s compete. Which should be about 2026. Quite the construction length considering they started in 1882.

I ended up making two visits here, and I’m glad I did. On my first visit I went there with my electric bike biker gang. We took photos out front (or what we thought was the front) then left. So this is what I got to see:

It's actually a lot taller than it looks. At the expense of fitting it all in, my wide angle lens has squashed it.

It’s actually a lot taller than it looks. At the expense of fitting it all in, my wide angle lens has squashed it.

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Warning: This post has a negative vibe – a rant about a dick I met in Barcelona

I don’t like writing about things I don’t want to remember and usually opt not to. However I’ll make an exception this time. I’ve met very, very few people I didn’t like on this trip. One of whom was in a hostel in Barcelona. His name is Stephen. He’s from England, sports a chest tattoo of his x fiancé (who he caught sleeping with his best friend and broke his jaw), loves his drugs, about 40 years old and loves to creep on ANY girl he sees no matter where he is. We would walk down the street together and he would literally compliment any half good looking girl we saw. Zero of which were impressed.

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Barcelona-my future home

Love Barcelona! I think this may very well be my favorite European city. I went for four nights and ended up staying ten.

An old high school friend, Jo, saw that I was in Spain and messaged me on Facebook with the proposition of meeting her in Barcelona. Of course I accepted and a few days later we were hanging out in Barcelona. Jo was working on luxury boats as a Stewardess. Her boat had a full time crew of 66 people supporting just one Russian family. It’s safe to assume they were living a slightly more luxurious life than my one of hostel beds and public transport. I can’t help but think even with all their riches I am probably having more fun. Take that rich people!

That's my buddy Jo. Denis landed the photo bomb on this shot though

That’s my buddy Jo. Denis landed the photo bomb on this shot though

For ten days I didn’t do a lot in Barcelona. It was more of a soaking up the atmosphere trip than trying to get through a check list of tourist destinations. One day Jo, Canadians: Marc and Sarah and Frenchies: Julien and Denis and myself hired electric bikes and set out to see most of the sites in one day. This was when I was only intending on being there for four days.

Our bad ass biker gang. We're a pretty intimidating bunch

Our bad ass biker gang. We’re a pretty intimidating bunch

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