Around The World · 220 Days · 94 Moments · November 2017

Operation Repatriation


29 June 2018

Our last journi entry Ludo guarding our cases!!We are now at Crowne Plaza Singapore about to go to the airport to get the flight to Canberra.

28 June 2018

We are not only experiencing a heatwave 30 degrees days but also bushfires have broken out on the Manchester Moors. This will probably be our last entry from England. Last night we had a lovely drinks 🍷 party hosted by Mary and Sandy for us and tonight Mary and I are going to a book club event and Sandy and David are going to the pub for a farewell drink.

27 June 2018

Making the most of our last few days in the English countryside. David riding Alfie and with Ludo.

24 June 2018

23 June 2018

We spent our last evening in Rome on a food tour with walking around the Jewish Ghetto with some incredible food. We walked across the River Tiber. We are now back in England but David is suffering from a severe case of RRFS(Roman Ruin Fatigue Syndrome. .Hopefully he will make a full recovery!!!

22 June 2018

We spent most of the day at the Capitololine museums two huge mansions on Piazza del Campidoglio. To get from one to the other there is an underground passage. Of course, in typical Italian style, you are just supposed to know this. Obviously a sign to tell you this would be too difficult to organise!! We did eventually work this out but the passage is down in the basement and not clearly visible. Fantastic exhibits and incredible view having coffee from the roof terrace.

20 June 2018

We visited the Museum of Rome, hardly anyone else there As you can see the typical male is showing all his important bits whereas the female is trying to modestly cover up. We also went on a walking 🚶‍♀️ tour to the Trevi fountain, Spanish steps and Piazza Navona.Love to everyone

19 June 2018

We have a great job for you if you would like to apply. The job description would read organising the Italians!! We were at the fountain of Triton a man stops and gets out of his van with a net in his hand , he is obviously from the department that cleans the fountains .He then proceeds to scoop up a few leaves from the water completely ignoring all the beer bottles and general rubbish around the fountain!!!The picture of the air conditioner is because we have just discovered it hidden under the window covered by a curtain of course no sign to tell you it is there!! The other pics are of the medieval village we went to today for our cooking lesson. Back at the hotel now enjoying the air conditioning sheer bliss

17 June 2018

Amazing sight in Roma tea making facilities in our room .The first time in Italy 🇨🇮. We also explored our new neighbourhood as we have moved from our Trafalgar hotel in Prati to Hotel Diana in Monti. We came across the Basilica Di Santa Maria Maggiore which is a mixture of 14 &15 centuries and you can go under the Church and see a Roman villa which we did .We also went to another church and saw Michelangelo’s statue of Moses. Rome is an embarrassment of riches you can’t really get your head around it all but we are giving it our best shot.

16 June 2018

We walked to the Castle Sant’ Angelo today it was built as a mausoleum for Hadrian then as a safe haven for the Popes when there was trouble in the Middle Ages . Incredible views of Rome from the terrace at the top. After climbing all those steps rewarded ourselves with a gelato.

15 June 2018

What a day the Vatican museum ,Sistine Chapel, St Peters Basilica ( we said a prayer for everyone). The Sistine Chapel is amazing but we could not take pictures so you will have to google it. After lunch we went to the Colosseum.They used to flood the Colosseum and use it for fake navy battles . In later years all the marble cladding was re purposed and used to make St Peters Basilica!We didn’t get lost today!

14 June 2018

All roads lead to Rome !We are now in the eternal city .This morning we went around Pompei, you expect a Roman citizen, wearing a toga to be walking beside you. It was pouring with rain and cold, I stopped for a second to buy a rain poncho and we somehow managed to loose the rest of the group . Mild panic as at this point we hadn’t got our tickets or know the rendezvous point!! Luckily a guide heard us say Trafalgar and pointed out our group was still in the shop area. After that it was just trying to cope with an umbrella, hundreds of others with umbrellas, uneven,wet , slippery pavement and keep up with the group. Still an incredible experience. When we get back we will tell you what G .P .S really means. Tomorrow the Vatican.

