Safely home

December 29, 2007 - Mudgee, Australia

Here it is, the promised finale to our travels! Since we arrived back in Mudgee two weeks ago, a combination of jet lag, end-of-year school functions, Christmas preparations and attempts to retrieve pictures from the dead laptop have held up this big effort, but all is ready to go today.


Firstly the good and the bad news on the laptop. It is in very  bad shape and will have to have a hard drive transplant, BUT a clever local computer guy, Grant has been able to coax off most of the precious photos, (especially those from the special trip to Poland) which we only had on the laptop or on the blog. The relief when he phoned his success was huge as we were begining to think we had to start saving for another trip.


Our trip home from Paris-Dubai-Sydney took a long time, but it was another 3 days before our luggage caught up with us due to a hitch in Dubai when we changed planes. Luckily all our clothes were for winter, but we were sweating on the gifts we brought home. Bruce and Doreen met us on Saturday 15th as planned, and we had the added surprise of Julia being there too. A great welcome home.

On Sunday McWillsmiths met for the first time since early October at Bruce and Doreen’s Christmas drinks. We tried not to bore the revellers too much with our travel tales, but it was fun to reminisce about some parts of the trip. We also realised how many friends had followed our adventures through the blog.


So as Ross makes some ‘Best of the best’ photostories for future use, here is my travel summary:

Would be able to live in: Tuscany, Finale Ligure, Beaune

Wow factor: the colours of Tuscany in autumn, Norwegian fjords, Pont du Gard

Tear jerking moments: visit to Bergkirche where my grandmother was christened, visit to Lauenbrunn/Cieplowody in Poland where my parents grew up, seeing Michelangelo’s sculptures – especially David

Myths dispelled: that the French are rude and arrogant, that it is dangerous to drive on Italian roads

Would like to bring home: French autoroutes (minus the heavy tolls), tram system from Vienna, the atmosphere at the Christmas markets

Will remember: lovely helpful people we met, the pride of being an Aussie in Europe, experiencing a great variety of cultures through family friends and acquaintances, how countries value and preserve their history

Leave behind: the inevitable dog droppings in France, a day of CNN news repeats


And of course, we there was always the question of where we would next meet someone from home!


Thanks to everyone who helped make our trip, including you dear readers and Our Leisl, the GPS navigator. Happy New Year and Bon Journee for anyone travelling in the next year.


Ted Roberts:
January 5, 2008
We hope you managed to get all your photos off the laptop, we want to see them some time in the future! Loved your travel summary Birg, a lot of French people obviously frequent our local beach!!'s not really that bad! Enjoy the rest after such a hectic trip. Love Pam and Ted.
Katie and Dylan:
January 9, 2008
Hi Aunty Birg and Uncle Ross,
So glad you got your pics back! I look over mine so often and have already started feeling very nostalgic every time I look at them. It was so good to meet up with you in Vienna. I just caught up with the last of your blog entries and almost shed a tear reading the story about the French woman in teh queue. It's the nicest feeling to have some help and advice from friendly people when you are in a foreign country.
Happy New Year and Merry Christmas to you all. We hope you all had a lovely time. We wish we could've come and seen you but Dyl wasn't doing too well over Christmas/NY (wisdom teeth coming through) and then minor surf injury to the foot.
All our love,
Katie and Dyl.
p.s. Say hi to your guys from us.
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