Location: HOME, Australia
Well we have come back to the sunny North Coast ready for summer and more Scuba diving etc.............well maybe!!
The Gov't has proposed an idea to tax everyone who dives ($75 for 3 yrs). This may not sound like a great deal but where will it end. People who like fishing now have a tax, divers are next in line, and where will it end?? Will swimmers, surfers etc be next??
Our waters are the best in the world and are free and should remain that way. If you would like to opose this proposal please go to www.dpi.nsw.gov.au , open the page SCUBA DIVING FEE, the choose "ONLINE QUICK RESPONSE FORM" and take 30 secs to complete it. Keep our waters free for everyone!!
Location: Home, Australia
We're back!! We made it in one piece and boy are we glad to be home and off aeroplanes, and driving a nice car again, and eating veges, and being able to ring our friends and families whenever we want, and enjoying sunshine without the humidity (like in Bahrain)...and the list of things we have missed over the past 6 months goes on!
We had an awesome time and are planning the next one...probably a stopover in Thailand or Vietnam, then onto London (as we just didn't get to see enough in 3 days), Spain, Southern France and a white (or at least cold) christmas with our new overseas mum, June, in Scotland (hi June...oh yeah, was meaning to tell about this soon).
Thankyou all for tuning in to our Travels, we REALLY appreciated the contact from home it helped us get through 6 months without all the above creature comforts and you all made us feel loved and missed....aawwww.
We even made it into the Top 5 for a month...wahoo!! (it's the little things). As we are extremely flat broke, those who won tacky souvenirs may have to wait a few weeks before we can afford to send them.
Thanks again for your support, by the way, this web site is absolutely free and extremly easy and user friendly to set up, even if just tripping around Australia for a short holiday! So I highly recommend it, all you have to do is log onto www.planetranger.com and click on "sign up here", it will then guide you through the process...so easy!! (and they're not even paying me to say this).
Anyway, it 2:30am...apparently a jet lag thing...so I might check my emails and try and get back to sleep.
Matt & Tanya signing off for the very last time!! WE'RE HOME, YAY!!
Location: Singapore (airport), Singapore
Well we are halfway home and counting down the miles.
We really hate long flights, but at least we have little screens in front of our seats and a list of programs to choose from!!
Stretching out legs and backs for the next 8 hour leg. See you all soon.
Well our holiday has come to an end and we are coming home.
The more time we spent in Bahrain, the more we loved it. The people are so happy and friendly, the place has amasing historical buildings and sites, and the shopping is fairly cheap. There are gold and pearl shops selling their stuff at a fraction of Aussie prices, so Tanya is in heaven. The Taxi drivers rip you off, but they do in every country we know.
Now time to reflect:
1. Best Country.......................Swi- tzerland
2. Best City............................P- aris
3. Best Food..........................Bah- rain, Turkey or Belgium
4. Best Shopping....................Bahra- in
5 Best weather & place to live.................AUSTRALIA!!!-
Location: Manama, Bahrain
Appologies for the very negative enry last time.
Matt is still crook, but we have discovered some of the good things about Bahrain. Would you believe gold is actually extreemly cheap...damn I wish we had some money left!
Hung out in the dingy alleyways of the Souk last night which was fun...full of smells and lights and people. It was very interesting.
We are having a better time here in Bahrain, and have seen a bit more now that we have discovered the buses and the time that everyone closes/opens up shop. 7am-2pm, then again at 7pm-midnight.
Did we mention we are in the top 2 most visited sites!!! Thanks for loggin on!!
Location: Juffair, Bahrain
Arrived in Bahrain after being coughed all over for 6 hours on the flight. Went outside at 8pm to find 32 degree heat, complete with 85% humidity, phew, it's hot here!! Got to our hostel after being ripped off by the taxi driver to find there was no toilet paper, just a hose attached to the toilet and Matt is now sick with the flu!!
Our soul purpose for coming to the middle east was to dive, and if Matt doesn't get better, that might not happen.
Oh yeah, did I mention you can knock on the mattress!! Interesting experience so far. At least they have internet, but would you believe everything is hideously expensive...even more so than England!!
Location: London, England
We finally got to do all the touristy things but in the end only had less than three days in London which is not enough.
Checked out some fancy hats in the Tower of London, looked at dead people in The British Museum and had a romantic evening with Dave on the London Eye.
Had a great time in London, but sorry we missed the Portabello markets, the Jack the Ripper walking tour and The Maritme Museum at Grenich so I could look at John Harrisons Latitude clock. Next time.
Congratulations to Mark Ohlmus who won the Biggles Mileage comp. We ended up doing 9777 miles on Biggles. Still waiting for an answer to our last quiz question though!!
Next stop, Bahrain...then home!!!!
Location: London, UK
Didn't get a whole lot of sightseeing done today, because...Biggles has left us and gone to a good home - phew!! It was a tough interview process, but his new family have promised to look after him.
