Scotland

It’s been over four weeks since we returned from Scotland so this blog is very overdue!

A photo of the William Wallace Monument

William Wallace
Monument

We spent our first day of our trip in Edinburgh. Because we were only spending one day in Edinburgh we thought it would be a good idea to do a bus tour. The bus tour took us to all the major sights including the Edinburgh castle. Edinburgh castle is located on top of a hill overlooking the whole city. Edinburgh is a very nice city, it has lots of monuments, cobble stone roads and old but nice looking buildings.

On our next day we started our 3 day tour. Our first stop on the tour was Sterling where we stopped to see the William Wallace monument. The monument is dedicated to William Wallace the main character in the Braveheart film. It’s placed on top of a hill so it gave us a good view of Sterling.

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Sunny Dubai

Madinat Souk
Madinat Souk

The weather in Dubai was great. Every morning we awoke to crystal clear blue skies. We saw most of the city while on a bus tour, which had two loops. They took us to both the new and old parts of Dubai that included the Dubai Museum, the Bastakia area, the Gold Souk, an area that has over 300 gold stores. I dragged Adrian from store to store looking at the vast array of gold jewellery and diamonds. I bought a white gold necklace for the pendant Adrian gave me for Christmas. We also visited the Souk Madinat Jumeriah which is a traditional souk with lots of different Arabic stores. Continue reading

It’s snowing

Snow

Snow

We woke up today nice and early (and excited because we’re flying to Dubai tonight) and I looked out the window to see if it was raining and was amazed to see everything covered in snow! It looked very pretty, our first snowfall for this winter! All the cars and trees in our street were covered in snow, unfortunately the snow wasn’t still falling, it would have been great to see falling snow. More snow is forecast for tonight so hopefully that doesn’t delay our flight out of London.

More snow

More snow
Snow again

Snow again

February is supposed to be the coldest month so no doubt there is still more snow to come.

Stay tuned for our update and photos from Dubai :)

New York

The first place we headed to when we arrived in New York was Times Square. It really lived up to our expectations, we literally just stood there for more than half an hour looking around, it was even better when we came back that night and all the lights were lit up, it really is pretty spectacular. The photos just don’t do it any justice compared to the real thing.

Times Square at Night

Times Square
at Night
Times Square

Times Square

We then thought we might do some shopping and we knew that Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue were big shopping streets. They definitely are the places to shop if you have lots of cash to spend! The shops along 5th Avenue included Chanel, Tiffany & Co, DKNY, Louis Vuitton, Gucci etc you name it, it was there! We walked around for quite awhile but realised that it wasn’t really our kind of shops and we needed to find another shopping area quick! We ended up finding some streets on our third day that were more catered to our price range in Soho and Greenwich Village, we wished we had found them sooner. Everything was so much cheaper compared to London, we shopped for a few hours each day but it would have been great to have spent a few more days in New York so we could have done lots more shopping!

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Jobs, houses etc (photos of our place at the bottom)

We’ve been in London now for 7 weeks but it feels like much longer than that! Looking for a place to live and a job was a bit annoying but now that we have both of those we have so much more to look forward too :)

I started a new job on Monday, working as a PA for 2 directors. Its an ongoing role so no more temping yay! I temped for the last 3 weeks at 2 different places and they were the most boring 3 weeks of my life!

Our Room

Our Room

We finally moved out of the dodgy place we stayed at for the last 6 weeks! It was so annoying staying there in a room with no TV, I missed TV! As well as sometimes having to have cold showers or walk to the other side of the place to look for a shower that has hot water! A girl we were talking to in the kitchen one night said she had a mouse in her room and she went to complain at reception and they just laughed at her. It was such a quality place! We seemed to have such bad luck with houses a lot of places we tried the room had either been taken or they didn’t want couples as well as some places we looked at were just crap! We moved into our place on Thursday which is great, our room is massive and the house has recently been refurbished so its all nice and modern with a great kitchen and bathroom which you don’t see too often in houses in London. We are living with a South African couple, a Aussie guy and a Kiwi chic, they all seem really nice which is a bonus. So it was a great week overall getting a new job and moving into a new place :) except now its starting to get cold and the days are grey and rainy, I’m not looking forward to winter at all!

