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Chris and Emily

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Europe 2009

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Porky pies!

Hobart, Australia

Well, Chris and I can now admit that we told a few little porky pies... We had originally thought that we would spend 3 weeks discovering Thailand, relaxing on a beach, book in one hand and a icy cold drink in the other, but we decided to skip this at the last minute and head home. Three reasons for this really:

1) We were tired

2) The thought of lugging a back pack around for a further 3 weeks brought me to my knees screaming a long winded "NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" and throwing a tantrum that could rival any 2 year old... and

3) Money was running low. And while everyone knows that Thailand is in fact one of the cheapest countries a westerner could visit, we figured we'd be better off bringing our last few dollars home rather than staggering home completely broke.

It was a bit of a kafuffle trying to get home though and we didn't know until the Friday night if we COULD really fly back (remember we left Saturday!) so we didn't tell anyone other than Chris' brother (who happens to be a travel agent and used all his skills to become the saint who got us home!) and of course Luke.

It was a sad day leaving the UK and flying over Europe on route to Bangkok for an hour stop over and then onto Sydney. We'd had such an amazing, fun filled, site seeing packed adventure and caught up with old friends and made so many new ones that we had mixed emotions about leaving. We felt ready to go home, but felt that we were also leaving home at the same time, if that makes any sense? We know that we'll be back again in the not so distant future to visit friends and family, visit the spots that we particularly fell in love with (France for one!) and to visit some of the countries we had to miss this time around (Slovenia and Iceland spring to mind)

As I mentioned earlier, no one actually knew that we were coming home early, so it was great to see the expression on our loved ones face as we surprised them one by one, some screamed, some cried, some I thought were going to have heart attacks (but thankfully didn't... we'll know not to surprise my mother again, sorry mum) and since getting home have thrown ourselves into house hunting, it'll be nice if we can find an abode of our own that we don't have to share with 16 or so others! We're slowly coming back to reality bit by bit and have settled down fairly quickly, which I'm pleased about as I thought we'd find it far more difficult to do, but I think the fact that we were READY to come home helps significantly. We've hit reality so quickly that I in fact did a days work yesterday (shock horror I know!) and we both start properly in a weeks time, but for once we're both looking forward to this.

Our trip away was indeed a 'once in a life time' experience. We know that we most likely won't be able to do such a trip again so we're so thankful, happy and blessed that we were able to do so and would like to thank everyone who helped make our trip possible.

Our family and friends here in Tassie, our employers and colleagues who didn't object too loudly to us taking 6 months leave, to Sven who was able to help us out with some of nitty gritty bits and bobs of traveling(and a few freebies!!) Luke for joining us when we were needing a touch of home (we had a great time!) And of course our friends and family in Europe for their constant, sincere and amazing hospitality: Sue, Patrick, Rachie, Ann, Bryan, Martin, Jen, Anya, Max, Inga, Mari, Mattia, Marco, Lidija, Heidi, Horst, Yanis, Maija and their family, Barbara, Dell and Tony, Kris and Paul for showing us La Rochelle in a way that only the French could and to all those who I may very forgettably and regrettably forgot, I didn't mean to intentionally do so believe me!!

We had a blast, we love you all and can only say "watch this space... we'll be back!!"

The End.

permalink written by  Chris and Emily on September 25, 2009 from Hobart, Australia
from the travel blog: Europe 2009
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We can't believe this is our last day in the UK!

Buntingford, United Kingdom

Wow. Time sure has flown! It feels as if we only arrived yesterday, stepping off the plane looking new and in awe of everything and now have to pack and head off back in the direction of Oz. We're looking forward to the rest of our trip in Thailand but at the same time are sad to leave Europe. It's been an amazing 5 months here, so full of adventure, fun, experiences, sights and laughter and much friendship. We won't foget these times and the amazing trip we've had, they're cemented in our memory... and we also have 10,000+ photos to look through...

It really wasn't much of a day today. A trip to the bank to sort out accounts, last trip to the post office (we can say with all honesty we hate the UK postal system) and... cleaning. SO much cleaning. Not because we're dirty people or anything, we just want to leave Sue and Patricks house as clean and homey as possible, though, in saying that, we did leave a little mess with the packing, which we've cleaned.

We are a little worried about the weight limit we have. We think we could be a little over the limit, so here's hoping that tomorrow when we pop the luggage on the scales they prove us to be wrong and actually reveal us to be underweight, but we wont hold our breath!

So, this is our last blog from the UK, we hope you've enjoyed reading of our European adventure and will continue to follow us as we head to Thailand.

Cheers from the UK.

permalink written by  Chris and Emily on September 11, 2009 from Buntingford, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Europe 2009
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Early morning goodbye to Luke

Buntingford, United Kingdom

3.30am is early. Very early. Infact so early it is still pitch black, the stars are still sparkling and there is no one else on the roads to London… we know this as it was the time we were up today in order to take Luke to the airport! The drive from Chipping to Heathrow takes just over an hour we have discovered, which really isn’t that long. It was sad to say goodbye to Luke today, it really feels as if he only turned up yesterday and now we have to say goodbye. We’ve had a really great time with my brother, showing him some of the sights that we came across and loved, introducing him to people we’d met along our travels, but more so, just spending time with him and having our own adventures with him and discovering things together. It’s been a great time and we’ll miss him. He still won’t tell us where he is off too or what he’s up too… which is both exciting and frustrating!! I know that wherever it is he’s going he’s going to have a great time and enjoy himself and come back with many stories and adventure tales!

Once we returned to Chipping Chris and I fell back into bed and didn’t rise again until close to midday, we were knackered! We only had 2 hours sleep through out the night! Once up we pottered about the house, cleaning and looking at the things we had to take care of. We leave on the 12th bound for Bangkok which will be nice and also means we’re closer to home. We’ve enjoyed our stint in Europe immensely, had an absolute ball, but I think we’re both in a way ready to head home now, and dare I say it, perhaps even ready to go back to work… (We’re sick I know! )

A quiet afternoon filled with general pottering and doing our own thing, reading, bath, DVDs and computer games... a nice way to relax before the craziness of proper house cleaning and packing tomorrow and then airports, jet lag and millions of people in Thailand!!

permalink written by  Chris and Emily on September 10, 2009 from Buntingford, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Europe 2009
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It's official: we hate packing, but love chinese food!

Buntingford, United Kingdom

We picked Luke up from the station today at about 10am or so. He’d had a great night with his mates, having dinner, drinks and watching the footy, typical boy stuff, and as much as he wanted to stay on there he also knew he had to come home and pack himself. Luke is off tomorrow on a mystery trip… He knows where he is off to but no one else does, we have to wait for his postcards, it all sounds incredibly exciting and curious, we can’t wait to see where he heads off too!! The boy sure knows how to create mystery and evoke curiousness!! We came home and all had a chance to pack up our stuff, took a break, packed some more and eventually said “bugger this, lets go to dinner” So we head off to a lovely Chinese place that was both cheap and served great food and had a really nice ‘last supper’ before coming home and watching a little bit of the footy (soccer to you and I) a DVD and then into bed for our incredibly early start tomorrow.

permalink written by  Chris and Emily on September 9, 2009 from Buntingford, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Europe 2009
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Another bag to lug and love

Cambridge, United Kingdom

Okay, today we actually did something about the packing situation. After dropping Luke at the train station for his trip to London Chris and I head into Cambridge to pick up another suitcase or backpack. While we haven’t brought too much during this trip, just little knick knacks and pictures really, we have realized that our packs are not big enough to hold all the little extra bits and bobs. We’re under weight for what we have, but our bags just aren’t big enough… so off to an Oxfam shop we went and found a lovely big solid suitcase for a tenner. We were very happy with this find, especially as we later saw a similar case in a shop front for 80 quid, we scored a real bargain! We decided that seeing as this would probably be our last trip to Cambridge to enjoy this outing and take a last look about, so we head to the market where we heard an amazing busker, we had a chat to him later in the day and were delighted to hear that he’s actually touring Tassie next month! We’ll be sure to look out for him and his band mates (they’re called Passenger for anyone who is interested!) We spent a few hours looking about this lovely college town before deciding that we should head home and now attempt to PACK this new case… oooohhhh, I hate packing!! But this is what we did. After this packing attempt we settled down in front of the telly and watched another episode of Jamie’s America before retiring to bed.

permalink written by  Chris and Emily on September 8, 2009 from Cambridge, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Europe 2009
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Our highlight today was a 3 km walk to get brocolli, oh yes, we're living it up big time here in the UK!

