Europe (July & August 2016)

Posted Posted in Europe, Ireland, Trips, UK


(3 July – 9 July)

We left Adelaide on Sunday 3 July for 5 days in Singapore before flying on to London.

Whilst in Singapore we did the usual tourist attractions as we did when we previously holidayed in Singapore.

On July 7 we did a same day excursion to Kuala Lumpur and visited the Petronias Towers.

Our flight to London was eventful as our booked flight had been overbooked and we were scheduled to depart on a later flight. This would then have resulted in missing our connecting flight to Dublin. As we had arrived early at Changi Airport we were able to get an earlier flight – it just meant we weren’t able to all sit together.


(9 July – 12 July)

Having arrived in London’s Heathrow Airport we had a short wait until we could board our flight to Dublin.

We purchased bus transport tickets to Dublin city from the airport and then walked the couple of hundred metres to our accommodation at the Dublin Central Inn. Unfortunately the accommodation was not to our liking. The en-suite was way to cramped and the room was quite musty. As we would only be in Dublin for a few days, we decidedto remain rather than move to other accommodation.

On July 10 we took a bus excursion to Belfast.  Our driver explained how 20 years ago such a bus trip wasn’t possible due to the conflict in Northern Ireland. For us it was an enjoyable bus trip visiting numerous sites before arriving in Belfast.

In Belfast we visited the Titanic Exhibition and had some free time in the centre of Dublin. We watched the Wimbledon Tennis Final on the big screen. However the local entertainment was very impressive playing their version of tennis.

On July 11 we took another bus excursion to Blarney Castle and visited a number of sites along the way with some free time in Cork.


(12 July – 16 July)

We flew from Dublin to Manchester and picked up our hire car which we would have for the next 7 days.

Leaving Manchester, we drove to Liverpool and booked into the Holiday Inn Express at Albert Dock. We had previously stayed here in 2014.

We had tickets for the “Magical Mystery Tour” Beatles highlights which I would recommend to anyone visiting Liverpool. 

We also revisited Wales and had brunch at the longest place name in Wales.


(16 July – 19 July)

We drove from Liverpool to London on the motorway and once off the motorway were pleasantly surprised to find that our Holiday Inn Express at Golders Green was only a kilometre or two away.

This again was a place we stayed previously in 2014.

We had a London Pass and took in again all the tourist attractions in London.

P&O Cruise

19 July – 30 July

We left London on 19 July and drove to Southampton were we returned the hire car after dropping everyone off at the Cruise Ship terminal. I then took a taxi back to the Cruise Ship terminal.

Having checked in we embarked on a 14 day Baltic Cruise.

Copenhagen – We took a bus trip from Denmark to Sweeden and visited Malmo travelling via the Öresund Bridge. This bridge is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe and connects two major metropolitan areas: Copenhagen, the Danish capital city, and the Swedish city of Malmö.

Stockholm – In Stockholm we visited the ABBA museum.

Tallin – This stop was the surprise of the cruise. A beautiful city within a city was the walled city. Tallin was also the venue for the Olympic sailing competition when Moscow held the Olympics in 1980. Evidence of the Soviet regime can still be seen, but more recent developments have modernised the city.

St Petersberg – This was the highlight of the cruise. When we arrived a number of Russian warships were arriving for a military parade on the Neva River. We attended a Russian Folkloric dance show and visited the Church of the Bled (the one which has the colourful Onion Domes). The bus trip also went past a number of Russian churches, some of which had pure gold spires. The Hermitage Museum is also in St Petersberg but unfortunately we did not have more time to visit. We could have stayed a week, instead we only had two days.

Helsinki – In Helsinki the bus took us past the “Pissing Boy”. Rather than an extended bus trip, this time we took a boat tour cruising around the islands scattered around the city.

Zeebrugge – Rather than continue overnight back to Southampton we decided to disembark in Zeebrugge.


30 July – 1 August

We arranged a taxi to take us to our accommodation in Brugge (Ibis budget Brugge Centrum Station). From our accommodation we took a bus into the old city centre. At one of the shops we purchased our Cuckoo clock and had that shipped back to Australia.


1 August – 4 August

We picked up a hire car and drove to Antwerp and stayed three days in Antwerp.


4 August – 12 August

Leaving Antwerp we drove on to Amsterdam.

This would be our last stay in Europe for this trip. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam – Sloterdijk Station which was a short train ride from Amsterdam Central Station. At the time we wre in Amsterdam the Dutch Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras event was on. Rather than March through the street, the procession was on boats that went up and down the canals of Amsterdam.

Homeward Bound

13 August – 14 August

We flew from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam to Changi Airport in Singapore arriving early in the morning

We were able to get a room at a Singapore motel as our flight to Adelaide wasn’t leaving until close to midnight.

We finally returned early on Monday morning to Adelaide and then made our way back home.