Greek Isles

I arrived in Mykonos and proceeded to sleep through it, again. However, a day later I decided to hop on a ferry and go to the ‘party’ island of Ios. That was about 5 or 6 days ago… I have since managed to pretty much get on some normal sleeping hours for the FIRST time in weeks!

Mykonos: I didn’t really do much in Mykonos, but it seems really cool… I went to the beach and had two bottles of Greek beer, called Alpha Beer… the bottles here come in 500ml bottles, so 2 is more than enough! I then got sleepy and ended up sleeping all night and getting up early in the morning again.

Ios: I then went to Ios. It was cool being out on the ocean again… man what a difference it was being on a cat called the Flying Cat, compared to my 35′ sailing cat! I am not sure, but it appears like this Flying Cat is powered by jet engines?! The thing flies… and is smooth as can be, practically sailing over the water!! We must have been doing around 40 knots… compared to my average speed around 4 or 5 knots!! Oh man, I don’t think I will get a sailboat again… I just don’t have the patience for it.

Ios is pretty cool. I didn’t book any hotels or anything before getting here (this is becoming my standard way of doing things now… I just show up, walk around, and find something). I stayed the first night in kinda a crappy hotel call Nissos on Myoplatos Beach. But the next day I walked around and found a really cool little hotel called Hermes. It has nice clean rooms with view overlooking this huge bay off of a cliff. It has also has a fantastic swimming pool area with its own pool bar etc. I stayed there for 4 nights… only cost 45 euros a night too!

If you are looking for a fun, party style island I would definitely recommend Ios. Every night of the week here is crazy… they have dozens of clubs and most of them are full every night. My only complaint is the great majority of people here are from either Australia or the UK. I would have preferred a more Euro crowd… but maybe Santorini will be more Euro. I really don’t know how all these Aussies got here… 98% of the people who work at all the clubs/net cafes/etc are all Aussie too… it is kinda like being at Bondi Beach in Sydney here! The flight from Australia to Greece must be an absolute killer…

They have a decent gym here… plus I spent part of every day here either at the beach or the pool, so I am feeling pretty healthy, tanned and good… It was a good choice to come down here I think.

I am now at the Far Out Beach club, a cool place to hang out in Ios with swimming pools, bars, pool tables etc. They have a net cafe here. I am waiting to get on a ferry to Santorini at 4:50pm. I hear Santorini is supposed to be really cool, so will go check it out.

Not sure how much longer I will stay in the Greek Isles after Santorini. I am planning to be in Hong Kong and China around September 24 on some business, so might start making my way across the mideast and India etc over the next couple weeks to shorten any super long flight times (anything over 8 hours really sucks…)

But, as usual, we will see… I am just going with the flow.

Sleeping my way through Europe

I have been through Scotland, Sweden and Germany over the last week but still haven’t fully adjusted to the timezones… therefore, I have been mostly just sleeping the whole week. I barely did anything in Scotland… I went out two evenings in Sweden and I barely did anything in Berlin…

So why not go somewhere else and sleep!

I am at the airport now heading to the Greek island of Myknonos… and from there will likely go to the island of Ios tomorrow.

If I am going to sleep I might as well do it on a beach.

mmm mmm Saurekraut!

I got into Berlin today… my hotel kinda pist me off because they said they had wireless internet in all the rooms but they didn´t mention it costs $5 per hour! I use the internet about 20 hours a day, so u do the math. i could buy the whole internet for that price!

So I am a bit tikt, and at a net cafe… to add a bit further to my displeasure, the german keyboards have some of the keys in the wrong place. So this is taking me twice as long to type as usual… but i am kinda already getting used to it so now when i get to use my laptop again I will have to relearn it too. Damn nazis!

As I write this it is 4pm and I feel like it is 2am… I am dying to sleep but am gonna try to stay up until at least 7 or 8 to try to continue normalizing my sleep hours.

Anyway, I got in… weather is nice… seems quite nice. I can see why Hitler liked it. How many nazi jokes do you think i will pull this week? Answer: plenty, they deserve it.

As soon as I got in I was hungry, so I went to one of the local streetside cafes and tried to order what looked the most authentic… I think I ordered something called “brattenwurstermeitzen mit saukkerautt”. It sounded like it was weiners with sauerkraut… and it was! mmm mmm. And I had a German pilsner to wash it down. I felt kinda weird just eating basically a hot dog without a bun, and wondered if other people were laughing at me… but as I walked along later I noticed literally EVERYBODY at the cafes were eating basically the same thing. I think the French are a bit more in the right zone with Wine and Cheese, rather than weiners, onions and beer… but to each weird European country its own!

Oh man… got to find something to do for at least another 4 hours cuz if I go to sleep now I will continue to be screwed… was up at 3am this morning… ugh.

Leaving Sveden, going to Berlin

I have had a pretty good time in Sweden… I would have had a great time if I EVER got adjusted to the timezone. I pretty much have spent 5 out of the 6 days here either sleeping, or wide awake at 5am (like now) in my hotel room. A friend of mine, Tran Tran, told me once that she felt like she was living on “invisible time” (she told me this after going to raves every day for weeks!)… I never knew what she meant but I think I understand now. I really have no concept of time at the moment… and I am either awake (but in a strange state of awakeness) or sleeping all day.

I went to sleep last night (well afternoon) at 5pm and just woke up at around 3am which is the closest I have come yet to getting on normal hours… and will spend some of today travelling, which will make it so I can’t sleep during the day, so hopefully I will now finally be adjusted to European time.

Last notes on Stockholm: I HIGHLY recommend Stockholm as a place to come visit in the summertime. The city is absolutely beautiful… and the people are almost all incredibly nice, intelligent, and like I said, everyone speaks perfect english. I have been very nicely surprised by Sweden… if their weather in the summer lasted all year long I would be very tempted to stay here for a while… but it gets very dark and cool/cold here in the fall/winter/spring so I think I will have to consider Sweden as only a great place to visit in the summer…

I decided to just hop on a plane today, and picked Berlin as my destination. It’s so cool how everything is so close in Europe… I could go to any of hundreds of interesting places all within 1-4 hour flight away. And there are dozens of low cost airlines all competing for business… I think my flight to Berlin today (1.5 hours) is approximately $90. If i planned ahead by a few weeks/months, I could get even a lot cheaper than that… but I never plan ahead. I was considering taking the train to Copenhagen, Denmark… but it looked like it would take quite a bit longer (5 hours) and would be more expensive than my flight to Berlin. It is pretty crazy when the flights are almost all cheaper than the trains. I think at some point I will take a train if it is convenient just to check it out tho…

Between travelling almost constantly, and being jetlagged the last few weeks… plus I had a bit of a stomach bug a few weeks ago, I have barely been eating. On average I have been having one meal a day… sometimes two… but I eat about half of what I normally eat at a meal… I am incredibly thin at the moment… I have what appears to be 1-2% body fat at the moment… which is kinda cool… but I would prefer to be a bit heavier/more muscled… but if I can keep all the fat off and put on some muscle that’d be awesome.

So, that is part of the reason I chose Berlin as my next destination. I found what appears to be a great hotel, right downtown, for a very good price (about $50 USD a night) and it has a full spa and gym in the hotel, which I can access for free. So I am intending to go to Berlin for at least a few days, and maybe as long as a week or more and just working out, spending time in the spa, and hopefully eating more and healthier to get back into shape.

I am also hoping to get more organized (all my finances etc… since I lost my laptop on the boat it has taken me until now to get all the software etc to begin rebuilding all my financial programs etc) and also get some work done (both some writing for SH, some business research, and also work some more on the movie script I have been working on)… Berlin sounds like it may be a good place to work on some writing… I hear it is very trendy, young, and artistic… I will let you know later today when I get there what it is like.

Sveden… ABBA Baby

After taking a ‘nap’ from 2pm until 10pm accidentally yesterday I decided that even though I was groggy and didn’t feel like doing anything I should go out as I have been in Europe for 4 days now (3 in Scotland, 1 in Sweden) and basically have spent the entire time in my hotel room sleeping.

The happening area here is called Stureplan, and the most popular club there is called Kharma so I went there.

First, Sweden is very small. Did you know the population of Sweden is only 9 million? And less than 2 million live in Stockholm. So the country has less people than certain neighborhoods in China’s 30th largest city.

But the country makes up for its sparcety with good looks and smelling good. Seriously, everyone here smells great. Actually, the shampoo in my hotel smells amazing… I don’t know what that smell is, but I really like it. Everyone here smells like they have been in a Spa, that is all I know.

Girls: if you are looking for good looking cool guys, I think you need to check out Sweden.

As for the fashion… wow I have never seen so many guys wearing pink and light blue shirts… I can definitely see why we kick their ass at hockey… they are definitely not aggressive, macho people. But they are still cool… but if you are expecting the Vancouver Canucks to win led by Marcus Naslund and the Sedin twins, forget about it… The Oilers, led by hard hitting Canadians like Ryan Smith and Chris Pronger will walk all over them.

The other really cool thing about Swedish people, is that their national language is Swedish… which is kinda crazy… sorta like Canadians just speaking Canadian, not English or French… but everyone here speaks VERY good English… like PERFECT English… and it is kinda cool, a few times I have had someone speak to me in Swedish, and I’ll respond with the internationally understood, “huh?!?”… and then they will say it in English, and then apologize… obviously they don’t need to apologize for speaking their national language, but it says a lot about their character and politeness that they will apologize to someone just for speaking their own language. Kicks butt on Americans who, if someone doesn’t speak perfect ‘english’ will say, “learn the language, yer in ‘merica”…

So, after my first night in Stockholm I would have to say I highly recommend it. Very nice… very cool… and like I said, smells great! And almost every cab plays Abba, so you can’t beat that.

Stockholm… A town built entirely on Ikea Furniture

I just arrived in Stockholm late last night (Wednesday night). I only pretty much rode the bus in from the Skavsta airport which is about 100km away from Stockholm (Ryan Air flys there because it is cheaper) and then walked around the area of my hotel to get some food and then went to sleep, but already I am liking this city.

First of all, it looked amazingly beautiful. I didn’t see too much but Stockholm is built on 14 islands around one of Europe’s largest mediaeval city centers.

I can also see where Ikea designs came from… the airport, and my hotel all have an Ikea style to them… but they are all very cool. In fact, all of the design I have seen here so far has been veeerrry cool… I like the style… modern, minimalist, clean.

One thing that surprised me is that Sweden is VERY North. I didn’t realize that Stockholm is on the 59th latitude. For those that don’t know, Vancouver is on the 49th parallel… each degree of latitude is approximately 60 nautical miles (66 miles). So, Sweden is 600 miles north of Vancouver… in other words, about the same latitude as Alaska!!!

You can feel it too… I got in at 11pm last night and all the Swedes were talking about how lucky I was because the weather is perfect… but it was frickin cold… like needed a warm jacket kind of cold.

However, I checked the weather stats on Stockholm and it actually doesn’t really get all that cold in the winter… the average temp in December is -1c, surprisingly. Ben West, who knows lots of useless info, told me that is because of the Gulf Stream.

So, the true test of Stockholm will come in the ensuing evenings as I go out and meet Stockholm people. And by people I mean girls. If they are as nice and beautiful as their country appears to be then this place may be great!

However, no matter how good this place may be, it still doesn’t mean that Marcus Naslund can lead the Canucks to a Stanley Cup. You need a Canadian captain to do that. Go Oilers.

Got Haggis?

I arrived in Glasgow on Monday morning. Maybe I should start making up more normal stories for customs people because whenever I tell them the truth it really confuses them. I prefer travelling to countries where they don’t speak english because at least then they just stamp my passport and that is it.

When I arrived in Glasgow, the lady asked me how long I was staying in Scotland. I said, just a few days… like maybe 2 days. She asked, “You flew all the way from Canada to Scotland just for 2 days?”… i said yes. then she asked where I was going after Scotland, I replied I didn’t know yet.

Then she asked what I was going to do here. I responded, “I dunno… the usual. Go to a restaurant… maybe go out for a drink”… she responded, “you flew all the way here just to go to a restaurant?”…

She asked for proof of my hotel… I said I booked it electronically… she said, “you must have some sort of documents… proof of hotel.. proof of flight etc”… I told her it is all electronic, why would I print it out?

She got pretty flustered… she ended up calling my hotel to verify I was staying there.

The biggest problem I have with all these issues I have with customs people is that I don’t understand what it is they think I am doing that is a threat to their country?? And neither do they, obviously. Anyway… its always irritating…

So I got in at 8am and by the time I got through customs it was 10am. I didn’t sleep at all on the plane (the bane of my existence) so I really had barely slept in nearly 48 hours, so I got to the hotel and fell asleep until 8pm! Then I went out, ate, and decided to watch a movie to pass some time… War of the Worlds… some cool effects but a totally dumb story.

Then I went back to the hotel and managed to fall asleep around 3am, but I woke up at 8am… so I thought I was at least on the proper timezone now. But around 10am I felt sleepy so decided to take a ‘nap’… I didn’t wake up until 8pm again! So I am screwed again I think!

I will likely go out for some food now and find some way to pass the hours until I am tired again… so, in essence, I came to Scotland and spent two days sleeping in my hotel. I wish I would have told the customs woman that… “so you came ALL this way from Canada to Scotland to sleep for two days?”… lol, yep.

I am leaving tomorrow for Stockholm, Sweden. It is kinda rainy here and I don’t really like the feel of the town… kinda gloomy and crappy… so that is enough of Scotland. Bring on Sweden tomorrow.

Oh Canada

I have been in Vancouver for about a week. It is always pleasant to be in Vancouver in the summer time… but, and I repeat, ONLY in the summer. From September until June this town is rainy and depressing.

I am leaving on Sunday, flying on Zoom (flyzoom.com) which operates cheap flights from Canada to Europe. I will be landing in Glasgow, which is kinda neat for me, as I believe I am half Scottish (note to family: correct me if I am wrong here… cuz otherwise being in Glasgow will be way less meaningful!).

I think I will stay in Scotland for a couple days… I don’t know how far Berwick is from Glasgow, but if it is close I might pop out there and see if I am the king there or anything. If I am not, hopefully I get discounts there or something. 😛

After Glasgow, I don’t know where exactly I will go… I am leaning towards Eastern Europe (Prague, Budapest… maybe Warsaw). Ryan Air operates flights out of Scotland and the price is literally ludicrous. Like $8 to go to almost anywhere?? Not sure how they are making money… maybe they make you digest bags of cocaine for them to transport or something as part of the deal… 😛 Hey, for $8 to go to Rome, I’ll swallow a few bags of narcotics.

That’s it for now… the last few weeks have been fairly non-descript as I have been in plain old North America, but hopefully will have some interesting stories over the coming weeks/months.