Saturday, July 29, 2017

Are we really leaving winter?

Having hardly slept at all last night - camera, Kate, computer kept running through my brain, with the occasional makeup, jewellery added in for good measure, I finally fell in to a deep sleep about 5 am.  And then woke with a start at 7:45am!! NOT a  good start, really.

But having repeated the items all night long, it didn't take me long to chase them all up and pack them in to the second backpack we are now taking.

Packing last night was a very interesting exercise.  Our original plan was to take a medium and a small suitcase. Yeah, right, as if THAT was going to happen.
The two items that Rolf Sieber  had done for us won't go anywhere near fitting in the medium suitcase, and in fact just fit in the base of the large older suitcase.

And then there are the presents. So at 11 pm we ended up with the two larger suitcases, two backpacks, my handbag and a bag with a hat!  Yep, packing light next time I said. Passport and credit card I said. Ha ha.

This morning was all the last minute stuff. Like making sure that the guy grinding our stumps new that I wanted some of the succulents kept. Like Michael replacing the smoke detectors.  You know, last minute stuff.  And it is ridiculously warm at 26 degrees as we leave.

Anyway, no fear, Gen made sure that we made the airport with plenty of time.  She stayed for a drink and then made her way off to introduce herself to Miss Bella.
It was about now that we realised that we had a whole touring rugby school on the flight with us. Not just a team, the whole bleeding school. Still, they were quiet enough. However, all flight long they kept getting up to go to the bathroom. You could have sworn that they were 6 years old and on their first flight.

The landing in to Sydney hit wind shear about 30 feet from the ground and we bounced along the tarmac three or four times.  Not the best landing.
Still, nice and warm for a Sydney winter at 22 degrees.
Donna met us at the airport and drove us over to the Adina Apartment Hotel.  Nice enough facilities, but crap internet.  Repacked the bags to get some of the shoes out of the backpack.

We went for dinner with her and Garry to the Tennyson Hotel.  Great food.
Now fully buggered and about to hit the sack.  Early start. Donna is picking us up at 6 and we will check in and then have breakfast at the Airport.

Talk soon.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

We're off on the Road to . .

Well, hello there.  Long time since we last met here, isn't it.

Well, we are off again.
we have decided to take a quick trip back to Europe - leaving Saturday 29 July and arriving home on 9 September 2017.
We all know that I love to travel in a very organic, unplanned sort of way, responding to local stimuli as we meet them BUT with only six weeks, this time we are needing to plan, plan, plan to make the most of our time.

to date is as follows: 

  • 29 July - Hervey Bay to Sydney Meet Donna for dinner 
  • 30 July - Sydney to Bangkok 8hrs layover - transit tour with a private guide arranged
  • 31 July - Bangkok to Munich Pick up hire car and drive to Steffi and Felix in Schwaebisch Gmeund!!!! A week with the family and our little 'grandies' - WHAT A JOY (Yiayia and Papou are bringing pressies!!)
  • 6 August - drive back to Munich, return the hire car and then fly to Cluj-Napoca in Romania where we pick up another hire car.  And this is where it gets very interesting - we have a mere 14 days to cram as much of this fascinating country, its people, its food and wines, its scenery - as we can.

    Check out to get some idea of how big a challenge cramming this gorgeous country in to two weeks will be!
    High on the list of priorities are:
    Bram Castle (Dracula's Castle - though there was no such person and the story has nothing to do with this castle) and the more stunning Corvan Castle

    Postavarl Peak cable car
    Sibiu and Sighisoara
    Catching up with Lorena (Romania's top wine maker) and Diana - who we met in France in 2009
    The Painted Monasteries - Bucovina, Voronet, Moldovita and Humor
    The Art ZNouveau architecture of Oradea
    The traditional villages of the Maramures
    The Carpathian Mountains
    The amazing road into and along the valley -> world's best road trip according to Top Gear. The Transfagarasan mountain road is one of the most spectacular roads in the world. 90 km long, it runs through the Fagaras mountains - part of the Transylvanian Alps.
    Transfagarasan Road
  • 19 August - fly Cluj back to Munich, pick up another hire car and return to Schwaebisch Gmeund
  • 25 August - drive to Nettatal for Anne and Steve's wedding weekend
  • 27 August - over to Hamburg to visit Inga and Markus, Finn and the very new Lena
  • 29 August - drive back to Schwaebisch Gmeund and the family Lippold
  • 6 September - return flight to Australia via Bangkok (2hr stopover this time)
We'll see you here during the trip!