Some problems with links - Site under renovation - Please report any broken links via e-maill below, Thanks Rob!,
Tavelling Around!
6 across the World.
Status indicator
Introduction Introduction
Site Map Site Map
England UK
Europe Europe
Asia Asia
The Americas Korea
Taiwan Taiwan
Oz-Sydney Sydney
SixATW Services
Chat Chat
T-shirts! Buy with Rob!
Your stories Send me your stories
E-Mail me Send E-mail

Now in Heidelberg, Germany!
Status indicator

E-mail Me!
Send me an E-mail Now!:

Bookmark Six Around The World

Login to SixATWMail

Tech Support Help
Get your FREE personalised Six Around The World E-Mail address here with
ZZN Account

FastCounter by LinkExchange

Join My
Mailing List
Powered by groups.

Please send any comments or
feedback to

Latest updated page My New GuestMap

This page created using
Composer & Notepad by
Rob Price.
Copyright 1999.
Back to 
Welcome to
Europe '99

Rob Price

Back to Europe main page

Across Europe

While taking a well earned break after 'four whole months' of working in the UK I thought to myself that I have nothing pressingly important to return home so soon for. So I disregarded my flight home and took a trip via the scenic route.

I'm getting ahead of myself. I've been on a package tour in Rhodes since the 12th May in the beautiful town of Lindos which is one of those picutresque sugar-cube style house towns that just throws light all around. It's been glorious and the weather was great every-day.

The order of the day went something like:-
09:00 hrs - get up, have breakfast of yoghurt and honey. go to beach, look around Lindos, etc...
17:00 hrs - peel myself from beach, go back to apartment, make dinner (salad or something) take siesta.
21:00 hrs - get up, dress, take walk into Lindos and visit bars (usually ending up at Manoli's and then onto Bar Night-Life.)
03:30 hrs - drag myself from bar, go home and sleep.
09:00 hrs - repeat as above.

This was great but tiring, and I got to meet a lot of really nice people (especially at Manoli's)whose photos you can now see on my Lindos page. I took a lot of photos but it's going to take a lot of time to scan them. But just for now let me say a big Hi! to Darren & Charlene, Catrina & Paul, Kathryn & Maurene, Vic & Hellen, Irene & Mark (Irene, I'm definitely after a signed photo of your sister!), Bill, Pete and Jules, Dillys & Terry and a big congratulations to Dave and Shona on their wedding in Lindos. Pictures to come soon-ish!

So it got near to going home time and I began thinking that I have nothing so important to go home early for so I decided to forego my flight home in favour of taking the scenic route.

Monday 24th May - Rhodes-Piraeus

I arose early which was difficult as I'd been partying with Darren, Charlene, Vic, Hellen, Dave and Shona until three-ish that morning.

I had my yoghurt and Honey but this time there was to be no beach. I'd packed a day or so before so with rucksacks aready I took the bus to Rhodes town. During the long ride north I, as is my custom, got into chatting with other passengers. Not all of these were en route to Rhodes town but I did get off the bus with Jay and Khloud from Hamburg.

We took a coffee together and had a walk around the sea front at Rhodes then said goodbye and I bought my ferry ticket to Piraeus on the Greek Mainland. The crossing was at two in the afternoon and we docked around five or six the following morning. My biggest criticism is that there's nowhere really comfortable to stay on that ship. With other overnight crossings there's often a sleeper-chair type affair but with the D.A.N.E. ship you have to make do with the tubular steel chairs in the saloon. If you do find somewhere to sleep that's remotely comfortable then you can bet someone will move you on sooner or later. During the crossing I chatted to an Australian couple, Paul and Lynette from Engadine in NSW. They'd been travelling around Greece as they have Greek relatives and had enjoyed hospitality so much that they felt that they had to break free for a while.

I also practiced my pidgin-Japanese on the crossing with Mariko Ichihara and her mum, Yasuko who were travelling around the Greek Islands. Mariko will stay in Europe to study but her mum will return to Japan. I teased Mariko about her poor father having to stay in Japan, working to pay for the trip - but at least he'll enjoy the postcards.

