zurich
 

2015 Part 1

Countries/territories visited: .pt, .es, .fr, .ch, .de, .at, .sk

This has been an exceptional year for travel beginning with Portugal through Spain where Miloš took his last breath at 11.5 years. Then to France back to Switzerland. After doing some servicing for me and Ruth the van there are excursions to Germany and Italy before a trip around Austria and Slovakia. After a short sojourn in England I set off to Iceland, then an extended train ride across Canada before entering the US down the West Coast to L.A. before flying to Fiji.

Portugal

We are still in Albufiera when a muslim group attacks Charlie Hebdo in Paris. "Freedom of Religion" or "Freedom to Ridicule Stupid Ideas" which is it to be?

Je suis Charlie

LashingsIdiots Get me out of here

And there is a full moon.

Moon

And what looks like a poinceta tree.

Tree

This one I particularly like. It seems to me to capture the stupidity/danger of religious belief - blind obedience to belief without evidence.

Mincer

Then a friend on FB found this:

Penis Poster

Especially relevant in regard to children. Stop brainwashing children should be a foundation of our society, sadly it isn't.

We go down to the sea, to another part of the beach.

Beach in Albufiera

And Miloš does his modeling pose

Merdag

I am at Sunday Lunch again - strong sunlight. Oh dear.

At the Louisiana Reastaurant

And the sun still shines a few days later.

What?

Then one of my sons arrives and we go to around the coast.

Carrapatiera Parking No services but a spectacular location 37.19258 8.90266

The wind and rain is ferocious. Ruth rocks most of the night.

Coast

Then a night in Silvas.

Silvas Parking Only water, but this is being upgraded and will cost a few €s methinks. Close to the town, cafés and the Moorish citadel. 37.185338 8.445325

Before heading to a five star campsite:

Turiscampo Campsite All mod cons and a price to match. Isolated. 37.10197 8.73452

Lots of chores to do. And some tennis to watch. And lovely hot showers in a decidedly spotless bathroom each morning.

We then leave and explore the walking possibilities at a local Barragem - dam.

Dam

Then overnight on some rough ground opposite Lagos.

Lagos Wild Parking

Nice view of the town and 100 meters from a long sandy beach.

37.10325 8.67113

The sea wall is the revier of a number of wild pussies.

Under your Nose

Then one night beside a similar beach at Alvor.

 

Alvor Beach side Parking All mod cons - not - and a price to match. Isolated. 37.12307 8.59401

Alvor Beachside

Then it is time to drive north towards Lisboa where Ruth needs some work done. We stop at Lago Santo André

Lagao Santo André Beach Parking Isolated. Beside the lagoon. 38.11398 8.79615

Lago Santo André

After two nights we head off to Lisboa and visit the Hymer dealer. We have to wait a few nights before Ruth is scheduled.

Belem Parking No services. Next to the ferry terminal. The original parking is closed and there are signs prohibiting overnight parking. 38.69564 9.19846

Belem

There is an Energy Museum next to the parking. It was built in 1939 with major components from the UK and Germany. This facility provided electricity for the city and industry along the river.

Kent Instruments

Babcok and Wilcox

AEG

Reminds me very much of a power station I helped to design the monitoring system for in Austria - Neu Korneuberg just outside of Vienna.

In the morning as the sun battles the gray and the damp we walk alongside the river before ingesting a coffee at the kiosk next to the (busy) commuter ferry.

 

Lisboa

 

Then for one night at the Orbitur at Guincho to be close to the Hymer dealer.

Orbitur Guincho Quiet and about 1 klick from the spectacular beach. 38.72171 9.46776

The following day we get some things fixed and drive (about 6 hours) back to Albufiera, where Spring seems to have arrived judging by the cherry blossom on the trees surrounding the campsite.

Cherry Blossom at the beginning of February

 

The nights are still cold but the days warm if not hot - a sun which can burn sensitive skin quite quickly.

The journey back to Marbella to meet family begins. Faro Beach, Pedro d'el Rey, Monsaraz and the dam.

DAm

Spain

El Rocio where the bypass road has been completed and the Stork we saw some years before seem to have moved elsewhere - I would too with the traffic noise.

