Mahangu Plane deine nächste Reise gemeinsam mit Freunden und verwalte Reisedokumente. Erstelle kostenlosen Reiseblog und lade Fotos und Videos hoch. Fasse die Höhepunkte deiner Reise in einem Film zusammen. Einfachheit die besticht, absolute Privatsphäre und keine Limiten für Fotos oder Videos.

Trip NORTH AMERICAN RAMBLE NORTH AMERICAN RAMBLE 07.06.2017 - 26.07.2017   From Australia to the northwest region of the United States and then across the... kathleen magpie girl (AU)
Bermuda Kanada USA

NORTH AMERICAN RAMBLE

Folgen

From Australia to the northwest region of the United States and then across the border to Canada. From there I do not know, but I have 7 weeks and that is plenty of time for my North American ramble. I do hope you enjoy reading my travel tales. My travels always seem to involve some sort of drama, such as bag stolen or the airline looses it. Or I end up in hospital, or other hassles such as missing my train and having to get the last one, walking through the late dark night by a cliff with no pathway.
Oh golly- I do hope things run smoother this trip- but then again dear reader, this is a 5 personal year for me ( for those who do not know I am a numerologist) and where there is 5 there is always the unexpected. And there are surprises and movement such as travel during a 5 year. At all times care must be taken especially with transport and speed. But my travels always bring me somewhere beautiful. This is my quest.

TRIP START- Wednesday 7th June 2017, taking 2 days to get to USA with stopover in Hawaii.
TRIP END- Wednesday 26th July 2017

*******************************************
HOW TO READ THIS BLOG.. See the posts below are called WAYPOINTS. CLICK ON THE ARROW RIGHT TO GET TO THE NEXT POST. Or click on the pointing down arrow for a list of all the posts and go to the latest one.

I WILL WRITE THE LATEST POST NUMBERS HERE>>
# 30 Secret Revealed
# 31 Hello from Bermuda
# 32 Blue sea Blue card
# 33 Travel blues
# 34 BIG things
# 35 Blame it on Trump

LATEST NEWS! Week 7

Hello All. I am now safely home and have pretty bad jet lag. So exhausted. Thanks for reading my blog. I will be posting some more storiesnand reflections on my journey over the next couple of weeks. So stay tuned! X

Means of Transport
Boot Bus / Truck Zu Fuss Flugzeug Zug
  • 17May 2017

    1 Ambivalence about my trip 17.05.2017

    Portland

    Beschreibung

    Last summer, many months ago, I found a sale fare with Qantas to Hawaii return. Wow, I thought to myself I could use that as a stopover to America. I had not intended at all to go to America this year. I was toying with the idea of taking a road trip within Australia, way up to Darwin and across to the Kimberly and down the coast of WA> but this would mean being on the road for up to 9 months and am certainly not ready to do that as the van would need some preparations and I have too much to do at home at present. So I bought the return air fare to Hawaii without serious consideration or any planning for a trip.. But somewhere in the back of my mind was roses- there is always roses.

    So as the month of June approached I became most concerned as to whether I should go on such a trip to the scary and challenging United States of America- where they have guns, where cars are driving into the crowds and killing people, where you can get mugged on any street corner. But those disasters would never stop me from my travels. I have also been concerned about my health and also my sore feet- can I walk America over 7 weeks? The last weeks before I am due to leave and I was wondering if I should go at all....

    So what made me interested in America in June? My rose books are my inspiration for my trips, as well as history and anything old. I had read about the roses in Portland and it is in mid June they hold their annual rose festival, so that was my reason to go. Other reasons are, as always, I will go anywhere to see something beautiful. I want to see different national parks. wildlife, gardens, and anything old and historical. I wont be going to glittering Las Vegas or dazzling LA. I am not interested in the usual things people go to America for. I then got carried away and wanted to go to Alaska and all over the place but I think I will stick to mainly the north west.

    My main reason for travel at this time is winter fast approaches here at home. Last year I spend most of the winter in bed. I am not dead yet...must get out, must travel, must see more of the world before I depart this lifetime. I cannot stand winter- it gives me the blues. I yearn for an endless summer, but alas I cannot travel overseas every winter.
    So it is north I go- to somewhere warm, to somewhere different.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 07Jun 2017

    2 flying is not easy these days 07.06.2017 USA —

    Honolulu, USA

    Beschreibung

    Here I am tucked up in bed in Honolulu, but it was not easy getting here. Yesterday when I was preparing to leave, a huge storm hit Sydney and they closed all flights for a few hours. So by the time my 5pm flight from Adelaide was due they were backed up in Sydney. We boarded the plane in Adeliade at 5.30 then sat there not moving an inch until 7pm. But they did put a movie on for us. Finally we were off but we could not land and did a mystery tour of the Blue Mountains in the dark, landing at 10.30. There was 7 of us from Adelaide and Melbourne and we got a private escort and were told to hurry. At the boarding gate 100s were sitting there waiting for us, so then we got on board. They kept telling us to hurry which I found strange as they had been sitting there for hours

    The I heard the ground crew say we wont be going anywhere tonight if we dont get in the air now. As we boarded a message said all NZ flights were now cancelled. Sydney airport has a 11pm to 6am curfew so locals can get some sleep. We took off at 11.02 off over the Pacific and I thought to myself, I dont think the bags would have made it over here to T1 in that mad dash. They drove us in a bus.

    Around midnight we ate our tea with bleary eyes. By the second movie I was so tired so turned the video off, but did not sleep at all. I was squashed in the middle row with a silly young woman beside me. Her husband already left NZ to go to Hawaii but they did not let her on the plane...why? She did not get her visa...some people are so stupid. Oh I thought it was still valid from my last trip. It wasnt, so the only flight they could get her on was in Sydney after she paid extra for the rush visa. So she was sure pleased that our flight, the last one for the day was allowed to take off. All the NZ trippers must have had to sleep in the airport on the floor. After here supper she swalled about 3 pills and slept like a baby. Everyone was so worn out even the babies slept.

    Arriving in Honolulu I walked up to the carousel and there was the gaggle of Adelaide passengers filling in forms for their missing bags. After filling out my paperwork she told me they would be coming at 6am the next day, but I am flying out tomorrow. I have left instructions for it to stay there and I will find it in the morning.
    So what did I do on a warm 29* day in sunny Honolulu with no hat and wearing my winter woolies and sweaty shoes.. I had enough strength to catch a bus near my airport hotel to a supermarket, buy some tucker, a toothbrush and pair of knickers. While scanning the green cake and 10 shades of orange cheese I managed to find something edible. A piece of chicken, some cold baked pumpkin, a cobb salad, and a few supplies for breakfast. There was not one GF product in the shop. I hobbled back to my room and lay on my bed the rest of the afternoon trying to stay awake watching a Rock Hudson movie on TCM- my fav cable channel I also learned about what to do in the event of a tsunumi on the local channel!!!! I washed the armpits of my Tshirt as I do not want to take a wet shirt in my backpack in the morning. I have it hung on the clothesline now. So now I am going to sleep. Cant stay awake any longer, even though it is 6.40pm Adelaide and 11.10 here.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 09Jun 2017

    3 welcome to America! 09.06.2017

    Portland

    Beschreibung

    Had a good sleep at my airport hotel after arriving in portland. The place looked so beautiful from the air, with small hills and plenty of greenery and tall pine trees. This morning as the shuttle bus was free I went back to the airport and got lots of information and maps. The other reason for going back there is the MAX light rail leaves from there. But just as I was leaving I thought, I have no idea how long it takes to getto the otherside of town so made a loo break. When I got on the train I found a backpack under a seat. I knocked on the drivers door to tell him. It was not too far till I saw many roses growing on embankments. The tough rugosa - roserie de la hay growing by the tracks I could have reached out and picked one. Then suddenly at a suburban station we took of then stopped suddenly. An announcement said there was trouble ahead and we had to wait a while....after 45 minutes he told us a serious incident had occured with a package left at a nearby station. Then about 8 transit police came onto our train and looked at everyone and took the bag away that I found. Then we had to get off and go up on the bridge and wait for as they were sending buses. There was so much drama I ended up going to the mall nearby which took another hour or more to get to as a ll buses were detoured. I had no idea where I was and I was so cold. I found a goodwill store and bought a jumper and raincoat.
    The rose exhibition was being held at the Lloyd Centre Mall. So I went indoors at about 3pm. It had taken all day for me to get here. Finally I made it to my new home for 4 nights. The hostel at Hawthorne which is a good area. There are homeless people living everywhere by the bridges and underpasses closer to town where I had to get my bus.
    So that was my day, something pretty amid the chaos of an American city. Still no bag, but got a phone call from my man in Honolulu who found my bag and has put it on a plane for Portland. He said he is not working tnis weekend but will follow up my case issues from home- what a darling!.....
    And everywhere I went today with everyone I talked to, from the strange toothless man on the crowded bus to the man who served me in Safeway, all said Welcome to America.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 12Jun 2017

    4 History Lesson 12.06.2017

    Portland

    Beschreibung

    I loved watching those wild west movies when I was a kid. Remember the wagons with the early pioneers making a treacherous journey to a new world and a better life? I always assumed they had made that journey further south to make it to California. However, the journey west was undertaken way up north and they came to this part of Oregon. By order of President Jefferson, explorers Lewis and Clarke rode off into the sunset to find the promised land of the west and ended up here in Oregon. Here they found a fertile valley with the abundant water supply of the Columbia River. There were forests with timber to build cabins and wildlife for hunting. A route was soon marked out on the map and the wagon trail was open. Single men were given a few hundred acres and married couples got over 600 for free when they arrived. The rush west was on.

    In the early years there was fighting and disease with the native Indians, and at this point I will tell you the politically correct term here is 'first nations people'. A local tribe was almost completely wiped out with the flu and malaria was also a problem here. The area east of Portland follows the Columbia River Gorge, with the mightly river dividing the states of Oregon and Washington to the north, wnich then borders Canada. There are only three states on the western coast, the other of course is California.

    On Sunday my roommate Andrea and I got a local bus out to the Gateway Transit Centre ( all day ticket $5 )then got the Columbia Gorge Express to the Multnomah Falls ($5 return) We enjoyed great views of the waterfall and then took a litle trail, right up the mountain to the top of the waterfall. The views of the river and over to the other side of Washington state were superb. I was planning to do a day tour which takes you to about 3 falls and some scenic spots for way over $100, so I was chuffed at spending $10 on a great outing. My legs were not that impressed, but slowly but surely I made it to the top. Young and fit Andrea has been doing lot of walking in the forest trails around Portland, and she was very patient with me. I would never have gone wayup that mountain on my own. But I was pleased that I did.

    On the day before I had been to the Historical Society Museum in the city where I learned all about the explorers and the Oregon trail. I stopped to look at a display when a lady started conversing with me. She told me about the trail and kept on telling me stuff. At first it was interesting but she kept on and on. She started following me around the museum telling me about Portland. Meantime her husband, probably embarrassed or feeling neglected, disappeared. She even asked for my phone number and where I was staying. Oh I have so much I could tell you about the history of Oregon she continued. I made my escape into the elevator.

    I would have loved to explore the Columbia Gorge area myself and learn more about this beautiful part of the northwest. I love history but when you are a solo traveller you just like to learn about it as you go, not be given a history lesson.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 13Jun 2017

    5 Oh my! The Roses. 13.06.2017

    Portland

    Beschreibung

    My main reason for starting my trip in Portland was to come here for the annual rose festival. It is a huge event lasting 3weeks with arts music and more, and of course lots ofrose events. The rose happenings or locations I attened and saw while here is were....
    1. The Portland Rose Society spring exhibition of cut flowers held at the lloyd centre mall. Had a chat to some members and viewedall the wonderful cut blooms.

    2. The Floral Parade. I got the bus into town..actually it is said here...caught the bus downtown to see the parade. I wandered around and had some good vantage spots. There was lots of brass bands and local rodeo queens with blonde hair and shiny teeth and the horses were all decorated with roses. I expected more floral floats but what was there was good.

    3. Visited the International rose test garden in Washington Park. The park is huge and you get the train into a tunnel in the mountain and then get an elevatorinside the mountain to take you to the top. Then a free shuttle bus to where you want to go.. the arboretum, the picnic grounds, memorials, forestry centre, japanese garden or the rose garden. I was going to see other things after the roses butI was just too cold so left and went home. The location up on the hill was getting chilly in the afternoon. The roses, without doubt were the best I have ever seen anywhere. They must love the rain and just enough sunshine to grow. No harsh strong sun like in Oz to wilt them. It was a beautiful setting. Roses are tested here for worldwide sales by rose breeders

    4. Roses all over the town. .by the side of the railway track, in every front garden and in the city. Such a pretty city.p

    5. Ladds Addition, near bus stop 12 on hawthorne boulevard......was very close to the hostel. This area was a very old farm and around 1900 to 1920 it was divided up into a housing estate. But the roads are designed in a diamond design with 4 gardens at the 4 corners and 1 garden in the centre. I went here on my last day and walked all around looking at the wonderful old homes. Everyone had such a lovely garden. When I finally stood in the centre garden filled with rhododendrons, you can look north east south and west to the other 4 roses gardens. This was a free activity and one of the best things I did in this town, just getting out into suburbia.

    HOPE YOU ENJOY THE LOVELY ROSE PICS FROM PORTLAND!

