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My Journey Round The World

My Journey Round The World

279 days on the road…

Sydney
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Sydney, last stop before heading back to Europe… I can finaly see the famous Opera House which I found… small! next to the city building and Harbour Bridge… After spending all night on the plane, I follow my host advices and went on a ferry trip to Manly. What’s great is that you can buy a ticket which allow you to use train, bus and ferry all day! Being in Sydney, I couldn’t miss the aquarium. I have to say that I wasn’t really impressed… ¬†except by the huge reef tank! That was amazing!

Last city and last couchsurfing experience for now with Lynne & Kevin who also hosted an American couple: Karen & Robert in the meantime. All together they drove us around Sydney during 2 days and for our last evening, we went to one of the Sydney’s oldest pub: Fortune of Warhttp://www.fortuneofwar.com.au – before heading to the last performance of The Rocks Fire Water event: “relive the tragedy and adventure of the crew from the tall ship Sydney Cove as they sail from India to Australia in 1797 as told through the eyes of an 11-year-old Indian-Australian girl”. http://www.therocks.com/sydney-Things_To_Do-The_Rocks_Fire_Water.htm -¬†and doing a night tour of the city where we had the chance to see the Macquarie Visions, exhibition: “a free public event celebrating in immersive light displays, the 200th anniversary and story of two visionary leaders, Governor Lachlan Macquarie and his wife Elizabeth.” -¬†http://www.macquarievisions.com.au

On my last day, I also met David, a Swiss guy, with whom I did some rafting in Chile last February! So nice to meet on another continent – the world is small finally! – and found out that we have the same opinion about travelling such a long time… After 9 & 10 months, you have to push yourself everyday a bit more. He still have 3 month to enjoy and I’m glad to go back to Europe now ;)


Margaret River Region: surf, whales & cows…

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During the long weekend – Foundation Day – Mon 7 June, Duncan & Fleur took the opportunity to drive me to Margaret Riverhttp://www.margaretriver.com/: the wine, chocolate & cheese region south of Perth. We arrived just before the end of the CowParade: the largest and most successful public art event in the world – staged in over 50 cities worldwide since 1999 – http://www.cowparade.com/ so we tried to hunt cows as much as possible during the weekend between visiting the region through the beautiful kauri forest, eating, watching surfers and for me whales! What an amazing weekend…

Duncan & Fleur: THANK YOU SO MUCH for welcoming me! I’m already missing your delicious evening meal!!! As Duncan & Fleur cook perfectly -Duncan use to be a chef de cuisine in France! -¬†which didn’t help my silhoutte to get better :)

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Perth

2010-06-03_Australia_PerthI arrived to Perth and jump in a shuttle direction Stirling Street and the Sunday Times where Fleur is working today. She¬†kindly show me around the newsroom which reminded me good memories about my former job as a Press Officer for Nausicaa :) ¬†After lunch I went to visit the city center and the Art Gallery hosting an interesting exhibition: RELATIVITY of one¬†Australia’s contemporary artists: Patricia Piccininihttp://www.patriciapiccinini.net/. I had already seen one of her¬†strange sculptures in Adelaide Art¬†Gallery and was glad to learn a bit more about her work where she “explores the unending connectivity of her fantastical¬†creatures, new communities and bio-ethical conundrums. Piccinini’s sculptures give form to her fascination with the¬†relationship between the ‘natural’ and the ‘artificial‘” – Art Gallery of Western Australia. I’m wondering if this¬†exhibition will end up in France one day?…

Next day, Fleur is working from home and she takes the time to bring me to the newly opened French backery: Jean Pierre¬†Sancho – www.jpsancho.com.au – for whom she wrote an article published on the Sunday before. Surprisingly enough the manager¬†already prepared a delicious chocolate cake to thanks her and offered us our picnic lunch – sandwiches, onion soup, baguettes, and 3¬†p√Ętisseries: tarte aux fraises, tarte au citron & flan – as we where unable to choose! - which we went to eat at Kings Park,¬†surrounding the city. What a pleasure to eat such a good french baguette and patisseries after such a long time! In the¬†evening, she brought me to a nice restaurant-bar: Kitsch - http://www.perthnow.com.au/lifestyle/kitsch-bar/story-e6frg3pu-1225840352308 -¬†where we had a delicious meal… Working as a freelance journalist for the food & wine feature is a really great job! ;)

On Fleur advices, I went to the 4WD Pinnacles, Beaches & Sand Dunes trip: we first stop to the Caversham widlife park to see the inevitable Australian animals before heading toward the Pinnacles Desert: limestone formations within Nambung National Park and my favorite part, the white Lancelin sand dunes where we spent some time sand surfing!

The next day, I went by bike along the beach to Fremantle – where we’ve seen the UK rugby team having fun at the¬†Little Creatures brewery - https://www.littlecreatures.com.au/ - 2 days before and with whom Fleur spend a all¬†day with for an interview just after I left! – to visit the lovely city & famous market opened only on Friday, Saturday,¬†Sunday and bank holidays.

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On my way to Sydney!

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Tonight: on my way to Sydney. One more week in Australia before going back to Europe…. And guess what?! I’m so looking forward to it! Pics & comments from Perth are on the way… Little problem with sending pictures, sorry!


On my way to Perth

On my way to Perth, to visit Fleur, whom I travelled with in Mexico and Guatemala for 2 weeks in October.

Last stop before Sydney and Europe! :)  


Adelaide

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I might have like to stay longer in Melbourne than staying a week in Adelaide, not even going to Kangaroo Island as it was¬†really expensive and trip where sold out as I booked too late…

Anyway, I did a Barossa Valley wine tour – yes even if I don’t drink wine! I tasted all of them :) – stopping at the¬†World’s Largest Rocking Horse and the amazing Whispering Wall ; again with Groovy¬†Grape agency ; which was pretty good! I learned more with our guide than going to the Tourist Office!

