Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Week One in Madrid - where bureacracy is a national sport

"Welcome Claire"
 Back on Monday I faced a scary task - taking a tram and bus alone from Hauke´s house in Mainz to catch a plane to Madrid from Frankfurt Hann. It´s funny because when I was 15 and alone in Costa Rica with no Spanish I had to just cope and get on with things from day 1, but in Germay I had Hauke looking after me all the time, and my first dismal attempts to do things like order drinks in German meant I just got him to do everything for the next three weeks. So taking the tram and then bus by myself was actually pretty scary! I had no time up my sleeve incase things went wrong so I was freaking out when the tram was late, I didn´t know whether to keep waiting or go back to Hauke´s house and try call a taxi, and I had no cellphone to ask him what to do, but luckily it came and I followed his brilliant map at the train station to find the bus to the airport. Frankfurt Hann is a converted army airfield in the middle of nowhere, a hour from Frankfurt, used by budget airlines - flying with Ryanair was an experience, you`ve got to pay for things like the scales to check the weight of your bags and they overbook flights so you've got to try and be one of the first on, and I couldnt understand a word that the air hostess said in english.

Miguel and Ricardo, first dinner
 Arriving in Madrid to see Miguel waiting was great, we became great friends on the Ship for World Youth in early 2009 and haven´t seen each other since. He is originally from Venezuela, but now has Spanish residency and is working and studying here. He lives with his friend Ricardo, a pharmacist from Spain, in an apartment in Malasaña, one of the neighbourhoods in the centre of Madrid. One thing I really like about Madrid is that it has distinct neighbourhoods, each with their own feel. Malasaña was the birthplace of ´la movida madrileña´, a socio-cultural movement of the 80s (after the death of Franco). The mayor at the time, an elderly former university professor told a public gathering to "get stoned and do what´s cool", leading to a hedonistic decade of partying, with nothing being taboo and rock and alternative music flourishing, a nightlife that still continues in Malasaña with a huge number and variety of clubs and bars, and parties that continue out on the street until long after the sun has come up - luckly the apartment is at the back of the building overlooking the courtyard, not out onto the street, otherwise sleeping is really difficult!

Me cooking

I should mention here that sleep is already quite difficult in Spain, as I am not used to this whole Siesta business. Here most shops, offices, tourist locations etc are open from 9am to 1.30/2pm, and then again from 5pm until about 9pm, with a break in the middle for lunch and a nap. To me it seems a little inefficient, as everyone then has to pay for twice the amount of trips to work and endure twice the amount of traffic jams, open and close the buildings and computers twice, and so on, and then because you leave work at 9 its dark and you don´t have so much time to do things, although in saying that people go to bed much later, around 1 or 2am. I haven´t really tried to get used to napping in the afternoon, as I am leaving Spain again soon, so I am tired all of the time at the moment and it means I spend three hours sitting around in the afternoon with nothing to do while everything is closed.

The rest of Monday was pretty relaxed, I met Annabella, one of Miguel´s best friends and possibly New Zealand´s biggest fan, and we had tapas for dinner (I think I´ve eaten more tapas that actual meals since I got here!). On Tuesday Annabella took me shopping, it is the season of Rebajas, or sales here, and I was very happy to spend a lot of time in Zara, a chain I was addicted to in Costa Rica and missed in NZ, but I have been very prudent and keep reminding myself of how stupid I looked when I feel over in the train station because my backpack was already to heavy! We then had dinner with more friends of Miguel´s at a local chinese resturant. On Wednesday I ventured out alone for the first time, just walking around and window shopping some more. Madrid has an amazing underground Metro system, built back in 1910, and you pay 1euro to take as many connecting Metros as you need. I am glad I spent time in Berlin watching Hauke work out that metro system, otherwise I think I would´ve been pretty lost, but so far I´ve worked it all out fine. I brought a Spanish cellphone, but that

Don Quixote's windmills
 turned into my first debacle here. Spain-spanish is quite different from latino-spanish, and while I can understand Miguel and his venezuelan friends perfectly well, I am still struggling to get used to the Spanish accent, and my first couple of days here were terrible, I needed people to speak quite slowly. However, I have found people in Madrid to be a little less than helpful and friendly, and the vodafone man was my first example of this! I explained that I wanted a prepaid phone, but he just pointed me in the direction of some models and left, I had to keep calling him over to answer questions and he kept leaving after each answer before I could ask the next one! It took forever to get him to sell me a phone, and I still don´t really understand how things work here, it is prepaid but there are some kinds of prepaid plans, its a little bit messy. We finished off Wednesday night with a bit of a house party, all venezuelan friends except for Miguel´s Czech workmate, it was quite good to talk to him and get his opinion on living in Madrid as a foriegner and how to go about things. We went down to the street at about 1am, and I was amazed by the number of people out partying on a winter´s Wednesday night. Madrid has little plazas and squares everywhere, and these full up with people drinking beer sold by Chinese men who park their scooters on the street corners everywhere.

