Travel Memories – World Journeys
World Journeys to Remember
2015 was always going to be a big year for us, we had an around the world trip planned, which included some of our most dreamed about destinations. Little did we know just how much bigger it was going to get. Here are the highlights of our world journeys.
Planning our World Journeys
In 2014 we had finally earned enough Frequent Flyer Points for a free flight around the World in Business Class. We were so excited, I immediately went online to the rewards itinerary planner on the Qantas web site and started dabbling with different One World Alliance airline itineraries. This is not an easy task, I found myself getting partway through an itinerary only to find that the next leg wasn’t available and would have to start again looking for different destinations. After 53 attempts we were booked and I was bouncing off the walls with excitement.
Read more about how we accumulate Frequent Flyer Points Here.
The Journey Begins
Sydney Australia – Santiago Chile
I couldn’t sit still in my seat as we waited at Sydney International Airport for our LAN flight to Santiago Chile. The flight took around 16 hours and I will never forget my first glimpses of Chile, the beaches of its coastline and how quickly they became overshadowed by the majestic Andean mountains.
Santiago is a very pretty city, a mix of historical and modern architecture. Santiago’s neighbourhoods (Barrio) are full of character, wonderful to explore by either walking, metro or Hop On Hop Off Bus. Santiago is full of high quality restaurants and Chilean wine is world famous. We were very impressed with Santiago and it has become one of our favourite cities in the World.
Cusco – Machu Picchu Peru
Our next stop was Cusco in Peru, where we spent a few days as a stopping off point to Machu Picchu, a destination I have dreamed about all my life.
Cusco is a charming city, with colonial inspired architecture built on top of Inca foundations. Here we felt the effects of altitude sickness, something that takes a little getting used to. Machu Picchu did not disappoint it was EVERYTHING I imagined it would be and the memory will stay with me a lifetime.
Lima Peru – Berlin Germany
We flew from Lima to Berlin, via Madrid. We had some spectacular spring weather in Berlin, perfect for walking and exploring the city. Berlin is a history buffs paradise, WWII and Cold War attractions are everywhere. Berlin’s bohemian side is a lot of fun and not to be missed.
We rented a typical Roman apartment near the Spanish Steps. The Metro was close at hand for when we needed to travel long distances. Rome is a city for walking, great for discovering those unique shops, restaurants and cafes in one of the small alleyways and squares that can be found all over the city. From Colosseum to Trevi Fountain to Vatican, it is all there in one of the most popular cities in Europe.
Rome – Genoa Italy
We took the train from Rome to Genoa, catching glimpses of the colourful seaside towns of the Cinque Terre along the way. We enjoyed Genoa, a gritty seafaring city with loads of character, we found the locals friendly and helpful. We really enjoyed Genoa and would like to visit again.
MSC Cruise Genoa – Copenhagen Denmark
We joined our second MSC Cruise in Genoa. We had enjoyed our first MSC Cruise so much we decided to book again to different destinations.
Marseille France; is a fishing port with an ancient history. To discover what this city has to offer we went to the local Tourist Office. We were provided with a map of walking trails and we set out to explore Marseille.
We found a very picturesque harbour surrounded by beautiful architecture, charming restaurants and café’s selling fresh seafood. We really enjoyed our day in Marseille, I think it would be a fun place to spend a week in.
Tangiers Morocco; We decided to take the ships tour from Tangiers to the city of Tetouan. This was a great opportunity to see a more rural Morocco. As we made our way through the countryside we passed farms, orchards and the occasional donkey all framed by the Rif Mountains.
In Tetouan we wound our way through the narrow passage ways of the Medina (A UNESCO World Heritage site) exploring the colourful souks, where we discovered a treasure trove of arts and crafts. A place I could have spent more time visiting.
Lisbon Portugal; From the moment we sailed under the 25 de Abril Bridge and saw the statue of Christ the King Monument I fell in love with Lisbon. Lisbon with its beautifully tiled buildings, magnificent squares and the ambiance of Rua Augusta, is simply stunning.
