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19th September 2018

Cologne, Germany

Today was spent doing a local Rhine River cruise, a DIY walking tour of Cologne "Old Town" and a train trip to Bonn for a quick look. I arrived in Cologne yesterday and it was a hot 30C (it was 12C in Gdansk when I left early am). My first impression of Cologne is that it is OK, meaning that it is neither especially good or bad it is simply "Same, Same" a typical German/European city.

Cologne Cathedral Cologne Rhine Apartments Cologne Rhine Apartments Cologne Chocolate Museum
      Cologne Cathedral                                           Cologne Rhine Apartments                                  Cologne Chocolate Museum
Rhine River, Cologne, Germany     Rhine Riverside, Cologne     Old Town Cologne Statue
   Rhine River, Cologne, Germany             Rhine Riverside, Cologne                Old Town Cologne Statue       

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17th September 2018

Gdansk, Poland

This is my second day in Gdansk after sepnding 30+ hours in Krakow, Poland, on the way here. Tomorrow I fly to Cologne, Germany, (via London).

Gdansk, Poland Gdansk, Poland Gdansk, Poland Gdansk, Poland
Gdansk, Poland Gdansk, Poland Gdansk, Poland Gdansk, Poland
Gdansk, Poland Gdansk, Poland Gdansk, Poland Gdansk, Poland
Gdansk, Poland Gdansk, Poland Gdansk, Poland Gdansk, Poland
Gdansk, Poland, Photos

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13th September 2018

Prague, Czech Republic - Day 4

A quiet day today just travelling around Prague. Tomorrow I fly to Krakow, Poland - this will be my first visit to Poland and I imagine it will be similar to Czech Republic - time will tell. After Krakow I fly to Gdansk, Poland, that was voted the most popular tourist destination in Europe last year.

Prague Old Town Gate          Prague National Museum          Prague Opera House
Prague Old Town Gate                        Prague National Museum                          Prague Opera House

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12th September 2018

Prague, Czech Republic - Day 3

Today was mostly spent on a trip to Pilsen and back to visit the Pilsner Urquell brewery - in 1842 the first ever lager beer was brewed here and today Pilsner Urquell uses the same ingredients and the same process to produce their beer. The brewery tour was excellent and included a tasting of raw beer from a giant timber barrel in the underground storage area.

Pilsner Urquell Brewery Pilsner Urquell Brewery Pilsner Urquell Brewery Pilsner Urquell Brewery
Pilsner Urquell Brewery Pilsner Urquell Brewery Pilsner Urquell Brewery Pilsner Urquell Brewery
Pilsner Urquell Brewery

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11th September 2018

Prague, Czech Republic - Day 2

Arrived in Prague yesterday afternoon and it was a hot 30C which is probably well above average for this time of year. The forecast is for fine warm weather for the next 3 days then cooler (the day I leave). This is my 3rd visit to Prague and my 2nd this year (I like Prague). The main aim for this trip is to try and do things that I did not do on previous trips. Today I went to Petrin Hill and caught the funicular train to the top to see the Petrin Tower. Tomorrow I am taking the train to Pilsen (about 100 kilometres away) to visit the Pilsner Urquell brewery.

Petrin Tower, Prague                    Prague Street Food
   Petrin Tower                                             Prague Street Food
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9th September 2018

Strasbourg, France - Day 3

Still in Strasbourg and the weather is wonderful - cool at night but 25C+ during the day with clear skies. I had a more relaxing day today but still got around. Tomorrow I fly to Prague, Czech Republic, where I am staying for 4 days.

Strasbourg Strasbourg Strasbourg Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg Swans Strasbourg Synagogue Strasbourg Synagogue
Strasbourg Swans                                             Strasbourg Synagogue                    
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8th September 2018

Strasbourg, France

A busy day around Strasbourg today which included visiting the Strasbourg Cathedral which was the World's tallest Building from 1647 to 1874 (227 years), a cruise around Strasbourg on the Lill River, tramming around and a walk from France to Germany crossing the Rhine. Strasbourg has a history that goes back more than 2,000 years and has been both German and French. It has somehow escaped the current scourge of Europe "Grafitti" which is a pleasant change.

