Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I am in Geneve today. We caught the train this morning from Dietlikon and got off in Neuchatel and had a walk around there for a couple of hours, then back on the train to Geneve.

We found a hotel for the night, put our gear in it and headed off to explore.

We walked to the lake and there was a boat about to leave for a cruise on the lake so we hopped on. We spent a leisurely hour on the lake sitting in the sun with a nice cool breeze.  One of the attractions of Geneve is that they have the highest fountain in the world, it sprouts up about 170 meters into the air.

When we got back we had a nice ice-cream and did a heap more walking around the town. There is so much to see. We have decided to spend the day here tomorrow as well. We were going to take the morning train to Zermatt and then go to Dietlikon from there but we need to spend more time here to see all the things we want to see.

I have charged my camera and I have photos to share with you tomorrow night  when we  get home.

That's it for today I'm afraid. Have had to buy an Internet card and I only have half an hour.
Till tomorrow
Thanks for dropping by

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I know I said I would not be posting tonight but the hotel Anne and I are staying at have free WiFi and I just happened to bring my iPad with me so here I go. Unfortunately I did not bring the cables to connect my camera to my iPad so there will not be any photos. Another problem is that I forgot to charge my camera battery so I am only able to take a very limited number of photos. What an idiot.

I have to tell you though I have found the place I want to retire to with Ray, Cindy and Charli. It is called Lugano and is in the south of Switzerland.

We took the Train from Dietlikon at 6:44am this morning, meaning I was up at 5:30AM, to Zurich. Then another train to Chur and then onto the Bernina Express. The Bernina Express took us through 55 tunnels, 196 bridges and viaducts covering 122 kilometers. The scenery was once again magnificent and the weather just about perfect except for a few showers while we were on the train.

We left the train at Tirano (Italy) and got on the Bernina Express bus to Lugano. What an experience, the roads are so narrow in some parts that the bus and a car can not pass so the driver had to blow his horn when he was approaching some corners to warn car drivers that he was coming. I can tell you he received a round of applause from us passengers on a couple of occasions for maneuvering his way around corners and past cars without causing any damage to them, us or the bus.

The scenery was once again magnificent. Lakes, mountains, old buildings that have been maintained and are still in use for everyday housing, shopping etc.
There was a bit of mist around the mountains and some clouds but it was beautiful just the same.

When we arrived we took the cable car to our hotel. The hotel is very nice and is right in the middle of town. Our room was renovated last winter so it is all nice and new. We went to a local restaurant for tea and then a walk to the lake. How magnificent!!! I am hoping my camera will last long enough tomorrow to get a photo to share with you tomorrow night.

We are back in our room now. Anne is reading and I am going to read as well for a while then a good nights sleep before we explore more of Lugano and then catch the train back to Dietlikon.

Till tomorrow
Thanks for dropping by

Friday, July 27, 2012

Today I am having a lazy day....washing, reading, walk to the shops, phone calls to home. Tomorrow Anne and I head off on our Bernina Express train trip. We will be staying in Lugano tomorrow night and then back here on Sunday night.

I am not going to take my iPad so will not update my blog until Sunday night, when I will share photos and details of what we did. It is 32 degrees here today.....yippee

Take it easy
Till Sunday night
Well another day in paradise!!! We left our hotel at about 8:30am after we had finished breakfast and went to Pontresina via a beautiful mountain pass. We passed the Morteratsch Glacier

What a majestic sight. We drove a bit further up the pass to the top and I took this photo of a cow with a cow bell for Charli

All of the cows up in the mountains have cow bells. I thought they only put bells on a few of the cows but they have them on all of the cows. We then drove to St Moritz. A beautiful place. We sat in the sun at a restaurant and had a nice cold beer. It was 11am

We left St Moritz and drove throught Tiefencastle to Alveneu Bad where we had lunch and then a dip in the thermal mineral baths. So relaxing. They have jets in the pools and it is like having a whole body massage. GREAT.

We then drove back to Dietlikon, which is where we are staying, via Chur. The scenery in the mountains is just fantastic.

The weather had been great, I think it was supposed to reach 31 degrees today.

Tomorrow we are having a rest day at home. We need to do the washing etc so we are ready to go on our train trip on Saturday.

Time to go
Thanks for dropping by
Really enjoy your emails, keep them coming

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Another great day of sightseeing today. We headed off at about 9:30am for Santa Maria which is the most easterly point of Switzerland.

