Joyeux Noel!

Hello all,

We hope you have all had a Merry Christmas and thought we should give you another update given how busy Paris is – it may need 3 blogs by itself!!! So as Sam left off from Brussels we caught the train out to Gent for the day, which was a town that neither of us expected. It was very quiet and not at all the small European town we were expecting – a lot more morbid in fact. We firstly checked out the Gravesteen Castle, which is where the town mostly undertook tortures, executions and the imprisoning of the mentally ill and disabled back in the day.

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We then headed to Dr Joseph Guislain’s Asylum museum, which appears to still be a working mental hospital, which we discovered as we went to the local museum.  We both enjoyed the war and trauma exhibit that they had, which included art from people with various trauma and mental illness diagnosis as well as war photography including until recently.  To top off our departure we had the pleasure of hanging out with a chromer at the local tram stop who told me I “had nice shoes!”.  Needless to say we moved away a bit. So to some it up, a day in Gent was a bit like being back at work….

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The following day we went to Brugge which we both loved and was definitely what we were expecting, although we did get soaked in the rain.  We mostly walked around the town which was beautiful and had lunch at a local brewery where we meet some fellow Aussies.  Brugge also makes delicious chocolate and Ribs – it was all you could eat Ribs and I’m sure Sam wanted to move in next door! And yes in the photo below it is a man playing a violin/trumpet instrument – which Google informs me is a Stroh Violin…

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The next day we jumped on a bus for a leisurely 5 hours bus ride to Paris with a quick stop in Lille, luckily we had music, books and wi-fi to keep us entertained.  After our arrival we headed straight to our accommodation in Rue Du Fromborg which is in the old jewish quarter and next to a few other interesting categorised quarters, such as the “gay” quarter.  We dumped our luggage and headed out into the main part of Paris, which is about a 15 minute walk where we found the Notre Dame and given the line moved well went in for a look.

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We then wandered all the way along the Seine until we eventually found the Eiffel Tower and got to see it glitter – Renee, I’ve added a photo just for you.

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After this we headed to Renee and Paul’s favourite restaurant for dinner which was delicious! We can see why you ate here so many times!!!

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The next day we again headed into the city for a look around and we discovered the famous bridge where lovers buy padlocks and write their names on it…. given it’s our honeymoon and there happened to be a someone selling them conveniently by we thought why not…

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We then headed towards the Arch de Triomphe via the outside of the Louvre…

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And yes Simon Smith the Champs de Elysees is a busy street…

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As well as we discovered that some Vans are not meant to go under the Arch….

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We had hoped to climb the Arch and the Eiffel tower today however due to the wind and weather (Thanks UK!) it’s been delayed until the end of the week.

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We then headed home via Galerie Lafayetter where they had the most amazing window displays with mechanical string puppets!

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Including a Cat dancing with a wine glass!!!  We finished the night with Turkish near our apartment which was delicious!!!

Christmas day!!! Was very low key until the evening, we spent most of it at our apartment enjoying ham and cheese baguettes and opening our presents for each other! Below is our Christmas sign – we weren’t able to find a tree, however I think the wine helped with that.  We also took the opportunity to relax and skype home 🙂  We also doned our awesome Christmas jumpers!!!

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That evening we went to the Moulin Rouge which was AMAZING!!!! It was definitely the highlight of Paris so far – even if there were lots of boobs – sorry no photos of those boys!!!

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Today we went to Versailles where we visited Louis XIV palace that he built to be the grandest in Paris – it was massive! We spent about 3 hours just walking around the gardens – unfortunately there weren’t many flowers due to the time of year, but I would definitely love to come here again in spring!!

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We finished the day with dinner at a little french restaurant where we Frogs legs (which were pretty good) and Ratatouille – which I definitely need to learn how to make!

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Tomorrow we are off to the Louvre and then Disneyland on Saturday!!!

Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee

Love Jods

xxx

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Trains through postcards, steak with friends and English speakers abound.

This one is a bit late in coming, though we did have a bit of a rest stop over last weekend, which while awesome and relaxing, though a little less eventful than some of our other blogs. Going back and reading through I noticed we have actually done quite a bit, and this may be close to the longest blog.

