Travels to see friends and family.
  • Day29

    Final Footprint

    January 13, 2020 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    Our last two days in London were spent doing some quite varied things! Since we have both visited before, we didn’t need to see the obvious sights. Sunday was a slower start to the day with a lunch reservation at Rovi restaurant (one of the Ottolenghi places). It was tucked away on a quiet street in Fitzrovia but was bustling inside. The service was excellent as were the menu options (drinking vinegar a highlight!). Afterwards we walked to the British museum which was not too far away. This place was absolutely huge in terms of both the building and treasures inside. It was truly awe-inspiring to see so many ancient artefacts such as the Rosetta Stone and all the Greek vases I studied in my first year uni art history classes! In the evening we attended the All Souls Langham Place church service. It was a great experience - we found the people very welcoming and the message gave us some challenges for the year ahead. We enjoyed some takeaway Thai for dinner that night.
    Our final day was spent just outside of central London in Richmond. We had a whole day to spend before the flight and wanted to get out and enjoy a country walk. The route took us up Richmond Hill and through Richmond Park, past Ham House and along the Thames back to Richmond. We had a really good pub lunch to spend the last of our pounds.
    There was a bit more time to kill before needing to go to the airport so we stayed on the tube to St Paul’s cathedral but we only went into a smaller chapel as they’re now charging £20 to enter!
    Our journey home has been a good one. All of the trains, planes and automobiles have worked out smoothly and we were very happy with Qatar. We’re now on the train to Penrith with only a short taxi ride back home. We are looking forward to washing our clothes and cooking our own food! Oh and greeting the cats too! It will be nice to spend some quiet days at home before getting back into the routine of work.
    It has been a wonderful trip with many special memories and we are now thinking about ‘next time’!
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    Merilyn Rose

    Did you see any narrowboats on the river?

    1/14/20Reply
    Fiona Boughey

    Yes I think so.

    1/14/20Reply
    Liz Love

    Thanks for sharing. Enjoyed following your trip. Now a challenge for me to do this later when we go to France. Liz

    1/15/20Reply
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  • Day27

    Oxford

    January 11, 2020 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

    On Saturday we travelled to Oxford for the day - Guy had not been before and I wanted to see it again. We caught a double decker coach called the Oxford tube which got us there in about 1.5 hours. After a quick coffee we headed to Broad St for our walking tour of the colleges and city area. It was a really good tour with a former student and Oxford native as our guide. We spent time looking at the grounds of Trinity college including the chapel and dining hall. We then walked through to see the Sheldonian theatre, Weston library, Bridge of Sighs, Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe camera. All these places are only a couple of minutes apart and we even got to see the lamppost which may have inspired C.S. Lewis!
    We found a table upstairs in a Greek cafe in the covered market for lunch. The weather was ok but quite grey most of the day but we decided to see another college. This time I wanted to go back to Magdalen which I had visited back in 2004 with Mum, Aunty Lois and Narelle (although that day was much hotter!). We wandered around the cloisters and out to the path beside the stream, spotting deer in the park. Finally we made our way back to Broad st and passed quite a while in the enormous Blackwell’s bookshop to finish the day.
    Our dinner was again just out on Earls Court road - sourdough pizza!
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  • Day26

    Sunny London

    January 10, 2020 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 6 °C

    Our trip to London took most of the day so we arrived at our hotel in Earls Court at about 5pm. We had noticed an Indian restaurant and decided to have dinner there - it was great!
    Friday morning was fine a sunny so we walked towards Kensington gardens and hired bikes for a quick ride up to Hyde Park and back around. The weather was really lovely and we enjoyed walking along the Serpentine through the park. We made our way through Wellington Arch to Buckingham palace and then down the Mall on our way to Fortnum and Mason’s for some tea. Along the way I bumped into a work colleague and spotted Princess Eugenie!
    We came back to the hotel with some lunch and then I went out again to King’s Rd Chelsea for some shopping and a Trinny London makeup consultation. Guy visited the library at the Royal College of Music. We then met up in Chelsea where we saw a jazz singer performing songs from various musicals which we enjoyed.
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  • Day22

