Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stonehenge - England

The Place: Stopped in Salisbury to visit this world heritage site dating back over 5000 years.
Some features: Built in phases spanning over a thousand years and ending around 1600BC, the monument contains many mysteries. The massive rocks or Sarsens were carried over from Wales over water and land and it is estimated that it would have taken more than 500 men to pull a stone using ropes and sledges as it is believed they did. It is thought that Stonehenge was used mainly for religious reasons with the sun and moon being it's main focus. A heal stone similar in size to the Sarsen stones lies separate from the main circles and when the sun rises it directs the rays between different pillars during different months acting as a calender. Dotted around the shrine are a few mounds or barrows which were communal burial sights where some people were buried together with some of their possessions including pottery, and sometimes even a beloved horse or dog.

The New Forest - England

The Place: Spent a Christmas with family in the New Forest in South East England.
Some features: Many ponies! Together with cows they have free reign of the quaint streets of Burley. A fifteen minute trip takes you to a coastline of pebbles. Looking towards the needles of the Isle of Wight, you can watch the sun set across the Solent. A walk to Boldrewood offers an opportunity to spot the wild deer of the forest.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Twelve Apostles - Australia

The Place: The Twelve Apostles in Port Campbell National Park along the Great Ocean road, Victoria.

Great Ocean Road - Australia

The Place: On a journey in Victoria to see the 12 apostles, we took a road trip along the Great Ocean Road taking us from Geelong just outside Melbourne to Port Campbell National Park where we decided to turn around after seeing the 12 Apostles.
Some features: Stopped at a surfer town Torquay for a barbeque on the beach. Later I tried surfing some waves on a stand-up paddle board which was good fun. Popped down to the famous Bells beach, drove through to Lorne and Apollo Bay. The drive and the small towns along the way are all beautiful with an ocean alongside as turquoise as the picture above shows. Turned around after seeing the 12 Apostles featured above.

Byron Bay - Australia

The Place: On the coast of New South Wales, nearing the border to Queensland, Byron Bay is a super chilled out surfing town.
Some features: Stayed in a cool backpackers called the Arts Factory which has numerous types of accomodation including teepee's and island retreats (canvas shelters with platforms overlooking a small lake). We were lucky enough to be there over whale watching season and were able to spot about five or six whales, two being mother and calf, as well as two dolphins making their way along the coastline. Cruised around town on hired bikes and found more beaches to visit. Went surfing at cosy corner on Tallow beach. Took wine, cheese and biscuits down to the beach for sundowners.

The Races - Melbourne

The Event: Attended the Caulfield Cup for a day at the races. Lots of sun, big hats, beautiful people, champaigne and of course horses. Tried my hand at betting and was lucky enough to win on Mimi Lebrock who came first in the Group Two Tristarc Stakes, my only bet for the day - pity it was only $5.

Melbourne - Australia

The Place: Down under in the state of Victoria, Melbourne is a funky city loaded with sport, art, and architecture.
Some features: Took a tram down to federation square to have a look at the city which features buildings and bridges of all shapes and sizes, old and modern in design. Looking down alleyways you can discover original and interesting cafe's and bars. Got a view of the city and Yarra river from the 88th floor of the Eureka tower, which features the highest viewing platform in the southern hemisphere and 10 floors of 24 carat gold plated glass windows making the golden block which can be seen in the photo above. From the platform you can see Melbourne's many sporting grounds including the Australian Open tennis grounds, the MCG, and Flemington race course.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Great Gorilla Run - London

The event: Competed in a team of six (guys from work) in the great gorilla run in London. The 7km run is geared as a fundraising event for the mountain gorillas in Africa and this year saw 633 gorilla clad individuals (in fancy dress) taking part.
Some features: Was a real laugh, especially watching bypassers' reactions as you run passed them in the street. We crossed London, Southwark, Tower and Black Friar's bridge so was also quite a scenic tour of London. Best dressed gorilla went to a gorilla in a kissing booth costume but aside from that there were ballerina tutu's, mankini's and village people costumes to name a few. We were dressed as cowboy's (thats me in the black hat). I don't think I've sweated as much in my life, but good fun!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nottinghill Carnival - London

The Event: As the biggest European street party attracting over a million people to the streets of Nottinghill in the space of two days, the Nottinghill Carnival is a must. With the history of the carnival beginning with West Indian immigrants in London in 1966, the carnival is now a full blown Carribean carnival including Jamaica, Trindad, Bermuda, Barbados, Dominica and others. Also appearing in the carnival are Brazilian Samba bands and other festive groups who know how to party.
Some highlights: The floats and masquerades are spectacular. The streets are lined with Carribean treats like Curry Goat and Jerk Chicken and the all important Reggae Reggae sauce. There are stages set up all around the carnival music where DJ's and dancers keep the party loud and crazy. Steel bands play their Calypso tunes and Samba bands keep the rythm going in between the masqueraders.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lovebox Festival - London

The Event: In East London went to check out Saturdays Line up at the Lovebox Festival.
Some Features: Amongst alot of cool and wierd things going on around the festival enjoyed watching some pro skaters and BMX's on a 13.5 ft ramp.
Of the bands really enjoyed The Black Seeds, Groove Armada and, being by far the best concert I've seen, MANU CHAO!! Manu Chao were awesome - loads of energy and the crowd was going mad for them, lots of fun!

Getting Dirty - England

The Event: As part of our 'helping hands' initiative at work, spent a day in Three Bridges cutting down invading birchwood and bracken to restore the natural heath. Nothing like a good day of physical labour!