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Posted by David McKell On May - 5 - 2015

Paris Adventures


Basic list of what we got upto in Paris. Most of this was written very late one night so the details are very sparce.



Drove car back to Heathrow then got the tube to Notting Hill. Had a delicious lunch at Jamies Reciplease. Walked down to the Kensington Palace and gardens, walked down through Kensington’s main street where I bought some new walking shoes (great idea with all the walking I have already done in them), then on the tube back to Michael and Hayleys.



Woke up at 330am, Michael drove us to the train station at 5am. Arrived in Paris about 10am and had crepes for breakfast. Very tired, slept at hotel for 4 hours.  Then we got the train to “Opera”, walked to the Louve and around the area. Trained back to “Republique” to find some food, nothing suitable until we found Thai food. Except they couldn’t speak English and served luke warm thai food. Surprising did not get sick from it. 



Slept in, had croissants for breakfast. Hired some street bikes and biked our way across Paris. Some stops were; pole thingy, garden thingy, church thingy, another garden thingy, military museum, Eiffel Tower thingy, the Louve for a visit, then rode home.  This was a big day with beautiful weather.



Slept in (because it was raining), refused to have croissants for breakfast, walked all of Paris to find anything else. Found somewhere that sold crepes with different fillings. Walked to Notre Dame, the military museum and back to play chess in a Starbucks, then train home, but we jumped the turnstile because our tickets didn’t work and we thought they should have. Had pizza with an egg on it for dinner. 



Slept in, had breakfast at hotel consisting of cereal and you guessed it croissants. Played some more chess then went for a walk to scope out dinner. Found a big park that had an area closed off. I wasn’t happy that it was closed off so jumped the fence to have a look. It was a rope rock wall, rope play ladder things, some kind of wooden cave, an awesome slide and play house thing. But it was closed off for a reason, the place is a death trap. Who knows how many children were hospitalised from that place. It was a playground of the fittest.



Raining. Slow start to the morning. Open bus tour around Paris (got a bit wet), climbed the Eiffel Tower, visited the military museum, open bus tour back home.



Another raining day. Off to Sacre Coeur, boat cruise up and down the Seine, then a final (expensive) dinner in Paris. We had mussels and salmon, yummy.



General thoughts on Paris:

– The people are friendly contrary to popular stereotypes

– The city itself is beautiful and full of history. But it is a dirty filthy city. Not by rubbish on the ground etc, but the pollution not only by the vehicles but the smokers leaves a film of grot everywhere. Everywhere you went someone was smoking, and if you couldn’t see them the smoke was wofting from somewhere. Leaves a huge negative for me. I like my air quality.

– The trains are a mix of old and new, some with audio and/or visual to inform of the next stop, some had nothing.

– It is impossible to find a decent meal. Unless you can somehow survive on croissants (extremely buttery at that) then it is hard to find anything other then bakers. It was a daily chore to find our next meal.



Again apologies about the photos being jumbled up and not rotated, it happens when they get uploaded.



Brioney’s Photos



UK Adventure

Posted by David McKell On May - 4 - 2015

David and Brioney’s travel log 1


Thisl is a brief collection of what we have been up to on our adventure. I am writing it in chronological order mainly for our future record, so I apologies if there seems to be any boring/seemingly unimportant bits.


Day 1 – Monday

Pretty uneventful flight to London. Sat next to a male Qantas air host on his trip to Syria, so he was able to pass the time with stories. Slight delay leaving Sydney and therefore Dubai but I found the flight pretty good when compared to my flight to LA in 2011. We hired a car from Budget at Heathrow, was pretty straight forward. We had booked an Astra but got a VW Golf (non gti) instead. It’s a really nice car, very smooth, comfortable, powerful enough and intelligent. Driving in London some might say is an experience, but if you are from Canberra then it is just another day of driving. Except London roads are poorly marked, often disappearing without warning, cars parked on both sides of the road turning every road into single lanes but the drivers are a lot more courteous. We had a fun trip to Hailey’s mums place to pick up the keys to Michael’s house.  After we settled in we decided we had to get out and do something or we would pass out on the couch and our sleeping pattern would be off to a bad start. We had seen Hampton Court Palace on the way to Michael’s and it looked like a nice time waster. Off we went, however without GPS we relied on memory – which, well, it failed. We had a lovely drive through random streets and suburbs and ended up at the Kew gardens. Brioney really enjoyed this as it had plants and things. Back to Michaels for pizza dinner and catchup.


