May 2019
  • Day35

    Melbourne, Australia

    July 3, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    We arrived home on time after an almost uneventful flight. One quite humorous thing did happen though. I was seated in the middle seat and on the aisle was an elderly Indian woman who would not move from her seat. If you wished to leave yours, you literally had to push past and climb over her. On one occasion unbeknown to me my foot hooked into the the handle of her handbag which was on the floor. I started to walk down the aisle wondering what was hampering my movement. Looking down I was surprised to see her handbag. Jo who was behind me got the giggles. I took the handbag off my foot, walked back to the lady and gave it to her. The look of disbelief on her face was priceless. She didn't know what to think but was grateful to have it back.

    We've had a great holiday, some highs, a low or two but nevertheless a fantastic experience.
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  • Day34

    Rome, Italy - Hong Kong

    July 2, 2019 in Hong Kong ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    We had a sleep in this morning due to our flight departure not being until 1.05pm. We were up at 8.00am, got ready and then had breakfast. A short wait and then we caught our shuttle transfer to the airport. It took little time for us to check in and we had a wait until we boarded our flight homewood bound. Finally we are underway.Read more

  • Day33

    Venice - Rome, Italy

    July 1, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    We were up in the middle of the night to catch our water taxi to airport for the start of our journey home. I put the suitcases outside and Jo and I left with me pulling door shut behind me having left the key on the table. Just as instructed by the agent. 

    I had barely walked 20 metres when my stomach sank to new depths and I nearly fainted. My back pack was still inside. Door locked and no key. I yelled to Jo what I had done and panic came like a landslide. No passport, no wallet, no phone, no insulin and no heart medication.

    Jo had her phone luckily and she tried to call the agent. Hours of operation from 1000 - 2000. By now we are both feeling sick. Jo called the insurance company but they knocked back us for a claim saying the back pack hadn't been stolen, wasn't lost either so therefore unclaimable. Jo rang our travel agent back home. So here we are, sitting at a canal bus stop at 4.00am feeling like our world had caved in. 

    Many more calls between Jo and the agent who went above and beyond. It was finally sorted and we were to travel to Rome by train, stay overnight near the airport and catch the same flight home tomorrow. Then we had to wait to contact the agent at 10.00am and hope we can access the apartment and retrieve my back pack.

    What I didn't mention was that in the initial stages of panic, I tried to smash the glass in the door so I could my put my hand inside and unlock it and the let the agent know later in the day. I would then pay for the repair by card. In case you didn't already know. Plate glass doesn't  smash with a short torch. Probably best it didn't as knowing my luck I would have been hauled off our flight by Italian police and locked up for a few days whilst it was sorted out.

    So the end result is that we are now back on track and will return home 24 hours later than first expected. My back pack will be with me all the time now even if that means sleeping with it on my back.

    You dick head Vic.
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  • Day32

    Venice, Italy

    June 30, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Today is our last day in Venice and tomorrow we commence our long return home. We were due to leave Venice on a 10.00am flight but the airline cancelled it and we now have a 6.00am flight. That means we now have to be up at 2.45am to make the flight. Sheeesh!!

    Last night we went to the deli and bought ourselves an antipasto dinner after returning from the Dolomites. It was so good and so worthwhile. We then went shopping and finished up with a night cap in one of the local piazzas.

    Today we were up late. Slept in till 9.30am and then got ourselves ready. The sleep in was long over due. More shopping in the Rialto region and then a local seafood dish for lunch.  Gee, I really do love my food!!

    Had an afternoon nap just for good measure and then off for a back street foodies tour. We were 4 minutes late and the tour started without us. No phone call to ask how far off we were despite every other tour guide doing that for others who were up to 30 minutes late on some occasions. Not bloody happy Jan. It was our night before we start our journey home so not a nice way to finish off our holiday.
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  • Day31

    Dolomite Mountains, Italy

    June 29, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    We had an early start to get to our meeting place for today's tour of the Dolomite mountain range. Incredible views of mountains and valleys and a welcome relief with a lower temperature of 25 degrees by mid morning. Two of the towns we visited were Cortina and Misurina which are almost encircled by mountains. Amazing scenery! I know I told you about a picture tells a thousand words as far as Kotor is concerned but the Dolomites are right up there too.

    The mountains are a part of Italy the average person wouldn't choose or get to see. I'm so glad we did. Million dollar views in every direction.
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  • Day30

    Venice, Italy

    June 28, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    We docked at 7.00am this morning and disembarked at 8.15am. A short ride on the train and then we had to figure out how to get to the rendezvous point with all our luggage to speak to the agent about our apartment. There are porters with trollies who cart your luggage on them for a fee. Best 20 euros I have spent as the walk with luggage would have killed us.