Then onto Sevilla for a couple of nights at the lorry park

Autocamper Parking Sevilla A rather desolate place with huge holes in the approach road, Wifi in the reception, one shower and toilets. Quite a hike from the city. 37.36237 5.99460

Then down the coast to take a look at the Trafalgar Lighthouse at the end of a fabulous beach.

Pinar San José Campsite Quiet with excellent facilities (well except they still haven't worked out how to separate the wet shower water from the still dry clothes.) 36.20120 6.03045

 

Trafalgar Lighthouse

We then head to Gibraltar where the wind blows the sand and the spray at constant velocity. Miloš's ears go horizontal.

Gibraltar Panorama

Monkeys

The following day it is on to Malaga and then to the Cabopino campsite with a clean Ruth, well-walked Miloš and a hot shower. We speak to friends and relax on the beach in the sun.

Cabopino Campsite Good services, Quiz Monday nights. Great Pizza and a lovely beach - especially for dogs in the Winter, with a view of the Atlas Mountains if you are lucky. 36.489308 4.742902

 

Then family arrives in Cala de Mijas and we go and park up outside the Wok nosherie alongside the main road, sunny and not too much noise at night.

Cala de Mijas Parking No services but a spectacular location 36.57452 4.62119

 

Breakfast with Miloš on my lap. His favourite position.

Breakfast in Spain

 

Miloš 3-SEP-2003 to 23-FEB-2015

In the morning he walks slowly and then sleeps on a sunny balcony until the afternoon. Walking later that day he keeps stopping and does not want to go on. His breathing is sometimes racing.

We drive to the kind vet in Calahonda where he is gently given a strong anesthetic and something to stop his heart and he passes quietly as I stroke him. One last huff from his lungs and his distress is no longer.

He was a strong force in my life, especially through some troubled times and always in a good mood and pleased to see me and almost everyone else too. He was an exceptional character, gentle to the point of being soppy. He exuded joy and contentment. The pain he has felt since last September won't bother him any more. I think he knew we were never going to mess him around too much. He was a proud, strong dog even though he almost never showed how strong he was.

I miss him greatly while thinking often of the wonderful times we had together for more than a decade.

First JAN-2004

Don't like the rain 2004

Best Friend Holly

Lavendar France 2006

Lake of Zurich 2008

Stich - Really?

With great friends in the Mountains

A favourite Pasttime

On Dartmoor 2010

Relaxing in Finland 2011

Look don0t Touch 2011

A Favourite seat, the Norman's Sweden 2011

Merdog Portugal 2015

Last 2015 Spain

Rest well my friend.

I stay at the parking in Cala de Mijas for another 10 days and spend time with family before heading back to Cabopino campsite for a few days. Then it is onward up the coast - a lot of the way on the new A-7, past Almeria to the hills by the coast. Lunch on cliffs with a blue sea and fluffy white clouds at La Isleta, but wild camping is no longer allowed.

Los Escullos Campsite Nice site, friendly staff and free Wifi 36.80344 2.07976

The very next day I see a hill.

It turns out it was a bit further in the distance and a tad higher than I had thought.

The Coast and all

In memory of Miloš here is a video of this conquest.

We leave and drive 440 klicks to a basic, but friendly camping north of Valencia. We seem to have driven a way since Ruth came on the scene.

9000 klicks

Valencia Camper A friendly, small (40 pitch) site 300m from e Metro station. 39.58042 0.44609

First a delicious Paella with friends in the bar. The following day I take the Metro into the city, see the stuff of which a "Fallas" is made, which includes large wooden figures which are burnt, and the letting-off of very, very load fireworks - I wonder if this is how war sounds like?

Here some ninots:

Figure 1 Figure 2

Then I take the bus to see the new buildings, spectacular, but apparently based on massive debt. Lots of tourists, so maybe the funds are now rolling in?

Valencia

And in the afternoon the Mascletà

The next day I take brompton to the beach, down to the science center and back through grove after grove of orange trees. With a leisurely lunch of course...

 

Valencia Beach

Yumm

 

Then on to Zaragoza, dry and 4 degrees - Brrrr, so straight away off to Huesca for more diesel and a coffee. Where we something I haven't seen for many a decade.

How much is that doggie in the window?

