Some observations from travels

USA

A Quick Stop to…Honolulu

As promised this post was meant to start on my return to the Gold Coast.  Along the way let’s visit Honolulu for a quick stop.

I was fortunate enough to join a company trip to one of the islands of Hawaii.  This was my first time to visit the islands and it was a nice experience.  Hawaii is made up of six major islands – Kaua’i, Oahu, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Maui, and the big island of Hawai’i.  Each island boasts its own distinct feature.  Honolulu is on the island of Oahu, and our hotel was smack bang on the beach of Waikiki, where the majority of the hotels and touristy spots are found.

From the moment we touched ground, dropped out luggage and off we went to have lunch at the Veranda at the Beachhouse in one of Waikiki beach’s iconic buildings – Moana Surfrider.  Then is was a matter of settling our stuff and taking in the views.

The following day we promised to get up early for a dip on the (protected area) beach across the road from our hotel.  Then more sightseeing and exploring Waikiki.  Later in the day we gathered out appetite for an evening of cultural immersion – Luau.  We chose to join the Paradise Cove Luau, and was happy to learn that they were the preferred choice amongst the many options available.  We got picked up near our hotel along with 51 other bus members to a secluded area along the beach of Ko Olina Resort.  The main man of the night would have to be our tour guide – Rich.  For those of you who have not been to a Luau I highly recommend you join one next time.  It is packed with entertainment from the different villages or islands such as joining a traditional Hawaiian games, making flower leis, boys learning to dance the hukilau and of course partaking in the buffet of delicacies from the time-honoured cooking at the Imu Ceremony.

The next day it was a day of double deck bus city tour.  You gotta have a double-decker bus tour! It’s just fun.  Luckily, there were only my friend and I during the first half of the tour, so we had the tour guide to ourselves on the top of the bus.  Although I was disappointed that it wasn’t a hop-on hop-off bus.  The city of Honolulu has many historical buildings and interesting places.  Firstly, we were picked up in from of the statue of Duke Kahanamoku along the beach then driven around the city to our main stop at Chinatown.  Then after a couple of hours walking around downtown Chinatown we hopped on back on the bus to finish the second half of the city tour.

So, it was our last day in Honolulu and we haven’t even ticked half of our wish list.  Unfortunately, it was school holidays when we went and interacting with dolphins seemed to be the number one activity tourists want to do in Hawaii.  Who wouldn’t! It is such an experience.  Then looming in the historical background was Pearl Harbour! What to do!

We opted to give Pearl Harbour a miss and went for the next best thing to be closer to dolphins.  Fortunately for us there was still space for a boat ride to snorkel and swim with wild dolphins!  I highly recommend this tour option – Ko Olina Ocean Adventures.  The speed boat was smaller (than a catamaran) and able to take us closer to where the dolphins are.  We had many chances to snorkel to swim and feed fish, turtles and dolphins!  It was such a great experience.

I would love to visit the other islands when the chance comes up.  But, I must admit, the beaches of the Gold Coast awaits and it’s so much better.  See you soon.

Advertisements

Weekly Travel Themes: Benches

I love taking photos of benches, preferably when they’re empty however, I do not mind when someone is enjoying their comfort.  In last week’s Travel Theme challenge benches are on order.  So here is my (rather late) contribution to the many others who have already shared their beautiful benches as well.

I hope you all have a great week.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in Details

I like this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge as I love details in any subject.  For this challenge I chose to include details around the National Mall in Washington, DC and neighbouring landmarks.  There were many meaningful details around this huge area which, obviously, I have not fully visited.  For the areas that I have been to, here are some thought-provoking details of the American History.

kennedy speech

The famous line from Pres Kennedy’s inaugural speech

bridge detail

Brass sculpture on the Arlington Memorial Bridge

Inside the Lincoln Memorial

Inside the Lincoln Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial

korean war usa dead

National WWII Memorial

National WWII Memorial

A few of the many lost lives

A few of the many lost lives

ducks on falls

A line from Franklin D Roosevelt's speech

A line from Franklin D Roosevelt’s speech

Cavalry Charge at the National Capitol

Cavalry Charge at the National Capitol

So there you go…don’t get lost in the details now.  Visit the Weekly Photo Challenge blog for more interesting posts.


Travel Theme: Bridges

This week’s Travel Theme at Where’s My Backpack is Bridges.  I love looking at bridges, taking photos of them and learning about some stories behind them.  Here are some of the ones I’ve been fortunate enough to visit and photograph.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam

Nagoya, Japan

Nagoya, Japan

Amersfoort, Netherlands

Amersfoort, Netherlands

New York, USA

New York, USA

Cavenagh Bridge, Singapore

Cavenagh Bridge, Singapore

Esplanade Bridge, Singapore

Esplanade Bridge, Singapore

Ponte Sant'Angelo, Rome

Ponte Sant’Angelo, Rome


Travel Theme: Walls

This week’s Travel Theme is walls.  Walls can be interpreted in different ways.  Literally it is a masonry fence; something that encloses a space; or an architectural partition.  It can also mean a mental wall that we build around us as borders to the outside world.  For this challenge I will share some walls used to depict history.

A wall of 19th century tombstones along the walls of Fort Canning, Singapore

19th century tombstones along the walls of Fort Canning, Singapore

Antique tiles decorated along a wall of a Peranakan Shophouse, Singapore

Antique tiles decorated along a wall of a Peranakan Shophouse, Singapore

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington DC, USA

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington DC, USA

Freedom Wall, Washington DC, USA

Freedom Wall, Washington DC, USA

Apsara dancers, Angkor Wat,  Siem Reap, Cambodia

Apsara dancers, Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Visit Ailsa’s Where’s My Backpack page to view more of this week’s Travel Theme contributions.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

One of the things I love to do is go for a walk.  I explore places, both old and new, by walking.  My favourite place to walk through is a rainforest – it’s just magical!  Here are some photos for this week’s photo challenge – Beyond.

Lamington National Park, Gold Coast Australia

Lamington National Park, Gold Coast Australia

Mossy lake water, Great Falls, Virginia, USA

Mossy lake water, Great Falls, Virginia, USA

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui, Thailand

From the hallway of Lincoln Memorial looking beyond is the Washington Memorial and the Capitol, Washington, DC

From the hallway of Lincoln Memorial looking beyond is the Washington Memorial and the Capitol, Washington, DC

Arlington National Cemetery, VA, USA

Arlington National Cemetery, VA, USA


Faces of New York.


No Name

Arlington Memorial.  So many no named headstones.