Just returned from our second trip to Australia. We only went to Melbourne and Sydney this time. We did a bus tour of Melbourne; last time we did a walking tour. In Sydney we did walking tour of the The Rocks and visited the Maritime Museum. This time we got to go on board the replica of the Endeavor (which is seaworthy and sails on an irregular basis).
Sunset over Sydney
I still did not get to see any flying foxes nor either of the Magellanic Clouds. We ate at a really good Thai restaurant near our hotel in Sydney and a really good Turkish restaurant in Newtown. In Melbourne our first stop after checking into our hotel on Lygon street was to get sims for our devices and then hit Brunetti for their amazing pastries.
Just got back from our vacation to Alaska. We did an overnight train trip to Denali. Didn’t spend much time in the park. Saw bits of Denali but not the whole mountain. Did see the top of Mount Foraker. Then we went back to Anchorage. Next day we were shuttled to Whittier and put on the Pacific Princess for a seven day Alaska cruise. Long story short. It was great. Saw Mount St. Elias and probably Mount Logan. We saw lots of glaciers and some whales. Sailed into Yakatat Bay and saw Hubbard Glacier. Next day sailed into Glacier Bay National Park picked up park rangers who gave us a tour of the bay. We sailed all the way up to Margerie Glacier and saw bits of it fall off. Saw lots of spouts but not the actual whales. Saw them later. After that we stopped in Skagway road the White Pass train, then stopped in Juneau went to Mendenhall Glacier. Stopped in Ketchikan and went to Saxman Native Village then two more days of sailing the inside passage to Vancouver where we ended ended our cruise. We spent two days in Victoria then two days in Vancouver before flying home.
I may post a more detailed log of the trip.
While in Victoria we got a ride in a convertible Mustang saw Mount Rainier and Mount Baker. Also saw Rainier and final approach to Seattle. We flew from Tucson to SEATAC then to Anchorage. We flew home from Vancouver to Phoenix then Tucson. Our luggage didn’t arrive with us but we picked it up the next day.
Things we did NOT see in Victoria: Butchart Gardens nor Craigdorrach Castle. We did go to the Royal BC Museum. We did go to Gastown in Vancouver and rode the hop-on hop-off bus. I don’t feel too deprived that we didn’t do a bus tour of Denali National Park and see attractions in B.C. because we saw and did a lot of stuff for the first time. I hope there’s another trip to Alaska and Victoria in our future but this one will keep me satisfied for a few years.
We’ve seen a fair bit of Australia on our first trip here from Victoria to South Australia to New South Wales. Here’s just a sampling of pictures. I must say Australia is quite expensive. It is it’s own place, but there are many cultural elements from both the UK and the US that will be familiar to Americans, leaning more towards the UK in customs but the US in commercial arena. It’s been a good trip. Wife got a lot accomplished with her work which was the reason for the trip and I was able to do some work remotely (I’m a web developer).
I will say this if you ever go to Sydney and/or Melbourne be sure to do the I’m Free” walking tour. They’ve been doing they Sydney tour for about four years and the Melbourne one for about a year. If you liked it, you tipped the tour guide what you thought it was worth. We gave them $30AUS for each tour. You’ll learn there is quite a rivalry between the cities, as a tourist Sydney is easy to take a liking to it, but Melbourne requires a little more work to get to know and once you do you’ll take quite a liking to it as well.
Grand Final Parade in Melbourne
Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge
Kangaroo and joey in Wagga Wagga
We’ve travelled more this year than any other. We did a 6,000 mile road trip that made a triangle route from Arizona to Oklahoma to Montana and back to Arizona. In Montana we briefly stepped over the border to Canada. We went to Virginia. I went to California. Been to Texas twice and we still have two more trips to go for Texas, one flying and one driving. Then there’s another overseas trip that is in the works. So I can we’ve been coast to coast and border to border in one year, and the furthest north and furthest south in one year. Well, technically the trip planned will not be our furthest north ever and we won’t actually go cross or go to the Mexican border.