I have decided to close down some other social sites that I joined ages ago (Myspace and TheTX Space site) - reason being I can't keep up with it all! And prefer to focus now on Facebook and also the American site (Transplantcafe.com).
I do not want to loose all the journals that I wrote up on Myspace when I went travelling about a year and a bit after my transplant through europe in 2007 - so have copied/pasted them all in here! My travels started in October and ended December 2007...so if you read..you may like to scroll to October and read up!?
Best wishes for now - and happy reading if you do! Oh I would love to travel again if I had the chance!!!! x x x
Friday, November 30, 2007
TRAVELS: SWITZERLAND+AUSTRIA (Nov-Dec 2007)
Vienna 4th Dec
Hello everyone final blog of travels..as got one more day here before I return to the UK. Today has been a jam packed day.. and I am now having an internet break..lol, before I eat some traditional Austrian food.
So today, I visited 2 art galleries, 1 museum, 1 famous Cathedral, and the State Opera House..phew..now u can see it has been jammed full of events. Oh, what was nice was a pre-lunch break to try, a Sacher Torte cake at the famous Sacher Hotel. It is Austrian´s traditional chocolate cake with a secret ingredient, and me thinks that might be alcohol...as I was like ooooooooo.....thats hefty boozy cake...
Tomorrow, I intend to visit another famous museum, go on a Riesenrad (like a giant wheel - that we have in London..the London Eye..so that I can get sum good views of the city. Also..some other buildings and plenty of walking as usual. And maybe go to an opera in the evening. Vienna is even nicer than I imagined, and I´m glad I decided to go here. And will now go onto my top 3 cities along with Venice, Dubrovnik, as wonderful places to visit.
So, I have seen 14 cities in total and stayed in 5 different countries over almost 2 months and I am still in awe of this trip of a lifetime..
Looking forward to returning home now, to get sum rest..think my body needs it now. And also, to kinda detox..lol..get back into my healthy diet of plenty fruit n veg....exercise...start boxing as I previously had a go at b4 I departed, and have a breather frm coffee addiction n cakes..lol..
Bye lovlies..keep smilin ..keep well...lotsa luv n hugs x x x
2nd Dec Zurich
Hey everyone, just to let u know that Zurich is great too, and at the moment all the church bells are ringing¨all around the city....alarm calls for everyone..even me..lol. I visited one church that has the largest clock face in Europe..and it was MASSIVE!! And Miss Art Gallery girl, visited the main one here too..and WOW...I was mega impressed..maybe one of the best I've seen thru my travels.
The city life here is split into 2 towns, the old Zurich and then across the river more modern, expensive shops, and a fast, hussle n bussle lifestyle. It has so much character here...and definitely the BEST chocolates!! Also, I experienced my first ever cheese fondue evening here at a restaurant with a whole group of people..it was actually very tasty indeed!!
It has been great to see my mate Thomi who found me again thru another forum..Facebook..lol.. Thomi and I were clubbing buddies many moons ago, and I finally re-lived that clubbing vibe with a group of his mates here on a Friday night. I could not stop smiling n dancing as it has been yrs since I have been able to go to a club.
Today, I will be visiting the capital as previously mentioned..and then I'm definitely off to Vienna for my final 4 days. I feel tired slightly now after all I have done and achieved with the 2months almost of travels. It has been the best experience ever in my life, and I am so happy that I have been given this opportunity to live a dream through.
Oh, and how can I forget..the Swiss Alps!!..what an amazing view from the plane...and has given me an idea.... Maybe another achievement, to climb a mountain for charity....so watch this space....
Hugs to everyone x x x x
I am in Zurich..just a little update. Planning a day trip maybe to the capital of Switzerland - Bern. Then to another country..maybe Austria to go to Vienna for a few days. Then, definitely coming home..lol
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
TRAVELS: CROATIA (Nov 2007)
Dubrovnik 28th Nov
Hello everyone, how are things? My trip is nearly over..I'm not sure if I want to come home..but reality such as I need a job now..lol, hospital and teeth checks..means my amazing bubble needs to burst .
I forgot to mention, that whilst in Zagreb, I spent a day at a town called Varazdin..which used to be the old capital of Zagreb. It was a 2 hour train journey and well worth it! Such a cute quaint town with lots of character. It was here, that I started to write my letter to my Donor's family..something that I have wanted to do for some time now. How amazing my journey has been since all I have experienced to how now my life is free of pain and suffering, and to my achievements to date.
