Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sunny Scotland


we are here in sunny Edinburgh and it is about 20 degrees!!!
We have been scotland for a few days now. We started in Glasgow where we visited a large shopping centre (near Paisley), reputed to be the largest outside London, although there has been some debate that the title really belongs to Manchester. As we are in Scotland I choose to believe that they are right!
The kids ice skated at the shopping centre. I made bookings for B&B's for the next few days.

We then headed for Connel near Oban in the Western part of Scotland to check out the lochs (Loch Lomand is very beautiful, and so were all the others), never seen so much water. Very beautiful and we will bring photo's later for those of you itching for the piccies. We had a scottish meal at McTavish's - with highland dancing, singing and bagpipes. Food was ordinary but the entertainment was great. The next day we headed to the town of Kilmartin to check out the ancient people of scotland. In the evening we ate at the Oyster barn, and J and Michaela had the largest oysters we have ever seen.
The b&b was OK, but not really a family room, when the camp bed went in we could not stand in the room - they did all our washing so that was a blessing. The view from our bedroom across Loche Etvie was also stunning and we took a series of pictures at sunset (10.45pm) and sunrise (4.35am).

Loch Etvie

We left Connel for Edinburgh via Glen Coe ( not logical I grant you) and really loved the scenery and the wildness of the countryside. We went to the visitors centre and had lunch and looked around. When I got up in Connel this morning my neck was in spasm and I could not drive or lift anything. We arrived in Edinburgh about 6pm and checked into our b&b, very close to the centre of town Alexander Guest House. Had a great curry across the road and then slept.

The next day I went to the local shopping centre and had accupuncture and massage which helped my neck a little. We then went to the Edinburgh castle which is on a rock for those of you not familiar and is very imposing. We then went to Mary Kings Close and learned about life in Edinburgh in the plague. Very squalid and harsh if you had no means as most did not. Bought a picture of Glen Coe Pap. Italian for tea.

Today neck much better and am now waiting for the washing to dry while j and the kids go to the Edinburgh Dungeon (York is next). Off to see the relatives in Fife this afternoon and Stirling castle tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Rainforest Cafe

This morning we went to the London Dungeons. We were scared by the plague, by the fire, by blood and guts and going downhill backwards in a boat!!!

While in Canberra you are suffering with -7 we are suffering with a heat wave, from Friday to yesterday average daily temp was up around 30, today it has been more like 20-24 and much nicer. Obviously we brought the warm weather with us!!!!

Sad to say tomorrow we head off to kent and the countryside and a hire care!!! No accomodation booked so we will see how we go.

Michaela had her ears peirced today, at Selfridges.

We had tea in the Rainforest Cafe - fantastic place to bring kids and ranger naturalists!!!

Two nights ago we had dinner in an Italian restaurant and were entertained with magic tricks, more about that later.

We are all well.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

In London

Sorry that I have deserted you for so long. I will be a bit more attentive in the next few weeks.

We have been on a bus trip across Europe and there little time for anything other than what we are told to do, hop here, jump there, be back in 10 minutes or lunch break will be 40 minutes!! We are not natural bus travellers, but it was a good way to get across Europe and see (if too breifly) some amazing things. Our driver, Francesco, was from Naples and he was a terrific bus driver. He got us through the streets of Rome and Paris as if we were in a Smart Car (if I win lotto I want a smart car). Our tour director was an excellent organiser, we never had a queue to get into our rooms, our tours to specific places always went on time. The bus was comfortable and we all had enough room as there was only 35 of us onboard. The kids befriended the other kid, Finn (6)who comes from Newcastle. I caught up with someone who was in Jabiru at the same time as me. Everyone was friendly. With kids our kids ages, a ten day tour would have been better.

On the last day of our bus tour Andrew was sick twice and had an awful headache, which i think was a virus rather than travel sickness as he had travelled for the previous 11 days (not to mention around the Amalfi Coast) without drugs and with no sickness. He was still not well yesterday, but seems much better today, however now Michaela has a nasty cough and runny nose!!

We hear that it is raining in Australia. And snow on the Brindabella's is always fantastic. (Not enough to make us come home though!)

It is quite green here and on the continent in comparison, although they are talking about water restrictions this summer if the heat continues!!!!

it is going to be about 30 degrees in London today and the whole place is soccer mad! Of course England won yesterday so all is well with the world.

We are currently in our flat in Piccadilly with stunning views to the square and the main attraction is to sit in the living area at night and watch the world go by - gridlock and african drums last night and we loved every minute of it. We have video'd lots of it.

Yesterday we took the kids to see lion king at the lyceum theatre and they absolutely loved it.

I am enjoying doing a bit of cooking and having access to a washing machine(will talk more about this later). The nearest McDonald's has an internet access which is great and I hope it catches on in Australia, however the keyboards are awful and stick like mad, so today I am in Charing Cross Road, at an internet cafe and it is wonderful, the keyboard works and is the standard qwerty keyboard, the ones on the continent vary which makes for exciting touch typing.