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 14Jun 2017

    6 farewell portland 14.06.2017

    Portland

    Beschreibung

    I spent only 5 days in Portland, yet I could have stayed here for months. I absolutely loved it. The transport was excellent and easy to get around. The place is so pretty and the area I stayed in which was trendy in a bohemien style. I fitted in here so well. The HI Hostel Hawthorne was in an old house and everyone there was so friendly. It is goingto be hard to move on. I dont really want to leave..this is all I know. I know how to get to downtown and I know where the gluten free food is at SAFEWAY. When I was packing up my food in the kitchen this morning, someone said so you are off away today, yes but to who knows where and what I said. Oh you're a pro you know how to do this. He is right, but it is with sadness I leave Portland. I now continue my journey north to Washington State, to Seattle. I guess the real adventure begins as I know nothing of what is there. So off I go on my cheap $19 bus ride today...into the unknown.
    Here are some pics of some Portland memories to share....so much here I wanted to do, but could not see it all, especially without a car. Time to say farewell and move on.......

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 17Jun 2017

    7 Hostel Living 17.06.2017

    Seattle

    Beschreibung

    Hello folks, have not been able to write due to computer problems, but all fixed now. So am behind in my writing. But I am well and in Seattle.
    I arrived by BOLT BUS, greyhound's budget line. We had to wait on a street corner for the bus to turn up and then line up like school children. Sat next to a lovely lady a little older than me, right up front at the first seat with grand views of the 8 lane freeway. She is from Portland and used to live in Seattle, but like many has had to move out as it became too expensive. We chatted all the way.

    I was warned by the hostel staff in Portland, its not a nice area where you are going. The bus dropped us around the corner from my hostel. And into Chinatown I walked, right past it and up the hill before I asked someone. It is called the American Hotel and I can imagine it wss fairly stylish back in the 1920s with its long corridors and dark wood doors leading to tiny rooms. My room had 2 sets of bunks with no room to swing a cat let alone a hairbrush. On the first night I had the room to myself and then the others arrived over the next few days, some at midnight, and others leaving at 4am to get to the airport. Over the 4 nights we had girls from russia, mexico, germany, usa, south korea and probably more. I stuck my ear plugs in, put on my night mask and tried to get some sleep. If you see the photo I am in a room on the far side which faces a side street overlooking a park. The park is all concrete with a few trees and shrubs and iron seats. However the whole place is closed up with a rent a fence around it to stop the homeless sleeping there ay night. I reckon they should just give them the park, then at least someone would get some use out of it. On Sunday morning I open the window to see a cop car driving by on patrol. "Cops going by", I say to the other girls, "another day in Seattle". My roommates laugh. My thoughts go back to Italy when I opened the window on a Sunday in Rome and there was a huge church right in front of me with bells ringing so loud I am sure the hotel was shaking. I dont feel any beauty here..The room soon fills with the smell of asian cooking from the restaurant below and after a while the room stinks . I hang my laundry off the bunk near the window. The room is so warm they are dry by the time I get home, even though the weather here is very cool outside and 17 degrees.

    The atmosphere here is comepletely different than staying at the rambling old 3 story house in Portland. This is an old hotel and at least 4 stories high. There is huge common room like a dining room looking out onto the street and huge apartment blocks. There is a kitchen where you get the free breakfast or cook at night. Mostly people sit on their own and stare down at their phones. At portland we all sat at the one table and when someone came home we said hey! How was your day? A smaller hostel is much more friendly. Here you dont have to do your dishes. They have loud Spanish speaking ladies who prepare the breaky food. By the time I get downstairs they are cleaning up and washing the floors and yelling at each other.

    After arriving at Seattle and ocating my room, I went over to the chinatown supermarket and got a packet of cooked fried rice, and a 2 pack of boiled eggs. On the way saw 3 cop cars with man on the ground on the corner of my street. I hurried back like Cinderella at 7pm before any more danger occured. Even though portland is not that far a journey I was exhausted. In the kitchen I found ENYA who was in my room at portland. So we had a catchup for half an hour. She gave me some tiips on places to see, which was appreciated as I had not researched things to do at all.

    So on my first day in Seattle I awoke and it was raining, and it did not stop all day. I was still so weary. I had been out every day in Portland and it was all catching up with me. I decided to stay home and do some internet work. Solo travel is lots of work. You have to constantly be a few days ahead, making bookings for accommodations and finding transport.

    Each hostel has its own rules. There is no food or drinks allowed in the rooms here so every time I want something I have to go down to the huge community frig or make a cuppa. And everyone has to take the stairs. I asked for a disbaled lift pass. No way was I doing that trek up to second floor and 3 down to the ground floor all the time.

    So that is hostel life. It is not relaxing. Some peple do not want to talk, while others are sticky beaks. Every place has its own system for storing your suplies in the frig etc. Every place has new rules to learn. I will be breaking my trip up with some hotel stays, so I can have a rest and watch some TV. Portland had a big TV down in the cold basement with netflix, so got to watch a movie. I took a blanket and 2 guys watched a rom com that I chose. haha...The hostels are not as cheap as I thought. Nothing here seems to be cheap. Travel is getting more costly.

    Now it is Sunday 18th June and I am off to Vancouver Canada on another bolt bus. Have to check out, so will write later on the things I did when the rain finally stopped and give my thoughts on seattle. Only staying in Vancouver one night before a flight tomorrow. Hope you are enjoying reading my travel tales, love K

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 18Jun 2017

    8 Out and About in Seattle 18.06.2017

    Seattle

    Beschreibung

    I arrived on a Wednesday, stayed home all day on rainy Thursday and then Friday I finally went out to explore. I got the train downtown to see the famous PIKE PLACE MARKETS. It was so crowded I soon left. The waterfront is way down below the city. The olden days town was completely built over and raised high to combat the sea and high tides. So I had to walk down a lot of steps and go under the huge concrete bypass highway. I looked around the piers escaping indoors from the highway noise. Then I went to the aquarium which was crowded with families and screaming indulged liitle kids who missed today's nap time. There was a good selection of tropical fish from Hawaii and I sat for awhile to laugh at the local seals. Also saw the river otters and some huge eels and an asleep octopus. Overall it was not as good as the osaka aqaurium. But a nice little outing. Glad it wasnt the weekend or it would have been more crowded.

    Then I walked for at least 40 minutes to the space needle district where there was lots of touristy things to do, museums on a huge area which was the site of the worlds fair in 1962. This taller tower is a mecca for tourists but I didnt think it worth the 30 bucks to ride to the top...remember all my pricing is US $. So I went into the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation for free. It was all a little too positive for me as I was getting tired and hungry by this time. The foundation does a great job but I was bored. Should have gone into the museum of pop, which sounds a lot more fun and see an Andy Warhol painting. Thought I would get back there but ran out of time. Got the monorail still operating from 62 to train station I needed, but went on a search for a supermarket. Thanks to bill gates I had located them with the free wifi. Got a bag of tucker from Saweway and trundled off home to chinatown where the cop sirens whoop whoop into the night.

    On the rainy day of relaation I booked ahead for a cruise out on the water, so Saturday I was off out the door with map in hand and walked down to the piers. It wasnt as far as I thought and got there an hour early.The ARGOSY CRUISES Ttour webt around elliot bay to the north and then down the Washington River boat inlet to the locks that keep the sea water out of the lake. The big lake is actually in the middle of Seattle. Here I got to see the nicer side of town. As we left we sailed on past the NCL JEWEL, the same ship and same day I was going to go to Alaska...whaaaa I had a sadface indeed. But my mini cruise was most enjoyable. Going out on the water always relaxes me and there was so much to see. I had choosen the bus ride via town to take us back but I left and went to a nearby MOHI, the museum of history and innovation, which was ok, but wishing I had gone to the zoo. If I could have found a taxi I would have gone as it was on the other side of the lake. My hotel is on the other side of downtown from here.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 18Jun 2017

    9 48 hours from A to B 18.06.2017

    Seattle

    Beschreibung

    Seattle in Washington state, USA is very close to the Canadian border. You wouldn't think it would take me 48 hours to get where I want to go, but it did. Here is an account of just how invloved this solo travel lark is. No bus to pick you up at 8.30 in the morning outside your hotel anddrive you to another one. You are on your own and it is time for me to head north, from point A; Seattle to point B; Calgary or from one country to another.

    Sunday 18th JUNE.
    11am.Checkout of the dismal dark hostel. Go to kitchen fluff around and pack my food. I am stalling as my bus is not due until 12.30pm. Good thing is, due to a marathon it is pulling up at the end of my street so dont have to pull bag too far. Have a bubble tea in a chinese cafe downstairs....then on the bus to Vancouver.
    2.30ish...border crossing. ..everyone off bus and pull your bags out from baggage compartment, line up in the entry hall. Answer a myriad of questions from Canadian officials, such as how much money do you have, do you have enough funds to support yourself, what food have you got. I had some leftover last night meatballs so ticked the YES box.....Welcome to Canada, proceed back on to bus...someone is in my seat...now cannot see out window .
    3.45 ?? Arrive at pacific central station backyard, drag bags down Main st, walk straight past backpackers....so walk again..finally find it, have booked a private room...peace at last.
    This is the most scungy dirty place I have ever seen.. sit in scungy room and eat meatballs that have been in my bag all day....internet doesn't work, complain to scungy rude manager. Arguement over the internet and refund please, so he offers me a dorm bed right next to office....that is all he has left. Get $50 refunded to my travel card I HOPE!!!!
    7PM so tired cannot walk to shop or find food, have some biscuits and cup camomile for tea. My roommate comes home, a delightful 21 year old from Sydney. Been working in Banff the whole winter, she tells me winter tales of snow and ice and eyelashes freezing together.....brrrr. I tell her my travel tales...we hit the hay early, both of us having traveled all day.

    Monday 19th June
    9am so exhausted, lie in lumpy bunk bed on the net, wishing I had stayed in the better bed at end of hall. Head to bathroom with my roommate still sleeping. No way am I getting in that scungy shower. Have a wash up in the sink and rake my frizzy hair.
    10.45am another debate re the refund. My bank shows the refund is not there that he did last night. He tells me it will take a few days. I assure him if it doesnt I will be coming back here and demanding my money. Oh do you have a reservation? I will never stay in this scungy place again. I will be back to see you for my money!
    11am checkout..would you mind my bag while I go to the shop. YES he grumbles....
    head off downtown and see so many homeless people and beggars in street. My nerves are frazzled and seeing this is so usetting to me. Some old disbaled people are shaking and begging on every street corner. I wasnt this upset in India.
    11.45 finally find a grocery store and get some supplies. Hooray GF bread, nice shiny apples, will get my roast beef deli meat out of the scungy frig when I get back and make a sandwich for lunch later...found a bank...atm says no mastercard...line up in bank to ask...yes just try it....it works HOOORAY I have Canadian dollars I say out loud. People behind me in queue have sad city faces.
    12.30 get lost walking back.... young kids help me out....pick up bags and forget my meat in frig.....
    Walk back to station and look for airport train...finally someone tells me it is another staion across the park!!!
    1.10 get train to airport...young asian girl is trying to get to airport to pick up her mother, we go off togther after getting help with ticket machine and directions from a transit officer. Change trains at xyz and go left and get on airport train .....Teach girl how to read platform shedules as she atrempts to get wrong train...I would never have got to airport without you she said...hmmmm I replied.
    2pm Vancouver aiport is a long way, finally there and hope Westjet have a ticket for me as I have nothing...I tell the lady expedia has charged me 3 times for this flight so give me a good seat. All sorted....pay my $25 for a ticket for my bag, please go to boarding gate....tho6ght plane left at 3.30 but leaves at 3pm!!!
    AT THIS POINT I WILL TELL YOU I COULD NOT GET A CHEAP FLIGHT FROM SEATTLE OR EVEN BY GOING BACK TO PORTLAND,,CHEAPER TO GO TO VANCOUVER.....
    3.30 finally board plane.. it is late...eyes pop out my head as we go down on the tarmac to an old fashioned plane with propellers seats 70 people....OMG I am going to die on a mountain top.
    5.pm land at this beautiful little place called Kelonwa, wish I was staying here, looks so pretty from the air.
    wait for connection which is also delayed. Getting very hungry but dry GF bread I am still carrting around in shopping bag is not appealing. Find some dried apricots in my backpack.
    ? Later..short flight of 39 minutes to Calgary. Great scenes flying in. Proceed to pick up bag,,hooray it is there. Stand there looking vague ....HELP comes with the white hatted airport volunteers, they call my airport hotel for me...shuttle? Yes ok we will be there at 8.30pm....groan.
    7.40pm..sit on comfy chair and eat my salad I just bought upstairs at expensive airport cafe. It has a few pieces of chicken in it.....
    8pm..still waiting, and still hungry.
    8.30 car comes to pick me and 2 others up, head to travelodge airport inn. Hassles with checkin as I they dont take debit cards...I start to fall asleep on counter..oh ok they accept it as deposit and I pay cash of 77.50 for room....and they change my room to a top floor. Beaut.
    9.15....finally in a nice room and a comfy bed. Cup of camomile and nuts. Watched a movie on Utube.....Zzzzzz

    Tuesday 20th
    I really should not have watched that movie on the french revolution....so tired. The longest shower and wash hair. Make it to breakfast room as it closes. Grab anything that is gluten free and go back to room to pack. Take the free ride back to airport. Get airport bus to downtown. Supposed to be an express but we go through suburbs and past every mall. Drops me off in town. Trundle off to free C train zone....hostel is on edge of city buildings. Walk from city hall stop.
    12.30 48 hours after leaving Seattle I check in to HI Hostel Calgary. May I leave my bags till check in time? Oh we can check you in now....great!



