Index of our 2002 Round the World Trip

27 September to 13 November 2002

We knew how much we could spend on airfares - the only problem was where to go and what to see. On advice from our travel agent we thought long and hard about the things and places we most wanted to see. We then sat down with our travel agent and mapped out our flights and stopovers in the countries we had picked. Time was a major factor so many of our stopovers were only for a couple of days at a time, but we squeezed much into those days. We knew the first 3 weeks would be hectic and hopping on and off aeroplanes and getting up early to catch them was to become routine for us. It wasn't until we reached London that we could catch our breath and ponder the next 20 or so days which didn't involve one single flight!!

By the time our 20 days in the UK had ended I was ready to go home, only we still had the 3 days at Bintan Island Resort before reaching home soil.

Our holiday was everything we had planned - we saw everything we had set out to see (except for the Grand Canyon) and we had done more than we'd thought we could.

Here is a quick precis on each of the places we visited. Please visit the links for photos and more detail.

28 September - 1 October

The exchange rate for the Aussie dollar here was approximately NZD$1.10.

We chose only a couple of days here, as New Zealand is close to Australia (distance-wise) and packages of fly/drive between the two countries are reasonably cheap and easy to shop around for. We had limited time and wanted to spend more time in countries and places where we may never have another opportunity to go to. We lost a day in-transit due to delayed flights and time zones.

2 - 4 October

The exchange rate for the Aussie dollar here was approximately CAN$1.07.
This was a once in a lifetime experience for us. We had intended going Red Leaf but as a surprise, Kevin booked Gold Leaf, which was quite a deal more expensive but worth every cent. My only regret is not spending more time in Vancouver but we were pushing for time as the Rocky Mountaineer trip was the second-last one for the season and time constraints did not permit more time before the train's departure. Don't worry ... we'll be back to see more of spectacular Canada, one day.

4 - 7 October

This was special for me, as it was my first experience in snow. It was the first snow for the season and only really flurries, but I was real and I was glad I saw it. Although we had booked a game, we didn't get to play golf at Banff Springs as it was closed due to the snow. Also, it was the last day of the season anyway (as we were to discover along the road - all courses were to close the following day). The weather was cold and driving on the "other" side of the road was, for us, an experience but we managed to get through without any mishaps. After leaving Banff we headed for Calgary along the Trans-Canada Highway, which wound its way through the Canadian Rockies. It was most spectacular and a sight worth seeing.

SAN JOSE (including 'Frisco and Alcatraz)
7 - 10 October

The exchange rate for the Aussie dollar in the US was approximately USD$0.55.

Our aim here was to see Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and as much of San Francisco as we could. The weather was beautiful, compared to the cold in Canada so it was a nice change. We saw the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and drove around 'Frisco, as well as getting in a game of golf at Coyote Creek near San Jose. We needed a rest and the golf and leisurely driving around was just what we needed. We were starting to get jet-lagged by now and still had some "plane-hopping" to do.

10 - 12 October

This was quite amazing, as it would be for anyone who had never been here. Everything was BIG... BRIGHT... and EXPENSIVE!! Again, it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing for us so we made the most of it. Most memorable for me was the "dancing water" at the front of Bellagio's. Again, we only spent a couple of days here. We wanted to go to see the Grand Canyon but didn't realise it was an overnight trip in itself so unfortunately we missed out. Still, we saw it from the air as we flew over.

12 - 15 October

We chose New York as it is a city renowned for many things, and you can't do a world trip without dropping in for a look-see. We managed to see everything we had planned on except for the Empire State Building, which wasn't worth the trip to the top due to heavy cloud.

15 -18 October

Our main aim here was to see Niagara Falls. Although the weather was cold and wet, we went to the Falls and weren't disappointed - very spectacular. Whilst in Toronto we also drove to the Muskoka Highlands for a game of golf. Loved Toronto and the hotel we stayed in was tops!

The First Week
19 - 25 October

The Second Week
26 October to 1 November

The Third Week
2 to 9 November

The exchange rate for the Aussie dollar in the UK was approximately GBP 0.33.

I divided these into the 3 (or so) weeks we spent in the UK. We didn't have time to hop across the Channel into mainland Europe. We lobbed in London without accommodation or transport but within hours had both! We took off in a hired motorhome and spent the next 20 days driving around, totally independent with being able to do our own cooking, to go where we wanted, without any time constraints or having to catch flights anywhere. It was relaxing and enjoyable - even the crappy weather didn't deter us.

I hope you enjoyed sharing this holiday with us (even if we did go without you!!).

If you've finished, go here to go back to my main page or take one or more of the links above to share our adventure.