Friday, September 23, 2011

Singapore to Melbourne

After a hectic days shopping in Singapore and over our jet lag from Paris to Singapore leg we were ready to tackle the last leg. The 3 girls had been up early and left hotel by 9 ready to purchase goods we had hesitated on previous day and double up on things felt to be bargains. We had previously packed the cases and moved them to Paul and Joans were we had paid extra for 6pm checkout.

So with parcels in hand back to 13th floor to sit out time for cab to arrive at 6. Again and over enthusiastic driver of Mercedes arrived. I am sure as part of driving licence they are taught to be tour guides. He chose to take us a different route to the airport than the other 3 trips we had had to and fro from Airport and proved to be very interesting. He started off each feature with Ladies and gentleman on the left is, or on the right is so we could give him our full attention as he pointed out hospitals, landing on roads, famous hotels, where he lived etc so by the time we did get to the airport his commentary was getting a little thin and we bs him and our 45sg farewell and headed for the checking before having some dinner, and the Duty Free shopping.

Plane left 9 Singapore time and immediately we had to put clocks on 2hrs to 11pm.
Once again routine hot towels, drinks, snacks and at 1.00am a full blown 3 course dinner, more snacks, then at 4.00 am breakfast before landing at 6.02 am.

I have a new passport which means I can self check through customs which was quick but I had declared a couple of items and then had to go thru quarantine.
Lucky for me and a couple of little girls and 3 big boys I was able to keep items.

Our group gathered for one last coffee before bidding each other fond farewell, I am sure today I will wonder where they are as we have been such good mates and constant compAnions over last month and will be very hard for the appendage to be suddenly gone.

Simone met me at airport and I introduced her to my 3rd case!! To her horror. It was home and not long before the jet lag kicked in and as sim was to do a quick leg to Launceston I crashed on the couch with blanket and pillow and didn't wake till after 6 in time for Richard to arrive home and cook me dinner.

I am up and at it today and ready for a beautiful day arranged by Simone and family and it is DRESS DAY today with 57 days till the wedding.

Still problems loading photos but hope to solve today. Keep looking.

Thanks again Paul, Joan, Elizabeth, Shirley for an amazing experience! I will be eternally grateful for your company, memories, laughs etc.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
to sit out time for

Location:Warrick St,Ascot Vale,Australia

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Paris to Singapore

Take 2 - finished this last night and it didn't publish on web.

Taxi arranged for 8am pickup from Mercuri in Paris. Hotel had arranged Hire Car. Sleek Black Mercedes came and whisked us and our 95 euros to airport. Showed us another side of Paris.

We boarded at 11 and it wasn't long before our 12 hour flight and routine kicked in. Singapore airlines really know how to treat their customers - first prior to take off it is the hot towels, then soft drink. Next the snack and by 1.00 the three course lunch. Couple of hours later more drinks, more snacks hot towels again and then breakfast at 4 amongst the turbulence and finally landing at Singapore just on 6.20 Singapore time.

Singapore airport would have to be the most efficient in the world. Been through customs, passport checks, luggage and been accosted by a Hire car man who said he had a van and would deliver us to Hotel for 50 SG.

We began to wonder if it was worth it talk about motor mouth- he could talk and laugh and drive under wet cement. Any money paid and we were duly at York hotel around 7.15.

Booked in cases in holding till 10 when could get in to room we St off for Orchard Road and another Breakfast. Shirley and I decided to wait in town rather than walk back to hotel,and wandered till shops open at 11. Here their hours are from 11 till 9.30 pm.

Once shops perused we headed back to hotel and crashed after our shower - temp was 33 degrees melting material. This was around 1 and woke at 6 in time to get up dressed back to shops and something to eat.

Found food hall in centre of shopping complex - I chose Indiian was amazing.

Home to bed to try to sleep before hitting shops again tomorrow.

My iPad has given message need to delete to download so you will have to wait to see sunset photos from plane etc

Well it is nearly over what a fabulous experience and I have Liz, Shirley, Joan and Paul to thank. Unforgettable.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Mt Elizabeth,,Singapore

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cely en Biere, Barbizon, Fontaine Bleau

Breakfast was the order of the day for Wendy and I as Jacques had gone to a golf - he is the President of the local club, and Beattie was having a well deserved sleep in.

After breakfast Wendy took me all over the wonderful property and I tried to capture on film the magic of the home and the surroundings.

Just after ten we left to visit nearby village of Barbizon where we found a fair stalls car boot type sale. I was able to purchase two treasures to bring home to Tasmania. When Wendy told the lady in French I was taking them back to Australia she excitedly told the next stall holders, my things are going to Australia. I had made her day.

We then went to the Sunday Market in Fontaine Bleau - what a beautiful market, fish, meat, flowers, cakes, clothes, jewelry you name it excellent quality items. I purchased 20 euro of pastries to take back to a Paul, Joan, Elizabeth and Shirley. I had such a wonderful time and felt I wanted to take back just a little something.

We left the market and visited the a Chateau Fontaine Bleau -again such a wonderful place steeped in history. I will include some photos as hopefully tell the story.

We arrived home to enjoy a luck together before Wendy drove me back to Paris. Thank you Masi family for putting the icing on the cake of what has been a marvelous trip. MY TRIP OF A LIFETIME.

I know why Wendy has chosen Cely en Biere as her home it is such s special place in this world.

