Location: Brisbane, Australia
12:30 am and we are finally HOME - yeah...
2:00 am we have unpacked as much as we want to and now it's off to bed for 3 and 1/2 hours sleep before golf tomorrow...
A big thanks from all of the Heaney's to our various hosts around Europe. You were all so welcoming to us that it has made this one of the most memorable holidays I have ever had. The boys are already planning there own adventures for a gap year between High School and University (they have invited me - if I pay).
Hopefully we we see some of you Eurotrash out here in Oz soon...
Location: Kualar Lumpar, Malaysia
Stop over on the way home... Our plane has been delayed by an hour. Tina and the boys are asleep on various lounges around the terminal we are waiting in...
Location: Flying home..., France
Up early (really) at 6:00 to shower and change for the trip home. A quick breakfast and then off to the airport to drop back the peugot (in slightly less perfect condition than in which we received it). Surprisingly no dramas with the various dints and so it was off to check-ion and commence the journey home.
It has been a fantastic holiday but we are all really, really, really excited about heading home to Oz and our own beds!!!
Location: Paris, France
A short but uneventful drive down to Paris ( about 3 hours) with the hightlight being a call home to find out the score in the 3rd State of Origin clash. We stayed in the Hotel Londres et New York which is in Paris' main "modern" shopping district - loads of malls and giant department stores. So we went shopping for some more souvenirs and then wandered back to the hotel. We had planned to dine in grand style for our last meal but we were still fairly tored from the 3 days of driving so we settled for a fairly simple meal at a small tavern. The waiter was pretty cool and perfromed a few magic tricks for the boys. I enjoyed my last beer of the trip, Tina and I had a champagne followed by a fairwell to Paris pastis or 2. The boys celebrated a great holiday with a shnady each and creme brulee and chocolate mousse...
Location: Brugge, Belgium
Great drive down to Brugge from The Hague. Brugge is even more beautiful than I remembered it! We are staying in the Novatel right in the center of town. We went for a walking tour of the city and then had a great (expensive) lunch / early dinner right on the Market Square. Sam had his first lobster and I had my second last beerof the trip - 1 litre of deliscious wheat beer!!!
We then went for a bladder testing horse and carriage ride around Brugge which was eductaional and great fun. It was then time to head back to the hotel for some sleep.
Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Had a great (but long) drive down to The Netherlandws from Denmark. The Netherlands is even flatter than Denmark!!! The Hague itself is not a very exciting or interesting place to visit and the kids needed to catch up on some sleep (as did Tina and I). Luckily this was our only 5 star hotel for the trip and so we had a beautiful apartment in which to chill out in the Grand Winston Hotel (named after Churchill). The meeting with Bert (and Ernie) went really well (3 hours instead of 1) and it seems as though there will be further reasons to visit Europe in the future.
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Up early (8 ish). We then drove to the Royal Palace north of Copenhagen to have a look where Princess Isabella was to be christened today. Beautiful palace - surprisingly not too busy when we were there but looked to be expecting thousands. We then picked up fresh bread and coffee and went to have breakfast with Vibika (Casper's sister) and Fin who had looked after all the boys last night. Had a traditional Danish (continental) breakfast and then headed into Copenhagen for a day's sightseeing (and eating - the 5kgs bar was clearly set too low).
Had a beautiful drive along the foreshore and looked at the big old mansions (cheapest is a round AUD 4 million we were told) and on into Copenhagen past all of Caspers family's former houses and sports clubs etc... We could see Sweden and the bridge to Sweden during this drive (it was closer than Moreton Island is to Redcliffe). We then took the new tube into Copenhagen city, took a boat tour of the canals and port areas (wow). We then did lots of walking looking for lunch which turned out to be a special Danish hotdog that Mette recommended (it was good).
By this time we were all flagging so Mette made us climb up and down the tallest tower in Copenhagen to look at the view. This tower has no stairs as ít was built by King Christian the 4th (the one that lost Sweden and Norway) so he could ride up on a horse and cart. Interesting old toilet (now disused) - used to drop the droppings into a big bunker that was only emptied twice a century. Apparently had a few odor issues...
