Saturday, September 22, 2012

The adventure continues with no end in sight for now...

And another chapter to the adventure was added in May/June this year.

So far (in order of visiting) I have been to:
United Kingdom
The Netherlands
United Arab Emirates
New Zealand
Hong Kong

(Still not visited Poland!)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Kunst Historisches Museum

 In the morning of our first Vienna day we decided to go to the Kunst Historisches Museum.

We spent about 3 hours in the museum but only on the top floor with the paintings. For later we had a pre booked tour of Schonbrun with a concert and evening meal. This was the second time I had visited the Schoenbrunn, where we took all the back ways due to Christls wheel chair. They took us through Franz Josephs apartments, strange to think that Christl was alive at the time, although too young to remember anything. 
The Residenz restaurant was the place for dinner. Entree was rindsuppe with fritaten for all of us. Uschi had a sherry aperitif, Christine had campari and orange while I had hollersekt. The main meal was Wiener Tafelspitz with schnittlauch sauce and gerosteten erdaepfel. The potato was cut into about 5mm cubes and served in a dense mound, perhaps roasted in that way. Very like a browner version of corned beef. Uschi had a red wine (Wieninger wienertrilogie) I had a Paschinger “Urbileicht” gruener Veltliner.
Dessert was apple struedel. Chris couldn't eat more than about a third of hers due to her reaction to the cream.

We didn’t get back to the Pension until around one in the morning.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Bazaar and leave for Vienna.

Leaving for Vienna wasn’t scheduled till 14:30 so we had enough time to finally visit the Grand Bazaar. The three of us spent some time exploring many of the covered ways inside the bazaar itself, then around lunchtime we went outside where there were still more shops ringing the Bazaar itself. I found a hall which had a selection of hardware shops so I dropped in a bought a few minor tools, including a set of fine tweezers. A lot of the wood working tools seemed to be made in India.

We caught the plane to Vienna and by 21:30 that evening we had booked into Pension Neumarkt and took a walk around some of the now familiar streets.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Blue Mosque

The plan was to go to the Grand Bazaar, but when we got there we found it was shut on a Sunday. We walked around the quiet back streets and even got accosted by a shoe shine man, but only Uschi had shoes which would take a polish. We spent some time in the square where Constantines Column is and watched a man feed the pigeons with quite a large bag of wheat. We strolled back towards the Hippodrome Square and took a little stop at the German Fountain in Mehmet Akif Ersoy Park.

Just off the Hippodrome, we found the museum of Islamic art which was really a find. We stopped and had lunch in the museum cafe there as well. After three hours we left for the blue mosque. We couldn’t get in straight away as we had to wait for a non prayer time, but when we did get in we were able to walk around bare foot inside the cool mosque for the best part of an hour.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Ishtar Gate Again

I got up early, before breakfast and went out to do some early morning filming of the Blue Mosque. After breakfast the three of us went to the Hagia Sophia where we spent more than two hours wandering about, including taking turns to go up the high balconies while the other person waited with Christl on the ground floor.

After lunch of something like pita bread wraps with chips we went to the Archaeological museum. Amongst other things I saw more of the parts of the Ishtar Gate. Other parts of which I had seen in Berlin, Vienna and the Louvre.
Finally for the day we managed to get Christl in her wheel chair down into the cistern.


Friday, May 04, 2012


I didn't write much in my journal but sketched some items of interest. We visited the Topkapi Palace from about 10:00 till 17:50.

In the Topkapi museum I saw the staff of Moses, the sword of David, the turban of Joseph, the cooking pot of Abraham and 8 hairs of the beard of the prophet (in six separate reliquaries).
Walking back we stopped at a sweet food shop where we shared a main meal of aubergine and chicken with a cheese topping. There were three kofte with potato. Then Uschi got what we really came into the shop to get. A serve of nuts in nests, also a few slices of something like pistachio kataifi log (Burma Kadia?) with four versions of turkish delight.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Out of Dubai

Warm piratha, homous and chana masala is now Uschi’s favourite breakfast. There was also a very nice hard white cheese. The Chana Masala was a curried chick pea (I think), it was quite nice by itself.

