Archive for October, 2014

October 18, 2014

18 Oct 2014 KL to Melbourne

Well this is my last post. After sleeping in and missing breakfast we went for a walk to find something in the street near the hotel. Found a shopping centre that had at least 5 floors and lots of corridors. Of course the food was on the 3rd floor! I would easily have got lost in there! Managed to get a roll, then we saw a fashion show. Very glittery muslim headgear.

Peter went for a walk and I went back to the pool to read and relax. It’s bucketing rain outside now. Just waiting for our transfer to the airport at 4pm. Flight is not until about midnight! Definitely sick of travelling. See you soon Melbourne!

October 18, 2014

16-17 October 2014 Heathrow to KL

Check out of Ibis Heathrow and run the gauntlet of buses again to get to Terminal 4. There has to be an easier way!

Checked our bags in and go get some breakfast at Dining Street Restaurant in Heathrow. Porridge and toast and coffee with a real spoon again!

The flight is 12-hours long and we are wrecked at the end of it. Got to the Parkroyal Hotel and crashed for a few hours. Peter went off for a walk and found somewhere to have a massage. Then I get up and go to the pool while Peter crashes for a while. I am still sleep deprived and leave the hotel room without my room card and don’t remember the room number! Reception kindly gives me another card to get into the room where Peter is still snoring his head off. Back to the pool with a book and another swim.

We have dinner at the hotel buffet. Discount for being a hotel guest and 50% off for being over 55! Not that I want to admit it. Time for a walk outside and the place is jumping. It is so like Thailand it’s not funny. Stalls on the street, people trying to get you to eat. We both have foot massages then stop at the Whisky Bar for a drink. Not really my cup of tea. Back to the hotel. Hopefully we can sleep tonight!

October 16, 2014

15 Oct 2014 Churchdown to Heathrow

Had fish and chips from Monty’s fish and chip shop after our day out yesterday. Walked there with Eric to pick them up. All the girls knew him but he still tried to pass me off as his new wife!

Lazy day for packing and making sure of our travel arrangements. Eric and Mary took us into Gloucester and we have lunch at Witherspoons – an old picture theatre (Regal) turned into a pub. It even has King Kong hanging from the roof.

The bus takes 2.5 hours to get to Heathrow Airport in pouring rain. We then find the free bus that will take us to our hotel in Bath Rd. Unfortunately we missed our stop and had to get off Hatton Cross Station then find a taxi to go the rest of the way! Heathrow is massive and there are buses, cars, taxis everywhere.

Finally settled into our hotel for the night. Plane to KL tomorrow for one night then Melbourne here we come!

October 15, 2014

14 Oct 2014 Churchdown to Gloucester

Rained hard all night but it did eventually stop. We eased ourselves into the day with a trip into Gloucester late morning. Saw Gloucester Cathedral with commentary by Eric. He used to play around the cathedral when he was a boy so knows all the secret tunnels! It is massive with many stained windows. There was also a sculpture exhibition on called ‘Crucible’ scattered around the cloisters. There was a massive skull made out of coat hangers that would probably sell for a million pound! Kings College is a school in the grounds as well.

On to ‘The House of the Tailor of Gloucester’, which is Beatrix Potter’s shop. It is full of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck bits and pieces. It also has a room set out as the tailor of Gloucester as in Beatrix Potter’s book.

Lunch is a ham and salad roll with coffee at ‘Delight’ in Southgate St. After lunch we go down to the Gloucester Brewery where Eric buys some beer. On to Gloucester Docks for a look around.

October 14, 2014

13 Oct 2014 Newcastle to Gloucester

Up for breakfast for the last time at the hotel. Then off to the dry cleaner to check if we can pick up our laundry early. Success! It is ready so we throw it in the bags and catch a taxi to Newcastle station for the train to Gloucester. The train is packed but we luckily booked seats. Not much room for the suitcases though. I doze a bit and read a bit. The train is late and we think we’ll miss our connection at Birmingham. Luckily it waited so all was not lost. Eric and Mary picked us up in pelting rain. First time we’ve seen rain for 3 weeks!

Time for a cup of tea and a chat at their house in Churchdown. Their son Trevor came to say hello with his two girls straight from school. Later, during dinner, David comes to say hello. Eric cooked gammon steak with home-grown beans, mushrooms, tomato, potato for dinner. I spent a couple of hours trying to set up Eric’s laptop with Google Chrome. It is the most frustrating piece of rubbish I’ve ever tried to work out! Eric is not very good at remembering passwords either.

