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.



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 🙂

London Holiday

View from the Tower Bridge as we walked into the city centre.

Just got back from a week in London 🙂

We flew in and out of Stansted Airport and overall it wasn’t as expensive as people go on about. The only thing we found to be pricy was the long-term accommodation for people looking to live there, other than that it was quiet a manageable trip.

Thursday 19th January:

When we arrived we got the train to Liverpool Street Station and walked through the city and saw along the way the outside of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge (that is the better bridge, not London Bridge). We got an Airbnb place in the suburb of Bermondsey, then we walked back into the city and had dinner at a german restaurant.

Friday 20th January:

We walked to the Imperial War Museum and spent an hour or two there and then went and looked around Westminster, saw the palace and abbey plus Big Ben. We then went to Trafalgar Square, followed by a stroll through St James’s Park to Buckingham Palace. It was the first time I saw a lake that was partially covered in ice! We then wandered off towards Downing Street and saw that the place was cut off with large black metal barricades and armed with armed men. Afterwards we met up with friend and had a lovely french meal in Soho.

Saturday 21st January:

We met up with the same friend from last night and another to go to a wonderful market near Bethnal Green. We used public transport for the first time, taking the train to Bethnal Green tube station. Afterwards we went to The British Museum.

Sunday 22nd January:

Visited the Natural History Museum (with another friend) and spent a good four hours there. I really liked all the taxidermy animals they had on display, but the place was packed and we even had to line up to get in. That night we had dinner at a BBQ restaurant and returned home via the tube.

Monday 23rd January:

We leisurely walked into the city along the river and explored the streets around us (four hours!) and for dinner met up with another friend at Imperial College. After that we hung out in the student bar and then with a fourth person we walked along ‘Embassy Row’, a street that had extravagant houses along Hyde Park. We went to a wonderful Japanese Sushi restaurant and took a bus back.

Tuesday 24th January:

Terrible day. We booked a return bus trip to Cambridge via National Express. But three times they screwed us with directions. The first time they failed to inform us of a change in location. The second time we were given the wrong location and when we rang up again the person on the line didn’t even know the stop we were at, so we were told to go back to the first stop and the bus never came. It was terrible, hopefully we’ll get a refund. I check them out on Trip Advisor and half their reviews are one star ratings. In the end we went back home and de-stressed.

Wednesday 25th January:

After a sleep in we went and saw the Wellcome Trust followed by the Grant Museum of Zoology. That place was amazing. The zoology building isn’t that big, but it is packed with skeletons and specimens of all types of animals and critters. It was so much fun to look at.

Thursday 26th January:

Last day, walked into London and then met up for lunch with another two other people at the same german restaurant we had dinner at on our first day. Then we went to The Alchemist and had a waffles and sticky date pudding. Then we got the train from Liverpool Street Station back to Stansted.

Paris Holiday: An Overview

Lol it’s taken me a while to get this post up. But back in April 2015 me and Chris went on a four-day trip to Paris 🙂

April 24th, Friday:

We hopped onto the plane at Edinburgh and arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport mid afternoon after only 90 minutes!

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Two bearded men together. Our driver from airport.
Airbus we saw being taxied as we left the airport.

We had a friend of Jonas (from USC) pick us up and drive us to Jonas’ house. An awesome little place in a village outside of Meaux – I can’t remember exactly the name. We met his girlfriend for the first time and that night Jonas had a small gathering at his place and we chilled out etc. They were even nice enough to let us sleep in their bed instead of their couch.

April 25th, Saturday:

Me and Oreli on the train.
Chris and Jonas. on the train.

The next morning me, Chris, Jonas and Oreli drove to train station that was next to Disneyland Paris. Funny enough there were lots of black clad armed military men wandering around the place. I wanted to take a picture, but I didn’t think it was a good idea in the end. It’s a good thing that we had Jonas and Oreli with us because the Paris railway is so completely fucking nuts. There are some stations that have multiple levels of railway!

Picture from the internet. I cannot remember what line we took either.
Double decker trains.