Up the hill to Sabinanigo where Miloš and I spent a cold night in 2011 (a false diversion of great magnitude that was, and the first time I took the bumper off Maria) and around Jaca and into the tunnel (free, 9 klicks) and into:

France

The mountains are cold, the buildings gray so we drive to Pau and then north to Aires sur Adour for a quiet night.

Aire sur L'Adour Parking

€3 for the night by the river. 43.70298 0.25523

And it's market day with bright sunshine to warm a body.

Good Day Sunshine

Like most french villages it has a huge market building, this one quite modern - and of course milling with people.

Oradour-sur-Glane Parking

About 1.5 klicks from the monument, quiet 45.93533 1.20518

Up early to view the ruined village, but it isn't open. Terrible event from June 1944. It does open at 09:00.

Oradour

Oradour

The Church

The Pram The Citroen

Then off we go on a long, straight road to Tours on the Loire to another ACSI campsite

Les Arcacias Campsite

Good site, with free Wifi and very friendly staff. Advertised as being next to the river, but doesn't mention the fast road between it and the river. Good for cycling along the river though. 47.40257 0.77981

Have to get on the bike and go to Tours - about 25 klicks in all.

What a delightful railway station

Gare de Tours

And look, no wires

Trams in Tours, no wires

But then again

Now you see me

 

Two nights are enough and we head up river to Orleans, well just brush the city, then up to Ambroise which is a bit cold and then on to Sully.

Sully Campsite

Next to the river not far from the original train bridge, now disused - what a shame. Facilities are somewhat primitive though they work. 47.76997 02.36209

The following day I get on the bike and do about 50 klicks (with a few diversions) to Chateauneuf-Sur-Loire which is a little tiring due to the wind. Still I do need to get a bit fitter.

Next stop Briare where a canal crosses the Loire.

Briare Parking

Beside the canal 47.63424 02.74029

Was here with Miloš a few years ago. A nice place, especially where there isn't any wind.

I head off for a bike ride in morning mist and get back in brilliant sunshine. Then it is time to move on up river.

We end up in Autun, at the parking beside the lake (and a McDonald's) where I speak to a Scots couple - all politics and how things need to change.

Autun Parking

Beside the lake but some morning noise from passing trucks. 46.95535 04.31677

 

Up just after dark, head to Chalon and have coffee and give Ruth a wash. Then onwards.

Miloš's breeder

So many dogs - lovely! 46.86540 05.20299

Welcomed by 8 vizslas - what a delight, and the boss of course.

Also known as the "Dog's Paradise"

Friends arrive and we have a delightful couple of hours beating the breeze. A dogs' paradise if ever there was one.

Vizslas

 

Les Rousses Rest Area Behind the village - a quiet carpark. 46.48783 6.06677

The following day is a Saturday, so off to

Switzerland

and the shopping Center in Chavannes to meet friends for breakfast. I remain in the area for several days mostly chatting.

I also visit the UNCHR - what good work they do.

UNHCR in Geneva

Then to Neuchatel for supper with a long-time friend and a chat of course.

Back in Zurich (home) the weather is none too good, but good talks with a good friend.

It is Easter and an invitation to go to Lake Garda drifts in, so off to

Italy

Where it is warm and sunny.

Lake Garda from the Castle in Deseszano

 

And a man gets his just deserts.

 

Tiramisu

Back to Zurich and almost immediately to

Germany

to stay overnight in Freiburg, a walk through the town which seems to be buzzing, and not just because of the sunshine.

Freiburg Camper Parking € 10 per night. Wifi €1 for 24 hours. Nice walk to the city. 47.99940 7.82566

I then deliver Ruth to the dealer for some corrective work. They arrange transport to the train station Bad Krotzingen and off I go to Basel and then back to Zurich.

Switzerland

Now it is time to get serious about the trip, so I book flights and the train across Canada, then a few hostel rooms.

The whole set of things to get seen too also starts, doctors, organising pills etc...

Then there's the films, meals and I go back to Geneva to visit with friends and make some new ones before picking up my son to head off to Austria after a lovely noodle meal in Zurich

Germany

The Arlberg tunnel is closed so we take a route through Germany with an overnight stay in Nesselwang

Nesselwang Camper Parking € 10 per night. 47.62005 10.49812

In the morning we take a look at the old town of Füssen. And buy some hats.

