So I have been in Durban for a few days now. Mostly work meetings with clients and not much down time to get out and see the place (im not hear for leasure!).
We have ventured out and visited a number of the local cafes to grab a meal here and there and to get out of the hotel - but for the most nothing beyond the walls of the compound we are staying in or the offices of our clients.
Tonight I boarded a flight from Melbourne destined for Durban, South Africa - via Perth (on Virgin Australia) and Johannesburg (on South African Airlines).
This will be my first time on the African continent (only Antarctica left now!!) - and im not really sure what to expect. So many stories, some good and some bad.
This is a work trip however, and I am not anticipating much time for rest and relaxation or sight-seeing - but will endeavour to find some time to take a brief look around Durban one there, and possibly pick up a few gifts for the family back home.
Updated 24-Aug-2015: As promised, more pictures have now been added to this post.
We arrived into JFK airport on Sunday afternoon (9th August) and met our friend Carmen who had flown 20 odd hours from Melbourne to join us. We then waited around the arrivals hall for about the next hour waiting for our transfer shuttle to turn up - a little annoying to say the least. After two phone calls a big white Ford van eventually pulled up. We loaded our gear into the back and piled in with the other travellers. After swinging past another terminal for another pickup - and to make sure the van was packed to capacity - we finally left the airport.
The drive into Manhattan took about an hour. It's a long and unglamorous drive through the outer boroughs of New York. We eventually made it to the Queensborough Bridge and the skyscrapers of Manhattan were now clearly visible.
Last night was our final night in London. Laura and I left Archie with Mum and Jo and then headed out to Soho to find the London Gin Club - something Laura had kindly tracked down for me and thought it would be a great way to spend our last night in London.
So we arrived into London on Thursday afternoon (6th August) from Paris after catching the EuroStar train across the channel.
We were expecting a little more from the EuroStar – the name builds up a certain expectation – and we were left wanting. It probably didn’t help that the air conditioning in our carriage was on the blink either – making for quite a warm journey indeed.
Today has been much hotter than yesterday - about 34c - and after the big day we had yesterday we decided to take it a little easier and just hit a few of the sights - with the Eiffel Tower the first on the list.
We headed off reasonably early from the apartment (while it was still cool) and headed across the river, past Notre Dame, and then onto the train station we thought would take us straight to the Eiffel Tower - unfortunately that part of the line (and the station) are closed for works... there go those plans and our early start.
Today has been a very BIG day or us in and around Paris - and we are all knackered.
I'm sitting at the small kitchen table in our apartment - my back to the open window to catch the breeze. Today has been substantially cooler than any day we have encountered on our trip so far - about 28c max with most of the morning and afternoon around 18-25c - which made it actually quite pleasant for the amount of walking we ended up doing. It just wouldn't have been possible on a hotter day.
It's been good to be back in one place for a few days. It's still warm, but a lot cooler than where we have been in Italy - which makes getting out during the day a lot more manageable - especially for Archie our 18-month-old.
Aix-en-Provence is a beautiful old city - two main grand carriage ways (streets) with many, many cobble stone lined streets leading off them in all directions. It’s very easy to get tangled - but also easy to get your way back to the main streets if you need to.
We arrived back into Rome on Wednesday evening (29th July) in reasonable time after having left San Lupo in the early afternoon - immediately after the main mass and precession of the statue of San Lupo through the streets.
Saturday we packed up and checked out of the villa. It was sad to leave as its been an absolutely great time and very relaxing, but everything must come to an end and we must move on to our next destination - Alberobello.
Alberobello is in the south east of Italy, not far from Bari - but it's roughly 750km from where we currently are in Siena, which will make for a long days driving. Furthermore we need to swing by Rome airport to pickup Maddie (Laura's sister) who will be joining the travelling group for a few weeks.