Monday, September 16, 2019

Cliffs of Moher and Galway


Here we are in Limerick for a little sightseeing. King John's Castle across the River Shannon. We learnt about the Siege of Limerick, but it went in one ear and out the other.

The Thomond Bridge built in 1840 is just wonderful. I am not sure if it was here where 'the incident' occurred but there was a narrow single lane bridge and I crossed the street behind a stationary car waiting for a car to cross the single lane bridge when the driver decided he hadn't left enough space for the car crossing the bridge, so he reversed without checking and backed into me. It wasn't a hard hit but I did jump out of the way very quickly.

Drumcliff Church. What is of interest here?

It is the grave of poet W. B. Yeats. While he was buried in France, he was exhumed and reburied in Ireland. I am sure it is a great story, so on yer bikes and find our why for yourself.

The Cliffs of Moher.

Sentry point maybe.

This is looking interesting.

Oh wow. 300 metres of towering cliffs.

A dry stone fence in need of a little repair. Note the wind bent trees in the distance.

We journeyed on to Galway, home of great cafes, oysters, music venues and more, so the blurb reads. We cruised on Lough Corrib.  So far so good.

There were things to see and a commentary.

Ivy can be great fun, but you should never allow her to get away from you.

Yes it p..........precipitated down but in the UK, you try not to let that worry you too much. Only once did rain spoil something for us, yet to come, and with hindsight, we were pleased it did.

A talented performance and then demonstration of Irish coffee making. I disagreed with the Irish coffee making method. It was just luck that I had this lass with her feet off the floor. 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Boring Australia

Journalist Chris Uhlmann wrote a piece that I found a bit interesting about Australian politics has become a little boring and that is just how we like it in Australia. I am not sure that our politics have particularly become boring, but I take his point. Boring politics makes for a content population. It's a little different to a few years ago when we had revolving door Prime Ministers.

A federal election has been called in Canada and from my reading the re-election of the charismatic Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's party is no sure thing. For someone who was described as a pretty pin up boy, he hasn't done half bad as Prime Minister and has garnered respect around the world, if not at home.

Time to insert my favourite gratuitous photo of the ever so hot Jussy. Ok, I couldn't decide which so here are two. Whisper some French into my ear Jussy. Have you heard of how some straight guys like to tease gay guys? Je ne dis rien à propos d'un dirigeant français marié.

Anyway, Canada is very politically stable too. The US, well not so much and we won't even mention the disaster zone that sadly Hong Kong had become. Nice work, China.

But oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Boris, Brexit and Britain it, being once a model for democracy.

By the time we left Britain even I was feeling stressed about the future for Britain and very fed up with the constant tv coverage that was saying nothing at all. It is so difficult to watch the turmoil happening there and I am sure many people must be quite stressed and worried. What an absolute disaster but how will it play out?

Buffoon Boris is a cultivated image. He is undoubtedly extremely clever and has good political skills. I think the EU may become a little more accommodating. EU countries also have a lot to lose without a Brexit deal.

In the meantime, like other democratic countries where political parties can't form a government, people are just going on about their business but there must be fear and worry by many.

As the old Chinese curse goes, may you live in interesting times.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Ring of Kerry Pt 2

While I loved the Scottish Highlands, yet to come, the Irish coast was just sublime for scenery. Photos today without too much writing, perhaps because I really don't remember it all so well as we saw so much in one day, the three European countries in one day syndrome.

Our coach, still with non working usb plugs down one side despite our terrific driver's attempt to fix them, but it was otherwise quite good. The air conditioning warmed and cooled us very appropriately.

Apparently de Gaulle stayed for a holiday here in Sneem, County Kerry, after he lost office in 1969.

Somewhere latish in the day we were in a cart behind behind a horse heading to nowhere, but it was nice.

R's hair is very grey now. What happened to the sexy slim blond man I met 40 years ago? Ah, well, what has happened to me.

