Travels with Cathy and Steve


Steve (ex management consultant) and Cathy (retired UK civil servant), have been together 29 years and are continuing our year of travelling.
We using a blog instead of Facebook.

Our last couple of days were quiet, mainly because the weather turned to warm, very windy and cloudy. Also because Steve had a problem with his foot (suspected Gout - very painful) and that put the kibosh on a planned rainforest walk. Still we were able to get some interesting things done: Friday night is street party night in Gros Islet, with lots of street food, street bars and VERY LOUD music. We travelled by local bus, had a cocktail, surveyEd the long queues for food and, as we had done previously at Shirley Heights, decided to go elsewhere to eat. The elsewhere was Rodney Bay Marina, only a walk from our hotel and home to several very attractive restaurants. We have eaten well in St Lucia but English Harbour was better.... On Saturday we had ... read more
Friday night Street food at Gros Islet 2
This a Bob Marley Birthday cocktail
Steve enjoys said cocktail

The last couple of days have been fairly quiet beach days. The days tend start with some rain, wind and overcast skies, but gradually brighten up to be warm and sunny. In never drops below 26C, even in the evenings, so we’ve spent most of our time on the beach, and eaten dinner outside everyday. On Tuesday however the weather was fab and we headed out on an excellent trip, as follows. After an early pick up we joined a catamaran for a 2 hour cruise down the West coast to Soufriere. We were with a lively crowd of Americans, Canadians and a few others, mainly our age group but some families with kids. Then by bus up into the hills for a drenching under a waterfall (Cj: the waterfall wasn’t huge, but by heck it ... read more
Cruising under clear blue skies
Steve pummelled under waterfall
While Cathy strikes a pose

Our last night in Antigua involved a return visit to Restaurant Incanto....fabulous food in a delightful setting, although it was a bit blowy that night. Our hostess in Antigua let us check out late which was great as we were able to have a full day before our evening flight to St. Lucia. This was interesting on a small 50 seater aircraft. We flew at about 18:00 heading south and looking west. As we flew the sky turned redder and redder finally fading to black as we landed. Spectacular but not really photographable. So, all good except that the taxi we ordered to pick us up failed to materialise so we had to find a cab and got into our new hotel later than planned. We’ve moved from a small B&B in the Antiguan hills to ... read more
We’ll miss the breakfast view in Antigua ... English Harbour in the distance.
Poolside at the new place..note clouds
Local beach...less cloud

Spoiler alert ! Antigua has a lot, and I do mean a lot, of very attractive beaches. We have visited many and stopped on several, often finding a nice spot for a bite of lunch. That was the pattern yesterday for my Birthday. We headed out west to Ffryers (yes, double ‘f’) beach and had several hours in sun and shade with a very stiff breeze at our backs. Luckily this was blowing off shore. If it been the other way round we’d have been sand blasted. Then we had a late lunch at Sheer Rocks, a simply delightful spot overlooking the beach. The prices were sky high, the portions tiny (but delicious), the service pedestrian but it was lovely way to spend 90 minutes. By the time we’d finished it was time to head back ... read more
Lovely spot for a leisurely lunch at Sheer Rocks
View of the beach from Sheer Rocks
English Harbour Sunset - again

Sunday evenings in Antigua mean one thing: Shirley Heights. Tourists from all over the island gravitate to this old military post with fabulous views out over English Harbour. There’s a fantastic (and huge!) steel band, a reggae band, bars and BBQ. Party time! All great fun but we skipped the BBQ. Since then we’ve explored gently east and west, looking at beaches and towns. More on beaches later. Yesterday we headed to the capital St. John’s. Somewhat run down but pretty lively. However the most significant thing we found were the TWO enormous cruise ships in harbour. The area around the cruise ship terminal was tourist central with a weird mix of tat and high end shopping...who buys diamonds when on a cruise? We’re convinced that not much of the tourist dollars coming in off the ... read more
Party time at Shirley Heights
Steel band. 16 players, very loud!
Cruise ship heaven?  Not really