Rhine Pedestrian Bridge - Connecting France and Germany Rhine River Cruise Boat Strasbourg Cathedral St. Paul's Church, Strasbourg
Rhine Pedestrian Bridge                Rhine River Cruise Boat                 Strasbourg Cathedral                        St. Paul's Church     
Lill River, Strasbourg Lill River Tour Boat Petit Paris, Strasbourg Petit Paris, Strasbourg
Lill River                              Lill River Tour Boat                                              Petite Paris, Strasbourg                  
Petit Paris, Strasbourg Petit Paris, Strasbourg St. Paul's, Strasboourg European Parliament, Strasbourg
                                 Petite Paris                                              St. Paul's, Strasboourg                    European Parliament
Strasbourg Houses           Strasbourg Railway Station
   Strasbourg Houses                           Strasbourg Railway Station
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7th September 2018

Brussels, Belgium - Day 2

This morning I went to the "Grand Place" which is a major historical square of Brussels - there was a weekend beer festival being set up so it was hard to get clear photos. This area is obviously the "Tourist Centre" of Brussels and there were several tourists around already.
I am now in Strasbourg, France and all is well - I have a studio apartment for the next three nights and will do some exploring.

Brussels Grand Place          Brussels Grand Place          Brussels Grand Place

Brussels Grand Place          Brussels Grand Place
Brussels Grand Place

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6th September 2018

Tired in Brussels, Belgium

I am now in Brussels on the 3rd day of my European Trip - I am tired because I left Nha Trang at 5 am on Tuesday and it is now 4pm on Thursday and I have not slept in a bed yet and I get virtually no sleep on planes or in airports. So far I have flown from Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Bangkok, Zurich, Barcelona and Brussels. I arrived in Brussels this morning and fly out 1 pm tomorrow to Strasbourg, France - I have three nights in Strasbourg followed by 4 nights in Prague so I will get some rest..
I had planned to do a Hop On Hop Off bus tour of Brussels today but it was foggy so I gave that a miss and just did my usual Metro hopping and walking.

Brussels Central Garden          Brussels Royal Palace          Brussels Streetview
  Brussels Central Garden                          Brussels Royal Palace                             Brussels Streetview   

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31st August 2018

Still Working

August has been just as quiet as July with no travel at all. This will change next month as on Tuesday I leave on my high speed European trip for three weeks (16 flights and 4 bus trips). I will be visiting - Zurich (Switzerland), Brussels (Belgium), Strasbourg (France), Prague (Czechia), Plzen (Czechia), Krakow (Poland), Gdansk (Poland), Cologne (Germany), Hamburg (Germany) and Bremen (Germany). This trip will include 8 cities I have not visited (Zurich, Brussels, Strasbourg, Plzen, Krakow, Gdansk, Cologne and Hamburg) but only 1 new country (Poland).

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1st August 2018

Working, Working

July has been a very quiet month as far as travel goes - I went nowhere. I have been working on the City Directory sites updating the quality of the listings in the directories (dull but needed) - All the city directories are now "Secure Websites" and in the future most (if not all) of the listings within the directories will also be secure. The recent crash in the price of facebook and twitter shares etc. were (in my opinion) due to the public getting sick of "Cookies" (if there was a physical cookie placed on you when you entered a physical business you would probably never visit that business again - and it would almost certainly be illegal) - but the Internet is still in the "Wild West" stage without laws - Neither this site or any of the City Directory sites use (or have ever used) "Cookies".
I will be working for several months updating the directory sites but am looking forward to my European trip next month. I may also have a night in town (Nha Trang) and a bus trip to Dalat this month.