12 June 2018

This is the Norman tower where we had a superb seafood dinner last night. We were on an overhanging platform next to the sea . After dinner we climbed to the top of the tower.The experience of travelling on the “ roads “ is white knuckle. The roads were originally for donkeys and so not suitable for cars and tourist coaches . Imagine two coaches trying to pass with cms to spare . A precipitous drop to the sea on one side and high mountains to the other. Add to the mix scooters pedestrians and parked cars.!!!Mama Mia !!!
Amalfi coast absolutely breathtaking. 30 degrees and got to swim in the Med this afternoon. The hotel has its own private beach and you get sun lounges and a big beach umbrella. The beach is black pumice because we are so close to Mt Vesuvius.Not quite the golden beaches of Australia but no sharks to worry about. Dinner tonight in a Norman tower

10 June 2018

What a day ,Florence in the morning and walk across the Ponte Vecchia in the afternoon the medieval town of San Gimignano it has15 11 century towers. Then dinner in a historic Tuscan Villa!!!

9 June 2018

We are now “ doing a Jim “ and sending pictures of alcohol!! Nothing like a lovely refreshing drink after an evening stroll along the banks of the Arno . Guess who had the coke and who had the negroni.
Goodbye Venice Hello Florence after a lovely trip through the Tuscan Countryside. The pics are of the Galleria dell’ Accademia .The statue of David was buried during the war for safety and a false one put in its place. Correction it was not buried but put in a cellar.

8 June 2018

Thanks
On a gondola Grand Canal .

7 June 2018

Surprisingly after so much delicious pasta and pizza we did manage to fit into the gondola!!!

6 June 2018

Hello from Italy. Our eyes are aching from so much beauty,our feet are aching from so much walking,our minds are aching from so much history FANTASTIC!!!!!

5 June 2018

We arrived in Italy yesterday STUNNING this is the view of lake Como from our hotel. On the way toMilan.

23 May 2018

Our Battle Of Britain Tour just keeps getting better. Lost count of the number of spitfires we have seen 15? And the spectacular of a Lancaster taxiing in front of us engines roaring!!! Unfortunately it could not take off. The Battle Of Britain memorial flight all the old aircraft are in flying condition.David in aircraft heaven!!!

22 May 2018

Overnight accomodation near Cambridge. Not too shabby!!!

20 May 2018

Eiffel Tower has a very very very long line and security guards thoroughly checking bags to get to the base. Then you wait in another very long line to have your bags put through an X-ray. Another line to get in the elevator to the 2nd floor. Then you wait in another long long long line to get into a different elevator to the summit. BUT it is most definitely worth it. Now to join the two long lines to get down.
Enjoying the English countryside, lush green and no snakes to worry about!!!

19 May 2018

Key ring update.
The French love their gold leaf.
David and I visited Chatsworth a incredible country house in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside .Huge waterspout all working by gravity feed no electric pump in those days!

18 May 2018

When in France is it just Onion soup? Whatever it’s called it’s almost a cheese overload. Almost. Better have another one to check.
Delightful walk around Barford before setting off for the madness of London to start our Battle Of Britain tour
Visiting Chatsworth an incredible country house in the Derbyshire dales . A huge waterspout in the lake all gravity fed from a reservoir up in the hills no electric pumps in those days!!!
We have arrived in Paris. And I now have a very deep appreciation to who ever invented the iPhone and google maps. I am also in awe of people that can travel to countries with absolutely no clue how to speak the language.
After John (Kate’s husband) gave himself a hernia putting our cases into his car, Kate decided we are complete amateurs and made us pack smaller bags. I carry more than this for an overnight trip back home! She explained the trouble we might encounter and insisted that three pairs of jeans, multiple pairs of pj’s, etc, etc, were unnecessary. She was brutal in her final cut of my possessions! But I’m sure I will thank her. ****Update**** I have texted Kate to thank her. The lift to our room is big enough for two chihuahua’s and their luggage. We take the stairs. And our room has a chair which doubles as a clothes rack.

17 May 2018

Mary and David walking the Royal Mile.

