Spent 10 days backpacking in Belgium and Germany

Days 1 & 2: Luxembourg City

Me and Chris flew into to Luxembourg City at around 10 am. We just mostly walked around the city sighting as we made our way to the small hotel we had booked about an hour’s walk away. I went and did a lot more sightseeing around the Grund area and the saw three museums:

  • National Museum of Art and History (Musee National d’Histoire et d’Art);
  • Musee d’Histoire de la Ville;
  • and Museum of Natural History (Le Natur Musee Au Grund).

I noticed that there was a lot of construction going on, similar to that of Tel Aviv. It seemed like they were upgrading their pipelines or something. I went on the 24-hour sightseeing bus tour as well, twice too as I wanted to get my money’s worth (it was 20 something euro). We then went and got a late Flixbus to the city of Trier.

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Days 3 & 4: Trier

Arrived late at night and was able to get into the hostel without any problems. Over the next two days, we saw much of the old Roman structures that had survived. I think the Amphitheatre was the most interesting because they even had information about the underground part. Other sights we saw were;

  • Porta Nigra;
  • Trier Saint Peter’s Cathedral;
  • and Aula Palatina.

We mostly stayed in the centre and again caught another Flixbus to Brussels.

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Days 5 to 7: Brussels 

We arrived in Brussels in the afternoon walked to our hostel. During our days here I went and saw so many old buildings. I went and saw the; Museum of the City of Brussels and the partnered attraction of the MannekenPis plus a building that had a variety of costumes for the boy called GardeRobe MannekenPis. I also saw the Museum voor Natuurwetenschappen. It had so many dinosaur skeletons 🙂 But my favourite museum was the Chocolate Museum called Choco-Story Brussels. I spent over two hours there!

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Days 8 & 9: Bruges 

We got another bus to Bruges and found it to be the most attractive place we had been to. Such pretty old buildings and canals everywhere. We should have stayed here longer. Everything looked like a medieval postcard.

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Day 10: Ghent 

We arrived here via train from Bruges. The centre of the city was like Bruges, but that soon ended when we left to head to our hotel. We went on a canal tour and that was one of the highlights of our time here. Another was seeing the red light district, it was similar to Amsterdam actually. I didn’t realise that we had come to the area until I saw the red lights lining the windows and the type of people decline in quality. But the ladies in the windows looked above average in looks. After that, we got a bus to Charleroi Airport and flew back to Edinburgh.

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Holiday in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem


Day 1: Arrival

We left Edinburgh on a 6.30am flight to Berlin and from there we got to Tel Aviv by the early afternoon. We went through a ton of security in between as well.

We got a taxi to the hotel and because I didn’t get much sleep the night before konked out by 7.30 pm. I think we had room service for dinner.


Day 2: Old Jaffa and Carmel Markets.dscn1086

We had breakfast and then went walking along the beach until we got to the Old Jaffa area near a landmark called The Clock Tower. We walked around the area a lot and got lost for a while. I noticed that the entire area (not just Jaffa) is in a state of transition. There were a lot of old buildings that looked like it needed to be condemned, but people were using them. But at the same time, there was a ton of construction going on.


We then made our way to the Carmel Markets. There were food, flowers, clothes and a lot of trinkets for tourists. After that, we wandered through the nearby areas and had lunch. Note, Tel Aviv is an expensive city and for me, the numbering of the shekel currency threw me off a little.


Day 3 and 4: Jersulam 

We got the train to Jerusalem (only an hour long) and then the light rail to the Old City.  We wandered through the different quarters and saw the Western Wall. We then had lunch before going on a tour under the wall and under the city. That was my favourite part 🙂 We then wandered around for a bit more, found the Tower of David and then left the area and found a bar where we stayed for a few hours. We definitely did not have enough time in the day for that place. In fact, it might have been better to have stayed in Jersulam and take a day trip to Tel Aviv instead.

We went back to the train station and found that it was closed. It was nine at night and we were stuck. There were a few people manning the gate and they said to stay in a hotel (there were quite a few in the area). We found a place in a low budget hotel for 350 shekels and it was low budget. The TV had power to it, but there were no channels, the toilet bowl lid had been broken and glued back to together (worked fine), there was a large squeegee in the shower to clean up the water because it spilled out. But we got a complimentary breakfast included in the price 🙂

Then since we were still here we went to the Yad Vashem Museum. That place was depressing, but it’s a good museum. We weren’t allowed to take photos, but I had taken some before been told not too. Then after that, we went back to the train station it was still closed! But we found the city bus station across the road and got a bus back.



