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Use a boat, ship, hovercraft, hydrofoil or ferry to get from one place to another

Paihai and The Bay of Islands
Submitted by bugsly on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 21:47 Boat | Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | New Zealand | Physical and Health Education | Walk

We have been in The Bay of Islands for the last two nights. The weather has been glorious and the hotel where we stayed was great.

We took the ferry over the Bay to the town of Russell where we walked around, saw the museum, and had lunch. After we took the ferry back, we drove into the night to have fish and chips at a place in Manganui where my Dad had been many years ago when he stayed there. The fish and chips were so good, wrapped in paper and greasy with lots (too much!) salt. It was worth the drive and I am glad we got to go there.

On Sunday morning we made our way to the place where the Maori and the settlers first signed a treaty to found New Zealand together. It's called Waitangi and there is an amazing Maori meeting house there. It had Paua shell inlays and beautiful weaving and carvings.

We drove back to Tangowahine Farmstay after leaving the Treaty Grounds. It was a beautiful drive. The rain has stopped for now.

Bugsly


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Fish and Chips Heaven...
Submitted by bugsly on Friday, June 16, 2006 - 23:00 Australia | Boat | Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Physical and Health Education | Subway | Walk

Doyles Fish and Chips by the Bay has the best fish and chips I have had so far on the trip. We took the ferry to Watson’s Bay and enjoyed lunch on the water. It was great. Afterward we explored the town a bit and then caught the ferry back to Sydney.

Bugsly


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Stuffed Animals and Pearls
Submitted by bugsly on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 22:58 Australia | Boat | Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Physical and Health Education | Subway | Walk

This morning my Dad and I returned our rental car and then went to the Australian Museum. They had a special exhibit about pearls. There was a natural history exhibit as well with lots of taxidermied animals like crocodiles, kangaroos, and many animals in jars in preservative. It was gross! And it also smelled bad in that room…

Bugsly


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The Great Barrier Reef and Scuba Diving
Submitted by bugsly on Sunday, May 28, 2006 - 02:21 Australia | Boat | Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Life Sciences | Physical and Health Education | Walk

After traveling on a boat in choppy waters for an hour and a half, we arrived at the Marine World pontoon in the middle of the ocean near the Great Barrier Reef. Mom and I donned our scuba gear and after our orientation, we ventured down the stairs to a landing under the pontoon. We went over what we needed to know one more time, then made the descent into the colorful waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Being that it was the first instructional dive, we linked arms and swam together. There were lots of colorful fish and coral.

My favorite coral was spikey like a porcupine with dark blue “quills” with neon blue tips. It reminded me of a pincushion. We knelt on the ocean floor in the sand (did you know there is a beach under the ocean?) and got to look at and gently hold a sea cucumber. We also got to be very close and touch a big fish called a Maori Wrasse. After having our photos taken a couple of times while holding the sea cucumbers, we swam off to continue our time under the sea.

We swam back to the pontoon eventually, left the water, and relaxed and had lunch. Lunch was great, vegetarian lasagna, corn salad and many other good dishes and treats.

After lunch we snorkeled and explored the Reef. There were lots of colorful fish to see and so many amazing kinds of coral.

At about 4:00 we boarded the boat again and made our way back to the wharf in Cairns.

We had a fabulous day and the feeling of this tired was great.

Bugsly


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Kowloon and on to Beijing!
Submitted by bugsly on Friday, May 12, 2006 - 23:24 Boat | Car | Core | Fly | Foreign Language and Music Study | Hong Kong | Physical and Health Education | Subway | Tea | Train | Walk

Thursday we visited a travel agent that helped us with our Japan Rail Pass. Then we took the MTR to Kowloon on the other side of Victoria Harbour. Kowloon was full of electronics shops. My Dad was in heaven. We went to a small jade shop that we walked by and I picked out a pair of earrings. The woman that helped us assured us that it was good quality jade and that the price was fair.

We then looked for a place to eat and on the way we went through the wedding dress district and saw lots of exotic looks for brides in the windows. After lunch we headed for the Star Ferry to take us back across the harbour.

We stopped by the travel agent on our way back to the hotel and picked up our passes. We had sushi for dinner at the California Sushi Restaurant.

Friday morning we packed for Beijing and said goodbye to Hong Kong for now.

Bugsly


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Being happy and lazy in Phuket, Thailand
Submitted by bugsly on Monday, May 8, 2006 - 00:00 Boat | Car | Core | Fly | Foreign Language and Music Study | Physical and Health Education | Thailand | Walk

We just spent four glorious days relaxing in Phuket, Thailand. During our time here we have gone swimming, read lots of books, eaten very good food, seen baby elephants, watched movies, and generally had a wonderful, lazy time. The pools at the hotel are over 1,000 feet in length because they are connected with meandering streams that you can swim through.

It’s been great to have a break from cities and traveling for a few days.

Bugsly


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Beautiful Bangkok
Submitted by bugsly on Friday, May 5, 2006 - 00:24 Boat | Car | Core | Fly | Foreign Language and Music Study | Physical and Health Education | Thailand | Walk

Our time in Bangkok has been great fun and VERY HUMID.

Tuesday we went to a new HUGE shopping center called Siam Center and Siam Paragon which just opened a couple of months ago. It was enormous and a new concept for Bangkok. It seemed very popular with all kinds of people, especially young adults and teenagers. We had Pad Thai Noodles for dinner, my favorite!

