A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

MELBOURNE to SINGAPORE

Stopover

overcast 32 °C

Up early and car is waiting. It's quite a cool morning so very much looking forward to following summer across the globe.
As per every other Sunday set off, no traffic and check in at airport was quick. I love flying on Sundays.
Breakfast and away we go.
Flight on time and Singapore Airlines has the best service. Singapore bound.

Arrived Singapore about 20 minutes early and the flight was good.
Singapore Airport..... You will entertain me for about 5.5 hours. Do your best!

What a place. If you have to be stuck in an airport. This is the one you want to be stuck in.
So much to do.

We visited the butterfly enclosure. Quite humid but hey, this is Singapore.
Beautiful thing to see if only the rude tourists with no social skills would learn how to not barge through. Seriously, a woman no more than four feet in height nearly bowled me down the stairs. She's lucky I'm on holiday and in a good mood.

After this we ventured into the Street Food court and had a nice feed.
If you ever are in Changi Airport and want a great value meal, head upstairs to Street Food. Pay x amount of dollars onto a card and use this card at any stall there. No need for exchanging cash to the vendors. Great fuss free concept.

Killing time still so now we head to Internet cafe and get online to visit home. Only been gone 9 hours, but hey, we are sure we are missed
Changi also has snooze lounges if you wish to have a sleep and a movie theatre which is also free. I saw enough movies on the plane so am enjoying walking.
We decide to stay awake so hopefully we can sleep on flight to Heathrow...speaking of which, let's go!

Posted by Traci_Rae 17:00 Archived in Singapore Tagged airport changi stopover Comments (0)

THE ARRIVAL

Waterloo

rain 15 °C
View UK. PARIS. BRUGGE. 2014 on Traci_Rae's travel map.

Flight from Singapore to Heathrow. Well what can I say..... Feeling lucky that we were given 4 seats between the 2 of us across the middle row. Feeling unlucky that Rae took up 3 of these seats and slept for over 8 hours solid! My pity for her disdain of flying has gone out the window :-)
After watching every movie available, we land at Heathrow. It's about 5am.
Customs allowed me to smuggle through the 20 kilos of Milo and various Cherry Ripes and Cadbury Mint chocolate for Jay & Leah and we are no sooner waiting at the arrival lounge for our driver. Oh how I love all this quick airport action!!!!

Our car arrives and we are heading toward London. Driver takes us on a scenic drive past Hyde Park and other significant landmarks. Not too much traffic and we are at Waterloo by 8.
I knew we would be arriving early so instead of storing luggage and waiting until 3pm to check in, I booked the previous night so we could check in immediately plus have breakfast. Which we did
Wellington at Waterloo. What a lovely old hotel.
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We made our way up the old rickety staircase and into our WONDERFUL room. Fully renovated. Yes small but had everything we needed. Bathroom was great and the bed. Oooohhhhhh the bed. Fantastic. No time for sleep now though (don't forget, Rae has slept so all good).
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We head back downstairs for our first of many English Breakfast's. I love Black Pudding. Who'd have thought. And yes, one has to admit, the British know how to make a good cuppa!
Rae enjoyed the yoghurt. Well Rae enjoyed about 5 of them.
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After breakfast Rae the rested one decides to go for a walk down to SOUTHBANK. What a colourful place this is. So much going on.
Buskers, street performers of all shapes & colours. Music. Books. We love it. Time is ticking though we must keep moving. Hopefully we can come back before we go home. Time now about 12pm
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Heading back toward the hotel we stumble across a food Bazarre. Our senses are brought to life by the smell of wonderful Indian cooking. Yes we indulge. I mean who wouldn't.
We keep walking. Hotel ahead. I can't wait to sleep. But the adrenaline of being here has kept me going.
Into the room. Shower. Bed!
Sleep - nope. Urgh.
I lay here watching chimney stacks do nothing. In 2 hours Jay & Leah will be here. Maybe the excitement of seeing them is keeping me awake. Or maybe it's the fact that well rested Rae is again asleep and making that dull rattle of a snore. Just to let me know that she is GETTING SO MUCH MORE SLEEP THAN ME . Tempted to bust open Leah's Mint Chocolate but I don't.
It's 3pm. They are here.
Jay & Leah look well and happy.
We chat in the bar of The Wellington then start to head off to SRO studios.
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Met up with Jays friends Matt & Evon and go to White Hart or Bevvies. I love the London Pubs. Australia could learn a lot about pub culture.
Off to the studious to see Graham Norton. It starts to rain.
What a show. Tom Cruise, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, Seth McFarlane & ColdPlay. Great lineup
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Jet lag starts setting in. I've been wake for over 40 hours. I must get some sleep. And I do. Goodnight Day 1