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4th July 2018

European Trip Bookings

Today I have finalised all flight and hotel bookings for my European trip in September and the total cost is $1,975 USD - which is about $500 less than I expected it to be (even though I am "Mr. Cheap"). Whilst overall the cost of travel and accommodation within Europe is quite expensive there are still options for the "Budget Traveller". The average cost of my hotel rooms was $37 USD/night (no dorms - varying from single rooms with shared bathroom to studio apartments with kitchen and bathroom).

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2nd July 2018

European Trip Number 2

Today I have booked flights to Europe (depart 4th September, return 25th September) flying with Thai Airways. So far I have only booked from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Zurich, Switzerland ($850 USD return - which I am happy with). The cities I will be visiting in Europe are:
Zurich (Switzerland), Barcelona (Spain), Brussels (Belgium), Strasbourg (France), Prague (Czech Republic), Krakow (Poland), Gdansk (Poland), Cologne (Germany), Hamburg (Germany) and Bremen (Germany). This trip will include 7 cities I have not visited (Zurich, Brussels, Strasbourg, Krakow, Gdansk, Cologne and Hamburg) but only 1 new country (Poland).

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28th June 2018

Change of Plans

I had planned (booked and paid for flights) to return to Australia to live for a year but I have changed my mind. The main issue is that my cost of living here in Vietnam is so low that I can save money despite being on a pension (the main reason I was able to travel to Europe for 3+ weeks this month). The cost of living in Australia is ridiculous (especially rental accommodation), well above the cost in Europe and more than double the cost of living in Vietnam.

What I am now going to do is travel to Europe again in September for 3 weeks. The European trip I just completed may become a regular event (with varied cities) as I really enjoyed it and believe the "Culture" and "Old Fashioned" way of life is more sensible than Australia (who follow the USA "Mindlessly") - the Australian government is also following the USA by becoming "Less Democratic" every day (funded by corporations - and to a large degree "Puppets" of the corporations who fund them).

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27th June 2018

Nha Trang, Vietnam

I am now back home in Nha Trang after a wonderful trip around Europe - the trip home was rather tiring but the holiday was excellent and gave me the "Refresh" I was seeking.

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25th June 2018

Berlin, Germany

Today I sepnt most of my time walking around various areas of Berlin like an average tourist - the weather in Berlin is cold and dreary - it feels more like the start of winter than the start of summer. Tomorrow I leave Berlin and fly to Paris where I catch another flight to Saigon and then my last flight from Saigon to Nha Trang, Vietnam (Home). I have really enjoyed this trip and it may well become an "Annual".

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany          Quadriga          Reichstag, Berlin, Germany
Brandenburg Gate                                        Quadriga                                             Reichstag        

Victory Column, Berlin, Germany                    Victoria, Goddess of Victory
         Victory Column                                    Victoria, Goddess of Victory
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24th June 2018

Berlin, Germany

I am now back in Berlin where my European trip began - I will be here until 26th when I fly to Paris and then on to Saigon and Nha Trang, Vietnam. The weather today has been cold and wet so I did not do much - I travelled around on the trains and buses and went to see "Checkpoint Charlie" just for the heck of it and walked around what would have been the border region between East and West Berlin (No Wall Anymore).

Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, Germany
Checkpoint Charlie

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23rd June 2018

Vienna, Austria

At the start of this trip I imagined there was a good chance of something going wrong due to the number of places I was visiting and the co-ordination of flights, hotels, etc. Up until yesterday things had gone very smoothly other than some rain in Madrd. But yesterday I flew from Lisbon to Vienna and shortly after I had booked into my hotel I got an email saying my flight from Vienna to Berlin on 24th June had been cancelled. Unfortunately the best option was to get a flight the day earlier which meant that I only had a single night in Vienna. So my plans of touring Vienna today are scrapped and I am now at Vienna airport waiting for my flight to Berlin. That means that I will be in Berlin for 3 nights rather than 2 (I would have rather spent 3 nights in Vienna and 1 in Berlin but it was not practical with the flight options). I also had to book a second hotel as the one I had booked had no vacancies for tonight - anyway all is OK and the trip has been very good. Three nights in Berlin then fly back to Nha Trang, Vietnam, via Paris and Saigon.

