Colleen McEwen


Colleen McEwen

I love travelling and have done as much as I can over the 68 years of my life. Since retiring from teaching in 2012 I have been able to do even more and have enjoyed the diverse landscapes, cities, peoples and places I have visited. My travels have taken me to every continent and to over 87 countries.
I also love sharing my experiences by writing and uploading photos so others can perhaps be inspired to follow in my footsteps or to just go out and explore this wonderful planet on which we all live. I am also happy that I have found another blog site where this can occur after my original host, Travelpod closed down.

Former TravelPod Member: mrsmac

Joined: March 18th, 2008
From: Adelaide lives in Adelaide,Australia
Favorite Music: Beatles. Queen, any good rock and roll
Languages: English and a small amount of French
Bucket List: Travel to as many countries as I can.
Profession: Teacher/now retired

Life is what happens to you while you're making other plans

Europe » Romania » Transilvania » Brasov » Brasov September 12th 2023

On Thursday, we took only a small bag as we were heading to Transylvania for a two day, one night, visit. We drive out of Bucharest during peak hour which was difficult and headed out on Highway 1. Our first loo stop was at a very modern shopping mall. They certainly are not short of goods and services here. We drove on, into the Carpathian mountains with the scenery turning from wide fields into mountain views along the way. Near the pretty town of Sinaia, we visited Peles Castle. This was built by King Ferdinand, royalty borrowed from the German aristocracy, and was very much in that style. It was set in beautiful gardens and we were shown through various rooms, sumptuously decorated with paintings and mirrors. Very grand. The castle was saved from the ravages ... read more
From another perspective
Garden at Peles
Front entrance

Europe » Romania » Transilvania » Brasov September 10th 2023

On Wednesday, 6th September, we left the ship at Giurgiu. We had opted to do the Highlights of Bucharest tour. Only 2 other couples had made the same choice so we were in a small mini van with Loren our guide and Christian our driver. It took about two hours to reach Bucharest, driving through mainly rural landscapes.As we approached the city, the traffic became horrendous and Christian took some back streets to avoid the worst of it. Our first stop was in the leafy area of No. 1 district at the home of the former dictator, Ceacescu. This is preserved as an historical monument and is open to the public. We were taken through the rooms, originally occupied and furnished by the first family. Ceacescu was a peasant with only a 4th grade education. We ... read more
The oldest son's bedroom
Private quarters
Elena's dayroom

Europe » Bulgaria » Veliko Tarnovo Province » Veliko Tarnovo September 7th 2023

On Monday, 4th September I woke not feeling the best. We decided to skip the morning tour as we had an optional one booked for the afternoon. We had arrived in Vidin, one of the oldest riverside towns in Bulgaria. I opted for a late breakfast and a rest. Fletcher went for a walk into the town and saw the town square with a war memorial as well as an interesting mall. Next to the ship was a memorial to those who died during the Communist era. After lunch I was much better so we joined the excursion to the Baba Vida Fortress and Dos Alamos winery.We first were driven through the town to the Fortress. This was built in medieval times and used to have a moat surrounding it, the remains of which are still ... read more
Moat wall and towers of the Fortress

Europe » Bulgaria » Veliko Tarnovo Province September 6th 2023

On Saturday we arrived in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. This added a new country to our tally. In the morning we joined the Panoramic Belgrade tour. This first took us to the Fortress which overlooks the Confluence of the Danube and the Sava rivers. Belgrade means white city and it derides its name from the Fortress which has a white tower. It has been there for centuries but the remains now are mainly from the 18th century. Most of it now is a public has great views and a Military museum, also the zoo is located within the park. After exploring many aspects there we were driven around the city to see many of the sights of this now modern place. We went then to the large Orthodox church of St Sava. This is ... read more
The White Tower
Confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers
Part of the Military museum

Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade September 3rd 2023

We sailed out of Budapest on Wednesday, August 30th. On Thursday morning we arrived in Kalocsa, still in Hungary. Here we first went to the Assumption Cathedral where we admired the church but had an organ concert which was superb. Then we walked around the local area before boarding buses which took us to the area called the Putza. This contains the Plains of Hungary which are the flat agricultural land which grow corn, paprika and other crops essential for feeding both people and animals. Our next destination was a horse farm where we had a great show of horsemanship from a range of horsemen and carriage drivers. The whip cracking riders welcomed us as we drove in and we were then given a welcome drink of local brandy and bread with paprika. Then we settled ... read more
Inside the church
Horseman welcoming the bus

Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade September 2nd 2023

The third leg of our journey began officially on August 28th. We had to check out as World Athletics guests and recheck in as Viking people. Fortunately we were able to stay in the same room. We caught the Metro into the city and tried to visit the House of Terror, a museum about the Nazi and Communist regimes but it was closed. We then went to Heroes square but access was restricted as they were removing all the Marathon equipment. So we returned to the hotel and shared a club sandwich for lunch. Then we needed a rest to recover from the last two weeks!! That night we went to a small restaurant just behind our hotel. I could see it from our window. This is the Mercatino and here we had one of the ... read more
Fletcher at Mercatino
Decor at Mercatino
Dining at Mercatino (our neighbours were a couple from Oregon)

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest August 29th 2023

The last three days at the track provided some of the best moments of the trip so far. On Friday morning the only event we wa ted to watch was the women's high jump qualifying. We did that from our room and were pleased that both Eleanor Patterson and Nicole Olysagers both got through to the final. The men's decathlon started but both Ash Moloney and Cedric Dubler had to pull out during the competition due to injury. At 12-15 we met Denis Wilson in the foyer and walked with him to Voromasy Square and to the S/O restaurant. This stands for Soy/Olive. The place has an Italian restaurant on one side and an Asian on the other. The Oceania Area Lunch was being held in the Italian side. This is always a highlight of any ... read more
Seb Coe dropped by
Great antipasto
Oceania people

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest August 25th 2023

The last 4 days have been mainly spent at the stadium. On both Monday and Tuesday there was no morning session so we rested in our room. Monday we walked up to Erzs├ębet Square where we had a great lunch at Il Pasteo, an Italian restaurant on the edge of the square. Great food and service. It was very hot so we were glad to retreat back to the hotel after a short stroll. The evening session highlight was the Men's Discus where Matt Denny was competing. What a comp!! Matt threw a new Australian record but that was only good enough for 4th!! On Tuesday, we again rested before going back to the shopping area, venturing further along the Visci utca but the heat got the better of us. We stopped at the Cyrano restaurant ... read more
Fletcher's spaghetti marinara
Yummy rose at Cyrano
At the track

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest August 21st 2023

On Thursday and Friday Fletcher spent most of the days at the Congress where a new council was elected and various committees reported on their activities. I vegged out completely on the Thursday but on Friday morning I walked up to the very vibrant shopping area and square behind the hotel. Here I explored the various shops and buildings. Market stalls had been set up in preparation for St Stephen's day which is Sunday.I bought myself a hat and some make-up, but after an hour and a half I was tired so wandered back to the hotel for a cold drink. Fletcher returned and shared my club sandwich and then in the evening we went to the Local Organisibg Comittee dinner. This was even grander than the opening dinner. It was held in the Museum of ... read more
Cannabis chocolate for sale
Huge Ferris Wheel in the square
One of the temporary market stalls

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest August 17th 2023

Since Saturday morning we have been in the beautiful city of Budapest. We still have 12 days to go but most of that will be spent at the track watching the World Athletics Championships. So though we haven't been out all day every day, here is a summary of various aspects of our visit so far. Sightseeing!! Our hotel, the Intercontinental is not far from the amazing Parliament building on the banks of the Danube( which is far from blue!!). We caught a tram , which runs frequently, but got off a stop or two too early. We then walked the short way to view this magnificent building. With towering spires and an imposing dome it is certainly one of the main sights here. We walked around it admiring the statues etc which are on all ... read more
Buda castle at night
One side of the Parliament
Another view of the Parliament

Tot: 0.345s; Tpl: 0.008s; cc: 10; qc: 89; dbt: 0.104s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb