Marks decision to head south and pick up Highway 63 was inspired, we had a lovely drive south from Abel Tasman down through the fruit orchards around Nelson with the blossom just starting to come out. The road east took us along a wide river valley between towering hillsides, it reminded us of the Scottish Highlands. As we approached the town of Blenheim we drove through the Marlborough Wine region with vineyards on either side of the road stretching almost as far as the eye could see. We stopped for coffee in Blenheim, it was another modern low rise, town but it had a nice riverside park. From there we turned south and followed Highway 1 to Kaikoura. Continue reading Kaikoura
We left Wellington on Thursday morning taking a taxi to the ferry terminal to catch the 09.00 ferry across the Cook Straight to the South Island. We were leaving the buzz of the capital city for the costal wilderness of the Marlborough Sound, an area of bays and inlets, islands and headlands, mountains and forest. After two days of winds gusting 40-50 mph and facing a three-and-a-half-hour journey across one of the most unpredictable stretches of water in the world I can’t tell you how much we were hoping that the forecast of calm weather would come good. Sure enough Thursday morning dawned calm and sunny, we put on our trusty wristbands just to be on the safe side and boarded the Interislander Ferry. Continue reading Marlborough Sound
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
We boarded The Island Princess at Canada Place and looked down from the deck to people watching from the spot where we had stood three days earlier. The weather was glorious and the seaplanes were buzzing around the harbour as we prepared to set sail. We left Vancouver sailing under the Lions Gate Bridge which provided a nice symmetry to our arrival in New York under the Verrazano Narrows bridge three weeks ago (can it only be three weeks?). Continue reading North to Alaska…
We are starting to get complaints that we aren’t posting often enough (!) so in an attempt to catch up, and before we lose our internet connection for a week here are our thoughts on Vancouver…
Wow, what a beautiful city. Vancouver is built on a peninsula between the Burrard Inlet and English Bay. Our hotel is on Denman Street in the West End, a block from Stanley Park and running almost North-South with water at each end – idyllic. Across the Inlet is North Vancouver with its three mountains, Cypress, Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour, they are covered in forest and look fantastic against the clear blue skies.
Another hot and steamy day in New York City but as yet no rain. After our normal breakfast routine in Bryant Park we headed to the High Line. What a great project this is, taking a 1.5 mile stretch of a disused elevated railway track on the Lower West Side and making it into a park. We didn’t know quite what to expect but it was fantastic, a green road through the city with views across the Hudson River. The plants and trees were great to see but the civil engineering that has been undertaken is fantastic. Design of benches, tables, etc. make a real statement and some fantastic planting ideas bring nature into the city, for instance one section used a planting level well below the walkway on the old rail-line which means visitors can walk through the canopy of the trees; see some of the images we took. On a hot day it was easy to understand what an oasis the High Line Park offers local residents. Continue reading The Big Apple …. 2
Well it’s us again, sorry about the quiet period but it’s been a busy week back at UK base.
Today is ‘2 months to go’ day and it feels like time is starting to rush towards embarkation on the Queen Mary! Let us fill you in on the last week in France. Continue reading France And Spain Adventure 5