Gerry & Ruth

Gerry and Ruth Travels

Gerry & Ruth

We are Gerry & Ruth, a retired couple living in Brisbane Australia. We have 2 adult sons now on their own travel/work adventures based in London.

Retirement has allowed us the opportunity travel as a means to keep the grey matter moving, stay healthy and as a periodic reminder as to how fortunate we are to live in such a wonderful country.

Without conscious planning the theme of out trips to date have been based around ancient civilisations and cultures mixed with elements of adventure and trekking.

The blog is a great way to keep family & friends informed of our travels and maybe give some insight of our experiences as well as a great reminder to us.

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki August 17th 2019

The first 4.5 hr sail out of Stockholm was incredible weaving through hundreds of islands of every size from small treeless rocky outcrops teeming with sea birds, vast forested & uninhabited islands to idyllic island locations with private homes ranging from traditional red log cabins to palatial homes many with flagpoles flying proudly. Don’t know if they’re only holiday houses or permanent homes but would certainly be less idyllic in winter. We checked into the Hotel Arthur for a two night stay before an orientation walk around the city’s landmarks Including the Lutheran cathedral on Senate Square & the Uspenski Orthadox Cathedral. The rest of the old town is not that interesting with much off the city’s architectural design occurring during Russian occupation. We had our last group dinner for three passengers finishing today but will ... read more
Uspenski Orthadox Cathedral.
Stockholm archipelago
Sailing through Stockholm archipelago .

Europe » Sweden » Stockholm County » Stockholm August 15th 2019

Today started with a 4 hours train journey to Stockholm and a 3 night stay at the Hotel Lilla Radmannen. After check-in & lunch we headed out for a brief orientation walk around the medieval city that is arguably Scandinavia's most beautiful city. Gamla Stan, (or Old Town), is one of 14 islands that makes up the city & is its vibrant heart due to its historic architecture, narrow cobblestoned streets & home of the Royal Palace. However being expensive & crowded with tourists we had dinner & drinks in the emerging Sodermalm district. Next day the girls went to the ABBA museum & had a really good time while I visited a number of Stockholm’s underground stations. The subway (Tunnelbana) system of 100 stations is huge for a city of less than 1 mil & ... read more
Riddar Holms kyrkan .
Entrance Arch to pedestrian walk
Typical Street scene

Europe » Sweden » Dalarna » Mora August 12th 2019

Woke to a grey showery day & a 5.5 hr trip by private bus to the Swedish border & on to the village of Mora & a two night stay at the Hotell Fridhemsgatan. The outlook was mostly pine forest with a scattering of small communities. Just over the border is the village of Sälen, known for its huge ski fields & slopes. The Vasaloppsleden Trail runs from Sälen to Mora (approx 90 kms) & is the course for huge annual races for cyclists in summer & cross country skiing in winter. The course has an important place in Swedish history as 500 years ago Gustav Vasa escaped invading Danish forces but later successfully led an uprising against the occupying power and became King. The trail follows the escape route & the races take place to ... read more
Cathedral & spire
Cathedral Bell Tower
Dala horse sizes

Europe » Norway » Eastern Norway » Lillehammer August 10th 2019

Today was a travel day with a six hours bus journey to Lillehammer and a two night stay at the First Hotel Breiseth. The trip was very scenic through lush valleys that follow rushing streams, vast lakes, remote villages and a surreal drive through the Lærdal Tunnel, the world's longest road tunnel at 24.5 kms. The tunnel is equipped with intermittent special blue lighting to help drivers stay alert by giving off the illusion of driving into daylight. Lillehammer is an Alpine playground on the picturesque Lake Mjøsa that hosted the Winter Olympics in 1994. Upon arrival we headed out for a brief orientation walk around the 19th century town where the main streets are pedestrian & lined with wooden houses, boutiques and restaurants before having dinner at a micro brewery housed in a former brewery ... read more
Various old wooden buildings

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Gudvangen August 8th 2019

Today was a preparation day for one of the highlight days of the tour starting with a 3.5 hr bus journey to the incredible fjord region. Our accommodation for a 2 night stay was a rustic self-catering Norwegian hut at a village near the town of Gudvangen. The setting is beautiful, surrounded by steep cliff walls next to the crystal clear Kjelsfossen waterfall falling from the top of the fjords. Next task was to buy food supplies for two days leaving the afternoon free to walk along the fjord before a casual BBQ dinner. Some doubtful weather was forecast but we woke next day to a bright clear morning and perfectly still conditions for our boat trip up the World Heritage Naeroyfjord. The fjord is 18 kilometres long & incredibly deep yet narrows down to sheer ... read more
Gudvangen starting dock
One of many small villages along the fjord
Narrow point on fjord.

