Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

Dear Readers,

Herewith I wish you all a merry Christmas!!! I hope you're able to be with your loved ones - enjoy your time together! I'm at work, I started at 5 am but we're allowed to go back to camp 2 hours earlier to call our families. I'm not sure how the phone network will cope with 6500 people making phone calls, so I'm not taking my chances.

It's a beautiful day today - sunny, hot and humid - like most days here. The ocean looks beautiful however!
This is my decoration in my room. We're not allowed any candles, so this is a battery operated one and a battery operated Christmas tree which changes colours.

My dear colleague (who unfortunately will be leaving the industry after the new year) had a beautiful Christmas present for me! It really made me smile.

So have yourself a very merry Christmas! I'll be thinking of my family - both here in Australia and overseas. 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Visiting my family overseas

So so sorry for not writing for such a long time! I have been very busy with work and travelling and something else - I will tell you about it in a later post. First things first. In September/October, Steve and I went overseas to go and visit my family (me) and to travel (Steve). We met up in Dubai (UAE) as I flew straight from work and Steve from home and stayed a night there to be able to have a shower and a proper sleep. We then flew to Duesseldorf (Germany) and as we arrived late, we stayed in a hotel right next to the airport to rest and sleep, ready to see the family in the morning.

We took the train to Koeln (Cologne, Germany) and were greeted by my Mum who then walked with us to the flat we rented for 2 weeks. We wanted our 'own home away from home' where we can cook, sleep and relax. So we rented a little flat on the 4th storey with a magnificent view of the Cologne Cathedral in a very central area - 10 mins walk to the next train station and within walking distance to my Mum's place.

We spent the first 2 weeks in and around Cologne and visited my Grandparents, my Auntie, my Mum and my Sister. It was so nice to see them all. Mum was on vacation as well, so we saw her nearly every day. I only saw my Grandparents 3times in the time I was there and of course felt really bad about it. I never know if I will ever see them again which is very hard to cope with at times. But it was also hard to combine family visits and sightseeing. Steve doesn't speak any German and except for my Mum and Sister my family doesn't speak English.

However, we spent our time as good as we could enjoying all these sights:

Drachenfels - a popular weekend destination to walk up to the Drachenburg and enjoy the view over the river Rhine.
Bridge of Remagen
Vineyards on the river Rhine
German dinner with my auntie and uncle (left), new friends and Steve.
Blue Hydrangeas - my favourite flowers.
Unkel, where we had morning tea.
Rolandseck in Koblenz - where the Rhine meets the Moselle
Cologne Cathedral - never ceases to amaze me!
Grand Place in Brussel
Manneken Piss in Brussels
Steve LOVES Belgian beer
Windsor Castle
St Bath
London Bridge
Buckingham Palace
It was very hard to leave and I think next time, I probably would prefer to visit my family alone to just spend time with them. I hope I will see my Grandparents again soon and I hope everybody stays healthy and safe! I love you all!
After spending 2 short weeks in Germany, we took the train to go to Brussels for a few days and then to London. I have to honestly say that I was absolutely exhausted after those 4 weeks and couldn't wait to get back to work where I don't have to think  about where to go for dinner, what to wear and how to get anywhere. It was hard to play tourguide for 4 weeks but I was glad I could show Steve around and he saw some interesting stuff. Next time, we will have less cities and more rest!