April - June 2016
  • Day61

    Paris to home via Singapore

    June 24, 2016 in Singapore ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Left the Airbnb at 8 am after another noisy night ( soccer fans). Although this room is set in a closed off street with electronically operated iron gates at either end, the sound of traffic comes through and up to the 2 nd floor and revelry doesn't end before 3 am - 4 am.When it quietens down the street cleaners start up !! Soa stuffy cramped metro ride to Gare du Nord and then the RER to CDG airport was worse, sweaty. Just after 9 in the airport with a shuttle train also.Wehad to check the bags which was quick but then queued for just over 30 min at customs, just to get our passport stamped! On to security check which was also quick. At last waiting for the boarding time. Air traffic controllers strike we were told at 11:40, when boarding was supposed to have commenced from 11. The plane left about 12 min late but we caught up and arrived at Changi airport before 7, on time .Its pouring with rain outside. Across the skies we saw beautiful snow covered mountain ranges for quite some time. Lots of food on the flight with snacks, lunch, breakfast and drinks. I watched 4 movies and tried to sleep. Awaiting next flight, the last leg of our journey of almost 8 weeks.9:35 am Singapore time should be take off.Read more

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  • Day59

    Paris

    June 22, 2016 in France ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Today after breakfast we caught the metro to Tuilleries and walked ( my error) the wrong way! to get to Musee d'Orangerie. It was a humid day, sunny and later cloudy with a little rain around 4 pm.The highlight of this museum were Monet's paintings of water lilies. We took lots of photos and we bought a book of them. Also we saw many other artists' works, including Cèzanne,Matisse/ Picasso. Less known to me : Modigliani / Derain/Laurencin. We then went into the gardens and ate our chips and apples and fed little birds. It was rather warm now. We then walked to the Notre Dame cathedral via Pont Neuf. Only taking photos from outside we then walked into the Marais area to see what it was like. On our way we walked through the gardens of the Archives building. Finally found a metro station and 1 stop only returned to Bastille and to our accommodation.Read more

  • Day58

    Paris again!

    June 21, 2016 in France ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Today after shopping for breakfast foods, we went to the metro(Bastille) to go to either The James Bond 007 exhibition or the Musee d'Orsay..We arrived at Tuilleries metro and saw a huge line of prospective visitors and while it was 10:30, decided to cue and go in to the Museum D' Orsay. After about 45 mins we got in , security checked , ticketed and checked one bag. Well this museum is great! We were there for about 4 hours, including a short break to eat in the cafe. 5 levels. We saw Monet's girl with parasol, Van Gogh's night sky , some wonderful Manet works, Gaugan, Rooudain sculptures .And more! Classic impressionist masters Degas,Cezanne & Van Gogh, the Pointillists ( Seurat, Signac); and Bohemian artists likeToulouse Lautrec.
    Some great views from the windows of the museum. The museum was once a train station. It i
    We then caught the metro back to Bastille and changed lines to 5.We travelled on line 5 to Patin so that e could see the James Bond 007 exhibition at the Grand Hall of the Villiers building of La Villette.
    James Bond 007 was fantastic. I enjoyed every bit of it and bought the commemorative 50 years of 007 book, which has so many of the photos I took.
    Exited and went to the La Petite Halle de la Villette bar / restaurant for " happy hour" 5€ Belgian beers and dinner, charcuterie and salmon pizza.All yummy! Caught metro back, while waiting there was an argument occurring behind the other platforms then arriving back yo drumming and loud music and fast food. We may not sleep till late!
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  • Day56

    Sweden to Paris

    June 19, 2016 in Sweden ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Stockholm to Paris

    An early start 6:45 to get us to Arlanda airport for a 13:30 flight. Having found the AE bus stop the night before we had no trouble walking the km. The bus was early and it left early too- a good thing we were early. At the airport checking in was easy to our SAS flight. It was cheaper to go via Copenhagen with a plane change. This went smoothly too with barely more than a half hour wait. We arrived at CDG around 5:30 pm. Since we were coming from an EU country there were no customs checks. Caught the airpor shuttle to train station, topped up our Navigo cards and travelled to -Gare du Nord and then changed to Metro line 5 into Bastille station, arriving pretty much at 7:30 pm. ContacyRead more