Before

After

Together

Austria

South of Füssen we take the main road all the way to Freepass and then down to Innsbruck and from there to Mayerhofen and Finkenberg.

I was there in 1970 on a skiing holiday.

Finkenberg

We overnight at the campsite.

Mayrhofen Campsite € 20 per night. W/o Wifi. 47.17567 11.86943

Then we go to Salzburg to get a train ticket for son and head to the World Heritage Site at Hallstatt - nice - where do all these tourists come from?

Hallstatt Campsite € 28 per night. With Wifi and moisture.. 47.81189 13.64698

The views are spectacular, with the train on the opposite side of the lake. Mist hangs over the mountains in the morning.

Hallstadt

Still, can't hang around, off to Salzburg where son Barney takes the train back to Zurich and I head to passau - why not? It rains, but not much.

Passau Parking By the Donau, quiet 48.57419 13.42833

Sleep comes easily.

Donaua in the morning

Passau Parking

The drive down the Donau is in parts really beautiful, well mostly.

In Grein there is a castle once part-owned by Queen Vicky, because her man who was a member of the Haus Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha, though the name pf the family at the top of the UK priviledge pyramid was changed to Windsor during WWI.

Grein Campsite By the Donau, quiet and all facilities, including free Wifi. 48.522420 14.85348

Grein

 

And the following day it's on the bike.

Around the Donau

 

And the view from the other bank.

Grein

 

And morning sunshine.

Donau morning sun

The next stop is Weikersdorf am Steinfelde not far from Weiner Neustadt to spend some days with an old friend and her wolfhound. Delicious Wiener Schnitzel and Apfelstrudel is on the menu.

At the weekend it is off to

Slovakia

To visit another old friend with a house in the hills in a fairly remote part of the country.

Ostry Vrch Ruth is holed up with a farmer 48.79861 17.51442

Country Cottage View

Visit the town of Myjava while Ruth is safe at a farmer's yard.

Ruth at Rest

Then back to

Austria

First I ass by a place I was at 41 years ago, at the power station in Korneuburg. I was the lead technical developer for a monitoring system installed by BBC.

From there back to a good friend's place and a bike ride not far from Wiener Neustadt, the Hohe Wand Nature Reserve.

Hohe Wand

Also visit Rust on the Neusiedlersee for local sausage for lunch and Baden - for coffee and cake.

Then off to Vienna to have the radio fixed - Ruth now sings again - trouble is it is the Eurovision Song Contest and the air is filled with the songs of Europe.

Time to pack up and head towards Graz and then Stainz for quiet night. The rain is soft.

Stainz Parking Just the local car park. 46.89377 15.26823

After coffee and a roll in one of the local hotels (this seems to be a popular tourist village) with free Wifi, off we go towards Klagenfurt via Eibiswald to a village by the lake - Seeboden

Seeboden Campsite A quiet spot beside the lake. 46.81544 13.52005

Not a lot of movement early in the morning here. Still, found a hotel for coffee - friendly staff.

Switzerland

Then off back to Zurich to visit sons and register at a new address. It is soon time to hit the road again to

Italy

Torino next stop an overnight stay at Chieri where I was with Miloš in 2011.

Chieri Rest Area Up the hill from the town. 45.014436 7.832441

Next to the Firestation

Free Wifi in the local café. Then on to the lake for a visit to the waterside village. With an overnight stay at a very friendly site.

Orta san Guilio

and some girls using paper!

Postcards

 

Orta San Giulio Campsite Parking by the lake facilities across a road. 45.801926 8.420781

Up into the hills and into

Switzerland

and the Simplon Pass then down into the Wallis and a stay at the rather good TCS site beside a lake. The also do a rather good raclette in the bar.

Sion TCS Site Well laid-out, good facilities. Nice park and lake too. N 46.21145 E 7.31530

Sion TCS Campsite View

Then on to Martigny and the Fondation Pierre Gianadda.

 

Love

We had one of these on loan once in Erlenbach.

And this lady captured my sole...

Enchanted.

No singing either.

Man and fat lady

Then a few days in Geneva, before driving to

Germany

to prepare Ruth for the long wait until I return. A lot of packing - just a rucksack and a wheelie.

