York 24th -26th June

Friday 24th
After arrival from London on Friday we quickly set up in our really cool apartment. It is an old warehouse which has been turned into 5 apartments and our is on the middle level. This is the first time on this trip our little family have all been together. The kids are quite excited to have a little pruvacy as there are 3 rooms here and they are able to share with one other. Hollie is in the loungeroom. Pauline and Kevin’s apartment is upstairs so we have quite a lot of space with a decent sized kitchen.

We ventured off to the National Rail Museum which I thought was going to be less than interesting but actually turned out to be quite fascinating.

The royal coaches were beautiful and very interesting. I don’t know how they slept in the beds but they did.  There was even a bath in one of the coaches!

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The kids and I loved the travelling post office. The mail nets were pretty cool. The things we humans develop just blow my mind. It was just amazing to see the way it was sorted.

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All the kids with Evening Star. The last steam engine built.

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Saturday 25th

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There are these cute little alleyways all theough York. We would probably think them dodgy and unsafe in Australia but they are everywhere and very clean and well used paths.

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Before morning tea the kids spotted a toy store with bubbles and free balloons. It was like Christmas.  They thought it was amazing.

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The streets are very busy so difficult to navigate with 5 boisterous children.

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Sunday 26th

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The streets in York are amazing. I loved the paved streets and the cobble stone. The buildings are all different even if they are right next to each other. Some lean in others lean out. Floors are subsiding. It makes for a really colourful streetscape.

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A lot of the streets are called gates. We had to take a photo in front of Colliergate because of my maiden name.

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I had the Plough man’s lunch. Cheeses, meats, salad, chutneys and bread. Totally delicious. Couldn’t eat it all.

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Pauline’s lunch was a Sunday roast. Yes they serve mashed and baked potato in the same meal. The Yorkshire puddings were delicious.

The next stop after Kevin Joshua threw a massive tantrum in the street then weed his pants and needed to be carried home by Kevin Paul as he screamed blue murder all the way back to the apartment was a 15th century house known as Barley House. Jessica had seen this as we had walked around yesterday and really wanted to go. She’d even found out prices and directed me how to get back there.

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Here is a peacock on the banquet table. In Medieval times they would take the skin off the bird, leaving the feathers on, then cool the bird and put the skin and feathers back over the cooked carcass. Nice and hygenic. The featgers were beautiful. There was also a swan which woukd recieve similar treatment.

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Here Lisa is dressing up as Joseph for a play. This museum was a hoot. It was totally interactive. You were encouraged to touch and play with everything. They even had tavern games for us to play, minus the drinks.

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Me in a medieval dress and cap. Very becoming.

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Jessica loved this dress. She wanted to smuggle it home.

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Hollie looked lovely in the green.

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Barley Hall. If you’re in York check it out. Great for the kids. We wish we had longer in there but our tickets are valid for a year so maybe we should come back.

London day 2 20th June

It was a horribly wet day and considering the late night we had last night at the Harry Potter studios we weren’t very keen to get going today.

We decided it was best not to take Kevin Joshua as he would need to be carried everywhere to see any of the jewels so he went ofd adventuring with Granny and Grandpuff.

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You can’t take photos inside unfortunately.

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One of the guards. Jessica thought it was so funny they wouldn’t react to us or move at all.

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The actual tower to the left. We were very lucky it was a rainy day and were able to get tickets straight away and only wait 10 minutes to get in to see the jewels. As soon as the sun came out the crowds came out.

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The windy staircases to stop any attackers being able to advance very easily and fight on their way up. They made me dizzy going up.

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Guards marching around the tower.

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We had to walk across Tower Bridge to see the crack where the lifts up.

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The family on the bridge with the Tower in the background.

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In the front of one of the traditional London buses. Up the top of course.

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Lisa and Kevin looking out over Trafalgar Square.

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They were keen to get up and explore but Kevin found it a bit scary getting down.

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The kids loved the Yoda busker.

We even walked from Trafalgar Square to Hambley’s toy store. Five storeys of toy heaven.  Even I loved it and nearly bought the whole store. Jessica did get a Hermione wand and we did get a family Wizard’s chess set. Kevin found some train things to buy, naturally.

It was another long day of walking but we really did enjoy our day out.

London day 1

We had a busy day of traveling yesterday so today was a bit of an easy day.

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We attended Mass and walked through Hyde Park from Marble Arch after we did an earth cache there. We walked until we were hungry and had lunch in an English pub.

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After lunch we spent some time at the Australian war memorial trying to locate names of towns we had lived in. Not very successful.

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Nundah listed as one of the many places in Australia who sent men t

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o war.

We intend to go back to find the names of Burpengary and Longreach.

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Walking back through Hyde Park we saw horse riders and joggers. It really is a great park.

Next came the trip to the Harry Potter studios after we’d had a brief rest back at the apartment.

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The Great Hall.

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Harry’s room under the stairs. It’s why we call our little door under the stairs Harry’s room.

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Jessica going to Hogwarts for the 2nd year and we didn’t have to pay £16 for it like you do at King’s Cross.

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The letters keep coming.

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Wizard chess pieces coming to get us.

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Butter beer. Very sweet.

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Hagrid’s costume was huge.

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Had to have a photo. Perfect bus for us.

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Of course the train has to have a photo.

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Probably my favourite part.

I highly recommend this tour if you like the books and the movies. It is very interactive and self paced and although they say it will take 3 hours we could have been there much longer except we had a time schedule and it was past 9.30pm when we got out. We had arrived for the 6.30pm session and were already tired. It was really an amazing experience so if you get the chance please go along and check it out.

