Location: Hong Kong
We are on the last day of our trip. cant believe it really. We celebrate new year tonight in Hong Kong, and get on the plane home tomorrow. And it is all over.
have you been to Hong Kong before? We were here 30 years ago and let me say it has changed. it has well and truly grown up. it is amazing. I am not sure how many more people you could possibly fit into such a small square. I have never seen so many high rise flats as there is here, row apon row, seems to go on for ever. I truly think this is the worst of cramping we have ever come across yet. I find it impossible to walk along side Ken. He takes off and I follow about 10 metres behind just watching his head not to lose him. but you think there is a gap to catch up and as quick as you think it, it is gone. We have done the usual hop on hop off bus. that was good. gave a good perspective of the 2 sides. the smog has been really bad. not a clear day yet. To top it off, we have both ended up with nasty colds, so finding it hard to breathe. we are on the 29th floor over looking the bay. but due to the smog, we have not seen to much of it. We went up to the peak yesterday, but not very clear. That place is just one huge shopping mall now. when we were here 30 years ago, we went up on a rickityold tram went for a bit of a wonder and came back down. nowit is a 4 hour minimum event.
Last night we did the Jumbo Restaurant tour. the river cruise was lovely, but the Jumbo Restaurant was not that flash.
Today we have just wondered around. Doing a bit of buying. You should see the over head projector we have bought. it fits in your back pocket. unbelievable.
well I am ready for my first champagne for the night. Time to go up to the Executive suite and have drink. Was so nice we went in there the day we got here, and i said to Ken mmmmm that is the nicest sparkling we have had for while, and of course it was it was a Wolf Blass, see only Australia knows how to make a bloody good sparkling:)
New Year Eve was an intesting night. Ken was very keen on going to Time Square to watch the count down. so about 9pm we went of to walk aound the place and see what as happening. As you can imagine, millions of people everywhere. as we head on to time square we start to get herded into pen type yards and told where to walk. there was a concert on in time square so could not get there till later. So were told to take elevator to 10th floor and go all the way down on the escalator to get on the other side. so up we went and then down we went, got outside was herded again and the next bloody thing we are at the same guard telling us to take the elevator up to the 10th floor and go all the way down on the escalator. well i thought it was hilarious, unfortunately Kens sence of humor did not quite see it that way and he started to argue with the 95 year old security guard. I wished the guard a happy new year and dragged ken up to the lift and down the exulators again and out the door and turned in a different direction. So ken decided we were not going to Time Square to be hearded into pens for New Year.............
We rang everyone back home just before australian new year to wish them a happy new year. Went back to the hotel.
We had a glass of sparkling and watched what was happening on the fore shore just below our room and decided that was the place to go. so we wandered over there and counted in the new year with only a few thousand people and watched the fire works.
HK has double decker trams and Ken now wants to go for a ride on one. So off we go find one and get on. Where are we going i say, don't know he says. how do we get off i say, dont know he says, how do we pay I say, dont know he says. Got to love him don't you. so we travel for about 10 minutes and suddenly Ken says that was good we can get off now.
So we work out how to pay and get off. and hop on another one to get back home........
it is now about 2am. time for some dinner. Walk into Hungry jacks and take home some burgers and finish the sparkling. was a great night. bit different for us. didn't get up until about 10.30 rush down to get some breakfast. done some last minute shopping!
Well are all ready now to leave.
So it has come to an end.
when I get back home. i will write the highlights. we will talk about this on the plane on the way home.
see you all soon.
Location: Brons, Denmark
We arrived in Denmark on Thursday 22nd. Arrived at the airport to see 3 lovely faces looking at us throu the window at the baggage pick up area. I could hardly Waite to get out through the doors. To big hugs and kisses. Met little Liva born on the 22 nd Nov. Packed into the car for an hour and a half drive to Brons. The weather is very mild and not a sign of snow anywhere and not likely to while we are in Denmark :(
Dinner of meats, cheese and beautiful dark bread awaited us and a night of sitting and chatting with , Hanne, Freja, Thomas and the children running around.
Friday 23rd is Christmas eve. We visit some friends of Hanne, they came to Australia and stayed with us a few months ago. Lunch of meat, cheese and breads. We then go for a walk around a small town called Ribe. A very old town with a lovely little mall all christmassy. Ken and I decide we will take The family out for tea. Would you believe the local pub is closed. What on Christmas eve!!!!!!!!!! so we book into the local Mongolian and have a feast.
Christmas Day (24th)
We have a casual morning, Freja and the children come over and we go to church at 2.30pm. Beautiful old church, very big, would hold a few hundred people. When you go to your pew, there is a little gate to get in and out. The beautiful organ is up the back in the heavens. Of course we do not understand a word, but we got up and down at the right times.
