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Konnichiwa ~Hakone, Kyoto, Osaka

Konnichiwa!

Day 4:

Off we go, ready to see something more of Japan, the mountain side! We take a few trains have a lunch stop hop in the next train and then at last before we arrive in Hakone we take a mountain train. This train has spectacular views as we go over bridges high above rivers, through mountains and lot’s of green nature around! I thing that this train actually makes the highest climb in the world!

We stay in a guesthouse for the night, the rooms are very Japanese style. I absolutely love it. The floor is bamboo and the beds are mats on the floor, which actually are super comfortable!! We go up with a cable car to get up to lake Fuiji where we hop on a pirate ship to try and spot the beautiful mount Fuiji! We had a lot of luck because we saw a bit of her! Once every 10 days you get to see her because she is really shy and usually hidden by the clouds.

At night we had dinner together in the guesthouse, very cozy. Some of us on the coach but most on the floor around the table. Sabu sabu, throwing everything in a hot pot. This night the planning is playing some games. We start with all one after one telling 2 truths and a lie, after which the rest of the group gets to interrogate and guess which one the lie is. There is some real good liars and funny stories and it’s a good way to get to know more about each other. The last game we play is guilty pleasure songs. We each wrote down our guilty pleasure song and Adam made a playlist of it, then he played the songs one by one and we had to guess which person the guilty pleasure song belonged too. It’s very hard I can tell you! We had a good laugh and after that I went to bed.

Day 5:

At 7:40 we take the Mountain train back down for about 40 minutes and after that we hop on to another 15 minutes train. Time for the Bullet train again!! We arrive in Nagoya an hour later (which is the 3th biggest city of Japan) and then it’s another 2,5 hour before we arrive in Takayama. After a short walk we arrive at our stay for the night. A very special stay!! One of the 4 places in the world where you can actually stay in a buddhist temple. Take your shoes of before entering and get into these super comfy flipflops. We are walked to our room, which is shared between all the girls this night, 9 of us. It’s an open space with walls we can slide open or close. We sleep on the ground but again the beds are so comfortable. Just behind our room there is the garden, which we can’t enter, but it’s beautiful. If you get this experience you really have to take it and get the most out of it as you can, which I really tried for myself. Walking there mindfull and silent does so much to you, we opened the doors to the garden and just sat there, listening, watching and meditate a bit. 

We meet out front to go to a sake tasting just down the street and we get to see some more of Takayama. I absolutely love Takayama, you go wayy back in the time as it’s all old buildings and just nice and quiet. How good to be out of the business of Tokyo for a bit and before we go further to Kyoto and Osaka again. It’s very peacefull and just beautifull, no wonder it’s an unesco listed town. The sake tasting wasn’t a succes for me really, we found it tasting a bit like vegemite. You probably won’t know what that tastes like eighter but it’s just not something you would drink for fun, atleast not me. We sip some more out of the little sake cups and try others, but not for too long. Time for dinner as we’re all a bit hungry and we have other plans for after so we better go a bit early. After searching for a while we find a place where we get to try the hida beef, that’s what Takayama is famous for. Hida beef is from very spoiled cows, they get massaged etc. And live a luxurious life. All 8 of us who went to grab dinner got a little pot above each our little stove with a candle heating up our hida beef and rice, very cute. It was quite good the hida beef. 

We then got back to the temple and got our stuff to gather all the ladies and go to the onsen at the green hotel!

Day 6:

In the morning I wake up because my alarm is ringing.  I feel rested and am ready to start the day, event tho it’s early. The temple stay was amazing and the beds very comfortable. Time for some morning yoga in the temple where I signed myself up for, some of the others are going to meditate with a monk.

After the yoga it’s time to grab our bags and head off to the morning market of Takayama where we get enough time to have a little stroll, grab breakfast and slowly head back to the temple. The morning market was beautifully located next to a river with a lot of fish in it, and such a relaxed easy going vibe!

Ready with our bags waiting for our 2,5 hour train and 45 minute train after to get to Kyoto, woehoe! By the time we arrive we get some time to rest, grab some dinner, before we meet up for an evening walk through the Gion district. The tour through the Gion District in Kyoto is to try and spot Geisha’s, I’m saying Geisha’s because you might know them by that name but they are actually called Meiko’s and Geiko’s. They are professional entertainment dancers. When you want to become a Geiko you start of as a Meiko, for around 4 to 5 years you are a Meiko. During this time you learn everything to become a Geiko. When you want to become a Meiko you are around 15 and you have to move into a house with other Meiko and Geiko’s, it’s quite a hard life as a Meiko as you get two days a month off, yes really. Also your days are really long, from around 7-8 am. until midnight… Meiko’s wear very high shoes (have a look at the photo album) and there hairdo is their own hair which they have to keep for a week, so you can imagine them sleeping very uncomfortable as their head lies on a special rest so that their hair keeps intact. When you become a Geiko you get paid and are a professional, however you always keep learning more skills and are still training, Geiko’s have flat shoes and can wear a wig. To have a private Meiko and Geiko show for 2 hours it will cost you around 300.000 yen (2.500 euro). This includes dinner, playing games, them dancing, and music. You have to be quite lucky to see a Meiko or Geiko as they are always very very rushed. Ofcourse we got lucky and we got to see 9 in total, wow! The rest of the night is without a program and we decide to head to the club and almost the whole group goes with. There is one street full with bars and clubs and it’s fun to dance with everybody!

Day 7

Goodmorning from Kyoto, today we start the day of with going to the Kinkakuji temple where the Golden pavillion is! We get there not long after it opens but it’s already very very crowded, especially by school kids. The golden pavillion is stunning and the rest of the park as well, it’s only too busy for me to enjoy the peacefulness of it. Luckily the next stop is the zen gardens, where the total opposite is true. Total quietness and peacefulness, just take in the gardens, walk around, sit down and meditate. It’s so good to stop for a moment in the rush of live nowadays and have a moment for yourself and your thoughts or have no thoughts at all. The whole group enjoys it, I also love how you have to take your shoes off everywhere and just walk around barefoot or with socks on. 

We head back to the hostel to have time for a quick change and a quick lunch before it’s time to head to our Kendo class, o yeah!! We head to the sanjusangendo temple, the oldest temple of Japan. We get a kendo class off 2,5 hour and it’s a real master and Samurai who teaches us. He is amazing and how he tells the history and his own story really gets us to gain respect for the whole culture and history. He tells us how Kendo is not only a sport but a lifestyle, it’s very famous in Japan. Parents love to have their kids in kendo classes as they get thought discipline and respect and way more then kendo itself. After some history and information about Kendo we get in our Kendo outfits, pretty awesome. We get our bamboo swords up and learn some basics, where to hit somebody for example. You can hit somebody on the head and when you do you have to shout ‘men’, you can also hit your opponent on the wrist when shouting ‘kote’ and the last one is on the side whilst shouting ‘do’. There is also a third one which is the throat, but that’s only for professionals and we couldn’t practice this one. 

It’s very coordinated, you have to make a certain movement at the same time whilst hitting the opponent and shouting the right term, you also have to be confident in attacking.

Kendo is all about respect. You bow to each other before starting the competition, you bow after and if you win you can’t be excited you stay professional and take the win, this is because the opponent doesn’t need to feel humiliated twice. So kendo isn’t that easy, but it was such an unique experience, we even had to attack the Kendo instructor hahah. At the end of the lesson we got to wear the full outfit which includes gloves and a helmet and we each had a fight in duo’s. 

After a well deserved shower we met up with the whole group and went to a place for dinner. We could order skewers and other small dishes off the table and ended up having all these little bites on our table and shared, always good!! Heading back and having an early night because I want to be well rested tomorrow morning, as we get up quite early!

Day 8

I get woken up by the sun and I feel rested, I’m excited for the day, even tho it’s only 5:30 as we leave the hostel and get a bus to go to Fushimi Inari Taishi shrine. There is around 18.000 people coming here a day, yes really. And so we are very happy to be there before all the others are even awake and the place is beautiful without anybody there. The Fushimi Inari-Taishi shrine exists of over 10.000 gates in different sizes but they go up to the height of a 2 story house! One gate costs between 40.000 up to millions. Each shrine has the company and company address on them. 

We walk through all the gates and it’s like it never ends, there are so many and it’s really impressing. 

When we come out of the shrine again the tour guides have a little breakfast buffet ready for us so we can grab some croissants, bananas, chocolate bread etc. and drinks before we head to the second place, a temple. A little while in the metro and then a walk uphill before we arrive at the cemetery. This cemetery is quite impressing. I have never seen anything like it, it is enormous and not only that, each stone is not for one person, they all are family graves. Just a bit ahead from the cemetery you can find the Kiyomizudera temple, the next beautiful thing we get to visit. We enter the temple and there are a lot of different buildings. We bow before we enter the gate, then wash our hands and mouths before we enter the temple, we are quite used to it allready. Up the stairs there are these 2 stones which are 18 m apart from each other, walk blindfolded from one stone to the other and you’ll find luck and love. I tried it and it’s quite scary because there also are a lot of people walking around, but I managed to find the other stone. Then almost at the end of the temple there are three waterfalls coming from the Ottawa waterfall. Choose to drink the water from one of the 3 streams and you’ll eighter get waterfall one: academic succes; two: long life; and three: love making.

The good thing about getting up so early is that it’s 10:30, we’re almost back at the accommodation and have the day to ourselves for once! Which means I’m getting a rest while watching some netflix and then explore Kyoto city and do some shopping! When it’s dinner time I find myself a sushi place with a sushi train. I am sitting on the bar and every time a sushi comes by that I like I just take it off and eat it hahaha, ideal and delicious!

Day 9

Our last day of the tour! I had a good night of sleep and I am ready for this last day, which is going to be a long day! I am excited to go to the Arashiyama bamboo grove and whilst it’s not very long, only 500 m, it’s super pretty. We take some photo’s and have a stroll around before we head over to the other side of the river, not to long of a walk before we find ourselves below Monkey Mountain! Who is up for a good morning hike? Count me in! The view is going to be amazing and there’s going to be monkeys! And not to long after Steph and I we find ourselves the first ones to reach the top, a bit more energetic and excited then the rest. And at the top nothing more is true, babyyy monkeysss!! Heaps of baby monkeys aahhh look! Oh and the view is also fantastic, hahah, but the monkeys!!

