|BARCELONA: ISLAND ESCAPE LEAVING!!!|
E ai galera, blz?! Espero q sim...
What’s up folks? I hope you are ok...
Bem esse é uma história que escrevo muitos anos depois e vou postá-la no lugar de um antigo post com links de vídeos que havia feito quando não havia as mesmas ferramentas de design que o provedor desse blog hoje fornece. E pra quem segue o blog poder conferir tudo na ordem cronológica.
Well this is a story I wrote many years later and I'll replace an old post with links to videos that I made when there was not the same design tools that this blog has today. So for those who follow the blog can see everything in the chronological order.
During my second contract at the Island Escape I was so busy and as I already mentioned I got to work 14 hours a day several times. I had as side job to prepare food labels in the restaurant, so I gain some privileges like being able to always check my emails, but sometimes I had to splice two consecutive shifts, usually breakfast and lunch.
Enfim como eu quase não saia do navio durante o contrato, o que me ajudava a guardar mais dinheiro, decidi que faria um mochilão pela Europa. Alguns outros tripulantes brasileiros já haviam feito o mesmo e resolvi pesquisar a viabilidade do projeto. Primeiro resolvi que iria economizar mais: cortei os gastos fúteis a bordo e nos portos. Em seguida pedi a confirmação da minha data de desembarque e a possibilidade da companhia estender a data da minha passagem de volta para o Brasil. Essas respostas demoraram pra chegar, mas, decidi ver os demais preparativos.
Anyway as I hardly get off the ship during the contract, which helped me save more money, I decided to do a backpack through Europe. Some other Brazilian crew had done the same before and I decided to research the feasibility of the project. First I decided I should save more: cut spending futile on board and in the ports. Then I asked the confirmation of my landing date and the possibility of the Company to extend the date of my return ticket to Brazil. These responses took some time, but I decided to check the other details' preparations.
I had already decided to go to Paris and London, I would choose the other destinations according the cost of transportation and accommodation. I bought a Lonely Planet guide and I started researching, I also used the Spartacus world gay guide, full of tips for clubs and cool places. I still searching in the Internet: transportation, hostel, food and other tips. I highly recommend it for Brazilians the Orkut community: Mochileiros na Europa (Backpacking in Europe). http://www.orkut.com.br/Main#Community?cmm=71996
My chosen transport was bus: I bought a Europass that permits to travel around the European Community countries for 15 days. The only challenge was to organize the days and times of the connections accord my trip, as some destinations have limited departures for only a few days of the week. I was like "a mad" calculating the connections of the places I wish to visit. I gave up flying because the promotional tickets were only sold in advance, I had no confirmation of the extent of my ticket and reservations could only be made by credit card (which I had not). The train was much more expensive. Another idea was to travel by bus at night and save the daily from the hostel. The price ranged between 20 and 25 euros per day.
I ended up visiting just five cities: Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and London. At first the moment I had the idea of time on board but I decided to relax and enjoy better my time in the places and prioritize time in Paris and London. Left out: Lyon, Madrid, Berlin, Geneva and Milan.
I disembarked on September 9, 2007 in Barcelona, my favorite port. Due to a national holiday I could not travel on my wish date but as I was in Barcelona would be cool to explore the city without worrying to get back to the ship. Despite being weekday, would be two nights in a place that I love. Arriving at the hostel I meet Kito and Sandro who also landed the Escape for a backpack but they had different plans so we did not plan the rest of the trip together. We locked the bags in the safe and went to the beach. And there we had one of the best view of life: the Escape leaving Barcelona and we staying.
No dia seguinte eles seguiram viagem e eu fui resolver minha passagem e conhecer melhor a cidade. Visitei lugares distantes que não conseguia ir estando no navio: Montejuic, estádio do Barcelona, Museu Olímpico e simplesmente relaxar. E a noite balada: sinceramente não lembro o nome do clube em que fui, nem estava cheio, mas foi a primeira balada de verdade em muito tempo.
My friends left on the following day and I went to sort out my ticket and to see more of the city. I visited places that I could go while I was onboard the ship: Montjuïc, Barcelona's stadium, the Olympic Museum and I took some time to simply relax. At night time: go out, I honestly do not remember the name of the club that I went it was full but it was the first true night out in such a long time.
The trip to Paris was the longest, about 12 hours but was not so tiring due I was travelling at night and I managed to take several naps on the bus, something unusual for me while on a bus . Even being so tired, I went to the hostel (which was the largest that I stayed) I left the bags and using the city maps I went straight to the Eiffel Tower where I got completely blown away, the monument is a real "myth." The city is beautiful, full of charm and perfect for taking pictures; every day I went back to the hostel with empty camera batteries' (I also used the camera that I bought as present for my sister) and with no space on the memory cards.
