Tuesday, November 8, 2011

HOME–ARMIDALE–NSW- ‘And in the end’..

The line "And In the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make"
is essentially the Beatles closing statement.
It is the last lyric on the last album they recorded
Home at last!
After a very looong thirteen weeks.
The weeds in the garden are up to our armpits!!!
BEST BITS
  • Learning so much about communism and the cold war – actually UNDERSTANDING the bits you see on the news.
  • Getting to see LOTS of London and being able to share this with Mum & Dad.
  • Venice,,, is gob smackingly beautiful.
WORST BITS
  • The food, in most places. (the UK was OK)
  • The aches and pains – getting too old to do this.
  • Cultures with different views on good manners.
I went to Woolies today, to buy food as the fridge is empty. 
A lady said ‘sorry’ when she bumped into me. I nearly hugged her!


THE END
Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim

Monday, November 7, 2011

BEERWAH–QUEENSLAND– Doggie Bloggie


Sean and Emmy picked us up this morning from the airport.
There was an explosion of doggie love when we got back to their place.
And guess what the doggies have surprised us with their own blog!


What have they been doing while we have been away?


Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Customize a digital scrapbook


Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim

Saturday, November 5, 2011

IN FLIGHT– Remember, remember the fifth of November.

Gunpowder treason and plot. The 5th November is Guy Fawkes night in the UK
Great trip home.
We were given an upgrade to business class and I was actually able to sleep on the plane.
The food was good too.
We arrived in Sydney at 8.30pm and am staying at the Mecure Hotel near the airport.
Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim

Thursday, November 3, 2011

KENSINGTON–LONDON – ‘Ready Freddie’…..

Quote:- A crazy little thing called love – Queen
The final day.
IMG_0422
We had to go back to Harrods so I could buy the 2011 Christmas bear.
This year, his name is Freddie.
He’s the size of the smaller one in the above picture, I couldn’t afford the big fella.
Freddie is tucked bottom up into the corner of my suitcase, and everything else is packed around him…
IMG_0421
I know  ----   now its all getting beary silly!
But we thought we’d get as much out of the last day as we could and got tickets to a show.
We went to see WE WILL ROCK YOU. (see, continues the Freddie Theme)
IMG_0423
Featuring the music of Queen and written by Ben Elton,
Ben Elton was famous for writing Blackadder and The Young Ones
We will rock you was great, we really enjoyed it.
Afterwards, we took a late night walk down Oxford street, in the rain.
IMG_0428
The Christmas lights are on and it is all pretty..
Kim says, “Its time to go home Graham”…
Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

KENSINGTON – LONDON – Its the final countdown

Finally, the last couple of days before we head home.

IMG_0416

Today we went for a walk up Portobello road, which is a markets, bric a brac and antiques area.

Graham finally got a battery for his watch so he doesn’t have to ask me “what's the time” anymore!

Then we went over to pay Laurie and Kelly a visit who kindly invited us to stay for dinner.

I think it was the first PROPER home cooked food we have had since we were last there in August.

IMG_0417

Above: Kim meets a famous bear at Paddington station.

(Paddington Bear of course)

It feels like such a long time since we started this journey…

Looking forward to lots of doggie love.

Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

KENSINGTON–LONDON – Art in London

Today we spent 6 hours at the National Gallery!

My poor feet… But it was wonderful.

IMG_2027

Above; Trafalgar Square with a beautiful late afternoon sky. Notice the Olympic countdown.

We saw some beautiful and famous works.

These are my favourites that I really wanted to see…

The Arnolfini Portrait 1434 by Jan van Eyck,

438px-Van_Eyck_-_Arnolfini_Portrait

I’ve always loved this painting because it is so odd and there is so much to see in it.

The oranges on the windowsill, the funny shoes, the little doggie, the mirror with the artists reflection and the message on the wall.

I also love the ambassadors, painted in 1533 by Hans Holbein the younger.

608px-Hans_Holbein_the_Younger_-_The_Ambassadors_-_Google_Art_Project

For similar reasons, there are so many things to see in it, including the bizarre skull that is meant to be a puzzle and can only be seen from an angle.

( I didn’t realise how similar these paintings are until I put them together on this post).

I was also loved the Turners, including this one that was voted the UKs favourite painting.

The Fighting Temeraire.

Look at the wonderful colours.

The story is that the Temeraire was one of the last sailing ships and in this painting it looks like a ghost that is passing into the sunset, while being led by one of the newer steam powered boats that superseded it.

The Temeraire fought at the battle of Trafalgar and here it is being led to be broken up.

796px-Turner,_J._M._W._-_The_Fighting_Téméraire_tugged_to_her_last_Berth_to_be_broken

Also we loved the Canaletto's, the Constable’s, the Van Gogh's and Reuben's nice rounded ladies.

The Constables were a surprise, I’m use to faded prints but the originals are full of life and texture.

512px-Constable_-_The_Cornfield

Above is the Cornfield by Constable 1826.

 

canaletto-venice-basin-san-marco-ascension-day-NG4453-fmIMG_1737

 

Above: Canaletto's Venice 1740 and my Venice 2011…!