16 May 2018

*Day Sixteen Scotland* We awoke today in Scotland ready for another big day. Sadly we’re leaving Inverness today. It truly is a beautiful spot and I could spend so much more time here. We had a lovely buffet breakfast in the hotel before packing up and getting “on the road again...” once more. We were treated once again to amazing weather conditions, and our first stop today was Loch Ness. I was taken aback by the beauty of the area, it was so much prettier than I was expecting. We visited the local Nessie centre and toured the exhibition, then went on to do some hunting of our own. And no matter what Bec tries to tell anyone - I saw Nessie! I left her to the peaceful life she prefers though and it was on to Culloden Moor. This was a pick of Bec’s but we were all wrapped up in it in no time, the stories of the battles were so interesting. We then spent the afternoon touring the castle and grounds of Cawdor Castle. Big day ahead tomorrow, as our foursome splits in two 😢

15 May 2018

Ahhh no thanks.
I’ve seen it all now men’s toilet in Glasgow pub.
Hi Billy.
*Day Fifteen Scotland* We left York today after an early brekky in the hotel for our marathon drive, swapping England for Scotland and heading to Inverness. We were treated to a lot of beautiful scenery along the way, including snow topped mountains, which fascinated Bec. We stopped in Glasgow for lunch and after a walk found what we thought was a good ol’ Scottish pub - but nope - we’d managed to find an Irish pub in Scotland hadn’t we?? Haha! Anyway, we had a lovely lunch, a spot of souvenir shopping, then back in the car for the rest of the drive. We arrived at our hotel, The Palace, later than expected but all in one piece! Our rooms are beautiful and comfy and our hotel is in a great location. We wandered round and found a sports bar for dinner, filled our bellies and then it was back to the hotel for some well earned rest. Our giggle for the evening came from Bec who thought the sign in the pics below was blurry because she’d forgotten her glasses - but it was actually in Gaelic!
Goodbye York, hello motorway for 6 hours to Inverness.

14 May 2018

*Day Fourteen York* Our second and last full day in York. We’re squeezing as much as we can into our days and yet still feel like there is so much we are missing and we would love to see! Anyhoo - David keeps telling us to suck it up -and I’m pretty sure Bec is already planning a return trip! We started off our day with brekky in a cute little tea house in York, before heading down to York Minster for a tour. There are no words to describe the sheer scale of this building, so I won’t even try! But trust me - it’s astounding. Bec took a extra tour through one of the towers, but the rest of us went down below ground for another path through the history via the foundations. Afterwards,we took a cruise down the Ouse (pronounced ooze - say it, it’s fun) before splitting forces again. Bec and I went to the York Dungeon for some scary learning and Mary and David went to the Railway Museum. Tonight the girls dropped David off at the hotel and hit the outlet mall. Cake for dinner - yum!! 🍰

13 May 2018

A Yorkshire pudding in Yorkshire. Followed up with Spotted Dick. Yes that’s what the dessert is called. Not to mention Mary’s Faggots. Yes that is what the meatballs are called. Followed up with a tour of a chocolate factory.
*Day Thirteen York* Our first full day in York - here we go! Martha’s found out about these clever little York Passes, the purchase price of which covers entry into a stack of York’s attractions - so were on a mission to cram as much into our stay as possible. First off - new town, new hop on hop off bus! 😁 we cruised around, past Mary’s old university, and collated our own little list of”must sees”. We had lunch in a really beautiful and really old pub - exact age still to be determined. Followed that up with a chocolate tour - both informative and yummy! Then it was on to the Yorvik Centre, which tells the history of Vikings in York through a supercool automated ride through a typical Viking settlement. After that, we spent the rest of the afternoon walking the walls. York is the best preserved medieval walled city in England and it’s a fascinating way to see the city. You really get an idea of what it would have been like all those years ago, walking the same paths.
Weather changes so much in one day. Went from overcast and chilly to sunny and warm. BTW the second house in that photo is the Black Swan. It is one of the most haunted pubs in York. Not only that, but it was Mary’s watering hole back in the day!

