Petronas Towers

22 09 2012

Lets dig through the processed pics and see what we find. Back to the Petronas towers it is. These things are huge. So huge you need to go up the KL tower to get the best view.

KL Tower SunSet

Strangely the Petronas towers are hard to get up. It’s a first come, first served on the tickets with only limited availability each day. Damn expensive too. The KL tower on the other hand, much cheaper, you can just rock up, and the view is spectacular.

Twin Tower Tips

Some more pics of the towers, taken from the base.

Twin Towers

Petronas Towers

And my favourite. The pic with the little girl. She didn’t seem to be posing for anybody, but just doing that thing kids do. Very cool.

Twins and One

Some more random pics of the latest trip coming soon. However they are of course on my flickr page already. See the last few pics to the right, or click the flickr link at the top of the page.

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Mt Field

13 02 2012

So. Long time. Very bad me. Very very bad.

Suffice to say, things are going great. We bought a house, we are working on its garden and other stuff. Work is fun and challenging, Susie has a new job, we have kittens! (pics and post later) and I’m writing a blog post. Shock horror.

Now the house stuff is starting to calm down and we feel (more) confident leaving our kittens alone, we have started to venture out to explore this amazing state we have decided to call home.

I’d heard about Mt Field national park before. It is approx 80km north west of Hobart, a good hours drive depending of traffic and bakery stops. You start by driving through the scenic town of New Norfolk, then continue through Bushy Park (home of most of the hops grown in Australia) then onwards to Mt Field.

myWPEdit Image



We paid up (actually bought the 2 year membership as it was best value, $125 for 2 years, $96 for one, or $25 a visit) and walked.

First stop, Russell Falls.

The falls were not as spectacular as normal due to lack of rain (take that Sydney), but still were much better than we imagined they would be. I was also using this as an excuse to play around photographically, so long exposure time. 5 seconds in direct midday sun thanks to a ND400 9 stop filter.

Russell Falls

Just up the path a further 10 easy minutes are the smaller but more interesting HorseShoe Falls. Same stream, but different.

Horseshoe Falls

Playing around I forgot that I was shooting long exposures so ended up this this effect from shooting up into the trees. I quite liked it.

5 second squirl

Continuing further into the national park (by car, not by foot, it IS a huge place) we encountered the mosaic moor. Named for the stunning grasses and plants carpeting the place. Very peculiar soft squishy moorland with an artificial treeline thanks to the exposed nature of the plateau its on.

GhostGums

Onwards to Lake Dobson. It seems to be a very popular spot for a bit of bushwalking and longer treks. Even skiing in winter when there is actually enough snow. Either way an amazingly beautiful serene place which continues the tradition of the scenery changing every 5 minutes.

Fallen

Lone Tree

Would I go back? For sure. There are so many things to see, do and visit. The National Parks folk have helpfully created a list of 60 great short walks around Tasmania, so we might try to do a few more of these. Especially while the weather is so nice.

As for the blog, I want to do more. I’ve been missing it but lazy for some reason. Seems it takes a national park and a public holiday to motivate me. More public holidays please.





Gibraltar

25 06 2011

Wow, doesn’t time fly. It was more than a year ago we reached Gibraltar. 19th April 2010 to be precise. Why we wanted to visit I really don’t know, I doubt it was more than just wanting to visit the tiny country, as well as hopefully enjoying some decent English style fish and chips. So, visit we did. Staying the night on the Spanish side in La Linea. Taking the but across the border into Gibraltar proper the next morning.

Obviously the famous Rock of Gibraltar features heavily in the images. So, I’ll just post an image wall and let you look. Remember, click and you can get big high quality images. Enjoy.

Gibraltar

Gibraltar

The Rock

The Rock

Who, Me?

Just Chillin

Monkey

Rock'n'Monkey

Leave me alone, I'm sleepy

The End of Europe

Port of Gibraltar

So, what did we think? Very pleasantly surprised. Hopefully some more pics soon, but the whole town/country felt like a small English town transplanted into the tropics. It was hot, sunny and beautiful, but still with that English look and feel. Peclulair and amazing. Go Visit.