After our last entry, which left off at Balluchilish we were ready to catch a train up through the highlands to Mallaig, the point where you can catch a ferry to the Isle of Skye, have some fish and chips, then come back. The pictures should say at least some of it, beyond just wow. Plus the fish was pretty good too!

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From Ballichulish we headed down to Glasgow then onto Hamilton to stay at Louise and Sandy’s for a few days. Almost as expected, the first evening ended up at the pub for dinner with plenty of ale (real ale – not just ale as an umbrella for hopsy booze). The next few days were pretty chill – dinner at a local Greek restaurant and a home cooked meal. We also spent a fair amount of time re-adjusting Nellie, the super cute border collie, who got scared of the new bearded man entering the house every time I went out and came back, to bed, the bathroom, or even just the other side of the loungeroom.

Our next destination still wasn’t planned. Basically our target was Paris on the 23rd, as we’d booked there for the week over Christmas. Would we fly to Barcelona, or Switzerland and drive up through France, or the opposite direction and go to Amsterdam, maybe even Copenhagen and come down that way. In the end the cheapest flights were the decider – 40 pounds each to Amsterdam.

I came out with a few very strong first impressions of Amsterdam.
1. It’s almost like they neidn’t both with the Dutch language here? Everyone knows English, and all their signs are just double printed.
2. Melbournes Metro/Connex system is kind of average.
3. Walking out of Centraal Station really felt like a welcome to Europe.
4. Bikes! Everywhere! I think the whole time we were there we spotted two ‘cyclists’ with a helmet, knicks and a road bike, the rest were just people going places on a bike, sans helmet.

We arrived during the evening and the first part of the city we saw lit up was the city square, with it’s canal straight through the middle and glittering, beuatiful hotels, civic buildings, people discussing the lighter side of socialist democracies and the station itself really felt… cosmopolitan?

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The first thing we did on our first morning was to hire bikes – they were definitely the best way to get around, and with so many paths and roads just for them felt quite safe, other than the lack of helmet and handbreaks.  So easy to pull up and see random people playing brass instruments on boats…

IMG_1684Riding around the canals, which made the city very pretty, we made a beeline toward the Anne Frank museum. Hardly a cheery story for a rainy day, but a very interesting visit, and may have re-affirmed wanting to go to the holocaust museum later.

Riding on we did end up at a much cheerier place – the Heineken factory. This is the third booze related attraction we’ve been to, and was, like the others quite cool. This one was a little more… themey… in a good way. The advertising for Henieken has always been cool – the James Bond films, the Champions League sponsorship, practical jokes on bars, etc; they incorporated a lot of that and just had a really fun atmosphere.

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Following suit with the bike theme, the next day we trundled down to Weesp, which is a smallish medieval town about 10 miles out of Amsterdam, where we saw our first windmills, and had our best coffee so far on this side of the world. Proceeding coffees have been equally good, so I think it might just be the UK failing on that front.

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We took a slightly longer way home along the coastline, which was a nice ride, via yet another castle which was unfortuneatly closed during weekdays in the offseason. What we saw from the outside was worth the extra mile or two, though.

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That evening we wondered through the famous red light district, just for a look. Honestly, pretty much what I expected, but I think Jodie was a little surprised at how relaxed, and smutty-but-not-all-that-smutty things were. I could see a few bucks nights, or even just an average Saturday night there could get interesting.

Also, I found a new hat there.

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We stayed in two hotels while in Amsterdam – both were quite nice inside, with free shoe polish machines (!), but both on busy streets with thinnish windows. I had no problems sleeping through that (though one night I didn’t sleep for a long time reading…), but Jodie did have trouble even with a blindfold and earplugs, meaning a couple of earlier nights.

From Amsterdam we had planned to catch a train to The Hague, then go onto Brussels, but the trains worked out cheaper going to Antwerpen (hehe still love that name for a city) then onto Brussels, so we caught one down there. For another “oh lets maybe go here and check some things out because I have not much idea whats here”, Antwerp was a good stop off. Another very European looking city with another brilliant city square, filled with another Christmas market and some more mulled wine.

