Monday, 28 November 2016

Europe Trip 🐢 #2 Vienna

There are no kangaroos in Austria. Just in case you were wondering...

We are staying in a nice AirBnb flat in Vienna which is not far from a train station. I think our favourite feature is the heated floor in the bathroom! We've explored the city, toured Schönbrunn Palace, had a horse and carriage ride around the city centre (very touristy, but quite fun), attended a Mozart and Strauss concert (for which we feared we had been scammed since we bought the tickets from a street vendor...but it all ended up being wonderful), explored caves (where scenes from the Disney version of 'The Three Musketeers' were filmed), toured a castle built in the 12th Century, wandered Christmas markets and eaten some very good food!

We didn't have many fixed plans before coming to Vienna, so have had fun making it up as we go along! Because it gets dark so early, we have been going to bed quite early, which means waking up early, so we're out and about just as things are opening. Sadly, my German skills are lacking and I've forgotten a lot, but we are managing and have only got slightly lost a couple of times. The weather has been fairly mild, although overcast, the last few days, but the forecast tomorrow has a high of 2 degrees C which is perfect hot chocolate and gingerbread weather!

Europe Trip 🐢 #1 London

The trip began a week ago with a reunion at Heathrow Airport quite early in the morning. Two very weary travellers finally emerged through the arrivals gate and I think we were all a little emotional at seeing each other again!

Their first experience of London was the Tube from the airport to the hostel, and after hot showers and breakfast, we descended upon London. Our first stop was the zoo (with the chief ambition of finding the Winnie the Pooh statue). We also compared our hand sizes to those of a gorilla, marvelled at many creatures great and small and were somewhat amused by the Australian ibis enclosure (considering they are regarded as a pest in Australia!). I was rather proud of myself that, as a vegetarian, I could select a burger restaurant for lunch that satisfied all three of us and our taste buds! In the words of one burger connoisseur with whom I am traveling "I think that was pretty much the best burger I've ever had".

After lunch we went to the Natural History Museum, where we saw all the same animals we had seen that morning at the zoo, however this time they were stuffed! However, we were able to put our newly acquired zoological knowledge to the test and identify a few of the animals we saw! I can now distinguish between African and Asian elephants, however I've forgotten all the other facts I learned.

Day two was a whirlwind tour of London after a delicious English breakfast. We covered almost all of Zone 1, from Westminster to Tower Bridge and most of what is in between. We walked along Southbank, went over the top of Tower Bridge, climbed the 311 steps to the top of the Monument (memorial of the Great Fire of 1666). We went to Leadenhall Market, had lunch at the Borough Market, went past St Paul's Cathedral and stopped in front of Buckingham Palace.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Blog Revival

After almost 18 months of inactivity, it's time to revive this blog as there are more adventures forthcoming (and this way I don't have to spam people's Facebook news feeds).

I am about to commence almost 7 weeks of travel in a whirlwind trip through Europe accompanied by two people I've not seen in almost two years, my siblings. As I write they are in the air somewhere over India (yes, I'm tracking their flight...don't judge me!). The plan is to get reacquainted with each other whilst making some memories together exploring Europe, before returning to Australia together. They have said that the only reason they're coming this far is to make sure I actually get on a plane to Australia at the end of this...but I'm hoping to convince them that there are enough wonderful things to see in Europe that it's worth coming regardless!

Our rough itinerary includes a start in London, and then Austria, Germany, Italy and then a driving tour of England and Scotland. Depending upon our internet access, I'll try to post some photos and any good stories from our travels here so that you can join us on the adventure.

In the meantime, I have a sparkly sign, fresh brownies and a jar of Nutella ready to welcome them with. I'm hoping the cold isn't too much of a shock to the system for them and that jet lag doesn't hit too badly.

Welcome aboard for this next adventure-thanks for coming along for the ride!