A Travellerspoint blog

Blogs in hindsight: Australia Part One

Kings Cross.


View World Tour on Explorer_T's travel map.

Australia Part one

Although its almost been a whole year spent here in Australia, the time can be condensed down into a few blog posts, as a lot of it has been spent working and living in apparent normality. So in around five or less blogs I will sum up a year travelling and working in Australia.

Part one starts with Laura and I arriving from Fiji in August 2011. We landed in Sydney and had arranged to stay in the infamous King’s Cross area. Think cheap bars and cheap hostels. Think red light district. Think muscly black male transvestites on the street. Think lewd strip bars with depressed looking dancers (so I heard).

We spent around three weeks sampling the cheap bars and various cheap hostels. One hostel, Jackaroo even offered us free wine on Friday evenings. We happily obliged them before hitting some bars.

One night of note was a last minute fancy dress affair, the cause of which I cannot remember. We had about an hour before the shops closed so options were limited. To rush ahead and with the excuses over: I ended up dressing in a child’s fairy outfit, complete with overstretched tutu, wings and wand. I felt like a massive drunken male in a small girls fairy outfit, there’s no denying what I felt like, and what I looked like. To make it that extra bit creative I decided that smeared eye liner and an ‘anti-jesus-cross’ (think no smoking sign but with a cross) marker pen tattoo would make me look even more inoffensive.

Needless to say I was the highlight of every bar. In hindsight it was a dangerous move; just recently on the news I have seen that someone was killed on the Kings Cross by a drunken yob. He had assaulted three guys separately on the night, killing one - for apparently no reason. He would have had lots of reasons to think of hitting me, that much I do know. But luckily, being the great fairy that I was, I only attracted looks of fascination, jealousy, and admiration. The highlight for me was spending about two hours on a dub step dance floor rocking my wings off and sweating buckets, again to looks of jealousy and admiration.

There that’s it. I’m keeping it as short as this so I can actually do all the blogs planned and not give up like with the USA section, which I will do eventually.

307870_101..25072_n.jpg304920_101..22191_n.jpg300156_101..97800_n.jpg305039_101..52164_n.jpg

Posted by Explorer_T 04:48 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

What's Next?

The next step on the world tour

What’s Next?

This August sees the end of my year long stay in Australia. Together with my girlfriend Laura we’ve had many adventures – which I will blog about in more detail eventually (I promise) – but here’s a condensed list of some highlights for a taster:

  • Staying in Sydney’s famous (infamous?) King’s Cross for a couple of weeks partying
  • Meeting some amazing members of my family for the first time
  • Living and working in Sydney for five months
  • Sleeping overnight in Sydney Zoo (legally)
  • Buying a car and going on an epic 2-3 month long road trip passing through some amazing and very interesting towns and sights including:

- Coober Peedy (quirky little mining town where we stayed underground)
- Uluru (Ayers Rock)
- Driving along The Great Ocean Road with all its sights and forests.
- And many other small unique towns where we camped out etc.

  • New Year’s Eve at Sydney Harbour
  • Several ‘help exchanges’ with Australian families
  • Coaching a kids basketball team and winning a tournament
  • Living and working on a farm in South Australia for three months

So a year on and we have travelled, partied, lived and worked in Australia. We ran out of money, and saved again from zero. This August Laura and I will leave Australia headed for Asia. Asia is kind of a broad term; it can mean anywhere from Iraq to Korea to Indonesia, and while we won’t be venturing quite as far as the ‘middle’ east, we will be exploring quite a few countries on this trip.

The backpackers we have met and spoken to typically head for South East Asia with the likes of Thailand and Vietnam being the priority destinations, usually spending anywhere from a month to three months doing their thing. This was our original plan, but then we went and put that idea on steroids.

So anyway, this is our work in progress itinerary that will be officially starting in August.

