Day one hundred and seventy seven-seventy nine

Wednesday 10 October 2018 to Friday 12 October 2018

Well I’m finally getting around to adding the last couple of days of my travel and boy will this be interesting trying to remember!

As I mentioned in the last blog my alarm was set for a disturbingly early flight! We were catching a bus at about 4am to head to the airport – gotta love a 7.20am flight!

Up and last of the packing done and the final tidy of the our apartment. It’s a bit sad leaving as I know I’m heading home, which I’m looking forward to, but sad to be leaving this experience that I’ve had.

We got to the airport just before 5am and I was lining up ready to claim my duty free – I’ve only been hanging onto receipts since mid July! Anyway, lining up and they finally open up, only to find that the counter I’m at, only does duty free claims for Nordic countries – WTF! I have to go to another terminal – lugging my bags with me. You’d be amazed (or maybe not) at the language that came out of my mouth at 5am.

So unable to now claim my millions back in duty free, haha! It was check in time. I was actually asked if I had a visa for Australia – I said no, but does this help, and handed my Aussie passport hehehe. I was so used to using my Brit passport it didn’t occur to me that I should have used the Aussie one.

So through Security and off to find the lounge. Now this would be one the worst lounges I have been in – mind you it was super early (and I guess not so acceptable to drink at 5.30am). The soup was cold and the food on offer was not that great. Anyway time came to head for our flight. It was a little late taking off which was fine. We were flying business back as it was part of my ticket home (thanks Mum and Dad!) and not that much more expanse than economy.

So off we go, headed back to Heathrow – this time me dropping mum and dad off and then continuing my journey home.

The flight was only around 2-3 hours. The three of us seated in different seats. Dad and I both in window seats in the last row of business seats. When they served dad I swear I had the c-word and naturally looked up. It was 8am, surely the c-word wasn’t being used already. My turn for breakfast and the lovely air-hostess turns to me and says, would you like a glass of champagne – hell yeah I would! I was served my breakfast and out comes the glass of champagne, accompanied by ‘Miss, you are the only one drinking it so I may as well leave the bottle here with you’ – from then, I knew it was going to be a good trip home haha

IMG_5213

Slightly excited by this!

It was a very nice flight back to London. We got off the plane and headed into the terminal. It was now time to say goodbye to mum and dad – they exited and I continued on to transfers.

I went and checked in for my second leg of the journal as I couldn’t do it in Stockholm and given my invitation to the lounges in Hong Kong

IMG_5216

I had a couple of hours stopover in Heathrow so had a quick look through duty free and then to the lounge to chill. And by chill I mean drink lots of champagne and eat lots of yummy food.

IMG_5217

It was soon time to board so off I went to the gate. Here are some pics from the first leg of journey home – Heathrow to Hong Kong – Cathay Pacific

We landed in Hong Kong about 5am local time – hardly any of the duty free shops were open. I walked around for a little bit and googled the lounges to try to decide which one to go in. I can’t remember which one I picked!

I had about 5 hours here – I was so tired by now. I’ve been up for I don’t know how long! I probably managed about 3-5 hours sleep on the flight over.

I had some food, drank some more, had some more food and drank a bit more.

IMG_5241

It was then time to make use of the shower and freshen up to try to feel as human as possible. Let me tell you, the showers were amazing – the biggest rainfall shower head you’ve seen – a good half a metre by half a metre.

IMG_5240

If I had know where the hairdryer was in the shower room I totally would have just sat on the floor in the shower for ever haha!

It was time to head to my gate for the last leg home. I must say this leg of the journey was incredible – the staff were just so lovely – they were great on the first leg as well but this leg it was a whole new level!

IMG_5242

The business class seats were a little different to the first leg – this one had the lift up compartment to the left whereas the other flight did not. I also slept better on this one as the bed went completely flat – I think perhaps on the first leg I didn’t put it all the way down. I managed a good few hours this time.

We landed about an hour early which was nice – a quick stop in duty free and then off to collect my bags. Mum and dad had organised for a driver to come and pick me up which was great as there was no way I could have driven – alcohol aside, I was shattered and would not have managed the drive back to their house, especially as it was 1am on the 12th October. We got to Pelican just before 2am and naturally I was excited to be home and start unpacking and couldn’t get to sleep until 4am!

 

Sadly, this is the last post for this amazing, epic trip that I was so lucky to take! I hope you guys enjoyed reading about my travels (and I swear I’m not an alcoholic, haha!) But in all seriousness, I do hope you enjoyed it and the pictures. It was so great to write this blog and have something to reflect on. If I get the time I would love to do a write up on the hostels that I stayed in as well – I really was very lucky with the hostels I stayed in. I had those two sexidents and that was the worst of it really. This whole trip I have been lucky – I had the best weather, I got to meet up with the amazing Tash and Adam in Spain and the lovely Brittany in France. I met some amazing travellers and have incredible stories to tell and reminisce on. I may have been felt up twice, not by choice! But I didn’t get robbed, pickpocketed or lost anything valuable. The worst thing I did was leave a pair of shoes in the room in Santiago. I came home with my laptop, camera, passports, all my bank cards and all the other electronics I had., no bank account was hacked either.

Now to plan how to continue travelling without the need to work….

Advertisements

Day one hundred and seventy six

Tuesday 9 October 2018

Today we go and ABBA but first breakfast in the apartment.

We caught the train to central and then the tram to the museum. It was super easy as the museum is right at the tram stop. The museum is located on what is referred to as museum island – and you can probably guess why – this is where most of the museums are.

Mum and I headed in slightly after 10am. I’m so glad we did it – so much fun! And actually interesting learning about their careers. I had no idea they were all famous musicians prior to ABBA.

We were at the museum for about 2 hours as we purchased the audio guide. I think if you go you definitely need the audio guide – it’s the actual guys from ABBA talking and you get more of a back story to everything which I found great.

After the museum we jumped on the tram back to central to grab some lunch. I found what looked like a great ramen place – and boy was I right! It was delicious. The food was amazing, mum and dad had wok style meals and the veggies were so crisp! Little Miss Piggy here had duck ramen and gyoza – get in my belly!

After lunch it was time for coffee. We went back to the same coffee shop that we went to on Sunday. Mum and dad left after their coffee to walk back to the apartment – it’s an hour walk, and I stayed on and caught up on a few journal entries – still so far behind!

Afterwards I headed out for a bit more of a walk around. I found a lovely park with beautiful trees and autumn leaves

IMG_5211

The colours on the trees over here are so beautiful. We even sore some with the most beautiful red leaves.

After this I jumped on a train back to central and went shopping – where I spent a small fortune. I kept seeing the Euro price and thinking hey that’s alright – everything was on sale, luckily and I could get the tax back straight away and an extra 5% – winning.

I headed to the apartment as it was after 5 and I had the dreaded task of packing for one last time.

I managed a journal entry or two and printed off all the pictures I need to add in if I do any updates on the plane ride.

I went to bed about 9.30pm as my alarm was set for 3am – OUCH! We are catching the bus to the airport just after 4am – our flight is 7.20am and I need to organise the tax refunds.

Day one hundred and seventy five

Monday 8 October 2018

Don’t think I slept any better last night. I found us somewhere to go and have coffee so we headed there. The place had run out of food so we went to the same one as yesterday (but in a different location). It’s even colder then yesterday!

IMG_5176

After coffee we walked to the House of Nobility. Mum’s family (Du Rietz) has a family crest here and appears in some book. We went and found our crest on the wall. As soon as we went to the wall I spotted it – my grandparents have a copy in their house. Mum updated the information for the house.

IMG_5177

We are doing the old town walking tour today at 1pm.

We headed for something to eat before the walking tour and to try and stay warm and dry – like I said, it’s fricken freezing today

IMG_5180

I had the meatballs for lunch, mum had a salad and dad tried herring. Meatballs seem to be a traditional thing over here and they are bloody good at mash

IMG_5179

The walking tour was really great (again). Here are the pics from yesterdays walking tour and today

wt1wt2

After the walking tour we walked around for a bit and bought some delicious cinnamon and cardamon buns – these are big over here – not surprising as they as super delicious!

I was on the hunt for mulled wine as it was so cold. We walked past a bar that had mulled wine so we went on it. Had some mulled wine, cava and schnitzel (of course the schnitzel is not as good as what you get in Germany or Austria).

Anyway we decided to head back to the apartment – walking back which was nice, cold but nice. It was only a 30 minute walk

Back to the apartment, dinner, shower, netflix and bed. I have booked mum and I tickets for the ABBA museum tomorrow. Surprisingly dad doesn’t want to go

Day one hundred and seventy four

Sunday 7 October 2018

Had a pretty rubbish sleep – the sofa bed I’m on isn’t that comfy. You can feel the support beams and it’s awkward for sleeping – oh well it’s only 4 nights.

It’s fricken freezing but lovely blue sky. We are headed for a free walking tour today. We are doing the city tour and will do the old town tour later.

The tour was really great and we got to see quite a few and learn quite a bit about the history and the different islands.

After the tour we went and found somewhere for coffee. The place we went to was really lovely and has such a great set up for training. After this and a little walk around we went and found somewhere for lunch (not before I bought a hot pink beanie and gloves – yeah it’s that cold!).

Lunch was delicious but fuck me it was expansive – sorry for the language but it cost equivalent of ¢98 – so about $150. We had two meatballs and mash, spaghetti bol, 2 sparkling waters and 2 aperol spritz.

I knew Sweden was expansive but jeez!

Anyway, after lunch we walked around the old town for a bit

IMG_5165

Next it was time to head back towards our apartment and try to find somewhere for dinner. We ended up finding a nice little Asian place and had a few small plates and a couple of drinks – I got myself a dirty martini! Not the best one but I didn’t care.

We’ve had trouble finding places to buy wine over here. In Europe you go to the grocery store and it’s there. Over here you get a few beers and that is it. We asked the waiter at the restaurant and he said there is one company in Sweden that has a monopoly on alcohol. They don’t open on Sundays and everyone rushes out on saturday to stock up for Sunday – sounds like Australia right before the shops shut for a day, haha!

IMG_2869IMG_5168

Back to the apartment and off to bed

Day one hundred and seventy three

Saturday 6 September 2018

Today we head to Stockholm. The last little bit of travel before heading home on Wednesday

We left our hotel early so that I could claim back the tax on my purchases. I have never actually done this before so I have no idea what I’m supposed to do. We printed out boarding passes and put our bags through (rookie error!).

I went and found the tax refund place and found that you have to have your luggage on you (or rather, all of your purchases). CRAP! Well turns out I can’t claim it back today anyway, you do it on the day that you actually leave for Australia. Well great because our flight is at 7.20am and the tax people only open at 5am. Nothing like a tight turn around.

Anyway so we had a crap load of time to spare and just headed in for security. Our flight over is business so we at least get to chill in the lounge. Through security and what an absolute shit fight that was. People cannot follow basic instructions – remove all liquids, oh lets just leave those tubs of moisturisers; you cannot take anything sharp on board, oh I’ll just bring all my hairdressing scissors on board with me. So because there are lots of people who have no idea what they are doing, there is a pile up of bags to be pulled apart and searched, which means a backlog in the screening machine, so those who do not beep are not able to continue down the conveyor belt. Once we got through two searches that was enough room for my two trays to make there way down – anyone would think I’ve done this before (haha – only been on about 16 planes these past few months).

Anyway one of mum’s trays beeped so I left them there and headed downstairs. I ended up just going to the lounge and stuffing my face full of food for the entire time we were there.

Our flight was delayed by about 20 minutes were which nothing. I had the two seats to myself which was lovely. We had a nice meal and several glasses of champagne later 🙂 I updated about three days worth of my journal (I’m still about 20 behind). The back pages of the journal are where I have kept a list of countries and cities – I have counted places that I visited on my sail – except for Dubrovnik, other places like Peniscola I didn’t count either.

 

We landed, grabbed our bags and jumped on the airport bus to our Airbnb. The apartment is much bigger than I had thought and just beautiful. It is a one bedroom with a sofa bed – guess who gets the sofa bed, ha!

 

Day one hundred and seventy two

Friday 5 October 2018

We are headed to London today. Liz kindly drove us up to Heathrow Terminal 5 where our hotel is. We were able to check in straight away which was great.

We ordered an Uber and headed to Hammersmith.

I am catching up with a girl I was friends with at school, who I haven’t seen since we left. She works in Hammersmith.

It was so great seeing her and catching up – we had some Moroccan street food and headed for the park by the river. Sadly we had to part ways as she had to head back to work.

I caught the tube to Piccadilly circus to meet mum and dad. They had ramen for lunch and had finished by the time I got there but I ordered some Gyoza and a beer. We then headed to some other area (can’t remember, but it is where we stayed when we came to London 4 years ago and it’s near the British War Museum). Anyway we had a coffee and then I jumped on a bus to head to Aldgate East. I am meeting another friend here, Brittany – not Paris Brittany, but if you’ve been reading my blogs you’ll remember from my time in Berlin. We actually met on a walking tour in Berlin back end of April/May and did another walking tour the next day and chilled in Mauer Park that afternoon as well. Anyway we got along really well and it was so great that we could manage to catch up before I leave.

Sadly we had to say goodbye as well and I jumped on two tubes back to Piccadilly circus and met back with mum and dad for dinner. We found a nice little place just outside Chinatown for dinner. The food was absolutely delicious.

We then headed to Leicester Square tube for the 1 hour journey back to the hotel. We got the tube to terminal 5 and then Uber’ed back.

Our flight tomorrow isn’t until 1.25pm however I have all my tax free shopping that I need to get back and it’s worth about ¢77 which is like $110.

Pics from today

IMG_5135 2IMG_5136 2IMG_5138 2

Day one hundred and seventy one

Thursday 4 october

Today was very boring as I did absolutely nothing. A bit of Netflix, a snooze, some food and hot tub.

IMG_5128

We headed out for dinner with dad’s friend Norman and his wife Marsha. It was a very lovely dinner. Liz and I shared duck pancakes and then I had a massive chicken and leek pie with mash and veggies – OMG so delicious and so English. The main meals were huge and still well priced.

IMG_5129IMG_5131

Back to Andover to finish packing and head to bed.