Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Travelling through the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

24 Sep

Did you know that Jordan is actually located on the continent of Asia? We officially crossed from Africa into Asia as we travelled into the Sinai Peninsula (located in Egypt) as part of our tour. We spent a total of five days in Jordan, but despite the short amount of time we were there, we saw the lion’s share. Take a look…

{We spent two hours getting from Taba in Egypt to Jordan overland via Israel. Customs were nice enough but we had to be careful not to get any Israeli stamps in our passports (no offence Israel). Thankfully we had no problems getting into Dubai (our next stopover on the way home), even though we had an exit stamp showing we left Taba}

 

{Just east of Aqaba is Wadi Rum, known for Lawrence of Arabia. We took jeeps through the desert, went rock climbing to watch the sunset and camped under the stars. The desert is so peaceful, quiet and beautifully still. It’s a pity we only had one night here}

 

{You would know the ancient city of Petra from this photo alone (the first pic below). Known as the Treasury, it was carved out of the rock face from the top down. We literally spent hours at Petra, including walking the 900 steps up to the monastery, a similar structure to the Treasury. It took us over two hours to walk from the monastery to the entry/exit point, so it gives you an idea of how massive this historic site actually is}

 

{There is nowhere quite like the Dead Sea. (It’s actually a lake) and is the lowest point on land at over 400m below sea level. The almost 35% salt content means that you float, no matter what! The Dead Sea is quite deep at over 300m at its deepest and borders Israel and Jordan. It’s surreal to feel so buoyant in the water.}

 

{One of the best vantage points to see Jordan is from the top of Mount Nebo, the place where Moses saw the Holy Land looking out to Israel. There is also a church and a monastery at the top, unfortunately both of which were being renovated when we visited. This sign (shown in the first pic below) shows the distances to the Dead Sea, Jerusalem and Bethlehem}

An Egyptian holiday

11 Sep

Egypt is one of those mysterious countries that a lot of people dream to visit. With an ancient history that Egyptologists are still only speculative of, there are many treasures Egypt has to offer. While making our way home to Australia, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to drop in – it was on our way after all – so we too could experience what every visitor raves about.

Taking on a 16-day tour (also including five days in Jordan, a neighbouring country) we were taken around Egypt to visit the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Sphnix, Hurghada and Dahab on the Red Sea, Luxor Valley of the Kings and Karnak Temple, Aswan, Abu Simble temple and many more historic sites, tombs and temples in between. But we’ll focus on our favourite Egyptian experiences we were lucky enough to have while here:

Relaxed Dahab
Starting with Dahab, probably our most favourite city in the whole of Egypt! It has a small beach-town feel (probably because that’s exactly what is it), super-sweet locals and the draw-card for all tourists, the blue-blue waters of the Gulf of Aqaba (part of the Red Sea). We spent our full day in Dahab snorkelling the infamous Blue Hole dive spot. It is exactly that – a 130m-deep hole in the ocean that is about 22m across with coral walls and an abundance of colourful fish. We began snorkelling at a chasm which drops to blue nothingness in a matter of meters from the beach. The visibility is amazing. We could see about 15m below and around us while we slowly snorkelled our way down the beach until we reached the Blue Hole itself. It was spectacular, although Matt has said that it has nothing on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef – our next snorkelling trip for sure!

From the crystal clear ocean to the desert, which we drove Quad bikes through for a couple of hours, becoming dusty versions of ourselves by the time we arrived at our starting point back in Dahab. But we were soon refreshed again for our second night along the main strip, a colourful street full of restaurants, cafes and shops. With ‘mates rates’ including massive portions, free starters (a main meal in themselves), dessert and shisha (that sweet-smelling and tasting tobacco from a water pipe), we enjoyed the good life in the restaurants of this small town. Our time in Dahab came to an end all too soon!