    1

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 20Jun 2017

    10 Calgary town 20.06.2017 Kanada —

    De Winton, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    The HI hostel isfairly new in the apartment districts east of city buildings. This is a young city and is experiencing a boom. There is construction eveyhere and huge cranes near our building. After checking in I go in search of food. Find a little cafe with lots of salads etc. Tax is added into everything here at the end. I had 3 scoops of salad and a tiny piece of chicken topped with a serve of tax which came to over 17 dollars. CA dollars has just equaled AU dollars so at least I know what I am paying for things . I wanted a warm drink but they had nothung, no chai tea. Only sugary fruit juices. Cannot find any supermarket anywhere. Got some nut snacks from a convience store and a protein shake in a botle, with tax was over $9. I really do not know how people afford to live over here.

    I was planning to go on an outing to Heritage Park a recreated town with old style buildings and activities, like a theme park, but it was a train and bus ride and lots of walking. It was a glorious day. 25 C and sunny- the warmest day yet on my trip so had to make the most of it. By now it was 2pm so I decided on the nearby zoo only a few train stops away. Apparently th3 Seatle zoo is very good but it was a long way and I have added to the list of things I missed out on in that city. ...
    Paid almost $30 for the Calgary zoo but was very dissapointed. The zoo had major flooding 2 years ago as it is on an island in the middle of the river. The hippos floated away and loved it. The giraffes took off into suburbia. They have gone elsewhere to live until there enclosures are repaired. I decided on the canadian exhibit but many areas were empty or the animals hiding. I saw a head of a mountain sheep, and finally saw a grizzly bear whuch are small. Not the big black bears that chase you. This one came down and sat near the front. Saw a prairie dog which was making a screeching noise sticking his head out of the burrow. Saw a lovely garden and met the man who said he had just finished last week replanting all the borders. It was his mothers garden, but now she is in heaven he does it. It was so pretty. Strolled around the zoo until I could walk no more.. They had the sprinklers on the animals as it was so hot!
    Back at the hostel I had no food. Checked the free food cupboard of stuff that guests leave behind and found a jar of peanut butter. Had some on my GF bread I still had not used from that morning in Vancouver. Went up to my room at 9pm and two of my roommates had gone to bed but were not asleep. We had a little chat and I looked out the window. The biggest rabbit I have ever seen jumps across the dusty unselaed carpark below. That must be a jackrabbit, he is huge! Big as a small dog. It was the best animal I had seen all day!!! Hahaha
    So I fluffed around and packed my bag for tomorrow and had a shower. Got all clothes ready on end of my bed ready for my day trip I have booked tomorrow. Finally nestled into bed for my first night here. So weary after my 48 hours of travel and walk around the zoo.....all I want is sleep......
    Then a young Korean girl comes in at 11pm and starts packing her stuff. She has a huge amount of stuff and shopping and mess all over her unmade bed. She tells me she is going early in the morning. I tell her you should have come home earlier to pack. She fluffs around with our door open wide to let in some light and leaves it open to go have a shower. This all takes 1.5 hours. I WAS FURIOUS!!!!!!! Finally she goes to bed and gets up at 4pm to play with more plastic and paper which despite my earplugs I can still hear. At 5 am I cannot lie on this bed any longer it has springs sticking out of it. I see her down in the kitchen and give her a glaring dirt look. I feel like I uave been awake all night. Have some breakie and I am off out the door for a day away from all this domesticity. That was my first day in Calgary!

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 21Jun 2017

    11 Todays Cowboys and Indians 21.06.2017 Kanada —

    Fort MacLeod, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    After all the stress I have been having lately, I decided when I arrived in Calgary to go on a tour somewhere nice. Somewhere out in the country. Somewhere to restore my spirit. I have had enough of concrete and tall buildings and seeing all these homeless people. There was some good day tours to choose from, so I selected one that was good value, to a UNESCO world heritage site. So after my bad sleep with the young girl packing her gear I got up very early to have some breakie. I also made peanut butter GF toast for lunch ( in case no GF food where I am going) and off I went with cameras charged and a backpack full of snacks and rain gear as a storm was possible later on.

    I had about 4 blocks to walk into the city to the Calgary Tower to meet the van at 7.45am. I waited. I walked around and then some others turned up. A ritzy couple about my age from gold coast and some other woman from Newcastle. Her last name was BORE and she certainly lived up to it, not saying one word to anyone the whole day. so 4 Aussies and 1 guide and 1 in training drove a long way in a comfy small Dodge van, south to the site of the world famous HEAD SMASHED IN BUFFALO JUMP, near Fort MacLeod. after having a little shut eye in the van I was wide awake when I got the fresh air on my face and went off walking.

    This area is very special to the local natives tribes. The views of the far off mountains of Montana were lovely. We were greeted by Natalie, who worked there and were taken on a private tour of the museum and site. We went up 6 floors in an elevator and took a short walk to the cliff site. What happened here was in order to survive, the Indians devised a clever way to hunt the buffalo, that are called bison in the USA. They would spend many weeks in preparation, and would set up camp below the 20 foot cliff, where there was a vast plain. Hunters would be disguised with animal skins and heads and pat their bodies down with sage to disguise the human scent. Buffalo have poor eyesight but a keen sense of smell.They would hide behind bushes on both sides and others would chase them from a long way towards the cliff area. The buffalo stampede was so fast that by the time they got near the cliff they tumbled off bringing down rocks and dust in their demise. When the dust cleared the native people from many tribes in the Alberta area, worked collectively to skin and tan the hides and process the meat. It was a huge undertaking with hundreds having a role. Every part of the buffalo was used. Even the eyes and brain boiled up and used as waterproofing compound for their skins used for tipis. Bones were used for scraping tools etc. Meat was dried and preserved to last through the severe coming winter. This area has undergone many archeological digs and although the last buffalo jump occurred in 1840, evidence shows this has occurred here for 6,000 years. The cliff has almost crumbled away to a mere 10 foot high. There are walking trails below where the camp site was. Inside we saw a video and learned how a traditional tipi was made with skins and 13 posts to represent the 13 moons of the year. The Indians only took what they needed. The buffalo survived and there were huge numbers, but now there are not many. We saw buffalo grazing in the distance on a farm when we left.

    We then went back out to the front of the museum to take a seat. We had arrived on a special day as it was Aboriginal Nations Day and there was lots of speeches and a blessing from the elder of the local tribe. We all stood up from our seats. Then there was traditional dancing, and a talk from one of the dancers on what her dress meant to her. The festivities went on for so long and I knew we would be going soon. I remember our guide saying we could have lunch here or on the afternoon stop, so I sneaked away from the ceremony. Anything gluten free? Yes! After listening to all the blood and guts stories I skipped the buffalo burger and had a hot meat and vegie soup, with GF bun. Ahh, comfort food, just what I needed. I had just sat down back at the dancing when the driver came and said we are going now. I was the only one who got some lunch which I ate in the van.

    Next was another long drive to the BAR U RANCH, which has a long history in Alberta. The ranch was a big beef producer with contracts going to the railroads that needed to feed the workers. Other contracts were to the government to feed the First Nations People as the buffalo were no longer on the menu for some reason. The temperature had dropped and it was very windy. The others headed straight to the cafeteria. I got my guide book and went right out to the cowboy waiting for us on the wagon ride. Yeeha! off I went with some other tourists to view the old buildings on the ranch. There was some great photo spots here and I was busy. I also saw a horse being shod. New shoes are needed every 6 weeks as they pull the wagon around for visitors and wear down. Had a chat to the girls at the camp where the chuck wagon was while I munched on my peanut butter toast that I made thst morning. The cattle droving camp would go out for weeks to round up cattle and keep an eye on things. It was a huge ranch with no fences in those days. The English Prince of Wales back in the 1800s loved it so much out here he bought the ranch next door. The Canadian government bought the U BAR some years ago as they wanted to keep it preserved as it is an important part of Alberta history. It is still a working ranch with real cowboys and horses and cattle. It was a great tourist spot way out in the middle of nowhere. Ms Bore sat the whole time in the café and ate her hamburger..didn't even go down to see the farm buildings. Our guide was a bit stunned as he had a little gossip with me. I really wonder why some people travel at all.

    It was a great day out and just what I needed .Cost $125 which is ok for a full day out. They paid our admission fees. I have been a bit frugal on the entertainment side of things...,must remember I wont be back here. When I got back to town at 5pm tried to find the city supermarket- must have a good tea... could not find it. I knew where a mall was so got train a long way. The mall was a walk from station. The Walmart was the far end of the mall. The station was a long walk back. I got back to hostel at 7.30pm so exhausted. Cooked nice salmon and mash sweet yam. Yehaa!
    And that is what modern day cowboys and Indians are up to her in the province of Alberta.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 23Jun 2017

    12 Tourist Guilt 23.06.2017 Kanada —

    Calgary, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    I have made up a new travel term. It's called tourist guilt. Many of us in our room were suffering from this yesterday along with a big dose of fatigue. I went back to room 210 after breafast and 3 were still in bed after 10.30. No, we are not going anywhere today and went back to scrolling their phones. I felt the same. I couldnt stand another night on that awful mattess so the cleaner called the manager and he came up to check it out. He agreed with me so he sent a wiry cowboy up to swap the mattress over with one off another bunk. Problem solved I went to sit in the quiet room. I had planned to walk 2 blocks to the site of the old fort, so went out to the balcony to test the weather. 30 knot winds and currently 14....not going out in that. Guilt attack. This is your last full day here. What about the old house with the free garden to stroll, what about that big trip out to heritage park, what about the museums and the lunch box theatre? Hmmmmmm?
    Are you going out today I said to the only other girl in the quiet room? No, Im just too tired. I will go to find a supermarket. Oh good luck with that. I caught up with my writing, researched locations still to come and packed my bag, then a hot shower. Found my ear-rings and necklace the cleaner had hung up in the bathroom yesterday. No improvement in the weather. I didnt go out. I cannot manage going out every day at home. And travel adds more strain and weariness. When I went off to bed the lights were all out, all roommate's had gone to sleep.

    Today Friday June 23, after a good night on my better bed, the guilt returned with the morning sun. By the way it seems to get light here about 3 or 4am so when I loose my sleep mask the light wakes me up. I roll over for a bit more kip. I got up, got cracking and checked out by 9.20 am. Bus leaves at 12.45pm.....I can make it. With my bags in the storage room, I was off out the door. The museum was close by only 4 or 5 blocks so I walked. Had a good look around and glad I went, it was interesting and I learned a lot more about the Indians and how the railroad made them lose their land. They were pushed onto reservations as they wete starving and had no choice but to accept the governments offer. Also learned of some local people who have gone down in history. The outing relieved my tourist guilt just a little.

    It was time to go. Time to leave Calgary, a small clean and new city. The reason I came all this way by bus and two planes was to get to the Rocky Mountains and travel west back to Vancouver on the coast. Calgary is east of the ranges so now I will go some where the whole world comes to see. Are you not staying for the calgary stampede? The man next to me on the greyhound bus says to me? Its on next week and it is the biggest event in the country. Cowboy central with loads of events, from breafasts to barbeques art exhibits and conerts and of course lots of coboy action rodeo style. People go to work for 10 minutes and dissappear as they are off to stampede festivities. No cant do it all I said in my defence. There is just too much to see and do in each city.

    Ahh the mountains, all this week I see them in the distance, they beckon me. The Rocky Mountains of Canada. Now that should cure my tourism guilt. And I must get out and see things when I get there. I will probably never return, and if I miss out on things, now then that would be a crime and I will be guilty as charged.
    Gosh I wish I went to Pittock Mansion in Portland........

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 24Jun 2017

    13 Roamin' around Banff 24.06.2017 Kanada —

    Banff, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    My arrival in Banff was by greyhound bus. They gave me a 25% discount as I am a HI member, so the trip from Calgary was only $19 online. When I finally checked in to my hotel it was about 7pm, I was already tired but wandered down to the supermarket for supplies. My hotel is on the main street called Banff Ave. Cars zoom up and down here and there are masses of people out walking up and down. At first I wanted to move rooms and get one out the back, but I have managed to sleep. The other tourists get tired too and it all quitens down eventually. While I was down at the shops I booked a tour for Sunday which will be a big day out so dont want to do too much on fhe Saturday.

    So my first full day here, Saturday, I could not get off my bed. After all these weeks at hostels and silly young girls rustling packages at 4am I am exhausted. I looked at my map and all the overwhelming options in the tourits pamphlets. I just don't think I can do it. I said to myself just choose two things...what are the two things you really want to do the most....(tourist guilt was creeping back in)hmm, 2 things could be done..well, said I, I must go to the hot springs. One of my pinterest boards is springs and spas around the world. My biggest regret in Tuscany was even though I was staying in the spa capital of Italy; Montecatini Terme, I didnt go for a soak. Even though there is a hotel pool here at , I must go to the hot spring.

    Ok, number 2,,,oh a lake, i will go on an easy bus ride to the lake...great. Wth my picnic lunch and drink off I went and boarded the local transit. The buses are called ROAM, and with a day ticket $5 you can roam all over banff until midnight. Banff is the only town in the Rockies that has local bus transport, so may as well use it.There are about 6 bus routes so I hopped on the one to Lake Minewanka 11kms out of town.

    Its is canada's 150 birthday in 2017 and the gift to the nation is free admit to all national parks, and it is the weekend..oh my, and it is a lovely sunny day. People who have not been here for years are here in droves today. The national parks have set up a little booth under a gazebo pop up tent. Is there a short little walk for me?....yes, to the left side of the lake, its 1.6 km to the little bridge,, well I didn't go that far, but had a good little walk and ate my lunch as I sat on a rock as far as I could from the huge family groups with screaming kids and burning BBQs.