We hop in a boat with te whole group to do a little cruise on the Katsura river, how beautiful is the nature! On the river bank is a lady sitting playing the fluit, which makes the whole even more idyllic. 

We head back for lunch and to grab our bags once again.

The train to Osaka isn’t that far, only 50 minutes and some walking to and from the stations before we arrive in our hostel for the last tour night!! 

We have two hours to ourselves and everybody says goodbye to go to their rooms for nap time. I don’t really do naps haha, but I am tired and have a shower and lay down just to rest. At 6 we meet everybody again downstairs in the common area where we have some drinks and play our guilty pleasure music and have a chat. When everybody is downstairs the cake comes out and we all sing Happy Birthday to Giulia who is turning 29 today!! 

When we all start to feel hungry Adam says all righty lets go for the food tour! His favourite part of the tour if we have to believe him. We walk into the city of Osaka, all these lights and billboards disappear, I love it! It’s quite crowded but not as crowded as Tokyo. There is a camera on the street which projects on one off the billboards so we try to fit the whole group in and it works, we are famous now guys! hahaha. The first thing we try is Takoyaki, octopus balls, delicious! I loved the kushi katsu - deep fried skewers, hmmm!! The third thing we try is Taiyaki - dough in the form of a fish with as a filling red bean or potato, not my thing for sure! But the last one was great, the okonomiyaki - Japanese pancake, not sweet. 

Our bellies are full so it is finalllyyy time for our one hour private karaoke + unlimited drinks. Our group is very good prepared and so in to it! We get the whole group to sing and dance and the hour goes by wayyy to quick! It’s raining men, YMCA, mama, high school musical, etc. etc. We are by far not done yet so we get the whole group to go to another karaoke bar. We sing untill our throats are very sore and untill the first couple almost has to leave to catch their flight. We have to say goodbye one by one, some people are staying a night longer but most are allready leaving. The group was amazing and all the individuals are so sweet! I was sad to say goodbye and I have got friends all over the world now who I can go and stay with, as well as they are welcome at my place, it would be so cool if some would come and visit! Thankyou guys for making this tour amazing!! As well as the tour guys Adam, Joe and of course my bestie Simen! I hope to do a onelife tour again on another destiny!

Day 10

Justin and Steph are still here and together we are visiting Osaka castle. It’s located in a big park with water around it. The weather is nice and warm and we are sweating once we reach the top but it’s absolutely worth it! 

The rest of the day I rest which is needed after this awesome but full on tour! I do my washing, rearrange my suitcase and start making the aftermovie to share with the group! 

Dinner with the last remaining. Justin, Steph, both from Melbourne, Adam the tourguide and Giulia and Camilla from Italy. Adam, Giulia and Camilla are trying blowfish. A delicacy popular in Japan, Adam has it Fried and the girls raw in their sushi. This fish has to be properly prepared otherwise it could be deadly. They survived hahahha. I just had sushi and fried chicken, delicious and nice to have dinner together one last time.

Day 11 

Steph Justin and I travel to Shin-Osaka together, a trainstation not to far away from where we are staying. That is where the bullettrains depart from and so it’s time to say goodbye to Steph as she is going to Hiroshima and me and Justin are going back to Tokyo. I’m going to miss you girl, always happy times and so enthusiastic, love your energy! 

By the time I arrive in my hostel in Japan it’s allready late afternoon and I settle in have a shower change and go out for my souvenir shopping near Shibuya! When I’m sure I have everything I meet up with the boys, Justin and Joël to grab dinner in Shibuya. We find a nice place and have some fish and chips and actually get to use a knife and fork!! I didn’t know I could still use those hahaha. Good company and then it’s time to say goodby to them to and with that I’m on my own. Bye guys have a safe flight back to Aussie, I wish I could come with again! I head back to Asakusa where my hostel is.

Day 12

No alarm set and that feels good! So when I wake up at 10:30 I get ready to go to Teamlab Bordeless! I’ve heard and seen such good things and I am so keen! It’s an interactive art gallery, for this one you should just watch the video as soon as my vlog of Japan is up! It’s stunning!! Like you’re floating into space, surrounded by butterflies, flowers, waterfalls, lights. Drink tea with flowers growing out of it, a happy place where you wonder around for hours still finding new unexplored parts of the exhibition. You get lost in this world of darkness, it’s incredible! The trip there is beautiful too, I got to see the side of Tokyo by the water, boulevards, shopping and the little statue of liberty they have! Hahaha.

That’s it, I’m heading back grabbing some dinner back in the hostel and start to pack my bag. Goodnight Tokyo.

Day 13

My absolutely last day… 8 months are coming to an end and I’m feeling very confused. I would love to see everybody at home, but it’s a totally different world then the world I’ve been living in these months. I am so so happy I did this all, proud of myself and I am so unbelievably grateful for everybody who made this journey! I made new friends for a lifetime and met people I maybe won’t ever see again but I’ve always had good times with everybody. The next time I’ll travel the world with friends all over to come and say hi to! Wow I can’t believe what I’ve done, so much. Back to reality and summer again hahah! 

See you soon guys!! “Now Boarding for Amsterdam!”

Arigatou gozaimasu!

~I'm a couple hundred miles from Japan~

The plain touches the ground, tokyo! I am actually in Japan wow!

I find my way through the airport and it doesnt take me long after I am standing on a perron waiting for my train. Before I hop on the train I go to the toilet which seems like a weird thing to say hahah but I have to mention it. I immediately know I’m in Japan, because my seat is warmed, there are a lot of buttons which at that point I didn’t know the purposes off and when I sat down music began to play, birds chirping for privacy hahahhaha amazing.

I feel like the normal trains also go quicker then ours, the platform has security gates, which open if the train has arrived. Japanese are very polite, they line up for the train and would never push into a train, they wait. 

After my train and walk I arrive in my first accomodation, my hostel room is 8 beds but instead of a bunkbed you each have a little cabinet with a curtain so it’s very private, nice. I am very tired as my flight was only 5 hours and during the night so I take a shower and rest for a bit. 

At midday I walk around the area, Asakusa. A beautiful Pagade and a tempel, I walk through a street with little shops and get some groceries at the supermarket. Funny how I also see the mario cars on the street, dressed up in characters racing over the streets, very cool! A lot of people in kimono’s, it looks beautiful but if it’s comfortabel, not at all.

Even tho I’m stil tired I decide to meet up with Justin, who is in my tourgroup to, he is in Tokyo allready as well. We manage to meet up at one of the hundred exits of the station, it’s crazy, and we go to the Golden Gai to explore the area. The Golden Gai is an area with narrow streets which has around 250 tiny bars. Some of which would only fit 4 people in, all tiny and cozy, good for barhopping and meeting people. Some bars don’t allow tourists and are only for Japanese but most bars are fine. Also some bars have a cover charge to get in. The first bar we try out is a Japanese whisky bar and it’s very little, we order a drink and the Japanese of the bar make jokes to us and another couple joins us in the bar, it’s an experience haha what can I say. We not long after go to a next bar, we choose to walk up some stairs and discover what’s upstairs. It’s bigger and all covered in notes, here we drink something too and talk to a big group of friends from all over, India, China and go on.

As we leave our third bar we try to find our way to the station and we are in a bit of a rush. We are not sure what time the last train is but it’s getting close to half past 11 and we have to find our way back. I end up walking after my second train and after some running too I finally find my way to the second train and I ended up having the last one. Lucky! I was back at the hostel around a kwarter to one. A fun night I’m glad I went to have a look at Golden Gai.

Day 1 

I have to switch rooms for my tour, so from a 8 bed dorm I move to a twin share room for the next 3 nights, better! I still have the day for myself as the tour starts at night. Time for some Tokyo exploring, I hopped on the train and went to Shibuya walked around in the busy crowd as it was saturday. I found a hedgehog cafe, apparently the only one in the world and ofcourse I went in there! Super cute, you get a table and there is all little hedgehogs you get to hold, with or without gloves. You pay to get in for half an hour or an hour. I love walking around in Japan and hopping in some shops, it’s all beautiful.

At 7 pm. I go down to the lobby to find the rest of the group waiting there. We introduce ourselves and then go for dinner all together. The group isn’t too big, 17 people. The tourguides Adam, Simon and for the first days in Tokyo Joe. Then Debi and Andy and Joshua and Angela as couples. Travelling together are Gulia and Camilla and Shenelle with Nicole. Then last travelling alone, Steph, Fenix, Justin, Joel, Emma, Zach, Veronica. A nice mix of people, a fun group. Dinner is a pot with boiling water where we can basically put in noodles, vegetables and meat and eat it all together when its cooked. It’s fun cooking it yourself and doing it together. After we are back in the hostel we get to do whatever but I’m heading into my room. Tomorrow is a big day.

Day 2

Rise and shine, today is going to be a vey exciting and busy day!

After breakfast we start of with a Japanese history lesson and some Japanese words. It was so interesting and very handy as well to have at the beginning of the trip! 

We learned about the Jakuza, the maffia of Japan, you can recognize them basically on their tattoos. Japanese don’t do tattoos for fun, if you see someone covered in tattoos or with some tattoos it’s highly likely a Jakuza. What I also found interesting is that Stephanie, (she’s Dutch by the way, funny) who gave us the lesson told us how if you apply for a job they check if you have tattoos anywhere... yep, and if so you won’t get hired. We learned about the shinkansen, which is the bullettrain. I’m on the bullettrain at this moment while writing, haha! Anyhow, the bullettrain used to go 210 km per hour but when the French came with a faster train the wanted to be even faster and made a new one. This is the current one and it goes up to 320 km per hour. They’re also working on a next one which will maybe be working in 2027 and it will go up to 500 km per hour! Fascinating...

