Saturday, November 8, 2008


Hi from Manchester
We are in the last leg of our trip and have been in Manchester for a couple of days now. We've had a look around the centre of the city and out to Bury this morning to have a look at the local markets - the world famous markets (we've seen better!). There are some interesting art and craft venues here although the prices make buying a bit difficult. Tomorrow we head off to Dubai for the last fews nights of our trip and then it's time for home....... We are both looking forward to getting home - our own beds, our own space, seeing Nanna and our cats and Sophie, seeing the babies - Sophie, Liam and Wil (and their mothers I guess!), quiet and time to sit and do nothing - although James thinks we might feel a bit out of place and will have to take off and find a train to catch each day or go for a walk around Grafton everyday just so we can see the sights of the city!!!
Looking forward to catching up with you all soon - time for a good latte at Coffee Art girls!!!
Love to all,
Kerrie and James xxx

Monday, November 3, 2008

In Cornwall

We are now staying in our cottage in Cornwall in the fishing village of Newlyn. It is a beautiful cottage, well equipped with wonderful views across the harbour, up to Penzance and across to St Micheal's Mount. We have been taking it easy here and resting up from busy days travelling. Yesterday we took a short drive down to Lands End where the Atlantic winds sweep across the rugged coastline and are bitterly cold. It was freezing and when we visited the farm close by we came across some Cornish cats who were huddled up inside out of the winds after a hard night's mousing!!! The sign next to them said not to touch as they were tired and cranky today and were likely to scratch - very cute!
Today we have ventured into Penzance and are attempting to do all our internet stuff in lightening time as it's very expensive. So that said it's bye for now.
Love to all - missing you all and looking foward to being home again soon,
Kerrie and James xxx

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In London

Hello from London - double decker buses, the Thames, black taxis, pies, pints and freezing cold weather! This morning we woke up to news that it had snowed here overnight and yes there was snow on the ground around where we are staying - cool!!! - literally as well! We did the Hop-on-Hop-off bus here today which included a boat cruise on the Thames as well - lovely and warm in there. We saw lots of the city - visited St Paul's Cathedral (more tears!), saw the London Eye, crossed London bridge, crossed Tower bridge, saw the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben.......... the list goes on. It's a great way to see lots of the city and stop and visit and see what you want. The ticket lasts for 48 hours so we will use it again tomorrow to visit Buckingham Palace and some more sights - if we're really organised I might squeeze in a visit to Harrods - drove past tonight on the way back to Paddington - which by the way has Paddington bears everywhere!!! Cute - some might find their way into my bag for some little girl I know! The one downfall of London (as Wetsern Europe) is that it is VERY expensive. Hopefully will find a cheaper internet service in Cornwall and can upload some photos.
Love to everyone,
Kerrie and James xxxx

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Day in the Belgian Countryside

Today we took a train out of Brussels (a bit over big cities at the moment) to a town called Narum which is about an hour´s trip away. The town sits on the edge of the Ardennes and it was a lovely train ride through some very pretty countryside. The town has a citadel which we climbed (slowly!) and we were rewarded with some great views of the town and surrounding area. The citadel is an old Medieval fortress with a long history and had a total of 20 sieges when it was still occupied. It is built on many levels and there are places to sit (thankfully!) and admire the view around each level. We saw a squirrel up a tree in one of the beautiful parks up on the citadel - very cute. The area we travelled through today is bathed in autumn colours at the moment so is quite beautiful to see. The town of Namur was interesting with a real mix of the old - narrow cobbled stone streets - and the new - some great clothing stores in the main street (I looked but was very good and didnt buy anything - mainly because it wouldnt fit in our bag!). On our return to Brussels we bought some Belgian chocolates - yummmmmmmy! We have however decided that they wont travel well, especially as we will be stopping over in Dubai on the way home - so we´ll just have to eat them all and tell you what they were like when we see you!!!
Tomorrow at midday we head to London - we are looking forward to understanding the language (and being understood - the French here is a real challenge for me and James got an E in French last year, no help at all!); having more to watch on telly than CNN and BBC news (both of which repeat the same thing over and over and over - we can recite off all the ins and outs of the US presidential elections and the world credit crisis by heart!!!); and James wants a meat pie!!! Not, however, looking forward to the English pound exchange rate given that I´ve just checked the exchange rate and I need 29 cents more now for a pound than when we left - ouch! Oh well - you only live once!!!
Love to everyone - will add more photos next time,
Kerrie and James xxxx