The Spanish working holiday visa requires me to go to a Foreigners Office here and sort out something, no one really seems to know what, but it will see me recieve a national ID permitting me to work, within one month of arriving. I took a bit of a risk and am only here for three weeks before I go back to Germany to keep travelling, and I am beginning to think the risk won´t pay off. Bureacracy seems to be a bit of a well-practised national sport around here, and no one seems to know what the hell I am supposed to do, or which Foreigners Office I need to go to. I got no where on the phone, so on Thursday I took myself off to the closest one and explained the situation to the secretary, asking if this was the right office. She only answered that I should sit and wait. For the next hour about ten of us sat and waited, while we watched through the glass doors as the office staff gathered around someone´s baby and seemed to party. Finally, I got to see another woman, who tried to tell me that working holiday visas for Spain don´t exist, made some calls, and then told me to go to another office. Thank you for requiring me to wait for a hour and a half, rather than just telling me it wasn´t the right office in the first place! To go to this office, I need an appointment, but when I rang again the receptionist insisted that there was no working holiday programme. On Friday I got up early and went with Miguel to work, so that he could ring on my behalf, but we still ended up going around and around in circles with there being no process in place to handle working holiday visas. The different types of visas are assigned to the different Foreign Offices around Madrid, but there is no office that deals with this kind of thing. Finally, we were told to use the online appointment booking system, but to do that you need a National ID number, which I won´t get until my visa is resolved...I really don´t understand how a website designed for non-Spanish citizins can require a Spanish ID number! There is a really good montage in the movie ´The Spanish Apartment´ of a guy running around a million different offices at his university in France to organise his exchange to Spain, I feel like I am in the middle of that montage right now. Finally, as we searched for information tonight I found the ´Spain´ section of the Wikipedia ´Working Holiday Visas´ page:

Spain has signed an agreement with Canada. As of December 2010, the spanish authorities have failed to apply this agreement within Spain and most canadian citizens in Spain under this agreement have not been able to confirm their legal status nor been able to work. Canadian citizens wishing to apply for this visa should be aware of this current situation and should not plan their year upon receiving the visa because they might have to return to Canada after 90 days.

Spain also has an agreement with New Zealand.

Oh great. Now I get why I keep getting told that working holiday visas don´t exist and no one knows what to do. There simply don´t seem to be any procedures in place for dealing with this at all. Looking on the bright side of things, Google also tells me that getting a working holiday visa for Germany from either Spain or inside Germany itself will be straightforward, I was thinking of heading there after Spain but I could always bring that forward if the Spain thing really falls through. But positive thinking! I shall go to a Foreigners Office tomorrow and refuse to leave until I have some answers.

Templo de Debod

My training for the next Spanish National Bureaucracy Championships has left me with little time to do anything else. I visited El Templo de Debod, an Egyptian temple from the early second century BC, dedicated to the Gods Amun and Isis. After Egypt built the Great Dam of Aswan in the 1960s, a group of temples and other sites were threatened, and in return for Spain´s help in rescuing them Egypt gifted them this temple, and it was rebuilt in the middle of a park in Madrid. Its pretty bizarre to be wandering around an Egyptian temple with the Madrid skyline in the background! Today I went to see the memorial for the victims of the 2004 terror bombing in the Metro, it is inside the train station but still took me about half an hour to find as it isn´t signposted and no one I asked knew where it was, including a security guard! The memorial lists the names of the deceased, and inside a room there is a glass tower above with inscriptions of the messages of condolence left by people from around the world, it is a very pensive memorial but also displays a lot of hope and unity in these messages. I also popped into the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, or Queen Sofia´s Centre of Art, where Picasso´s most famous work, Guernica is displayed. This huge mural shows the tragedies and suffering of war, and was painted after German and Italian forces bombed the city of Guernica at the Spanish Nationalist´s request, and along with his other paintings and sculptures, is really impressive. It was also quite cool to see the posters painted by both sides as propaganda during the Spanish Civil War, as I´ve studied these for a couple of clases and been fascinted by them.