We learned about the 3 different Sake’s and only to have the premium (80%) or super premium (50%) and it’s good to mix with umami fruit as the flavour itself is umami too.

We also learned some Japanese etiquettes, and I’m sure you didn’t know most of them.

~take your shoes off on time, a lot of the times there is a step to a house, make sure not to put you’re shoes on there to take them off! This is allready concidered as a non shoe area, clean.

~get the noise down in public transfer,  you’ll find that it’s often very quiet in public transfer and it’s very appreciated if you do so to, keep the voice down when with a big group, which is hard I can tell you haha.

~you don’t eat and walk at the same time, this is more from mindfullnes of doing 1 thing at the time and have your focus on that, as well as they don’t like making a mess.

~the point I found surprising, don’t tip. That’s right, don’t give tips, Japanese culture is always doing as best as they can to serve you. It’s not a matter of you did well so now you get tipped at the end. Also they find it awkward and don’t like awkward moments. 

~you’ll find yourself bowing back when someone bows at you, don’t.

~don’t customize your meal, everybody has done it, can I please have this dish but without the union and can I add some more of this. Simple don’t do this as it’s very offensive to the chef. You can however do this if you’ve got allergy’s or anything, just make that clear.

~there is a dress code, don’t really reveal your shoulders or wear tops that are low cut out or even tops that are not that revealing. You can wear them, it’s just you will be looked at and it’s whether you’re comfortable with that.

~wait in line. If you walk anywhere, guaranteed you’ll see a line somewhere, the advice is just stand in line and wait. Japanese people love to stand in line and wait, it’s part of the experience, who know’s what goods is behind the line.

~smoking in public is a thing. There once was a law suit because a men was smoking on a street and it came in the face of a kid, the mom said something to the men and he said I can smoke wherever. The women won the law suit and ever since there is some little smoke areas in the city where people can smoke, a bit covered from the people walking the streets.

And then a fact about Japan which I realized quite soon when I was exploring around... the weirdest thing to me. There is no rubbish bins, hardly any rubbish bins! In 2004 there was an attack where there were bombs or anything but in the bins, that’s why. But you’ll see, the streets are super clean even tho there no rubbish bins. People take rubbish home and throw it in the bin there.

About the Japanese language:

Learning the language:

~It takes kids around 10 years to learn Japanese writing.

~if you know 2000 symbols then you can read like an adult.

~3- to 4000 symbols is a lot to know, more is actually highly unusual.

~there is 3 different types of symbols, kids begin learning hiragana which is 48 characters and they don’t have a meaning that’s just a sound. Then there is catacana which has 48 and then there is congi. (not sure if I spell them correct that’s how you would pronounce it)

Some japanese phrases that are usefull:

Sumimosen- excuse me

Ja ne- informal bye

Itadaki masu- before a meal

Gochisou samu deshi -after a meal

Arigatou - thankyou


So yes I learned lots and now you did too, about Japan. I found it so interesting all these different cultures everywhere, beautiful. 

After the usefull lesson we had little time to walk around asakusa buy some souvenirs and because the schedule was tight, so much to see, we got on the train to Omote-Sando. The champselysee of Japan is this street, expensive brands the shops. We went for lunch and I had my first dumplings, yammie. 

Takeshita street, or how I can remember the name Take A Shit street hahah, does sound like it.. anyway thats not what the street is like. It’s very narrow, very busy! You have to go with the flow while walking in. There’s lot’s of little shops and food places, crepes with lotsss of toppings everywhere! I went to an owl place with Joshua and Angela, we had to pay little entree and could walk around in this beautiful decorated place and pet the owl. Beautiful.

When walking out of the street we were happy the next stop was to escape the business for a bit, yoyogi park, located just next to it. A beautiful huge park in the middle of Shibuya, with the Meiji shrine in there we went to visit.

When walking in the park you enter through a gate, bow as you want to enter and when coming out turn around and bow again before leaving. The Meiji shrine was beautiful and it’s very inspiring and emotional walking around there. There is people hanging their wished and prayers around the tree, beautiful to read. I made one myself too. The last stop before we went back to the hostel for a bit was the Shibuya crossing intersection. This is considered the times square of Japan and it’s a huge crossing! Also fun fact for the Starbucks lovers, (aka me) the starbucks on the crossing is the busiest one in the world! 

We had a little time to rest back in the hostel and make ready for the night.

Dinner with the whole group in Akihabara in a foodcourt where you can order your food at a machine and then pick it up at the restaurant, very futuristic. Akihabara is the electric town and this is where SEGA centres are, mangas, animes, it’s awesome! After my ramen we went to a maidcafe.. A real experience for when in Japan but you should go there without many expectations and very open minded. So that’s what we did, we went in open minded. It’s basically young girls dressed up as maids and it’s for older men to come after work and destress there. It’s like a fantasy and the maids have really high voices and are very cute. You have to pay a cover fee and atleast get a drink and then once you’re sitting there will be men buying a dance or something so you can see a performance. We were lucky and saw I guess 3 or 4 performances, a girl dancing on the little stage to Japanese music, getting the crowd to do movements to or one act was with glowsticks. It was a fun experience, very Japanese with their weird things haha. When we walked out we crossed the streets and went into a huge SEGA shop which is all games, virtual reality, photoboots.  The Japanese are sick in playing their games and crazy crazy fast so definately cool to have a look there. Then me, Steph, Shenelle and Nicole went into a photobooth. Funny thing is after youre done you can totally customize and edit the photo’s and make it cute with big eyes and emojis, hahahhaha. 

Day 3:

Ohayo?

Today we head out to visit the famous tsukiji fish market. It all looks delicious and it’s nice to have a walk around. I’m not trying anything as I don’t like seafood that much and it’s only morning. I have a cold drink somewhere as it’s warm and then we head out to the cooking class, a short walk. We all got on our aparon and ready to make some sushi! We made sushi rolls, nigiri sushi, deep fried tofu and the lady made us miso soup. It was so much fun and it looked very pretty, at the end we got to eat it all. So for lunch that was sushi rolls, nigiri sushi, deep fried tofu and misu sum, de-li-cious! 

A few hours later we were heading to the next spot which was the  Tokyo metropolitan government building. Very high and big, beautiful architecture! We went upstairs to the 47th floor and had a beautiful 360 view over Tokyo. Dinner time! We walked through Shinjuku and got to what is called piss alley by people, this is because as you guessed people used to take a pie there. Nowadays that’s not its purpose anymore and it’s renovated and there is all little restaurants. It’s very nice to grab some dinner here, it’s mainly known for the skewers they have everywhere.

Finally it’s time! We get to the Robot cafe!! For this one you will just have to watch video's I'll put in the vlog later, it's the most amazing experience I've had here and I'm so glad I went!! The robots are so close and the public is quiet small too. Absolutely amazing hahaha.

What a day again, so many impressions and things to see in Tokyo! We go to the shibuya crossing one more time as we take the train home, but this time it’s night time and we actually cross over to be a part of the business haha. Check crossed it. There is also a dog statue of the dog Haichiku. This is a based on a true story of a dog coming there everyday to meet his owner after work, when the owner passed away the dog kept coming for 7 years after. The simble stands for loyalty and nowayds it’s a meeting point for the Japanese.

Also when I'm not responding on WhatsApp or anywhere, I'm just enjoying without my mobile as much as possible!

Vietnam adventures - Sapa, Halong Bay, Cat Ba and Monkey Island

Day 4

So sapa here we are! It’s early in the morning and we get breakfast at a hotel before we depart for our tour planned for the day! The tour we are doing is through the sapa ricefields and visiting ethnic tribes. We started walking and it wasn’t as hot as in Hanoi luckily but still warm. It wasn’t just a walk it was lots of climbing down on slippery muddy uneven paths hahah. There were some local ladies older ladies who helped us through the walk. They were very nice and looked liked real locals, see the photos. The walk took us through beautiful views of the ricefields and we saw local kids trying to sell bracelets and playing in the fields or with a buffalo, yep really. The walk was 5 hours and made us pretty tired, luckily we had lots of water with and we were prepared. Halfway the tour we were asked if we wanted to plant some rice. ‘Ofcourse’, we said! We climbed down and over a little river, took our shoes and socks off and got in the buffallo shit and water up till out knees haha. We each got a handfull of plants and we were told to stick 2 or 3 plants in at a time, so we did. The locals were doing it with us and it was a fun experience! We had lunch at the end off the tour and we were happy when we finally arrived at the lunch spot. Rice, springrolls, the use for Vietnamese food hahah but it was delicious. After lunch and a half an hour walk to go we got picked up with a bus and brought back to sapa. We checked in the hotel and were happy when we had a shower and could chill because it had been a long trip directly after the night train.

Day 5

Breakfast time! Or should I say brunch? We found a cute italian restaurant and I ordered a baguette with an omelette, they don’t have that much here so I took my opportunity haha, and Tash had noodles. With a finished mango shake and watermelon shake we asked for the bill: ‘cha thien’.

We walked through sapa, which isn’t so big, but cute. In the middle of sapa there is a little green lake and we got into a little swan boat on the lake. The mountains on the back ground made it such a beautiful view and it was good the little boat had a roof so we were in the shade for a bit. Very much needed!

We had dinner on a balcony and we could look over a little square. The balcony was all green of plants and flowers, very cute. We ordered garlic bread, spring rolls and rice and sateed veggies with rice.

After dinner we went to a bar where we met some other travellers who had just been to Tokio. They gave me lots of tips. We played pool and table football and became friends with the Vietnamese bartender, Didi.

Day 6

I’m writing this blog as we’re on the bus from Sapa to Halong bay. We are on a sleeping bus which means all the “chairs” are in a laying position. Late afternoon we arrive in Halong bay after a 9 hour bus trip and a taxi ride.

We had to walk the stairs in the guesthouse we stayed in and in the heat plus our baggage that wasn’t very fun.

