Lara and Al


Lara and Al

After 10 months travelling through Central and South America in 2007-08 we have well and truly settled into life in London (with Lara spending 3 months volunteering in Uganda early in 2011).

We are continuing our travels on weekends and for shorter breaks, whilst possibly planning something on a larger scale in the future. But plans can always change - so who knows? If we're not travelling we're probably sitting at our desks in London dreaming of far-off destinations....

(We're very behind on our blogs at the moment. To come: Cinque Terre, French road trip, Australia, our Indonesian wedding, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Austria)

Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” - Jack Kerouac

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” - Mark Twain

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon April 3rd 2013

Never has so much custard been consumed on such a brief trip; during 5 days in Lisbon we consumed our body weight. We ate it three meals a day, sometimes a little more, in all different forms. We sampled the national custard tart, pastel de nata at every opportunity and never had one that wasn't delicious, in fact we rarely just had one. Supermarket custard will never be adequate again thanks to the deliciously subtle differences of custard dishes throughout Lisbon. If the Portuguese had stopped at custard we may have been okay, but the food and drink on offer in Lisbon is impossible not to appreciate. Every meal had us trying different delicacies in such a variety of venues, from local takeaway bars to fado restaurants. It was lucky our hotel was slightly outside of ... read more
Torre de Belem
Oceanario de Lisboa

Asia » Singapore March 24th 2013

A trip to see family members is not a typical holiday in my book; trying to get around to see everyone is just about as stressful and filled with logistical difficulties as everyday life. I had that at the back of my mind when going to Singapore to see where my brother and his family live, but was also mindful of the fact that Singapore is about the same size as greater London, and apart for my brother, I don’t actually know anyone else. This could be the relaxing holiday that we had been craving for the last few months since home renovations and furniture shopping have taken precedence over just about every other facet of life outside of work. Having not been to Singapore for a very long time I remembered very little about what ... read more
Gardens by the Bay
Singapore Chilli Crab
Singapore skyline

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London February 15th 2013

At night, even in these dead months of the year, the city is never wholly dark. Its shadows twitch with a harsh orange light that glows and fades, fades and glows, as the pulse of electric power courses through its body like dreams. The sour air, breathed in and out by eight million lungs, stained by exhaust pipes and strained through ventilators, is never clean, although, after a time, you no longer notice its bitter taste and smell. The dust of ages swirls and falls, staining walls, darkening glass, coating surfaces, clogging lungs. Bricks, leaves, paper, food, bones and skin all decay, reduced to almost invisible specks that accumulate into the eternal dust of London. The only times the city can breather freely is when a wind blows in from a far-off place, bringing with it ... read more
British Museum
Beach huts, Worthing
Millennium Bridge

Europe » Poland » Silesia » Zagan October 7th 2012

My grandfather was a pilot who fought in Northern Africa during the Second World War. He fought in the Rhodesian Air Force, alongside the Allied Forces. After his third escape in the desert, he was sent to the Prisoner of War Camp, Stalagluft III in Zagan, Poland where he was a prisoner in the camp for more than 2 years. Stalagluft III is one of the best known POW camps, as it was the setting of the largest escape by POWs during the war which came to be known as 'the Great Escape' in which 76 POWs escaped through the tunnel known as 'Harry'. Of these 76 men, 73 were recaptured and 50 of them were executed. My grandfather was one of the men waiting for his turn to escape through the tunnel when the tunnel ... read more
The tunnel 'Harry'
Lara crawling through tunnel replica
Our guide Mirek

Europe » Greece September 2nd 2012

If you were to believe the news reports, Greece is falling apart. There is constant rioting in the streets, and no one trusts the banks so you can't use the ATMs. That wasn't exactly our experience... We did have a few bets with friends whether we would be spending Drachmas or Euros when we finally got there (I lost, I bet Drachmas) but we mostly wondered if the weather would be hot enough to quench our thirst for some actual summer weather. We needn't have worried about any of it, everyone was going about their daily lives just like anywhere else in the world, and 38 degrees is plenty hot enough thank you very much. It’s quite frustrating to watch news reports about the European economic crisis, there is so much negativity from the media I ... read more
Oia, Santorini

Europe » Ireland July 23rd 2012

Five years ago two culture-shocked 'kids' who didn't speak a word of Spanish walked into a Spanish school in Xela, Guatemala and were immediately approached by Ed, one half of (possibly drawn by a need for male comraderie as Al was the only other male at the school at the time). Irishman Ed and his German girlfriend Yvonne were great company during our time in Xela and then onwards through Honduras, Ecuador and Bolivia where we finally parted ways. We spent Christmas with them on Utila, did many of the afternoon activities with them in Xela, visited many an Irish pub and shared tips by email the whole of our travels. We hadn't seen them since we went for sushi in La Paz ('sushi in La Paz?' you may ask, but it was actually pretty good ... read more
Cutting the cake

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice June 5th 2012

...pound the cobbled streets and crowd the ferries zig-zagging their way up and down the Grand Canal in Venice. Everywhere you look there are tour guides holding up their umbrellas, shops selling Venician masks and gelati, pizza restaurants, museums and throngs of people speaking every language imaginable. During our long weekend as part of the throngs, we contemplated the draw of Venice. Why do so many people see Venice as an essential European experience? There are so many wonderful cities in Europe with a rich history, beautiful architecture and picturesque canals. But it is hard not to be enthralled; the numerous waterways and bridges and the beautiful gelati-coloured buildings, along with the museums and art have lead to it being a World Heritage site and the warmer weather (at least compared to London), the ability to ... read more

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales April 28th 2012

Have you ever been on a bus or a train and overheard someone talking about this or that being done better in their home country? It makes you wonder why they ever left....but I guess we have all been there one way or another. Moved away from home and found that things aren't meeting up to expectations or been overwhelmed by homesickness and missed things the way they are at 'home'. It is at this point that people start to look back on their lives at 'home' through rose-tinted glasses. Just ask Lara, over the last few years I have probably been that annoying person on the bus starting sentences with "Back home..." The last 18 months has definitely had it's ups and downs. During this time we have had almost the whole spectrum of employment, ... read more
Lamb's Valley
The Sydney Harbour Bridge

Middle East » Jordan January 2nd 2012

It has been quite a long time between drinks as far as blog entries are concerned. Our last entry was almost a year ago, there have been a few reasons for this - and all will be explained in later blogs, but with the list of unwritten blog entries and unedited photos mounting we thought it might just be best start reducing the back log, starting what is most fresh in my mind: 8 days in Jordan in the middle of winter. Jordan is almost completely desert, but not the rolling sand dunes type desert everyone pictureswhen someone says the Middle East (no? Just me?). It’s a mountainous rugged landscape with amazing seas and ravines, and of course that valley that hid Petra from western eyes for so long. As a matter of fact, there are ... read more
Petra - Monastery
Photo 2

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges October 16th 2011

After two hours of sitting in London traffic on a Friday afternoon I turn to the passenger in the back of the car and jokingly ask if she has her passport. Al and I both laugh at the crazy thought that someone would have forgotten to bring their passport on a trip over the channel, but alas, Belinda didn't have hers. We turned around and collected it and after our third trip through the infamous Catford Giratory we were actually on our way to Bruges. The drive to Bruges (when you ignore our detour) was simple, with the worst part being the heavy traffic in London. We took the ferry from Dover to Calais and eventually arrive in Bruges at 1am having driven through the UK, France and Belgium. We spent the next few days wandering ... read more
Bruges by night

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