Africa, Europe · 34 Days · 101 Moments · December 2017

Angie's tour through Europe

7 January 2018

We stopped for lunch at the oldest pizzeria in venice and had a deliciously traditional italian pizza. We walked through the markets, marvelling at their beautiful beads and masks. Before ee knew it the sun was setting and it was time ti return to our hotel.
We continued to explore venuce takibg the boat the across the channel. Looking at the history and architecture of this beautiful place. We walked into a little church where we found tge mist beautiful nativity scene, which had been carefully laid out with little figurines that moved.

6 January 2018

The sun poped out and shone on the water giving it the most beautiful colour. We walked through the narrow streets and found hidden churches and little squares along the way. It was so peaceful and looked like a forgotten city. As the sun began to set we took the ferry down the main canal and marvelled at the beautiful bridges and the lights of venice.
We woke up early to take the bus to beautiful venice. The town appeared to be still asleep as we caught the water ferry, along the river we marvelled at the beauty of the buildings built straight onto the water. We wondered through the streets to St Marks square. We arrived just at the stroke of mid day and the bells rang out. Everyone in the square watched the tower as the litle men playing trumpets mechanically moved around and everyone cheered

5 January 2018

It was a very early start as we made our way to Heathrow. We had a quick smooth flight to Venice but it felt like we went on a time machine back in time to a very quiet city of mestre. At 13pm on Friday everything in the city closed, the streets were quiet and we wondered around looking at the pretty square. Tomorrow we will explore the beautiful islands of venice.

4 January 2018

As we made our way back to the bus stop we spotted a sign for Putney pies "best in london". We decided to go in and take a look and boy were we glad we did. As we walked in the restaurant looked tiny and like nothing much but downstairs the room opened up into a beautiful space with retro lights and long aluminium tables. The pies were indeed the best i have ever had. They were absolutely delicious and i just about rolled down the street back to our accommodation. A fitting ending to a fantastic time in london.
As a very special treat Adam booked for us to play "escape the room". We travelled on the over ground to Putney and found our game underground in a little cafe. We were given an hour to find five diamonds and use the clues to work out who stole the diamonds. It was brilliant fun. We had to solve riddles and puzzles and complete games which involved team work and balance. I am proud to say we found tge diamonds and the criminal to escape the room in the niv of time. It was fantastic!
Our trip through london was sadly coming to an end. We took a stroll through the carnaby and Adam was amazed to see one of our springboks. He happily posed for a picture which really made Adam's day and the girls had spotted an enormous comic shop called forbidden planet which they walked through woth wide eyes looking at the huge variety of items that could be found.

3 January 2018

We stopped at a traditional pub for a pint, the pub was under the railway line and shook each time a train went over. It was full of character and even had a confessional next to the bar. And what would a trip to england be without fish and chips we stopped at tge local chippa and had some delicious traditional food.
We headed up the hill and stumbled across a war memorial dedicated to all the soldiers lost at sea during the first and second world war. It was sobering to see how many thousands of names were there.
We caught the bus to Leicester square and walled around the lego shop. Where everything was awesome! They had created the london underground out of lego with a working map of the trains
We took the bus to the tower of London. The wind was howling and i had to hang onto the girls so they didnt get blown away. We walked around the towers. Such history and the girls were amazed to learn tge crown jewels were kept there.

2 January 2018

We met Clauds at the london eye and went to explore a Christmas market on the south bank. The smells of grilled cheese, gluwein and hot chocolate filled the air. We caught the underground to the theatre but were talking way too much and missed our stop, lucky for us we ran to the next train back and within 5 minutes we were at the Leicester station and heading for the Prince Edward Theatre. The show was sold out and we hurried to find our seats. We had our own little piece of the action with four stalls where no one could block the girls view. The show was fantastic and we were taken on an amazing journey. The stage was transformed into the Arabian dessert and the buildings moved amd transformed as Aladdin escaped through the city. It was a true westend production and i wish i could have taken photos of the set as it transformed into a cave complete with glowing eyes and dripping with gold. What a spectacular show! I loved every minute!!! It was the best Christmas present!
We woke up to a true English morning with the rain gently falling outside so we decided to take the bus to the science museum. We started our exploration in the flight section. Adam and Sarah were brave enough to take a simulated ride on the red falcons which they thoroughly enjoyed. W e walked through the amazing displays each one carefully thought out. Through the world of space, maths and engineering. We had hoped to explore the natural history museum as well but before we knew it. It was time to go, we were meeting Clauds for a whole new world....