Versailles

The short walk we did around the gardens was magnificent.  They are spectacular.  We will return in years to come to walk all the gardens and spent a day or two just visiting the gardens.

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We didn’t even walk half way down to this lake/river and to the right is a whole heap more gardens. To walk to the end of the gardens is 3km.

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The videos in the museum of this water fountain working is spectacular.

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We had to wait 58mins in the queue to get into the palace museum but it was worth the wait even if we got rained on.

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The entrance to the palace.

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So many people inside. The paintings on the ceiling were so detailed and beautiful.

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Out of the King’s bed chamber.

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Jessica and I loved the ceilings.

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Little Kevin and his favourite person.

Arc de Triomp day 2 Paris

We had a very lazy start to the day however we made up for it by walking over 15kms. I had washing to do so went to the laundromat and had to use my knowledge of French words to work out how to operate the machines and payment system. I bought bread from the bakery as well as an apple pastry for Kevin.

When we finally got going it was morning tea time and we stopped at a cafe for coffee and pastry before walking to the metro and catching thd train to Charles de Gruille and the Arc de Triomphe. We went underground to get past all the traffic and up to the monument. We queued for tickets and climbed the 300 or so stairs to the top. Kevin Joshua needed carrying the last little bit but all day that was the only time he was carried.

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The view from the top was amazing and worth every cent we paid to go up. I loved the roof top gardens you could see and the tree lined streets.

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The highlight of the trip so far was my ride down the Champ Elyses. It was so scary with 8 lanes of traffic and cobble stones and French drivers who seem to follow no rules. The first ride was brief, only two blocks up and back, then we had lunch. It was the scariest thing I’d ever done as the whole time I thought I was going to die but it was so exhilarating at the same time. We have watch Le Tour de France for many years and watched the riders finish tbe race in this street so it was pretty cool that I got to ride that same road as them. The second ride was the whole length up and back. By the end I was weaving in and out of cars and waving to the family as I returned.

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We walked the length of the street and through the park, stopping for another gelato,  to the Louvre however we didn’t go in. We left Kevin W and Pauline and they headed home while we walked to Notre Dame.

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The girls at first didn’t think it was very interesting but once they understood how old the Cathedral was they were blown away. We may convert them to being interested in history.

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Paris day 2

We had a huge day of walking, over 15km. We walked almost from 9.30am until 5.30pm. Admittedly this was at little Kevin pace until 3.30pm but he was a fabulous walker and didn’t complain at all.

Firstly we took the kids to Sacre Coeur. This was the first rime they had seen or been inside such a big church. Like me, they were quite impressed with  the paintings inside and the small chapels which formed part of the large church.

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The kids even had a ride on the carousel.

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Morning tea in a park so the kids could play. We had coffee and pastry.

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We even had a maccas toilet break but this one was a pay for toilet but fortunately a French family were coming out of the cubicle and held it open for us so we didn’t have to pay.

We walked past Napoleon’s statue and all the expensive shops. There was a watch Kevin liked for over 21,000 Euros! I quite liked the statue of Napolean with its green tone. Imagine what it would have looked like when it was new and shiny.

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We had an ice cream in Jardin de Tuileries and walked through to see the Paris eye and Cleopatra’s Obelisk but it is actually Rameses II’s. It blew me away they would transport this from Egypt. It’s quite an impressive stone structure and the hieroglyphs were beautiful. 

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The Eiffel Tower was the highlight of the day. Jessica and I wanted to be the first to spotto it. We walked along the Siene which was very full of water and flowing rapidly from the flooding here last week.

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It was quite a nice walk although we heard the constant sounds of the police sirens because they were blocking off streets for some protest. Heavily armed police on every corner and car after car of police going past. Kevin Joshua was most impressed to see so many police. There were also a lot of police near an overseas dignitary we saw go past in his motorcade.

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There was quite a few upset people when we arrived at the Eiffel Tower because we found out Elizabeth the platypus had fallen out of Hannah’s bag. We decided to back track to try to find her but without luck. Kevin W and Pauline took the kids back to the apartment via the train. Jessica came with us and was just so good, walking and never giving up even though it was about 5km back to the apartment.

We even managed to find a train shop in Paris and bought some supplies.

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Europe 2016

We arrived in Paris today at 5.30pm. It was a very long day for us after leaving home at 9.30am Sunday,  flying to Sydney, waiting for our connecting flight at 4pm and arriving in Dubai around 6.30am Australian EST. If that wasn’t bad enough I didn’t sleep at all on that leg of the flight because my shoulder injury was so sore. It felt as though I was being stabbed in the back and I had difficulties breathing. Fortunate I was given some pain killers so I slept fitfully from Dubai to London.

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Lisa holding our mascots Mort the possum and Elizabeth the platypus in Dubai

The kids were so well behaved.  We recieved a lot of compliments on theur behaviour.  By the time we’d been through immigration at Heathrow and traveled  on the Underground to go to King’s Cross with all the morning communters the kids were exhausted and needes to do something other than sit down and wait.

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Leaving Heathrow to travel to London King's Cross

We managed to find this cute little park in Argyle Square for them to play in. We checked out the Harry Potter store at King’s Cross, changed some money, bought food and went through immigration again to head to France on EuroStar.

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Once again, through the procedures and the official part, the kids were so well behaved.  We are very blessed.

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A cute little shop near our accommodation

We walked to our accommodation and settled the kids in. Kevin went to find food for dinner and I washed and clothed the kids. I also had a shower. It felt amazing.

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After Kevin had made dinner we put the kids to bed and Pauline looked after the kids while Kevin and I went for a walk. We walkes to the top od the hill near our apartment and went into a very beautiful church before walking home and falling into bed.

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Out of our apartment window to the street below