A Travellerspoint blog

The End of the Road

London and Hong Kong

storm 33 °C

My last day in London was spent on foot again. I did not fly out until 10.30 pm so I had to check out of the hotel and leave my bags there for the day. I went to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and followed the Diana Memorial Walk around both parks. This took me past the Albert memorial and Royal Albert Hall as well as Kensington Palace. It was then another walk down Oxford Street and Regent Street getting those last minute souvenirs. I then headed up to Covent Garden again to go through the market. By this stage my feet were about ready to drop off so I headed to the National Gallery and sat down to soak up some art. This was late afternoon and the crowds were immense by then something I had missed on my early morning stroll around Hyde Park. I decided to simply head back to the hotel, pick up my bags and then head to the airport. Of course they charged me for excess luggage! Doh!

The flight was uneventful and I did manage to sleep but maybe I shouldn't have. I arrived in Hong Kong late afternoon on Sunday to weather in the mid 30's with 80% humidity. A bit of a change from England. As I was still exhausted and had a tour booked for early the next morning I went to bed after having a shower. Should have stayed up. I actually woke up feeling very refreshed and thinking that I had managed a really long, great sleep. Then I checked the clock. I had slept for only an hour and now the whole night stretched ahead of me. Needless to say it was not a good night and I only managed a couple of hours sleep.

Being so tired the next morning, I did not carefully check the name when a paper was thrust in front of me asking if that was my name. First name right, last name wrong. So yes, I ended up on the wrong bus. It eventually got sorted out and I ended up switching to the right bus at another hotel but I was very careful to pay attention for the rest of the tour. It rained off and on but luckily when it did rain, was when we were driving to the next location. After a ride on the funicular up to Victoria Point with it's spectacular views of the harbour and city, we went to Aberdeen followed by a private jewellery showroom (yes I bought some treasures - Jane and Tracey I think you will be fighting over this purchase!). Lastly we went to Stanley Market, wher I could have spent hours because everything was so cheap but the quality was good. Pity about the lack of room in my suitcase!

I crashed in the afternoon (all that shopping can do a girl in!). My last day, once again I did not leave until late afternoon, so it was a case of leaving my luggage again and wandering down Nathan Road (the main shopping road). It was unfortunately raining off and on and was again stinking hot, so my energy did flag. I was getting especially sick of being accosted with "Lady, you want tailor? Lady, you want watch? Lady, you want fake watch? Lady, you want bag? Lady, yo uwant fake bag?" It becomes a little tired after the 50th time!

I managed to duck in and out of the airconditioned shops without doing too much damage to my finances and finally made it back to the hotel just before the torrential downpour of the day started (as opposed to just the regular rain of earlier in the day). It rained the whole way to the airport and I was pleased to escape into the airconditioned comfort again.

Blessedly the flight was quite emtpy, so I stretched out across some seats and managed to get some sleep on the flight home. Sydney was quite mild when we arrived but Melbourne was absolutely freezing. 7 degrees! What a shock to the system after hot and humid in Hong Kong.

My family and kitties were happy to see me home and I am now in the process of selecting the photo's to be printed. I've narrowed it down to about 750 from 3,000! Think that will take a while to put together.

And so my fabulous holiday ends and it's back to work on Monday.

Posted by burgeea 21:55 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)

London on foot

London

overcast 24 °C

Most of the day was spent walking the high streets along with taking in some art at the Wallace Collection and then heading to Buckingham Palace for a tour through the state rooms before a quick trip to Harrods (is there such a thing as a quick trip to Harrods?). Of course, where I am going to fit the purchases from today is the dilemna to be solved tonight as I pack for the trip home.

Buckingham Palace was opulent as you would expect and the gardens seem to go on forever. It is only as you head towards the road that you actually start to hear the traffic, so I'm guessing they wouldn't bother heading that far back to avoid the noise. It makes you wonder what the rest pf the palace looks like - imposing now doubt.

Another full day in London tomorrow as I don't fly out until the late evening - must make sure I don't buy anything else!

Posted by burgeea 09:49 Archived in England Comments (0)

Pest then Buda

Budapest

sunny 30 °C

After a leisurely morning, we headed out to Pest in the bright sunshine and warm weather, the newer side of town. Much of this is in the process of being restored so you have the dingy and the beautiful all mixed together. After visiting the main church where a baptism was happening, we wandered down the main snooty shopping street, took a quick look in the beautiful opera house before stopping off at a nearby cafe to indulge in champagne and cake. I had a local one that was very yummy indeed and the Hungarian champagne (who knew they even made it?) was very nice too. We then headed to the indoor market, which was also restored within the last 10 years and I bought some traditional hand made small tablecloths with hand embroidery on them. With that closing up and dinnertime rapidly approaching we wandered the back streets to near the Franz Liszt music academy and had dinner at a local restaurant.

My last day here, we stayed on the Buda side of river, the older side dating back to medieval times. Again the weather was warm and sunny. We walked up the steps to the Castle precinct (Dawn, think Tor - about 2/3 the distance all up continous steps) which gave a great view of the city and river. Lots of tourists there which we tried to avoid by stopping first for a drink in a cafe overlooking the city and then in a traditional cafe with again lots of yummy cakes to choose from. Good thing I was only here for two days - far too many nice cakes to tempt me!

Then it was time to head out to the airport and the cool London weather.

Today has dawned overcast but a bit humid so hope it doesn't rain just as I am about to visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace!

Posted by burgeea 01:36 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

Spa Town

Budapest

sunny 25 °C

After about a 1 hour delay at Gatwick, the plane finally took off for Budapest. First impressions, they all drive like maniacs across roads that have senn better days. Hooning around on cobbled roads, not a good feeling!

I did arrive safely at Allaine's and after a quick catch up we headed off to a 16th century bath house. It was ladies day - so no men allowed. Apparantly women have only recently been permitted to use this bath house. Hard to describe but it had several different baths and one main central one, along with sauna rooms at various temperatures. The water is from a natural spring and contains many healing minerals. Quite a magical place, built between 1568 and 1578, so used continuously for many centuries. Budapest has many of these dotted around the town.

Weather much warmer and more humid than England.

Posted by burgeea 01:56 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

The end of the road

Chichester to Gatwick

sunny 22 °C

Finally a nice sunny day! Yay. Most of it was spent racing around West Sussex going between two different National Trust properties before heading up to Gatwick to return the car. I actually failed to look at what time they each opened and instead went to them in the logical map order for where I wanted to go. Mistake, The first one the farthest away from Gatwick didn't open until 12.30, so instead I drove to the other one 30 minutes away and then drove back to the first one, leaving a 75 minute drive back to Gatwick instead of a 45 minute drive. Oh well, it was a lovely day so it was no problem watching the scenery go by.

Off to Budapest tomorrow. Not lonhg left now!

Posted by burgeea 10:29 Archived in England Comments (0)

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