Nice little scene.

ABC, another bloody church/cathedral/castle.

Don't do it girlfriend!

Too late.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Trams in Sydney

We won't mention today's date and day will we.

Sydney had the second largest tram system in the world, behind London. Train lines were slower to develop in Sydney than in Melbourne and hence trams were much more depended upon in Sydney. Like so many places, but unlike Melbourne, by 1961 the system had been completed closed down, trams being replaced by double deck buses. Patronage fell significantly with the replacement buses.

In 1997 a new line was opened with most of its path utilising the old Darling Harbour goods train line. Its terminus was Wentworth Park, later extended to Lilyfield and extended in 2014 to Dulwich Hill.

If ever there was a case of build it and they will come, this is one, much aided by apartment developments along its route. Hmm, public money builds the the line and developers profit from it. Something wrong there. Where is the developers' contribution? The line is now badly overcrowded at times. The service interval is not great and in the opinion of many public transport experienced people, badly run and managed, but by a private company of course.

Now another new line has been built and while it is a terrific concept and the route good, its construction had been an absolute debacle. Businesses have been sent broke. The budget more than blew out, it exploded. Contractors and the government have been in court against each other. The completion date extended and extended until no one was game to put a date on its completion, although it is believed most of it will open in December this year,with the final branch a few months into next year.

Rather exciting really and I hope it is better run and managed than the earlier mentioned Inner West Light Rail. You can be sure the next time we visit Sydney, a ride will be on our list. If you are a little familiar with Sydney, the tram/light rail (Sydney people are tying themselves in knots about what it is) will run from the ferry terminal Circular Quay along George Street using power from a source built into ground, like a third rail but not quite as that would be too dangerous, to Central Station and then south east through the densely populated inner suburbs to Randwick and later Kingsford. It will be more comfortable for public transport users than buses, but it needs to be faster than the buses are now.

Are you wondering what the old Sydney tram system was like? Oh, you are not. Never mind. These videos are very short and you can't help but be impressed by how they moved massive numbers of people. I have published these videos before, but it was a good while ago.

This is the intersection of Broadway, George Street, Harris Street and Regent Street. Note the lad preoccupied by the new fangled camera device.

I think this is the intersection of Anzac Parade and Oxford Street on a race day at Randwick, or could be South Dowling Street and Oxford Street. Police give trams clearance as trams are what are carrying the most people.

This is after the horse racing at Randwick, in what would now be a public insurance company's nightmare. But wow, how efficient is the moving of so many people. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Ring of Kerry Pt 1

Kerry is a county in Ireland and I guess that we toured the Ring of Kerry means we went in kind of a circle around the county. Later: The Ring of Kerry is actually a road. The photos may not be in order as they are a combination of two phones and a camera and R did not change the time on his and my camera although correctly set, seemed to get it wrong too. It was an absolutely terrific day, perhaps they best we had overall.

Did R sample a Guiness in the morning? Advertising works. He grew rather fond of it.

Pretty. What bird is that?

An Irish wolfhound, the tallest dog in the world. It looks rather sad (hangdog?) but I hope it isn't.

The village was quite interesting.

His father had a dog on an Irish donkey and his father made of fortune from tourists of hundreds of thousands of pounds but lived in poverty. Why is the son doing it? Maybe he enjoys it or maybe unpaid and death taxes took the fortune. 

Pretty spot, for sure, for sure.

Beautiful scenery left right and centre.

We stopped for about half an hour to see a sheep dog demonstration which was brilliant. There were three or four breeds of sheep, one Irish bred and the dogs brought them up close and despatched them with a minimum of fuss.

There is sand, but you have to get to it first.

What is a statue of Charlie Chaplin (better link him as my flock of young readers won't know who he is) doing in Waterville, County Kerry, Ireland? He used to like to holiday in this rather attractive Irish seaside town.

Sorry, no speaka da Gaelic.