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During the afternoon we visited the Antwerp Zoo – we had planned to come to a zoo over here to see what they were like. Not taking anything away from where we went, as we enjoyed our visit, but I had heard, and now feel we’re quite lucky in Australia to have both the larger city zoos and the open plain zoos. While I know there is a whole other philosophical debate around zoos vs wild, the space and enclosed habitats afforded to the inhabitants at the Australian zoos just feels a lot nicer – birds have more room to fly, larger cats have more roaming room, and I guess a lot of the enclosures feel more natural (for instance one of the primate enclosures had trees painted on a concrete wall…). Similarly the education and information seems more extensive in the Australian zoos I’ve visited – most of the signs there were translated into three languages, though, so I guess you can only put up so much info…

Not sure how else to explain it – this just felt like a “zoo”.

There were a lot of animals there, many endangered so in a somewhat safer environment, and many involved in active breeding programs, which was nice to see, and it was a great afternoon.

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And now, I’m writing this from our room in Brussels, another city that surprised me, though I’m not certain why. After checking in we wondered down toward the old town, where the famous Mannaken Pis statue was – on the way we came through the great market or grand place, which a fantastic visits and worth seeing.  On the edge of it there was another beer museum; we resisted that one.  This grand build up lead to an underwhelming feeling upon finding the statue that all of the gift shops, choclatiers and city posters had been portraying. It’s kind of tucked away in a corner, just… hanging out… doing it’s thing… I dunno – I always thought it was part of a larger fountain or sculpture. When the internet is better I shall read some about him!

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From there we went to check out the Atomium, a giant structure made in the shape of an Iron atom for the 1958 World’s Fair. It really looked like something done in the last 10 years, not something done almost 60 years ago – worth the visit and the views, plus an interesting museum inside with an “innovation” theme.

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Next to the Atomium we took a quick tour around mini-Europe, a scale model of several sites from around cities of Europe – we should have come here first for pre-sightseeing-sightseeing. All of it within a 50 metre radius!

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As an added bonus, it was in an area known as Bruparck. Yeah.

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And finally, our day finished with Mussels in Brussels. Another Yeah.

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I’m not sure when our next blog will come up – we’re planning on wondering to Bruge and Ghent in the next two days, then an early bus to Paris on Monday where we have an apartment and we’ll be spending Christmas.

Categories: Belgium, Netherlands | 1 Comment

Rainbows, Leprechauns and a Loch Ness Monster….

As I’m writing this we have just passed Loch Ness again on our way Fort William after a day of Nessie hunting, no sightings alas but I am convinced that she is just hibernating. Anyways I guess I had better get you all up to speed from where we left off at Blarney Castle in Ireland.

That evening we spent the nigt in Killarny which is alot like Torquay but with less beach and much colder. We enjoyed dinner at a local pub and then had a follow up drink at a bar covered in dollar bills from mostly Americans with messages on them… We didn’t contribute as the Aussie dollar is rising! The next day I drove us around the Ring of Kerry, which was beautiful and at times challenging to my awesome driving skills, on one occasion I had to reverse about 150 metres down the edge of a cliff so another car could pass, turns out he would have only had to reverse 5 metres to let me pass. Here is the picture…

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We also stopped to see the cliffs of Kerry, which is where we first got rained on, needless to stay our stop was short. We then continued around the ring ending up driving back through the lakes of Killarney at dusk and into the night. I was glad when we made it back, but wished we could have seen the lakes during the day.

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We then headed to Limerick with plans of dinner and locating accommodation, however after about 10 minutes in the city centre we decided to head straight to Ennis to find accommodation and food – it didn’t seem like a friendly place. After spending a lovely evening in Ennis, we had our first encounter with an overly helpful Irish man running our accommodation, so complete with his hand drawn map and stopping of the traffic for us we headed to the Cliffs of Moher. On the way we decided to check out Alliwee caves, which were old bear caves, complete with old bear burrows and bones.

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We then made our way to the Cliffs of Moher, which gave spectacular views as well as again challenging my issue with heights.