So...anyway.....WOW...I am now in Dubrovnik..it's simply beautiful!! I was in awe of Venice (still am)..but here is also just seeing is believing!! Croatia has many beautiful parts, and I wish I had more time to explore smaller islands too. My hotel room overlooks the sea almost up a mountain. The sun is shining down today and the views are spectacular with crystal clear blue sea! WOW!! It is here that I have been visiting the old town of Dubrovnik, and I just can't wait to upload photos so you all can see how stunning Dubrovnik is. I have made some wonderful friends in Croatia, and a great girl who remembers when the war hit Dubrovnik (she was just 7 years old then) and lived in a basement, (cripes). Also, I'm loving the food here the most from all countries that I have travelled to so far + the life style here. I would be SO tempted to live here, if it wasn't such a smoky country, and if they had a lung transplant hospital!! However, they don't do lung transplants here..and the people I have met so far..think that I am some kind of miracle!!
I am also just about getting on with the Croatian language now too..typical on my last day here! Today, I am about to walk around the walls of Dubrovnik should take me a few hours..and I can't wait...woo!! Then to visit some monestries/ unique buildings of this town, and finally to see my friends here.
Take care everyone...sending lotsa Jussie hugs to ya all. Jet setting extremely early 2morra to go to Zurich to stay with friends there. Missing you.x x x x x
Zagreb 20th Nov
Woohoo dudes and dudettes...sending frosty greetings from Zagreb where I'm here for 7 days before heading to Dubrovnik for a further 3 days. As I said from a little bulletin, I travelled on a mini plane that only had 30 seats and i<>t was great as the plane was landing, u could see the land covered in snow.... And when I arrived at my hotel, I had a balcony..lol...with a view of snow covered areas!! ..not exactely balcony with a sunset paradise sight..oh well..still found that xciting too.
So far, I have had various accomodations from a hostel, B@B's, guest houses, and hotels. Some in the center of the city..and some miles away..lol... Also with various eating experinces...good bad and plain right horrid meals (only a couple thou not so hot) but genuinly - as far as I'm concerned..it all adds to the travelling experiences. In Zagreb I have probably felt the most awkward especially with the language - it's so hard!! I managed to get by with Spanish and Italian (not an expert thou by any means). However, I ordered tea yesterday...well I got Indian tea bag and large wedge of lemon!! ..lol..So..not to be rude I drank Indian tea and squeezed lemon juice in it!!
Even though it was snowing..it has stopped now, and I don't mind being here out of tourist season. Probably a good thing, as I get a real flavour for way of living here and in other countries too. But, all I can say so far on Day 2..that I'm definitely coming back to Croatia when it's Summer for a chilled out holiday..woo!!
Zagreb is a massive town centre..so much to do and see!! famous for all its arts and parks etc...and my...sooooo many shops, and so cheap too!!! You can eat like a King here, for me a Queen.. lol and I absolutely love it here!! I also know some Croatian girls who I will be meeting and hopefully they will help me with the cuisines delights of their country. One being boiled cheesecake, brandys, spicy meatballs, and heaps more foods! The clothes are nice too..don't think I have much more room for many more things, as have also been Xmas Shopping along the way.
I have seen so many galleries aswell, and visited at least one in each city to appreciate art of the region. All I can say is..WOW!!...Although, I still am an abstract art kinda girl, but, I have been fascinated with seeing art dating back as far as 1310 and so on..with the styles of painting/materials used etc.
Today, I am visiting 2 musuems and may squeeze some window shopping time, . Oh..I nearly forgot to mention..it is such a huge social scene here too..loadsa bars, cafes, clubs, quite a trendy hot spot actaually. Thou...everybody smokes here..even if I fancy a coffee somewhere (I end up smelling like a cigarette..poo hoo, yuk!). Hmm..they need to bring the no-smoking law to this country (well I can live in hope - eh?)...
Right time to go now..last stop Switzerland..then bak home to reality and job hunting...lol...
See u soon or speak soon...lotsa hugs x x x
Sunday, November 11, 2007
TRAVELS: ITALY (Nov 2007)
Milan 18th Nov
Hey all lovely people..today is my last day, and 2 b honest after coming from fairytale Venice to here, and staying in Faulty Towers with rude staff...hmm...not a good start for me.
However, I'm still smiling, and guess all part of the travelling experience. In hindsight...one day is enough in Pisa, and 2 here in Milan. I would have preferred the xtra days in Venice, Rome, and or Florence...nevermind. But, I have to tell u..Milan is not what I expected!! It's an old city..full of trams!!? Gosh...and it is very cosmopolitan which is a good thing I guess. The shops are like other cities, although there is one parade famous full of designer shops... Yer, yer...u guessed - how could I not pass thru and take a peek. Hmm, thou..my finances don't allow that luxury lifestyle...but still good to enjoy the moment whilst it lasted..
