Page 3 of MrsMac Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » Florida » Keys November 22nd 2018

On Tuesday morning our trusty taxi driver from yesterday was at our apartment to pick us up at 10am. He drove us to the Hire car hub at Miami Airport. He told us he was originally from Sudan and gave us all sorts of information about how to get into and out of the airport. He was very efficient and we were glad to have had his help. Once we had collected our car, a Yarris, we headed out to drive to the Keys. On paper it was simple but finding our way from the airport to Highway 1 proved rather troublesome. It was my fault as I was trying to read the map and thought we were headed in the wrong direction when we were on the right road. Eventually we sorted it out and ... read more
Colleen at Will's Bar
Mary Ellen's Bar
Lighthouse across the street from the Hemingway House

North America » United States » Florida » Miami Beach November 19th 2018

Our fourth overseas trip for this celebratory year began on Sunday morning, November 18th. We headed to Adelaide airport from where we flew to Sydney and after a short stop in the Qantas Lounge boarded a Qantas flight to the USA. We had asked to be upgraded using Fletcher's frequent flyer points and we were delighted when we were informed the day before we left that we had been successful. Therefore, the flight from Sydney to Dallas, which was 14 hours, we spent in Business Class which made the trip so comfortable. Lovely food and the ability to sleep stretched out made time go very quickly. Arriving in Dallas we had a fairly easy path through customs and then a one hour wait in the American Airlines lounge before boarding our very full Economy flight to ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing August 7th 2018

Our last day in Mongolia was a quiet one. We had time in the morning for a leisurely breakfast and then a chance to repack our suitcases. We checked out at 11-30 then left our luggage in storage while we were taken to the Mongolian National Museum. Here we were shown through ten rooms which cover the span of Mongolian history from Paeleolithic times to the modern day. Tonga talked us through each of the rooms, elaborating on aspects of the exhibits including one about Chinggis Khan. The Soviet era and the coming of democracy in the early 1990 swere also very interesting. I was fascinated, as my knowledge of this area of history was very sketchy so this was enlightening. We returned to the hotel for lunch and then, on our way to the airport, ... read more

Asia August 1st 2018

We arrived in the capital city of Mongolia about 9am and disembarked for the last time. We said goodbye to Natalia and Elena with hugs and kisses. They had been so great in looking after us for the trip. it was rather sad to realise that the main thrust of our tour was over. From the train we were taken to our first stop by our local guide, Tonga. She is a very personable lady who interacted in a friendly manner. I don't know what I expected to find in Ulaan Bataar but I was suprised about the modern, traffic-jammed city we encountered. Before we left on the bus we celebrated our guide, Olga's 29th birthday. We had bought her some chocolates and had printed out a great photo of all of us and framed it ... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Ulan-Ude July 31st 2018

We arrived in Ulan Ude at 9-30am We were taken straight to a local hotel and allowed an hour there to have a shower and be ready for the day. Then it was off on a city tour. Ulan Ude is the capital of the Buryat Republic of Russia. It is one of three mainly Buddhist Republics and was originally settled by nomadic Mongols. So this has an Asian flavour but overdressed with Russian influence. This was clearly seen in our first stop at the city square. This square is dominated by a huge head of Lenin, the largest in the world. Surrounding the square are various public buildings, all built in the soviet style. It is a large space and quite attractive. We walked from there to another smaller plaza which had a dancing fountain ... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Irkutsk July 30th 2018

Saturday morning, after a sleep in and breakfast, we arrived in the city of Irkutsk at 10-45. We were met by our local guide, Larisa, who was to be with us for two days. We first drove across the river, Angara, and stopped at a beautiful park containing two churches and monuments to other saints and heroes. I immediately felt drawn to this place, it has a life and spirit to it that we had not seen in the other three cities we have visited along the way. St Saviour’s church was an imposing sight with a tall bell tower and icons painted as mosaics on the outer walls. In front was a memorial to people whose graves had been found when they rebuilt the church after its destruction by Communists during the Soviet era. Unfortunately, ... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Lake Baikal July 28th 2018

We left Irkutsk at 10-30 on a lovely sunny day. We drove into the countryside, heading for the largest fresh water lake in the world. Lake Baikal contains 20%of the world's fresh water and I was very excited to be able to see it. We reached the shore in about 45 minutes and stopped to take a group photo overlooking the water. Our first main stop was at the liminolgical museum, one which concentrates on the lake and its history and ecology. It was very crowded, with tour groups, not only from our train, but from China as well. LArisa took us through the different stages in the formation of the lake and then the ecology, explaining why the water is so so pure and the different organisms essential in its ecology. As we went through ... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Krasnoyarsk July 27th 2018

We arrived in Krasnoyarsk about 10am on Friday. We were met and immediately taken off for a city tour. Unfortunately the weather had turned and it was misty, grey and threatening rain. We drove into the city centre and the main square, where predictably there was a theatre .There were some intersting "dancing" fountains which were amusing a lone small child in the centre of the square. To the left we were told to look at the clock tower. This was described as Krasnoyarsk's Big Ben. On the side of the square was another fountain which would hve been very pretty, but it was undegoing repair and restoration. This depicted the local rivers as maidens and the god of the river in the front accepting his guardianship. At the bottom was also a statue to Anton ... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Novosibirsk July 26th 2018

k and Krasnoyarsk We spent the day on the train, travelling between Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk. We stopped for about half an hour at Omsk and were able to walk along the platform and stretch our legs. We had lunch on the train. Fletcher continued to work on his computer while I read and chatted to Elizabeth whose cabin is next to ours. At 4pm we went down to the restaurant car and Olga gave us a lesson in the Russian Language. Having been here three times before I can decipher most of the Cyrillic but some letters still give me problems. So this was fun, looking at the alphabet which has 32 letters and learning simple phrases such as “See you tomorrow”, “Where do you live?” and the numbers from 1-20. We had to write our ... read more

Europe » Russia » Urals » Yekaterinburg July 25th 2018

The train sped through the night and we slept pretty well. We stopped at Kirov for about 20 minutes and were able to walk along the platform. Nice to have a break and breathe the fresh air. Breakfast was fine with cereal, fruit and yoghurt and omelettes and eggs cooked to specification if wanted. The view from the window was mainly of birch tree forests with small towns containing wooden houses and unmade roads. We did go through some larger cities and our next stop was at Belezino station. Here we watched as they changed engines. The train is very comfortable. We have a cabin to ourselves but it could be a four person with two sleeping on fold down bumk beds. There are many Italian speakers in our carriage and they are all crammed in, ... read more

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