The weather was very good although it did get a bit overcast later in the day and a light shower fell.

A sample of some of the scenery I saw today:-

A view of the village we stopped in to have lunch

We booked into a hotel called Hotel Liun in Mustair, which is about 5km further on past Santa Maria and about 2km from the Italian/Swiss boarder.

This is a picture of my room.

And my ensuite

The cost is 95 Swiss francs which is about 1:1 for Australian dollars at the moment, so not badly priced.

After we booked in we went for a bit of a walk around and came across a convent that is open to the public. It is a museum really. This is a photo of the paintings on the alter of the chapel.

Very quaint.

It is time to go down for dinner now
So till tomorrow
Thanks for dropping by

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I have been absent for the last couple of days as there has not been much to tell you about.

We had lunch with Will's brother and his wife on Sunday and then dinner with Heiny and Madelaine (Anne and Will's friends) last night. It is very pleasant and they go out of their way to make me feel very welcome but this generation of Swiss do not speak much English and I can not keep up with the conversations. I must admit they speak more English than I speak Swiss so perhaps I should make more of a effort when I visit here to try to learn the basics of their language at least. I rest too much on having Anne and Will to do all my talking for me.

Today we had a great day.
We drove to Walansee and had lunch in a fantastic restaurant over looking the lake

When we had finished lunch we drove on to Klontralersee, which is another lake a bit further on. The scenery was fantastic. The mountains, the water and the green of the trees and pastures was fantastic. There was even still a bit of snow on the mountains and cows with cowbells at both places.

The water is crystal clear and about 20 degrees. Should have had my bathers with me.

The weather has been perfect today. I think I am even getting a bit of a tan.

When we got home I cooked some carbonara for tea and now we are all doing our own thing.

Anne is still not well.

Tomorrow I am going to suggest she stay at home and rest. She has certainly had a hard time of it over the last three weeks. I feel very sorry for her.

I can't believe the weather since we have been here and I hear it is going to continue for at least the next few days. I am going to make the most of it while it is here.

That's it for today
Thanks for dropping by
Don't forget to send me an email from time to time

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hi there.

Today Anne and I caught the train into Zurich. We went to the tourist centre and booked a trip on the Bernina Express for 2 days on the 28th and 29th July. Then we went to see the Grosse Munster which is a church with a very high tower. The stained glass in the church was something to see and then we climbed the large amount of stairs to the top of the tower to see the view

This is a model of the church

This is the detail on the door. Made of wood and all detail hand carved into a 5" thick solid door

This is the view from the tower

The other thing I did today was to buy a cow. When I was here in 2009 I saw these cows all over the place. I thought about buying one then and didn't and have always thought I should have so when I saw them today I decided to buy one. They are about 30cm long and very colourful. They come in all sorts of designs and each one is designed by an artist selected to do so. The one I bought is called "Kick" and is very bright.

Till tomorrow
Thanks for dropping by
Don't forget to send me an email

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Today we went for a drive to Stein am Rheim. It was a very pretty village.

This is one of the man hole covers that I took a photo of. They are all like this throughout the village

This is one of the buildings in the main township area. Very picturesque.

We had coffee at a delightful hotel right on the Rhine River. The toilets were something to see. All lead light walls and toilet doors. Very pretty. Very classy and well worth the visit.

We found some very lovely shops and bought some gifts for people we needed gifts for. We bought a glass cat with a bird in it's tummy for Madelaine as she is an avid cat lover and Will is always giving her shit about cats eating birds, and I bought a cow bell for Charli as I had promised her I would bring one back for her. Well Ray did actually. This is it.

After we left there we headed to the thermal baths at Bad Zurzuch. What a wonderful way to end a day, floating around in thermal mineral pools. It was so relaxing and the jets in the pools were like a beautiful massage. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Sooooo relaxing just about fell asleep on the way home. 

Tomorrow Anne and I plan on taking the train to Zurich to have a bit of a look around and book our trip on the Bernise Express.

Thanks for dropping by
Don't forget to send me an email sometime soon
Till tomorrow

Friday, July 20, 2012

Not much to tell you about today.

We drove to Malters near Luzern to pay for a rifle for Will's friend.

We had planned to take the scenic route home and have a bit of a look around but Anne was feeling pretty sick so we came straight home. I have not done much for the rest of the day but Anne has been resting and hopefully will feel much better tomorrow.