Home at Karen (Mette's sisters) and Kent's house in Copenhagen getting ready to go out (yet again) for dinner at Pia and Stig's house. Those of you who came to Xmas in July may remember them. Should be a quiet night as we have only bought 6 bottles of wine to take.
We head off to The Hague tomorrow (10 hour drive) and so we probably won't update this diary again until we get home as internet access will be a problem. From the Hague we head to Brugge (Belgium) and then to Paris before we fly home Thursday. We arrive at Brisbane Airport 10:45 pm on Friday night and I am (hopefully) playing the first round of the BIGC Club Championships at about 7:00 am on Saturday morning. Can't wait!
Up early (well 9 ish) for a huge breakfast and then it was time to pack up for the drive to Copehagen. Casper said this should take 3 hours but he neglected to factor in that today is the 1st day of school holidays and the flat tyre on his car and the thunder storms and the (yes!!!) hail - so 5 hours later we have arrived safely.
We did get to cross an 18klm long toll bridge (cost AUD 40 for the privelige).
We are now getting ready to go out and "party" with Mette and Casper and their friends and relatives. All the boys are going for a sleep over at Ole cousins house.
If time permits I will upload some photos tomorrow...
The party was great. Met all of the brothers and sisters still in Copenhagen and some of the close friends at Steen (Casper's brother) and Kim's house (another minnie mansion worth $ millions apparently). Quite a few of the eple we met had been to Australia and most are planning to return for further holidays.
We then went out for a traditional Danish dinner and returned to Steen's house tocontinue the party afterwards. Arrived home at about 2:00am (again).
The boys had a great time staying over with a bunch of Danish kids - reportedly language barrier wasnæt a problem...
Location: Sunds / Herning, Denmark
A late start to the day (with some assistance from ibufren and panadol). A great breakfast followed by a drive through town to Mette's parents old farm where Mette grew up, a walk in a forrest where we ate wild blue berries and black berries (Mette is the new Bushtuckerman). We then went back to town to see some Danish artwork and then into to the center of town where Tina, Mette and the boys shopped while Casper and Ole took Marie and I to Ole's favourite respite center (yes another pub) for some well earned refreshments. Carlsberg tastes better by the pint (apparently)...
There was a soccer test match scheduled for 8:00pm this evening. When the time came is was raining heavily. The Aussies and honorary Aussies all turned up but only one Dane arraived so we won on a forfiet! Didn't really help Casper and I as the kids still wanted to play so we all ran aroundin the rainand mud and played soccer. For the record Casper and I won!!!
Then back to the Lysguaard house for more food and you guessed it more beer and wine...
I am well and truly going to eclipse my target of 5kgs in 4 weeks!!!
Location: Esbjerg / Legloand / Sunds, Denmark
After an uneventful crossing (read no seasickness) including yet another great breakfast we arrived in Denmack at Esbjerg on the west coast. An hours drive and we met up with Casper, Mette, Ole and Christian at Legoland. Had a great time their and the boys all bought some souvenirs.
We then drove for an hour north to Sunds where Mette's parents' (Ole and Marie) house which is situated on a lake and is in the most beautiful setting (photos to come). Had a lovely traditional Danish dinner and a late night drinking (yes again - but this time with Danish Snapps) and talking to about 1:30am...
Location: Chelmsford / Harwich, England
Up late for a light breaksfast then a catch up on family etc. before we went shopping and then off to lunch with Tina's relatives. Aunty Renne is now 87 but remarkable fit and completely alert and WOW what a memory! Met Dave (June partner) for the first time this trip and he's OK by me (handicap is 9).
Had a lovely lunch at a local pun and then it was off to Harwich t catch the "ferry" to Denmark...
Boarded the "ferry" safely and found our digs for the trip and we were delighted with the quality and size. We were all tired and so after leaving the port at Harwich we returned to our cabins to variously read / sleep / watch TV. Boys finally all went to sleep around midnight (again).