We got off at station that was near the Louvre and I got to enjoy the wonders of the 1 euro toilet (it wasn’t wonderful). Also all toilets there cost money, so hold it in if you can. Despite being at the Louvre we didn’t see it until our last day. Instead we went to the Arc de Triomphe first.

Chris, Jonas and Oreli at the Arc de Triumph.
Chris, Jonas and Oreli at the Arc de Triomphe.
Side view.


Standing under it.
Another view.

After that we went and walked along the Champs-Elysees.

Took this image from Wikipedia. Champs-Elysees from on top of Arc de Triomphe.

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I got some lovely postcards, as souvenirs, from a little street stall. It was funny because when I first started looking at the cards there was no one around, but when I paid there were tonnes of people.  There were so many expensive shops and everything was so beautiful.

Then we went onto the Eiffel Tower. You don’t see it, but there are tonnes of Nigerian scammers lurking around, trying to sell trinkets and shit.







Line to go up in the tower. We didn’t want to wait the hours so we didn’t even bother.

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Next we went and saw Notre Dame.

Back of Notre Dame.
Side of Notre Dame.
Front of Notre Dame.

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Then we went to Pont de l’Archeveche, which was right next to the Notre Dame and was covered in love padlocks 🙂

Me on the bridge.
Chris pointing out the penis drawing.
Here’s a better view.
I think all the locks were removed recently.

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From memory somewhere along the way, we left Jonas and Oreli and met up with Kevin and Laura, both who we knew from USC.

Kevin is French and Laura is Spanish. Descending into the Catacombes de Paris.

We stayed at their place for the next two nights and got to meet their cat.

Sniff it. Sniff it real good.
It sure loved its crack.
View from their window. Pretty French lane.

On the way to their place they showed us that Paris has an entire abandoned railway system. While you’re not allowed down their there are tones of graffiti and bon fires etc.

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April 26th, Sunday:

We spent most of Sunday morning waiting to get into the Catacombes de Paris. When we got in line we didn’t realise that it was so long. And after a few turns and realising that after an hour of waiting it was too late to leave. But eventually we got down there.

Underground map.
Descent begins.
Skulls arranged into a person shape.
First thing we saw.

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Sorry my 2008 camera was not liking it underground and decided to act its age.

Built by the workers of the catacombes.

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Then we went onto Sacre-Coeur.

Pretty little bar in Montmartre, which is on the way to Sacre-Coeur.
Overlook from the hill up to Sacre-Coeur. Had to climb through a few streets for this.
Random shot of Kevin with pretty background.


What the place looks like on a nice day.


What it looked like to us.
Closer up.
A little model of the building, complete with mini-people.
Alter thingy.

There was lots of people all over the place and it is still a functioning church.

What we saw looking down from the church.

Then on our way back to Laura and Kevin’s we came across Le Mur des Je t’aime or Wall of Lovers.

View from street.
Sadly the Bogan Australian ‘I fuckin’ love ya’ wasn’t written on there.

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April 26th, Sunday:

On Sunday we finally headed towards The Louvre, but before we got there we went through a nice park, that I think might have been part of the museum.

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Then we came to one of The Louvre entrances. Don’t know what monument this is called but it’s impressive.

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Obligatory tourist shot.

We took so many pictures (so god damn many) inside The Louvre. So I’m putting the ones I like in here.

How we saw the Mona Lisa.
How Mona Lisa saw us.
As close as we got to Mona Lisa.
Shoving his foot in someone else’s mouth – so inconsiderate.
Old Louvre courtyard from window.
I’m a head.
Another shot of the courtyard.
Pretending to be statues. Also my bag was starting to weigh me down. We were carrying all our stuff beucase it was our last day and we wouldn’t have time to go back to Laura and Kevins so we just took it with us.
I like this style of art the most. It’s ancient Iraq/Iran?

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We spent hours there and then afterwards headed to the airport. It was so pretty to see the plane travel up through the clouds 🙂

On the plane.

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