I got back around 6 and waited till the gang arrive home, and shared my journey to the Masi home and then Shirley and I left shortly after 7 for a quick bite to eat before our early rise in the morning to the airport and our leg Paris to Singapore. We have a 12 hour flight and stop over for 24hours before the 8 hour leg to Melbourne.

In saying this there may not be a blog for a couple of days.

The home




The street market

The local shops

The food market in Fontaine Bleau

The church where we lit candles, for Mum, Auntie Meg and Auntie Thea

The Chatea

The family shots

The Golf Club.

Location:Boulevard de Denain,Paris,France

Paris L Open Tour to Cely en Biere

First decision of the day was to stay put and try and obtain another 2nights at the Mercuri Terminus Nord at de Denain. With this made we headed up the street for breakfast.

We returned to the hotel and then walked across the road to catch the, L Open Tour Bus. We caught the yellow bus first and then that took us past some of the out areas before changing to the green bus which took us to more popular tourist spots of Eifel Tower, Notre Dame, Musee d' Orsay, Louve. Of course we stopped for lunch and had a delightful lunch just down from Musee d' Orsay, before walking around the beautiful building and it's contents of fine, silver, porcelain, paintings etc.

At 4 we made our way back to Hotel as my cousin Wendy was kidnapping me for 24hrs and taking me to her home at 5.00

Quick change and down to the front to greet Wendy and travel back to her home of Cely en Biere. Nothing prepared me for the beauty of the area. Yes I have seen photos but one cannot imagine the beautiful village - I had visions of the house being on say a farm like property, down a long drive but here we are through the automatic gates to paradise in the middle of a village and the golf course virtually along the road.

I was met so warmly by Jacques, Beattie and they made me so welcome.
Genia had cooked this magnificent 4 course meal with all the trimmings on her day off just for me - my only regret was that I was not able to converse with her as she only speaks French and I only speak English to thank her for a wonderful meal I did use the hands I hope to convey my thanks.

We retired early so we could be up early to visit other villages close by the next day.

Some of the views around Paris

Wendy, Jacques and Beatrice at dinner.

Genia delivering our beautiful sweets to the table .

Watch this space for the rest of my time with the Masi's

Location:Boulevard de Denain,Paris,France

Saturday, September 17, 2011

London to Paris on Euro rail

Well what a day one we won't forget. Packed our cases then popped out for a light breakfast before our taxi ride to Saint Pancres for our trip to Paris. Poor taxi driver squeezed all our luggage into 5 seated cab plus all of us!

Arrived early to catch 12.40 to Paris. Boarded and went through couple of little tunnels before the 20 min one underwater from Devon except for darkness new nothing till we emerged into France countryside. First there was tiny villages but all with church, then to the larger areas. Not as green as England.

Disembarked at 3.50 and walked from platform all the while looking for the owner of our apartment who was to meet us at train. We waited till after 5 whilst surrounded by beggars, suspicious pick pockets, homeless etc -omg dirty as well not the best introduction to Paris.

In desperation we walked across the road and booked into the Mercuri Terminus Nord for the night with the hope that owner will answer our emails otherwise we have lost all our money and so much for our lovely 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom apartment in 1st District of Paris. As you can imagine we feel very sad about situation but have eaten now in bed and tomorrow is another day.

I am excited because my cousin Wendy is picking me up and taking me to her home in country for the night tomorrow. She has been overseas working and we did think we would miss one and other.

So that is our 1st day in Paris one of disgust and sadness and perhaps being conned by one of the best in the business. We may be wrong - tomorrow will tell the story.

Outside Citadines waiting for taxi

The Euro station

Guess who on the train

First glimpse of France


Out side train station and our hotel.

Posted from my iPad.

Location:Boulevard de Denain,Paris,France

Friday, September 16, 2011

Covent Garden, Harrods, Buckingham Palace.

Up and at them early- and whilst walking to catch bus we had to walk along Scotland Yard (opposite our hotel) we came across Police horses being loaded in truck for trip - police were very co operative and aslet me take a couple of photos. We then had short bus ride to Covent Gardens Market, quick coffee and nibble before we explored. Jubilee Market a little disappointing to say the least but shops at Covent Garden good. Listened to a Opera singer in one section, and in another a wip cracking Australia was seen entertaining the crowds.

Next a taxi ride to Harrods -omg the food hall. In the meat section noticed Australian Beef 195 pounds a kil. Unbelievable place and have lots of photos to show just how good it was. We managed to have a little lunch at Harrods. A whole floor was devoted to a Pet hall Unbelievable amount of beds, couches, toys etc all for the pet. Sorry Toshi, Wilbur, and Ned Nanny hasn't any room in the case!

I left Elizabeth and Shirley and I hired a cab to Buckingham Palace once again it is hard to imagine what the buildings are like - wandered around, then walked to St James Gardens and along to the Abbey.

Caught another taxi back home for the usual gin and tonic, and another nice meal from Paul and Joan before retiring for the night.

Loading in Cornwall to float

Back up vehicle where it seems the police collect Teddies

The Covent Markets

Out the front of Harrods

The Food Hall

Fashion at Harrods


The toilet at Harrods -beautiful 4 different perfumes to use plus a hand cream.

The above two photos I took for Miss Emily at HDNS

Buckingham House and the surrounds.

Location:London,United Kingdom