We went out for dinner later and Halong Bay has a cute strip of restaurants and a beautiful park with lights. Seafood everywhere but I didn’t go for seafood as I don’t like it really haha. After dinner we got some fresh fruit in a cup, watermelon and mango and dragonfruit, very delicious. Then we found karaoke, finally! Making my way downtown, walking fast...?. We loved it and so did the crowd, which excitsted of 2 older Vietnamese men hahahha.

Day 7

Waking up with the sound of the alarm going off. Halong bay tour today! I’m a bit sick but we’re still going, we wouldn’t want to miss out! The bus is at our guesthouse at 8:30 and we pick up the rest of the people for the tour before we go to the harbour. After the boat is outside of the harbour we can go on to the deck upstairs and guess who are there first hahah. Quick after we depart from the harbour we allready see all the beautiful rocks and islands. It’s a beautiful, warm humid and sunny day. Still we are the only ones in bikini as the rest is wearing clothes, but we are very happy we’re in our bikini’s for sure!

The first stop after a nice boat trip is a cave. Quite the workout with this heat and all the stairs that we have to walk getting in, around and out the cave, but atleast it is cool in the cave. It’s beautiful and big too. Something that has been happening to us is that Vietnamese people want to take photo’s of us. Some people want to go in the photo with or, some just want a photo of Natasha and me and some just make a photo without asking us. It’s like we’re an attraction to them. We also haven’t seen many backpackers. Because we were so sweaty and warm after we came out the cave we tried to get in to the water hahah but we heard somebody whistling immediately. Damnit. Back on the boat a small boat with fruits came next to out boat by our window and was trying to sell the fruits. Natasha negotiated and got a mango haha it was funny to see, what a good mango’s they have oee!

The second stop we could choose between  kayakking or go on a bamboo boat. We chose kayakking and it was a very beautiful spot! There were also monkeys, who looked cute... 

When we got back on the boat they set up the lunch for us in the boat, lot’s of seafood, rice, vegetables, springrolls, chicken. Delicious. The last stop after lunch was Ti Top island! We finally went for our swim there!? The water wasn’t cold, but it was so beautiful with the background!

On the way back we also got a watermelon who the lady on the boat cut for us, nothing more delicious with warm weather. All in total it was such an awesome day, wauw, paradise!!

I had facetimed my mom too because it was here birthday, happy birthday ??! And when we were almost back I got the news that I had a newborn little niece and I got to see her on Facetime!  What a day!

Day 8 

The next (late) morning we went out to find a place to have brunch. It was soo hot and we couldn’t walk for long before we really needed a break. We found a place to get some food and sat down to eat. After we had a little energy again we continued our way to the beach. It was to warm at the beach and the water wasn’t cooling us that much, also the only others there where Vietnamese. Very enoying Vietnamese who were filming us all the time so we had to be like excuse me No! Several times. So we didn’t stay long but it was good to have been doing something and we tanned, yes?. The way back was hard to so we stopped and had an ice cream in the airco somewhere inside before we did the second half. The rest of the day we didn’t do too much and chilled inside and watched some netflix, made a vlog.

Day 9

After breakfast we got picked up by transfer we arranged to go to Cat ba, our next stop. We got dropped off at the ferry and in Cat ba got on the local bus. A few hours later we stood before our hotel in Cat ba. It’s always a happy moment if you get to be in your hotel room and know you can have a shower and airco. The first thing we did however was check the bed, soft! Natasha the bed is soft! Yes that’s a first in 4 nights! 

Instead of Vietnamese food we for a change went for pizza at a cute restaurant  down the street from our hotel. Thats where lotts of restaurants are next to each other. The weather was a little cooler than in Halong bay, however still warm. The food was good and it was nice looking at the street life, scooters, people trying to sell their fruits, the use haha.

Day 10

The next day we went to rent a scooter and I drove. Our first stop was picking up our laundry, a few hundred meters further, just down the street hahaha. The evening before we dropped our laundry and they would wash dry and fold it for us. They weight your laundry and you pay per kg, 40.000 dong, but of course we made a good deal and did it for 30.000. We both had around 4 kg of laundry and it was needed to get it washed. When we dropped our clothes at the hotel again we took off, for real now hahha. Off to the beach girl!! The weather was perfect and it was so good touring on the scooter in stead off walking everywhere in the heat. We came down on the beach and took our clothes off and dived in and stayed in, we jumped over the waves, had a swim, did a competition with skipping stones. By the time we got out the water had almost filled the whole beach and we climbed up the stairs and got down to our scooter again. Road trip! It was super fun and so nice to have a little wind on the way! We went down to another beach that day, cruised around through to buffalo’s on the road and goat’s hahah. I also told Natasha to try to ride for a bit as she had never done it, that was fun, she did well, only a bit of screaming haha, shout out to you Tash! The only thing that was awful that day was lunch…  Ewwww, okay so what happened, we sat down in a real restaurant, ordered a watermelon milkshake and when Natasha took the first sip.. All of the sudden a freakin cockroach was in her mouth, ughh. So we left immediately, completely traumatized about how the fuck that can happen, she felt gross.

For dinner we just had noodles on our room because Natasha is a queen in naps, doesn’t matter what time it is. Also we didn’t feel like going out after the ‘incident’ that day as you might imagine, our trust in the food is gone hahahah.

With all our laundry we spend the night repacking our baggage, ready to go for the next day. 

Day 11

Goodmorning! Delicious breakfast again, pancakes with banana and watermelon and joghurt, I can have it every morning. After breakfast we check out and take a taxi to the ferry terminal which is only a few kilometer further. We wait a bit until we can hop on a little boat with only 2 other people and soon we hop off in Monkey Island! The way there was beautiful once again and we saw floating villages, lots of houses on the water. 

A little cabin, welcome to our crib, for the night at least haha. So monkey island exists of one resort. Op een onbewoond eeeiillaandd. (Tash is good in singing this one). We did a hike to get to the other side off the island, but it wasn’t a path, no it was basically just rocks… Hiking and climbing this on flip-flops and in sandals was kind off a challenge. We thought what are we doing, but we made it, unharmed, to the other side. An almost private beach, shared with some monkeys, who were hiding for us tho. We did some sunbathing until lunch time. We hiked back and had noodles and Tash spring rolls for noodles, between you and me I think she is addicted to spring rolls.. We had a beautiful view from the restaurant. All you can do on the resort is chill, sunbath and swim, so the next stop was the pool. We stayed in so long that we thought our granny fingers wouldn’t recover ever. They did. We stayed in so long that after our shower it was time for dinner and after that we decided, well what the hell with our budget hahah let’s get a cocktail. With a sex on the beach and a pina colada we said cheers to our holiday, sitting on a second level of a restaurant with an amazing view of islands in the distance and a beach underneath you, with a lovely weather, finally not too warm! Not to ruin the image, but the cocktails were a bit shit, too strong hahah.

Day 12

After breakfast we check out again and we expect to go to Hanoi with the transfer they would arrange for us. Unfortunately not everything goes as planned when you travel, this is one of those days.. A lot of waiting, lots of calls and miscommunication and frustration later there is finally a bus showing up. At least 3 hours later then what was supposed to be… Try to get yourself over it and just hope for the best that the rest of the trip isn’t as stressful or full of surprises.. We we’re just a bit over it at this point. So finally in the bus, they took us to the ferry to go to the mainland. It took around an hour and there we had to get off, take our bagage again and once off the ferry we hopped in another bus to go to Hanoi city centre. Around 3 hours later that is where we arrived and there we had to get a taxi to go to our hotel located next to the airport. 40 minutes later and a total of 9 hours of waiting and traveling instead of 4 we were happy to see our hotel. Luxury hotel, thank you.

Day 13

Brekkie, pancakes for me, omelet for Tash, watermelon for both!! What else? Nooo a few hours and then Tash is flying back to Sydney.. See you in a year I guess, gonna miss u baby shark, u weirdo. Thanks for the awesome adventures girl, we’ll make many more in a year, Europe, Canada, it’s all planned out! Sorta ?

And I’m flying to Japan in a few hours, wow, new adventures awaiting. I’m curious, see you there for my new blogs and vlogs!

Vietnam -Hanoi

Day 1 Vietnam

After a 8,5 hour flight I arrive in Kuala Lumpur, the first flight went fine actually because I slept in the airplane. When I was through security again I met up with Natasha who also just landed from her flight from Sydney. We bought some watermelon and waited and then our second flight was together, 3,5 hours to go and then we’re in Hanoi! 

We arranged for the hotel to pick us up and it took around 40 minutes to get to the hotel. Happy we arrived and wanting to rest and a shower we came at the hotel, unlucky it was not even 9 in the morning. But luckily our hotel room was allready ready so we could go in, amazing. We got welcome juice and the hotek staff was super nice, the hotel also looked very fancy. We freshened up took a little nap and then went out to find a place for lunch. The streets were full of people and traffic,  very busy. Finding a place for lunch was also funny as there are no real restaurants, only streetfood places, they all have tiny tiny chairs hahaha. When we found something they came to our table and gave us noodles and rice while we hadn’t even asked or ordered anything. We found that everybody around us had the same tho and just started eating it, with chipsticks ofcourse, and we also ordered some springrolls too. So good! I think we payed 65.000 Vietnamese dong= 4 Australian dollar = 2,5 euro. The funny part is I don’t even count in euro’s anymore, there is so much currencie calculating going on hahahha. We walked around and got a fresh mango later, the lady cut it for us and oee so fresh and sweet! ? 

We got our nails done when we found a place, shoes off before you walk in and no English so just hands and feets of making clear what you want them to do. The place was so tiny and I was all twisted because one girl was doing my toenails while the other did my hands haha. We were very happy after. Back to the hotel, through the heat, sweating all the time because of the high humidity. That’s why a shower after a day of walking around feels so good. Off to the nightmarket! It was good that we came to Hanoi on the weekend as the night market is on then and it’s so crowded. There also was a k-pop festival going on and we saw BTS performing, nice! The Night market was next to a big lake and it was crowded, music, lots of little chairs and places with food and lots of dancing in the streets as well which was our favourite part!! We joined in on some line dancing or just dances that somehow everybody seemed to know, so funny. So we joined in and tried to follow, it was very fun. After that we walked a bit further and there were people doing latin dancing, we watched for a while and then I danced with somebody too hahaha and after that Natasha and I did some attempts on dancing together!