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21st June 2018

Lisbon, Portugal - Day 2

Spent today doing what has become my regular day tour - a self guided tour using the Metro. I covered most of the areas of Lisbon and as far as I can tell Lisbon does not have many (any) stand out features. I am sure the locals love it and some visitors as well but for me it is rather dull and boring.

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20th June 2018

Lisbon, Portugal

Today I flew from Frankfurt to Lisbon and I am starting to realise my European Adventure has not got long to go. I am in Lisbon for 2 nights, Vienna, Austria, for 2 nights and the Berlin for 2 nights before I fly home to Nha Trang, Vietnam. This is my first visit to Lisbon and Portugal and my first impressions are that is just as I had expected ie. very Southern Europe. I really will only have one full day in Lisbon (tomorrow) and I have not yet decided what I will do. I took a couple of Metro trips today and did not find anything special. I took a photo of a large waterfall and fountain in a park near my hotel.

Lisbon Waterfall & Fountain
Lisbon's Fonte Luminosa - Waterfall & Fountain

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19th June 2018

Frankfurt, Germany - Day 3

Today I just took it easy and did nothing much. I caught the train to Wiesbaden, which is about 40 kilometres from Frankfurt, just for a change of scenery. Wiesbaden is much smaller than Frankfurt and was very quiet. On my return to Frankfurt I had a typical German "Street Lunch" of Bratwurst and fries. Tomorrow I fly to Lisbon, Portugal.

Marktkirche - Wiesbaden                        Frankfurt Bratwurst
      Marktkirche - Wiesbaden                             Frankfurt Lunch - Bratwurst & Fries

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18th June 2018

Frankfurt, Germany - Day 2

Arrived in Frankfurt yesterday and spent today playing tourist. I eventually found the "Old Town Square" after discovering the station I wanted to get off at was closed for renovations. Overall the trains and trams are excellent and run every few minutes.

Frankfurt Old Town Hall                    Frankfurt Old Town Square                    Frankfurt Old Town Square
Frankfurt Old Town Hall                                                             Frankfurt Old Town Square                                     

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16th June 2018

Prague, Czech Republic - Day 3

I spent today doing much the same as yesterday - travelling around by tram and walking. Both today and yesterday I had typical Prague "Street Food' lunches which were fine. I also took a drone video of Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral and Vltava River.

Prague Trams                    Klobasa Sausage and Beer                    Halusky and Pivo
           Prague-Trams                                           Klobasa Sausage & Beer                                             Halusky & Pivo        



Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral and Vltava River, Prague, Czech Republic

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15th June 2018

Prague, Czech Republic - Day 2

I flew Paris to Prague yesterday and spent today doing a DIY tram and walking tour of the city - getting around Prague is best done by trams as they run all over the city and on a regular basis. I have been to Prague before and if it didn't get so cold in winter I could consider living here (this morning the temperature was 9 degrees and this is summer).

Old Town Bridge Tower - Charles Bridge King Charles IV Statue Vltava River - Prague Castle St. Vitus Cathedral
Bridge Tower - Charles Bridge                 King Charles IV Statue                      Vltava River                             St. Vitus Cathedral        

Church of Our Lady before Tın
Church of Our Lady before Tın

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14th June 2018

Paris, France - Day 3

Yesterday I made a drone video of the Eiffel Tower from close range.


Drone Video of The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

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13th June 2018

Paris, France - Day 2

Most of today was spent doing a self guided Metro/Walking tour of Paris - luckily the rain had cleared but it was quite cold. I covered a lot of ground and took several photos (and a video that I will post tomorrow).

