So, on that sunny Saturday, 26 Sept 2015, we made our way by transfer bus from Chobe in Botswana to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe; a distance of about 55 miles. (To read Part 1 of this trip covering Chobe, Botswana click here).
This venture into Zimbabwe was the fifth day of our African adventure. We planned to stay at an Elephant Camp with interactions with orphaned elephants and an orphaned cheetah called Sylvester .... and to explore the famous Victoria Falls on foot and by helicopter. This is how we got on. Enjoy!
Norway was on my Bucket List since I had travelled to Alaska with Charlie in 2013 (the previous year – see B30: A Whale of A Time) and realised that a holiday featuring fjords, glaciers, snow and ice was not a bad option at all. As we had also “done” Canada, we knew that once wrapped up it could be quite cosy. I had been to some of the Scandinavian countries before with work (see B67: Stockholm 1996) so I knew that they were generally great places to visit, well organised but pricey. Therefore an all-inclusive cruise would also make financial sense; it would make a trip to Norway more a-fjord-able!!
Sadly, my Mam, Peggy – my first ever cruise buddy – had passed away just three months previously in Feb 2014. We went ahead with the pre-booked holiday knowing that Peggy would have wanted us to. And we ended up enjoying the day trips even though we didn’t partake in many of the evening frivolities back on the ship. This is how we got on.
Our 2009 Visit to Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow
One of the big pluses of living in Dublin is that you’re never too far away from the sea or the mountains. One of my favourite places to visit is over the southern border into beautiful Co. Wicklow. Not only is it the home county of some of my close friends but it’s also home to some stunning scenery. It’s not called the “Garden of Ireland” for nothing. County Wicklow is also proudly part of Ireland’s Ancient East.
I had the pleasure of visiting one small section of it in 2009 – Powerscourt. Charlie and I
Wonderful Weekend in Sligo/ Leitrim June 2007
The recent collapse of Stobart Air (which had taken over Aer Arann a few years back) reminded me of how much I loved Aer Arann back in the day. I had the good fortune to fly into and out of some of Ireland’s tiny regional airports with Aer Arann and remember well the wonderful service they gave. There was something magical about checking in for those little turbo-prop planes, checking in your luggage and seeing it being brought across the tarmac to the cargo hold of the plane on a trailer, having only one air steward who welcomed you on-board with a smile, did the
Our 2013 Alaskan Cruise
Alaska was on my Bucket List since I had visited Canada in 2007 and realised that a holiday featuring snow and ice was not a bad option at all (click here to see Canada Blog). Once wrapped up it could be quite cosy. As the saying goes “there’s no such thing as bad weather; just unsuitable clothing”. Alaska is quite tricky to get to overland so a cruise seemed the way to go. I had been on a number of cruises before with my Mam, Peggy, so knew what to expect ….but this would be Charlie’s first one. I knew he was a bit apprehensive about being out at sea on a “boat” and wondered if it would feel claustrophobic or if there would be enough to see and do. As you will see in this post, he needn’t have worried.
Our Epic Train Trip: 14 Night Holiday – March/ April 2007
In terms of breath-taking scenery, there’s Canada – and there’s Canada in winter. The awesome sight of snow on the Rockies is not just the preserve of skiers and their ilk, it is a Winter Wonderland of open spaces and elk. In 2007, Charlie and I were blessed to travel trans-continental in the comfort of “The Canadian” train, through the plains and prairies and the mountains magnificent in their pristine white snow cloaks. From Toronto on the East to Jaspar in the Rockies and onwards to Vancouver on the West Coast, we saw indescribable beauty on an unforgettable journey.
Almost 32 years ago I headed to California for the first time; to visit my close childhood friend, Catherine. And what a holiday it was! My second ever overseas holiday. Many years later I still class this amongst the best holidays I ever had. Catherine was living up at Squaw Valley (Olympic Valley), Lake Tahoe at that time and drove down all the way to San Francisco in her beat up VW Rabbit to meet me at SF airport.
Day Sixteen April 26th 2011 Up to the Tropics!
An early start. At 0730 we piled onto the coach and made for Melbourne airport, normally a quick 25 min run but with roadworks and the first day working day after a very long holiday weekend traffic was heavy and it took twice as long. Very quick and efficient check-in, didn't even have to touch our suitcases! Then a short wait before the flight.
We took off on the Qantas jet slightly late and it took about three hours to Cairns. Good thing we were flying, it's a couple of days by road! Coming into Cairns airport we could make out the sea and tropical greenery of the tropics. Stepping out of the aeroplane it was warm but not quite as hot and sticky as we'd expected...
Cairns is in the heart of the Tropical North and is a major city and primary gateway to
Day Ten April 21st 2011 Alice to Adelaide, early morning balloons!
Ten members of our group awoke predawn for an exciting ballooning trip! Leaving the hotel in darkness at around 0515 (ouch!), driving out of town to the launch site where they told us that the sight of the hot air balloons inflating was superb in the dawn light. They clambered into the wicker basket, some blasts from the burners and they lifted off. Totally magically they gained altitude and drifted over the Outback in the morning light as the sun slowly rose in the east.
Later they told us that it seemed over so quickly! They touched down gently and had some fun getting out of the basket and packing the balloon. No wonder they were told to wear dark colours and old clothes! They then received certificates in recognition of their bravery, and enjoyed a light breakfast with – what else? - champagne. They arrived back into the hotel for 0830 to find the rest of us just about getting up....
At 1030 most of us left for the airport and the Qantas flight down to Adelaide. Because we
My name is Mary and this is my bucket list blog ...having survived a near-death experience. I hope it encourages you to "live your best life". See how I'm completing my own bucket list items. And let me know how you're getting on with yours!