Sunday, October 26, 2008

In Brussels

Maarken - one of the fishing villages we visited on our tour, a working windmill (we got to climb up inside one of these and see it working - it made pigments for paint), Amsterdam from the canals, James recovering from the cold on the canal boat, wanna buy a pair of clogs!!!
Hello from Brussels. I have to say from the beginning if there are spelling mistakes in this posting I havent forgotten my spelling - this French keyboard is quite different from our English ones and there are some things I cant quite work out - like how to put an apostrophe in!
Since our last posting we have been in Amsterdam - another beautiful city, but this one looked very familiar. Some of you may not know that I lived in the Netherlands for 6 months, 31 years ago, so in some ways being in Amsterdam was like going back in time and almost felt like going home (sort of)! The city is packed with bikes, canals, cobbled streets, boats, tiny houses which are often crooked, people smoking marijuana openly on the streets (yes its legal) and working ladies sitting in their windows in the Red Light District (yep thats legal too!!). James was shocked - lets hope his Nans not too shocked I took him there! You havent really seen Amsterdam unless youve seen that district!
In Amsterdam we had one cold and rainy day but we spent that day cruising the canals on the Hop-On-Hop-Off canal boat which was a great way to see the city - and it was warm inside! Our second day in Amsterdam we spent on a bus tour of the Dutch countryside which was lovely. It was wonderful to get out of a city for a while and we saw Edam, Volendam and Marken which are picturesque villages not too far away from Amsterdam. Of course they were quite touristy with plenty of opportunities to buy souvenirs but we did see a good cross-section of the Dutch countryside - windmills, dykes, canals, cows, goats, the Eisselmeer, quaint houses and much more.
The weather has been very kind to us until the last couple of days - its now turned very cold and today we are spending more time inside to avoid the bitter wind outside. After two nights here we catch the Eurostar across to London for three nights and then its down to Cornwall where we have a cottage booked for six nights. James and I are really looking forward to that especially so that we can stay in one spot for a good length of time and not have to repack the bags and travel too much!
Hope everyone is well at home - thinking of you all the time and missing you. Hugs and kisses for Liam, Wil and Sophie (Aunty Kerrie has been buying you some presents!!!) xxx Heaps of love to Nanna as wellxxx

Love Kerrie and James xxxx

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Last day in Prague

Some photos here for you to see - Kerrie near Charles Bridge with Prague Castle in the distance, James having his caricature done on Charles Bridge.

Hello again from Prague. Yesterday we took the No 22 tram up to Hdransy - the Castle District in Prague - to visit Prague Castle. WOW! St Vitius Cathedral sits in the middle of the castle area and is a magnificent example of Gothic architecture with gargoyles, flying buttresses, tombs, arched doorways, beautiful mosaics, stained glass windows and soaring arches. We took the self-guided audio guide to tour the castle which was very worthwhile as it explained in lots of detail the history of the area and it's buildings. We also visited the Old Palace, Golden Lane, the Basilica and several other important buildings in the castle complex. Then we headed back down to Charles bridge where there are many artists selling their wares and James had his caricature done by one of them. At the end of a very long day we headed back to Visherad very weary but having seen some spectacular sights. This certainly has to be one of Europe's prettiest cities.

Love to all - will post again soon,

Kerrie and James xxx

Monday, October 20, 2008

In Prague

Hello from Prague
We have travelled from Hungary to Prague via a fleeting visit to Vienna. Unfortunately we ate out in Budapest on what was to be our last night there but the next morning we were too sick to travel - no more Hungarian Goulash for me! So that meant we could only spend one night in Vienna which was disappointing but we did managed to have a couple of hours walk around the city centre and see some of the major sights. There was another amazing building, sculpture or sight around every corner.
Prague is very beautiful and we are staying just out of the centre in a quiet area called Vyseghrad which was the original centre of Prague with castle before relocation to the present site on castle hill. Today we wandered the town centre, up and down little streets finding another photo opportunity around every corner and wonderful shops to browse. Tomorrow we are going to visit the castle area. We are staying in an apartment owned by an Aussie so it's great to hear a familiar accent, and Michael is very helpful and has shown us some great spots to visit and see. Good restaurants around here and lovely parks to wander in the afternoon when the locals are all out walking their dogs and taking their babies for a stroll in their prams! Prague is very safe and everyone is still out on the streets walking til quite late.
From here we head to Amsterdam on Wednesday night - a little change of plan, so another overnight trip although think it will be a bit more upmarket than the Turkish and Bulgarian trains (a least I hope so!).
Love to all and thinking of you,
Love Ya Mum and Nan, xxxx
Kerrie & James xxxx
PS hopefully some more photos next time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

the Skinny Controller

This photos for Liam and Wil - this is the "fat" controller in Hungary - I think he's been on a diet!!!
Love Kerrie

photos at last

Some photos from our trip so far!
James with Josef Kovacs - an artist we bought some etchings from near Buda Castle, James at Buda castle, me at the Citadel overlooking Budapest

hello again from Budapest

Today we went on the hop-on-hop-off bus around Budapest and saw all the major sites - just beautiful! We spent quite a lot of time at Buda Castle area - great views across to the Pest side of the Danube. The bus is a great way to get around the city as it's quite a long way between sights and anything to save my legs is good! James is feeling better today - especially now that he's on a computer next to me at the internet cafe!!! No actually he's enjoying seeing the buildings and attractions of the city and especially now that he knows there are no long overnight train trips! Some good photo opportunities today. Tomorrow we are off to Vienna on the morning train - only around 3 hours - yippee! Love Kerrie & James xx

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In Budapest

We are now in Budapest after another - hopefully last - long train trip. James is over the trains after being sick on the last overnight trip. We decided to change our accommodation plans in Budapest and live it up a bit - we are staying in a very new 4 star motel near the centre of town - very swish and comfortable to recover from our travelling.
We have just had a couple of hours walk around the centre of Budapest and it is beautiful - large ornate buildings, the Danube, statues, river boats, beautiful flowers, cobbled streets, good coffee, castle- wow! Tomorrow if James is feeling OK we will buy tickets for the hop-on-hop-off bus to see the sights of the city. Good photo opportunities abound in Budapest - will need to buy more memory cards for the camera.
Thinking of you all back home - we've had some moments in the past few days in Bulgaria and Serbia but managed to get through them and feeling good here in Hungary.
Still not able to post photos but maybe later on.
Love to everyone,
Kerrie & James xxx

Sunday, October 12, 2008

We're Here!

At Gallipoli and James on the beach at ANZAC Cove (beached as bru!!)

Kerrie at Hagia Sophia

Well after a week of travelling we are finally able to post - somehow our blog got blocked but now it's fine again.
We arrived in Istanbul last Sunday night after a very long 30 odd hours of travelling - 8 hour stop over in Dubai and a loooong flight from Brisabane to Dubai. Arriving in Istanbul at night was interesting and as our driver took us past the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and other icons I could hardly believe we were there. Istanbul is busy, huge, crazy with traffic, friendly and has loads of cats! I've had my hand kissed three times (just for buying kebabs!) and received one marriage proposal!!! James also received the traditional Turkish greeting practised by men with a hand shake and a kiss on each cheek - not sure how he felt about that but he received it graciously!
Our tour down to Gallipoli and Cannakale was wonderful. We toured the Gallipoli peninsula with an English speaking guide who had incredible knowledge of the WW1 campaign and really brought it to life. Standing at ANZAC Cove was very special and brought tears to my eyes as we thought of all the lives lost there.We crossed the Dardenelles on a car ferry to Cannakale just as the sun was setting - spectacular.
On our second day we toured Troy with Mustafa - another very informative guide who also spoke excellent English. Pretty amazing to see such history.
In Istanbul we visited the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Underground Cistern, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, Spice Market and lots of smaller streets and shops. The people were always very friendly, helpful and interested in where we came from - lots of comments about kangaroos, Sydney, oi oi oi!, and g'day mate!!!
Today we arrived in Sofia, Bulgaria after a long overnight train trip with two extended stops for passport control in the middle of the night. The train station here is an unpleasant concrete bunker which appears to be out in the middle of nowhere. When I enquired about our overnight trip to Budapest I was told by the lady at international booking that it was not possible during the week - oh bugger. It seems we have to change at Belgrade so we will set off tomorrow in case the trains don't connect and we lose a night along the way. After being fleeced by the taxi driver from the train station to the hostel (even though I thought I had good information about them) I'm thinking Sofia is not going to be our favourite spot - maybe some sight seeing tomorrow before we leave might fix that.
We were hoping to post a photo but unfortunately the computers here down have USB ports - maybe at our next stop. Take care everyone - oh and happy back to work tomorrow - we'll be thinking of you!!!
Happy Birthday Jas for Monday - love you heaps and kisses for my babies xxx. Have a good day with Nanna and give her a big kiss from us.
Kerrie & James

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Well we are off to Brisbane tomorrow to stay the night with my aunty and uncle and then on Saturday night we fly out at 8:05. Most of our things are packed and ready to go and I hope that everything is organised at home for when we leave. Apart from getting ourslves organised I need to make sure that our cats, Sally & Lily, and our dog, Sophie are catered for when we are away. My mum will be looking after them for us so she is armed with a list of do's and don'ts and enough food to last a year apparently!!!
Our first stop is Dubai for eight and a half hours and then it's on to Istanbul where we arrive around 6:00pm on Sunday. We have a transfer arranged to our hotel and I guess some much needed rest before we start to explore the city on Monday morning - Grand Bazaar here I come!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Beginning

One week from today James and I will set off on our adventure around Europe and the UK. We hope to use this blog to keep in touch with family and friends whilst we are away and show you some of the places we visit.