A 27-day adventure by Coltrane
  • Day27

    Sandown > London - Day 27

    May 17, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

    Pam kindly took us back to Yarmouth ferry for the trip back. The day is typical British weather, wet and miserable and yet again there is the bitter sweet goodbye with my last Relative on my mothers side! The trip does not require as many changes and we get back to Sarah Francis’ house early afternoon. This is our last night in London, and we are booked in to see Motown the musical at Shaftesbury Theatre. Jane decides to get some last minute shopping in and heads to Oxford Street. We meet at Georgia's favourite Burger house, 5 GUYS, for a fast food fix and then off to the theatre! Motown is fantastic, the first musical both Georgia and I have seen and we all loved it! Back home to pack the bags for the last time, what a great holiday it has been. As usual over too soon, but there's no doubt we've packed all we can into it.Read more

    What a trip Col, well done mate. Nobby


    Missing you guys already🇦🇺X

  • Day26

    Sandown, Isle of Wight - Day 26

    May 16, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    The girls have a sleep in and it's not 'til midday that we get going. Aunty Pam joins us as navigator and we head off to the Rosemary Vineyard to see how the Poms do wine. Most of it is fruit based wine, but I do try a dry white and a rose`! Suffice it to say I was petty happy to discover they made a Gin too, which was actually pretty good! Next stop is the Garlic Farm! Who would have thought a whole brand could be developed from the humble garlic, but this place is actually pretty amazing with all manner of garlic products including black garlic ice cream and garlic beer! I passed up on the beer, but we did have a beautiful lunch of Asparagus and garlic soup, and the most amazing garlic bread! Needless to say the car was pretty stinky as we made our way out to the Donkey Rescue Centre! They obviously weren't perturbed as Georgia got to feed and pat them, including one dead ringer from the Shrek movie! By late afternoon Pam and Georgia were ready for a rest, so after dropping them off Jane and I head down to Shanklin, a little town on the coast. We have a nice walk and an Ice-cream after which, we all head out to Newport for Dinner. I pick an Italian place we saw on the way in, it is just us and another couple and a waiter who sounds like he is straight off the set of Little Britain!! The food, however is fantastic, the best meal we have had on the whole tour, who would have thought!If you're ever there, visit Valentino's!!!!Read more

  • Day25

    Esher - Sandown, Isle of Wight - Day 25

    May 15, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Veronica kindly dropped us off at the station in Esher, for the train trip to the Isle of Wight. Jane has pre booked the trip from Oz before we left so she goes to the auto teller and prints off the tickets. It looks like we have a few changes along the way, so I settle in for the trip. We hop on the train to Basingstoke, and I decide to look at the train map to check our trip plan. I'm looking at our end destination which is Yarmouth! This is on the Isle of Wight, but the wrong side and there is no connecting train! Oh Bugger! Next stop we try to change the tickets, but they won't, so I ring my 86 year old Aunt and let her know not to meet us at Sandown at that we will catch the Taxi from the ferry! She insists on picking us up and meets us in Yarmouth, I take over for the 45 minute trip back, fortunately the traffic on the Island is not heavy so I am eased of mind for her making the trip initially. In fact she assures us that she in fact quite enjoyed it ! Pam has a fantastic roast chicken meal on the go and we enjoy that and catch up on all the news since we last saw her in Australia 8 years ago!Read more

  • Day24

    London > Esher - Day 24

    May 14, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Got up around 10 and walked into Spittlefields Market. Miraculously, the weather is perfect again, and this only lends to a really good vibe out and about! Of all the markets I have seen and been dragged through in my life this is easily the best! The array of product on display is mindblowingly interesting, and Georgia finds some cool clothes to buy. I, yes I, could have gone to town buying hats,vinyl, books and vintage clothing! But the adults have resisted, and we negotiate our way to the end relatively unscathed. The food stalls looked awesome, and Jane managed a few samples, and we both wished we hadn't had brunch before being exposed to the temptations before us! Another 6 km walk round trip, and it is time to hit he London rail network to get out to Esher where Veronica and John now live. We arrive late afternoon and Georgia is wrapped to be with children and canine company again! John is in full host mode breaking out some fantastic wine & cheese, and then cooking dinner to boot! We are treated to some lovely NZ savvy and Pinot, but the pick is a 2012 Cali Zinfandel! We have a fun reminiscing, but unfortunately it's a school day tomorrow, and Veronica is recovering from an allnighter charity walk. We call it a night around 10:30. It's been another awesome catch-up with distanced friends! It would be nice to stay a bit longer, but it it's off to the Isle of Wight tomorrow and a rendezvous with my Aunty Pam!Read more