12 May 2018

What are the chances of stopping in Macclesfield to see the town Mum was born in, have a bite to eat and it’s served on ROYAL ALBERT!
*Day Twelve York* Today we left Barford for the next leg of our adventure- York. We had a big day of driving ahead, so we broke it up with a stop in Macclesfield. This is the town where Bec’s Mum was born and while we don’t know much about her time here, it was a special place for Bec and a link she wanted to make. We took a walk around this town which didn’t seem much a first, but ended up having so much character! We stopped for brunch in a cafe and were served on the very same china Bec’s Mum had -eerie, but beautiful. We arrived in York late I the afternoon so there wasn’t time for sightseeing though thanks to Bec’s phone being set to miles -not kms - her and I set off to get Mary and David some milk on what we thought was a little walk that turned out to be a couple of hours walk! lol - that woman! But we did get to see some interesting sites, got some snacks, got the lay of the land sorted. Dinner tonight in the hotel - we are all too buggered for exploring.

11 May 2018

The key ring collecting has become a thing now. Everywhere I (Bec) go, I have to get one. I just can’t stop. It’s a sickness I’m sure.
These country roads don’t suit the spatially challenged. Thankfully Jenni is in charge of our BMW station wagon.
*Day Eleven Barford* Today we ventured to the city of Bath, to see - yep you guessed it - the Roman Baths 😝 This was like seeing the Roman Villa we had seen earlier on our trip, but on steroids! You could really get a feel for Roman life and see in action their technology, ritual and culture. The Roman Baths themselves are wonderfully preserved and maintained and the technology they have put into the site is a great addition. There are holograms throughout showing how the people would have bought the space to life and a great audio tour that is super informative and interesting to lead you through. We took a walkthrough the rest of the town after the Baths too see what we could see before heading back to Barford. Tonight we went out for dinner in a proper English pub (my first since arriving here! Very exciting) as it is our last night here as a foursome. We are sad to leave Barford, but excited for what’s still to come - York, Scotland and then Paris/Italy when we split forces.

10 May 2018

*Day Ten Barford* Today our adventures took us into Oxford. I learnt something straight off the bat that Oxford isn’t one college -rather a college made up of 38 colleges. Once Mary got over my ignorance we boarded our hop on hop off bus - best way to see a city and then know where we want to explained further! Again the architecture here is amazing, the buildings are so ornate and beautiful. We got off the bus at one point and did a walking tour too, which was a great way to see some of the more out of the way places, and the guide helped us to know what we were actually looking at lol. Being such cultured folk, we of course fit in a visit to the Alice In Wonderland shop and visited some of the sites where Harry Potter movies were filmed - you know - for the cultural significance- not just because I wanted to stand on the stairs where Professor McGonnagall addresses the students in Hogwarts 🤓 All in all another wonderful day!

9 May 2018

*Day Nine Barford* Part 3 The final adventure for the day led us to the magnificent Blenheim Palace. This magnificent home was built between 1705 and 1722 and is now owned by the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. The palace once belonged to the family of Winston Churchill and it was actually his birthplace but there is SO much more to it than the Churchill affiliations. We took a tour of the interior and were in awe of the beautiful artworks, the paintings and the architecture of the building itself. So much history, and at times more than a little scandal, is packed into those walls. Our guide was so great, she really made the place come alive. After our tour, we took a quick walk around the grounds. I’ve never seen anything like it. A quick walk is all we could do - you’d need a week or more to do just the gardens! Nonetheless we gave it all, we found fountains and canals, more bluebells (starting to become our emblem this trip) and even a little waterfall!
Today we went to a Roman Villa and saw some wonderful buildings and mosaics then off to a palace with a few small villages in between. While Mary soaked up all the historical knowledge, I (Bec) chased a pheasant around for that perfect shot. While Mary, David and Jen soaked up the ambiance of the Blenheim palace gardens, I chased another pheasant around and then had great delight in using a toilet in a palace.
*Day Nine Barford* Part 2 The next part of our day took us to the ruins of a Roman Villa in Chedworth. The drive there was beautiful but OMG - it was nerve wracking edge of your seat stuff. The road is barely wide enough for one car, yet it’s a two lane road! There were some real tight squeezes but we made it...with a few moments of holding our breath and a whole lot of hope. The villa was really interesting and it was fascinating to see how technological the Romans were with things like underfloor heating and plumbing. The mosaics were just beautiful and its such a shame that time and circumstance were so harsh on the ruins and they’ve suffered damage. Bec and I snuck in a crayon rubbing of mosaic patterns in the education area. There was no sign that said kids only so it must be ok for big kids 🤓 oh and Bec was very excited to find our first pheasant in the grounds here - more colourful than we thought! Afterwards, we had a lovely lunch in the cafe before hitting the road once more.
I know I’m in England when they give you 2 butters. Yay!
*Day Nine Barford* Part 1 We started off the morning with an attempt to visit a little town called Stow-On-The-Wold. We wandered round and round, trying to figure out why all the shops had closed signs, but there were people inside. Were we too early? Was it some sort of holiday we weren’t aware of? No...there were gypsies in town and as a result pretty much the whole town shuts down. The gypsies cause too much trouble you see. I sh*t you not -GYPSIES! Anyhoo - we found a coffee shop that was open, got some pep back in our steps and got back on the road. Next stop - the beautiful little town of Bourton-On-The-Water. This is one of the cutest spots I’ve ever seen. There is a little stream running all through the town, full of ducks. You can buy duck food in almost all the shops. We know this as we went into almost all of them. Souvenirs you see. It’s a must. But it’s ok - duck food proceeds go to charity so it’s all for a good cause :) All too soon it was time to head to our next stop.
Stow-On-The-Wold looking ever so.....picturesque! The buildings are lovely though.