Hi All So we’re off again for some winter sun! An early start, a slow but uneventful drive to Gatwick, and a half empty Virgin Atlantic flight to Antigua. Cathy and I were both able to take 4 seats and stretch out for bit! We picked up a hire car, drove across the island but then got ....well, lost. We simply could not find our booked villa despite maps, google maps on the phone... in the end we were rescued by a local who said “follow me”. We were only 250 metres off but in the dark could not see the place hidden up a lane (Cj: a very steep, narrow dirt track) on a hillside. However, in the morning we were welcomed by a stunning view out over English Harbour, and a very enjoyable breakfast ... read more
Pool and patio
Nelson’s Dockyard
Nelson’s Dockyard

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD October 29th 2019

The weather finally turned on was glorious! Melbourne has the largest and longest tram network in the world. The network is comprehensive but slow. Nevertheless we used the good weather and the trams to explore the wider environs .. places like Fitzroy, North Melbourne and the like. You never know what you find and we found all sorts of quirky shops. E.g a great lighting store that had me thinking about my lounge lighting again... also a fine fabrics shop which enticed Cathy into buying ..... ooh err that luggage is looking a bit stuffed. In the evening we explored Chinatown. There are times in Melbourne when it feels like an Asian city. At least 50% of the guests in our hotel are Chinese and there are masses of tourists from China, Korea, Japan everywhere. ... read more
Botanic gardens on a very hot summer day...finally
Cathy enjoying the sun
Picturesque gardens but not like Japanese

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD October 29th 2019

When Cathy finally arrived at Melbourne - her train was an hour late - the weather was atrocious. It was cold, wet and very blowy - Antarctic winds are not unknown here, and we nearly got blown over trying to cross the street. What to do on a day like that? Get under cover and go shopping! Off we trotted after the storm had abated to the Queen Victoria Market, a massive affair with loads of fab fresh food and many interesting things... and, most importantly, all undercover. (Cj: the fruit and veg were very appet, the ‘handicrafts’ much less so). Later we headed down into the heart of the central business district (CBD) where there are some great examples of “old” buildings....we’re talking circa 1900 so not old at all... and some very quaint lanes ... read more
Fab fresh produce aT QVM
Art deco shopping arcade from about 1926
Plenty of graffiti in the brilliantly named AC/DC Lane

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD October 27th 2019

Cathy & I are in Australia although we’ve not been together that much. Cathy came out on 1st October and has spent 4 weeks with daughter Nik and Granddaughter Solli doing all sorts of home improvement projects. I did my share too... but we’ll spare you the details.. I then went off to do a Railway Study tour, organised by the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (where I’ve been a member for over 40 years...good grief). We did a week in Sydney when I commuted into the City but stayed at Nik’s, and then a week in Melbourne. There is no need to reherse the various seminars, visits to tram depots and construction sites etc., but we did do a few very worthwhile touristic things which I’ll summarise here and include a few photos. A ... read more
Inside the clock tour at Central Station
Fab steam loco on heritage railway
View from the cab en route to  Melbourne

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » León September 10th 2019

SC writes: So we had to get ourselves back from Santiago to Bilboa, about 700km, in two days. It was long drive, but the roads were very good and very quiet...a lot of EU money has gone into that infrastructure! We had booked to stop over in Leon, simply because it was about half way, but it turned out rather well as Leon is a Great City. We got there but mid afternoon and had time to: Visit the extraordinary Cathedral, which has some of best stained glass in Europe. The interior was impressive, even if one is not religiously inclined. Visit the second of the three Antoni Guadi’s buildings outside of Catalonia; Casa Botines. Again this was a well worthwhile visit and overall we learned a lot more about Gaudi and his influences. I first ... read more
Leon Cathedral - stained glass windows
Leon Cathedral - stained glass windows
Gaudi’s Casa Botines

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