Thanks to everyone for the welcome back.
The trip was a little exhausting. I have not had problems with this type of rapid itinerary in the past but this time wore me out (numbers in brackets are nights in the city):
• Gold Coast > Singapore (2), Air 8 hours
• Singapore > London (1) via Jeddah, Air 18 hours
• London > Helsinki Finland (3), Air 3 hours
• Helsinki > Tallin Estonia (3), Ferry, 2 1/2 hours
• Tallinn > Riga Latvia (3), Bus, 4 hours
• Riga > Vilnius Lithuania (3), Bus, 4 hours
• Vilnius > Kaunas Lithuania (3), Train, 2 hours
• Kaunas > Bialystok Poland (1), Train, 5 hours
• Bialystok > Warsaw Poland (3), Train, 2 hours
• Warsaw > Berlin (2), Train, 6 1/2 hours
• Berlin > Paris (2) via Cologne (2 hours sightseeing) 2 trains totalling 9 hours.
• Paris > Singapore (1) via Jeddah, Air 16 hours
• Singapore > Gold Coast, Air 8 hours.
Did I mention I like trains?
Apparently my body has decided I am a septuagenarian even if my mind has not really accepted that yet. I bruised my heel in the first week and it is still recovering. For that reason I am re-thinking some of my future plans and have post-poned my planned August-September trip to Uzbekistan, Turkey and the Balkans.
I was in Singapore at the same time as a couple of megalomaniacs. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to use the public transit system easily and security was not overbearing. I must admit I was disappointed; I awaited the phone call but the invitation to offer advice to save the world never came. I must have forgotten to switch on roaming...
I will write some trip reports for my travel blog over the next few months. One day which stood out was celebration of the midsummer festival in Riga, Latvia. The maximum temperature for midsummer's eve was 12 degrees C = 54F. On the same day it was 20C(68F) back home in midwinter