Melbourne Time

Playlist - My Travel Videos

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

34. Stonehenge?

I had always told myself if ever I went to England, I would visit Stonehenge. What a marvellous wonder to stand among those mighty rocks built thousands of years ago, no-one knows how they came to be there and how they were transported there. There were no machines or electricity then. A bit like the pyramids - how did a people manage to haul such large and heavy stones/rock?

Anyway, imagine my disappointment on learning you can no longer walk among those majestic looking stones, or touch them. The have been roped off for "protection". People have to pay and are herded in like cattle. I have heard from a number of people you can just drive past on one of the roads, stop the car and take a photo through/over the wire fence. For free. Although I did hear that something was being done to change this - a bit of research shows that road (the A344) was closed last year. Source

Also, there's a timed ticket system, if you're going by public transport, make sure you time the train with your entrance time! All up it will cost £65.40 per adult. That's $118.25!

But .... then I read you can do "access tours". These are either at sunrise or sunset, a small group of limited numbers, and you get to walk among and around the rocks and touch them. Hmm, that sounds alright thought I. The catch was the price - £109.00, almost $200. It's a lot of money and I took time deliberating. Then I read a rather interesting blog (can't remember the name, sorry) written by someone with an obviously jaundiced eye and many photos included.

On seeing that glass and metal visitor centre photo the thought that came straight to my mind was, "God, what an eyesore." And the photo of some bloke pulling on a piece of rope? How dumb, pulling a rope on a ruddy big rock on wood. I can't believe people actually do that. It looked more like something from a bad American theme park than a set of pre-historic standing stones. The writer may have baulked at paying £13.90 but for me, it would have been £109.00 - that's close to $200.

I've heard comments about them being just a “load of old rocks” - I know that feeling. All my life I have wanted to go to Ayer's Rock (now called Uluru) and when I finally did, I paid $200 for a helicopter ride to fly over them and all I felt was disappointment and later, walking around it when I placed my hand on the rock and waited ... I felt - nothing. All I thought was, "It's just a bloody big rock."
Two hundred bucks to look at some big rocks and a cutesy imitation village? Nah, I'll keep my money firmly in my pocket thanks.

Monday, 23 June 2014

33. What to pack

It has been impressed on me that I need to re-visit what I had intended taking for my European holiday. One thing I will need is closed toe shoes. It will have to be sneakers, preferably funky, not the white things you see. Me? I don't "do" white sneakers, I like colour, the more colour the better. I'll be taking my flower-power shoes...

To be continued .....

Thursday, 12 June 2014

32. The Beatles and Abbey Road

One of the places I must go when I'm in London is the pedestrian crossing where the Beatles were photographed as they crossed the road. After searching to find where it was and how to get there, it is evidently very, very famous and loads of people pose (at great risk to themselves and others), to have their photo taken while striding across the white lines.

I remember that photo well - of the "Fab Four", arms swinging, walking in single file, I remember buying the sheet music of their single "Something" back in 1969 and knew I still had it because I'd looked it out last year. A long and fruitful 30 minutes later, there it was - I had it and it's in pretty good knick considering it's age. Not dog-eared at all.

And because it brings back memories .......

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

31. Dublin Pubs with Food

Slim Dusty may have had a hit when he sung, "The Pub With No Beer" but for me, it's "The Pub With No Food"!
Finally - an Irish pub that serves meals. O'Neill's in Suffolk Street, a short(ish) walk from where I'm staying. I'll definitely be trying this place out. Their menu has plenty of good old fashioned food. Just what the doctor ordered. O'Neill's here I come.

Note: As I become aware of more, I'll add them to this post.

Quote of the day: May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you're dead.

An update of pubs with food.

Carr & O'Connell's now called O'Connell's. it's next door to where I'm staying.

Monday, 2 June 2014

30. Dublin Pubs

With my trip just under 4 weeks away, I am on a mission to find some good Irish pubs where not only is the music grand but serves food also. This far I've been told of two
1. Cobblestone Pub 77 King Street North | Smithfield, Dublin

2. O'Donoghue's 15 Merrion Row Dublin which is near St Stephen's Green

Neither of these it appears serve food, other than peanuts and crisps to nibble with your Guinness. So the hunt continues.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

29. Chur Accommodation Amended

When I realised check-in time was 3.00pm, and I'd be arriving just before 10.00am, a room with shared bathroom didn't seem such a good idea. There were no single rooms with ensuite available hence the shared bathroom. But common sense tells me that being in a place for five hours before you can get to your room, the first thing you want to do will be to use the toilet and have a shower. What happens if others have the same idea? It's not like a hostel where there's a toilet/shower block. So I bit the bullet, or in this case my wallet and booked a double room with private bathroom. Fifty dollars for your own dunny is a lot of money, but let's face it, one shower and toilet per floor will be a real pain.

Double room with ensuite

There are a few different styles with either a street view or mountain view. I've asked for the mountain view, so hopefully I get one. And I won't have to worry that the toilet will be "engaged" - very important when you have to leave by 8.00am.

Of course I'd rather have the money in my pocket, but I've made the right decision.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

28. Chur Accomodation Changed

Recently when I went to the booking site, I noticed a hotel in Chur that I hadn't seen before and I really liked it. Rather than staying at a hostel, I'm now staying in a lovely old historical hotel built in 1793 called Hotel Drei Könige. It's in the "Old Town" filled with cobble stones, no cars and hundreds of years of history. I just know I'm going to enjoy staying here.

Hotel Drei Könige

The hotel is at Reichsgasse 18, 7000 Chur. A single room with breakfast is 65 Swiss francs, the hotel has a lift, restaurant and a souvenir shop.

The single room has a shared bathroom but hey, it's cheaper than getting a room with your own so it's within budget range. And, they have Currecny Exchange plus they offer packed lunches - good for those doing a day's hiking or catching an early train (like me.) I can't decide whether I like the pretty cream room at the top or the honey pine one below. They both look nice. One of the things that makes me choose a place is the warm, inviting look.

Room Facilities: Mountain view, Telephone, Cable channels, Flat-screen TV, Safe, Desk, Heating, Hardwood/Parquet floors, Wardrobe/Closet, Hairdryer, Shared bathroom, Free toiletries, Shared toilet, Wake up service/Alarm clock.
Room with a flat-screen TV, a telephone and a sink.

The dining room and buffet breakfast goodies look good don't they? And that dining room has the warm feel to it I mentioned. It looks homely and welcoming.

According to the website, my room has a mountain view. Imagine looking out the window and seeing Swiss mountains in the distance! Unless of course it's one of those selling point views so favoured by real estate agents when selling a property who proclaim "sea views" and you find the only sea view is if you stand on a chair in the bathroom/toilet and poke your head out the window, hold it on an angle and you can see half an inch of blue! Ha!