Location: Frankston, Australia
Home sweet home.
We have had the most wonderful holiday, and now it is back to reality
Thanks to everyone for all those messages, it was great to get them all.
It sure added to our trip.
We hope you have all enjoyed reading the blogs and seeing the pics as much as we did
Location: Paris, Finland
Versailles- It is the biggest castle and gardens in Europe. It was huge. It took absolutley ages to get inside and then we eventuallty did, it was push and shove all the way.
This castle had a relationship to the one in Vienna because it was ruled by the same family the Hapsburgs and it was their daughter Marie Antoinette which this castle belonged. It was certainly on a much grader scale then the one in Vienna.
The gardens were beautiful, really everything was. We spent the most of the day out there and it was so interesting.
But this is our last day in Paris and it is so sad to be going home, but all good things do come to an end.
Looking forward to seeing our three precious little children, who have hopefully missed their Mum and Dad and will appreciate them more now.
Location: Paris, France
Today we started off visting Notre Dame. Decided to get out and about early to avoid the crowds, not possible in Paris as there are so many of them. It was so big and beautiful. Then we took a Seine River cruise for an hour and saw lots of the sights we have previously visted (when we were in 2001) but from a different angle. Lots of bridges with lots of stories and history to them. We then walked from the river, pass the Louvre, and into the biggest most fabulous garden toward the Champs Elysees. Walked up the Champs, had lunch and then headed towards the Arc de Triomphe. Caught the train to Moulin Rouge, and sat down and had a beer. Then we headed to the Latin Quarter and wanted to go into into the uni Sorbonne, but without luck.
We had a great day and the weather was perfect.
Yep the city of love , seriously so many people just pashing on, stopping in the middle of the footpath and on the train station.
Some great fashions, great looking chicks and guys.
We have seen another side of Paris this time round, which has been wonderful.
Location: Paris, France
Arrived here by train as usual, it only took 2 hours, a most pleasurable trip and some lovely scenery on the way. Then we worked out the underground and arrived at our motel around 1.00. As usual we get this pokey little motel room, hardly swing a cat in (it has a rating of 3-1/2 stars) but centrally located. We are staying in Montemarte and it has many things to do and see.
We went and visted Sacre Coeur, boy what a church. It actually had a service just starting as we arrived but unfortunately we couldn't stay for it, too much to see and do and not enough time. So many tourists there, it was so hard to move, but lovely all the same.
Location: Montreuil Sur Mer, France
Montreuil is pronounced Mont troy, how that works I have no clues but it is French....which could explain. Anyway it is the most beautiful little place. It is surrounded by Rampards, and they are so high so I don't know how anyone would want to try and invade it. There are many British living there because it is so close to the crossing from England to France. Like my cousin , they have fallen in love with the place and it is so beautiful...hopefully they don't wreck it.
We travelled round the area, viewing many spots and historical sites great having someone to show us around. We went to the beach in Le Touquet which is about a 20 minute drive and it felt like our seaside towns but 100 times more people.
We had a wonderful time with my cousin and hopefully in the future we will do a house swap with her, because we would love to go back.
Now we are off to Paris (the city of love Vince keeps reminding me)
I have the worst feeling now because this means it is getting to the end of our wonderful trip
Location: Brussells, Belgium
We travelled by train from Amsterdam to Brussells which we are finding is the best way to get around. Met some Aussies on the train from Brighton, just can't go anywhere. Staying in the heart of the city so it is easy to get from a-b. More spectactular main squares with churches, town halls and libraries. It has not stopped raining in Brussells which is disappointing but I guess we have been lucky with the weather.
Yep tried the Belgium chocolate and it really is something. They have fountains of chocolate and as you enter their shops they give you like a little mini teddy and you dip it in the chocolate for a taste test....yum.
We have tried some Belgium beers and according to Vince they taste just like mother's milk.......just wish I could get used to drinking beer, it would be so much easier.
Now off to the North of France to stay with my cousin
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
More walking and sightseeing. It rained most of the morning but now it is sunny. We went to the Anne Frank Museum, that was enlightening, then we went to the Vincent Van Gough museum, it was so interesting. It was a cultured morning and I am about all culturd out......I am wonderingi if it will leave an impact!
We also went to a diamond factory, watched a couple of men shape and polish some diamonds. Didn't buy any, but is was fun watching them at work.
The two boys we meet last night suggested we see another side of Amsterdam which we did and it was lovely. We had lunch in this little local cafe and it was just so good, relaxing fun. I tried their pancakes with apple and cinamon and they were yum. One thing Vince is trying is their local beers...I reckon he has tried most and says they are all good.
Tomorrow we are off to Belgium
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Wow , we should be so fit, feels like we have walked the whole of Amsterdam. Yesterday we did a cruise through the canals, great fun. Seems like rather than the dutch having a barbie they gather their friends, picnic gear, drinks and cruise the canals. It looks like some much fun. Last night we went down towards the red light district and had a Thai meal. We meet a couple of the locals, young guys, handsome, but (as we found out later) they were having a romatic evening out and we disrupted their fun. They were gay, (they spilled their guts) and they were planning a trip to Paris to make their engagement official. Bad luck........ we wanted to know the ins and out of how the dutch live. Apparently this weekend was a gay festival in Amsterdam, hence the number of tourists.
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Caught a fast (and I mean fast it only took 4 hours) train from Frankfurt to Amsterdam today. It was so good, very clean, plenty of food, and easy to get here.
Now today has been an eye opener. This city is very dirty, there are so many people and mostly tourists, so that perhaps explains why it is so dirty. This is the most people we have seen in one place since arriving.
We just walked down to the red light district and all I could do was laugh and wonder why!!!
More to come tomorrow
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Back in Frankfurt. Travelled most of the day to arrive back at 6.00 Stopped and had lunch in a little place called Rottenburg which was very quaint.
