304. French language fail

Surprisingly enough, emerging from the catacombs, our appetites were very much intact, and we went in search of a nice cafe (you come out the other end in rather a nice neighbourhood).

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On the recommendation of a fellow traveller, we found a place that served what we found to be a most excellent combination: crepes and cider. And what an array of crepes there were! They were offering something like €8 for a glass of cider and a crepe, which was a pretty good deal for Paris. After settling on a blue cheese and walnut gallette (which was amazing), I guess I must have been sick of snobby waiters scoffing at english language, so ordered in French. I asked for a bottle of cider, probably force of habit from far to much Monteiths deliciousness, and the waiter came out with an enormous 1L bottle! It was fairly strong stuff too, so we ended up feeling quite the buzz in the middle of the day. Oops.

IMG_3468 (480x640)The cafe also had some really cool decor going on, I really wish I could remember what it was called as it was by far one of the best meals I had in Paris!

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36. BYO Bus

In episode one of my Copenhagen extravaganza, my Australian accomplice and I decided it was only fitting that we make our bus ride there a BYO one. We were, after all, leaving at 7pm to arrive at 10pm, just as everyone else would be heading out to town. We also managed to lure in a poor, unsuspecting Canadian which magnified the fun!

The Danes appear to be a darn sight less PC about drinking in public places, and no-one batted an eyelid when we whipped out our booze stash. Perhaps it was because we were dressed for town and drinking a delicious Moscato…

In fact, we seemed to be the only people surprised on our journey to the capital city. Five minutes after the bus took off, it stopped again and everyone was getting out. As it turns out, the bus route is faster and cheaper as the majority of it is actually a ferry ride. A delightful (and obvious, on reflection) surprise as we got to a) steal drinking vessels from the cafe, and b) enjoy a ride with far less spills than a bus. Given the ferry terminal is just around the corner from the bus station, it seems strange that we wouldn’t just meet there, but I suspect it is a convenient way for the bus company to clip the ticket. Yes, pun intended.

I also discovered Somersby Cider – a Carlsberg innovation, despite going for the English Cider vibe. I can definitely recommend the blackberry cider, and will have to try the Elderflower one at some point!

For anyone planning the journey from Aarhus to Copenhagen, I definitely recommend catching the Line 888. Breaking the journey up with a ferry ride makes it go a lot faster, and it was much nicer to sit round a table and chat. There are higher rates for Friday nights and weekends though, so if you can go during the day on a Friday it will save you some krone.

26. Dance on a table

In the middle of Aarhus there is a German bar called, you guessed it, Heidi’s.

At Heidi’s, it appears that the dance floor is on the tables. After about 10pm or so, all of a sudden almost everyone at the bar jumped up on top of the tables and spent the rest of the night there! It was bizarre, but also hilarious.

Supposedly, that’s what they do in Germany, though I’m not too sure if that’s actually what they do or just what the Danes think they do.

Life can be tough for tall people, unable to dance on tables…

I’m on top of the world! Wait, no just the table…

I also had a bit of a cultural barrier issue. I got really excited when I saw Rekorderlig cider on tap. It is the most amazing Cider I have ever tasted, especially the Winter Cider, which is Apple, vanilla and cinnamon flavoured. I discovered it in Brisbane, but only ever saw it in bottles and at super hipster places like Kerbside. Imported from Sweden, it is pretty expensive in Australia, but worth every cent.

I asked for a pint of cider, and the guy behind the bar made what I thought was a ‘tall glass’ gesture. I took that to be him clarifying what strange foreign girl meant by a pint. Yet another moment where assumptions proved wrong. The lederhosen wearing bartender put the biggest Oktoberfest sized glass of cider I have ever seen on the bar. Bastard had already taken my money too!

It was bigger than my head. And I needed two hands to hold it. As much as I wanted to savor every drop of delicious Rekorderlig strawberry Cider, it was too much for me to finish and had to be shared around!

8. Master the London Underground

I tried to catch snippets out the window as the train whizzed through somewhere-between-Gatwick-and-London. The train was faster than any I had been on before and it was nighttime so I couldn’t see much. Just blurrs of light smudging past. At one stage I thought I could see lanterns hanging across a street, but I couldn’t be sure. I thought I would be far more excited, having made it to the other side of the world, but aside from novel bakery stalls in the Gatwick Airport train station it didn’t seem like anything I hadn’t seen before. One of the stations even looked like the Auchenflower Station in Brisbane, a big carpark behind it, exactly like the Auchenflower Hospital. Perhaps it was because I was too focussed on making sure I got off at all the right stations, diligently following the instructions printed off from the London Transport Journey Planner site.
My ticket cost me more than my flight to Denmark, but I made sure I was getting the cheapest option and the fastest route, AKA I was that annoying person asking the ticket man a million and one questions. Poor guy.

Drinks in Notting Hill and Soho

Things got a lot more interesting when I moved from the ‘overground’ to the underground. My station (Edgeware Rd) looked like something straight out of Harry Potter and I got far too much entertainment out of whizzing past stations with names from Monopoly. Maturity stepped down a notch as my friend told me about a stop called ‘Cockfosters’ on his line that makes him laugh every time.

The backpackers I checked in to gets an A+ for efficiency, with triple layer bunks in the room, but after the concierge (read:bartender) proudly let me know reception (read: the bar) would be open 24/7 and Karaoke would be going all night I made the executive decision to not even bother sleeping. I could here awful renditions of rap songs (who ‘sings’ a rap song at a karaoke bar?) loud and clear in the room. Plus I had to be on the road at 3am and allow time to either wear most of the items in my suitcase or cram them in to my pockets.

After drinks in Notting Hill (it was JUST like the movie) and a wee spot of clubbing in Soho with a friend from Brisbane and 2 friends from Uni who are now studying at Cambridge I then took my London public transport skills to the next level as I mastered the double decker

Goblet of Cider!

buses. So good, was I, that on both the buses I needed to take before getting to the Stansted airport I managed to have just the right amount of foreign naivety for the drivers to waive me on without paying! (Giant notes also help).

My final experience in London was what can only be described as the most invasive security procedures imaginable. I had to take my shoes off and put them through the scanner, my bag had to be opened up and examined because there was so much in there. In fact, I received some very skeptical looks for having a 2 phones, a laptop, ipod and harddrive. I also had to have all my liquids re-scanned because one lip balm tube fell out of the not so well sealed bag. I think I got off pretty lucky though, as the girl before me set off the detector and had every inch of skin on her body rubbed (not patted) down by Airport Security (luckily a woman). They took particular interest in the poor girl’s underwire bra – I could have sworn I was witnessing a mammogram! I would take the full body scanner over that any day.

And with that I was away on my Ryanair flight direct to Aarhus. There may not have been a movie to watch, but there sure was a lot of in-flight entertainment – an astonishing amount of advertising going on! Every seat has an ad on the back, as do each of the overhead lockers, and every 20minutes or so the air hostesses would enthusiastically read out a sales script. So bizarre.

DiscoDisco! Dancing in Soho. Ever so European of us