Fringe Flash – Adelaide

Adelaide boasts that its Fringe Festival is the second largest in the world (Edinburgh is first.)  But more importantly it’s “The Biggest in the Southern Hemisphere.”  Which is code for “Bigger than Sydney’s” and we landed in the middle of it. There are festival venues along the Rundle Mall and in almost every theater in the city, but “action central” is in the parks to … Continue reading Fringe Flash – Adelaide

Doin’ OK in Adelaide

In Albania the standard greeting is “Mire Dita, Si Jeni?”  “Good Day, How are you?”  As an American I always answered in the optimistic, “Doing great!” or “I’m well.”   Once someone caught me up and asked “Why are you always doing well, do you hear from your son every day?” and followed with:  “You are always doing well, this is, I think an American thing?”  … Continue reading Doin’ OK in Adelaide

Community Radio and Kangaroos.

Each Community Station is unique but somehow we are all the same.  This was to be our one shot at seeing Australian Wildlife in the wild.  Instead we found a community radio station. Kangaroo Island is an island nearly 100 miles long off the coast of South Australia that has a lot of its land dedicated to national park and wildlife reserves.  We had planned … Continue reading Community Radio and Kangaroos.

Public Art and Pocket Parks — Hobart

I am writing this Thursday afternoon.   Wednesday we were hove to off the island of Tasmania, nose into the wind, blowing up to 90 knots, surrounded by green water, 9 meter (29 foot) seas and making no process.  We made it up the coast of Tasmania before the storm caught us.  The Captain adjusted ballast and waited for the winds to abate and for lower … Continue reading Public Art and Pocket Parks — Hobart

Fulfilling Pop’s Dream – Cruising into Hobart.

To my dad Hobart was a kind of heaven.  He had been on a troop ship, the Washington, for a long time out of San Francisco.  The Japanese had reported sinking her but she zig zagged safely through the North and South Pacific, making landfall in Hobart, Tasmania, before heading on to Freemantle and finally Calcutta. Pop described, both in a letter to Mom and … Continue reading Fulfilling Pop’s Dream – Cruising into Hobart.

QVB in the CBD

A highlight of the Central Business District (CBD( is the Queen Victoria Building (QVB).  It’s one of those Victorian iron and glass structures that followed the first world’s fair at crystal palace.  It was an architecture style that was used in railway stations and markets around the world.  Here in Sydney this Victorian arcade is not made up of funky little shops but upscale boutiques.  … Continue reading QVB in the CBD

Working Man’s Beach — Bondi

Bondi Beach is the closest beach to Sydney, only 7 km (5 miles) from the center and on public transport.  It’s a 1.5 KM long crescent of sand between two headlands.  Bondi is an aboriginal word for “water breaking.”  Rebellious workers made their way here on weekends at the end of the 19th century against the desires of their “betters” (or “Wowsers” in Aussie speak) … Continue reading Working Man’s Beach — Bondi

Sydney Opera House.

The Sydney Opera House is one of those iconic structures that define a city, like the Eifel Tower, the Statue of Liberty or Big Ben.  But perhaps it is misnamed. It is more an overall performing arts center.  The concert hall is bigger than the opera hall, and there are three other theaters and several restaurants in the complex.  We spent a good 6 hours … Continue reading Sydney Opera House.

Community Knitting Project — Sydney

Texture can evoke memory.  I’ve not used a paper straw in years.  But here in Sydney at “The Tea Cozy” they’ve given me a paper straw and the taste and texture of it bring back childhood memories.  We’re having tea and scones in “The Rocks,” the quarter where Sydney started.  The scones are traditional with Devonshire clotted cream.  But being Australia the tea is iced … Continue reading Community Knitting Project — Sydney

Evaporating Waterfalls —  Milford Sound

The Rough Guide to New Zealand suggests that the best time to visit Milford Sound is during a rainstorm.  I suppose this is a good attitude to have since it rains 180 days a year (sound familiar) delivering around 7 meters (273 inches) of rain annually.  During a rain waterfalls pop up everywhere, whole sides of mountains become waterfalls and then the mist rises when … Continue reading Evaporating Waterfalls —  Milford Sound

Doubtful Sound but Familiar Names.

  Doubtful Sound was named by Captain Cook because he was doubtful that if he sailed in he could get out again, so he gave it a pass.  He left the exploration of the sound to the Spaniard Malaspina.  Both Cook and Malaspina visited both New Zealand and Alaska and  I am encountering some of the same names, Bligh, Cook, Vancouver, Resolution, Turnagain, and, completely … Continue reading Doubtful Sound but Familiar Names.