8 May 2018

*Day Eight Barford* Part 2 After a tough morning, we spent our afternoon in Stratford-Upon-Avon. This was a place that Bec had heard her Mum talk about often, so after this morning, it seemed a fitting spot to end the day. We started with coffee (or hot chocolate for some ☕️) as most of our touring days do, in a local cafe, before setting off into the town. We were treated to some beautiful architecture - some buildings there over 600years old! We discovered the school that William Shakespeare himself attended, had a tour (the guides at the school are brilliant and so engaging) and some lessons - Bec had to get up and do the drama display which turned it more into a slapstick comedy than drama. We practiced our writing skills with ink and quill - a lot harder than it looks I tell you - I’ll never take pens and pencils for granted again. We brushed up on our Latin which is really lacking lol and Mary took a turn sitting in the head teachers chair -not surprisingly David got in trouble!
Stratford-upon-Avon.
*Day Eight Barford* Part 1 This morning was a tough one... Today we laid to rest Bec’s Nanny & Grandad at Oakley Woods Crematorium. While Grandad never cared where he ended up, bringing Nanny home was a promise that Bec had made to her Nanny on her deathbed and we have been working toward being able to do this for her through all of our relationship. This was the reason for our trip and hard as it was going to be, it was time. While I never got the privilege of meeting either of them, I take solace in Bec telling me that they would’ve liked me. Bec gets her fierce loyalty and sense of love for her family from her Nanny and her sass from her Grandad. I think her stubbornness comes a little bit from both! They were laid to rest by Bec, David and Mary at Oakley Woods, in the place where Nan’s ancestors are also. The spot is beautiful and peaceful and filled with bluebells, Nanny’s favourite. We also took part of her to be laid to rest with her mother at Snitterfield Cemetery. ❤️ R.I.P.

7 May 2018

*Day Seven Barford* As Bec had mentioned earlier, we joined the village of Barford today for their annual “Beating the Boundaries” walk. The walk this year raised funds for the church but was done traditionally to bless the crops of the the village and entails what the title implies - you walk the boundaries of the parish lines “the beat”. We were really thankful to be included in this activity by the community and it was a great opportunity to see parts of the village we otherwise wouldn’t be able to access. Our merry band of six again set off - this time with Ludo in tow as well - and we travelled up hills and down dale, through fields and farms and had a wonderful morning. Sandy, David & Mary and I (and Ludo) bowed out halfway at the 3.5 mile/5k mark. Ever the troopers, Bec and Mary surged through and completed the whole 7 miles or 11k approx. so much green - as far as the eyes could see. It was just so beautiful and serene.
Joined in on the annual “Beating of the Boundary” Walk today. 5km round trip from Barford. The walk took us briefly through the woods that we will lay Nanny and Grandad to rest in tomorrow. Blue bells everywhere.

