Saturday, September 25, 2010

And now the end is near...

Hey Gang

This will probably be the last post of the holiday (unless i get really bored in Abu Dhabi airport) oh what fun times we have had over the last 7 weeks. But anyway i am not going to get all sentimental on you... i will inform you of what we have been up to in the capital!

We got into Dublin smack bang in the middle of peak hour traffic on Thursday.. URGH that does not make for a happy navigator.. but we got here safe and sound which is the main thing!. So after getting settled into our accommodation we decided to walk into town (which is a good 20 min walk from where we are staying) and have a potter around Dublin town. We walked up O'Connell street and walked up Henry Street mainly on a search for the only store in the whole ROI that sells Privateer Press Products.... because Nath was getting some slight withdrawals. Thank god we found it and it was open so his cravings were then satisfied. We then went for dinner at a place on O'Connell street, it was actually reasonably priced (which was a turn up). We then decided to walk back to the accommodation and when we were about half way there the heavens just opened and we got drenched (as Nath said at the time our little umbrella was just delaying the inevitable soaking). By the time we got to our accommodation we looked like drowned rats. We then proceeded to attempt to use the little hairdryer to dry our shoes... Nath shorted it a few times so then the task was given to me and urgh after 7 weeks in runners blow drying those bad boys STANK!!!

So thank goodness yesterdays weather was nicer because that night did not leave Nath with a good impression of Dublin. So yesterday we set out to explore the city. We started off by investigating something we had found the night before but decided not to go into it. It is an exhibition called Game On. It was basically a gamers dream. They had 120 playable games on loads of different platforms from the last 30-40 years. They had everything from Pong to Guitar Hero... and if i am to make a confession... as you all know i don't like computer games / console games mainly because i am hopeless at them... but i really enjoyed myself!! it was so much fun playing all sorts of old games... needless to say i sucked at all of them and Nath kept challenging me in fighting games (all of which i lost except 1 where i kept pushing him off the edge and winning by default) but it was a blast!

So after the nerd-a-thon we decided to go on a historical walking tour, i highly recommend it even though our guide was a bit all over the shop in his explanations of things. We both really enjoyed the tour and it was very informative. During the tour we noticed heaps of buildings promoting Culture Night.. which was on that night and it meant that lots of Dublin attractions were open until about 10pm. We took advantage of this fact and headed to the Book of Kells in Trinity College. I had already seen the book but I was still in awe of it. I hope Nath enjoyed it, but he is getting very Jack like in his responses... as in all he tends to say is good :P We then went to dinner and headed back to the accommodation.

Which rings us to today... the last day I don't know what we will do, but i am sure we will fill you in on it nevertheless.

See you soon :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ireland : almost home time

Hey gang

My goodness i thought that we were blogging more often - apparently not!

So well lots has happened since Nath last blogged, the day that we wrote the blog we were in Tuam and we just spent the day in town because the All Ireland Football final was on. Cork V Down i was very excited because Cork wears Swans colours hooray the swannies were in a grand final :P But anyway we headed to the pub that Anna Marie (one of my mates) works at and we spent the afternoon watching the match. It was so much fun even though we weren't crash hot on the rules... it was a blast! and Cork won :) hooorrraaaayyyyy.

Monday we headed off on another cross country trip, this time to Co. Meath home of Newgrange. We decided to go the back way mainly so we could see more than just the motorway! It took us though lots of small towns i was very impressed with my navigational skills (if i have to say myself) and we only had to make 1 u-turn!. When we got to Co. Meath we headed into Drogheda for a wander around. We saw the preserved head of a saint... very cool, we also went Millmont which is a military fort on the top of a hill... it was very interesting and our guide was lovely! We spent the night in a B&B outside Slane and met 2 couples from Texas there, they were very keen on chatting to us and telling us all about their adventures!

The next morning we headed to Newgrange, this was just mind blowing. I studied a bit about this in Art class (gotta love Irish schools) and still it just blew my mind! It was so mysterious and just had a very mythical atmosphere around it. Although it was slightly broken by the 2 men mowing the lawn on top of the monument.. that made us laugh. We then just headed back to Tuam and took it easy for the rest of the afternoon.

Yesterday we planned on spending the whole day in Galway.... well a much needed sleep in got in the way. We ended up in Galway at about 1 and then just pottered around for a while before meeting Cormac for Tea. He then gave us a little walking tour to places in Galway i had never been to, so that was fun. After we said our goodbyes we headed out to see my friend Dani at her job in an adventure center in Connemara. For those who don't know Connemara it is very rugged and beautiful. Kind of like going though the Scottish highlands actually, but there are free range sheep that you have to watch out for, because not only do they walk on the road... they tend to like to sleep on it also! We had dinner with Dani and it was just wonderful! but given that where she lives is about a 2 hour drive from Tuam we didn't get home until late.

So that leaves today. We were meant to get up and get going to Dublin but once again we are taking our time and just taking things slow. So the plan is to head to Dublin shortly and spend 2 days sightseeing and then jump on a plane and we will be home before you know it :)

See you then

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ireland: post 2

greetings blog readers,

Nathan here yet again i have usurped the power of the blog to write to you.