Fjordlands National Park — Dusky Sound

On Wednesday we sailed through Fjordland National Park on the South Island.  We visited three sounds, Dusky, Doubtful and Milford.  Dusky Sound was our first sailing destination at 8 in the morning.  Dusky was named by Captain Cook, and on this day it seems to live up to its name.  Cook spent time repairing and replenishing his ships on his second voyage after a rough … Continue reading Fjordlands National Park — Dusky Sound

Taieri Gorge Railroad.

My main goal in Dunedin was to ride the Taieri Gorge Railroad.  The narrow gauge line was built from Dunedin to the gold fields at Cromwell.  It carried supplies to the gold fields an on the back haul brought agricultural products, especially lovestock, back to Dunedin.  In 1980 the government started the Clyde power scheme in which a hydro dam was designed that would flood … Continue reading Taieri Gorge Railroad.

A Railway Station and its city – Dunedin

Dunedin (Edinburgh in Gaelic) is a university city.  We arrived on Waitangi Day, New Zealand’s National Day.   The University of Otago would get underway seriously the next day.  It was built as a “little Scotland” by immigrants but it grew to prominence as the supply depot for a gold rush in the interior of the South Island around the end of the 19th century.  It … Continue reading A Railway Station and its city – Dunedin

Albatross, Penguins and Timber, Otago Bay, South Island.

Dunedin, on New Zealand’s south island, is Garlic for Edinburgh and when we sailed into Otago Bay, on which Dunedin and its seaport Port Chalmers are located we could see a similarity with Scotland.  One of the main exports from Port Chalmers is wood, and you can see it stacked on the wharves, in the round for shipment to China, and cut into dimension lumber … Continue reading Albatross, Penguins and Timber, Otago Bay, South Island.

Art Deco Town – Napier, New Zealand.

Napier reminds me of what I imagine Los Angeles to have looked like in 1940, a mission style art deco with a pleasing climate near the sea.  In an earlier post I talked about the earthquake that destroyed Napier New Zealand.  The city that rose from the rubble was a unified art deco city. (See post of the earthquake). It’s the city’s main appeal to … Continue reading Art Deco Town – Napier, New Zealand.

A Tragic Solution, The Napier Earthquake

A  Tragic Solution, The Napier Earthquake Napier, New Zealand was in trouble.  It was a growing port that was running out of land. It was losing out to Hastings, a bit inland because it did not have the land for additional industrial and residential growth.  Napier has a fishing fleet but also exports timber, fruit and wine.  In February 1931 its land problem was solved … Continue reading A Tragic Solution, The Napier Earthquake

Cars older than Cuba’s – Napier, New Zealand.

One of the saddest things we had to do to move to Alaska was sell our 1928 Model A Ford.  We sold it in 1980 when we moved because we didn’t think we could drive it over the mountains to Seattle and the ferry and we didn’t want it to rust in the Southeast Alaska salt damp.  So we sold it, and the money we … Continue reading Cars older than Cuba’s – Napier, New Zealand.

It Fell Like A House of Cards — St. John’s Cathedral, Napier NZ.

“It fell like a house of cards.”  That’s what an eyewitness said when the brick Waiapu Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist collapsed in an earthquake in February, 1931.  There was a service going on inside at the time, which was between 10 and 11 in the morning.  Not only the cathedral but much of the town collapsed as well.  And then there was … Continue reading It Fell Like A House of Cards — St. John’s Cathedral, Napier NZ.

Happy People — Mount Maunganui

The itinerary said our port of call was Tauranga but we really docked in Mount Maunganui and we had a plethora of options.  We could visit the massive thermal area at Rotorua, do a canopy walk through the redwoods, visit some important Maori sites, take a cruise on the Bay of Plenty (so named by Captain Cook), visit the galleries of Tauranga, or do what … Continue reading Happy People — Mount Maunganui

Extreme Sports into the Sunset

New Zealanders are thrill seekers, or at least they think people visiting them are.  In Auckland we had the option of bungee jumping off of all sorts of urban structures, climbing all sorts of urban structures, zip lining, and being hung, in a harness, from the top of the big tower and dangled at the height of the observation deck so your friends can take … Continue reading Extreme Sports into the Sunset