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Archive for 'Travel'

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.

Lavender Farm, Mt Cook #travel #NewZealand

There is a lavender farm on the main highway to Aoraki Mt Cook, and we stopped to check it out.

Lavender

Lavender

You could walk between the rows and the scent was beautiful. I’m a fan of the lavender scent. It makes me happy.

The owners had placed chairs between the rows for visitors to pose for photos.

Lavender

This is me sitting in the middle of the lavender field. All I could hear was the buzz of the bees as they collected pollen. Such a peaceful place.

There was a tiny shop there where I purchased some lavender soap plus some lavender and strawberry chocolate. The chocolate (delicious and different) is long gone but I have the soap, which I look forward to using.

Do you like lavender?

Burano, the Colorful Venetian Island

During our visit to Venice we caught the vaporetto (waterbus) to nearby islands Murano and Burano. Murano is well known for glassmaking while Burano is famous for lace.

My favorite of the two was Burano with its colorful buildings.

Burano Buildings

Some of the buildings alongside the canal.

Burano

Laundry Day

And it’s laundry day…

Burano

A local on the canal.

Mask Stall

Colorful masks ready for carnivale…

Now tell me – if you could paint your house any color you wanted, which color would you choose? I vote for pink Smile

The Famous Fairlie Pie, New Zealand #travel

Last weekend, hubby and I set off on a three-day adventure and flew south to Christchurch. I was very excited to learn we’d drive through the small town of Fairlie on the way to our final destination of Tekapo. Excited, because Fairlie has a famous bakery that produces excellent and delicious, award-winning pies.

Fairlie Bakehouse, New Zealand

I said to hubby, “We must visit.”

And being the perfect husband he said, “All right.”

According to our local news, the queues have been out the door all summer since now tourists, as well as locals, are in on the secret. We climbed from our rental car prepared to wait for our turn to order.

The line wasn’t too bad, but then came the first stumbling block.

They didn’t have any vegetarian pies.

“Never mind,” I said. “You have a pie.” I scanned the other offerings. Nothing vegetarian and I didn’t feel like a cake, even though they looked delicious.

You know how it is when you set your mind on something and only that will do? That was my mind set. I wanted a pie.

Hubby chose a pork and apple pie. He ate it with relish and proceeded to tell me how delicious it tasted.

Fairlie Pork Pie

I drank my coffee. Very good coffee, but not a pie!

Hubby said, “We’ll visit on the way back. The girl said they’d most likely have vegetarian pies then.”

Fast forward to Monday…

We drove through Fairlie, parked and joined the line.

The next stumbling block. No vegetarian pies on the menu today either.

“I’ll have coffee,” I said. Talk about disappointed…

Hubby chose the Venison and Cranberry pie this time.

Fairlie Second Pie

We dined in this time. Hubby cutting his pie.

Fairlie Venison Pie

The venison and cranberry filling revealed…

Fairlie Happy

And this…this is a Fairlie Happy Pie Face.

I think I must be the only person in New Zealand who hasn’t worn this face.

Me…I’m not so impressed with Fairlie pies and the Fairlie Bakehouse, although they do have great coffee.