When we last left of we were half way around the ring of Kerry, The second day around the ring we mainly drove we took the advice of out B&B host Thomas and went and drove around Valentine Island. This was a lovely place there were a couple of things to do but as typical for Ireland it was rainy and windy hence staying in the car and driving. We then headed on around the ring and completed it. We stopped in Kilarney for lunch with nothing interesting to report and then made our way to our next nights accommodation. We stayed at the laked side Hotel and this place was amazing and considering i normally just state that things are good that is an awesome comment. This place was very swish and was lovely it was nice to just bum around and have a couple of drinks at the bar (as it was still raining out side SURPRISE).

The next day we headed off to Cork BTW when we left there was a whole lot of rich people with awesome vintage cars don't know much about cars but they were cool. The drive to Cork was uneventful along with the day around Cork. The highlight for Sarah in Cork was visiting Eddie rockets a 1950's style of diner. We then went to our accommodation White lodge it was nice we lookedaround the local area and called it a night.

The next day we were cooked a Irish breakfast by our lovely eccentric host Oliver, he is a champion of a bloke and was happy to chat about the local area and point out some things to do. We then made the long Haul back to Tuam for Erika's birthday party. It was a 4 hour drive when you take into account all of the road works and traffic build up as a result (i think Ireland is on a massive road build-a-thon) We then did some maintience and made a Quick Call into Galway and picked up Sarah's friend Cormac.

When then spent the night at Erika's party, when i asked Sarah to describe Erika's party in three words she could not and therefore i will describe as interesting when i though i could understand the Irish it just got a whole lo more Irish like with a slur and yeah a lot of nodding and smiles were employed.

The next morning was a slow started we headed into Galway again as there is not an awful lot in Tuam and we walked around with Erika and just took it easy. He went into down town metropolis Tuam to one the the fifty thousand places to drink for some traditional music and some Guinness.

We have slowed down a lot now we are in Ireland not seeing as much or doing as much just relaxing and catching up with people.

Stay tuned for the next post were Sarah will have possibly wrestled blogging power from me and will return to blogging as per normal.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fiddley-dee Potatoes

Top 'o the mornin' to ye

If you haven't guessed already we are in Ireland :D and I (Sarah) am just beaming from ear to ear.

We will start this post back in Glasgow... we got information from flight center that our flight was at 3.25 so being good kids we got to the airport at the suggested 3 hours before departure... however.. it had changed... our flight was now at 5.45 oh well it is just another 2 hours you say... well the flight was delayed.... only until 6.30 but when you got to the airport at 12... you start getting a tad annoyed and there isn't that much to do at Glasgow airport!!

In the end we got to our destination (Tuam) and I had a wonderful (if not a tad short because it was 11pm by the time we arrived) catch up with Miss Erika.

The next morning we spent in downtown Tuam. I showed Nath all the sights and we caught up with my twinny Aine (seriously we are born on the same day). After the catch up with Aine we had lunch and then headed down to the Ring of Kerry. We stayed in a nice hotel in Kilarney for the evening and went to bed early in preparation for the next day.

The next day we left Kilarney and started to drive the ring. We did what the lovely gentleman in a shop we went in told us, we drove around it anti-clockwise.. although i don't know why he said that... you see the same stuff no matter which way you drive.. The ring of Kerry is only about 200km long so you can easily do it in a day.. we decided to take our time and do it over 2. So on the way to our half way point we stopped in a few places and took a few de-tours. We stopped in a recreated 18th century uh bog village... it was interesting, they had ponies and Irish wolfhounds :) We then drove to Cahersiveen (where we were staying the night) and we pottered around there for a while, saw some cool castle ruins and partly drove around the Skellig trail.

Well that brings you up to date, we will post again soon :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

UK road trip - the final leg

Hey gang

I officially have (as Nath has put it) my mojo back!!!

We are sitting in an Internet place in sunny Glasgow at the moment so i will fill you in on our adventures yesterday!

We left Inverness and headed to Culloden. For those not in the know... Culloden is where the Jacobites were defeated by the government forces during the rebellion with Prince Charles Edward Stuart. Now going into Culloden it is safe to say that i wasn't really keen... but once i was there i really enjoyed myself. Just what happened there was so heartbreaking, the government lost 50 men... the Jacobites lost 1,500.... just really sad stuff.... however i really recommend you go there if you are ever in the area.. the visitors center is really educational and you get to go for a guided tour of the actual battlefield!

Unfortunately for us, the weather decided to turn Scottish right as we were touring the battlefield.. not pleasant! The weather then proceeded to follow us to Glasgow. On the way to Glasgow we stopped at Loch Ness. I loved Loch Ness even though the visitors center we went to was like BAM every photo of the monster is fake... which i already knew but i still liked believing in the myth. Although there was an interesting fact... there is enough water in Loch Ness to submerge the worlds population three times over! which i wouldn't have believed going into it because i honestly didn't realise the place was so big... it is HUGE.. and it just keeps going...

Anyway the drive to Glasgow took us though the Highlands, which meant wonderful scenery for me... terrible roads for Nath. But we got here safe and sound, that's the main thing.

So in a few hours we will be heading to the airport to say farewell to the Blackmobile (oh by the way that is what we named the car) and head on over to Ireland for the final phase of our excellent adventure.

