Page 6 of coasties Travel Blog Posts

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Versailles May 22nd 2012

Was a very cruisy day today. Went back to Sacré-Cœur Basilica so Zac could see it and take photos, and then had an afternoon tour out to Versailles, the palace of King Louis 14, 15 and 16 as well as Napoleon. This is a totally ostentatious place. All of the rooms have huge frescoes painted on the roof, and ornate carvings everywhere, most of the trim in the rooms is gilded, and there is marble, silver, gold all over the place. There is an entire wing dedicated to paintings of famous French battles, and treasures galore, and that is only inside. Outside is a massive garden, too big to walk around, you have to rent a golf cart to see it all. No wonder the peasants revolted, the palace is so over the top, even for ... read more
Garden - Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles
Garden - Palace of Versailles

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Mont Saint-Michel May 21st 2012

Our trip to Mont Saint-Michel was today, and didn't get off to a great start. The bus left an hour late, and then on the way out of Paris, someone got hit by a car at a pedestrian crossing, and we had to stop for about half an hour. To top it all off, we had a group of 4 seriously annoying American girls on the bus who would not stop talking! Our 4 hour bus ride actually turned out to be a 5 hour bus ride, and once we arrived, we were given a measly 2 hours to explore this wonderful old abbey. The original structure was built in the 7th century, and construction continued all the way through till the 18th century. Throughout history, it was never claimed by a foreign aggressor, and was ... read more
Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint-Michel

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris May 20th 2012

Today was a great day. We began with chocolate croissants, custard filled pastries, cheeses, toast, cereal, fruit, a grand French breakfast. We began the days adventures with a trip to Notre Dame cathedral, an excellent example of Gothic architecture and a truly imposing building, and a wander through the Latin Quarter. We had horrendously priced coffees at a cafe, 2 cappuccino and 1 espresso was 17.60€ or close on $40. Then took the metro to The Louvre. Zac was amazed at this structure, its scale and detail. The place just seems to go on forever, there are intricate carvings and columns everywhere, and the pyramids out front are great to photograph. We put our padlock on the bridge of padlocks, I threw the keys into the Siene, and we meandered our way back to the hotel. ... read more
Metro Station
Musée du Louvre

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris May 19th 2012

We had a rude awakening this morning. Our taxi was arriving at 5:25am, I had set her alarm for 4:55am, so we could wake up, get ready and go. Easy! Unfortunately, I had set her alarm for 5:55am mistakenly. Thankfully, I woke up at 5:10am, and we had 15 minutes to get ready and down at reception for our taxi. We were prepared, had our bags packed the night before, so it wasnt such a major, but wasnt a great start to the day. Then we had to go through Eurostar security, which is similar to airport security, which I hate anyway, then the line for the cafe was huge, so I was unable to get my morning coffee. The train journey was smooth and quiet and with the gentle rocking of the carriage, Zac promptly ... read more
Eiffel Tower

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London May 18th 2012

Mark & Zac has a wonderful surprise for me this morning. We walked to Little Venice where we took a canal boat ride up to Camden Town, near the London Zoo. It was very pleasant pootling along the narrow, calm waterways. Camden was not what I expected. I expected a pokey little area, with some markets around, what we were presented with was a bustling area, huge markets with every kind of food you can imagine, everything from pizza to Nepalese cuisine. The people of Camden tend toward the alternative, lots of tattoos, face metal, leather jackets, jeans with spikes in. Then, walking down the same street are the hippies, long flowing hair with flowers woven in, John Lennon glasses, loose fitting tie dye shirts and bell bottom trousers. Lots of performance artists too, got some ... read more
On The Way To Camden Market
On The Way To Camden Market
On The Way To Camden Market

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris May 17th 2012

It was an early start to the day as we had to catch the Eurostar from St Pancras railway station at 07:00am. The trip passed quickly and soon we arrived in the magical city of Paris. Gare du Nord is a huge station and it was easy to get lost. This is our second time to Paris so we decided to see parts unseen, so headed to Sacré-Cœur Basilica. An amazing sight. People were everywhere and the atmosphere was fantastic. From there we visited Moulin Rouge. It was nothing impressive, but we can say 'been there, done that', and check it off the bucket list. Next stop was the impressive Arc de Triomphe. Yes we have been here before but we wanted to walk the Avenue des Champs-Élysées from Arc de Triomphe to Place de la ... read more
Moulin Rouge
Maison Ladurée
Place de la Concorde Obelisk

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London May 17th 2012

Have a day all on my ownsie today, Mum and Dad have buggered off to Paris for the day, but I wanted to see a bit more of London, and be in a foreign city by myself, so after a hearty English breakfast I set off. Took the tube to Mansion House, walked over the Milennium Bridge, saw and took photos of The Globe Theatre, where all of Shakespeares' plays were held in his time. Then went to the HMS Belfast, a preserved WWII battleship. I was very excited to see this, as I have never been on board a battleship before, and this thing is huge. Unfortunately, it was not to be, as they are refurbishing the walkway to get onto it, and it is closed, so hanging my head, I went to the pub. ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London May 16th 2012

The day dawned bright and sunny. We began with a ride on the subway to St Pauls Cathedral, which was another incredible place. Not as spectacular as Westminster Abbey, but excellent nonetheless. We saw the tombs of Lord Admiral Nelson and The Duke of Wellington. We climbed the 257 stairs to the amazing Whispering Gallery, where we sat and experienced whispered communication. We then climbed the remaining stairs, 528 in total to the Golden Gallery outside the upper dome. Well worth the effort. The view is fabulous! We exited St Pauls, went to Starbucks for coffee then walked to The Tower of London. Saw the Crown Jewels, a medieval torture chamber, walked on walls that are over 800 years old and in general had a grand old time. William Wallace, Henry III, all sorts were imprisoned ... read more
The Shard From The Top Of St Paul's
From The Top Of St Paul's
From The Top Of St Paul's

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London May 15th 2012

Today began with a walk through Hyde Park, I would love to see it in snow. A hugely pleasant place, joggers jogging, cyclists cycling, horse riders riding riding horses, all in all a wonderful place. We continued through Wellington Arch and down Constitution Hill to Buckingham Palace to see The Changing of the Guard. It was a bit drawn out to be honest, but very impressive. The Royal Band was there and played all kinds of music, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, along with some ceremonial music. The guards were resplendent in their scarlet jackets and black furry hats, boots shined to a mirror sheen. They all carried semi-automatic rifles with fixed bayonets. We then walked down The Mall to Trafalgar Square to have coffee and watch the world go by. Down the road, past Downing Street, ... read more
London Eye
View From London Eye
Rain & Thunder

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London May 14th 2012

The flight to London was awful. Absolutely awful. 4 hours of screaming children in a plane that was uncomfortable, rattly and too hot. Mark was irritable, as he was dying for a cigarette, I have picked up Zac's head cold and Zac was totally over the screaming kids, so a rather grumpy Russell family arrived in Heathrow. We caught the Heathrow Express took us to Paddington Station. Our hotel was only a few minutes walk from Paddington Station but we took a wrong tuen which added about 20 miuntes to our walk. Our hotel, Hyde Park Radnor, is absolutely delightful, and I highly recommend it. After checking in and unpacking a few things it was a walk up the road to Mimo's Cafe to meet up with our two most fave Brits, Alan & Kerry. It ... read more
Genghis Khan
Bakerloo Station
Piccadilly Circus

Tot: 0.676s; Tpl: 0.038s; cc: 12; qc: 102; dbt: 0.0602s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 3; ; mem: 1.6mb