Location: Henley / Chelmsford, England
Up early(ish) to a full cooked english breakfast from Bina. Eggs, bacon, toast, waffles, croissants, tea, coffee, juice... well you get the picture. We then went for a walk around Henley (beautiful village) where they were preparing for the annual Henley Regatta. We then met Andrew for lunch before heading off to Chelmsford Essex) to visit with Tina's Aunty Renee and Cousin June.
150 kms around the M25 and we arrived safely ar Renee's house to another warm welcome and a hot coffee. A quick chat and then off to June's for dinner and a welcome long night's sleep without too much alcohol. Had local fish and chips which were "different" to our normal fare.
Location: Gadalming / London / Henley, England
Well - where to start. Tina woke up sore and stiff and could barely walk. Fran was like a Cheshire Cat as normally (as we all know) it's Tina who leads the way. Fran - be warned Tina is already plotting her revenge for when you come to Australia!
We had an early start - well early for holidays. Breakfast with the Scotts then off to London for the day. We started with the changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace which is still a great spectical - lots of pomp and ceremony. We then headed into Covent Garden for lunch, then to Harrods (for Tina) and Hamleys (for the boys). The rain had let up by then so we decided to go to Wimbledon to watch some of the Chamionships before heading home. We walked straight in (after security where Sam was searched!). We had hoped to watch Alicia Molik play as she was on court three but the day was running so late that the game before hers had not finished. So we watched Haas demolish Fleishman in 3 sets. The atmosphere was great and the boys got a buzz out of being there. We then headed back to John and Fran's to pick up the car and headed off to Andrew and Bina Martin-Davis' house in Henley-on-Thames. Another beautiful house I might add. George Orwell lived here (in Andrew and Bina's house!) as a boy - so lots of history in a beautiful town.
We sat up drinking and talking (sic) with Andrew and Bina until 1:30am so it will be a late start tomorrow...
PS Our day could also have read: -
Car to Farncombe Station (thanks John)
Train to Waterloo Station
Tube to Westminster
Walk to Buckingham Castle
Taxi to Covent Garden
Tube to Harrods
Tube to Hamleys
Tube / Tube / Tube to Wimbledon
Taxi to Wimbledon Station
Train to Clapham Junction (no trains to Farncombe from Wimbledon Station)
Train to Waterloo (too late for trains from Clapham Junction)
Train to Farncombe Station
Car to Scott's house (thanks Fran)
Car to Martin-Davis' hous (thanks car bitch - she has really performed well so far, be interesting to see how she goes in Denmark)
Location: Godalming, UK
Up late. Girls went for a run (see photos & notice John's patio!) while John and I had a leisurely breakfast with the kids...
"The Run" which Fran described as a short 6 K loop turned out to be a cross-country trek. See tomorrow for the up shot!
Went for a walk to The Stag on the River for a nice pub lunch and a few guinesses. Slow afternoon recovering from stuffing ourselves.
Rained all afternoon so we read the papers and watched some of The (very muddy) Glastonbury Festival on the TV. Champagne, cheese and biscuits for dinner...
Location: Godalming, UK
Have arrived at yet another beautiful "minnie Mansion" set in a lovely garden (photos to come). John, Fran and the kids (Alistair, Benjamin and Mia) are all fit and well. Sat up drinking and talking until midnight (sic) and none us can believe its been 11 years between face to face discussions. Current plan is for a relatively quiet weekend on the site seeing front (boys have just about seen enough castles and churches). Might try and take them riding or for a game of golf... watch this space.
We all piled in the cars and took Ben's (Scott) remote controlled speedboat to a local lake to thrash around. It was going really well until we were chased off by some birdwatchers who claimed the boat was scaring away their "prey"...
John and I then took Alistair, Sam, Nic, Ben, Ben and Alexander (ring in) to play golf at the local public course. All had fun. I rented some clubs that were made about the same time I was born, luckliy John let me use his driver.
