Archives for May 2007


Five Travel Dreams for 2007

Over at the Rambling Traveler blog, Stacy shared her top five travel
and I offered my top five in the comments list. This morning I
wondered what travel dreams I will fulfil this year, and came up with
this list:

The Who at Wembley. My son and I have tickets to see the The Who in
concert at Wembley next month. A classic British rock band in their
natural environment, very cool.

Assen Tourist Trophy. Assen is one of great motorcycle Grand Prix
events, look for me and my son at the final turn this year.

Le Hamel. I wrote a history paper for my Master’s degree on the
Australian Armed Forces’ battle success in 1918 that concentrated on the battle at Le Hamel. This year I’m going to walk the same ground and
visit the Australian Memorials in the region.

Relax on the Italian Riveria. Every trip should include time to relax,
and Vernazza is great place for relaxation. It is also the only place
both my kids wanted on the itinerary.

Christmas with Family. After living overseas for seven years, we are
headed back to Oz and a big family Christmas.


Top Five Travel Posts – ProBlogger’s Group Writing Project Day 1

ProBlogger‘s group writing project has generated some great posts across a wide variety of subjects but these are my Top Five Travel Posts of the day:

Top 5 Reasons Why We Travel. Every traveller has their own reasons for their wanderlust, and Timen Swijtink’s list struck cord with me.

My Top 5 Future Photowalking Locations. Trevor Carpenter shares his future photowalking locations, London and Rome are amongst my favourite cities, I’ll be walking them again soon.

Top 5 Spanish Tapas. Tapas are growing in popularity throughout the world, Matthew Bennett shares his favourites with us.

Top Five Languages I Would Like to Learn. Learning Coptic or Aramaic may not help you order a beer but any language study can enhance your travel experience, Darrell Pursiful’s list is intriguing.

Five gems: what makes a good pub? A pub in any destination is a good place to meet the locals or fellow travellers, Michael Scott shares his thoughts on what makes a good one.

Thanks Darren Rowse at ProBlogger for hosting this great project.


My Five Most Awestruck Travel Experiences

The physical strains of travel; running to catch your train, enduring the stomach cramps of last night’s culinary experiment or sightseeing through a sleep deprived haze, all wash away in that one ‘Wohhh’ moment that leaves you awestruck. Not every trip has a ‘Wohhh’ moment but finding them keeps me travelling, these are my top five awestruck travel experiences:

Great Wall of China I stumbled up the last few steps, leg muscles aching as the stone wall gave way to the blue sky and I straightened my back feeling the cool breeze for the first time. Turning to look back at my route, I took an involuntary breath as I saw the structure snaking through the hills. The Great Wall gave me the first ‘Wohhh’ moment of my travels and is still in my top five experiences.

Michelangelo’s David A face calm in the knowledge of ultimate triumph but a body tensed for battle against insurmountable odds, so powerful I stepped back at first sight to gather my wits. His body hardened by life, chiselled by the mastery of his maker whose bidding he stands ready to perform, a resolute figure pitted against the greatness of time. As I circle his perfect form, the hands appear to twitch as the lean muscles contract to bring his weapon to bear.

Beneath his marble white skin I can see the blood coursing through his body, a body filled with life yet as cold as stone to my touch. As cold as the Carrara marble he emerged from under the frenetic genius of Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni. Created in cloud of marble dust with only his God to guide his hand, Michelangelo created a sculpture so magnificent that had it been his only achievement we would still regard him as a Master Sculptor.

Colditz Castle I peered into the tunnel chipped through the stone walls by desperate young men intent on escaping their captors. As a kid their escape stories fuelled my imagination, and powered a life long interest in their exploits, separating fact from fiction to understand the unarmed war of deception and subterfuge they fought.

Their ingenuity is legendary but I’m gob smacked looking at the radio room that remained hidden for fifty years along with numerous other artefacts discovered during renovations in 1993. After the tour, I wandered the grounds imagining their lives; recalling the escape stories but also the boredom and despair of imprisonment.

Colditz Castle

Yankee Stadium Sixty thousand cheering fans, passionate lovers of baseball filled the stands that Ruth built, Yankee Stadium boasts the most dedicated and unforgiving fans in baseball. Today their chants rocked the walls, and reverberated through the stairwells as they cheered their beloved team to victory.

‘Let’s go Red Sox,’ they roared as the shaggy idiots from Boston took the field to play the clean-cut Bronx Bombers. The New Englanders overwhelmed the Yankee faithful turning Ruth’s house into a small piece of Massachusetts.

Venice The passengers surged off the carriages into the humid oil stained air of the station, nondescript and unremarkable in a country that brought forth the modern world. We stumbled along with them, contemplating sightseeing and lunch before emerging into the sunshine of Renaissance Venezia.

Turquoise blue water lapped against the decaying stucco and marble, and for a moment, we stood in the Doge‘s powerful city-state before the roar of a motorboat returned us to the present. Its formidable navy transformed into vaporetto and water taxis, Venice emerged from darkness to embrace tourism and regain its power.

This post was submitted to Darren Rowse’s group writing project at Problogger, check out the other submissions this week or contribute yourself.


Travel Photographs – Ducati Museum, Bologna Italy

Each week I post a few of my personal travel photos to inspire your travel dreams. This week I chose my favourite shots of the Ducati race bikes in the Ducati Museum in Bologna:

Paul Smart Imola 500 Ducati

Mike Hailwood IOM Ducati

Marco Lucchinelli Ducati 750F1


Aviation Fun and History in the Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest is rich in aviation history, exhibits and home to the largest aerospace company in the world, The Boeing Company (Technically, it is now a Chicago based company but the heart is still in Seattle) and summer is the time to visit. For aviation enthusiasts there is an event or exhibit to visit almost every weekend during the blue sky weekends of May through August, here are my favourites:

Collings Foundation B-17 Flying Fortress

1. Museum of Flight. The Museum of Flight in Seattle is one of the best run aerospace exhibits I have visited and hosts aviation events throughout the year. The exhibit highlights include the Personal Courage Wing housing fighter aircraft from World War I and II, and the Great Gallery where you can explore aviation history. Memorial Day weekend the museum hosts these three great events:

The Aluminum Overcast: B-17 flight experience in this veteran warbird for $399.

Tuskegee Airmen who became German Prisoners of War, listen to the experiences of the Red-tailed fighters as told by the pilots themselves.

Cascade Warbird Fly-in, aircraft from World War II to Vietnam will grace the tarmac outside the museum.

2. Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour. Looking down on the factory floor, you have to remind yourself that the aircraft under construction are amongst the largest in the world despite being dwarfed in this massive facility. The tour is proceeding with presentations and exhibits on the future of flight and flight simulator ride but the heavy metal on the production line holds my attention longest.

3. Flying Heritage Collection.Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, has many passions and the wealth to indulge them. The Flying Heritage Collection is his personal stable of historic aircraft, many restored to flying condition and exercised in the air on regular occasions. Currently located at Arlington Airfield, the collection is moving to Paine Field in late 2007. Tours are by appointment only.

4. Evergreen Aviation Museum. Home of the Hughes Hercules flying boat (Spruce Goose), the Evergreen Aviation Museum has a large collection of rare and unique aircraft.

5. Arlington Northwest EAA Fly-in. The second largest fly-in event in the USA, Arlington is less well known than Oshkosh but no less impressive for aviators. Fantastic home built aircraft sit along side warbirds and wide range of aviation products from books to your next aircraft kit.