Arc de Triomphe Fontaine des Mers Luxor Obelisk Army Museum, Paris
Arc de Triomphe                           Fontaine des Mers                            Luxor Obelisk                                 Army Museum      

River Seine, Paris Gold Statue Alexandre III Bridge, Paris Eiffel Tower, Paris Louvre Museum, Paris
    River Seine                      Gold Statue Alexandre III Bridge                  Eiffel Tower                              Louvre Museum     

Eiffel Tower - Close Up
Eiffel Tower - Close Up

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12th June 2018

Paris, France

I arrived in Paris today and struck the first rain of the trip - only light drizzle. The forecast for tomorrow is sun and clouds. I have grown tired of hop on hop off bus tours and will spend tomorrow doing my own Metro tour. I have been to Paris before and to be honest it is not really my sort of city although I do not know why.

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11th June 2018

Madrid, Spain

Arrived in Madrid yesterday and today did the hop on hop off bus tour and it was quite boring. I fly on to Paris tomorrow where I will spend 2 nights before flying to Prague for 3 nights.

Unusual Building, Madrid, Spain Puerta de Alcalá El Retiro Park El Retiro Park
Unusual Building                              Puerta de Alcalá                                                  El Retiro Park                                 

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9th June 2018

Rome, Italy - Day 3

Spent most of the day travelling to various parts of Rome on the Metro - nothing much of interest in the suburbs. I leave for Madrid, Spain in the morning and the weather forecast is good - so far there has been clear skies and warm temperatures for the trip (hot in Athens between 31-33C).

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8th June 2018

Rome, Italy
 - Day 2

Flew into Rome yesterday and did nothing much other than have pizza and beer for lunch ("When in Rome").
Today I did a Hop on Hop Off bus tour that covered the main tourist sites of Rome. I took some photos and considered a drone video but discovered that the entire city of Rome is a "No Fly" as an anti terrorist measure (in truth it is probably an anti drone measure).

Arch of Constantine Colosseum Colosseum Castel Sant'Angelo

    Arch of Constantine                            Colosseum                                        Colosseum                         Castel Sant'Angelo    

St. Peter's Basilica Piazza Venezia Trevi Fountain
St. Peter's Basilica                            Piazza Venezia                              Trevi Fountain     

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6th June 2018

Athens, Greece - Day 3


Did the hop on hop off bus trips today and it was OK but not as good as I had hoped - the highlight was the Parthenon but I did not go in as there was a long queue and it was 20 Euro entrance fee (Mr. Cheap). But I did find a spot to launch the drone and get a photo and video which was good. Later I also made a video of the changing of the guard at parliament house.

Parthenon, Athens, Greece
Parthenon, Athens, Greece


Drone Video of The Parthenon in Athens, Greece


Changing of the guard at parliament house, Athens, Greece

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5th June 2018

Athens, Greece - Day 2

Today included a lot of walking - a group walking tour of the central Athens area and solo walking around the same area in the afternoon.
I took a few photos and will take more tomorrow.
The highlight of the day for me was the Panathenaic Stadium which was originally built in 144 AD and renovated and expanded before becoming the stadium for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 with a capacity of 80,000 and is built of 100% marble.

Hadrian's Arch, Athens Zeus Temple, Athens Roman Baths, Athens Zappeion Hall, Athens
Hadrian's Arch                                Zeus Temple                                Roman Baths                              Zappeion Hall   

Zappeion Fountain, Athens Panathenaic Stadium, Athens Presidential Guard, Athens
Zappeion Fountain                      Panathenaic Stadium                        Presidential Guard

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4th June 2018

Athens, Greece

I arrived in Athens, Greece, today after flying from Berlin - the sky was clear and the temperatue 31C. I was very tired as the trip to get here included stops in three countries in three days (Vietnam, France and Germany).
I have booked a walking tour of Athens tomorrow and will probably spend the next day doing hop on hop off bus trips all over Athens.

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