Olga and I
 On Friday afternoon I meet Fabricio for a few drinks, who I´d met a couple of times in Costa Rica. He has been living here for four years, and the catch-up in a familiar accent was good. After dinner I headed out to meet up with Olga, who had lived in Wellington as an AFS exchange student a few years ago, and we had a few drinks with her sister and her friends. They have the current German AFS community service intern living with them, it was kind of funny actually to meet him having spent so much time with the guys doing that programme in NZ. Olga is the first AFS student I´ve caught up with, and its been so long but at the same time, it doesn´t feel like much time has passed. We ended up doing the partying-on-the-street thing back in Malasaña until about 4am, and it is incredible the amount of people that were out, the noise was unbelievable, and the streets are really narrow so any cars that wanted to get through were crawling along trying to get through the crowds. And again, this is winter!

Don Quixote's windmills

On Saturday Miguel, Ricardo, Annabella and her boyfriend Jose and I headed to Ricardo´s hometown Cuidad Real, in the region of La Mancha, famous for nothing much except Don Quixote, on Saturday, in possibly the world´s smallest car. It definitely isn´t designed for five adults, and I don´t think I have ever had a more uncomfortable car journey, but it was worth it. While driving through the landscapes still amaze me, I can now see why European´s love coming to NZ, as here it is so flat and unchanging, with these boring, straight highways that have big walls on either side, so that you can´t actually see very much. It took us an hour and a half just to get out of Madrid, the highways are so huge and messy and badly signposted, we just couldn´t find our way, so the sun was setting as we stopped for lunch at the windmills of Don Quixote and it was really beautiful. We spend the night in Ricardo´s currently empty childhood home, drinking rum and (in my case) listening to drunk Latinos poor attempts at singing Marilyn Manson and Madonna in english until 8am. We got up pretty late and had an epic brunch of the dinner we failed to cook the night before, a whole lot of different chorizo and sausages, with grilled vegetables, cheese and egg, much better than baked beans on toast, before we headed back to Madrid.

Breakfast in Ciudad Real

So I end my first week in Madrid absolutely shattered, frustrated with the visa debacle, and a bit unsure about Madrid´s citizins - not the perfect start, but I am keeping positive and hopefully things will work out better this week!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mainz - cocktails and old buildings

The Mainzer Dom

I've come back to Mainz with Hauke for a couple of nights before I fly out from Frankfurt to Madrid on January 10th. Hauke goes to university here, and its an amazing old city of about 200 000 people on the Rhine. Its history is over 2000 years old and its always been quite important, as a trading centre, Roman fort city and now as the capital city of this state. Hauke's flat is awesome, its really old and three stories, with sloping floors and a tiny winding staircase that terrifies me!

Party time!
We got here on Saturday evening and after our first proper dinner in awhile we went out to the bar where Hauke works. With his new-found bartender knowledge, he has been introducing me to new spirits and between that, the bar staff giving us several shots and someones foolish decision to also introduce me to Long Island Ice Teas, we ended up having quite an awesome night and quite a tragic Sunday. We did manage to drag ourselves out of the house after a breakfast of good old Sanitarium wheatbix that I'd posted to Hauke at some point (as a side note I don't really recommend mixing wheatbix with hangovers) and wander around Mainz. The buildings are amazing, I know I keep saying
Old pharmacy
that but everywhere has a different style, and here there are really old and elaborate, I can't really explain so check out my photos on facebook. Hauke tells me that Mainz was really heavily bombed during the war, but there are some streets that escaped unharmed and amazingly the huge cathedral survived, it is an amazing building, photos can't show just how huge it is. Finally, we had the best asian food I've had so far in Germany (and we tried a lot in Berlin!), although best isn't saying too much. I would pay big money for a Satay Kingdom mee goereng, although I was overjoyed to find my favourite too minute noodles here! Anyone that knows me well can probably imagine my smile!