1 January 2018

There were even motorbikes, minis and aston martins that joined in the parade. What a wonderful way to spend new years day, by the time the parade was finished we were absolutely frozen and we needed a hot cup of chocolate to defrost before going home.
It was new years day and we had planned to take it easy but there was no rain in sight (a rare occurance in london) so we decided to make the best of it and head out to the london new years day parade. We were in for a treat as marching bands, many from America, dancing girls and floating balloons made their way down the street.
The fire works came to an end and we were left speechless after witnessing such a spectacular show. We waited for the crowds to dissapate before making our way to the bus stop optimistic about catching a bus home. Our hopes were dashed as the first bus that came past the stop was so full and the next one would only arrive in half an hour. We decided to start walking backing ever hopeful they would put more busses on the line and we would catch one at the next stop, this was not to be and 4kms later we arrived back at our accommodation absolutely exhausted
We were entertained with music and the crowd were in high spirits eventually the count down began. Old ben's clock chimed and the lights that shone on the eye showed the numbers 10, 9, 8 we counted down together holding our breath and then the night was lit up with the most astonishing fire work display i have ever seen. It was phenomenal as fire works exploded to the sound of music, from the eye and from the river to create a spectacular display of light and colour. What an experience, one i will never forget.

31 December 2017

We were so excited, it was time for the fire works display, we had heard many of the usual busses would no longer be running so we decided to leave early to make our way to the blue area. Our preparations paid off and we were one of the first to arrive. We got the best spot in the house directly opposite the eye! But now the count down to midnight began 14400 seconds to go until midnight
The girls got their wish and we hopped on the underground to make our way to hamleys. JP led the way through the bustling streets and in no time at all we were there. The girls were so excited they could hardly contain themselves, with seven floors jam packed full of toys they were mesmerized. From star wars to peppa pig and thomas the train the choices were endless. Time seemed to pass in the blink of an eye and before we knee it it was time to leave to het ready for the fire works. What a fun filled adventure. I felt like a kid again.
It was the morning of New year's eve and we said good-bye to Rob and caught the bus to go to St Paul's Cathedral to celebrate mass. The church was magnificent, and still so traditional. The ushers wore smart coat tails with big medallions around their neck and their was an entourage of celebrants who proceeded down the aisle to celebrate mass. Clauds and JP met us at the church and together we were treated to beautiful singing from the choir as the music seemed to bounce and echo thtough the church. It was a very special mass and the perfect ending to 2017

30 December 2017

We left the theatre and it was pitch black outside even though it was only 17:30. We walked through the busy streets, through convent gardens, Piccadilly circus and Leicester square. The streets were jam packed with people and street perfomers alike. Singers, footballers, jugglers all lined the streets trying to make a living. The christmas lights were exquisite in this area and they looked like massive angels flapping tgeir wings. We had had the most spectacular day and would fall into bed, exhausted from our adventures.
We settled in to watch the show. It was absolutely fantastic!!!! One of the best shows i have ever watched! The cast of children were so talented and they rocked the theatre with their music. It was brilliant and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. We left the cinema singing and tapping our feet. What a treat!
We walked from the London Dungeons towarsd the new london theatre where we had booked to watch the school of rock. We walked through the West End. I was amazed at how many theatres were in the area, each one advertising world class theatre productions. We stopped for lunch at Byron's and were served "proper" hamburgers. We are going to be rolling home after this holiday. They were absolutely delicious!!
We had booked our tour of the London Dungeons for 10am this morning. We caught the bus into town and found that the dungeons had moved to the banks of the thames river and was very different to what we had remembered. At 10 we were led in to begin the show. It was absolutely brilliant!!! We were taken through the plague of london, the great fire, into Mrs Lovett's kitchen, through sweeney Todd's barber shop, down the river and into the bar where Jack the ripper had last been seen. We were thoroughly entertained and scared and poor Leila was absolutely petrified and couldnt help but cry when Adam was chosen to have his "inners" removed. What an experience! We ended in the Dungeon's tavern where the piano played by itself and cups around the bar moved on their own!