  • Day56

    Sweden day 4

    June 19, 2016 in Sweden ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    This morning we set off to see the VASA and Nordik museum. Outside the museum on the water were 3 vessels, we went aboard 2, the first was a 1915 lighthouse boat called Finngrundet used around Sweden to warn ships of shallow areas, rocks etc. They would be a floating lighthouse. The second vessel was the Icebreaker which was a coal driven vessel that became oil run. It had water jets to loosen ice and a bow propeller to help break the ice. It used to tow vessels out of the ice too.
    The VASA museum was all about the warship Vasa that sank on its maiden trip in 1628, a ship of King Gustav Adolf. It is the world's only preserved 17C ship.She sank in Stockholm harbour.
    The Nordik museum covered the life of Sweden from its indigenous beginnings, Laplanders, known as Salmi people now recognised officially.There is an enormous statue of Gustav Vasa King of Sweden, 1523-1560. There are about 3 languages spoken but most try now to learn Swedish. Founder of the museum Artur Azelius, museum's name he changed in 1880, to reflect its becoming a foundation.Life and times of Swedes, their apparel, jewellery, furniture, customs, religious ceremonies. We then walked along the foreshore of some of this island Djuragarten, enjoying the gardens, monuments and sheep before crossing the bridge and walking back to our hotel. Stephen went to check on tomorrow's bus stop for our return to Arlanda airport . We asked at reception but the girl could'nt help so we went looking. After finding it we had dinner at the same pizza restaurant , with local beers instead of young wine. 20.9 km
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  • Day55

    Sweden Day 3

    June 18, 2016 in Sweden ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    Saturday and it's raining. Set my alarm for 7:15 as this room has no natural light to wake you up.Went to breakfast and after we walked to the Royal palace .There we visited the Royal Apartments, The Treasury, The Tre Kronor Museum, The Museum of Antiquities and walked back to the Riddarholmen Church. At 12:15 we stood in the rain waiting to see the changing of the guard.We were often swamped by pushy people with umbrellas when we had stood where directed by guards . In the end the band played on and we only saw them March by having had to empty their instruments of water. There were no horse parades today, I'm glad for the horses.The Treasury was very interesting, seeing the crowns, Queen's robe with ermine finishes, the robe was a red velvet embroided all over with crowns. No photos allowed and this was in a huge vaulted area. The antiquities were mostly of the Roman emperors.The Kronor museum was about the early days to present castle design. The Royal apartments were not as flamboyant as the French, in some quite plain. There was an emphasis on clocks. The church was a cemetery in effect - sarcophagusses of the royals, and crests of nobility on the walls, we walked over stone flooring housing the dead. Something more pleasant occurred when we walked, yes in the rain over Skepps Homsbron bridge to the Moderna Museet ( modern art museum). Some curious artworks, sculptures, some Picasso.Before leaving I had a Chardonnay and dad a cappuccino . On our way back to the hotel we were passing the Town Hall we were able to enter its courtyard and the foreshore garden. S took photos. It was very nice, garden had parties style hedging.We ate at a local pizza place where a delicious cabbage salad was presented with our pollo pizza & bottle of Italian Pinot Grigio (2015- very light).
    Watched Jack& the beanstalk variation & ate a block of chocolate .18 km today.
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  • Day54

