Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Take a drive with me

A certain Gorgeous Girl turns seven tomorrow and so we have some grandparents visiting for the special occasion. Last Sunday we left Port Moresby and headed up the mountain towards Soegeri. On the way we stopped at a lookout.

PNG lookout 2

Be prepared to pay the land owners 2 Kina per person to stop at the lookout.

If you walk down some steps…they are as steep as they look

PNG lookout steps

you will see a waterfall.

PNG lookout waterfall 2

We continued on towards the Kokoda Trail (Here in PNG it’s referred to as a Trail, Australians know it as the Kokoda Track). We stopped at McDonald’s corner which commemorates the first engagement between the opposing sides.

PNG McDonald's corner

Then on to the start of the trail. This time the track was not so muddy and we were able to drive all the way down.

PNG Kokoda Trail road

They were expecting some government officials and so the area was decorated.

PNG Kokoda Trail picnic huts

Then it was on to Variarata National Park. This was my first time up there (though Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl have been there a few times). The view from the park was magnificent. Even on a hazy day we could look down on Port Moresby.

PNG Variarata lookout 2

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse of our day.

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Recently a group of us decided to take a drive up to the beginning of the Kokoda Track. Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl have been up here before, but it was the first time for me.

We went out in three vehicles, all of which were 4WD, which turned out to be a blessing. To get to the start of the track you need to leave Port Moresby and drive up the mountains. As we drove it started to rain.


and rain


The rain eased up a bit and we crossed a one lane bridge.


and drove along the road


Along the way, one of the cars got stuck in the mud on the side of the road and had to be pulled free with a tow rope, but it was not difficult.

Then we came to a hill


and decided that it would be prudent to leave the cars at the top and walk down. It wasn’t raining when we set out and soon we reached the bottom.

trail start

It rained in earnest on the way back up the hill. One good thing about living in the tropics is that the rain is not cold. It was a good day out, but I think our next visit might have to wait until the dry season comes around again.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on my last post. It was great to meet some new to me blog readers and find new blogs to read.




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Last Poland Post

Rather than continue to bore you with a blow by blow description of our time in Poland I’ll make this the last post about the trip. After the conference finished Gorgeous Man and I drove to Lublin to visit the Majdanek concentration camp from World War II. It was a very sad and sobering experience, but I’m glad we made the time to pay our respects. You can read about the numbers in books, but until you see things like this

majdanek shoes

the scale is hard to visualize. This former prisoner dormitory is filled with four hundred thousand pairs of shoes, stacked in these containers. Looking at the shoes you could see the individuality of their owners, bright red shoes, white summer sandals, stern business-like shoes to be worn with a suit and the children’s shoes. Majdanek is one of the best preserved camps, plans to preserve it were put into place before the war was over. It was liberated by the Russian Army prior to the close of the war. Majdanek is close to the city and a wide variety of people were imprisoned here: Polish farmers being relocated, political prisoners, prisoners of war, prisoners of conscience and Jews.

After Lublin we drove back to Warsaw. Using the wizardry of Ravelry’s trip planner I discovered a yarn store only 2.8 kilometres from our accommodation. Getting there proved tricky and I owe a huge “Thank You” to Gorgeous Man who braved peak hour traffic, one way streets, a GPS battery going flat and Polish street signs to find our way there.

Magic Loop is a beautiful yarn store stocking a variety of fabulous yarns and fibre.

Magic loop 1

Mmmmmmalabrigo. The store is really lovely, beautifully laid out and the owner is really friendly and welcoming. A bonus for me was that she also spoke excellent English, because my Polish is non-existent.

magic loop 3

Some fibre came home with me my first visit. The next day Gorgeous Man and I were walking past the store’s block and made another stop to acquire some yarn and fibre for me to make him something special.

polish haul

Now to find a perfect patterns.


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More Poland

After our delicious lunch in the palace we were taken to a historical village. This had no signage at all and so it was hard to work out what era this was from, but some of the conference attendees who had grown up in various countries in Eastern Europe (and now live in the USA) commented excitedly that the school room looked exactly like the ones they had attended in the 1960s and 1970s.

school room

In contrast to the palace we had just come from the houses were much smaller.

village house external

To be honest, I prefer this to the palace. Inside was very bright and cheerful.

village house

Picture does not show the beautiful folk art painting on the chest of drawers. Another of the houses on display.

village house2

The pictures on the walls and rafters are made from cutting and gluing paper.

To my excitement there was a spinning wheel (and weaving and yarn associated equipment) in every room.

spinning wheel

I was quite taken with the village church. This was a functioning church until it was relocated to the museum site.

village church

I was also very taken with the windmill.


I love my orchids in Papua New Guinea, but I miss spring flowers. I enjoyed seeing the wide variety of irises blooming. Here is a particularly fine (and easily accessible) specimen.