Buntingford, United Kingdom

Another very quiet day that didn’t see us do much. The highlight was a 3km walk into Buntingford to buy some broccoli for tonight’s roast… I know, hold onto your hat material! We just pottered about the house, cooked and relaxed and thought about packing, and I mean thought about it, we didn’t actually get around to it at all!

permalink written by  Chris and Emily on September 7, 2009 from Buntingford, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Europe 2009
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District 9

Stevenage, United Kingdom

After our day out yesterday we decided to have another quiet day at home before heading into Stevenage and seeing a movie called District 9. Everything was so quiet today, so still and sleepy, I guess that’s what happens on a Sunday, everyone seems to disappear getting ready for the week ahead, but it just felt too quiet today after yesterday’s hustle and bustle in London! It was a long, drawn out day for us and after the movie had a quick meal before returning home and chilling out doing our own thing. (ie Playing on the PC, guitar and reading!)

permalink written by  Chris and Emily on September 6, 2009 from Stevenage, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Europe 2009
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Abbey Road and platform 9 3/4...

London, United Kingdom

Well, today was the day for it. Chris and I had to leave the house, we’ve been holed up in our safe cocoon for a few days now and decided that today was the day to get out and go into the “big smoke” once more. So, up early and we all head to the local train station and into London where we all did some last minute sight seeing. For Chris and I this may well be our last trip into London before heading home, so we wanted to go in once more and just see it one last time. When we got off the train we came across platform 9 ¾, those who are familiar with Harry Potter will know that this is the magical train platform in the movies. It’s funny, we’ve been to Kings Cross Station so many times over the last 5 months or so and this is the first time we’ve come across this little tourist attraction! It is, as it suggests, between platforms 9 and 10, and is down a little alley way, quite cool really!

After this we head to Oxford Street where we did a little bit of shopping and then head onto the tube in the direction of Abbey Road.

I don’t know what we were expecting Abbey Road to look like, but it certainly wasn’t a lovely tree lined street in a quiet, nice neighborhood, which to look at, seemed to be a rather expensive area to reside! We made the minute walk to the Abbey Road studios and crossing which was made famous by the Beatles record cover. It was nice to see this for ourselves and to be able to take some photos of the record company, the crossing and the road signs. We spent some time here and then in the little souveniour store that is found just near the tube station.

We said goodbye to Luke then as he was off to meet up with one of his mates who lives in London and Chris and I head off to Portobello Markets for a bit of a look and to find the travel book shop that is featured in the movie “Nottinghill” this worked out well actually as we really did need to visit a travel book store anyhow and pick up a book for our up coming trip to Bangkok!

The market today was completely jam packed with people, it was almost impossible to walk anywhere and after awhile I have to say that this became tiring and frustrating. While the market here was nice, it was nothing like the Salamanca Market back home, which I have to say is first class and the best market I’ve been to anywhere in the world. We looked about here for some time and around the area of Notting Hill, going to a little café for a cup of coffee and a little sit down before heading back to Kings Cross and meeting Luke for the train home later that afternoon.

It was a nice day and Chris and I feel now that we have seen all that we want to see in London. Sure we didn’t get around to doing a few things that we wanted such as the London Eye or a west end play, but those things will be there when we come back which we hope to do in a few years time, we have to save something for then! Luke had a nice time catching up with his friend and is going to catch up with them again later in the week, which will be great for him, there’s nothing like catching up with old mates and having a laugh!

permalink written by  Chris and Emily on September 5, 2009 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Europe 2009
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While Luke goes to London, we stay in bed!

Buntingford, United Kingdom

Luke has really caught the travel bug since being here and today took a trip to London to check the sights there again. Chris and I have been really content in pottering about the house and just generally relaxing, it’s something we haven’t been really able to do for a few months. I mean, sure we’ve had a day here or a day there, but nothing in session like this, it’s been great! Sleep ins, reading, baths, DVDs and for Chris, computer games (his real relaxation method!) We picked Luke up from London and he filled us in all the things he’d gone and seen through out the day and showed us the bits he’d brought which were all really great, and also which included a mini guitar which is awesome! It’s nice to hear Luke play the guitar again; I’ve missed it since being gone! London has so many really great stores and you can pick all sorts of goods up which are harder to find back home. It was a nice evening listening to Luke play the guitar and just chatting and relaxing, and all in all a nice way to finish off a nice day!

permalink written by  Chris and Emily on September 4, 2009 from Buntingford, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Europe 2009
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Such a quiet day there's hardly any sense blogging!

Buntingford, United Kingdom

Another quiet day today which saw much the same as yesterday, sleep ins, pottering about the house, Luke took another visit to Cambridge to finish off his site seeing and buy a few bits and bobs and we had another yummy curry dinner! As I said, much the same as yesterday

permalink written by  Chris and Emily on September 3, 2009 from Buntingford, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Europe 2009
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