Australia and Oceania, Asia, Europe · 23 Days · 104 Moments · December 2017

Viki & Lily-Rose's adventures in Europe

2 January 2018

And so we come to the end of our epic trip. 3.5 weeks 5 countries 7 cities 1000’s of steps 7 types of transport Hours and hours of awe, fun and love 💖 NZ here we come see you in 26 hours!!!
The Berlin Wall Memorial. I have learnt so very much while being here. Firstly about the Second World War from a German perspective and secondly about the Wall and how it was for the East and West German’s. This wall is an outdoor Gallery and is there to remember the tragedy that the time of the wall was. Beate’s Father ordered a car from the Soviet Union while they were trapped in East Germany 🇩🇪. It took 17 years to arrive!!!! They had many incredible stories to tell.
After a sad farewell with our wonderful hosts, Beate, Thomas, Leon and Johanna we set off to store our luggage at the airport. Then into town on our own! We survived but it has been so easy with Leon guiding us! I really wanted to try an authentic pretzel 🥨 which was delicious and then off to see Oberbaumbrücke which is at the end of the Berlin Wall memorial. Very cool
Our delicious New Years Day dinner. Slow cooked wild pork in red wine, potato dumplings (knödel), red cabbage (Rotkohl), bubbles and super tasty sauces. All VERY good. Followed by creamy chocolate mousse. We shared the meal with Beate, Leon, Johanna, Thomas, and Leon’s Aunt and Uncle.
This is the famous traffic man called an Ampelmännchen. There is a whole store selling him in everything, including mugs, post-its, lollies, tee shirts and so so much more!! Our last stunning evening with a full moon. The SS Eagle which was kept so that the horror of the war is not forgotten.
The first photo is the lovely home we stayed in. It was four floors and was shared by Leon’s grandfather’s business, Leon’s Aunt and Leon’s family. The next photos are of Tempelhof Park. This Park is left from a large airport that was built by Hitler in WWII. The people of Berlin wanted to keep it as a park rather than build on it. It is a huge park and the airport building was once the largest building on earth.

1 January 2018

New Years Day breakfast!!! Cute little Tallisman who is a wee chimney sweep and special Berliners. New Years is a way bigger deal here! Very fun.
New Years Eve Swing Dance Party. Absolutely amazing. It was held in a 1920’s silent movie theatre. We even learnt some dance steps like the Charleston. Lots of delicious nibbles and drinks. The fireworks, oh my goodness, so many fireworks that went on and on and on. So loud and excessive! Exploding in the streets in the footpaths all in the centre of the city. Lily-Rose went and had a party with Leon and his friends. They started with a dinner of Raclette, then up to the roof of a building in the centre of Berlin, to watch the insane explosions of fireworks, then off to a party and finally home around 4 am!

31 December 2017

Today is New Years Eve which is a big deal in any country but seems very big here. Everything is closed. We went to play bowls but even that was closed. So we went to the movies 🎥 and watched Pitch Perfect 3 in German!!!! Then a kebab for lunch 🥙 VERY popular in Berlin, there are a lot of Turkish 🇹🇷 immigrants here. Delicious. Now home getting ready for the evening. LilyRose is off to about three parties 🎉 with Leon and I’m of to a party with his Mum, should be a great night! There are SO MANY fireworks 🎇 going off! SO MANY!!!! The Christmas tree🎄 has its candles lit tonight. Very cool! Real!!!

