Euro-nly Live Once

Hello wonderful people! 

Guess what. 

I'm travelling the world again.

Wanderlust has again reared its head, ensconced me in its tight embrace and sunk in its fateful talons into my - I don't know where I was going with this. Jet lag is a debilitating thing, okay. 

Point being, we're finishing off 2014 with a bang and starting off 2015 with an even bigger one in the shape of a month-long escapade around Europe. 

My travel companions are Lizzie, who you might remember from adventures such as "The Grand Canyon" and "That Time We Discovered First Hand How Shitty the American Health System Is”, plus Gale and Olivia, who you might remember from adventures such as, "The Ubud Monkey Sanctuary" and "Holy Hell Balinese Wine Tastes Like Crap". 

If you're new to this, you shall meet them in due time.

Also if you're new to this: this blog kind of runs by the theory that photos are better than words. Whether you’re my mum or a total stranger, no one wants to get onto a blog and face a wall of self-indulgent, rambly text. You want shiny pictures. That’s the idea here. Varying degrees of shiny, anyway.

So you know what to expect and can get as excited about it as we are, we start off in good ol’ London town, road trip up to Edinburgh, head back down through the Lakes District and Bath then make our way through most of the continent via France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.

Let’s go.

Twenty-four hours of travel brought us across hemispheres to Heathrow via Doha, Qatar. It included the usual long-haul airplane trip battle of attempting to watch as many movies as possible as well as sleeping at some point to avoid at least some of the jetlagged zombie rage.

These are our excited-to-not-sleep-properly-for-36-hours faces.

Doha airport was brand new and shiny and featured a gIANT TEDDY BEAR BEING IMPALED ON A GIANT LAMP AS ART but y’know whatever you want, Doha.


We wanted Gate A, so that was pretty easy really.

Our 1pm local London landing time meant we saw snowy mountains and planes across the Middle East and Turkey in the full glory of the morning light.

I still have no idea what area or mountain range this actually is, so if you are knowledgeable and/or geographically inclined, let me know.

Tiny towns, tiny roads, tiny people…may you always be humbled when you see the world from an airplane window.

Further on, the area around where Belgium and The Netherlands leads to the Channel was all pretty and blanketed in snow.

It was also kind of amusing to see how small the Channel is that you can see the shores of both Europe and England at once from the air. Got so close to seeing the Cliffs of Dover! But alas.

As we were descending into London, our pilot decided to do a few wheelies in the air meaning I got a good view of English countryside, plus flying alarming low over what I believed was Windsor Castle. Hey Queenie!

England’s green and pleaaaasaaaant hiiiiiiills.

What soon became horrifyingly apparent as soon as I landed and British families around me were chatting to each other was how their accent affects me. Not in a weird way, just in how I literally cannot stop myself from mimicking how they say things.

It got bad when I went up to customs (i.e the one place you don’t want to be a smartarse or weird or suss in any way). My number was called and I walked the length of all the desks being like don’t do it Tallulah, don’t do it, don’t do it –

Customs lady: ‘All-oh!
Me: ‘All-oh!

I just let Liv talk after that.  

For our first night in London, we were taken in by one of Gale’s family friends. They lived in the suburb of Wembley - of Wembley Stadium fame – and their hospitality knew no bounds. Bipin, Marla and their family were the kind of people who opened their door to strangers, told you to make it your own home and plied you with food and drink (in this British case hella good tea and mountains of biscuits).

Fun fact: even the normal cheapish boxes of tea here are super high quality – really tasty and so strong you can legitimately use the same bag more than once. Considering taking up few extra kilos of luggage with just English tea.

First impressions of London suburbia was that all the cute pokey streets and laneways looked something off a Beatles album, plus the bizarre realisation that detached, individualistic houses is very, very much an Australian/American concept.

You know where the Dursleys lived in the Harry Potter movies, like a row of identical semi-detached houses that just did the same thing for rows and rows and towns and towns like identical monopoly playing pieces – yeah. Literally like that.

The style and level of upkeep across towns varies, but essentially everyone lives in the same house as their neighbour. My inner sociologist and uhh, real estate agent is curious as to how selling these kinds of properties goes down, as well as how or whether people reflect their identity in their homes, which is what naturally occurs in Australia. But I suspect very differently here if it’s really just the same thing over and over again.

But I digress.

Literally every time I say about how there are always more photos than words I end up rambling. Anyway.

This is what I mean:

Also no gardens or greenery at all! Our the back is a little patch of grass and a shed, there are a few trees that are completely bare for a huge chuck of the year and the rest is just…nothing. As someone who lives in a forest, it is extremely disturbing.

Fun fact: it’s about 3.30pm at the moment with this light. I’m not even joking. How do you even, England. 

Bipin’s daughter Radika was kind enough to take me on a little tour around her town. I would have been happy with just nipping outside to get a couple of shots like above, but she went way out of her way to be lovely.

So apparently Wembley is like 90% immigrants, so almost every store has some Indian/Caribbean type flavour to it.


Fun fact: there are an inordinately ridiculous amount of buses around here. I appreciate they are one of the main modes of transport, even moreso than in Australia, but there are literally dozens of double deckers whizzing around these little streets everywhere.

Yes I was “that” guy being the douche tourist taking pictures everywhere. I’m used to it by now.

Some key trashy stores I was told to keep an eye out for:


Bipin and family took us to a restaurant where we had an Indian feast, with wine, like three courses and general death because I was completely zombiefied. For some reason arriving in places completely screws me over with the body clock, but coming back home is okay. I don’t know.

It was also here our host told me my Australian accent wasn’t very strong at all compared to my apparently bogan-sounding companions, to which I had to confess my Accent Problem.

Good first night.

Fun fact: jet lag is a cruel bastard and I ended up waking up at 3.30am…awful. So here’s my bored-can’t-sleep photo out the window from the wee hours of London morning.

Have a bored 4am view from the window...

Next up we start making our way to Edinburgh…you better be ready.

Until then…

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