We have booked a couple of trips, we’re going to New York in September and Barcelona in October. Adrian and Nat are also going to Copenhagen in September. We will hopefully do some weekend trips to places in the UK soon.

More photos of our place:
Kitchen
Bathroom
Court Yard
Ladder to Terrace
Terrace

Our day out in London (new photo album added)

London Eye

London Eye

The day started out really sunny and nice but an hour before we were to leave it started raining. We were a bit annoyed because we thought the cruise would be pretty horrible in the rain but pretty much as we were walking to the boat it cleared up and a bit of sunshine came out.

The cruise along the river Thames was very cool, there was a guy on board telling us what was what and some history about the buildings, and he was a bit of a comedian too. He talked about this architect that has designed numerous buildings around London his first one being the Millennium Bridge. The queen apparently opened this bridge and while she was walking along it started to wobble so much so that hey had to close it for 18 months while they stabilised it.

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Madrid

Park Retiro

Park Retiro
Madrid at Night

Madrid
at Night

Our hostel was located pretty much in the centre of Madrid so there were lots of places to eat and drink around us. The street our hostel was on is also the local hangout for prostitutes so it was interesting to watch them, they were mostly VERY unattractive! A lot of them were quite young as well which is a bit sad. We saw a few old men go up to them and negotiate a price and then walk towards an alley!

We were told by our guide on the bus on the way to Madrid that we had to go to dinner at this place close to the hostel that looked really expensive but was heaps cheap and the food was great. So we decided to check it out on our first night and it was great! It was so good we went there every night! Because it was pretty cheap we were able to get entree and mains and every night we left so full that we had to go for a walk so we didn’t feel so full.

Park Retiro

Park Retiro
Fountain
Park Retiro

Park Retiro
Pond

Our second day we checked out a park called Retiro it was really nice with a huge pond in the middle that you could hire boats to sail around. It was so hot that day about 30 degrees plus with what felt like 100% humidity so we just sat down under a tree for awhile. That night we were trying to find an internet place and stumbled across this square filled with people sitting down in front of this huge screen so we decided to sit down and check out what they were watching. We figured out that they were showing the international photography festival finalists which was pretty cool to watch. They showed photos from different photographers from all over the world.

Apart from the park we didn’t check out any other sights (cos they were mostly museums) we just walked around the city lots. We walked down this street called Grand Via which is apparently equivalent to one of the biggest streets in Manhattan, New York. It was filled with lots of shops, restaurants, cinemas etc.

Nice

Beach

Beach

Well I’m finally getting around to writing about Nice. Like Adrian said we went to Monaco on our second day to check out the F1, that was pretty exciting even though the qualifying had finished there were still heaps of people around and we got to check out the track from seats that probably would have been 300€ or more to sit in. Monaco is really beautiful, the train ride from Nice to Monaco was great checking out all the beautiful beaches along the way.

Beach

More Beach

I decided to stay in Nice on our third day while Adrian went to check out the race. I’d noticed all these cool shops the day before and hadn’t really had a chance to go shopping until now so I was really looking forward to it! So when Adrian left for Monaco I headed for the shops and I was devastated to find they were all closed! It was about 11am on a Sunday so I thought they might just open a little later on Sundays so I headed to the beach and on the way found a little market but it wasn’t really the type of stuff I was after. I sat at the beach for a while (not very comfy cos its pebbles!) and took a few photos and thought I’d try again to see if the shops had opened but they didn’t. There really isn’t much to do in Nice other than go shopping and to the beach so I just went back to where we were staying and had a nice relaxing afternoon reading a book by myself :) So thats my Nice story not really exciting! I would like to go back there though and spend more time at Monaco and the surrounding islands.

