Thursday, July 18, 2019

What To Do on a Rainy Day in Sydney: High Tea at the QVB

Our first day in Sydney happened to be a rainy one. In fact, it was so rainy that we woke to thunderstorms and the some of the train stations flooded. And friends and family inquired to see if we were ok. Needless to say we had planned to walk the city and that plan included sunny weather. What to do now? Our daughter, who we were visiting, came up with the great alternative plan of visiting the QVB - the Queen Victoria Building - and partaking in High Tea.

Now I'd never had High Tea or been to the QVB so I loved this idea! The decision was made for the two of us to have tea and for Mr. UR to find a place for a pint - he had no interest in having tea. 

Though it was walkable, we took a taxi (see thunderstorms above) and had a walkabout around the QVB first. The Queen Victoria Building was designed by the famed architect George McRae and was intended to be a marketplace. It was built between 1893 -1898 and is in the Victorian Arcade style with 3 stories. It fell into disrepair and was later restored and is on the NSW State Historic Register. It houses shops and restaurants and is connected to the Railway Station on the lowest, underground level. In short, it is quite something to see.

We were there at Christmas time and the incredibly large Christmas tree in the middle was a quite popular sight. There was even a photo shoot going on in front of it. 

Another popular sight is the Royal Clock which displays scenes of British royalty with mini trumpeters playing on the hour. 

We didn't do much shopping - though it did have a shop dedicated entirely to miniature military figures which I have never seen before - but we did enjoy our tea. We purchased it for two and were each given our pick of tea and then some finger sandwiches, scones with jam, macaroons, mini cheesecakes and a few cakes. It was delicious, though pricey, and served as a very late lunch for us, also. And, of course, Mr. UR found his beer. All were happy!

How about you? Have you been to the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney? 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

A drive from France to Italy through the French Alps

We arrived on our flight from the US into Geneva by way of Munich for the start of our European Road Trip. Our first destination was to be Lake Garda, Italy so we had a five hour drive through the French Alps. After securing our rental car, we were off heading east on the A40. 

To be honest, I had been concentrating so much on all the other days of our road trip that I hadn't thought much about our drive through the mountains. I knew we would pass Mt. Blanc which is a fantastic destination in it's own right but since we weren't staying there, I glossed over this sight entirely. And what a beautiful drive it was!

We came upon Mt. Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps and west of Russia, and then drove up to the Mount Blanc tunnel that passes from Chamonix, France to Courmayeur, Italy. (The peak itself sits in France) 

After passing Mt. Blanc, we needed to enter the tunnel to pass from France to Italy.( In front of the tunnel is the Memorial to the 39 victims of  a fire in the tunnel in 1999.) While waiting in line to pay the 40euro fee and pass through the tunnel, we were interviewed by a French policeman. After starting to ask us questions in French - to no avail - he switched to English and asked us if we were carrying more than $10,000 dollars in our car. Ha! That's a good one. 

After passing through the long tunnel, we arrived in Italy. Now our views were of castles, ruins, and churches. A bit of a change in landscape as we went on and kept heading to Lake Garda. A beautiful drive - even with jet lag!

How about you? Have you driven from France to Italy? Or Italy to France?

Linking up with: My Corner of the World at Photographing New Zealand and Faraway Files at Oregon Girl Around the World!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Musings and A Blog Update

Ireland and Scotland Road Trip
It's been a bit dark here on the blog for a few weeks now. I was gone for 3 weeks starting with a family graduation party and then one day home and we were off for 2 weeks in Ireland and Scotland. (My first time to Ireland - and spoiler alert - I loved it!) I returned home to throw my suitcases in my room and have company for the weekend. Then I hosted our monthly neighborhood potluck. Normally traveling and socializing don't stop me from writing about my travels. The one thing that can stop me though is.....

Computer Problems
What I thought was just an internet problem - an outage - turned out to be computer problems. After a bit of troubleshooting I managed to fix what I thought the problem was - and was quite proud of myself.Bragging to everyone I was, especially my kids.  A few days later more problems cropped up and though I've been working on fixing it myself, it appears that the computer will need to go into the shop. 

So please bear with me while I get my IT problems cleared up. I have lots of posts planned - there's so much more to cover of my Australia and Europe trips. And now there's Ireland and Scotland to add. 

A Blog Refresh
I've been writing The Unpaved Road for a good long while now. And I think it's time for a blog refresh. I'm hoping to put a fresh, new spin on The Unpaved Road- and soon. So be on the lookout for that!

I'm hoping to move forward quickly and hopefully you'll be seeing lots more of The Unpaved Road!

Happy Independence Day Weekend
For all of you celebrating here in the United States, I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day Weekend! I'm celebrating at home with two of my kids home - cookouts, boating and a bridal shower - which should be fun. 
Happy 4th!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Postcards from 35,000 feet - 2019 Edition

I like a window seat when traveling. I love to look down on the places we're flying over and find all the unique sights. And for the last few years I've highlighted some of my favorite photos from 35,000 feet in the air. (As for photo quality, all of these were shot from an airplane window on my phone)

Here is the 2019 edition:

The city I fly into and out of the most - Charlotte, North Carolina

Bavarian farmland - flying into Munich, Germany

Flying into London's Heathrow - I think that's Wembley Stadium (feel free to correct me or let me know if that's right)

That's Sydney Harbor - flying back from the Great Barrier Reef

The New Bern area of North Carolina - flying into Raleigh-Durham

The moody mountains of Asheville, North Carolina

Somewhere over Germany

The Jet d'Eau fountain in Geneva, Switzerland

A lighthouse somewhere in Australia

A beach off the coast of Ireland - flying into Dublin

Los Angeles in the early morning hours

London's sprawl - flying into Heathrow

Carowinds Amusement Park in Charlotte, North Carolina

Over Switzerland

Shadows over Englands countryside outside of London

The cloud covered islands of Quebec

The blue green waters off the Southern coast of England

Bye Sydney! And Australia's coast

Flying into Heathrow. Anyone? I'm not sure

And one from the ground....
Welcome to Ireland!

How about you? Are you a window or aisle seat person? (Cause no one actually picks middle, do they?)

For past Postcards from 35,000 feet editions click here or here

Linking up with: My Corner of the World at Photographing New Zealand!