Tuesday, November 15, 2005

We were there!

Last Friday, Waltraud (my German teacher) showed a tape from SBS on the reopening of the Frauenkirche in Dresden (http://www.frauenkirche-dresden.org/ ). By strange coincidence the kids and I were there the day before and couldn't work out what all the cameras and activity wasuntil I spoke to some of my German friends a few days later!

Monday, October 31, 2005


Sun, 30 Oct 2005 01:52:33 +0950

Rhee and Sam say they have been bored out of their
brains today, but that didn't take long. We are at
Ziegenhain where the Frankfurt University fly. We were only
on the field for 3 hours and the kids played in the river,
so were amused really.
Ziegenhain is a medieval moated town
so it will be good to explore tomorrow.
There is a party going to be held tonight as it is the end
of the gliding season in Germany, and then we will be
staying at aHeikes's place.
Yesterday we drove from Dresden (after having a good look
around the town) and went to Colditz castle (yes, the actual
prison camp). Sam said it was the best place yet.

I haven't been practicing my German language as much as I should. When in Berlin, most people [except the doctor :-( ] would speak english at the first chance and
I am so lazy I let them. The same is true here at the
Frankfurt Uni Gliding club. All the young members (uni
student types) speak english passably well.

However, in the last few days when we were in Dresden and
especially the area around Colditz, hardly any English was
spoken and I was quite pleased how well I was able to get my
message across. The grammar was probably atrocious but the
trick for communication (as opposed to being grammaticaly
correct, which I am sure Walthraud would prefer!) is to
think a little and string some key words together without
being too hung up on exact correctness (that can come

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Stuck in Berlin and crook

After arriving late from The UK on Thursday night and booking into the AO Youth Hostel at the Zoologischer Gartens Bahnhof we decided a quiet hotel would be better.
We moved to the Atrium Hotel on Motzstrasse, which is in a quiet little residential area with a small group of supermarkets and cafes nearby.
It is an almost idyllic spot (as far as that can be in a big European city). The nearest U bahn is Güntzelstrasse (<- look, a word mit umlaut off a German keyboard! :-).
Anyway, on Friday we all went to the zoo, and a big one it was too. We spent all day there.

Saturday we went to the Technical museum and Spectrum (Spectrum is like the SA Science Investigator Centre). The kids spent about 3 hours there and then we went to the museum proper. By this time Rhiannon was beginning to show symptoms of an approaching cold. I was too.

Saturday night we went to a German restaurant, with no menu. Rhiannon and I had the duck with red cabbage and -dumplings- (!). The duck was nice, but I really liked the red cabbage.

Sam had the sniffles for a few days previously but he got over it. Rhiannon and I got his cold in turn and it has hit us reasonably hard, Rhee especially. I could only do about 4 hours activity in a day. So Sunday I had to chase around after an Apotheke, which are generally closed (as is everything) on Sundays. The closed ones usually have a sign in their windows where to find an open one. So on to the UBahn again and a chase around Berlin. I finally found an open one.

Pity I hadn't got to the chapter on health yet in my German lessons :-( but I learnt a new word, "erkalten". After a bit of a rest I took everyones clothes to the laundromat and did the washing.

While there I found out that, sadly, Sabine can't put us up in Frankfurt so the plans have changed somewhat. Speaking to Heike we will go through the old east Germany when (if!) we leave Berlin and meet them at Zeigehain on the weekend. On the way back from the laundromat I bought some Chinese takeaway for tea, which we had in the hotel room.

This is an area which I have trouble with still because I although the same words are used the German pronunciation of the words is quite different and, try as I might, I can't say them the German way. Also Sunday night we watched a show on TV called(if I remember correctly) "Die Comedie Falle", The Commedy Trap. It was a little like a German Candid Camera. While it would have been much more funny if we could have understood the dialogue better, it was still pretty humourous. (There was one particular bit where an unsuspecting babysitter was convinced the house was haunted).

Monday we all just stayed in. It has been drizzling here since Saturday anyway. We went out for a bit of lunch and a little walk in the afternoon and then went to an Italian restaurant for tea.

Rhee says she is feeling better (I am still fairly snuffed up). So, if Rhee feels up to it we will go for a look around Berlin proper this afternoon, with a view to leaving for Dresden or similar on Wednesday sometime.