So with nothing much to tell you
Till tomorrow
Thanks for dropping by

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Up early this morning to pick Anne up from the airport at 8 am. We arrived at 7:45pm to find that her flight was delayed by one and three quarter hours.

We filled the time in just sitting in the glorious sun. It was so nice to see the sun and it has been magnificent all day.

When we finally got home from the airport at 10:30 we had a chat and catch up then went and got some groceries for dinner.

Anne and I then spent some time deciding on a 2 day trip we would like to do. We then walked down to the shops and I changed the British pounds I had left into Swiss franks and went to the post office to buy a post pack to send some things home that I no longer need.

Tomorrow we are driving to a gun manufacturer near Lucerne to pay for a gun for one of Will's friends and have a bit of a look around the area. I have been to Lucerne before but it will be nice to re-visit the area.

On the way home we are going to call in at the railway station and book the train trip we picked today. It is a 2 day trip and takes us into the Italian part of Switzerland. I will give you more detail when we take the trip.

Yesterday Will and I went to visit Madelaine, a friend of Anne and Will's that we stayed with off and on last time I was here. We sat in her back yard in the sun and had a cup of tea while her and Will caught up. They were talking in Swiss German so I did not understand anything they were saying but they tried to include me as much as they could. Madelaine's English is 100% better than my Swiss German.

I actually got a bit sunburned, a bit of colour. I can't believe the great weather we have had since we got to Switzerland. Soooo great. I hope it hangs around for a while.

That's it for this time
Hopefully I will have some photos to share tomorrow night.
Thanks for dropping by
Till tomorrow

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Yesterday was a day of no rain but unfortunately we could not make much use of it.

We cleaned the van when we got up and then spent some time having lunch and then drove to the motel we had booked into at the airport.

We figured it was better to do all that sort of stuff yesterday to take the stress out of getting to the airport on time this morning.

The bed was completely buggered and the pillows were as hard as rocks but the saving grace was the bathroom. A hot shower where I was not scared to stand on the floor and a bath mat, something that I have missed for the last 4 weeks. The towels were heated and white and fluffy. I was so happy with the bathroom I had a shower last night and another one this morning.

We flew to Zurich this morning and when we arrived the sun was shining and no rain in sight. The sun is still shining and we are thinking about dinner. I'm off to unpack now

So till next time
Thanks for dropping by

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Today I went to the zoo. I set off about 10:30 and walked to the railway station at Brookwood, caught the train to Waterloo and the Underground to Camden Town and walked the 25 minutes to the zoo. It cost me $80 in total for fares and entry fees and it was pretty mediocre.

The only thing I saw that I had not seen before was a Okapis, which is apparently a member of the giraffe family from Africa. It looks like a cross between a giraffe and a zebra to me.
What do you think?

There were some cute penguins

And some giraffes

They are in the process of setting up a new enclosure for tigers. They had an aquarium section and all of the normal zoo animals.

I walked around there until 3pm then headed back to Bisley via the same route.

There were a couple of showers throughout the day but nothing too bad. It is raining quite heavily now though.

Tomorrow we are going to pack our bags, clean the van up and go and spent the night in a motel next to Heathrow. We hand the van back between 8 and 9am on Monday morning and then catch the shuttle to the airport and head to Zurich on the 12:10pm flight.

I am desperately hoping the weather in Switzerland will be better than this. I need to see some sun.

The conditions here at the Bisley Rifle Range camping area are pretty bad. The roads and parking areas are so boggy that you can barely walk without slipping over. We actually got the van bogged when we came back from taking the hire car back yesterday and had to be pulled out by a four wheel drive belonging to one of the men who work at one of the clubs here.

The showers and toilet block have not been cleaned in the 27 days we have been around here. I will be glad to leave to be quite honest.

Having had my whinge I have enjoyed all the places I have been and the things I have seen.

We had the good news that Anne will be re-joining us on Wednesday in Zurich. It will be good to see her.

Thanks for dropping by
Till next time

Friday, July 13, 2012

A visit to Hampton Court Palace yesterday.

I spent the whole day there and I don't think I saw the whole thing. There was so much to see and very interesting. Everyone had there own audio guide and it gave you the full story of every area as you walked through it.

 This is the map that is at the front gate

A view of one of the vast gardens looking out the window of the first floor.

This photo is of the stained glass work in the ballroom

There were heaps of tapestries on the walls throughout the palace and the next two photos are of ceilings in the palace.