After the service, we visited Soren grave and light a candle.
Freja's brother, Claus and wife Bella arrived early in the morning and in the afternoon went to pick up Freja's youngest brother Thor. We then went over to Freja's about 5 pm in the afternoon. A few drinks and chatting. Thomas was being the cook for the night. We sat down to a wonderful dinner of duck and turkey. It was great after dinner we sang Christmas carols and danced around the Christmas tree. They actually light candles on the tree, so a couple of scary moments of clothes getting a little close to the candles.
Houses are decorates with lots of candles and ornaments around the house. Lots of little fairy lights. It is a very pretty look.
After the dancing the presents were then given out. The usual fun with the children. A few more drinks, pack up and off home. Was a lovely day. A little different than ours. Can't imagine the children waiting until 9pm at night to unwrap presents.
25th rest day. We got up had breakfast about 9.30 and I was yawning so much decided Togo back to bed for a couple of hours. Why not I am on holiday. The rest of the day was just sitting reading chatting, eating, we all played a family game. Then watched Mama Mia and Officer and a Gentleman before going to bed about 1am. Have not had a day like that for years. Was lovely.
26th - 2nd Christmas day is what today is called. Hanne told us we had to be ready to go for a walk by 10am. So we did as we were told, hoped in the car and drove to the woods. Where we met up with about 30 other people, all various ranges of fitness. After some warm up exercises, we were off. Well they were off. Some ran, some walked fast one or 2 ( me) walked at my pace. But it was nice about an hours walk through the woods.
after our walk. We drove to a football ground where we has peach soup and bread. Was really lovely back home for a few hours and did some packing. Off to Freja's for afternoon. Back home and the The family turned up for dinner. Yes you are right did. Did We do anything else but eat and sit around? That is why the walk was so good this morning .
We have had a wonderful stay here, has really been lovely being with a family and watching a different tradition. But at the end of the day we are family and that is all the same. Thank you so much, Freja, Hanne, Thomas, Noah, Leah , Liva, Claus, Bella, Thor for letting us spend your special time with us.
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Well we have just had 3 lovely days in Prague. It is still as wonderful as we thought it was, but in winter it has a different wonder about it. Although the snow was lacking, it was cold ( but no colder than we are used to). so much so that I had to go and buy another coat. One that is not designed for -10.
When we arrived late in the afternoon, it was dark - of course, but the square was all lite up. We couldn't wait to get into our room and go out into the square. We got the same room as last time, as you can see in the photos the view is wonderful. So out we went, wandered the square, bought hot dogs, went back to our room to eat and then back out we went again and had a donut thing. Well and truly ready to drop into to bed.
The following morning we decided to have single days. Ken was keen to go back to the crystal factory, no tour on so he hired a car and off he went. I wandered The streets,a bought a coat, some boots and bits and pieces. When I got back Ken had already returned a bit poorer. But out we went again on our own and wandered again. We met up later and again had dinner of bits and pieces out of the market.
On Wednesday morning we decided to do the hop on off bus. This gave us a different view of what we had seen before. We then did a walk across Charles bridge and found a lttile restaurant to have some goulash soup. By now it was raining. Part of our package was to have a romantic dinner and jazz night. But this was not on. So we were sent to a restaurant that was down in the dungeon! I had wild bore. Let me say of you ever have the chance to have this mmmmmmmmhmmmmmmm.
Really Prague was pretty uneventful. But it was just what we wanted. Other than leaving my credit card at the hotel and having to do a mad dash from the airport to get it (second time I have done this) all went very smoothly and as far as any reader is concerned, probably boring.
Off to Denmark now to see our second family.
Location: London, England
Well here we are stiing at the Heathrow, ready to get the plane to Prague.
It was a very quick stop here. 2 nights, getting in late afternoon. Let me say getting into London on a Friday night the week before Christmas was an interesting thing to do. All went well till we tried to get a taxi at Paddington. The line up was enormous, there were then road works on the exit, and then of course there was Friday night traffic. YEH we are in London. But I enjoy the lights, the people, so it doesn't worry me so much. Ken though does think the taxi driver has no idea where he is going, but we got there 22 pounds later!
First port of call was to get onto Matthew and Shuta.
Spoke to Matthew and he was just up the road, he came and picked us up and we were off on the underground to a back street British pub somewhere. Remember we are a week before Christmas there are parties everywhere, people dressed in some interesting outfits. And one very packed pub. Anyway we eventually find a little spot deep down in the dungeons, get onto Shuta and his girlfriend Yuki, we have a few pints fish and chips and a great night. It was so lovely catching up with these guys.
