Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
News About Shelley Blog Books Extras Contact Small Font Large Font

Archive for the 'Travel' Category

Yosemite National Park, US #travel

Yosemite National Park

United States has some beautiful national parks, and this is one of my favorites — Yosemite National Park. It’s also a favorite with the locals since every time I’ve visited it has been very busy. This is a view of the granite cliffs of El Capitan with summer flowers in the forefront. Gorgeous, isn’t it?

Yosemite National Park was first protected in 1864 and is known for its many waterfalls.

Baldwin Street, World’s Steepest Street #travel

BaldwinStreet

BaldwinStreetView

Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand is recognized by Guinness World Records as the steepest street in the world. It is 350 meters in length. The lower end of the street is covered in asphalt while the steepest and top end of the street is concrete instead of asphalt. During hot summer days the road used to melt and run down the hill. Concrete proved a better solution. It is a residential street and a mecca for tourists. The locals must get tired of tourists wandering across the street!

Baldwin Street and its steepness came about by accident. The street plan for Dunedin was developed in London, England with no regard for the terrain or consultation with those living in the area. The world’s steepest street is the result.

Each year a local confectionary company drops round candies at the top of the hill, racing them to the bottom as a fundraising event. A girl died after attempting to race down in a wheelie bin. Other stunts have been attempted over the years, some resulting in arrests.

With limited time, I walked halfway up. That was enough for me. Smile

Goat Island Marine Reserve, New Zealand #travel

20070710232034_goat island 026

The Goat Island Marine Reserve is a popular destination with locals, especially during the summer months. It’s north of Auckland and is the closest place for divers and snorkelers to experience marine life. The reserve, which is 518 hectares in size, was created in 1975 and officially opened in 1977. New Zealanders are keen on fishing and stocks were becoming depleted but the numbers have bounced back due to the reserve. Now, big schools of snapper swim close to the shore. The day I visited, the snapper swam around our legs. There are dozens of other species, including my favorites, the pretty blue maumau.

For those who don’t wish to scuba or snorkel, there is a glass bottom boat that takes tourists out and around part of the island.

The island, known as Goat Island, was called this because sailors left goats there as a source of food. The goats have long gone and the island is now the domain of birds.

If you’re in the area, take a picnic lunch, pack your togs and go for the day, or better yet, stop at the Matakana Farmers’ market for some lunch supplies.

A visit to Goat Island Marine Reserve is a fun day out.

A Nepalese Market #travel

20090813031151_market stall, kathmandu

The Thamel area of Kathmandu, the main city in Nepal, is a shopper’s paradise. There are so many interesting things to look at and food to try. It’s a feast for the senses and a real treat for a photographer.

We purchased a Gurkha knife, much like one of the selection in the photo. A Gurkha knife or a kukri has a curved blade and is used as both a handy implement and a weapon in Nepal. A Swiss Army Knife for the Nepalese people! The Nepalese army soldiers use a kukri as part of their weapon arsenal.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Africa #travel

20070617094348_victoriafalls

This is a photo of Victoria Falls from the air. During our visit, we saw the magnificent falls from all angles. The flight over was spectacular, but my favorite place to see the falls was from the various view points. You can hear the rumble of the falls from miles away. We also did a sunset cruise on the Zambezi river while my intrepid hubby went white water rafting.

During our visit to the area, I discovered the best T-shirts. I purchased about four and have only one left, which is very thin! I also practiced my Stanley quotes. “Doctor Livingstone, I presume?” *grin*

We were on a budget holiday and stayed at the campground, but we couldn’t resist a visit to the Victoria Falls Hotel, which was built in 1904 and was a first hotel in the area. Following in the footsteps of many famous people, we went a couple of times and had a traditional afternoon tea on the verandah.

I’d love to do a return visit, although some friends stopped there and were disappointed with the amount of water going over the falls. I understand that a dam has reduced the flow.

Apart from the waterfall and the Zambezi river, visitors can see animals and birds, feed the adrenaline junkie within by rafting, bungee jumping, canoeing, and hiking or indulge their love of culture by meeting the locals. There is something for everyone at Victoria Falls.

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland #travel

I’ve always wanted to visit the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Island. It is a mysterious place, full of myths and legends about Finn McCool an Irish giant who was at war with a Scottish giant called Benandonner. Some quick thinking by Finn McCool’s wife saved the day and the Scottish giant retreated back to Scotland. Here is a video showing the story of the two giants.

