Monday, 14 October 2013

Home now

4pm Friday - Taxi picked us up from Little Venice, London
1 1/4 hours to the airport
3 hours chilling in the Qantas lounge
Took off at 9.30 for 6 hour flight to Dubai
2 hour chill in Qantas lounge
13 hour flight to Sydney
2 hour chill in Sydney
35 minute flight to Canberra 
and at 9.30 Sunday morning into the waiting arms of family and friends.

So 31 hours all in all but safe and sound and home.

Back to work Thursday and 1000 things to do before then. 
And so much catching up to do here. So no, we're not done with this little blog just yet. Happy bout that!
cya soon.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

From the Qantas Club Lounge at Heathrow

The timer says 40 days, 14 hours and 6 minutes since we lifted off from Canberra way back on the 1st of September.

And although this trip turned out so very different to the one we had planned, we still had an amazing adventure.  But now it's almost over. We're very sad to be leaving all the familiar sights. Paul and Alan's lovely apartment and your infallible hospitality really did become such a wonderful home, and indeed a genuine sanctuary. The canal, the long boats, the walk to the shops near Paddington Station, Westbourne Terrace, the pretty blue bridge, Bake and Spice breakfast bar at Maida Vale, the pub on the corner... and so so very much more. All strong memories that will stay with us forever.

So we stopped and took some photos of Warwick Avenue Station in the pouring rain as we walked up the stairs for the final time today. Then the last of the pack up, warm genuine hugs all round, before a taxi picked us up in the pouring rain and took over an hour to drive to the airport.  Fixed price thank god.

We'll board the A380 in a couple of hours for 22 hours in a cocoon. A stop over in Dubai for 2 hours after an 8 hour flight, then land in Sydney 14 hours later. Short stop in Mascot, then onto Canberra landing at 9.15 Sunday morning EDST.

But as sad as we are to be leaving, winding up our adventure of a lifetime, although as it turned out nothing like we planned, we're also looking forward to seeing everyone at home again.  We know we've been missed, and we've missed you too, and it's right, and it's good, and now is the time.

This blog isn't finished yet. There's a lot of things still needed in here, but for now, the adventure has to come to an end. Thank you for following us. Your comments, your emails and your thoughts along the way.

Some of you we'll see very soon, others not for some time. But we love and appreciate you all.

So for now, and for the last time from London, goodbye and goodnight and see you on the other side.

Janelle and Terry.

Friday, 11 October 2013

So, our last day here.

We plan to do the same breakfast we did on our first morning in London. Buy a coffee and fruit yogurt and go sit quietly by the canal to just take it all in. Although it doesn't look like the weather will be as kind. It's wet and freezing outside now. Looks like London is showing us it's true side at the end.

Then upon an inspiration, we'll take the Tube over to Camden for a wander around, before back here, grab all the luggage, say a fond and sad farewell as we walk slowly back to Paddington Station and the Heathrow Express.

Here's a couple of songs that you might want to listen to. Not suggesting we share the sentiments exactly, they're just really timely right now.

No explanation necessary.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Only 2 more sleeps...

Tomorrow is our last full day here before our appointment with Heathrow on Friday evening.
Going to see "Once" at the Pheonix theatre on the West End, have dinner with Paul and Alan and then, well find a nice way to see off our holiday together.
Goodnight from Little Venice.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

What a way to say farewell to Paris.

Indulge me on this one if you will...

At no time during this entire 6 week adventure have we actually gone out to a club or pub at night, except for a meal, and then we've never really stayed.  We've walked around a lot at night, but never done anything more.

So while walking through some Paris back streets yesterday we came across a couple of jazz/blues clubs, and decided that we might just drop into one of them for a drink and some live music. So about 10.30 last night we did just that.

They call it the "Tennessee Jazz Club", a dark almost empty bar on street level, with an intriguing stairway heading down to the basement where the unmistakable sound of live music wafted up to us.  Why the hell not? So we wandered down for a look.