Had our farewell dinner with all the wonderful people we met on the bus (excluding the Americans)
It was rather sad because we have had some much fun together...but as they say all good things must come to an end.
So it was goodbye to
Leonie & Greg (Adelaide)
Marc & Rachael (Canada)
Les & Shirley (Canada)
Daphene & Mike (South Africa)
Liz and Barry (Patterson Lakes, yep just up the road from our place)
Kerry (Chincilla - Qld)
Theresa & Helen (Canada)
And last but not least the Kiwi - Aaron
They were a fantastic bunch of people and it was so much fun
Location: Czech Republic
Heading off to Frankfurt today to finish our bus tour. It has been a fantastic 15 days. I wil fill this in with the missing days when we arrive in Amsterdam. So stay tuned
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Now in Prague, well what a place, I absolutley loved it.
A local guide showed us around as they do. The scenic views of the city at night just beautiful. We went on a little train in and out and all around the cobbled streets, just with our mouths open.
One thing is for sure the catholic churches in all the citeis have the prime land and the biggest buildings. The main church in Prague had to be swapped, the catholics took it and gave theirs to the protestants as their numbers were too big for the church... the cheek of them.
We did another river cruise for lunch and it was brilliant as usual.
Some local played the piano accordion and the translation of the words to the songs was so funny, but he tried.
Location: Vienna, Austria
Well I have to say I was a little disappointed with the scenery coming down to Vienna, it was not as spectacular as I thought, but the city is very pretty.
Went to an opera concert, the first half was music by Mozart and the second half was music by Strauss. It was simply brilliant as you would expect.
Next day we went with a local guide around the city , castles castles and more castles but they were impressive. Saw the crypts where their royals were buried.
At night we went to a restaurant out in the country, they taught some of us how to waltz (vince was shown and got a cerificate to prove it). Had their local dishes and a big night was had by all.
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Arrived in Budapest late in the day and had dinner on a boat cruising down the Danube. According to our local guide it is blue if you are in love and any other colour you want to call it, if not. We saw the most amazing scenery from the boat and at night. We had a hungarian meal and music on the boat which was very nice, romantic for some!!!!!!! Then we visted the old town, shopped in a market and a free night to roam around.
We visted their parliment buildings, which you have to see to believe, had crepes with melted chocolate (to die for) and then left to head to Vienna
Another good thing about the day it was American's free, they went to check out some of their heritage.....but then who cares.
We have a whole family of Americans, 16 in total, loud brash, full of themselves and mormans to boot... so much fun
Location: krakow, Poland
Krakow, it is so old but beautiful, and it was not destroyed during the war. everywhere we go we have local guides to tell us all the history but i don't have time to repeat it here. Went to Auschwitz yesterday and the less said there the better. Had a polish dinner last night with some traditional folk dancing. that was a lot of fun.
Today we are off to Hungary
Location: warsaw, Poland
arrived in warsaw after a 12 hour bus ride, got sick as well, so not the best day we have had. i even had to get some antibiotics in poszan without a doctors prescription, feling much better now you will all be pleased to know.
(i have to type in lower case because it is too difficult to work out this keyboard so apologies). pics i am not sure about anymore because i cant read the language and it is all too hard
warsar is amazing, most of it was ruined during the war so now it has been rebuilt in its original state (they recycled all the materials)
had a bit of culture went to a chopin piano concert tonight and is was so good. choplin is polish and they are so proud of him naturatelly. some lady played his works.
off to krakou tomorrow
Location: berlin, Germany
more pictures to come so stay tuned
Location: berlin, Germany
Berlin just beautiful, clean, much better than we thought, so much history and lots of things to see and do. we have done a couple of tours around and it is fabulous. went out with the group last night and had a fantastic time singing and dancing. today more sights like the brandenberg gate and other historic sights, went to a kings palace, see one see em all..... no really it was beautiful. too many americans on the bus tours but ah well, some things you have to put up with
off to warsaw tomorrow
Location: frankfurt, Germany
Arrived in frankfurt, got lost a couple of times, but eventually we made it without too many fights. i was even the navigator....surprise, surprise. We then joined up with our bus tour and did a couple of hours touring the city. we stopped in one of the squares for a beer and a bratwurst, they were both yummy. then had a dinner to meet and greet all of the other passengers. all fine so far
Location: Fussen, Germany
Hey no pics yet, just struggling to get these diary entries happening. We hired a car and drove to Bavaria, where we went to the castle that is depicted in Disneyland Fantasy Land. (Can't remember what its called and would only misspell it anyway as these German names are so hard to remember and pronounce) - My German is improving or at least i think it is. vince reckons it is nothing like it. We went into the castle and the walks and scenery are pretty spectacular. Off to Frankfurt now to start our Tour.
Location: Munich, Germany
Fantastic, but not long enough. We caught the train in from the airport, some Germans helped the lost (sort of) Aussie tourists. The motel didn't have us booked in till we reliased it was booked under vince instead of mirabella. Accommodation OK right in the heart. Went to the Hoffbrauhaus and it was fabulous. caught a tram, winding through the city, it was truely beautiful, clean and so easy. So far the Germans have been so helpful and friendly. We are very impressed.
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Well, we have done the Dubai leg and it now feels like a long time ago. It was certainly different. Stinking hot. The hightlight was the Sand Dunes, 4WD Safari that ended in a traditional Bedouin meal out in the Desert. It was amazing, up and down sand dunes, (we got bogged), camel rides, belly dancers, henna tattoos, hubbly jubbly and many Aussies. In our group was a South African family which we had great fun with. Not impressed with Gold Land or the shopping. There is some much construction going on there, it is out of control. The Arabs want everything bigger and better than anyone else - ridiculous