A Travellerspoint blog

Saturday 18th July

Up in the Alps

rain -12 °C
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We continued south stopping at Munich, with fairly constant rain. Crossed the border into Austria. Ascended the Alps to Innsbruck, in the region of Tyrol. We went to a heel-and-buttock slapping show that night complete with swiss horns, yodelling and cow-girls. Very entertaining.

Posted by bryceb 21:35 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Friday 17th July

Down the Rhine

rain 15 °C
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I'm getting way behind in my blogs, so the next few entries will be condensed versions. I'm also starting to forget what I did on what day.
Today we left early from Amsterdam, and headed south into Germany. We stopped at Cologne and checked out the cathedral, then later went on a cruise down the Rhine river, before reaching our hotel at Mannheim, Germany via Heidelberg Castle.

Posted by bryceb 21:22 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Thursday 16th July

The Adventure begins

sunny 22 °C
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Well it was an early start from the hotel this morning; we were picked up by the Trafalgar bus and taken on a quick tour of London as we went to the Trafalgar Tours depot. We met the other members of the party; 29 in all, a mixture of people aged from children through to retirement age, mostly from Australia, NZ and Canada. Naturally this mix of nationalities led to some friendly rivalries and the usual sheep jokes. Our tour director is Howard, an energetic Canadian Dutchman with an encyclopaedic memory. Some of his first words were "in this 31 days you will see more than some people will see in a lifetime", and judging by the pace of the first few days I would tend to agree.
Anyway, we drove through Kent to Dover, on to the ferry, and watched the white cliffs of Dover disappear as we went across the channel to Calais. From there, we followed the coast north past Dunkirk and into Belgium and into the land of windmills, dykes and bicycles. The countryside is very flat; you can see the whole country by standing on a chair, We booked into our hotel at Amsterdam, then went on a cruise on the canals. Bit of an eye-opener; there are thousands of people living in barges on the canals; the canals are used as the sewer, and need to be flushed out 5 times per week because of this. But they didn't smell. To buy a barge is around $300,000, to buy the mooring is twice that. In the evening we had dinner at a Dutch restaurant and then went for a walk through the city including the red-light district. The locals there were very friendly and wanted us to stop and talk, but we had a schedule to keep.

Posted by bryceb 22:29 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Wednesday 15th July

Singapore to London

semi-overcast 18 °C
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We left Singapore that evening and commenced the tedious and slightly bumpy 13 hour flight to London (Quantas). I was over movies so all I watched was "Wake in Fright" with my finger sitting on the Fast Forward button. This time I got a window seat which made the flight more interesting but makes it difficult to go to the toilet at 3am when I didn't feel like clambering over two sleeping bodies. So I didn't. I didn't know I could hold on so long, very good for a person of my advanced years. The unfortunate thing is that I am writing this 36 hours later and things haven't yet returned to normal. (addit - they have now.)
We landed at Heathrow, and then picked up to go to our Hotel at Kensington. It was too early to book in so we went for a long walk around Notting Hill and Kensington Gardens, then the Westfield Shopping Mall, the biggest one in Europe. All we bought was a bunch of grapes. (My luggage already weighs close to 20kg). By this time we were so tired that we headed back to the hotel, and had a doze. For tea we went back up the road and had a Subway, then an early night back at the hotel. We were going to be woken at 4.45am as the first day was an early start to commence the bus trip, but we were awake and buzzing at 3.30am (I was awake from 1am) so it wasn't such a rude awakening after all.
More to come soon, probably in much less detail..........

Posted by bryceb 23:52 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Tuesday 14th July

Sitting in Changi Airport

storm 30 °C
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Well I'd better get used to this travel blog thing; I'll try to update it at least once a week but don't hold your breath.
We left Adelaide at 1:05 pm on a very wet July day. The service on Quantas is good, we had two meals (lunch was Chicken and Tofu in a Ginger and Soy Sauce.) We were also offered various drinks, cheese and crackers, chocolate and ice cream. They all looked low GI to me so I ate them. There was also a great selection of movies, TV, music, and news. I watched Clint Eastwood in Grand Tourismo, Fawlty Towers, and bits of various other movies. It was a channel surfer's paradise.
The flight map showed various trip data, so for data buffs we travelled at around 900kph at 11,582 metres in an Airbus A330. The outside temp was -59 degrees Farenheidt.
Singapore is 30 degrees Celsius (sorry about the mixed units) and humid, so the jumpers came off straight away. Changi Airport is huge, and has 3 terminals now, unlike 2001 when I was last here. To get to the different terminals (we have 5 hours to kill) we used the free Skytrain. There are a lot of people waiting around, and I can't help but think that a huge shopping industry has been built by forcing people to wait several hours for planes. There is free internet access everywhere, and plenty of things to see and do, eg the Butterfly House. I won't eat anything as we get fed too well on the plane.
Anyway, this is enough typing on this miniature keyboard, so I'll leave it here and hopefully won't be too long before my next entry. I'll start loading on a few photos soon; I don't have my cable with me at the moment.

Posted by bryceb 22:19 Archived in Singapore Comments (1)

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