30 December 2017

Dinner tonight was at an authentic German Meal Place. It was all very good. I had Currywurste and Berlin Ale, a schnapps to digest, followed by Movenpick Icecream and espresso!!! Mmmmmmm Rosie enjoyed a Berlin Ale, Nürnberger Rostbratwürste mit Sauerkraut, followed by Apple Strudel. All delicious. We dined with Leon’s family. Great food and great company.
We walked in the freezing rain 🌧 to learn about the Berlin Wall. Absolutely incredible and so devastating for everyone. Families were separated for 28 years and many people were killed. We also heard about the tunnels and that some people were spy’s so you couldn’t trust your own neighbour. Leon’s Mum lived right beside the wall, fascinating.
So great to spend time with these guys! Sophie and Leon we love you 😘
Bears 🐻 are Berlin’s animal and these guys were pretty stunning!
Check out the weirdest birds ever in photo 2! Like scary old men!!!! Of course the Otters are adorable but I couldn’t quite steal one 💖 Photo 5 is of Condors! Very cool and huge! Then a seal, followed by penguins 🐧!!
The Puma was impressive and photo 4 is of small Mongoose! Especially for you Craig J xx
The elephants were in a tiny enclosure, not cool. Loved seeing the storks, they didn’t seem to have any baby bundles to deliver.
The entrance to the zoo. They have two PANDAs!!!! So cute and much smalller than we thought!! The giraffes were seriously fighting!!
This is at the Christmas market that had a terrorist attack last December. There was a memorial to the people who were killed. Very sad but great to see the market is still happening. Leo and I had toffee grapes while LilyRose had chocolate dipped strawberries WOW!!!! Sooooo good!
This is the new church built to replace the old one. The glass inside was incredible and housed a huge piped organ. It is so interesting and confronting to realise that Germany was also hurt badly in the war. We never think of all the innocent people of Germany who suffered. This plaque has the verse “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬
This magnificent church was bombed in WW2, such a terrible waste. There was a memorial in here for the Jews and it was interesting to read that Baptised Christian’s were taken to the concentration camps with the Jewish people. This church had a pastor and did adult baptism. People from this church died at the camps! Such rich history here.
There were lots of markets all lit up. This is the Berlin Bear 🐻 Berlin.

29 December 2017

Next stop was at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews, an incredible maze of blocks symbolising the holocaust.
Then we were off to the. Berliner Cathedral, a museum and a super cool walkway. The Cathedral has a verse on it “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬ We are now at Leon’s Mum’s place, where we are staying while we are in Berlin. So cool to be staying with real people! We are now at Leon’s Mum’s place, where we are staying while we are in Berlin. So cool to be staying with real people!
We are in Germany!!! Berlin to be exact. We were met at the airport by Leon who had stayed with us while travelling NZ with his friend Sophie doing HelpEx. It was so good to see him. Sophie had to work so she joined us later, giant hugs all around. After visiting Sophie’s new flat we were off to see the Brandenburg Gate which was the biggest gate in the Berlin Wall. A cool place to see.

28 December 2017

Thank you Rome, it has been incredible. Funny story. We really wanted some good perfume so went into a perfume specialist shop. The lady was amazing and both finally found ones we liked. We even had chocolate while we chose. Then I asked the price! 700 Euro!!!!! 1300 NZ$. Panic!!!! How to leave without being rude??!! We politely said we would think about it and RAN!! The people, the sights, the food and of course the shopping!! The last time I was here was with my parents, Craig and Craig & Jose. I really missed Dad as he was like a personal tour guide telling stories about various streets, monuments and buildings. He live Rome very much and I think it has my heart too. We are off to Berlin and in the airport, checkout their supply of Nutella!!!
For our last meal in Rome we went to a traditional restaurant. We had a great waitress who helped us choose authentic Roman cuisine. It was all delicious and the traditional cocktails helped! I of course finished with a limoncello!!! We wobbled our way home which was right next door and started to pack for the morning.
The Pantheon with the hole! Very cool and amazing to see inside. We even had a violinist playing outside!! Perfection.
The famous Spanish Steps. Only a 10 min walk from our hotel!!