Felucca’ing
The one thing you have to do when in Egypt is a sail on the Nile in a traditional sail boat, the felucca! This experience is either a must-do or must-don’t for pretty much all visitors to Egypt. There is one reason why people don’t – the simplicity of the feluccas means no amenities or toilets. But we loved it. Spending two nights aboard the felucca is an amazing way to relax, something we certainly needed after two super early mornings travelling to Abu Simble temple and hot air ballooning over the Valley of the Kings two consecutive days previously. With nothing else to do but to read, snooze, swim or chat to our fellow felucca-goers, our day on the Nile was one of the best days we spent during our whole time in Egypt.

Fit for a King
Valley of the Kings was another highlight for us.  It is a historic sight is Egypt that is packed with the tombs of nobles and Pharaohs, including King Tutankamun. The temples are brilliantly preserved – hieroglyphics and original colours adorn the temple walls. It’s incredible to see the tombs as they were (although without the treasures) when they were used to mummify the Pharaohs after their death and to send them on to the afterlife, which the Ancient Egyptians passionately believed in.

It’s one of the most interesting sights in Egypt, but with it come vendors…. lots of them! In fact, we came into contact with vendors at all the Egyptian sights offering us camels (for a wife), ‘good prices’ and ‘free to looks’. They love bargaining, now as much as ever since tourism has dropped a massive 95 percent since the revolution began in early 2011. They are screaming for tourists, and we wholly encourage you to go! It’s not only a safe, but an incredible country to visit.

The Great Pyramids of Giza
Why come all the way to Egypt and not see the pyramids?! Yes, crazy people do do this! It’s like going to a water park but not enjoying the rides. What can we say about the pyramids anyway… they are awe-inspiring and it’s quite surreal to see and touch them when after seeing them in movies, in documentaries and in books. Go see them… they are cool!

After Egypt…
After Egypt comes Jordan… so stay tuned for the next blog!

Italy at its best

10 Sep

It seems like a lifetime ago that we were in Italy. In fact, it was only 17 days ago when we left and we’ve done so much since. Italy is one of those countries that I don’t think anyone could get sick of. We did a whirlwind tour of three weeks, covering the major bits of the country. Here’s out whirlwind blog to match:

All Roads Lead to Rome
We started in Rome, arriving from Dubrovnik. We did what anyone would do when they first arrive to Italy and set out to experience the best of everything, namely espresso, pizza and gelato (like Caffe Sant’ Eustahio, pizzeria ai Marmi and San Crispino for those who want to try!) We took in all of the sites like the Trevi Fountain (one of our most favourites), the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, Capitaline Museum, the Vatican and beautiful piazza after beautiful piazza all over the city. Rome is also full of fountains spewing out water that is as chilled as if it was straight out of the fridge, the perfect way to splash your hands and feet to cool off. We also took a day trip further south of the city to Naples and Pompeii; and Rome was where we started at least one pizza or pasta dish every day (a good idea at the time!)

Beautiful Florence
Reluctantly leaving the epic city of Rome, we then took a slow train up to Florence and based ourselves there for seven days while we travelled out to the rest of Tuscany. We explored Siena, Lucca and Pisa and of course the city of Florence itself, not only on foot but also by Fiat 500 (complete with wine, olive oil tasting and delicious Tuscan food). We also got our hands stuck in and covered in flour during a pasta making course (we have recipes to test on you all back home – look out!), shopped for leather, saw David, the Uffizi and Pont Vecchio and most importantly, set our eyes on what has to be one of the most beautiful landscapes anywhere… the Tuscan countryside with its patchwork of wheat fields, olive trees and vineyards, rolling hills and medieval villages dotted in between. Oh, and one pasta or pizza dish a day… still going strong!

Bella Ragu and Ferrari’s
Next up, we dropped by the city of Bologna for a couple of nights. We were there for two things – so Matt could drive a Ferrari and so we could all sample the deliciousness that is Ragu pasta (or Bolognese) in the town where it was invented. Delicious? Yes! Fresh? Oh yes! Fulfilling? 100 percent! Dare we say it, but it was probably the most delicious Bolognese we’ve tasted (although we’ll give it a good go following our pasta making course!) While Matt spent our only full day there speeding along the highways of Maranello (a town close to Bologna and the home of Ferrari) in a Ferrari F430 Spyder at 160km, Steve and I took a leisurely bike ride at, I would say, 5km tops around the quiet city of Bologna.