I also really enjoyed staying at Fraser’s place – my couchsurfer host – and taking my time for a week, no rush,¬†no stress in this quite city with beautiful Botanic Garden and Library with free internet access :) ¬†Fraser has a disc shop – www.rocktherapy.com.au - Olivier, you would love that, records everywhere in the house :) - He show me¬†around, cooked for Pippar, one of his friend – with whom I spent a great afternoon around the oldest fresh produce market¬†in the country - and¬†me, brought me to his friend birthday where we had a hilarous evening, brought me to car boot sale - Mum &¬†Claude you would have liked it! - drove me with his energetic Mum Lasca to Hahndorf Hill… I felt like home!¬†I can’t wait for him to come to Europe to show him our countries and make him taste a proper mayonnaise!!!¬†


Great Ocean Road

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What could I say… Pictures talk ¬†for themselves…

3 days roadtrip from Melbourne to Adelaide – which can also be done from Adelaide to Melbourne – with the tour operator Groovy Grapewww.groovygrape.com.au – all included: guided tour with short walks, national park entry fee, food, hostel… For once I¬†wasn’t the holdest one - though on Kiana sailing trip, Gerhard was the oldest one :) – Brigitte was the one. Another French, retired primary school teacher - you see people can travel at all ages! – ¬†14 people¬†including 2 French, 2 Americans, 2 Swedish, 2 Swiss, 1 English, 1 Finnish and 4 Dutch and our Australian guide-driver.¬†We had really good time with picnic, bbp and amazing sceneries on the way!¬†Of course it would have been nice to have your own car to stop whereever & whenever you want, however this was a good¬†compromise.

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Melbourne

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Melbourne… I never though I’ll enjoy a city so much! What to say… Melbourne is a multicultural, trendy city and -¬†as everywhere else when you get the right information - you can make the most of it!

Transport is really easy going, 1 ticket for everything, which make it really simple, with off pick fare – even cheaper if ¬†you take it at the counter after 9am and even free fair for early bird which I got when taking the train at 6am while going to my Great Ocean Road trip pick up point!!! – Frank will never believe that! – we’re far from Paris here!

Information Centre can be really helpfull – again when you get the right person - that’s where we learn about Melbourne Greeter Servicehttp://www.thatsmelbourne.com.au – which is a free 2-4 hour orientation of the city for visitors and tourists or the half-price ticket – Half-Tix: http://www.halftixmelbourne.com/ – to go on certain show when pruchasing your site on the day. Aishah, Nick, Frank & I managed to see Fame :) which was great unless a bit rude sometimes as Nick pointed out. There are also many volunteers all around the city, ready to give you infos at any time.

Free, free, free… Australia is pretty expensive, however, at least in Melbourne, you have a number of free acticities, especialy if you like art. Here I get Laure – I met in Auckland – Art Gallery virus… I surprised myself enjoying going¬†to museums! – Maybe also as it is free and you can go out more freely if you don’t like it… – First with Megan - a friend of a friend living in Melbourne who travelled a lot – to see Aboriginal Art at Ian Potter: NGV Australia: the National Gallery of Victoria http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/ ; then on my own to ACMI: Australian Centre for the Moving Image http://www.acmi.net.au/- Mum you would have love it! – or with Aishah to the Koorie Heritage Trust: Aboriginal historyhttp://www.koorieheritagetrust.com/about_the_trust/welcome – or Frank to the NGV International and all the temporary exhibitions.
There is also a free Tram and Bus around the city centre and plenty of gardens to hang around when the sun is shinning. And one of the great things too… Free WiFi access on Federation Square!!! Ok you can also find that at the City Library - which has a piano! – or the State Library but there you cannot enjoy a drink while checking your emails :)

Thanks to Fleur – I met in Mexico and whom I’m going to visit soon in Perth – and my Greeter guide Gladys, I’ve encounter¬†really nice areas such as Degraves Street, old houses turned into hotel, amazing bank design…
On my last day, I met again Frank coming back from NZ, and we head toward St Kilda beach and Chapel Street.

However my stay in Melbourne wouldn’t have been so wonderfull without Aishah & Nick – whom I met in Guatemala in October and whom hosted me in there house in Eltham during my Melbourne stay!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I spent the best time ever and I’m looking forward to seeing you in Germany by the end of the year!

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Healesville Sanctuary – Aishah & Nick

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As said, my stay in Melbourne wouldn’t have been so nice without Aishah & Nick!

On his day off, following a good breakfast he cooked, Nick brought us to Healesville Sanctuarywww.zoo.org.au – to¬†discover & better understand Australian environment such as bush wildlife, native flora or indigenous stories. You can¬†even bring you own picnic and do a bbq inside the park, everything is planned! However, after coming accross emus, koalas, lizards, kangaroos,¬†wallabies, tasmanian devils, bats, parrots ; learning about platypus and dingos ; meeting Kevin the undisciplined cockatoos, we ended up to a great eating place where everything from wine to cakes are homemade: Innocent Bystander -¬†www.innocentbystander.com.au - Unattended children are even welcomed! ;) We had a great lunch trying most of the desserts¬†where I found one of the best chocolate cake I ever hate!!! We also discovered a book about why French hate Australian…¬†Wine you said?!

As Aishah said, I couldn’t leave Australia without having a traditional bbq, so before I left, Nick cooked some kangaroos, delicious!

Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH for hosting me so well! I can’t wait to have you coming to Europe!

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Cairns……….Melbourne

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Now in the dynamic and multicultural Melbourne, for a bit more than a week staying with Aishah & Nicholas met in Guatemala in October.

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