    Our agent meets us and takes us to our apartment. Not on the canal as depicted in the ad but it's very comfortable and rustic.

    The challenge now lies with getting to our tour meeting places without taxis and trains.

    We make it and travel by boat to two of Venice’s many islands. The first is Murano which is famous for its glass blowing. Quite amazing watching them making such a variety of glass products including chandeliers. Not fun standing in front of a furnace heated to 1200 degrees Celsius. Great job in winter but not today. Another 35 degree day. In fact come to think of it, we've only had a couple days under 30 for the entire trip so far!! The problem in Venice though is the humidity which knocks you around.

    From Murano to Burano which is famous for its hand made lace. Upon returning to Venice we had dinner and then went to St. Mark's Piazza for a tour of the Basilica. Absolutely beautiful on the outside but the inside wasn’t my cup of tea. A very heavy middle eastern influence, extremely ornate and themed on the old testament.

    It was a very uncomfortable trip home on the water bus. Humid, squashed in like sardines and smelling twice as bad.

    Even though there are no roads, Venice has traffic police. They are just as sneaky as back home and sit on canal bridges with radar to enforce speed limits on the canals.

    We arrived home late, exhausted and bothered for an early start tomorrow.
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  • Day29

    Split, Croatia

    June 27, 2019 in Croatia ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    We met out tour guide just outside the port with 2 other couples who we have been with on some the daily tours. Lovely people. We drove for an hour along the coast  to an ancient town called Trojir which is on the waterfront. It is a walled city with narrow walkways everywhere but very quaint.

    We had some free time after the tour and went shopping for souvenirs. From there we returned to Split and toured the ancient roman built city which was also used for scenes in GoT. The original throne from the movie is there and I wanted to have my photo taken sitting in it but the queue was too long and we were short of time. Damn... Vic, King of the 7 kingdoms missed his once in a lifetime chance. 

    Very impressed with Split. A mixture of old and new but blended well. Well worth a visit if you get the chance. Scenery is fantastic too but not as spectacular as Kotor which is my favourite to date.
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  • Day28

    Kotor, Montenegro

    June 26, 2019 in Montenegro ⋅ ⛅ 35 °C

    Kotor, Montenegro. Each country we have visited on this tour and in the past has had its own unique beauty, extraordinary scenery and wow factors. Each is equally appealing in its own right but nothing compares to the fjord of Kotor.  I am not going to try and describe it and hope that a picture truly does tell a thousand words. If not, then you need to see it first hand to believe me and fully appreciate it. Put it on your bucket list. That’s all I can say.

    It's our second last night on board and we are still having dinner in the dining room and then attending the cabaret show. Very entertaining and adds to the overall cruise experience. It's nice to tour during the day, come on board, freshen up and not having to worry about cooking and entertainment. It's  all there at your fingertips.

    We have had a truly wonderful holiday and experienced so much but are starting to look forward to coming home. We are especially missing Bella and Bruno. Hopefully, they will remember who we are.
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  • Day27

    At Sea - Italy to Montenegro

    June 25, 2019, Adriatic Sea ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    It's a quiet and relaxing day for us. We are at sea all day and night heading to Kotor. A welcome relief given that we have been flat chat all day everyday since we landed in Madrid.

    Jo had her nails done this morning and after that we vegged out on sun lounges (in the shade of course) for few hours. Following lunch we did the same by the pool with ongoing entertainment in the background. The weather has been spectacular every day for the entire trip with a minimum of 32 each day of the cruise.Read more

  • Day26

    Naples, Sorrento and Pompei, Italy

    June 24, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 35 °C

    This morning we docked at Naples, joined our tour group and headed to the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento. Stunning scenery!!! Our bus driver certainly showed off his driving skills. Narrow coastline roads full of bends and blind corners. Definitely a best on ground performance. Lunch was a margherita pizza at Sorrento.

    A small piece of trivia for you. The margherita pizza was invented in Naples in 1984 according to our guide.

    The area is famous for its lemons and I can see why. Some of them were the size of a cantaloupe. Massive!

    From there we headed to Pompei. It was nothing like I was expecting. A walled city with hundreds of buildings, rustic roads and footpaths all in the middle of modern day suburbia. Not in the middle of nowhere as I had envisaged.

    It was sea port in its time and the sea was on the city's edge. The sea is now a few miles away as a result of the land claiming the sea from the volcanic eruptions over the milleniums.

    All of the artefacts are under lock and key but still viewable by tourists. Statutes, pottery, column pieces and twisted bodies of people and animals caught by the lava flow from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Many would have been killed by the toxic gases initially as opposed to being burnt alive by the lava. 

    35 yesterday in Rome, 33 today in Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Life is tough sometimes...............
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