  • Day23

    London - Day 23

    May 13, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Saturday morning and we have arranged to meet Ginny and Andrew at the Portobello market for Brunch. After meeting at the wrong tube we finally get to Notting-hill Station, the start of the market. The place is heaving, with stalls selling all manner of cool stuff. With Jane and Ginny stopping regularly to check stuff out the going is slow, but eventually we find a nice pub for Brekky. Andrew and I joke we should go into every menswear shop, as retribution, and I duck into the next one. 20 minutes later I walk out £160 poorer with a new leather jacket!I guess the joke is on me! We snag a table outside for food, and are entertained by a blues guitarist busking on the corner. He is followed by a groovy saxophonist, both of whom are accompanied by a clearly medicated Old Jamaican Lady, dancing to her own beat! Georgia and much of the crowd are kept amused by the antics! After our meal we discover the Portobello Gin bar has a tasting room ! Jane sorts us through most the open samples and we finally order one each from their interesting menu; the Butter Gin probably being the pick. From Portobello, we tube it to Harefield, in Zone 6. This is where Jane's friend Andrea and family live! It's a beautiful Village and we have a looong lunch at the Coy Carp, a pub overlooking the Canal that connects London to Birmingham. It's a lovely afternoon and Georgia gets to enjoy the company of their two similar aged daughters. On the way back to the station they takes us to the local cemetery that has a memorial to 50 or so fallen Anzacs from WWI. This village was where one of the Australian Hospitals was situated and they still commemorate every year! It is beautifully kept, but sobering to see just how young these poor souls were that sacrificed their lives for us! On the return tube home we are entertained by a very inebriated Jamaican guy, it is the most smiles and laughter I've ever witnessed on this usually dour mode of travelling! I bite the bullet and make the 40 min round trip to see if my lost jumper can be recovered, and Woo hoo finally a win!Read more

  • Day22

    Paris > London - Day 22

    May 12, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    Another day pretty much lost to travelling ! After a short Taxi ride, we jump on the Eurostar that takes us under the channel at up to 300 clicks an hour! Just a tad under 2 Hrs and we are in London. Another short taxi takes us to Sarah Francis' apartment in East London. This will be home for the next two nights! We decide to hit Brick Lane for a curry dinner, and after a Milkshake/Beer at the All Star Lanes bowling Alley, Jane takes on the spruikers trying to entice us into their Restaurants. She gets one guy down to £11 a head for Naan, Pappadam, starter,main course and a drink! She is formidable at this bargaining thing! The food hits the spot, and the 20 min walk after, eases the bloated tummies! Georgia is delighted to discover the Burger joint she loved in Paris has outlets in London!. She has also snaffled 2 new Finger Spinners which have become her latest fad obsession! I wake up in the middle of the night to recall I have left my new jumper at the Restaurant!! I swear I'm getting dementia!Read more

  • Day21

    Paris - Day 21

    May 11, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Another late start after a late night dinner and drinks. It's our last full day in Paris and we have already wasted half of it. We head off for a last trek around the city, and I have promised myself we must see at least one museum. After some last minute shopping and some gift buying from the street side vendors I drag the girls into the Musée d'Orsay. This is a museum filled with the great Renaissance artists such as Monet, Renoir and Degas. On entering we discover that this exhibition is huge, and Georgia is none too impressed. I leave her and Jane to their own devices and try to see what I can in the hour I have allocated. It is remarkably well laid out and subtly lit to highlight these magnificent works. The layout runs in a time line from the different periods such as impressionism and symbolism, and I am glad I have made the effort to improve my limited knowledge on these incredibly innovative artists of the time. After we catch up there is one last 30 minute trudge back home and Georgia is momentarily appeased by huge Iced Yoghurt covered in all manner of sweets, fruit and chocolate sauce. I have been without access to the camera all day so I have cheated on the shots! Au revoir Paris vous avez été magnifique!Read more

    The station clock & Degas were my fav there... well done, a bit of culture never did any harm😳!