I am half way thru my trip now, and starting to miss some English foods like jacket potatoes, Helmans light mayonnaise, real butter, and real smokey bacon....lol.... Oh and I can't wait to tuck into a tasty take - away too...Chinese or Indian...hmmm...yummm.... . Sadly thou, I have been disappointed re: my lasagna search..well..I will be cooking one soon enough when I go to stay with friends in Switzerland.
I have met some amazing people too who I intend to stay in touch with..a lovely girl from Finland, 2 American chaps and spoken to heaps of people...very fascinating indeed talking to unique characters.
Time to go now, Venice has been my fav..and I deffo WANT to visit again!!! Hugs to u all, n stay well.lotsa luv x x x
VENICE.. 13th Nov
...Hey everyone...Wow!!! I'm in love with Venice, it has simply taken my breathe away (excuse the pun)..I'm in awe, gobsmacked, speechless..wow..its even more stunning than seeing pictures. Being here is incredible, WOW!!!
I was going to write a little more about Florence, but not now - just blown away by Venice that anything I say now will not compare (even though Florence was beautiful especially on my last day walking to the top of a mountain and eating pizza there!!).
On arrival to Venice...when u leave the station...there is the canal right infront of u!! I was not prepared to see that...was stunned and took photos straight away...lol..such a tourist - eh?
All streets here have bridges and steps going up..cross bridge then steps going down (no roads are without this)..so u see the canal inbetween each street...am I painting the amazing picture that it is here? And I realised today, that my skinny jeans are no longer skinny...but baggy!!!? All this walking and my goodness all these steps here, I looked at my legs...where are they?...gee..I have good legs now..lol...shame that I still got my bum...lol...
I have to say thou it is very expensive here compared to the other cities in Italy, things are marked up mayb 3 or 4 times more than elsewhere (phew, glad I have done some shopping in the other places). I am also trying the various foods famous for in each city..to get a feel for the lifestyle here. Today, I experienced a cake like no other. It was bright green (pistaccio flavour) and then the lady put it in the microwave...and then presented it on my table with a steak knife!!! oops excuse me..but to myself I was like...WTF....oops sorry..lol. Needless to say, I ate it all...kinda like a cookie warmed up and very tough...even thou it wasn't all that nice. But, I am trying to adapt..lol..
Right, I think thats enough dribble for now...the next couple days have a trip on a gondola ..WOOHOO......riverbus, art gallery (with Venetian Art), famous buildings here...walking up hundreds steps over all these bridges and tiny roads...and exploring the most beautiful city that I HAVE EVER EVER seen.
Hugs to u all x x x x
11th November Pisa and Florence updates
I have just written out my whole journal and deleted the whole lot by accident (my lack of full Italian language).oops..so starting again..poo hoo..time running out too..so can't go into too much detail now..
I am at a very happy place right now and loving my travelling experience! Spain was great, but Italy is STUNNING!! Italians have such flair for fashion, food and culture. Rome was amazing and to see the Colosseum was the best ever!! I couldn't believe that I was actually standing there where all that history took place. I have taken hundreds of photos (no joke)...(of all my travels so far) and will select only the finest for u Myspace mates..lol.
Also, another highlight was climbing 300 steps to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa!! My new lungs are allowing me to do things like this than previously not possible. I am also not taking my life for granted so this definitely was the right thing to do now! It's such a wierd feeling when u enter the Tower of Pisa - having the building tilted sideways. Anyone would have thought I'd just downed a bottle of Baileys..the way I was kinda trying to climb the steps!! lol
Florence (where I am now) is like a very busy and trendy city with heaps to do and plenty shops/markets. OMG amazing leather handbags!!! It's like being in Camden Town (London), and finally, I have accomodation right in the heart of all this hussle and bussle. I still haven't found my lasagna to beat mine..well there is still Venice and Milan...
Weather has been cold today...the first day I have worn my coat in the morning...guess I have got to get used to this as Croatia next stop is snowing!!
Ok everyone guna go...prob missed bits - can't remember now...anything worth adding will do next time. Oh thanks too for any messages n comments...really appreciate...and will try message back too!! Bigggggggggggggggg hugs..
KEEP SMILING x x x x
OMG I'm in Rome and its been full of adventure already with some kinda tears of laughter too. As to why I will explain in a bit..lol. Well,as usual no sleep the night b4 and then ready from 6am to get to the airport. Until now I used to be scared of flying, but I think I have now conquered that fear...as on the plane today I was like Wooooooooooooohooooooooooooooooo as the plane was taking off from Barcelona. I was loving it...such a thrill..I never used to be like that..more like shaking and in the brink of crying with fear.