Deutsches Rotes Kreuz Internet Cafe

Deutsches Rotes Kreuz Internet Cafe

The rest of my trip (so far) goes as follows. At time of writing I'm at the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz Cyber-cafe, Bundesallee 75, Berlin at the moment Where Frau Fielitz has given me a lot of time. Even so I have limited computer time so I'll fill in as I go.

Now I'm back home and preparing for my next trip 'back' to Asia. Anyway here's what happened in Europe.

Tuesday 25th May - Piraeus- Athens- Patras

Outside the acropolis
Outside the Acropolis, myself, Andrew, Lindy, Wayne and John.

We docked really early in the morning and the sight of the docks at Piraeus was amazing. It was the first time I'd been this route and the harbour is just huge.

I took the subway up to Athens to Ormonia and started looking for somewhere to have breakfast. I was only looking for a coffee so I figured that fast food coffee would do me fine but was so surprised to find out that both Mac's and KFC are late openers in Athens. Not until 9am for either of them. It was while looking for somewhere to eat that I met fellow travellers Lindy Goodwin and John Stork both from Australia. We decided to head out together to forage for food and on the way to one cafe John and Lindy bumped into Wayne Philips and Andrew Hanlon whom they'd met before en route to Athens. We decided on a cafe and took toasties and coffee together.

It was the guys plans catch the bus to Patras that night so they'd planned to dump their bags at the travel company which I did also. We had a look at the Olympic Stadium and then climbed the hill to tour the Acropolis. I decided to take the walk with them (I was in no real hurry - and it was early in the morning.) Once at the top we found that there was an admission charge which wasn't so much but seeing as I'd visited the acropolis in '91 (with no admission charge) I told the guys I'd hang around outside (budgeting). Apparently there must have been some big changes made since I was there last as the group were in the Acropolis a good hour or so. We wandered around the Area of the Acropolis and then after lunch chanced upon an area of the city packed out with second hand and antique shops. This was interesting to me to see old Greek printed material. I wasn't so tempted to buy anything however (budgeting and weight.)

I said goodbye to the guys (when I say guys, I use the term in a generic sense as obviously there was a young lady in the group.) and made my way to the train station. Unlucky, I missed the train by five minutes and had to wait two hours for the next one. Luckily the waiter at the cafe next door to the station didn't mind if I sat at one of his tables while waiting without buying anything - though I did ask first just by pointing at the seat then myself and asking 'endaksi?' in a questioning intonation.

I took the train at long last and sat next to Giorgio Nikolopoulos, a refrigeration student from Pyrgos. His English was pretty good and he even taught me some more Greek. Good company for a long train ride.

The train unfortunately arrived late at Patras. I ran to the nearest travel agent (who was just closing and asked for a ticket to Italy (anywhere'll do) only to be told that all ferries had gone and there were no more crossings until the next day. I decided to head for the port offices and saw one ferry with it's rear door down. Smiling at the thought of a ferry leaving a little late and panting from the weight of my rucksack I hoofed it up the gangway - alas only to be told that this ferry wasn't leaving until the morning. As I turned back and headed down the gangway I met Alex Denison who'd had the same thoughts as myself about the boat. We headed back to the shorefront area of Patras and it turns out that he'd gotten off the same train as myself.

Alex is a News Producer from Oregan, in Europe visiting his mum who works here. We dumped our rucksacks on the pavement and mulled over the possibilities. We'd seen a pile of wooden pallets which would make decent shelter for one night or we could go halves on a hotel room which'd be a whole lot more comfortable seeing as I'd spent the previous night on a boat and was to do the same the next night. It may seem strange to some to just trust a complete stranger enough to share a hotel room (budgeting) but we'd chatted for a little while and you can generally get an idea if someone's, let's say... a liability. Alex seemed okay to me. We looked at three hotels and the returned to the second one as it was cheapest and the room looked okay. It was a co-incidence that we did so as it turned out that the guy on duty was born in Panama which was also Alex's country of birth. After leaving our luggage in the room and freshening up we took to the streets and had a few ouzos (theo ouzakia me limanada e galo, parakolo!) before turning in for the night.