We were lucky enough to find a Hop On Hop Off bus located at the Port, this enabled us to see a lot of the city in a short time, leaving plenty of time to explore the surrounding streets. As I said I love Lisbon, it is on my list of places to return to.
Vigo Spain; We just chose to get off the ship and wander, we were rewarded with the site of quaint shops selling embroidered linen, baskets and gift wares. We enjoyed getting lost in the twisting streets and small squares that were bordered by historical buildings.
Vigo is a shopper’s paradise with many bargains to be had. Before returning to the ship we went for a stroll along the harbour and admired many of the artworks on display here.
Cherbourg France; Cherbourg was another city where we decided to take off on our own. Cherbourg is so pretty and being French you can’t walk down the street without being tempted by beautifully decorated shops selling equally tempting food.
We stumbled upon Emmanuel Liais park, a remarkable garden of extreme beauty. Housed inside the Park is the Museum Emmanuel Liais, a museum of natural history, archaeology and ethnography a place we found very interesting.
Dover England; When we got off the ship in Dover I could have kissed the customs officer for speaking English. We had been visiting non English speaking countries for many week’s now and to be able to communicate without difficulty was such a relief.
We caught a bus from the dock to Dover Castle, a fascinating castle with some rooms decorated as they would have been in it’s heyday. The Castle complex is huge, some parts even quite spooky but all very interesting and we managed to spend a couple of hours here before exploring Dover Town centre.
Copenhagen Denmark; We disembarked from our cruise in Copenhagen. We decided to spend a few days here and we weren’t disappointed. Copenhagen is an easy to walk around, has many parks, Palaces, museums and the one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, Tivoli Gardens.
Copenhagen has some of the best shopping, restaurants, bars and pubs in Europe.
After flying from Copenhagen to Dubai we exited the Airport and were hit with a wave of heat, yes we had landed in Dubai in one of the hottest months of the year.
Dubai was definitely NOT a city for walking but you don’t have to, there is a metro system and Hop On Hop Off buses will take you to most tourist attractions.
Dubai is fascinating a city of the future that will take your breath away. If you get the chance, take one of the many tours that take you out of the city into the desert.
India has long been on my bucket list and I was excited to finally get there. Because we only had a week in India we decided to take a tour with Trinetra Tours. I can’t speak highly enough about the tour and service this tour company gave us. We had the trip of a lifetime exploring New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and the Holy city of Varanasi.
Through the changing scenery of these cities, I found that nothing can prepare you for the stunning beauty of the Taj Mahal, fortresses and Palaces of the Maharajas, the spirituality of the religion, the poverty or the heat, there is something special about India and I am so glad I got the chance to experience it.
New Delhi – Sydney Australia
With a heavy heart we said goodbye to India and boarded the flight home. We had the most incredible time travelling the World, we had seen so many things, some even changed our attitude and outlook on life. We have been extremely fortunate to be able to do all the things we have done and the memories will last forever.
Travelling Business Class
Wow! That’s how I describe Business Class, from the pre-take off Champagne in your extra wide seat, to the silver service dinnerware, restaurant quality food, selection of premium wine with dinner, flatbed and service, Business Class is everything people say it is, Wonderful!
Of course we all have to put our feet back firmly on the ground and I have taken many discount airline flights since, but I am very grateful to have been able to appreciate the comforts of Business Class during our world journeys.
A big thank you to the LAN, Iberia, Air Berlin, British Airways, Qantas and Cathay Pacific Airline Staff for making our trip so wonderful.
Although we had been thinking about going to live in Thailand before we left on our World trip, once we got back it was time to make a decision once and for all. After a lot of souls searching we decided to make a go of it, so we packed up our house and in late 2015 moved to Chiang Mai Thailand.
We now use Thailand as a base for our travels, often spending our time in different counties on house sitting assignments. We love this location independent lifestyle and would recommend it to anyone.
We have so many unforgettable memories of our world journeys, for us it was a Big year, one that set us on the pathway to a different direction in life.