Florence

We originally had only booked our last nights accommodation in Florence because we were just going to wait till we got there to book something in the city but decided the night before we left that we’d just book the other 2 nights at the busabout drop off point. Anyways we got there and said we have a booking for 3 nights and the lady said no its only for 1 night and we’re like no we booked the extra 2 nights last night if you let us get onto the internet we can show you the confirmation number etc, she said that they didn’t have the internet available for us to use. Adrian was getting quite cranky by this stage :) We then said we booked it on gomio.com or hostelworld.com and she said we’ll you couldn’t have cos we don’t use those websites! Then it occurred to us that we’d booked the wrong place!! Luckily they had space there cos we couldn’t be bothered carrying our bags around looking for the other place. That’s our first stuff up for the trip! Wasn’t too bad it the scheme of things :)

Oh yeah and the accommodation is in cabins not tents thank god. But the cabins don’t have water hooked up them so you can’t use the toilet or shower in them you have to walk about 200m which a pain when you really need to go to the toilet at 3am! (Click the link to the right –>) Continue reading

Hanging with the Pope

The Pope

The Pope

Well today was the hugest day ever! We must of walked for seriously over 7 hours. We left at 11am and didn’t get home till almost 7:30pm and only sat down for lunch for about half an hour.

St Peters Basilica

St Peter’s Basilica

Our first stop was Vatican City. The were literally thousands of people gathered in St Peter’s Square and after a while we wondered why they were all faced one way and then we realised that the Pope must of been making an appearance and sure enough he did! At 12 o’clock he appeared in his little window. It was a pretty cool moment but not being able to understand what he was saying and not being religious people, we quickly got over it and shortly left to go into St Peter’s Basilica itself. That place is huge and very beautiful another amazing building to add to my list that I’ve seen so far :)

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain
Pantheon

Pantheon

We then went to the Spanish Steps. They are just like the name says a set of steps nothing that great about them really. I’m sure they have some great history behind them but just to look at they weren’t that spectacular.

Our next stop was the Trevi Fountain. I was expecting this little fountain but again it was quite big and very pretty also just way too many people around which was quite annoying cause there was limited space to stand or sit around and just look.

Colosseum

Colosseum
Colosseum - Inside

Colosseum – Inside

We then checked out the Pantheon and you guessed it, it was huge! We’ve discovered the Italians love building big stuff!

Our last stop for the day was the Colosseum. We did a tour of the inside, the guide thought he was pretty funny but I didn’t think he was! He did give us lots of interesting history though, like the floor was built of wood and they just covered it in sand. I thought that was a bit strange, it no longer has a floor because of the numerous fires you just look down at this maze made of stone. Our ticket lasts until 1:30pm tomorrow so we’ll probably go check it out again.

Vatican Guards

Vatican Guards

Tomorrow I’m keen to take it a bit easy, there’s still a lot to look at but I think we’ll catch trains around instead of walking :) The Sistine Chapel was closed today so I want to go check that out tomorrow hopefully there won’t be as many people around either because its a Monday.

Venice

Well what can I say Venice is such a beauitful city :) You could sail up and down the grand canal all day and not get bored.

The first thing we did on our second day was catch a water bus to San Marco, there were hundreds of people there and even more pigeons! We pretty much spent the whole day walking around San Marco looking at all the little stores and yes Jo the jewellery was pretty impressive! And I liked all the Murano glass stuff too. I must of went into 50 stores even though they were all selling almost the same thing, I could look at it for hours.

Pigeons

Pigeons

We thought it looked like fun to buy some corn kernals and feed the pigeons and oh my god they love it! It was kind of strange at first having all these birds all over you but you get used to it. We got lots of cool photos of that.

We then caught the water bus to an island called Lido but as soon as we got there we realised we had to be back in an hour to catch our shuttle bus back to the place we’re staying at so we pretty much had to leave as soon as we got there but it is still nice to ride on the water bus and look at everything.

Basilica

Basilica

Today we went back to San Marco and went into St Mark’s Basilica. It is such a beautiful cathedral. I still find it hard to believe that all these amazing churches, buildings, castles etc we are seeing were built hundreds of years ago without machinery. They are so huge and have so much detail, every one we see I’m just amazed by.

Oh and today when we went to catch a water bus and realised that they were on strike! But luckily Venice isn’t that big so we were able to walk to nearly everywhere we wanted to go. Except we weren’t able to go to Murano to see the glass making :(

We had lunch at a restuarant in San Marco, it was 15€ for a 3 course meal but it was pretty crap I thought. I must say the food I’ve experieced in Venice is pretty average, I’m hoping Rome and Florence will be better.

