clappamungus: (The Great Storkening of 2006!)
We drove across the desert, we forded a river, and we sang our little lungs out. [ profile] cows_might_fly (Eva), [ profile] _audhumla_ (Sarah), [ profile] rin_tin_tin_ (Rin/Molly/Meredith/whatever), her cousin Kat, and I, made it after being on the road for eight days.

Pictures coming later, when I sort through all 890 of the buggers and discard the ones that I really really really did not need to take. Then, in a few days time, Eva and I fly off to Sri Lanka for three weeks... and let me just say, I feel like we're the luckiest people in the world right now!

So, did I miss anything?
clappamungus: (Default)
This is partly to balance out last night's Post o' DOOM.

As a Melbournian, I've put up with the supposed rivalry between us and Sydney for a very long time. I've heard people say that Melbourne is a drab, grey place that can't compare to Sydney's natural beauty, set next to its harbour with its bridge and its opera house blah blah blah. That all Melbourne is is a large, dirty port city.

It's true: Melbourne doesn't have Sydney's harbour with all its little outcroppings and lit-up ferries at night that prettily reflect off the water's surface. It's also true that Melbourne is decidedly colder. However, recently I saw something that stunned me: Melbourne from the air, hugging Port Phillip Bay.

It was a gorgeously sunny evening as we returned from our honeymoon. I still had the remains of a bad mood that I'd nurtured from the start of the flight (don't ask). And then we passed over the border between South Australia and Victoria. The sky was so clear that I could see directly below, with surprising clarity. I saw green Victoria and was shocked by the green: I'd forgotten that recently Victoria had received a shitload of rain. I was hoping to eventually see Melbourne by air but didn't hold out much hope, as the airport is west of the city and I didn't think the pilot would make a circle over the city. Turns out I was wrong. Either the pilot was a Melbourne boy, or he'd read my thoughts. Because we came up to Melbourne in such a way that I could see perfectly the entirety of enormous Port Phillip Bay. I saw the Rip, that historically nasty little channel between Points Lonsdale and Nepean that caused so much trouble for transport vessels. I could pick out little Corio Bay and Geelong; I even spied the shit farm in Werribee. I recognised the remarkably recognisable Bellarine Peninsula with its bay that looks like the open maw of one of the aliens from the same movie. And I saw the sprawl of Melbourne hugging the huge main bay, with the mouth of the Yarra River spewing into it. I saw how the suburbs give way, in fits and starts, to little settlements and farmland.

It was an utterly astounding view. I saw just how massive Melbourne is, how freaking majestic it is. How green it is. I saw the colourful scenery that Jeff (one of our past state premiers, for those who have no idea what I'm talking about) put up next to the exit to the Tulla freeway near to where we live: from the air, even that unsightly mess looks charming.

I've seen a fair few cities from air. Nothing compares to the sight I saw last Monday from that plane. It was amazing. And that pilot accommodatingly flew a wide circle around the grandiose sight, dipping the wings every now and then so both sides could see it. He must have been a Melbourne boy.

It's times like this when I realise that, for all my bitching and moaning about Melbourne, it's always going to be home to me. And that I'll always love it, whilst occasionally hating it.

And as for Sydney: you can keep your bloody harbour, and your humidity, and your ridiculous pieces of outdated architecture. I'll keep my nasty, dirty port city, thanks.

It's good to be home.
clappamungus: (Goddamn drunk)
WINE IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PS. For obvios reasons, am not reading L:J. And am pished. Sorry if anything important has happened that I do not know about....
clappamungus: (Default)
Brought to my attention by [ profile] hibernaldream

Rest in peace, Spacebat

You were probably the very first bat to ever travel outside Earth's atmosphere. At least you'll go down in history for that.

Cut for posterity )


I also found out today that a guy whose place we stayed at when we were in Amsterdam back in 2007 died last month.

Jan Smid was an original 60s child, full of optimism and love for people.

He helped organise the Magical Mystery Tour (that's obviously him in the picture), which took people with disabilities on day trips around Holland in a big coach, presumably while piping in happy Beatles music. I wonder if it's still operating. I really hope it is, as he was justifiably proud of it.

Rest in peace, you mad Lennon fan you. I was hoping we'd meet you again one day. If I believed in an afterlife...
clappamungus: (Default)
Hmm...a year ago today, Eva and I were in a little Italian village called Montalcino, having an impromptu Thanksgiving dinner with an American we were travelling with at the time. We were overlooking the hills, sitting on a fortress wall, eating pecorino cheese, mandarins, salami, wood-fired bread, and drinking from the cheapest bottle of wine we could lay our hands on in Brunello-making country. It was a great day.

How time flies.
clappamungus: (Lab Rats)
clappamungus: (Lab Rats)
...because we're nuff-nuffs and couldn't get our shit together in time to get a postal vote or read the goddamn website properly because we're having so much fun travelling and can't be bothered...ahem...


clappamungus: (Classic *head-desk*)
* I didn't post the last blog entry to [ profile] sheva_travels, but to my own LJ. Oops

* Fuck the French railworkers and their goddamn strike. Yes, how very un-Socialist of me.

* While we're at it, fuck the Eurail Pass.

* I don't think we'll be able to vote on the 24th as we will be on a train to Prague. Grmp.


On the other hand, Florence is a remarkable place.

...but Barcelona was much, much better. I want to live in that place. You can smoke anywhere, grog is cheap, the nightlife is cool, and you don't get up 'till noon! What a lifestyle...

* I've just edited this post four times to include good stuff. No one can say that I'm a grump now! Mwah hah hah...
clappamungus: (Dream Theater)
...because I'm way too lazy to do it properly, and there's not much, really.

* It is hot here. Stinkingly hot. I love it.
* The Canadian Rockies is teh awesome. Now they just need to shoot all the fucking tourists. Yes, that includes us.
* I'm missing people more than I thought I would. Doesn't that make you feel warm inside?
* Grey hairs in my beard. That is bloody terrifying
* Have met some great people. They're mostly English.
* Some Canadians think I'M English. Morons.
* Cryptic posts on one's flist are even more confusing when you're thousands of miles away from the source.
* What the fuck. is up with Facebook? How the hell does it work?? Seriously, I've never been more confused in my life...
* The Simpsons movie rocked my socks. I'll be singing Spider-Pig for months.
* "Clap for Alaska!!"

OK. 'Nuff point form.
clappamungus: (Default)
In the backpacker's we're staying at, I found this sheet of paper with the following spiel. I have a feeling it was planted there by a pom or a German.

We are the people of a free nation of blokes, sheilas and the occasional idiot.

We are united by highways, whose treacherous twists kill more of us each year than murderers.

We are united in our lust for recognition, so desperate for praise we leap in joy when a gaggle of IOC officials tell us that Sydney is better than Beijing.

We love sport so much our newsreaders can read the death toll from a sailing race and still tell us who's winning.

We also have the biggest rock, the tastiest pies. We are girt by sea and pissed by lunchtime.

Happy Australia Day!

Well. I thought it was amusing.

Off to Airlie Beach tomorrow.


clappamungus: (Default)

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