Category Archives: Travel

A walk across Sydney

After wandering around cities from Auckland to Marrakesh today I walked across the Sydney CBD from Potts Point to the S H Ervin Gallery to see the Salon des Refuses.

Boot camp at bottom of  McElhone Steps

Boot camp at bottom of McElhone Steps


The boot camp still operated on McElhone Steps from Potts Point down to Woolloomooloo. Press ups at the bottom of the steps then the participants ran/puffed up the steps with the encouragement of the trainer, who stayed at the bottom.

Near Harry's Cafe de Wheels

Near Harry’s Cafe de Wheels

The first change I noticed was the removal of the fence at Woolloomooloo near Harry’s Cafe de Wheels. New seats have been installed so now we can enjoy a pie with an uninterrupted view of the harbour.

It is always a risk walking up the steps beside the Art Gallery of NSW as one usually has to negotiate a boot camp then the lunch time joggers on Art Gallery Rd.

Lunch after a visit to the Art Gallery

Lunch after a visit to the Art Gallery

There was a group of small school children eating lunch in the Domain with coffee drinkers, more joggers and a team of footballers.

Sydney Domain

Sydney Domain

Then passed the State library of NSW and another exhibition to visit next time.

State Library of NSW

State Library of NSW

Groups of language students/tourists with clip boards in hand were taking notes in O’Connell St and Australia Square.

Students with clipboards and cameras

Students with clipboards and cameras

Then a new food court under the Wintergarden building.

Food courts have improved.

Food courts have improved.

I have often gone on free walking tours in other cities but it had never crossed my mind that I could also do this in my home city.

Free walking tour guide

Free walking tour guide

He told me that often Sydneysiders went on his tour and ended saying they saw bits of Sydney they did not know about. Free Sydney

Then up Jamison St and a building I had not previously seen as I guess I had never really looked up.

I had no idea the top had been added much later.

I had no idea the top had been added much later.

The though the underpass beneath the approaches to the bridge, more joggers and a young woman doing her exercises, oblivious of passersby.
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Finally a sign I was arriving and another group running up the Agar Steps and then immediately back down again.

No photos were allowed in the Salon des Refuses Exhibition but some very interesting pictures which to my untutored eye could easily been part of the Archibald finalists.

A good citizen and trusted representative

A good citizen and trusted representative


A walk back to the city passed this monument in York St. I wonder if any politicians would have this said about them today.

The Spring Flower Show in David Jones Department Store.

Perhaps a walk of being a tourist in my city should become a regular activity.

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Santiago de Compostela for Softies

Northern Spain by Rail

FEVE Station Bilbao

FEVE Station Bilbao

As you realise I have a thing about travel by train so the thought of the narrow gauge trains which go along the north coast of Spain appealed.

I joined a tour run by Explore, an UK travel company for 12 days travel, we were 2 other couples and a fantastic Basque guide John.

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Thursday in Granada

Procession with Blessed Sacrament

My aim for the day was to buy some toothpaste as I had been to the Alhambra the previous day and missed the procession to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi. I had caught the tail end of the festivities of families eating and girls wearing traditional costumes.

Well! How wrong I was.

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An evening in Paris

Pond with irises

Pond with irises

Who could have expected this!

I booked into a hotel near Gare de Lyon in Paris for one night as I was catching the train to Barcelona from that station.

Gare de Lyon is about 1km walk from Bastille in the It is a little further away from Notre Dame so less frequented by tourists. When I arrived I asked the hotel reception to suggests as to  where to walk and where to eat dinner. And how lucky was I.

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Nearly the end

Cartagena

Cartagena

So nearly at the end of 7 weeks

What have I learnt.

Cruising is seductive because it is so easy. The days slide by from meal to meal with difficult choices being confined to what event/talk to attend and what time to go to the laundry.

However there are elements of a floating retirement village such as the age of most of the passengers.
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Mayhem in the laundry

Author Bill Miller was a speaker on board.

Author Bill Miller was a speaker on board.

Agatha Christie has been mentioned on this site and there is plenty of scope for a novel on the Queen Victoria.
I have mentioned the positioning of the single ladies for the 6 dance hosts, one lady places her water bottle on the chair in the front row, she always occupies, about 1 hour prior to the start of the dancing. She does get a lot of dances.

Then there is the laundry.
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Panama Canal

Bridge of the Americas

Bridge of the Americas

Going through the Panama Canal was one of the main reasons I chose this trip. I was not disappointed. We appraoched the Bridge of the Americas on the Pacific side of the canal, about 6.20 am. Then the Miraflores Locks which looked as if the Queen Victoria would not fit.
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Community is where you find it.

Chocolate for Easter

Chocolate for Easter

Queen Victoria is a community of about 3000 people, about 2000 passengers and 1000 crew. About the same size as my village of Blackheath.
Here the ethic mix is far more diverse than Blackheath, passengers about 700 from the US, 400 or so from the UK, 200 or so from Australia and fewer from Canada, Germany, and many other countries.

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The Pacific

Monument to the Bounty in Papeete

Monument to the Bounty in Papeete

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I have a thing about journeys and I do get caught up into the history of these routes.

This has happened again in a way I did not expect. When I was planning this trip I was reluctant to say how I was going to the UK. I felt uncomfortable about the self indulgent 7 weeks. The first few days I wondered what I had done, 7 weeks but now that has changed.

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I am sailing…

Sydney to Southampton 2015

Sydney to Southampton 2015

So it is now just a little over a week into my trip on the Queen Victoria from Sydney to Southampton, a journey of 51 days across the Pacific and through the Panama Canal.

Queen Victoria in Sydney

Queen Victoria in Sydney

I know there are quicker ways of going to the UK. Continue reading

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