  • Indonesia

- Bali (Ubud: resort rest, monkey sanctuary, meditation retreat)
- Komodo & Rinca Islands (Trying to spot the prehistoric Komodo dragons in the wild)

  • Borneo

- Spotting the world’s biggest flower that is only in season two weeks of the year.
- Three day river cruise spotting all sorts of wildlife from monkeys to orang-utans.
- Four days in an ancient tropical rainforest (Danum Valley). Potential to see all kinds of rare wildlife. The world’s oldest rainforest at 130million years old.

  • Malaysia
  • India

- Spending eight weeks in Northern India
- Taj Mahal
- Spending several weeks in an Ashram practising meditation, yoga & doing volunteer work

  • Singapore

- A short week stay in the big city of Singapore.

  • Thailand

- Around 6 – 8 weeks

  • Vietnam

- A month of action packed sights up and down Vietnam

  • Laos

- Around a month

  • Cambodia

- A month again

  • Philippines

A lot of the countries aren’t fully researched and planned yet so there aren’t a lot of details but this will come in time and we can plan while we are on the trip. We’re trying for at least a month in most of them (with a couple being less and an odd one being more).

At this point it tallies up at around an eight month trip. It’s going to be a big culture shock – followed by another big culture shock and another and another, in each new country until we’re finished. It’s going to be interesting!

Posted by Explorer_T 05:29 Tagged asia south_east_asia asia_itinerary Comments (0)

Pink eye on a train.

Massive train journey from Chicago to Texas - 30 hours and over 1100 miles.


View World Tour on Explorer_T's travel map.

Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd May

Part One.
After only spending five days in Chicago I was packed and ready to move again. I had originally planned to stay in Chicago a little longer, but booking the train to Texas proved to be a pain in the ass with the pricing changing crazy amounts depending on the day, so I had to cut it a bit short. Still, I wasn’t exactly downgrading or going home – I was off to Austin, Texas!

For the longest time during the planning stage of my trip I hadn’t intended to go to Texas. My trip missed out a lot of the southern states but in the last couple of months I figured I should fit at least one in. The hardest thing wasn’t a case of money, but trying to fit in all these massive states and cities within the measly 90 day visa. England can fit inside Texas alone over five times. My train journey would be the longest duration single journey of my life at a non-stop thirty hours, covering over 1100 miles. I was praying that the seats would be comfy.

First thing first, I had to get to the Amtrak train station in downtown Chicago. Backpack on my back and daypack on my front I headed for the local metro station. A little snag straight off; my ticket had run out of days. No problem I thought, I’ll just get a single journey ticket. The information man tells me the only way to buy a new one was through an automated machine, with cash. I had no cash. I’d been using my card for everything as you rarely need cash in the great first world. No ATMs in sight. Crap.

I started to think I might miss my train if I couldn’t get to an ATM pretty sharpish. Instead of going looking for one I had the idea of just asking the ticket man if I could go through, as I was leaving Chicago anyway. I’m not sure why I thought that would work, but it was worth a shot. He looked me over and said okay no problem, and he gave me a one journey ticket to go straight through the gates. God bless America.

I took the fifteen minute metro ride to downtown Chicago and got out the map looking for the train station. Due to not feeling all that great over the course of my stay in Chicago, and the fact I had only spent five days here, I hadn’t wandered the streets as much as New York and I wasn’t as confident at finding my way around. The streets weren’t as easy to locate yourself as NYC either so I wasn’t 100% sure where I was on the map but time was ticking so I headed off in the direction that I thought the train station was. Not wanting to mess the journey up I popped into a hotel after five minutes walking and asked some staff members where I needed to go. They promptly told me I was going the complete wrong way and it was ages away. Although I wasn’t completely sure of where I was going, I questioned them to make doubly sure. After they both had a gander at my map it turned out I was right and I was going in the right direction.

Fifteen minutes later I arrived at the train station, sweating. The station was huge, resembling an airport more than a train station. I went to the check-in desks to find out what I had to do and I even had to check my big backpack in like you do with a flight. I had about half an hour to spare which I spent wandering around the shops and got some food.

I hung around in the gate lounge for the last fifteen minutes to make sure I got on quickly for a good seat as it was first on first choice. The gate opened and we all walked out to the train and there it was. The biggest train I’d ever seen; made all of silver metal and higher than a double-decker bus. This thing looked menacing. A lot of tourists stopped to take photos, and in hindsight I wish I had too, but I headed straight for the doors. I didn’t want to spend a thirty hour journey in a crap seat. I got on and was told I should go upstairs, which I was hoping for, and I found myself a nice seat next to a window. By the time we set off the seat next to me was still free so I was happy as can be. The seats were great; they reclined backwards, footrests came up, there was enough legroom for a giant. Combine two seats next to each other with footrests up and reclined and you’ve effectively got a small bed.

A voice over the loudspeaker informed us that we had two stops in quick succession within the first hour for more passengers and then we were not stopping again for hours upon hours. I looked around and saw quite a lot of empty seats so I was hoping that no one would sit next to me. The first stop was called St. Louis I think and quite a lot of people came on, they all looked like locals rather than travellers. A lot of people had brought on full duvets and pillows with them. It only just dawned on me then that I had no cover or pillow for this thirty hour journey - I’d checked my backpack in that contained my sleeping bag so I was a bit gutted. Oh well, I was happy, I was on the train, I hadn’t missed it and nothing had gone wrong.

The train stopped again not long after for the last load of passengers. It was the last hurdle; I sat there again hoping no one would sit next to me. Just then a massive duvet landed next to me. It was so big it filled its own seat and came on to mine. I looked up to see a massive fat black guy that had just offloaded the bedding. I’m not sure why I’m telling you that he was black – I just feel it adds to the imagery. Anyway, luckily after a few minutes he must have spotted a better spot because he got his bedding and disappeared down the train. I was home free – two massive seats to myself!

Even though I had no bedding or anything, I was prepared for the thirty hour journey on another level; to not get bored. I had my laptop with movies on, my Kindle e-reader, and my mp3 player. I wasn’t going to get bored easily. I spent the afternoon and evening doing a mix of reading Carl Sagan’s brilliant Cosmos and making a video compilation from my time in Washington D.C. I’d also tried to prepare a little bit on the food front, buying a load of stuff before arriving at the train station. I thought I had enough for the whole journey but I got greedy and ate it all in that first evening.

As night time approached members of staff came around and handed out small pillows, yes! The thing was pretty small but I was pleased all the same. I set up my two-seater-bed not long after and got off to sleep fairly easily.

Part Two.
I woke early at around 6am because seemingly everyone else who rides overnight trains gets up at that time and doesn’t mind making noise. I felt groggy and my eyes were full of that sticky eye-bogey stuff. I didn’t exactly have anything to jump up for so I slowly let myself wake up and watched an episode of the Peep Show. My right eye was feeling irritated. I’d slept in my contact lenses. My lenses are month long ones that you can sleep in but my eyes still weren’t fully used to them so sleeping in them was always a gamble if you wanted good eyesight in the mornings.

Usually if I sleep in the lenses my eyes might feel a bit crappy for a short while but then they’d rectify themselves, but on this morning my right eye was still hurting after an hour, so I went to the toilet to take the lenses out. I looked in the mirror and bam, my right eye was fully red, totally bloodshot. I looked like a zombie or something. I thought back to all the people that I’d made eye contact with since I’d woken up, I must have looked like a druggy. The strange look that a small girl gave me now made sense. Maybe she just hated my face anyway – no it would definitely be the scary red eye.
It looked really bad and I felt paranoid to look at anyone now.

