Saturday, May 25, 2019

Glasgow, Scotland


May 9-12, 2019

Our weather in Glasgow was the exact opposite of Edinburgh, warm and blue skies. We visited Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, a large museum full of anything you can imagine. We did a free walking tour - Glasgow Gander Walking Tour. This was a really good tour, one of the best we have been on. We also went to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. In addition to very nice outdoor gardens, they have two large glasshouses.

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum - Sculpture in the display about shoes.

Egyptian sculpture

The Floating Heads by Sophie Cave

Regina Corduim by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Statue of the Duke of Wellington wearing a traffic cone. The cone of a symbol of Glasgow's sense of humor. The statue has been wearing a cone since the 1980's.

View of Glasgow Cathedral from Glasgow Necropolis, an old cemetery on a nearby hilltop.

There are numerous murals around Glasgow. There is a website that has a route to view them all. We saw about a third of them. This one is called St. Enoch and Child by Smug.

Another mural by Smug called Saint Mungo.

Charging Cross Birds mural

This and the next two photos are murals near Strathclyde University.



Crazy Cat Lady by Rogue Oner - Part of Glasgow's newest mural on Sauchiehall Street.

Fellow Glasgow Residents by Smug - This and the two following photos represent plants and animals found in the local parks.



Glasgow Botanic Garden - Inside one of the glasshouses.

Clock Vine flower

Rose

Rose

Bird of Paridise

Carnivorous Plant

Pitcher plant

Inside the Kibble Palace glasshouse.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Edinburgh Scotland

May 5-8, 2019

This was our third visit to Edinburgh in the past 20 years. It hasn't changed much. Still cold and wet. It felt like winter after our time in Africa. There were flowers blooming every where indicating it really was spring time. We spent most of our time indoors, visiting museums and the Scottish Parliament, all places we had not been before. We enjoyed Edinburgh, same as we have in the past.

View of downtown Edinburgh from our hotel entryway. It was a great location, right across from the train station. Since we are traveling without the van, location is important.

St. Giles' Cathedral on the Royal Mile.

Looking toward the Royal Mile (Castlehill Road) from Edinburgh Castle.

Bill and Patti in Edinburgh.

Inside the National Museum of Scotland.

Not sure how you walk through a doorway in this dress. You certainly would take up the whole couch when you sat down.

Dolly the sheep. She was the first cloned mammal from an adult cell. I remember the story when it was announced back in 1997. It was a really big deal.

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Sculpture in the museum called Tourists 1970 by Duane Hanson. We see a lot of people who look just like this in our travels.

This picture reminded us of Africa. The brown stuff on the painting is real (preserved) elephant poop. We saw a lot of it on park roads. Can't say I like the painting, but I really don't understand most modern art.

Sculpture in front of the museum. I like this piece of modern art.

Exterior wall of the Scottish Parliament.

The debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament. The interior and exterior of all the buildings are fabulous.



Goodbye to Africa

April 23 - 30, 2019

Our last week and a half in South Africa was spent in Durban. For most of our trip we avoided large cities and I am glad we did. In Durban the safe area is along the north coast. It is scenic, generally free of garbage (except the beach had new garbage washed up everyday), and relatively safe during daylight hours as long as your valuables are hidden (no purse, no camera, no phone, not even a watch). All locals warn you of robberies and muggings. It would have been more enjoyable without the personal security issues. For dinner each day we would walk about 1km to the Sun Coast Casino and choose from one of the many restaurants. It was dark by 6:00pm so we tried to be there by 4:30. Our second evening we chose a mexican restaurant. They lost power 3 times while preparing our food. When we finally received our dinner it was dark outside and in the restaurant. We had to eat in the dark as the power was again out and they had no candles. We had to walk back after dark. It was uncomfortable, but we made it back without any problems. Power outages are a common occurrence in South Africa. We never went grocery shopping without a flashlight after our first shopping blackout.



For the first few days in Durban we stayed at Queensburgh Caravan Park on the Umbio River. When we arrived this river was very small. The second day the rain started, 6.5 inches in 24 hours. The river came up very fast and we had to move to higher ground in the middle of the night. Durban suffered a lot of damage and the flooding casued many deaths.

View of the beach from our hotel.

Looking down the street from our hotel.

Durban Point Waterfront Canal

The only safe way to see the city is on a bus tour. We took the 3 hour Ricksha Bus. It is like a hop on hop off bus in most cities, but in Durban you hop on at their terminal and ride for 3 hours, you do not hop off except at the 2 breaks they give you. This is a view of the Fresh Produce Market.

Largest Car Boot Market in Durban.

Street in downtown Durban.

Moses Mabhida Stadium

The Passero - This is the roro ship (roll on roll off vehicle carrier) that the van was loaded on to for England. The bad weather delayed the ship arrival by 3 days, therefore it was 3 days late leaving the port. The van left for Southampton the evening of April 29th.

We received this notice from the hotel management on our last night in Durban. About an hour later the management was delivering bottled water to all the rooms. This is so typical of what happens in South Africa.

Traveling in Africa was challenging at times, but for the most part we enjoyed it. We are very glad we chose to make the trip!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Golden Gate NP and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, South Africa

April 16-19, 2019

We were hoping to meet up with the authors of a favorite travel blog - www.travelin-tortuga.com while we were both in Africa. We did! We enjoyed a two day visit with Rick and Kathy in Golden Gate National Park in the Drakensberg Mountains. This was our second visit to the park, but this with fall color, well worth a second look. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting Rick and Kathy and hope to meet up some time in the future. Rick and Kathy suggested we had time for a visit to Hluhluwe-Ifolozi Park before going to Durban. We had passed on visiting the park in January, but are very glad we saw it this time. We didn't see near the animals that we have seen in other parks, but the scenery is wonderful. It was more mountainous then other parks we have visited.

View of Golden Gate National Park from the Echo Canyon trail.

Echo Canyon trail - We were camped next to the trail head.

Echo Canyon - Good echos in there.

Looking out from Echo Canyon.

View of the mountains at sunset from our camp site.

Looking toward Echo Canyon from our camp site.

Fall color in Golden Gate NP

View of Golden Gate NP from a game drive. 

Jackels eating at the vulture hide. There were 3 jackels but no vultures.

Nelson Mandela sculpture at the Howick capture site.

Different view of Nelson Mandela sculpture.

Game drive road in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. This road was narrow but it was paved. Nice change from corrigated dusty dirt roads!

Zebra

Giraffe

Giraffe expressing how she felt about having her photo taken.

Impala

Rhino - We saw quite a few rhinos, but they were always eating so their heads were down.

Buffalo with his two bird companions.

It was time to leave the park for the night and we got stuck in a buffalo jam. They were just hanging out in the middle of the road. As soon as this group decided to move more flowed on. It took at least 20 minutes for all of them to move on. We had to drive to our camp site after dark, something you don't do in Africa, to many road hazards.

Elephant - This was the biggest elephant we have seen in all of Africa. He was larger then the van. We spotted him walking down the road very fast straight at us. He was not moving to the side of the road. Lucky for us there was a dirt road to turn on to. The car behind us began moving in reverse very fast. 

View of Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park