27 December 2017

Final photos of the Vatican. What a full on day! 12 hours of touristing in the rain and wind. But we totally rocked it!
Stunning. And chillin with the disciples!!
Posting cards from the smallest country in the world!
At the top! Wow!! Very cold and windy but totally worth it!
Time to climb to the top of St Peters Basilica. Wow what a climb!!! At the end the stairs were so narrow and twisted we had a rope to hold on to, to pull ourselves up!!!
Still at the Vatican. We also went to the Sistine Chapel but couldn’t take photos. It was stunning but again absolutely packed with people.
Off to the Vatican Museums. Rather stunning but way too many people!!! It was soooooo crowded. All the naked man statues had plaster of paris fig leaves to cover their private parts which looked ridiculous, but keeps the pope happy!!
Victoria Roman Soldier
A quick break for lunch and hot chocolate which is actually hot Chocolate soup!!! It had been raining all morning and we were cold, wet and tired!!
More of the Roman Forum and the remainder of the fire that burned the Assassinated Julius Ceaser. The Romans put coins on it to honour who he was, especially in March the 16th which is when he was killed.
Heading into the Roman Forum. Absolutely amazing archeological work. So much digging!! Also a super spring of water, but not as good as NZ!!
The arch of Constantine, honouring the first Christian Emperor!
More photos of the inside! The last photo is of a picture they have just found that is of Jerusalem, showing that there was once a church in the building, possibly in the Middle Ages.
Yay. We are at the colosseum!!! The tour started at 9am!!!! We arrived at 9.05 and had to run to catch up! Anyway we made it! Absolutely awesome. Interesting they talked A LOT about it being a fun, entertainment place, that most fights were staged and only criminals were ever put to death. Certainly no christians!! Interestingly the guide went on to talk about the 100 days of games that happened at the opening of the colosseum where 1000’s of people died and tens of 1000’s of animals!!!! An amazing engineering feat and spectacular building

26 December 2017

Went for a walk Got lost Found cool stuff!!!
The Trevi Fountain is 120 metres from our hotel!!! Amazing!! Soooooo many people. We both threw coins in, so we will be back!!

25 December 2017

Awesome Christmas Day in Florence! A sleep in. Presents. Chocolate. Phone call from my bro. Christmas movie. Chocolate Snooze. Incredible six course Italian Dinner. Check out the menu!! Complete with wine. So good but sooooo full. More movies and more relaxing. Chocolate Sigh.....

24 December 2017

Christmas Eve just us two! LilyRose made a tree from a wee plant in our room complete with star! Presents are ready and stockings are hung!
‘David’ by Michelangelo David is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created between 1501 and 1504. It is a 5.17-metre marble statue. The statue represents the Biblical hero David, complete with sling, a favoured subject in the art of Florence. THE STATUE IS CARVED FROM A SINGLE BLOCK OF UNWANTED MARBLE. The block of marble that became one of history’s most famous masterpieces proves the old cliché about one man’s trash being another’s treasure. Michelangelo created David from a piece of marble that had been twice discarded by other sculptors. Agostino di Duccio gave up on a project using the block, after which it sat untouched for 10 years. At that point, Antonio Rossellino took a crack at the block but decided it was too much of a pain to work with. When Michelangelo finally got his hands on it, the marble had been waiting for 40 years for someone who was up to its challenge.
A tree and light to decorate the Florence streets.
Wow! So we are in Florence. Our hotel is stunning and only a few minutes walk to this Cathedral. Absolutely beautiful and extra special with lights and a nativity display.
Leaving Venice today 🙁 but off to Florence for Christmas, so the grief will be short!! We decided to book a taxi to the train station as it is quite a walk and Venice is a maze of dead ends and bridges. I asked several times where we would meet the water taxi. The guys behind the desk looked strangely every time and repeated just come to the lobby. Ok How will the boat met us in the lobby? Anyway we waited in the lobby, the next minute a guy arrives and picks up our bags we follow him out to a secret courtyard and there is a boat waiting for us!!!!! Sooooo cool! We step from courtyard/hallway into our boat and we are off!!!! LOVE VENICE!!

