Wednesday, March 31, 2010

London Apartment
Our Apartment Building in Paris

Parking Paris Style

We left our apartment in Paris, after having some difficulty getting a Taxi, and headed for Gare du Norde (railway station), luckily we had allowed plenty of time as the traffic was incredible. We checked through Customs and waited for the Eurostar. The Eurostar train trip was fantastic - fast, quiet and comfortable. Soon after leaving the station the hostess arrived with champagne, followed by lunch, which was 3 courses and red wine, so glad we booked 1st Class. We spent the whole journey talking to a lovely couple from London, who gave us many suggestions of where to go, some of which were already on our list. We then caught a London Taxi, like you see on TV, to our apartment. The apartment is great, the best yet, fully self contained and well appointed. (the washing machine is going at the moment), while we have French cheese, biscuits and red wine all personally imported from France - life's tough.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This morning John let me sleep in, so we didn't leave the apartment until 10am. We walked down to the Moulin Rouge and caught the bus the the Sacré Coeur at Montmartre, where we had a ride on the Carousel. John climbed the many stairs to go inside the Sacre Coeur, but there were too many for me, John was exhausted when he returned to street level. We then got back on the bus and returned to the city. The wether started to change for the worse, so we decided to do the cruise on the Seine River, (which we intended to do at night time). It was great to see Paris from another perspective. After this we went to Notre Dame, which was really amazing, we then had crepes for lunch, (at about 3pm)by which time it was really cold, windy and rainy. We got back on the bus, and headed for a Metro station to head for the apartment,via the supermarket and the local Patisserie.On arriving home I discovered my toe was very swollen, so we headed for the Pharmacy to ask about the location of a medical centre. The Pharmacist was lovely and suggested some special spray, and that if it's no better I should go to a Dr in London when we arrive tomorrow. We had dinner on the way home at the little Italian Restaurant, which was great.

Monday, March 29, 2010

After a good nights sleep, we left our apartment at Montmartre and caught the Metro train from La Fourch to Champs-Elysees to the Louvre. Oh my god, I never imagined that the Louvre was so big. We saw many amazing sculptures and paintings, including the Mona Lisa, which I was able to take a photo of. It is such an amazing place. It would take weeks to see the whole thing properly. We then did the "Hop-on-Hop-Off tour, or at least part of it..our ticket lasts for 2 days, so we will do more tomorrow. Today we went past the Eiffel Tour, Arc De Triomphe, Champs Elyees to name a few. Tonight we are going to the Moulin Rouge. We are staying about 10 mins walk away from it. On our way home this afternoon we went into a small bakery and bought some bread, salads, quiches for dinner and also some croissants for tomorrows breakfast. I am struggling a bit, as someone trod on my toe at the Vatican, it is very sore and swollen, and it looks like I will loose my toe nail, we actually think it might be broken. If its no better in the morning we will go to a Medical Centre. Well time to go now and get ready for the Moulin Rouge. I'm back again...Moulin Rouge was fantastic, we sat beside a young couple from Austria, who were great to talk to.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

We left our apartment in Rome today, at what we thought was 10am, only to find out quite by accident that daylight saving started last night and it was really 11am. Thankfully it wasn't yesterday, or we would have missed our Vatican Tour. The flight to Paris took about 2 hours, and again we were surprised as there was absolutely no Passports/Immigration checks at all. We caught the train from the airport to Gare de Nord, train was fine, but station location makes Redfern look classy. Our apartment in Montmartre is great, not far from the Moulin Rouge. We didn't arrived at the apartment until nearly 8pm, so we decided to wander down the street for dinner. The first restaurant we came across was Italian, and as we couldn't walk any further, that is what we ate.

Today we did a tour of Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peters Basilica. I had booked our tickets over the internet weeks ago, thankfully. The line to buy tickets on the day would have been 1.5klms long, but prepaid ticket holders walked straight in. Vatican museums is part of the Vatican which has incredible art works, tapestries, sculptures, even the floors are works of art. Lots of stairs (lucky me!!!!)We were able to take photos until we got to the Sistine Chapel, where no photos are allowed....guess who took one (not me!!!). Its an amazing work of art, and is still regarded as a Holy Place, so it is expected that silence is observed, not easy with hundreds of people. We then went to the Sacred Grottoes, which is where the Popes are buried. This was really moving. People were laying flowers and praying where John Paul 2nd is buried. The Basilica itself is absolutely huge. Any of Australia's Cathedrals would fit into one section. we then went to the Vatican Post Office, where John sent himself a post card!!!We then headed into Rome to the Pantheon. It is one of the most incredible pieces of architecture ever built. One column alone weights 50tonnes. We had some interesting photos taken outside. we spent the remainder of the day wandering the back streets of Rome, and went home exhausted at about 9.30pm

