07
Oct2013
0

Paris was a blur (a beautiful blur, but still a blur). After a full day of wandered, J+J, Rob and I got on a train to Belgium – the land of beers and chocolate. Hoorah! First, we were in the quaint and iconic Bruges – the whole medieval town is a UNESCO world heritage site. And its easy to see why. The medieval architecture is everywhere, and looks awesome. There are also four 13th century windmills out near the waterways! […]

03
Oct2013
0

So once again we were in Paris, but this time with my family. My parents, brother and his wife were over for my cousin’s wedding in Germany a week later. But before that, we decided to spend a week travelling around Europe. To start, we were only in Paris for one whole day so it was a whirlwind tour! In the morning, Liz and I dropped my parents off at the Louvre and since we had seen the Louvre last time, […]

30
Sep2013
1

Antoni Gaudi is an amazing architect, and his greatest masterpiece has to be the incomplete Sagrada Familia. Gaudi devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926 less than a quarter of the project was complete. Sagrada Familia’s construction progressed slowly, as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War, only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Despite the scaffolding, it was an impressive […]

29
Sep2013
2

Our next Spanish trip was a long weekend to Barcelona. We’d been told by so many people what an awesome city it is, and they weren’t wrong. Firstly, there’s the old stuff, like the surviving Romans columns from a 1st century Temple of Augustus – the largest Roman temple in Barcelona. There’s also a 3rd and 4th century Roman walls and gateways around Barri Gotic and La Rambla. The 13th century Barcelona Cathedral dedicated to a young virgin who suffered martyrdom […]

11
Sep2013
0

Granada was the main part of this trip to Spain, but we spent an afternoon in Malaga to visit my Dad’s first cousin, Kevin. Kevin is our only relation on Dad’s side of the family that we have contact with. It was wonderful to catchup with him and hear all the family stories about Dad’s parents, aunty, uncles and grandparents. He also took us to this amazing wine bar in Malaga – Antigua Casa de Guardia Vinos. A super traditional […]

09
Sep2013
0

Granada is a beautiful city with great food and an encouraging drinking culture, but the real reason to go to Granada is to see Alhambra – a fortress and palace complex, initially constructed in 889AD and converted into a palace in 1333. This was the first Islamic palace we had visited and we were impressed! Let me show you why. First, its a huge fortress on top of a hill which Granada is built around. To get up there, first […]

12
Aug2013
0

Traveling around different cities and countries in Europe uncovers little surprises, and one of those for us was definitely Granada. We (Liz) organised a trip with our friends M + M to fly into Malaga and drive up to Granada. The weather was a lovely 30+ and the coastline was beautiful. We decided to stop off at a beach and sample some of the local food. Its a local custom to have large BBQ’s and eat various fried foods, like […]

30
Jul2013
0

Some of you might have heard of Heston Blumenthal and his marvellous feasts he would prepare on his TV show. Rob and I used to love watching that TV show in NZ and Australia – He loves using dry ice to freeze ingredients. He make things that don’t look edible (like grass and soil garden) be delicious and the experience always seems to be wondrous. Well, he has a restaurant in his home town, Bray, just outside London – The Fat […]

27
Jul2013
0

After a great first day, we were eager for some more walks and abbey ruins. Luckily, Yorkshire is happy to oblige – we set off for Rievaulx Abbey and walking the Yorkshire Moors. The Moors are quite beautiful. The weather was still crisp, but the walk over the hills and through the woods was great. Then we came around the corner, and there was the abbey! It’s huge! Rievaulx Abbey was founded in 1132 by twelve monks from York as a mission […]

09
Jul2013
0

In England, there are 2 long weekends in May. For the first one, our friend Richard kindly invited us up to his holiday home in Yorkshire for walks, ruins and some beers. We certainly did all three. But first, some walking. Richard took us to Studley Royal estate – a beautiful estate and water gardens built in the 19th century. A great place for some walking. The estate is beautiful, but was actually built to enhance the picturesque ruins of […]