    Loving the coverage of your holiday, fantastic, Paul

  • Day20

    Paris - Day 20

    May 10, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Woke up with a glowing sunburnt face, aching legs and a sore arse from the Bike ride!!! We have covered close to 15km in the last two days and are all feeling it! Good thing all we have to do is a tour to the top of the Eiffel Tower, said no one ever ! After much groaning and moaning we negotiate the Metro yet again and find ourselves at the base of the Eiffel Tower. She is a massive awe inspiring piece of architecture and after numerous security checks, we are on our way to the top! Jane is in the middle of the lift with eyes closed, she's not real happy with heights, but once we are up the top we get a great view of the city. This puts all the great landmarks we've seen over the last few days finally into perspective. Jane eases her nerves with a champers, and Georgia is comfortable enough to pop the camera through the wire for some uninterrupted photos of the landscape! This was the big reason for us coming to Paris, as she loves this iconic tower. Thanks to our amazing tour guides we receive an interesting history lesson on it's build and indeed on the history of Paris generally. The weather is perfect again,so we take a walk to the Golden Domed Cathedral, where Napoleon is entombed in such a way as you have to bow down to see him! We continue on back over the river, to the Arch de Triumph. An hour or so lost to clothes shopping, and we finally make it back home for a well deserved beer. It's 8pm and I am totally shagged, and we haven't even had dinner yet! Paris could well be the end of me! But there could be worse places to finish up!Read more

    Paris is different and full of great things to see... so happy you had a good time there xx

  • Day19

    Paris - Day 19

    May 9, 2017 in France ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    Took us all a while to get going, but we finally get out into the sunshine by 11am. We decide to explore our local district, where the ladies are enticed by the funky jewellery shops. We head down to the Jewish Quarter, where the shops seem to get more extravagant, and the cobbled streets more beautiful. Georgia can't resist the Crepes, but Jane and I indulge in the phalafel pouches famous for this area! They are amazing. Because it is such a beautiful day, we decide to wander down and walk along the banks of the River Sienne. The French are out in droves enjoying the first rays of summer. An interesting coffee there, (I never cease to be amazed how many different types of coffee I get when I ask for alatte!) and then up to the Tuileries Gardens for an ice cream, then yet more walking up to the beginning of the Champs Elyees. We are due for a 4 hr bike tour so we leave Sarah Francis to some shopping, and it is the last we'll see of her till London. The Phat Tyre Night Bike Tour of Paris is fantastic. We see the amazing highlights of Paris in all it's luminescent glory, including a one hr cruise down the river! By the time we catch the metro back home it is 1 am and we are completely exhausted!Read more

  • Day18

    Paris - Day 18

    May 8, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Not feeling 100%, but after a bit of a sleep in, I join the Mademoiselles for breakfast. Some Parisian Pastries kindly bought by Sarah hit the spot, and we head off on foot to the Notre Dame. On the way we pass an interesting Patisserie, selling bread in the shape of male genitalia! It gets a good laugh, but no-one is buying so we continue on along the river, and past the many vendors selling books paintings, and trinkets. A photo shoot at the Notre Dame Cathedral, is enough, and we wander further to the Shakespearian Bookstore, which has an amazing selection! Georgia finally finds a fidget spinner, and we contact my bro David to catch up for Coffee! After a walk to the Louvre which he and Jenny have just visited we have a drink and part ways. Georgia and I head back to the apartment whilst Jane and Sarah continue shopping. On return I open the windows to the traffic below, slip on some Miles Davis and get stuck into my novel! I'm feeling very relaxed and at home in this Parisian environment! Several hours later the shoppers return, both have bought really cool coats and don them for our next stop, the Moulin Rouge. The show is a tittilating affair, which is undoubtedly making Georgia uncomfortable, but she does enjoy the interspersing acts of strength, dexterity and grace. The rest of us enjoy the show's tight choreography and spectacular costumes, and walk away glad to have made the effort to see this iconic performance. A few happy snaps outside and we make it back home for a vino or two! It's been a good day!Read more

    Paris is certainly fun- glad you're have by a great time 🇫🇷X