The initial plan was to stay only three days in Paris but I decided to relax and enjoy better the city, after all only in the Louvre spent over six hours and I felt like I have not seen everything. The only problem was being alone and not having someone to talk about what I saw but in other hands I was so happy to know a place that I always dreamed of. Despite all the places I visited I could not go to the Versailles Palace neither in an exhibition of Pierre et Gilles that I was crazy to see.
|LOUVRE MUSEUM, PARIS|
The hostel was not very close to downtown but one of several stations of the city is on the corner of the place. The hosting fee also includes breakfast, with very well determinated portions but it was enough to keep me fed for several hours. Since my backpacking priorities were to visits to museums, monuments and fun I spent the minimum amount of money on food. As I checked on the restaurant price list the wonderful local cuisine has "a wonderful" price. The cool thing is that most large European cities have supermarkets that sells small portions and snacks to people who were travelling like me.
Even with a low budget for food I had a great meal watching the sunset on the Senna River margin's. On the menu: sandwich with the authentic French cheese and bread. To follow: a small bottle of a delicious French wine. I bought it in a small grocery store and I probably did not spend more than 6 euros. At that time the "Terça Insana" DVD was a "fever" and the Sheila's character slogans were repeated all the time by my friends and she was right: "Paris is one of the most wonderfuuuuuul places in the world."
Confesso que não queria mais deixar Paris, mas havia o compromisso da passagem de volta para o Brasil e o objetivo de chegar a Londres. Mas dessa vez o destino era Amsterdam. Novamente viajei a noite, mas por poucas horas e cheguei por lá bem cedo, ainda estava escuro. Chovia e fazia muito frio e a estação não ficava próxima ao albergue que eu pretendia ficar. A língua holandesa é bem difícil pra mim e pedir informação nem sempre era algo muito fácil, mesmo com a maioria das pessoas falando inglês, afinal os nomes eram bem estranhos pra mim.
I confess that I did not want to leave Paris, but I already had my ticket back to Brazil (it could not have the date changed) and the goal of reaching London. But before Amsterdam, my next destination. Again I traveled at night but just for a few hours this time and got there really early, it was still dark. It was raining and very cold and the station was not near to the hostel that I wanted to stay. The Dutch language is very difficult for me and ask for information was not always that easy, even with most people speaking English, the names were very strange to me.
I arrived at the hostel and there was no room and the next available bed would be only after noon. Since I had no credit card I also could not make reservations in hostels. At this time the place was a big room filled with beds and people were the most exotic as possible. There was no safe and I could only leave the bags by the attendant confidence, I ran the risk but nothing has dissapear and I just got back several hours later.
A chuva parou, mas o frio era muito forte e pra matar a fome uma deliciosa torta de maça com café quente numa pequena mercearia. Os cafés abriram logo cedo e o cheiro de maconha vindo de dentro deles era muito forte. Visitei a casa de Annie Frank, o museu Van Gogh, a fábrica da Heineckein sem falar do passeio a noite pelo Bairro da Luz Vermelha. O mais legal foi que conheci um trio de hondurenhos (acreditem) e me diverti muito com eles. Eu deveria deixar a cidade no dia seguinte, mas não consegui ônibus e tive de ficar mais uma noite.
The rain stopped but the cold was very strong yet and to kill my hunger I had a delicious apple pie with hot coffee in a small grocery store. The cafes shops opened early and the marijuana's smell came strong from the inside. I went to visit the Annie Frank house, the Van Gogh museum, the Heineckein factory and the night tour at the Red Light District. The coolest thing was that I met three Honduran guys (believe) and I had a great time with them around the city. I should leave the town on the next day, but I could not find any available seat in the coach and I had to stay another night.
When I returned to the hostel there was no room for that night so I went to an information center that just got a place for me at some local home. I got all the information and headed for that spot. That was a kind of "hippie home" with many different paintings and sculptures. The host was very nice to me, explained everything to me, claimed the hostel fee and went to work. My place was sharing a bed with a Norwegian art student. She also had a very different style and was very welcoming.
I woke up early because I wanted to enjoy the day in the next town: Brussels. The trip was short and the scenery very beautiful. I left the bags in the luggage locker and went for a walking around the city. Before at the bus station I had a plate of pasta at 10 am, after a few days that I haven't eat anything hot (pizza, hamburgers and french fries do not count in this case). It was one of those combos that included a drink, if I not wrong I paid € 6 only. It was a very pleasant meal.
The plan was to get only the day in town and catch the last bus to the next destination. I confess that I walked a lot and did not want to spend too much, because I had a trip budget since the beginning and after all I wanted to have some money when I get back Brazil. The city is very beautiful, the chocolate shops are true boutiques but I remember a simple sweet cost 7 euros. Another thing that affected me that day was fatigue, because the days in Paris and Amsterdam were very busy and I had just few hours of sleep.