Tomorrow I am off to Spain, quite stressed about my dodgy Ryanair flight and getting my ridiculous luggage though. I have discovered I am not great at this nomadic thing, I am sick of packing and unpacking and I've only done it half a
Old buildings in Mainz
dozen times, I think in Spain I am going to reevaluate what I am lugging around with me! I am really looking forward to being somewhere where I speak the language. I have been so dependant on Hauke for the last three weeks, he has selected and ordered my food for me, sorted out all of the trains and buses and constantly nagged me about things like taking a coat and checking I've got my wallet, so it's going to be weird to be looking after myself again! Sad to be leaving Hauke, its been so amazing spending time with him and I am really grateful for everything he has done, but I am really excited to see Miguel again tomorrow afternoon! Guten nacht!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


The Fensehturm
A bit late, as I've been here in Mainz for a few days now, but I thought I would post an account of our trip to Berlin. Hauke and I had rather spontaniously decided to go to Berlin after we got back from Austria, so on Wednesday the 5th we caught the train there and stayed in a hostel in Alexanderplatz, which is pretty central, the area with the Fernsehturm (massive TV tower that's Berlin's equivalent to the NZ Skytower). We spent the afternoon wandering around and checking out a museum full of old Egyptian stuff, including the 3300 year-old bust of Nefertiti, it was pretty cool.

Back when Hauke was living in NZ, german public toilets became a running joke between us (long story), so when I read on Stuff months ago that a German woman was running tours of toilets around Berlin I told Hauke we had to do it. He rang Anna up and when she heard I'd
With Anna in the toilet-themed bar
come from NZ she agreed to do the tour just for the two of us on the Wednesday evening. I guess it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea but it was probably my favourite thing in Berlin, she took us around places like the oldest public toilet, the fancy new ones, a toilet used by the Kaiser, and the most expensive (Japanese) toilet in Berlin, jumping on and off the buses and trains and detouring past a whole lot of Berlin's sights too, for about 3hours. She takes more conventional tours as well, so she was telling us all about Berlin, she is a really amazing woman. We ended up in a toilet-themed pub, (called 'Klo', the german word like 'loo') and I can't even describe that place it was so amazing and decorated in such detail, if you go to Berlin you should really check it out. We drunk several beers with her out of those plastic urinals men use in hospitals and discussed the war, wall and her life growing up in the GDR, I really can't believe that she spent so much time showing us around and hanging out with us for only 10euro each, she is a lovely woman.

Chunk of wall
On Thursday we had breakfast with our hostel room-mates, an American trio touring around Europe on their winter break, and then on their advice went off to the Jewish museum. That place is amazing, we spent about three hours there before checking out Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate (interesting fact Anna told us, there were another 17 gates that were all dismantled or destroyed over the years) and the Reichstag. Unfortunately the Reichstag is closed at the moment due to terrorist threats, that and several other places are currently fenced off and patrolled by police with machine guns, even things like the Jewish museum had extra police guards, you can really feel the fear over here. We finished off the night by doing a Pub Crawl with our room-mates and about 15 others from different countries, several from Australia! I can't get away from them here!

The state we woke up in the next morning taught me never to do a Pub Crawl like that again, we headed up the Fernsehturm first thing and in the elevator a group of english tourists were talking excitedly about doing the same tour that night - I had to laugh, because one look at Hauke and I should have been enough to put anyone off! The Fernsehturm was quite cool, its 368m tall so taller than the Skytower and
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
the tallest building in Germany. It was built by the GDR between 1956-1959. After my first trip on a double-decker bus (they also have buses here with two or three different sections joined like train carriages so that they are longer but still able to turn corners, they amaze me and Hauke is sick of me excitedly pointing them out to him all of the time!) we saw the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This memorial is made up of 2711 blocks of concrete between 0.2 and 4.8m high, all varied and on ground that slopes in different directions as you walk between them. It was built in 2004 and was apparently really controversial, but I quite liked it, I think the magnatude of the memorial and the way you can enter it and be overwhelmed by these tall tombstone-like blocks really makes you reflect. Finally, we walked along the biggest remaining stretch of wall, all painted by different artists as the East Side Gallery in 1990, and finished off the night checking out some different bars with a German/Kiwi friend of mine, Cynthia, it was great to catch up and to see a familiar face, but also quite bizarre to be talking about routine things like people from our old work.

