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.

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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.





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.





Jojawar, small but fabulous. Day 7.

1 12 2009

Between Udaipur and Pushkar we stopped for a night in the small village of Jojawar. By far the smallest place on our itinerary, it has maybe 8000 residents. Its nice, small and flat, easy to walk.

Road to Jojawar

On arrival into our hotel, we checked into the old place. It feels like 100 years ago it was a luxury palace hotel for the British, probably hunting. Now? Its feeling a bit run down but full of character. Rather nice place actually. Seems to be about the only place in town, probably as its a good stopping point on the way from A to B.

This girl met us out the front of the place and was more than willing to chat. Everytime we asked, she came out with a different name, seemingly enjoying verbally sparring with the tourists.

Girl of many names.

The town, small, cute and rural. Cows and animals have right of way.

Holy Cow! It's Sacred

Life in Jojawar

Streets of Jojawar

Restaurants of Jojawar

Some of my favourite Indian pics came from the town, it was just so nice with friendly people.

Mother and Baby

Mother and Daughter

The kids especially were fun. Not demanding money or things like kids in bigger cities, just much more fun and cheeky.

Toy Wheel.

Kids and their toys.

Kids, Kids, Kids

Can I have some please?

More interesting was the “shopping”. Being a small local village, there are no supermarkets, shopping centers or the like. Most produce seemed to be sold on street carts, with most of it looking extremely fresh and delicious. The fish however……Nowhere near the ocean and we didn’t see any big rivers.

Local Supermarket Owner

Local Supermarket

Tomato?

Would you buy this fish?

Would you buy this fish?

The night? Well, the restaurant “buffet” wasn’t the best, but sitting in the courtyard, playing cards, drinking beverages looking at this sunset? Amazing.

Jojawar Sunset





The Haechi of Seoul – Gwanghwamun Plaza

6 10 2009

Recently the area in front of Gyeongbokgung palace in Seoul has been turned from a 12 lane road into a vast public space, Gwanghwamun Plaza. The old statue of King Sejong is still here, but now is part of a fountain structure.

King Sejong and his Fountians

On a nice hot day, the kids go crazy running around, trying to avoid the water and usually failing.

Upwards Rain?

Strut in those fountains boy

The plaza itself contains more than just the fountains. It is also a vast public exhibition space, both above ground and underground.

Gwanghwamun Plaza

Currently they are exhibiting the Haechi of Seoul. The Haechi is a mythical beast that once protected the palaces of Seoul. Now it is the latest tourist face of the city. They have put at least 20 differently decorated Haechi statues out as an art exhibit. Similar in concept to the decorated cows that were in many cities over the last few years, these seem to have more of a sense of fun.

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