We decided it was time to grab some dinner as it would’ve allready been around 9. Noodles! The food is delicious and I’m allready quite good at the chopsticks, this is my life for the next month, haha. I might be glad to eat with utensils again when I’m back at home!

After dinner we walked to look for a club and we passed the beer corner. It’s so chaotic, little restaurants everywhere with tiny chairs outside, and people e v e r y w h e r e. It looked nice even tho it was so crowded, people were drinking beers everywhere and having a good time. We passed by and went into a club called hangover. 

Day 2

Goodmorning! Breakfast is served! Our hotel has a delicious breakfast, we can order from the menu and get something from the buffet. Fresh fruits with yoghurt?and pancakes or eggs and lots more, a great meal to start the day if you ask me. After that we went to the hotel room again and when we went outside we were immediately overwhelmed by the heat and the humidity which makes you instantly sweaty hahah, not nice.

We walked around for a bit and went to a place called new day to grab lunch, Barack Obama was here as well and that’s why we thought it was funny to go. We ordered salad (me) and rice (natasha) and got a mango smoothie and watermelon juice, what else! Hihi, so good! When we finished the lunch we ordered a grab, scooter. We both hopped on a scooter with a driver and they drove us to a nice park.

Train tracks! Later that day when we find the train track in between of a narrow street we walk around take some photos and then sit down for a drink to wait for the train to come through the narrow streets! A whistle and quickly they removed the whole terras and they told us to stand against the wall. We had to wait and eventually another wistle and some screaming that I assume meant like get off the tracks. Then the train came rushing through with a honk. Wow I, we didn’t expect the train to be soo close! It was a bit scary haha but also a whole new experience. The train was quite long and it took a while before it was away again. After that they put the terras, all the chairs and tables back and we just finished our drinks like nothing happened, haha!

A quick shower, and out again to grab food at the night market before we go to the puppet show with two Vietnamese friends that are friends of Natasha’s family. The puppet show was weird but also a bit funny hahah, we ofcourse couldn’t understand it as it was in Vietnamese and we couldn’t help looking at each other from time to time and just laugh like what’s going on here. Another thing that Vietnamese do is ‘do balloons’, so Trang and Sim took us to a lounge where we tried some balloons. Basically doing balloons means inhaling the helium. I can tell you it was a weird experience but we had a fun night. We did decide that we won’t do it again tho because it didn’t feel like it was good for your body. Also the balloons are very expensive and this was the biggest expense during our holiday I can tell you that.

Day 3

We slept untill the alarm went off, had breakfast again, hmm fresh fruit, mango, watermelon, banana etc. with yoghurt. Then we went to our rooms again and had a little nap untill we had to check out. We didn’t really want to go out as it’s just so hot and the idea of sweating all day and then hopping in the night train, which was planned for the night, didn’t sound so attractive. So we bought mango’s and duria and sat down in a starbucks, with aircon. After a while we went to visit a beautiful tempel called Pagode Tran Qouc. We weren’t so covered and so we had to buy fabric to wrap around us as a cover for our shoulders and knees and we went in to have a look. With a scooter back to the hotel again to find out that we could have a shower in the hotel. That news made us so happy, you wouldn’t know how much! So we had a shower and we felt so much better, ready for the night train to sapa! We took a taxi, loaded our baggage in and went to the train station early. Once we arrived and got to the right spot our train was allready there so we got in. 

Glad we were inside again because it was still bloody hot outside haha. We reserved a 4 berth cabine for the trip which means 4 beds, 2 bottom bunks and 2 tops. We had the bottom ones and luckely the 2 top onces staid empty! This meant we had the room for ourself, yas. The train departed at 9ish and we arrived in Lao Cai at 5:30. We slept pretty okay actually, tho the matrasses where thin and hard but okay. We got out in Lao Cai and waited for the public bus who took us to Sapa, which took around an hour.

South Island/Sydney/Great Ocean road

Nieuw Zeeland

We komen aan met de ferry in het zuidereiland!

Waar begin ik met schrijven.. zoveel avonturen en zoveel hebben we gezien weer!

Om maar te beginnen de ferry rit was prachtig, we kwamen door allemaal gebergten om het zuidereiland een soort van binnen te komen. De rit was 3,5 uur en was zo voorbij, even wat anders dan in de auto zitten en rijden, wat afwisseling.

We rijden door naar Nelson als we van de ferry af komen en lopen daar het stadje in om vervolgens uit te komen bij een schattig burgertentje waar we gaan zitten voor avondeten.

De volgende dag rijden we ’s ochtends naar een plaatsje waar we de boot op stappen om een tour naar het Abel Tasman national park te doen. We stappen als eerste onze boot op en kiezen een goed plekje op het deck, boven op de boot. We varen langs de kust op en overal zijn mooie prive strandjes en super groene bergen, wat gaaf. De boot zette ons af in Medlands Beach vanaf waar we een super mooie tropische hike hebben gemaakt naar de Swing Bridge. De hike was op een smal pad en overal om ons heen was groen, tropische vogeltjes op de achtergrond en dan als je een bocht doorliep liep je langs een afgrond, of je liep over aan schattig bruggetje met een watervalletje eronder door lopend. Ook door de bomen door zagen we soms stukjes strand of zee, heel erg mooi. Een lekker weertje was het ook en na een kleine 45 minuten lopen komen we ineens bij de swing bridge die over hoog over een rivier hangt. Wiebelen, wiebelen. We lopen eroverheen en vervolgens weer terug om onze weg terug te vervolgen ietsjes verder dan waar we afgezet werden om naar Bark Bay te gaan. Het laatste stukje van de hike gaan we lekker hardlopen en dan komen we bij Bark Bay, een lekker strand, tijd voor druifjes, een appeltje, een broodje en om te chillen! We lopen met onze voetjes door het water, spotten een rog! Daarna lezen we heerlijk een boekje, het enige vervelende is we worden helemaal lek gestoken door zandvliegjes. Wie wist dat dat een ding was haha, heel naar zijn ze wel klein en ze geven je erg veel jeuk. Later worden we opgehaald door de boot en varen we terug, waarna we met de auto weer terugrijden. Deze avond hebben we een verse lasagna van de supermarkt en lekker stokbrood, we hebben namelijk niet al te lang, want we hebben namelijk tickets gehaald voor de The Avengers The Endgame!! De eerste dag dat de film speelt en…, omdat het in Nieuw Zeeland als eerste speelt in verband met het tijdsverschil over de wereld, zijn wij een van de eerste op de wereld die hem hebben gezien, stoer!

De volgende dag checken we uit en vertrekken Nelson om door te rijden naar Kaikoura, niet ons originele plan, maar met slecht weer aan de west kant van Nieuw-Zeeland hebben we ons laten adviseren en gaan we met het mooie weer mee! En maar goed ook, want wat ik morgen ga doen is echt heel gaaf voor mij!

We moeten een 3,5 uur rijden, waarvan een groot stuk langs de kust, altijd mooi. We zijn al een aardig stuk onderweg, papa is aan het rijden, als ik opeens vlekjes zie op de stenen en dan realiseer ik me dat ik een zeehondje zag. Papa stop! Dus we zetten meteen de auto langs de weg en gaan kijken, wat blijkt dat het niet één maar bijna honderden zeeleeuwtjes op de stenen liggen te slapen of in het water aan het spelen zijn! Heel schattig om te zien, kleine zeeleeuwtjes en dikke grote hahah. Ook stoppen we onderweg om een terrasje te pakken en lekker een hot chocolate en koffie te drinken en even te wandelen. Dan komen we aan in onze bed & breakfast in Kaikoura, een klein dorpje, onze hostes is heel aardig en verteld ons over de aardbeving die daar heeft plaatsgevonden in 2016 en hoe de wegen daar voor een jaar afgesloten waren. ( Je moet je voorstellen dat er maar een weg naar het dorp loopt, via de kust naast bergen, dus als alle rotsen naar beneden komen…)

Aan de zee is het super mooi, er zijn hoge bergen met besneeuwde toppen, hele groene toppen en dan de zee met zonsondergang, dat zie je niet vaak in een plaatje!!

Ik word happy wakker, vandaag ga ik… dolfijntjes spotten op de boot!! De Dusky dolphins zijn het hele jaar door in de kust van Kaikoura te vinden, zodra ik op de boot stap en we een paar minuten onderweg zijn spotten we al de eerste dolfijnen! Eerst zijn ze nog redelijk in de verte, maar naarmate we wat langer op de boot zitten en iets verder op zee in een andere baai, komen er zo ontzettend veel dolfijnen, en zo veel!! Ik voel mij super happy, ik heb altijd al van dolfijntjes gehouden! In groepjes komen ze langs de boot zwemmen of springen ze gewoon 20 keer achter elkaar, daar staan ze bekent om, hun speelsheid. We zijn een dikke 2 uur op de boot en als we terug varen naar de haven en we heel hard varen zwemmen alle dolfijnen mee onder, voor en naast de boot, wauw....

Hitting the road again! Off to Geraldine als tussenstop voor een nachtje op doorreis naar Queenstown. We komen langs het mooie Lake Tekapo op weg naar het stadje Geraldine en we stoppen om een kijkje te nemen. De hemel is niet strak blauw maar het meer is als nog zo mooi, super blauw!

Op zondag komen we ’s middags aan in Queenstown, we slapen in een super mooi huis met een paar andere stelletjes. Het huis heeft 3 badkamers en onze kamer is super mooi, een hele ruime keuken met kookeiland, woonkamers en chill hoekjes. We komen er achter dat er ook een bubbelbad is, daar ga ik gebruik van maken!! Oeee. We gaan Queenstown in voor avondeten, ik neem een lekkere green curry en papa een salade. We lopen door de stad en het is heel schattig, best anders dan de andere steden die we tot nu toe hebben gezien. Ook heel mooi aan het water, met allemaal bergen, prachtig. Als toetje hebben we chuurrrooss haha! Nadat we lekker door de stad hebben gewandeld halen we nog wat boodschapjes en gaan we terug naar ons huisje om lekker gebruik te maken van dat bubbelbad en heerlijk te relaxen! Als we terug komen echter zien we het mooiste wat we ook hebben gezien! We stappen uit de auto en we zien een hemel vol sterren, het is echt ongelofelijk en niet te beschrijven, hele galaxy’s. Wauw wauw wauw…. Zo ontzettend helder en veel, met totale duisternis om ons heen.