Giants Causeway Visitors Centre – The Myth of Finn McCool from The Pond Studio on Vimeo.

While I adored the legend about giants, the truth is more scientific with the hexagonal stones formed after a volcanic eruption millions of years ago. Scientists say there were three distinct eruptions, which formed the Lower, Middle and Upper Basalts.

It is a fascinating place to explore and I enjoyed exploring the rock formations.

GiantCauseway

GiantCauseway1

GiantCauseway2

GiantCauseway3

GiantCauseway4

A fascinating place to visit, especially if you pick a quiet time without many tourists.

Rome Coliseum, Italy #travel #history

I felt like stepping back in time and scrolled through some of my photos from previous trips. Rome caught my eye, so my photos today are of the coliseum.

Although we’d visited Rome before, we’d only seen the coliseum as we drove past. On this visit I was determined to venture inside.

coliseum

The thing that fascinated me was the huge scale of the place. You’ll see in some of the following photos that vehicles and the people (both inside and out) appear so small in comparison.

Building on the coliseum began in AD 72 and finished in AD 80. Of course, successive rulers decided to put their stamp on the coliseum and additions were made after this date.

The coliseum held between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators with an average crowd of around 65,000. That is a lot of people. It was used for gladiator battles and during other public occasions. Both animal hunts and executions took place at the coliseum, so the Romans loved their blood sports.

coliseum5

See how the people and vehicles are dwarfed by the arched coliseum?

coliseum1

A shot of the interior.

coliseum6

coliseum7

We toured through the areas where animals and slaves were kept, and it was all too easy to imagine the cheers of the crowd and their excitement.

These days the coliseum is surrounded by modern life with busy traffic and countless tourists plus pollution. During the ages, parts have been reused and repurposed but it is still a magnificent sight and well worth a visit if you’re ever in Rome.

Vintage Cars Are Sexy #travel

One of the things I enjoyed during the Art Deco Festival in Napier, New Zealand, was the huge number of vintage cars. The vintage cars always draw my eye. The muted colors – hunter green, burgundy and cream. The gleaming paintwork and proud owners. They are reminders of an earlier age, and with my love of history, I like that.

Some facts about Vintage Cars:

  1. The serious collector or enthusiast considers any car from the period 1919 – 1930 to be a vintage car.
  2. The Ford Model T was the first mass-produced automobile and dates back to 1913. The Model T was the first affordable car for the average man.
  3. Vehicles from the pre-vintage period are often referred to as Horseless carriages.
  4. Francois Isaac de Rivaz designed the first car in 1807. It was powered by an internal combustion engine and ran on fuel gas.
  5. Automobile trips were normally short, but in August 1888, Carl Benz’s wife, Bertha Benz, became the first person to drive a car over a long distance. She set off with her sons without telling her husband. Girl power!

Here is a selection of vintage cars photographed during the 2017 Art Deco Festival in Napier.

Vintage1

Vintage2

Vintage3

Vintage4

Vintage5

And this is the car we went for a ride in around Napier.

Vintage_Car

Vintage_Paul

Vintage_Shelley

Are you a fan of vintage cars?

The Giant’s House, Akaroa, New Zealand #travel

Some more photos from the Giant’s house, a photographers’ dream.

Giants House

Giant's House Piano

Hubby playing the piano out in the garden. It was French cafe music!

A view of the Gian'ts House Garden

Giant's House Topiary

Vegetables and flowers combine with sculpture to create a fun vista.

Isola Bella

Flowers at Giant's House

If you’re ever in this part of the world, I highly recommend a visit to the Giant’s House.

The Giant’s House, Akaroa, New Zealand #travel

The Giant’s House was build in 1880 and is made of native totara and kauri timber. The house was originally owned by a bank manager. Artist and sculptor Josie Martin purchased the house and has used the gardens as her artist canvas and created a wonderland—a fun place for both children and adults to explore. It is also a bed and breakfast.

Here are a few photos of the gardens and sculptors.

GiantsHouse

GiantsHouse2

GiantsHouseFlowers

The sculptures are whimsical and colorful and highlighted by the different plantings.  I’ll be back later in the week to post more photos of the Giant’s house. It’s a photographer’s dream!