The girls stayed at home and drank Pims which turned into champagne when we arrived home which turned into red wine with dinner which turned into slide shows by the Heaneys and the Scotts. Sounds boring but it was actually good fun watching each other over the past 10 years or so...
Location: Wadhurst/Brighton/Godalming, England
Last day with Sue and Stand and it's another fairly bleak summer's day with thick cloud and light rain. So... we're off to Brighton to visit the famous "Pier" and "The Pavillion". We'll also get to revisit our favourite English "beach" - the rocky shores of Brighton (see photos)...
Then it's back to Sue and Stan's to pack up and "move house" to John and Fran Scott's in Godalming [pronounced God All Ming] which was founded by Emporer Nasi Goreng (Ming Dynasty???) and was a famous rabbit hunting ground...
When I spoke to Fran yesterday John was puting the finishing touches to a patio so we would have somewhere to sit and drink (like we actually need a venue!). Can't wait to meet their kids and the boys, although they have had a blast so far, are excited about having some kids their own age to play with...
Have now arrived and the patio and the kids are all great!
Location: Wadhusrt / Tinbridge Wells, UK
Andy came for coffee and to say goodbye as we leave for John and Fran's house in Godalming tomorrow. Boys had a quiet morning and then we went to Go-Ape for some fun in the English woods (see photos). What a blast!
We then went to Peter and Kate Cotterall's for dinner (see photos) and to farewell the rest the Kent and Sussex crew.
Had a great time here catching up with everyone and reminiscing. Also good to see the beautiful English countryside again and to revisit some of the historical sites.
Location: Wadhurst / Chart Hills GC, UK
Well another fine (yes fine) day here in Old Blighty. Tina and the boys went off for a bit more touring around Royal Tunbridge Wells - visiting the Pantiles and the original town spa from which the name was derived.
Stan and I went the Nick Faldo designed Chart Hills Golf Club to see if I could extract some revenge for the last outing. What a fabulous golf course (not just because I won). It's a tough test with loads of holes where you have to make risk / reward decisions. I have never seen so much water and so many bunkers together on the same course.
Tina and I then took Stan and Sue out for dinner as a thanks for having us to the Old Chequers. Great food and a great wine list (see photo!)...
Location: Wadhurst / Bodiam, UK
Late start after everyone slept in except for Stan who left for work at 6:00 am (gee it's great to be on holidays!). Jessica to school, Chris chilling out on his holidays before going mountain biking and Sue and the Heaneys had breakfast and headed out to Bodiam Castle for a tour. Boys were fascinated - mostly by the toilets - and learned a lot about castle building and why they stopped building them.
Had a light lunch and then went to Bedgebury Pinetum for a quick walk and booked into "Go-Ape" (some of us have less distance to go than others) on Thursday. I am cooking a BBQ for the Steven's and Heaney's this evening and trusting that Mad-cow disease is a thing of the past in British Beef...
Thunder in the distance and it has just started to rain again so it looks like I will be cooking the BBQ in the (now) time honoured British method - in the garage!!!
Location: Wadhurst / London, England
Up early (well 7 ish) had breakfast and then off to London for the day by train. Went to the London Dungeons and then had lunch at the Cafe Rouge (£240 - not brave enough to convert that one!). Then toured the city by bus and boat. Saw most of the sites and will return later this week or early next to cover the remainder...
Back to Sue and Stan's for a well earned oint of bitter (tea for the girls)...
Location: Wadhurst, England
Have now moved over to the "Heaney" wing of Churchsettle Barn. Stan, Christopher, Nicholas and I are off to play in a Texas Scrambe at Dale Hill olf Club. Hope I play better than yesterday.
Location: Royal Tunbridge Wells, England
Late start to the day (again!). We have almost cleaned up everything. Just the marquees to pull down. We move base camp to day to Stan ans Sue's house which is a converted 17th century barn. Loads of exposed timber and character...
Huge thanks to the Pynes for hosting us it was great!