Venezia
Yet another train and we arrive in Venice. Ahhh Venice… what can we say about it? It’s a city you could visit again and again. It’s romantic, fun, beautiful, historic and just lovely. We spent four days wandering around the narrow pedestrian streets, over sweet little bridges that cross over canals with passing gondolas and their gondoliers crooning sweet Italian songs. It’s a place where you come to get lost – trying to work out the labyrinth of narrow streets on a map is too time consuming – and to soak up the beautiful atmosphere of Piazza San Marco, the epicentre of the ‘floating’ city. It’s a place to take your time, stop for a canal-side antipasto picnic and watch the world go by, which we did most days. And lastly, pizza or pasta a day… starting to wane… a lot!

Milan and Eloping in the Cinque Terre
The end of our time in Italy was the beginning of a very special time for two very special friends. We made a beeline for Milan, not only to shop and enjoy some much-needed down time, but to meet up with Noni and Gez. They were sorting papers for their wedding ceremony in Riomaggiore, one of the five villages of the Cinque Terre, a few days later. We were there as witnesses to this very special moment in their lives.

The cliff-side villages of the Cinque Terre (literally five towns) make a perfect setting for an eloping couple. The special day arrived and after the bride and groom took their separate ways to get ready, they met at the beginning of Via dell’Amore (lovers lane), a 1km walkway along the cliffs which connects the towns of Manarola and Riomaggiore. The day was scorching, but it didn’t stop the fun as Noni and Gez said ‘I Do’ with the colourful town of Riomaggiore as a backdrop. After their Italian ceremony and photoshoot, we slowly made our way back to Manarola for swimming. A celebratory dinner that night was back in Riomaggiore at La Pie Del Ma with a five-course seafood meal that was more than mouth-watering. We were completely honoured to be part of their day and what made such a beautiful ending to our time in Europe.

Leaving Europe
A day after the wedding, we bid farewell to the newly married couple and took the long journey back to Milan and out to Malpensa Airport for the night. We had a next-day flight which would take us to Cairo, via Athens, and what would be our very last take-off out of Europe for some time. Italy had been amazing to us but it was time to inch closer to Australia. Next stop: Egypt.

Croatia – from Zagreb to Dubrovnik

1 Aug

We’ve just left Croatia, an arid but beautiful country along the Adriatic Sea. It is a country we spent 15 days in, soaking up plenty of sun rays, getting in lots of swims in the cool sea and where we certainly made the most of Croatia’s cafe culture, enjoying the fruits of the country like it’s delicious golden olive oil, refreshing beer and wine.

Zagreb
We began by arriving in Zagreb for a night, the capital in the north. We arrived there from Slovenia and it was the first time we had to produce our passports at the border since arriving in Paris a month ago. Zagreb was simply a stopover town for us. We ended up with a few days to spare before we planned to meet Steve in Split (further south along the coast) so we decided to hire a car in Zagreb and head to the Plitvice Lakes following a recommendation by the friendly hostel owner way back in Poland.

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Most famous of the National Park is an area of 16 lakes, all connected by cascading waterfalls. It’s very lush and we spent two days walking around the blue waters and up into the forest surrounding them. Like Lake Bled in Slovenia, it was a nice change to the cities we had spent most of our time in at the beginning of our trip.

Coastal Croatia
After Plitvice, we drove west to the sea. Just before we hit the coastal village of Karlobag, the sea came into view after plenty of winding through the mountains. We were finally there – a much welcomed sight after many hot days… We would soon take our first dip in the clear Adriatic Sea! We drove the rest of the day down to Split, following the coastline the whole way. It was beautiful to drive mere meters away from the sea, only occasionally the road would lead us inland and we would come face to face with the desolate landscape once again.