Has Venice changed?

Not a lot!

Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim

Monday, October 31, 2011

KENSINGTON–LONDON – Bus, plane, train, cab.

Spent the whole day travelling with the usual chaos of airports.

We caught the Gatwick Express into London, (not to be confused with the Hogwarts express).

We are a bit tired.

My tiredness is not helped by having to put our clocks back an hour after Greece as we changed time zones.

Then we had to put it back another hour before Dubrovnik as their daylight savings ended.

Then we had to put it back yet another hour when we arrived in London due to change in time zones again!

What time is it? We keep waking up at 4am.

No Photos today, but looking forward to a last few days in London.

We are staying at the Mecure Hotel Kensington, which has only just been opened following a refit,

(Opened the 25th Oct) and still smells of paint.

Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim

Sunday, October 30, 2011

MARCO POLO AIRPORT–VENICE–ITALY – We need a nice cup of tea

Here are the last photos from the cruise, taken yesterday.

I have been able to cross another thing off my list ..

I have always wanted to see the sunset over the ocean.

IMG_2005

However there is a story behind this sunset.

We were sailing along about a couple of hours after leaving Dubrovnik when the boat suddenly braked.

(Well, it went judder, judder, judder, as it went into reverse gear to stop quickly).

Then we drifted around for the next couple of hours.

(I was bust trying to repack my suitcase, so we weren’t paying too much attention).

Our neighbours told us they thought it was a lifeboat drill.

IMG_2007

We floated into the perfect position to take these  pics of the sunset.

We found out later that we had stopped as the crew had spotted a mans body in the sea and were waiting for the water police!

IMG_2015

Above: These are the people that have shared our table for the last 10 days, David and Marie from Florida.

Photo taken by our waiter, Edhi, from Indonesia.

We disembarked the ship this morning at Venice.

It was up to the usual standards of Italian organisation.

Total chaos…..

We enjoyed the cruise but we were disappointed at the food on board which was bland and boring.

This was the general consensus amongst all the guest we spoke to.

For example, the Italians cannot cook bacon.

They scramble the eggs and they scramble the bacon.

They must put it in a frypan and cook it as you do a stir-fry because it is shredded and burnt on the edges and uncooked in the middle.

On the ship it also congealed into big lumps the size of a fist,,, yucky.

Also Italians do not have very hot water for their coffee.

Therefore they cannot understand the concept of boiling water for a cup of tea.

So the tea doesn’t draw in tepid water and is horrible…

We are staying at a nice place near the airport and fly back to London tomorrow.

We are pleased that Qantas has sorted out their mess.

Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim

Saturday, October 29, 2011

MSC OPERA – Last day of the vacation at sea.

What is Qantas doing! They are on strike!!!!

We should be ‘in flight’ this time next week, but Qantas seems to have stopped working.

We Leave London on Friday and arrive in Sydney Saturday evening.

Then we fly to Brisbane on Sunday to collect car and doggies.

(will the doggies remember us?)

Anyway we have been lucky so far, we missed the London and Rome riots, and the Greek Strikes.

And mostly missed the bad weather so lets hope the luck holds for another week.

IMG_1979

Anyway, today was the last day sailing before we disembark in Venice tomorrow.

We visited the medieval city of Dubrovnik in Croatia.

IMG_1985

‘Those who look for a paradise or want the garden

of Eden on Earth must come to Dubrovnik’

George Bernard Shore

We have seen so many other cruise boats, there were four in port again today.

IMG_1991

Above: This is our sister ship the MCS Musica, who left port at Dubrovnik just before us.

IMG_1999

Must go and start packing, we spend one night at a hotel near Venice airport then have an Easy jet flight

back to London Gatwick on Monday.

We have booked our last four nights at the newly refurbished Kensington Mecure Hotel.

Can’t wait to be amongst English speakers again.

Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim

Friday, October 28, 2011

MSC OPERA – Ancient Olympia

IMG_1950IMG_1958

This morning we berthed in Katakolon which is a port looking over Ionian sea.

It is also the gateway to Olympia, where the ancient Greeks used to flock every four years, for more than a thousand years, to celebrate the sacred games dedicated to Zeus.

IMG_1959

Above: The Corinthian columns that collapse during an earthquake a long time ago.. (I can’t remember! 1000 years maybe)

 

IMG_1952

 

Our tour was Ancient Olympia and shopping – which was good, as we haven’t had much free time during all

these tours to buy souvenirs.

The tour was total chaos (English and Spanish all in together)– but as Marisa use to say the Italians are Lovers not Organisers.

But we had a laugh in a tourist shop where the salesperson was spruiking her wares in the loudest Greek/Australian accent.

We correctly guessed she was from Melbourne.

The weather has warmed up and the sea and sky are blue and calm again.

We lay in the lovely sun on the deck and got warm, then hot, then too hot.

I’ve been indulging in the types of drinks that have a paper umbrella stuck in them,

Grahams been indulging in lots of alcohol free beer.

Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim