Monday, March 13, 2006

10 year anniversary in London & Copenhagen

Thursday the 9th of March marks 10 years to the day since Carly and I went on our first date, to the movies on a Saturday night back in Brisbane. So on thursday night we went out for an amazing dinner at the OXO Tower restuarant, and sat at a window seat over looking the Thames with viewes across the City. The food was perfect, the restuarant was stunning, and the night was just brilliant - topped off by a ride home past all of the iconic London landmarks in one of the restuarant's serviced cars - very classy.

The next day we had a very early start - despite sporting hangovers we had to be at Gatwick Airport for a very early flight for a long weekend in Copenhagen.

After a delay in the flight leaving Gatwick, we landed at Copenhagen airport with bright blue skies above, and in contrast some snow still lying on the ground and very cool temperatures outside. We headed into the city on the train and walked with our weekend bags to our hotel - the impressive Marriot Copenhagen down on the waterfront, with views from our room over the city skyline dotted with church spires, and also out to sea towards Sweden across the bay where they have constructed the impressive Wind Powered turbine farm just offshore which i've seen previously in photography by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

We ditched our bags there, grabbed the cameras, and headed out with scarfs, hiking boots and coats on to walk around the town centre to get our bearings. Being a working day it was interesting to see the business centre of a European city like this, especially once the end of the day came around and they headed to all of the small bars and restuarants ...

more to come soon


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Brisbane to London in 57 hours - eh??

Carly finally wandered into home this morning, after a horrendous 57 hour-long trip from Brisbane to London via Singapore and unexpectedly a short stopover in Frankfurt, before arriving into Heathrow.

Disaster struck when she arrived into Singapore, and couldn't get onto her next flight. As this often happens when she's travelling standby on Qantas staff travel, she simply sat tight and crossed fingers for the next possible flight. But that one was full also.. and then after spending the night sleeping on the lounges in the terminal she awoke to find the next flight potentially full up as well with no chance of a standby seat becoming available - so with her checked luggage being held by the airline she buddy'd up with another staff traveller also stuck there on the way to London and headed out of Changi for some sightseeing on not one but two free Singapore tours available for passengers with time to kill.. damn funny! I wish i'd been there to see all of this going on. it seemed like she'd become a permanent resident of the airport!!

She also spent a bit of time with her new travel buddy chewing on some Tiger beers in some bar at the top of the airport - from my stopovers there I never knew this bar existed, and apparently it offers an amazing view of the airfield while sipping on a cool drink and experiencing this fancy evaporative cooling system they've installed which sprays a fine mist into the air to naturally cool the temperature down! Sounds strange so I'll have to take her word for it..

After several e-mails, phone calls, and text messages between me in London and her mum in Brisbane, she finally got booked onto an overnight Qantas flight into Frankfurt, and then an early morning BA flight over to the UK, and finally, home!

If it wasn't so rediculous it would be funny! over 57 hours door to door by the time she caught the Piccadilly line home with her backpack!!

Apparently there was some airline convention on that weekend in Singapore, meaning that all flights would be full up with airline staff from all over the world - from what she mumbled to me just before in her drowsy grumpy state it seems that she is never travelling 'staff' again!!


Monday, March 06, 2006

the trainspotterspotter's make it home

Since late last year, ex-LDA planner collegue Nicholas and his now fiancé Sophie have been travelling home after living and working in the UK for three years. Now plenty of people move overseas and then return home after a while, so why is this scenario any different? Because these guys made a committment to do the journey home from London to Fremantle without flying! No planes at all! None! Just land or sea transport! Simply Brilliant!!!

It's a fantastic concept which took a bit of thought and planning but ended up being an amazing adventure from London to Europe via the Chunnel and across Europe via train, then a very long train trip across Siberia and Mongolia, by boat and train through parts of China, then through SE Asia by various means, then the final hop from Singapore on a container ship into Fremantle Harbour. If you want to read all about it, the travel blog they kept on their little 12" iBook along the way is excellent reading - go see for all of their tales and various photos taken by avid photographer Soph.

Cruising into your home city on a container ship sounds a lot more adventurous and tempting than simply trundling out of the arrivals gate at Brisbane International with all of your collected life in a worn-out backpack..