Monday, May 23, 2011

Paris... Was Snails, Buildings, Old Birds, and Triangle Shaped Objects


2055 (local time)

What starts with P- and ends in Aris! Thats right PARIS! Been there done that! Nah, its a pretty nice city to be fair! But I want to start off with my adventure there firstly!

So the trip started at me waking up at 3.30am on Wednesday morning, so I could get a taxi to Kings Cross... but even before we get to that, I must mention, Tuesday I went to the Australian Comedian Carl Barron for 10 (GBP)... Bargain! It was a funny show, he did use his old material a bit, but it was still funny seeing him in person. Annnyway!

Back to Wednesday morning, so the wake up was super tough, but being the athlete that I am, I managed. Caught my taxi to Kings Cross, where I then jumped on the Euro Star train to Paris for 57euros... I got into Paris at about 7.30am, (its only a 2.5hour train ride) quickly headed on the Metro/Underground train, and made my way to my hostel.

I quickly checked in, had a shower and then put on some shorts and headed to the Arc de Triomphe. Coming out of the platform with that as a view was amazing, but... (grandparents and parents... ‘I’m sorry’) in all honesty, it was just another building, yeah the architecture was pretty, but it wasn’t all that great to be honest. So I swiftly made my way to the Eiffel tower! Now, by this stage I was absolutely knackered! I’d been awake for 12 hours, my legs were killing me from all my walking, I was in a bad way! But I powered on through, purely due to my massive lactic threshold! I bought a ticket and climbed the 669steps to the 2nd floor of the Eiffel tower to get an amazing view! I fought the masses of people to get some photos. After I wandered around for a bit, and sat down for like 15 minutes to rest my beautiful pins! I then trekked my way down the 669 steps.

When I was at the top, I saw a pretty building with a gold roof, so I wandered over there, to check what that was all about... and all it was, was a world war museum... I’d seen plenty of these, so I had some lollies and ended up catching a train to the catacombs... on future reference, apparently Napoleon, from the French revolution was buried there?!

The catacombs, is located in south Paris, and the reason it is there is because, early 12th century Paris, as a city had grown in massive size, and people could no longer afford to have proper Christian burials, so they created this mass burial site under the city. And once a certain part of the city got to big, they just dug a small tunnel and went to the next one.

But by early 17th century these sites became unbearable, and these underground burial sites were at ‘bursting’ point. It wasn’t until around the 19th century when Paris created some new cemeteries in the North, East, South and West of Paris and these burial grounds were no longer used.

The reason why nothing was done earlier was due to the lack of ideas about how to move these rotting corpse’s into proper cemeteries.

Anyway, enough of that stuff, so I trekked throughout the mines and ill show you some of the photos so you get an understanding of how crammed these bodies were! Its pretty cool!

After this, I made my way home. I was exhausted and had a power nap, and then pretty much fell asleep.
The next day was an early rise, and I smashed some brekky and made my way to the Louvre. Now, once again im sorry to all the parents and grandparents about this next bit... but I’m 22, all I want to do is just do fun stuff, and I know that I would appreciate it a bit more when im older but at this current stage in my life, I really couldn’t give a rats arse J. But anyway, so I made my way to the Louvre paid the stupid entry fee of 10euros, wandered to the Mona Lisa, elbowed all the tourist out of the way, got an Aussie family to take a photo of me with the old bird! And then made like hay and bailed!

Saw the Egyptian part of the museum... which I had already seen in Egypt, went to the Roman part of the museum... which I had mostly seen in Greece. Then finished up went outside an had my sandwich that was like 3 days old and tasted so off I thought I was going to throw it up on the spot!

Finished up at the Louvre, took photos of it, took photos of people taking photos of it and then briskly walked to the Notre Dame Cathedral. It was a bloody long walk, and the legs were burning but, I think I have all ready mentioned my massive pain threshold so I continued around the church until I found a nice little bench where I sat down (and fell asleep) for about 15 minutes.

After my power nap, I went outside and decided to wait in the 30+ minute long cue that allows you to the top of the cathedral. Got chatty with a couple of American guys, who were proving to me how retarded that race of people were... But they were ok, We all climbed to the top took our photos and then headed back down again. Lovely! One of the American girls in the group I was talking to, continued to chat to me, and then eventually asked me to have lunch with her... her shout. I couldn’t say no, so I proceeded to order the most expensive thing off the menu... no no, just joking! She ordered for me, and we ended up getting to courses of sails! How bloody French was I. Impressive?

For my first snail, it took me a good 5 minutes to get the thing out of the shell, but after a did a few, I was pro! 15 seconds is all it took me to get the little suckers out of their home. When I get back, I’m definitely going to deep fry some garden snails in mums cooking pots!

So that was lovely, this lady told me some stories and I told her some of my (better) stories, we then made out way home (to separate locations) and I had a nice night, and ended up chatting to another younger American bloke, who took me up to a beautiful white church that overlooks the city called the Sacre Coeur. We were up there for about an hour just watching the world go by! It was a really nice night!

