Travel Stories

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Wheeling about to Falkirk

July 24, 2016 - Falkirk, United Kingdom
Oban Bay was dead calm when we woke on Sunday morning. We took a last look at the view before we went down to breakfast. This morning we were placed at a table with two places set on a table of four so we had room to spread out. Every other morning we have shuffled things around a tiny table for two. With a side plate, a cup and saucer and a placemat and place setting for each of us plus the pepper and salt, butter dish and tall vase with fresias, the space is limited. Add to this little lot...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

Our final day in Oban

July 23, 2016 - Oban, United Kingdom
Oban has given us some wet and overcast days and some brilliant days but all of them have been enjoyable in retrospect. There have been some times when we thought we had done the wrong thing but we found places to go that avoided the worst of the Scottish summer and when we needed it the sun shone through. Today the sky was overcast but promised to be reasonable so we went for a walk up to the hill overlooking the town to visit McCaig's Tower. Apparently McCaig was taken with Roman...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

A round trip to Glencoe

July 22, 2016 - Oban, United Kingdom
We had managed to move the car into a safe spot in the back of the hotel's tiny car park last Sunday and it had remained there up until now. Today we decided we would drive to Glencoe and plotted a route that would take us down to Kilmartin first to have a look around the area and perhaps the museum before heading to Inverlochy and up the Glen Orchy road to then head for Glencoe and return via Appin and Connel Bridge. After a few tries we managed to programme our route into Miss Direct and...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

A trip to Iona Abbey

July 21, 2016 - Oban, United Kingdom
Ah ha. Another day, another weather pattern. Before we went down to breakfast this morning the clouds looked higher and the waters of the bay were glassy smooth. Looks like Margaret has managed the weather and the travel schedule perfectly. We needed to be at the Ferry Terminal by 9:45am to begin our trip to Iona so we tucked a few things into our backpack. Things like nibbles, jackets, and cameras but no umbrella. Margaret is very pleased with her hooded rainjacket and was willing to leave...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

And so much for the weather

July 20, 2016 - Oban, United Kingdom
Well summer doesn't last long in the highlands and islands. Yesterday was the beginning and the end of summer. It ended with a bang ... a thunderstorm indeed. Today it is wet but maybe not as cold as it was. We slept in for a bit then had a late and leisurely breakfast (I seem to recall saying that before). Discussion at breakfast ruled out another trip to Tobermory which had been tentatively planned on our way home last night. We resolved instead to look at train and bus timetables and take...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

Visiting the Puffins

July 19, 2016 - Oban, United Kingdom
Well, well, well! What a difference a day makes. Today dawned misty but fine and looked like a good day from the start. We had to get to the Craignure Ferry by 7:25am and that meant a 20 minute walk. We had arranged to get an early continental breakfast at 6:30 and met the Night Manager, David who had everything sorted for us and two other groups. We had packed fruit, chocolate bars and drinks in our backpack as there would be nowhere to get food on the trip. To that little supply we added a...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

The little Big Red Bus tour

July 18, 2016 - Oban, United Kingdom
When we woke on Monday morning we couldn't even see Kerrera Island. We had made a special effort to get up early and to go down at 7:30am; the earliest possible time for a hot breakfast. We then intended to walk up to the Staffa Tours office and get tickets for the Mull and Iona tour that leaves with the 10am ferry. Well so much for that idea on a rainy day. We took a more leisurely breakfast instead but still made it down to the tour office to get tickets for the Iona tour on Thursday and...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

Not even the washing to do

July 17, 2016 - Oban, United Kingdom
Sunday morning in Oban and we slept through the church bells. When we pulled back the curtains the day looked even more bleak than yesterday. Certainly it seemed colder and it had been raining a little heavier for most of the night. We headed down to breakfast with some enthusiasm and managed to stretch cereal, tea and toast, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs (Max) or sausage and baked beans (Margaret) over a pleasant hour and a half. The Dining Room was busier today but we had a table by the...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