The night arrived and also the time to go for the last long-awaited destination: London. There was a great expectation with the English immigration because I heard much about how hard it could be. The bus stopped in the town of Callais, France and all passengers had to disembark with their bags for the British authorities checking . First we passed a booth where they check our passports, then go through an interview where they want to know the trip reason, where I would be staying and even how much money I had. The interviewer was very cold and not very sympathetic but I showed her all the ship's documents and proof of my travel tickets and so she stamped my passport. It was a great relief but we still having to go through a police search
Some guards searched the people, a dog sniffs our bags before it was scanned. The funny thing was that the dog began to bark and jump in the trunk of the guy who was in front of me. He and his bag were taken to some corner where he had to open everything. I believe that nothing more serious happened, because the boy followed on his journey. The bus came and we made a ferry boat crossing to England. My euphoria was such that I not even remember having slept.
|LONDON: WITH DEBORA|
My "hostel" in London was the Debora's house a "boyscout" friend of mine from many years ago. She and her husband "Nego" were very kind and gave me several tips to spend my five days in the city. I rested a bit and then the Debora took me to see the night city before she went to work. We stopped in front of Her Majesty Theatre where The Phantom of the Opera was performed and something very unusual happened to me. A gentleman came to me and asked if I would like to watch the show, I confess that I was very surprised and suspicious but I said yes and asked him how much it would cost me. He said would cost me nothing that it was for free and I just needed to get in on that presentation that would begin in a few minutes. I said I was with a friend and he said that was not a problem, because he was giving me a pair of tickets.
The gentleman gave me the pair of tickets, entered the car and said nothing else. My friend was on the side away and did not realize what was going on, when I showed her the tickets she was more frightened than me. The presentation would last a little more than her working time but she would be with me as long as possible. We were not dressed in the same formality as people around us but we had another surprise: the tickets were for the 5th row in the middle of the theater, one of the best possible views. The place was so good that at one point when the chandelier falls it came in our direction before being suspended.
On the following days I walked a lot and tried to visit the main city points. London is intense and has a frenetic pace. The five days passed and I should get the plane to Barcelona and then catch my flight to Brazil. I arrived at the airport with plenty of slack in the schedule; I checked in and was waiting to board. I in my airport inexperience thought that I would be near the airplane after pass trough the gate. I decided to spend some time in a couch and just minutes before the boarding time I received the information that I could not board that flight, because it was necessary to catch a train after the gate that would take me to the plane.
Anyway it was a great rush to confirm that I could not go to Barcelona on that night and the next flight would be only on the next day but the time would not fit with my flight to Sao Paulo. I called Debora who unsuccessfully tried a few things but she asked to get back to her house. After a lot of conversation I took "the smarter crazy decision" in my life: staying in London and then decide what I would do. Calling to Brazil and communicating my decision there was not very easy, because there was some expectation of my family for my arrival.
Naquele momento não havia nada decidido sobre o que fazer ou quanto tempo ficaria por lá, apenas sabia que não queria ficar ilegal por lá, mas ainda tinha alguns meses do meu visto de turista. Coincidência, mas uma das moças que morava na casa da Débora acabara de mudar naquele mesmo dia e o quarto estava vago. Era um quarto bem pequeno: cabia apenas minha cama, um guarda roupa e o espaço para abrir a porta.
At that moment there was nothing decided on what to do or how long it would be there, just knew that I didn't want to be illegal in there but still had a few months of my tourist visa. Coincidence but one of the girls who lived in the house of Debora had just leave on that day and the room was vacant. "The room" was very small: it has just my bed, a wardrobe and the space to open the door
From that moment Deborah and her husband became my guardian angels in the city, they gave me tips and introduced me for people who were important to my staying on there. I had more time to explore other parts of the city and experience the reality of the city. I met many nice people, mainly Brazilians: Marcelo, Zeca, Hugo, Wagner, Durval, Fernanda, Luciana, Cristiane ... I also love to know the Polish Joanna who lived with us, and when her brother came to see her, he brought various ethnic foods such as breads, cold cuts and Zubrowka: Polish vodka that they served me with apple juice: very good indeed!
|WITH LUCIANA, LONDON|
Another big surprise was that Luciana disembarked from the ship and had a stopover in London. We met on the intention to spend the day, only that her airline asked her to stay two more days in the city with a paid hosting plus bonus. We met another Brazilian who has also received the same proposal from Airline and we had a great time on the city.
|WITH LUCIANA & EVANDRO, LONDON|
The temperature began to cool down and there was days when the night began to fall at 4 pm. The people who live in there are cold, closed, and are always in a hurry. I had moments of anxious until I decided what to do and get my interview with Harding Brothers. There was a possibility I would go back to the Escape and make another contract as a waiter; I still feeling a strong desire to return to the ship but working in another department.
Foi um curto período, mas repleto de experiências e bons momentos (eu ainda teria muita história pra contar). Adoro sempre poder lembrar das pessoas e daqueles dias do “Mochilão que Não Terminou!”
It was a short time but full of experiences and good memories (I still have so many histories from these days). I love the people that I meet and is always nice to remember those days of “the backpacking that never ended!"