2010, a year in review

4 01 2011

2010 might possibly have been the most unusual year I could have imagined. From living on different continents, travelling through many countries, working, not working, we’ve done it all.

We started 2010 in Sydney, but living in Korea.

We then flew to China to continue our vactations.

Back to Korea for a few weeks, finishing everything up, packing, shipping stuff around the world and saying goodbyes. Sad time.

Leaving Korea for the last time, our adventure awaited.


visited 23 states (10.2%)
Create your own visited map of The World

Thats a list of the counties visited from leaving Korea to returning to Australia. We worked ourselves continually west, mostly overland, but with a few flights as required by time or distance.

I’ll try to pull together a better map with arrows, but basically we did :

Korea, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Italy, France, Andorra, Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, Spain, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, USA and at long last, Australia.

A good start on the world.

Returning to Aus, we lived and worked in Sydney for a few months while the parents were off exploring the country, but ultimatly have ended up in the land of the

Thats right, Tasmania. Hobart specifically.

We had visited a few times, visiting our good friends at

We liked it and decided to make a go of living here. The cool weather and clean everything helped.

Of course, we didn’t have jobs lined up when we arrived. We had both put a few applications in but its hard to apply and be taken seriously from out of state. But, after being here a few weeks, some interviews happened and I landed a great job at the State Library of Tasmania in the Systems Development and Support department.

Since then, we visited Sydney for xmas 2010, returned back to Tas in time for the Taste Festival and New Years Eve, and now its 2011.

I worked it out, and I think I was working for only about 10 weeks of 2010. Some of that was intentional, some unwanted, some optimistic. However, the travel was AMAZING. So many amazing things, places, people, foods and experiences. Hard to beat. Its so sad that so many people talk about doing something but never take the plunge and do it. 3.5 years in Korea and I don’t regret any of it.





Veliko Turnovo

23 09 2010

Veliko Turnovo (aka Veliko Tarnovo). First real (new) stop on our returning home trip. Starting off in Istanbul we caught the overnight train up into Bulgaria and onwards to Veliko Turnovo, at one point the Bulgarian Capital.

The trip was eventful. Fun and games with the train conductor trying to assign us a shared birth cabin rather than the private 2 berth we paid for. Still, with the train mostly empty all worked out. Having eaten before embarking, we anticipated some sleep before arriving into Bulgaria. What wasn’t anticipated was the 1am wake up call to get off the train and visit immigration and customs. From the Turkish. Pyjamas and all we clambered out into the snow (lots of snow and still snowing), down onto the tracks, back up onto the next platform and into a queue of, well, us. A quick stamp and all done.

The conductor had other ideas. Feeling like he had done us a favour by giving us a private cabin, I found 30 Euro’s thrust into my hand and a request for duty free cigarettes. 4 cartons it was. Turns out that as an conductor he’s not allowed to buy duty free at the border, so he gets passengers to do it for him. My new best friend 🙂

The Bulgarian customs and immigration was much more civilised. They came onto the train allowing us to stay warm. They had computers and seemed surprised to find and Australian on board. Didn’t quite know what to do with the passport. 5 mins and all done.

Unfortunately we were cold. Very cold. As in middle of winter with no train heating cold. They stuffed something up while changing engines, and we ended up wearing all the clothes we could find.

Arriving into Veliko was magical. Rustic, clean fresh snow everywhere. And out ride nowhere to be found. Staying with the absolutely fantastic Hostel Mostel (very very highly recommended to all), they provide a lift from the station. Unfortunatly being low season there was only one girl working so she advised us to take a taxi. Easier said than done. A local “archeologist” took pity on us and in return for us paying his way got us into a taxi and moving. Still, we arrived and were made to feel more than welcome.

Veliko is a town built on a river. Not just any river but an amazing bend on the Yantra River.