23 December 2017

Oh my goodness, this was incredible! We saw where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived when he was 15 years old. The gondolier we had was a born and bred Venetian.
A morning of errands while Rosie tries to get over her terrible cold. I found a laundromat, while the machine washed the clothes I popped out for a cappuccino and brioche, as you do, and then found a post office. All and all a nice morning. This was a street I found myself on. Alone in Venice, so quiet and beautiful.

22 December 2017

Super famous bridge. LilyRose being dodgy but avoided arrest!!!!
Beautiful girl
Sans Marco Basilica is amazing. European pigeons will fight you.
Breakfast in Venice. All silverware including my coffee pot and warmed milk jug. Huge Camembert wheel, croissants, cold meats, fruit and hazelnut yogurt! Sigh, life is hard...

21 December 2017

Food here is good!!! Pizza, clams and spaghetti, tonight was gnocchi and cuttlefish fish spaghetti!!
Um so Venice is a magic city
From Uber to Train From train to plane From plane to bus From bus to boat From boat to feet!! And we are here!!!!!!! Venice
This was our hotel in Paris. Room 36. A lovely tiny hotel with great service. Check out the tiny ancient elevator! Only 2 people at a time or 1 with luggage!!!! The stairs were spiral and made you feel quite dizzy!!

20 December 2017

Before we leave Paris, the centre of fashion, we did have to pop into the biggest, Shiniest, most expensive Department store ever!!!!!! We only shopped a smidge. You’re only in Paris once!!!
Christmas Market with giant cheeses, a manicure with a girl who spoke no English and was horrified at the state of our nails, a spot of lunch and ... Paris...
Then we were off to Notre Dame Cathedral. Magnificent, reverent and beautiful. Nice to stop and reflect on my God who is also Magnificent, reverent and beautiful.
One of my favourite books is ‘The Little Prince’. It was first written in French and I found the original store!!!!!! So cool.
Another day in Paris, starting the French way!!!

19 December 2017

More Arch de Triomphe
Arch de Triomphe!
Housework in Paris!!
Arty things 🎨🎨
We found an amazing gallery and just snuck in with half an hour until closing. Musee d’orsay. Rose plans to pop back tomorrow. They were displaying Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir amongst other amazing artists.
Up the Eiffel tower
The Eiffel Tower!!!! A VERY foggy day but still awesome. Once we got to the very top we even saw the sunshine!! We walked from level two to level one and found coffee and macaroons!! We are sooooo French!!! We (Lily-Rose) walked on the glass floor and didn’t die!!
Casual Eiffel tower
Another palace!! And Devine Godiva chocolates!! Perfect start to our day.

18 December 2017

The Louvre!!!! So many paintings that Rosie knew about, I learnt A LOT!! We ended with a spot of shopping at Gap! Now to find a laundromat. Even in Paris there are chores!!
Check out Rosie’s ‘Louvre’ chocolate Pyramid!!
Way too much cool stuff
What an amazing time we have had in Windsor and London. Being able to stay with Bev and Rodney has been so lovely. Awesome coffee, thanks Rodney, snuggly beds, Personnal tourist guides and an intense game of Five Crowns!! (Which Viki won!!!!) Thanks guys for sharing your home and a very busy week for you Bev xx

17 December 2017

Dinner! Snails PEPPER steak Chocolate deliciousness! Vin rouge!! Very full!!
Windsor to Vauxhall Vauxhall to London London to Paris Via Eurostar Paris!!! Traffic is insane!!!! People seem nice.
We came across this super cute carousel in the Park, complete with candy floss and roasted chestnuts!!Terribly British, I was expecting Mary Poppins to pop out at anytime and the horses to ride off over the country side! There was even gunshots in the distance from a ‘hunt’!!!
A delightful bike ride through the royal great park where Rodney and Bev live. We also popped into the Royal school where Bev is ‘Queen’ (principal). She also showed us the museum she has started in the school of all the priceless antiques that were almost thrown out!!!! Including gifts from Queen Mary for the children as souvenirs from her world travels!!! The long road is called the “The Long Walk” and links the Castle to the chapel where the Queen visits. The Chapel is in the Royal Lodge where Prince Andrew lives. We saw Princess Beatrice out for a run!!!!
We all did the London Dungeon. No photos sorry but rather gross and scary. There was a ‘fear’ bit of squealing, especially on the water ride, the leeches and the hanging!!!