So i will post then!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Uk Road Trip Day 5 -

Hey Gang

Whoops sorry for the delay in posting, we have just been a tad slack and not all places have had somewhere to use the interwebs :P

So... Day 5

We left York and drove north to Peebles, now this drive if you take the motorway should take approx 3 hours, but Nath and I thought that if we take the motorway we won't get to see anything other than.. well motorway, so we decided to take the coastal route... which took a fair bit longer, i think we were driving for about 8 hours (including a stop). The way took us past some very quaint villages (one called Powburn, which Nath insisted on stopping at! Because i needed a stop) and we also stopped in Whitby, which we both agreed is a lovely place and it turned out that Captain Cook did his Seamens apprentiship there so there was a monument to him and a museam that we could have visited but we just didnt have time. So after that it was on to Peebles, now as some of you may or may not know the reason why we travelled to Peebles is because of our accomindation there.. Now i keep referring to it as a castle it was infact more like a manor home that looked like a castle but oh my goodness it was amazing. It was nice, it was very fancy, the dinner we had was outstanding, the food was very fine dinning which was not something that this trip has been renowned for. We stayed in at the castle for the evening enjoying the luxurioush surroundings rather than exporling the Scottish border country.

Day 6 (BTW if you have not figured it out Sarah stopped typing somewhere in the above because she lost the power to type and I Nathan have taken comand of this sinking ship that is this blogpost)

We had a very slow start to the day, not leaving Peebles until 11ish, we then made our way to Edinburgh. We then spent the day walking around Edinbrugh with no plans or goals for the day apart from the Vaults tour. It was rather nice just not doing much and enjoying the passing bys of another city. The vaults where interestingm, with out getting technical like i tend to do basicly its a burried bridge with many vault like rooms.

We then went to our accomodation in Tarnent, this was another lovely B&B but this time there was one old english sheep dog and one young english sheep dog. Both were addorable and Sarah wished to take them home, i convinced her this was not a good plan. We had a pub meal in Tarent and a couple of pints and that was a close to that day.

Day 7

Saw us travelling to Inverness via Stirling. In stirling we saw Stiriling Caslte and the William Wallace monument both of these were educational and entertaining, and if you are a nerd like me both well worth a look. The Willam Wallace momuent stair case of 246 odd stairs was a very tight spiral stair case that is apparently boths ways ie people comming up and down the one stair case (possible a design flaw). Also one comment about stirling Castle the Stwarts were possible the shortest royal family of all time as even sarah managed to bump her head aginst many doorways within stirling castle.
We then made our way to the Highlands, we had dinner at a Pub in inverness that contained a Thai restruant, had not encountered this combination before. It is a that this dinner i have finally made the conclusion that Sarah is much (to the power of 4) better at picking meals and random beers than i am. Her meal and beer choices are that much better that i am honsetly thinking that i will get Sarah to pick my food and beverage for the rest of the trip.

Day 8

Also known by the the travelers on this trip as the Whisky-a-thon. We travelled 2 hours east of Inverness to go the the Cardhu distillery for the Aromas and flovours tour. Did you know that Cardhu supplies Johnnie walker with one of the major parts in their blend? This was a blast as at the end we tasted different types of Whisky, this gave us the oppurtunity to discern what types we liked. We then headed for Benromach Distillery this part of the trip ended up via Forres as we becoame a little directonaly challenged and required some help. Benromach is a tiny little distillery and the tour was similar but differnt to the other as it was a litle more hands on. Our tour guide was another Jim bringingn the tour guides named Jim total to 3. We enjoyed the Whisky at Benromach a liitle more for reasons of taste.

That brings you the valued viewer right up to date as if i was to type any more i would be informing you of the update of the blog. Hopefully Sarah will get her blog Mojo back for the next installment so you will not have to endure my horendus spelling and paragrah structue.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Road Trip UK - Day 3 & 4

Hey gang

Day 3 - So yesterday was our first full day in York. We started the day seeing the Jorvik Viking Center. We both really enjoyed the center we did however think it was a tad short. After leaving Jorvik we went to Barley Hall (which is a medieval house). I found Barley Hall more informative than Jorvik and a tad more interesting, Nath found it meh. They had herbal remedies to ward off the plague (i thought this was a good idea given my cough). After Barley Hall we went for lunch, we had fish and chips.. it was delicious! After lunch we just pottered around for a few hours before returning to our accommodation. We then pottered around the house before heading out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner.

Day 4 - We started today with a free walking tour of York. It was really interesting because it took us to places in the city that we had not yet been to. We also got to walk on the wall! After the walking tour we went to a barber shop so Nath could get a hair cut & chop trim. This wouldnt usually be blog worthy except one of the barbers was about to go on lunch and said to Nath "I will get my colleague to cut your hair, you look like you will take a while and this gentlemen here looks simple" needless to say this cracked me up! The haircut was a success, after leaving the barber shop we went to the post office to post back some stuff and then had lunch. I persuaded Nath to try a pasty and they were delicious! We finished up our day (and time) in York at the Castle Museum. Nath went in to the museum thinking it was a museum about castles... not the case (as i could have explained if he had asked). It was a bit of an everything museum.. i really liked it. They had a special exhibition on the 60's... man i wish i could have been a hippy it looks like so much fun!

So that is our time in York, tonight we are going to the pub next door for dinner and then tomorrow we are off to Scotland!

