Travel theme: Paths

This week’s travel theme  is paths and here is one past journey with some of the places and pleasures it lead to:

The pathway into London was awash with light while the dark Thames snaked its way through the city.

Life in Camelot, Travel Theme: Paths

On the ground, the path alongside the Thames embankment brought some interesting and exotic surprises:

Life in Camelot, Travel Theme: Paths

Life in Camelot, Travel Theme: Paths

You never know who might find resting along the path;

Life in Camelot, Travel Theme: Paths

Or who has rested here previously.

Life in Camelot, Travel Theme: Paths

The path to St Pauls provided options for hungry travellers.

Life in Camelot, Travel Theme: Paths

The path along Fulham Road has football fans galore (but not cold winter day).

Life in Camelot, Travel Theme: Paths

The path to poverty can be found through Christmas shopping in Oxford Street,

Life in Camelot, Travel Theme: Paths

and the path to ruin for many a poor mother can still be found in London’s high street stores.

Life in Camelot, Travel Theme: Paths, gin

Finally, the pathway to another portal,

Life in Camelot, Travel Theme: Paths

that lead to a path for a passage at sea,

Life in Camelot, Travel Theme: Paths

which ultimately lead to a pathway to paradise.

Life in Camelot, Travel theme: Paths

St Valentine’s Day

Ah, what is love?  Who can answer that question; most people have different definitions of what love means to them and I think that is how it should be.  But greeting cards have to be sold, flowers have to be harvested and chocolate has to be eaten so here is my post inspired by St Valentine’s Day.

Visiting Busan in South Korea last year (as a port stop on an epic 6 week cruise of Asia) I was delighted to see a wall of love locks and messages inspired by love.  The Parisians lost their love locks in 2015 when the council deemed their outpourings of love too weighty for some of the city’s most beautiful bridges; OK so it was actually the 45 tonnes of some million padlocks causing danger to the bridges rather than all those emotions.

But these locks and heart-shaped notes seem to be here to stay and add to the charm of walking to the top of Yongdusan Park, and taking in the panoramic views of the harbour below.

You can even sit down and admire the views, and the love.

Love seat, love locks, Life in Camelot, Korea - St Valentine's Day

A love seat amongst the love locks

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Thousands of heartfelt messages of love for everyone to read

Love locks at Busan Tower, Korea - Life in Camelot - St Valentine's Day

A wall dedicated to those dedicated to expressing their love.

Life in Camelot with love locks in Busan, Korea - St Valentine's Day

Just loving the love.

Happy Valentine’s Day to lovers in all the countries around this wonderful world and to my darling husband, who travels with me to all these countries, and wants to see as many of them as possible.

Cruisey Christmas

Christmas day this year is very hot but still spent with family. Two years ago we were on board Queen Mary 2 for Christmas which was incredibly festive and a special way to spend a Christmas.

Here is my blog post from last Christmas as we cruised around the Caribbean from island to island in a different heat.

I took photos of the incredibly festive stateroom door decorations that other QM2 passengers went to the trouble of packing for Christmas:

Life In Camelot

Last year I spent a cruisey Christmas on board Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 – a rather splendid way of spending Christmas.

Obviously there were a couple of thousand of other travellers spending Christmas on board too and, in my journeys around the decks, I was simply amazed at the lengths some of these people went to in decorating their stateroom doors with festive displays.

Here are some wonderful examples of Christmas at sea:

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas in 2015 and cheers to the New Year – and let’s go cruising.

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Favourite Song Friday – The Snowman

It is Christmas time and whilst I have never been a lover of many of the traditions surrounding this feast that are associated with a cold climate, e.g. plum pudding, mince tarts, eggnog and hot roast dinners on a sweltering summer day (in Australia), there are some things I do love and one of them is this Friday’s favourite song:

Walking in the Air by Howard Blake

The Snowman, Life in Camelot, Favourite Song Friday

This song is featured in the short film called The Snowman, about a young boy who befriends the Snowman in his yard and together they share a wonderful Christmas adventure before the harsh reality of daylight sets in.  This song plays during their magical journey together.

This delightful and seasonal short film was based upon the children’s book by Raymond Briggs.  In the film the song was performed by a young English choirboy called Peter Auty [1] rather than the famous Welsh Chorister, Aled Jones, to whom it is generally accredited.

I discovered this short film and haunting theme song when I was experiencing my first white Christmas, complete with all those traditional trimmings, in 1986.  I went to stay with my former flatmate and her family in Hull, Yorkshire in England.  They welcomed me and my fiance with open arms, warm hearts and plenty of food.

