Australia and Oceania, Asia, Europe · 9 Days · 29 Moments · December 2017

Europe and the Middle East '17/'18

17 December 2017

I decided to take a walk from the museum to Place de la Concorde and then back through the Tuileries. The gardens are obviously less impressive in Winter but it’s still a beautiful space surrounded by great architecture.
This afternoon I took a trip to the Musee D’Orsay to see some of the impressive pieces there. There was really so much and of them like the sculptures were so naturally part of the building that you could easily miss some amazing works. I was particular taken with the temporary Degas exhibit they had

16 December 2017

Finally in the evening I visited the Arc de Triomphe. I had no idea you could climb it so waited a while and then took the long circular stair up to the top. There are stunning views of the city streets and other monuments from up there.
Later I walked down to the Louvre, where luckily there was basically no line and the major works including the Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa where not overcrowded. There are too many amazing rooms and works to provided photos for here but my favourite was the Red Room collection of French works.
Next door to the Sainte Chapelle is the Palace of Justice and the Conciergerie a prison in the revolutionary period where Marie Antoinette was held. This was interesting but there wasn’t much to see. You got in on a double pass with the chapel so I made a quick stop.
On Phil’s recommendation I visited the Sainte Chapelle, a royal chapel to the kings in the 13-14th centuries. It has the most intricate stained glass worked I’ve seen and is hands down the most beautiful single room I’ve been in yet.

15 December 2017

I got back to Paris after a delayed train to a mercifully short line at the Eiffel Tower (however it took forever to get off!). I went to both levels and the vow from any perspective is truly stunning. Once I got out I took a walk to the Place du Trocadero to get a distance photo of the Tower.
After the main building I wandered the gardens on the way to the Grand Trianon. Honestly some of the more rambling parts were more beautiful than the landscapes ones (even though it was all shockingly beautiful). I also liked a lot of the Grand Trianon more than the main building.
On my first morning in Paris, Phil gave me some great suggestions on what to see. I decided to tackle Versailles first so I wouldn’t need to go on a weekend. I’ve included photos of the main building only and will put more of the gardens and Grand Trianon.

14 December 2017

After getting stuck in traffic and nearly missing my train, I got to Paris! Checked in to the cute little bite I booked and had a walk around Paris at night. I’m right near the Luxembourg Gardens and the Pantheon. I got to see Notre Dame during vespers - the music and atmosphere was so beautiful.

13 December 2017

On my last day I took a train out to Hampton Court Palace. After the Tudors, Wolf Hall and all the rest how could I miss it? It was really beautiful including the amazing gardens. It was funny watching the actors walk around talking even if no one was there for it. Later I got the train back which was unfortunately delayed. That night I went to see the midnight Star Wars premiere and then got a short sleep to be ready to go to Paris in the morning.

12 December 2017

In the evening Nick, Phil and I saw Young Frankenstein which was incredibly funny. It was probably the last night I’d see them in London so we got a photo in Trafalgar Square while it was raining.
Near the end of the day I swung past the Tate and saw the giant swings installed in the public area as well as the Red Star Over Russia exhibit about art and propaganda during the Soviet era.
Later in the day I headed to St Pauls where i needed to perform a little more sneaky camera work. Luckily I got in just in time to be let up to the Whispering Gallery in the upper part of the dome. It’s a truly stunning building.
Later I caught the tube to Tower Hill to visit the Tower of London. The age of this places is as impressive as everything that’s in it - including the Crown Jewels!
In addition to the beautiful architecture of the abbey there were also so many notable people interred or commemorated there.
Visited Westminster Abbey this morning. The building and atmosphere was beautiful. I managed to take a few sneaky photos so I had something to take back with me.

11 December 2017

At the end of the day I walked back past Westminster to meet Nick for dinner and then later join Phil as well to see Glengarry Glen Ross. It was a really great production with Christian Slater, Robert Glenister and Kris Marshall (I think Tim would have loved it!). Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos here but were hoping to meet up tomorrow as well.
By the time I got out it was already dark (the sun set at 3.30!). I Aleks through Hyde Park to get to Buckingham Palace and took some photos there. Unfortunately you aren’t able to visit it this time of the yes so i settled to see it lit up at night with its Christmas decorations.
In the afternoon I visited the Churchill War Rooms which had some amazing pieces from his life including clothing, writings and personal and objects.
Later I walked through to Leicester Square to get theatre tickets for tonight and then wandered through Piccadilly Circus and Hyde Park to get to the Churchill War Rooms.
This morning I visited the nearby Imperial War Museum which had a great exhibit on WWI as well as an informative and troubling one on the Holocaust. There were lots of cool artefacts like scribbling a from Lloyd George during the Treaty of Versailles, parts from the Berlin Wall and old propaganda pieces.

10 December 2017

On our walk back we went past Temple Bar, the Australian High Commission and St Clements. The streets are just as beautiful as nice, particularly from the many street lights. We had a nice dinner and then I went to bed early, exhausted from the jet lag.
I was really keen to visit the British Museum on day 1 as it has so many treasures taken from places I will be visiting later like Egypt, Italy and Greece. There really are some remarkable things here and Phil was great enough to give me his own tour as he’s been here a few times now.
Phil and I had lunch in a little Chinese restaurant in the Chinatown part of Leicester Square and then wandered through the streets to the British Museum.
Phil and I agreed to meet in Leicester Square for lunch so I decided to walk there from the hotel going past Westminster and and Trafalgar Square in the way as well as some other beautiful streets.
Arrived in London safe and sound and made it to my hotel where I was luckily able to check in early. I was so excited to see snow as soon as I got outside!
Touchdown in Dubai to disembark and refuel. Grabbed a quick Emirati Maccas snack and ready for the last leg (and hopefully a good sleep!)

9 December 2017

Time to go! Met CB at the airport after being seen off by my family. Enjoyed the lounge and now ready for the 15 hr flight to Dubai. Let the adventure begin :)