16 May 2005


yes, chappies, here we are in (what was yesterday) uber-sunny valencia city! if you haven´t already done so, check out the new pics from spain we´ve put up. some of them are very random... such as the GIANT YABBIE that inhabits the waterfront of port vall in barcelona. it´s a very smiley yabbie. it may in fact be some form of lobster... at any rate, go and have a look.

since last time... we were in madrid then... ah yes, the bad old days... madrid got MUCH BETTER on the last day however, when we walked to atocha station to buy our tix to valencia. the queue was amazingly efficient (yep, we only had to wait in ONE LINE, no little number dooverlackies or anything like that, just a good old-fashioned english queue!), the purchase painless, and we discovered that atocha station has ... A RAINFOREST in the foyer. yep! it has high glass ceilings, and tall trees and wisps of mist, and also... A MILLION TURTLES!!!!!!!!!!!!! ok, so there may have only been hundreds, but they were SO CUTE! there were little ones (about 10cm long) and big ones (almost a foot long) and they all had red and/or yellow stripes on their heads. and the little ones were sitting on the backs of the big ones, and it was generally HILARIOUS!... in a train station...

after that, we went to the "park of good retirement" - parque del buen retiro - where we visited the crystal palace (no, not that one, geeks) and then GOT CURSED BY A SPANISH WITCH!!! actually, she was a fortune teller who grabbed me and gave me a sprig of rosemary, so i gave her 2EUR, thinking she was a beggar... then she asked us if we understood spanish and we said no, so she read dan´s palms anyway (he is going to have 2 babies and be compassionate... that´s all we could understand), and then said (in a very thick spanish accent) tu-enty u-ros, tu-enty u-ros... which we thought was spanish, so we nodded and smiled and gave her MORE money... then she pulled out a 2oEUR note, and wanted us to pay the same... which we didn´t have, so we apologised profusely and walked away while she muttered at us... we think she was cursing us. hopefully with infertility!

this escapade happened beside the big lake in the middle of the park, apon which we proceeded to go for a row in a boat! hilarious!!! it costs 4·20 for 45 mins, and you can fit 4 ppl in it, so we recommend this as one of the best things to do in madrid! we were very uncoordinated, and VERY SORE the next day, but it was worth it. especially to see all the other couples being ridiculously affectionate. it would have been funny if they´d fallen in.

after rowing, we decided to head back to the hostel (which we didn´t mention has SUPER lifts! very cute), but were sidetracked by ... THE BEST PLAY EQUIPMENT IN THE WORLD!!! i was SO EXCITED!!! it was all made of metal and ropes and plastic and had strange angles and bits that spun around and it was all about gravity and centrifugal forces and OH MY GOD IT WAS SO COOL!!!!! if i went back to madrid i would spend at least an hour per day going around and around on the weird spinny things! i think we´ve put a picture of one item in the photobucket album.

that evening we joined forces with some other australians (god, are there any left in australia?¿?) (i love spañish keybºªrdçs) to make a feast of pasta and green vegies and ... wine ... strangely enough ... and to go to the festival of giants and big heads. this festival was basically a street party dedicated to some sort of saint (possibly madrid´s patron saint?¿?), which involved a lot of people crammed into a plaza with a whole bunch of GIANTS AND BIG HEADS! well, people inside giant puppets, and people with huge papier mache heads, all dancing around to a live band... it was very cool and completely confusing if you didn´t know WTF it was all about.

the night ended with more wine and sangria and patatas bravas (ross, these are the spanish equivalent to chips, so i think i am becoming more like a chip every day... you won´t recognise me next time you see me... i´ll be the one in the red sauce, patent number 357942).

slept badly, then snoozed on the train to valencia.

LOVED valencia before we even left the train. the landscape is much more green, there are cute little houses everywhere, and we saw a HUGE wind farm on the way down. but no don quijote attacking the windmills. Valencia city is (and i NEVER thought i´d say this in a flattering way) like a country city. my first impression was that it was like bairnsdale only prettier and bigger and sunnier and in spain and with a bull ring... so basically much better than bairnsdale, but very relaxed (although it was the start of a long weekend) and everyone was SMILING, unlike the snoots in madrid...

the nest hostel is alright - there´s LOTS of space and common area, unlike united world international, and there are 5 floors of rooms. and only 2 FRIDGES. which don´t work very well... because the light doesn´t go off when the door closes, so it melted our cheeses! bastard! but beds are ok, and it is moderately clean and very funky.

yesterday we spent lazing in the park that goes ALL the way through the city in the old riverbed. very VERY nice! it was warm and sunny and bluesky and freshbreeze and there were bunches of stupidly hilarious dogs chasing each other around. the silliest was a cocker spaniel who would bark ferociously at the other dogs and then go and hide under its owner´s legs or chair. hee! it was also friends with a tiny mop dog that spent its time eating grass and leaping into the air and trying to have sex with a dalmation.

anyway, guys, hope you´re all well. thanks for all your messages (mmmmmmmmmm, LAMBS BRAIN CURRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WANT! also fish and chips, although patatas bravas will do... we´re hungry and we don´t know if anything is open, coz it´s a public holiday)... and WELCOME TO VALENCIA! WE LIKE!

xxxxx you can write us emails, too... although a reply may not be forthcoming!


  1. Jonny Switchblade1:33 pm, May 17, 2005

    'Ello kidlings!

    Well, so you're all in-Spain-ish, I hear. Have you met Howard Moon's cousin? The one with all those highly amusing names? "Hey, you don't want to be messin' with El Moono!"

    Things are exciting in Melbourne. I found a grub living in some trail mix (dried fruit, nuts, seeds etc) that I was eating yesturday... I truly don't know whether I'll be able to frequent the Nibble and Bake in Eltham again!

    Actually, I do have some news... Rita Walsh from Creative Arts has agreed to be the producer on Hugo, so now we can approach Film Vic more seriously. It's really quite exciting!

    But more importantly Esther has sent me a link to some Hormblower slash which I must say was delightful and did involve the following phrase: "Horation knew then that the Admiral wanted to bugger him." Yes indeed! Sea fairing man-love is the best love of all!

    Anyhowzen, keep having lots of super-happy-fun and remember if anyone offends your honour you can always challenge them to a duel.

    Signed Sincerely
    The Mysetrious Jonny S.

  2. hey jsb!!! good news with the rita producer thing! congrats! did you have to sing ´lovely rita, producer maid´ to her in order for her to agree?... i hope you did, and that you had to lick her boots. yay for boot licking. we are off to italy tomorrow (does that sound strange?), so looking forward to pizza aplenty. keep in touch!