We have been in France now for a couple of days but are finding it hard to get internet access so this will be a writeup for England and we’ll get to France at a later stage.
We arrived at Heathrow on the 18th and were collected without any dramas and then drove to Glouscester. We had a quiet afternoon with Nev and Jo because Stuart and I were exhausted so we visited Stuart’s Nan and Pop in the afternoon and then went to bed early! The next day Nev and Jo took us for a trip around Glouscester and into Wales to visit the Forest of Dean, Symonds Yat and Tintern Abbey. Tintern Abbey was founded in 1131 but was disolved by 1536 as part of King Henry VIII’s policy of abolishing religious life. It was an impressive set of ruins nonetheless! On the 20th we spent the day with Stuart’s cousin James and partner Fil and they took us for lunch at an English pub, then we went sightseeing in the Cotswold’s and had tea and scones at Burford which was a really pretty little village. We obviously watched the rugby grandfinal and Stuart took great delight in stirring the pot with the disappointed English! On the 21st James took us to visit a grand estate, Highnam Court, which was renovated by a family friend and we had a walk around the gardens. We also had time to visit Glouscester Cathedral which was spectacular and we were lucky enough to have a tour of the crypt. The cloisters in the cathedral were used during the filming of the first and second Harry Potter films. We then had a beautiful lunch at Stuart’s Nan and Pop’s with the family. We didn’t have a lot of time in England but what we saw gave us a taste and we will be able to further explore it when we move there in a couple of years.
On the 22nd Nev and Jo drove us down to Portsmouth to catch the ferry to France and we were able to stop and take a photo of Stonehenge over the fence. The ferry crossing was smooth and very enjoyable – eating, drinking, reading and sleeping until we arrived at Caen in France where Adele and Ian were waiting to collect us and drive us back to their place.
We’ll give our France update in a few days! 🙂
Hope everyone is well and we will be back in touch soon! 🙂
Stuart and Sally
We left Hawaii at 1am on the 10th and we soon made our minds up about flying Air Canada – definitely not recommended! Air Canada clearly rents the gates at that time of night to save money. The same gate was used for arrivals and departures, the microphone didn’t work to announce boarding, the lanes don’t look as though they have been upgraded since they were built, and to top it off, the air temperature inside the plane was probably not much different to outside which was no doubt to save fuel. Sally was wearing a jumper, jacket and scarf just to try and keep warm.
Stuart’s Grandad picked us up and then we drove back to his house in White Rock. In the afternoon we went for a walk down to the water. We have been very lucky on this trip and every day has been sunny and warm. The next morning we departed very early to drive to the train station and begin our Rocky Mountaineer journey. The train started off travelling from Vancouver and headed out through the desert, following the Fraser River and past lakes like this one. Travelling first class (thanks to Stuart’s Grandad) meant that we were kept well fed. We arrived in Kamloops that evening after a long, but enjoyable journey.
The next day we were travelling all the way through the mountains and Bamff, concluding in Calgary. The train had an amazing domed roof which made the mountains even more spectacular. I will just link to a few of the better mountain photos here, here and here as there isn’t much description necessary!
We had a day in Calgary before flying back on Saturday afternoon so Stuart and I went up the Calgary Tower (the highest one in the world above sea level – unfair advantage we think given the location in the Rockies!) This is a photo of downtown Calgary with the Rockies in the distance.
We went to a hockey game on Sunday night and it was great. It was a juniors game played by guys in senior high school but it was fast, rough and exhilarating (even better than the Mighty Ducks!)
We went out for dinner afterwards and this is Stuart with his ribs (note the new shirt that Sally found for him in Hawaii).
You can look at the rest of our photos by clicking the Canada link at the top of each photo to return to the Canada album. We are heading into Vancouver today and Murphy’s law, showers are forecast.
Sally and Stuart
It is our last day in Hawaii today so we are in the middle of packing and preparing for our midnight flight.
Our first day in Hawaii was pretty much written off as we attempted to check in at 8.30am when we arrived but the best they could offer was to hold our bags and told us to return at 3pm. We wandered around Waikiki for a few hours but we were hot and smelly in jeans and sneakers so we headed back to the hotel at about 1pm to wait it out. We were finally allowed to enter our room at 2.30pm and went straight into the shower and then had a nap. Dinner was at a diner/coffee shop down the road and we immediately learnt that unless you know the size of the meals, order one and it will suffice .
Yesterday we went on a hike up to Diamond Head Crater. We were told by one shuttle company it was too hot to begin hiking at 10am but we went anyway and it was well worth the view. After we returned we went for a swim on the beach… on advice we didn’t bother going down to Waikiki beach but instead waltzed into the Hilton across the road and used their beach instead. Much better idea!
Last night we went to a luau which was enjoyable, but it was so Americanised and rehearsed it lost it’s charm although there was some pretty good fire twirling (movie pending). We still had fun though as you can see in this . We also got a photo of Stuart’s new hairstyle and the sunset on Paradise Cove.
We are heading to Pearl Harbour today and then will go shopping this afternoon and plant ourselves at a bar on the beach this evening and spend the last of our American dollars before heading to the airport at 10.30pm tonight.
We will update you from Canada!
Stu & Sal