Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Diving 03-07/01/2013

The courses started ok, theory was not too complicated but the practice in the swimming pool was a bit a bit frightening for Asta, but Amine encouraged her to proceed and she was very happy about it. After 2 days in the swimming pool we went on a 3 day boat trip named concentration camp for diving. 5 dives a day is planned :) the 3 hour boat ride to the Reef was bumpy. We learned that seasick medication is good :) nice lunch and we are ready for our first experience in the open waters. It was not as frightening as we thought at the beginning. Although outside the sea was a bit chilly due to strong wing and big waves.

But once you are in the water everything is warm and calm. You felt more comfortable under the water with 1 bottle of air and on the constantly rocking boat.
The underwater experience is amazing. We saw a turtle, Nemo with a family, a stingrays, a shark chilling out on the bottom, and bunch of other funny, colourful, small, big fish.

The best experience was the night dive. You can not see anything but your imagination made you picture the good and the bad. The ugly and the beautiful. Well we are almost done with the blind dive and need to make a safety stop at 5 meters depth before going back to the boat. We are chilling, lifting our heads up to check how the boat is doing and there they were. 1, 2, and 3 very friendly looking sharks circling around the boat. What made it less awkward is the fact that our diving instructor told us that these sharks are too slow and not hungry for human meat :)

We believe the pictures are best to describe the amazing diversity of the Great Barrier Reef. Please enjoy :)

In addition at the time the pictures were taken Asta was forgotten by her diving partner or well not really forgotten, she was too curious where one of the fishes goes. We all know a saying: curiosity killed a cat... well that fish started to attack her. When we went back on the surface we found out that Asta approached too close to the fish breeding area and therefore the fish attacked her. by the way, the fish bites pretty nasty but Asta was lucky enough not to esperience it by running away from it. Amine still does not that a cute fish like that could attach.

The picture of the attacker is below. It's called a trigger fish.

First days in Cairns 03/01/2013

We set foot in Cairns airport at noon. It is verrrrrrrrrrrry hot. even the little Moroccan is talking about how hot it is. We take one hungry Jack to feed the hunger monsters. what is a hungry Jack? It is an Australian burger king :) and we wait for the pick up coach which should take us to our hostel. Woohoo, sleeping time in a lieing position :) on the bed, not a bench, sidewalk, airport chairs :) couple of hours later the heat wakes us up. It is anyway time to explore. Sandals on the feet, t-shirts and shorts and a bottle of water. Lets gooooooo!

The first two days are meant for relaxation to get ready for 5 days diving course. During these days we also experienced what is a rainy season in the north of Australia. 5 min of rain where you dry in the next 3min:)

Food is very nice here, especially sea food sooooo fresh :) they call it prawns and we just call them shrimps on steroids :)

At this time year, Cairns is full of bats. And of course we saw our first koala :)

Time to get ready for an underwater life :)

Flight to Cairns 01/01/2013

Well we are officially in 2013, no end of the world as of now, things seems to go their way. We are done with the Sydney show and now the voice on the speaker is advising people to take specific ways to reach their homes. We decided to go to the main train station.

On our way we can notice that the environment is suited for families and adults as well. No major incidents, police officer are everywhere there are even officers riding horses. What is still strange is the fact that all cops are very friendly. There are even people taking pictures next to them.

We arrive at the train station, to realise that there are no trains to the airport until 5am (right now it is 2am) however, there's a train wich brings us to around 1km to the airport. we took that one, then we had to walk to the airport in a relatively deserted area. Not the best thing to do after talking for more than 2 hours with Aussies about dings, spiders, jelly fish, snakes ...

Luckily no monsters of the abyss were met during our small walk. But airport is closed :(. However we should not forget that it is summer and it is very nice to chill outside :).

We can feel the lack of sleep (2 days with no proper sleep) whenever we sit your can see our heads tilting :) airport is open now. Time to collect our luggages, find a couch and sleep until our flight.

It is 9.30 time to board, and begin our journey. Unfortunately we can not tell you that much about the flight, because the first we realised was the plane touching the ground in Cairns...

