Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

14 May 2012

Hello Malaysia!

Kuala Lumpur was the first stop on our trip, it was a great place to visit even though we only had a couple of days there.

Feathers in My Cap

  • Travelling again! It was exciting to have four weeks of adventure in front of us!
  • Wandering around the city at night
  • Visiting the markets at China Town (although I wasn't in a buying mood and didn't end up getting anything)
  • Trying new food and finding the best ice cream parlour near our hotel
  • Taking a train out of the city to explore the Batu Caves
  • Finding an amazing book store, it was huge and I could easily have spent a whole day there

Black Eyes

  • Being reminded that I don't function well in humidity
  • Getting lost for an hour when trying to find our hotel (I need to be more careful when it comes to taking down directions!)
  • Almost being attacked by a monkey at the Batu Caves

27 October 2011

Camping at Lake Benmore

Following tradition, we spent the long weekend at Lake Benmore with some friends for a few days of camping, boating, reading and lazing in the sun.

Feathers in My Cap
  • Keeping our yearly camping tradition going (this is the third year we've all made the trip)
  • Lots of time for doing nothing much
  • Trying damper cooked on the camp fire for the first time
  • Riding on the motorbike with Owen while the dog tried to keep up
  • Barbecue breakfasts
  • Spending afternoons down by the lake napping in the sun

Black Eyes
  • The temperature really dropping as soon as the sun went down
  • Deciding it was too cold for water skiing (I should have given it a go anyway!)
  • Watching the rugby world cup final. I had to hide my eyes for the last ten minutes it was so tense!

07 December 2010

Honeymoon in Rarotonga

While I'm impatiently waiting for our wedding photos to be ready I thought I'd share some honeymoon photos. The title of the post may have tipped you off that we went to Rarotonga, which was a perfect honeymoon location (as evidenced by the huge number of newlyweds on the island).

After the stress of the wedding it was nice just to relax in the sun and frequent the swim-up bar at the resort. And when we weren't snorkelling in the lagoon or looking for coconut crabs we spent our time scootering round the island. It was a lot of fun, but a little disconcerting as it always felt as if we were travelling in a straight line in the same direction (as opposed to circumnavigating the 32kms around the island).

Feathers In My Cap
  • Spending hours riding round on the scooter
  • Hot weather!
  • Reading by the pool
  • Toblerone cocktails at the swim up bar
  • Hot saunas and cold swimming pools
  • Meeting other really nice honeymooning couples

Black Eyes
  • Being savaged by mosquitoes the night we arrived
  • Drinking cocktails recklessly before an overnight flight on the way home (not recommended)
  • The bird that dive bombed everyone who walked near its tree

It was nice to be travelling with Owen again after nearly two years back in New Zealand, it stirred up my wanderlust in a big way!

27 October 2010

Lake Benmore

Over the long weekend I took a trip to Lake Benmore with a group of friends. It was the first time I'd been camping in ages, and it was so nice to get out of town for a couple of days.

I spent most of the time napping, riding pillion on a motorbike, reading, eating a lot of barbecued meals, lounging by the lake, fording rivers on the back of a truck, and trying to stop the dog getting into mischief (I was only successful part of the time).

We won't get another weekend away until after the wedding - only one month to go!

29 July 2010

Weekend in Melbourne

My little sister Sorrel moved to Melbourne at the end of last year, and I finally got around to visiting her (along with my mother, grandmother, and assorted aunties). We spent most of the time eating great food, exploring the streets, and shopping.

Feathers In My Cap
  • Spending time with family and realising that the next time we'll all be together will be at my wedding
  • Being in a different country for the first time this year
  • Chocolate fondue
  • Seeing crows (which I love but we don't have in New Zealand)
  • Riding in the combie van that belongs to Sorrel's boyfriend and is in a state of disrepair 
  • Meeting up with friends from home for dinner one night (it was a big coincidence that we were in Melbourne at the same time!)

Black Eyes
  • Colder weather than I would have liked
  • Getting sick of shopping 
  • Missing London! Being in a big city again reminded me of how much I love London and it's sad to think I won't be back there for ages

I'm looking forward to going back to Melbourne sometime, but next time I'm going to make sure it's for longer and during a warmer time of year!

21 January 2010

Summer Roadtrip

I took a long holiday after Xmas which involved nearly two weeks of road-tripping around the North Island with some of my oldest friends. The six of us bought an old van a couple of months ago especially for the trip, crossed our fingers that it wasn't going to break down, and worked out where we all wanted to go.