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That evening we decided to stay at a hotel in Portmarnock as it was close to Dublin Airport, after having some issues finding the place we found it was very luxurious for the price we paid and as it turned out would lead us to experience our second encounter with Irish generosity for the day. We headed down to the bar for an evening drink where we meet this wonderful lady Mary, a local who started chatting to us. It turns out that Mary is a chemist, previously being an executive associatiate for companies buying nucleur power plants. Her and her husband are also members of Mensa and she is the vice president of the irish country womens association. Mary had been telling us about her day and then insisted on buying us drinks and a cheese platter as celebration for our honeymoon. She even had the staff go into the closed kitchen to dig up the cheese for us! After finishing drinks with Mary at 1am, we were able to get about 5 hours sleep before heading to the airport the next morning. We arrived in Edinburgh and after a minor, whoops we forgot to book, with the hotel arranged our room for the night. We then headed out for some lunch and a wander around the town, from where we found Edinburgh Castle. That evening we part took in a ghost tour which was very interesting and I’m not convinced that I did or didn’t see anything.

Here are some Edinburgh shots at night! Again more Christmas markets!!!

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The following day we then headed to Edinburgh Castle for an inside look, however this then lead to a second drama for the day losing each other for about an hour, after I had mis­placed my passport that morning. Edinburgh castle was interesting and the best part was that we got to see the firing of the one o’clock gun.

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We also discovered this awesome lolly shop and a bagpipe playing santa during our travels as well…

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We then headed on a scotch whiskey tour where we got to learn about the making of whisky as well as a tasting. We also got to see the largest scotch collection in the world. After a few glasses, I’m beginning to have more tolerance for it. We were also kindly shouted a free whisky again for our honeymoon.

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We then headed back to our hotel to grab our stuff and headed for the train to Inverness. Today as I mentioned earlier we have been Nessie hunting and visited Urqhuart Castle. I would definitely recommend to anyone coming to Inverness and checking out Loch Ness, even if you dont get to see her. We are now heading to Fort William and I’m looking forward to the train trip to Mallaig and back tomorrow.

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Above is the picture of our accommodation for tonight, thanks to Kaye and Pascoe!

Love Jods

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Guinness, Hazard and An Upside-Down Stone

Heya,

So I’m writing this from a hotel in Killarney, after a few Guinnesses locally.  Any previous comments you may have seen around the Guinness tasting the same in Ireland as Australia are rescinded.  At the Guinness storehouse I may have had taste bud issues due to my man flu – here it tastes similar, but better.  So, yay 😀

Today we drove from Dublin via Cork.  In Cork we visited the Blarney Castle – previous visits have been to palaces that don’t look anything like castles, or a palace that looks like a castle; this was a castle that was nothing but a castle inside – mostly raw stone, and all of the wooden floors, finishing, etc gone.  The thing that remains to make it famous is the Blarney Stone, which legend says kissing will give you the gift of eloquence.  Kissing it means sitting down on a ledge, and leaning backward over a drop of about 5 floors.
Understandably, Jodie skipped this one… I did do it.  Leaning back was interesting.  It’s “that far” then a little more to kiss it. (We do have a picture of the actual lean, just not digital…)

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Dublin was a pretty nice city – smaller than we both imagined for some reason, but still pretty large, I guess – Irelands entire population is about that of Melbourne.  We stayed in Temple Bar, which is quite close to the city.  It was a really cool area – somewhere I thought would be great to rent a place and just stay for a month.  A little bohemian with art galleries and Brazilian cafes, but with plenty of Irish pubs and bars scattered around, with cobbled alleys and buskers, including Christmas carolers, all about the place.  Not far from Brunswick in some ways, just with an Irish slant.

While in Dublin, we went to the Guinness storehouse – where Guinness was first made, and still makes lots of the worlds Guinness.  It was a good visit, if a little evangelical about the awesomeness of Arthur Guinness who created Guinness, was charitable, tall, handsome and slew dragons with a cheeky grin, or something.  Cool spot, though – at the top of the tallest pint shaped glass in the world, which went up through the building, was a bar with a 360 degree view of Dublin – a nice place to have a normal sized pint.

