Impressionist

I read an article recently about ‘first and lasting impressions’ and it made me think. The piece was concerned with the gulf of difference that lies between these two contrasting perceptions.

There’s a horse outside cowering in fear. Why? Because I’m going to flog it once more and discuss my travelling exploits. This isn’t indicative of blogger’s block; I have a plethora of ideas to keep my fingers tapping over the coming weeks. Just the article prompted me to recollect the sometimes multifarious impressions of places we experienced during travelling.

Amsterdam

First: A lovely hostel situated in Beirut.

Last: Anyone for twelve steps?

Bruges

First: Snuffly noses, Snuffel hostel, happy hours…

Last: Perfect Amsterdam remedy.

Brussels

First: Blade Runner’s dystopian Los Angeles.

Last: Lets leave quickly. As from now ‘Brussels’ is a a dirty word.

Koln

First: Relief (to have escaped Brussels).

Last: A peppered steak is the BEST way to pass time.

Berlin

First: A bearded member of Rammstein lurks on every corner.

Last: A shopkeeper ACTUALLY thought we were tramps in a shop and made us empty our pockets. Time. To. Leave.

Prague

First: We encounter French stoners we met in Amsterdam. Still communicating with them via hand movements and inane grinning.

Last: The most talented artist ever lives on Charles Bridge. Fact.

Budapest

First: Owner of hostel would be more at home in a certain area of Amsterdam.

Last: Water park’s cannot be beaten for good, old fashioned fun.

Bled

First: We’re in the middle of no-where. Hostel is in a pub which is aptly (or not) named after George Best.

Last: Despite the lifeguard being Hasselhoff-esque, Bled Lake is magical.

Naples

First: After reading Gomorrah, we almost know what to expect when we reach Naples. We were right.

Last: As we chain smoke waiting for the train to Sorrento, two characters appear straight out of the book! I imagine being whacked, cigarette still in mouth just like Carmine Galante.

Sorrento

First: Campsite is at the top of a mountain. It feels like Everest.

Last: People often have a romanticised pre-conception of Italy. Sorrento is that, and more.

Capri

First: Unbelievable scenery, many grottos.

Last: Pretty much Dubai on an island.

Rome

First: The Vatican is ridiculous. Lets cut out the Macdonalds as we’ve had one every day now for a week.

Last: Almost mugged by a street seller near the Vat, blasphemy?! Our Big Mac addiction defeats us.

Nice

First: Best hostel thus far.

Last: Never take one hand off the grip when your being pulled on a rubber ring around the Riveria at 60mph.

Monte Carlo

First: The train station is made of marble. We’re the most underdressed people in town, and get berated by a local because of this.

Last: Don’t even attempt to get into the casino without a suit and a cougar on your arm.

Valencia

First: Nice hostel, full of people anticipating La Tomatina.

Last: Tomato festival couldn’t have gone any better- goggles broke, shoes lost, foot cut. Can’t wait to go again.

Madrid

First: Chilling out, maxing and relaxing all cool and all shooting b-ball outside of school…

Last: Probably the most overrated city ever.

There we go!

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One thought on “Impressionist

  1. Amazing, especially Budapest host.

    But one glaring omission – Barcelona.

    First – gliding round on bikes like a couple of members of the gentry is an outrageously fun past-time.

    Last – Spanish scrabble, pre-drinking fail, sent to bed by hostel owner with shame on our faces.

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