Small Canal

Small Canal

The place we are staying at is great. Its about 15 minutes out of Venice but its really spaceous which is great cause we’re used to being confined to a hostel room. They also have a pool which Adrian managed to get me into yesterday!! I’m sure he’ll mention his disatisfaction about the time the pool closes :)

We fly out to Rome tomorrow, our shuttle bus leaves at 6am which I’m not very happy about! That means we have to get up at 5.15 noooo!!!!

Prague

The bus trip to Prague seemed extra long for some reason so we were happy to finally arrive. We stopped on the way at a concentration camp called Terezin.

Prague Castle 

Prague Castle

It was a bonus stop that we didn’t know about so Adrian was pretty happy cause we missed the one the day before. We’re staying in our first dorm room here, it hasn’t been too bad actually I thought it was going to be a lot worse. It’s just a bit annoying when people come home after you and when they get up in the morning before you. There was also a guy on our first night that snored so loudly, luckily both Adrian and I had ear plugs!

Prague Castle 

Prague Castle

Yesterday we visited Prague Castle, for some reason I thought it would be a good idea for us to walk there and it took us nearly 2 hours! The castle was very pretty and there were markets that were selling all different locals crafts, I thought they were pretty cool Adrian didn’t look too impressed though :)

On Charles Bridge 

On Charles Bridge

Our next stop was Charles Bridge, there were again heaps of stalls selling various souvenirs and crafty stuff. We then went to Town Square where the Astronomical Clock is. We were told that we must visit that because every hour on the hour it does some kind of display. So we waited around for about 45 minutes to see it and there were hundreds of people crowded around waiting too. We were very disappointed with the display let me tell you in wasn’t much at all it just made some noise and something moved and that was about it! But apparently this clock was built in the 1300’s so I’m not sure what we were expecting.

Overall Prague hasn’t been what I imagined, I think it was talked up too much by a lot of people. Don’t get me wrong I still have enjoyed our time here its been great.

Berlin

Berlin has been really good, it is so interesting because there is so much history behind everything that we have seen.  The weather has been great which is always a bonus! We went on another bike tour yesterday (yes we love our bike tours!) it was really good the tour guide was so knowledgable he knew absolutely everything.  There is so much to do in Berlin we haven’t even touched the surface of things to do and see.

Last night we went on a pub crawl with some other busabout people it was a lot of fun we visited 4 clubs and at every place we got a free shot as you can imagine Adrian was pretty happy with that!  We had the walk to each club so in between the clubs the guides poured yagameister and apple snapps into our mouths!   The last club we went to was pretty big it had 3 different rooms but the music was pretty crap in all 3. We got home at about 3:30 so today has been a bit of struggle to get motivated to do stuff. 

This afternoon we were going to a concentration camp about 40 minutes out of Berlin so we went to the train station to catch a train and sat there for about 30 minutes waiting for it and then realised that the announcement over the loud speaker in German that had been repeated several times was saying that our train had been cancelled!  Adrian was most upset because it was something he really wanted to see but apparently we stop at a concentration camp on our way to Prague tomorrow. 

I’ve got 2 minutes left so I better go.

Byeeee

XXXX

 

Bonjour

Well where do I start? Today is our second day in Paris and it has been great so far! Paris is absolutely beautiful I had no idea how amazing it was.

Tube Stairs

Rach – Bike Tour

We went on a 5 hour bike tour last night which was so much fun. It was so crazy we were riding on the road weaving in and out of traffic I thought one of us was going to get hit for sure! We saw the eiffel tower, notre dame, louvre plus lots more other stuff and went on a cruise down the seine river.

Today we went back to the eiffel tower, we were going to go up but the weather was pretty average so we’re going to wait until tomorrow. We also went to the Arc de Triomphe. It is situated in the middle of a roundabout that has at least 12 streets going off it and its absolutely crazy theres cars going in every direction and theres seems to be no rules everyone just goes anywhere. Apparently there is an accident every 6 minutes but we didn’t see one today.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

The first sunday of every month musuems have free entry so we are going tomorrow to visit as many as we can.

One thing I’ve noticed is theres such cute dogs everywhere! On the bike tour lastnight I saw a dog that looked like Harvey crossed with a sausage dog it was so cute!

Ok thats all from me now I’m sure Adrian will write some more about Paris.