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The day before Dublin we were in Newcastle.  During planning things we didn’t realize, but we pretty much flew into Newcastle to see Chelsea vs Sunderland, then flew out.  So worth it.
Sunderland, after the weekend results, were bottom of the table, vs Chelsea who were 2nd.  We had front row seats, just next to the corner flag.  Surprisingly, Sunderland opened the scoring, which seemed a bit ominous, but then Lampard, who’s jersey I wore on the night, scored a header, followed by a cut in and long shot from Hazard.  Another goal from Hazard gave Chelsea a 3-1 lead; a scrappy second goal from Altidore made it 3-2 to keep it interesting, followed by an own goal to Chelsea, to make it 4-2; a final goal to Sunderland made the last few minutes tense, but very entertaining, with a late penalty turned down.

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Really good match – 7 goals and Chelsea winning, really couldn’t ask for more.  Also, on so many levels, never thought I’d watch an Australian warm up for a Premier League match, even as a sub.

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The walk home was a touch interesting. We followed the crowd, thinking everyone would head to the train station… yeah, not so much.  We ended up slightly lost in the industrial end of an industrial city.  After a fair while walking in the cold, we found a train station somewhat further away from the stadium than we thought we’d see, and made it home.
I blame that walk for the man flu.

So, that’s coming good, touch wood, and we’re planning on driving around the ring of Kerry tomorrow morning, which should be fun, then staying where ever we end up getting tired of driving on the way to the cliffs of Moher.

As I’m writing this there is news on the TV about the storms that hit Europe.  Yeah, wow.  Houses falling into the sea, parts of Belgium under water.  It seems we flew over most of that in the flight from Newcastle to Dublin in a 2 engine plane with propellers – not even jets.  It was pretty shakey, and getting from the terminal to the plain was quite windy to say the least, but the flight was ok, with some turbulence, but didn’t think it was *that* bad.  Hopefully we can get back on our flight to Edinburgh in a few days, but, an extra night over in Dublin wouldn’t be the end of the world….

Slante!
Sam

Categories: Ireland | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Harry Potter, Some Real Castles and a Champions League Trophy

Hello again,

Sorry about the delay in posts but this whole being in bed early has made time for intertubing little. Sam has shafted this post to me, obviously because it is mostly HP related! Which by the way was absolutely awesome! Even Sam spent 3 hours in there with me and he won’t even watch the movies. I was amazed at how much detail and effort went into making each movie, stuff that didn’t even make it to the movie or was only back ground stuff – i.e. the hand written labels for each potion label in the potions room, robotic items and life size models…

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The butterbeer was also amazing and Sam also agreed!

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Earlier that morning we had finally got to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace, which was also pretty cool – no royal spotting yet though… just a car with tinted windows from 2 blocks away.

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We were pretty tired after this so headed back to Paddington for some Shepards Pie and beers. Yummy. Now over to Sam for the “Football updates!”

Stamford Bridge is in Fulham, just South of Hyde Park, in one of the richer parts of London. To be honest to visit it was a lot like any other |stadium, just a lot more branded, because it belongs entirely to a single team. This means blue and white everywhere, and many story high pictures of that glorius Ivorian Didier. Inside they seemed to have the highlights of the champions league final on repeat, constantly. Some might find that dull; most people who visit there, not so much.

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That afternoon we went to pick up our hire car. Somehow, they had booked it for the previous day, for one day, rather than the 4 we actually tried to book it for. $300 later, we got our car. Driving in London is interesting; a lot like Melbourne, just with more traffic light round abouts, everything is in miles, and j-walking is par.

On the way out of London we came across Windsor, the suburb. Jodie was convinced that’s where the castle was. I was less convinced, thinking it was just another suburb. We ended up getting off, finding a hotel and staying the night so we could go inside and really lucky we did. Windsor Castle is a real royal castle. Built by the Normans on a hill for defense, with arrow slits, ramparts and turrets of grey stone, with an (unfilled) moat.

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Inside, it was a proper palace. Grand ballrooms and apartments, polished silver, gold and gilted furniture and framed paintings through every room. An art gallery of painting by royals over the last 500 odd years, including a da Vinci sketch and it’s copy by a princess (Anne, I think).  Again, no pictures inside 😦

Within the grounds was St James cathedral, where several kings, queens, nobles and clergymen were buried. While probably just behind St Pauls, but personally a touch ahead of Westminster this was definitely another beautiful, ancient building. These churches and cathedrals, regardless of any religious or historical attachments are simply great places to be, just to sit and enjoy.

