Tag Archives: Travel

Glass Beach

29 May

What happens when people dispose of their waste in the most irresponsible way, try to clean it up, until it all gets a bit too hard, then when they can’t think of any other way to repair the damage, they close up and move on?  OK, maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but I’m filing this one under “what the hell were they thinking until it becomes wow that is just too spectacular for words”.

I am a beach glass collector.  I like to find it, feel it, decorate sandcastles with it and then leave it for the next person to enjoy.  I rarely take it home with me unless it is quite spectacular or the Drama Queen insists.  I love its smoothness, the way that time and energy have ground down all the sharp bits to make something soft and subtle.  I really like the blue ones, though they are really hard to find.

I think I would be in beach glass meltdown if I ever manage to visit Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California.  In the early part of the 20th century the residents of Fort Bragg disposed of their waste by hurling it off the cliffs onto the beach below.  No object was too big, too toxic or too much.  Household appliances, cars, trash all were tossed over the cliffs until the 1960’s when attempts were made to clean up the dump.  Despite clean up attempts, nothing could be done about the masses of glass that remained on the beach.  This is the result, a now protected altered beach landscape.

Pity it took such a gross act of human laziness to make something so beautiful.  What do you think?

Sam

images from digggsmeganpru,lee rentz

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The cliffs of insanity

17 May

I love when landscapes, whether they be natural or designed, remind me of places from movies or books.  When we travelled the Great Ocean Road a few years ago this place reminded me of the Cliffs of Insanity, they were simply inconceivable!  I’m showing them today because that’s a bit like I feel with so much to do before the Daredevil’s party.

If you haven’t seen the Princess Bride, and have no idea what I’m talking about, what are you waiting for?

Sam

Climbing a mountain

15 May

I’m having a love / hate relationship with my post a day May idea.  I love writing my blog, I always have, but hate (well, probably not hate, but mild dislike) that I’ve tied myself to posting each day and thinking about what to post.  I’m sure that I’m going to be extremely proud when I’ve achieved the goal, but for now I’m starting to struggle a little.  It’s starting to feel a little bit like an uphill hike.  You start out fresh, excited, ready conquer the peak, but as the trek wears on your breath shortens, you need more  breaks and it feels like you’ll never make it.  The good news is I’m half way, so to mark the half way point I thought I’d show you my favourite mountains. Theoretically, the rest is downhill!

The weather in Sydney has been pretty chilly this week, apparently they’re starting to get their first snow down in the Mountains.  OK, so we’re in Australia and we don’t have really impressive mountains.  On a global scale they’re more like hills, and the fact that we get excited about skiing these tiny mountains with the smear of snow that we get is a bit comical to those of you who are more enhanced in the alpine stakes, but we love them.  The Snowy Mountains National Park which contains Australia’s highest peak – Mt Kosciuszko, is a fragile Australian Alpine ecosystem.  The Australian high country is characterised by the Snowy Gum which helps to give it it’s unique character.  It’s an area that I find extremely calm and peaceful whether it is covered in snow or spring wild flowers.

Hope you enjoy my downhill slide!  Hopefully we will get to take the Drama Queen and Daredevil to see their first snow this year.

Sam

Photos from Drawn Outdoors, http://www.godadgo.com.au and http://www.boardworld.com.au

Out the Back

14 May

One of the iconic Australian landscape images is of the Outback.  The desert, kangaroos, Uluru, you know the picture.  Like most Australians, I haven’t actually been there.  We like to stick close to the coast most of the time, but Mr Perfect and I did venture a little way back a few years ago and visited Lake Mungo National Park in far western New South Wales.  It was a spectacular and ancient landscape, with an interesting juxtaposition of Natural, Indigenous and European histories.

Love how these landscapes can inspire.

Sam

 

Armchair travel courtesy of Le Tour

15 Jul

It’s the time of year when Mr Perfect, and if I’m being honest me too, become armchair experts on pelotons, breakaways, race team tactics and cycling in general.  We know how much time there is between the GC leaders and who needs to win extra points to snaffle the green jersey.  We go to bed way too late, and we wonder why we’re sooo tired in the morning.  It’s Le Tour de France time, and we are addicted.

There is nothing like a large sporting event to get the armchair experts out, and Le Tour is one of my favourites.  Not only do you get to learn about the technicalities and nuances that make road cycling such addictive TV viewing, but you also get a fantastic tour of the french countryside.  For a landscape junkie, this sporting event is paradise!

Image from news.yahoo.com

Let me just set the record straight here.  Yes, Mr Perfect and I do own bikes.  No, they haven’t been ridden for a very long time – I checked them today, and the tyres are very very flat.  I would not describe us as any form of cycling enthusiasts, not even cycling dabblers.  But we do love Le Tour – I think it is the appreciation of people doing something at the very peak of their ability.  Mr Pefect has the i-phone app, and I’ve “liked” Le Tour on Facebook.  We love Le Tour so much that Mr Perfect added Cadel to the possible list of names in case The Drama Queen had been born a boy.  I think for me, it is the armchair tour of the French countryside that I love the most.

image from news.yahoo.com

I have been to France, though most of my travel within the country was on train, and at night, so the most I saw of the rural landscape was when we walked from Villers Brettenoux out to the Australian War Memorial, and while it was beautiful, the day was really hot and I didn’t appreciate it quite as much as I should have.  Paris, on the other hand, was appreciated to the maximum.  We spent days just walking, exploring, and immersing ourselves in the cultural delight that is Paris.

I have always wanted to return to France and explore Provence, Brittany, The Pyrenees, The Alps and oh, the Riviera…  Le Tour gives us an annual trip to the French countryside without even having to leave the cosy confines of  the couch.  Yes, I know, we don’t feel the sun on our backs, or in the case of this year, the rain on our face.  We can’t smell the flowers, and even worse we can’t taste the culinary delights that are so abundant in the French culture.  Yes, I would much prefer to be there, but without the means to jump on that plane, the annual armchair trip will have to do.

image from news.yahoo.com

As we are on the other side of the world to Le Tour, our telecast starts at 10pm, after the munchkins are in bed.  We can wrap ourselves in a blanket with a glass of wine and a block of chocolate, and travel along with the peloton as it speeds its way through France, and as the temperature drops on our chilly winter night, we can pretend we’re enjoying a European summer.

The overhead footage is stunning as the cyclists pass chateaus, farms, small villages and towns.  I have seen some spectacularly intricate parterre and knot gardens, fantastic forests and rolling fields of sunflowers.  The picturesque villages and historic chateaus are an architectural delight.  And the breath taking scenery as the race hits the mountains stages of the Pyrenees and the Alps is awe inspiring.

image from news.yahoo.com

And then to top it all off, who can’t love a race that finishes, after 30 days, with a sprint up the Champs Elysee?

There is a strong contingent from down under to cheer for, with a real hope in Cadel Evans.  Can he finally break through and be the first Aussie to take out Le Tour.  He’s worn the yellow jersey, won stages, but can he win in Paris? There are the heroes and the villains, the spectacular sprints and the gut wrenching crashes.  As far as armchair sport goes, Le Tour has ticked a lot of boxes.

It’s nearly 10pm, time to crack open a bottle of red, peel open the chocolate and go get me some of that French landscape inspiration!

Sam

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