Sunday, 12 February 2012

Bleddy brilliant - Summer 2011

Arrived in Bled with my brother John already famous because our Israeli friend Asa had had told everyone in the hostel to expect the ginger guy on crutches. Asa and I went canyoning for the afternoon which for obvious reasons John was not able to join us for. It was fun, we jumped off stuff and came back unscathed, I'd recommend it. We'd arranged to meet John at 7pm and were a little worried when he didn't show up for a couple of hours. When he did turn up he was drenched in sweat having done a full circuit of lake Bled - around 6km in 30° heat... on crutches! I was glad he did because this meant I had no problem leaving him and going off on my own. He was clearly capable of entertaining himself.

Did you notice I managed to do a degree sign ° earlier. Alt and 0176 on the number pad. Who knew!

In the evening we played a confusing game of electronic darts cricket in the hostel bar. It would become our new favourite sport once we'd worked out the rules two days later (the instructions were in German). Our night was an absolute pleasure, topped off with a midnight dip in the lake .We met a French girl called Cecile who I would happily have married and an English girl called Sandra who I would happily have beaten unconscious with a bat. Sandra was boring, self obsessed and miserable. Her first conversation with us was about her unrequited love for a Slovenian man who didn't know she exists. The reason he doesn't know she exists is because she has never spoken to him. The girl was mental and I feel bad for the Slovenian man who will more than likely get a stalking from mental Sandra. I made sure John was on the receiving end of her tales of woe for the evening.

When we returned to the hostel room there was a man in John's bed. Deciding it could be the hostel's error we left the man to sleep and John took a duvet on to the floor. The next morning the man was kicked out by the girl from the hostel. He turned to John to offer an explanation 'Sorry, I was drunk.'. Seems fair enough to me, I am of the opinion the  he walked off and the hostel gave us a free night which we asked to be turned in to a bar tab so it was all good.

Day two in Bled: Rather foolishly took John and Asa for a walk to Vintgar gorge. It was three miles away and the midday temperature hit 36° (degrees sign again, check me out), not walking weather and definitely not crutch hobbling weather. We made it though and the gorge was beautiful. We got a taxi back.

Back at the hostel bar Mental Sandra returned and insisted we listened to her. We clearly didn't want to and sunk our heads in to our books but she carried on in depressing fashion anyway. We had all come to the conclusion that Sandra is a leach who had picked us to suck the blood from. When we ignored her enough she wondered off to irritate other people. Although not exactly ugly her miserable attitude means I have no I have no problem pointing out her physical flaws - black straw like witches hair, a bushy monobrow and significant armpit stubble. I think I am reasonably tolerant of most people but this girl did all of our nuts in. Two Welsh girls - Katie and Jenny, and a Dutch guy called Max helped make it better. When we were exchanging jokes Max chipped in with 'What's white and shaped like a cube? ...... A square ping-pong ball.'. It was another fun evening.

We spent a total of four days in Bled, all very special supplying great memories. Particularly a walk up to a view point that I only shared with a circling hawk and rather lost and lonely looking goat. It also transpired that Sandra was genuinely mentally ill. I felt a bit guilty for having treated her so badly. I had no excuse, I am a bit of an arsehole.

Oh and if you haven't been able to tell from the pictures Bled is one of the most stunningly picturesque places on earth.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Five Questions

In one of our many conversations with Asa we got on to 'The Five Questions'. These are fun and supposedly give a philosophical insight in to your persona.

Play along folks, answer the questions before reading what they are supposed to say about you, I'll leave a few lines between each one so you can hopefully control your eyes from peeking ahead to the explanation.

1. What is your favourite colour? Or a colour that speaks to you right now and give three reasons that colour speaks to you.

Have you got an answer?

Okay here is what it might say...

This is your private view of yourself.

2. What's your favourite piece of clothing? How do you feel when you wear it? Three reasons if possible.

This shows how you want to be perceived by others.

3. What is your favourite animal and three things you admire about that animal.

This is what you are looking for in a partner.

4. Imagine yourself in your favourite body of water. It can be a bath, a shower, river, sea, waterfall etc. Now say three feelings you have when you are part of that water.

This is how you feel during sex.

5. Imagine you are in a white space, everything in every direction is pure white. How does this make you feel. Three feelings if possible.

This last one is your attitude to death.

I'm not convinced by all of the questions but it was interesting and fun asking people. Try it yourself when you're with a group of friends and have nothing to say.

Idiot boy

Summer 2011 continued...

My brother is a good brother. After a day of his company I knew we'd be fine travelling companions. He can recognise when I am not interested in conversation, enjoys a beer and most importantly looks on the bright side of life. The last attribute would come in very handy after 48 hours of the start of his holidays.

Our first two nights were spent in Bratislava and Vienna and were great. They're both cities with something to offer. We only had a night in each before moving on to Slovenia where we would stop and breathe for a while. Bratislava had cool statues and a party in an outdoor club which doubled as a kids' playground/volleyball court during the day. Vienna had lots of big buildings and our hostel was in prostitute alley. For me the small and affordable Bratislava was better than the big expensive Vienna, although the train prices from Bratislava suggested that most people preferred Vienna: Bratislava to Vienna - €16.40, return €11.

So 48 hours of John's trip had ticked away, we were high on travels and exploring Ljubljana. Then John jumped from a pathetically small height off a wall and said 'ouch'. Ten paces later he couldn't walk. This could be serious, he really couldn't manage to go any further. Crap. Fortunately there was a bar within carrying distance and so we did the only sensible thing to do when injured in a foreign country and ordered a round of beers. We successfully negotiated a night out by taking it in turns to give John a piggy back from bar to bar.

The bar gave us the chance to get to know our room mate Asa, an Israeli man who would become our friend and a big part of our Slovenian experience. In physical appearance Asa is the stereotype of a middle east terrorist, except twice the size you're picturing. In personality he is honestly one of the best human beings it has been my pleasure to meet. He was in his third year of travelling and this had given him humility and an appreciation of what is important in life. In my experience long term travels can go two ways - the Asa way or the way of our other LSD taking, skateboarding room mate in Ljubljana - The way of the tool.

So, let's get to the big news of John's foot. We had to put off our planned move on to lake Bled and take the bro to hospital. He didn't have insurance so he pretended to be me with my passport and card to pay the bill. I don't mind admitting this as I have since bottled the fraudulent insurance claim. The bill came to €110 after x-ray and basically concluded that John had hurt his foot, probably broken it. To get it properly seen to would run our bill through the roof so he took up their offer of crutches and left apologising to me profusely insisting it wouldn't ruin the holiday. He was right, the way he dealt with the inconvenience of not being able to walk was commendable and it hardly stopped us doing anything. Kudos to the little bruv. Bring on Bled and Croatia.