15 December 2017

So good to catch up with Martin. He hung with us for the day
After a delicious meal at TGI Friday we were recovered enough for some shopping at Hamleys and Harrods. Rose add photos of your milk shake! Check out the stunning lights! Hamleys was awesome. Lily-Rose made a super cute Build-a-Bear and we wandered through at 7 floors of you delight! Harrods was a glittering experience and wow what horrific prices! Viki bought a cute teddy bear and ate the best ice cream sundae EVER!!
Tate Modern Art Gallery. Lily-Rose was in her happy place. Art by Picasso, Matisse, Monet among others
A chilly but fabulous day. We bought tickets for the Original Bus Tour, which was a great way to see London and learn a bit! We saw Buckingham Palace but the Queen was busy, disappointing, then off to Westminster Abbey, so incredible so walk where royalty and historical hero’s have been or now lie in peace. Parliament House with its gothic designs is so stunning, Big Ben is a bit disappointing as it is being restored. Red phone box’s always cool and fearless London pigeons are everywhere. We were turned away at the Tower of London which would have been nice a few hundred years ago but a bit annoying today! We were too late. So a lovely river cruise along the Thames to the London Eye, intense security and stunning views of a brightly lit London. Then two very tired girls home to bed. Btw it is freezing

14 December 2017

London day one: part one Phew, completely insane
London day one: part 2 The pigeons are so fearless here

13 December 2017

Freezing but hella cute ❄️🏙👑
Windsor, England. Statue of Queen Victoria Windsor Castle The Queen train with our awesome host, Rodney. Lily-Rose with her authentic half pint of local ale to wash down her fish and chips with mushie peas! My beef and ale pie with mushie peas and Spiced Cider. Sun setting at 3:45 pm!! Some great purchases , including proper warm coats!!
Safe and sound at Rodney and Bev’s lovely home in Windsor! Very tired but happy
Bangkok to Frankfurt 12 hours Frankfurt 1 hour lay over, needed a train to get to the gate! Frankfurt to London 2 hours Passport control 1 hour!!!

12 December 2017

Unicorn cafe! Joy, sparkles and rainbows!!!

12 December 2017

Unicorn cafe ftw 🦄🦄 Then back to the hotel via a tuktuk on which we nearly died!!!
Loved seeing the city and culture on our ‘south east’ tour 🌆
The Temples were stunning! So much Gold! The sitting Buddha is 5 tonnes of gold!!! It made me so grateful to be a Christian, nothing to pay, no place to go, no gifts to give. We live in such freedom in Christ. At one place where you could buy things to give Buddha there was even an atm machine, invade you didn’t have enough $$. Thank you Jesus.
A delightful Thai massage. $16 for an hour! Then a rather risky moped taxi ride. We nearly died several time and then we were told that they aren’t really for tourists!! Oops. It was exhilarating
Traffic is crazy!! Check out the main transportation of general goods! And then general traffic! So many mopeds
After an early wake up call, we headed off for a refreshing swim, followed by breakfast. Rosie tried a breakfast soup!! We were refreshed and ready for a full Bangkok adventure.

11 December 2017

We are safe and sound in Bangkok. Very tired but happy to hop off the plane! The Indra Regent Hotel is super welcoming and very nice!
And we are off! So many movies and games!!! Rosie has the window seat and we have one other person in our row. All very civilised!