We now have a house and a baby on the way, so it was time to travel before being tied down for years. The trip almost got cancelled but I got talked into going by Hannelore, my penfriend.
The first stop at Singapore was a short one not leaving the airport. In hindsight it would have been better to spend a few days on the way there rather than on the way back to Melbourne.
On the way back jet lag made it hard to enjoy the time at Singapore. I think coming home as quickly as possible and crashing in bed at home is more economical and better for your sanity.
It’s easier to get accustomed to later wake times slowly rather than trying to go 10 hours later in one go, as it moves your own body clock almost into the next day and morning, making it unusually early. It’s easier to go to 2 or 3 hour later times zones than earlier ones.
Next time we go to Europe returning home directly will mean moving to a much earlier time zone quickly; which will be hard but at home and in one’s own bed much easier to tolerate.
First part of the holiday was Britain, arriving at Heathrow at 5:00am UK time and then onto the most convenient underground railway. The ticket clerk greeted me with a very British “Morning squire!”.
Arriving at our accommodation we unpacked and after breakfast headed to see the sights. Compared to Melbourne London is so much busier and colder. Until you enter the shops where you overheat due the clothing you need to stay warm.
Chatsworth House and surrounds
From London we got the train from Euston to News Mills where we had family residing. We then went on and picked up the rental car from EasyCar from Manchester. We got a Mercedes A Class for £75 including 150 miles per day. It was a pleasure to drive although I wasn’t too keen on the low profile tyres as they bottomed out one time on a rough bit of road. Anyway we made our way to Chatsworth.
This is a beautiful very large mansion surrounded by magnificent manicured gardens. The artwork and woodwork inside is truly amazing and it’s easy to appreciate the craftsmanship behind them.
A beautiful area of lakes and colourful forests in autumn. There are trains and boats to look at too. Plus ther are plenty of idyllic shopping strips to keep the browsers happy.
This was my favourite part of driving in the UK. The roads are quiet with no traffic jams. And the scenery and colours are beautiful. We made our way to Glasgow then onto Edinburgh and stayed at a B & B under the iconic Firth of Forth bridge.
York and surrounds
York has much history to take in, and it has the best railway museum ever! Railway buffs could easily spend two or three days there.
Haworth and the Cotswolds
I loved the ruggedness of the countryside in Haworth and we did a walk which could have been out of Wuthering Heights. Scenic, cold and windy; but well worth doing.
Bath, south coast and back to Manchester
Bath was a real highlight. The buildings are built from oolitic limestone, a beautiful light yellow stone. The Roman baths are very well preserved, and there’s a self guided tour you can do that’s highly informative.
After visiting Stuart & Sue and family we departed London and flew to Frankfurt and then onto Hamburg to meet up with Hannelore. One place I loved here was the Dom. A never ending fair with rides and stands that are so well presented. And the food was amazing, a lot better than what we got in the UK.
Last stop was Singapore in November 2000, the last leg of our seven week trip. This should have been done on the way to the UK due to jet lag issues. Next time it will be stopover on the way to Europe rather than on the way back.
Anyway it was still a pleasant break visiting this very neat and clean country. The bird park was a particular highlight.