    On the way to the lake, a lady sat next to me. She told me how she longs to travel now, her husband just died and asked me advice on buying plane tickets.....!!!!! She was interested in going to Newfoundland way at the top of Canada. I prattled out some sagely words and when she saw me on the bus back and as I was leaving she grabbed my hands and said oh god bless you, and thankyou for your kind words. Go see the world I said, for soon we shall all be gone.

    Next stop, buy bus ticket for next leg of journey. Brewsters owns most of Banff and they have it all wrapped up. They are the only bus out of here and they wanted over 100 for the next leg of my travels...for a 4 hour bus trip...what a gyp! They gave me a little discount for a HI member, which brought it down to 94. 60 with tax. After spending ages finding the place, it was time for my other choice.
    But then I saw the springs are open until 11pm. Oh good then I will go somewhere else. I went on the roam bus to the cave, to where the men fist discovered the hot water. They called it sulphur mountain due to the smell. I had to get a bus back to town and wait for another one.

    Finally I was off to the springs and at 5pm was in the queue. $7.50 admission, I took a hotel towel and my togs with me all this way. Put all my gear in a locker for a buck, then precarously walked out on slippery wet floors to relax in the mineral water and soak. Oh my the water was so hot. We all kept getting out and sitting in the edge to cool off on the shady side of the pool.The views from here were fabulous, looking out over some mountains. It was strange sitting here so hot looking out at snow. It was very pleasant but at 39 * C I became too overheated. I thought I would be here for hours soaking the evening away. When I went to get out of the pool my left foot had swollen so much I could not put pressure on my heel, it was so painful. My feet that have been so bad for months before my trip have been doing ok most days. The life gaurd girl had to help me out. I sat for a while on an airondiack chair, awful things, not comfy at all. By 6.20 I was on the crowded bus back to town.

    Roamin around Banff is easy on a fiver, with lots of free places to go to. Brewsters have a free shuttle to take you to the gondola which is actually a ride up the mountain in a capsule. For 65 a ticket they should give you a ride out there. They own the gondola also, too much money, not going.
    So that was my easy day, a great little day out, it is lovely here, but oh so many tourists from all over the world. Most of the hotels say no vacancy. It is so expensive here. This has been my luxury break. There is nothing cheap here and I didnt want a hostel stay.. Just as well I paid for this room before I left home. Feel like a queen on my king size bed....zzzzz good night.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 25Jun 2017

    14 Mountain Woman 25.06.2017 Kanada —

    Banff, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    When Mary peered out her train carriage at 4am in 1889, she was in awe of what she saw. Enticed by a poster of the scenic Lake Louise she came with the naturalist society from Pennsylvania. Oh those mountains. She fell in love instantly. Now this is a story of how travel can change your life. On this, her first journey to the the Rocky Mountains Mary"s whole life was about to change. She met her future husband who was a doctor and ametuer botanist. Also at the natural sciences meeting she met a woman who was to become her best friend, Mollie Adams. Every summer Mary Vernon Shaffer came to the Rockies with her husband.

    The railway had only been operating a few years, and progress was well under way. The railway owner promised the government he would build the Grand Pacific railroad in five years, yet he did it in two. Three railroad workers discovered a hole in a hillside and this was the thermal springs, where Banff now is. Van Horne the railway owner knew this was going to big. He said, "if we cant take the scenery to the people, we will bring them to the mountains"

    Most came for the mountaineering as the railways employed swiss treckers to teach visitors, or rather male visitors how to hike. Mary considered herself a genteel delicate woman, as that is what Victorian society had trained them to to believe. She would pick and press flowers, sit and sketch and stroll by the side of the lake. How many times did she peer into the forest and long to wander off, over the many summers she spent here.

    Suddenly, over a period of six months both parents and her husband died. Mary, overcome with grief was aided by her dear friend Mollie. They came to the mountains for healing, and it was now she first stepped into the woods. Although grieving the period became a turning point in her life and in her personality. Mary and Mollie would leave the hotel at Lake Louise and when they were not seen, remove their long dresses and pull on pants hidden in their packs. She completed her husbands book on flora of the rocky mountains.. Mary became great explorer and skilled camper. She was the first white woman to go up into the mountains. She employed 2 guides on her treks. After all, even a modern woman could not defend herself from black bears. She became a friend to many native tribes and wrote a book called Indian Trails of the Rocky Mountains. She became known as Yahe-Weha, the mountain woman by the Nakoda tribe.

    One summer the party of four decided to search for an illusive lake the Indians had spoken of. Along the way they met some Indians. One of them recalled his father taking him there as a child. He drew them a map. Finally they found the beautiful Maligne Lake near where Jasper is today. The hike, over treacherous country took them one month from Lake Louise. Once the news was out, the government asked her to survey the lake and knowing nothing of the task at hand, took the job. As a result the national park border was extended to include Maligne Lake.

    The national park was very different in the early days. It was promoted as a place to come and hunt and there were no policies of ecology or environment. Mary married her guide, Billy Warren, 20 years her junior. They lived in Banff from 1912 for the rest of their days. Billy Warren became interested in the new automobiles and started a sales and service garage in Banff and also bought a hotel. And they probably went hiking every weekend. Mary was a pioneer in her time. She led the way for women to take off those long skirts, don some dacs and a pack and walk to the tops of mountains, to see the top of the world. What a woman.

    With every step I have taken here I think of Mary Shaffer Warren and just like her I was intrigued by pictures. I saw images of the Rockies at the Canada pavillion at World Expo in Brisbane in 1988 and since then I have wanted to visit here. I grew up on a mountain, surrounded by pines. On a mountain is where I am happy. Where nature feeds my spirit. And now I have seen it I can see why Mary made this place her life her work and home.

    Mary Shaffer Warren, b1861, d 1939 buried at Banff, Alberta, Canada.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 25Jun 2017

    15 Lakes and Mountains Day Tour 25.06.2017 Kanada —

    Banff, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    So looking forward to my full day tour with Brewster company. The mountain lakes and waterfalls to6r seemed a good choice for me. Not too much wàlking and plenty of time inbetween to rest on the bus and enjoy the view. It was a brilliant day at around 26 degrees. The warmest and sunniest day on my trip so far. It is simply gorgeous here in summer. All the places we visited were so crowded, with traffic direction men and overflow parking lots. On a tour isthe best way to do it. So without any more words I will upload the pics. But believe me, a tiny photo does not do it justice. The views in all directions were amazing.
    Really loved my day tour. Worth the money.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 28Jun 2017

    16 Lewis, you are but a memory. 28.06.2017 Kanada —

    Grave Flats, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    It took all day on Monday 25th to get packed, check out and go get some cash out of the ATM. By the time I came running back to the hotel the receptionist, an Aussie girl from Canberra was standing in the street waving, and the bus driver had already put my bags in the underneath compartment. You are early, I said, yes I was his first pick up. Only one bus a day and I almost missed it. I could have stayed longer in Banff it was so lovely but you really need a car and also to experience hiking is what most people would come here for. The hotel was really too much of an extravagance. But most places were booked out. Anyway, I have no regrets.

    The drive from Banff to Jasper must be one of the most beautiful in the world. Huge sheer cliffs and lakes all by the road. These huge mountains are actually solid rock that were pushed up by tectonic plates and ice age movement millions of years ago. You see huge rock slides or slips and massive rocks at the bottom. Took a turn off the major trans canada highway on route to Jasper NP. Along the way we passed though the Icelands Parkway. Where there was carparks for hiking trails I could see snow on the ground. I wanted get out and explore and play. Then suddenly after climbing higher and higher we were at the COLUMBIA ICEFIELDS. This is where they do very expensive tours from either banff or jasper to get on the ice truck and walk on the ALABASTHCA? GLACIER. I had decided not to do the tour as my foot is too sore and didnt want to risk a slip on the ice. Besides I have walked on a glacier in NZ. The bus stopped here at the kiosk and booking office. We will be here for 20 minutes , get off if you like. We all hopped off the bus to take some photos. There was good views of the galcier in the distance but right in front of us. Finally we got into Jasper 45 minutes late at 6.45pm. Got lost trying to find my home stay, and finally settled into my room in the basement. Ate my sandwich I made for fhe bus trip, with a mug of camomile and crawled into bed. The room is so light with only vertical blinds. The sun sets at 10.30 and rises so early the only way to get to sleep is with my night mask on.

    Tuesday 27th my first morning in Jasper, so I sat around in my PJs and had a chat to the owner. She is Swiss and came to Canada about 40 years ago. She is a registered homestay and only does the room lets during the summer, which is always boocked out. I'm sure you didnt come to Jasper to sit at home, ....tourist guilt is often given out by others! I need some rest while here I explained. I dont care what she thinks, I paid for my room and I will stay in bed all day if I want to. By 1pm was out and walked down the main street to sort some tours and get some tourist info. I then returned to the friends of the park office at 7.30pm for a history walking tour which was quite interesting. The woman told the group about the railway and then spiral tunnel. And I showed everyone pics on my computer and also of the cave at Banff. No-one in the group had been there as yet so they all had a look. Later that night I was mucking around on my android tablet and deleted some old files. Then I realised all my photos of my holiday were gone......
    All the photos of the journey here to Jasper, the many of seattle which I still wanted to do a post about...all gone. Al the pics of me at the magnificent lake morraine, all gone. Some are on the blog posts aleady but many are not. I do have another camera but many on the tablet were only on there.

    Then an image of smiling face came into my mind...I have lost my only photo of Lewis. He was a cowboy I met at he Bar U Range near Calgary. A gentle man in his 70s, with a gorgeous big mustache and a smooth as maple syrup canadian accent. He was the leather man, the saddler. We had a great chat. He was making a saddle from scratch and showed me the tools. He had some antique horse collars hanging on the wall and I told him I had sold some of them over fhe years and rhey are hard to find these days. He sat for a photo on his work stool beside his bench surrounded by tools, with the colonial pane window behind him flooding in backlight to the workroom. Oh I must go, the tour is leaving soon. May I have a photo of you. Sure, and he sat on his stool. With his cowboy hat and leather vest looking so authentic like he was in a time warp from 100 years ago. I could have kissed him goodbye.

    Alas, Lewis, the only photo I had of you is gone. Tears welled in my eyes. Itried to ge5 some sleep. Today, I'm trying to practice Buddhist philisophy about it. You know, nothing is permanent, it will all one day be gone.....thank goodness I have kept up late into the night and done these blog posts. Only some of the 500 or more pics I had taken are here at, east there are some good photos on here hopefully they will be here long afetr I have gone. Sniff...
    Dear Lewis, one of the sweetest people I meet in Canada, you are only a memory now.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 28Jun 2017

    17 Rainy day in Jasper Town 28.06.2017 Kanada —

    Jasper, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    Yesterday it rained most of the day. I stayed in bed in the morning. Maria does the laundry. All new guests arriving today. She has this huge machine but seems to do a seperate load for each room...very strange. She could put it all in at once and save hours of work. Later, after brunch, I went to the library as they have the Habitat Arts Centre upstairs and every Wednesday arvo in Summer they are showing free indigenous short films. Some were good and some were in french so could not understand them. Then I dried off my socks and shoes under the hand dryer in the washroom (local for the loos) and with a break in the weather made a dash to the museum. It was small and ok but they really need to update it. There was some really funny bears in Jasper stories and old photos of the days when people fed the bears. Now there is a $5,000- $25,000 fine if you feed them or are within 30 feet of them.

    I have had some very good rest while here, staying for 4 nights. The bed is super comfy. Jasper is a really lovely little town. It is way out in the country a very long way from anything. High mountains surround here in every direction. Some still have snow on them. The rain brought very low cloud and was almost low enough to reach up and touch it some parts. There is a walking trail that completely cirlcles the town. The part in the foothills is very near my street, but it will be all mud now so will have to give it a miss. A lady I had a chat too told me she did her laundry that morning. The place was packed. It is a huge laundromat with big dryers and it even has a coffee shop. I have got lots of washing done while here, and the moster furnace dries it very quickly hanging on the indoor line. So dont waste my money at the laundromat.

    After the museum I went down to the shops in light rain and got supplies for dinner. I had to think creatively, as all there is to cook with is a microwave. I got some of that instant rice, a can of tuna and a knob of broccoli and mixed it all up. Also had some of the African sweet potato and cashew nut soup I got at the health food store the day before. I had enough for 2 nights so that is all my food here sorted. After that I had some GF tapioca pudding and some fresh raspberries. A punnet of fresh berries is a treat now and then, they are wonderful. What a marvellous 3 course meal.

    2 very loud german speaking girls have moved into the next door room. Well they are in their 40s, not really girls. One lives nearby in Edmonton., the other is her friend from Germany. They chat away into the night like young school girls. Maria, the owner offers to drive me to a nearby lake for a look while I am making my tea. OK in a while she says. I hear her phone ring upstairs, and the she reappears saying, sorry, my son wants me to come swimming with the grandkids. There us a big indoor aquatic centre here. You cannot swim in the lakes as they are far to cold in summer, and winter they are frozen over. At 9.15pm she returns and says do you want to go to the lake now Kathleen? I am standing in my PJ's with camomile in hand, and ask if it is still raining. No its a bit late for me......people here seem to stay up very late because it is still light till 10.30. I am up at 10.30 but almost reaching for the lamp switch. So ends my rainy day in Jasper town.