29 December 2017

We booked tickets to watch the new star wars movie at the superscreen at the London O2. The girls (and adam) were so excited they could hardly contain themselves. They were in for a treat the cinema was stunning with a massive screen, surround sound and big comfortable chairs. The movie was excellent and there was not a second's silence on the train trip home as they carefully discussed and analysed all that had happened.
Clauds met us for lunch and we made our way down the south bank past all the food stalls to enjoy some true london street food. It was awesome to be with Clauds here in London and she took us to some hidden gems like the singing elevator, which was a firm favourite with the girls. The was absolutely delicious and we quickly wandered through the Christmas market back to the eye, where we parted ways with Clauds and made our way to the O2.
There was a slither of sunshine this morning after the rain so we decided to make our way to the london eye. Once inside the scenes were breathtaking and we could see big ben, Westminste, the theatre and right the way down the Thames. The girls even located mi6 headquarters using the map. At the top it was slightly hair raising and i needed to sit for a while. We made it safely back to solid ground and went to watch the 4d experience. The girls loved it as the show took us on a birds eye view of london where the wind blew and we even got "snow"

28 December 2017

The sun was shining so we decided to make the most of it. We headed down to St Jame's park, which was absolutely immaculate. The gardens were perfectly maintained and the little path along the lake so clean and beautiful. We sat by the lake to eat our lunch and watch all the dicks. We walked up to Buckingham palace and the girls got their first glimpse of the royal guard. We walled from Buckingham palace to Westminster and saw the houses of parliament and the church. Although the church looked beautiful we decided to admire it from the putside rather than going in. Big ben is unfortunately under repair but we still heard the small chimes at quarter to the hour.
More star wars pics
When we got off the ride we entered the world of marvel, Dean and Warrick would love this with a giant Hulk and some of the x-men. We went in to watch a 4 D marel movie, the chaors shook, water and air sprayed at us andwe even felt a punch in the back when the suerhero fell. I really enjoyed it but then we arrived at the starwars exhibition, the room the girls had been waiting for and they were not disappointed! They got to fight darth vader, sit next to yoda and Chewbacca and even see a perfect bb8. Great fun was had by all.
The sun was shining as we headed out to explore London. It was beautiful but absolutely freezing. We started at Madame Tussauds. I was glad i had booked tickets because the queue to buy tickets was incredibly long. Once inside we were fascinated to see all the wax models. They had changed it alot since i was last there, new celebrities stood at the red carpet and they even had a Bollywood section! We walked through the film sets and the irls got the fright of their life as a very realistic Kong opened his eyes and breathed heaily. We made our way through the music hall of fame through world leaders. The girls were disgusted that there was a Donal Trump sculpture there and would not go near it. They chose instead to hae their photo taken with Mandela. We hopped on the Madame Tussauds taxi and took a fascinating ride through time to see London through he ages, which was so well portrayed.

27 December 2017

We got up early to pack our bags and make our way to London. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well organised the station was and the eurostar was fantastic. It was comfortable and we were in london in no time at all. We caught a bus which took us right to our little apartment, which will be home for the next week.