Wednesday 26th May - Patras- Ancona

After waking and taking the usual travellers breakfast of bread cheese and salami (supplied by Alex) we took to the port to check out sailing times to Italy. We had a choice of the more expensive boat going from Patras to Ancona at 10pm or the mid-afternoon crossing which was cheaper and got us into Ancona at midday day the next day (as opposed to the later one which although faster only got us there two hours later than the midday crossing. Alex opted for the late crossing as he wanted to take a trip to Olympia - until the face of the travel agent made it clear that going to Olympia would not give us enough time to get back even for the night crossing. This being the case I reasoned that what we could do was to take the mid-afternoon crossing and stock up with beer and food from the supermarket and just lay out on deck and soak up some UV's. This seemed the best option and it also meant that we got into Italy earlier (just in case we needed the time for train connections) so off to the supermarket followed by a half hour in an internet cafe and a quick look around the old castle at Patras.

This was not my first time in Patras, I'd been here in '91 while travelling from Brindisi in Italy to Athens via Corfu and the Pink Palace.

As was intended we stocked up with wine, juice, bread, cheese, olives, etc... (oh! and of course BEER! but not enough as we found out later.) After finding somewhere on deck that was out of the wind we spent most of the afternoon sprawled out in a fashion over a couple of plastic garden chairs each catching the sun, supping beer and reading. I don't get the time to read so much, not for leisure anyway, and so engrossed myself in Ringworld by Larry Niven, which I picked up at the Pallas tour office in Lindos. I remember reading this one in middle school but nearly twenty years on I hardly had any remembrance of the story. Alex buried himself in Communion which I'd brought from the UK but even now haven't read yet.

Alex, Judit and I

Coming in to port en route to Italy.

Later in the afternoon as Alex and I were preparing for dinner in the deck lounge we met Judit Premak, from Denmark who was laid out in her sleeping bag recovering from a cold. Actually, Alex had had his eye on Judit for a while since first noticing her in the lounge - so it was the done thing to invite her to dine with us. (Sorry Alex am I giving away too much?)

finding somewhere with three chairs and enough light to sort out our food was a bit of a chore as we were ushered from one spot because it was too close to the restaurant. We moved on, although not a great distance away, and we asked to move yet again by one of the waiters. I reasoned that we'd be very quick in eating and as soon as we finished we'd move on out. This didn't really satisfy the waiter but we wanted to eat, not play musical chairs. Yet again we tucked into cheese (three different cheeses including my contribution of Greek fetta) and Salami sandwhiches with marge and tomatoes, and a really fruity Ribena-type Greek wine which was quite cheap but came in a big bottle.

A little against my word we ate steadily and to our fill before cleaning up the crumbs and liquified fetta with a well used toilet-roll (leaving the gents in quite a predicament - but I did replace it after we'd finished with it.)

After dinner we took a walk on deck and I took my spiderman impersonation out of mothballs by crawling on the net that covered the swimming pool. It was whilst jaunting around deck that I decided to give Alex and Judit time to get to know each other, so I sauntered off to watch a movie on one of the many TV's on board. I don't remember what I watched but it can't have been much as I fell asleep in the chair only to be told that I couldn't sleep there at some ridiculous time in the morning by one of the ships officers.

Thursday 27th May - Ancona- Firenze

I don't remember what time we woke but I guess it would have been early-ish. We showered, ate (the usual), and took to the deck. More sunbathing and reading - sadly without beer, and for me twenty circuits of the small swimming pool. Freezing filled fresh from the sea. Totally exhilirating.

It seemed like no time at all that we were docking in Ancona and the long hike to the train station began. I was surprised to see how many British cars were coming off the ferry - especially with the tensions on the continent at this time.

On reaching the station it was time to bid farewell to Judit who was travelling to Rome and we were north-bound which meant a further trip together for Alex to Milano (as I remember) and for me to Firenze both via Bologna. Judit left to catch her train first and we stayed around the station hall figuring out our itineary. We had an hour or so to wait so we just hung around. With all our luggage it didn't make sense to go far. When we eventually did make our way to the platform we found the all the time Judit had missed her train and was looking a bit lost. Luckily for her she'd found a strapping Italian guy to carry her bags.