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What an amazing day. After dropping our bags at the apartment we caught the train back into Central Rome. We had pizza and italian beer for lunch then walked to the Trevi Fountain. I had no idea that it was so big. We then did a 2 hour Hop-On-Hop Off Tour, which gave us an overview of all the main attractions. The atmosphere is incredible, everyone seems very friendly and helpful. We are overwelmed with the history of the place, everything is 2000 years old. TV/film doesn't prepare you for it!!!We came home exhausted as we had only had about 4 hours sleep on the flight. Today we are heading off to Vatican Museums/Sistene Chapel Tour and who knows where else

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday 25.3.10
Wow, we are in Rome.....Oh my god it's amazing, old, noisy and not very user friendly (hopefully this will improve).....Flight took just over 12 hours and was uneventful. We both managed to get a few hours sleep. Again we are amazed at how easy it is to get through customs...we just walked through in both Singapore and Rome. We caught the train from the Airport to city centre,( somewhat different to Singapore) and after walking and dragging luggage for what seemed to be klms to join the Metro Rail System,and after buying our tickets discovered that the only way on to the platform was via a very long staircase, so we made our way to street level and caught a cab. The taxi ride was incredible. On arrival at the apartment we booked, there seemed to be some confusion regarding our booking. What we were taken to, wasn't what we booked, and after a slightly animated discussion, we have the apartment we originally booked. We are staying right opposite the Vatican Wall.It is about midday here, and we have just made a cuppa, and then we will head back into town. We have already driven past St. Peter's and can't believe the queue for the Vatican tour.Thankfully I booked tickets, which apparently means we don't have to wait in line tomorrow

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday 25th March, 2010 6.30pm local time
Today after our sleep in, we caught the train into Singapore from Changi Airport. The rail system is really good, we didn't have any trouble at all....didn't get lost or anything!!!The shopping centres are amazing, and seem to go on forever. John spent up big, and bought a new watch, actually they were 2 for $ he got me one as well. It is very humid, as we expected. The Crowne Plaza stored our luggage while we went into town, and on our return we were able to shower, before coming to the airport for our flight to Rome. At the moment we are sitting at the Tiger Champions Bar, talking to a couple who live just near Banbury, which is one of the places we are going to stay.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hi everyone, We arrived in Singapore at 9.00pm Singapore Time (midnight AEDT). Flight was good, although some problems with onboard entertainment system. Can't believe how easy it was to get through customs. Our hotel Crown Plaza is actually attached to the airport terminal...very convenient..lovely room. Decided to have a drink after checking in at the bar.....No change from $45 for a beer and glass of bubbly, so decided to go the cheap option for breakfast (McDonalds) Had a sleep in, and have already check in for our flight to Rome tonight (at the hotel)which leaves at 1.00am. John is at the Visitors Centre finding out what to do today. Everyone seems very friendly.

Monday, March 22, 2010

We are in Sydney at Stephanie and Greg's in Eastwood. We left home at about 9.00am this morning, and got to Ingleburn to Frank and Nesta's at around 2.00 pm. I spent the time in the car writing our itinerary for the 3 girls. On arrival at Eastwood we checked in online for our flight on Wednesday, so now we actually know where we are sitting on the plane. I am trying to get an early night tonight, as the next few days are going to be very exciting.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Today my thoughts have been with my 3 girls, who are attending there grandfathers funeral in the Hunter Valley. I wish I could have been there for them at this sad time.......On a brighter note, our trip is getting really close..... today our horses were moved to Mel & Ja's at Chiltern. This weekend will be a busy one with final preparations before our trip.....We are looking forward to Mel, Ja and Brayden will be here tomorrow night to catch up before we leave, hopefully we will see Shelley, Jono and Harrison over the weekend as well....We are leaving here on Monday morning, heading to Sydney, where we will see John's Mum, Dad and sisters on Monday afternoon, then off to Eastwood to stay the night with Stephanie and Greg. Tuesday we will head off to Quakers Hill to see my Mum, and then stay with Jenn, Ted and Charlotte (otherwise known as "The Shocker") on Tuesday night (where I am sure I will be too excited to sleep). It is hard to believe that this time next week we will be in amazing is that

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Time seems to be going very quickly......less than 2 weeks and we will be in Singapore, on our way to Rome. Today we spent some time making the 3rd Bedroom ready for our House sitter, Dianne. We also started getting our clothes least thinking about it! Over drinkies tonight we booked our stay in Singapore for our way home.....we booked a "mystery stay" on and were very excited to find that we will be staying at a 5 star Hotel for 2 nights, called the Grand Copthorne Waterfront, which is on the riverfront in Singapore, and looks very luxurious, for a really great price, Should be a great way to end our once in a lifetime holiday.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Today our E-tickets finally arrived exciting. We are keeping an eye on the Euro and British pound exchange rates, both seem pretty good at present, hopefully they will stay that way. I think the only thing I have left to book now is the tour at the Vatican and the rest will just fall into place (we hope).