26 December 2017

We walked around mont matre but it was a little dodgy and the girls said they felt like they were walking through Benoni town, with so many unsavory characters trying to sell us cell phones and perfumes we decided to leave and go back to paris central. We had hoped to go up the Eiffel tower but the queue was sooooo long we admired it from outside and walked along to the arc de triomphe to make our way back to the hotel.
It is our last day in Paris, we decided to take a trip montmatre. We arrived at the base of the hill and made our way up the steps to the beautiful little church, sacre couer. On our way we passed an amazing chocolate shop where they had the most incredible chocolate sculptures if notre dame, the Eiffel tower and even a life sized gargoyle. The view from the top was breath taking. We made our way into the church and sat in the front to look at the gorgeous church. We were so lucky as we sat down the nuns came onto the altar and started singing so beautifully. We celebrated mass and even though we couldnt understand the French it was so special. Afterwards walking back to the train station we each found a small cross, Leila found a cross lying on the stairs and gave it to Sarah. Sarah found a little cross on the street and adam put his hand in my pocket and found a small silver cross in there. It was bizarre but very special.

25 December 2017

The food aboard the boat was absolutely delicious, real French cuisine, where the dishes had been carefully plated with a smear of sauce or a carefully prepared and placed ingredient. For starters we had scallop s, smoke samon, aubergine and mushroom pie, which was absolutely delicious. For the main course sarah and i had chicken with roasted chestnuts. The chestnuts were interesting but not our favourite. Leila had fish which came decorated with caviar but i didnt dare tell her what they were and adam had the steak. In true French style even his well done steak was very pink inside. Dessert was served and it looked divine, the macaroons were even covered with gold flakes. By the time the cruise came to an end our stomachs were so full we thought we might burst and we took a slow stroll back to station, back to our hotel to relax. We were very blessed to enjoy such a spectacular Christmas but all felt a bit home sick and missed all our loved ones back home terribly.
We made our way from the hotel to the seine river where we boarded our boat for our Christmas lunch. We were in for a treat. We sat at a beautiful little table with real champagne poured and ready. We started making our way down the river, what a spectacular way to see Paris and we were able to see the statue of liberty, the Eiffel tower and all the bridges which were so elaborate with shining gold paint and beautiful statues.
It was christmas morning and there was great excitement that there were presents in the room. They couldn't wait to start opening them but what was really cute was that they were so excited to give the presents that they had bought to each other. Sarah was overjoyed as she got a little jabba the hut tsum tsum and bb8 hat that she really wanted. Leila got two new star wars pops that she loved and i got the cutest "ski bird" pjs. It was such fun giving presents to each other. As a special treat we bought girls watches and i hope they will treasire them. I still have my watch that i got for my 16th birthday the last time i was in europe.

24 December 2017

The girls were so excited that Father Christmas was coming and made sure to put out some tasty treats for him. They even decorated the table with little drawings of elves and snowmen. Sarah was most upset that i tasted the pannetone while cutting slices for Father Christmas and even wrote a letter apologising for my naughty behavior. Those two are so funny they installed the santa tracker app on their phones and were carefully tracking his progress around the world. The next minute they heard his bells and ran as quickly as they could and jumped into bed and lay as quiet as mice ( which isno easy feat for Sarah and Leila as they had been carefully analysing the room and discussing in great detail the entry options for santa all day) hoping Father Christmas would find them all the way in Paris.
We took a leisurely stroll through the beautiful tuileries gardens and to the arc de triomphe, where we started our challenge an hour and half and 25 euros to spend on a Christmas gift for a family member. Leila came with me and sarah went with adam. We had great fun looking for the perfect present on the champs elysees! Lets see what they say tomorrow morning...
It was christmas eve and the strerts were bustling with people. We walked up to Sainte chapelle where we looked up in amazement at all the beautiful stained glass windows each one depicting a piece of the Bible. 15 windows beautifully resorted. Thr original home of the relics of the crown of thorns

