Sunday, March 30, 2014

New Zealand.... a jewel in the pacific

A few years back we cruised through the South Pacific.! One of our favorite places was New Zealand...I can honestly say, it was one of the most beautiful places on our Adventures!

Christ Church was an amazing place. We were there after the first Earthquake, and fortunately before the last earthquake, when most of the city was damaged.
It was such a beautiful day

We drove up into the mountains for a lovely view of the bay! Spring flowers were abundant, and the colors so lively

We sat for a while on a picturesque bench, and enjoyed the smells, sounds and sights of the countryside 

Christ Church sits in a valley between the mountains and the ocean

An easy drive to the beach, so different from our Florida beaches.

Why oh why is my hair ALWAYS blowing in the breeze!  As you can guess, the weather was cool and clear and windy!

Me having fun! I just loved the rocks and caves...I felt like I was all alone in the universe.. and apparently quite happy about that!

Even the vegetation was unusual....This tree seemed to never end...all twisted and waiting for spring to burst upon the scene. 

Flowers were blooming  in all the gardens.

And the amazing parks....

The hillsides

and of course a beauty among the blooms..Hee Hee

The children were at lunch in a private school

I wonder where these boys were going!

We had booked a private tour in advance with our cruise critic friends. Our 8 hour tour in a van, $50 pp
Ship tour for a 4 hour Christ Church tour...$99 pp
hmmmmm which would you choose!

Our next port of Call was Dunedin 
We hopped on a bus into town, and were able to secure a spot on this train...leaves only once a day and we did't want to miss it!
A fully restored car ...this is the cutest conductor I know!

The insides were beautiful and comfy, we had the best meat pie ever, and a local beer...all for 4 USD pp

All the wood had been restored, and enhanced the lovely views outside, as we traveled through the countryside
Going over bridges

and through the valleys. Look at the river below, and the bright yellow flowers on the hillside.

A view, as we were passing between the cars.We are just about to go over the old wooden bridge!

The most amazing part of this was the price....The ship offered this as a tour for over $200 pp
It included lunch, and the train picked you up at the dock.

We paid $10.00 for the shuttle into town, $45 for the train trip
and $4 bucks for lunch!
Total of $59 dollars pp.....Same train, better lunch!
Woo Hoo...I love private tours!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Stay hungry and travel well! Travel tips for the curious...

Michael and I love to travel, I'm a bed and breakfast kind of gal, and Michael is a fan of 4 star hotels! ( our amazing hotel adventures are another blog! Yikes)
No matter what, we find lots of things to agree on......Like food

One should always drink Sangria, and eat Tapas while in Spain! One of our favorite meals ever was in a local out of the way Tapas bar

Local street vendors can be scary, but the food is usually delicious!
If you have a sensitive stomach, RUN AWAY!

Chicken feet in Singapore......We did not try this, but not to say it wouldn't be a great dining experience!

The dumplings were awesome

along with the local beer!

One of the most amazing parts of travel is meeting new people and making friends. I will never forget these 2 Japanese Ladies, who dressed me up in this beautiful Kimono! We were at a local market, and needless to say, I own this kimono, and it is a treasure!

When we are traveling, I always ask Michael to wear a bright colored hat...I can always find him in a crowd!

This yellow hat is my favorite! I have never lost him!

I try to do the same.....The brighter the better!

Be adventurous

I tried the Zip line on the Oasis, on my 60th birthday! 

And we crossed a rope bridge in Ireland!

Enjoy the local or out of the way spots, and you can get a real feel for the city you are in..

Walk the back streets of Venice

You never know what you'll find!

A snake charmer in India......I was Hugely impressed!

A beautiful area in Bali, off the beaten track.

We took a riverboat tour in India, and shopped with the locals in a little village.

A street scene in Alexandria.....I wanted to hop out of the car and buy some fruit!

Sometimes, only the tourist spots will do! 

This picture needs no introduction!

The Temple of Karnak

Or the highest building in the world!  Who can resist going to the top!

Meet the locals....Stop and chat with the interesting people you see along the way. We didn't speak any Chinese, and they didn't understand English.  Ya know what, We understood each other perfectly...smiles work everywhere!

We didn't get to meet them, but we were honored to be a part of the celebration!

This Gal was amazing, So funny, and pleased to tell us about her town. This picture always brings me back to Salvador, Brazil!

A local Aborigine in playing the colorful is that! We would never have seen this in Sydney!

Don't be afraid to have fun!

We look serious, don't we!

The 2 look-a likes!

Sometimes Michael pushes me over the edge.....and sometimes I push him! haha

Creepy, scary picture! love it!

Always be respectful of the culture.
Dress like the locals when you visit a mosque.

Cover your arms and legs when in the Mideast...(The heat did tend to make me a little crazy!)

and pay homage to the dead of Pompeii

We always visit family when we can.

A visit to Rome is not complete without spending a day with my Niece and her family, who live in Tuscany
and who can resist my little darling Giulia...Such a spitfire...just like her Great-Aunt!

Happy trails to you!