VIDEO: Last Exit To Serbia! (2007)

In the summer of 2007, myself and Stanley "Stan" Stanrydt, two grown men with the mentality of 13 year olds, set out on an epic journey across the heart of Europe in search of music, beer, broads and a decent sausage. In a Mazda sportscar we christened 'Traci Lords' (she was underage but could still squeeze us both in), we shot through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia and Croatia in order to arrive in Novi Sad, Serbia, for the rather epic Exit Music Festival, held in an ancient fort on the Danube river. There we watched the likes of the Beastie Boys and many other bands that I vaguely don't remember. After four days of drunken debauchery, we sobered up and decided to take the long way round back to the UK. So we went to Sarajevo and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dubrovnik…

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Day 419: Roman Holiday

23.02.10: At some disastrously early hour, I was roused from my slumber by our rather impertinent arrival in Milan, which necessitated a change of buses. Didn’t get to see too much of the place, but there’s something about just the name of these places – Verona, Genoa, Venice, Napoli that gets my pulse racing… old school, you know? It’s the same thing that affects me exhausted, bladdered and half-awake watching the sun rise after the last night of Glastonbury – a sense of history, that damned feeling of belonging to a world that’s gone that’s nagged me for years now. All these countries I visit, most of them are shiny and new (comparatively), they don’t have the weight of millennia baring down on them, there are no layers to dig down through. Yes, I find the Kingdom of Benin interesting, Manchu Picchu is sweet-as, and you…

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Day 418: Paris When It Drizzles

22.02.10: Woke up at Stan’s gaff at some monstrously early hour, but Stan was good enough to not only make me a cup of tea, but to drive me to the nearest Tube Station. I’ve had mates in London now for years, negating the need to ever stay in a hotel or backpackers. But now I’ve got mates from Buenos Aires to New York City, Nova Scotia to Brazzaville, Pretoria to Iraq, Sierra Leone to Cairo, Reunion to Antigua and Tunis to Melbourne; this is possibly the most exciting thing to come of The Odyssey – I’ve left a trail of mischief from one end of the planet to the other, and I’ve always got somewhere to stay. Hooray for CouchSurfing.org!! I might have gone a few weeks without singing its praises, but by-eck, it’s BLOOMIN’ MARVELLOUS! The plan was simple: Get to Rome. Go to…

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Day 402: Don’t Stop Believin’

06.02.10: The last two blogs aren't true. I just made them up. Sorry, it would have ruined the surprise. Here's what really happened... When I was in Cyprus last Tuesday, I discovered that it would take two weeks from the date of application for my visa for my next country (Libya) to come through. I had not been made aware of this earlier (annoyingly enough) – I thought I was just going to pick it up at the border. This meant that no matter what I did in the next couple of weeks, I couldn't continue with my journey. I might as well pick up the visas for Libya, Algeria and Central Asia from London myself. I might as well... Why the hell not, eh? It's still part of the journey, it's still in the spirit of The Odyssey; I can't enter the kingdom of the…

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Day 135: Thanks for that, Dad

15.05.09: Early-early-sickly-feeling start to the day, and onto the 5:20 bus to the Andorran border. Quick change of buses and by about 8am I was in Andorra - another of Europe's pub-quiz-winning, micro-states. It's slap-bang on the border with France and Spain, and until recently, was jointly ruled by the President of France (as proxy for the king) and a Spanish bishop. But being a nation of Two Princes is a little too interesting for the people of Andorra and in 1993 they got their own parliament. I was last here in 1986 (in the days of Two Princes, pop-pickers). I was seven and on a camping holiday adventure around Europe with my mum, dad and brother Alex. I remember it well. It was bloody hot and we listened to Harry Chapin on the tape player. Today, however, was a cool spring day in the mountains…

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Day 134: Monte Carlo Underground

14.05.09 I had about a zillion train connections to make today. In fact, if I just wanted to get to Toulouse, I could have (get this!) got the super-duper fast TGV to Lyon and then back down again in less time, but I had to pass through Monaco, so I had to stick to the coast. Although in terms of seeing a place, Monte Carlo ranks along with Jamaica - at least in Jamaica I could stand on the bow of the ship and gaze out over Kingston's city lights - no such fun here - the station is underground! As Monaco is one of the (if not the) smallest states in Europe, it was going to be blink-and-you'll-miss-it affair as it was. Oh well. I got to see the Monte Carlo underground station - WHO SAYS I'M NOT SEEING THE WORLD?! Then the bloody train…

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Day 113: Odyssey-a-go-go!

23.04.09: A day which, upon reflection, was as perfect an ‘Odyssey' day as I can imagine. I arrived in Brussels in the wee small hours, just in time to catch the first train to Luxembourg. Do you want me to tell you something interesting about Brussels? Well bah! I'm not going to, I can't, there isn't anything. But my inter-rail pass kicked into gear and I plan to spend what it cost in the first 48 hours. As the greatest man ever once said, Time Is Relative, that is, time runs at different speeds for different people (usually depending on the force of gravity, but bear with me). Time for me has now slowed down to a crawl. Getting just a few hours of sleep a day will do that to you. The days seem endless and night is just an obstacle to be overcome, there…

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Day 112: Belated Birthday Brunch

22.04.09: I awoke in my old bedroom, mid-morning. A rather strange sensation, I have to say. Is that it? Is it all over? That was easy! Oh, hang on... rub your eyes mate, you've still got a LONG way to go. This is merely a pit stop, and the ultimate goal of all this - to see my girlfriend Mandy again - is still a long way away, calling me to the antipodes via Europe, Africa and Asia. I could hear that my brother Mike and his son Matthew had already arrived to see me, as well as my auntie Dorothy and my cousin Yvonne (Leo the Webmaster's wife), so I dragged my carcass out of bed and got showered and dressed. My mum had made (a damn tasty) lamb roast for lunch and very soon it felt like a typical Sunday meal at the Hughes…

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Day 110: Homeward Bound

20.04.09: I didn't sleep last night either. Beginning to see Tyler Durdun. But then I did watch Ocean's Thirteen yesterday. The lack of sleep has not helped my general disposition. I do have to take my YouTube vids down, I've got no choice in the matter. Sorry. The option is a one way ticket to Palookaville, and I've already been stuck there for six weeks AND I DIDN'T LIKE IT. I'll throw up some footage of Stan and I being manic and hilarious around Europe last year instead. At least I own that mini masterpiece. So not a good start to the day. Compounded by the fact that I rose at 6am ready to get off the ship (we docked in Rotterdam at 5:45am) and found myself pacing up and down on deck until the shipping agent finally rocked up about 8.30am. Missing my 8.50am train…

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