23 December 2017

We then went for a walk down the seine river to the notre dame cathedral. It was beautiful inside and i was amazed to see the relics of the Holy cross. Reading about it was fascinating and it travelled to France in 1293 and placed in the Sainte Chappell which we will go see tomorrow. The notre dame was truely beautiful and we marvelled at the stained glass and beautiful sculptures.
We spent the rest of our day walking through the streets of Paris. We stumbled upon the joan of arc and loved seeing all the Christmas lights and trees paris has to offer. By the time we got home we were all exhausted and we quickly fell asleep.
We saw the winged victory of samothrace which was made in 100bc and brought to france from a small greek island. There were works of art where they had removed a section of the wall from a building and brought it to the louvre. Which was fascinatin. We saw cupids kiss which was sculpted from marble by Antonio canova in 1796 and the detail was incredible and tge girls were fascinated with the heads of easter island which they already knew so much about.
We had the most wonderful day exploring the louvre. I had no idea it was so incredible. The rooms filled with priceless art carry on for miles and the architecture of the louvre itself is outstanding. You could spend three full days inside and not have seen all its beautiful secrets. The girls were so excited to see thr mona lisa and i was surprised how taken adam was with this painting.
We had the most wonderful day exploring the louvre. I had no idea it was so incredible. The rooms were filled with priceless art and they carried on for miles and miles. The architecture of the louvre itself is outstanding. You could spend three full days inside and not have seen all its beautiful secrets. The girls were so excited to see thr mona lisa and i was surprised how taken adam was with this painting.

22 December 2017

The trains in paris are famtastic and we had no trouble making our way to the gallery lafayette, which i can remember coming to with my mom. The girls were not at all interested in their beautiful clothes and we set off to find the Eiffel tower. Even on a gloomy day the Eiffel tower was absolutely beautiful and we walked around looking in awe at it's sheer size. We made our way up the champs elysees. We were treated to Paris' beautiful Christmas lights, which truely were a sight to behold. What a fantastic start to our time in paris
Our first day in paris started with a very interesting but rather macabre tour through the catacombs and i was fascinated with just hpw many bones were there, an estimated 6 million, and the love, time amd precision with which the bones were placed to create strangely beautiful works of art. With the skulls carefully plaved to create hearts and crosses and beautiful inscriptions throughout. It was vety interesting and we all thoroughly enjoyed our time.

21 December 2017

We left our disney hotel new york and travelled to paris to find our hotel. I was pleased to find a lovely clean and comfortable room and we quickly settled in and set off to explore the city. We bought some delicious bread and cheese and made some traditional french sandwiches. Then it was time to do the dirty work. We needed to wash some clothes, there were many automatic laundromats and it couldn't have been easier insert money for soap, insert money for the washing machines and then dry them in massive tumble driers. I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly our washing was clean and dry and we were ready to carry on our adventure!

20 December 2017

Disneyland has been absolutely amazinh and i will never forget the wonderful time we had here. A truely magical place!
We headed off to Disneyland for our last few rides. The girls each chose their favourite ride to go on one last time. Leila chose the pirates of Caribbean and Sarah hyperspace mountain. We did a little more exploration through the beautiful princess castle and found the dragon's lair!
The weather was a little cold and rainy as we set out for our last day in Disneyland but it did not dampen the excitement and the day started with a bang at the stunts show. We were thrilled by a display of extremely skilled motorbike riders and dazzled by a high speed chase, where the cars spun and drove round right corners, through trucks and over ramps. Just like in the movies. Tgey even showed us how they drive through windows in buildings and set the stage alight. It was a brilliant show.

19 December 2017

We went on some hair raising roller coasters, even the rides in the kiddies area were scary. The toy soldier parachute drop, the rock and rolling car and the crush coater. The crush coaster was one of my favouritrs we were dropped into darkness and then dazzled by the beautiful fish and coral reefs from finding nemo as we rode the. "Australian" current. We even went on the aerosmith rock and roll roller coaster. I loved the waiting area which waa full of signed guitars and awesome rock music memorabilia. The ride it self was terrifying but fantastic as you turned and spun upside down through the dark, listening to rock. What an experience but now i don't think my heart can take any more. The girls on the other hand have surprised me with just how much they have enjoyed the roller coasters and they have already planned more for tomorrow....
The studio side of the park is completely different and we got to take a look behind the scenes... Taking a tram ride onto the set that unexpectedly burst into flames and then the whole tram was covered with water like we were in a flood, through a set that was made to look like dragons had destroyed it, onto the set if Armageddon where the space ship shook and smoke amd fire came out. It was so realistic.
Today we would explore the disney studios and what an interesting day we had. The girls and i learnt to draw donald duck and we listened to fascinating talks and watched animators demonstrate how they created the videos. The girls enjoyed this so much they insisted on going back and doing another animation of winnie the pooh. They even drew their own very cute cartoons, sarah drew a melting snowman and leila thr roller coaters. It was so cute to see how their drawngs were brought to life when placed in the round viewer.
Our morning started with a refreshing dip in the hotel new yorks pool. It is crazy to think it is 0°c outside and we were swimming in a wonderfully warm pool and hot tub.