A small room, more like a cave really, about 20 people of all ages, a small bar in the corner, and a guy on stage playing acoustic guitar and singing in English. Then I noticed a few other guitars around the place, and it took me about 5 minutes to nut it out and talk to the organiser.

So, only half a drink later, I found myself on the stage, borrowed guitar, appreciative audience, and with the earlier singer lending his voice, we banged out a pretty good rendition of John Lennon's Imagine, followed by Under the Milky Way, Hotel California and then, of course Wish You Were Here, which I even sang for as the audience sang along.

What can I say! I haven't picked up a guitar for a month, so it was a bit rough, but even so, how many co-incidences came together for that to happen.

Our last night in Paris, playing a mini gig in a random bar, in a random back street, with a borrowed guitar and an appreciative random audience. 

Seriously, how much more perfect could it have been?


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Last night in Paris

We're about to go out for dinner, then hit the streets with our last bottle of red (bought a half-case in Amiens) and see what trouble we can get into.

We've walked kms around the city and seen so much, we've stood on top of the Arc de Triomphe and marvelled at the cityscape, we've fought the hordes to see the Mona Lisa, we've reveled in street performers and the beautiful noise that drifts in our window from the musicians at the la Fountaine St Michel, we've attached our own TJE2013 padlock on the bridge Pont des Arts, we've immersed ourselves in it all and loved every minute.

It has truly been the best possible way to end our European adventure.

Tomorrow we catch the Eurostar back to London, back to our Serenity Base at Little Venice for the 4th, and now the last time.  We are really looking forward to walking up the steps from Warwick Avenue Station, taking the short walk down the lane and across the now very familiar canal, and then to Paul and Alan's lovely little hideaway where we will prepare for our long fight home.

So here's some photos of our wonderful time in this most special city, Paris, and at the end, Ive added a slideshow of Monet's Gardens from last week.

And here is a short sideshow of the enthralling Monet's Gardens. Without doubt the highlight of Janelle's holiday.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Saturday evening in Paris

It's 8.30 on Saturday night and we're in the middle of Paris. 500 mtrs from Notre Dame to be precise.

Through the open window we can hear resteraunts, cafe's, buskers and thousands of people out on the street.

Now I could hang in here, safe and sound, and blog away while watching movies we have saved for a slow day, or we could head out and see what all the fuss is about.

Tough call I know.


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Au Revior Champange. Bonjour Paris.

Our 2 days in Hautvillers, literally the heart of Champange has been very different, and as with everything we've done in France, quite special.

The Moet grape vines and presses are literally a stones throw away, and today we walked up to the ancient Abbey on the hill where, it turns out, Dom Peringon himself is interned.

Janelle has been in heaven with all the tastings and more then a couple of purchases, and we've worked out how to fit them in our backpacks so all good.

As always, we've taken loads of photos but no time now to sort them into sensibility.
We drop the hire car off tomorrow morning, then train to Paris for 3 days in a lovely (according to the photos) motel, before the Eurostar back to London on Tuesday to prep for the long trip home.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

So much to write about, so little time

I apologise for missing out so much on here.
Im determined to catch up. Really.

It's just that we bought carton of lovely Bordeaux, and well, by the time blog time rolls around each night, our days have been so full and... well... you know.

Soon. Ok. Really.

Tour of The Somme

We spent today visiting the Australian Memorial at Villers Bretonneux, a number of Somme museums, including the Victoria School and more cemetries than we should have.

Now we're about to eat a lovely evening meal in the L'auberge Fleurie motel where the owner has a wall dedicated to Australia.

When they said they wont forget the courage and sacrifice of so many young Australian men who fought, and died for them, they meant it.

And now, almost 100 years on, they still mean it.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Monet's Gardens

What can I say? It's everything you'd expect and more.
Took so many photos, I'll put them in a slideshow when time permits.
In the meantime, here's a sample.