27
Jun2013
0

We had a wonderful 3 nights in Wales, with delicious food and plenty of beers. It was time to go home, but we had one more sight to see – Gloucester Cathedral. This cathedral is stunning and very Gothic. It’s pretty amazing. Originally a Saxon abbey, a Norman church was built on top by a group by Benedictine monk in the 12th century. Then, when Edward II was murdered in 1327, the church was chosen as his burial place, making […]

24
Jun2013
0

This was our second visit to Wales – last time we saw a bunch of castles in North Wales, so we thought we should see some in the south too. The first castle we went to was Pembroke Castle, birthplace of Henry VII. In its history it had seen a few battles. The original earth and timber castle was built in 1093, and withheld a Norman invasion. The impressive stone castle that currently stands was built in 1189.  The outer wall […]

29
May2013
0

Pembrokeshire is a beautiful part of Wales – lovely beachy coastlines and pretty seaside towns. But it was freezing! I’m wearing all my warm clothes to block an icy wind in the photo below. We were staying in the seaside town of Tenby – built on the cliff to a sheltered harbour where all the buildings are painted candy colours. Nice! It was a really great place to stay, with an enjoyable selection of pubs and restaurants. Just off the the […]

30
Apr2013
0

For Easter this year, we wanted to go on a wee roadtrip and see some more of this country. We’ve made several trips around England, 3 to Scotland but only 1 to Wales. We’d heard that Pembrokeshire in the South West of Wales was a beautiful part of the country, so loaded the car and head off. It’s a 5 hour drive to Tenby in Pembrokeshire where we were staying, so we planned a couple of stops on a cold […]

03
Mar2013
0

Some of these pub photos are old. Strangely, there’s one pub from July 2011 that I forgot we visited, so didn’t catalogue sooner. So we’ll start with the oldest photos, The Rock, a Greene King pub that’s right on a main road. So while it was lovely to sit out in the sun, the traffic whizzing past wasn’t so great. Still, it one of the better pub options near the Cineworld cinema. Haha! I’m wearing glasses. Don’t need those since the […]

12
Feb2013
0

Berlin has 5 amazing museums all on one island – Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With the 1 day allocated for museums, we weren’t going to visit all of them, so we picked the best two – Neues Museum and Pergamon Museum. The building to the left in the picture above, the Neues Museum, was severely damaged in a series of bombings by the Allies in WWII. In the 1990’s, a British architect David Chipperfield was commissioned to […]

07
Feb2013
0

The East Site Gallery is an open air, modern art gallery, painted on some of the remaining sections of the Berlin wall. When the wall was enforced by East Germany, West Berliner’s would graffiti their side of the wall with slogans and images. The east side of the wall had a guarded ‘death strip’  to prevent East Berliners crossing, so their side of the wall was plain. This gallery is symbolic because it is on the east side of the wall, expressing the […]

05
Feb2013
0

We had a brilliant trip in Munich, but weren’t done with Germany yet, no! A couple of our friends organised a new year’s trip to Berlin and we agreed to go along! On our first evening, we knew we were going to like this city. Our hotel was next to a WWII bunker. Awesome. On our first day, we decided to go on one of the famous walking tours they have in Berlin. We were anxious about an expected 4 […]

20
Jan2013
0

We couldn’t afford to go home for Christmas last year which sucked. But we were inspired by Caroline’s Orphans’ Christmas she invited us to in 2010 so decided to host our own. We had 4 Kiwis come up from London  and 2 Kiwis from down the road for 3 days of festivities. Brilliant! The weather was drizzly and awful while everyone was with us. We did manage to make it into town one morning to wander around and show them Cambridge […]

19
Jan2013
0

Rob officially has his permanent residency visa (woohoo!) so we’re here for a couple more years at least. But getting this visa meant we could also start our non-domestic travels again. Before Christmas, we went to visit James and Meike in Munich! We were happily drowned Christmas decorations and German hospitality. I love their homemade advent calendars! We were treated to delicious German-style breakfasts with boiled eggs, hams, cheeses and fresh bread. Rob also helped Meike make some Christmas mince […]