18 December 2017

The day ended with an absolutely spectacular lights show, where we were blown away with a loghting display which included a light show of mickey mouse, the disney princesses, simba, findinh nemo and of course star wars. The show was perfectly timed and i was in awe of the lights, fountains, fire works and music that worked so well to create an amazing, jaw dropping show!
What an amazing day we had in the disney land watching the spectacular parades! The christmas and character parades were beyond my wildest expectations and we loved being part of the show. The girls even got a high five from the three little pigs!
The day started with a mind blowing star tour through the galaxy. The ride was full of fantastic details like c3po, r2d2 and robotic droids which interacted with the guests. What a treat. We then went through the haunted house, the girls pretended to be so brave but they were quick to grab a hold of my hand when the "spooks" came out. The house was detailed and so realistic. Definitely one of my favourite rides.

17 December 2017

The girls couldnt wait any longer. We had to go to discovery land. The home of star wars. The girls looked at all the star wars memorabilia you could buy with such longing. Things they could only have dreamt of. Like build your own light saber, make your own droid even an ewock named Warrick. We climbed onto the next ride hyperspace mountain. I was terrified but what an amaxing adventure as we speed through thr dark at hyperspeed and fought the imperial space ships. Sarah and leila were in starwars heaven. They even bought jedi burgers and cupcake yodas for dinner.
We were off to explore fantasy land and walk through the Queen of heart's maze. Climb on a merry go round and look in awe at the beautiful backdrop of castles, beanstalks and magical gardens.
The girls decided it was time to ride their first roller coaster. The temple of doom. As we waited to get on the ride i marvelled at all the detail they had added to indiana jones' landscape. Their were old fashioned tents errected with sll the old archeological equipment and old maps layed out on the table. Even an old fashioned land rover parked on the side. The ride was absolutely terrifying, witg loops and turns and 360s i was shaking by the time i got off but adam and the girls were exhilarated and couldn't wait to go again!
We then went to explore adventure land which had skull caves, deadman mazes and ambush alley. The girls almost jumped out of their skins when adam hid behind a rock and "ambushed" them. We explored Robinson crusso's tree house, which was built in a big tree that looked over the lake. Wow what a wonderful place this is.
We started making our way down to the pirate dungeon, where skeletons were trapped in cages and even the music changed to set the mood. Low ceilings with cobwebs and old fashioned lights set the scene as we climbed on our first ride. It was a boat ride through the pirate's city, with mannequins of pirates locked in jail or blasting cannons. Surprisingly the girls were not at sll scared and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure.
Our first stop was pirate galleon. The detail in the landscapes they have created is spectacular and we walked past beaches, shipwrecks and of course the jolly roger to get to our ride
First thing in the morning we took the shuttle to Disneyland. I was overwhelmed with the size and beauty of the park and the girls were so excited they didnt know what to look at first. This truely is the magic of Disney. We quickly checked in at hotel new York and we were running out the door to start a new adventure.

16 December 2017

We arrived in France at the orx airport, the girls were so excited that we were on our way to Disneyland. We decided to take the disney magic shuttle to our hotel, which seemed like an excellent idea at the time and the driver said he would drop is at the nearest bus stop....4 km later all dragging heavy bags we finally entered the hotel! Only to see a bus stop right outside the frint door needless to say Adam was not impressed. The hotel was a bit disappointing and i was relieved we were only staying there for one night.
It was a very early start as we headed to the airport to catch our plane to France. Here we go, we have mastered the italian underground. Lets see how we go in France.

