A Travellerspoint blog

Celeste's Reflections


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As Peter wrote the blog I felt I needed to share my views on our wonderful trip,even though we had similar opinions.
Many people had told us that France could be dirty and unfriendly. We found quite the opposite. Of the 8 days we spent in Paris and the north of France people were only too happy to assist if they saw you with a map looking a little confused,which was often. Also I didn't find the Metro particularly easy to use but assistance was never too far away. Making purchases from local shops for meats,cheeses and bread was made easier when the schoolgirl French was attempted.
We were very lucky to be joined by two of my sisters to Northern France and Belgium retracing our Great Uncles footsteps of WW1. The company we employed to take us on that journey more than qualified and we shared an emotional,memory filled experience.
At this point, after 8 wonderful days together we say goodbye to Kerry and Katrina. Thank you both for your company,it will stay with me always. Oh God, who's going to help us with public transport now??
On to Czech Republic. Prague,what a great city. Very arty,romantic which makes it Bohemian, which is what the whole region is known as. Home of Bohemian crystal,good cheap beer and fabulous food.
Vienna was memorable for the concert recital,I was floating as I left the performance,it was more than I could have imagined. Also Vienna reminded us of Melbourne with wide tree-lined boulevards,trams and more good food.
Slovenia being the third most forested country in the world was very green. We had the benefit of seeing it by car and were able to get to a lot of beautiful areas with the Austrian Alps shadowing us.
We drove to Croatia via Plitvice Lakes,which were incredible and magnificent and where walking and hiking was a pleasure.
Once we arrived in Split our island hopping down the Dalmation coast started. Wow,wow,wow seemed to be all we were able to say,beautiful. Our European leg finished in Dubrovnic.
Now sitting in Langkawi the day before going home I can reflect and say that this trip was more than I had anticipated. Europe is affordable, we did not exceed our budget,in fact we didn't come near to spending it. Almost all things are cheaper than Australia,from food,drinks and all touring things.
I think as Australians we need to be careful not to out price ourselves from the tourism market.....although I fear we already have,with many Asians opting for Europe instead.
Langkawi is a fitting end to our trip.Just the rest we needed to gather our thoughts and reflect before going back to the grind.
TIPS = If you plan on driving ensure you have a Sat Nav,this eased my fears once in place. Use side streets for restaurants,always cheaper. When packing half it cos there's sooooo many stairs.
Finally choose your travelling companion carefully. I lucked out, thankyou to my patient,caring,loving husband who was there for me in the case of a meltdown and managed my suitcase up narrow step stairs and shared the experience of a lifetime.

Posted by pjandc 19:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Lankawi

Berjaya


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We survived the marathon flight plan and arrived in Lankawi about 7.30 pm. Berjaya is about a 20 minute car ride from the Airport and is located on the Andaman Sea with the mountain range to its back. We have a Rainforest Chalet and it's quite luxurious. So tired we had a meal overlooking the water then crashed for the night. Next morning after a good 13 hours sleep we awoke to a muggy 30 c. Shuttles around the resort run all the time so we rang and 3 minutes later a shuttle was at the door to take us to reception. A shuttle service is used as the resort is spread over vast hilly terrain. The day was spent exploring our surroundings and swimming. It is a lovely resort with plenty to do or not. We have monkeys and large lizards wandering about which is a novelty but can be a bit of a problem for the resort.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Langkawi monkey business

Last night we went to a Japanese restaurant attached to Berjaya for dinner. It was very nice although very quiet. The rain started falling and falling. It rained all night. We woke to an overcast day and after saying hello to a few mates (see attached pics ) we headed to breakfast. Getting a bit sunburnt yesterday saw us decide to go a bit further afield,so we jumped in a cab and headed to Kuah Town for some shopping. The cab was a bongo van and Celeste kept sliding off the seat,legs flailing in the air! She blamed her leggings and slippery seat....mmmm. The island feels and looks like Bali with the same good natured locals, buildings similar and Bahasa spoken. Lots of monkeys wandering around in groups on the ground and in trees. We are pretty relaxed as we are not climbing as many stairs now. Tonight we went to Thai for dinner at the end of the jetty at Berjaya. It was a beautiful sunset and the evening was warm, a perfect end to the day.

Homeward Bound

Our busy schedule of eating,drinking and swimming was interrupted by a trip to the steepest cable car in the world also a magnificent sky walk. Unfortunately we had to deal with some low cloud when we reached the top but had some fantastic views when the cloud broke briefly. The cable car ran almost vertical with the cliff face at one point and the whole complex is an engineering feat. It was pleasant to move away from the pool this afternoon and prop by the beach for a while,the sea water is warmer too. Have to keep an eye out for stingers though. There is an area that is netted but they still can get through. Oriental Pearl was our choice for dinner,where we dined on Peking duck....very moorish and sooo cheap. We have booked massage treatments for tomorrow and I guess a final pack will see us on our way Monday arriving home in the wee hours of Tuesday. This post marks our final. Thankyou to those who have contributed to comments. This blog will act as our personal travel journey and all your comments will be included as a permanent reminder.