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And I’m back… so after we checked out Windsor, we decided to head to Bath however by the time we arrived is was getting late and accommodation was scarce – who would have thought that for a Saturday! After finding a pub for a half pint of the local ale and some “War Driving” we found some accommodation for the night at Amesbury which just so happens to be near Stonehenge. The accommodation was your typical upstairs pub style, complete with random loud drunks until 3am – it was also your typical ghost inhibiting pub – luckily though I was safe for the night with no late night visits!

Yesterday we headed to Stonehenge, which is both amazing and mysterious at the same time. For those that haven’t been, it’s randomly amazing to see massive stones placed together in the middle of nowhere… I also maintain that the theory of Merlin asking the giants to bring the rocks from Ireland is definitely a plausible theory!

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We then headed to Salisbury where we decided to check out the local cathedral. As we were about the enter the fire alarms went off and the building was evacuated. Luckily though it appeared to be a false alarm so we got to see inside. It was again another amazing church with so much detail. We could take pictures of that one… but they’re still on the camera.

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Driving around the Cottswolds was good – we stopped 3 or 4 times for no reason other than “Hey, there’s a random [pig/pheasant/lyrebird/deer] beside the road.”. Not something you can do on public transport, or a bus.

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After Salisbury we headed to Devires where we finally had a “queen’s tea” (tea and scones!) – I’ve also decided that everyone should have this every day!!

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We then finally got to Bath we pre-secured accommodation earlier in the day after some more “War driving”. We then headed out to do some laundromatting and a quick lesson on what not to tumble dry! We then found yet another awesome meal at another local pub.

Today we are planning to spend the day in Bath and hopefully head to Cardiff for the night.

Hopefully there won’t be too much of a delay with our next post!

Love Sam and Jods

Categories: Britain | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Installment 2… conquering my fear of heights….

Hello Peeps,

So I’ve been insttructed that this whole blog means we have to take turns and write stuff.  I’ve reviewed Sam’s previous post like the good wifey I am, but am not sure that mine will be as interesting…. although I do get to mention that on the first night we stayed opposite Aylesbury Estate (the worst in the UK), to which I insisted that we move accommodation – for those of you that are interested you should google it and you will see why….

So my update begins with us doing the hop on-off bus with our first stop being the changing of the horse guard – where I got to have a photo with the meanest looking horse – I swear he was thinking about biting me!!!

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We then continued on to St Paul’s cathedral via Gringotts Bank for the Harry Potter fans aka Australia House – which I think it pretty awesome.  St Paul Cathedral was amazing although I was disappointed that we didn’t get to take photos of the inside.  For anyone visiting here, this is a must! We got to check out the whispering gallery, which although challenging to my fear of heights was unreal that we could speak to each other from the other side of the dome.  When then climbed to the top where we were able to edge around a small shelf with a fence – needless to say I was not up there long.  Here are some photos to demonstrate just how brave I was!!!

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We then continued around on the bus and got to take some photos of Tower Bridge, not London Bridge as we all think, which is actually pretty boring.

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We then decided to head back to the London Eye for some more height torture before returning to the tower of London.  I actually stood for most of the time this trip and took lots of photos.

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Next we headed back to the Tower of London, after a quick bite at Maccas to ensure it is the same everywhere.  When we got back however the Tower of London was closing so we postponed that for the next day.  We instead walked over the Tower Bridge and decided to climb it.  As we were at the top, my body decided to tell me that it was sick of heights for the day by giving me a blood nose (more likely to be temperature related) but I maintain it’s my bodies way of telling me no more heights!

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We then stopped at a local pub for some scotched eggs as well as bangers mash before heading home for the night!

Tuesday we again headed out on the hop on-off bus, stopping to quickly get some new socks which turned into my awesome find of these earmuffs as well as some early Christmas presents for each other, which you will all see later 🙂

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We then headed to the Tower of London for the day where we easily fill a couple of hours.  My favourite part being checking out the crown jewels – again no photography 😦

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After this we then headed back to Westminster with the plans to take part in a ghost tour, alas this was not to occur as we mis-read the times, instead ending up spending an hour at the natiounal gallery where I stumbled upon Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso as well as getting to see heaps of Italian art that is currently on display there.  Again no photos, although I did almost take one and got told off – oops…

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We then headed to China town for dinner, which was delicious as well as got to check out the local fire brigade in action.

Yesterday we headed to Westminster Abbey which was pretty interesting.  We attempted to go to Big Ben but we can only visit there on Saturdays so we may try this on the way back….

We then caught up with Danielle an old friend from school and went to Madame Tassaudes which was pretty cool.  We then briefly checked out Baker Street and caught up with the elusive Mr Ben (Van Der) Steen for some beveridges and yet another delicious pub meal – making it our latest night yet!!

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Today we are heading to the changing of the guard at the palace and the HARRY POTTER warner brothers tour! YAY!!!

Hope everyone is well!

Love Jods

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Getting used to London

Well here’s our first blog entry coming from London 🙂

It might be a bit all over the place. Let’s blame the time and not my substandard authoring abilities.

I’m writing  at 6am, in bed, on the tablet.  This jet lag thing is kind of funny as it’s made me a very morning person, at least  for a while. Last night I found our accommodation in Paris and Berlin, investigated car hire in Dublin and priced a bunch of flights, all before 5 am.

Really liking London. We’re both having a bit of a hard time fathoming that we’re actually here. It just feels like visiting another Australian city we haven’t spent a lot of time in, like Adelaide or Perth. Add to that the weather being much milder than we’d expected – it doesn’t feel to different from a cold Melbourne morning.

But then we start seeing things.  We got up yesterday and went for a walk through Hyde Park / Kensington Gardens. It’s a really wonderful place.  Not sure if it was just a Sunday morning thing, but it was filled with people walking dogs, exercising, taking photos and just generally enjoying being outside.  The architecture and monuments scattered throughout are amazing.  Statues that would be a centrepiece of any park back home are eclipsed by things like the fountains at the top of the long water built by Prince Albert as monument to his love for Victoria.

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Continuing through the park we see what looks like a university or manor house off in the distance thinking it might be interesting we wonder over…

Just some rich guys house

Turns out we stumbled onto Kensington palace, one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions entirely by accident.

While a huge building we were honestly a little surprised at the look of the palace, as it didn’t look like a palace, more a big house.  I guess that’s what a palace is, just a house with royal people living in there. Going inside, we paid for the tour and enjoyed looking at the bits and pieces – royal fashion through the years, lot on Victoria and her ‘personal’ life.  A lot of it still felt like an old house, just with amazing history (actual legends lived here!), until we got to the kings apartments.  They were amazing ballroom type rooms with ceilings 2 and 3 stories high with artworks and trimmings to match…

Nice driveway Roof pictures Rumpus room Some rich guys coat

On Through the day we keep wondering through the park, for almost 5hours. We then jumped on a bus to the London eye as dad was adamant we do so in the first few days. If was getting late, or atleast felt like it, and getting dark. In reality it was about 4pm. We decided to get two tickets. One to ride that night and a second  for during the next day (today).

As it wasn’t quite dark we decided to wander down south bank where there was a Christmas market running.  I’m generally not one for took much Christmas trimming in November but the whole thing felt like TV Christmas.  Really awesome.  Also,  mulled wine.

Playing with the new camera

We go back over to the eye and jump on. Jodie is starting to feel uncomfortable with the height so not looking backward to see the other bubbles for a reference point. She asked a couple of times how much higher we had.  I decided not to tell her the first few times when we were still under half way… She stopped asking not long after.  Really great views from up there.  Big ben looks amazing at night. We did get a good idea of where things were, but it was largely just for prettiness sake.  I imagine the daylight one we’ll ‘see’ more.

Westminster behind Ben Some folks The Shard

Anyway breakfast time is here! I think further posts will be done on the computer. This tablet typing is…  Meh.

Here’s a couple more pictures 🙂

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Sam

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BLOGS

Hiya,

We’ll be blogging some things here – hopefully.

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