Autumn Action

November 18, 2011 at 10:41 am (Germany, Travel)

It’s actually been four weeks since I got back from my autumn holidays but I have been so busy I haven’t had a chance to write at all.  Someone of you will find it quite amusing that Little Miss Chatterbox Kate has no voice.  I managed to scramble through two days of work, but got sent to the doctors and now have strict orders to have my first day off school in two years.  Surely this is a sign to spend some time updating the blog.

I was desperate for the autumn holidays by the time they rolled in and very excited to be visiting Chris in his home town.  We did a lot of hanging out, watching TV and spending time with his lovely mum Caroline before heading off on our camping trip through France and Spain.  We were aided of course by Charlie bear and Fred, who is Chris’ bear/monkey and Charlie bear’s news best friend.

First up we spent two nights camping in Lyon. Unfortunately it was the only camping we ended up doing.  Chris’ parents blow up double sized mattress was surprisingly comfortable and we definitely want to do some more camping together in the future.  We went in and had a look at the beautiful town of Lyon. We wandered the streets, checked out the basilica and had an amazing view over the whole city.  I’m sure our travels will find us in the city again, especially as it is where my friend LJ currently lives.

We had plans after Lyon to camp and check out Montepellier… but Chris decided he was good with driving and we did a massive six hour stint right down to Pals in Spain.  It was actually quite funny with Doris (the name of the family Navi) because she kept telling us we were driving in the middle of nowhere when we were clearly on a main road.  She may need some updating, poor Doris!

We went down to Pals because my hockey coach and his family had invited us to use the spare room in their villa for a few days.  They were staying at a golf resort with another family from hockey and their young children.  Well, I tell you what, Chris was the biggest hit.  The kids adored him, especially the boys.  Was so cute.

In Pals, we spent lots of time doing nothing, reading, relaxing at the beach and playing Phase 10.  Every morning we would have breakfast together and we ate dinner together too.  I really enjoyed the family aspect of the holiday.  It was really refreshing after so many busy trips gallivanting through Europe.  One highlight was letting the ‘adults’ go out for dinner and Chris cooking for us.  He made the most amazing chicken nuggets and chips and  the kids all swore that we had eaten better than their parents.

We did make some side trips.  We visited a little market one morning and had some cooked on the spot churros from a lovely couple.  We also had a day just the two of us.  We had been recommended to go to a little town medieval called Peratallada.  Well OMG, this was AMAZING.  It’s a historic artistic monument and it still has it’s original fortifying wall.  We were just gobsmacked and Chris went mental with taking photos.  It was absolutely beautiful and a true surprise.

Sadly, all things must come to an end and after spending way more time in Pals than intended we found it was already time to head back to Basel.  Debbie (Chris’ car) didn’t quite make it to Barcelona, but we got close and we have promised ourselves a proper week trip to the city sometime next year.  Yay!  And then, before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye properly and I was on my way back to Darmstadt.

To brighten up my journey I had a reunion with my little brother James to look forward to.  He had been travelling through Europe with an old school friend Matt.  The two boys had been staying in my flat while I was away and then stayed just under a week after I got home.  It was great to see them both and hear about their adventures although it was a pretty stressful time for me.  I felt like a terrible host but they didn’t seem to mind.

Then that first weekend I flew to London for a mini MGGS ten year reunion.  We decided that since we couldn’t get to Australia for the official one, we would have our own one in London.  So Briana James, Suzie Sheehy, Anna Garland and myself met up for a fantastic Saturday.  We started in Soho at Flat White for some decent Australian coffee (just the thought of it has me drooling), went shopping, had dinner and saw Billy Elliot the Musical.  It was great swapping stories and chatting about different classmates and what they were doing.  The musical was pretty good too… the dancing was out of this world, and definitely made up for the singing.

The next day I took James for a ride on the London Eye.  Funnily he had booked tickets to London already and had no idea I was visiting too.  We ended up staying with my aunt Frances and I got to spend all Sunday with him.  It was very cool having some quality one on one time with him.

I actually only wanted to go on the London Eye to take photographs for my year 6 class who are currently reading ‘The London Eye Mystery’ by Siobhan Dowd.  It’s about a boy who enters one of the capsules, but never comes out and is a detective novel.  I thought the students would find it interesting to see pictures of the actual Eye to help them visualise the story.

This meant I looked like an absolute idiot while I was taking photos, because I was trying to get shots that had something to do with the novel.  Crazily, some of these even turned out pretty well.  🙂  The 30 minute trip goes really quickly and it was way more interesting than I thought it would be.  I had purchased a 360 degrees pamphlet and I was busy pointing everything out to James.  I liked how things got smaller and bigger as we went round and because I have been to London so many times, I was able to point out a lot of different landmarks that I was familiar with.  It was nice sharing the experience with Jimbo too.

Back to Germany and work work work.  It’s been CRAZY.  I feel like there is always something to do and with Christmas coming up it doesn’t look like it will be easing off any time soon.  I have made my class an advent calendar to count down the last 18 days of school and am ready to decorate the classroom as a surprise as well.  (Man those children are spoilt!)  I supervised the school disco last week, such a cool way to spend your Friday night.  Apparently I should have danced in the middle of the circle because I dance funny.  Go me.

It’s been particularly hard because I haven’t seen Chris.  😦  He has started his job in the mountains and has varied days off.  So far it hasn’t worked out that we can see each other, but we try to skype every couple of days or chat on facebook.  Hopefully we’ll see each other the first weekend of December, and if not at least for the winter holidays.  I even have a ski course booked.  God forbid!


P.s  More photos?  Check out


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