Life in Camelot with fiance and friend at Christmas in Hull - Favourite Song Friday

Life in Camelot with fiance (and female guest) in Hull on Christmas Day

Christmas in Hull, Life in Camelot 1986

Christmas tree in Hull, Yorkshire

Christmas in Hull with a welcoming family, Life in Camelot, Favourite Song Friday

Opening gifts on Christmas day with the Harrisons in Hull

I bought the DVD of the movie when my daughter was young and we play it every Christmas eve – it is probably the only Christmas tradition I have imposed upon her.

Two years ago we were in London just before Christmas time and we were delighted to find there was a musical production of The Snowman; so of course we went along to see it (and I took some sneaky photos).

So I will be watching the film tomorrow evening, hopefully sipping on something a little festive and wishing all my readers, and friends and families, a very Merry Christmas whether you be in a cold climate or a stinking hot one like mine will be this year.

There will be one more Favourite Song Friday for this year (stay tuned next week) and then I shall start something new next year.

Merry Christmas from Life in Camelot.

Favourite Song Friday – Cohn

The year is rapidly coming to a close and during this countdown to Christmas everyone seems to be rushing around, driving badly, jumping queues and generally raising my anxiety levels.

So this Friday’s Favourite Song is one of my calming tunes and hopefully it will lower your blood pressure too.

Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohn

Life in Camelot, Favourite Song Friday - Marc Cohn

This song came from his debut, self-titled album in 1991 and there isn’t a single track on it I don’t like.

I had been living in New Zealand in 1991 and returned to Australia in early 1992, after just over a year away.  Marc Cohn’s lyrics refer to boarding a plane, ghosts of the past and the ability to live in the moment and I shared these emotions as I ‘boarded the plane’ home to Sydney.

I bought myself a copy of the CD early on after hearing this song played constantly on the radio and if it had been an LP rather than a CD, I would have worn out the grooves and many a needle by now (but the young readers may not have a clue what I’m referring to…)

So please enjoy this favourite song on this frenzied Friday, a fortnight before Christmas.

And don’t forget to let me know about the songs you listen to again, and again and again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next week I thought I should post a Christmas song and the following, and final week, I will have a song appropriate to New Year’s Eve.

Favourite Song Friday – Gabriel

Today is my wedding anniversary so this is a mushy Favourite Song Friday:

In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel

Who remembers John Cusack in the very forgettable movie Say Anything, standing with his boom box held high playing this song, wearing his heart on sleeve trying to impress his young love?

Life in Camelot - Favourite Song Friday, Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes

Peter Gabriel’s album SO was released in 1986 and this was the year I travelled overseas as a young backpacker.  I played that cassette over and over until the music became part of my euphoric European experience so this song, in particular, will always be one of my favourites.

I still play this song when I travel, with my husband instead of a backpack, but now it is on an Apple iPod rather than a Sony Walkman.

The lyrics are lovely and the melody is haunting so join me, on my wedding anniversary, in reminiscing with this Favourite Song Friday.

 

 

Favourite Song Friday – Braithwaite

This Friday’s Favourite Song is a little bit late because sometimes life gets very busy, so here is the aptly named,

 As the Days Go By, written and performed by Daryl Braithwaite.

When I was young Daryl Braithwaite lead a band called Sherbet.  I was probably the only teenage girl in Australia who didn’t follow this band (and yes, this is what bands wore in the 1970s!)

Life in Camelot, Favourite Song Friday - As the Days Go By

Sherbet, in the 1970s, with Daryl Braithwaite on the far left.

It wasn’t until Daryl released some solo albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s that I really discovered his music and his style.

Now he is another of the artists that I have taken with me on my travels, be it driving around the north island of New Zealand, or running around the deck of any of the Cunard Queens, cruising to all the corners of the globe.

Because I am getting older I do appreciate the life I have lived so far, but also look forward to the life I have yet to live, (and the journeys I shall take), so the words of the first verse of this Favourite Song (not Friday) resonate with me:

My love of life just gets stronger
As the days go by
And some things I wish they would last
Just a little bit long longer
As the days go by.

Do you have any music that makes your travel even more memorable?

Please comment and share your Favourite Songs with me.

Favourite Song Friday: Gold

Here is a new thing I’m doing – Favourite Song Friday.

This is one of my all time favourites – Andrew Gold’s Lonely Boy.

andrew-gold

It doesn’t have a great deal to do with travel, although he does leave home in the song, but I figure any piece of music that gets you moving the way this song does has to be appropriate to a blog about travel… right?

Enjoy.

(and let me know your favourite songs for travel, or just walking).

Time travel (how I wish I could)

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Althsuler

This weekend marks the 30th anniversary of the start of my big overseas backpacking adventure.

On September 9th 1986, at a very tender age, I set off alone into the wild blue yonder.