A thirty hour train journey sounded so much when I booked it. Coming from England, the longest train journey I’d ever done was probably only about eight hours. Why didn’t I fly you might think? Well one thing was the money - a flight was over a hundred dollars more - but I felt it would just be cool to do a mammoth train journey all the way down the middle of America. It felt more travellery than just flying everywhere.
But saying that, overall it went pretty quickly. Once you take out the settling down for a few hours in the first afternoon, meal times, plus six to eight hours of sleep, it isn’t all that long.
There was a big restaurant carriage in the middle of the train, plus an observation carriage filled with big windows. The food was expensive but that was to be expected. You would maybe expect some food included if the journey was that long but oh well.

I arrived in Austin, Texas in the early afternoon. I stepped off the train to be hit in the face with hot air – not warm air – hot air. It was exactly like having a hairdryer aimed at your face. I’d had quite a lot of nice hot weather in America up to now but this was the real deal. Even the, usually cool, breeze was now just dry hot air.
I’d written down some basic directions on my phone to get from the train to the bus stop that took me to my new hostel. I set off walking, immediately realising that this heat was going to take its toll on me with my weighty bags. Not wanting to get lost I double checked by asking a random man walking along the sidewalk. He was a tanned (not surprisingly!) old guy plodding along in a cap and sunglasses. He said I was going the right way and he was going the same way so we walked together and got talking. Turns out he loved ‘soccer’, and of all teams that he could support; he followed Blackpool! I have no idea why, but of all the teams, Blackpool was his. I told him that I came from a city literally around the corner from there. I didn’t tell him of the hatred both Preston and Blackpool have for each other – but what a small world.

We parted ways and I carried on for another ten minutes to my bus stop and a muchly needed bench to get my bags off. I sat down and gave my back a rest and asked a woman next to me if she knew how much the bus would be. She looked a little hesitant to speak to me. I remembered my, probably scary looking, bloodshot eye and tried to avert my gaze while we spoke for a minute. Any normal blog would now say: I got on the bus and I went to the hostel, the end. But nope, not this blog.

I got on the bus and told the driver (who notably sounded just like Denzel Washington) that I didn’t know the area and could he tell me when to get off at the correct stop. He said he knew where it was and no problem he’d let me know. You can guess where this is going… I had no idea how long the bus journey should have taken so I just sat there patiently waiting and trying myself to see if I could spot the street name that I needed to get off. Lots of people got on, lots of people got off. I was going back and forth whether the driver had forgotten about my stop or not. Forty minutes on from my initial boarding I was the lone passenger, and now definitely thinking I’d missed my stop.
The driver suddenly swung his head around when we stopped at the lights, ‘’was I s’pose ta’ tell you sumin’?’’

Yes. You. Effing. Was.

Turns out that my stop was only about fifteen minutes into the journey and here we were forty minutes in. He told me he was sorry and that we were going back that way as soon as he had a ten minute rest at the end of the route. So, on top of a thirty hour train journey, I had a needlessly long hour and a half bus journey. To save me getting annoyed again we’ll cut forward in time; I finally got off at my stop about an hour later.
Fuck you Denzel Washington - you may be a great actor but you can’t drive buses for shit.

It was now 9pm and after a further fifteen minute walk down an unlit scary looking road filled with gangster type looking Mexicans, I arrived at the hostel. I got some food and got in bed. The end, finally.

Posted by Explorer_T 20:15 Archived in USA Tagged train chicago texas austin Comments (0)

The Chicago Bulls & The Chicago Bean


View World Tour on Explorer_T's travel map.

Friday 20th May

My last day in Chicago was going to be spent doing two things: visit both the ‘Cloud Gate’ (otherwise known as the bean) and the Chicago Bulls basketball stadium.

A quick side-track; if you read my most previous blog you will know about one of my roommates snoring habits. Well today I woke up well slept and of my own accord; I was messing around on the internet when one of my roommates left the room and left the door open… I heard it again. I could hear the same awful sound, only quieter. The sound was coming from another room! He had moved rooms and I could still hear him! The very same unmistakeable merciless sound. The sound came through one closed door, a bit of corridor and into our room. It made me laugh that I could still hear him, and glad that it hadn’t kept me up all night again. I don’t know if someone in our room had complained but I was glad all the same, and gutted for those in the other room.