6 May 2018

Mary and David off for a walk down Church Street, towards the church they were married in.
*Day Six Barford* after a bit of a slow start this morning... it was Sunday after all - we decided to venture out to Compton Verney. This is a beautiful old estate, hundreds and hundreds of years old with a bit of a chequered past, which has now become an art gallery. Our merry band of six (Sandy and Mary along for the ride) headed out to see what we could see 🤓 The first exhibition “Rauvilious & Co” didn’t grab David Bec or I but was well received by the others. We were very impressed with the second exhibition though “Created Through Conflict: British Soldier Art from the Crimean War to Today”. Sadly, we couldn’t take pictures in the exhibitions but after we left the main gallery we went for a walk through the grounds and let our inner tourists go wild! We saw the chapel, walked through the gardens with ice cream, went to a bird hide and learnt about the featured buildings of the estate. Bec and I are still amazed to be constantly surrounded by such rich history everywhere we go...

5 May 2018

Not a bad view for a dog walk.
*Day Five Barford* we arrived yesterday afternoon and were immediately impressed by Sandy and Mary’s house and hospitality. Their garden - well - it looks like something out of a Better Homes magazine. We took our new buddy Ludo for a walk and got to see some of the village. It was so lovely for Bec to put images to all the stories she had been told about this lovely place, seeing the house her Mum grew up in, the school she went to and walking paths she would’ve walked. After a lovely nights sleep in our new beds (for the next week or so anyway) we awoke this morning and it was time to pick up our new ride :) After picking up the car and navigating our way through the crazy British road system we decided to stop at Warwick castle and have a squiz. It is a beautiful medieval castle, superbly restored and maintained. We watched a bowman show and a birds of prey display, we climbed towers and turrets and walked through the rooms of the castle, all done up with Madam Tussaud wax figures.
Nice hot day to investigate the local Castle

4 May 2018

*Day Four London* Our posse split forces this morning for our last morning in the city. Mary and David took off to the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum while Bec and I set off for Kensington Gardens and Buckingham Palace. The gardens were so beautiful - we could’ve done with a whole day or two to explore them properly. We visited the Princess Diana memorial fountain and then continued on walking to Buckingham Palace. We accidentally timed our visit to coincide with the changing of the guard and boy oh boy - even if we’d done that on purpose we could not have been prepared for the craziness of it. The bobbies had a real task on their hands keeping all the tourists in line - but not us 😇. We were amazed when the royal band played thriller and Thriller and Uptown Funk lol. All too soon it was time to head back to the hotel and then catch the train out for our next stop, Barford, a little town in the English countryside where Bec’s parents and grandparents lived 🚆
Hey Lizzie I’m here but your door is shut. Perhaps someone forgot to mention I was coming. I’ll wait another five.
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and the Royal Military band is playing “Thriller”. I sh*t you not.

3 May 2018

*Day Three London* Our last full day in London - I don’t know where the time has gone! Though it can’t be said we haven’t packed enough into our time here! Today we started the day with a visit to the National Gallery. What an amazing building with so many beautiful works of art. We could’ve easily spent the whole day here, but soon it was time to meet Bec’s childhood family friend Kate for lunch. We had a very English lunch of sausages mash gravy and peas - in a crypt - not every day you can say that! We then took the ferry - well it’s called a clipper but to me it was a ferry - down the Thames to Grenwich where we checked out the town and a beautiful old ship in dry dock there, The Cutty Sark. It was so interesting to be able to explore the ship and see what life was like for the sailors back in the day. When we we got back to London we had a winding down drink in a gorgeous old pub before heading back on the tube to the hotel for dinner and sleepy times 😴

