The Diary of a Slow Traveller – Stones and so much more, The Orkney Islands

    Stones of Stenness

 

The Orkney Islands are a collection of Islands north of mainland Scotland. Continue reading

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The Diary of a Slow Traveller – a long way from Adelaide Oval, Sanday, Orkney Islands

Whitemill Beach – Sanday

We timed our trip to Sanday, Orkney Islands perfectly to coincide with The Adelaide Crows Preliminary Final against Geelong. When we booked our travel to the UK it seemed likely that The Crows would be in the finals and that for the first time in my life I’d be on the other side of the world when my team is playing in the football finals. (Infact its more than just The Crows, my beloved Sturt are playing in the SANFL Grand Final as I put the finishing touches on this post –  thanks 5AA for providing the commentary steam).

With the AFL Watch App loaded we could only hope that the B&Bs we chose had good wifi , but as the finals draw was announced it seemed we would be on a ferry when the Preliminary Final started! Oh well, I thought, our trip to Sanday was important as it was the birth place of my favourite person’s’ ancestors and I’d have to wait until we landed in Sanday to get the scores.

Pregame – at the ferry terminal

As we arrived at the ferry terminal I got a text message from a friend, a Geelong supporter from a bar near the ground. I responded with a picture of us at the ferry terminal. In our usual style, we had arrived at the ferry terminal early careful to make sure we didn’t miss it.

We drove onto the ferry about 40 minutes later, Continue reading

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The Diary of a Slow Traveller – London, its museums and galleries

My photo does not do this painting justice

A challenge in visiting a city like London is that there is so much to see. As a result, it can easily become overwhelming with a few days going by and little achieved.

We have been fortunate to visit London on more than one occasion and have adopted a list approach. The list is not so much a ” bucket list”, a term I loathe, but a way to order our thoughts and each visit has seen us slowly work our way through the list.

Our first visit involved Buckingham Palace and walks through the Parks and a visit by me to The Emirates Stadium where my tour was hosted by Arsenal Club Legend, Charlie George. Subsequent visits have seen us take in more of the high spots in different parts of London.

In our most recent visit we based ourselves in the Marylebone area. Continue reading

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The Diary of a Slow Traveller – A Hong Kong stop-over

 

It’s our first visit to Hong Kong and we have no real sense of what to expect.

An hour in the cab and we are at our hotel. Thanks to Tablet we have an upgrade to a delightful room that comes compete with our very own dwarves.

How can you not like a room that comes with dwarves?

It’s hot and it’s sticky outside a far cry from the weather we’ve left in Adelaide and we are tired from our 3.30am start, necessary to make our 6.30am flight. I am no longer used to the crack of dawn flights that were very much part of my work routine. Still all those flights do mean that I have earned lifetime membership of One World and access to the Lounge at 5am is welcome.

As we set off from our hotel we decide that rather than heading to the night markets we decide to walk the few blocks to Time Square. This takes us through one of the local markets that as we become aware are everywhere in Hong Kong, as are the shopping malls that are filled with high end retail sores. They provide an opportunity for some window shopping but we are just  exhausted from our very early start and so pack it in and have an early dinner at a local restaurant across from our hotel where the dumplings are delightful.

You can never have enough socks!

We are back in our room in time to watch the second half of the AFL first semi final – Geelong beat Sydney comfortably meaning that my team, The Adelaide Crows will play Geelong next Friday night for the right to play in the AFL Grand Final. I have already worked out that the timing of the football will be when we are on a ferry in the Orkneys. I doubt we will be able to watch the game live but we might be able to watch a replay on the AFL Watch App assuming we have reasonable wifi at our B&B.

After a good night’s sleep we have a few hours before meeting friends who moved to Hong Kong a few years ago. I found a website that made some suggestions on what to do in a morning in Hong Kong and it suggested taking a ride on the double-decker tram and paying a visit to Hollywood Road and take in the shops. It all makes sense as this will head us very much in the direction of our friends’ apartment in the Midlevel.

Hollywood Road is pretty ordinary apart from the black sesame tea we buy from a local street vendor and a walk we take through another of the markets, so we continue up the escalator to the Botanic Gardens and Zoo which conveniently are on the same level as our friend’s apartment. The escalator makes the trip up the steep hill bearable on a hot and sticky morning.

The Botanic Gardens provide a respite from the heat of the day and the zoo although small is definitely worth the visit. Continue reading

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The Diary of a Slow Traveller – A roadtrip to Renmark

 

The Riverland in South Australia brings back wonderful childhood memories for me. As my father was brought up on the River (The River Murray), it was a regular location for short family holidays in my childhood. So when the opportunity came to combine some data collection for my PhD research with a visit to Renmark, it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

Renmark is about 250kms or 3 hours from Adelaide. It’s a straight forward drive but on a road that has been notorious for crashes, no doubt because it’s a long and straight piece of road.

We left mid Sunday morning so we could visit a winery or two in the afternoon before having a dinner at the Renmark Hotel.

As we drove up My Favourite Person and I reminisced about the numerous road trips we’d done as kids. My Favorite Person has a very different view of road trips – I love them and she doesn’t!

Her reasons are sound, regular trips to Brisbane where her father made a beeline, stopping for nothing. For me it was quite different, I loved our trips.

A trip through Australia even if you don’t go into the outback is something quite special. The terrain changes quickly and the distances are large. On this trip we opted for the Sturt Highway rather than up the South Eastern Freeway and through Murray Bridge, the bumpy but quiet Karoonda Road through to Loxton and then the Sturt Highway to Renmark. The Sturt Highway is joined from Port Wakefield Road and is pretty much a straight trip, skirting the Barossa Valley and then hitting The River at Blanchtown and then over the Kingston Bridge, either taking the Sturt Highway bypass onto Renmark or going on the old road through Cobby (Cobdogla) and Berri where my father lived as a child, the son of a soldier settler and onto Renmark.

Continue reading

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