October 13, 2014

12 Oct 2014 Newcastle to Tynemouth

Peter slept in as he was a bit under the weather this morning so I hop on a train and go to the Newcastle Quayside market. Beautiful day but the stalls are not really exciting. Back to Jesmond to get Peter and we go to Tynemouth to meet with Lindsay, Adam, Rita and James. Have lunch at Tynemouth station then walk along the foreshore waiting for Lindsay to call. We see Rita but she is not very good. I feel for them all as it’s very difficult to know what to do in the circumstances.

Back to the hotel to pack and figure out how we’ll get our laundry when it won’t be ready until 3pm tomorrow and we leave at 9.45am!

October 12, 2014

11 Oct 2014 Jesmond to Newcastle

Pass a dry cleaner so we put our laundry in to be done for 13 pound. Catch the train to Newcastle Central station after having breakfast at the hotel. We wander down to Quayside. No cruises on the river today so we get the tourist bus around town for 6 pound (senior price!) hour trip. Off at Greys Monument to have lunch at Jamie Olivers Italian Restaurant. It rains while we’re there but the sun comes out again. Peter goes back to the hotel and I go have my nails done for the special price of 12 pound. I get back to the hotel by 3.30pm. In time to get ready to go out for dinner with Tom, Lindsay, Adam and Amanda tonight.

October 11, 2014

10 Oct Jesmond

Had a bad night last night coughing a lot. Didn’t get much sleep. Had breakfast in the hotel then went to the Newcastle General Hospital walk-in centre (clinic) to see if I have an infection or my asthma is playing up. We get a taxi there. No one there before me and I fill out some forms, have some tests, answer questions. I have a hacking cough but no infection and my oxygen levels are okay. It’s not the asthma. Must have picked up a viral cough. Not much to be done but at least I know now.

We walk into Newcastle and have coffee in Starbucks to use the free wifi to let Lindsay know. She picks us up with her baby, Lexie, and Amanda and we go to see Tom. He seems okay but very upset about Rita. They are beside themselves with worry about what to do. Lexie is very cute but suffering from a cold and a bit snuffly. We catch up for a while then Tom, Lindsay and Amanda go and see Rita and we catch a train back to the hotel. On the way we have a late lunch at Arlo Cafe, which is not far from West Jesmond station – our stop near the hotel.

After a rest I’m ready for dinner. After checking out the bar next to the hotel (it was too crowded) we went to Pizza Express across the road. Nice salmon salad for me, pepperoni pizza for Peter. This place is jumping. There are rows of bars and restaurants and lots of shops we will need to check out tomorrow.

October 10, 2014

9 Oct 2014 Montserrat

Check out of the hotel and leave our luggage to be off on another bus ride to Montserrat (serrated mountain) this morning. Breakfast at Balmes 12 cafe across from Julias where the bus will come. Catalan ham and cheese toast with coffee and orange juice for me, potato omelette for Peter.

We drive about half an hour 800m up Montserrat to the Benedictine monastery which has about 70 monks in their 60s and older still living there. Not much incentive to be a monk any more!

We look around a bit then I walk to the Cami de Sant Miquel (a cross on the far side of the mountain), back into the basilica (with 100s of others) to catch a glimpse of the black Mary (a statue of Mary and Jesus which was white but turned black with candle smoke). Take a slow walk back to the bus and stop for cheese and honey at the market on the way. Lunch at the cafeteria then back on the bus back to Barcelona to get our bags and race to the airport for our flight to Newcastle. Waiting for flight now.

October 9, 2014

8 Oct Bus to Pyrenees

Had breakfast at Farggi Cafe before getting a bus to the Pyrenees. Our first stop is Monestir de Santa Maria de Ripoll – built in 888AD. The front portal is a Unesco World Heritage Candidate. It is very detailed. We have time to walk around the village of Ripoll and I find a patchwork shop! Their recycling containers are quaint. We have coffee, a baguette and fruit tart at Paatisseria Costa then back on the bus for a cog train to Ribes Enlac in Vall de Nuria. Onto a telecabina for a higher look at the mountains then a walk back down to the resort. We see some hikers on their way up. It is very steep. I walk around the lake to get a view back to the resort.

Back on the cog train and off at Queralbs to see the quaint village there. They have a small monastery dating back bloody ages too. On to a traditional Catalonian supper of bread, cheese and cured meats with wine at Altell Vista a la Vall.

Back in Barcelona we run into a massive protest and have to be dropped off further away from the hotel than we’d like!