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Saturday, 25 February 2012

Cobblestones - wet and dry

Some beautiful weather, then a rather wet day when I decided to walk along the famous Charles Bridge. Starting with the good weather - of course!

Plenty of walking to be done in Prague.

This is the area of Republic Square - made modern by having several modern shopping malls.

But the weekly markets bring it all back into perspective.

Crossing Old Town Square on a very wet morning.
Sure keeps the tourist numbers down, but many (like me) have only limited time available, so cannot be too choosy about rain, hail or shine!

On a sunny day, you can hardly see the cobblestones for tourists!

Also busy at Prague Castle in the sunshine

Walking on Charles Bridge on a very damp day But nothing could spoil the awe of being there!

Other coblestones I trod in the Czech Republic - at Český Krumlov (medieval town in southern Bohemia).

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Travel map - I just can't resist - watch out for updates!

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I'm cheating a little of course - my excursions on this map cover more than 40 years of travel - not just where I'm currently walking in these shoes!

Perhaps the completed blue area covering North America is the biggest exaggeration (for me) - I've travelled well in the United States (though cannot notch up even half the 50 states); Alaska is a rather large area where I haven't yet set foot; crossing the southern border of California into Tijuana for an afternoon's shopping does Mexico an injustice; visiting Vancouver and Vancouver island on the west Canadian coast, hardly counts fully for that great country either. Then there's that other large country, China - just an amazing cruise visit to Sanya Island off the south coast!

Is this another case of lies, more lies and damned statistics?

This quotation is often attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, the 19th century British Prime Minister. The source for this view is the autobiography of Mark Twain, where he makes that attribution. Nevertheless, no version of this quotation has been found in any of Disraeli's published works or letters. The earliest reference yet found anywhere is to a speech made by Leonard H. Courtney, (1832-1918), later Lord Courtney, in New York in 1895:
 'After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote one to another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman, "Lies - damn lies - and statistics," still there are some easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest cannot wriggle out of.’
 There's no indication that by 'Wise Statesman' Courtney was referring to any specific person, although it may be that Twain thought that he meant Disraeli.

Quoted from The Phrase Finder: www.phrases.org.uk/

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Those shoes again

Very, very occasional! Now. . . this should have been written two months ago, but my shoes covered quite a long distance between October and the start of 2012. I've been enjoying the spoils of my travel - wonderful photos and memories.
Two river cruises in Europe (to make the 24 hours travel in each direction count for more), another trip to beautiful west coast Tasmania and a 4-day trip to Sydney over Christmas.

The beautiful Danube River - starting in Budapest, Hungary and travelling in a southerly direction through the Balkan countries of Serbia, Bulgaria (love those roses!) and Romania, to walk beside the Black Sea on a very windy day.
Early morning walk on the
Chain Bridge, Budapest

While in Budapest, I took a bus tour to visit Szentendre, a small historic town with local artists' community.
This is the first of many cobblestone town squares where I walked.


Szentendre Main Square

View over Avalon "Tranquility" on the Danube River at Mohacs. We are about to leave Hungary. Note the very steep gangway - the water levels in the Danube were quite low (October) and I was glad of the good tread on my new shoes.

Now we are in Serbia .

I walked along Zmaj Jovina Street in Novi Sad.

Shopping street in Belgrade

a small street in historic town near Veliko Tarnovo-Arbanasi

Another steep gangway. Looking across the Danube from our docking place at Nikopol, Bulgaria towards Turnu Magurele in Romania.

 A bucket-list goal achieved - the Black Sea at Constanta in Romania, on a very windy day. The building is the old casino (1909).