    And now for some good news,,,,a message on my tablet says sign in to my samsung account..I cant even recall having a such a thing. .I have been ignoring it, so finally I did click on it and when I next open my photos there is new photo file saying AUTO BACKUP (1000)...either the power of prayer or my tiny computer has realised I was very silly and somehow my photos have returned to me...I am baffled. Lewis is back in my life. I tuck into bed and look at his photo again. Good night Lewis, and please go away rain.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 29Jun 2017

    18 Peace Hunter 29.06.2017 Kanada —

    Jasper, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    I grew up on a mountain and it broke my heart to leave there when I was about 12 years old. Since arriving here in the Canadian Rocky Mountains I have been feeling so much more relaxed and happier. I didnt think I would spend too much time in Canada, but now I wish I was seeing more as I am loving it here so much. I probably should have realised. I live in the country, but I like to visit cities for the culture, arts, museums and gardens. But it is in the country that is my happy place. It reminds me a lot of New Zealand but here the mountains are different. They are actually all rock. Massive huge mountains of rock with sheer rock faces at 90 degrees. Finally my tour to see the best place in Jasper NP.

    I first learned about MARY SHAFFER WARREN at the museum in Calgary. I became intrigued about her. She returned to the mountains with Mollie for healing and some peace. By 1907 she had become an experienced camper and hiker. She planned to find a mysterious lake she had heard the Indians talk about. They set off on horses for part of the way and then walked. Along the way she met Samson and he drew them a map for how to find the lake. Finally after one month the party found the lake.

    I absolutely had to come here, to Lake MALIGNE, ( pronounced Ma, Leen) Mary said if lake loiuse is a pearl then this place is a string of pearls. I took an afternoon tour in a small bus leaving at 12.15 from my abode, and after picking up some more passengers we set off up the road way out of town. We first stopped to see the mighty maligne river course through the canyon. It was named by a french priest who lost all of his belongings while attmepting to cross the river. Being a man of the cloth, he could not swear so the worst he could think of was MALIGNE meaning wicked or evil. The bus climbed higher up the mountain, past Medicine Lake and finally we arrived at the gob smacking magnificent lake Maligne. They really should rename this lake after Mary. She must have been a very unpretentious woman as she named nothing after herself, but did name some peaks after her guides. There is nothing wicked here. Just sheer beauty.

    I was on the Wildlife and Maligne Lake tour and I opted for the boat ride extension. Some chose the hike. We boarded our little boat at 3 pm and traveled the length of the lake. Along the way we saw the pass where Mary and her team came. Then we went on to spirit island and back. Time on the lake was around 1.5 hours. Being here in this very special and sacred place to many for thousands of years was very special to me.

    A book was passed around on the boat written by Mary. In the book there is an excerpt from a letter she wrote. She said, they call me an explorer, but, she tells how here heart ws broken and she was really here as a seeker of peace. We all have our own reasons for traveling. The young seem to me to have a need to be entertained and do not really learn much about where they are. The much older people seem to be in a rush and sqeeze so much in. They are doing it now while they can, as soon we will all be dead. Me, well I am somewhat like Mary. Always searching for meaning in everything and as always I am also a peace hunter.

    The afternoon was brilliantly topped off by more animal sightings, a wedge tail eagle soaring above and some brilliant views of the valley. This was the best day I had spent in the rockies. It was a gorgeous day at 27* and could not have been more perfect.

    NOTES*****Jasper Forest Park was here when Mary came to the lake in 1907 but it was not included in the park as no-one knew about it. The goverment gave her the job of surveying it. Mary continually lobbied to have the lake as part of the park. The boundaries were changed in 1930? to include all of the Maligne Valley and lake. Jasper NP , Yoho NP and Banff NP are now part of the UNESCO world heritage site.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 30Jun 2017

    19 Breakfast on Whistlers Mountain 30.06.2017 Kanada —

    Jasper, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    With the rainy day this week, all tourists were a little behind on their outings. I didnt go on the cable car in Banff as this one here in Jasper looked so much more picturesque. On Friday morning, my last day here I had to sqeeze it in, so packed and fluffed around the night before until very late so I could get an early start. Loud german speaking girls who were giggling until after midnight were up early to check out also, so it was battle for the bathroom. I grabbed the last of my tapico pudd with the last of the fresh raspberries, left my packed bags in the kitchen near the stairs and was out the door by nine. Had to get the first shuttle to the skytram at 9.30. Bought my ticket for return shuttle and skytram and the man said here is the bus now. It left at 9.15 not 9.30 so I was lucky to make it. This was the only shuttle I could get if I was to make it to the top of the mountain and back before it was time to leave today.

    I was so excited as I think this is the first cable car I had ever been on and wow was it a long way to the top. Apart from almost missing the bus I had everything planned. I was going to walk around up on top of the mountain, find a rock and sit in solitude eating my breakfast with the best view in Canada. My special little piece of peace to reflect on my week in the rockies. There were 3 of us on the bus and then we mixed up with others form the carpark into a full cable car load. When we got to the top one of the men on the bus who I had a shared a few morning greetings with said, oh my camera is not working. I had a look at it for him to make sure the batteries were in ok but it was a no go. I snapped away with my camera and we seemed to start up the track that led to the top at the same time. After the skytram summit there was still quite a way to go to the top. Then I said to him, look if you give me your email, then I will send you some photos. He was as pleased as punch, so he wrote it down and I thought that was the last I would see of him.

    Why is it that when some people see a solo person they assume they want company? This chap, an old guy at 79 years ended up walking with me. He was pretty fit and kept stopping to wait for me, still treading softly on my sore foot. By the way it is doing much better now. Then I saw THE SPOT. You know the special spot you look for to take a break and zen out for a while. OK I will have to leave you now as I want to sit here a while and have my breakfast. Byeeeeee......and I proceeded to my rock. Oh I will wait for you. And he followed me. In hindsight I should have said something then. The whole thing was not ruined. The view was spectacular but my breakie in solitude was, well, chatty and rushed. By this stage I was hungry so I devoured my pudding looking at Jasper town almost 3,000 metres below trying to locate my homestay. Below was Whitlers campground with over 700 spots. There are huge campgrounds here in the natinal park. Smaller ones on walking trails for walkers only. There was a fine haze over the valley but a fine day. We could see for hundreds of miles, or is it kilometres, they seem to use both here. There was no time to dawdle and soon we were off again. In some parts the track was steep and he would turn and offer an arm for me to grab hold off. Oh you are such a gentleman I said, which he truly was. Philip, my new hiking buddy from Wales escorted me all the way to the summit of Whistlers Mountain. He laughed at my aussie mannerisms and terminology. We made it to the red chairs. Everyone along the busy trail was giving each other encouragement. Parents were trying to get tiny legs to make it. We were all huffing and puffing. It got windy and colder. Then we were there. The red chairs are facing the view on the other side of the mountain. The view of snow capped peaks was superb. It was worth the hike which took one hour from exiting the cable car. By now it was 11am, and I had to get the noon shuttle. No time to wander over to the snow resting in the warm Spring sun. Five minutes at the red chairs swapping cameras with other walkers and words of wow we made it, and it was time to head back. I hopped, ran and slipped my way back down. At the base Philip bought me a coffee and we had just enough time to sit on a bench and drink it and discuss our tremendous effort. I have not bought a coffee and sat like that the whole trip, so it was pleasant. I wasn't planning on going to the top but I am glad I did said I. Philip replied, it is good to walk with someone else. They encourage you and you do a lot more than you think you can. I recalled my hike up the waterfall in portland with my hostel friend. He was right, and maybe that is why he was sent to me today to teach me something about sharing experiences with others. Perhaps if I had my thinking time on the rock I would have found the meaning in what eventuated. We hopped on the bus and bid farewell as the driver dropped me close to my street.

    My landlady was panicking as she didnt know where I was. I thanked her for my stay. I had a really good rest here in Jasper and slept well. I feel renewed to travel on. I bid farwell and walked by the man trimming his hedge on the corner, still doing it as he was on the day I arrived when he gave me directions. Today we had a chat and I told him the meaning of his 9 house. I went to the library to wait my time to get to the station. At 2pm I checked my bag in and of course the news was a delayed train. During the 4 hours the train was delayed Philip made two appearences to keep me company. I showed him the pictures of the bears and the lake and he went off and booked a 2 tours for the next day. Finally at 6pm I boarded the VIA rail train, THE CANADIAN which goes from toronto all the way across the country to vancouver, my next destination. We could have spend so much longer on the mountain today rather than sitting here at the station. Ahh well. I am sad to leave here, I said to Philip. Jasper is really the most beautiful little town.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 01Jul 2017

    20 Back to the big SMOKE 01.07.2017 Kanada —

    Vancouver, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    The coach cars were way at the front of the VIArail train. There were 2 coach cars, and about 26 sleepers, dining cars and some panorma deck cars. It was a very long train. The sleepers got to board first, and then the budget travellers on coach, that is the sit up all night seats. Luckily I grabbed one of the last double seats on my own. Finally after a 4 hour wait we were off. We left town by Whistlers Mountain and with a tear in my eye, I could not believe I had been up there walking just this morning. We passed by more lakes, peaks, a glacier, cliffs and a million more pine trees. Then we crossed the border into the province of British Columbia. Almost 2 weeks in Alberta was over. Alberta offers so much, the mountains and the praries. I loved my visit here.

    I had to plan my rockies and train trip from home as it was completely full up in the mountains in July so had to go in late June. So I sort of planned and booked the middle of my trip. But now all plans are over. I still have 3 weeks with nothing planned. My serindipidous travel style may be the way I like it but it is now summer and school is out and it seems everyone here is travelling. I have somewhere booked in Vancouver and then who knows where.

    This train leaves only 3 times a week and many in the sit up cars were local people going to other small towns nearby, so by 1pm after some stops and some got off, it quitened down. They left the lights on all night. The neck pillow I bought especially for the train trip and dragged around for weeks got left in the hotel in Banff. No matter as it was a hassle carrying it from place to place. I watched the mountain scenes changed to boggy marshes as darkness fell. I swatted 2 mosquitoes, put my warmer trousers on, then my night mask and tried to get comfy to go to sleep using my orange goodwill coat as a blanket. It was quite cool in the night. Of course I couldn't sleep at all, and tossed and turned and made every gymnastic move there is trying to get to sleep on the double seat. Then I heard a passenger talking to our coach attendant and it was 8.20 am. I must have finally dozed off. There were still so many delays on the way. Grain and freight trains have priority so we sit up the line and wait. I went up to the snack bar and had a nice hot chocolate and sat in the panorama deck. Now the scenery was wide rivers and large farms, then the outer industrial areas of greater vancouver. This is a big city of over 2,400,000 in the greater area.

    When we at last got into the Pacific Central station it was in the afternoon. The 1st of July is Canada Day and there were celebrations all over the country. I was looking forward to going downtown later and joining in some fun. As soon as I walked out the big station doors some woman stuck her face into my space and screeched "got any change?" Back to the beggars and the homeless. I had to walk across the park to the local metro station just as I had done a couple of weeks ago when I came here to get the flight to Calgary. The park was full of festivities and music. Great a market I said. Then I saw the sign. HAPPY CANNABIS DAY.....oh did I tell you that in the USA states I had been; oregon, washington and here in BC Canada small amounts of marijauna is legal for personal use. The whole place was set up with stalls selling all sorts of weed and joints. I was in total shock. These stall holders clearly had commercial quantities. Everyone was sitting around smoking and the whole park stunk. I had to walk through this to get to the station. Teenagers were sitting there getting stoned under banners saying we believe in medical cannibis as an alternative to opium derived drugs. I was disgusted. I wanted to turn around and return to the mountains.
    I was back in the big smoke, literally.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 02Jul 2017

    21 House of Rules 02.07.2017 Kanada —

    Vancouver, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    After arriving in Vancouver town on Canada Day I got a local train to my suburban abode; a home stay that looked good on the description and a resonable price. I have had trouble with the owner for weeks as she was not going to allow me a change of dates, even though I made the change before the cut off day on booking.com. On the day I l2ft Jasper she sent me an email with the payment details. Sure enough she had charged me for 5 nights instead of 4. I was not very happy when I turned up dragging my bag through the burbs on a warm day, and getting lost after getting off the train. I flopped onto her front steps and couldnt move. The front door was open and soon she appeared. I said hello, I am blah blah. She said I will show you the room and walked off to the back yard. No intoduction, no how are you.

    I assumed from the photos there were two rooms at the rear. We went up about 6 back steps then she opened a door and said your room is up there, and pointed up a step narrow flight of stairs. She didnt offer to help with my bag. Then I discussed the overcharge and she said oh that will have to be done by booking.com. I whipped out my tablet and showed her my adjusted dates with payment due from the website. Oh, she said, I will call them and see what they can do. I didnt tell her I had already sent off emails. Struggling with heavy bags, and now very tired at after 3pm and not much sleep on train, I snapped at her. At this rate I will have no money left!

    This is the kind of drama people go through when you travel. Making bookings and changes takes up so much time. My room on third floor, was very tiny with a single bed. But the bed is comfy and the room is quiet. The hathroom is so small if I brushed my hair in there I would hit a wall. The place is clean but she does no cleaning while you are there, and so I have had to empty my own rubbish bin. There is another room next to me but no one in there. Below me there is 2 more rooms and down in the basement at least another 3 tiny rooms, a bathroom and a small kitchen with nowhere to sit. The steps going down to the basement are so scary and dark. There are signs everywhere with all the rules, even pick up your hair in bathroom and so on. I am sure learning a lot about running accommodation.

    All I could do was make a cuppa and some toast with squashed GF bread and peant butter I knicked from the free food cupboard in the hostel at Calgary. There were 3 jars in there and well it was free! By 5 pm I was nodding off, and at 10pm I got up and got ready for bed.