The train journey to Bologna was particularly eventless and we had almost a whole carriage to ourselves. We finished off the last beer that I'd kept in my large rucksack and a couple of Colas to boot. After Bologna Alex's plan was to keep going north to Innsbruck where he'd stay with friends. My plan after Firenze was just to head north to Berlin. Thankfully Alex gave me contact numbers in Innsbruck. We said 'arriverderci' at Bologna and I had to move quickly to board my train to Firenze.

On the train to Firenze I found myself in a six-person compartment and got chatting (practising my Hispanicised-Italiano) with a couple of young Italians. The landscape in Northern Italy was breathtaking and I was amazed at the size and form of the mountains. Amazing.

On arriving at Firenze Doctor Ruggieri Pasquale gave me his card and the young lady opposite me advised me to wait for her boyfriend who could point me in the direction of a reputable hostel. While waiting I checked out the hotel guide in the station and found that out of the three hostels in Firenze two were already booked up. This meant that I'd have to head for the Ostello Camaratta in the north-east of the city. A tasking walk but one I was prepared to take, seeing as by now I had absolutely no idea how much I'd spent on my Visa. I also tried to call Giovanna Speranzini who hails from Firenze and who is my main reason for visiting. This was my first time in Florence and since meeting Gio back in '95 I'd fancied seeing the city. Unfortunately I got no answer from Gio so when the boyfriend of the young lady turned up and recommended the Ostello Camaratta I was already ahead of him.

I chose to take the scenic route through the city past the Duomo and other historic buildings and streets. Florence is indeed a beautiful city. The walk was long and after about forty minutes of walking I asked a guy who was backing his car out of his garage how far the hostel was. Bingo! As I'd hoped the guy said, 'Oooh! It's far! Hop in!' or words to that effect in Italian. This must have saved me at least another twenty minutes walking and although he dropped me off right in front of the hostel there was still another ten minutes up a winding pathway through woodland to the Hostel. On the way up I met a young couple who admitted to me that they were going to tell me that the hostel was full up but after seeing me with my heavy load they hadn't the heart. Not so for me. Not so far behind me came another chap with what seeemed a heavier rucksack than mine, so you can imagine when I feigned a pained expression and told him that the couple had just told me that the hostel was full. It was classic to see - his face just fell. I apologised to him and we set off for the hostel together. Stefan Ephy comes from Quebec and is one of the very few French Canadians I've met while travelling.

The hostel itself must have been built as a stately home as it was beautifully built and positioned in the woodlands. We booked in and after dumping my rucksack I went straight down to eat my first 'hot' meal since I don't know when. The shower was badly in need, but it could wait.

I'd noticed that on the map Gio's dad's house was not so far away so after freshening up I took a walk down there. I didn't want to just turn up out of nowhere but I'd already called and there'd been no answer. I wrote a note with the hostels number and after trying the bell a couple of times I left the note on the gate and made my way back. On the way back I stopped by a small fairground in the city's stadium area to take a burger and a cola.

Friday 28th May - Firenze With Gio in Firenze
With Gio in the City centre.

Awoke fairly early - total necessity if I wanted breakfast of 3-week old roll and Chocolate - but as I did (it was free) I got up early. I took a stroll into the city centre via Nesselunga supermarket to stock up on groceries.

Once having shopped I bought a phone card and called Chez Speranzini once more and got Gio's mobile no. from the housekeeper. Thus accomplished I called Gio only to find out that she was due to go out of town with her boyfriend. Still we met up for a drink at lunchtime and had a quick-ish walk around the centre. After a short time together I had more of a look around the centre and took photos. After a while of walking I made my way back to the hostel checking out a couple of internet points on the way home. As I only planned to be in Italy until the next day I saw it pointless to take more cash out of an ATM and I hadn't enough to pay for an hour on the net.

I returned to the hostel and sat out in the back making cheese sandwhiches and drinking cherry juice. There were many students and travellers just sitting out, eating and chatting. Just sitting by me I met Linda Dom (I guessed that would be Dom as in Russian 'house' or German 'Cathedral' but not as Linda says Dutch 'Dumn'). Linda's touring Italy on holiday for a month from Canada. We shared munchies and juice and took a walk around the grounds and watched the fireflies lighting up the trees, and generally just hung out chatting until late.

Saturday 29th May - Firenze- Innsbruck

Awoke for (rock hard) rolls and Chocolate and took to the station with Linda. Linda was heading south for a week's pony trekking in a small Italian village and I was northbound to catch up with Alex in Innsbruck (hopefully.) The train ride was long and picturesque. I got into Innsbruck late afternoon and on arriving tried to call Alex on the contact numbers he'd given me. I had to keep on trying as he'd gone out to dinner with friends out of town. I walked to the hostel (why are they always positioned at least an hours walk from the station? Especially when they know that visitors there will be carrying their luggage on their back.)

On arrival at the hostel I called Alex once more and caught him in. We arranged to meet at the 'Arc de Triumph' type edifice on the Marienstrasse. Alex turned up driven by Pamela, the girlfriend of his producer who picked me up and okayed my staying at her place (on condition that I had enough money to go have a good night out). It was good to see Alex again as he's a great guy to know and I knew that I was to have a good time in Innsbruck.

Pamela Deutsch has the most beautiful flat and has lived there for seven years, which is why I guess it is so perfect. I showered (desperately needed) and we left to meet Pamela's friend Pomfi (I guess that's how it's spelt) and then to a beer garden before going onto another bar for a birthday bash then on to a nightclub. We had a few beers and got back really late.

Sunday 30th May - Innsbruck

We awoke (after minimal sleep) and took a trip to a nearby lake to sunbathe. It was glorious sitting on the grass by the lake and soaking up the sun surrounded by the gargantuan peaks of the Tirol. As well as meeting pomfi at the lake we were joined by Petra, another of Pamela's friends. The lake water is a regular lake water colour, not clear, just greeny-blue with shingle and reeds. It takes a good twenty minutes to swim around the lake which is good exercise as I had't had so much opportunity to exercise.

We stayed at the lake most of the day and left when the clouds became too much. The weather the whole time since Rhodes had been great. We went back to Pamela's and ditched our things before going onto a street festival for the local fire service to have chicken and beer. Petra joined us but had a slight problem on the way and had pranged her car knocking out her inicator light. We returned to Pamela's flat to sleep off a bit and get ready to go partying (again.)

We met Petra again in a bar and had a lengthy game of darts. Later Petra had to leave and we met another of Pamela's friends who's a flight attendant who'd just flown into Austria. We returned to Pamela's and sampled a lot of the 'local' delicacies from Pamela's drinks cabinet before just crashing out in the living room.

Monday 31st May - Innsbruck- Muenchen- Teplice (Czech Rep.)

We'd fallen asleep,the four of us, on the oversized sofa just in a heap but I awoke alone as no-one had been able to wake me to tell me to go to sleep (which would have been a pointless exercise anyway.) So we awoke and had breakfast but this was to my moving on day. Pamela was not in a good mood because Chuck, her boyfriend and Alex's producer, should have called from the States. Little did she know that the reason he couldn't call was because he was up in the air - and on his way to Austria for a surprise visit. I tried to iron out her disgruntledness without letting the cat out of the bag - as it were - but to no avail. In the words of Simon and Garfunkel, 'A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest'. In my experience this applies also to women.

Pamela gave me a lift to the edge of the town and dropped me off at a service station so I could continue my journey north. I'd waited, sign in hand, for over an hour and then caught a lift with a Turkish Immigrant, Ali, straight to Munich.

Luckily almost immediately from Munich I received a lift from *** an Italian who'd been driving all the way from Brindisi - non stop. You know what they say about Italian drivers? Well then, you can imagine how nervous I felt on that journey. My host was on his way to Berlin but to break the journey up he was headed for Teplice in the Czech Republic. Seeing as I'd not yet been to the Czech republic I decided to go along for the ride.

The journey was long and I really don't know how my host would've coped without a navigator. Once into Teplice, I was ushered towards Pension Michaela and my host disappeared telling me that he'd be back at around 1pm the following day - I did wait but he didn't show. The first night I just strolled around and dined at the Orion Club where I received Czech lessons from Petra the barmaid. Seeing as my benefactor didn't return I stayed one more night in Teplice, walking around and taking photos.