The next day... was my favourite day! I had a nice little lie in, had a big brekky, played on my PC for a bit, grabbed my bag and then headed up to the Sacre Coeur for a day time viewing, with this Aussie chick who I was explaining the meaning of life to. Maybe I wasn’t the best person to be telling her this... but not to worry. We climbed to the top of the Cathedral, took more photos until I got bored! I went back to the hostel, grabbed some food, grabbed my skateboard and went skating! 
The first place I hit was just outside of a train station, that overlooked the Eiffel Tower! There were a couple of locals here, but it was awesome, I was ollieing steps and getting super close to kick flips! After we hit that spot for about 1 hour, one of the local boys took me to another place, where there was a rail! I had an absolute ball, and skated until my feet, legs, hips, head... EVERYTHING hurt! Went back to the hostel and pretty much chilled out for the rest of the night, until had to catch a train at 11pm a night from Paris to San Sebastian, in Spain! To where I am now... but that my friends is all the story telling you get tonight! 

So until next time! 

Make sure you have a shower... (you know who)

Lots of love!

Steve xx

The Arc de Triomphe... in its glory!

Here is the big fella!

and again...

Now we are cooking... where is this?

maybe that helps?? any ideas?

Eyyyy! Its the big triangle!

I personally think this is better... pretty fella in the foreground, nice and casual with his hand in his pocket... cool?

The lovely park leading to it!

On some bridge, big triangle in the back ground.

human skulls in the catacombs.

Paris is screening, 'Very Bad Trip 2' i wonder what 'Very Bad Trip 1' was about?

Sweaty Steve, withe the old bird in the background!

There she is... old bird!

only that big... 

the lovely people i elbowed in the face to get to the front.

a selfie of the Louvre museum 

average museum 

look at the lady in the mid ground, loving getting her photo taken

now we made it too the Notre Dame

one of the many gargoyles! He looks, like how i felt about the Louvre 

Sam Village Racing T Shirt!

The American Bird that took me for lunch!

Getting involved in the snails...

Getting very much involved in the snails.

Here goes nothing...

The Sacre Coeur at night.

Young aussie shelia who i taught the meaning of life to.

Wide arms.... Sacre Coeur in the day.

THE END! xxx

Friday, May 06, 2011

Its Been A While... But The Mega Story!

1700 (local time)

Ok, so ive been getting hassled by all of my fans which really is only about half a dozen... (At least my folks like it) about when are you going to be doing the next update on Figjam’s Adventures, to what I replied ‘ahh yeah, ill probably do it tomorrow or something” well that day is today. So I am currently writing this in the furthest south west point in England, which is Sennen in Cornwall.

Why am I here, well myself and Emma, wanted to head down to Cornwall to get away from London, and Hugo, one of the blokes from my latest season in Austria (who I actually liked) has a house down there and he was heading down at the same time, so we got people together and 5 of us headed down in 2 cars to just chill out. I had a grand plan of camping down here, so I borrowed a tent off Lizzie, and I also had another great idea that I was going to go windsurfing... the problem was, getting my gear down to Cornwall.
I had this brilliant idea in my mind that I would strap it to Emma’s roof... What I didn’t realise was that Emma’s car is a Holden(Vauxell) Barina(Corsa) 2 Door... there was no way the gear was going to go on her roof, so I put as much of it inside her car as I could, which ended up being 2 sails, a Mast a Boom and all the bits and pieces that would go with that... so pretty  much everything EXCEPT A BOARD!

So far the weekend has been Steve Flack asking every second person ‘if they know someone that windsurfs so I can get out on the water’... Unfortunately no one really windsurfs down here, so instead myself Hugo, Henry (Hugo’s Brother), Simon have been out surfing every single day for the past 3 days straight. Yeah, big deal I hear you saying... well I dare you to all go surfing in the Atlantic Ocean in potentially the coldest bit of the year. Yes, I did have a wetsuit that the lovely John Palmer lent me(legend, thanks mate), but I’m not going to lie, the suit had seen better days... it was a 5.4.3mm suit, but the thing had more holes than my plan to strap a windsurf board to a 2 seater!

Myself and Simon (Hugo and Henry’s mate) are relativity new to surfing, so we borrow 2 foam boards aka Esky Lids, and have been sending it! Its been really good fun, and we have been learning loads! Even Emma gave it a go, in a 3.2mm suit, froze to death but did bloody well, for someone that had never put a wetsuit on...

So, we haven’t just been surfing, but we also went down to the driving range the other day to smack 100 balls, I got some video footage of it, so ill put it up a bit later on.
You may want to know how Austria went... Well I had an absolute ball! I learnt how to Ski, Snowboard, put snow chains on I even went Cross Country Skiing in which I got lost... If anyone wants to go cross country skiing, I would advise them against it! Honestly, that sport was fun for about 8 kilometres, but if you get lost, and end up doing something like 30km, it gets very old and boring, not to mention sore!

The season in general was good fun, especially for the February Half Term, after that our Resort Manager Gemma left, to go and find happiness in the sun of Cyprus, so we got another Resort Manager in called Russel (in a bush). It was quite obvious to all the staff, that myself and Russ didn’t quite see eye to eye in ‘literally’ any aspect of the job. Which didn’t really end well for me... but I battled through the rest of the season getting through by the skin of my teeth! I honestly believe that even the Director of the whole company didn’t want a bar of me either, my reasoning for this is that during the end of season de-brief I stated a few valid points but pretty much just got blown off... I was really happy to lay a few points, but after 15 minutes, I put my glasses on an fell asleep! Pointless meeting anyway... its a bloody season job, not rocket science!
Alright, enough about the serious stuff... on Tuesday nights we normally had a few beers and then went out afterward because Wednesday was our day off. Anyway, it was one of our last weeks, and Hugo and myself had maybe a bit too much to drink and it was snowing so we got very excited. Anyway, we had this great idea to throw snowballs at open windows, anyway this got to easy, so then we though it was an even better idea to throw snow balls at moving cars... I already know what your all thinking, but just keep it in your pants.
Anyway, this was great fun, until we threw it at one car, who then slammed on his breaks and then reversed back up and then tried explaining to us in very rubbish English ‘that he was an off-duty cop, and that he was going to arrest us’ with no sign of a badge, or gun for that matter. So Hugo and myself just blatently ripped into him telling him to ‘grow up, and pi$$ off home’ Anyway, so we walked off and went to the club, where it was a messy night, we got home at stupid time in the morning, and was woken up by a knock at our door... we opened the door to a man in a fluro ‘Polizia’ vest with not only a badge, but a gun and handcuffs... Anyway, so the game that Hugo and I played was to just play dumb, and have no idea what he was talking about... It was all sorted out and we ended up going skiing! Happy Days!

So enough about work and silly behaviour... Last weekend in England it was about 25 degrees, I was convinced by the main man, John Palmer to jump in Jamie Drummond’s car and head down to Hayling Island for a British Windsurfing event! Hayling Island is located south of London about 1.5 hours by car, and is only accessible by a bridge... aka Island!

No wind was forecasted for the event, but that didn’t stop at least 40+ car loads of people to head down to the event! It was fantastic to see all the boys I worked with at Club Vass when I was there in 2009! It was also great to see the amount of people that came down to a no wind event, it just made me wonder why Victoria doesn’t have the same amount of people involved in this wonderful sport!
Because there was no wind for the event, myself, Palmer and a bunch of the others sat around getting our tan on, and going stand up paddle boarding almost all day! It was fantastic and really cool to see all my old mates!

Its been great to hang out with these boys, as I have been feeling a little home sick over the past month, I think its just a matter of being away from all my family and friends for over a year...!

Alrighty, so I must be boring you all now, so ill leave you with my future travel plans.

So, Dahab doesn’t start until around 1st of July, so in the mean time, I want to travel around Europe whilst learning how to skateboard! So hopefully, Spain, France, Italy etc will get covered in a couple of months!
I’m planning on working out in Dahab until October – November, where then ill try and recruit some guys into coming to Brazil with me on a windsurfing trip, where I would love to travel around a bit of South America. After that, ill fly back to England and then start on my epic adventure back home... im still a bit unsure how I’m going to do it, but I want to travel throughout Europe like this ‘ \/\/\/\/\ ‘ until I hit Japan and come down through south east Asia and eventually make my way home... This is obviously my dream, but it all comes down to one thing at the end of the day, it starts with ‘m’ and ends in ‘oney’! Money!
Anyway, this has been dragging on for long enough, but to be honest, there was a lot to get through, so here are some photos... Enjoy!

London Town, with the the flags up for some guys that are getting married...?

End of season party! with Cat Jackman! 

Jackman and the Flack!

Emma, Creche Assistant 3, Hugo and some other bird?

Hugo rocking in with the most epic Meveguissi!

How friggin good do i look!

Nat, The Big D, Emma and my lovely self, i dont get over my pretty face!

Insbruck airport!

The alps in Spring!

Yetis with our snow train!

Susi, one of the instructors that RIPS!

Standard Emma posing!

The crew!

Check out that mountain range!

The lot of us again!

Chillin on the bridge!

Epic mountain range!

The lot of us!

Great photo!

Ok, now moving onto the Hayling Island windsurf event! BBQ Time!

Adam the Stimulator Simms, with his article in Boards Mag!

Muzza trying a drop in on a longboard!

Beautiful weather in England!

The guys!

Medal of seaweed!

Palmer rocking some epic stand up paddle surfing!

Stand up Paddle surfing!

My epic stand up paddle surfing technique!

Funny, im the whitest bloke there...