Posted by pjandc 18:57 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Dubai


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Left Dubrovnik at 5.15am for the airport. How do you be quiet when you are going down two flights of wooden squeaky stairs with luggage? Very slowly is the answer. Dubrovnik looks very pretty under lights with the wall a very imposing structure. Flight to Frankfurt, layover of 6 hours then 6.5 hour flight to Dubai then layover of 3 hours then to K.L. 7 hour flight then to Lankawi another hour. Frankfurt is a huge airport with a 10 minute bus ride between terminals. It is very clinical in its building structure a bit like a giant aircraft hanger but efficient. We were still sane at this point. Flight to Dubai was a good one and sunset looked really nice. Coming into Dubai Celeste and l were amazed at the lighting and patterns of lights that spread across the suburbs stretching out into the desert. It did look very spectacular and showed a different perspective on its " Day look". Starting to tire out now. 1.15am and due to board soon. Four flights and all the transfers in between is probably going to be a real test for both of us. We are so looking forward to 5 days in Langkawi!

Posted by pjandc 18:55 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

Frankfurt


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Still travelling with a 6 hour layover......sooo tired.

Posted by pjandc 18:52 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Dubrovnik


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Picked up from the hotel and headed for the jetty where a water taxi took about 15 of us on a 15 minute ride to the other side harbour. Picked up by a mini bus and away to Dubrovnik. The countryside we passed through was mountainous on one side and valley on the other for quite a while. It is a 2 hour ride to Dubrovnik and was very picturesque. The ocean with its islands scattered throughout came into sight numerous times and looked like boating heaven. Dubrovnik came into sight and immediatly it was another WOW. Houses built up the side of a hill and a walled city on the other that hugged the ocean. We were dropped just outside the old walled town so we dragged our cases over cobblestones and across the moat and through the arch of the wall into the city. Steps and more steps. We thought we had seen it all but these are serious steps ,straight up and all laneways go straight up from beautiful squares. We took the funicular that was just outside the city and what a view from the top. The view that looked down onto Dubrovnik and out across the ocean and islands is stunning. At present it is 30c and the sun is blazing so we are checking out a few of the laneways and will do the wall walk tomorrow morning. Our Apartment is on the 2nd floor of a small guest house up a laneway in the old city (yep more stairs) but it is a great location. We found Buzzas bar which is a hole in the wall that opens out onto the Ocean. If you do not know its there you would walk straight past. What an amazing view. The bar is perched on a rock face below the wall with concrete and stone steps down to the water. Having a drink watching the sun go down we met up with Garth and Beth a young Perth couple we shared the bus ride from Korcula to Dubrovnik with. Dinner then bed.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Last day in Dubrovnik
Last day in Dubrovnik and Europe today and the weather is still warm although predicting a bit of rain later in the afternoon. Headed for breakfast and the town is still quiet as the tour buses and boats haven't arrived yet. The Old Town takes on a mystical feel at night and in the morning when the crowds have died down and you sense the size and magnificence of its structure. We tackled "the wall " early before the heat and hordes.The climb is not for the faint hearted and O.H & S in Australia would not be happy. But on top it has views that are wonderful. The walk around the top took us about 1.5 hours and it does wind around and up and down with the fall of the land. Structurally it is huge with the thickness of the walls about 2.5 metres. It towers above the town and appears to rise out of the waters edge and is regarded as the most impressive fortress in the Meditteranean. It's beginnings go back to the 9th Century, then in the 14 Century it was fortified. In the 16 Century it was devastated by Earthquake and then rebuilt in Baroque style. In 1991 it was under attack again by Bosnia and Montenegro who shelled the city causing widespread destruction. After the hostilities finished reconstruction got underway and still today some restoration continues. The wall, the harbour, the laneways and terracotta tiled houses and churches make this town a very special place. The fact that my knees and legs have held up under the amount of steps and stairs and the elevation of them has amazed me. Many times I've stopped for a rest, looked up and nearly given up only to have a local virtually jog past and keep going,(they were young though). We have really enjoyed the food which comprises of seafood and also hearty red meat dishes with a Balkan style. Beer and wine also was very good and reasonably priced and very affordable. Celeste has found the icecream to be very delicious and I must agree. Great food. Lovely people. Fantastic weather. This being our last official stop in Europe has rounded off our "European Discovery" with yet more memories (and photos) of a very enjoyable journey.

Posted by pjandc 18:43 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

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