Anyway, first up was the Bean, as most people called it. The official name, the Cloud Gate, is a nice fitting name but perhaps a little too ‘arty’ to catch on. The slightly dull but more common ‘Bean’ seems to have stuck better.
So it’s basically a huge bean-like art structure in a park. The thing that gets it the most attention is that it’s one giant curving mirror.

I entered the park and first caught a glimpse of it through some trees and realised just how big this thing was. It looked so peculiar through the trees, like an alien spaceship parked there in the open, totally mirroring its surroundings. As it appeared through the trees the spaceship became a real but bizarre art structure. The place was packed with tourists and I came to make it worse. It was like being inside a surrealist painting. It had a weird aura about it that just made me smile.

The mirror surface distorts everything in all directions depending where you stand. It was like a huge seamless house of mirrors type effect with the reflections constantly changing wherever you moved. It was mesmerizing. The perfect blue skies reflected all over the bean and justified the name Cloud Gate as it brought the heavens down to the ground.

I took photos from all angles, getting myself in the reflection in some, and other times just getting mirrored shots of the surrounding skyscrapers. Being shaped like a bean, the middle is raised off the ground, and so you can understand just how big it is… that bottom arch in the middle is 12 feet high. The total height is something like 30-40 foot; a lot bigger than I imagined it would be.

Tourists filled the under belly of the bean taking photos straight upwards in the centre. I got curious and went underneath. When you stand there and look up you see lots of different distorted reflections and in the very centre is you looking up. The mirrored effect at this underneath position is really cool; you look like you’re really far away from the mirror (or that you’re a dwarf).

The Cloud Gate was a lot better than I thought it would be; the size and reflectiveness made it fascinating and I enjoyed trying to get some cool photos. Next was the Chicago Bulls stadium. I had done a quick Google map the night before and knew it was a little way from the Bean but it was just down along one street; how long could one street be?

I should have taken a bus. This one street was never ending. After walking for about thirty minutes I was starting to think I’d somehow missed it – but how could I miss a massive stadium? I asked someone on the way if I was going the right way and was told I was so I continued onwards. It took me about an hour to get there, plus it was a hot day. To this day I never knew how far it was so I just Google mapped it right now and have found out it was three miles to the stadium. So I did six miles just for five photos. Yeah just for five photos, because I couldn’t go into the damn stadium and there was nothing to see except the Michael Jordan statue - that I was excited to see anyway - but apart from that there was nothing. I had hoped for maybe a museum of some kind considering they had claim to the greatest basketball player of all time. But no, nothing except a statue. A bit gutted and having seen no buses on the road, I headed back to the centre.

I headed back to the hostel after the Bulls stadium and chilled out in a common room on my laptop for a bit. I got talking to a few guys and we decided to go out for some drinks at a nearby bar. I still wasn’t feeling super great but it was going to be my last night in Chicago so that was the only sell I needed to convince myself of a night out.

I donned the smartest clothes I had with me and headed out with three other guys from the hostel. We were all different nationalities. It sounded like the beginning of a joke: An Englishman, an Australian, a German, and a Brazilian walk into a bar…
…there’s no punch line sorry. The bar we went to was pretty modern and filled with young-ish locals rather than other travellers. They had an awesome deal on; pay $20 to get in and get free unlimited drinks until 11pm. We had an hour to make up our $20 spend – challenge accepted! Of the four of us that went out, only two of us took to the bar to initiate operation binge drink. The middle-aged Aussie and I didn’t move far from the bar for the whole hour. I think I got up to nine or ten vodka-cokes in the hour.

The Aussie I met was a cool guy; funny and potty-mouthed. He had been living in Columbia and now was in Chicago for a while before either going back home to Australia, or back to Columbia. I forget why. I do remember that he spent most of the night using me as a human Viagra though. He would walk up to girls and say, ‘’Hi this is my friend, he’s from England.’’ Apparently this impressed the girls in Chicago and this got him talking to them after I said yes I am, and that no, I didn’t know the queen. Obviously not being single I didn’t stay in the situation too long after I laughed and obliged him. I’d wander off to either the bar or find the other two guys. The bar/club was fairly big with two bars and three areas to dance.

After the initial first hour of binging on vodka and cokes I didn’t drink too much to save on money. The two other guys we came with had stuck together most of the night and didn’t seem like big drinkers and they said they were leaving at around 1am. I found Mr Australia and he said he would stay at the bar, so the Englishman, the German, and the Brazilian left for the hostel – not before a visit to yet another McDonalds.

I’m not proud of how much junk food I’ve been eating on this trip; in fact I’m pretty ashamed. But it’s hard to avoid when they’re the cheapest and most plentiful option wherever you go. As unhealthy as it must be to my insides, I’ve actually lost weight so it’s not all bad up to now – ill catch up with my healthy eating to avoid a middle-aged heart attack when my travelling is over.

Diet aside; the night out over, I headed to bed as the next leg of my journey began tomorrow. As usual I made the mistake of going out drinking the night before I’m due to check out early, but I was proud that I came home ‘quite’ early. The next blog will cover two days as I go on a 1100mile, thirty hour train journey all the way down to Austin, Texas.

P5201505.jpgP5201468.jpgreflection_crop.jpg

Posted by Explorer_T 21:57 Archived in USA Tagged chicago bean bulls basketball cloud_gate Comments (0)

Something wicked this way sleeps. (Oh and the zoo.)


View World Tour on Explorer_T's travel map.

Thursday 19th May

Okay so first off, if you think you know someone - or have heard someone - snore loudly and you think they couldn’t get any worse… think again.
This Chinese-American guy in the hostel in Chicago hands down will snore them to oblivion. I didn’t see this guy check-in to the room, he must have turned up after I went to sleep, but oh my god. I woke up half way through the night to this incredibly loud, evil guttural noise. At first I thought someone had let in a huge wildebeest and slit its throat to let it die a loud, slow painful death.
I am a good deep sleeper usually. It takes a lot to wake me up and even if a loud noise wakes me, I can go straight back to sleep within a few seconds. But this noise was constant and ever changing. He would splutter, cough, growl…erugh, it was just insane.
A few times I managed to drift off to sleep again but I kept waking up. One time I sat up in my top bunk and saw that there were about five other guys sat up in their beds. I could see their silhouettes in the dark room and a few of us exchanged some words of disbelief at this tumour-inducing noise.

I was feeling more ill now and this lack of sleep did not help at all. I wish I had something to throw at him, I really would have. I considered throwing a sock but I didn’t want to lose a sock into the black hole of his cavernous gates to hell.

I woke up - after lots of on-off sleep - pretty late in the morning feeling pretty lame. My cold was coming in full flow now. The room was empty except for the dying mammoth, still asleep and still sounding like a 747 jet engine. I got up to get changed and on the way out of the room I found myself stood still next to this horrible person (he was on the top bunk). I stood there, with a disgusted look on my face, really quite close to him, mesmerised; how could someone make this much awful noise and either, not have died by now, or not wake themselves up? After about thirty seconds of confused and disgusted looks at him I left and went for some food.

I hung around in the tv room for a while resting and considering what I could do with my day that wasn’t too full on. I thought I’d just stay inside all day to try and get better but at around two in the afternoon I decided to get up and go to the zoo because it wasn’t too far from the hostel.

I went for a shower first to try and perk myself up a bit. Just as I was finishing in the shower I heard another equally-horribly-loud sound, coming this time from one of the toilet cubicles. Someone was having a majorly hard time in there. Erking, grunting and other loud noises that I’d rather not try to convert to type. It went on for the entire time I was getting out of the shower and changed. I had just about finished brushing my teeth when this guy rang someone from his mobile; remarkably, he had a conversation at the same time as his noticeable and loud brawl with his own asshole.
Again I found myself stood there mesmerised. He finished the conversation and his struggle and came out of the toilet. Yep, you guessed it; it was the very same repulsive person that was snoring all night. I was still stood there, toothbrush in mouth, motionless when he left the cubicle and the bathroom straight after that (Didn’t even wash his hands).

Even though I felt like I’d been in a zoo for the past 16 hours, I got my camera and headed out for the real thing; Chicago’s Lincoln Zoo.

The first great thing about the zoo in Chicago is the fact that it’s free. On the map it just looks like a big park; a lot smaller but not too much unlike New York’s Central Park. But unlike the latter’s small zoo, the Lincoln zoo is a fully fledged zoo with all different animals from polar bears to gorillas to tigers. The zoo has several entrances around it that you can just wander into and begin your zooy time.

So, it was a zoo and I saw all the normal animals that you’d expect, there’s no point in listing them all. One thing that I will talk about though, is the apes; the chimpanzees and the gorillas - our closest cousins. I saw a sign with a timetable of feeding sessions and talks etc. I saw that there was going to be a talk about the gorillas and tried to get there on time, but unfortunately I was too late - I only caught the tail end of the questions section at the end.
I did hear one of the zoo officials explain what was happening with the male silverback gorilla and a young male gorilla though, which was interesting. As I watched it happen, the official explained that a young male gorilla (it was smaller than all the others) was challenging the huge silverback. It was funny to watch as the little one would run up to the Big Daddy and poke him or throw something at him. The silverback was pretty patient to be honest. I feared for the little one at first but the big guy was patient, to a point. When he got mad he made chase for a short while, or swung his arms at the kid. The little guy knew to get out of there when the silverback got mad though, he would speed off outside or bounce off a wall if he was enclosed, and get to safety. It was funny and interesting to watch, it reminded me of a teenage boy testing his dad’s patience and seeing what he could get away with. Nearly every boy does it, I know I did. Still, I wouldn’t fuck with a 30 stone silverback gorilla.

Opposite the gorilla enclosure was the chimpanzee campout. I think chimps are fascinating and I love watching them. When you really study them you see just how similar they are to us.
One chimpanzee came over to the glass and sat near me, so I got my camera and took a photo with me next to him. Unfortunately what I didn’t see at the time was the big smear of poo on the glass that ended up covering the chimps face – oh well. I sat watching them playing and squabbling for about ten minutes and then headed out.

The rest of my time in the zoo was fairly normal; I saw all the usual cool animals such as lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). I headed back to the hostel for the hotdog and burger night.

Just before bedtime I remembered something that I wanted to see that was just around the corner from the hostel. Literally just a three minute walk from the hostel was The Biograph Theatre: A fairly small inconspicuous theatre in the middle of a normal street in between the likes of Subway & McDonalds etc. This little old-school-looking theatre was the place that the infamous criminal John Dillinger was shot and killed.
I’d only heard of John Dillinger a year or two earlier when I went to watch the movie Public Enemies in which Johnny Depp takes his role, so I thought I should go take a quick snap. I didn’t think the movie was anything special but I read up on his life at the time and found it interesting. He was one of the most notorious criminals in America and was one of the reasons that the FBI was created. Anyway if you want to know more go Google him or something. After a quick photo of the theatre there wasn’t much more to see so I returned back home to the hostel.

Tomorrow would be my last full day in Chicago as I’d just booked myself a 30 hour-long train journey in two days’ time to go to Texas!
P5191381.jpgP5191386.jpgP5191407.jpg

Posted by Explorer_T 04:34 Archived in USA Comments (0)

(Entries 6 - 10 of 31) « Page 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 »