ACCOMMODATION
www.thewellingtonhotelwaterloo.co.uk

GREAT PUB on CORNWALL RD WATERLOO
www.thewhitehartwaterloo.co.uk

Posted by Traci_Rae 17:00 Archived in England Tagged graham waterloo the_wellington norton Comments (0)

A DAY IN LONDON

Buckingham Palace and a walk

rain 18 °C
View UK. PARIS. BRUGGE. 2014 on Traci_Rae's travel map.

Good morning Waterloo
After breakfast we meet up with Jay at Waterloo Station.
Caught a train and walked up to Buckingham Palace. What a sight. Today was the changing of the guard. What a splendid display of discipline in all the finery of uniforms and beautiful horses.
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The weather is ordinary. London rain. Tourists everywhere. Probably hoping to see Wills & Kate but only guardsmen are here today
After the procession we head across to St James park and Lady Diana's walk. What a beautiful park.
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Everyone coming to London needs to come here on a fine day. Those beautiful squirrels are everywhere.
The park is abundant in lively flowers. Peonies are growing like weeds.
Still raining but who cares.
We walk toward Westminster Abbey but the queue is outrageous so we decide not to stand in the rain for over an hour and head into St Margaret's instead. Such a beautiful old church.
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Walk more toward Big Ben and then back into the subway.
We head to Temple and into. The Walkabout. I think every Aussie who comes to. London knows this bar.
Today is quiet and we have a nice lunch here.
We want to see Temple. The medieval church which houses the resting place of many Templer Knights. It's closed. Of course it is. Apparently renovations are in progress. The outside of this circular church is still fascinating. Maybe next time.
Down toward Blackfriars we venture into a cute little pub The Blackfriar. Built in 1905
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After a drink we head to Canary Wharf to visit Leah.
Jay & Leah have amazing views over London and O2 stadium.
After the visit we head back to Waterloo for dinner at the pub and an early night. ROADTRIP starts tomorrow

Posted by Traci_Rae 17:00 Archived in England Tagged buckingham_palace the_blackfriar Comments (0)

ROADTRIP Day 1- Waterloo to Yealmpton

How to get Lost. Get really lost

overcast 18 °C
View UK. PARIS. BRUGGE. 2014 on Traci_Rae's travel map.

We check out of the Wellington and head over to pick up the car from Europcar.
We pick up the car and it's all down hill from there.
We blame too much to look at. Following directions is easy but then something caught Rae's eye and next thing we are heading toward Brixton.
Problem is with London roads is you can't pull over if you take a wrong turn. So we kept going

And going

And going

Next thing we see signs for 'The Tunnel'
Holy crap we are heading to France........ 2 weeks early

Compose yourselves girls.
And we do
We find a lovely local mechanic who was helpful and got us back on the right track.
We finally see the signs for Guildford and we are on our way.
Getting to Guildford about 3 hours late we eventually find our way to Clandon Park.
Very impressive.
Clandon Park is a Palladian mansion. Built by a Venetian architect for The Onslows in the 1720s
Magnificent interiors are faithful to the period, featuring original stucco ceilings and marble fireplaces, the most impressive of which are in the awe-inspiring Marble Hall.
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Clandon Park has seven acres of gardens that surround the house. These are home to a small parterre garden, the walled Dutch Garden and Hinemihi, a Maori meeting house brought back from New Zealand in 1892.
This is why we are here. Hinemihi is the old meeting house of Rae's ancestors brought back from New Zealand by Lord Onslow in 1892 after the great volcano eruption.
She has been restored and sits amongst lovely ferns and trees.
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We spend a little longer here than anticipated as it is just a wonderful place to be.
After we leave we decide to get a UK larger road map so we can get this road tripping thing down pat. Best thing we did.
We are now on our way to Yealmpton where we are to spend the night.
Due to us wasting time being lost in Kent we bypass Stonehenge as we hope to make it to the manor before dark.
The trip down was good and we get to experience these wonderful English lanes that aren't on the maps so we use our instincts and eventually ask a local who has 5 dogs, so he must be a good guy, where the hell Kitley House is. He laughs at us being tourists and the dogs hop in the car. We love Devon. Yarrrrrrp!
Finally we see Kitley Estate.
A beautiful long forest surrounded driveway up to the house. Sheep grazing. We are definitely English countryside.
The Manor appears and we aren't disappointed.
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We check in and they can tell we have been on the road all day and call for the kitchen to stay open.
That's service.
Up to our room. The Winston State Room. Wow.
Drinks in the bar before dinner and then a most amazing meal. I'm in love with the hospitality here.
After dinner we head to our room and have a long bath with English Lavender bath products.
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Sliding into a huge four poster bed is a feeling everyone needs to experience.

