Time to say Goodbye… (Andrea Bocelli)

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I began this holiday three months ago under the Eiffel Tower with my friend Tania on our short stop over before walking the Camino de Santiago. I end it in the same place, as Michael and I say goodbye to Chloe before our long flight home tomorrow. 

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Paris is such a wonderful city. We have explored new arrondissement’s in our quest to live like a local and have enjoyed “getting lost” as we cycled mapless on our Velib bikes with baguettes in the front basket. We have stopped to enjoy the sounds of the city and sipped many coffees in corner cafés.  This is a great place where observation is a national sport as all chairs face out towards the world as life passes by.

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We also visited the Grand Palace of Versailles.  We cycled around the grounds and ate our lunch on the Royal Picnic grounds. Unfortunately it rained periodically on our cycle tour but that didn’t stop these seasoned traveller’s squelching through the Grand Palace. Our favorite place was strolling around the garden enjoying the piped opera music as we escaped the crowds.

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So farewell Europe.
Take good care of our girl.
Hopefully we will visit again but it is time we go home. Thankyou to all who followed my adventures but it is goodbye to the blog as well. Au revoir and safe travels to all.

On a clear day…..

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London called……and it delivered. We were blessed with lovely English summer weather, similar to Melbourne really.  More importantly we were blessed with another day with Chloe as she flew in from Germany yesterday and we are leaving for Paris today. More in that day later.

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We flew down from Glasgow Monday morning with quite a few of Team England including the Super Diver Tom Daley….all snuggled together in economy on Easyjet. We threw the bags into our Airbnb house and then hit the town. It was crowded in Leicester Square as we lined up for our cheap theater TKTS but that was because Sly Stallone was in town with his other Expendable cronies opening their why-did-they-make-another sequel. We decided to go to Once, the musical, which was highly recommended and extremely well done.

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Tuesday saw us on a day long bus tour to Windsor,  Bath and Stonehenge.  It rained part of the day so we were glad we weren’t driving or walking from place to place. Bath is a town that needs quite a few days in, so it is definitely on the bucket return list.

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We needed a rest day on Wednesday and an early night, so we just visited the Victoria and Albert Museum and managed to fit another show in, The Pajama Game.  A bit dated (1950’s) but hey whilst in London, you see shows!

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We caught up with Chloe at lunch yesterday and celebrated by a taking a ride up the tallest building in town, The Shard. The view was spectacular and luckily clear from the top as Chloe pointed out landmarks of her London life. Then it was time for one last show, Let it Be. More of a Beatles tribute band than a musical, as we sang and rocked on to the hits of the Fab Four.

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Goodbyes are hard but we are hoping to see Chloe one last time on Tuesday night as she takes her group to the Eiffel Tower, she has a couple of hours free for one last mumma hug. We are on the last leg….
 

For Auld Lang Syne…. (Rabbie Burns)

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People make Glasgow…..that has been the motto of these 20th Commonwealth Games and it surely is true. There have been so many people here enjoying the festivities whether participating,  volunteering or competing. True the weather has been mostly grey and overcast since our arrival on Friday but the rain stayed away on both of our visits to Hampden Park.

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On Friday evening we walked the 20min to Hampden Park from our accommodation opposite the gorgeous Queens Park. We are staying in a room on the 3rd floor of a tenement building with the convenient Glad Cafe beneath us and a bus stop right out front. Our seats were on the first bend of the 400m and right in front of the girls High Jump (which we won), the girls Discus (another win) and the qualifying mens Javelin. We also saw Sally Pearson win her Hurdles and Usain Bolt briefly run his leg of the relay. Lots of action in a packed 45,000 seated stadium.  We were also seated beside many Aussies including Kim Mickle and her parents who won the Javelin the day before. A great evening bathed in sunshine with the clouds clearing and the rain staying away until the morning.

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It poured most of Saturday and Sunday. We went into town to catch up with my friends Willie and Noreen from the Camino. We ended up spending most of the afternoon having a long leisurely lunch and then back to their house for a cuppa and more conversation.  They are such lovely people and it was a joy to catch up with them again.

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We braved the showers on Sunday to stand by the side of the road to watch the cyclists wizz past in the road race. Poor athletes, as it was at times teeming down as they slid around on the city course.

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In the evening we attended the spectacular Closing Ceremony in another packed Hampden Park. We were interested to see how the Gold Coast contingent would take the baton and introduce the city to the Commonwealth. 

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We were very impressed although it was a little hard to see from our seats in the rafters. Jessica Malboy and Kylie Minogue performed well but in truth, the real standouts of the show were the thousand of Clyde-siders flash dancing to all the songs on the night. Their joy was infectious to even us in the boondocks. A truly great show to see  and in the end, the bagpipes played Auld Lang Syne. This will not be forgotten.  

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