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Archive for the 'Travel' Category

White Desert 5, Egypt #travel

White Desert Formation

A close up of one of the rock formations in the White Desert, Egypt. They are amazing, formed by wind and sand action. The rock is white, hence the name of the desert.

White Desert 4, Egypt #travel

White Desert Night Formation

Formations in the White Desert, Egypt. I think they look like heads of people and animals. What do you think?

White Desert 3, Egypt #travel

White Desert Night

At night, the White Desert in Egypt becomes a magical place and very beautiful.

The White Desert 2, Egypt #travel

White Desert Campsite

We spent the night in the White desert, camping out on the sandy patches between the rock formations. Once the sun went down, the temperature dropped, and it became chilly. The campfire was very welcome.

The White Desert, Egypt #travel

White Desert

This is the White Desert in the west of Egypt. It’s full of strange rock and sand formations, caused by the wind. I imagine a lunar landscape looks much like this.

Nukuʻalofa, Tonga #travel

We made a brief stop at Nukuʻalofa during our very first cruise. The weather was horrid and it poured with rain. We decided to go for a walk anyway and managed to get very wet, but it was fun exploring a little of the Tongan capital.

Tonga Main Street

The main street of Nukuʻalofa.

Tonga

A carving on the roadside.

Tonga Washing

Washing on a clothes line.

Tonga Flowers

Hibiscus flower after the rain.

Tonga Harbor

Fishing boats at the harbor.

By the time we returned to the ship, the rain had eased off, and it turned into better day. Our clothes, however, took longer to dry out!

Fishing in the Hauraki Gulf #travel #NewZealand

A favorite activity – for hubby, at any rate – is to go fishing. We’re blessed with many choices of fishing spots in Auckland. Usually hubby tags along with his brother and they go fishing somewhere in the Hauraki Gulf.

Fishing

Here are some friends that decided to tag along.

Fishing dolphins

They like to play and take a good look. Must be a spectator sport…

Fishing scenery

When they overnight on the boat, they tuck into sheltered bays near one of the many islands in the Hauraki Gulf.

Fishing mooring

Lots of neighbors to chat with…

Fishing Allen

Then there is the fishing. The ones that got away…

Fishing Paul

And the ones that didn’t.

Do you like to fish? If so, where is your favorite fishing spot?

Beautiful Tekapo, New Zealand #travel

Tekapo is a gorgeous spot in the Mackenzie basin of the South Island. Lake Tekapo is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

Lake Tekapo

The lake is glacier-blue since it is fed from the Southern Alps.

Church of the Good Shepherd

The Church of the Good Shepherd was built by settlers in 1935. It sits on the lake shore and worshipers have a stunning view of Lake Tekapo.

View from Church of the Good Shepherd

The dog statue, not far from the church is another popular landmark. The statue of the collie sheepdog represents the contribution of man’s best friend to the Mackenzie region.

Tekapo Collie Statue

Tekapo Dog

A close up of the statue.

The entire Mackenzie basin is known for one other thing. It is part of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. Both nights we were there we got up in the small hours of the morning to stargaze. I don’t have any photos, but I have never seen so many stars in all my life. The sky was carpeted with stars and planets, and this is a memory that will live with me for a long time.

I love this region of New Zealand and highly recommend a visit if you’re ever near this part of New Zealand.

Christchurch: Then and Now #travel #NewZealand

On 4th September 2010 an earthquake struck Christchurch in New Zealand. A second struck on 22 February 2011 with loss of life and property damage.

I visited Christchurch in 2006 and this year was the first time I’d returned. It was sobering, even now almost five years later. The center of Christchurch remains empty with ruined buildings and lots of vacant lots.

Christchurch Cathedral

This is a photo of the cathedral and the square, taken prior to the Earthquake.

Christchurch Cathedral

A second view of the cathedral.

Cathedral Ruins 1

Cathedral Ruins

Cathedral Ruins

Cathedral Ruins

As I said, sobering. The cathedral is one of the many buildings in the city center that is still damaged. There are also many empty lots where the buildings have been removed. There is talk of restoring the cathedral, but the cost is phenomenal. I would like them to reinforce the shell enough to make it safe and to use it as a memorial. It’s certainly an emotional topic for the Christchurch locals.

Update: A 5.7 magnitude earthquake occurred on Valentine’s day (14 Feb 2016)–the first big quake for some time. Thankfully, there were no fatalities.

College Glacier, Alaska #travel

College Glacier, Alaska

This is a portion of the College Glacier in Alaska. We were able to get quite close and witnessed a calving, which is where a hunk of ice falls into the water. This was taken before the calving and you could hear the ice crack and shift then it toppled.

Floating Ice

We sailed past chunks of floating ice, some a pretty blue.

Glacier

And this is me bundled up against the cold on the approach to the glacier. It’s a beautiful part of the world with pristine water and air and gorgeous scenery.