Last Day in Glasgow

July 14, 2016 - Oban, United Kingdom
Sadly our last day in Glasgow has arrived - and not a cloud in the sky. It's not even cold, although not exactly warm either. We had said last night that we would go on the Hop-on-Hop-off bus, and Rosie was keen, but when we rang this morning, the three of them were going to lunch at Lebowski's first. So Max and I got our bus brochure stamped by John at the hotel, and spent a few moments of hilarity while we all marvelled at the massive discount of £1 off the £12 ticket. The staff here are...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

Summer in Oban

July 16, 2016 - Oban, United Kingdom
Weekends begin more slowly at our hotel; breakfast from 8am rather than 7:30am. There was no great rush to head outside either. The view from our room looks across the Sound of Kerrera to a large island, Kerrera. The day looked dismal. From our window we could see the fine rain and mist blowing in around the island from either end and sometimes obscuring it completely. Breakfast had plenty of choices from a hot and cold buffet as well as a small selection of hot dishes to be cooked. Ahh,...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

Along Loch Long and the back way to Oban

July 15, 2016 - Oban, United Kingdom
Well the time had come to leave Glasgow. After dinner last night we brought Zack's and Olly's suits and shoes back to our hotel. We were to take the suits with us and thus save them dealing with them on the flights to and from Portugal. We had breakfast and packed our bags ready to go. Thank goodness we had set out to travel light as we now had two shoeboxes (thanfully with their own carry bags) and four suitbags extra to lump into a taxi and head for the Europcar offices. On the way there...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

Transport, Travel and a Tall ship

July 13, 2016 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
After another fortifying breakfast at the hotel we checked bus timetables, packed our cameras and, umbrellas at the ready, we walked out into another summers day in Glasgow. By the time we reached the bus stop in St Vincents Place the umbrellas had been up and down twice and before the bus arrived it was raining steadily. The number 100 bus took us on a circuitous path past the Entertainment Centre and the riverside and then back past Kelvingrove Museum before we arrived at Scotland's Museum...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

Museums

July 12, 2016 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Well. A new day and a new man. We had a substantial breakfast to fortify us for the day and then after doing a little Glasgow Trip Planner to work out the bus route for the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Margaret and I walked down to Bath Street for the 77 bus. We weren't too sure of the system of ticketing or the pricing and hoped to buy tickets from the driver. Margaret had seen signs on other buses advertising a £3.80 day pass so she had £8+ of shrapnel ready. 'Two day passes. £9...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

Searching for a suit

July 11, 2016 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Just tea and toast for breakfast for me this morning and I am not certain I should be eating that. Sarah, Lucie, Emily and Finn met us at our hotel and David, Olly, Zack and Rosie came along a bit later to join up for the great suit search. Both Zack and Olly need to buy a suit for the wedding so today is the day. I was still under the weather so I stayed at the hotel and will have to defer my suit shopping until later. This way Margaret will know the places to look. Margaret returned about...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

Tarn and Toulouse

July 11, 2016 - Toulouse, France
We did make it on to the Tarn again, and what a pleasure it was.   We arrived at Montauban to be told that there were no other boats on the Tarn, but to us, the conditions looked good.  The river was calm and the sun was shining.  So, off we set through the alarmingly deep double lock under the railway line and down on to the Tarn.  We decided not to stop at the Montauban pontoon on the river as we had visited the town of Montauban last August.  We headed four kilometres upstream to...
By Anne in Cassandra Encore

A quiet Sunday in Glasgow

July 10, 2016 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Not too much to do today. We had a good breakfast at the CitizenM and then relaxed in their lounge area and wrote up yesterdays journal and read for a while. The weather is cool and a little damp. What else should we expect? Sarah rang to say Zack and Rosie and Olly were on their way to Glasgow by train and she and David and Lucie were driving up with the luggage. Their apartment is about 2.5 miles away so rather than walk we will take a taxi over to have dinner with them. With that in mind...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

Bound for Glasgow

July 9, 2016 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
After a couple of hours sleep the alarm stirred us out of bed at 2am. God, I didn't think this hour of the morning actually existed but there were still people wandering the streets and the party boats with their bright lights and loud music were still plying their trade. We packed the last of our things and began walking toward Al Arumaila to check out and to meet the driver. We actually met the receptionist with whom I had confirmed our arrangements. He and a young man from the kitchen...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

A quiet last day in Qatar

July 8, 2016 - Doha, Qatar
Well, here we are. The last of our days in Doha. The day promised to reach 44ºC and was already very hot when we walked around to Al Bidda hotel for breakfast about 9am. We were looking forward to more UmAli and there was plenty of it this time but without the accompaniments. It was still a good start for our usual tuck-in to fortify us for the day. An orange juice, an omelette and brioche with coffee stretched over a leisurely hour or so and we were ready for anything.   Or nothing much...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

Museum of Islamic Art

July 7, 2016 - Doha, Qatar
7 July Doha Last night our travel blog (and I) had a minor meltdown. I sat up for a few hours typing in our entry for the day. After having a couple of minor glitches with the first entries on the website I decided to type this one in a text editor and then copy and paste to the website. Not only had I forgotten lessons I learned last year I also forgot the major lesson from older word processors - always save, and back it up. At about the time I was putting the final full stop in place at...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

Our first day in Qatar

July 6, 2016 - Doha, Qatar
Our driver whisked us away from the airport and onto the highway towards Doha.. It wasn't too long before we were approaching the city and the buildings became apparent through the desert haze. We sat and gazed about at strange looking buildings, especially the Gaudiesque looking Qatar National Museum and the Qatar Islamic Cultural Centre (Fanar)  which has a spiral minaret reminiscent of the drawings of the Tower of Babel in my Sunday School books although Fanar means a guiding light or...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

Leaving home again

July 5, 2016 - Wollongong, Australia
5 July Wollongong to Doha Well the last of the packing is finished, the flat is tidy and we are ready to go. After lunch made up of the last of our salad vegies we rested up for a bit before driving up to the airport. We had decided to put the car into a long term carpark in Wolli Creek. They would then drive us to the airport and collect us again when we return. We chose this option so that when we arrive home at about 7pm we could drive home without waiting around for trains. We were...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

ALICE SPRINGS

July 6, 2016 - Port Augusta, Australia
Hello to all we are both well:-) here are some more photos After we left the big red rock on Thursday 30 June, we traveled out to Kings Canyon were we booked into the van park. It has not stopped raining so wont be able to do the walk today. Friday the sun was shining and we got ready to do the 6k walk around the rim of Kings Canyon. The start of the walk was a steep climb, but we made it to the top. This place was so breath taking and just relaxing. It took us 4 hours of climbing and walking...
By just us two here in TOURING AUSTRALIA

Off to the United Kingdom this time

July 4, 2016 - Sydney, Australia
Margaret and Max are off again. This time we are headed to the UK to attend Will & Bex's wedding. Our route will take us to Doha in Qatar for a few days stopover before flying on to Edinburgh. From Edinburgh we will get a bus to Glasgow where we will spend a weeek or so and meet up with Sarah, David and Lucie as well as Zack and Rosie and Olly. We will leave them to their own travels while we head up to Oban to explore the Western Isles. After Oban we will head south to stop in Falkirk,...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016

Port Augusta to Ayers Rock

June 27, 2016 - Port Augusta, Australia
Well here we are, we have finally made it to the BIG rock. After we left Port Augusta we stopped and had a look around Woomera at all the old rockets and planes on display. There are very few people living in this place these days. Then onto Andamooka where we stayed for 5 days. We both felt 4 inches taller from all of the thick red mud stuck on the bottom of our shoes. We drove out to Lake Torrens, on Sunday the 19th June ( Geoff's Birthday ) but Geoff couldn't remember the exact way to go...
By just us two here in TOURING AUSTRALIA

Dublin

June 17, 2016 - Dublin, Ireland
Een bezoek aan Dublin leek ons sowieso de moeite, dus déden we dat ook! Ook gisteren was het er vrij druk, en het was dus even zoeken naar een parkeerplaats, gezien de meeste parkings volzet waren. Trinity College kon ons zeker bekoren. De oude bibilotheek was FE-NO-ME-NAAL...! Het was wel een tijdje rijtje schuiven vooraleer we er binnen geraakten (met al die Japanners...) maar het lukte toch op een aardige termijn. Oude boeken, torens hoog, worden er bewaard en zelfs nog regelmatig...
By Bernard & Hilde in Rondom Ierland in 20 dagen!

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