Conclusion

Posted: March 7, 2011 in Canada

Both Ian Hillier and I have returned to Canada to resume our studies at Conestoga.
The trip was that of a lifetime, we saw so much, met so many people, and experienced the world in a whole new light. Definitely going back to Europe sometime in the future!

Christmas Day!

Posted: December 25, 2010 in England
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Merry Christmas everyone!

 

Here is a video I have compiled of my eurotrip progress! Enjoy! I’m afraid it’s not viewable in Germany, but Canada, America, and England can watch it just fine (music copyrights). If anyone else really wants to see it there are proxys that you can use.

 

Christmas Eve

Posted: December 24, 2010 in England
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Took a walk around the moors today, old family tradition to pick fresh Holly from a certain tree…

Looking back at Honley as we began our hike

A nice view of Castle Hill through an old gate... HDR

Sheep... In HDR!

My dad and his nephew

A nice view of the village of Meltham


My dad again

Some of the sought after Holly

After visiting the traditional holly bush we continued walking and saw some of the other sights of the Holme valley.

Like ponies!

Friendly ponies!

Mooore Mooors

Part of one of the resovoirs of the area

An HDR shot of the Castle on Castle hill - Huddersfield's pride.

And it's medieval well next to it - the inside is filled with bright green plants growing

The green insides

 

Merry Christmas everyone!

Liverpool

Posted: December 23, 2010 in England
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Decided to go to Liverpool today – and we only realized the significance halfway there! The last time my dad was in Liverpool was when he left for Canada on a ship in 1967 – going to Expo ’67 in Montreal. We explored the docks where he left. The following photos are in HDR (High-Dynamic-Range) a photography technique that combines 3 shots of the same picture taken at different exposures and then combined to create different tonal curves. See below:

My dad at the dock

Some interesting new architecture jutting out from the old buildings

The Indefaticable Liverpool!

Another cool boat

A nice old post box

Christmas in England!

Posted: December 22, 2010 in England
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After a canceled flight, denied boarding on the re-scheduled, and a 1 hour delay, I finally made it to Manchester, England! From there my Father and Uncle picked me up and took me to Holmefirth Valley – where they grew up!

After a late tea, I went to bed – exhausted after my day of travel. The next morning we took a hike up West Nabb – the tallest hill in the area. They say on a gin-clear day you can see coast to coast of England, East to West!

Driving through Melthan to get to West Nabb

Walking up along the road

Standing in the ruins

Peak of West Nabb

My dad on the peak!

Myself on the top!

A nice view of the sun from the top

After wards we took a walk through the village.

Holmefirth village

Palm trees!

My dad's first home (in the middle, the lighter coloured right third is an addition)

We bought some traditional fish and chips and continued wandering around the village.

A nice old telephone booth!

Heh heh.

We joined the trampolining club at the university, and were invited to participate in a fun inter-club trampolining competition! Naturally we signed right up!

Münster lies about 3-4 hours west of Braunschweig – just outside of Lower Saxony (where our student permit gives us free train rides), so we went as far as we could in Lower Saxony (to Rheine) and then took another regional train for a few euros to get to Münster.

We arrived late Friday night with a bit of time to practice on trampolines. Afterwards we had a late dinner of pasta and a few beers we went to sleep in the gym. Around 2AM somebody turned the lights on by accident, and it took atleast 15minutes and maybe 20 people to tryand figure out how to turn them off (it was the circuit breaker). People repeatedly hit the buzzer switch instead -HONKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK-.

The next morning after breakfast we moved to the competition hall:

The competition hall

Some of the judges

The competitors list

There were 3 parts to the competition –  a set level routine, a freestyle routine (10 jumps, anything you want), and a 6-person syncro routine. For our syncro routine we decided to do a theme… we all wore pajamas.

Here’s the video: http://vimeo.com/17727410

Two of our group of six won gold in their categories! (as you can see in the video) I didn’t win but I was competing in a higher level because of my backflipping ability, it was still alot of fun!

Wee!

Our pajama team!

The trophies!

Our team at the podium

Attempting a 2-person flag

Our team again

That night there was a party in another school hall, we were the last ones there until they closed at 5:00AM – then we had a massive snowball fight.

All in all, a great weekend.

Zary, Poland

Posted: November 28, 2010 in Poland
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Last summer our friend Rob had his Polish cousin come spend 3 weeks in Canada, during this time we hungout a bunch of times with them – Unfortunately his cousin didn’t speak much English!

When we told him we were going to live in Germany for 8 months, he invited us to come visit his pub in Poland! Yes, that’s right. His family owns a pub/bar! It’s awesome.

So a few weeks ago we told Rob to get in contact with him (since he also speaks Polish) and it was all planned out! He gave his cousin the train times and the rest was simple!

We took a ICE (inter-city-express) to Berlin, and then a regional train to Zary – the whole ride was only about 4 hours! As we chug-chugged into the city on our regional train, I spotted the pub! It’s hard to miss, being neon green and all!

PUB MAX! Sorry for the dark photo, forgot to take one during the day! It's a bright green neon building!

