Recently retired from teaching with 40 years experience in many different areas including working in SE Asia and Japan. In my 20s and 30s I backpacked in between posts in Canada, Australia and SE Asia & China. My journals were written in a variety of notebooks and it is wonderful to look back on them and remember the people and places. Now this seems the more logical place to keep my journals and it is great that they can be shared.
I try to upload the blog as I go along but most of the details and photos are added on return home when I have more time and a stronger Internet connection!

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Viseu June 19th 2018

Was up shortly after sailing this morning, 6.30 & by 7.30 breakfast as I was quite hungry. Ate a good meal and ashore by 9 for the Museum talk. Plenty of detail, interesting film footage from 1960s. When port tasting time I went down to museum exhibits which were pretty much the same as the talk. The rest of the day was just sailing upriver to the furthest point the ships can go on the border with Spain. Beautiful views in glorious weather. Slowed near Pinhao as Viking ship coming down and looks interesting enough for a couple of hours whilst people go to Quinta's on the day we stop there. Have plotted with maps.me along the river and hope to match photos when home. 3.20 now and in a lock that takes almost an hour ... read more
Bridges near Regua
Regua to Pocinho train

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto June 18th 2018

First thing in the morning, 6.30, I'm up on the sun deck admiring the view of Porto across the river from Gaia where the cruise ships dock. There's a heavy mist rising from the water with the heat of the sun, and beyond the famous Dom Luis 1 bridge the view has a mysterious air. We start our river cruise with a ‘sumptuous breakfast’, one of 3 available - Early riser (6-7.30), sumptuous (7.30-9), and late risers (9-10.30). Very civilized if you like breakfast! If you want to take the tours, every day bar one means getting up to go out between 8 & 9. Although lunch is provided on return most people ate at least something from the buffet. Each day there was a choice of 2 trips, usually one walking and the other on ... read more
Lello bookstore
Tina Potter?

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto June 17th 2018

It was a 3 ½ hour drive from Lisbon up the A1and as we came off it near Porto there were toll booths. Arrival at Vila Nova da Gaia was down a steep winding road following a Viking bus after the driver came across it at a roundabout. It was his first time on this transfer and his sat Nav did not seem very helpful. We drove along the quay and pulled in next to the boat. We were boarded 3 at a time up the gangway for safety reasons, I guess it was quite a steep slope and know that gangways collapse as it happened on a Med cruise that we took. Clearly we were early and just a small group in for lunch. It was a simple green salad, chicken, steak or salmon with ... read more
Dom Luis 1 Bridge

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa June 16th 2018

We had headed down to the town to catch a bus up the castle for the Alfama walk not knowing how much walking we could cope with. We used the metro to get there. It was a bit of a puzzle to find the right Square for the castle bus, Placa Figueira, because the downtown of Lisbon is a maze of squares and plazas. In any city with a metro, coming out of the right exit is always a challenge and each time we traveled on the same route this day we came out of different exits. Using maps.me we could could have seen exactly where we were but the hotel phone had an app specifically for Lisbon and it's transport, i think it was called 'citymapping'. Quite a few people were in the queue and ... read more
Ginger sherry

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa June 15th 2018

We flew in on TAP from Gatwick to be greeted by at the arrival lounge for our transfer. They were waiting for more so we had half hour to have coffee in the glorious sun and warmth. Having checked into Hotel Iberostar as booked by our agent we decided to go out rather than nap. We walked into the park of king Eduardo 2nd, where they have, I think it is the Judas tree with lilac flowers- they look better from a distance with a hazy blue aura, but apart from that there was nothing really attractive. A festival finished a couple of days ago and there are many small huts still to be cleared. We did not walk up to that viewpoint because we could see down Avenue da Liberado and we were both tired. ... read more
Iberostar bathroom

Europe » Norway » Trøndelag » Trondheim March 13th 2018

The ship was delayed overnight by head winds and at one stage Captain said we were almost 2 hours late. However we docked at 2.30 ish and were ashore by 3.0 and walking over the bridge into town when at 3.07 I turned on Mapmywalk. We'd been given a town map so used that to go through the main part to Nidaros. Got down to river and lookout to take couple photos on way there. Stretch of old warehouses probably less than quarter mile. After seeing church went over bridge and I tried to find unusual angles. We turned left into Bakklandet. Saw only a couple of quaint views to photograph. Went down by river and as we'd only been about 90 minutes, sat in sun for a while before continuing to canal and pedestrian bridge ... read more
Docked in Trondheim
River Nid

Asia » Burma October 29th 2017

Nyaung Shwe town Today is my first day off I should have had more days like this. I woke around 7 and was up and around the town by 7:30 visiting the market to buy a couple of t-shirts and a pair of velvet flip-flops. I also found a length on fabric which is Thai or Indonesian batik cotton to replace the sarong which is my last one from 30 years ago. I returned to the hotel to have breakfast and as it was 8:15, almost everything was finished but they made sausage, bacon and bread and then I was surprised to be given pancakes honey and fruit. Tomorrow I will remember not to have breakfast just the pancakes with fruit and honey. A couple of hours later I returned to town thinking I would just ... read more
Fancy tops
Fish in the market
Teachers and pupils

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake October 28th 2017

Inle I am not sure what time we arrived at Shwenyaung but it was 7:30 at the cottage on the lake. The taxi to the jetty in town was about half hour then it was an hour to the far south in an open boat with little wooden armchairs for seats. For approximately half the distance the sun was going down then we arrived in darkness. I have already spent an hour admiring the room. It is actually a chalet on stilts over the water. I get the feeling that Myanmar has so much variety that you would never be able to know it as a country, just one small part. Now that travelers are going into new areas it would be interesting to see if they are different again from the familiar ones. 28th October ... read more
Golden Island Cottages
Sunrise at GIC
The sun appears

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region October 27th 2017

Kalaw. 26th October The hotel has intermittent WiFi so fingers crossed I'll get some use. The 9 hours predicted on the bus was less than 7 as it was full soon after leaving Bagan, we even had a half hour lunch stop. Many of the passengers were tourists going to Kalaw or on to Taungii. I'm feeling dizzy and nauseous but it's not surprising as the last 2 hours were over mountains with constant switch backs. If I don't travel well normally, what chance do I stand here?The guide for tomorrow was at the hotel to greet me and discuss the route for trekking. It is 4 hours up and down mountains. Even before coming away I wondered whether I'd cope and my itinerary said only 3 hours! I cancelled it, what a woos, ... read more
Kalaw town
Dawn arrives in Kalaw
Town view at Dawn

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region October 27th 2017

Yuyu and I went to the station in Kalaw together in the taxi. It turned out it was the boss of the trekking company, A1, and he had bags for 2 others who had been on an overnight trek and boarded at Myindaik as was planned for me. When we got there, the down train, to Thazi, was pulling out. She told me it takes 35 minutes from Myindaik so we would have over an hour's wait. That is the nature of trains here. At least the trains run to serve the people unlike the delays on British trains. The timetable is up on the wall but the train stopped at any point if people want to put things on it or get off. A bell rings about 10 minutes before the train comes and you ... read more
The timetable
Yuyu and myself
A view out of kalaw

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