We did however, get a free cruise up the Thames (part of the bus sightseeing thing that we did pay for), which was very interesting and of course they knew we were on board and opened the drawbridge on the Tower Bridge (which is apparently rare). We also went to Harrods and bought something...ok, it was only a coke, but we got a bag!...ok, had to ask for it, but we got a bag!!
The London Tower, British Museum and the London Eye (which is just a massive ferris wheel) tomorrow.
Also got to catch up with a buddy from uni...Pete (hasn't changed a bit!!).
The Biggles mileage comp is finished tomorrow. Guesses need to be in by then!!
Location: London, UK
Guess what we saw yesterday..."Big ben, houses of parliment...big ben, houses of parliment...big ben, houses of parliment...". If you can name the specific movie this quote is from, you will win one genuine crappy souviner!!
Have been for a drive in an open top double decker bus around London, and will see a bit more today and visit the maritime museum (so Tanya can look at a latitude clock), the tower of london tomorrow and the British museum on Saturday. It's a fly-by tour of London, but we'll be back.
Biggles has had his last check up and is running better than when we first bought him!! typical! It'll be sad to see him go, we'll make sure he goes to a good home.
Location: Gloucester, UK
Went to the cathedral today where apparently some of Harry Potter was filmed. It seems every big Cathedral has a claim to that movie!!
Haven't sold Biggles yet, but he is on Ebay, so the European trip is coming to an end.
Not long now til the holidays, hope you're all counting down the days til we get back!
Location: Gloucester, UK
WE'VE MADE IT!!! We are officially the No.2 most visited site for this month....Thanks guys!! That's made us feel very loved.
At Lisa's (Tanya's friend and ex-house mate from Uni days) in Gloucester and just about to head over to London (Tomorrow!!) to do our last bit of sight seeing. And the sun is out!! Which means our clothes can be washed!! Which means that we can stop turning our undies inside out for those few extra days wear!! Which means we don't smell like hippies anymore!! Yay!
Went to Avebury yesterday with Lisa for a picnic and to look at one of the biggest (in area) stone circles in the country. We hung with the hippies (who were laying with their eyes closed, pressed up against the huge stones?? Looked like fun, so we gave it a go...don't think it's done anything??) and then walked through a burial "barrow", which is a long chamber made of stone, covered to make it look like a hill. There's heaps of them in the paddocks around the stone circles.
Had a lovely day, it's also been nice to have a bit of detox after our visit with Suzanne (might take a while to get over)!
Cool...we made it into the top 5!!
Just about to drive Biggles back to London, so the "Biggles mileage comp" will be closing on Friday. Get your entries in soon.
Location: Bristol, UK
Suzanne is a bad influence!!! She wanted us to experience the true english lifestyle....which is losts of visits to cute and cosy pubs.
Off to Bristol today, then onto Gloucester, London and then home.
Biggles is nearly gone, so the "Biggles Mileage" comp is coming to an end, so we are expecting guesses soon.
Trivia question: Which member of the royal family came to Bath when she was 12, was made fun of for having fat ankles and never came back! (This might be one you have to guess!!)
Well Biggles is back from his check up at the docotrs and is purring like a kitten!
Went out with Suz and Toby last night, and were quite impressed that their friends were having a party on a school night (we figured so that people wouldn't stay long...good try)...actually, we party crashed their friends party which was quiet and civilised until us 4 (and Andy) turned up!! We were having a great time and then we were all siting around at whatever time it was and realised the only people left in the room were us 4 and the people who actually lived in the house - even Andy went home!! Oops!!
Have seen all the touristy things in bath which is a gorgeous city, even found out Governor Phillip is half buried inside and outside the door of the church as there is speculation over his death (ie suicide or murder).
Off to Bristol tomorrow then onto Gloucester to visit Lis (Tanya's house mate from uni days).
Location: Bath, UK
Made it to Bath after a quick visit to Stonehenge. Nice place, and all the bus loads of tourists think so aswell!! (Ok, so we didn't arrive in a bus, but we were also tourists).
Got to Suzanne's place and went out to the pub, one of the hundreds in this city...they have their priorities in order!! It's been lovely to talk to normal people and be greeted by such awesome hospitality!! Matts caught up on the central coast goss, and Toby (Suzanne's fiance) has bagged us out about the cricket. Oh well, let them have their moment!!
Gorgeous place, will have a look today dispite the rain...isn't that just normal around here?? Then off to crash some guys party tonight. They're French so we'll be taking some Aussie wine, as we know the French love our wine sooo much!!
Location: Brighton, UK
Well we made it back to England, the land of rain, free & clean toilets and where everything is 4 times more expensive than everywhere else!!
Brighton is interesting, pebbly beaches and two piers: one with amusement rides on it (of which Matt conned me into going on - I ended up feeling like spewing and Matt spent the evening rubbing his lower back...ooops! Us poor oldies!!) and the other pier is in the sea!! It was apparently burned down..twice in the same day, last year. But this apparently is a good thing because it was very deteriorated and very dangerous???