    Dublin Days

    January 6, 2020 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    We arrived here in Dublin on Sunday from Copenhagen. Our hotel is located not far from the city centre on the south side. We had arranged to travel out to Navan on Monday to meet up with Narelle and Eamon but as both of us had colds and we feeling pretty tired, we decided to stay in Dublin to get some errands done (including washing) and just have a wander around. Guy went to the Dublinia museum in the afternoon and we had dinner at a pub (The Hairy Lemon) that night where they had a traditional Irish music group playing.
    On Tuesday we had a bit of a self guided walking tour of the city centre, learning a bit of the history of the Irish republic. Due to some rain, we went to the movies in the morning (Star Wars) and then took a tram out to Kilmainham Gaol where many political prisoners were executed and even the former PM of Ireland was once locked up. That evening we had another pub dinner (The Old Storehouse) and some Irish music, this time a ballad singer.
    Wednesday we had booked a bus tour for the day to Glendalough and Kilkenny. It was a wonderful day weather-wise as we had good visibility and no rain. The guide took us to St Kevin’s monastery and then we could walk to Glendalough. After this a farmer gave us a sheep dog demonstration with his border collie Maggie. We drove on via the Wicklow mountains towards Kilkenny. Here we took a guided tour of the castle. After a big day we had a quick dinner in the Temple Bar area and walked home to the hotel.
    Today is Thursday and we will be flying to London at around 1pm.
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    e [QPbmCRVM]

    4/24/21Reply
     
  • Day20

    Aarhus

    January 4, 2020 in Denmark ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

    On Friday Gigi drove us and Felip (their AFS exchange volunteer) to Aarhus via Odense and Odder (where we dropped him off). Angel and Heinrich also drove and we all checked in to the Helnan Marselis Hotel for the night. It has a sea view from the window. For dinner, we went to a big converted warehouse that now houses around 20 street food vendors. It was great with lots of choice.
    The next day after breakfast Gigi took us around the town (second largest in Denmark) starting with a walk along the beach which ended with a quick foray into a deer park - some of the deer were quite aggressive in their search for food and Gigi got a good head butt from a small stag!
    We then hopped into the car to drive to a reconstructed town with buildings from the 1700s through to the 1970s. It was very well done from original buildings. From there we walked to the modern art museum which has an impressive rainbow walking platform (enclosed) above the building. It was quite amazing to walk through. We managed to look at some of the art works too!
    Finally we ventured into the city centre and had a quick snack at a roof top cafe at the top of the Salling department store. Gigi drove us home which took about 2 hours on the motorway and included crossing a very long bridge across the ocean between two of Denmark’s islands.
    Today we left Høng in the morning after a leisurely breakfast with the family. We arrived in Dublin at about 4 pm.
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    Merilyn Rose

    These boots are made for walking! 🤣🤣

    1/5/20Reply
    Lyndal Rose

    What is that? A chip or calamari ring?

    1/5/20Reply
    Lyndal Rose

    Cute!

    1/5/20Reply
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  • Day19

    Copenhagen & Høng

    January 3, 2020 in Denmark ⋅ 🌧 6 °C

    We arrived into Copenhagen from Berlin on an easyjet flight which took less than an hour. From the airport it was simply a matter of getting on a train to the city centre (only about 20 minutes) and then walking to our hotel not too far away. Luckily we could check in a bit early as we were pretty tired and went straight for a nap.
    Our New Year’s Eve dinner was booked at restaurant Grøften located inside the Tivoli amusement park. It was completely full with people out celebrating and we enjoyed our three course vegan menu! We were quite surprised to find out that our two glasses of wine, water as green tea cost the equivalent of about $80 AUD! After dinner we strolled around the garden-like park enjoying seeing some fireworks, though not the main ones as we went back to the hotel and were in bed asleep before midnight.
    Next day we caught at train to Slagelse which is the bigger town near Gigi’s small town. She picked us up from the station and we went back to her home to meet Angel and Heinrich. We have been staying in a motel in Slagelse because they didn’t have any water at their place for a while and didn’t know when it would be reconnected.
    Gigi took us around Copenhagen on Thursday where we saw the Little Mermaid (we rode Lime scooter to get there!), the royal palace including the changing of the guard, Nyhavn with its colourful buildings, the round tower and a few of the shopping streets.
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    Merilyn Rose

    Looks very cold! No snow?

    1/3/20Reply
    Lyndal Rose

    😂

    1/3/20Reply
    Fiona Boughey

    No!

