Page 7 of flagamma Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Italy » Sicily April 18th 2016

10 days and counting. I am getting so excited. Been thinking a lot about how this trip is going to be so different from last year's. Am going from the land of G'day mate and ta to Ciao and arrivederci. From being in countries younger than America and colonized by the British, to a land that has been conquered over centuries by Greeks, Turks, Arabs, etc. and the people speak a melodic romance language. From seeing kangaroos, wallabies, emus, cassawarys, crocodiles, Tasmanian devils and koalas to seeing donkeys and chickens. Traveling from a country that is approximately the same size as North America to one closer to Texas in size . Going from a land settled by deported British "criminals" to the home of the Mafia. I can not wait to live the differences. SO.... until ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sicily April 6th 2016

Hi everyone, 22 more days and off to the island of Sicily in the Mediterranean. Got my sunscreen all ready to pack. Just a warning that I am going to be sending blogs again. Hope you all feel like you are there with me. Ciao for now!... read more

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney April 11th 2015

Well all, the trip is over. The last day in Wellington was amazing. We first went to a museum called Te Papa. Like all the museums in AUS and NZ, there is no entrance fee. Only bad thing about the whole time there was that there were about 500 screaming, running children enjoying it too. It was the middle of the Easter break so everyone decided to take the kiddies for a day out. The six floor museum had everything from geological rooms with an interactive earthquake house to a platform one jumped on to see how much the plate movement resembled an earthquake all in one exhibit. Except for the very loud noise it made when the platform kept hitting the floor, it was pretty amazing. In the same room were all kinds of fossils ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island April 8th 2015

Second last day in NZ. Today we took a coach tour of the city. Wellington literally hugs the coast of the North Island. When the city was being planned, these guys in England were chosen to set up the streets. Now they were in England looking at a chart someone had drawn somewhere else and they got to lay out the streets. Not realizing that there was only a narrow strip of coastline backed by lots of hills, they laid out grid line streets. When it came to actually building roads, the builders had to put in streets even if they went nowhere. On one road alone there were two street names and all that was attached to the name was a very long set of stairs that never went to a house or another road. ... read more

Oceania April 6th 2015

Ran out of room before I had a chance to tell you about Punakaiki or the Pancake Rocks. The rocks were formed millions of years ago when alternating layers of limestone and mud were laid down by nature. Erosion caused the mud to wear away leaving stacks of rocks that look a lot like giant pancake stacks. They way they eroded, not all the mud between layers eroded, so there are slight even gaps between the layers. There must have been close to a hundred of these stacks around. There was even an entire area that looked like a small village. There were some amazing examples of water erosion in the rocks at the bottom of the stacks. On super windy days there are blowholes, but although we thought it was really windy, the Kiwis visiting ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island April 6th 2015

Today is the last day on the western side of the South Island. Headed to Reefton, a town that was part of the NZ's gold rush era, but is now a small town limping along. In the old days there was a gold vein worked by underground miners, but when the vein ran down, a lot of the miners left. An major overseas company, Oceania Gold, bought up a lot of the land outside the town.They are more of a strip mining company. They break off giant chunks of rock, pulverize it with giant pounding pistons, add water, run through a sluice then apply different poisonous chemicals - mercury and cyanide (one causes gold to melt, the other causes it to fall out of solution) (freaked me out when they talked about the chemicals, both are ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island April 6th 2015

Ended up in Franz Joseph, this small Alpine-type town near the Franz Joseph Glacier. Today we went on a guided walk to the base of the Glacier. At least some of us went all the way to the base. I went about two-thirds of the way from the car park to the Glacier before the winds got too cold and made me start to cough. Our guide took us to the middle of what would be a raging river during the spring thaw but now was a dry boulder strewn creek bed. There he proceeded to draw a map of the area in the creek bed, showing how the NZ Southern Alps were formed by the Australian tectonic plate diving under the Pacific plate. He said the mountains were still growing at about an inch a ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown April 4th 2015

Long, long, long day. 7 hour coach ride fom Queenstown to Milford Sound on the west coast. No straight way to get there. Lots of stops, but finally made it. Onto a boat that took us up the fjords and out into the Tasman Sea. Saw an albatross, some fur seals and a lot of waterfalls. It was really quite cold, so I contented myself with sitting indoors throughout most of the day. Did not help that I ended up with some strange allergies in Rotorua and I hqve been suffering with stuffiness and a nasty cough. Worse when I laugh. One of the other ladies said she had the same thing before she left home. Hope it disappears before my flights home. All we did when we got back to the hotel was go to ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua March 31st 2015

End of the last day here, and I will finally be caught up, so if you all look at the date, you can figure out where I am. This morning we went to Waimunga Volcanic Valley. Everywhere around Rotorua there are volcanic vents spewing out sulfer fumes and boiling ponds. Even the golf course has a couple of real hot hazards. Anyway, tourism started there in the mid-1880's because of the steam vents and geysers. On June 1886, Tarawera blew up in the early hours of the morning and at 2 am, a column of black ash suddenly erupted from the highest dome, Ruawahia. The eruption kept extending to the southwest. The eruption rift extended in a 16 kilometer line and was in violent upheaval. The rising magma hit the gdo-thermal pools and the resulting ejection ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua March 31st 2015

Finally going to get caught up. long ride here yesterday. Took about 6 hours, but we had some fun stops. First of all i was amazed how quickly the street department personnel got the barriers down. There when I went to bed at 10:30, gone by 7 am. We made a few stops including Happy Houses. lunch and finally a shop for hokey-pokey ice cream. It reminded me a lot of our butter brickle, but the chips were less crunchy. The town we stopped in used to be one of those drive-through towns. We all know what they are, places that do not stick out much and you are through in the blink of an eye. Well, some smart entrepreneur decided to make use of left over corrugated metal sheets and make sculptures on top of ... read more

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