Geoff Griggs


Geoff Griggs

I thought I'd create a travel blog about my big trip around the world so I can document some of my travels and let others read about them :-)

Europe » United Kingdom » England April 29th 2011

I left Chicago for the flight back to London in time for the royal wedding. It was a real shame to be going home but had decided that my trip around the world had naturally come to an end. The flight home with British Airways on their brand new Boeing 777 was a good one. We had a good laugh at gate 11 of O'hare international terminal, primarily because of the cardboard cut out of the new royal couple. It was a strange feeling to walk back through my own front door for the first time this year and a sad feeling that I would have to get the lawn mower out and start attending to the mundane tasks that is home ownership. However, for now, I'm going to put my feet up and have a ... read more
I got to meet them after all...
Ah, a nice cuppa

North America » United States » Illinois » Chicago April 27th 2011

I caught the train for the 7 hour trip to Chicago, a place that's been on my list of places to visit for years. En-route, the train passed through the suprisingly green Missouri countryside, briefly through Iowa and over the Mississippi river before arriving at Chicago's Union station. I arrived on Easter Sunday and was suprised to find that Americas second city was dead and nearly everything closed. I took the opportunity to kick back for the rest of the day and wait for what hopefully would be a vibrant Monday morning of a new week in Chicago. After the great fire of 1871 Chicago rebuilt itself and is one of the original skyscraper rich cities. Downtown Chicago is full of art deco, lobbies with fancy trim, terracotta facades and, Chicago is definately the home of ... read more
Chicago river
Trump Tower disappearing into cloud
Some of Chicago cityscape

North America » United States » Missouri » Kansas City April 23rd 2011

The train left Albuquerque on time and spent nearly eighteen hours winding its way through mountain passes and along the side of valleys of New Mexico before heading straight along the flat landscape of Colorado, right through the middle of the USA. I bet photography of the train on its journey would look amazing. It stopped at tiny towns like Raton, NM and Trinidad, CO. New Mexico was sunny and dry but overnight heading through Kansas, there was the most spectacular lightening show. It went on for ages and when I arrived in Kansas City (KC) at about 630 in the morning, still not quite light, it was directly overhead and hammering it down with rain. There is something about thunder and lightening thats really cool. Given how excellent the California Merlot is, it's amazing how ... read more
Train through Colorado
A remote house en-route to Kansas
Union station - Kansas City

North America » United States » New Mexico April 21st 2011

The Southwest Chief is a train that runs from Los Angeles (LA) to Chicago and visa versa. Since I'm into my train trips and as Amtrak is apparently a good comfortable service, I decided to leave LA using it but to break the forty hour journey to Chicago into three bits by making a couple of stops along the way. It was part of my provisional plan to do at least part of the USA by rail so worked perfecty for me :-) It was easy to obtain the reservations online in advance but had to collect the tickets from one of the automated ticket machines at Union station, LA. An easy process but I had to queue again for a seat allocation and boarding pass. I reminiced over the British rail system because upon queuing ... read more
Adobe rendered building...
Historic Route 66
Central Avenue... Urban sprawl

North America » United States » California April 15th 2011

I arrived late, about 1130pm but already had acommodation booked in downtown San Francisco (SF) in the Bay City/Peninsular area. I stayed right in the middle of the city about two blocks from Market Street and Union Square and my first impression was that there are bums everywhere! It didn't take long though to see that the homeless, or street community, are a really friendly bunch and there are a great selection of characters. Downtown SF is a pretty cool place to be and oozes diversity with a constant whiff of weed in the air! The area essentially consists of Downtown - Market Street and Union Square, The Ferry Building area, Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharf, where the clam chouder served in hollowed out bread is really nice, particularly if bought from a street vendor rather ... read more
SF from the GG bridge
San Francisco cable car
SF cable car engine room

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu April 4th 2011

Aloha! I left Sydney in the evening for the nine hour flight to Honolulu on O'aho island, Hawaii. Because I crossed the International Date Line I got the same day twice so arrived in the morning of the same day. According to the captain of the plane (another Jetstar flight so I got more free meals while others had to pay for theirs), and it's a simple bit of maths, the fastest way to adjust clocks and watches etc was to simply put the time forward by three hours and the date back by a day. Hawaii was at the time, twenty one hours behind Sydney. Hawaii is more or less exactly half way between Sydney and New York and my adventure is so much fun its a shame to think that I am heading back ... read more
Waikiki Beach
Cheesecake Factory - mmm yum!
Entrance to Diamond Head crater

Oceania » Australia March 30th 2011

I've been to Adelaide before and nothing has changed since my last visit. Adelaide seems to be the stereotypical Australian city with it's quiet persona and liberal scattering of old colonial buildings. I timed this visit well because I found a great place to stay right in the city centre and arrived during the Adelaide Fringe Festival... Second only to Edinburgh apparently!?! Also, on the same weekend was the Future music festival. It tours the cities of Australia but Adelaide was the last venue so there was no chance of securing a ticket for a later date. I didn't get a ticket for now because I already had my Greyhound seat booked for Melbourne that same evening... There was also Nomadelaide! a world music festival. 'Nomad - elaide' lol, good name! Anyway, for the few days ... read more
Misty Mt. Lofty lookout
Pin Oak Court, aka Ramsey Street
Eureka building, Melbourne

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia March 7th 2011

I've been to various parts of Australia several times but this is my first visit to Western Australia. It seems that since my last visit in mid 2009 prices have rocketed. Gone are the days when Australia was considered cheap compared to Europe. I was aware that some things have changed here but as an example, it's ten Aussie dollars for a pint of beer in places and coupled with the poor rate of exchange to the British pound, that make it about six quid! Some say Perth is a bit more expensive because it's Australia's remotest city, some say alcohol is more expensive because there are no pokies (fruit machines) in Western Australia. Books are also expensive, nearly fifty one dollars for some Lonely Planets! There are many reasons, justifications, and excuses but I will ... read more
Bell tower, Perth
Grand Central Backpackers
Fremantle town hall

Asia » Indonesia » Bali March 3rd 2011

The Jetstar flight from Singapore to Bali was very good. They are a low cost carrier but although they do not do meals, I got one free. I think this is because I have a RTW ticket so spent a bit more!?... Once in Bali, I booked the first night at the first hotel I came across because I arrived quite late. It was a bit more pricy but first thing the next morning, I got up early and went to look for something cheaper and more centrally located in Kuta. I found loads of places but in the end, did a deal with the guy who owned the place I was already staying at. I stayed in Kuta and used it as a base to look round the island. Bali isn't a very big place ... read more
Kuta beach, facing south
Sunset from Kuta beach, a bit cloudy tho
Me and my mountain bike - shame about the helmet!

Asia » Malaysia February 26th 2011

As suspected, I had an excellent start to my visit to Malaysia. Most of us from the bus from Krabi went out for dinner and a few beers in the evening, and we did the same the following evening. The first day was filled by taking my camera for repairs, which wasn't the financial whack I was expecting. I thought it might be more cost effective to simply buy a new one but the model I wanted either only came as the display model or the wrong colour, so I decided to carry on with my old faithful Nikon point and shoot, for now. I had a good wander around the 'Core Zone' and 'Buffer Zone' of Georgetown, which is the main town on Penang island, or Pulau Pinang, to call it by it's Malaysian name. ... read more
Cathederal of Assumption!
Queen Victoria clock tower
Penang national park

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