2 May 2018

*Day Two London* (cont’d) We set out tonight on our Jack the Ripper tour. We weren’t sure what to expect but were excited. And we were not disappointed! We departed from the Victoria Coach Station, but not in a coach, we had a super cool old London double decker bus. No denying our butts could’ve done with our ride having had some suspension work - but the cool factor won out over that. We got to our first stop, a site where one of the victims, Catherine Eddowes’ body was found and from that minute I was hooked. From there we went on a walking tour through the London streets. We learnt so much about the the case - the victims, the suspects, the theories - and it was fascinating. We ended the tour at the Old Bailey with some stories of other notorious crimes and criminals of London’s past, and a visit to the William Wallace’s (of Braveheart fame) memorial. When we got back to the hotel it was down the street to our new favourite bistro for dinner and a drink before a well earned rest!
*Day Two London* Today showed us the ups and downs of “London Weather” for sure! We had breakfast in the hotel before heading off to complete our unfinished mission from yesterday - the London Eye. This excursion was my choice and I was so ready! Even experiencing the dreary rain that London is famous for and that we had to wait in said rain in a long line couldn’t dampen my excitement. While it was a shame the pictures didn’t work out as well as they could have on a clear and sunny day, it was still a great experience. Afterwards, we moved on to the shopping district of Oxford Circus, had a ball wandering through the shops and seeing all the things we couldn’t afford (lol) before moving on to the the most amazing toy store ever - Hamleys. It was so interactive and hands on and staff were all through the store doing demos and letting you play with the toys! Once we were all shopped out, we took the tube back to the hotel to ready ourselves for Jack the Ripper tour tonight...stay tuned.

1 May 2018

*Day One London* Woke up this morning and couldn’t have been more ready to see London - especially Bec who had been up since approx 4am! Had a nice brekky in the hotel - Bec was happy to have English muffins in England and was fascinated by the sugar lumps :) We had a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, London Eye tickets and a Tower of London tour scheduled for today (what were we thinking for day one lol) so off we went. Luckily we were spoilt with amazing weather today so took the opportunity to seat ourselves on the open air top deck for the trip to the tower, Learnt a lot on the bus (such a great way to see the city) and throughout the tour - we even had the little audio sets to complete the tourist look and listen along to stories of the tower, before going on to check out the Crown Jewels. We left our run too late for the London Eye so we’ve changed our tickets and postponed til tomorrow...
10 pounds for one Caramello Koala! Jenni has threatened to stab me if I go near the mini bar in the night!
They have lumps of sugar. LUMPS. Very excited by very small things.
English breakfast

29 April 2018

Our late night was followed up with an early morning, off to a morning tour of Singapore Zoo. This was a bucket list item for me and it did not disappoint!! The cage free layout of the zoo, their conservation projects and the care you could see between staff and animals made for such a wonderful zoo experience. The free range orangutans were a constant amusement, but the star of the day was the “Fragile Forest”, a rainforest biodome that allows you to get right up close with the animals - like we did with a sloth!! We were supposed to meet up with our bus driver to bring us back to the hotel at 11:45, but let’s just say that didn’t happen - there was too much to see!! We accidentally on purpose missed our bus back and stayed at the zoo til 4pm! We stayed in tonight with dinner at the hotel and we fly out tomorrow lunchtime for London! Watch this space for more updates 🤓

28 April 2018

Leg one done and (almost) dusted! It’s been an amazing couple of days! Singapore - you are hotter than I could’ve ever imagined - but also more beautiful than I could have believed until seeing it for myself. We spent the morning we arrived sleeping after a long night of flying - napping in the lobby of our hotel for a few hours and then finally in our rooms - before heading out to discover the local area around our hotel. In the afternoon we headed out on our excursion. First stop -Skywalk- where we rode to the 56th floor of the Marina Bay Sands hotel and surveyed the city from what felt like the clouds! It was amazing to see Singapore from this angle and really opened our eyes to it’s magnitude. Then it was on to Gardens By The Bay. I’d thought this would be more of a Mary & David thing but Bec and I were so impressed and in awe of this beautiful place too. The Cloud Forest was an absolute highlight and the super trees light show was so awesome. A late night - but so worth it!!
Another country, still orders fish and chips.
We arrived into Changi Airport. I was expecting a scene from border security, however apparently at 0400am security is a bit lacking.

27 April 2018

Through security...now the waiting begins! Singapore here we come ✈️

24 April 2018

Too late to back out now. The paperwork is nearly done.

13 April 2018

Paris booked, Scotland booked, ashes certified. Now let the packing panic begin.

21 November 2017

Flights booked. London accommodation booked. Car booked. We fly out on April 30th 2018.