Home?

Our flight is at 9.30 and we are so close to the airport, it literally takes us 10 minutes to get to the check in counter.  And we didn’t even have to get up at some stupid hour to get here.

I can’t believe this trip is over.  At times it’s felt like flying by the seat of my pants – new day, new city, what can I fit in?  And I know there’s a few places I need to come back to so I can see and do everything I want to.  It’s a brain drain at times, constantly on alert for things that are second nature to you when you are at home, but the experience, as always is invaluable.  And I am so glad that I am able to travel and have all these experiences, good and bad, because I’m sure that these can only make me a better person.

Munich – you were great – it was especially great to see my surname all over the place, but there’s only so much beer I can take (especially of the large, face consuming mug type) and I really need some vegetables.

Prague – such an interesting city.  Would have loved a day on a boat along the river, to go and listen to some music, eat Prague ham and the opportunity to photograph a sunset.

Cesky Krumlov – a small place I know, but I still think one more day would have been good here because I enjoyed the outdoors aspect and didn’t get a chance to photograph the massive dinosaur outside the museum for Lola.

Vienna – palaces and gardens.  I know there’s more to you and you are a classy city, but I’m not sure you were my city.  The fancy shoes an strudel making were definitely a highlight, but I will always thank you for Dialogue in the Dark.

Budapest – well all you showed me was rain, but even then I could see that you had so much more to offer.  For you – I’d love a whole week to explore.  I will be back, and although the plain mushroom and cheese langos was divine, I’ll load it up next time.

Krakow – you are as lovely as everyone says you are.  I would love to be on your doorstep again.  Special thanks to Cornellia from Crazy Guides, your command of the English language thanks to ‘Friends’ was amazing, as was your tour of Nowa Huta.  We would love to see you in Australia, but I’m not sure I can find a vehicle for you that would top driving a trabant.

Warsaw – what can I say – I read recently that you have a face that only a mother can love.  And it’s true.  I know you want to open up, but I don’t think you can just yet.  I’ll give you time and see how you go, but you are brave and you are a fighter and you have a fantabulous history that the world is waiting to hear about.  Thanks to Adam from Adventure Warsaw for his view of the city – you really made our trip.

And Singapore – you know how I feel about you.  We are best friends and I’ll always be back to visit.

Our Intrepid guide, Matt Starr, did a brilliant job of keeping the pieces of an age/expectation varied group together.  Your patience knows no bounds.  You say you aren’t a tour guide, but your knowledge frequently floored those of us on the tour and you have a real knack for choosing restaurants dude!  There was just about always something with some kind of vegetable in it and in central Europe, where meat and potatoes are king (thought that was just in Aus), that is a major challenge.  It was also a thrill to be able to film your ice bucket challenge for you in Prague.

It was great to meet family that I have never known for the first time, although most of us couldn’t communicate.  Your hospitality said it all.  And it was the best feeling to see and feel the place my Polish roots were planted.  It would be interesting to return to Warsaw in another 10 years and see if she has opened her arms any wider.  In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming our Warsaw cousins to Australia next year.

We are returning to Perth (me after three and a half weeks, Mum and Dad after about six weeks) and this is where the fun will begin for me.  But of course, you’re going to have to stay tuned for that.  The world always seems so much bigger and wider after travelling.

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