In front of the Berliner Dom

I can see myself living in Berlin, the city has a really nice feel to it, kind of like a really big version of Wellington, and I would love to go back and spend a lot longer just exploring the city and soaking the culture all up. The transport systems are amazingly complicated, they have above ground and underground trains running, a tram system in the former East, and buses everywhere. We bought a three-day pass, and Hauke was great working out what we needed to take to get everywhere, simple things like taking the tram really amuse me! It also really interests me how you can see differences in the two sections, like that one side had trams and the other doesn't, and differences in the more modern buildings. You can also see the effects of the war on the old buildings, many have obviously been damaged and repaired, with different coloured patches where bullet holes were filled in. I feel like I was walking around for three days with my mouth hanging open, everything just seemed so large, and in a really cool neo-classical style - really different from Göttingen and Mainz where we are now!

Wall at the East Side Gallery
Our train ride here to Mainz was again another experience that justified the 'Fail Rail' nickname, we sat on the floor the whole way and after some small delays, we got held up in the middle of no where as they had found suspicious luggage in Göttingen station and we couldn't go through there until the police had checked it all out, but then as Göttingen is a really central city and a lot of the lines go through it there was an epic train traffic jam and we ended up adding a couple of hours onto our journey! It was great to finally reach Mainz on Saturday, I will post about this city hopefully tomorrow.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Years, a history lesson, and the end of a week in Austria

Written on Tuesday 4th but not posted until now, sorry!

View from the top of the skifield, 2210m

So after my last post I headed up the mountain to meet up with everyone else, but twisted my ankle on my first run. It was a pretty bad day all around, it was foggy and snowing so visibility was really bad, everyone was tired and sick, and Georg injured himself on the same run down with me. Not fun, but after dinner we went to see a ski jumping show put on by the locals, that was really cool.

Traditional costumes used in Christmas celebrations
The next day I took it pretty easy, Hauke and I went up early and the slopes were pretty empty as everyone had been out partying after the show the night before, so we had some beautiful runs down in the fresh snow. After lunch I headed back to Rauris and went with Georg to see the National Park information centre, the local catholic church and the museum. The church is amazing, its about 15m tall but quite narrow, and all beautifully painted and gilded on the inside, I can't believe how much effort has gone into a church in such a tiny town! The graveyards are amazing too, on the grounds of the church. A lot of them have beautiful wrought iron headstones, and they all have Christmas decorations and miniture trees on them. The museum was quite cool as well, Rauris actually reminds me quite a bit of like Wanaka and Arrowtown in NZ, some of the buildings in Wanaka are obviously styled off traditional alpine houses here, and they are both have old mining industries.

war weapons
Mining began in Rauris before 700AD, with settlers coming from the south across the Alps. Rauris was very prosperous between 1460 and 1560, being the centre of gold production in Salzburg province. It has some interesting history, like in the museum we saw old weapons like a spiked ball, with these kinds of weapons being used by the locals in the first Peasant's War in 1525. Two hundred protestants were banished from the town in 1732, and the current appearance of the paish church goes back to 1780 when they rebuild it. Skiing here dates back 120 years, and now Rauris has the only zero-energy balance skifield in Austria, as they produce all their own power. They take their environmental status very seriously and offer things like free buses to and from the skifield (although things like smoking and throwing the butts into the snow is really common!). Rauris also has the oldest mountain weather station in Europe, the Sonnblick observatory, at 125 years old. It is the highest year-round observatory in the Alps. It takes about 5 hours to walk up there and is quite big, and when they built it they had to carry everything they needed up on their backs. The farming history also interested me, farmers here keep their animals inside barns all winter as it is so cold, and then in summer they let them out to range the mountains, traditionally putting bells around their necks to keep track of them. The mountain grass is better quality and produces good diary products. In summer they made hay and stored it high up in the mountains, and then the farmers walked back up and rolled the bails down when they needed them in winter time!

Georg infront of a weather-station replica

Now Rauris has a population of 3200, tourism and skiing are obviously huge in winter as both our hotel and the one Hauke's family are staying in are fully booked. Our hotel is actually pretty interesting too, the building was built in 1389 by the barons Von Grimming, and then brought by another family in 1780 who still own and run it today. There are really old traditional clocks, cupboards and paintings everywhere, I had to laugh when Hauke pointed at a cupboard and said "look bro, that's probably older than your country".

Food, one of the two pillars of this holiday!

That night Georg organised for us to go to dinner in a horse-drawn sled, it was absolutely amazing to go through all of the snow under the stars. They moved surprizingly fast, I would guess it took make 20-30 minutes to go about 10km. To top off a perfect day we all had a drink afterwards. Arne told me that the pillars of this annual holiday are skiing and eating, but we seem to drink quite a bit too, I am finally starting to get used to this schnapps business!

