After Terry and Jenny left we had another week in Melbourne. We enjoyed the luxury of being in one place for an extended period and got in to a routine of going to the market to shop for supper and stopping for coffee in one of the many cafes nearby (we particularly enjoyed an Italian café that served homemade cake made with chestnut flour and flavoured with rosemary and pinenuts). We did two more city walks; one took us through the parks and around Treasury Place where all the state government offices are based, another took us along the river to Docklands and back along the opposite bank with spectacular views of the city skyline. We took a tram out to Waterfront City, a new dockland development which is going to be very impressive but which is still under development, still it was nice to see it.
Still catching up!!
We have just had a great weekend, our friends Terry and Jenny flew in from Brisbane for the weekend, hired a car and took us to see some of their favourite places in and around Melbourne. Those of you who have been paying attention will know that we met Terry and Jenny on the Island Princess during our Alaskan cruise in August, we got on really well and it was great to catch up with them again and enjoy Melbourne together. Continue reading Melbourne 2
Apologies, once again we have been so busy enjoying ourselves we have gotten behind with the blog! We are in Melbourne for two weeks so we will update you from time to time rather than hitting you with one long report.
We were last in Melbourne about 10 years ago and really enjoyed our time here so, as we are now halfway through our trip, and have started heading back towards the UK this seemed like a good place to take a break from moving on every few days. We are staying in a studio apartment near to the city centre, in particular we are near Victoria Market, a fantastic market similar to the Boqueria Market we visited in Barcelona in April. Continue reading Melbourne Part 1
We left Napier on Monday and took Highway 2 south to Wellington, capital of New Zealand. We had quite a lot of ground to cover and the car had to be returned to Hertz by 17.00 so we didn’t have much time to spare but several people had recommended the Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre and Kiwi Sanctuary so we planned to stop there en route. Highway 2 follows the line of the Ruahine Range so as we drove across the plains of the Hawkes Bay region through wine territory and later through farmland we could see the mountains rising west of our route, some still had snow on them so they were quite a sight. We stopped for a break in Dannevirke and found a lovely café in a converted bank where coffee and cakes set us up for the rest of our drive. Next stop was the wildlife centre, we figured we could spare an hour there if we were going to reach Wellington on time. Continue reading Wellington
Well, what can we tell you all about Samoa? In brief it is a beautiful country with lovely people and stunning scenery.
We arrived early in the morning on our flight from Honolulu and were met by Michael, a member of staff from The Seabreeze Resort, our first stop in Samoa, he had a car waiting complete with iced water and cold towels to refresh us after our journey – great start.
For our stay in Maui we were booked in to the Inn at Mama’s Fish House; a group of holiday cottages clustered around a famous fish restaurant. When we checked in we were upgraded to a two-bedroom garden cottage, it was beautiful, really spacious, tastefully furnished and recently fully refurbished at great expense. We discovered a welcome tray in the kitchen with the usual tea and coffee but also a loaf of homemade banana cake, a huge fresh papaya and a fresh lime – that was breakfast sorted for one morning. Having had an early start we didn’t stray far that afternoon, but we did walk through the restaurant to see the beach. The setting was idyllic, a beautiful tropical garden opened on to a grove of palm trees and a virtually private beach, technically all the beaches in Hawaii are open to the public but this was as private as could be. The beach was steep and there was a reef off shore which protected it from the surf, in between was an area of rock pools. Not really a swimming beach but great to sit and gaze at.
Well we have gone and done it and we are now on our way to New York. We decided not to buy the on-board internet package as we thought a week without emails and text messages would be more relaxing; so we are writing a bit each day and then we will post this on arrival in New York.
Our thoughts on crossing the Atlantic on Queen Mary 2, what a wonderful way to travel! Comfortable, civilised, no jet lag, what is not to like? We have seen pods of dolphins swimming alongside the ship, Mark spotted a whale (sorry Mia it disappeared to quickly to take a photograph) and we have marvelled at the mesmerizing ocean views which are truly breath-taking. What a fantastic way to start our trip.
(By the way, bonjour Gerard et Marie-Claude, ca va?) Continue reading All at Sea …