Anyway, did the fish & chips thing, wandered along the sea side and went back to the camp ground picking wild blackberries from the park opposite. Aaah, clean showers and toilets...oh how I've missed thee!!
Location: Boulogne, France
We're at Boulogne ready to catch that 50 minute ferry tomorrow and here to great us for our return to England was that lovely weather they always seem to have...the rain!! (wish they would share it around the greedy bugggars).
Biggles is on the site ready to sell which is making us a little sad as he has become a third family member. Not long now til we return. Thanks for the messages, keep them coming as we are feeling a little homesick now and appreciate messages from home.
Location: Brugge, Belgium
Our advice: bypass Brussels and head straight for Brugge!!
What a beautiful city, but also packed with tourists. Plenty to see - like a supposed vial of Christs blood, which is not looking very healthy, and plenty to do like climb 366 spiral steps to be deafened at the top by over 40 Carillon bells.
We have eaten out at a resturant (yes a real resturant!!) each day - 3 courses for only $12 (and awesome steak at that!!), sampled the local beer, waffles and chocolate. We also did the boat canal cruise on our 5th Anniversary...aaaawwww!!!!
No one has answered our last trivia question yet, and don't forget the "Biggles Mileage" comp. We will not post your response on the site until he is sold (if you are concerned about that!).
Ignore the Biggles photo page to be on soon, it's for potential buyers. Keep up the messages!
Location: Brugge, Belgium
Made it to the land of waffles and chocolate, which we will be of course indulging in both...at the same time!!
New quiz question:
Name the song and artist which features buying bread from a muscle man in this country.
Will update tomorrow.
A special hello to Jenny-Poo, Happy Birthday munchkin!!
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Well, that was an interesting place!!
Despite all the drugs, which are not legal by the way, only "tolerated", we experienced the Red Light District at night which was very...um....interesting.
Couldn't get over the rows of glass doorways with a red neon lights and semi-naked girls on display. It gave window shopping a whole new meaning.
We did do other stuff, like visit the Anne Frank Museum, watched Tanya drewl over diamonds being polished, open-air photography exhibition, and just wandered the streets (oh, yeah, and visited the sex museum, just to make sure we know what to do??)
Back in Biggles and on our way to Belgium.
Location: Aachen, Germany
Still in germany but the good news is....Biggles is nearly fixed!!
Not enjoying staying in Youth Hostels, although the one we are in at the moment is pretty flash and even has an ensuit (a wheelchair bathroom, so Matt has re-enacted all the possible uses for all those bars after a big night on the German beer!!). It's more than double the cost of camping(usually) to stay in hostels, and we can't cook!
Off to soak in the thermal springs today and then head to "the Dam" tomorrow (Amsterdam, the city that never sleeps). Hopefully to look at Anne Franks house, although neither of us read the book, and of course the red light district to look at the freaks.
We still have the last quiz question unanswered, and don't forget the biggles mileage comp.
And it's Ashleys birthday today....HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
Location: Berlin, Germany
We did the most fantastic walking tour yesterday. It of course covered all the historical monuments and buildings from the 1700s through the war years and post war years, including a small stretch of the Berlin wall that is left, Checkpoint Charlie, The Jewish Memorial ground, The Brandonberg Gate, Parliment and the site of Hitlers bunker where he killed himself (there's now a gay bar and Jewish school playground on top! HA HA )
Berlin is a wonderful city, heaps to see and heaps to do and we had a history university student show us around for free so we now know where to eat, drink and use free toilets and internet (which we have done all!!).
Next question: (this ones a hard one!)
Who designed the Jewish Memorial grounds?? (Good luck!!)
Hopefully Biggles will be fixed soon, and the van-of-love will be rockin' once more!!
Location: Kutna Hora, Czech Republic
Damn I wish we could speak Czech!!
Cought the train out to Kutna Hora today with intentions of spending the day looking around the old silver mining town. Was told we would have to change trains at Kolin to get there. Stopped at a very small station for 2 seconds and we saw a sign outside saying Kolin (we thought it would be a bigger place, but got off anyway).
The bigger sign that said some other stop was bent around, the sign to Kolin actually said; Kolin, this direction. So we were stuck for an hour on a train platform that didn't even come with a town, just some tumbleweed rolling down the track (ok, maybe not the tumbleweed). Then had to wait two hours for the conncecting train.
Because we had wasted so much time, we weren't able to see the town, just the church....and what an interesting church it was!! There were human bone sculptures/decorations inside from an estimated 40000 people!! It was really interesting, make sure you check the pics.
Off to Berlin next. Our next crappy souvenir trivia question is:
What was the name given to the checkpoint on the wall that divided east from west in Berlin??
Also, don't forget our biggles mileage comp.
Oh, and one more thing, we have decided to try for the top 5 sites visited for the month, but we need 14 visits per day from 14 different computers, so make sure you try to look at our site once a day in the next month!!