We finally hit Trogir, an ancient fishing village a few kilometres from Split. We spent the night there – dinner was thanks to the fresh food markets there, while we strolled around the Old Town and along the marina in this busy little town. The weather was amazingly refreshing with a sea breeze, a change from the constant heat we had been travelling through. Perhaps this is making up for the endless overcast days we spent in the UK!

Split!
Only 10 minutes from Trogir is Split airport, where we met Steve the following day. A familiar face makes its way to us through the crowds and its the first time I set eyes on my little brother in two years! We spent the rest of the day catching up at a cafe along the Split promenade, drinking ice coffee and eating cool cream cakes, similar to vanilla slice back home (delicious!) We spent the next two days swimming in the sea, drinking cocktails and, when we felt motivated enough, made the short trip inland to the old Roman city of Salona. We spent an hour or so wandering around the olive groves that now grow there amongst the ruins.

Split’s Diocletian Palace, which forms the Old Town today, is stunning and we spent our nights soaking up the atmosphere at the bars there and along the promenade. The town is quite beautiful, especially when a night-time storm would roll in and we would sit along the marina watching the lightning over the mountains behind the town, cooling things off before a massive downpour of rain.

Hvar
Following three days in Split, we made the quick catamaran trip to Hvar, one of Croatia’s thousand islands. It is known as the lavender island for its lavender fields, which are harvested in June. On our first full day on the island we came across lavender growing while driving around in an old convertible VW Beatle. We could scent the aroma of lavender in the air as we drove along the easterly part of the island. The island also grows and produces olive oil and plenty of wine, which we eagerly sampled and bought bottles of. Sightseeing from our bright green Beatle was a nice way to see more of the island.

Korcula
After more days of swimming, lounging on sunbeds and generally soaking up the island lifestyle, we caught another catamaran to the island of Korcula. The town of Korcula sits at the tip of the island and there are marble streets and staircases which make their way up to the church which sits pretty much in the centre. Many restaurants and bars are located along one side of the town which overlooks the sea, looking south to Italy. Again, we are met with beautiful clear seas surrounding the island. There are hardly any sand beaches in Croatia, so swimmers spend their time lounging on the rocks, diving straight in almost from where they lay as the water is deep enough close to the rocky shores. Just a short way out, we are unable to touch the bottom of the sea bed as we take a dip to refresh ourselves most days.

Dubrovnik
Only a night and a day in Korcula and we are then on a bus to Dubrovnik, the gem at the bottom of Croatia. It is part of the mainland but is separated from the rest of Croatia as the Bosnia and Herzegovina border splits mainland Croatia in two. Dubrovnik is indeed everything you hear it to be – an ancient walled city (about 56 per cent is now reconstructed due to the Homeland War with former Yugoslavia which began some 20 years ago), which wraps itself around a sea of terracotta roofs and marble streets. Outside of that is the clear Adriatic Sea, just beautiful, cool and refreshing, as it has been our whole trip along the coast of Croatia.

There is a lot to see in Dubrovnik, like a walk around the almost 2km of thick walls that surround the city. It’s hot and thirsty work in the plus-30 degree heat but the rewards in terms of the views is amazing. All we see is the complex labyrinth of terracotta rooftops beneath us contrasting with the blue Adriatic Sea. The Old Town itself is full of bars, restaurants and cafes, there is a beach a few minutes walk outside the city walls and a cable car zooms visitors to the top of the mountain which overlooks the city, offering some great panoramic views. We took the trip up to see  the setting sun over the sea and some of Croatia’s other islands north of Dubrovnik on our last night in the city.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Dubrovnik is also close to bordering countries Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. We took a day trip to Mostar, a small town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s the hottest city in Europe and we were met with 45 degree heat. We were sweating the whole time we were wandering around the streets… But it was worth it to see Mostar’s famous Stari Most (Old Bridge) which connects the two sides of the city over the river Neretva. The bridge stood for 500 years before it was destroyed in 1993 by The Homeland War with former Yugoslavia. The bridge is also famous for its ‘jumpers’, local men who jump the 25 meters into the river below. For 25 Euros, we could have jumped too. But the river below is incredibly fast-moving and actually quite freezing… It rarely gets over 10 degrees. It’s true… We went for a paddle and it felt like ice against our hot skin, although it was amazingly refreshing.