So upon arrival Rome...wow..it's SSSooooo HOT the weather (much hotter than in Spain) and I asked about where my accomodation was...gulp..oh dear. I was told it was nowhere in town...not near a train station..only buses go into town and about 1 1/2 hours away!!! I didn't know what to do, laugh or cry!!?
Well ok so maybe I made a mistake this time, remember I did book my whole trip in like 3 days and spent hours infront my laptop booking flights/rooms etc..maybe this one slipped through the net so 2 speak..and I didn't check it was in the centre. Well what will be will be. So I am not a person to let this dampen my time. So, when I finally get to my accomodation..I dumped my bags and found my way into the town!!! .. friggin tired as usual and aimlessly lost!!. There are only about 4 buses a day that go a station somewhere..where I get a connection to the centre of Rome...and again going back. My last bus to get me back leaves at 10.20pm (its like having a curfew or being back living at home)
All I can say for now is that, I am still happy and have already planned tomorrow that I will visit the Colosseum and the Royal Palace. The city reminds of Valencia, very old - full of history with its architecture and buildings. I am yet to find my ULTIMATE LASAGNA experience.....well if I wana late night..then I guess I'll simply pay for a taxi to get me back to the land of nowhere.
And my single girl mates and gay guys...OMG the Italian men are simply GORGEOUS STUNNING LIKE MODELS...lmao ....lol. Actually if u r taken still come here..u just gotta see for yaself!!!! WOW.....lol. Keep smiling dudes... hugs x x x x x
Monday, October 22, 2007
TRAVELS: SPAIN (Oct 2007)
Well I was sad to leave Valencia, as it was kinda a secret hidden urban underground liefstyle - which I really liked. The day b4 I left, I spent time on the beach, even thou there was no sun... Walking up to the water and letting the waves brush over my feet...yikes, icy cold water!! I got a little teary eyed kinda reminiscing how the man who saved my life has made my dreams a reality. A surreal reality as no more pain or breathing problems, just walking freely,happily, and loving every minute of my travels!
I am not bored travelling on my own, lonely, or even scared. And if I wana talk to people I do..or simply spend time with me and me only..ha ha. And when I do, its great to meet people of all nationalities.
Every day is busy with mayb an hrs kip ..then I´m out again. Every time, I arrive in a city,,I dump my bags and go exploring the city to get my bearings and always get lost!! lol...My first night in Barcelona it seemed like I walked for hrs....I explored La Rambla (famous street) with lots of stalls of flowers and birds/animals..even found the famous Merchat de Sant Joseph (fruit market..I was in heaven and bought sum tropical fruits).
Today, I went to the Picasso musuem and other plans I have to visit here are the beach,,ha ha...then 2 places where u see panoramoc views and the other like a tram that goes up and down to see views of Barcelona, another art musuem (Joan Miro), and Gaudi architecture. Oh besides the eating and wondering aimlessly..lol..
HAPPY HALLOWEEEN...trick or treat!!!!?? U tell me what will it b....x x x
Hola, buenos nochos. Como estas?
hey hey lovlieeeesssss I´m havin a great time in valencia. I feel like an adrenalin junkie - can´t sleep - just on a constant high!! I was cream crackered shattered upon arriving here and my nerves preventing me from sleeping the night before. But still...i found my accomodation then dumped my bags and went walking, or i should say..went very lost!!! lol. I felt that the town here was lifeless compared to Madrid - which is a mad, fast, busy, crazy London way of life. And Valencia is a more slow paced city steeped in beautiful architecture and heaps culture. So yes, the slightly insane me has had to adjust to this way..but u know, I really like it..think I now prefer here to Madrid. And guess reason y I have gone travelling is to experience diff. lifestyles/way of living too...
Since I´ve started my travels..I have been walking every day for literally hours - great exercise and a great way to explore each city..and I intend to do this to each and every city! The weather in Spain has been warm..bit chilly in the eve´s..and yesterday it poured with rain, and I got soaked like a drowned rat!!! lol
Today, I went shopping in a local Market, and starting to get family/mates Xmas pressies..far more fun than doing that in the UK. The food here is crazy what they eat for breakfast..I mean I was aware of cheeses/meats..but CAKES aswell...have seen people eat like 4 or 5 cakes and dip them in their cafe con leche (cafe lattes). Tonight, I am going to watch some Flamenco dancing..and as u all know by now..I love dancing..so may just have to get up n boogie with them..woohoo!! Also yesterday, I went to a place called "Ciudad de la Artes y las Ciencias"...a huge area with 6 different complexs. I went to two of them an Aquarium type place and a Science n Technology one (yer..got some brains u know!!!?).