Today we got up and met a guide named Jup Jup who took us through the perfumed flower market. We needed to buy some flowers to leave at the temple that we would be visiting with her later in the morning. Walking through the flower market was really educational because we saw many different kinds of Thai fruits, vegetables, flowers, food and people. The day was very hot and humid so we got some water and we just kept drinking it.

We arrived at the Royal Temple next. It was very large and extremely ornate. The buildings were covered in mosaic mirrors in many bright and beautiful colors. The designs were very intricate.

We went inside the building that houses the “Jade Buddah” made our our flower offering and spent some more time there admiring the beauty of the interior of the building. On the walls, the paintings told the story of the life of The Buddah from his childhood to his enlightenment. I remember learning all about this at school. It was incredible to see it in real life.

On Friday, we got up very early and joined another family for a tour of the Floating Market. The drive to the market was about 2 hours long and we got to see a lot of the countryside which was great because so far all we had seen was the city. To get to the market, we motored through the man made canals in a long-tail boat. The boats are really narrow, my brother and I sat side-by-side with no extra room. The boat drivers are really skilled at making turns and going way too fast!

We arrived at the market, left our long-tail boat behind and began to explore. We had an hour or so to ourselves, so we looked around and watched people shopping and bargaining. The main part of the market is on the water. We sat down to have a bite to eat and I got to watch the farmers with their boats brimming with fruits and vegetables. They were selling from their boats to people on the shore as well as boat to boat. Some of them were cooking on their boats and selling the food. It was colorful and lively. They get up really early in the morning, harvest their crop and head on the canals to the market. By about noon, the market is over for the day so they can go back and tend their fields.


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An Unexpected Visit
Submitted by bugsly on Monday, May 1, 2006 - 00:59 Boat | Car | Core | Fly | Foreign Language and Music Study | Israel | Physical and Health Education | Tea | Thailand | Walk

Wow today has been crazy! We arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv, Israel for our El Al flight to India. We went through security and then walked up to the check-in desk, we handed the nice ladies our tickets and passports and waited as she checked them. She gave us a sympathetic look and told us there was problem, we had not known that we needed visas before we got there, we had been under the impression that you picked them up when you landed. So... we had a problem on our hands, where would we go? The first thing we did was call Igal, we told him that we may need to come back, but we weren't sure. Moving along, we realized that since the next three days were and Israeli holiday and that the Indian embassy wouldn't be open and it takes five days for them to issue a visa so we would be stranded for over a week the final decision was to keep moving.

So where would we go? Well the options that were offered were:

Montreal, Canada: wrong direction
Johannesburg, South Africa: wrong direction, (but would still like to go)
Paris, France: been there, done that
Cairo, Egypt: done that too
Bangkok, Thailand: perfect

So Bangkok it was, we called Sheraton and they booked a room at The Royal Orchid Sheraton, canceled our flight to India and we were off. We boarded the plane at eleven thirty and arrived ten hours later (fourteen with the time difference) in Thailand. So here we are, we enjoyed a meal and show last night with traditional Thai dancers that can bend their fingers almost all the way back, and Thai food which is our favorite!

Sad news too, here in Bangkok it takes five working days to issue an Indian visa, so it looks as if we may have to skip India but we still need to do some checking in.

Bugsly


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A Long Day of Travel and Finally Arriving in Canterbury
Submitted by bugsly on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 05:59 Boat | Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | France | Switzerland | Train | United Kingdom | Walk

Today has been quite a day! We started by getting on a train, we met a wonderful lady Michelle and her dog Archie, she travels a lot in her life time and had many wonderful stories to tell us. All of a sudden after about an hour of traveling we stopped because of student protests outside of Paris. We were diverted to another station but still made it to Calais on time for the ferry.

We got on the ferry where we also met some wonderful people, Sally and Mike. Coincidently they live very near my grandmother. They referred my mom to the head of Mathematics at my dad’s old secondary school, Ravens Wood School. Evidently there is a chance that she might be able to tutor me in Algebra while we stay in Bromley.

We arrived in Dover, traveled through the beautiful Kentish countryside to Canterbury where my dad went to University. We checked into The Pilgrims Hotel and set out to explore Canterbury a bit before having a delicious meal.

Bugsly


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Leaving Greece and sailing to Italy
Submitted by bugsly on Thursday, March 9, 2006 - 04:33 Boat | Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Greece | Italy | Train | Walk

This morning we headed out to say a quick goodbye to Kostas’ mother and then go to the main Athens train station. We were headed to Patras, the primary Greek port for boats traveling to Italy.

Our first regional train was right on time and we jumped aboard and jumped off a about one hour later. We then caught our second train; the deal is that we had first class seats on this second train because it was going to be a longer ride. We then realized that the first class seats were the first car directly behind the engine. The engine was so loud that we couldn’t hear ourselves speak, the honking at city cars was a gentle hum in the background and to talk to some one you had to stand centimeters away.

We then found the ticket office for the ferry company “Superfast” (It really does live up to its name) and then headed into the ferry itself. Once inside we headed to our cabin and set up all of our stuff we then explored the ship, did a little work, read, and such until we were doubled over by hunger. We looked at the multiple restaurants onboard and chose the self-service one. I had some yummy Bolognese Spaghetti, where as Michael had spaghetti with tomato sauce (basically pasta was the main dish). After watching the original 1969 “The Italian Job” that we rented from the onboard movie rental, we all were rocked to sleep with the waves and the soft hum of the ship’s propeller.

Bugsly


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Fun Fact...

There are three types of "Kiwi's" in New Zealand. Kiwi birds, Kiwi fruit and the New Zealanders call themselves "Kiwis"!

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