Monday, October 24, 2005


First night here we flew in late from Luton and could only get a youth hostel near the Zoological gardens railway station.
That took us about 2 hours till we were settled in(about 0030).
While the two people we were sharing with were OK (a Portugese lady and an English bloke, who didn't turn up till 02:00!).
The place was just too noisy and smoky. There were a crowd of Dutch high schoolers there so the next day (Friday) we moved to a little hotel which is much nicer.
Spent Friday at the Zoo and today at the Technical museum,but nobody is feeling too good at the moment due to sniffles.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Mont Matre and Sacre Coeur

Around 0800 I went out and bought a 10E phone recharge and was able to call Sabine, so the phone works even if it costs about 2.5E for a couple of minutes.

The day proper started with the normal confusion. After last nights late finish Reet had asked everyone to be ready to go for the final ticket hurdle at 0900. Of course some of the girls didn’t turn up until after that time and still insisted on making up after breakfast.
We all trooped out to the railway station for the last round of ticket purchase for today’s trip to the Versaille Palace. Unfortuneately Reet’s credit card is unable to be used. There appears to be some limit on withdrawal levels. So, we all leave the railway station and troop back to the back, about 300m, who couldn’t help and advised Reet to go to Thomas Cook. Reet went there alone and apparently it isn’t the card which is the problem, it is the bank! According to Reet.
There aresome very disappointed and angry students, so Reet ran back to Australia to get her husband to follow it up.
No Versaille today!Now we have decided to go to Mont Marte instead. We got to the Metro station Pigalle (I think) at about 1150. All the kids dived into McDonalds. Rhee complained that she was too weak to go on but after a serve of chips then some chicken nuggets she was in good spirits again.

We then all walked down to the Moulin Rouge with comments about the mechandise on display in the sex shops from the students.
I took some photos then we all trooped up the hill to Mont Matre to “see the cathedral”.
We arrived at Mont Matre at about 13:00 and were going to spend 30 minutes there. About 3 hours later we finish up there (skint in my case). Rhiannon bought two paintings
Eventually we got to Sacre Coeur. This cathedral is much cleaner and better looked after that the famous Notre Dame.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Musee de l'Air

Musee de l'Air .
Found the Metro to the Gare Nord easily enough but it was very difficult to find the appropriate bus (350) to get to the Museum. By the third time we found a bus stop with "350" on it where a bus actually stopped 45 minutes had passed. In our confusion we were helped out by a nice Congolese man called Chris Nseka. He was on his way to an interview as an aircraft loader or dispatcher.
When Rhee and I got to LeBourget I bought a few things from a local patisserie. Rhee got a "Perrier Bleu" mineral water. It was peppermint and actually it was vile. Rhee couldn't drink it and after I tried it I could only cope with a few mouthfuls.
LeBourget must have been an impressive airport when it was new, very art deco. I liked it.Posted by Picasa


Where we stayed in Paris. The Mije, Les Maisons Internationales de la Jeunese et des Etudiants. Fourcy where Rhee and I stayed for a couple of days till the Trinity Group arrived.
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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Kuala Lumpur

We are both here in Kuala Lumpur.
Rhee doesn't want her picture taken and she is getting a little tired. We still have the long flight to go.
28 degrees outside but airconditioned in the building. There are still about 2 hours for our connecting flight, I bought 2 tie pins.


The airport at KL.

Sam has been billeted in France

----- Original Message -----
From: "Pierre"
To: "Sam and Stephen"
Sent: Saturday, October 08, 2005 4:20
PMSubject: Australian night

> Hello,
> Wednesday evening, it was "Australian night" :
> A presentation of Gawler's Trinity school plus music and dance.
> But before, in the afternoon we play, we play "Speedminton" a game between
> badminton and squash.> Sam seems to be very interested in animals.
> We have horse beside the house and some squirrels in the garden.
> Since Thursday he is in the second family which have a cat. And it goes
> fine.
> Today (Saturday) we go all together in Perouges ( a medieval city ) and to
> Lyon.
> Have a nice day.
>> Pierre

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Nearly ready

It is now Wednesday as I type this.
Sam is in France and has been for three days (after his planes and trains ran late).
Three more nights and I will be on my way to Europe.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The frustrations of overseas travel!!

Sam was supposed to begin the Europe holiday yesterday but Malaysian airlines deferred and deferred until finally cancelling after we had waited about 8 hours.

When we went back today, there was still a problem and we waited and waited. Not so long this time, but the plane never left till 19:00.