Moving on…
We’re now in Rome and our romp around Italy begins. It’s time for pizza, pasta, wine and gelato for the next month! Caio!

Lake Bled in photographs

19 Jul

Lake Bled. I’m not sure the photos do this place justice… you might have to make the judgement for yourself.

{Bled Church, on the mainland}

{Bled Castle with Bled Church before a mighty storm}

{The green behind Lake Bled. This place is surrounded by mountains}

{Gondalas take people from the shore to the Church Island. You can also row yourself there}

{This has got to be the best view of the island. This is from Bled Castle}

The green side of Europe

17 Jul

The train is waiting at the platform at Murska Sobota, a town just inside the Slovenian-Hungarian border. It’s raining slightly and the platform is wet. Waiting passengers are sheltering underneath their umbrellas. We notice this as our train has been stopped to change engines, yet again. For the last six hours, we’ve been travelling and changing engines through Hungary and have finally crossed the border into Slovenia, our next destination. We’ll be in Ljubljana, the capital, by 9pm.

Slightly exasperated by the cities we’ve been to, what with their market squares, Old Towns, endless churches and cathedrals in their baroque, neo-Gothic or eclectic styles, winding streets leading to medieval castles and historic Jewish quarters, although so beautiful, it’s time we see a little ‘green’, get out of the hustle and bustle and get lost in nature. Well, for a little bit at least.

Not long after entering Slovenia, our train is winding through lush evergreen forests and past the occasional corn crop and hill-side village with alpine-style houses, reminiscent of Switzerland. Slovenia presents us with a landscape that is quite different from Hungary, which is mostly flat with little vegetation. As we delve deeper still into the country, the hills become pine-covered mountains and churches perch high on top of them. This is just the kind of landscape Europe is famous for.

Before we head to Lake Bled, we took the opportunity to stroll around Ljubljana’s Old Town (yes another one) and up to the castle (yet again) which overlooks the city. Although this is yet another Central European town, Ljubljana feels different from Prague, Krakow and Budapest. It has a more local feel where you can actually see actual locals milling about doing their food shop at the local market and hanging about in the river-side cafes, having Saturday morning breakfast. We gladly join them in these activities. Lake Bled itself is beautiful, a meer hour and a half long bus journey from Ljubljana. The lake is an amazing cerulean colour, clear enough to see the lake bed near the edges of the shore. As we look to the clear blue water, there are high mountains in the background and a solitary church sits on the lake island. It’s a stunning sight, almost unreal and so so green.

It’s so green, we conclude, from the amount of rain this country must receive. We get caught in a storm late the first night we are there and it doesn’t stop storming until the afternoon the following day. We finally emerge from our apartment (not just a room but a whole apartment!) and climb the hill to the top of Bled Castle. The views are amazing – definitely worth the €8 to enter through the gates. From here the sheer cliff face drops away to reveal the lake it its entirety and you can view the church island as an actual island. No wonder people visit this tiny, alpine village in droves. This is the stuff postcards are made of.

But we can’t linger here long. We’re catching a bus to yet another country, one of Slovenia’s next door neighbours, Croatia. It is almost time to see the beach!

Now this is a holiday…

9 Jul

As I lounge at the hostel, book in hand and coffee at my side, I feel completely and utterly relaxed. Matt looks content too, watching an episode of Top Gear on the laptop. We’re refuelling after a day in the sun. Later we will go to the pub and perhaps take another stroll around Krakow’s massive and picturesque market square. Or maybe we will get delicious lody (ice cream) or stay in and play a game of pool at the hostel bar. This is the extent of our decision-making at the moment and its so refreshing, a massive change from the numerous weekend breaks we spent in Europe over the last couple of years, hastily cramming in as much as we could see in a spare couple of days. Now as we make our way through Europe at a much slower pace, we feel like we could travel like this forever.