    Sweden Day 2

    June 17, 2016 in Sweden ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Because there are no windows nighttime lasts forever in this room. So it was 8 am when we woke up! Breakfasted in the hotel - a good feed, no nice cheese! We've been spoilt. We found the way to the tourist info at the Central station and from there we decided on our day's activities. We walked through Drotining a shopping street to Parliament at Rikgatan. We walked by the water and saw part of the changing of the guard and stopped to buy ferry tickets for the feather island in the archipelago (Fjäderholmslijen). A nice trip and the rain has stopped. We had a burger with small roasted potatoes and a garlicky mayo on the side with a local beer( OK) called Monkey Business). We wandered all over this little island stopping in at the local artisans stores. I bought a few items to bring back home. I accidentally walked close to a Nordic seagull chick - its parent swooped down after me but I escaped with paper bag over my head. They are a noisy bunch.I found a stray egg in a nest on a rock face earlier, obviously no good and Stephen photographed it and a chick at the water's edge which must have been a seagull. The next ferry isn't until 4:30 so we'll just meander a bit .Its a 20 min ride back.We walked through some of Gamla Stan the old town, stopping for a beer ( dark) in an old tavern that was a dungeon. The beer was quite good. Stopped at small shops before entering a square with the Nobel Museum and there we had dinner at Kaffe Koppen - Baked potato and seafood, Spinach& salmon pie. It was delicious with a good salad on the side. We walked back via the palace and then along the waterside passing many bridges , finally arriving back just enforce 9 pm. My feet are sore, 15.5 km, including the ferry travel.Read more

  • Day53

    Stockholm Sweden

    June 16, 2016 in Sweden ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    No rain today! It was an easy walk to the Prague railway station and out the other side to the AE bus stop to ride to the airport T3. 33 mins later and we alighted. Stephen exchanged our remaining Czech money for Swedish krona. We've eaten some of our provisions and are waiting for the all to board our SAS flight to Stockholm. Hopefully the flight will run on time as the previous SAS to Copenhagen leaving from the same gate has been delayed.We have arrived it's 7:45 pm and it's raining here and 15C but not too bad. The hotel room has really poor lighting and NO WINDOW.Oh for 2000$ more we could be upgraded! It eels so claustrophobic .We took a bus here & it was close to the accommodation so that was really good!& we purchased return to airport tickets and saved a small fortune, not going via train (430 instead of 980 sek).Read more

  • Day52

    Prague Day 4

    June 15, 2016 in Czech Republic ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    It was raining through the night and still but only lightly when we went out.Today was an easy day, wandering around the old town, trying to see the Jewish quarter, only seeing some and buying fruit bread and cheese.We made it to the astronomical clock 3 x today but only once to see the movements. We went into Marks and Spencer store & I tried on some swimwear to no avail. We walked and walked towards the Dancing House designed by Frank Gehry and took lots of photos of it and views around it from the bridge, including the boats and locks. We came across a wine shop and tried 2 wines (20ck each time- a full glass). We decided to buy a litre of the White Czech wine from the barrel as it was nice and cheap! 103ck including the plastic bottle. A lunch inside the apartment of cheeses, salami,tomatoes & lettuce& hard boiled eggs. Back for dinner and our last 500ck to spend or change to Swedish krona or euro. Have bought our bus fares to the airport already and found the best route to the bus stop for tomorrow.Read more

  • Day51

    Prague Day 3

    June 14, 2016 in Czech Republic ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Slept in and then made our way to the ottomh of the funicular railway . Bought bread on the way for our picnic. We decided to walk instead of the rail and I tried a short cut but my sandals slipped ,,,, grazed knee. Took another short cut and it worked. The walk was a winding switchback type so hence the short cuts. We were dripping by the top.yuk. We met Margaret & John and walked looking for a nice place. The rose gardens were lush, scented and well maintained. It started to rain and we waited under Pine trees. We spotted a rare picnic table and it was under a tree.There we enjoyed M& J's wines we had chilled, as we ate our picnic. After we walked to the Petrin tower and walked up it. It was swaying a bit at the top with all the people but a great view. I took the funicular down with M&J while S walked it. At the bottom M& J took the tram back to their accommodation. S& I walked back over the same bridgeVitzna & it was hot.Went to the I❤️Prague shop and bought a crystal elephant & pair of earrings.Read more