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Showing posts from July, 2011

Making it difficult: Australian tourism

The woes of the Australian tourist industry are loudly proclaimed. Not only are foreign tourists staying away, but many Australians choose to holiday overseas in preference to local holidays. The high Australian dollar is partly to blame, but the issues run deeper than that. Australia is a large, sparsely populated continent and its human history is mostly Stone Age or relatively recent. Many tourist attractions are widely separated and travel between them is difficult or expensive. You can't just hop in a fast train and catch public transport to most places and driving to the more remote sights can be fraught with danger. One reason that I suspect Victoria is a relatively popular tourist destination within Australia is because of its compactness and density, along with it's European-like emphasis on cultural attractions. There are no sites of epic battles, of fortifications and not much grand old architecture. No ruined cities (although Sydney might be included in that cat

Pending disasters

So, will it be riots in Malaysia or an Icelandic volcano that messes up our European travel plans in November? Got to start the disaster watch before we get too far into the planning. Don't want to get too disappointed this time!

Snowdon Mountain Railway

One of my colleagues recently returned from a trip to the UK and shared her photos with us. I was quite taken by her photos of Mount Snowdon in Wales and the Lakes District and entertained the thought of visiting them while in the UK in November. Unfortunately, the Snowdon Mountain Railway , a rack railway, only operates between March and October. According to the National Rail website , Windermere in the Lakes District is a little over 3 hours from London by train, so that sounds doable. Not sure if the weather would make the journey worthwhile. We've only ever seen London in the United Kingdom, so it would be nice to explore elsewhere, though we only plan to spend a limited time in the country. I hope Alex will be okay in the museums of London. He might enjoy the dinosaurs in the British Natural History Museum by that time, but I would love to show B the Victoria and Albert and British Museums. They are all free too.