As we pulled into the station, I spotted our friend, Mateusz waiting for us. He had been learning english for the past few months so we were able to communicate a bit!

He took us to his car and asked if we were hungry, we were, so he took us to the pub. Got us some beers, and a big plate of ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS PEROGIES! It was awesome.

After that he took us back to his house, showed us around, and next thing we know, his mother called us down for an afternoon snack (not an hour after the perogies) – some more equally delicious fried pastry things! It’s times like this that I really wish I was fat and could eat more food.

We then went into the city:

Some of the typical buildings

Mateuzs und Heinz

A bar similar to Phil's Grandson's Place (More commonly known as Phils) in Waterloo... inside joke for those in Waterloo...

The old city hall, if the translation was right...

Again

...I forget.

Looking up at...

A big tower!

Napolean's gate! He walked through there once upon a time...

A cool wooden playground inside the... wait for it... FREE WI-FI PARK!

Some more history here - in WWII, Hitler stood upon this very hill giving a speech to his troops below.

Another view of the hill

One of Zary's many churches

Very pretty inside

City street

After walking around for a few hours, he took us to his favorite Kebab and Pizza place – According to him, the fastfood equivelent of Harvey’s back in Canada! It was delicious and filling – I also learned that Kebab doesn’t necessarily mean its on a stick…

We wandered around a bit more, checked out another church that opened later, and then headed to the Pub for a nice calm evening. We had some drinks, played some pool, and some PS3 on the big 60″ flatscreen upstairs in the club portion of the pub! (there was no club event that night).

A picture of all 3 of us!

The next morning we awoke to have breakfast, followed by lunch an hour later! So much food! So delicious! Why do I have such a small stomach?!

We went for a walk with John, Mateuzs’ father. He took us through a nearby forest to an ancient watch tower!

Crossing through

Some crazy houses!

A public pool!

The tower!

Unfortunately it was fenced off =(

After the walk (about 10km) we returned home for a delicious dinner, and then headed to the pub again, this time for a club night!

We arrived around 6PM, and were told it goes until 5AM – lots of time there! He offered us beers, but since we prefer mixed drinks, we asked for a mixed drink instead… He said no, because we would be here so long, we don’t want you to go sleepy! So we had a beer, and actually, it was quite good! We played some pool for a bit and people slowly started coming in to the pub. Later on we have our first shot – a Hot Dog. Strawberry syrup, vodka, and tabasco sauce. Delicious! He starts telling us about these crazy shots, shows us a picture, and a few minutes later, he’s made a tray of 8 of them. Just for us. Our mouths kinda dropped. They were really good – some kind of vodka blend! He tells us the next shots will be upstairs in the pub. We play a few more rounds of pool and darts, and head upstairs. Sure enough Mateuzs has made us another tray… of 8!

I forget what they were called...

We grin stupidly and throw some back! He warns us to slow down. Time goes by, the live music starts, mostly Polish, but alot of english hits too! He pours us another tray of 8, after we do a few more Hot-Dog’s with some other Polish people. It’s getting late, and we decide to rail all 4 shots back each.

We pushed the tray back across the counter. He laughed, and then pulled out a 750ml bottle of Polish vodka, and set it on the bar in front of us, along with a bottle of orange juice and a cup.

The bottle of Vodka. Bottle service, if you will.

We almost finished it. Unfortunately, some girls started dancing on top of the bar, and everything was cleared off (including our last bit of vodka). Oh well. I probably would of been out cold if I had finished it.

Our awesome bartender!

We go downstairs and his mom makes us burgers. BEST FREAKING BURGERS IN THE WORLD (I had one the night prior). SO GOOD.

The best burgers in the world.

5 minutes later, she makes us some amazing perogie soup for me, Ian, Mateuzs and his pub friend. EVEN MORE DELICIOUS!

The amazing soup!

Sadly it was around 2-3AM and I was getting tired, so his dad drove us back to the house to sleep.

The next morning we woke up around noon (our train left at 2:40pm), had a good buffet style breakfast, and go hangout with Mateuzs upstairs. An hour later we’re called back downstairs. Theres a bowl of soup before we leave for our journey. I was already full, but I thought I could finish the soup… 5 minutes into eating, and they bring out a full course dinner-size meal. My eyes bulge. It looked fantastic. But I was super full. I was very embarressed about not being able to eat it (it’s an insult not to eat food!) so I asked if I could have a bag… they weren’t mad! Heinz on the other hand really tried to eat it all.. and he almost did! But then we ran out of time, and had to catch a train. I did finish my soup though!

Heinz trying to eat it all.

We packed our bags, and I got my lunch-dinner all wrapped up. Mateuzs’ Mom gave us another bag filled with clementines, Prince-Polo’s (Polish chocolate bars) and tinfoiled wrapped objects – some food for the road!

What an amazingly hospitable family, I’ve never felt more at home… in a foreign country, in the middle of nowhere, and not knowing the language (they didn’t speak much english, the father knew the most).

Overall it was an absolutely amazing experience, and we’re probably going back there soon!

Mateusz and I!