De volgende dag is het slecht weer in Queenstown en behalve dat we naar de shops en supermarkt gaan doen we niet al te veel en kijken we lekker een filmpje in onze woonkamer en ’s avonds maken we zelf lekker eten.

Op naar Christchurch, het is maandag en we zitten weer in de auto, onze laatste echte roadtrip in Nieuw Zeeland. We moeten een beste afstand afleggen, zo’n 6 uur zijn we onderweg, maar het gaat eigenlijk prima. We rijden bijna de hele weg die we afgelegd hebben naar Queenstown weer af, omdat er maar een weg is en dat ons dus niet veel keuze laat hahah.

De laatste 2 daagjes Nieuw Zeeland zijn aangebroken, we eindigen onze trip in Christchurch. Een mooie stad, maar er is veel aan het herbouwen en renoveren nog van de aardbeving een aantal jaren geleden, dat is nog wel terug te zien. Papa en ik lopen door de botanical gardens en gaan dan op een elektrische step verder een stukje naar de stad waar we hem vervolgens weer neer zetten. Na een tijdje door de stad heen te hebben gewandeld vinden we een leuke overdekte foodcourt en allebei halen we een lekkere lunch die we buiten op het terras op eten in het zonnetje, heerlijk! We bezoeken de art gallery en kopen wat souvenirs. Daarna lopen we terug naar ons hotelletje om op te frissen en daarna gaan we uit eten en hebben we lekker Thais eten voor de verandering.

De volgende dag moeten we de auto inleveren en daarna gaan we door naar het vliegveld waar we nog een tijdje moeten overbruggen voor we moeten gaan vliegen. Buiten picknicken we in het gras en er is een pingpong tafel dus pingpongen dan maar! Als we later overal doorheen zijn en op het vliegveld moeten wachten schrijf ik een blogje en doe ik wat rekken, strekken en yoga in de ruimte die ze daar speciaal voor hebben. Dat zouden ze op elk vliegveld moeten hebben, ideaal voor een vlucht!

Als we kunnen boarden zien we dat we in de airbus 380 gaan, een heel nieuw toestel en super groot, een dubbeldekker. Van binnen is hij ook super luxe met veel ruimte, alle nieuwe films die ik gratis kan kijken, oee zo kom ik de vlucht wel door.

En dan zijn we weer in Australië, mijn landje hihi! Allebei zijn we blij dat we in Sydney zijn! Vanaf het vliegveld nemen we de trein, allemaal heel makkelijk en al snel zijn we bij ons hotel en kunnen we inchecken. Het is onderhand ’s avonds en we frissen ons lekker op. Daarna lopen we nog even de straat op, papa ‘barefeet’ oftewel Aussie style met blote voeten lopen. We halen en ijsje en daarna chillen we op de hotel kamer en gaan we lekker slapen.

Bondi Beach day! We nemen de bus en gaan naar het beroemde bondi beach, het is heerlijk weer, maar niet zo warm om echt te gaan zwemmen. We doen de boardwalk en die is prachtig, we lopen langs het water op omhoog en zien de zee mooi op de rotsen slaan en na een beetje klimmen en wandelen hebben we prachtige uitzichten! Als we terug komen van de wandeling is het schoentjes uit en dan gaan we lekker op het strand liggen, vakantie. Als we in het hotel onze spullen weer hebben gedropt en de zonnebrand van ons af hebben gewassen lopen we naar de stad, onderweg komen we door Hyde park en lopen we langs het mooie Anzac Memorial die daar gelegen is. Parken en groen in een stad is zo mooi. We lopen door naar Circular Quay en naar het Sydney Opera House. Papa vind het mooi en we zijn er op een goede tijd, want al gauw word het donker en gaan alle stads lichtjes aan, wat een mooi gezicht. Op de esplanada die we aflopen naar the Rocks zijn allemaal palmboompjes verlicht en alle terrasjes zijn vol, heel gezellig. Aan de overkant als we bij de Rocks zijn gaan we ergens zitten en eten we een hapje. Daarna geef ik papa wat tips om waarheen te gaan, Darling Harbour is mooi, en dan ga ik naar Natasha om een avondje te stappen en ook Adeline komt met ons mee, heel gezellig en de laatste keer ook dat ik Adeline zie.

De volgende ochtend na het ontbijt ontmoeten we elkaar weer en dan lopen we samen naar The Grounds of Alexandria. Het is een lange ochtendwandeling , maar uiteindelijk komen we aan op de mooie Grounds of Alexandria. We lopen een klein rondje, maar gaan dan eerst zitten om een drankje te doen en wat te eten. Het is super schattig, allemaal groen, planten overal en een gezellige sfeer. Als we het eten op hebben lopen we rond, dit keer is het thema Disney Aladdin. We nemen een lime fiets terug helemaal naar de Botanical Gardens en zetten de fiets daar weer weg.

Om half 8 zitten we klaar in Darling Harbour samen met hoonnderden anderen, voor het vuurwerk! Onze laatste avond, zaterdag avond in Sydney word knallend afgesloten, wat galmt het door de gebouwen en de harbour, het is prachtig. Daarna lopen we een rondje, door parkjes waar kinderen spelen, restaurantjes met terrasjes, China town. In China Town besluiten we om nog wat op te zoeken en dan vinden we een leuk sushi restaurant. Dus alvast even oefenen om met stokjes te eten voor mij! Een hele leuke avond, een leuke dag, leuke tijd in Sydney en gewoon een hele leuke tijd de hele reis!! Wat boffen we toch!

De volgende ochtend nemen we een uber en we komen op het vliegveld aan, op naar Melbourne!!! Voor de aller laatste keer neeeee…..

Melbourne!

We komen weer eens aan op het vliegveld haha en hebben er ondertussen al heel wat vluchten op zitten. We halen de huur auto weer op en dan op de road naar Ottway forrest. Daar slapen we een nachtje. De weg erheen is heel mooi, we zijn omgeven door een tropisch regenwoud en we zien ook een paar walibi’s onderweg aan de kant van de weg of de bosjes in hopsen. De wegen zijn onverhard en er zijn super vele bochten, op een gegeven moment zijn we zelfs blij dat we een four wheel drive hebben, want met veel gaten in de weg en een onverharde weg is dat wel nodig. Het huisje waar we in slapen is lekker groot in tegenstelling tot een hotel kamer, alleen we moeten zelf een vuurtje aan maken om het huisje warm te krijgen. We moeten wat boodschapjes doen, maar de dichtstbijzijnde supermarkt is een halfuur verder en dus rijden we een stuk om naar de supermarkt te gaan. We halen rijst, satesaus en vlees stokjes en oeee dan maken we dat thuis lekker klaar, dat heb ik lang niet gehad, een van mijn favoriete gerechtjes haha. Met geen wifi en bijna geen bereik gaan we gezellig rummikubben en kijken we een filmpje.

De volgende dag gaan we watervalletjes bezoeken en we beginnen bij de Hopetoun falls, het is een stuk rijden voor we er aankomen en daarna nog een hele klim van trappen naar beneden en daarna uiteraard weer naar boven. De waterval is heel mooi en ook de weg ernaartoe, maar een goede ochtend hike is het wel. De tweede waterval waar we heen gaan is redelijk dichtbij en heet de Beauchamp falls. Ook hier staat er weer anderhalfuur return om bij de waterval te komen, echter joggen we een heel stuk op de heenweg totdat we bij de trappen aankomen. De terugweg duurt langer dan de heenweg en is de trappen op en dan vooral bultopwaards lopen. Je moet er wat voor over hebben, maar ook deze waterval was super gaaf. Eenmaal terug bij de auto zijn we helemaal bezweet en als ik mijn appje check hebben we 60 verdiepingen gelopen haha.

Het laatste stuk rijden we door naar Warrnambool waar onze accommodatie voor de nacht is. Het is een groot dorp, vergeleken met alle mini dorpjes aan de Great Ocean Road. We droppen onze spulletjes frissen ons op en dan gaan we naar de locale pub voor avondeten, pizza en een salade delen we en we zitten daar een tijdje, ook facetimen we Demy even altijd gezellig hihi, miss youu.

Van de eigenaar van de accommodatie krijgen we een tip om naar een reserve te gaan, omdat daar veel wildlife is. We zoeken het op en het is niet ver dus gaan we daar maar eens een kijkje nemen kijken of we wat koala’s kunnen spotten! We doen een boardwalk en ja hoor!! Na een paar minuten spot papa de eerste koala in een boom en hij is nog wakker ook! Ik houuu van koala’s. We lopen verder en in totaal zien we wel vier koala’s, wauw zoveel heb ik er nog niet gezien op een dag in het wild! In totaal heb ik nu acht wilde koala’s gezien. Sommige koala’s zaten wat hoger of sliepen, maar super leuk dat papa ze nu ook heeft gezien, geluk, goede koala spotters zijn we!

De rest van de dag rijden we helemaal over de Great Ocean Road en doen we de twaalf apostelen en zien we andere mooie baaitjes en overal is het uitzicht prachtig! Aan het einde van de dag komen we bij de laatste overnachting voor de Great Ocean road, namelijk in Port Fairy. We halen wat avondeten bij de supermarkt en we lopen naar het strand om te gaan picknicken. Heel leuk met de ondergaande zon, alleen de meeuwen zijn een beetje irritant en achter ons eten aan hahah.

De laatste dag en we rijden terug naar Melbourne, onderweg stoppen we bij een baaitje en later stoppen we bij een koala walk waar ook heel veel papegaaien rondvliegen. Meteen in de eerste boom zien we nog een koala! Onder dezelfde boom zijn alle mooie papegaaien en we halen wat brood uit de auto die we verkruimelen en in onze handen houden, meteen worden we aangevallen door alle papegaaien hahah, maar het is wel geinig.

Als we later door een dorpje komen stopen we daar en zien we een heerlijke beach lounge, ook komt het zonnetje net door en als we daar zitten achter glas vol in de zon en echt een paar meter van het water, op het strand zitten we goed! We drinken wat en bestellen daarna nog lunch.

Rond een uur of 4/5 komen we aan bij ons appartement in Melbourne. De flat waar we in zitten is 60 verdiepingen hoog en zelf zitten we op 30 hoog, wow wat een hoogte en wat een uitzicht! We hebben ook een zwembad en gym in het gebouw zitten dus we maken meteen gebruik van het zwembad, dat op 30 hoog zit. Zwemmen met zonsondergang en daarna overal lichtjes van de stad is wel gaaf!

We vinden later een schattig verborgen restaurantje in de hoofdstraat waar we gaan eten, het is gezellig verlicht met kaarsjes en we kijken uit op de straat. En om deze geweldige vakantie af te sluiten moeten we natuurlijk nog even naar… san churros!! Dessert is churros en witte chocolade cheesecake, wooeeeehh! Wat hebben we het leuk gehad samen en het ging heel snel voorbij. 3800 kilometer en heel wat uurtjes in de auto verder, veel avontuurtjes en heel wat herinneringen en mooie ervaringen verder! Dankjewel lieve papa, zo leuk dat we dit samen konden doen!! Ik vind het lastig om weer doei te zeggen na deze tijd, maar ik zie je snel weer!!

Zelf had ik ook mijn laatste dagje in Melbourne voor ik naar Vietnam ga. Ik ben een beetje verdrietig om deze leuke stad achter te laten en al mijn mooie herinneringen overal, maar ik heb het zo geweldig gehad en ik ben zo dankbaar voor alle avonturen en de hele periode dat ik gewoon in Australië heb gewoond! Ik hoop dat ik snel een keertje terug kan, maar ik ga de mensen die ik hier achter laat meer missen, mijn gezinnetjes en mijn nieuwe vriendengroep, gelukkig gaan een paar Nederlandse vriendinnetjes wel mee terug en kan ik die nog gewoon zien hihi.

Ik zit in het vliegtuig en kijk uit mijn raampje, dan stijgen we op en zie ik de lichtjes van mijn Melbz en ik merk dat ik aan het glimlachen ben, doei.

North Island of New-Zealand

‘S nachts komen we aan op Auckland airport. New Zealand here we are! We lopen naar de bagage band en we lopen door mooie maori (de originele bewoners van Nieuw-Zeeland) palen en versieringen. Onderweg naar het hotel lopend, die naast het vliegveld ligt, stoppen we even bij maccers waar allemaal maori’s zitten. Onze eerste indruk is ze zijn best vol allemaal, getint en hebben zeker geen haast. 

Na een nachtje slaap halen we de auto op en al snel zijn we on the road! Het centrum van Auckland is maar een halfuurtje verder en als we de koffers in het volgende hotel gedumpt hebben lopen we lekker de stad in. We komen er al snel achter dat iedereen op elektrische steps een ritje maakt en ze staan op elke straathoek. We downloaden het appje lime en daar gaan we, unlock een step en daar ga je! Een leuke manier om rond te komen en heel gemakkelijk, omdat je de steps overal mag droppen. We stappen af bij de haven waar een heerlijke lounge is. Zonnetje, lemon lime bitters, lekker muziekje en lounge stoelen, vakantie! Op de terugweg lopen we nog langs de skytower en als avondeten eten we sushi bij een Japans restaurant, hmmm daar kan ik wel aan wennen alvast voor Japan!

~The next day~

Laatste uurtjes in Auckland voor we door rijden naar Waitomo, we gaan lekker naar een strandje, het is weer heerlijk weer. Daarna klimmen we de one tree hill met een prachtig uitzicht bovenop!

Onderweg naar Waitomo rijden we door prachtig uitzicht, groene heuvels, veel heuvels! 

Er is niet veel in Waitomo, het is een klein dorpje en vooral toeristisch met mensen die de glowworm caves gaan doen, precies wat wij ook gaan doen dus?. We vinden een gezellige pub die vol is en eten spareribs, die heb ik lang niet gehad yam!

De dag van de glow worm caves is aangekomen! Black water rafting, vet! We krijgen allemaal een wetsuit, een helm met een lampje erop, en laarzen. Klaar om in de caves te gaan, maar eerst gaan we nog even oefenen. We moeten achteruit in een rivier springen met onze rubberen band achter ons, dit is om te oefenen in de grot van kleine watervalletjes af te springen. Lekker nat van het koude water ook om alvast te wennen, want we worden gewaarschuwd, het gaat koud zijn in de grot, je handen en voeten gaan helemaal tintelen maar dat is normaal. We kruipen een ingang in die op een gleuf lijkt en amper te zien is als je niet weet waar het zit en dan komen we in een donkere ruimte waar we verzamelen tot iedereen er is. Wat uitleg, een groepsfoto en dan als ze vragen wie er voorop wilt gaan papa en dan ik snel voorop en mogen we de groep lijden, vet! Het is klimmen en klouteren en dan moeten we in onze band gaan liggen omdat het plafond super super laag is en moeten we eronder door druiven bijna horizontaal in het water liggend. Hierna moeten we achteruit van een watervalletje springen in onze band en later nog een keer. Nu moeten we een treintje maken en allemaal elkaars benen goed pakken, we moeten de lampjes uit doen en dan is het opeens pikken donker je ziet geen hand voor ogen, de tour leidster trekt ons allemaal door de grot heen en dan opeens zijn er overal glowworms boven ons, heeel gaaf! Wat een ervaring, wauw. Aan het einde van de grot zien we de zon naar binnen schijnen en wauw wat is dat een prachtig gezicht! 

Hierna rijden we door naar Rotorua, wat niet zo ver is vanaf Waitomo. Weer mooie uitzichten, het verveelt zeker niet, iedere bocht geeft weer een ander uitzicht! Het is donderdagavond en er is een nightmarket, daar houden we van! Dus we lopen heerlijk door de nightmarket heen met een leuk live muziekje en ik neem een paëlla, the best!!

‘S ochtends vroeg gaan we naar Wai-o-tapu wat een geothermal wonderland is, vulkanische gronden. We zien eerst de lady knox geyser uitbarsten en daarna lopen we rond en zien we alle gave kraters en prachtige meren, ook een knal groene meer wat een raar gezicht was. En het mooiste was de champagne pools, super kleurrijk met mooie contrasten en heel veel damp wat er vanaf komt door alle hitte van het water.

Alle foto’s zijn geüpload dus kijk er vooral even doorheen!

Na mooie wandelingen door Wai-o-tapu rijden we verder om een rondje te wandelen in de redwood forest. Super hoge bomen, en soms bruggetjes over kleine riviertjes met super tropische planten, allemaal een mooi gezicht en heerlijke wandeling! 

Goodmorning hobbits!

Vandaag komen we jullie bezoeken!

Als we aankomen zien we het informatie huisje voor de hobitton tour en die is al super schattig. We krijgen onze kaartjes, in thema, maken foto’s bij het smeagle standbeeld en als ze bus er is rijden we 15 minuutjes naar de hobitton! Onderweg krijgen we filmpjes te zien van de filmmakers die ons verwelkomen en vertellen over hoe ze het landschap gevonden hebben en het perfect was om de set na te bouwen. Ook worden er scenes van de film afgespeeld die gefilmd zijn op plekken waar we op dat moment langsrijden. Dan stopt de bus en zijn we er! Matamata, we lopen het dorpje in en meteen zien we er allemaal vlindertjes rondvliegen, zo idyllisch! In totaal zijn er 44 hobbit holes en het is een echt dorp. Het is super mooi opgezet, met groente tuintjes, alles erop en eraan. Wat grappig is is dat de hobbit holes niet allemaal even groot zijn, sommigen zijn heel klein en sommigen een stuk groter. Je moet je voorstellen dat als gandalf voor een huisje staat hij groot moet lijken en als een hobbit ervoor staat hij klein moet lijken, ook moeten de huisjes even groot lijken vanaf bepaalde perspectieven op beeld.

Het is een leuke tour en aan het einde als we het hele dorpje hebben gezien, inclusief Sam’s en Frodo’s huis, gaan we naar Randy Dragon! We lopen over de brug en komen aan bij de pub waar ze in de film op de tafels staan te dansen! Het is ook echt een pub en helemaal ingericht en we krijgen allemaal een drankje. Het muziekje maakt het helemaal af en we proosten en doen zelf ook even een gek dansje?.

Aan het einde van dit gave bezoekje rijden we verder naar Taupo waar we ‘s avonds rondwandelen in het dorpje, het is frisjes.

Goeiemorgen, Happy easter! Wij zoeken vandaag lekker de natuurlijke hot springs op, bikini en zwembroek aan en we stappen erin, midden in een park uitlopend in een rivier. Heeeerlijk warm, bijna heet zelfs zijn de hotsprings en we zitten er heerlijk lang in, ondertussen even ik de rivier afkoelen, weer terug erin en daarna lekker zonnen met een ijsje op het gras. Ook lopen we daarna nog even naar de huka falls. Super mooi en ook een super grote energiebron voor Nieuw-Zeeland! Terug rijden komen we nog langs een centrum waar we kijken bij het bungeejumpen en canyon swings, super cool.

De volgende dag hebben we een aardige rit voor de boeg, op naar Wellington! 

Het is tweede paasdag en het is een beetje uitgestorven in de stad zelf als we aankomen. We nemen de oude cable car helemaal naar boven op de berg waar we uitkomen bij de botanical gardens. Er is ook een schattig cafeetje waar we lekker koffie drinken en we kijken uit over Wellington. De cable car gaat door mooie verlichte tunnels. Na een lekker stukje gewandeld te hebben gaan we lekker avondeten in ons hotel! En daarna lekker een avondje op de hotel kamer en uitrusten. Ons laatste nachtje op het noorder eiland.