Veliko Tarnovo

Its an old communist city used as a resort of sorts. Check out the hotel (middle of picture) for a great example of amazing communist archetecture. Its a massive image so load it up and look around.

Veliko Turnovo Panorama

One of the highlights of any visit to Veliko is the old fortress of Tsarevets.

Tsarevets Panorama

To enter you need to cross a bridge guarded by 3 gates and the famous Lion of Tsarevets.

Welcome to Tsarevets
Lion of Tsarevets

The church on top was somewhat of a surprise. Rebuilt by the communists in 1986 (from memory) it was decorated in a modern abstract communist method. Quite a shock. Due to the snow we were the only ones there (except for the lady working there) so had the place to our selves. Lots of interesting pics.

Ascension of Christ, The Patriarch Church
Ascension of Christ, The Patriarch Church
Ascension of Christ, The Patriarch Church
Ascension of Christ, The Patriarch Church
Ascension of Christ, The Patriarch Church
Ascension of Christ, The Patriarch Church

Other really cool stuff in Veliko includes the Monument of the Assens, a memorial to Bulgarian kings made of a giant sword and 4 horsemen.

Monument of the Assens

A bridge crosses from the hotel to the monument, Stambolov’s Bridge.

Stambolov’s Bridge

Crossing the River

The Dark River

Other fun sights we found, an old woman shovelling snow next to the war memorial using a shovel made from an old sign.

Sign of the Times

And some cool graffiti down near the hostel.

Red Head Graffiti

Overall an amazing place. Highly recommended to visit. Amazing food, friendly people and cheap cheap cheap.





Gadling photo of the day

1 08 2010

Woo Hoo, success, again!

I follow and read the Gadling travel site and often submit my favourite photo’s from my travels. Today was my 2nd “Photo of the Day” winning entry, so I’m stoked.

The story behind this one is more being lucky and right place right time. We were wandering the markets of Chichicastenango (go there, its amazing) and noticed all the locals gathered around laughing and pointing. We of course joined in and it was this dog stuck in a plastic stool. It seems to be enjoying the whole experience and wouldn’t let anyone close enough to help. It kept running off. I was lucky enough to snap off a few frames before it disapeared with its stool. We only saw it for maybe 10 seconds before it was off.

Fun fun fun.

So, thats 2 winners so far. I really should get around to entering some more real competitions. Still overall very happy just to have people looking at, and enjoying my photo’s.

On that note, I also got approached for one of my pics to be used in a elementary school textbook in Argentina. Having seen the quality (not good) of existing textbooks (in Korea at least) it was an emphatic YES. Can’t wait to see it.





The end is nigh

20 02 2010

It’s Sunday. In Seoul. Long weekend. Unemployed as of today. FREEDOM!!!!

What a week. I had thought that packing up our lives in Sydney was one of the hardest things to do. Yes it was hard but nothing like packing our Korean lives up. That was physically and emotionally draining on all levels.

When we left Sydney we thought we were only leaving for one year. We would be back soon and would see all our family and friends again relatively soon. One year turned into over three but we have returned to Sydney multiple times, seen the people and places. Packing up and leaving Korea feels so much more permanent. We won’t come back in a few months to settle back in. We might not see any o our friends , Korean and foreign, again. We won’t be able to visit Seoul for the weekend again. It’s much more permanent a move his time around. And that makes it so much harder to do.

The past week has been a blur of packing and sending some things home. Sending much more to the bin. Selling some things online and some to friends in town. Every night was a farewell dinner of some kind. Teachers dinners, dinners with Korean friends and their families, dinners with the foreigners, generally saying goodbye to everyone. Much more difficult than leaving Sydney ever was. I guess as foreigners finding our place in a small country town we have put down deeper roots than most. Still, I wouldn’t change any of it. Comingto Korea was the best decision we ever made.

Next. Mmmmm. Next. First is frankfurt for a few days. Then on to Istanbul for a few more and then we head west. Wear until west is finished. And then, who knows.