Friday, 11 January 2013


Our pictures can be found here

New years in Sydney 01/01/2013

After spending some time on the plane finally we are down under. well almost. Passport control is cleared fine by Amine and guess what, Asta needs to talk to immigration officer (lol, usually, it's the Arab who gets stopped but here it was the eastern European lol. Somewhere in the world there is justice, you just have to find it ;) ).
Nonetheless she is in trouble, she says I need to inform my boyfriend that I am taken by you, and bam, Amine needs to talk to the immigration officer as well. 10min answering questions, where one of the weirdest towards Asta was: Can I get your business card? After replying that I don't have one we were free to go for customs.
Being directed to a sniffing dog was a nice experience. You expect to see a dog that is decent size to sniff your stuff, well here it was something different. First you see just a leash moving around and then when the dog reaches the end of the luggage pile finally you see who is sniffing your stuff. It is a very small, cute bigly. He is done with his duty and we are free to go.
Took a shower, stored our luggage in a safe place and off to the city. Some facts: time: 12.30, temperature: 26 C. Welcome to the summer :)
did you know that: People really walk upside down here, check the picture...
People are very relaxed here, we believe the sun and warm weather has something to do with this. After spending some time waiting for the shuttle bus we are dropped off at the Opera house(well close enough to walk there due to closed streets for new years celebration). We wondered around the harbour and saw that people are already choosing their spots for having the best view at 12 o'clock. (remark: now it is 14.00 and the best viewing points are closed due to reaching max capacity). Well, we decided to just walk around, see what is available and finally get some food not delivered by airplane catering companies.
We found a bar just under the bridge that served decent fish & chips and a bit less decent burger. The meal gave us some energy to proceed. At this point we haven't got a proper sleep for around 44 hours, nevertheless, we decided that the night is short, therefore, no need for a hotel in Sydney (We are having a flight to Cairns at 8:50 the day after).
So we took some very first pictures of the bridge and the Opera house and decided to find a parking place for new years celebration. We found a nice shadow under palm trees and sat down on the sidewalk. Since there is still some time to kill, and before you know it Asta is taking a nap. When Amine tried to do the same, he was not that lucky. Too many people tripping over him made napping a mission impossible. Nevertheless, the time was passing by and 21.00 o'clock show started. We realised that our spot is pretty good to see the fireworks over the opera house, but our loved trees, that were protecting from super hot sun, were also covering the view towards the bridge. Luckily our neighbours Australians tell us that after this show there will be quite some people leaving and we have a good chance to find a better place soon.
And that is what we did. Another 3 hours wait, with every 15 min voice from the loudspeakers reminding you about new years celebration in Sydney today, and the big show begins.
It is really worth to see it with your own eyes, TV does not show you even the half of the beauty. Well we hope our video will give you a small part of what we experienced.
Ohhh, one more thing, if you hear about the fire in the docks, it was just a small kebab booth that was on fire, no biggy ;) first people taught ahhh this is a new trick, there was no such thing last years. Then, they realised the black smoke coming from the kebab booth.

The start - Düsseldorf 29/12/2012

Arrived at airport at 12.00, had 9 hours to kill. What better than a tour of the city. Took the "sky-train" a sort of metro shuttle, why they call sky? Because it is hanging like a ski lift. Few minutes later we are on board of the train. Oohhh wait, Germans are building things to last we give them that but concerning the way it works only a German knows (stayed 20min in front of the info panel to understand the train ticket system).
Few minutes later we are in the city.
Charming city but before starting the discovery we need to feed the gremlin otherwise the party is over. Burger King will do for now. Then a nice walk on the bank of the Rhine and a hopon-hopoff, which was more of a cradle for grownups than anything else with a scary German voice which was waking us up every few minutes.
After the tour, picked an XXL bucket of Dutch French fries with German "currywurst" sauce, a warm caramel chocolate which had nothing to do with warm chocolate (we believe it was coffee, but not so sure) and to top that a nice cheesecake. After this recreational break, time to rush to the airport.
One Moroccan + one Lithuanian in Dusseldorf lost in translation. Nobody w/could understand English, we were just asking our way to the main train station nothing more. Time for Asta to debunk her German skills, which actually was a good idea after all. We at least got the right directions to proceed. Train, Sky-train, a little run and we are at the airport again. Did you know: Düsseldorf airport is the 3rd biggest international airport in Germany.