Goodnight!

ACCOMMODATION
http://www.kitleyhousehotel.com

CLANDON PARK - Surrey
http://www.clandonpark.co.uk

Posted by Traci_Rae 17:00 Archived in England Tagged devon clandon_park hinemihi kitley_house Comments (0)

ROADTRIP,- Day 2 Yealmpton to Penzance

Via Polperro

rain 18 °C
View UK. PARIS. BRUGGE. 2014 on Traci_Rae's travel map.

We woke to the sounds of birds and bleeding lambs. Did I mention we were in the English countryside?
What a wonderful nights sleep. I wish we had stayed here longer.
Looking out the window all one can see is forest. So peaceful.

Downstairs to breakfast and the service & food was just as wonderful as dinner.
A fire was roaring in the fireplace. So cosy.
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After regrettably checking out we hit the road again. This time much braver ( with big road map in hand) than we were yesterday. We will conquer these roads.
We only have a couple of hours ahead of us today. Not as long as yesterday.
If interested, Plymouth is only about 10 minutes drive from here, but we have chosen instead to head straight for Polperro.
The roads are good and soon enough we are heading over the bridge into Cornwall. The locals here like to think they are their own country, not a part of England.
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Driving into a small seaside town of Looe, we fill up petrol before getting to Polperro which is now only about 15 minutes away.
You can't drive down into Polperro but just outside of the town there is a massive car park. You can't miss it by the sight of huge and many tourist buses. Turn right into the car park and walk down into town.
Polperro is a world of its own. Prone to flooding but life goes on.
All the little white houses are not symmetrically perfect but have storybook character. So cute.
Shops selling Cornish Pasties are abundant but as we just had a huge breakfast, we simply couldn't.
The roads are more like lane ways and you immediately understand why there are no cars allowed. I guess when the village was built there were only horses.
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If you walk all the way down you will come to the harbour. The tide was out today but it just screams fairy tale fishing village.
On the beach there is a large cave recessed into the cliff face. It just keeps going back to that book.
Seagulls above, tourists eating fish & chips on the harbour wall and you just have to sit back and love where you are.
In the middle of town, there is a house that has dedicated its backyard to a miniature replica of the town. The gentleman responsible has also created a small puppetry telling the story of the history & legends of Cornwall and it's Pixies. Kids would love this. Rae & I did :-)
We just walked around here looking at shops and curios until about lunchtime before walking back up to the car park to head for Penzance

We arrive at Penzance mid afternoon. Again a good road trip.
Our Hotel, The Beachfield is on the Promenade overlooking the sea. It would be lovely here in summer but today is grey and rain is imminent.
We check in and the staff are friendly.
Making our way to our room is a maze but like Kitley, it is so quiet here, even though it is on the main road.
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Unpacked and now for a little walk up the road.
We come across a small. Barbican and find a glorious little tea house. Now it's time for some Cornish Pastie & tea.
The tea house owner is adorable with her little pooch and sits to tell us stories of the past and a little history.
The pastie was worth the wait. YUM!
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Off we go again walking down to the pier whee many boats are. Clouds are getting darker.
We head back to the hotel walking along the baths which are closed. Rain!
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There would be much more to see in this old little town but the rain has made our minds up to stay in the hotel.
We sit in the public lounge, warm & cosy overlooking the sea which is quite fierce.
The bar is open. Beverages it is. Time to blog.
Take away pizza for dinner and to bed with the rain glittering in street lights.
Hope it's nice tomorrow.

ACCOMMODATION
http://www.beachfield.co.uk

THINGS TO DO
http://www.minack.mobi

EATS
The. Barbican Coffee Shop - The Barbican Penzance. *****
Gino's Spaghetti House - The Promenade Penzance ***

Posted by Traci_Rae 17:00 Archived in England Tagged cornwall polperro polperro_model_village Comments (0)

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