Backpacking round the world

So in amongst all the coming home, finding a job stuff I never finished blogging about my round the world adventures from summer last year. I spent nearly 3 months backpacking around the world over my summer break (winter for all of you in Aus) – went to a heap of countries, most of which I’ve seen before but hit up some new cities along the way. Broke my ankle, missed some trains, came down with a 42 degree temperature BUT also got to see some amazing places and tbh would do it all again this year if I could.

Vietnam

I got like halfway through blogging about myself and Harnsle’s adventures through Vietnam, but lost interest around Nha Trang. We then continued on to Hue and Hanoi, also spending 2 nights at Halong Bay. Basically the pattern was visit a temple, see some culture, eat some food, drink some wine…repeat. Except for Halong Bay where we also kayaked through the bay and jumped in the water off a boat to float at a floating bar with some sort of mysterious alcohol. It was beautiful….like a sunrise, as Harnsle said 😉

Still not sure what was in those drinks but glad I wasn’t driving the boat home.

At the end of my South East Asia extravaganza I spent one night in Hangzhou before jumping back to the airport to go to Europe (the Chinese government pretty much literally kicked everyone out of the city during the G20 #justchinathings).

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Halong Bay

London

Most of you know my friend Luke from uni who was in Lyon last year. Somehow, without communicating at all, we not only ended up in London at the same time but also at the same hostel! There’s forward planning for you. Also ran into my China neighbour Jess in the same room at my hostel…. not sure what was happening at the Generator that week but I feel like I knew half the people staying there!

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This is what a Chinese airport looks like. PEOPLE EVERYWHERE.

 Paris

Ate some food, drank some wine…what else do you do in Paris. Oh, this time I went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Still haven’t climbed the Eiffel Tower. Maybe next time. Still not such a fan of Paris as a city. But the wine and cheese is good.

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Florence (via Pisa)

Saw the tower, did some holding, ate some gelato. Accidentally ran into Laura my fave Italian ever. Sat in the main square of Florence with Laura because it was too darn hot to do anything else. There was more pasta consumed here than I’d ever care to admit. There may have been a Bohemian Rhapsody karaoke experience here but that video will remain forever locked in a secret vault #dancingqueen.

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Classic tourist shot.

Rome

Finally visited Rome. The home of my ancestors (but actually apparently my great-grandmother has an apartment here somewhere…how am I only just hearing about this?). The Trevi Fountain was even nicer in real life. Again with the pasta (don’t know how I didn’t put on 20kg in Italy). ALSO went to Vatican City which was amazing. Took a photo of the various Pope Gregorius statues for Greg.

Venice

This was my second visit to Venice and it was maybe slightly nicer the second time. The thing I find with Venice is once the novelty of the gondola rides wears off it’s just a giant tourist trap. The food was good though.

Munich

Munich remains one of my all-time favourite European cities. The gardens are fantastic, the beer is good and cheap and who can go past the amazing Marienplatz. Ate more food.

SWITZERLAND

Switzerland is in caps because it is my favourite country in the whole entire world (well the world that I’ve explored so far). If I could just live here and ski down the mountains every single day my life would be complete. Went to the top of the Jungfrau again and will probably go every time I come back here.

Watch this video from my Swiss friend Fred for a glimpse of Switzerland in a nutshell:

 Amsterdam

Finally was organised enough to book tickets to the Anne Frank House. Well worth a visit. Will leave the rest of Amsterdam to your imaginations.

FINALLY WENT TO SALZBURG THE CITY OF DREAMS AND HOME OF THE VON TRAPP FAMILY SINGERS, MAY HAVE WATCHED THE SOUND OF MUSIC ON THE TRAIN OVER

I have literally always wanted to visit Salzburg and, contrary to popular opinion not just because the Sound of Music was set here. It did not disappoint. This runs Switzerland a close second in terms of best places in the world. Spent half a day wandering through the Mirabell Gardens, went on a Sound of Music tour (of course) and then literally got lost in the old city. Also had the best schnitzel ever.

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Krakow

Literally ended up here after googling “cheapest places to visit in Europe”. Not a joke. Conveniently, Auschwitz Concentration Camp is just out of Krakow and that’s a bucket list item for me. Because I’m an idiot I forgot to change trains and ended up in Warsaw at 11pm but made it back to Krakow at 5am the next morning on four hours sleep #dedication. Have you really travelled solo if you’ve never been lost? These are the questions. Cheers to the train conductor who pointed me to the nearest hotel.

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 Berlin

I was so sick in Berlin. Like the worst I’ve been in years. Had a 42 degree temperature most of the 3 days I was there. So Berlin is a bit of a haze BUT I definitely visited the remains of the Wall, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag. Sad I didn’t really explore the nightlife because of said sickness but oh well, now I have to go back! Somehow made it back to London, Jess rescued me and fed me cold and flu tablets until it was time to fly back to China.

And so endeth the latest round of travel. Probably won’t be much travel going on this year, as Mum keeps reminding me I did spend the better part of last year travelling. Also money. Here’s some random photos from my last couple of weeks in Hangzhou to keep y’all entertained:

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So welcoming. Thanks Zheda.
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The night Cynthia turned 22 and LAURA RANDOMLY CAME BACK FROM ITALY AND WE ALL CRIED
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First night all of us were out together again in HZ ❤
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