Freiburg Camper Parking € 10 per night. Wifi €1 for 24 hours. Nice walk to the city. 47.99940 7.82566

Freiburg has a public holiday, something to do with the body of a dead deity.

Freiburg Minster

And Grünemeyer gives a concert at the Messe.

Freiburg Messe

Before leaving Ruth at the Hymer dealer for the rest of 2015 and then back to

Switzerland

To clear up the cellar in the Stockerstrasse, meet friends and family before a quick trip to

Italy

Well a mad dash to Garda and Venice - the Biennale - and back.

Cruise ship from NL

The Russian pavilion

Industrial Weaving - uggh

 

Lady from Africa

Fishing for keys

Made for Me

England

To visit family in Totnes on the 11-JUN.

Sun in the Morning in Totnes

Then back to Zurich for breakfast

Hiltl

and off on the 18-JUN by

Icelandair

to

Iceland

To meet some people I once did an EU research proposal with.

Flags

And food at the Icelandic Fish and Chips, plain but good.

Icelandic Fish and Chips

Lief was here and there a thousand years ago.

Lief and the tower

Apparently one of Europe's biggest.

A Big One

The view ain't too shoddy either.

Reykjavik

There are the occasional camper vans/mobile homes on the roads. Apparently it is allowed to wild camp, as long as one keeps off the main roads.

There is also an interesting museum about the early settlers with some of the original manuscripts, from the pagan era.

The Settlement Museum

And then on the 20-JUN I leave the country where 30% of the population have a university degree and over half believe in elves.

Off we go, Boeng 757

where we land in

Canada

Good morning Halifax

Calm sunny morning Halifax

Canda oh Canada

then a trip to Peggy's Cove which is a major tourist attraction.

Peggy's Cove

Man @ PG

Unfortunately it was also the final resting place of Flight 111 where an ex colleague in Honeywell and DEC lost his life along with his wife and two children. Now tell me about this loving god of which you speak.

There are a number of memorials to this event, the only one I could see was this on the coast - from the bus.

Swissair Memorial

A lady wrote a poem about the crash which hangs in the coffee shop near the lighthouse.

Flight 111 Poem

The next day I take the ferry to the Alderney Landing in Dartmouth (all these names which I have known since I was a child) and discover the Canadians have the good sense to put a public library right at the terminal.

Harbour Ferry

The object of the exercise is to get some exercise - across the bridge.

Bridge by Philip Lewis Pratley

What beats this?

Royal Flush

Then there's this - wrong colour of course.

Routemaster 98 hp

But this is the right idea.

Canadian RV

Then follows a visit to the "Museum of the Atlantic" - not really worth it.

Titanic Deckchair

On the way to the railway station I see a string of kids. They do this here until the age of 3. Miloš would have found this amusing I'm sure.

A string of kids

Then on the 24-JUN it is time to move on, well rattle at a modest speed.

This part of Canada was flattened by a glacier.

Nova Scotia

But, what a beautiful sky.

We make a stop (well shaken) at Sainte Foy

Sainte Foy

And on the first day in Montreal, a bus tour of the city with a view to the East

Montreal

and including the place where Miles Davis and that lot used to eat.

House of Jazz

It turns out a few events are on this time of year. Quebec Day - 24-JUN, Canada Day - 1-JUL and today (26-JUN) the Jazz Festival starts - 6 days of live music and lots of tourists.

It seems some guy raised a huge amount of money to build this place - St. Joseph Oratory

St Jo^s

Just think how many school places this could have funded. Oh and it was started in 1924 and completed in 1967.

Then it's time to hire a bike and off along the waterfront

View of the waterfront

and to the Expo 67 houses "Habitat 67" at the most successful World's Fair of the 20th century.

Expo Houses

And the Formula 1 circuit where some people are attacking the blacktop

Formula Bike

and a few bridges

Bridges

Before taking in the Botanical Gardens which are extensive.

Ottawa awaits on the 27-JUN after another train trip - my goodness is Canada flat. Other travelers may wish to avoid this train journey, the trees block the view most of the time.

But, the HI Hostel - the Jailhouse is not a cool place.

The Jailhouse

A visit to the Canadian War Museum was good, especially for people who don't know much about previous engagements, which does not include me.

A walk back passes a couple of large buildings, including the parliament, which is being prepared for Canada Day.