    On my first full day in Vancouver I sort of lay in bed alo the morning. At one point arpund lunch time I heard some noise below and figured some new people are checking in. Later when I went to the kitchen I noticed one of the doors ajar. I could see some bags inside so thought the person was in the bathroom. Finally I got myself up and out the door and went for a walk to find food. All I could find open on a Sunday was a huge butcher shop selling aussie lamb and BC beef. I got a nice steak for six bucks, then walked further and found the supermarket I had researched on google. It was an asian store and hardly anything in there I could eat. I got a packet of mushrooms to go with the steak, and some almond tofu for dessert. That was all I could manage. It took me 1.5 hours to find the store and walk back.

    The next morning I was chatting to an aussie lady in the kitchen. Are you in room 5? Yes. I told her that yesterday her door was ajar when I came down to the kitchen I noticed it. 5 minutes later her husband came knocking on my door. We have had a breakin and money is gone. I told him I did here some noise and someone walking around yesterda . He then said, the owner says it was probably you as you have no money!!!! I told him I have plenty of money to travel with and how dare he come here accusing me. Then he demanded my name and address for the police. I said if the police want to talk to me then I will do so. I said I had nothing to do with your money and slamed the door in his face. UNBELIEVABLE. He was not interested in the facts. What I find so strange is that he would leave any valubales in any room with the back door open all day. I take my passport, credit cards and all my money which is never over $100 with me EVERWHERE! Even to the shower and have with every place I have stayed. In the hostels the girls ignorantly leave their handbags lying around on their bed. And I warn them not to do that.

    Also ubelievable is the owner of this house of rules saying that about me. I just cannot wait to get out of here tomorrow. I find myself purposely going against her rules because there is no respect on her part, so I dont two hoots if wear my shoes upstairs. I am not leaving them at the door to get stolen! And I have dripped water all over the bathroom. Too bad. She cares only about making a buck and has no concern for her guests. Such a contrast from the sweet lady I stayed with in Jasper.
    Oh the people you meet when travelling. Some wonderful, some °{>♧○◆◇{}~●¤ [{~\¤◇{}2\♤◇{[2¤ O
    OK whinge is now over.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 04Jul 2017

    22 There's a GROUPON for that! 04.07.2017 Kanada —

    Vancouver, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    In my little room in the house of rules I had to spend a lot oftime on the net researching where I am going next and also things to do here. When I looked up the botanic garden at the University of British Columbia UBC II saw a google link for Groupon. My family know I am a big fan of groupon with their deals and vouchers. So I was pleased to see a deal for where I wanted to go. I needed to escape this house and so went off to the garden and it took me 2hours. The entry plus the tree walk up on a series of suspension bridges cost $20 for both. I got it for $12. The gardens are spread out and you even go via a tunnel under the road.

    will write more on this later...

    Feeling that I wanted to take it a bit easy the next day I got another groupon for a hop on hop off bus tour.Seems everyone else had the same idea or possibly a cruise ship in town, as the queues to get on were so long and also at stops along the way. It is high tourist season here. People everwhere. But it was a good outing and I loved having a chat to the head gardener at the rose garden. He showed me the Queens favourite rose and I told him about mulching and the heat and gardening in Oz.

    Cant write any more have to go to sleep......have done the pics....but didnt get any of the roses with the tablet, only my other camera.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 05Jul 2017

    23 Finding peace in gardens. 05.07.2017 Kanada —

    Vancouver, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    This morning I was up bright and early to pack. My four night stay at the house of rules was over and I couldn't get out of there fast enough. With ongoing communication with booking.com about the refund owed to me I trundled with my ever growing heavy bags to a near by park to have my breakfast. With each trip I always travel lighter but when my bag was missing I bought more things and also my food takes up so much space in my day back pack. I even bought another cheap hand bag, big enough to carry all my day outing essentials. I have planned a day with a garden theme to restore some inner peace.

    I felt such a relief to be out of that place. It was going to be a warm day and I was already feeling it at 11am, so sat on my coat under a shady tree for breakfast. There was still so much I wanted to do in Vancouver so went to a budget hotel downtown. It was too difficult getting to things stuck out there in the burbs so spending 2 more days here to see some city things. It was a long walk from the station and I was sure pleased when the sweet girl at reception said oh your room is ready now. I relaxed a while with a cuppa, having borrowed a kettle at reception. Already 1.30pm by now so it was time to head out.

    I walked many blocked up to the Vancouver Art Gallery housed in a magnificent old building. The big attraction here is the current MONET exhibit. There was a groupon for this also but it was in US dollars and worked out to be more! So I paid the $24 which covered entry to everything. Yesterday on the Tuesday it was only $10 and the lady on desk said the queues were so long. Nothing worse than trying to view art with a crowd around you. Well, it was like being in Paris for a day. The 38 artworks and information was stunning. They have not had any of his works for 20 years and it is the only place this exhibit is going to, so well worth it. I also did a quiçk tour of the rest of the gallery and viewed an exhibition of Canadian artist, ....collection of forest works. Simply beautiful. I wished I had Mia with me to see such a fine art gallery.

    By now it was getting on for 3.30 so got the train back out over the bridge to see Queen Elizabeth Park. There are many royal names here for things here, prince edward, king george etc.This park is large and is built on the highest part of the city, and there was a great panorama from the top. The display gardens were built in an old quarry and were meticulously planted with new Spring borders of annuals. See the beaut pics below. I walked for miles all around and from the station. As I came out down the bottom end I got a little lost. It was peak hour traffic and it took me so long to get 2 buses back downtown. When I did get to town I was a long way from my hotel and ended up walking in the wrong direction. But found an IGA supermarket, the first one I have seen since here so ran in for a few supplies. I needed some dinner. Got half a chicken $6 and two tubs of salad for $6, which was my dinner for 2 nights. Finally I was home after walking about a 8 blocks. I was dead on my feet.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 06Jul 2017

    24 Downtown! 06.07.2017 Kanada —

    Vancouver, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    When you're alone, and life is making you lonely
    You can always go 
    Downtown
    When you've got worries, all the noise and the hurry
    Seems to help, I know
    Downtown
    Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
    Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
    How can you lose?

    The lights are much brighter there
    You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
    So go downtown, things'll be great when you're
    Downtown, no finer place for sure
    Downtown everything's waiting for you.......etc

    sung by petula clarke, lyrics by tony hatch

    It was with a little spring in my step when I first moved to downtown Vancouver. I found myself singing petula clarke's "downtown" as I wheeled my bag down trendy Robson Street to the Barclay Hotel. I felt like a caged bird set free after my escape from the house of rules. Here there is everything from trendy shops and world wide cuisine to corner asian stores and tatoo joints. At this end of town there are huge residential buildings and many non descript hotels mixing with the elite ones. Right next door to me is the impressive Empire Landmark. But I am happy in my comfy queen bed with tv on the wall. One day I came home, put my PJs on, made a cuppa and got into bed to watch a movie on cable. It was 4pm. I suppose I could have gone out to see those neon lights but I could not walk another step.

    Every city I have been to on my trip, the inner CBD is called downtown. Seattle has ruined their downtown and the waterfront, making it into a concrete jungle with so much noise from the highway it was not enjoyable to visit at all. But here it is sometjing special. Here in Vancouver there is a lovely mix of the old at GASTOWN and the new Canada Place which is the exhibition buildings. All along the water front there is little parks, where you can stroll the promenade or ride a bike. There is a marina at COAL HARBOUR qith views over to stanley park and further near Waterfront station is where the cruise liners dock.

    You know I think you really need to stay in different areas to get to know a city. This is the third accomodation I have had in Vancouver. That one night in the seedy chinatown fringe at that backpackers on my way en route to Calgary. Then on my return 4 nights out in the burbs which was really boring at the house of rules, and now the dear old Barclay. She is at least 100 if she is a day the old dame. She has been moderised inside with large marble tiles and golden banisters but the decor is incongruent with her facade. She is in dire need of a face lift .,...poor darling.

    So I only stayed 2 nights here as there was extra activities I wanted to do. It cost me a bit but I needed it. I didn't see much of the shops. Only a peek when seeking food or a loo break. So here is a peak of downtown Vancouver and Robson Street. This is the kind of place you keep coming back to, as there is so much to offer here and plenty depending on the seasons things would always be changing. I didnt go to any museums that I usually love to do. There is a maritime museum and with all the english history and early shipwrecks and steamshipsI bet it would be a great one. It was a garden themed visit. Afterall it is Spring and I came here to be warm. I would come back hefe again.

    At a bus stop a lady from the UK told me, oh I have been here before. I have found my places now. Perth in Australia and here in Vancouver, and I go to both a couple of times a year. When you find your place, there really isnt any need to go anywhere else is there? I pondered that thought for a few seconds. And with that she boarded the bus with a smile, and final words....happy travels!

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 06Jul 2017

    25 A Day at the Sunshine Coast 06.07.2017 Kanada —

    Gibsons, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    While I was looking for groupon bargains I found a little day trip for a tour to some nearby islands. The boat tour was a bargain at $69 with the usual price of $129. I love a day on a boat so bought the voucher without even knowing if I could get in for my final day in Vancouver. I booked my spot over the net and was set to go. I had only about 4 blocks to walk downhill to the harbour to meet the boat and board at 8.45pm. Hotel doors slamming kept me awake most of the night and then again from early morn, so I was up early and made my picnic lunch. The boat meeting spot was hard to find and I was not the only one who complained regarding the lack of directions. I got there in time but others were late. Some arrived carrying large take away cups of drinks and when they were told there are no toilets on board the small boat we had to wait while they went off to find a loo...groan...finally we were off around the northern suburbs of Vancouver to see how the other half live. Huge mansions facing the sea and some built on the rock. I could not see them too well as I was on the portside of the boat.

    The Sunshine Coast is a large area of mainland and many islands of the south western area of the province of British Columbia. Apparently it gets more hours of sunshine per year than anywhere else and today we had buckets of warm sun and blue sky. Some parts on the mainland are accessible by driving from Vanvouver but it is a very long way. Too far for a day trip. Most people get around by ferry, seaplane or private boat. This place is a boaters dream. You could spend long summer months here boating about from one island to the next. It is also a mecca for photographers as the montain, seascape and forest scenery is breathtaking. Hidden behind some islands are views of the high TANTALUS RANGES and snow capped tall peaks. There are hiking trails galore and plenty of fish. In fact there is something for everyone.

    After one and a half hours on our small boat we made our first stop at Gibson's Landing. It was too early for lunch for me, so I went for a walk up the hilly town for some views. I couldn't see a thing. Found a goodwill op shop and saw a beaut antique green and cream enameled skillet. Now I collect green and cream enamel and it was hard to put this unusual bargain at $5 back on the shelf. It was just too heavy to carry. Then took a walking trail back down by the side of the closed for summer elementary school and got sort of lost as the trail narrowed into blackberry bushes and trees. I realised the path I was on was how the local kids got to their mates house as I ended up in the middle of someones back yard. I sneaked out down the steep driveway and onto the road finding my way with map in hand down to the village shops. My little walk ended up taking me one hour and I didnt see a thing apart from some grand houses that must have had fabulous views from their decks. Soon it was time to board the boat. Most of the others had been in the cafe and had a stroll around the seawall walk, with amazing views!

    As we left the marina we saw a huge area of land and large building with prime real estate views of the sea. Our guide told us this was a retreat owned by some Chritian Ministry mob who hold big events here. It can also be hired only by christian groups if you hold a bible focused retreat. Our next stop was the pretty as a picture village of BOWEN where we had one hour to have a stroll. Some walked the 15 minutes to a waterfall which is really a babbling brook. I strolled around the village and saw the site of the holiday resort of JACOBS ORCHARD and read some historical information on the board about the island. I then sat in the nearby park and ate some cherries which are now in season. Huge big fat cherries..delicious!

    Then back on the boat after walking through the marina floating path looking at all the large boats. Whstva gorgeous little place bowen island is. I was so happy I went on this tour with Pacific Ferries. They are a new company. The converted boat was nothing flash. It has been made up with second hand airplane seats with Indonesian writing on the tray table. My eye view was directly on the window sill. Most people sat on thier life jackets as cushions so they could see. The guide Holliday gave us some good information about the area, but I would have liked to see a map of where we were as I couldn't quite work out where I was. The tour was from 9am to 3.15pm and that is a good time, so day trippers can go back to their hotel and take a rest before heading out to dinner. I sat in the park for a while facing the waterfront watching the many seaplanes come in to land. Kids running under the water play fountain squeeled in the background. People strolled the promenade. It was a perfect day and I am glad I chose this tour to see a part of beautiful BC I would never have got to see otherwise.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 07Jul 2017

    26 Island Crossing 07.07.2017 Kanada —

    North Saanich, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    Well I have seen a lot of the pacific north west mainland, but you simply cannot come to Vancouver without a visit to Vancouver Island. There was plenty more I could have done in Vancouver but I had done all I wanted to and was itching to move on. I avoided all the tourist traps such as going to the Capilano Suspension Bridge which they charge an arm and a leg for the thrill of walking over the shaky bridge. When I did the treetop walk at UBC that was enough skaky for me thanks. So on Friday morning it was time to check out from downtown and make the trip across the sea to the island. It took me all day to get there. Checkout time here is 11am and it takes me that long to get organised and packed. I went through my bag and threw away a lot of rubbish. I have even been carting around bubble wrap I found in a hostel, in case I bought something precious from an antique store. I washed my hair and made some lunch. I have got my beanie gloves and winter woolies for Alaskan and a heap of clothes for a San Francisco summer. So here is my new travel tip. Dont pack anything for a place you are not actually booked for. Most of the contents of my 16.5 kilo bag I have not even worn yet. So finally I was off to the train many blocks away.

