Shortly after arriving back in London, my Dad arrived for a visit..
We spent the first weekend exploring London and I took him for a typical English pub meal. We also went to a soccer game which is pretty foreign to the both of us. It was Fulham v Aston Villa and ended up as a draw.
During the week my Dad caught the Eurostar to Lille where he hired a car and took himself around France and Belgium for a week by himself to explore the WW1 Australian battlefields on the WesternFront..
Whilst Dad was there I took a couple of mates to Barcelona for the weekend which was great fun. We hired bikes and rode around checking out Gaudi’s work, and also riding through Ciutadella Park. We ate and drank our way around Barcelona, We found some 1EUR shot bars and did a cooking class of paella and sangria which we stuffed ourselves silly with. After a fun weekend with the girls, we returned back to London ready for work on Monday.
Once Dad was back, I organised a weekend away to Krakow in Poland for the both of us. Much to Dad’s amusement I booked us into a hostel. This was an experience for him that he still talks about today.
We did the free walking tour with Free Walking Tours and went to an amazing restaurant called Pod Wawelem recommend to me by some mates. We had the most incredible meal. We were stuffed by the end of it. Perogi is also now a favourite food of mine and the beer is super cheap, Dad was quite happy with this.
We also went to Auswitchz which was sad, but a quote which stood out for me was “The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again” by George Santayana.
Back in London, Dad had a few more days before it was time for him to fly back to Adelaide.
With a few, much-needed, quiet weekends ahead, I went to a few gigs with mates including Bon Iver, Gotye and attended a live screening of Jools Holland which had artists such as The Weeknd and Lana Del Ray. I also did the Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest event with a group of mates which was tough but good fun.
It was Christmas time once again so it was back to Winter Wonderland with days full of food with friends. Me and a couple of mates actually went on a massive food hop including stuffing our faces at Borough Markets, Winter Wonderland and then dinner at Jamie’s Italian – my golly did we have full bellies by the end of the day.
My next European weekend getaway was Sofia in Bulgaria which was stunning and I took a day off work to spend a bit longer there.
I did the free walking tour with Free Sofia Tour where I met some cool people. We went out for lunch afterwards where there was no English menu so we just asked the waiter to bring out a few different ‘local’ dishes – yum!
The following day I organised a day trip to the Rila Mountains (through the hostel) which was stunning. We had a guy take us in his car to the picturesque Rila Monastery visiting some little churches on the way. Rila Mountains was stunning with autumn colours and some snow in the background too with a very medieval feel about it. A few of us also went and explored the town of Plovdiv which was really cool and had some yummy food.
In London again and I had a couple more gigs, James Blake, Florence and the Machine and then my work Christmas Party which included a private ride in the London Eye with mulled wine and dinner at the impressive County Hall. The following day a few of us caught the train to Lille to check out the Christmas Markets and spend the night before I caught the train to Paris the following day just to wander around for a while and then the Eurostar back to London.
I had more gigs (everyone plays in London!) and saw Mumford and Sons as well as The XX and did a few Christmassy things around London such as walk along the Southbank Wharf markets and again Winter Wonderland.
To finish the year of 2012 off, I had a couple of weeks away in Denmark and France for Christmas and New Years. Happy days 🙂