Parliment

And the following day it rains, so back to look at the insides of the parliament building because the bike ride is not an option.

Here the ceiling where the press gets to listen to announcements. The French fleur-de-lis and the English rose, to signify the main heritage of the country's legal systems.

Ceiling

The commons

House of Commons

The Senate:

The Senat

And the original (pre-fire) library:

The Library

And then to Guelph via Toronto

Ottawa to Toronto

Toronto to Guelph

Something about leaving on a fast train tra la la?

On the rattler, at speed-

Guelph is unexceptional. I try and find out about family, but fail. Then I see this monster:

Guelph Church

Best position in town. I wonder how much it cost - at least the price of 2 hospitals and 3 schools?

Breakfast! In Gosport I used to work at one of these - as a cook.

Wimpy's

And before you know it it's:

Canada Day eh?

THis made me smile:

FRank & Stein

At the local celebrations immigrants are being turned into Canadian citizens.

Making Canadians

On the 2-JUL it is off back to Toronto.

Toronto from the Islands

The Tower

But then on the 2-JUL I get on the train - The Canadian.

Candian C$10

What a great little cabin, all to myself

Cabin One

Cabin Two

And we rattle around the whole night until the dawn.

Ontario in the Morning

After breakfast there is the viewing car.

The Canadian Viewing Car

A long one this:

Le Train

And from the front.

Train Front

Alongside the tracks is a veritable copper mine. I was told that the Chinese used this out-of-date system to provide internet access to all the country's train stations.

Telegraph poles

 

We get a short break in an overly warm Winnipeg, but don't have time to see much. The Railway Museum is not worth the C$5 entry fee. Just across the road is the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, a strange building but there isn't any time to go inside.

Museum of Human Rights

Someone is keeping a watchful eye on the place.

Gandhi

Then it's Edmonton which is still flat and the train station a way out of town. On the way we pass a large oil terminal - that filthy shale oil.

Then we see some rockies which seem none too high or imposing if one is used to the Swiss alps and the train down to Milano.

The Rockies

Next stop is Jasper which is nestled in the hills.

Jasper station

Then the lights go out. The next morning we are heading down the other side beside a mighty river as the sun emerges.

Morning in the Rockies

 

Sunrise

 

And now in Vancouver on the morning of the 6-JUL for a larf

Strange humour

The hostel is in a less salubrious area, some bums on the street. It does seem to me that they choose this life style, but I could be wrong.

Vancouver HI

Some special wheels in this city too.

Le Flicmobile

The city tour "hop on Hop off" stops at Stanley Park

Stanley Park with bridge

Then it's off on the 9-JUL by skytrain, bus and ferry to Victoria Island.

The Sound

Government Building

Otters waiting to play in the harbour

Otters

I think the splitties breed here.

Splittie in Victoria

And this was on the ferry from Victoria.

Makes sense

 

US of A

Arriving in Seattle by fast clipper

Seattle Pier 69

Stay with good friends in Medina whom I have know for many years. What a pleasure. Then of course I have to go to "The Crumpet Shop"

The Crumpet Shop

And the Public Market

Crabs

 

The Flight Museum is also a must, with (what I consider) one of the best-looking aeroplanes to have been made, the Lockheed Constellation

Connie

The Boeing factory is a place I haven't been before, so I do the tour, which is fine, but not that informative. No photos allowed, so sadly there aren't any of the 747, 777 and the (relatively) new 787. This are big beasts and surely cannot fly.

Boein Factory

And didn't see the Wheedle

Spave Needle

But did ride the monorail. I wonder what will happen to it when the big one comes as indeed it must sometime?

Monorail

At the art Museum there is some delightful glass works as well as modern art.

Glass Art

And a totem pole - made out of blankets

Totem Pole

The Library is also a building I haven't visited before. This is a serious piece of architecture, really something.

Seattle Library - Up

Seattle Library - down

Some of the interiour is spectacular and the place is full because of the free Wifi. It seems some of the more unlucky folk spend time here - reading. It is so unfortunate that in the US a medical condition can cause a person to loose everything.

Library 4th floor

Mind you someone screwed up. This urinal is so low you get splashed - not nice.

Arty Urinal?

Then the Botlbus (don't be confused, it is run by Greyhound) for an uncomfortable ride down to Portland where it is really quite warm.

