Germany and Austria

Day 32 – Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck

Friday, 14 October 2011

This morning we landed in Munich after our very early flight from Athens. Dave decided he wanted to drive on the Autobahn, so we hired an Audi A6!

We were way too early to check in to the hotel, so took a short trip down the road to Innsbruck, Austria, to visit the Swarovski factory (I managed great restraint and only bought 2 pieces).

After lunch we visited the Innsbruck Alpine Zoo and saw a range of interesting animals right up close.

After sampling some of the best ever Apple strudel, we headed back to Munich to check into our rather weird hotel … it has a see-through shower and the bed consists of two single beds pushed together, complete with two single doona’s!!!

Hire car – Audi A6
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Driving on the Autobahn
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Swarovski, Innsbruck (Austria)
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Swarovski
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Swarovski – Blue Tangs
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Innsbruck Street
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Innsbruck Street
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Afternoon tea – Apple strudel
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David at Alpine Zoo, overlooking Innsbruck
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Alpine Zoo – Beaver
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Alpine Zoo – Lynx
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Alpine Zoo – Chamois
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Alpine Zoo – Wolf
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Alpine Zoo – European Otter
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Alpine Zoo – Brown Bear
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Hotel Fleming, Munich – yes that is a see through
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Day 33 – Grossglockner, Austria

Grossglockner

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Today we headed back even further into Austria to visit the Grossglockner (highest mountain peak in Austria) and catch up with my Aunty and Uncle from Geelong who are also traveling through Europe at the moment.

On arrival back into Munich we headed into the city for some traditional German food and music with a visit to the Hofbrauhaus!

Rendezvous with my Aunty and Uncle at the Grossglo
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Icy seat
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Icy path
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Mountain tunnel
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Inside the mountain tunnel
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Sunset at Grossglocker
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Grossglockner
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Hofbrauhaus, Munich
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Hofbrauhaus, Munich
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Hofbrauhaus, Munich
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Day 34 – Munich and Dachau, Germany

Munich

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Today we stayed in Germany with visits to the BMW Museum, Dachau concentration camp memorial site, Sea-Life (Munich Aquarium) and the Olympic Tower.

Dinner was at a local restaurant, and my meal tasted just like Mum’s pork casserole – yum! Dave has a thing for the wiener schnitzel, and has ordered it three times now!

BMW Museum
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BMW Museum
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BMW Museum
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BMW Museum
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BMW Museum
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BMW Museum
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BMW Museum
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Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site
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Dachau Memorial Site
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Dachau Memorial Site
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Dachau Memorial Site
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Dachau Memorial Site
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Munich Aquarium
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Munich Aquarium
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Munich Aquarium
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Olympic Tower
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Olympic Tower
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Olympic Tower
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Day 35 – Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg

Monday, 17 October 2011

Today we headed back to Austria for a bit of shopping at the Salzburg designer outlets. (I think Dave is just looking for ways to spend an hour or three on the autobahn each day!!).

We also took a cable car ride up the mountain (not the best thing to do when you’re scared of heights!), and visited a gorgeous little church with a very pretty cemetery.

Cable car
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Cable car
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Top of the mountain
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Top of the mountain
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Top of the mountain
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Church
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Church
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Church
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Athens

Day 29 – Athens

Athens

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

First day in Athens was spent walking around the local streets and visiting the Ancient Agora (large square on the northwest slope of the Acropolis, where social and religious activities, commerce, outdoor theatrical performances and athletic contests were held).

We’ve booked in for an official tour of the city, acropolis and museum for tomorrow.

We tried to have dinner at one of the local restaurant strips nearby, but again it was so disappointing that we headed back to the hotel restaurant instead.

Never in all my travels have I been served such consistently bad food!!

Athens street
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Athens street
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Athens street
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Dave in the Square
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Familiar faces … It’s a small world!
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Athens flea market
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Butcher shop
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Fruit and Veg
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Ancient Agora
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Museum of the Stoa of Attalos
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Ancient ruins
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Ambulance bike
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Local cats
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Local dog 1
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Local dog 2
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Local dog 3
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Day 30 – Athens

Athens

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Early start today for our Athens city tour, first stop the Acropolis … Right alongside the 3,000 other tourists (2 major cruise ships arrived in port today).

The Acropolis is a UNESCO world heritage archaeological site, containing the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Erechtheion with its porch of Maidens. All absolutely stunning, and providing amazing views over the Athens city.

After a quick tour of the city’s major highlights, (including the Panathinaikon Stadium – site of the first Olympic Games), we visited the new Acropolis Museum (completed in 2009). The museums main attractions include votives, artifacts of everyday life, statues from the archaic period, Caryatids, and items from the Parthenon Hall itself!

For the afternoon we travelled around via the hop on hop off bus, visiting the House of Parliament for the changing of the guards, and the National Gardens.

After dinner we went for another tour around town to see the city after dark on the ‘happy train’!

Our tour guide, Marianna
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The Parthenon (current restorations commenced 1983
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The Parthenon
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Athens city and the new Acropolis museum
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Official ceremony for the President
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Propylaea (main gate in to the Acropolis)
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The crowd trying to exit the Acropolis before the
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Riot police (preparing for midday strike)
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Police riot bus
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Panathenaic Stadium
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Panathenaic Stadium
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The Acropolis Museum
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The Acropolis Museum
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House of Parliament – changing of the guards
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National Gardens
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National Gardens
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The Happy Train
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Dave excited about being on the Happy Train!!
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The Acropolis at night (view from our room)
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Day 31 – Athens

Athens

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Today was a completely wasted day. We knew that more strikes and protests were scheduled, so we had planned to head out of the city and spend the day at the beach. Unfortunately, the protests resulted in many of the main streets being blocked, and after spending two hours on the bus to travel what should have taken about 15 minutes, we gave up and had a nice long lunch instead!

Dave managed to find another gun shop and bought some more goodies – I hate to think how much his suitcase must weigh by now.

We had another wander through the streets tonight, and had a nice meal at a Souvlaki bar.

We’re all packed up now, ready for our early flight to Munich in the morning (taxi picking us up at 4.15am!!)

Athens protest
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Hadrians Arch
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Temple of Zeus
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Athens traffic
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Last days in Rhodes

Day 26 – WS Competition Day 5

Rhodes

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Final day of competition and I got to do plenty of shooting – with my camera, anyway!

Both the Aussie girls and boys teams in open division appeared to finish well, although there was a little controversy surrounding unnecessarily rude officials and fast fading light … (the competition was supposed to finish today, but a handful of competitors will need to return in the morning to shoot their final stage).

Couldn’t face one more hotel buffet dinner, so we headed to the sports bar across the road for equally disappointing food, but with a few good drinks and enjoyable company into the wee hours.

Suzy
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Squad 68
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David going fishing
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David
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Brodie
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David
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David
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David and Kalan up to no good!
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David and 5 time World Champ, Eric
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Day 27 – World Shoot – Presentations

Rhodes

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Our last full day in Rhodes saw us driving south west to visit the ancient ruins of Kamiros, and suffering through another most disappointing meal. Looks like I’ll have to wait till I get back home and visit Lonsdale Street to get a decent Greek meal!

Kamiros was the smallest and most rural of the three ancient cities that formed the Rhodian state and was divided into three unequal parts: a) the lowest level, which formed a kind of agora, with a religious character; b) a zone with private dwellings on the side of the hill; and c) the acropolis on the summit.

Tonight we had the presentation dinner and there was much for the Aussies to celebrate … Ladies Team (open) got 2nd place (beaten by USA) and the Men’s team (open) took out 3rd place (beaten by USA and France) Karla took out the ladies and Rhys was 2nd Junior!

Main ‘highway’ in Rhodes
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Ancient ruins of Kamiros
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Ancient ruins of Kamiros
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Ancient ruins of Kamiros
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Ancient ruins of Kamiros
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Ancient ruins of Kamiros
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Ancient ruins of Kamiros
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Ancient ruins of Kamiros
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Ancient ruins of Kamiros (but not that particular
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Lunch on the beach in Kamiros
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Ancient ruins of Kamiros
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Kamiros
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Rhys Arthurs
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Karla Blowers
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Australian Open Ladies Team
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Open Ladies Teams
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Australian Open Men’s Team
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Open Men’s Teams
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Suzy and David
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Day 28 – Travel (Rhodes – Athens)

Athens

Monday, 10 October 2011

Today we left Rhodes – thank god! Unfortunately the place, hotel, food and hospitality has quite dramatically failed all expectations. I will not go back, and would not recommend the place to anyone!

Due to various strikes and the general Greek ‘attitude’ it has taken all day to get from Rhodes to Athens, which is only a one hour plane flight! (We arrived at the airport around 9am this morning, and arrived at our hotel in Athens at 5.30pm).

Driving through the streets of Athens was very sad – the place appears extremely run down and dirty. The ancient ruins are in better condition than buildings much younger.

I am pleased to report that the hotel we are staying at is lovely … They collected our luggage from the car and escorted us to our room. They also brought us a lovely welcome dish of bread and nibbles and some very strong alcohol! We’ve just returned from dinner in the restaurant here, and it’s been the best meal we’ve had in our 4 weeks of travel!!