My final day on the slopes was amazing, Hauke and I headed right up to top and other side of the mountain. To get there we took gondalas, and at 2210m we could see right around the Austrian Alps. Turns out this is where the easier slopes are, so after four days of being on the red slopes I felt like I was flying down all of the others! Hauke took some video on his Iphone, its a bit shaky but we made a quick movie out of it, so you can see me skiing here:

Claire learning to ski in Austria


New Years was pretty straightforward, everyone went out for dinner and then sat around the hotel playing games and drinking quietly until midnight, although I didn't understand the rules of the game at all so I lost every round and had to drink each time - maybe quietly doesn't descibe my own drinking so much as eveyone elses! At midnight a whole lot of fireworks went off, I think both done by the council in the market square and also from people's homes, it was quite cool as they echoed off all of the mountains. Hauke and I then went out and partied with in the local bars - I didn't join everyone else for skiing the next day but caught up on some sleep and errands!

Hauke on a foggy day
Our final dinner was at an amazing resturant with a four-course meal, I was very impressed and took the chance to say thank you to everyone for welcoming me along on their holiday and making me feel so included in everything. We were up early for the 8hour train ride the next day, although this time we didn't have to change trains and got our seats so it was pretty straightforward. After we got in we were joined by a pair of kiwis, and then a pair of Aussies, although we didn't talk to either, it just felt kind of funny. The Aussies reminded me of why I don't like most Australians, they were very rude and arrogant! Hauke spend another couple of hours teaching me German, and it actually all seemed to fall into place, and after a week of only knowing a couple of sentances and words, I got off the train and surprized Hauke's parents (who were in another carriage from Hauke and I) by making up whole sentances about things! I am a bit disappointed that I don't have longer to learn the language, I really want to come back later on and work here too now!

Me on the chairlift, Rauris in background

The last couple of days since we got back have been pretty quiet, we've just lazed around Göttingen doing nothing much. I went to see Hauke's friends play indoor football, quite a weird feeling to be the foreigner taken along to indoor football rather than the one taking foreigners along, and we watched movies, drank and made a 2am trip to MacDonalds with other mates. Today we made a pretty succesful pavlova for dinner, and I gave Karin and Georg a big canvas of a picture of Wellington as a thank you gift. Tomorrow Hauke and I are off to Berlin for three nights before we go to his university city, Mainz, I am really excited!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Itinerary - December to March

For all of you that keep asking when I am going to be where, and for mum, here is my itinerary, subject to many changes as people say they can't host me on those dates or I miss my trains :-)

22 Dec to 26 Dec - Göttingen, Germany (with Hauke)
26 Dec to 2 Jan - Rauris, Austria (with Hauke)
2 Jan to 5 Jan - Göttingen, Germany (with Hauke)
5 Jan to 8 Jan - Berlin, Germany (with Hauke)
8 Jan to 10 Jan - Mainz, Germany (with Hauke)
10 Jan to 28 Jan - Madrid, Spain (with Miguel)
28 Jan to 30 Jan - Mainz, Germany (with Hauke)
30 Jan to 2 Feb - Wurzburg, Germany (with Emil)
2 Feb to 3 Feb - Mainz, Germany (with Hauke)
3 Feb to 4 Feb - Cologne, Germany
4 Feb to 11 Feb - Liege, Belgium (with Lena)
11 Feb to 14 Feb - Brussels, Belgium (with Arthur)
14 Feb to 15 Feb - Luxembourg, Luxembourg
15 Feb to 18 Feb - Brussels, Belgium (with Tim)
18 Feb to 25 Feb - Paris, France (with the Chatels)
25 Feb to 2 Mar - Nante, France (with Camille)
2 Mar to 4 Mar - Lyon, France (with Pierre)
4 Mar to 7 Mar - Semur en Auxois, France (with Timothee)
7 Mar to 9 Mar - Mulhouse, France (with Brett)
9 Mar to 14 Mar - Egnach, Switzerland (with Corine)
14 Mar to 16 Mar - Marsaille, France
16 Mar to 20 Mar - Avignon, France (with Boris)
20 Mar to 23 Mar - Toulousse, France (with Emile)
23 Mar onwards - Madrid

Three months, seven countries, thanks everyone that's lending me their couch along the way!