After almost a year I finally had time to go back to London, always a great pleasure. I stayed with my oldest friend Cindy and her boo, which allowed me perfect access to the city. Met up with several friends, took in the culture (most notably Greenwich and a Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the Museum of London), went shopping (not too much, though, because I only had carry-on luggage) – and even spent a day in Oxford (the Bodeleian! Tolkien! cream tea!), which was just as beautiful as I remembered. Altogether I had a blast!
Yesterday I returned home from an amazing four weeks in what still feels like my second home. The complete photo set is now up on Flickr (including some photos from the journey home), but today I just wanted to say “hi!” and wish all of you a wonderful holiday, in whatever form you celebrate – or not…
This year’s “greeting card” comes to you from Wellington, to be exact from Scorching Bay. 🙂
In May, Märrie and I met up with our friend Amy from Singapore and we spent an amazing week in Italy: One (rainy) day in Rome, 3 days in (crazy) Naples & 3 days in pretty Sorrento, with daytrips to amazing Pompeii, Positano (on the Amalfi coast) and a spa in Ischia.
I’ve paid the first half of my plane ticket, so I now have a schedule for leaving New Zealand. Needless to say I’m not happy about it. 🙁
But here are the dates:
June 19: last exam visit Denise, pack and ship all my stuff
June 28: Meredith moves into my room travel the South Island, spend a couple of days saying goodbye to Wellington
July 25: Wellington – Melbourne travel Melbourne – Adelaide – Alice Springs – Uluru – Perth
Sept 2: Perth – Singapore break up the long flight by visiting Amy
Sept 5: Singapore – London – Zurich
I’ll arrive in Zurich on Sept 6 at noon. It’s a Saturday, so hopefully my whole family can come and pick me up.
Besides a lovely phone call with Sibylle, editing of my second assignment, and going grocery shopping, I also spent today (slowly, as my internet is still dial-up) uploading some of my photos – not the ones I took here, but a number of older ones. Most notably you can see the pics I took when Sibylle and I visited her grandmother in Troyes (including a two-day trip to beautiful Paris) here.
I’m accompanying Sibylle on a visit to her grandmother’s in Troyes. However, we’re also planning on taking a couple of trips to the Paris area, maybe Versailles and Giverny (where Claude Monet’s garden is). With all the traveling back and forth I’ve been doing between Basel and Bern in the past months, it doesn’t feel like such a big deal, but I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with Sibylle before The Big Trip… 🙂
Sibylle and I went for a 5-day vacation in Portugal's capital, which was much beautiful than expected. Honestly, I can recommend Lisbon to anyone, especially off-season, when it's not crowded at all.
The city center has great charm, despite the obvious signs of neglect with many houses. It's just really, really pretty, and walking up and down the hills was totally worth the effort of taking it in at a leisurely pace. Even at the beginning of March the weather was great – we spent Saturday basking in the sun on the nearby beach in Estoril (much prettier than the one in Cascais, right next to it). Another daytrip was to Sintra – trains are very cheap, and the traditional little cakes alone worth the journey, not to speak of the cute town and impressive castles. It's not for nothing a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Also, the people are very friendly, a lot of them speak at least a bit of English or French – if we looked lost for even a second, someone always came to us and helped us find our way.
Oops, I seem to have forgotten to share the photos from my vacation with Sibylle! In June we went to Como in Northern Italy for a week, staying at a beautiful B&B in Erba (half an hour's bus ride from Como) and doing several excursions in the area. It was a great holiday – and I can heartily recommend Le Due Torrette, owned by the wonderful Adriana! 🙂
I planned on posting about the family trip to Berlin much earlier, but things (i.e., my thesis) got in the way. Now I thought it might be nice to share the photos I took before the ones from last week's trip to Northern Italy… *g*
My parents went earlier and visited Dresden together with my aunt Leona, before all three met up with my brother and I in Germany's capital. I liked it better than I expected, truth be told, although the weather was quite dreadful and I was cold most of the time.
Highlights, roughly in chronological order: visiting the Pergamon museum; meeting and going to see X3 with her; yummy Chinese food in the historic Nikolai quarter; a boat trip along the Spree and the Landwehrkanal, past many of Berlin's sights including parts of the famous Wall; DVDs at good value; spending an afternoon with some distant but very nice relatives.