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Showing posts from January, 2014

Luna Park Sydney

There's something mysteriously magical and even a little creepy about a fairground at night. The bright moving lights of rides against the black of night, hiding any scenery outside. The screams of joy and fear from riders mixed in with the rattles of rollercoaster cars as the run around the track and the music of a carousel. The clown faces, mouths agape, at the sideshow, inviting you to try your luck. I wanted to experience and try to capture that atmosphere in pictures at Sydney's Luna Park, which is open late on Friday and Saturday nights. Alex also wanted to visit, so we met B in the city for a night out. The Chinese New Year festival had just opened at Belmore Park outside of Central Station, so we first stopped there for a dinner of snacks purchased from stalls. Juice Uyghur lamb kebabs, ayam percik and yellow rice, pork buns, eaten standing while light showers sprinkled down. Alex also had a preparatory fly on one of the fairground rides set up at the entrance to


There is a memory of our last overseas trip that keeps coming to the foreground. It is not what you would expect. After a long and not particularly pleasant flight we arrived in Singapore in the middle of the night and went straight to our hotel. Why should this be memorable? In an earlier post I declared that solitude made for precious travel memories. I have come to realise that there is another element: comfort after exhaustion . That feeling of relief after a long flight, the warmth of a Shinkansen or hotel room after a day exploring in the cold, the cool water of a swimming pool after wandering through tropical humidity. The airport hotel after a day at work. The transit stop . It is comfort earned and it feels so good. A transit stop in Hong Kong after an overnight flight from London. Falling asleep to the music of Blade Runner. A dream.

We go to Mogo

Many Australians will happily tell you about the epic fourteen hour drive they made between state capitals, leaving at some ungodly hour of the morning and arriving late in the evening. But do a twelve hour day trip of sightseeing (that's twelve hours including actually seeing the sights) and they'll look at you strangely. I like to measure travel time in terms of the daily commute. That's about three and a half hours now, down from almost six over a year ago. So six hours of travel is still no big deal for me if I get to do something fun as well. It took us a about three and a half hours yesterday to get down to Mogo Zoo and the same to return. Yes it's a bit of a way for a zoo that's smaller than Taronga and not much cheaper ( Melbourne Zoo would have cost the three of us less), but the drive was very scenic. A good opportunity for the whole family (minus the dog unfortunately) to have a day out together, unlike just Alex and me on our recent South Coast

South Coast Line

Happy New Year and welcome to 2014! I've got another huge year of travel planned and already hold tickets to Melbourne, Japan and Malaysia but let's ease into the new year with something a little smaller. Sydney is blessed by a number of scenic railway lines leading out of the city, all of which can be traversed using the Sydney Trains network. To the west, the Blue Mountains is a well known attraction, while the Northern line to Newcastle has some very pretty stretches alongside the Hawkesbury River. The southwest Southern Highlands runs through some quaint little towns. Today, with Alex and I having been stuck at home for the past couple of weeks, I chose to take the South Coast line down as far as it goes, to Bomaderry (Nowra). Back when I was finishing a Masters at the University of Wollongong I lived in the same part of Sydney as I do now. I would often have to take the train down to North Wollongong station. In the evenings I would, if I was lucky, grab one of