Following a visit to Disneyland for my birthday, of which was even done at an extremely slow pace, we made our way to Prague in Czech Republic. It is a city of beautiful architecture, churches and synagogues, an impressive castle (not to mention the biggest in the whole world in terms of the entire complex size) and tasty food and refreshing beer. The heat completely encapsulated us as we spent a few blissful days filled with sightseeing and eating and drinking in the culture. We’re now in Krakow, Poland. Similar to Prague but with much more impressive and untouched beauty, Krakow features a grand market square – another biggest in Europe (it is 200m square). It is surrounded by cafes and restaurants, St Mary’s Cathedral, the Town Hall Tower and right in the middle, the Cloth Hall. In the town, there is also a castle, a grungy but very fashionable Jewish quarter and medieval streets and buildings. It also has an unbelievable history and a visit to Auschwitz will leave you with chills after learning about the genocide that occurred here. It’s a city which is first on so many travellers lists and for good reason.

Unfortunately and as much as we would love to, we cannot stay in Krakow forever. Budapest, Hungary is in our sights which we will welcome on Wednesday. For now, we have much more laying back to do, so if you’ll excuse us, we think a beer is calling.

The luxuries of hostel travelling

5 Jul

I’m standing in the small common room that has a table, a couch, a fridge and kitchen facilities. I’m staring into space as I hold down the lever mechanism on the side of the toaster that is meant to click in place to hold down the bread and which ignites the grill on either side, in turn creating toast. I am the replacement ‘click’, standing here, toasting bread for my husband and I. Every now and then, I release the lever to check on the progress of our toast. It’s taking a while…

Matt is sitting at the table in the same common room next to a guy who has cooked couscous and is stuffing it into a water bottle with a teaspoon. He then proceeds to add chopped capsicum and something else which resembles cheese. I guess he is trying to stretch his lunch budget. Right next to where I am standing, still toasting our bread, is one of two bathrooms in the entire hostel. There is a line up to use it, as there is with the one upstairs. They will quickly discover there is limited hot water…

Enter the British girls I share a room with. They have just finished their A Levels (the equivalent of QCS in Queensland) and are travelling around Europe to celebrate. They are bright-eyed and excitable for 10am. They are lovely girls. Matt stayed in the room next door last night and tells me that he tossed and turned on account of the heat so he hasn’t had much sleep. The pedestal fan in his room was hogged by an Australian couple. The other fan in the room failed to work. The still of the night dragged on for him…

This is hostelling as we know it. Our hostel tucked away behind a wooden gate on a small sidestreet in Prague is not unlike other hostels we’ve stayed in. Yes, they all vary to a degree, but essentially, they do what they say on the box… it’s a cheap place to lay your head. This morning Matt asked me if I think we’re getting ‘too old’ to be staying in hostels. He’s 26, going on 27 in November. This begs me to ask the question… how old is too old to stay in a hostel? Even now as I write this blog, there are nine people in the very small common room slash kitchen slash living room slash dining room with us, all most likely not over the age of 22… well, apart from Matt and I. They are nice enough, talking about their studies, their crushes on the character Harry Potter (no, not Daniel Radcliffe, the actual Harry Potter). But they come from a different generation.

As we make our way through Central Europe, will we encounter the same demographic of hostellees? Will we stay in the same room as girls and guys who have crushes on movie characters and not the character’s real-life persona? I think you know the answer. So do we. Still, we cannot deny the fact that hostelling pushes you outside your comfort zone. It pushes you face to face with some of the most interesting, albeit lovely, people. It allows us a cheap place to sleep after a day of exploring a new city, something we’ve relied so heavily on while were using London as a base to travel. It allows you to feel at home by cooking your own breakfast. It allows us to say: “Do you remember that awful/nasty/surprisingly good value-had-everything-we-needed-and-was-an-awesome-place-to-stay hostel?” “Ah… yes, I remember it well.” I’m sure that as we travel further into Europe, our list of interesting – good and some not-so-good – hostel experiences will grow. I do mean it when I say, it’s going to be a fun-filled three months.

