Page 4 of cateandrog Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow June 3rd 2017

R: So armed with reduced baggage (Cate and Clare took our spare clothes etc) and armed with enough Russian supermarket purchases to last a month, we took the metro to Varoslavski Station. Our train was at 23:55 which allowed me only one occasion to think I had lost my passport. Our tickets had been delivered to our hotel so we were ready to go. When the time came to board the train, we headed down to the platform. We were in carriage 1, which was right up the other end of the train. For some reason we rushed, though we knew we had booked spaces. The Provodnitza (carriage attendant) took our tickets and passports and showed us to our cabin. It is a 4 bed room, two bunk beds on either side. You get a box ... read more
The engine (for part 1)
Our compartment on departure
A dull station stop

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow June 2nd 2017

R: Friday was all about the transport. You may already know that the Metro system in Moscow is prized as a jewel of the city. The stations are intricately decorated with chandeliers, statues and embossed detail. Lonely Planet had a "Metro tourism" tour, so Cate led us around as we criss crossed the network looking at the finest underground system in the world. After my initial difficulties moving around, we had now found our feet. We headed around through Arbatskaya, to Plotschad Revoluski, Kievskaya to Mayaskaya. Each station had its own specific theme and statues, many of which appeared to be lucky as areas of them were shinier than others where they had been rubbed clean. The Russians have decided to leave the evidence of communist past in the relevant places - there were plenty of ... read more
Moscow Metro Tourism
Lunch at the Kremlin
One of the Kremlin Cathedrals

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow May 31st 2017

R: We began the next day with a breakfast of breaded chicken, which made me ridiculously happy. We took a taxi over to Moscovskiy Vokzal (Moscow Station) for our trip to Moscow. Everything is extremely secure in Russia so to enter the train station we went through airport style security. Though this did at times seem to be a token effort. We wandered through the enormous dark looking station, which was largely filled with nothing, and perused the small selection of shops before heading to the "fancy bit" of the station where the smart Moscow bound trains pull in. To get to this we went through security again. The train itself was very smart - they have recently put in fast trains to Moscow the same as the German ICE trains, and the journey takes about ... read more
St. Basil's by night
Mini Castle. Big Soviet Museum.
Lenin's Mausoleum

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg May 29th 2017

R: The next day brought spaghetti and sticky pastries on the hotel breakfast. We decided to split up this day, Cate and myself going to look at a royal palace outside of town, while Clare and Richard took a boat trip on the river. Our trip started with a subway journey to Moscovskaya metro station. Most people have heard about the Moscow metro system but I can confirm that parts of the St. Petersburg metro are just as pretty, though maybe not on quite as grand a scale. St. Petersburg, and in specific, the station we got on at, had recently had a terrorist attack just before we visited. There was no sign of this, however the level of policing was fairly high. This turned out to be the norm in Russia, as I will comment ... read more
Palace gardens
Storms Brewing
Big Blue Mosque

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg May 27th 2017

R: So many months ago, I promised I would start blogging our experiences in Russia and on the trans-Siberian railway. It has been several months. If you are still interested, and I have kept you waiting.... I'm sorry. Anyway. I will recreate these memories from notes I took at the time. This trip was a bit different for us, we were travelling as a four. Clare and Richard (Cate's parents) were with us too, the idea being that Richard and I continued on the trans-Siberian, while Clare and Cate came home at the end of half term. Lots of people have asked if Cate was annoyed that we continued on the journey without her. The answer is, no, she did not want to spend 7 days couped up on a train with me or her Dad. ... read more
Open Air Opera festival at the Hermitage
Rolling into town
The extent of the Hermitage

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns May 4th 2016

C: So as our time in the Whitsundays came to an end so did our 6 months adventure together. We flew back to Brisbane together and then Roger left for Home via Abu Dhabi. I had a night in an airport hotel before my flight to Cairns the next day. Brisbane had felt fairly cool but on arrival in Cairns I was hit once again by the warmth and humidity of northern Queensland. It had been a nice flight and I was lucky enough to see Whitehaven beach again from my window seat. I only had a couple of days to spend in Cairns so I headed out from my accommodation quickly to explore and to book the next two days' activities. My principal purpose in coming to Cairns was to go out to the reef ... read more

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Abu Dhabi April 30th 2016

R: My flight from Brisbane to Abu Dhabi went as well as could be expected - 14 hours 10 minutes. The guy in the seat next to me got up and left so I had a double seat (I'm not actually sure where he went). We arrived at 6am, a bit bleary eyed and began the fun of finding a ATM that accepted MasterCard, which was right next to the taxi stand, and I only found this out, after finding another one in a different terminal and coming back. Being a single man, I got selected for extra special screening, which meant taking everything out of my backpack onto a counter and it being prodded a few times. Having seen what other people in the line of single men had, my backpack must have been pretty ... read more
Central Souk - modern!
Friendly Camels

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Airlie Beach April 29th 2016

R : Our flight from Brisbane landed on a beautiful sunny Monday afternoon at Proserpine, which is the industrial city near the Whitsunday coast. Around the airport were Wallabies, everywhere, hopping about enjoying the sunshine. We headed into town on a shuttle that took a huge amount of time, so by the time we got to our accomodation it was nearly dark. We chatted at length with reception about the tour possibilities, knowing that the weather forecast for the week was looking a bit bleak! Being a public holiday, a large proportion of the shops and restaurants were shut, so we headed to a pub for a semi-decent and vastly overpriced meal. Australia is hugely expensive to us now, given the gradual slump in the AUD v GBP rate - both Cate and I remember a ... read more
Whitehaven beach, north
Across Hill Inlet
Heart Reef

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Brisbane April 25th 2016

C: Our flight arrived into Brisbane in the evening and after our airbnb host kindly collected us from the airport we headed out to explore what the city had to offer. It was really busy, very different from NZ cities, people everywhere. We found the main shopping street and a nice square dominated by the impressive city hall. After a bit more of a wander we came back to the square for a drink and a plate of an Aussie signature - potato wedges with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce. if you haven't had this, try it, it's great. We only had the one night in Brisbane and our flight away was just after lunch so we got up early to spend the morning in the city. We walked across a quite impressive bridge to ... read more
Brisbane waterfront
South bank
Old fashioned steamer

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Dargaville April 24th 2016

R: We went to Dargaville. Well, someone has to, I suppose. After Mangonui, we headed into the Karikari peninsula. All around the Northland we had been seeing flocks of wild turkeys. I never would have expected that. Many end up as roadkill and I'm not that surprised. Several stumbled out in to the road in front of me as I drove on. All the beaches up here are just stunning and some have bright, white, silica sand. After pottering about on a few, we headed to Karikari estate, which is a winery on one of the highest points of the peninsula that has extensive views across and to the bays. Naturally, there was some tasting to be done, but as the day's driving had just started, I confined my tasting to a Pinotage and a Long ... read more
Beach Art
Godfather of the Kauri forest
Admiring the view. And the wine.

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