Blogs from Europe - page 5

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Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 17th 2019

We checked into our hotel and headed to the catacombs. 2 trains and about 10 stops to get there. There was a long line 3/4 of the way around the block. It was raining so we got in our place at the back of the line and Pedro went to get umbrellas. The security guy said it was going to be 3 hours. We took turns running errands. First to get coffees and then to get macaroons. We entertained ourselves with "eye spy" and watching the wildlife. Pigeons, sparrows and some really cute rats. ... read more
Sweet treats in Paris
Sriracha, Kasie and Pedro
Kasie stays dry during the Paris rain

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Ávila August 17th 2019

We decide to have a quiet morning, so I take the opportunity to read up a bit about the history of Avila. It is thought to have been originally settled sometime around the 5th century BC by the Vettones who lived in this part of the Iberian Peninsula in pre-Roman times. They were apparently particularly notable for leaving large granite statues of pigs scattered around the countryside, and there’s one of these in our hotel’s garden. We also saw one at one end of the Roman bridge in Salamanca without having much idea what it was. Issy said it looked like a beheaded gorilla while I opted for a beheaded bear. It seems that neither of us got any points for those guesses. Avila was captured by the Moors when they came to Spain, and it ... read more
Basilica de San Vicente
Basilica de San Vicente
Parroquia de San Pedro Apostol

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London August 17th 2019

August 17, 2019 London, UK Saturday morning. A glorious day!! No rain in the forecast (fingers crossed). We are going to believe. Yesterday, when walking through one of the many, MANY TUBE stops Christopher noticed a poster advertising the Chihuly Exhibit at Kew Gardens. WE. TOTALLY. FORGOT! I wanted to go to Stonehenge – that is until I saw the Chihuly poster. Stonehenge is going to be around for a while longer. The Chihuly – closes in October. Choice is easy. Kew Gardens – here we come. We take the Underground out to Kew Gardens and the Royal Gardens. Easy Peasy!! The “park” is beautiful. So many, MANY species of tree, flower, grass etc.; all well and good….we’re here for the glass! SHOW. ME. THE. GLASS! Glorious. Amazing. Wonderful. These words hardly express the grandeur and ... read more

Europe » Germany » Saarland August 17th 2019

We left Bühl early after a very quite breakfast in the convent. We set the satnav with the hope of journeying through the Black Forest en route to Füssen. Perhaps it was our age, the desire to get going or the wish to get to our destination in plenty of time to enjoy the sights - but we failed to realise why it was predicting and arrival time is 3:15pm - given that it was only just 8am that meant a drive of over 7 hours! Still we set off assuming some accident or roadworks might explain the journey time. We drive through lots of small towns and farmer’s fields but saw little in the way of forest. It was after about 40 minutes of this ‘steady’ progress that Amy asked if the satnav setting were ... read more
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Europe » Slovenia August 16th 2019

Noche buena y sin lluvia. Por la mañana a cambiar un radio roto más, con este son 4. En marcha a las 8 y pico, hasta el mediodía por valles estrechos siguiendo el río, solo un poco antes de Lubjana se ha abierto la llanura. He pasado por el centro a hacer las dos fotos de rigor: los tres puentes y el castillo. Después pista al noroeste. Con algo de cuesta, mucho calor y un lío de carretera secundarias cerradas a las bicis se ha hecho largo. A eso de las 7:30 estaba en Bled, es como una especie de Benidorm, se juntan lis turistas normales con los eslovenos que están de puente. El camping estaba tan lleno que no aceptan ni tiendas. He hecho un par de fotos del lago y he bajado al valle ... read more
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Europe » Austria » Styria » Graz August 16th 2019

Today is my first ever visit to Graz, despite spending so much time in Austria. It is the the country’s second largest city and also the capital of the province of Steiermark (Styria). After another great breakfast buffet I check out, leave my case with reception and do the easy 15-minute walk into the centre. We don’t have a guide lined up for Graz yet so I am doing this visit simply to get a feel for the city and to see the main sights. I know I am going to see some outstanding architecture of all styles in a very small concentrated area - from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. Graz was added to the list of World Cultural Heritage sites in 1999 as the “best preserved city centre in Central Europe”; it ... read more
Typical street
The hydrogen bus
Mausoleum

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater Manchester » Castlefield August 16th 2019

It’s Pennine Way day. Well really it’s Pennine Way day minus two. Thanks Bun for getting me to the airport and for the nice goodbye kiss. Something to remember. Julie wasn’t far behind and despite having checked in electronically the same inching queue was our fate. No drama just frustrating. And the matches I so carefully took from my hand luggage and stowed in my luggage needed to be retrieved. Walkers need to carry matches (compass, whistle and the like) to make them feel like real walkers. No longer is a T-shirt proclaiming ‘I walked the Coast to Coast’ good enough. From Melbourne and as of now 12 hours towards Doha. In flight data has informed us that in just over 2 hours we should arrive in the sunny capital of Qatar where the expected temperature ... read more
The obligatory airport shot.
Both ready.
Always the tourist.

Europe » Norway » Eastern Norway » Oslo August 16th 2019

This morning I flew from Bergen to Oslo and it was a remarkably automated experience. I checked in, checked my suitcase, went through security, and boarded the plane without speaking a word to anyone. I never did have to show my ID. I have noticed that Norway is, in general, much more automated than the United States. One rarely needs cash. I pay for nearly everything from a hotel room to a soft drink with my credit card. And unlike the US, waiters in restaurants have handheld devices that take credit cards so the bill is paid while you sit at the table. But back to Oslo. For some reason Oslo is known as Tiger Town (and I thought that was Detroit!) so there is a large tiger statue that greets visitors as they exit the ... read more
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Europe » Austria August 16th 2019

Hoy es una historieta de guerra... Del lado austriaco del Wurzelpass hay unas fortificaciones que se pueden visitar. Estuvieron funcionando durante la guerra fría y durante la de los balcanes. El tipo que cuida el sitio estuvo allí de servicio y cuenta historias de cual era el plan para intentar frenar a los soldados de Tito, los húngaros o a los rusos. En general, según cuenta este sitio era una misión suicida, y se trataba de hacer perder cuanto mas tiempo posible a los soviéticos, pero los que estuvieran allí arriba el día que empezase todo no iban a volver a casa. Como el mismo dice: "mejor que sea un museo que un cementerio" Además de lo que ya existía original esta gente esta haciendo mas proyectos, como por ejemplo meter un tanque ruso en un ... read more
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Europe » Austria August 16th 2019

Ayer ya empezó a llover a mefianoche pero a las 2 de la mañana era un diluvio. La tienda para ser barata, ligera y de verano ha aguantado bien. Pero la calidad del dormir se ha resentido bastante Al final me he levantado a las 7:30. Y he tenido que cambiar un radio más y poner los frenos al día, que me van a hacer falta. A las 9 en marcha, son 40 km de carril bici para arriba, por una antigua ruta de ferrocarril, y arriba del todo viene el paso. Es un minipaso de 200m con una rampa un poco empinada y nada más. He pasado la frontera (policía austriaca vigilando), y para el otro lado cuando empieza la cuesta abajo hay un tanque (del bunkermuseum que esta mas abajo). El bunkermuseum muy interesante, ... read more
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