Kimi and Peter's

The Statistics

21 countries in 171 days
31,000 km on the road
1,700 litres of fuel
50 UNESCO World Heritage sites
14 pairs of shoes
11 international flights and ferries
8 new ways to say "hello"
6 travel guidebooks
5 rental cars (with no damage expenses!!)
2 very tired but very happy travellers
1 honeymoon to remember for a lifetime.

The Travelogues

Our top 100 most amazing things we saw or otherwise encountered during our trip.

  1. The SLOW DECAY of the ROMAN EMPIRE, with:
    an economic bubble of rampant consumerism gone bust;
    heavy reliance on imported goods (grain from Africa);
    a population largely employed in superfluous service industries (lawyers, accountants, entertainers) or dependent on welfare;
    and a culture that degraded until violent bloodsports and pornography were the most popular forms of entertainment
  2. The sheer, horrible size of AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU
  3. GERNIKA - the town, memorials and the painting
  4. Indulging in the peacefulness of CORDOBA'S MEZQUITA, and seeing it shattered at 10:00am when the tour groups arrive
  5. Prague's first ever GAY PRIDE PARADE - not quite the party they have in Sydney, thousands turned up to march for freedom of expression in the face of counter-protests and despite condemnation by the President. Bravo Prague!
  6. The complexity of aromas and flavours in a 40 year old TAWNY PORT
  7. The technical precision and creativity demonstrated in a 2 MICHELIN STAR LUNCH
  8. Threading an Opel Astra wagon through the eye of a LUBERON BACK ROAD
  9. ST PETER'S BASILICA in Vatican City - warm and inviting, and with artworks that have to be seen to be believed
  10. BUFFALO MOZARELLA - just try it one day, it speaks for itself!

  11. The SISTINE CHAPEL ceiling, and the hours of queuing it took us to get there
  12. TINY VILLAGES clinging to oceanside cliffs (Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast)
  13. Neolithic PASSAGE TOMBS
  14. STONEHENGE AT SUNSET, without tourists!
  15. The SALVADOR DALI Museum
  16. PARALLEL PARKING with cm to spare (oh yes, we did!!)
  17. CENTURIES OLD SURREALISM in Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights
  18. The VALETS AT THE MONTE CARLO CASINO, moving one very expensive car to make room for an even more expensive car
  19. The BASQUE language, distinct from any known language family in current use

  21. Seeing PICASSOS, MONETS, VAN GOGHS and EL GRECOS in every major city
  22. The spectacle that is FATIMA (of the apparitions)
  23. AFFORDABILITY of real estate in the French Riviera compared to Australia
  24. Eerie POMPEI, with a town square, roads, take-out food counters and a brothel that could all still be used today (if you add a mattress to the stone bed!)
  25. Peter's MOM'S HOME COOKING
  26. Ireland's Heritage Card, the BEST VALUE MULTI-ATTRACTION PASS in Europe
  27. KIDS DANGLING THEIR LEGS OFF PREIKESTOLEN and the idiot parents encouraging them
  28. The ROUNDABOUT near Stansted airport - do they honestly expect tourists to be able to figure out how to use it??
  29. Becoming a FAN OF THE POPE for a day in Vatican City
  30. PRICES in a prosperous oil economy (Norway)

  31. The barbaric entertainment that went on at the COLOSSEUM, if you really think about it
  32. The fairytale turrets of NEUSCHWANSTEIN
  33. The WIELICZKA SALT MINE, decorated with sculptures carved from salt rock and a magnificent underground cathedral (also carved from salt)
  34. The LINGERING SCANDINAVIAN SUNSET for many hours each evening
  35. The enormous STADIUM SEATING outside Edinburgh Castle, erected and dismantled annually over 3-4 months for the Tattoo
  37. Our TOMTOM GPS NAVIGATOR (TOMMY) and his Live Services - predicts arrival times with astonishing precision (give or take a traffic light), although he'll happily risk our lives to save a minute or two
  38. Hanging out with the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (a Michelangelo here, a Raphael there.....)
  39. How few words are required to OVERCOME A LANGUAGE BARRIER
  40. Dramatic LANDSCAPES REFLECTED in still bodies of water, best observed in Norway and England's Lake District

  41. TRAFFIC LANES in Spain that (dis)appear at random and giant roundabouts with no lanes at all
  42. The numerous PILGRIM ROUTES to Santiago de Compostela
  43. HALF-CONSTRUCTED FREEWAYS marked as complete on official Spanish road maps
  44. The extent of the ROMAN EMPIRE in its heydey
  45. Watching Natural Selection in action among the DRIVERS IN POLAND
  46. CYCLISTS in the French Alps
  47. Experiencing CULTURE SHOCK after driving for an hour or two
  48. The grandeur of the ALHAMBRA in Granada
  49. MARZAPAN in Toledo - unlike anywhere else
  50. The MIST on Dartmoor (impressive mists and fog can also be found in Southern Sweden, across the Baltic, in Munich and the Czech Republic)

  51. Castle TOILETS and the importance of excrement in the middle ages
  52. The GUGGENHEIM, Bilbao, best enjoyed after a bottle of cheap, nasty wine
  53. A customer hoping to break A 500EUR NOTE at a supermarket in Monaco
  54. The humorous, bordering on ridiculous TELEVISION GAME SHOWS in Germany
  55. PEOPLE STILL SMOKING in restaurants in 2011
  56. A spontaneous performance of the local PIPES AND DRUMS BAND in Inverness
  57. The monolithic DOLMEN in Evora, Portugal, one of the largest in the world
    In a pizzeria in Southern France:
    Waiter: What would you like to drink? British tourist: Have you got Dom Perignon?
    Waiter: We have San Pellegrino, will that do?
    British tourist: Yes, that's it!
  59. Cities made of MARBLE (Portugal)
  60. The life-threatening NATIONAL TOURIST ROUTE around Hardangerfjord - still speechless about this one, suffice to say we're glad we survived!

  61. DESCENDING INTO CHAOS minutes after crossing the border from Switzerland to Italy
  62. The SHOPPING FRENZY in Andorra's town centre, thanks to their duty-free status
  63. The HIGHLAND FOLK MUSEUM, unique thanks to it's enthusiastic and committed staff
  64. The many landscapes of TORRE (1993m or 2000m if you include the 7m obelisk at the summit)
  65. Traditional methods of making ROQUEFORT CHEESE
  66. Engineering marvels in the Norwegian network of TUNNELS and BRIDGES
  67. OFFENDING YOUR FRENCH HOST with a simple clarification of the bill
  68. Just how far you can stretch your LAST 7 PLN before crossing the border
  69. UPPSALA FORTRESS - built to defend against domestic attacks, it's canons are pointed at the town Cathedral (also reminds the church who is really in control)
  70. The spires of PRAGUE'S CITY SKYLINE

  71. Just how difficult it is to find GOOD AUTHENTIC ITALIAN FOOD in Italy
  72. The VOLUME OF FOOD you receive when you do find the real deal
  73. The HIGH-THROUGHPUT SERVICE STATION in Andorra just across the border from France
  74. The REVIEW SYSTEMS of Tripadvisor and hotel booking websites, making and breaking businesses the world over
  75. MICROSTATES and the complicated stories that explain their existence
  76. MONOLITHIC art (ships made from standing stones and the like)
  77. NARROW STREETS in Spain and dented cars to match
  78. RECYCLING AND RENEWABLE ENERGY without any industries collapsing or anyone's way of life "destroyed" (wake up Australia, it really isn't that hard)
  79. THREE COURSE MENUS including wine for <$15 AUD
  80. A rock more BRITISH than Britain (Gibraltar)

  81. SNOW in June (in Andorra)
  82. The brilliant idea of turning Monaco's streets into a FORMULA ONE RACETRACK
  83. Just how dangerous mini-refrigerators are in small cabins: most noticeable when WAKING UP CHOKING ON AMMONIA GAS
  84. The RESTORED FACADES of historic buildings completely decimated in WWII
  85. The AQUEDUCT in Segovia
  86. COMFORTABLE ACCOMMODATION (4*) for an average of 45EUR per night
  87. The TEMPERATURE CHANGE of approximately 10oC upon crossing the borders into Portugal (from Spain) and Sweden (from Norway)
  88. Portugese MULTILINGUALISM - it seems television is not dubbed to Portugese, despite the millions of native speakers in Brazil
  89. EFFICIENCY in restaurants
  90. BEACHES with no public access whatsoever on the Riviera

  91. Still flying with RYANAIR no matter how many times they treat us like crap
  92. That once upon a time Germany actually thought the EURO would be a good idea
  93. The ROYAL HIGHLAND SHOW, the most underwhelming attraction we visited all trip
  94. The NEAREST RAINBOW we've ever seen, over a Norwegian Fjord
  95. The power of a Swedish ICEBREAKER
  96. PENIS-PHOBIA in Catholic Italy, from secret cabinets and fig leaves to Adam's tiny package
  97. The PRO-PENIS SPIRIT of pre-Catholic Italy (erotic art retrieved from Pompeii)
  98. CESKY KRUMLOW - a castle completely disproportionate to the tiny village where it is situated
  99. VESPAS in Naples with complete disregard for traffic signals, laws or pedestrians
  100. STILL GETTING ALONG with each other after living in each others' pockets for 6 months

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