The next leg of our trip to Turkey was to leave in the afternoon, so I took a walk around the local area near the hotel. There were lots of bicycles around the place.

By 14:30 we had left hot and dusty Dubai, after a particularly officious customs officer had taken some, but not all, of Uschi’s loose AA camera batteries. About four hours later we were in Istanbul, though it took a little while to get through the formalities there. Finally getting to a nice little hotel at just before 20:00. The hotel was in the old part of town and was called the Hotel Legend. There was a dining room and an open terrace on the roof, though it wasn’t in use when we were there, but it did offer good views of the city.

I woke about 05:00 the next morning and went on the roof of the hotel where I could take pictures of the rooftops of Istanbul in the dark.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


We got in at about 0530 and had pre-arranged pick up with "Arabian Adventures" to take us to the Ascott Bur Dubai. Once we got there we found no wheel chair access. Also the receptionist said they had no rooms big enough for the 3 of us, so they sent us to the Ascott Roya, an adjoining Hotel. After checking in we had breakfast and went back to our room to sleep till about 11. After waking we thought about where to go and decided the only thing we really hadn't seen was the Burj Kalifa. the hotel limo man took us there and on the way advised we should have booked online or through the hotel checkin desk; "Because there might be a long wait".

He was right, the tickets were booked out for 2 days ahead. we then went for a walk around the
bottom of the tower near the fountain. The driver, Wajid, told us to be there in the evening for the fountain show.

It was fairly warm (42C) so we decided outdoor things were no the go. the Limo driver took us to a souk (Madinat Jumeirah) near the Sails Hotel. We had stopped in the car park to look at it on the previous trip but this time we went inside and spent some time looking around. It was a small shopping precinct, made up to look like an old souk but not much patronised now by the looks. I suspect it was an earlier version before Dubai expanded rapidly and is now left somewhat stranded. The bigger malls such as Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Mall have probably taken away a lot of the custom here. We had some icecream and Uschi bought some little bowls. Some of the "antiques" included antique statues of TinTin. We left at about 15:00 to go back to the Burj Khalifa where we spent a lot more time in the Dubai Mall.

Traveling in a taxi back to Burg Kalifa, we seemed to travel west till reaching the Mall of the Emirates and the old Carrefour we visited on our last trip. We then headed east (?) on a six lane highway parallel to and north of the Metro track.

We had previously visited the mall in 2008 but it wasn't finished then. Now it appears complete. we happened to be in the book shop (which we visited in 2008) and I found that it had a cafe (Cafe Kino) which overlooked the fountain. we had been intending to go to a restaurant near teh fountain and have tea while the display was in progress, but the cafe had a balcony overlooking the fountain. We ordered curry chicken and rice for me and Christl and curry beef and rice for Uschi at about 18:30. Uschi's beef was actually a patty, maybe a hamburger. We watched the fountain display from there. After the display we kept looking around the bookshop and walking around the mall till around 22:00 then we retired to the hotel.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Off to Europe for a Birthday

We left Adelaide about 14:00 and got to Melbourne about 90 minutes later, where we waited for our flight out. There was an old couple and their son returning to Malta who we shared the wait with. They were going to Malta, Cyprus and Greece. The parents were in their 80s and were quite surprised when we said Christine was almost 100. Melbourne push back at 18:05 (777-300. A6-ECN. Seats 44 A, B and C).

Taxiing out, the night was dark already with the normal busyness of an airport. The airport buildings illuminated by the lights on the apron. We were expecting the trip to Singapore to be 7 hours and 13 minutes. Waiting for clearance took a long time before entering the runway at 18:23. Touchdown in Singapore was 01:36 Melbourne time (11:40 Singapore time).

After leaving Singapore I slept for about 3 hours then watched “Tower Heist” followed by a number of “Horrible History” episodes. About 100 miles out from Dubai I changed to local time from Singapore time (08:09 Singapore to 04:09 Dubai).