Friday, May 22, 2009

21st May

Dresden - Prague

The train was packed! When we got on there were no spare seats, luckily we had the blue chairs to sit on! When we arrived in Prague we thought that we were at the main train station, but we weren't! Once we got to the main train station we then had to find our hostel (The clown and Bard Hostel). Unfortunately our lonely planet's map of Prague doesn't show the hostel on it! I has the name of the hostel with an arrow pointing off the page saying its 500 meters away and that is it! It is a lot harder to find than that! We eventually found it with alot of help!
Czech beer is very Cheap :) under a Euro for a pint. We went to an awsome 5 tiered club with some mental australians.

20th May

Berlin - Dresden

The nice weather has continued and it was really warm today. We checked into the "Lollis homestay" hostel at 2pm and took full advantage of the free bike hire that they offer. The blue chairs went for a quick tour then we went and had a really relaxed afternoon on the bank of the Elbe.
Later on we went to Dresden's famous jazz bar where Steven Finn was playing, he was very good indeed. There we met two German girls and ended up going to a house party with them....

19th May


We hired bikes and bike around Berlin with the blue chairs attached to our bags. We went to all of the famous land marks. Bikes and blue chairs don't really go together! Later on we did a pub quiz which we came third in.

18th May

Hamburg - Berlin

We arrived to blue skies in Berlin. We stayed in the Generator hostel. Later on we went for a drink with Arthur Ford, it was great to see him again, he took us to an awesome bar in the north of Berlin which even has a ping pong table! A club called club 25 was recommended to us so we attempted to find it, after a lot of wondering around and asking people we walked back to the hostel (about 2km, we would have taken the tube but they had stopped running!)

17th May


We took the blue chairs to the docks and to where the beetles perfected their trade in the early days by paying 60 nights non stop.
We then tried to use the hostel kitchen, the only things that really worked were the microwave and the kettle not really the most useful thing when you are trying to cook mince meat! but it did work in the end.

16th May

Amsterdam - Hamburg

We left Amsterdam with great sadness but Hamburg is almost a replacement for it. When we arrived we went straight to the hostel Wira (Which we had made a reservation for) when we tried to check in the receptionist said that we had not made a reservation! So it almost turned into a pantomime! When we showed her the email confirmation the was shocked! The booing didn't get to them so they only had one free bed after a bit of muttering and a phone call she went to the cellar and found another bed.
So Hamburg didn't get off to the best start but a night out on the Reeper Bahn changed that! We also did the touristy thing of staying out til6 and then going to the sunday fish market, which despite its great reputation was pretty poor.

14th -15th May


Amsterdam is wonderful, everyone is really nice and helpful. We wondered the streets and saw the sights and had a great time, The blue chairs were also very useful when there was a torrential downpour! This amused many of the locals! The best two museums we visited were the Anne Frank museum and the sex museum. Wondering along the red light district at night was a very odd experience. Most of the Women there were stunning however Nick and definitely didn't indulge.

13th May

Paris - Amsterdam.

We got up early to make sure we were at the embassy of Laos as it opened so we could ensure that our visas would be done quickly (There is not an embassy for Laos in England and we need the visas for later on in the trip). The visas ended up costing 40 Euros and only taking 20 minutes to be processed. So with no real reason to stay in Paris we decided to move on as everything seemed really expensive.
So we made our reservations for the train (26 Euros each!) and got the blue chairs and gave them a quick tour of Paris. We were only allowed one photo at the Louvre because the security guards were really anal about people taking photos.
Once we made it to Amsterdam we went to what we thought was our hostel - the flying pig downtown hostel. It turned out that we had made a reservation for the flying pig beech hostel! So we stayed in the cosmos hostel instead (it was pretty nearby) and we booked into the flying pig for the next two nights.

12th May

London - Paris

We eagerly awaited the arrival of the post. Eventually at 10 o'clock it arrived. Jan went through it and as she went through the pile it looked less and less likely to be there, but the last letter in the pile was my ticket! What a relief! So about 3 hours later than we had planned we set off for France.
The channel crossing was a very bumpy ride. Once we got to Calais we were advised by some French women that it would be quicker if we walked to the train station instead of waiting for the bus. I think that they were lying! When we eventually got to the train station we had to get on a non direct service with a 2 hour wait in Lille.
We arrived in Paris at 11:30 pm. We then headed to the Peace and Love Hostel (The Lonley planet desvribes it as chronically crowded, so the fack that we hadn't made a reservation was quite a big one!), it was competelly full, and so were the next two hostels that we tried. So at 1 am we checked into a hotel a very expensive decision! A double room cost us 90 euros! So Paris got off to a very bad start!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

11th May


We took the blue chairs around London (To the annoyance of quite a few people on the tube during rush hour!).
At 5:30 I realised that I had left my inter rail ticket at home! So mum put it in the post for me and we had a nervous wait ahead of us! Especially as it was posted with a normal first class stamp and nothing more. We had a great BBQ in Jan and Barry's garden, and it took my mind off my inter rail ticket!

10th May

Shrewsbury - London
We met at 10am at Shrewsbury School where we were met by Mr Bell who very kindly allowed us to take two of his blue chairs with him. So we walked to the train station through the Regata (Where we got many strange looks!). Then we got the train to London where we stayed with Family friends (Jan and Barry) who were brilliant hosts.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

We are setting of on the 10th of may, and we plan on arriving in Bangkok by the end of august.

the Story behind the blue chairs

The Story of the Blue chairs.

Artem Botcharov (Student at Shrewsbury school from 2000 to 2006) was diagnosed with acute myloid leukaemia in the early summer of 2005. Artem had to undergo two bone marrow transplants (the first was unsuccessfull) and he is now back to full health.
Arten's housemaster Giles Bell (Founder of the blue chair movement visited him frequently during his treatment and sought of ways to make Artem smile and take his mind off things. And he was presented with the perfect opportunity: when in September 2006 Marcus Johnson joined the Shrewsbury School maths department.Marcus became very annoyed when two blue chairs from his classroom went missing. He sought to rectify the situation by emailing all of the members of staff asking if they could return the erroneous chairs. All of the staff found this very amusing as this is a very frequent occurrence at school (chairs going missing that is). So Marcus' inbox was suddenly very full of helpful emails, such as "I saw the chairs on the way into town." Some members of staff even took photos of the chairs in places where they had seen the blue chairs (see attached). This story had the desired effect on Artem, and together Giles and Artem thought up the idea of the Blue chair movement. The essence of it is to take the blue chairs with you and take photos of them. Once you have a good photo of the blue chairs you can then send the picture to Giles and he takes the best twelve photos every year and makes a calendar out of them. The money raised from the calendar sales is divided between Cure Leukaemia and The Shropshire Blood Trust fund.
To Help out, Myself (Leo Emmett) and Nick Lynch-Staunton are taking the blue chairs to Thailand (over Land) and we will take photos of the chairs at famous land marks and fantastic places. And the 2010 Blue chair calendar will feature our photos.