Page 14 of tonywilsonslo Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Germany » Rhineland-Palatinate » Oberwesel July 10th 2010

Welcome to Germany After a late start out of Chicago and a uneventful flight we landed at the Frankfurt International Airport - Europe's largest airport. It's very large. we know this because we walked most of it looking for the car rental booths. Just to confuse things there were opposite ends of the airport. At least we got to stretch our legs after the flight. Once we got our car and started on the road it was learn by doing time for Tony, I'm glad I have not had to drive yet. Our first stop was Schonburg, a castle in Oberwessel along the Rhine, about 45 minutes from Frankfurt. It was a very picturesque place to relax after the flight and try to reset our internal clocks. the castle is on the ridge above the ... read more
Our Room
The Town ofOberwessel
Room Key

SNOW SNOW... lots of SNOW... and lots of water from all that melting SNOW. We started off at the Sandy Meadow trailhead a few miles east of Lake Alpine on Hwy 4. The first stretch of approx 1/3 a mile was clear, and beautiful. It was an uphill climb, which helped warm up our legs and our lungs. At about 1/3 mile in, we encountered our first snow drift.... certainly nor our last, or the largest, but it was a flavor of what was to come. We made a few discoveries in that first drift. First, it is difficult to find the trail on the other side, especially when the trees with the trail markers have fallen, or when the trail on the other side is covered by a small pond. Second, where the melting snow ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Northland December 3rd 2007

Today was a day to relax before we head home tomorrow. We found out that when you are not traveling at the height of tourist season, shops that cater to tourists do not open on Mondays. Breakfast was a collection of pastries and sausage rolls from a bakery in town before checking out and heading to the beaches. We managed to visit both the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea today, just to check out the differences. Both beaches were pretty flat with lots of sea shells and very little else. No seaweed and no creatures in the tide pools. We found one lonely hermit crab (with a really beautiful shell) on the Pacific Ocean beach. There were also some really great rocks. The waves were larger on the west coast (Tasman Sea) but that could ... read more
Random water pool

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Northland December 3rd 2007

Today we left Waitomo Caves for the Northland. We originally wanted to spend more time in this area since it's supposed to have the best beaches in all of New Zealand. Unfortunately the weather has not cooperated with us, it's been cloudy with periods of rain for the last few days and looks like it will continue. We'll visit the beaches tommorow but I don't think we'll be laying out in the sun. Our first stop today through is Sheep World. This visit has been high on Anne's list since we started looking into the trip. Where else in New Zealand can you see sheep sheared, see sheep dog demonstrations, feed numerous barnyard animals, including lambs, horses, pigs, ducks, chickens, deer, alpacas and eels (ok eels are not barnyard animals), and buy lots of souvieners. Apparently ... read more
Anne Lamb
Hamster at Sheepworld

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo Caves December 3rd 2007

Today's the day, our Blackwater rafting trip. 5 hours of caves, underground rivers, and innertubes. It started with an introduction to the trip and getting fitted out with Wetsuits, gumboots, helmets and harnesses. Next we headed out to the start of our trek to pratice repeling. Next we repeled 35 meters down in to the caves. The trip down started with 5 m out in space then a tight fit through the cave opening. Then it was ~25 m down the cave wall to a platform. Anne went first, then Tony, two other people on the tour, and then Chris. After a short walk we hooked up to a Flying Fox (also known a a zip line) for a fast ride in the dark, dark except for the glow worms. Anne didn't see the glow worms, ... read more
210m underground
Anne Repel

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua December 3rd 2007

Today we started off with another yummy B&B breakfast and then headed out to the Skyline Gondolas to ride the luge. We took an intial ride down the 2 km scenic route and then headed for the intermediate track. The Scenic route was very bumpy but Hamster got to ride along. The Intermidiate track was much faster and much smoother. Tony and Chris made Anne go last since she kept slowing down. there were lots of nice banks and speedy parts. From there we debated checking out "New Zealand's Largest 3D Maze" but we passed. Tony and Chris went golfing (increadibly cheap) and Anne went to get a new haircut and do some souviner shopping (not so cheap :) ). We left for Waitomo later that afternoon, a nice drive into the western hills to another ... read more
Quintal Lift
Chris Chillin
Lovely Rotorua

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua November 29th 2007

Today we started the morning with a another great breakfast at the Seaview B&B (we're learning to really enjoy muselli) and then on the road again. Today's trip was relativly short, it was just a few hours from Napier to Rotorua. We even bought a few used CD's (Arlo Guthrie, REO Speedwagon and Fleetwood Mac) to add some music to the trip. Unfortunatly we only got through the first 15min of Alices Resturant when the CD player in the car broke. We were trully bummed and Tony was looking forward to hearing the Pickle song. After the three hour drive to Rotorua we checked into our B&B. It's pretty close to town and the hosts are very friendly and helpful. The rooms are very nice and they even have thier own thermal pool. The whole area ... read more
First Waterfall
Anne Out

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua November 28th 2007

Today we took a wine tour. We woke up early and had breakfast at our Bed and Breakfast. Our host was fantastic!! Unfortunately, it seems they are auctioning (selling) the business in a month, so we would be unlikely to see her again if we came through. We walked on the beach and collected beach glass. It was very hard to find glass on this beach. Not enough trash 10 years ago, I guess. Tony was VERY happy to be in Napier. For those who don't know... Tony played a Dungeons and Dragons character for 4 years named Napier. It was a name he made up, so he was very happy to see a town with the same name. The fact that it is a very fun art-deco town on the coast in the middle of ... read more
Beach Glass
Wine and Cheese

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Napier November 27th 2007

Today we took an all day Lord of the Rings tour. It was actually quite fun. We went around and saw about 6 or 7 filming locations. The tour guide was quite knowledgable about LOTR and Wellington. We went on another swing bridge right near Rivendell. This one was shorter, but older.. it swung quite a bit and bounced a lot too. After the tour, we traded in our rental car (again) for another Mazda. The only thing wrong with this one so far is that the radio is not a digital tuner (though it is a digital display with a CD... odd). no presets, no scan. Not that radio stations are very powerful in NZ. A 4 hour drive up the east coast put us into a very nice Bed and Breakfast in Napier, right ... read more
Anne as Legolas

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington November 26th 2007

We've passed the half way point in our trip. Today was dedicated to crossing from Picton on the South Island to Wellington on the North. We took some time in the morning to view some scenery around Picton and then heady for vehicle check-in at 12:15 at the Ferry terminal. After parking the car we haded upstairs to the veiw deck (Deck 8) and proceeded to waste several hours playing cards while the ferry sailed across the channel. The view was great and the water not too rough. After trying to walk across the floor Anne decided that it was best to stay seated though while in the middle of the channel. Upon arriving in Wellington we immediatle tryed to find the Rental company...again. Our latest rental car seems to have issues with a belt of ... read more
In the hold
Hotel View
Hamster Meets (baby) Heifer

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