Off to Barcelona Tuesday..then so excited for Italy...and eating LASAGNA!! I wonder if the Italians will make a better one than me - even thou I am slightly Italian (me thinks I will have to eat humble pie - n except that mayb here they will do..gulp..oh well). Adios x x x
Updates updates..read all about it..leavin earli for Valencia 2moz..so got time to do this..stayin in tonight as been out ev. nite so far, and so friggin tired still even with siestas..lol!! I´m up 7am 2moz...
Madrid has been fab..and my mate, Adam - and his friend Rob have showed me the city and nightlife..lol..lol
They are police here everywhere, even in cafes and burger king!!!? What is shocking here, is that the city of Madrid has young prostitutes everywhere - which is sad to see as they are young pretty girls too. I have done the touristy things - visited 2 art galleries, one the main Nacional gallery del Prado and the other Reina Sofia (modern art). I loved the modern art gallery - so much my thing- all the abstract art..maybe one day my abstract art will make a gallery too?
I also went to the Royal Palace of Madrid..equilevant to our Buckingham Palace..during the day - then at midnight - when its all lit up!!
I am happy to say - that STARBUCKS is here too..lmao..lmao...so yep, I ended up takin a visit for a coffee (latte 2 b precise) there..lol. The down side thou for me - is all the smoking everywhere...the city smells horrid and every1 smokes here...yuckkkkkk....oh well. All in all I´ve had a FAB time, met lots people...talked lots..why is that no suprise? Thanks 4 any messages so far..when i do log its like for 5 mins ..lol..chekin messages mostly frm my family n close friends...n some of u may get a quik message frm me, if Ive got time too.Byeeeee...keep well..nt sure when wil nx get internet..but will write soon. x x x
Woohoo..I´m here and as happy as!!! Place I´m staying has internet..lmao!! lol!
I´ve only had 2 hrs sleep..was up 3.30am..got to Luton airport n flight probs..waited 3hrs..got free fresh juice (cranberry,melon,n apple) thanks Easy Jet!! Then half hr stuck on plane b4 set off. I´m here now - been out 4 lunch.
I´ve found all u can eat for 8.50 Euro..healthy salads,soups,hot meals,drinks,fruit...it´s so yum. I will b eating there every day at lunch now - woo!! Went there 2day n was yum. I also have met a best mate known for 12 years who lives here too - so he is helping me find my way..thank heavens..lol
Also the shops are so cheap -the clothes,shoes,undies. Damn..wish I came with an empty suitcase. Hmm..jus means I got buy xtra large one or ditch other stuff..lol.
I am so friggin tired now..guna sleep. Then go out for the night life. So, this Spanish Siesta lifestyle suits me down to a T!!
I wanted to write to say I´m ok...and very happy at the start of my adventures too..I am even trying to pick up Spanish..have tried today. Maybe badly..but, its a start. Also, I can´t believe that I AM HERE!!! This certainly was a spontatious decision...something I wanted to do -so just did it!!
Love n hugs to u all. Will write soon...staying here until 26th - then will get train 2 Valencia.
Hugs - miss u crazi people!!!! x x x x x x x x
Thursday, October 18, 2007
MY TRAVELLING ITINARY
I wrote this as a bulletin - but thought best to blog. (Oh and got my dates muddled..gave myself an xtra day in each city by mistake)
I'm pc shattered - looking like a nerd with red framed versace (yes..lol) frames...eyes looking like deep rooted pumpkins...yer nice - eh!!? Looking up flights/places to stay..its harder than I thought...and I've only done Spain with flight then to Italy.....
I need a PA...lol...no chance..I'm my own PA..
Anyways enough waffle - FACTS - that u caring or mayb nosey (haha) lot have been probing me for.
Leave UK 22nd Oct
fly to Madrid - 4days then going to Valencia - 4days then Barcelona - 5 days
Fly to Rome and stay for - 3 days then Pisa - 3 days Florence - 3 days Venice - 3 days Milan - 3 days
Fly to Zagreb (Croatia) stay for 7 days...in Zagreb use that as a base to visit other parts of Croatia nearish to Zagreb then Dubrovnik - 4 days
Fly to Zurich in Switzerland..maybe stay 1 week or more, and travel around. I have a mate who lives there..so aim to party hard too..Woohoo..lol!!!!
Then bak home in December...for the lung check ups..and teeth (braces tightened)...grrr..lol
Rite..I took time out for this...sooo much to still book.....any helpers please??