We spent a few nights camping in the Coromandel, went to Waihi Beach for New Year's to see Gin Whigmore & Dave Dobbyn perform, and ended up in Mount Maunganui for a couple of nights before heading back down south.

Feathers in My Cap
  • Spending time with some of my favourite people
  • Lots of great summer weather
  • Chocolate ice cream in a waffle cone
  • Lounging on the beach for a whole day
  • Making elaborate meals with minimal cooking equipment (and discovering that French toast works well on the barbeque)
  • The van not breaking down at all!

Black Eyes
  • Waking up to a minor ant infestation our first night camping
  • Thinking that the tent was going to blow away on a couple of windy nights (everything was fine though!)
  • Slow holiday traffic on the way home

26 April 2009

One Year Later

It feels like a lot longer than one year ago that I was first heading off on my overseas adventure!

Here are some of my favourite photos from the last twelve months:

And here is an overview of my travels, if you would like to find out more!

08 February 2009

Good Bye London!

When I arrived back in London after a couple of weeks in Europe things had changed. The biggest winter storm for about twenty years happened the day before my return, blanketing the city with snow and causing mass closures of transportation and businesses.

I took advantage of the snow to cross one more task off my 101 in 1001 list and made a snow man. Owen, Willow and I spent hours building it in the back garden, and the finished product was pretty impressive!

However, the novelty of the snow wore off pretty quickly and I was looking forward to getting back to New Zealand in a few days for the end of summer!

03 February 2009

Highlights: European Train Journey

Seven countries in eleven days was a mission, but also a lot of fun! Owen and I started our trip in Slovakia then travelled to Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany and finished in Denmark before flying back to London.

  • The flexibility of travelling by train
  • Meeting a lot of nice people, especially other travellers
  • Drinking hot chocolate to try and stay warm!
  • Not knowing where to look becuase there were so many interesting things to see
  • Managing to see a lot of places in only a few days
  • Listening to a brass band performing from the open windows of a palace
  • Being overwhelmed by the history of all the places we visited
  • The cold. I really was not prepared for it!
  • An unnecessarily expensive tram ride in Prague
  • Arriving late into strange cities and trying to find accommodation

02 February 2009

Train Journey Part Two

After four full-on days of travel it was a relief to reach Krakow in Poland where we stayed for three nights (especially since I nearly missed the train transfer!). I wasn't sure what to expect from Poland, but really liked the atmosphere of Krakow, found it really easy to get around, and met some friendly people. It was also exciting to see some snow since we don't get much at home!

Auschwitz Concentration Camp is located nearby and this was one of the main reasons we included Krakow in our trip. It was very bleak and cold when we visited Auschwitz which was how it made me feel. Even when hearing stories about the atrocities and seeing where it all took place, I knew I could never understand how terrible it would have been. I was glad that we visited though, it felt like an acknowledgement of what had happened.

We spent the rest of the time in Krakow exploring the streets of the old town, with frequent breaks in cafes to shelter from the snow.

It was another long train ride to reach Berlin but it was well worth it to visit such an interesting place. For an introduction to the city we went on a walking tour which took in a lot of the sights including the Brandenburg Gate, the location of the Nazi book burning, Museum Island, an amazing chocolate shop, and of course the remains of the Berlin Wall (which incidentally was a lot smaller than I was expecting!).

I left feeling like there was just so much more to see. Two days barely even scratched the surface of the city, and I would love to go back and spend at least a couple of weeks in Berlin.

By the time we arrived in Copenhagen I was ready to move on to a warmer climate! We only had one day to explore the city, and because of the time of year a lot of the attractions were closed. This fact coupled with an arctic wind and dwindling funds meant that sight seeing wasn't that appealing, and we ended up going to the airport quite early.

When we arrived we were met with the news that all of the early flights to London had been cancelled due to the snow storm which had brought the city to a standstill. Owen and I were preparing to spend a long night in the airport, but we were among the lucky few travellers booked on a later flight that made it to London with a delay of only a couple of hours!

28 January 2009

Train Journey Part One

It was so exciting to be travelling in Europe again, especially by train! Owen and I left London for a ten day train journey through central Europe, visiting six different countries.

We arrived into the capital of Slovakia late at night, and while wandering around the airport looking confused were lucky enough to meet another traveller who was staying at the same hostel as we were. He had spent some time in Bratislava before and helped us navigate public transport and a long walk through the streets of the city at night.

The next morning was spent exploring the old town, which was much nicer than I was expecting. After a couple of hours we made our way to the train station for our first foray into European rail travel.