This one is painted on the ceiling

This one is either pressed tin or plaster, not sure which.

A day at Bisley today, laundry, shopping and relaxing etc.

Hope you are all having a great day
Thanks for dropping by
Till tomorrow

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A day in London today. I caught the train in and walked from the train station to Buckingham Palace through St Jamses Park. This was the view looking down the lake in the park
It was a bit cold walking there but while I was there the sun came out so I sat on the wall of Buckingham Palace and gave Ray a ring. These are some photos of the palace This one is of the palace with the gate open
This one is of the palace gates
And this one is of the Australia gate
I then walked to the Hard Rock Cafe. On the way I took this photo of Wellington Arch
A photo of The Hard Rock Cafe - London
A necklace I bought in the Rock Shop
I then took the Underground to St Paul's to have a look at the Museum of London. It was very interesting. Went way back to before Roman times. This photo is of a mural they were erecting in the foyer. It is made up of 6x4 photos printed on to thin tin sheets. It looks great.
By this time I had been walking around London for 5 hours so I caught the Underground to Waterloo and then caught the train home. Unfortunately Will was shooting when I arrive in Brookwood so I walked the half hour back to Bisley. I have definitely had my exercise today. It is raining now so I am glad I got home before I got caught in it. Thanks for dropping by Till tomorrow Cheers Julie

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ahhhh another rainy day in Bisley. Yesterday I spent the day in London and there were only a two light showers for the whole day. I caught the train into London and then walked to the London Eye. On I hopped not sure if I had made a wise choice in buying a ticket for this as heights and I are not the best of friends. Anyway I was there so on I got. Wow how glad am I that I did. It was spectacular. A nice person took this photo for me. How brave am I standing right on the edge.
I took this photo when we were right at the top.
When I had finished on the Eye I walked around for about 20 minutes looking for a Big Red Bus bus stop. I got back on the bus and travelled to the House of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey which are all within a few yards of each other.
Westminster Abbey was well worth seeing the detail in the building is really something.
Then I spent some time just walking around having a bit of a look at the city before getting back on the bus and going to Kensington Palace. I have to say at this point that the traffic in London is horrific. Cars buses and taxis going in all directions and so many of them. It took me over 2 hours to get from Kensington Palace back to the London Eye which is very close to Waterloo Railway Station which is where I catch the train back to Brookwood and Will picks me up from there. It is only about a 5 minute drive from Bisley to Brookwood. Kensington Palace was a bit disappointing for me. Very sparse and not much of interest to look at. No photographs allowed inside so this is a photo of the entrance with the palace in the background.
Today is a lay day for me. I am catching up on the odds and ends that have not been done for the last couple of days. Some blogging, shopping and reading. I have to say that I really enjoy getting emails from all of you who have sent them. Good to hear a bit about what is happening back in Australia. Thanks for dropping by Till next time Cheers Julie

Monday, July 9, 2012

Unfortunately things have changed over here. Anne received news yesterday that her father had passed away. We spent the day yesterday changing her flight so she could fly back to Sydney today. This morning we drove her to Heathrow and she is on her way home now. She will attend to things in Sydney and then fly to Zurich to join us there when she can. I feel very sad for her as I know she thought a great deal of her father. On a purely selfish note I am going to miss her accompanying me on my sightseeing ventures around London. I hope everything goes smoothly for her when she gets back to Australia and she can rejoin us soon. When Anne was booked in at Heathrow I caught the train to London and spent the day looking around. I must admit I was a bit nervous about doing this on my own but everything went very well. I bought a two day ticket for the Big Bus Tour around London. It is a get off get back on thing so you can do your sightseeing. I also bought tickets to Madame Tussauds and the Tower of London for today. I got a passerby to take this photo of me with Marilyn in the wax works. There were heaps of people there and the queues to get in we're a mile long but because I had prepurchased my ticket I didn't have to queue for very long at all. They showed a 4d short film in there as well. It was fantastic. Took heaps of photos of the exhibits but just too many to post here.
At the Tower of London I did an hour tour with a guide which was very informative. Then I went and viewed the Crown Jewels. No photos though as you are not permitted to take photos in there.
I came across these animals in the yard of the tower. They are made of chicken wire
I also did a cruise down the River Thames. This building was one of the new ones that we passed. Glass and mirror, very impressive.
Well I am tired after my big day and I am going back tomorrow to see Kensington Palace and go on the London Eye. If I get time I would also like to visit the Museum of London, will have to wait and see how the rain holds off and the time needed to do the other two attractions. I know the London Eye only takes half an hour so hopefully will be able to fit the museum in. It's off to bed for me now, it's 10:30pm here and I am looking forward to a good nights sleep. Thanks for dropping by Till next time Cheers Julie

