Intrepid Traveller

EMP

Intrepid Traveller

"Intrepid traveller" - sounds good but not true.

I love to travel and enjoy photography. I plan to record my travels, mainly to read again when I can no longer remember and also to share some of my photos while keeping in touch with family and friends during the time I am away from home.

I never did the typical "OE" like many Kiwis, however while taking my annual holidays, most years I managed to travel somewhere different. Now that I have retired I am about to go on a mini "OE".

My older blogs will eventually be entered - in my retirement.



Europe » Svalbard » Spitsbergen August 26th 2015

As i had another day to fill in before my Polar Bear Special Cruise commences tomorrow on m/v Plancius i decided to fill the day in by taking a tour. The coach swoops around the various hotels picking up passengers, including me at 8:30am for the 9-10 hour cruise. Once the coach delivered us to the vessel "Polargirl" we were given the usual safety talk by the young female guide (name now forgotten) and everyone rushed on board to get the "best position". How they knew what was best I don't know as there seemed to be beauty all around. It was however overcast and foggy when we commenced but brightened the further we sailed up the Billefjorden and by time we reached our first destination of Pryamiden the sun was shining. As we pulled into ... read more
Sweden originally owned the coal mine and sold it to the Soviet Union in 1927.
On the 31 March 1998 the last ton of coal was removed form the mine.
The monument of Pyramiden, with the last ton of coal extracted from the mine behind it

Europe August 25th 2015

Well if you are anything like me, having arrived here in Longyearbyen yesterday afternoon not knowing too much about the place, today I am full of knowledge having taken a two hour ride around the town with a local and a few others in a taxi van. The town is not very big. Today was a little brighter then yesterday when I arrived to rain, today with the sun attempting to shine late afternoon, but not warmer being 4C all morning possibly reaching as high as 7C later on. There was no wind to speak of so no chill factor. The driver of the van was a retired army officer, full of interesting information, and we pretty much went in every direction and saw all that there was to see. It was originally named Longyear City ... read more
The local church where the door is always open, Tea and coffee available.
Signs still remain of the the aerial system to shift the coal
This mine collapsed killing a number of people and their bodies remain under the collapsed mine.

North America » Greenland » East Greenland » Kulusuk August 21st 2015

The day started with a quick taxi ride to the Reykjavik domestic terminal, which is located very close to the city centre. It was interesting that we departed from the Domestic Terminal although we were changing countries and having to present our passports however as I am on holiday it dosn't pay to think too much about "why" things are the way they are and just go with the flow. The flight was due to depart at 10:15am and we got away on time in a twin propeller aircraft - its been a while since I have been in one of them. The flight was around one hour and forty minutes and as we approached Greenland was when the excitement really started, as looking out the window of the aircraft there were already icebergs floating in ... read more
Taking off over Reykjavik city.
The first signs of icebergs from the aircraft
Then the ice bergs got bigger.

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík August 19th 2015

We woke to another fine day, we have got to like this weather after the wet start from Reykjavik seven days ago. It was Nikki's 50th birthday today and Nigel must have mentioned it to Asgeir, our guide, because before we set off he and the driver came down to the back of the bus where we were seated and sang Happy Birthday in Icelandic to her. We drove through beautiful countryside to Deilartunguhver, which is the world's largest and powerful hot water spring with a flow rate of 190 litres of water per second. The homes and businesses of Borgarnes and Akranes use this water for heating and close by there were tomatoes growing in hot houses also using the water for heating. There was a stand of bagged tomatoes with an honesty box so ... read more
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Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík August 12th 2015

After a short flight from Oslo and gaining two hours in the process, I arrived in Reykjavik around four thirty yesterday. My transfer to my hotel included a stop off at the Blue Lagoon. As the day was almost over there were only two times left to depart from the Blue Lagoon and that was 7:00 or 9:00pm. The Blue Lagoon is a twenty minute drive from the airport and a 40 minute drive from Reykjavik city centre. Upon arriving at the pools, I learned that they are one of 25 Wonders of the World. When still encumbered with suitcases it is a breeze to check them in at the designated building beside the car park and receiving a ticket number which you pay for with your entry fee to the pools. This involves a short ... read more
Light refreshments during the flight.
Still snow on the hills
Coming in to land at Keflavik International Airport.