It was a very short train ride from Bratislava to Vienna, but by the time we managed to find accommodation (which was out of the city) it was getting quite late and we didn't have time to do anything apart from grab a quick meal. We made up for it by spending the next day sight seeing.

After walking round the grounds of Schonbrunn Palace we headed into the city centre and spent a couple of hours taking in the sights and taking lots of photos! The Zentralfriedhof (central cemetery) is the final resting place for some of the great composers, so I dragged Owen along with me to see the graves of Beethoven and Mozart before we left Austria for our next destination.

From Vienna we made our way to Prague, which was a beautiful city but seemed to be well past its prime. It was still interesting exploring the old town, but I found it so cold we needed to stop often for hot chocolates!

20 January 2009

Ice Skating in London

As my time in London draws to a close I've been trying to fit in a few last activities while I still can!

It was for this reason that I finally went to the Tower of London on Saturday with Owen, Becky and Gareth.  It was interesting to hear some of the historical stories and there were a lot of towers and a couple of dungeons to explore. We ran out of time to see everything , but still managed to have a look at the crown jewels, the infamous ravens, and lots of suits of armour.

On Sunday evening I went ice skating, something I've been meaning to do for months and months. I caught up with Hannah at the outdoor ice rink by the Natural History Museum. I hadn't been ice skating in years, so it took a bit of time to get used to! But once I got the hang of it again it was lots of fun.

Before leaving I also want to do a Jack the Ripper walking tour, hopefully see a musical, and maybe go on the London Eye.

12 January 2009

Highlights: Spain

Feathers in My Cap
  • Actually making it to Spain after coming so close to missing our flight
  • Going on adventures with Owen
  • Having a lot of time to relax and take it easy
  • Finding the bean in a Twelfth Night Cake
  • Releasing the Book Crossing book which I found the previous week

Black Eyes
  • Having a cold for the whole holiday (I lost my voice at one stage!)
  • Missing out on seeing flamenco dancing
  • Leaving to go back to the cold weather of England

To see more photos click here.

10 January 2009

Holiday in Spain

My holiday in Spain had a very stressful beginning when we were extremely close to missing the early morning flight to Malaga. To start with it was a mission to travel from London to the airport while the tubes were closed, and after getting up at 2.00am Owen and I took a couple of night buses into the centre of town. We had booked seats on a bus which went directly to the airport but after waiting for half an hour at the stop we realised something was wrong. While exploring the surrounding streets to try and track down the bus stop we saw the bus approaching in the distance. Travelling in the other direction. Across a four lane road.

After a mad dash across the road (during which I got caught up in two fences) we made it on board and spent a very stressful hour hoping that the bus would reach the airport in time. We pulled into the airport carpark with five minutes to spare and we raced straight to security where things started to go badly. Apparently my handbag was so large that it counted as an item of hand luggage, which put me over the limit as I already had another bag with me. While dumping everything from my hand bag into the larger bag and starting to panic I managed to cut my thumb and then my bag split open across the zip.

I wasn't going to let a little thing like a broken bag stop me from getting to Spain, so I picked it up and started running through the line to security with items spilling out all over the place. My wild eyes and erratic movements convinced enough people to let me go through security ahead of them and Owen and I both made it to the gate before everyone started boarding.

It was at this stage that I realised I couldn't find my wallet which had £500 cash. Usually I wouldn't carry any where near that amount for exactly that reason, and ended up running back to the security area in the airport trying to find it. After 10 minutes of madly searching I gave up and made my way back to the gate when I heard my name being called over the loud speaker. I arrived gasping for breath and found Owen waiting for me with the money which he had found in his bag. Everyone else was boarding the plane and he had convinced the airport staff to wait an extra few minutes for me to get back.

After recovering from the airport stress we spent a couple of days sight seeing in Malaga and Gibrailtor which involved looking at many forts and castles, riding cable cars, being chased by monkeys, and taking detours through narrow city streets.

Owen and I borrowed the car for a day and went on a few adventures in the surrounding countryside. Our first stop was a tiny town perched on a hillside which is famous for the public baths. We didn't realise that they were closed during winter, but ended up spending an hour or so negotiating the tiny streets of the town. The most narrow required the side mirrors of the car to be folded in to avoid clipping them on the sides of the buildings! We were happy to leave the town with the car intact, and continued on to the Pink Lagoon in hopes of seeing some wild flamingos. After a covet mission through some olive groves we managed to get close enough for a distant view of a handful of flamingos, but didn't stay long in case a shotgun wielding farmer was in the area.

Spain is another country I really want to go back to at some stage, there is so much more to see!

If you'd like to see more photos, check out my flickr page.