Day 2 – Tuesday

Michael took us on his famous walking tour of London.. This was a massive day getting the bus and tube into Waterloo station where we walked to the London eye, photo op of big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar square, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Barclay Park for lunch, Green Park to Buckingham Palace, bus back to Piccadilly to hop on a cruise boat down the Thames to Greenwich passing all the sites including Tower Bridge, Naval academy at Greenwich, walked up the big hill to the observatory and the Greenwich meridian line, boat back to Catherine’s wharf then to an old pub for a deserved drink and rest.


Day 3 – Wednesday

Drive to Brioney’s brother and fiancé house in Hearne where we met their 2 boys (Finlay and Kian) and Kylies mother and father. Later Brioney’s mum, dad, aunt Carol and daughter Caitlin arrived for dinner. Was feeling exhausted this day so headed off early.


Day 4 – Thursday

9am breakfast at the Grove Ferry Inn which is where we were staying. Then off to Canterbury for some shopping therapy (Brioney), lunch and sports direct shop! This was exhausting so back to the Inn for dinner and an early night.


Day 5 – Friday

Breakfast out in Canterbury followed by more shopping…Then back to Kylie and David’s house to help transport and setup items at the wedding location. Dinner was at a nice old pub in Canterbury with Brioney’s whole family pretty much. Lovely dinner and people.


Day 6 – Saturday – Wedding day

Breakfast in Canterbury again at a fancy hotel just with Brioney’s immediate family. It was nice food with good service. The occasion was a last meal with David before he got married. Not knowing David, he is either really good at not showing his nerves, or was in fact not nervous! After this would you be surprised that there was more shopping for last minute items and hair preparation…back to the Inn to get ready ourselves and to drive to the wedding. The wedding was on a huge property in a country area, it featured open gardens with a maze, The wedding itself was held in the mansion’s front entry and the reception in a large dining hall. The wedding was really laid back with laughter during the ceremony which toned down the general seriousness expected of weddings. Followed by photos, 3 course meal, or 2.5 for Brioney, and speeches. After speeches the rest of the family, mainly cousins arrived and the band started playing.


Day 7 – Sunday

Dropped Brioney’s parents back to their car and continued on to see Michael and Hailey compete in the warrior run. We also met Steve, Mel, Stef and Michael Metz. We watched Michael and Hailey finish, had some lunch then headed ‘home’. Finally, dinner at the Metz before an early night as everyone was so tired.


Day 8 – Monday

Rest Day/shopping day…


Day 9 – Tuesday

Tower of London, Queens b’day 21 gun salute out the front. Then drinks and dinner with Brioney’s friend Bryony and Michael.


Day 10 – Wednesday

Michael had taken the day off work. In the morning we went to the cabinet war rooms. This is where the government was run from during WW2, and was setup how it was when it was last used. Also it contained a museum of Churchill’s entire life. After this we met up with Hailey and went to the science museum followed by a brief visit to the natural history museum.


Day 11 – Thursday

Went to visit Brioneys Grandma north of London, then stayed at her aunties close by.


Day 12 – Friday

Drove back to collect Michael and head to Leeds castle. Bit of a boring long drive but we got there. It is quite a picturesque place with lots of water channels, a moat, a maze, a birds of prey aviary/show. The castle itself was nice, but not really what you would think of imagining a castle. It was more an illustrious house on a mini island then a castle. Headed home for a bbq with the Metz.


Day 13 – Saturday

Well needed sleep in. Then a hurry to get ready for Brioney’s friend’s wedding in Milton Keynes. Got there with 15minutes to spare after some spirited driving on the motorway. The wedding itself was a funny one, too religious for our liking but they had a good time and suited them.


Day 14 – Sunday (Today)

Lazy day. Had a bad sleep (first one) so slept in till 1030. Michael took us out to breakfast down the road. Hint – Don’t order pancakes it is not food, rather than just a pile of cream and icecream on some flour based substance, so it was delicious but not food. Then spent the next few hours doing some work and writing this damn email! Brioney is enjoying watching a ‘Friends’ marathon as if she hasn’t seen them 100 times before.


Photos below, apologies about the random order and any that are not rotated – the system reverted them back to original orientation.

 David’s Photo’s


Michael’s Photos


Brioney’s Photos