Retired and love travel, cruising in particular and have plenty of time to do it. We like to swap information with others so as to be ready for any holiday to get the most out of it.
The pictures that I have posted here have been resized for the Internet; if anyone would like better quality copies they can have them for free. Starting in 2009 my pictures have been resized to 16:9 ratio so that they will fit a wide screen TV, believe this might be the way of the future. I'll be sending DVDs to my friends with commentary and hopefully background music if I manage to locate some legal royalty free stuff.
Cruises have been disappointing lately so will be going back to coach tours in 2010.
July 31st 2010
This is our Grand Tour of Italy and Sicily on Insight Vacations. We started off in Rome; naturally we visited the Vatican including the Sistine Chapel and the Museum. We had a look at Pompeii then on to Naples to catch the night ferry to Sicily. We had a tour of Sicily including Mt Etna which was an optional extra. Later we saw Sorrento with a visit to the Isle of Capri. Other destinations on the way back to Rome were Assisi, Venice and Florence. We spent a lot of time driving on motorways pulling off now and then to look at churches and more churches, sometimes four in one day. We had been on several coach tours before, always found them interesting and good value for money, this time we thought we would try ... read more
August 25th 2008
I should have written this travel blog quite some time ago but honestly the cruise was so disappointing that I couldn’t really muster the enthusiasm. Our problems started when we flew from Reykjavik to Amsterdam to join the cruise, for the second time with them Icelandic Air did not have the promised vegetarian food for us, because of the same problem on the inward flight we had called into their head office and been assured that they would definitely positively have it for us, several other passengers had the same problem with special meals that we don’t think that they could handle it. Their planes were rather old, uncomfortable and well overdue for refurbishment, the entertainment system could only be described as antiquated. Since taking the photographs on this holiday I have decided to crop them ... read more
August 24th 2008
Iceland Complete Tour, Day 1 - 13th August 2008. We were heading to Europe for the trip of a lifetime on a Riverboat, little did we know that the fill in visit to Iceland would turn out to be probably the best holiday that we had ever had. No better way to start it than to travel on this new A380. Luxury and we didn’t realise just how comfortable and quiet it was until we later transferred to another plane. This is the cabin upstairs, must be about the most comfortable economy seating there is with an entertainment system that surpasses those found in business class only five or so years ago. Regardless of all this luxury the Singapore Airlines Staff would ma... read more
August 21st 2008
Visit to Reykjavik. The first thing that any visitor to Reykjavik should do is to visit the Tourist Information Centre at Aðalstræti 2 • IS-101 Reykjavík. Ask anyone, it is in the downtown Reykjavik area and is the Tourist Centre where you meet for walking tours throughout the day. They have a number of well kept secrets the biggest being the Reykjavik Welcome Card, it costs about $12 per day and gives you free travel on all the Strætó City Buses and the Viðey Island Ferry. You can also pop into this centre during the day for free Internet access with this card. The card also gives you unlimited free admission to the following which are open during the holiday season including June, July and August: - - All Reykjavik Thermal pools, there are seven of ... read more
May 17th 2008
We recently visited the Australian Reptile Park on the New South Wales Central Coast, not the easiest of places to get to by public transport but we noticed several coaches in the car park so if you do not have your own transport touring companies would be a good place to start. The park is as much as anything an educational venue for families which is rather valuable because many of the visitors live in areas that contain some of the most dangerous snakes and spiders in the world. The park also has many marsupials and birds, some of them are wandering free inside the park and have become quite used to visitors. The park was established by the late Eric Worrell establishing methods of collecting venom from both poisonous spiders and snakes. The venom was ... read more
May 3rd 2008
A couple of months ago Virgin Blue had some specials advertised, one was a trip to Melbourne so we decided to pop down for four days. The returns flights were enjoyable; all the Virgin staff seems to be happy and helpful making budget travel a very pleasant experience. We stayed at the Mercure Hotel which is in Swanston Street, one of the main streets in the business district of Melbourne, close to all the public transport and to most of the places that we wanted to visit, be warned though, on the shops side of this street there are many smokers under the verandas and they seem to use very strong imported tobacco, unfortunately we had to walk through them to visit Gopals, the best Vegetarian Restaurant in Melbourne. The Mercure is a well maintained ... read more
April 1st 2008
Not a lot to show for two days in Canberra but naturally they do no allow cameras in the art galleries and exhibitions, it would be a bit like taking a banjo along to the Royal Albert Hall. The following are mainly of the Australian Museum, this is meant to be a fun place designed for families to have a great time. I think the Architect(s) has done a really good job, see what you think. We arrived quite early but later in the day there would be many families and lots of children running around this outdoor area having a great time. img=http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y223/NigelWaring/Mis... read more
March 29th 2008
The main purpose of our trip to Bathurst was to visit, situated in the heart of Bathurst, the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum which is the home of the internationally renowned Somerville Collection. This important collection is internationally significant because it covers rare specimens from all over the world. It is housed in the 1876 Public School building which underwent major refurbishment before being fitted out with stunningly beautiful exhibitions. Close to 2000 fossil and mineral specimens are displayed in two main exhibitions. The Somerville Collection is the lifetime work of Warren Somerville and features some of the finest and rarest examples of minerals and fossils in the world. The specimens currently on display in the Museum represent about one quarter of the total Collection. Highlights from the mineral collection include crystals from over 100 Australian ... read more
October 20th 2007
When visiting a new country there are many ways to learn about it. A good place to start in Australia is with its history. The entire continent was occupied by Europeans just over 200 years ago, 219 to be exact. It is a fairly large continent, almost the same size as mainland USA which is sometimes called the lower or contiguous 48 states and has an area of about 7.9 million square kilometres. Mainland Australia has an area of 7.6 million square kilometres. In the first decade, just a few hundred people rising to just a few thousand by the end of that decade transformed the entire continent in such a way that the process became irreversible. Yes many of the indigenous people did suffer, their population was reduced from somewhere around a million to ... read more
October 17th 2007
We’ve just been on a mini dolphin watch cruise at Nelson Bay on the mid north coast of New South Wales. Photographically it was not very successful because the boats are not allowed to go nearer than 100 metres to the dolphins and not having a super telephoto these pictures will be a bit fuzzy. These are estuarine bottle nosed dolphins that live in the Port Nelson bay. img=http://i6.phot... read more