Clearing customs in Rhodes
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Welcome dish on check in at Athens
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View of the Acropolis from our room
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World Shoot Greece 2011

Day 21 – WS Competition – Rest day

Rhodes

Monday, 3 October 2011

Today was our scheduled free day – which means we have to shoot for the next 5 days without a break. So, how did we spend our free day … We went to the range to study tomorrow’s stages, of course!!

After having lunch at a local restaurant we then spent the afternoon catching up on some desperately needed sleep! Woke up to eat dinner, then back to bed again.

WS Rest Day
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WS Rest Day
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WS Rest Day
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Day 22 – WS Competition Day 1

Rhodes

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

First day of the competition was a minor disaster for me … Had 1 miss, 2 no-shoots (weak handed), and 1 procedural (coopers tunnel). I was wondering if I’d made the right decision to compete at all!

Dave did ok, a little on the slow and steady side, but nothing silly.

Day 23 – WS Competition Day 2

Rhodes

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Day 2 was better for both of us, we each had 1 miss, but were getting into the swing of things!

Day 24 – WS Competition Day 3

Rhodes

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Day 3 was good to us both, no penalties, good scores and good times … Things are looking up!

Day 25 – WS Competition Day 4

Rhodes

Friday, 7 October 2011

Day 4 is a day I’d like to forget but I’m afraid will haunt me for many years to come … I got DQ’d.

The day started out ok, first stage was reasonable, second stage was fabulous – until we went to score the targets … I had reengaged 2 targets instead of shooting 2 others … 4 miss and 2 procedurals, thanks for coming! I put it behind me and blitzed the third stage. Good, back on track, then during my walk-thru for the fourth stage, I got bitten on the hand by a wasp – ouch!! My hand started to swell, but the girls supported me with ice and some wasp-sting pain reducing gel stuff, and I hammered through the stage. Fifth stage was also good, but then everything fell apart on the sixth and final stage of the day (stage 23) … I got DQ’d for breaking 180 degrees. At first I thought it was during my reload, but later learned that it was after the reload as I was moving into the second shooting position. My footwork got a bit tangled and I stepped over the fault line, and from what I can gather it happened while getting myself back into position.

I’m pretty sad about it, but am trying not to beat myself up too much. Especially given the number of times I’d convinced myself I wasn’t even going to shoot the match!

Dave’s day was without incident … Slow and steady … But he is fighting a dreadful head cold now which is making things rather difficult for him. At least he only has one more day to go.


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Travel to Rhodes and WS Opening Ceremony

Day 13 – Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Today we headed out to do some more shopping at the Premium Outlets, this time on the north side of town. On the way we stopped to see the famous ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign.

We also visited ‘The Stratosphere’ and watched some of the crazy rides from above and over the edge of the tallest building in Vegas. We even watched a very ‘senior’ lady bungee over the side!

At night we went to the Fremont Experience – such an eye opener! It has the biggest LCD TV in the world (makes up the entire roof!). We watched various street performers, musicians, dancers and people dressed up in costume posing for photos – all for a fee, of course!

Had a wonderful dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant at the MGM Grand – best feed we’ve had since leaving home! (we both had steak and steamed veggies – a rarity in the USA).

Welcome to Las Vegas
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The Stratosphere
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One of the rides on the tip of The Stratosphere
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Another ride over the edge of The Stratosphere
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A rather ‘senior’ lady about to bungee from The St
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View from The Stratosphere
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Us at The Stratosphere (bungee line in the backgro
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4 hrs all you can drink – no thanks!
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Fremont Experience
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Fremont Experience
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DJ / Dancer 1
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DJ / Dancer 2
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Bartenders / Dancers
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Batman, Spiderman and a Ninja
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Elvis, Austin Powers and Pee Wee Herman
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Kiss
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What happens if you don’t pay for the photo…
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Day 14 – Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Monday, 26 September 2011

Today was a nothing day, in the morning we chased around to post some excess clothing home before traveling on to Europe. The in house centre at the MGM quoted us $635 to freight a bag back, so we used US Post instead!

Spent the afternoon of our last day in Vegas by the ultra pool – doubt we’ll ever find anything in the world that will compete with this place!

Had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, visited the Eiffel Tower and strolled through a mile long arcade of shops.

Got back to the hotel and finished packing, ready to commence our travels to Rhodes, Greece.

Photo 1
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Photo 2
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The Luxor (plus monorail)
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Mandalay Bay
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Day 15 – Travel Day (Las Vegas – Rhodes)

Rhodes

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Left the hotel at 4am and only just made our 6am flight out of Vegas. Had to do a bit of re-shuffling of luggage from one suitcase to another to avoid the excess baggage fees.

Couple of hours later we were in Dallas, running to catch our next flight to Charlotte. From Charlotte we switched to Lufthansa for the flight to Munich, and then Munich to Athens where everything came to a screaming holt.

Our flight arrived in Athens an hour late and only one bag (my range bag) appeared at the carousel. This was not good, as the last leg of our flight (to Rhodes) was about to board soon. After some heated discussions at the lost and found counter, they magically ‘found’ Dave’s suitcase with the guns, but still no sign of the suitcase with all my clothes!

We’d missed our connecting flight to Rhodes by now, so had to rebook our flights (at our own expense as Lufthansa would not take responsibility for the lost connection), the next available being 6 hrs later at 9pm … Not what you want to hear after already traveling for over 24 hrs and in desperate need of a shower and some sleep!

Day 16 – Travel Day (Arrive in Rhodes)

Rhodes

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

So after waiting the almost 6hrs for our second attempt to get to Rhodes, we are summoned back to the ticket counter (hooray, I think, perhaps they found my bag?), to be smacked over the wrist for having guns in our luggage … What the? I had rung in advance to advise them of this, I had told them when rebooking the flights, and had told them again when we checked our bags!! I was starting to get a bit frustrated by now … Funny how no sleep and lost luggage can do that to you!

So down into the luggage warehouse we were dragged for Dave to pull the gun case out of his suitcase and hand it to some random airport guy. We saw they had an entire trolley full of loose guns in small hard cases and padded yellow envelopes – all being dropped on the concrete floor – thank god (and Troy R for making it) that we have a pretty solid case that holds both our guns, and can withstand a fair bit.

So once again we have to run to catch our flight to Rhodes, only to get to the gate and be told it has been delayed.

Finally the flight is ready to board and we get moving, arriving in Rhodes at about 10.30pm. We pick up our bags (still missing mine) and wade through the utter chaos to collect our guns – some (not ours) are missing, some paperwork is taken from us and not returned … We just didn’t care anymore.

We get shuffled into a small minivan to go to the hotel and check in … We get to the room and I nearly cried … OMG, what a tiny, dirty, nightmare this has become… It’s now after midnight so we just crawl into bed, agreeing to worry about it in the morning.

Day 17 – Rhodes

Rhodes

Thursday, 29 September 2011

I wake up, and no, it wasn’t a bad dream, and yes, I’m still in this ‘room’ if you could call it that, with no clean clothes and no toiletries. I make the best of it with some of Dave’s stuff and we head to reception to see what we can do … Long story short, we upgraded our room to something a little better, so now I’m only half miserable.

We catch a taxi into ‘town’ to start buying some clothes, only to be told by the taxi driver (once we arrive in town) that everything is closed for siesta … Will reopen in 2hrs at 5pm. Wonderful! He drops us at some markets that remind me of Bali – tiny sizes and absolute crap quality. Even when the real shops open, the options weren’t much better. So after 4hrs of walking we head back to the hotel with some underwear, one top, some basic toiletries and me almost in tears.

We walk into the room, and sitting there amongst our other luggage is my suitcase!!! I have no idea how it got there, and don’t really care … But am just so grateful to have my stuff back!

Had dinner at the hotel (buffet breakfast and dinner is included in the room rate) and headed to bed for an early night.

Capsis Hotel, Rhodes
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Our new room
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View from our new room
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Hotel pool
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Hotel pond / lagoon
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Day 18 – Rhodes

Rhodes

Friday, 30 September 2011

Went to register for the match this morning, but the line was way too long (2 hour plus wait), so we decided we’d try again tomorrow.

Hired a car and headed out to the range for a bit of a look. First impression is that it’s all a bit barren, and the stages remarkably uninteresting!

Left the range and headed into the old city of Rhodes for lunch, to take in the sights and wander through the markets.

World Shoot – medical van
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World Shoot – medical van
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Brodie and Kalan function firing
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The boys in black!
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World Shoot Stage
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World Shoot Stage
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World Shoot Stage
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World Shoot – gunsmith
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Rhodes – World Heritage City
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Rhodes – old city
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Rhodes – old city
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Rhodes – old city
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Rhodes – old city
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Rhodes – old city
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Rhodes – old city
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Rhodes – old city
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Rhodes – old city
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Rhodes – old city
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Rhodes – old city
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Day 19 – Rhodes

Rhodes

Saturday, 1 October 2011

This morning we collected our ammo (which had been freighted from Australia a few weeks in advance) and headed out to the range for Dave to function fire our guns – all was good!

We also had a second attempt at registrations, but the line was still too long, so we headed out sight seeing for the day instead.

First stop was ‘Ialysos’ – one of the three famous ancient cities of Rhodes – with remains dating back to the 3rd millennium BC! Here we saw the ruins of a ancient temple and early Christian Basilica and monastery.

Next was a short drive for lunch at Lindos, before climbing the hill to visit the ‘Acropolis of Lindos’ – what a fabulous sight!

Church of Ai-Yorgis Chostos
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Church of Ai-Yorgis Chostos
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Nudist beach
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The boys spying on the nudists!
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The Acropolis of Lindos
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Shops on the climb to the Acropolis of Lindos
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Dave’s new hat at the Acropolis of Lindos
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The climb to the Acropolis of Lindos
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Still climbing to the Acropolis of Lindos
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The Acropolis of Lindos
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The Acropolis of Lindos
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The Acropolis of Lindos
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The Acropolis of Lindos
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The Acropolis of Lindos
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The Acropolis of Lindos
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Kitty at the Acropolis of Lindos
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Go on Dave – dare you to ring the bell…
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Taxi rank – all Mercedes 220’s!!
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Day 20 – World Shoot – Opening Ceremony

Rhodes

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Third time lucky – today we finally registered for the match, and after a brief team meeting we headed out to the range for equipment check. We timed it perfectly to coincide with a monsoonal downpour of rain, and all got soaked!!

Came back to the hotel to dry out a bit, then went for a short walk down the street to find lunch. If we had been looking for the most inhospitable service in town, we certainly found it!

The day slowly dwindled away, and then it was time to head off to the opening ceremony.

WS Opening Ceremony – Australian Team
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Some of the 1,230 competitors
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Team from the Netherlands
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Team from Italy
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Team from Austria
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Marching Band
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4 little green tree frogs
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WS Opening Ceremony
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Remains of the Rhodes acropolis
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Las Vegas (sight seeing day 4)

Day 12 – Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Had another lazy one today. Went back to ‘American Shooters’ for a little practice (and use up our remaining ammo before traveling to Greece), and for Dave to play with an M60 machine gun! He’s still grinning from ear to ear!!

Dave getting ready for the M60
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M60 – .308
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Dave and the M60
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Dave and the M60
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‘Wet Republic’ at MGM Grand
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View of MGM Grand from ‘Wet Republic’
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View of Signature Towers from ‘Wet Republic’
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Backlot River at ‘Wet Republic’
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Anyone for pizza…?
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Las Vegas (sightseeing days 2 and 3)

Day 10 – Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Thursday, 22 September 2011

We were supposed to fly to New York today, but with the change of travel plans, we just changed rooms at the MGM Signature instead (from the 29th floor of Tower 2 to the 27th floor of Tower 1).

Spent a few hours at the ultra pool ‘Wet Republic’ in the afternoon, then headed out to see Cirque du Soleil ‘Love’ at The Mirage, which was absolutely fabulous! This was the first Cirque show either of us has seen (despite wanting to for years) and certainly won’t be the last!

Had a wonderful dinner at ‘Samba’, the Brazilian Steakhouse at The Mirage, and then casually wandered home along the strip (it stays at around 25 degrees celsius in the evenings) and watched the water show at The Bellagio twice, and also various street performers that were quite entertaining.

The Beatles ‘Love’ – Cirque Du Soleil
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The Beatles ‘Love’ – Cirque Du Soleil
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Suzy and the Blue Meanie (Yellow Submarine)
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The Bellagio water show at night
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Dave outside The Bellagio
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Local alien
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Street performers
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Day 11 – Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Friday, 23 September 2011

Seems all the excitement caught up with me today … I slept till 2pm, wandered downstairs for late brunch with intentions of doing a bit shopping for the afternoon, but ended up coming straight back to the room to sleep for the afternoon!

Dragged myself up at about 8pm for our pre-booked helicopter ride of the strip (thankfully they picked us up and dropped us back at the hotel). What a sight – absolutely spectacular! The pilot said there are more hotel rooms in Las Vegas than all of Europe (something like 140,000??). The only annoying component was the 4 noisy Germans behaving like 2 year olds in the back seat of the chopper… Oh well, it was either them or the 4 drunk American girls … I think I prefer giggles over vomit!!

The view of the MGM Grand from our new room
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Night view of ‘Wet Republic’ from our new room
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Helicopter ride – view of the strip
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One of the many marine tanks at the Rainforest Caf
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No description necessary… 🙂
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