If your still in Paris I highly recommend you spend an evening in a the piano bar sacre coeur, you won’t regret it
Needed to skip the Melbourne winter so booked ad hoc flights to the Greek Islands and Croatia from Monday.
Cant get enough of the islands. Beach and booze on the agenda.
Stayed in a place above a pottery studio owned by Takushi Haraguchi. Lovely people, got taken on a tour to some sites in Kyoto and he drew a little map for us advising where to walk around the area. Pretty basic place but decent accommodation for the price.
View from the Eagle’s Nest was about 10 metres when we were there last year.
I had to rewatch the last ep of Band of Brothers to see it in all its glory.
Looks like a good location. About 15 minutes walking in each direction to Gion, Kiyomizu, Sanjusangendo?
Own bathroom is good too, navigating the shared bath facilities can be tricky or undesirable for visitors.
Arrived in England about 5 days ago, had nearly forgotten how much I like England. (It’s been 10 years since I was here last).
Went to local cricket today, to watch Warmsworth Cricket Club (in Yorkshire) who were playing Whitley Hall. One of the lads playing for Warmsworth is Aussie. Small world he plays for White Hills when in Oz, which is a Bendigo and District Club and he knows my son ( through cricket and is about the same age). (I know @jonny_mac who posts sometimes plays for White Hills, may know him also). He made 112 for the day and the team won the match, which was really good as when we arrived the score was 3 for 14. They then went on to make 235.
Heading to London tomorrow, then heading to Ireland the following day.
Am starting to get a bit homesick now, (am really missing my dog too)but know our trip is coming to an end soon. New York, Las Vegas after after Ireland then home.
Have been a bit busy but have finally managed a few spare moments to report on the trip. We got up very early and headed from Munich to Fussen. My 2 previous visits to Neuschwanstein had resulted in not obtaining tickets so I had prebooked them online months earlier this time. The place was still packed when we got to the village and having been given an allotted time to start the tour we went for a bit of a wander and had a coffee. The line up for buses and horse carriages to the top were astronomical so we decided we would walk it. The day was pretty warm but under the shade of the trees it wasn’t too strenuous and we got to the top with plenty of time still to spare. Unfortunately no photos allowed inside and the tour guide was quite forthright and even threatened to deliver a Japanese tourist to the police for even attempting a sneaky pic. The place is amazing.
Another small walk up to the Marienbrucke which offered stunning views of the castle.
We were a little pushed for time so didn’t do the tour of Hohenschwangau but managed a couple of pics
The drive was Fussen to Innsbruck was along some beautiful mountain scenery but unfortunately it started raining quite heavily up at the Fern Pass and our view of Zugspitze was pretty much obscured. We had booked the Goldener Adler in Innsbruck which unbeknownst to me was right in the middle of the old town and is car free after 9am. We parked at the nearest public parking which was about 300m away and hauled our luggage across the cobblestones to the hotel.
Absolutely fantastic hotel with plenty of heritage and had a wonderful meal there that night.
Hotel Goldener Adler
Innsbruck is a great little city with a stunning backdrop and would have loved to spend a little more time there but was on a tight schedule as the rental car was due back the following day.
Been finding booking places in Japan has been easier through Qantas Hotels. Often have the same place, similar rates, but no cancelation frees.
And it doesn’t seem to track me and hike prices each time I visit.
Expensive AF though.
I had decided to return the rental car in Germany near the Swiss border to save on the one way fare. The location was Singen and was about 260km from Innsbruck. The plan was to grab some lunch at Vaduz or along Lake Konstanz and arrive at Singen with plenty of time to spare. Well the roadworks and traffic were horrendous and a 3-4 hour trip turned into 6 hours and meant that after refueling we returned the rental car with only 25 minutes to spare. The rental agent was brilliant and even dropped us off down at the train station for the next part of our journey. We had a Swiss 1st class 8 day pass which meant free transport in Switzerland but had to pay €3.50 for the ride from Singen to the border town of Schaffhausen. Had to then change trains for the Schaffhausen to Zurich leg of our trip. Swapping trains with 40kg of luggage each and about 3 minutes between trains is a real PITA but was negotiated and we arrived in Zurich and had a late lunch at the station whilst awaiting our next train. We had to change trains 3 more times before arriving into our destination of Zermatt in the early evening. A very tiring day and if I did it again I’d stop the night in Zurich to break it up. We had already visited Zurich a couple of times so had decided to push on to Zermatt. Was absolutely exhausted but it was worth it once we arrived at our room and vent out on the balcony.
View from our hotel room of the town and Matterhorn.
We stayed at the Hotel Metropol in Zermatt for 2 nights and I must say it was stunning. They bent over backwards to offer us any information or help and the breakfast was wonderful. The view from the room was breathtaking and although it got a little cold at night we slept with the balcony doors wide open to listen to the stream and gaze up at the Matterhorn from bed. We woke up bright and early and as there was quite a bit of fog around the top of the mountains we decided to go for a hike for a few hours to the Gornergret Gorge for some more great scenery.
Zermatt is a car free town and everything is moved around with electric buggies. Absolute gem of a town and one we will definitely be going back to
I like Airbnb for travel. Not sure about Japan. But do need to pay attention to the type of place booked.
Pretty sure they have plenty of ryokan.
The skies cleared up so we decided to head up the mountains to Glacier Paradise on Klein Matterhorn which sits at just under 3900m high. To reach it from Zermatt involves changing 3 gondolas, the last of which is the highest altitude gondola in Europe. At the top there is a ski field that is open 12 months a year. Was 25 degrees in Zermatt but could feel the temperature drop rapidly and it was -2 degrees up the top. Because of the rapid ascent via Gondala I also suffered a slight headache for a little bit.
The final morning of our Zermatt stay and the clouds opened as if by magic to reveal the Matterhorn in full glory from our room.
Sadly our time in Zermatt had come to an end but we had booked the Glacier Express train to St Moritz. It’s billed as one of the most scenic train rides on the planet and it didn’t fail to disappoint. Having the rail pass meant the trip was free. 8 hours of stunning views and it helps that the onboard meals and beverages were great also. Would highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking of doing it.
We arrived into St Moritz and was lucky enough to find our hotel shuttle bus was there dropping someone off so we managed to hop on straight away. St Moritz is quite a pretty little town best known for its celebrity spotting in the snow season. This time of the year it’s a little dull and quite with plenty of shops and restaurants closed for the summer. We had a fairly early train out in the morning and stayed relatively close to station at the Soldonella Hotel which was a real old hotel overlooking the lake. Beautiful restaurant which served great meals and a fantastic brekky but like everything in the town you pay for it through the nose
I used booking.com while living there. The rates are good (and generally you don’t pay until you arrive) and has a large selection of hotels (both ryokan and Western hotels).
Airbnb has always had a tricky legal status there. I hear they recently cancelled a shed load of bookings on account of implementing a new registration system for hosts.