Thursday 3rd June - Teplice- Dresden- Berlin

I awoke fairly early as I'd taken about 6 films into the developers and wanted to be away early today. After retrieving my films I threw on my bakpack and started walking towards the city limits. I caught two lifts in a relatively short time taking me past the beautiful city of Dresden. I was waiting at a service station when no fewer than three girls were dropped off. I thought to myself that I'd have to wait ages to get a lift with so many people hitching at the same spot. How wrong could I be. A white van pulled up and asked the girls if they needed a lift to which they cheerfully agreed that they did - inviting me for moral support.

One of the girls (all from the Czech Rep.) got into the cab with the driver (Harry from the Ukraine.) and the other two came in the back of the van with me. I don't totally understand whether Harry had said something to upset the girl in the front or whether it was just because Harry was taking an indirect route but the girls all got out at the next service station. Later on I saw reason to join the girls but not initially. Harry had to pick up medical equipment from a doctor's surgery in Harzgerode which was then to be delivered to Berlin. This exercise cost us hours of travelling time as there are many roads, in the former East German district, that are under repair. hence huge diversions, one way streets and lengthy jams.

We eventually reached Berlin around about midnight and moved into the North Eastern district, as this is where Harry was to meet friends. Thankfully they also took me out to the Zoologische Garten Subway stop where I called and arranged to meet Soo-Ja.

Friday 4th June - Berlin


Breakfast with Soo-Ja and Frau Carstens.

As mentioned in my section on
Korea I met Soo-Ja last year whilst I was working at the Kyoungju Expo and she was in Korea studying Korean and looking to find her parents who put her up for adoption as a child.

She certainly has a lot of 'get up and go'. If you could bottle her energy, you'd make a fortune. In the three days I was visiting she had an art sitting, an exhibition presented by her art tutor to attend, an opticians appointment, etc... and she still had time and energy enough to go out a couple of nights and show me her local Berliner neighbourhood.

Art lessons

Soo-Ja and her tutor (Name pending).

Above you can see Soo-Ja with her tutor who was exhibiting his works while I was visiting. Soo-Ja has great potential in art and already illustrated a childrens story book at the age of 21.All her own work!

All her own work!

All in all, spending time with Soo-Ja was a great way to end my trip around Europe. The end was actually accelerated by a terrible hacking cough I'd developed since moving from the warmer climate of the South up to the cooler North. I believe that that was the result of an extreme bout of Hay Fever I'd suffered coming from Teplice.

Sunday 6th June - Berlin- London.

On waking this morning I knew that I had to go back to the UK to see a doctor. As I hadn't planned on being out for so long I'd run out of medical insurance. I phoned the local tour bus company 'Gullivers' who charged me only ?0 to travel all the way from Berlin to London via the Channel Tunnel. I think Soo-Ja was a little worried but I reassured her that I'd be okay.

On the bus there sat in the seat in front of me a gorgeous blonde with the most beautifully sculpted (literally from plastic) physique. Unfortunately for me a Russian would be romeo, who smelt rather badly of stale cigarettes, sat down beside me and attempted to chat her up. My chest was tight enough and I needed nothing else to give me breathing difficulties so I moved on down the bus and sat next to a charming Bolivian Lady. Lucy Patra now lives in Berlin but was on the way to visiting two cousins who both live in the UK, one in London and the other in Bury St.Edmunds. Having someone nice to talk to sure does help on a fifteen and a half hour bus trip.

By the time we'd reached Victoria I'd missed the coach to Grimsby so Lucy generously phoned her cousin in London to ask if there was room for me for the night. As an uninvited guest I was incredibly well received by Martha and Tony, her Italian husband, who've invited me to stay whenever I'm passing through London. Mille Grazie!

Tuesday 18th June - Grimsby.At time of writing it's now 05:47am and I have just under three hours to go before I return to London to visit the Taiwanese Embassy. I've worked through the night to finish this report, and my eyes are heavy, so if it doesn't make sense then please blame it on sleep deprevation.

This last week I've said many goodbyes and arranged as many things as I can because on Monday I fly to Hong Kong and then on to Taiwan to find teaching work.

If you're interested stick around, I'll keep you posted.


Please send any comments or feedback to

Site created 19th March 1999 currently being overhauled - Created using hey, HTML by Rob Price.

Click here to return to main home page. | Click here for the latest drivels.