Friday, July 31, 2009

Turkey, What a delight!

Hey hey,
So after sleeping on the beach in Kavala Greece we woke up and drove straight to Turkey. The sun was beating down harder than ever and the heat was so intense. We rolled into the border in the late afternoon. It took about an hour to pass through as we had to cross at least 4 different check points and pay 45 Euro for a visa! It took us another several hours for finally drive into Istanbul..
Upon arrival we discovered our two campgrounds in Istanbul from our "Europe Camping" book had been closed. We contacted Ben's German friend Daniel and headed to his place. Unfortuntately he didnt have room for us so after a night of drinking we got a few hours of shut eye in the Hajji in downtown Istanbul. In the morning we were all brushing our teeth on the street with people still sleeping on the roof of the van... we shook many Turks to their core, they had no idea what to think.
So yeah, Istanbul, always dreamt of going and it is an amazing city! So huge, so huge! So many people and so many cultures all mixed together. Mosques and churches and kebab stands clutter every street. We spent many an afternoon lounged on a rooftime sitting on big fluffly pillows drinking beer and smoking a water pipe! Very delightful! We did some sightseeing, to the Blue Mosque etc, went to the big markets and took a ferry or two.
Eventually we caved and got a hostel room for the first time on the trip, sleeping 5 people in the Hajji in crowded big city streets just wasnt cutting it...
So as time was slowly passing I was coming to the end of my trip, I was scheduled to leave on Friday from Istanbul and then Monday from Amsterdam... the thought of spending another 3 nights in Amsterdam turned my stomach. I was tired, dirty and ready to come home, so instead of delaying the inevitable, I changed some flights I flew home on Thursday! Where I am now, sitting in my parents house!
The great Africa Europe trip of 2009 has come to an end... what an unforgettable experience! As we always say in the Hajji, it is not about the places or things we see, it is the people we meet and travel with that are so amazing!

Watch my facebook for pictures....!

Addy in Calgary

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Greece is in the EU!

Hey hey,

Just a quick update, not much to report, no real crazy adventures in the last few days. We left Macedonia on Sunday and rolled into Greece just after midnight! Quite a beautiful country, as expected I guess! We spent two night at a really nice campground just outside of Thessalaniki. The Greeks are delightfully nice, they dont see too many young people at the campground so all the old folks were taking us in and feeding us feta, olives and ouzo. The hajji makes friends were ever she goes.
We rolled out of the city on late wednesday and arrived in Kavala, where we are now late at night. We slept in the parking lot of the airport so that we could get Jalil on his flight at a 6am. Latif left a week ago, but the addition of him and his friend Jalil was just an amazing blessing for the Hajji. Such cool guys, we will miss them greatly. Spent the day sleeping on the beach, just chilling with Benny in the internet cafe now. This city was founded in 14AD, so cool and old with big old aqua ducts running through it, right on the ocean. The plan is take off for Turkey tommorrow, but who knows when we roll in...
I am really looking forward to Turkey... and only one week till I leave the Hajji crew...

See yous soon,

Addy in Greece

Saturday, July 18, 2009

In Serbia I hurt Hajji

Hey hey,
Wow, the last week or so in Serbia was out of control crazy! Exit fest was madness, the music was okay, nothing to really write home about. But Prodigy played on the last night to a crowd of over 45 000 people, I almost lost my shit and had to get the hell out of the crowd! It was intense! The campground was full of young brits filled with piss and vinegar, the festival was in a cool old fortress and the Serbs are super nice.
So we left Novi Sad on Monday and headed to Kossovo, we soon realized the main highway to Kossovo disappeared, as the Serbs no longer recognize them, so we got on some random back roads to a country we shouldnt be going too. Eventually we were thouroughly lost and in a small Serbain town late at night, we stopped and decided to spend the night. Then we heard a honky-de honk of a car and a large smiling Serbian man was saying hello. He recognized from Exit fest, as the Hajji was quite famous. He welcomed 8 of us into his house in this town, his whole family welcomed us with open arms. For two days they fed us, bathed us and gave us a warm place to sleep. Unreal hospitality, by far the nicest people I have ever met in the whole world, hospitality that we have no concept of in North America. Milan, is his name. The serbs talked us out of going to Kossovo so we headed south to Macedonia. Milan came with us and thank heavens for that! We ran out of diesel near the border, had to hitchhike to a gas station and fill up enough to get us to the gas station. We filled up, spirits were high and we would soon be in Macedonia. That is until Addy took the wheel of the Hajji... On a single lane highway in Serbia, I shift into third and the van goes wild! Its like the gas is being floored, the engining is revving so friggin high, sounds like the engine is going to explode, nothing I do will stop it. The Hajji fills with black smoke and the crew goes wild! I slamm on the breaks and turn off the engine and take out the key, the van still is going crazy and we are all certain the engine is going to blow... The crew opens the side door and bails, there was so much smoke they couldnt see the jagged metal guard rail on the side of the road, several crew members bashed their legs up real nice. I stayed with the Hajji till the end, along with a sleeping Marcus...
We thought Hajji was dead, towed her to a gas station, it was certain we need a new engine! I just ruined a trip for like 8 people, I was at an all time low, feeling like major garbage. Luckily, we started the Haj, rev'd her up and took her for spin! Miracle, she was resurected! Was running fine, we hopped in and were on our way! Needless to say I will no longer be driving the Hajji....
After a celebration dinner in the capital of Macedonia we head to a place called Ohrid, where we are right now. Outside the capital we were pulled over by the coppers. 300 Euro fine for not having our head lamps on... Luckily Milan was able to bribe the crooked cop... after much deliberation amongst the crew, we couldnt agree on what to do, pay the fine, bribe the cop or run for the hills.... He got tired of waiting and just sped off down the highway! Miracle!
So we rolled into Ohrid late at night, no place to stay, so as the crew crammed into the Hajji for a nights sleep in a parking lot, Benny and I snuggled up on a grassy knoll in the parking lot for the worst night of sleep ever, had ants crawling on our faces all night, Benny slept like a dream....
So then we got to a really nice campground with a nice lake... very chill and relaxing. And super hot, I think i saw a sign saying it was 40 degrees...
Anywho, leaving for Greece tomorrow...
On our way to Turkey...
Fly to Amsterdam on the 31st,
Fly home on August 3rd, back into the arms of my lover....

