Page 9 of Trabern Travel Blog Posts

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul January 5th 2013

We didn't sleep too badly overnight. We slept until about midnight/1.00am and then managed another stretch until about 4.30am. After than we only dozed until about 6.00am when we gave up on sleeping and decided to write some more of the travel diary and process some of yesterday's photos. About 7.00am we hit the shower before venturing down to the mezzanine level for breakfast. After a quick breakfast we headed back to our room to put on several layers of clothing to go out sightseeing for the day. The trouble is that it is so warm in the room we feel really uncomfortable layering up our clothes. Of course that only lasts until we step out the front door! In fact this morning, by the time we had topped up our travel card at a kiosk ... read more
Topkapi Palace
Galata Tower from Topkapi
Tracey and the tower

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul January 4th 2013

With our boarding time approaching we started heading down to Gate 10. Fortunately, before we walked all the way there, we checked the departure board to discover that our gate had been changed to Gate 3!! So it was about turn and back to Gate 3 ... which wasn't open so we wandered around looking for some more seating. We were really struggling to stay awake by this stage. We nearly dozed off sitting in the seats arranged around the television screens so we thought we should head back to see if the Gate 3 lounge was open. Easier for them to find us asleep there than have to mount a search of Terminal 3 if we missed our boarding call. Finally, it was back onto the plane at 0050 for our 0150 departure to Istanbul. ... read more
Haghia Sophia
Haghia Sophia 2
Haghia Sophia 3

Asia » Singapore » Changi January 3rd 2013

So, here we are at Changi Airport, Singapore with about three hours to kill before we can board our on bound flight to Istanbul. Might as well start the travel diary!! We were up early this morning to take the dogs for a nice long walk in the cool of morning before a 30°+ day. It was weird to think that we would be leaving Melbourne in the grip of a heatwave to fly to Istanbul where the forecast is for days between 5 and 8 degrees Celsius!! Definitely a first for us to head to the Northern hemisphere in their winter. Usually we miss several weeks of winter Down Under and head to the Northern hemisphere in their summer. The other weird thing about this holiday has been the long break between finishing work and ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne July 2nd 2012

After the delay with our departure we had a smooth and uneventful flight between LAX and MEL. It turned out that the biggest problem with the seats was not their proximity to the toilets, but the occupant of the seat in front of Bernie. It was occupied by one of those individuals who has to recline the seat fully the second that the seatbelt sign is extinguished. And, as if that wasn't enough, he spent most of the flight humping around trying to get comfortable. I, on the other hand, did not have anyone in front of me and had a reasonably comfortable flight. I managed to sleep for a few hours and watched 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' and 'American Graffiti' in between. After breakfast had been served I watched two 20th Anniversary 'Absolutely Fabulous' ... read more

This morning we packed the bags back into the Mustang for the last time and took the I-15 from Las Vegas back to Barstow so that we could pick up Route 66 where we left off on Tuesday and complete our road trip across America. Edna was a bit funny as we drove along the interstate. We didn't have a destination programmed in - we just had her on to confirm where we were - the only problem was that she was consistently showing us to be driving along about 100 yards off the line of I-15!!! Despite Edna's vagueness, we successfully exited the interstate at Barstow and managed to track down the Harvey House. In a couple of other places the guide mentioned that the remains of a Harvey House were present, but we hadn't ... read more
Barsow Harvey House (2)
Bottle Ranch
Bottle Sculpture

North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas June 29th 2012

Today we shopped!! When we were at the outlet mall on Wednesday afternoon we noticed that the 4th of July Sale was running from 6/29 until 7/4 i.e. the 29th of June until the 4th of July. So we decided to make Wednesday a reconnaissance mission, while we waited for check-in time at the MGM Signature, and return to make our purchases today. I think that was worthwhile as they had quite a few shops with 'bogo' deals - buy one, get one half price. By the time we bought a pair of shoes each at a couple of shops we had purchased some pretty cheap shoes. Driving back along Las Vegas Boulevard we stopped to take a photo of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign along with the hordes of other tourists and one bridal ... read more

North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas June 28th 2012

And so the morning of my 50th Birthday dawned although, arguably, I had already been 50 for 17 hours because I was born in Australia!!?? My birthday greetings have certainly been spread out, with the first ones arriving earlier in the week and continuing throughout today. I indulged myself this morning at the MGM Grand Spa with a pedicure, waxing and a facial. I am not even going to record how much that cost - only that it was lovely being pampered on my birthday. I had thought about leaving all of these personal services until I was back home, but my beauty therapist is on maternity leave so I decided, what the heck, pay twice the price and spoil myself on my birthday! While I was as the spa, Bernie played blackjack. He managed to ... read more
Bellagio Fountains
The Birthday Girl
Looking down the strip

North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas June 27th 2012

Having spotted a Barber's Shop only a hundred yards or so from the Boulder Dam Hotel, Bernie headed there after breakfast for a trim. After the ministrations of the Turkish Barber, it was a very quick, very standard going over with the No.2 comb!! With Bernie's grooming taken care of we made our way down Highway 93 to Hoover Dam. When we checked in yesterday afternoon we discovered that the new Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge (Colorado River Bridge) includes a pedestrian walkway so we were keen to check that out. In fact, we had been told that if we wanted to see anything, we would have to get out and walk because the concrete sidings on the bridge actually prevent you from seeing anything as you drive across. After walking to the mid-point ... read more
Hoover Dam
Sandals in different States
Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

North America » United States » Nevada » Boulder City June 26th 2012

Today we headed in the wrong direction (again!) so that we could visit the Mojave Desert and then head on up to Las Vegas for a few days before concluding our journey through middle America on Route 66. After taking a few photos this morning in downtown Barstow, we drove east along I-40 back to the entrance to the Mojave Desert National Preserve. We drove in the Kelbaker Road towards the Kelso Depot Visitor Centre making a stop at the Kelso Dunes along the way. These are huge sand dunes in the middle of the desert that are made by the wind blowing sand from Soda Lake, a dry lake, near Zzyzx. The sand laden winds hit the Granite Mountains and dump the sand in front of them thereby creating the massive sand dunes. You can ... read more
Route 66 Motel, Barstow
Heading for the Mojave
Faces in the Rocks, Mojave Desert National Preserve

North America » United States » California » Barstow June 25th 2012

We started out this morning with the top down - there's no point having the convertible if we don't feel the wind in our hair (or, in Bernie's case, over the scalp!) sometimes. It has been so very, very hot though that we have been wimping out and driving with the top up and the A/C on HIGH. We drove all the way back through Kingman and then headed for McConnico on Historic Route 66. From there we picked up the Oatman Highway and drove through Cool Springs across the drainage of Sacramento Wash, which is bone dry at the moment, before starting to climb the Black Mountains up to Sitgreave's Pass. We didn't see any wild burros or bighorn sheep, but we did find Shaffer's Fish Bowl Springs, a man-made basin that collects water from ... read more
On the way up the Black Mountains
View from Shaffer's Fish Bowl
Shaffer's Fish Bowl

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