I had lots of time, and not a great deal of money, to travel the world and experience what I could.

I said goodbye to Mum and Dad and did what many young Australians did in the 1980s – put on a backpack and travelled to the other side of the world with a vague plan to see Europe.

I had purchased a return ticket (which I eventually extended by a month),

I had one friend in England

and not a clue about what to expect on my travels.

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Life in Camelot’s ticket to adventure

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Life in Camelot’s ticket to adventure

I marvelled at seeing Mother England,

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Life in Camelot and a Beefeater at the Tower of London

where the east coast beaches had no sand, just rocks!

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Life in Camelot at Snape Moultings in Suffolk, England

Then popped across to the Emerald Isle, which was great craic…

Genevieve & Mary - Ring of Kerry, Ireland 1986 (2)

Life in Camelot and Mary in Ireland

Then I launched myself across the English Channel, alone, and was less than impressed with Paris, or more accurately, with the way I couldn’t communicate with the Parisians.

I stopped off in Nice and Monte Carlo (where I met fellow Australian travellers) and then continued on eastwards to Italy.

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Life in Camelot with fellow travellers in Monte Carlo

The journey only got better from there because…

…Italy was gorgeous,

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Life in Camelot and Mathew at Trevi Fountain, Rome.

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Life in Camelot at the top of St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican.

Greece was marvellous,

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Life In Camelot with Michelle and Mike, American backpackers.

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Life In Camelot with fellow international backpackers in Santorini.

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Life In Camelot at Thira, Santorini

and Turkey was sensational.

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Life In Camelot in Turkey

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Life In Camelot in Marmaris, Turkey.

Haga Sofia  Istanbul  Turkey - 1986

Life In Camelot in Istanbul.

Genevieve at Turkish Wedding in Izmir  Turkey - 1986

Life In Camelot at Turkish wedding in Izmir

Genevieve at dinner with Erol and friends - Turkey 1986

Life In Camelot in Kusadasi with Australian and Turkish friends.

But the months passed, the northern winter approached and I was getting colder, more homesick and very low on money.

So I headed westward through the same countries and returned to the United Kingdom to travel a bit more (with my fiance who’d flown over to spend Christmas with me) before going home to Sydney, Australia.

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Life In Camelot at Loch Lochy, Scottish Highlands

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Life In Camelot in Scottish Highlands

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Life In Camelot, Aviemore, Scottish Highlands

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Life In Camelot, Twickenham, England.

Over the years I have been lucky enough to return to all of those countries, apart from Ireland, but I do plan on returning to them as many more times as I can, as well as all the other countries on my long list.

30 years later I might have a bit more money but also less time to travel as much as I’d like.

I do wish I could travel back in time to relive that wonderful journey with the knowledge I now have, but until that becomes a possibility, I have my photos and more importantly, my memories of my grand adventure.

“Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.” – Oscar Wilde

Travel theme: Sport

This week’s topic from Where’s My Backpack blog – Travel theme: Sport

Travelling isn’t always as easy as it should be on holiday and some of what you experience (or endure) can feel like you are participating in an olympic sport.

First, you must get your bags to the airport or cruise terminal.

This involves upper body strength, good timing and great precision as your goal is to ensure the bags arrive at the same destination as you.

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Head down and focus on the finish line.

Then you must stand in line, waiting for your turn to board. This can feel like a constant tug-of-war with pompous officials and, if you get your timing right, you can board your vessel in time to relax and pop into something comfortable.

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There’s always pushing and shoving to get on board.

Once you’ve settled in to your holiday you will no doubt undertake various activities, or sports, to keep you busy and ensure you have some interesting photos to show your workmates when you return.

If you choose to sightsee or take daytrips, make sure you are familiar with your method of transport; familiarise yourself with the local rules as penalties may apply for misuse.

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Beware of under-aged drivers and traffic jams!

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Which way to the Grand Prix?

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Well I did request air-conditioning…

When participating in extra-curricular sporting activities you need to keep you feet on the ground,

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Always wear matching team colours.

keep your equipment dry,

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Don’t allow the competition to make you lose your balance.

but not too dry,

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Don’t make the acceptance phone call before you’ve actually won.

 

and keep your eyes on the game at all times.

Disneyland 4 - December 2009

Protective eyewear can be handy.

At the end of your trip, you may be tired, you may be distracted but make sure you have enough left in you to tackle the last sporting challenge of your journey – collecting your baggage and queueing for an eternity to get through customs in  your own country.

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I have a black belt in dealing with airline baggage belts.

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The final hurdle, then home.

As you can see, travelling is a lot like an olympic sport: if at first you do not succeed, try and try again (or fly and fly again)!