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Showing posts from November, 2012

Stratford under Avon

Day 61: Dutch proverb - After ebb comes flood, and friends with good....
Today was a whirlwind of travel ending in a flooded Britain...I started on the very smart high speed train (below) from Zug to Zurich airport, then I flew to London City airport, crossed the Capital by Light Railway and Tube to Marylebone Train station, where I took the train, changing at Royal Leamington Spa to splash along the tracks ending up at Stratford Upon Avon where I walked into the Q Hotel, nine hours after I'd left Switzerland & bang on schedule. ........Youd-le-he-he...Life's good!




However, as we passed through the final fields on the outskirts of Stratford upon Avon the countryside changed to resemble the great Lakes that I had just left behind...the train driver welcomes us to Stratford by Sea ....'




Thursday's Stratford Herald reports 'Rain brings flood chaos to district.... There were chaotic scenes across Stratford district as heavy downpours and widespread flooding brought m…

Das Aus!

Day 59-60 A picnic in the Alps - that's cool!!!
I have arrived for 30 hours in Switzerland with an Aussie friend who has recently relocated from Aus to Zug. It was an amazing stay, here are some of the fun things we did...




The Aus Zug poster above means From Zug which I thought was apt.
Zug is a small town in the heart of Switzerland easily reached by a direct train (45 mins) which is found one escalator down in the Arrivals Hall - how good is that? It is picturesque Hans Christian Anderson type town with the old medieval buildings and cobbled streets looking like they came straight out of a fairy tale...




It is easy to see why this would be a popular place for a few years or more. Switzerland has been described as the 'Less tax, More fun'... posting for expats, and it certainly looks a wonderful life. Zug offers one of the worlds lowest tax regimes and is the reason why nearly 30,000 companies are registered here...
It's a safe, everything works, affluent but almost underst…

Cycling in the De Hoge Veluwe National Park

Day 57 - Cycling to the Grand Masters...
When my friend left Australia to return home to the Netherlands, I promised to visit so we could go cycling in Holland together - today was that day...
We're off to a 5000 hectares park - that's maybe a small bike ride for the locals, but for me it seemed like it could be a big ask!!!
I needn't have worried, the De Hoge Veluwe National Park has 1700 free white bikes for park users to explore the 40 kilometers of cycle paths. The tracks are great, the bikes easy to pedal and all the major attractions are not too far away....




First stop is the bike park just inside the main gates to choose a bicycle of the right height. We set off to the visitors centre, museum and park shop wrapped up warmly in our hats, gloves and scarves ... It was chilly, but had all the promise of a spectacular autumn day, the park resplendent, cloaked in bright orange the leaves crunching as we cycled along the paths....




Just look at that sunshine - how lucky are w…

I AMSTERDAM

Day 56 : 28 hours in Amsterdam...
Sooo what did we get up to in our 28 hours in Amsterdam?! Well we had a wonderful time with no set agenda other than to catch up, enjoy each other's company and wander around...The special thing about exploring a city with a girlfriend, is that every time we saw a place that we fancied looking in, we could!



We made our own walking tour, not one where we hit the popular tourist sights but one where we could explore the back streets and markets.... We had a brilliant time just following the canals and seeing where we ended up!


Cat barge on canal - home for all the rescue cats in Amsterdam
Every time we needed to stop, recover and warm up there was an inviting bakery tempting us in.... No wonder those ladies with the red lights are so tubby...!



For both dinners we went Spanish enjoying Tapas on the first night at Tasca Bellota.( Herenstraat 22, 1015 CB) The sangria and the tapas of chorizo picante, octopussalade etc were a perfect sharing meal. The…

Dutch Delights...

Day 55 - Here we are in Holland...

I'm off today to meet a Dutch friend in Amsterdam...




I'm on the road for 10 days and it's Operation Easyjet to cram the impossible into my 'of course this is my hand luggage' little blue suitcase... the first challenge is to see whether the check-in staff agree...
Easyjet is a budget airline who charge extra for everything... luggage, food, magazines although not yet the toilets. Their rules are clear and specific, only one hand luggage of any sort... it's my handbag that always tips me over ........... and that's only a little fib....
It was the jobs-worth 'My father was a Communist dictator - you need to test the size of your suitcase...You do it my way... ' Prague check-in Supervisor that has left me anxious about boarding, and that's MEAN, because I was born to be in the air...'I'm a frequent flyer, my Dad was a pilot', sort-of-a-girl, who is now reduced to buying booze at the airport just to ge…

Poppy Day 2012

Day 48 Remembrance Sunday 11th November

It is a long time since I have been to a British Remembrance Day. Poppies have been on sale for the past month, sold by The Royal British Legion as a
symbol of remembrance of Britain's war dead...The whole Country seems to participate, even cars can be seen around wearing their poppy....




Remembrance Day was a declining tradition, but in recent years there has been a resurgence of interest, as the Country also remembers casualties from recent wars. Britain sadly sees soldier after soldier return home having lost their lives serving in Afghanistan, so far in 2012 there have been 377 coalition casualties.
The annual tradition, to acknowledge the fallen on the 11th minute of the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, dates from the exact time ‘some 94 years ago’ when an armistice was signed between the German and Allied Forces bringing an end to World War I.
Today we gather at St Helen's church in the pretty village of Wheathampstead, Her…

Beautiful Prague in the autumn

Day 42-45 London to Prague, Czech Republic 1377 km's
Prague is an amazing place at any time of year, but add in the rich colours of autumn into the mix of majestic buildings with their red rooftops, and you can't go wrong for a quick European break...



I have offered to treat each of our children to a quick city break at the European city of their dreams... Jigs has chosen Prague - good choice!! I haven't been here since just after the Velvet Revolution on November 17, 1989. Prague is a popular tourist destination and is now the 6th most visited city in Europe.p...It is easy to see why... The city was relatively untouched by World War II bombs and everywhere you look there are amazing buildings...



Travel is easy, with lots of options from the traditional below, to the efficient and cheap Metro and bus system. A 24 hour unlimited transport pass is only $5 US.



We are staying at Hotel General, who give us a glass of bubbly and a really warm welcome - our room is lovely with a choc…

A new VIP coat at Harrods - Woof, Woof!

🇬🇧 Day 38 - London Town...
Today I'm off to the Big Smoke to catch up with an old college friend whom I haven't seen for nearly 20 years.

It was a bright and sunny day...the British start every conversation with some observation about the weather and today's sunshine is particularly noteworthy because:
1. It seems to be a rare occurrence and.....
2. Yesterday it snowed in some parts of the Country... I know, I know, it's not even winter yet...that's the point....
3. A true Aussie lass would never dream of leaving home without her sunnies, and today I gave up on British sunshine and regretted it...


I jumped off my National Express coach from Oxford at Marble Arch trundling my old battered 'yes of course this fits the criteria as hand luggage' suitcase through Hyde Park, past Speakers Corner and around the Serpentine Lake with paddle boats and tourists feeding the ducks and the cyclists wobbling around on their blue TFL bikes... all enjoying a last and gratefu…