15 December 2017

We walked milan flat exploring all the sights that the beautiful city had to offer. 13 km later and hundreds of little, beautiful streets explored we flopped down in our hotel. Our day started at the milan cathedral, which was breath taking. Woth hundreds of statues and beautiful stain glass windows to look at you didnt know what to look at first. We even got to explore the crypt where saint Bartholomew's relics lay resting in a clear tomb. Some of the statues were in the girls words "creepy" as they depicted saints being beaten, one saint with skin removed and flung over his shoulder and even one saint holding his decapitated head. It was however a sight to behold. We later learnt that it took 600 years to complete and i can understand why....
Our day started with visit to the ice cream. It was absolutely delicious and we tasted such extravagant flavours such as biscotti, dark chocolate, pistachio, seven chocolates, canoli and cheesecake....mmmmmm
What would a trip to milan be without a walk through the fashion quad. The most boring part of the day for the girls and they were not at all impressed with all the clothes shops that were down every street. Only in Milan are the Christmas lights hairdriers and champagne glasses... We redeemed ourselves by finding a lego shop and we walked around enjoying a two story shop dedicated to one of the girls favourite hobbies. The lights down millionaires row glittered and everything appeared to sparkle. We took a quick walk around the milano castle before heading home on the train.
It was snowing heavily as we caught the taxi to the train station. We left the beautiful wintery wonderland behind and boarded the nightjet to head off to Milan. It was a bumpy ride there but we made it a little tired but ready to explore the city of milan

14 December 2017

It was time for the girls to say good bye to their ski school. They loved every minute and made sure to show off their skills, catching the lift by themselves to the top of the mountain and skiing down with confidence and skill. We have all had such a wonderful time in Austria. I hope one day we will return.
Our last day in Austria and it was absolutely spectacular. We took the panorama cable car up the kietshorn glacier to ski down the slopes. The visibility was extremely poor, we could only see a few feet in front of us. Maybe that was just as well as i think i would have chickened out of i had seen just how steep it was!! But we were off down the slope and what a feeling! You move so quickly it is both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time!

13 December 2017

Thr view from our window this morning was magnificent, everything was white and the new snow was so soft and fluffy it even covered the thin wires in what looked like a perfect tube. It was another awesome day on the slopes. I finally managed to parallel ski by myself down the mountain. What a feeling!!! It is scary how quickly you go!!! Our instructor thinks we are ready to ski the glacier tomorrow... I am more than a little nervous! The girls on the other hand have taken to skiing like ducks to water, taking the lift all the way to the top and skiing down without even giving it a thought. I am so proud of them.

12 December 2017

Another awesome day on the slopes starting to go faster...can still hear the ski instructor in my head in his Japanese accent snow plough parallel snow plough... After a great day we made our way to zell am see. On our way there it started snowing. Within a few hours everything was white and covered in a thick layer of soft, fluffy snow. It truely was magical. There was only one thing to do... Snow ball fight which left us all laughing hysterically and sarah diving into the ground to make snow angels. We luckily managed to catch the last bus back to kaprun. Back at pension patricia we decided to build a snow man. Meet snowy the snowman.
Our first day on the beginner slope in kaprun was awesome. Managed to make it doen the slope in one piece but navigating thr chair lift was another story completely. Absolutely loving our time in kaprun. Girls have learnt how to ski so quickly and so confidently. Even jumping!!