~Mega mooie en gave landschappen en we hebben geluk gehad met het lekkere weer, het is super gezellig om samen te roadtrippen!! 

Met de auto op naar de ferry en zuider eiland here we come!

Saying goodbye

My journey was amazing and it has come to an end. I’m sad but also happy and it’s a bit of a weird feeling. Sad having to say goodbye not knowing if you will ever see them again or maybe I might, who knows. Happy because I was so lucky that two beautiful families hosted me, even tho the second one wasn’t for so long.

I have learned a lot about myself, it was not always all about sunshine because living in a different family with other values means adjusting at times. 

I really found that communication is the most important part and that for me wasn’t always easy. The part of starting a conversation and after that facing whatever it is that maybe your doing ‘wrong’ or they’re doing ‘wrong’ and is needing a change. Finding a solution what works best for both ends.

I have learned that, for as far as I didn’t allready knew, I’m fine with being on my own. It is good to chat with people from home, but also it is not the same world you live in at that moment, on the other side of the world on another part of the day.

It was good once I had met some other friends, eighter Australian or Dutch but all living in Melbourne too. In the first months I was all about making new friends and going out to meet people as much as I could and that certainly was a good thing and I’m happy I did so! I now got some Australian friends of whom three are probably even visiting me soon in the Netherlands! I also have some new Dutch friends which I will definately see back home!

And I have more sense of responsibility after looking after all my little and lovely host kids. I also know how to be a house wife now hahaha, with the au pairing came a lot of laundrys, cooking, cleaning etc. Which I didn’t mind really.

And so came the day that I had to say goodbye. My dad had just arrived and Lindsey and Jarrod made a very lovely dinner for us which they had been preparing for two days and it was a lovely evening, we played soccer with the girls and sat outside and chatted. The saying goodbye was a bit sad because I enjoyed my stay a lot, but also I had been there too short to be very sad. Alannah, the youngest one was crying and was very sad for me to leave, Grace was okay. I hugged them once again and got in the car.

Then really came my goodbye to Kat, Adam, Leo and my Lexxie... how?? Kat said before we came in, no crying okay? When I answered, “yeah we both know that is not going to happen.” 

It was arvo when we arrived at what had been my house for all this time and my dad got to meet everybody and got to see where I had been living. Weird but also nice at the same time. Playing with Leo, the last “chasy Mae”, and a bit later wake up Lex from his nap ? cute little sleepyhead. We sat outside as it was lovely weather and I hung around in the kitchen with the boys whilst Kat was preparing us a lovely dinner, dad and Adam were chatting outside. Time for presents! Kat gave me a beautiful silver jewellery box the words love always, Leo and Lex carved in it! Just the most sweetest and thoughtfull presents ever! Then it was my turn to give them the scrapbook I made for them with all the memories we made and lots of photos of Leo and Lex. They loved it and I had so much fun making it! Kats mom also joined us for dinner which was lovely. After dinner Kat surprised me with a cake saying thank you Mae with a photo of me with Leo and Lex, aaaaawwhhh! Watch the video it’s just the best moment all together?.

And so came the night to an inevitable ending, I put Lex to bed one last time which was so hard knowing it was the last cuddles. My little love?? I had tears and Kat took me in here room and we just chatted and then it was allright. Then after a bit we left and I also had to cuddle Leo goodbye who was being very cute and cuddly. I am going to miss you so much cheeky, going to miss you all, but that’s a part of it.

Thankyou so much for everything, you’re all special and my second family?? I hope to see you again sometime and otherwise on facetime every once in a while!

Lots of love, Mae

Soaked up in the life down under

So a lot happened in the last few weeks so let me give you an update on that! It is quite long so if you only want to read about one topic just scroll down you can see the topics marked!

The 19th of february Natasha came to visit me in Melbourne for a few days! We were chatting a few days before and when she told me she didn’t have much shifts the next week I said come overrr!! So she did?. We reunited and had lots of fun and photoshoots as always

Day one

Directly after I finished my day babysitting I went into the city and I showed a bit of Melbourne as we walked around the city. We sat down under the bridge on the yarrah river at the abory afloat, a cute little bar on the water. We had a sangria and enjoyed the sun. After that we walked to the Melbourne coffee lanes and had some dinner, yammie. What’s for desert after? What better than churros in the middle of the city on a bench and watch people? When we walked back, Natasha to her hostel and me to the bus, we sat down to listen to a cute street muzician. 

Day two

The Queen Victoria night market! Brittany joined us to (we traveled a part of the east coast with her as well.) We were at the night market in time and it was not too crowded yet, so we hardly had to wait and got flying noodles (Natasha) and Paëlla (me) and Brittany got rice in a ananas. It was all very good food and as we found a spot we could see the place getting more crowded, lots of people! Live music everywhere and just such a good and chill vibe, I love it! Brittany left and Natasha and I shared a delicious smoothie and got cannoli. We walked a fair bit to Crown and once we arrived we had our cannoli on the river side before we went in. Casino time! The Crown is huge and very impressive if you walk in, everything tells you it’s wealthy. We cashed some money and walked around the huuuggee casino, it was my first time in the casino. We learned how to play black jack and tried that for a bit but we mainly watched and had a drink at the bar with live music. It was good but I don’t like it too much so I wouldn’t go back soonish.

Day three

I did not have to work this day so we could spend the whole day together?

It wasn’t going to be very warm today,  so we got to wear a sweater which was such a good feeling, very cosy! Up first we went to the National Art Gallery and admired everything haha. Then we really felt like having some soup and google maps found us a soup place in the coffee lanes, so we went. The soup place had lots of different soups and it was soo good, we shared a delicious baquette as well. Satisfied and with filled bellies we walked back to the shrine of remembrance. We attended a service of a few minutes to remember everybody and then we looked at everything displayed inside and walked around, it stays impressing. Right behing the shrine of remembrance the botanical gardens start and I didn’t actually walk through them before. They were gorgeous and parks are great. When we finally walked out of the park we were at the far end of it and needed to walk back to the city. Once in the city again we walked up to the bus and got to my place, at this point it was allready past dinner time so once we arrived me decided to make some noodles. Natasha got to meet my little kiddos and Kat and Adam which was great and she got to see where I lived. We had noodles had drinks watched netflix and then went back to the city

Lucky thursday at Bilboards, we got in the club early and we were the only ones dancing on the dancefloor but when we left it was soo full. We took an uber home and slept in my room.

The next morning I had to get up early to babysit and get to swimming class so I hugged sleepy Natasha goodbye and untill we meet again girl! 

On sunday night I had a spontanious picnic dinner in the city in a park with Minke, always good.

9 march -Moomba festival

The Moomba Festival weekend! Mimi was here last year and so I had to go! It’s kind of a carnival, with attractions and lots of things going on, just huge. Lots of sports like waterski on the yarrah river in the middle as well. The weather was great and I walked over it with Minke and we went into a waterattraction, I was drenched but that was nice haha and I was dry again quickly. We did a silent disco tour, walking around with a group of people with headphones on with music, all dancing and singing while people around don’t hear anything. So fun. We danced some salsa at a class that was going on, we watched the waterski on the river and watched skateboard matches. The next day I went back to watch the birdman rally, it’s a contest for charity where a bunch of people jump into the yarra river from a platform with their own made crafts. If you haven’t got an image watch the video it’s fun to watch. The whole river side was fully packed with people watching and holding up signs with ‘flop’ or ‘fly’.

What happened more is I got great news last week! I had a selection for physiotherapy through Skype on tuesday and got to hear that I got in on thursday!! I am soo happy! 

It was late back home when I got to hear it so only my friends were still awake but my family wasn’t so it was hard to kind of wait untill they got up to celebrate.

16-03 New Family

Last saturday I moved to a new family  closeby because Lex is starting daycare a few days a week. So my new family is Lindsey and Jarrad with the kids Grace who is 9 and Alannah who is 7. They’re super nice an it’s very lovely how the 2 families are so different both! The girls both go to school like a 10 minute walk from the house so during the day I’m off. I still go to Leo and Lex 2 days a week and I babysit here the other 3 days and so far that has been good! This week I am getting my own car with the new family as well, how excited!?

16-17 april, Grand Prix

So this weekend I went to volunteer at the grandprix, which included to carry the flag on the grid when the national anthem is sung before the formula one race started. Saturday arvo we got together and all of us walked to the practice area, we walked backstage and saw the kwalifications of the formula one going on while we walked down there. We got the flags out and they were absolutely massive, bigger then I thought they would be. We had to practice lots and then when the sun was allready under we had a real practice on the grid with the national anthem and all the other people. After we were done I was tired and just took an uber back to the airbnb I had booked for the night at the Docklands. I came back half past 10 I reckon, I ate something because I still hadn’t had dinner and a shower and went to bed. On sunday morning I had to be there again at 7:30... reminding myself that this was my choice hahah, we rehearsed untill 10 and finally got time off to see races and all the side activities on the event. I went to look at heaps of nice cars and had some lunch and sat down at club15 to watch a ferarri race and the formula 4. We also saw racers stepping out of their cars after the race and parking their cars, it was cool looking in to the cars! The weather was perfect and I put lots of sunscreen on, it was needed. At 2 we had to meet again, practice, wait at the side of the track standby to go on. Actually do the ceremony which was cool because there were soo many people, Max Verstappen actually walked right past the flag to get to the cars as well, hellloo! ? and that was it, finished, now we raced to club15 again to watch the race. We had a view on bend 15 and 16 and could see them go into the pitstops too, such a sweet spot. We were very lucky to get to see the race from up there!

If you want to see more of the grandprix you have to check out my vlog which will be out end of this week I reckon.

So that was my past month, one month left and then the au pairing is over for me! That is because dad also bought his ticket this month and will come over and we will travel together! Melbourne —> New Zealand —> Sydney. Woehoe!

Leave a comment I love to read them! Also how’d you go with this in English hey

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