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Honningsvag August 1st 2015

Following all day at sea yesterday and cruising overnight we docked in Honningsvag at 8:00am and by 9:00am we were cleared to leave the ship. No - we haven't left the rain behind in Russia, as today was very overcast and misty with intermittent showers. The high for the day was 9C and this is Summer. Honningsgvag is located on the large island of Mageroya in the extreme northern reaches of Norway and is a small, tight-knit fishing community with colourful hillside homes overlooking the harbour and Barents Sea After the restrictions of not being able to leave the ship in any of the Russian ports unless we were on a organised tour, and even those with a Russian visa were unable to just wander about and also had to have proof of a tour organised ... read more
Part of the small harbour.
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A rather nice mural.

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Murmansk July 26th 2015

We arrived early as planned in Murmansk before they closed off the harbour area for their Naval parade as today is a special day for the Navy. Murmansk is a city and seaport in the extreme north west part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, 12 miles from the Barents Sea not far from the borders with Norway and Finland. The port remains free of ice all year round due to the warm North Atlantic Drift ocean current. It is the largest city north of the Arctic Circle and was the last town founded in the Russian Empire being founded October 4 1916. Once again there was no rush to be anywhere. We had lost an hour overnight as we had changed time zones. We were being pushed in position by tugs when I looked out ... read more
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The Russian and Murmansk flags.
Crazy paving

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Hammerfest July 25th 2015

We arrived in Hammerfest this morning at 6:00am, earlier then planned as our next stop is Murmansk in Russia. Yesterday we were advised that in Murmansk they are holding a naval parade and if we are not in the harbour before 6:00am tomorrow we will not be allowed to enter. We are not sure what this parade involves, whether we will see it, whether it will mess up our tour plans, or what. It could be a fun day. As everything had been bought forward we had to leave the ship at 7:30am if we wanted to do or see things in Hammerfest. It is a really lovely small town and they claim to be the northern most city in the world. However Honniingsvâg disputes this as they are further north but they do not have ... read more
The building for the tourist with toilets and where the tasting of reindeer meat and cloud berries takes place.
The replica house showing Sami life.
Father, a reindeer herder.

Europe » Austria » Salzburg » Salzburg July 16th 2015

Another early start, firstly the walk from my hotel to Haupthahnhof (the main train station) then across the road to be in front of Karstadt department store where all the Gray Line coaches depart from each day, to be there by 7:45am. Why be there so early when they depart at 8:30am? - because they leave earlier if the bus is full. They have been running these tours for many years but still they are not organised in that you are immediately able to see which coach you should be on as they have no signs on them with which coach is going where and with seven or eight coaches in a row - it can be daunting. What makes me laugh is that the drivers get grumpy telling people which bus they should be on. ... read more
Josef Klaus was many years Governor of Salzburg (1949-1961)
Hohensalzburg Fortress
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Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Munich July 14th 2015

Today was just a settling into holiday mode with very little planning going into the day other than having yesterday purchased a ticket for the Hop-On Hop-Off bus run by Gray Line. In my case it was more of Hop-On then Hop-Off. Gray Line run an Express service of six stops or the Grand Circle of ten stops. Surprising they do not kick off until 9:40AM for the Express and 11:10AM for the Grand Circle by then the day is half over in my opinion. The room rate for my hotel includes breakfast and having endulged substantially I set off around 7:30AM with the intention of finding where I needed to be get on the Hop-On Hop-Off bus, as the same stop I also need for the three following days for 8:30AM departures on full day ... read more
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