11 December 2017

We ate traditional Austrian cuisine roasted chestnusts called maroni and "spek" bacon balls. These strange dancers dressed in extremely scary masks with long horns an big red tongues entered the castle making a huge racket. We later learnt that they were the krampus. According to Austrian folklore the krampus are half goat half demons that come to kidnap naughty children and take them to hell to punish them. Needless to say the girls were terrified and ran away to hide as they walked through the crowds wipping the bystanders with their tails

10 December 2017

We were exhausted by the time we got back to pension patricia but there was no time to rest. We were off to see the kaprun burg castle where we were treated ti a Christmas market. The castle was magnificent you can imagine being a knight thousands of years ago. The girls loved it and ran off to explore.
Our ski instructor was a japanese man called hondo and he had us on the side of the mountain doing ski exercises he heartly congratulated us when we got something right even if it was just standing with our legs in the correct position. But by the end of the lesson we were going down the small slopes and loving it
We were quickly kitted out with all our ski gear and we were ready to start our lessons. Tge girls instructor was David and he was so sweet to them that they hit off straight away and in no time at all they were so confident they were going down the slopes like champs and reafy to teach mom and dad a thing or two
Our first day up the klietshorn glacier was absolutely spectacular. I can not describe the beauty of the glacier. The bus driver flies up to the pass with little worry about the icy roads and we get out to ascend the mountain on the cable car. All the way to the top 3000m above sea takes your breath away.

9 December 2017

We made it to pension patricia...with only a few hiccups en route. The trains ran like clock work and we easily found the bus to takke us to kaprun but we got off at the wrong stop and briefly considered walking from their to our accommodation. Thank goodness we didn't because dragging a bag through snow is extremely hard!! The bus came round a 2nd time and the locals guided us to pension patricia
We trudged through the snow looking for somewhere to eat. The girls were more than happy to run along and play in the snow. Making snow balls and throwing it at each other. They didn't seem to feel the cold at all. Eventually we found a gorgeous little pizzeria which was so warm and inviting. Their food was absolutely delicious.
Adam is beer tasting his way through austria😋
We arrived in woergl at 14:00 to a beautiful little town! Walked down the main street. What a difference. People are so kind and helpful. Everything is absolutely sparkling clean. On the train to zell am see. So much snow! Everywhere. Absolutely beautiful xx
Just like that we were in Austria. A winter wonderland where a blanket of snow covered everything we could see.
As we travelled down the line the scenary started to change. From beautiful vineyards to snow covered mountains. Adam sampled the beer. Which was ice cold
It was an early start to catch the train from verona to austria. At 7am when we left the hotel it was still pitch black outside and felt like we were running away in the middle of the night. But we quickly caught a bus back to veronas station. Where we boarded to travel 1st class all the way to austria. The morning started with chocolate doughnuts and croissants...
Arriving in verona...a bit of a walk to find our accommodation. Down the cobble stone roads. Quick check in and we were out to explore the beauty of verona. It was absolutely freezing but we saw tge most beautiful churches and plazas. Couldnt find juliets balcony but Leila said it could be any one of the balconies... They were al so pretty and quait.

8 December 2017

Past the beautiful castelvecchio and the arena di verona. Cannot believe how old and perfect it all still is. We went into san giorgio in braida and saint Anastasia churches. The paintings and the size of the church werr magnificent
Walking through the christmas markets. It smelled of gluwein and hot chocolate. The girls were amazed to see just how many things can be made with nutella, canollis, freezia, waffles and pamcakes! We decided we had to have pizza, which wasnt as easy to find as we thought it would be... After spending a small fortune we sat down on the stairs opposite the arena to enjoy. They wrre absolutely delicious! The girls saw all the hand made chocolated and canolis and decided to have a giant in the plaza.
The plazas were buzzing and full of life. Hundreds of people walked down the streets. Enjoying the sights. Tge christmas lights and trees were spectacular with lights all the way down the street and giant Christmas trees on ebery corner. What a way to start
A quick stop in Dubai. The airpost is massive. Girls still dont like shopping even if it is duty free!! We had staebucks mmmm

7 December 2017

Flying is exhausting. We had no issues with gorls on the flight. They were so excited to watch movies and eat ALL the food the flight attendants gave them... But soo they were fast asleep. All the way to Dubai xx

6 December 2017

The night before tge big day

4 December 2017