Until next time

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Road Trip - UK Day 1-2

Hey Gang

So we have started Phase 3 of our holiday, the road trip across the United Kingdom.

It started yesterday as we made our way from London to Nottingham by train. In Nottingham we picked up our car (which Nath has decided to name, nothing at the moment we are still deciding) and then we drove to Warhammer World. Now for those readers who are less nerdy than some, Warhammer world is about the nerdiest place on the planet because it is the HQ for games workshop the creators of Warhammer & Warhammer 40k. So basically Nath was in Nerd boy heaven! and before you say anything yes I actually enjoyed myself too! We planned on making our trip to Warhammer World a short one but one thing lead to another and we spent a good 3 hours there... which then meant that we missed out on seeing Nottingham... but we did drive through Sherwood Forrest on the way out, so we didn't miss everything (oh well something for next trip!).

After leaving Nottingham we navigated ourselves to our first B&B for the trip, in a tiny town called (sleepy town) Ragnall (it is near Lincon). It was a pretty uneventful drive, although it did prompt us to invent Tractor Bingo as our new game!

We then got settled in our B&B and met our host Sue, she was very lovely. We then decided to have a powernap to re fresh our batteries before heading out to find some dinner. I managed to convince Nath that the best place to find dinner in small English towns is a local pub, and seeing that Ragnall did not in fact have a local we ventured into another small town that we drove though... Turxton (mainly because we liked the name). We then went into the only pub in Turxton (it had many) that didn't sell food... I was disappointed, but in the long run this was an excellent decision because if we had found food we would not have found... The Crab and Mussel. It is a seafood restaurant and to be honest we were a bit hesitant when we walked in (given that we aren't on the coast.. and the menu didn't help... weird menu) but oh my goodness if you ever find yourselves in downtown Turxton... do your self a favour and go! it is some of the nicest seafood i have ever eaten.. yummo!

The next day after the first of many English Breakfasts we set off to York where we will be spending the next 3 nights. York is a beautiful city, we spent the day just wandering around and making a list of what we want to do over the next few days. We then went to our accommodation in a small town about 5 miles out of York called Shipton. Our hostess Bron greeted us on the lawn and we sat down and had tea and scones with her. When her husband John came home we then met Kelby... their Springer Spaniel and oh my goodness it is Paddy's English cousin, this dog is just so friendly (like its owners). After getting to know our host's we decided to go and see a movie (as you do on holidays) we went to see Scott Pilgram V The World.... if you haven't seen it i wont spoil it for you.. but go and see it! it is awesome.. we laughed and laughed, it was a very cool end to a very lovely day.

On to the main sites of York tomorrow :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Topdeck... the end :(

Hey Gang

I am writing to you from our hotel room in London because it has come to that sad time where our Topdeck tour has finished :(

However we did have lots of fun on the way so i will let you know what we have been up to these last few days...

So last post was done on the travel day to Berlin, just like all travel days... a bit of a non-event but it is essential! So then we had our free day in Berlin... which is where i met up with Sandra who i haven't seen since we finished our exchange year together.. it was such a blast, Berlin is an amazing city it is such a old city but it feels so new because after WW1 & WW2 most things had to be rebuilt. We did a third Reich walking tour which was interesting, the thing that shocked me... the bunker that Hitler killed himself in (which is a very important moment in history) is now a car park... i was a tad underwhelmed! So yea i had a wonderful day... I could have easily spent more time in Berlin.

After Berlin we had our travel day to Amsterdam which was plagued by yet another traffic jam, this one was so bad we all got off the bus to have a wander around! By the time we got to Amsterdam is was well after dark which was perfect for... a tour of the red light district! One half of what this city is famous for! It was an.. uh interesting experience. After that we just headed back to the hostel to call it a night.

Our free day in Amsterdam was unusual, mainly because all the things that people said we should see in the city (Anne Franks house etc.) we just weren't interested in.. so we spend the day wandering around town, that night we had our farewell dinner at a floating Chinese restaurant... which was so tasty! after that we did a canal cruise which was an excellent way to see the city!

Our last day was a travel day back to London. This was something i have been looking forward to the whole trip because.... we stopped in Bruge! now as some of you may know "In Bruge" is one of my favourite films and my favourite line in it is "What the f*** is there to do in Bruge".. well I can now safely say.. not much other than visiting chocolate shops... which we did :) But it was still cool to do and it has added another country to the list :)

So that is it, we all said our goodbyes and parted ways.. so as of tomorrow we start phase 3 of our holiday.. the road trip!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Topdeck... oh my god so many days that we have forgotten to do!!!

Hey Gang

Sarah is back, sorry for the interruption to transmission :P

So at the moment we are in Berlin... now you may say (if you are looking at a map) oh wow Budapest to Berlin in a day is a massive drive.... well it would be... turns out we havent updated the blog for a while... and i have about 4-5 days to catch up on :( so without further adu... here is what has been going on so far...

Leaving Budapest we had a travel day to Krakow... nothing much to say about this travel day... mainly because neither of us can remeber much of it... it was a bit of a non-event really :P

Krakow ... i will start by saying that i just wasnt blown away by Krakow... yes it was pretty, like most European cities but nothing there made me go wow.... however... i do believe my reasoning for this is because i am sick.. the whole bus has a cough. The most awesome thing was... 1 Euro was 4 Zloty and everything is cheap... a beer for 50 euro cents... yes please :)

As Nathan has reminded me, there was one thing that made me go wow... the salt mine that we visited.. it was really beautiful and really interesting given that i have never been to a salt mine before :)

Next day was the day on the tour that I was looking forward to the most... and the least at the same time, it was our visit to Auschwitz. We left Krakow really early so we could get a good 3 hours at Auschwitz before heading to Prague. Auschwitz was very moving, as i expected.. but what i wasn't prepared for was the sheer size of the place and the amount of things that were on display. For example they had a whole room full of shoes of the people who were killed in the gas chambers... like i said really moving stuff.

After leaving we encountered something that so far we have been lucky enough to avoid... a traffic jam.. oh and this was a mother of all traffic jams it took us 2 hours to move 12km.. not impressed, we didnt get into Prague until 9.30ish... and given that we were on the bus to Auschwitz at 6.30.... it was a loooooong day!

Then, as is becomming the pattern, we had a free day in Prague. We started the day with the walking tour that we missed the night before which is a really good way to see a city! after that finished we pottered around and found a few shops to look in (once again... really cheap this time 1 euro was 25 crowns) then we headed back to the room as neither of us had managed to shake our colds...

Phew, and that is what we have been up to the last few days...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Top Deck Day 20 & 21

Dear valued viewers,

you can tell by the opening that I Nathan have decided to take control and make a post on the blog rather than leaving it up to Sarah.

Day 20 we left Vienna and traveled into Slovakia to its capital Bratislava. We were not aware that we would actually be going to Bratislava so it was a pleasant surprise. Bratislava is a rather nice place it has an interesting mix of pre-Communist, Communist and post-Communist buildings and history. We walked around the castle and then the old town, we saw a canon ball stuck in the side of the town hall from when Napoleon attacked the city. We then had some traditional Slovakian meals for lunch, these were incredibly tasty and cheap (double bonus).

We then continued on to Hungary and Budapest (pronounced budapeschet). Did you know that Hungary still has its own currency? We did not - therefore we learnt something new. As soon as we arrived we went on a driving tour seeing many of the sights including the Russian liberation monument, Hero Square, Fishermans bastion and St. Istvans Basilica. We then had dinner and can i say that Hungary is named Hungary for a reason because i think we waited about 2 hours to be fed. Me being me a tried something different (livers sausages and some strange mammoth dumpling) and it was not a taste sensation, leaving me rather hungry and not impressed. BTW Sarahs meal was awesome she went the safe option i.e. a meal not containing liver sausages.

Day 21 saw us out and about exploring down town Budapest, me made our way to the Chain Bridge to book a dinner cruise for that evening, we then made our way to St Istavan's (Stephen's) Basilica to see the famous right hand of the saint king St Istvan himself. To my bitter disappointment the chapel containing the hand was closed for private worship - a seeing the hand fail. We then went to the house of Terror, a museum of the history of Hungary and its occupation under the Nazi and soviet regimes. This museum explores the treatment of the Hungarian people under the Nazi and Soviet rules. The Building that contains the museum was the original AVO building (AVO was the Hungarian equivalent of the Russian secret police the KGB). We then went to Hero square to check it out and then went looking for the game hungry hungry Hippos, because Sarah and i both agreed that it would be a good idea to purchase the said game in Hungary. Alas this endeavour met a similar end as the viewing of Saint Istvan's right hand as we were unable to find the game. The last thing we did was to go on our dinner cruise along the Danube. Sarah really like this,to quote Sarah "the dinner cruise is the highlight of the holiday so far". I think it was very nice, we saw all of the sights along the river at sunset and then also saw them lit up after dark and the meal was enjoyable.

Over all Budapest is a very interesting place btw we saw like 6 car crashes in our day and a bit, love the building architecture and cruise was nice

stay tuned for the next post when Sarah will return to the posting seat.

Nathan and Sarah

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Topdeck day 18 &19

Hey gang

Day 18 was a travel day from Venice to Vienna... and I am guilty of getting the two confused... not in the fact that i think one is the other but that i will say i am in Venice when really i am in Vienna.

On the way to our hostel we stopped by the summer place of the ex royal family, phor the place was just beautiful! We just spent the whole time wandering around the gardens, we were on the lookout for wildlife and we even found some squirrels :) One of the people on our tour fainted whilst we were there so unfortunately that kind of killed the driving tour we had afterwards (because Rich our tour leader had to go with him to hospital) our Latvian driver Ray attempted to tell us about things a great line was "that statue on the top of that building is the same as one i saw in Germany... I am sure that means something" lol it was a laugh!

We finished the night with some proper Vienna Schnitzels... so tasty!!

Day 19 was a free day to explore Vienna, Rich gave us the proper driving tour which was interesting learning all about Austria's history.. i really enjoy the introductions to each city that he gives, it is always very educational! After the walking tour we just pottered around... i am enjoying doing that on the free day, not doing much just letting the city flow by.. although i am kinda annoyed it is Sunday... and NOTHING is open, which is annoying because there were some very funky shops that i wanted to sus out, also i could not find a tacky souvenir shop anywhere which means... my pin collection will be incomplete :( i am kicking myself for not getting one the day before!

So i am actually writing this at about 3pm on day 19, at 3.30 we will be meeting up with our tour and heading off to a Schnapps place, should be interesting and then for dinner we are going to a classical musical concert which i am also looking forward to... so i better get a move on!

Until next time :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Topdeck Day 17

Hey Gang

So today we spent the day in Venice... and the day can be discribed as.... Directionally Challenged! Oh my goodness that city is just impossible to navigate... mind you we didnt have a very good map, so we were relying on our natural sence of direction (next time we WILL be buying a map)

We did the touristy thing of going on a Gondella, it was alright, wish it had lasted a bit longer thought... we also saw a glass demonstration this glass maker made a horse in about 30 seconds, he was amazing... and we saw a lace demonstration... that was interesting because i never before appricated just how much work goes into lace!

By the way.... Italy is really hot.... i mean really hot :(

Bring on tonight's Toga Party!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Topdeck Day 15 & 16

Hey Gang

Day 15 was our free day in Rome, the day started with a visit to the Vadican, we were bth very impressed by the Vadican, we got a walking tour with an Irish bloke named Jimmy who was very helpful in letting us know the random facts... like some pannels of the roof of the Cistine Chappel only took Michaelangelo 4 hours to do, where as others took him months! We then had lunch (Pizza... so tasty) We then took our time to wander around Rome, the highlight for me was definately going inside the Coliseum, that place is just beautiful! Top Tip if you are ever going, go to the Roman Foum first and buy a double pass to both, you will then by-pass the MASSIVE line when you want to go inside the Coliseum....

Day 16 was a travel day to Venice, however the travel was stopped on the way with a trip to Verona and we got to see Juliettes balcony. Verona is a very beautiful city, and eve thought the Balcony was built in the 19th century... i stilled loved seeing it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Topdeck Day 13 & 14

Hey Gang

Day 13 was a driving day to Florence, that is really all we did because by the time we got there it was late afternoon so we went swimming!!! hooray i missed out on swimming in Nice because of dodgy weather so it was lovely! We then had our first proper italian meal... Pasta, Pizza & Gilato! it was just delicious... and of course Red Wine... yum-o!

Day 14 started with a walking tour of Florence, what a beautiful city, we saw a replica of the statue of David, it was amazing and it was only the replica


Ok new place, new internet i shall continue.... so after our walking tour of Florence we got a leather demonstration and got told how they make various leather things, it was very interesting. We then got to explore on our own which was cool re-visiting the sites that we skimmed over on the walking tour. After that we jumped back on the bus and headed to Rome. Once we got into Rome we were straight on it with a walking tour of the city, we saw all the big things like the Roman Forums and the Coliseum... but we also saw some less known stuff like the steps where Ceaser was stabbed 21 times... as you do!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Topdeck day 11 & 12

Hey Gang

Day 11 we left Lauterbrunnen on our way to Nice. It is a long drive to Nice.... a very long drive, we left our campsite at 8am... arrived in Nice at 7pm... apparently it doesn't usually take this long but we were stuck in some pretty heavy traffic jams, not fun! It was cool on the way here we passed through a 14km tunnel even i was getting a little thingy towards the end of it!

Day 12 we spend as a free day in Nice, we have spend most of the day exploring this beautiful town... we went sunbathing on the beach because by the ti,e we ventured to the beach for a swim the water was too choppy to swim in (according to the life guards, it looked ok to me) tonight we will be travelling to nearby Monte Carlo which we are both looking forward to, and with that i better go and get changed, until next time!

Topdeck day 9 & 10

Hey gang

Day 9 was a driving day to Switzerland, that is really all we did... it was quite a crusey day, we were constantly blown away by the seniery in Switzerland, the countryside was beautiful! the town we stayed in (Lauterbrunnen) was so quaint it was in the shadow of a glacier and surrounded by waterfalls. Today was a real getting to know you day on the bus we had to all say a bit about ourselves and tell an embarassing story... fun!

Day 10 was a free day in Lauterbrunnen, we went up to Jungfraujoch (the highest railway station in Europe) and spent most of the day on the glacier and just looking at the surrounding mountains. Apart from the glacier there isnt much to do in Lauterbrunnen... although we did manage to venture to one of the waterfalls.... at 1am :D

Topdeck day 7 & 8

Hey gang

So we have realised that updating this everyday on the topdeck tour is going to get a bit difficult so we have found an Internet cafe in Nice... prepare for an update!!!!

Day 7 of our adventure saw us starting our topdeck tour.. we all met at a hostel in Kings Cross in London (at stupid o'clock) and ventured down to Dover... we then jumped on the ferry across the channel... it was pissing down rain so our view of the cliffs was slightly dampened (love a good pun)

When we got off in France we bussed it to Paris. it was dinner time once we got there and we got to sample our first french thing.... Snails!! We both really liked them... i was prepared for the worst, but they were really tasty!

After this we went on a bus tour of Paris, this was really cool because we got to see things that we could explore in further detail tomorrow on our free day.

Day 8 was a day for us to explore Paris. we did the usual stuff (Eiffel Tower & Arc De Triumph) but we also saw Madeline's Church & Napoleon's tomb... And we had a chance to butcher the French language which we did in spectacular fashion! The day got capped off with a picnic under the Eiffel Tower and a visit to the Cabaret.