Back on the underground to go to bed and just lay looking out the window onto the Thames, Big Ben, The eye. All very pretty.
Saturday we decide to just get on the hop on hop of bus which we do and the river cruise was just a nice day listening to the tourist guides chatter away.
Wander down the street for pizza for dinner and again off to bed to lay looking at the river.
No snow in sight by the way. Today is just wet and miserable. Still not getting used to what one should wear here. Clothes are on and off like a yo yo. Goodness know what we will do at Hanna's, will be all over the place with clothes.
Well off the plane cheers for now.
Location: Budapest , Hungary
Eventually got here another long flight. But had to go through 4 security checks before got out of Kenya, they are so into security over there. It can get very tiresome. And at 11pm at night it made a plane full of people very agro with the ridiculous security checks they did. And contradictions they made.
But we got here and how much more different can this be. When we arrived we justcrashedfor the day and did nothing really, very much slept and rested. Got up and went a few doors up to a little restaurant for dinner. As we walked in a piono and violin started up. We were the only ones there and they played to us during the whole of dinner........ Then of course they wanted us to buy the CD.
We are having a hard time adjusting to the weather. Everyone is rugged up and it is far to warm inside. The first thing we did is turned off our air conditioner and opened the windows. When we got up today, had breakfast, we decided that a wind cheater was going to be the best form of clothes. It did ok for a while, but by mid afternoon, I needed my coat.
But anyway we did the three hop on hop off transports today. 2 buses and 1 boat on the river. It was good, gave us a real sence of the city and the history.
Got back by 4pm as it was dark. Can't sort that one out. Last year it was day light till 11 pm now it is dark at 4 pm. These courntries have a serious problem!! It means you feel you have to have your 6pm drink at4pm, then what do you do at 6pm?.
We have a beautiful view onto the Danube, over to parliament house, the bridges. Nice just sitting looking out.
We decided to go down to the local for dinner. Just as quiet there, and smoking is still ok inside. I decided a schnitzel was for dinner. Out came one as big as the plate and that was it. A side bowl of potato salad. So wanted to ask for a pot of gravy. Another good nights sleep.
Again casual wake up and breakfast. Back on the hop on hop of bus, with plans to go back and visit a few places. Which we did do. But then we discovered the Budapest market. Wonderful building, much tourism stuff and meat, veggies etc. So ended up there for a couple of hours. We decided to buy meat, cheese and bread for dinner and eat in. It looked better on the p late than it did to eat unfortunately. But it was nice to have a night in and not sit in a resturant on our own.
Didn't tell you about the TV. We are only getting BBC and CNN news. So a bit boring. But there is pay TV. So I decided to do this, went through the process of setting it up, turned on the station to discover a few of something had never quite seen before........now some of you think I have been around a bit, but let me say I have never been into a sex shop and I have never seen porn. Well I now have. (seen porn that is) and don't plan to see it again. I couldn't get the remote quick enough. So sent Ken down the stairs to tell them his wife does not approve and wants it cancelled. Poor Ken. He was told that they were having problems with pay tv just now and it is not working properly. Well I have to say what saw was working pretty bloody well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway not much TV for us and the pack of cards have again come out.
Budapest has an amazing old history, with just wonderful old buildings. It has been destoyed and risen a number of times over centuries.
We ring Charlotte late to wish her a happy birthday
We have to be back at the hotel by 3pm today, as we DHL express coming in to take a parcel for us. So we decide to get going a bit earlier. We walk over to parliament house couple of ks and when we get there are told the 10am tour is cancelled and to come back at 1pm. Well not going to happen. So into a taxi and up to Castle Hill to do a tour of the Rock Hospital . When we got up this morning there was a bueautiful sunrise and a lovely day. S I decided the wind cheater would Bo, but by 10 am I needed my coat, was a bitter cold wind.
Rock hospital a very interesting history and worth seeing.
We then walked and walked until we found a taxi because we wanted to go down a certain street. Was a bit of a waste really, but a good way to see the city really. Back to the hotel to organize a parcel home.
Have been on a river boat cruise for dinner tonight. Was a lovely night and great food there was a group from some country and they looked like they had just flown in, were not a very lively lot. Then some women decided she could sing so got up with the jazz band and let loose. I forgive Ken for his bad singing!!!!
Well we are off to London tomorrow. Looking forward to catching up with Shuta and Matty.
Ken -Budapest market, eating there and wandering around a normal local place.
Buildings by night.
Dinner tonight on the boat. Great duck.
Christine - much the same as Ken. But I also love the history of city's like this. Amazing people that face such diversity. I wonder how we Aussies would have to cope these days if we had to go through what they did.