This was the first of two international Barkle family trips. In this trip we travelled to London where we stayed for a few days before embarking on a European bus trip. The on our return we hired a campervan and travelled the British Isles. We stopped off in Singapore for a day on our return to New Zealand. All up the trip was about 6 weeks long.


After a 27 hour long direct flight to London (with refuling stops at Tahiti and Los Angeles) we arrived at Gatwick airport and took the train in to London.

In London we visited the National Gallery, British Museum, Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square. We took a sight seeing bus tour of London stopping for pictures of Westminster Abbey, Tower bridge and the Tower of London among other sights.

Thomas Cook Italian Express - 12 day European tour

Monday 23rd April: We joined our bus tour travelling down to Dover, crossing to Calais by ferry and bussing to Paris.
Our first impressions of the French countryside was that lit looked like a green patchwork quilt. Very neat with no fenches. Arriving in Paris we found that out hotel was pokey, old and restaurant staff were snobby.
FRANCE: We had the next day free to explore Paris by ourselves. We visited the Sacre Coeur, Monmatre, Effle Tower, Louvre (but it was closed) and Arc de Triumphe. That evening the tour included an Illuminations drive around the major sights of Paris.
Sacre Coeur. Monmatre. Monmatre again.
An overexposed "artistic impression" of us in Monmatre. View of Paris from in front of the Sacre Coeur. Sacre Coeur again.
The Louvre gardens. The gardens in front of the Louvre. Arc de Triumphe du Carrousel in front of the Louvre - before the glass pyramid was built.
25th April was Mum's birthday and we celebrated it on the road at the Mammoth shopping centre in Burgandy country between Paris to Lucerne.
SWITZERLAND: We stayed the night in Lucerne at a luxurious hotel Switzerland where we passed through countless long tunnels.
View of Lake Lucerne from our Hotel. Looking towards the church of Santa Maria Della Salute.
ITALY: The trip took us through Milan to Florence where we visited a leather shop. The next day, we carried on to Rome where we stayed two nights before traveling on back through Siena, seeing the Campio and sampling Panforte and on to Venice. It rained in both Siena and Venice. We stayed on the mainland when in Venice and visited by launch for a few hours during the day. We got to visit the Dodges Palace and the Murano glass factory before spending time in St Marks Square.
Milan Cathedral - Milan. Dad, Dean and me in Milan.
The doors of Milan Cathedral. and up close. Florence - Loggia dei Lanzi in the Piazza della Signoria.
David in the Piazza della Signoria. Michel Angelo's tomb. Basilica of Santa Crose.
Rome and the Vatican: Mum, Dean and me in St Peters square. St Peters Square, Vatican. A Roman street along from our hotel.
Siena with our Panforte. Note the Contrade flag of Drago (Dragon).
Venice:Staircase of the Giants, Mars and Neptune, where the Doge would be crowned. Looking towards the church of Santa Maria Della Salute.
The statue of 2 Augusti clasping their Caesars. Corner of the Basilica of St Mark. Corner of the Basilica of St Mark.
Street markets. Bridge of Signs. Doges Palace.
St Mark's Basilica. St Mark's Basilica. Doges Palace.
The Lion of St Mark. St Mark's Square. St Mark's Square.
St Mark's Square. St Mark's Square. St Mark's Square.
The Clock tower St Mark's Square.
AUSTRIA: The trip left Italy and entered Austria, staying at a place called Iglis, just out of Innesbruck.
GERMANY: We carried on through to Rudesheim visiting the Duesal Gas before driving on to Cologne.
BELGUIM: The tour stayed in Brussells before returning to London via Calais on the ferry.

Campervan around the UK - xx days

Saturday 5th May: We set off on our own hiring a campervan from London and travelling to Arundel Castle via the ring roads around Stains, Leatherhead and Windsor. We visited Portsmouth seeing HMS Victory and the Mary Rose before moving on to South Hampton.
Arundel Castle Nelson's Flag ship, HMS Victory, Portsmouth.
We visited the New Forest in Hampshire, Broadlands - house of the Mountbattens and on to Beaulieu to see the motor museum, palace and Abbey.
Mum in front of Broadlands. Beaulieu palace house.
Dad and I in front of the Bluebird. Beaulieu motor museum.
Then on to Salisbury to see Stonehenge, Bath to see the Costume museum, Roman Baths and see the Abbey. Yeovilton to see the Fleet Air Arm Musuem where I walked through the second prototype of the Concorde. Bristol to visit the SS Great Britain.
Stonehenge. Bath: The Great Roman Baths with Bath Abbey in background. Roman Baths.
Dean and I at the Roman Baths. Bath Abbey. In 1845, SS Great Britain was the first screw steamer to cross the Atlantic.
Me at the Helm of SS Great Britain. Yeovilton Fleet Air Arms Museum. Me under the second prototype of the Concorde (002).
Me in front of an Argentinian Pucara captured in the Falklands war.
Gloucester to see our relatives (Anne and Bess, and Joan), whilst there we visited the Cathedral, Coleford, Cinderford,the Forest of Dean, the Speach house and Little Dean - a reputedly haunted house.
Anne and Bess with Dad, Dean and I at their place, Edge End, Coleford. Our campervan at the Forest of Dean. Welsh countryside.
Wales - Tintern Abbey, Monmouth Grammar school (grandfathers old school) and Symonds Yat.
Tintern Abbey. Monmouth Grammar school. View of Symonds Yat.
Then back to England visiting Chepstow and Stratford upon Avon - Shakespears birth place, Blenheim Palace at Wookstock, Edge Hill - where a the famous battle was fought. Warwick castle - Climbed to top of one of the towers, giving a great view of the surrounding countryside. Chester - Roman walls and Ruins, with many very old buildings.
Mum, Dean and I at Blenheim Palace. The lake with Vanbrugh's grand bridge, Blenheim palace.
Me and Dean with a Knight at Warwick Castle. The View from the tower at Warwick castle.
Stratford upon Avon. Castle pub at Edge Hill. Our campervan at Stratford upon Avon.
Tudor Architecture - Part of the Rows in Chester. View from Chester's City Walls. Roman ruins - Chester.
Lake Distict to see Lake Windermere and Lake Grassmere before moving up to Scotland.
Lake Grassmere. Lake Windermere.
Scotland - Edinburgh castle, Princes street. St Andrews - the home of Golf.
The Forth Road bridge (left) and Rail Bridge (right) - Scotland. View over Edinburgh from the Castle. Edinburgh Castle.
The view from Edinburgh Castle. Mum and Dad at St Andrews golf course. View of the sea from St Andrews.
Back in to England to York to see the Minster and the Shambles. Lincoln, Cambridge - Kings College Chapel saw Rubens painting. Fitzwilliam Museum. Duxford imperial war museum. Hatfield house - Queen Elizabeth I spent many years there. Woburn Abbey at Bedford, saw lions, buffalo, monkeys and giraffes.
The old palace at Hatfield house, home of Queen Elizabeth I. Us at Hatfield house. Cambridge - Kings College Chapel.
The Rubens "Adoration of the Kings" at Kings College Chapel. Treasurers house, York. York Minster (east end).
Stain glass window, York Minster. Chior screen featuring 15 kings of England, York Minster. York Minster.
English countryside - on the way to Bath.
Returning to London where we saw the Tower of London, St Pauls Cathedral and HMS Belfast.
Dad, Dean and I with the 3 fates - Elgin Marbles at the British Museum. Dean with Egyptian relics. Me with Thoth.
Apollo in the Greek room, British museum. Inner coffin of Henutmehit - 1400bc. Reconstructed temple - Elgin Marbles.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square. Russel square. Me on the Imperial war museum's HMS Belfast.
Outside the gates of Buckingham Palace. Nelson's column from the National gallery. The victory memorial.
Victory memorial in front of Buckingham palace. Dad looking watching the Royal horsegards, the Mall. The old curiosity shop.
The Tower Bridge. The River Thames. Houses of Parlament, with Big Ben.
Singapore - Flew to Singapore via Muscat. Spent the the day doing a bus tour, visiting shops and alligator farm. We returned home via Auckland.
Crocadile farm. Miniature rooftop temples. .