A Travellerspoint blog

Less than a week to go!

sunny 25 °C

Into the countdown phase now, last couple of bookings made for Florence and Perpignan (Perpignan being the base for a dash down to Manuel's hometown, Barcelona). I know departure is close because the offspring have started worrying about how they are going to extract money from us while we are gone. Process of extracting self from day to day work matters has almost reached readiness for departure.

Glad to have factored in a couple of days on leave prior to flight as I am certain there will be a flurry of hurry as we throw things in and out of bags, trying to trim down the load to be lugged across the globe. Bought an electric immersion heater yesterday, as we found on our very first overseas venture, in some places it can be hard to just find a way to boil some water for a coffee or even for safe drinking. Guys in the shop say they have heard of a few people falling asleep in a bath with an immersion heater running, resulting in cooking themselves. Apocryphal story, no doubt.

Posted by piepers 13:34 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (0)

What's in a name?

sunny 24 °C

After ages scanning accomodation options for Barcelona, the name of the Pension Dali screams at me, the price is right, and I can't wait to see if there is an elephant with long spindly legs towering above the reception desk, with a large fob watch melting on top of its head. Many Barcelonian destinations playing up the art angle for all its worth - should be an interesting couple of days.

Posted by piepers 15:59 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (0)

A Roof for Ones's Head

semi-overcast 30 °C

Last night engaged in a fevered search for Amsterdam accommodation for mid April, finding search after search of mangy looking dives showing very patchy availability, with many fiery red x's showing ro oms taken. Eventually ran down a deal with the Holiday Inn, 500 euros for four nights. Looks like a clean and spacious room to recline in after a hard day on the streets. Memo: buy those Eurail select passes soon.... If only I could decide the pathway through these unknown lands....

Posted by piepers 02:15 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (0)

Time, like sewerage, flows on regardless of the human will

sunny 22 °C

Three weeks to go till take off, and still so much to plan. Anxiety levels rising. Bookings for accommodation in Paris made, at last, that was a hard one to decide. I'm indebted to all the travellers who have bothered to post a real opinion on places they have stayed. There always seems to be such a gulf between the glowing self promotions put out by "the owners" and the sadder but wiser words of travellers who have actually stayed at a place.

Have made the general decision to hire a car and self-drive around Ireland - don't think we can get into too much trouble / getting lost there. And getting there, the low cost charter flight operators seem to be a way of getting there without wasting a lot of time with the relative slowness of ferries across the Irish Sea.

On the Continent, though, everyone is telling me rail travel - and especially the Eurail passes that must be purchased before you arrive in Europe- are the best option, because the rail system is so extensive and well organised. I like the idea of not having to concentrate on driving all the time.

Still waiting on news from some contacts I am hoping to catch up with while in Europe. Not travelling with offspring this time, so no need to have every day planned ahead of time. Get some key dates in place, and leave some flexbility do explore whatever options come up, would seem to be a fair approach.

Posted by piepers 18:47 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (0)

Time to get serious

sunny 26 °C

Today is the first day of the month that concludes with boarding the flight from Melbourne to London via Singapore and Dubai. Suddenly the need to throw more effort into reseaarch and organisation seems very urgent. Looking at many options in all sorts of accommodation, one soon becomes brain fatigued just trying to keep track of what currency you are looking at, understanding what that means in the good ol' Aussie dollar .

Very grateful for the proliferation of user reviews contributed by travellers who have gone before and subjected themselves to every variety of cramped, dirty, hostile shelter and survived to tell the tale. Had a lousy fortnight just finished with a virus that knocked the wind out of my sails, with a neat flowon into a very painful infection of a nerve deep in my jaw. That slowed down the planning process a lot. Like, how do you make rational choices when the old brain box is processing at what seems like 10% capacity.

However, our thoughts on where to go and what to see are gradually crystallising. Hoping to get right into some serious accommodation booking and purchase of Eurail passes this weekend. Hope the old broadband connection holds out!

Posted by piepers 19:54 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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