Photos to come!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

London Day 4.5

Hey Gang

The unthinkable has happened..... i forgot a whole day!!! I can see you tut-ing now about how much i have drunk etc. but seriously i haven't been drinking... I am just having too much fun i am forgetting to post everyday which means i forget things (aka days)!!

So here is day 4.5 ... which was (funnily enough) in between day 4 (road trip) and day 5 (dungeon).

This unforgettable day started with a jaunt over to the British Museum, we saw a lot of cool things. The place was so huge that we didn't get to see everything we wanted to (it just would have taken forever) but we did see the big ones like the Rosetta Stone, Aztec mosaics, Easter Island statue and the Mummies.

After that we went to see St Paul's cathedral. After paying our £12.50 each (!!!!!!!) to get in we were in there for approximately 10 mins (i know because i checked our ticket) when the fire alarm went off and we all got ushered out back into the cold. (ok it wasn't actually that cold but i was annoyed that we were only there for 10 mins) So we waited outside whilst preists were talking on their walkie talkies (the coolest sight i have ever seen!!!) and after about half an hour we were allowed back in. Once in we resumed seeing things and we decided to be brave and climb the tower (thing). It was 3 levels of spiral stairs (i am sooooo over spiral stairs) and i think there was something like 500 steps in total... it was a work out but the view from the top was just spectacular!

After all that exercise we basically shut up shop and went home... we were just so tired, our hotel bed had never looked so comforting...


London Day 6 (aka today)

Hey Gang

So as some of you may have noticed, days 3-6 have all been posted today... that is because today is our last day in London :(

And because it is our last day we are wrapping up alot of things, like at the moment i am in the Internet cafe, whilst Nath is at the laundry waiting for our washing and re-naming photos!

So yea, in terms of touristy cool things, today will be a bit light on because we have to go and vote (woot) and we have to find a post office to post some stuff back (it is suprising how much crap you get in the space of a week!)

But the end of London is a good thing (in a way) because that means bring on the Topdeck tour!!!


London Day 5

Hey Gang

So today we decided that whoops we havent done as much as we thought we had.. so today was a cram-a-thon!!

We started our Cram-a-thon by going to the London Dungeon. Which was terrorfying (for me anyway) because as you all know (and Nathans family will confirm) I jump at EVERYTHING... a dog 3 houses down just has to bark and i will jump out of my skin.... so after being all "yea this will be awesome" i was a tad code brown! But it was all harmless fun... and i learnt some things, but yea was a little scared :P Nath was cool, nothing phases him :P

After the Dungeon we decided to head over to the Imperial War Museam... it was alright, I didnt really like the style to be honest they had alot of things behind cabnets of uniforms and stuff but no real story behind it all... basically i thought the War Memorial in Canberra was better... but it was still good to go... they had tanks... Tanks are cool :) Nathan loved every moment.. which made me happy :)

We then ventured over to the Churchill War rooms, which was again different... over here they are big on Audio guides... which again... i dont really like, i would rather read and do things at my own pace, where as with an audio guide you have to go at the pace they say... and you look like a bit of a knob with the thing always up to ear.. but anyway enough of my mini rant... it was cool, different but cool! I have decided that i really like ol' Winston... i think he was an amazing man and i really couldnt leave the gift shop without buying a book of his quotes :)

After that we went for a bit of a stroll around and took in Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square, which was cool but we were both getting a bit over doing the whole tourist thing.. so we called it a day!


London Day 4

Hey Gang

Today was our tour day

We planned to have a day to break up our time in London to venture off somewhere so today we hopped on our bus tour and headed to Winsor Castle, Bath & Stonehenge!

Winsor Castle... sigh for the first time in my life i want to be a princess... like an actual princess like i would put up with one of the ugly princes if it meant i could live in Winsor Castle.... it was just ... oh ... it was beautiful. Actually that is probably a word i can use to sum up the whole day... beautiful!

After that we went to Bath... which i have decided is somewhere to venture back to on our next trip... we went in to see the Roman Baths... I was a sneaky sausage and put my hand in the bath... it was really warm i could have loved to put my feet in but there was big signs saying not too and i didnt want to break the law (too much) Bath is such a beautiful city, the views we got going in and leaving just took your breath away... which is a nice segway on to...

Stonehenge!!!! Welcome to the king of taking my breath away (well so far on the holiday anyway) it was just so ...... i really dont have any words to describe it, i was just blown away at the size and it really got me thinking how the frick did they do that!!

It was a really cool day, and a really good way to break up the time in London!

No photos as yet, because Nath doesnt want to put them on the USB until they all have their proper names.... crazy kid!

Anyway on to tomorrow :)


London Day 3

Hey Gang

Today was really cool.

We started off by going to the Tower of London, somewhere that i have never been before... let me tell you it was just so cool, the history of that place just blew my mind!

There was a really awesome exhibition on whilst we were there, it was the armour worn by the various kings, King Henry VIII was a big boy! his armour looked very... roomy!

After our little wander around we met up with my Aunty Shaz, Uncle Bren and their son Jim who actually moved to Mongolia in i think April... so it was such a weird thing to meet up with them in London of all places!

We had a pub lunch and then parted ways saying we would meet back up later at....

The Brittish Beer Festival in Earls Court!!!!! Oh it was just the most random thing i have ever been to! It was a massive room... full of different stalls selling beer.... We sampled a few and found a few we liked... a few feral ones too.... the only problem was... it was all warm i must admit that did put me off it a bit :(

But apart from that it was a wonderful day!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Photos Are Up!!!

Hey Gang

I am having a bit of trouble getting many photos up... but i have managed to get 2 :P


Thursday, August 5, 2010

London - Day 2

Hey Gang

So yesterday was A-MAZE-ING!!!!!!!

We went to the natural history mueseum and saw some very cool dinosaur skeletons.... I saw a Tricerotops... that just made my day.. :D

But the dinosaurs were very quickly topped by the butterfly enclosure.... OH MY GOODNESS they were just amazing (and yet again we have forgotten the USB.....) One landed on me.... and just chilled on me for a few minutes... it was amazing! and to my surprise Nath had a blast... He wasn't keen to start off with, but the butterflys quickly won him over!

After that we ventured to the Visitors center in Regent Street to get ideas (not that we really needed more but ya know...) and then we had the nicest McDonalds i have ever had in my entire life... ok i know that is lame and we shouldnt be having Maccas on holidays but seriously guys it was the NICEST Maccas ever!!!

After our Maccas delights we went to the (second) happiest place on earth... Hamleys!!!! Ahh it was brilliant! 5 floors of toys.. needless to say we were in heaven!!! We couldnt leave without buying something... so we brought Lego :)

We then went back to our hotel to freshen up and hit the town!

We went out to see a show... The Lion King... it was just spectacular, the costumes were brilliant and it was kinda cool to go to a musical where you know all the words :D

Well we better be off, we are meeting my uncle and aunt soon :)

Sarah & Nath

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

London - Day 1

Hey gang

So we have finally touched down in London.

It is amazing, we were a little jet lagged (to say the least) so we decided to spend the day just pottering around.

We saw most of the major touristy things, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Downing Street etc.

Photos to come (we forgot to bring the USB to the Internet cafe - Internet in our room is too expensive £5 an hour, no thank you... we will take the £1 an hour option over the road!!)

So yea, today we are off to the Natural History Museum, should be a blast!

We will add photos of today and yesterday tomorrow :)

Edit: I cannot manage to get these stuuupid photos to work... so for the old ones we will just do 1 photo per post :)

Sarah & Nath

Monday, August 2, 2010

First ACTUAL holiday post

That`s right folks i am currently writing to you from Abu Dhabi international airport... local time is 11.30pm, we flew in at 11, we fly to London at 2.30 so there isn't all that much to do other than to use the free internet (and try to figure out how to change websites from Arabic to English!)

By the way, Canberra time at the mo is 5.30 am (ish) which means in an hour I will have been up 24 hours!!!

Not much else to report, as suspected Nath sleeps really well on planes (which is annoying because I don`t!!)

So yea, next stop London


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tomorrow, Tomorrow...

Hey Gang

Well tomorrow is the big day, and well what can i say.... everything is packed.... we will be saying our goodbyes to the fam tonight.. and then we are off!

I am so very excited, i dont think the realisation of it has hit Nath yet, but it will shortly... i hope :)

This will be amazing!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

One week left!

Hey gang

Oh my goodness, one week left to go....

Oh my goodness, one week left to go....

Oh my.... ok so you all get the picture, I am very excited

You see Nath and I have been planning this holiday for well over 12 months now... and it if finally here :D

Most things are locked in place including lunch with my favourite Mongolian aunty & uncle, and on a not so exciting note... voting in London (woot)

I am just over the moon with excitement

Sorry this blog has been a little lacking on the content ... but i am just SO excited :)


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Where we are going

Hey Gang

I realised that i havent yet informed you all of where we are going.... so here it is :)

We leave Australia on the 2nd of August, arrive in the UK on the 3rd and then we are spending a week in London.

From the 9th of August until the 2nd of September we are on our topdeck tour

No rest for the wicked we travel north through England and Scotland until the 12th of September

And then from the 12th until the 25th of September we are hitting Ireland

And yea that's about it, it will be busy, but it will be magical

Monday, July 19, 2010

2 Weeks to go

Another week down, two to go!

Very exciting on the bus this morning realising that this time in a fortnight we will be ready to chug on off to Sydney....

So all of our accomindation is done (hurray) and now it is just a matter of finding things to do, i know that sounds silly because for flips sake we are in Europe we will have 1,000's of things to do.

But it is narrowing things down... espically on our TopDeck tour where we will only have a day or 2 in each place... is alot harder to do then first thought...

However i am sure we are up for the challange, but i mean if people have ideas please let me know anything that i just "can't miss".

Until next time :)


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

3 Weeks and Counting!!!

Hello World

Nath and I have decided that we will use this blog to keep you all posted on our travels around mainland Europe, the UK and Ireland.

At the moment we are just under 3 weeks before we fly out, so we are finalising where we are staying in Ireland, which is very exciting!

So Yea not much more to add, but if you would like a preview of the AMAZING Scottish castle we are staying in (it is costing us an arm and a leg but what the hey!) here it is :)

Jealious... you should be :P

Until next time :D