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen August 6th 2019

Monday was a comfortable travel day with a scenic 6.5 hr train journey linking Norway's two main cities. Starting in a cool grey Oslo morning the train steadily climbed to 1220 mtrs to a sunny alpine day before descending back down to sea level & a cool & dry Bergen. The outlook along the way was of lush valleys, idyllic villages, dramatic mountains and picturesque lakes. The scene then changed to treeless rocky hills with isolated snowy patches at the top and then dense pine forests on the decent. We arrived mid afternoon for a 2 night stop at the Hotel Zander K & headed out immediately for a brief orientation walk around the historic World Heritage listed city. Also in the likelihood of a wet next day (it rains 266 days a year) we took ... read more
Harbour view from Mt. Floy
Pine forest view of port.
Old wooden houses at Bryggen port area

Europe » Norway » Eastern Norway » Oslo August 4th 2019

Friday was a 300 km local bus trip to Oslo, Norway's capital and a 3 night stay at the Hotel Anker. The bus was super smooth & comfortable & we arrived to a warm 28 deg. afternoon. After lunch & a quick check-in we took our usual guided orientation walk to get an understanding of the layout of the city to best plan the rest of our free time. The main landmarks seen among others were the Royal Palace, Parliament, University & the National Theatre. Next day was hot again. We bought a 24 hr Oslo Pass which allows free admission & transport to numerous museums & other attractions. First off we caught a local bus to museum island. Although technically not an island 5 amazing museums are located within walking distance of each other on ... read more
National Theatre
Royal Palace

Europe » Sweden » Västra Götaland » Gothenburg July 31st 2019

Spent the morning wandering around Copenhagen before a 1 hr train trip to Malmo. The line is a combined road/rail link via an 8 km Oresund Bridge that partly spans the strait separating Denmark and the Scandinavian Peninsula. The link then descends a further 4 km by tunnel to reach Sweden’s 3rd city. Unfortunately the spectacular above ground look of the bridge is completely unseen from the train deck below. After a brief wander around the cobbled Old Town streets of Malmo its was back to the train station & a 3 hr trip to Gothenburg & a 3 night stay at the Le Mat B&B. The bridge has spurred a tremendous revival of Malmo from an industrial economy to a service economy dominated by IT & education whilst Gothenburg has prospered by retaining its traditional ... read more
Apoteket Lejonet
Apoteket Lejonet.
Malmo old town street

Europe » Denmark » Region Hovedstaden » Copenhagen July 29th 2019

Arrived into Copenhagen mid afternoon to a hot 29deg day. A 25 hr trip but pretty good & not too tired & then a short train ride to our starting point accommodation, the Hotel Cabinn City, a little bit basic & no AC. Apart from a supermarket trip, no time for a city walk before an evening briefing and a meet-up with the rest of the group. The tour has a full group of 12 supported by a leader/guide. The group dynamic is very diverse in age, gender and geographic home & a group dinner was a nice way to get to know everyone. Some will only do stages of the tour and we will pickup new people along the way. Another hot day expected and we started with a morning bike tour around the wide ... read more
Nyhavn Wharf
Gothic St Alban’s Anglican Church

Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo March 9th 2019

After about 420 kms of riding our last full day was a 150 km drive to Colombo initially along a new toll road to the outskirts of Colombo where traffic slowed to a crawl. Brief stops made at Independence Square & Parliament as well a brief orientation drive around the old town before lunch & browsing at the Barefoot Fairtrade store, a showcase of handicrafts from around the country. After lunch we took a walk through the bustling Pettah Bazaar. Colombo is now a big modern city set on a huge natural harbour where office blocks stand shoulder to sholder with Colonial-era buildings reflecting the different eras of the Portuguese, Dutch & British empires. China is now the new empire, building huge new towers plus a massive sand reclamation of prime land around the port so ... read more
Busy speed sign
Moving goods in compact Colombo market
End of ride group with celebratory beer.

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