Monday, 9 August 2010

Europe Report Card

Flight - our plane was delayed, in Melbourne we had to run, and almost missed the connection to Los Angeles.
Transit - LAX high security, had to take off shoes, confusing with cars on wrong side of the road
London - Anwar Hotel, Earl's Court - very basic, but clean, cheap, and very close to the Underground, but don't like that their idea of a double bed is two singles shoved together
Weather - quite warm and muggy
New experiences - Real Police Box - just like Dr Who's!, 

Irish Pub, Guinness and Cider, pub quiz, you have to pay to go to the toilet! 

Westminster Cathedral - huge, beautiful stained glass
Westminster Abbey - nice from outside, too expensive for a tour - 15 pounds each
Parliament House & Big Ben - Impressive sandstone, lots of Police

Thames - dirty like the Fitzroy in Rockhampton), Pier for convict departures to Aus - interesting

Imperial War Museum - very interesting history and archives
Trafalgar Square - very busy, people everywhere
National Gallery - lots of religious works, especially the really old ones, saw Van Gogh's "The Sunflowers", and Hans Holbein "The Ambassadors" with the optical illusion skull, and many others
Other sights - Horse Guards & Admiralty Arch, The Strand, Embankment Gardens, great Chinese for dinner

Monuments to heroes

Tower of London - too early to get in (we arrived at 7am)
Tower Bridge - impressive
Hay's Galleria - very interesting motion sculpture - "The Explorers"
Southwark Cathedral - flint building material 
London Bridge - walked across - I am sure the original was far more interesting
Monument - tower built after the great fire of London
Bank of England - impressive area, you can feel the wealth oozing out of the stones
St Paul's Cathedral - huge, once again too expensive to tour, a lot of restoration in progress
St Mary-le-Bow (Bow Bells) - ancient and famous, relatives born within hearing distance 
Bow Lane - tiny cobbled walking passageway lined with expensive shops
King Edward St - ancestor of Darryl's (Matthew Lacy)lived here (maybe also had a shop) in early 1700's 
St Martin's Le Grande - Matthew Lacy also lived here, but no houses now either
Churchyard with monuments to hero's - tucked in between the two streets above
Museum of London - excellent history of London, prehistory, stone-age, Roman, Medieval to modern

South Kensington - too early for the museum so walked up to Kensington Gardens
Prince Albert monument - brilliant monment

Kensington Palace - closed off, looks like they are creating a theme park there

Embassies - walked down the street with all the embassies, got to the end to find a guard and signs about no photos - too late!
Hyde Park Barracks - police barracks in the middle of Hyde Park

The Arch - built as the entrance gate for Buckingham Palace, but relocated when they ran out of room

Science Museum - excellent displays of scientific facts - too much to see - need a week 

Museum of Natural History - This is brilliant! The builing fantastic and the contents amazing - a WOW moment - needed much more time
Dinner with Kelly and Drew - very enjoyable time catching up

Early to train Station - Eurostar to Brussels then Cologne - ICE train - very fast and smooth 

Cologne Cathedral - stunning! Another WOW moment - just fantastic Gothic workmanship 

Archeological dig - old Roman remains in city
Dinner - Curried sausages and beer  - very relaxing and beautiful sitting in the Plaza
Inline skates - street competition of skill between cups - one guy was pretty good
Hotel - Good Sleep Direkt am Dom (Good Sleep right near the Cathedral), not bad for the price and location, but don't like pseudo double bed, hard mattress and huge hard pillows

KD Ferry up the Rhine to Linz - nice, smooth, but not all that interesting

Train to Koblenz - local as the ferry didn't go that far

Festival AlteStadt (Old City) - lots of people crowded into narrow streets and plazas, interesting street theatre (reminded me of Expo '88 but on a smaller scale)
German Corner - huge monument to the German people 
Huge early tombstones - standing along a church wall
Hotel - quite flashy but still the same bed problem

Weather - first day waking up to rain, eased 

KD Ferry up the Rhine to Bingen - beautiful with many ruins, castles, and quaint houses, saw Lorch (where the Weibler family came from) and could almost see Oberheimbach (where Philip Weinheimer originated) 

Bingen - discovered that we are close to Muenster-Sarmsheim the origin of the Weinheimer family so take the train to the village, find the cemetery (poor Darryl!) and some are there but no early ones, talk to some local old people and give them a good laugh with my German, and with the fact that I am looking for people from the mid 1600's, but they tell me there are still many in the local area, walked the 3km back to Bingen
Dinner - spoke to a local couple on the way back, who recommended Vinotek, where we had sausage with potato salad and a really delicious locally grown white wine


  1. Sounds like you are having a good time.

  2. very impressed with your dedication to the sightseeing, nice to be young. Look forward to seeing you in Fowey if you can make it. Janet's sister Ann is down here as well. Let me know your itinerary when you can

  3. Wondered where you off to this time! Have fun