    1/3/20Reply
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  • Day15

    A Day in Berlin

    December 30, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 6 °C

    We arrived into Berlin fairly late by train from Prague. We shared a first class compartment which just managed to accommodate all the luggage.
    Upon arrival we took a taxi to the hotel (about 10 minutes) and then went out to look for a dinner option.
    There were so many options for museums in Berlin that we decided on one only a short walk away - The Berlin Bunker. It was used during the war and the museum included a very extensive story about how Hitler committed such terrible wartime atrocities. We spent about three hours here and then moved not too far away to the Berlin Wall Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie. We had lunch in a close by Irish pub (touristy of course)!
    I had bought tickets for a hop on hop off bus so we headed to Alexanderplatz to try and find the right bus - no so easy due to the size of the place but we managed to find it eventually! From the bus we saw many of the huge buildings and the Brandenburg Gate. We got off the bus at the victory column and decided to walk back to the hotel from there via the Tiergarten (about 45 minutes). Dinner was across the road at a Japanese restaurant and then quickly into an Uber across town to the A-Trane jazz club. We saw a group called Unity 5 who were very good - the place was packed!
    This afternoon we arrived in Copenhagen via an easyJet flight (only 50 minutes). We got the hotel and crashed for a few hours before our New Year’s Eve dinner.
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  • Day14

    Less than 24 hours in Prague

    December 29, 2019 in Czech Republic ⋅ ☀️ 0 °C

    We arrived into Prague at about 2.30 pm by train. Since the hotel was only a ten minute walk, we decided to trundle our suitcases through the cobbled streets and hope for the best!
    Although it was getting dark, we hadn’t had any lunch so we were keen to get out and find some food. Headings to the streets of the old town was interesting -crowds of people everywhere and not much room to move! We were very happy to find a table for two in the window of a restaurant/pub sort of place and took delight in ordering goulash and ribs at 4.30 in the afternoon.
    We had booked an evening guided walk at 6.00 pm so we headed for the meeting place near the Charles Bridge. Our guide was excellent and took us across th bridge and up to the castle via the tram and funicular. We had many fine views of the city by night as we made our way down the hill back to the old town. The guide even helped us get the metro back to our hotel.
    The next morning we walked back to the castle for pre-booked tickets into the castle buildings. The crowds weren’t as bad at 9.00 am. We entered through security bet quickly but as we were leaving the line to get through was very long!
    We left Prague on the train bound for Berlin at 2.30 pm fo a 4 hour journey.
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    e [QPbmCRVM]

    4/24/21Reply
     
  • Day13

    Thoughts of Vienna

    December 28, 2019 in Czech Republic ⋅ ☁️ 0 °C

    As we depart Wien on the train to our next stop, Praha, it is time again to reflect upon the last 5 days.

    The performance of Mozart at the Mozarthaus (a performance space used by Mozart, and others during the centuries) was a fitting last night concert. It concluded a week full of the history, sights and culturural and religious traditions that Viennese are well known for and celebrate at this time of year.

    Our experience was highlighted by our wonderful AFS Rosenberger family hosts, which gave us a special insight into Viennese culture that other tourists may not always see. This included a vantage point to look out over the Prater during family dinners.

    Language differences are to be expected when travelling, but the tip is to have a way to bridge the gap. Most people in Vienna of the last 2 generations speak English. We were doubly blessed to be able to learn some simple German phrases from our generous hosts. It’s a language that was starting to sound familiar for the routine activities of our days.

    This is another place that demands more time to explore (there are over 100 museums!).
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  • Day11

    Walking Around Vienna

    December 26, 2019 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    Elisabeth kindly organised for us to have a friend of hers (who is a professional tour guide) give us a walking tour of the inner city. She showed us much of the medieval history of the buildings and explained a lot about the history of Vienna.
    We had a quick bite to eat and a hot chocolate in a traditional cafe and then went on to check out the Imperial Treasury museum. Back at home, Alois made us beef Bourguignon for an early dinner.
    We had booked a concert of Vivaldi’s four seasons at St Charles church that night - it was wonderful to hear in such an impressive venue! Everything is easy to get to via the underground.
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    Glenn Rose

    Wow!

    12/29/19Reply
    Glenn Rose

    Wow, wow!!

    12/29/19Reply