Page 16 of D MJ Binkley Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam March 22nd 2008

It was a dark and stormy night…….no wait a minute, it’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Sure is dark and rainy though. Welcome to Amsterdam in March, where the wind howls off of the North Sea and the conditions can change from sunny and breezy to windy and sleeting in a matter of moments. It’s not quite officially spring as we write this, but we are sure hoping to escape some of these cold sea breezes. We are wearing four layers of clothing and it still feels like the wind goes right through you. This is what we get for coming directly from Dubai to London to Amsterdam in late winter. It did not feel anywhere near this cold in London. Our feet are in full revolt and threatening to contact some podiatry association as we ... read more
Wonderful architecture
Anyone seen my bike??
Canal Houseboat

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London March 16th 2008

Ah, London in winter……the skies are consistently gray and a threat of rain is constantly in the air. But yet this city is quite alive despite this onslaught of sub-optimal weather. We couldn’t wait to land in this great city and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of one of the truly magnificent cities in the world. As our plane was on approach into Heathrow some 27 year old gentleman from Sri Lanka was jumping the security fence at the airport and running onto a runway near an airplane. The authorities quickly caught him and began their questioning. Security is heightened because the following day the Queen was going to be at Heathrow for the grand opening of a new terminal. We are pleased that his foolish stunt did not delay our landing, nor did ... read more
Portobello home
Our friends Ian and Olaf
The Earl Percy

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai March 14th 2008

A 10 hour flight and a five hour time change later, we find ourselves in an incredible place like no other…Dubai. We’ve transported ourselves from the land of OZ, to the land of shopping, opulence, outrageous construction projects, and the Muslim religion. Each morning at about 5 AM, the call to prayer is heard across the city courtesy of the many mosques. We get up and open the window to hear the chanting from the loudspeakers. It’s the signal for all worshippers to get ready to face the east and pray. The chanting only lasts about five minutes, but we enjoy it for it reminds us where we are. It is quiet for another 10 minutes and then we can hear the chanting or singing for another 5 minutes. At this hour of the morning the ... read more
Lovely Landscaping around the city
Hidden Faces
Dubai Businessman

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Dongara March 8th 2008

After a train ride through the most desolate parts of this large island-continent, it was good to be back in a large city again. We are both admittedly city dwellers, but certainly don’t mind venturing out into the lesser populated regions. Perth is a city of almost 1.5 million people. If you looked at a map, spotted Perth and looked at its latitude, you would notice it was at about 32 degrees give or take a few degrees and minutes. Then, if you headed west on that same parallel until you hit land again, you would have to go all the way to South Africa across a vast expanse of water, the Indian Ocean. Perth is the only city of any size west of Adelaide, which is over 1650 miles to the east. This is one ... read more
Limestone Pinnaceles
Close up
Sea of Pinnacles

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Perth March 2nd 2008

Indian Pacific Railway- Sydney to Perth In the immortal words of Johnny Cash, “ I hear that train a comin’, comin’ down the track……. It was time to ride the rails and take a good long look at some of the most remote parts of this large country. We have had the most wonderful adventure taking the Indian Pacific Railway all the way across Australia. The 4,352km (2700miles) transcontinental journey between Sydney and Perth is one of the longest and most fascinating train journeys in the world. It also contains over 300 miles of the longest straight stretch of railroad in the world We have learned that we love train travel; we are smitten. We took the Gold Coach across country and they treated us very well. We highly recommend taking the Gold Class train. The ... read more
Sydney Central Station
The train at the station
Dave on the run

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney February 26th 2008

Hello, hello, hello! Great news, we have a new camera and so far we like it a lot. It has a great zoom on it. I’m sure it will take us a little while to get comfortable with it so please bear with us. Sydney is as spectacular as you can see from the photos. It is one of the Great cities of the World!! The Harbour Bridge and the Opera House are outstanding!! What a beautiful city. It is very cosmopolitan and diverse. This city is full of life and crazy drivers on narrow streets. Speaking from experience, it is a monster to drive in this city because of all the one way streets and the buses and trucks that have trouble staying in their small lanes. None the less, we both agree this is ... read more
Harbor Bridge
Grand Pacific Highway
Blue Mountains

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Brisbane February 19th 2008

Ugh! We have just realized that our camera is starting to go out on us. This camera has been with us for more than a few adventures, but we’re afraid that it’s tired and the photos will prove that. This group of photos will be marginal at best. We’ve already bought another camera and promise stunning pictures for the next blog. We are not sure where all the flies have gone but we have not run into many on this part of the coast. It is so wonderful!!! Anyway……we have previously mentioned in our blogs that once in a while we need to take a break from the trip. It sounds funny, but it’s true. All this fun and adventure tends to tire you out……and you need to rest for just a little while. To give ... read more
Brisbane Waterfront
Watching the surfers

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Port Douglas February 6th 2008

G’day Mate, here we are in Queensland, which is called the Sunshine State. Does that sound like Florida? There are some sunny similarities. Take a glance at an Australian map. We’re starting the next part of our trip on the northeast coast of Australia… Port Douglas to Hervery Bay. In all honesty, it was good to flee the heat of Alice Springs and head to something more palatable weather-wise. It “only” goes up to about 30 or 31 degrees in Cairns. That’s 86 degrees for you Yankees. Sure it’s humid, but after 106 degree heat, this is almost cozy! So on Australia Day, when most of the country celebrates the national holiday by ingesting alcohol and barbequed meats, we landed in the city of Cairns, pronounced “cans”. Cairns is a backpacker’s and diver’s paradise. It is ... read more
Whitehaven Beach
Whitsunday Islands
Beautiful Islands the Whitsundays

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Uluru January 28th 2008

It is easy to forget how big and diverse Australia really is. Although it is technically a continent, it might be easy just to think of it as a large island when you cursively glance at it on a map. The fact is it’s a continent and is not that dissimilar in size to the United States. The U.S. however, has about 275 million more people. An example of this is we boarded our plane in Melbourne early one Monday morning and it was about 65 degrees. We flew for 2 ½ hours and stepped off our plane in Uluru (Ayers Rock) into a rather blistering heat on the airport tarmac. We’re quite sure it was at least in the upper 90’s. By late after noon it was almost 106 degrees. Even we Yankees know that ... read more
Path to King's Canyon Sunset
Sunset dinner
Ah, yes, champagne

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Port Campbell January 21st 2008

We’re back on the mainland of Australia after having taken a 6 AM flight from Hobart to Melbourne which included getting on the wrong bus and having to run to catch the right one. With all our luggage in tow! It is good to laugh at ourselves. We arranged for a shuttle bus to the airport at 4:45 AM and they said they would pick us up around the corner from our hotel. While we waited there, a shuttle pulled up in front of our hotel. We quickly brought our stuff back down there and loaded it on the bus. After a few moments, the driver looked at our vouchers and told us we were on the wrong bus. We got out and grabbed our luggage, only to see the shuttle we needed pulling up down ... read more
MJ and a Koala Bear
Climbing Koala
The Great Ocean Road

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