Friday, 21 July 2017

Whales and Perfect Winter Weather

Wednesday 19 June

The Hungry Hikers took the 9am car ferry to Stradbroke Island on Wednesday morning. A 20 minute drive had us in the carpark at Point Lookout. In Brisbane, blustery, cold westerly winds had everyone complaining and grabbing their winter woolies.

View a short distance from the carpark.

It only took us 10 minutes to find this this protected clifftop and set ourselves up for a wonderful day of whale, dolphin, turtle and stingray watching.

The action commenced almost immediately.

We weren't the only ones looking to the horizon.

This humpback and calf, lazily drifted passed below us.

A splash of red in contrast to the magnificent sea blue, at day's end.

Thursday 20 June

It was an early rise for The Gaiter Girls, with our 6.45 departure for our 2 hour drive to Lennox Heads, NSW.

Not to be outdone, dusk and sunset were at their best.

Skennars Head - a short, metal stepped climb, brings one through a lovely glade of trees to this view. Today the whales were further out to sea, but spotting a spray, spume of water or tail lifting, still brought excited shouts of 'over there' or 'LOOK!'

We were slow to get the hiking going. How could it be otherwise, with this glorious coastline to view, and the whales, and the dolphins!

Our 'Little People' making the most of the beach and sunshine.

Lunch view.

On reaching Ballina, we took an Uber two thirds of the way back to the carpark, because of time constraints to the day.

Beginning to retrace our steps.

Life can't be much better than this!

Celebrations with friends on their Main Beach, balcony unit, Southport, was a fitting finale to a wonderful day in our great 'winter', outdoors. 
The above sunset shots were viewed from here.

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Monday, 17 July 2017

Mt Rigi and Lake Lucerne

Wednesday 31st May, 201


The River Reuss, an outflow from Lake Lucerne.

Iconic Lucerne - the photo taken on my early morning croissant run.

Our base in the old city of Lucerne allowed us to Visit Mt Pilatus [2128m and seen above] on the day of our arrival, using our very economic, Swiss Rail Pass.

Mt Rigi - 1798m,  now awaited - ferry ride across Lake Lucerne to Vitznau, then a steep cog rail to the top. As we approached our ferry stop, most of the mountain was hidden in thick fog, but as our train climbed towards Rigi, we had clear views back over the lake.

It was to be a day of photo overload. Be warned.

It was also another day when the clouds played their tricks, but I wouldn't have wanted it to be any other way. It would have been a different story if they had totally hidden these glorious views.

Unknown to me as I took this shot,  we were to hike down this road [arrow] much later in the day, to the station of  Klosterie, to catch yet another amazing cog train down to the town of Goldeau, near Lake Zugersee.

I went to google maps to check the name of  'Goldeau' and this screen shot resulted. Pink is our train journeys and red our 10km hike.

Progress was slow with the vistas and wildflowers.

Lunch time.

As we sat, the fog lifted for the remainder of the day.

These are the cows grazing by the barn, in the above photo.

Looking back to where we had been at Mt Rigi.

Here we are on the road, seen across the valley in the morning.

We were about 500 m above the Klosterie Station, when we had to stop to let our train pass. There was no way we were able to run to catch it. 
Consolation prize!

Final leg down to Goldeau and the train back to Lucerne, along Lake Zugersee.

Lake Lucerne

The following day [day 3 in Lucerne], we took the train and chairlifts to Mt Titlus, but that story will be in the next post. Day 4 my husband's cough had become particularly worrisome. A google search discovered a medical surgery at the railway station complex. The service was excellent. He fronted up at 7 am and was back at the hotel by 8am. Consultation, blood tests and prescriptions all in the one centre. In a cost comparison to Australia, we were suitably impressed as Switzerland is very expensive. It was a relief to know that he had a virus and not bronchitis, which had been a major issue on a previous holiday in Slovenia. 
The decision was made to have a relaxed day. This is where our Swiss Rail Pass was so valuable. We were able to take an approx 3 hour ferry along Lake Lucerne to Fluelen and then return by train to Lucerne. 

A slightly dull start to the day, as we departed Lucerne, but magnificent snowcapped mountains to gaze upon.



Tiny hamlets

At times I felt I was back in the Norwegian fiords. 

High, dramatic cliff faces.

In the left hand photo, are you able to spot the farmhouse, more easily seen in the right hand pics. Love my zoom lens.

There's a road or railway line in there!

On the opposite shoreline, was the railway line we would take back to Lucerne.

Our lovely ferry boat at Fluelen.

A church in Fluelen, where we strolled after getting off the boat.

Fluelen Railway Station views.

Heading back on the train.

A delicious meal on our roof top balcony, was the perfect way to complete another sensational day.

When you plan a holiday especially in Europe, you have mental images of what you are going to see, based on travel programs that always seem to have perfect weather. I never dare to hope that I will get to see it as thus portrayed. So far on this holiday, the weather had been unbelievably kind and my heart sang and my camera clicked!

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