August - October 2017
  • Day62

    Home again, home again... the verdict

    October 27, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Finn's favourite things:
    Snow, Germany

    Kate's favourite things
    Seeing Mena and Mia again, the summer toboggan, top of the Eiffel Tower, and Mum in the pharmacy in Paris saying "Excusez-moi, je ne parle pas Anglais"

    Craig's favourite things:
    Certaldo in Tuscany, sculpture gallery in San Gimignano, cooking school even if it was to prove that the Italian culinary tradition gets in the way of innovation, our canal boat in Southern France, meeting Mena and Mia's family and seeing the girls again, Berlin was strangely intriguing,

    Gabby's favourite things:
    Spending 9 weeks with my family, seeing Mena and Mia again, and pretty much anything we saw, did or ate (rosé, gelati, cheese and bread rate a special mention). Our day in the Dachstein Mountains in Austria was pretty spectacular, the canal boat was a great experience and relaxing after a week or more of hustle and bustle of Paris and London, the WWI history of the Western Front was haunting, Tuscany was delivering up different experiences every day, and Germany was full of quaint villages and a mix of interesting WWII history. Our AirBnbs in le Bar-sur-Loup and Certaldo are worthy of special mention as was the fact that we got to create travel memories with Glen and Jeff.

    It was all incredible and we can't wait for our next big adventure.
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  • Day60


    October 25, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    It was then on to Kiel to meet up with Mia after she finished Uni. Mia did try to give us the fishbun experience of Kiel, however the weather was not being kind to us and the food trucks along the waterfront were not open. It was great moody weather for a sea-side location though and we did get to watch a big liner which does an overnighter to Oslo depart from the harbour.

    After lunch we went back to Mia's house to meet her mother, father and sister who had driven in from Hamburg for the day, (and Digby the dog) - lovely! We were able to present Mia with the travel guitar, which had been our plan before leaving Australia. We didn't give Mia a going way gift because we decided we would buy her a guitar in London, travel with it, collect stickers from each country we visited, and then give this to her as her memory of her time with the Ingram Family in Australia.

    We had the best restaurant meal of Germany at one of their local restaurants on the promenade, before saying goodbye to Mia for what will be a long time too! It has been fabulous to meet up with all three of our au pairs in Germany over the last 2 weeks!
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  • Day60


    October 25, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    We had a beautiful breakfast back with the Stolper family. The kids got to feed and hold Britte's rabbits, we had a tour of the tractors and said farewell to Mena for a long time to come now.

  • Day59

    Berlin to Hamelin via Wernigerode

    October 24, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Up bright and early this morning to set off for Wernigerode which was 3.5 hours drive away to pick up Mena en route to Hamelin where we were staying the night. Mena made us a lovely lunch in her apartment before showing us the quick sights of Wernigerode - a brisk walk up the hill to the local castle, through the Altstadt (beautiful old town!) before we drove out to the world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge. I was looking this up before to find out that it was only the world's longest suspension bridge for a few months because Switzerland went and opened up a longer one in July! Poor Germany. It was quite cold on the suspension bridge, which is built by a rather large dam wall. Crazy people were using a zip lone that would have been over 1000m long starting at the top of the suspension bridge and whizzing down toward the lake. Other crazy people were dropping off a platform built below the suspenion bridge attached to a long rope which would then swing under the bridge above the lake. We elected just to talk on the bridge from one side to the other and back again. That was enough.

    We then drove to the village just outside of Hamelin to meet the Stolper family. What a lovely evening!!! We had a beautiful meal, and the kids got to sleep in Mena's room for the last time whilst Craig and I stayed in the hotel down the road.
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  • Day57

    Berlin - Fishing at Oberbaum Bridge

    October 22, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    We ended up at the Oberbaum Bridge, which was an impressive structure. It signified a divide between two boroughs of Berlin so has since become an important symbol of reunification.

    Down by the river below the bridge we found a couple of guys with a bit of rope attached to a super-powerful magnet chucking it into the river. By the time we got there they had already fished out a chair and were in the middle of pulling a bike out of the river. ‘Tis amazing how entertaining this can be to watch. We hung around for a bit only to see them hook another bike, although it was taking a bit of effort to unleash it from the mud using the magnet! I would suggest that this is way more rewarding than trying to catch “real fish”, mainly because I have never been successful at the real deal.Read more

    David Duncan

    We feel like we have been on this holiday with you without having to pay. What a wonderful journey and record of your trip. You must be close to catching up with Mena and Mia. Are you going to Lego Land? Mum asked this. I do not have clue where Lego Land is.

    David Duncan

    Did Craig get any inspiration from the art on display?

    Gabrielle Ingram

    We might pop into Lego land today as we have to go past it to go back to book a visit to the Reichstag Building. We pick up Mena Em route to Hamelin tomorrow to have dinner with her family. Then Kiel the next night to meet up with Mia. Then back to Hamburg to fly home.



  • Day57

    East Side Gallery (I)

    October 22, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Given we had seen everything on the sightseeing schedule and it was only just after lunch, we decided to walk to the East Side Gallery, a 1.3km section of the Berlin Wall which was established as an international memorial for freedom with over 100 artists across the world invited to contribute art in 1990. It was a 5km walk from our apartment. I am not sure if it was some sort of psychological effect, or whether it was true, but there was a marked difference between the main city (and Westside) areas we had been in on the morning, and the Eastside offerings. For starters, a LOT more graffiti, a lot of building in disrepair or derelict, and then some real anarchist type dwellings with humpy-type villages set up along the river.

    I could see how film scouts could be forgiven for thinking this part of Berlin was a perfect place to shoot The Walking Dead at times.

    Then suddenly we were at the East Side Gallery and there were tonnes of people. The graffiti art on the walls was interesting, and colourful, or bleak, depending on the artist. I suspect the husband will disagree with me on this one, but there was a lot of “graffiti vandalism” on the artwork which in some cases detracted, and in some instances added to the art work. I like things in neat little boxes (so cut out for my current profession!) so I was finding myself miffed by the “vandals”. That said, the graffiti on the buildings and infrastructure actually seemed to make the place a bit edgy and quite cool. I guess I can’t have it both ways ;-)
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  • Day57

    Berlin - Brandenburg Gate

    October 22, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    We were at the Brandenburg Gate on a Sunday morning, and a stage was set up right outside the gate with some hip-hop artists singing something, people were carrying placards, rainbow flags waving. Haven’t been able to work out from Google Translate or the web what it was all about. I did read that parliament is reconvening on Tuesday... perhaps related?

    We had a currywurst for lunch, as promised, in view of the Brandenburg Gate.
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