    After realising I was on the wrong train with a single ticket, a sweet lady gave me directions. I got off and went back to town to get on the Canada line. I had to sneak in the gate behind someone else as my ticket had expired. The ferry terminal for the crossing to VI is a very long way out of town down south at Tsawassen. I passed the big interstate station where my train had come in a week ago from the mountains. At the rear is the bus station where I could have paid $70 for transport to ferry and then to downtown on the islandnwhen you arrive, not the ferry fare. Thats a lot of money I thought. I was going to do it the hard way like I usually do things. After a long trip to Bridgeport station then go dowstairs to wait for bus 620 to Tsawassen. Only hsd to wait about 20 minutes there. At this station there was a huge casino and hotel, stuck out in the burbs. A huge queue formed of budget travellers like me wanting to get to the ferry. Many from overseas but also locals going for the weekend. Somehow we all squeezed on the bus with all our luggage, baby strollers and babies. I am so glad I got a seat. Bus fare 2.85, no change so paid $3.

    Made the 2 pm ferry. This is a huge operation run by BC ferries. It was like a mini airport terminal with waiting bays and huge ramps that you walk on board. Free bag check in so dumped my big bag on the rack. I was excited when I saw our massive ferry coming in. All the cars and trucks drove off and people arriving. Then we boarded. Cost of ferry was about $19 but evety day they do a fuel cost. Today fuel was cheaper so I gotba 50 cent rebate. As if I would have known the difference. Strolled around looking at the decks. It was a nice boat with cafeteria, snack bars, a shop, toddler playrooms, TVs and a dining room with buffet. Yum, my cold kabana and week old bread did not seem appealing. Alas main lunch is over and no GF soup or desserts. Only salads and cold cuts. Everwhere I go they only do salad. I passed on the limited buffet and next time would get the noon sailing and enjoy a pleasant dining room. Found a quiet seat and ate old bread.

    After taking some photos outside of the nearby islands we arrived a little late at 3.40 pm at Swartz Bay. I was confused. I went to the office. Will the boat be going on to Victoria I queried. The 5 stunned staff all looked at me. Well this is considered greater Victotria one of them said. You have to get the bus outside to downtown. More travelling. I thought I was here. My bag arrived promptly and I ended up near to the end of the queue for the bus. A double decker pulled up and I somehow scored a seat. It was at least a 45 minute trip into Victoria. I wss expecting an island paradise and to be out in the country, but here is like an extention of Vancouver, but on a weekend. You have to go to the west of the island for the nature side. Ater walking a few blocks and checking into my new dishevelled, seen better days hostel I had finally arrived. I made my bed and lay down. It was 6pm and I was exhasted, but happy to be at a new place.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 08Jul 2017

    27 Canada's best garden. 08.07.2017 USA —

    Arlington, USA

    Beschreibung

    On my first full day in Victoria I took it easy in the morning researching options of what to do next after here as I have no plans. Maree is my room mate, a woman from Bali who is now living in SFrancisco. After we checked in last night we had furned out the light at 11pm and had nodded off when 2 young Danish girls came in a midnight and woke us up. They had got the last ferry. Maree was up at 7am and fluffed around and was off out to explore.

    It was so funny having a shower as they do not provide towels. I think you an hire them but I had neglected to ask, so decided to dry off with my pyjama legs. Then I realised I didnt take any trousers to the bathroom and had to wear my damp PJs back to my room. Danish girls still asleep in their bunk even with Maree up for an hour and me going in and out. I went downstairs make something breakfast and when I came back to my room and opened the door, the Danish girls sat both sat upright in bed. Sorry I said, but it is 10.15. What! they said and proceeeded to get up. That is hostel life. Sleep when you can.

    I had checked the bus timetables and there was no buses back from the garden after 9pm. What a shame, as on Saturdays in summer they put on a fireworks show. I will have to miss it. I decided to put off the Butchart Garden until during the week when it would be less crowded. So I strolled down to the harbour front and looked around the shops. I went into the visitor centre to get ferry info for when I leave. Its a shame there are no buses late after the fireworkds at the garden I said. Oh yes there are 3 after the show. What!!! Not advertised and not on the net metro timetables. Do I have time? By now it was late afternoon and I had been searching at at least 20 venues for a meal. I rushed off and found Frankies Modern Diner and they had gluten free buns for the burgers. I was starving, so ordered a burger, fries and a side of apple slaw. I devoured the lot and left at 5pm. Rushed back to hostel on the bus and run 3 blocks, get coat and warmer socks and evening snack. Have to make 5.40pm bus...ran back 3 blocks to main road. Looked a bus number written in notebook and bus turned up. I had just made it. This was the best local bus I have ever been on anywhere. It had thick padded foam seats which was great for the 43 minutes ride to the gardens.

    I headed straight for the rose garden and was only ther 15 minutes hile when Maree found me. I think she is feeling a bit lonely as her traveling companion, her sister, who is visiting from Bali got left behind in Las Vegas. Why? No Canada visa. They wouldnt let here on the plane. How can people be so dumb? Anyway, Maree stuck with me for the rest of the night. While I relish my own company I have learned on this trip that some people just like a little company on an outing. She had been here all afternoon and seen it all, but went around to the whole lot again with me and came on the boat ride when I said I wanted to go. I am trying really hard to learn compromise, something the solo traveler doesnt care a hoot about. The gardens were simply immaculate. On the reviews people say oh it is not worth the 34 bucks to get in but to me it was especially with the fireworks show. I saw flowers I had never seen before, and many just too delicate to grow in the heat at home. The most famous flower here is their blue poppy.Every flower was perfect. I dont know how they keep it loking so good. Gardeners must have to come in here in the wee hous to upkeep it as the place is full of visitors in the day. Just imagine, this place is privaely owned and was herhirited down the family line. Now 71 year old grand-daughter owns the lot. And with over a million coming here every year the gift shop makes more money than the admission gate. And yes I bought something!

    Then we went to the fireworks which were spectacular. Designed by a Disney specialist. Maree wanted to sit way down the front and I told her we will be behind all these people. We wont get a seat on the bus. But I sat where she had marked her spot hours ago as she had gone everywhere I wanted to for hours. We went to the shop after the show, were last on the bus and had to stand up all the way until a few stops before downstown. We were glad we had each other to walk back to hostel in the dark, where we walked in the door at midnight. This time we walked in to find the two Danish girls fast asleep and junk all over my bed I had to sort out. What a big day out.

    HISTORY.
    This land was owned by Mr and Mrs Butchart in the late 1800s. There was a limestone quarry here and he sent this by boat right at the side of the quarry off to portland to make cement. After the SF earthquake in 1906 he made his fortune. Most of the city was rebuilt with his cement. So the missus she liked gardens and they had the money to employ staff to build them. The land is 22 heactaes and is really huge. Some parts are still forest and today there is big areas for greenhouses fo make seedlings, and compost areas. People come from all over the world to see this garden and it was a must do on my list while in Canada.It was beatiful.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 09Jul 2017

    28 Money Matters 09.07.2017 Kanada —

    Kanada

    Beschreibung

    I was telling my grandies at the family dinner before I left home, I dont care if I dont have a flash kitchen or a new dunny. On my death bed I wont be saying gee I am so glad I had a new stove, but I am sure glad I went to see the Canadian Rockies and the Taj Mahal. I have my priorities right. They looked at me and laughed. They hate my old broken toilet, but to me domestic matters are not my concern. All that is important to me now is travel and comfort as far as spending my dough is concerned. I don't usually talk much of money matter on my blogs apart from some tourism expenses. But this blog is not just for my followers. It is a record for me to look back on in years to come. It is good to know how much you spend on a trip as then you know how much you need. That is, you learn your travel style.

    When I was at my first hostel in Portland a girl from Spain was showing me and another chap her travel journal. Whats all this he said to her. Oh that is my budget. Budgeting is completely foreign to me, and we were intrigued. She told us she divides all her travel money into a weekly amount, then goes each week to take that out of the bank. She pays the hostel first, then buys any transport fares. Then she sets an entertainment and food amount for the week. Nup, I dont do any of that. I just am very frugal and spend it till its gone. But sometimes I am far too frugal. I dont think I have had a meal out, but not much in cafés appeals to me. I guess it would be useful to record what you have spent though. When I read back over my Europe blog also on MAHANGU and I wonder how I afforded it all. I remember I saved for years, but I was such a frugal traveler I came back with thousands. I dont want to do that this trip.

    After my airfares which I paid for last summer, and my Banff hotel and train trip which maxed out my credit card before I left home, I had about $6,000 AU for this trip. I also had about 900 in US cash I bought years ago but never used. When I purchased my NAB travel card and loaded my funds into US dollars this plummeted with the conversion rate. I didnt put much in Canada dollars as I didnt think I would be staying this long. So now sadly, I must leave Canada as the well is dry, and I still have US dollars in the kitty. So soon it is back to the USA I go.

    But where and how? On Sunday morning after my late night at the fireworks and Maree getting up early to go meet her sister I knew the time had come for me to sit down in quiet and work out exactly what the money situation was and how am I going to fill in my last 2 weeks. I have no flight to Hawaii as yet so I had to make descisions. I had been browsing national parks, the weather, San Francsico, small tours, train ride south along the coast. All came up far too crowded, far too hot, and too expensive. An idea from the start would be to take a cruise maybe in the Caribbean but it is summer holidays and they are all short ones of 3 or 5 days. There seemed to be no options. I made a goal for the day. I had to book a flight to Hawaii. With all my delays prices have gone up, but the cheapest city to fly out of was Seattle. SEATAC airport is huge. It is near a place called Tacoma, hence the name. Not that I have been there, but this is where all the girls in the hostel there were flying in and out of in the middle of the night. They came from everywhere, South Korea, Russia, as it was the best price to connect to other cities. So I decided on Seattle. I cannot believe I'm going back there...to the place I liked the least.

    To get there I was planning to spend this week island hopping via the San Juan Islands by ferry to go south and then a bus to Seattle from Annacortes. But the hotels on the islands cost a mint as they are all holiday resorts and I would have had to stay due to ferry connections. Nothing seemed to be working out. Suddenly Danish girls popped back home to grab a coat and they were surprised to see me still sitting where I was this morning. I told them I had to book things. Then they told me there is a direct ferry to Seattle from here once a day. Thanks girls! At $109 it was expensive but cheaper than island hopping. I did a budget for the rest of my time in Victoria and the rest of my C dollars, then booked the ferry. I was scraping the barrell now. One extra night at hostel, museum visit, whale boat trip to go on the card and 40 in my pocket. Whew, I would make it. I also attended to other money matters such as a hotel still not returned my security deposit and numerous emails and searching online for USA ideas. By late afternoon I had a headache and had nothing to eat. I went down the road and got a GF pizza. I walked around 2 blocks while waiting for the pizza. The church across the road was open and I went in for a look. A service for gay pride day. Those Anglicans are up with modern times. I sat dowstairs to eat and felt a little refreshed back at my table in my room. Suddenly things were working out. Emails were replied, flights booked for the next leg of my next adventure.

    You know I had been thinking in the last week, maybe I should just save the rest of the US money and go home. But today I had a change of thought. I remembered working outside in the heat last summer, I remember the garage sale Frankie and I had and he gave me all his takings to put towards my trip. What about the snags and baked beans for tea and saving so hard for 2 and a half years. Are you just going to take whats left home again? Hell no! So I am blowing the lot on one last week. It just sort of came together in the end as things usually do, but it was a lot of work last Sunday. A hec of a lot of frustration with booking flights on websites that say,,,computer says no....arggghhhhh

    Kommentare

  • 12Jul 2017

    29 Victoria 12.07.2017 Kanada —

    Victoria, Kanada

    Beschreibung

    After my day of study and internet stress I was off out the door to do some sightseeing the next two day. Maree' sister had turned up by now and the 3 of us planned to go on a whale watching tour on the Monday. But she was up bright and early and said to me in bed oh the weather doesnt look good maybe tomorrow. I decided I would go by myself. The man downstairs who sweeps called the whale mob and got me a discount of $89 rather than the usual 110. I got the bus downtown which is not all that far away and went too pay for my ticket. I looked at some of the tourist souvenir shops on government road and went off to find a meal before my afternoon out on the water. I found a diner called CORA which had very unusual platters on offer and some breakfast type meals. They told me they could do me a GF buckwheat pancake which I substituted for the wrap with gooey cheese and ham. The rest of the plate was full of fruit salad. I also had a hot chocolate. With the tax and then a tip this came to about 22. Any wonder I eat at home. I was fueled up for my trip to sea, but when I came out of the cafe the sky looked dark and the wind was up. Uh oh....

    At the whale tour booking office the group gathered on the sidewalk for our information then walked together down to the boat. She warned us it is going to be a little rough out there today. Well it was so rough I did not dare try to hold the computer out over the edge of the boat to take any pics. This is the home to humbacks, minkes and the onewe all paid to see the orca or killer whale. We only saw one whale, a humpback who put on a bit of a show but we were very far away. We then went to more gentle water to find some wildlife but nothing to be seen, so they pulled some huge seaweed out of the sea for us to look at.....I came home a little disappointed.

