Merry Christmas from Bruce & Thea

Our Christmas greetings come to you this year from Barcelona, where we have rented an apartment for a few months, as a base for our travelling.

After an exciting year on the road we are finishing it with a trip to Madrid and then Granada for Christmas, where we will spend time with Hayden and his partner Andrea. We then move on to Seville for the New Year.

We will end our adventure with a European winter escape to Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, before arriving home in late January. Just in time to farewell Evan and Steph before they leave for their South American trip.

We left home in February 2012. After some time in Malaysia and Dubai, we joined a great group in Egypt, since then we have mostly been on our own. As well as the journals we have kept within our web pages, we have made a list of some highlights, they’re in the chart below.

We have enjoyed the travelling and each other’s company. Obviously it has been a year of discovery and learning. It has also been a year of tolerance, patience and understanding. So many things don’t just happen the way you expect them to.

But we have missed family and friends and all the intimacies that go with sharing a coffee or a meal and conversation in English.

It will be challenging settling back at home, not waking up to a new city with its own sights, smells and sounds every few days. But how nice to look into the wardrobe and see more clothes than will fit into a suitcase.

So as we plan our last few weeks, we also think of you and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2013.

Favourite Country

Turkey. A self sufficient country, easy to travel, friendly people, cheap living (other than hotels).

Most Challenging Place

Jordan, on our own in an Arabic country, understanding where to find a meal. But we got into the swing and loved it.

Most Frightening Experience

Driving from Naples to Amalfi. Not only was our tyre spiked in Naples, the road on the Amalfi coast was narrow, winding and confronting.

Most Frustrating

Thea’s computer breaking down twice & having to resort to sharing Bruce’s Mac.

Happiest Time

Seeing Hayden and meeting Andrea.

Best Roman Ruin

Jerash, Jordan.

Best Egyptian Ruin

The tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Preserved Building

The Alhambra in Granada

Biggest Surprise

Our leased car from Renault was upgraded to a black Megane Sports with leather interior and low profile tyres. Great deal.

Best City

Barcelona. Having spent several months here we feel as though we are getting to understand it. However we will never fully understand when businesses, shops and restaurants are actually open.

Best Walk

Through the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia.

Best Drive

Around the Painted Monasteries in Rumania.

Most Surprising Site

The Nuraghe Majori burial grounds (approx 1600BC) in Sardinia.

Best Museum

The New Acropolis Museum in Athens.

Most Surprising Museum

The ‘Underground’ Museum of Roman ruins in Badalona, where we are living in Barcelona.

Best Food

France, as is expected.

Worst Food

Some kind of offal we ate in Romania. Still don’t know what it was.

Best View From a Hotel

Our hotel in Santorini was on the very edge of the Caldera.

Best Hotel

We lucked it for a resort in Jordan that was way beyond our budget. The travel agent had made a mistake with our booking!

Most Relaxed Hotel

It wasn’t a hotel but a farm stay in Tuscany, at a place called Tenuta di Papena.

Most Surprising Hotel

Capo Caccia Hotel, Alghero, Sardinia. It was a time warp from the 1960s.

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8 Responses to Merry Christmas from Bruce & Thea

  1. Mike Wilson says:

    Hi Thea,

    A great summary of what must have been some of your greatest travel experiences, and it’s not over yet! Must be interesting to reflect on the comparisons of when you were back-packing all those years ago!!

    A belated thank you too for your post card from France.

    Kim and I are looking forward to a Christmas lunch at the Butcher’s on the Gold Coast and a Christmas dinner with Dad and Gen on the Sunshine Coast. Wishing you and Bruce a Merry Christmas (felize navidad!) and a terrific 2013!

    Love, Mike

  2. Sue Maclure says:

    Hi Thea & Bruce,
    Always great to hear about your exciting travels.
    Thanks for the ” coffee girls” post card which arrived last week. So glad that all went pretty much as planned.Jenny and Judy sent their grewetings.
    Here Christmas has come around too soon, as always. James is home permanently from London and starts work in Melbourne in February. It is wonderful to have him home. Thom is also back at work at the Melbourne office from Shanghai, so we have a full house again.
    We look forward to seeing you back in sunny Hampton in the new year.
    Have a peaceful Christmas ,
    Lots of love
    Sue .

    • thea says:

      Hi Sue,
      I am not sure if Jenny has been getting my emails (have I got the correct email address at hotmail?), but greetings to both Jenny & Judy.
      Looking forward to coffee in February. Meanwhile enjoy Christmas with your boys.

  3. Matt Wilson says:

    Dear Thea, Bruce & Family,

    Thank you for your Christmas greetings and the further news of your travels
    We have so enjoyed sharing your journey, it has been an absolute delight, although it has given us itchy feet to travel more ourselves.
    That in part will be addressed with a trip to Tokyo next year, with stop-overs there and back.

    Anyway, enjoy your faraway Christmas with Hayden, Andrea and family.
    We will be thinking of you with Mike and Kim, as we enjoy our rather warm sub-tropical Christmas.
    Despite the temp. we are having roast turkey, glazed ham, salad, ice-cream pudding, short bread cake & lots of nibblies.

    Continue to enjoy your journey and keep the blogs up

    Best wishes
    Matt & Gen

  4. Alex Mifsud says:

    Thea and Bruce,
    With our move to the new apartment on 14/12/12 and still not being reconnected to phone/broadband at home, our communication pathways have been savagely restricted. The worst was not keeping up with your wonderful blogs. Really looking forward to your return and seeing you at 19/358 Hampton St. Hampton. For now, it’s a belated Happy Christmas and the very best of wishes for 2013 from Alex & Janine.

    • thea says:

      And Seasons Greetings to all the Mifsud’s. We are looking forward to being home and catching up but not the joys of arranging our lives back into the apartment with power, Internet, insurance, etc.
      See you soon!

  5. Amanda Allen says:

    Hi Guys

    Great to hear from you and thank you for the post card. Wishing you both a very happy New Year.
    Great to keep up with all your travels!

    All our love and best wishes

    Mandy, Jason, Bradley & Charlotte

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