We are currently half way through our two week stay in Cairns. Seems odd to be blogging about one trip while I’m on another one…

We’ve all had haircuts and are enjoying the relaxed atmosphere here in Australia. Today I picked up the gazillion photos I’ve taken over the last 8 months which I finally got around to printing. With three weddings last year there are some gorgeous shots of Gorgeous Girl that I’m itching to turn into scrapbooking pages. I just hope I can do them justice. I’m also enjoying not having to drive for 2-3 hours a day doing the school run.

I was lucky enough to be here for the monthly Cairns knitter/crocheting group and got to meet with those lovely ladies again this year. One of them runs an indie-dyeing company and I got to fondle her very beautiful yarn. You can check it out here: Solar Flair Fibres

My thumb is doing better. I’m managing a bit of knitting, but am being very careful not to overdo things.


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A Palace in Poland

The next stop on our organised tour was a palace in Nieborow.

nieborow castle

This is the entrance. In the opposite direction there was beautiful green space.

greenspace Nieborow

Gorgeous Man ducked off quickly from the tour to dash down to the lake and see if he could spot any new birds.

Inside was quite amazing. We saw stoves like this in Neuschwanstein Castle, but were not allowed to take photos. Here photography was permitted, provided that the flash was switched off.


The tile theme continued into the stairwell.


All of these tiles were different and were scenes of rural life. The wall treatments were remarkable in a number of rooms.

wallpapergone wild

Love how the sofa is the same pattern :) but it’s all a bit much for this simple girl. At this point in the tour I was starting to feel a bit hungry and I expected that sooner or later we would stop at a park and eat a sack lunch.  Imagine my surprise when the guide said, “Lunch is ready.” and we walked into this room. Oh my! Lunch in a palace!


Because I am a terrible blogger I quite forgot about taking pictures of the meal until after I’d finished the best cup of coffee I drank in Europe.


Don’t you just love the sugar bowl?

After lunch we wandered around the palace for a little while longer and then hopped onto the bus to go to a village to see how the other half had lived,  but that’s another post.

There hasn’t been any crafting here at Ruth’s place (good thing I have travel pictures to show you all). I had a severe and sudden onset of extreme pain when trying to move my thumb right. As this happened in the evening, and we don’t go out at night unless it is an extreme emergency I took some pain-killers and went to bed. It was worse in the morning, so we arranged care for Gorgeous Girl and headed into town to the clinic. Dr moved it around a bit (Ouch!) and then ordered x-rays (more ouch as I had to hold it in painful positions) and I came home with anti-inflammatory drugs, instructions to elevate and to put hand in  very hot water and move it gently. I’m as good as new now, but will keep resting it for a bit to make sure.

Honestly though watching TV without knitting, crocheting or sewing is difficult. I don’t know what people without hobbies do!


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The final day of the conference in Poland was a tour of Warsaw and the surrounding area. The hosts really packed a lot into the day.

(Warning photo heavy post ahead).

We started with a bus ride into Warsaw and then did some walking. I was a bit sore by the end of the day, but generally my foot held up pretty well.

Warsaw looks very old, but in reality most of its buildings date from after the Second World War as much of the city had to be rebuilt.

Our first stop was the Church of the Holy Cross.  Chopin’s heart is buried here. There was also an alcove dedicated to Pope John Paul II which I found very interesting. I didn’t take a closer photo than this as I didn’t want to disturb this lady’s devotion.


Here I am outside of the Polish Parliament.


I love the architecture of the old style building and my camera has many, many photos of them on it.

street scene

I was quite taken with this skinny building and would have loved to have been able to see what it looked like inside.

skinny building

After a whistle stop tour of Warsaw we headed for Nieborow Palace. But that deserves a post of its own.





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There were 4 of us at the conference in Germany who were also going to the conference in Poland, so the organisers of the Polish conference sent a mini-bus to collect us. I crocheted for most of the 6 hour trip and enjoyed the occasional sighting of deer from the windows of the speeding van.

Given that at the moment we rarely go above 60 kilometres an hour due to the poor condition of the roads it seemed very odd to be travelling at speeds of 140. ;)

We stayed on the grounds of the university in this lovely old building.

poland accommodation1

poland accommodation2

Our room was the pointed window at the very top at the far end. Being rather a tall person the sloping ceilings gave Gorgeous Man some challenges.

The campus was beautiful. I was charmed by the trees.

poland accommodation3

We arrived a day before the conference was due to start so we had time to go for a walk and enjoy the scenery.

poland woods

This is a local park. I was thrilled to find these little flowers.

poland snow drops

The conference itself was pretty intense with lots of papers in English and Polish. I found the simultaneous translation with ear phones difficult. But the papers themselves were interesting.

After the conference the organisers had set aside a day for sight-seeing. More of that in a later post.


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