    On my next day I went to the Museum of British Columbia which is supposed to be very good. It was fantstc and hours of things to see for 22 dollars. Just as I was throwing away my ferry ticket read the back and there was $2 offfor me and you know I love a bargain. Next I went strolling down the old town. There are some lovely old buildings in Victoria. They really should call it city of churches as I have found at least 8 in my area. I had not stepped inside any shops until now but all the sales were on so I was tempted to buy some items for the warmer climate I am soon going to. One store had 10 cent day, buy 8ne thing which was on sale anyway and get another for 10 cents. I got shoes! Now where to put them in my bag. Ater that I was whizzing about trying to spend the last of my canadian money, so went to supermarket for snacks and essentials and passed a cinema. I need some entertainment and it was cheap tuesday so got a ticket for 8 bucks and went back after my tea. The seats were those huge soft recliners and I could have slept there all night. The movie was The Beguiled with nic kidman. It was ok, i have never thought she is such a good actor. So that was the last of Victoria and the last of Canada. The next day Wednsday I got the 11.30 clipper ferry to seattle. A smaller boat than the big BC ferries. This one was all seats in one room and nowhere to walk around. After a long day I was heading back in to the HI hostel where I was a month or so ago. Back to Seattle, the least of my favourite places so far. I had a good time in Victoria, but would have loved ot go exploring to the north and west where it is supposed to be beautiful, but I would have needed a cat for that. Nonetheless, I had a good time, and was sad to leave wonderful Canada.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 14Jul 2017

    30 Secret Revealed 14.07.2017

    Boston

    Beschreibung

    Returning to Seattle again was a non event, as far as excitement goes. There is something that disturbs me about this city. I uave been wanting to write a post about but have not have had time. So back to the HI hostel in chinatown. Room 212 and I knew this would not be a good night. Many numerologists would not stay in a 5 room. Back to the asian supermarket for my pack of special fried rice and 2 hardboiled eggs for my supper. Back to the tiny dorm room with 2 bunks. A much older than mechineselady was my room mate and all she ould say to me that night was tired tired, so we hit the hay early. I was browsing the web and just about to turn it off when 2 girls arrived making us 4 in a cramped stuffy room. The old lady snored all night and doors banged all night, I could hear people coming home up the stairs in fhe room.

    Next day I put a colour in my hair for special events soon to come, repacked my bag and left it in he store room for the day. I went out walking to find the nearby underground old city tour but could not find it, so ended up in town. I was over the tourist sites. I just didnt have the energy and was a little bored. So what does a girl do when she is bored, yes go shopping! I found a couple of T shirts and a summer throw over your togs dress and some cheap earrings. Oh and a lovely cream shawl for evenings...got any ideas where I am going? Yes I found a bargain cruise afterall, but not to cold alaska. Hey Liz, I am off to Bermuda. My friend liz just went there recently and loved the place. This was all I could find, there was only 3 or 5 day ones in Caribbean and nothing down LA way. So I have today arrived in Boston way in the east side of the USA.

    So no more posts for a while. I AM NOW HERE AND HAVE BOARDED BUT WRITING THIS IN THE PORT TERMINAL WHERE THERE IS FREE WIFI. Must go ..food to eat, have had nothing since seattle yesterday and thre is a hotbtub with my name on it. I need it, as it is only 16 degress C here today. Bye for now,

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 16Jul 2017

    31 hello from bermuda 16.07.2017 Bermuda —

    Bermuda

    Beschreibung

    Fi ally I am somewhere warm! Oh my thix place is beautiful. Cfuise is going well, apart from the usual food problems. Seems all they have for me to eat is roast chicken.
    I have been so tired the fisrt couple of days as I changed 4 time zones to get here, and am now 4 hours ahead of where I was 8n the wset coast. It 7s so nice to have a quiet room of my own. We omly do ked here at 1pm znd it is now after 4pm so having a little walk around the port. But it is so hot I may go back soon. My big splash out to come so far the cruise has left me practically broke so I cannot book any tours. I have budgeted 60 US $ for some outings but a day pass on ferries Nd bus is q9.50 so w8nt be doing much...no matter I am happy just to walk around and go to one of the other towns...must go and get the pics loaded....
    best wishes to all. X

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 18Jul 2017

    32 Blue sea, blue card 18.07.2017 Bermuda —

    Bermuda

    Beschreibung

    We have had 2 and a half days in BEAUTIFUL BALMY BERMUDA. It is absolutely gorgeous here. So yesterday I packed my bag, with towel, togs, drinks, and off I went. But there was a big surprise outside. The hugs anthem of the seas had pulled up and she has 5000 at least on board. We are full go capicity with even the bunk beds taken with kids at 3000. So the port was crowded. Got as far as the mall and the queues for the ferries were miles lo g. Then it rained so today I had to go explore something. I decided on the far off town of St Georges the most historic of them all. This is where the first settlement was back in 1609. Hamilton is the capital and everyone goes there for the shopping, the caves, aquarium anf the swimming beaches out of town. I made it to the first ferry at 9.30. It took about half an hour on a pleasant boat ride.

    The town is small with wonderful 400 year old stone buildings all painted in pastel colours. Every roof is painted white and collecrs rainwater. There is no fresh water on bermuda as they have no rivers or lakes but it rains often. I strolled around and looked in churches and took pics of sweet pink houses on my other camera, so cannot show them all here. Got back to ship at 1.45 and had lunch. Must upload some pics for you now, as we sail in 1.5 hours. We have 2 days at sea to get back to Boston then I make my long journey home.

    The water is so varied here. Out at sea it is an azure blue, but not as blues as the Ionion Sea. Here by the shore it is neither blue or green but somewhere in between. Last night I contemplated this rare gem of a colour over my dinner. And here is how it happened.

    Life on ship is the same, always hassles with finding GF food and they dont do any table sharing here so I sit alone over my dinner at some hidden table with no views.. On my way to the dining room last night I stopped of at guest services. As I have been on 3 NCL cruises now I asked about my number...they searched and found the 3 cruises. I was upgraded to a blue card. So now I am a latitudes member. At the dining room after they scanned my card I was shown to a nice table at the back with the big windows overlooking the water. No I dont want a green card to stay in America, but gee having a blue card on a ship makes a difference. Last night I had the best dish yet. It was an artichoke and mushroom rissotto. Belissimo!
    Its been a good cruise, but I have no funds for tours and seeing more. No matter, i was happy just to be aboard and gets some rest, to be fed and someone to make my bed is luxury after the hostels. Farewell for now.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 21Jul 2017

    33 Travel blues 21.07.2017

    Boston

    Beschreibung

    Do not be alarmed by the negative heading. The cruise was good and bermuda was delightful, with what I saw of it. However for the first time ever on my travels I experienced a strange feeling. I got a little lonely on board ship. It is mid summer here and that means summer vacation and it is school holidays. Hence the ship was crowded with huge family groups. Some groups were 15 or 20 people. Some wore group T-shirts announcing happy 40th anniversary bob and nancy. Others were large groups out to drink at every bar by lunch time and they were in blue singlets. Hence I avoided the crowds at the pool and the screaming kids and the loud yobos at every location. The microphones and music everywhere was so loud. What I needed after six weeks of very hectic travel was rest, so I spent lot of time in my cabin watching some movies, painting my toe nails, that sort of thing. I did go out every day to listen to a talk or see a show. In the morning I would go for a stroll and try to find somewhere by the pool to sit and then someone would say that seat is taken so I had to move on.

    But it was meal times I felt the most lonely. On NCL cruises the dining is very relaxed. People come to the dining room in their shorts and sunburn and I just dont like that casual approach for evening. I like to put effort into getting dressed up nicely for dinner. It's a fun part of cruising I enjoy as I do not go out much at home. There are no set dining sittings on NCL and there is always food 24 hours somewhere. So at the main dining room there was no share tables like you get on other ships like Princess. They just sat me at a table in my own, even though I asked every night to place me with someone else. Only once did another woman come to join me and it was good to have a chat with her over our meal. By the second last night I was looking at the sweet young girls in their pretty dresses at the dining room, with their Mum and Grandma. Little miss was far better behaved then the racous laugh of the drunks in the room and I was missing my grandies. How I wished we were all on family holidays also. People would stare at me and say nothing. This is the first time I have ever experienced this. This staring into space and missing some dining companionship and congenial tourism conversation.

    I had lots of problems with my GF food. Once at breakfast at the buffet I asked for some GF toast. It took 20 minutes. The buffet selections for me were slim pickings. So I went to the Venetian dining room, a grand space in opulent silver and white. One night I went to the Aqua dining room, where I was sat at a small table for 2 between a row of couples against a wall. I could hear their conversation while I sat there awkwardly staring into space. By the last night I couldnt face the dining room again so went to the Irish Pub where they do a good corned beef sandwich. I sat in a corner looking out at the thick fog through the big windows. I went to solo night once and no-one was there that looked solo so I left feeling silly.

    I have met some lovely people on this trip and had so many breif chats at bus stops and in queues. I met dear Andrea at portland hostel and sweet Marie from Bali at Victoria who I had nice outings with. I am so grateful for all the wonderful souls I met along the way. And so many people stopped to help me. That really amazed me. Some would stop in the street if they saw me, map in hand and say do you want some help? And everyone is very polite over here. They call me Ma'am and say you are welcome. I have certainly brushed up on my Ps and Qs on this trip. Ahh yes it is the lament of the solo traveller. Occasional lonileness, but only occasionall . The rest of the time I relish my solitute and to not be on a schedule like on a tour group trip. One must be content with one's own company if you choose to go it alone. People ask me where I have been...I rattle off my list. My you have been a lot of places. But I think I have only done a little. There is so much more to see! An old couple leave the elevator on the ship, ...did you hear that? Seven weeks she has been traveling. Thats a long time......husband nods his head.
    I have been away longer on some trips, but this time I have struggled with stress, fatigue and my feet problems. I have done ok, considering I have been most unwell many months before I left. I think my feelings of travel blues and avoiding people and going out to see things are signs of overload and reaching tourism capacity. For this trip I feel I have done enough. I am glad to be heading home.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 23Jul 2017

    34 BIG things 23.07.2017 USA —

    Waimea, USA

    Beschreibung

    Americans do things in a BIG way. This is a quick photo post of some of the BIG things that both astounded and amazed me on my pacific north west trip. I took all these photos along the way for this post at the end of my trip. I would pull my tablet out of my bag as I was saying oh my, have to take a photo of that. Many people asked what I was doing as I took the photo. In the Walmart, a very big thing itself, people asked me where goods were located....which was very funny.

    Looking back over my photos has jogged my memory of where the big things were, so I had better record where they were before I forget. Hope you enjoy my amazing big things tour.
    Click on the slide show arrows to view the big things I saw.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare

  • 24Jul 2017

    35 Blame it onTrump 24.07.2017 USA —

    Honolulu, USA

    Beschreibung

    To disembark the cruise ship at Boston on departure day all foreign travelers got a letter to say be at the Aqua restaurant at 7.15 am for customs clearance. I woke early that day so got up and went to buffet to make a cup of tea and took the tea and an apple with me. I arrived at the queue at 7.10am and left there at 8.40am. It took 1.5 hours for me and everyone was furious. I had intended to leave by 8.30 and still had to grab some breakfast and get my bags from my room. It was a crush to get off the ship and I just made it to the airport and through security and then my flight was boarding. The Canadians who had flights and some had a 9 hour drive ahead of them were also getting hot under the collar. I have never experienced this before on a cruise. Why cant they just stamp us as we get off. No-one else had ever experienced it. It must be a Trump thing, we all agreed. We will blame it on Trump. People here are getting used to these ever changing security measures and long queues.

    At first the customs official could not a stamp in my passport. I have the electronic ETSA visa but that only works at airports. We don't have that machine or computers here he said. But luckily we found a stamp from when I got the ferry back to the USA to Seattle from Vancouver Island. I dont recall anyone stamping it to get on the cruise ship. I juzt had to show passport and was waved through. So this stamp was enough for him to clear me for re-entry to the USA. I had to push and get a staff member to let me out another door so I could jump the queue to get off and then past the thousands getting off. Then I ran to a nearby bus stop for a bus to town then change to the airport bus. Boston Logan airport is not too far away, thank the goddess. Oh it was a very stressful morning.

    In Australia and most of the world we could not believe that Trump had been voted in as President. Now I have seen the documentaries of how he has duped the people in the people into believing things that are just not going to happen in these times. So many now are not allowed into the country. I was shocked that one acadamy award winner from Israel was not granted a visa and could not attend the ceremony. Turn on any TV set here and there is 24 hours of reports on what he is up to now and happenings at the latest enquiry into trump behaviour and even of his kids. The biggest issue at the moment is the bill to ammend the obama care health plan. He has scraped all the work set up by the Obama government. Health management and institutions are fed up. Imagine the stress they are working under. I have seen them being interviewed on tv. Also the very sick people who have no way they can pay for a doctor or pay their medicine. Millions of americans are now without any health cover or access to medical. I had to turn the tv off it was so upsetting to see these people being interviewed. We, so safe and sound in a far off country have no idea of the realities that go on in other countries. It really is a shambles here. Many senators and officials are resigning. Every day it is, he said this and now he is doing that. What a joke. The country is going down the toilet.

    I didnt travel around much in the USA but where I did go anti Trump sentiment was everywhere to be seen. Actually no that is not entirely correct. What I saw were afirmations of inclusiveness and respect for all. People proudly had flags flying outside their homes and many had signs on their front lawns. Some had signs in their shop and home windows saying where ever you are from and who ever you are, you are welcome here. Reading that made me feel welcome and I felt the love. On the whole I think Americans are embarrassed at what is going on of late and feel that Trumps personal opinions and the way the country is being run is not a refelction of how the citizens feel. There have been huge protests and rallies. The current changes and policies have affected everyone. Foreign countries are affected also by his policies and no one is happy about it. Mark my words. We will look back over this time and say oh yes, the predesesors of world war 3. Blame it on Trump.

    Fotos & Videos

    Kommentare