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Showing posts from 2019

2019 in review

After a few quieter years, 2019 saw us strike out for some new destinations and experiences. January Our first trip to Scandinavia and the Nordic countries as we flew to Denmark, Sweden and Finland via Osaka on Jetstar and Finnair. We were very impressed with Finnair and their A350-900, our first time on the aircraft. In Denmark we explored Copenhagen by leg and visited the amazing Lego House. Unfortunately, the Cabinn accommodation wasn't so pleasant, so we left early for Sweden, where we enjoyed Malmo, before taking the train up to Stockholm. Along the way we stopped by the Ikea Museum. In Stockholm we walked the Gamla Stan and visited the Vasa, ABBA and Tekniska Museums, each with their own charms. Then we caught the overnight ship to Helsinki in Finland, my first experience of a cruise. From Helsinki we travelled up by train to Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle and were chilled and thrilled on a dog sled and other activities at the Santa Village. Then back down on the

The Carlingford Line

We close the year and the decade with a local adventure to mark the closure of a railway line. On the January 5, 2020, the Carlingford Line from Clyde will close to be partially replaced by the Parramatta Light Rail. This is Sydney's quietest line, a single track branch for most of its length from the industrial centre of Clyde to the northwestern suburb of Carlingford. According to Wikipedia, power supply and signalling issues mean that only a single four car train can utilise the line at a time. Newer Sydney trains run in fixed eight car configurations. This will be the first and last time I traverse the Carlingford Line in its current configuration. The weather of the day is certainly appropriate for an ending, the brown smoke haze lending an apocalyptic air to proceedings. I drive to Padstow and catch the T8 line to Central, followed by the T1 towards Parramatta and Penrith. The historic homes of the Inner West give way to industrial complexes, rail storage yards and t

Ferry Ride to Parramatta

It's been many years since we rode the ferry to Parramatta. Alex has never done the journey. An unexpected cancellation gave us the opportunity to explore the water route to Sydney's inland centre. The Parramatta River flows into Sydney Harbour. We catch train from Padstow to Circular Quay, where we are greeted by the Radiance of the Seas, a huge cruise liner imposing itself over the much smaller ferries.  The ferries to Parramatta are somewhat infrequent, so we wander around the Rocks while we wait for the next boat.  Eventually we head down to the wharf to board our boat, a Captain Cook catamaran pressed into service as a ferry. We cross the gangplank and head up the stairs to the unsheltered roof. The ferry reverses out from its berth, the swivels around. As we pass the Radiance of the Sea, dwarfed by its immense size, we recall our only liner experience, the Viking Line ferry between Stockholm and Helsinki from January this year. And that was a pretty aw