A Travellerspoint blog

Homeward bound...

“Not sure where I am”

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Rest of day 60, Heathrow, 26 May 2009
The first leg is from Heathrow to Singapore – about 13 hours in the air. It’s the new Airbus A380 and I’m sitting on the upper deck at the very rear (just near the spiral staircase). The plane is only half full as I’m told it’s because of the long weekend in London. It would have to be the nicest plane in the air - it’s extremely quiet, it’s very smooth and the personal entertainment unit is fantastic. This unit had 112 movies, 100s of TV shows, documentaries, educational programs, travel guides, games, a telephone, and so much more – as I said FANTASTIC for this long trip.
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Day 61, 27 May 2009

It’s still night when we arrive at Singapore and I’ve lost a day.

The next leg from Singapore to Brisbane was on the smaller new Airbus, an A330. Much smaller, very loud and rough, but the exact same entertainment unit. And just under 8 hours in the air, so it didn’t matter that I got little rest – I’ll be home soon.

Day 62, “Home”, 28 May 2009

It’s 8:30am as I step into my home in Brisbane. It’s day 62; over 20 countries; 38 ports; what an adventure!

Footnote:
My full collection of photos is available on Flickr at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidpedler/collections/72157621920918368/

Posted by dpedler 01.09.2010 20:42 Archived in England Comments (0)

London, England

Day 59-60, 25-26 May 2009

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View MV Discovery - 2009 on dpedler's travel map.

Day 59, 25 May 2009

The morning started with a sightseeing tour of London. It’s a bank holiday in England so a lot of places are closed, including the inner area of London which was closed to traffic for a marathon – so we weren’t able to get to a few sights. However, we did get to see many of the famous sites, including:

  • Albert Memorial
  • Royal Albert Hall – outside only
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Queen Victoria Memorial
  • Southwark Cathedral – outside only, but didn’t care as I’m over churches
  • Tower of London – walked around the outside only
  • Tower Bridge
  • Parliament and the Big Ben tower (from a distance only)

As we couldn’t get to Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, the bus took us to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show entrance – no big deal but others on the bus seemed impressed!

The afternoon I was off again, this time to see the Victoria and Albert Museum (aka the V&A). On the way to the V&A I stopped for a tour of the Royal Albert Hall. It’s a beautiful hall and worth the stop. Not allowed to take photos, although it seems my camera must have gone off a few times (lucky I don’t need a flash).

I thought the British Museum was fantastic (and it was), but the V&A is at another level. Not only did it have the history component, it also had current day artefacts. I need another week here!
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Day 60, 26 May 2009

Another busy day before needing to be back at the hotel to catch the 4:30pm bus to the airport. The day started with rain but soon fined up (second rain after 60 days). So it was straight to the underground for a trip to South Kensington and a visit to the Natural History Museum.

This is a great museum for kids. Being school holidays this week it was getting too crowded and I left after an hour and a half. It’s still an impressive museum – just too popular.

Then it was some sight seeing:

  • Westminster – Parliament, Big Ben clock tower (Big Ben is in fact the unseen bell), No 10 (from the distance), Westminster Abbey (outside only)
  • Changing of the Horse Guards
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Bank of London
  • St Pauls (only outside – over churches as well; and out of time)

London – a great place to visit, not sure I’d like to live here.

The underground pass was handy today as I was able to get back to the hotel just after 4pm. The adventure is officially over and it’s time to head home…
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Footnote:
My full collection of photos is available on Flickr at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidpedler/collections/72157621920918368/.
Just the London photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidpedler/sets/72157622380773075/

Posted by dpedler 01.09.2010 20:40 Archived in England Comments (0)

Harwich to London, England

Day 58, 24 May 2009

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Disembarked MV Discovery and transferred by bus to London. It’s a 2 hour trip so it’s after lunch before I check into the hotel just near Marble Arch. No time to pause although my mind is in “it’s over mode”. That’s not going to slow me; I’m off to see London:

British Museum – WOW, this museum is amazing. Many of the artefacts from Athens (called the Parthenon Sculptures) are here so it has helped link me to the Acropolis experience. There were artefacts from all over the world. It would be easy to spend a week just in this one museum.
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Oxford Street – so many 1000s of people all shopping

Dinner in the only British pub in Oxford Street – the staff don’t speak that much English. Funny, but few people in this area of London seem to speak English – not what I expected.
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Hyde Park, Marble Arch and Speakers’ Corner – you wouldn’t believe this is England – more like the Middle East or Africa when you look at the people.

Posted by dpedler 01.09.2010 20:38 Archived in England Comments (0)

Lisbon, Portugal

Day 55, 21 May 2009

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One week today and I’ll be back in “sunny” Brisbane. I’m hearing reports (now we have the Internet back) that two dams are full and a third is 75%. That’s a lot of rain in a few days!
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Sites for today:

  • Se Patriarcal Lisboa – The Cathedral of Lisbon dates back to the 12th century. Behind the cathedral are Roman ruins from the 1st century AD.

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  • Castelo de Sao Jorge (St George’s Castle) – originally built by the Moors, the castle has been, a various times, a royal residence, a theatre, a prison and an arms depot. It has excellent views of Lisbon.

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  • Alfama – the narrow winding hilly pedestrian streets of this quarter are stunning and alive. No map can help in these mazes! I was lucky to have another sunny day to guide me…

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  • Rossio – Lisbon’s main square; once the scene of witch-burnings and bullfights, it’s still very animated (a rally was just starting)

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  • Elevador de Santa Justa – wrought-iron lift commissioned in 1902; I didn’t take this lift to nowhere (I ran out of time)

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  • Belem Tower – an exquisite tower seen when entering and leaving the Lisbon’s harbour/river

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  • Cristo Rei – a huge religious monument also seen from the ship

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Not enough time spent in Lisbon to get a real feel for the place. The people are very friendly and will try to speak English to help. Seems like a lovely city.
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Posted by dpedler 01.09.2010 20:37 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Seville (via Cadiz), Spain

Day 54, 20 May 2009

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Took a tour to Seville to see Alcazar – originally founded as a fort for the Cordoban governors of Seville in 913. Used as the palace for later monarchs who each added their own touches – an example of hybrid Christian-Islamic Mudejar architecture (have to love architecture).
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Also saw:

  • The old Jewish quarter (Barrio de Santa Cruz) – with its maze of tiny white picturesque alleyways shaded by orange trees (full of fruit)
  • Seville Cathedral (Catedral de Sevilla) (completed 1507) – huge: 23,500 m2, 126m long, 83m wide and 37m high; almost as big as St Peter’s Basilica, said to be third largest church; largest gothic; includes tomb of Christopher Columbus

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  • Climbed the 90m Giralda (completed 1198) – The Cathedral stands on the site of the great 12th century Almohad mosque, with the mosque’s minaret (the Giralda) still towering beside it. With 34 ramped flights and no steps it is a good climb – worth the climb for the fantastic view.
  • Many of the buildings from the 1929 World’s Fair including: Plaza de America (with a large flock of white doves) and Spanish Square (which is round) aka Plaza de Espana

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The area between Cadiz and Seville reminds me of the Victorian countryside but with Spanish looking villas - even eucalyptus trees.
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Seville is a lovely city and I think Spain would be a nice place to live. I’d like to spend more time in this country.

Posted by dpedler 01.09.2010 17:00 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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