Addy in Macedonia

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hajji Knows where to go

Hey Hey,
Wow what a crazy last few days. Was out in Prague with the crew visiting a bar or two. Marcus Lauran and Paul were hit by a sniper out on the street. Some crazy fuck was shooting drunk tourists with a beebee gun, got them good too. Then we ran into an old chum from highschool, a Mr. Latif Nanji. So Latif and his buddy Jalil hoped in the Haj with us and we headed to Vienna. Spent a night in Vienna, had a feast at a sketch restaurant, had a snooze and drove to Serbia. Survived the scary crossing into Serbia and drove straight to Novi Sad, home of the EXIT festival. The drive through the Balkans was beautiful and peaceful. The Hajji can only do about 50km on any sort of incline, so we usually cause some traffic backup, especially on the autobahn in Germany, whoo boy...
So we are currently camped out with Haj and a few tents. This festival is massive, seems like hundreds of thousands people, but surely much less than that....
Last night we saw Lilly Allen and Artic Monkey on the mass stage, it was such a party, such a good time. Then I went and checked out the metal stage! This festival is inside a fortress at the top of a hill overlooking the city. So they have all these different stages and shit all scattered and tuked in all this crazy spot throughout the fortress, its unreall, and just so many people. Tonight there is no one super cool playing, but I am excited to catch some Norwegian death metal at the metal stage! Havent showered in awhile, stick like an old goat, the toilets are horrifying, pooping is a big effort. We are here unitl Sunday or Monday, so lots of music and shit to check out. Serbia is beautiful and very clean, which is very unexpected. You would never guess a mass genocide occured here about 10 years ago.
So after this we are not sure where we are going, we were planning on going to Kossovo but border crossing may be an issue, so we may got to Sarevjo or Crotia... The Hajji will know where to go...
Thanks for your messages people, they fill me with hope....

With love

Addy in Serbia

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hajji Lifestyle

Hey hey,
So I am in Prague right now, sitting in the apartment of Ben´s spanish friend from school in Sweden!
Pam and I managed to get into Fleet Foxes in Amsterdam and it changed our lives! By far the most amazing show I have ever seen! Without a word of a lie I was brought to tears during my favorite song! Words cannot even describe how heavenly the concert was...
I sadly said goodbye to Pamela on Saturday and jumped on a train to meet Ben and the crew in Maastricht. We started in the van and thanks to my navigation skills we drove 1 hour in the wrong direction... Thankfully thanks to my navigation skills we got on the right track and drove 7 hours to Nurenburg, home of Marcus´s family and the Nazi´s. All the major Nazi rallys were held there. We toured the city and ate some Braughtwursts and drank a beer and took off. We drove several more hours and arrived in Prague around 2am. However the city is the most confusing ever, as far as streets go, and took us several more hours to find Alavaro´s place. We slept something fierce and woke up and then toured Prague! Oh my goodness, probably the most beautiful city I have seen, it is so gorgeous it doesnt seem real, like it is a sound stage at Universal Studios... Today Marcus and Ben and I are going to Pilsin to visit the place where beer is made.
Tomorrow we are driving to Vienna, which is in Austria? I dont even know... We spend a night there and then we drive to Novi Sad in Serbia for 4 or 5 days at Exist Festival, for some sun and music!
Sorry I havent been personally responding to people, my internet time is so limited, people are always waiting to use the computer etc, or internet time is expensive blah blah blah
So brett, matty, niki tristan, anne, jill and jenn.... Thank you and I love you and I hope all is well!

Addy in Praha

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Hey everyone!
So here on my 5th day in Amsterdam, cannot believe it has been that long! It has been AMAZING so far, and doing it all with Pam is pure heaven! Coming from Africa has made this city just divine! Its soooo beautiful and the people are so friendly and young and healthy! We went to the Heinken brewery and it was wonderful! Lots of beer!
Please check out our dutch karoke!

And we are trying to get into see Fleet Foxes, our most favoritist band in the whole wide world! We were eating lunch outside the venue they are playing in and Pam spotted one of the gorgeous band members strolling the street! So tomorrow night we are going to try and get some scalped tickets! We should be meeting up with Benjarmin soon... but as normal we have heard nothing from him, we imagine he will magically appear to us...
But yeah, so much has happened... its just so divine here for so many reasons...

Hope everyone is doing well!
Pam and I are at my friend Shofna's for dinner so just quickly using her internet! Please send me an update!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

For Supper I want a Party Platter!

Hey hey,
So i just wrote this blog entry and lost it! So I really want to punch this computer screen right now! But yeah, we got back from the village on Saturday night and we are back at the University Of Ghana campus! The village was intense! It was right out of one of those world vision infomericals! Kids with protruding bellies and flies on their faces and poverty like I have never seen. I thought I had seen it all and was prepared for just about anything but the village was definitely an experience that has had an effect on me! Working in the school in the village was fun, the kids mostly couldnt speak English so I felt right at home and just played some games I have in my bag of tricks from teaching in Asia. It was a small community, about 350 people, with more than half of that being kids on under 10! So there wasnt a lot too but explore the village and meet the people, who were very interesting and I had conversations that ranged from being hilarious to down right frightening! I have never been so stinky and dirty and horrible in my whole life! Showering back here at the hostel was so glorious, however I still stink, I just cant wash it off! I have gnarly red throbbing bites all over my feet and ankles and at this point chopping off my feet sounds pretty delightful! Other than that I am feeling fine, we lost one girl on the trip to Malaria or Typhoid. She was flown back to Canada and is in a hospital in Calgary. I believe she is doing perfectly now, but went through a sketchy patch here in Ghana! Everyone is healthy now and we leave tomorrow! The month is finally over! So I fly to A'dam and get there early Friday morning, I am meeting my friend from China there and staying at her place for a night. Then the lovely and amazing Ms. Pamela is arriving on Saturday! So we have a week together in A'dam before she leaves for back home and I head out in the van with Paylor and company....
I liked Ghana and had a great time! But it is not my favorite country in the world and I am ready to get the eff out of here!
Hope everyone is fine, send me an email or something and let me know whats up! I will be able to respond better Im sure, once I am in Europe!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

First Week and a bit

Hey everyone!
Firstly, internet is super sparse! I managed to sweet talk my way into the international programmes office at the university of ghana and use one of their computers, however it took aproximately 45 minutes to load this website! So, whilst in Africa, internet is not easy.
I am having a pretty fantastic time so far! So much has happened in the first week that it feels like i have been here for so long! It is super hot, and I mean hot, like 40 degrees during the day and around 30 night. I got made heat rash on my arm, first time i have had it, and it sucks. Also, i got bed bugs, so my entire torso is covered in red bites! It looks far worse than it feels! I actually feel pretty good, aside from sweating 500 buckets of sweat a day and feeling dirty and sticky all the time I feel pretty good!
So i am living in a hostel on the University which is about 30 minutes from the capital, called Accra. The city is much like cities i have seen in India and China. Organized chaos with lots of crazy traffic and millions of people and markets and lots of in your face poverty. So many sights, sounds, smells and sensations, its like a festival for the senses! The people in the market are super pushy and want to sell you stuff at ANY cost! They are annoying and i want to punch some throats but they can be friendly and talkative and you can actually learn alot from them cause they will always answer your questions.
We went to the Cape Coast which was just stunning, beautiful ocean views with little fishing villages etc. We went to Elmina Castle (google it) which was one of the major shipping ports for slaves out of Africa. We walked through dungeons where thousands of slaves were kept and tortured. It was a pretty surreal experience, the beauty of the coast contrasted with the madness and genocide that went on in the castle was overwhelming.
We went to a local school for two days and played with the kiddies and watched some classes. It was madness, Hundreds of adorable African school children all wanting to take pictures and play games and touch my white mushy skin and stroke my magnificient white man beard. It was by far the best part of the trip so far! I took plenty of pictures and video!
We are going to three hospitals tomorrow, which I am not excited about! Visiting a fever unit in Africa? Uh no thankyou!
Then we are off to the village near Kumasi on Saturday until the following Saturday. Not sure what to expect from the village.... should be fun!
Well, I should go, considering I have been sitting in this office for 3 hours...

Hope all is well!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Leaving in 2 days!

Hey everybody, I know most people arent keen on reading other people's blogs, but what the hey! maybe a few people will give it a read.

So I am going to Ghana in Africa from May 29 to June 25.  It is a University course called Global Citizenship.  We are studying at the University of Ghana in Accra for 2 weeks, then we are going to small village for 8 days.  For a good brief intro on what global citizenship actually is check out this short article:

After Ghana I am flying to Amsterdam, where I will stay for a few days, working on my final paper and showering and what not.  Then I am getting in a van which has been dubbed the Hajji with my friend Ben and 4 other people.  We will head out for a van/camping tour of Eastern Europe.  My final stop will be in Istanbul in the last week of July!

If you are so inclined, check back here now and then for updates on my travels and maybe the odd picture or two!  Comments would be sweet too!