We pass a hill on the way, Grace Kelly be saluted.

Mt Rainer

Again I stay with friends, actually an ex-boss of an ex-boss. Such a delight to catch up with folk.

A ride in an air-conditioned car to the coast to see Oceanside and end up getting a head cold.

Oceanside

And also the Cape Meares lighthouse which has been partially resoted after falling into disuse and after two guys shot it up with high-powered rifles.

Cape Meares

Next is a flight to Oakland. But, as the price of a ticket is a bit high I end up goung through LAX, with a longer delay because the flying machine has a problem and they have to wait for a new part.

LAX

At OAK I take the BART and visit long-time friends, again a warm welcome and good conversation.

Next is on to Palo Alto

Palo Alto City Hall

And a snack at "The Creamery"

 

Soda Bar

No Comment

Another stay overnight, again with good, long-term friends. Great conversation and hospitality ... what a priviledge this journey is. The next morning it's coffee.

Philz

and on the road again off to Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay

And yet another great time with terrific friends, great food too, at Sam's

Sam's

A wonderful lighthouse on the way, where there were a lot of fish coming up from the deep, much to the delight of pelicans, cormorants, dolphins - and whales.

Coast

After some Ice Cream in Santa Cruz

Ice Cream - famous through Obama

we go on to Aptos and another good friend and his lady.

The following day we head off to The Computer Museum which was originally set up by DEC people.

And, much to my surprise I see this machine, which was at the center of my life for a while.

XAX/780

And of course down the coast we visit the Monteray Bay Aquarium

MBA

Feeding time

Jellies Kelp Sea Otter

And then onto Big Sur

Big Sur

At the end of the coast road we see these

Elephant Seals Basking

We arrive in San Luis Obispo and we have supper, all great fun.

And more great friends have got a Vizsla.

Lisa

The following day I get to fly in a small plane c/o my host and even get my hands very sticky.

Planr Trip

Next step in the US is a train ride.

Train Station

Train to L.A.

 

And from the train I see a number of camper vans, parked up by the Pacific ocean.

Camper Vans

I even remember this long ocean road from a visit many. many years ago.

Coast Road

We go through Santa Barbara where we were as a family in 1988.

Sanat Barbara Beach Road

Santa Barbara

Why do I get the feeling that all this is temporary? That is in spite of the huge concrete roads and the orange groves beside the railway tracks.

After, what seems like an entirely non-arduous trip the L.A. Union Station is in view. What a lovely building it is.

Union Station lobby

Union Station

I am met by a very old friend of the family and shown her Victorian home on the hill with a view of the city. We chat about times in Devon more than 45 years ago and I eventually am overcome by tiredness and collapse into a deep sleep.

This trip down the coast meeting people from the past has been a wonderful time. What a trip, and what great people.

Thank you to all of you!

Next morning we take über into the city (I was an über virgin) to look around, first the Symphony Hall - Frank Gehrig at it again...

FRank Gehrig

 

Disney Symphony L.A.

Then, there is the Art Museum

Art Museum L.A.

Later I am driven to LAX and check in for the flight

Fiji Airlines boarding card

to

Fiji

It is only 10 hours or so. How welcoming the hostesses are on Fiji Airways.

Nadi Airport

The drive to the capital takes a while and we pass Pacific Harbour with an island in the gray.

Waisomo

There are stinking busses for everyone.

Suva Bus Station

And the ladies love their flowers, not just to put in their hair.

Flower Shop Suva

I check in to the Suva Motor Inn,

Suite Suva Motor Inn

not far from the government buildings and the Fiji National Museum

Fiji National Museum

Big Canoe

Apparently, one way to capture fish is to poison them. Hope they get well-cooked afterwards.

Poison the fish

I walk back, through the park to the best hotel on the island.

Grand Pacific Hotel

Another long sleep is on the menu, followed by

Breakfast on Fiji

Another day goes by. I get postcards to send to the folks back in Europe and visit the open market

Street Market Street Market

And there are some cute buildings

Police Station

Before heading back to the bay nearer the aiport for one night

Nadi Bay

There are any number of friendly dogs around too.

Hotel Dog

The following morning, the 3-JUL, it is time to head off to Australia.

 



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