Day 5: Lazy Day

This day was really sunny and I went and walked along the beach the opposite way towards the power station. I then walked along Ha-Banim Garden, I underestimated how big it was and at midday decided to go back. I managed to get semi-lost in the streets but found my way back to the beach. The area was really nice and it would be a lovely place to live. I also saw so many gum trees. I didn’t know they were here, it reminded me of home.



Day 6: Weizmann Institute of Science

We took the train out to Rehovot and visited two of Chris’ friends from his early PhD days and had lunch with them. Then we took the train back to Tel Aviv and then headed out to the airport. The flight home was in two stages as well. We had a five-hour stopover in Poznan, Poland and like the first day in Tel Aviv, my sleep was all messed up and I sleep most of the day back and then after a few hours awake went back to sleep again.

Take Away Notes:

There were a ton of Israeli Defense Forces everywhere. I wasn’t at all phased by the guns they had. They were walking the streets, riding the trains etc. And OMG Cats! There were so many cats and dogs everywhere! The cats roam free and you can easily count 20 – 30 cats as you walk around the place. Dogs, on the other hand, are always accompanied by a human.

Tel Aviv reminded me of Australia a lot. Maybe it was the weather, which was really nice. It only rained once (but it poured cats and dogs), all the other times it was really nice and sunny 🙂 It’s a nice place and I could live there, but being so close to the Middle East, means probably not.



Tor.com and other things

It’s getting closer! I’ve had serious writer’s block since returning to Australia 😦 It’s been almost two weeks and I think I’m just over my jet lag 🙂 Finally. I’ve been constantly checking the Tor.com submission page to see where my book is at and the speed at which this is going is having me a bit concerned. Either they have a lot of people going through the stories or they had a lot of submissions that didn’t meet the criteria and are culling through them like a hot knife in butter.

I wonder what they are going to say about my story. Is it shit and needs to be tossed into a dumpster and set on fire? Or is the best thing they had ever read? There is no in-between! That being said, if it gets rejected I’ll do a few more drafts and then self-publish it.

Tomorrow I’m going back to Queensland to my parent’s place and they don’t have regular internet – by choice! They say they have no use it. Like what are you!? Anyway, maybe that can be a benefit for me seeing as though I haven’t written anything since returning. Maybe I can finish all those half done first drafts.


Paris and Australia

I’m no longer going to be in Paris for nine weeks, but two. Chris has gotten a job, so after a fortnight we’re going back to Australia and getting out Ancestry visa and coming back to Edinburgh 🙂 We’ll be back in mid-June? and I’m so looking forward to having so much time off work to write 🙂

Mid-Years Resolution

Six months already (cue cringe-worthy comments on how fast the year has gone). I sit here writing a new novella when I should be working on another story that was listed in my quarterly goals. But this is just more appealing to me at the moment. I think it might be another completed work by the end of the month 🙂

Anyway, now that half the year is already gone. It is only two months until I have to go back to Australia or maybe three months to change over my visa. I will be intending to return back to Edinburgh, I just don’t know exactly when. I’m planning on taking the time where I won’t have a reliable internet connection to encourage me to write more.

These are the things I want to have done by the year’s end:

  • Have The Things We Do published by December,
  • A completed first draft of Beyond This Small Moon of Ours,
  • The sci-fi mystery I’m working on now practically ready for the new year,
  • Publish Jump Start,
  • An outline for Fine Tune (sequel to Jump Start).

So depending on how things go and how I go about them we’ll see how successful I’ll be.

How clouds are made in Holland

While in Holland we saw how both regular clouds and storm clouds are made. Observe below.

Regular white fluffy clouds are being produced. It is so that Holland can have the classic cloudy European look.


We experienced days of clear weather and so it was nessecary that storm clouds then be produced to ensure rain would occur. You can see the transormation from white to dark.


And here are what the wind turbines are actually used for – directing which way the clouds drift. All the re-newable energy stuff is a con 🙂

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