Saying farewell…

1 Jul

I’m really stuck for words. I can’t think of what to write as I pen the last blog that will ever be penned from our modest room, in our modest house on Scawen Road in London. The radio silence on our blog recently might indicate how reluctant we are to actually say the one word that we have had to say to so many people…  goodbye.

How do we say goodbye to the close friends we have made who, after we leave, we honestly cannot say when we will physically see them again? How do we say goodbye to our housemates who have become our confidents after many frustrating days at the office, and who we have shared many a drink and laugh with while cooking dinner? How do we say goodbye to the work colleagues who have become close friends themselves and who have helped to shape our future careers? How do we say goodbye to the London that has become our home for the last 723 days no matter how frustrating it can be to actually live here? There is no easy answer to these questions except that it just has to be done, like ripping off a plaster, swiftly so as to not cause too much pain.

Saying farewell to our life in London is difficult enough, but we are blessed that we can soften the blow with our next adventure all of which begins for us very early tomorrow morning. We will leave life as we know it to make the slow trek back to the shores of Queensland, back to our families and friends, back to Toowoomba and back to our Australian lifestyle.

We will be forever grateful for the experiences, friendships, tears and laughter that London has given to us. Thanks a million… we’ll see you at some point in the future we’re sure.

My mum is sunshine

27 May

Its typical… the day following mum’s departure from London, the temperature in the city reached into the high twenties. Its been sunny and lovely ever since. But despite the weather turning nice the moment mum stepped onto the plane, London seemed sunnier when she was here even though it was grey and murky in reality.

We certainly made the most of her time here, packing in six days of sightseeing in London; three days in Edinburgh and three in Vienna and sent her away on three day trips to Stonehenge, Bath, Paris, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and a couple of villages in the Cotswolds. Her almost three weeks of visiting us went by in a flash, but we overly enjoyed showing her the places we work, where we live and our favourite sights of the city. We took her to the places we had been to over and over and still love to visit in London, we took her to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, swept her off to The Dome in Edinburgh to meet our Scottish cousins (and took her walking around the streets in the freezing weather!) and traipsed around parks, gardens, cobble stoned streets, shopping areas and (I’m sure her favourite!) down into the tube and onto red double-decker buses. In her own words, we “walked [her] feet off!”

But really, it wasn’t all the fabulous sights or proximity to Europe that mum had come over for. Before she arrived I asked her countless times: “What do you want to see?”, only for mum to reply: “You two”. Mum flew – in her first oversees trip – all of 25 hours just to see us (I’m sure the sights of Europe were a bonus though). And then she flew the 25 hours back and that’s not adding on the road trip to Toowoomba before returning to Brisbane to fly back to Mount Isa. And then, finally, the six-hour drive back to the station after all of that. That’s a lot of travelling, but she did it simply to see us. We were so lucky that she was able to visit us all the way over on the opposite side of the globe, just to bring that warm sunshine that only mothers seem to radiate. She brought warmth to the UK for a few weeks and I know that there will be plenty of sunshine waiting for us when we return back home. Thanks mum xx

today was meaningful

thoughts, life lessons, and days full of meaning.

Liv Hambrett

I write about Germany + Culture + Motherhood + the Meaning of Home

I am the world's oyster

Photography, Aviation, Nature, Culture, Nikon, Canon, Qantas, Airlines, Emirates, Airports, A380, 747

LN|Knits

Love for hand-knitted & -crocheted beauty. Proud designer & founder of LN|Beanies and LN|Andes, my two knit brands, my two loves.

...our traveling without moving!...

Not just another WordPress.com site!

w a n d e r l u s t .

it courses through my veins

willshegetaway

The ramblings of a girl chasing her dream

mmeblog

Our London come Toowoomba Life

%d bloggers like this: