Well, why not!Thanks to all! (David writes)
Well, folks, that's it!
Overall – that's camera plus iPhones – we took nearly 2,500 photos. 846 of them made their way on to the website.
If any of you (that's Kathleen and Polly T!) have looked at every one, you deserve an award. Perhaps a signed print of the photo to the right will do?
Interestingly, of the fifteen flights we took to do our circumnavigation, only one was delayed (the last one, bringing us home). None was cancelled or gave us any other problem. We think that's impressive. Well done, airlines!
As some of you may know, Polly had three bank cards and her driving license stolen in Beijing. That was pretty horrible, but apart from requiring a fair amount of time on the phone to bank fraud departments, it didn't give us any problems with the rest of the trip. Unlike our credit cards, the debit cards do not share a card number, so I was able to use mine to make all our payments as well as to draw cash during the rest of the trip. The banks paid for the $20,000+ that was fraudulently spent on the cards and also denied an attempt to spend another $10,000. I guess that the card theft was one reason why we felt less than enamored about Beijing.
Towards the end of the trip it did get a little wearing having to worry about pickpockets or other possible petty crime when we were in crowded places. We also got so used to brushing off offers to "show us the sights" that we definitely walked away from some folk (particularly in Istanbul), who could see that we were unsure of of our route and were genuinely just trying to help. For this reason, I always tried to do the "brush-offs" with a smile, a joke and a thank you.
Thanks again to all of you who followed us on this intermittent blog. We hope you enjoyed some of our photos. If you have any favorites, please let us know.
Best wishes to all!
POLLY's Final Thoughts
What a blast! All been said above except:
Couldn't have been done without help from various people/things:
Thanks to the skill of the pilots/air traffic controllers who got us safely through dark skies at 38,000 feet across Mongolia /Sarawak and the like.
Thanks to all the cleaners/taxi drivers/ housekeeping staff/waiters/waitresses who despite no doubt earning minimum wage, were pleasant and helpful.
Thanks to my New Balance trainer shoes who walked me many miles in many historic places with not one bruise, blemish or blister.
And thanks to David, who amongst other things, dragged the whole of Copacabana Beach with me looking for a specific yarn shop so I could finish my Mother Bear Project teddy number seven.
So all that remains now is...where to next year?
Some of Polly's 'best of's'
Best airline: ANA (All Nippon Airlines)
Best Airline food: Turkish
Best airline staff: ANA
Best hotel we stayed in: Park Plaza Beijing
Best hotel staff: Byzantium Istanbul
Best general food (at our price level): Rio de Janeiro
Most/least comfortable place to walk around: Kyoto/Beijing
Place most likely to speak some English: Kyoto
Best atmosphere: Marrakech Souk
Most photogenic site: Fushima Inari, Kyoto
and finally, most memorable item: Seeing the Cistern behind the restaurant in Istanbul.
David might (of course) have a completely different set.