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Rain rain go away, came again when I'm not here!!! I have to say the rain is starting to get me down. I came over here expecting summer and so far we have had sun for half a day yesterday a few hours on another day and half a day in Scotland. We picked up the hire car this morning and drove to Oxford. It rained all the way there and the traffic was pretty heavy, making it difficult for Will who was driving. We stopped at a pub on the outskirts of Oxford and had lunch and decided we would just have a drive around and have a look as it was way too wet to get out and walk around. The one way streets and no entry roads made it impossible for Will to get anywhere near the centre of town so we headed home. Very disappointing day. I took these 2 photos through the windscreen of the car. They are not very good.
When we finally got back to the van Anne and I went to Woking to the laundrette and did the washing and drying. We are supposed to be going to London tomorrow, I hope the rain eases up otherwise it will be very unpleasant. Will starts shooting at 8am so we have to be ready for him to drop us off at the bus stop in the village so he can be back here by 8, that means we have to be ready to leave at about 7:30 - 7:40. Yuck. The first bus leaves the village at 8:05 so we will have a bit of a wait. That's it for today Hopefully I will have some cheerier news to share with you tomorrow. Thanks for listening to my grumbling Cheers Julie

Friday, July 6, 2012

What a great day. The sun has shone all day today. We arrived at Bisley at about 11:30am and set up on our site. We then went shopping at Stainsburys and picked up what we needed. We then sat in the sun with our table and chairs and enjoyed the weather which was summer and plenty of sunshine. We had visitors from numerous members of the team and it was very pleasant to listen to all their stories of their lives. There was time to think about the dinner tonight, which Anne and Will didn't know about, we decided to stay at home and have left overs from the previous two nights? I don't have any photos for you today as I have enjoyed the day as it happened and did not have my camera with me Long live the Engish summer. The sunshine was something we had not seen for sometime and it was glorious. I loved it. Hope to see more of it in the next few days. Will is cooking the leftovers for tea and unfortunately it is not going so well!! A lot of swearing coming from the kitchen at the moment!!!! Till tomorrow Thanks for dropping by Cheers Julie

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What a day!!! When I woke up this morning it was raining and I had to use my umbrella to get to the shower block which is about 500 mtrs from where our van is. We had to be up early because Will had to shoot at 9am and we were going to catch the bus into Cambride when he left. Because it was raining we decided to go to the Rifle Range with him and when he wasn't shooting and the rain had stopped he would drop us into the city. A very kind man offered to drop us in the city centre on his way home, he had just taken his son out there to shoot. We accepted gladly. We got into Cambridge about 9:15am and nothing was open, they are too civilized to open at 9am, some opened at 9:30 but most opened at 10am. There were several light showers while we walked around the town area just having a look around. The showers stopped and the sun came out making it very hot because I had dressed for a cold day, I was taking off and putting back on layers all day. We walked out to Selwyn College where Anne and Will went for dinner last night
They said it was a great meal and they had a good night. I was very happy to stay at home and catch up on some internet time and read my book. I am reading 50 Shades of Grey which was on special at one of the news agents we went into to buy something. I had heard that it was very good and was the top selling book at the moment. It is very spicy. Anyway back to today, we walked all over town and one of the places we saw was Kings College, very impressive. This is just one section of it.
We then had lunch in one of the local pubs before visiting the Fitzwilliam Museum to see the Search for Immortality exhibition showing the tomb treasures of the Han dynisty in China. Very interesting. There are no pictures because you are not allowed to take photos in there. This photo is of some statues outside of the museum that caught my eye.
We then bought a few groceries so I could make Carbonara for tea and caught a taxi out to the rifle range. Unfortunately Cambridge beat the Australian team today. Oh well!!! When the shooting had finished we came back to the park and sat in our deck chairs in the sun having a glass of champagne. Very pleasant
Before I go I have to say happy birthday to my sister Debra. Have a great day. That's it for today folks Thanks for dropping by Till tomorrow Cheers Julie