Tag Archives: travel

Why I write

Seen while walking to bus stop in London. Wonder who puts in the fresh rose.

Seen while walking to bus stop in London. Wonder who puts in the fresh rose.

I was recently asked by Kathy at 50 Shades of Age to take part in a Blog Hop as to why I write my blog. So thanks Kathy and I will try to follow the lead set by so many great bloggers. I will follow the 5 set questions.

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New Zealand’s Northern Explorer

Northern Explorer

Northern Explorer

If you are into excellent customer service this is the trip for you. I travelled on the Northern Explorer from Auckland to National Park, about half way to Wellington, on the central plateau and then from Wellington to Auckland on this great journey.
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Waiheke Island

View from Veronica's bedroom of Hauraki Gulf

View from Veronica’s bedroom of Hauraki Gulf

 

My sister Veronica moved to Waiheke Island, New Zealand and I have finally got to visit.     It is a 40 minute ferry trip from Auckland.    It is about 20 km long and described by the Waihike Island website as

a picturesque blend of farmland, forest, beaches, vineyards and olive groves. Waiheke is just a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, and has an international reputation for food and arts.

I am now finding out. The view from Veronica’s house is certainly picturesque, looking towards Auckland.
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2013 Trip from Beijing to Vienna and beyond

Travel-Map-by-Bmpermie-v3we
This trip will be in three parts;

  • Beijing to Istanbul overland by train and bus, 45 days  Starting in Beijing 3 May 2013
  • Istanbul to Vienna  through Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia by train, 6 weeks
  • Vienna to the Black Sea along the Danube River. 12 days

 

Click on link for a more detailed itinerary.         Map of trip

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Going Solo

Aren’t you afraid? I can’t count the number of times I was asked this during the six weeks I spent travelling by myself.

The first 45 days was with a small group of 7 travellers and a terrific young guide.

The 2nd part was my DIY 6 week trip around parts of the Balkans by train. I had a timetable, knowledge of the trains and hotel bookings. It was interesting, I felt safe, met lots of great people and it all went very well.

Going solo seems to create a lot of interest. One very interesting website is wanderinghart.net/travelling-solo

Wanderinghart, who is on an 8 month trip, raises many interesting points which resonated with me. This is certainly worth a read.

Like Wanderinghart for me it was always about the journey. Continue reading

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Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

I had wanted to go to Dubrovnik for a very long time. However I was concerned that it would disappoint as did Carcassonne and Sorrento. When I visited both these cities I felt that I had come 30 years too late. Too crowded, too many in your face tourist shops. Where was the real community?

Dubrovnik town wall

Dubrovnik town wall

Dubrovnik was certainly crowded but somehow it was different. I stayed outside the old town, 10 minutes away by bus in a resort hotel on the sea. This was chosen as I thought after 4 weeks of train travel I would need a rest. I was able to swim and just gaze at the sea.

But I visited the old town on 5 occasions and of course walked around the wall and attended a concert as part of the Summer Festival. Continue reading

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People Along the Way

One of the joys of this trip has been the people I have met along the way.

Tour group dressed to enter the Holy Shrine in Mushad, Iran

Tour group dressed to enter the Holy Shrine in Mushad, Iran

First of course there were those on the tour from Beijing to Istanbul, 6 women and one man from Australia, all of a certain age but from variety of backgrounds and a very wide range of social and political views. Our guide was a young Russian woman who had grown up in Kyrgyzstan because her grandparents had been sent there as part of Stalin’s gulag. Continue reading

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Mostar

Bridge at Mostar

Bridge at Mostar

Rebuilt Old Bridge Mostar

Rebuilt Old Bridge Mostar

Stari Most (English: Old Bridge) is the enduring image of Mostar in Bosnia Herzegovina. The 16th-century Ottoman bridge crossed the river Neretva and connected two parts of the city until it was destroyed in the war in November 1993. This is the reconstructed bridge opened in 2004.
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Budapest

Giant wheel newly put in a park in the middle of Budapest

Giant wheel newly put in a park in the middle of Budapest

I visited Budapest for 1 day in 2012 and wanted to spend more time in this lovely city.
I met up with Gery an exchange student who lived with us in 1997 and his parents, who took me on this wheel so I could see their city.

I spent a delightful morning  with Madgi experiencing the famous Szechenyi Medicinal Bath. I tried 4 indoor pools, the sauna and 2 outdoor pools as well as the coffee and cake. Continue reading

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Brasov

Bran Castle known as Dracula's Castle

Bran Castle known as Dracula’s Castle

I had no inclination to visit Romania. But I was to end my tour in Istanbul and I wanted to go to Budapest by train so why not stop in Romania.
I am so glad I did. I had very positive experiences.
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