Monday, 31 January 2011

A few of my favourite (technological) things

(by the way, typing that title totally made me sing the Sound of Music song in my head...)

Technology. It is something you can't really escape from these days. These are a few of my favourite technological things that I have: (in no particular order)

  • My computer: before leaving Australia, I sold my laptop to my sister. I didn't really think I was going to need it over here, and I didn't want to have to worry about it when I was travelling. When I got to my first job after my tour was over, where I was living didn't have a TV (I still don't have one, but that's another story). At the end of the first week, I was down at Curry's (an electrical goods store) picking out my netbook.....which has turned into a bit of a lifeline for me: a place to store music, photos, and to use the internet to connect with the world.
  • The World Wide Web: can something that you can't really see be included on a list of things? Well I'm going to regardless......the internet allows me to keep in touch with friends and family, as well as plan my future travels
  • Skype: as independent as I like to think I am, I'm close to my family and miss them a lot. My mum and sister came over to visit for a month last year, and one of the best parts of that time was getting to see them 'in the flesh' every day. In the absence of any planned long distance trips (me going home or family coming here) or someone inventing instant teleportation, Skype is a pretty good substitute
  • Camera: this one's easy - it allows me to record what I'm seeing and experiencing, to then be able to share with others. With the amount of photos I've taken since arriving in England, I'm glad I've got a digital camera, not a film one....*shudders at the imaginary cost of the film* I'd love to get an SLR camera, but for now I think my point-and-shoot will do the job
  • Mobile phone: where I currently live, I don't have a landline phone. Hence, my mobile is the only way for people to contact me by phone. Plus, text messages between my sister and I are a lot cheaper (and easier) than trying to make phone calls.
  • E-book reader: people who know me, know I love to read. (the 5 or so boxes of books I left packed up back in Australia just reinforces that). I have absolutely none limited space for storing books where I live, plus they've become a bit awkward to pack and carry when I travel. Therefore, I ended up buying an e-reader just before Christmas. I haven't had it very long, but already really really really like it.
  • iPod: I honestly can't imagine not having one (or some form of MP3 player). Long bus/train trips would be a different experience without it, I think.
  • Adapter plugs: lets me use my gadgets from home without having to get totally new plugs.
So that's my list. As much as I whine and complain when something stops working (two weeks without a computer, and no TV springs to mind......) I can't imagine my life without these technological things in it.

What about everyone else? What are some of your favourite technological things?

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Story behind the photo - Nice, Monaco and Cannes

This photo is taken overlooking Monaco. You can see the stands for the Grand Prix - I think it had finished before we arrived. After a couple of nights in Lucerne, we left Switzerland, had lunch in Italy (service station stop), arrived in Nice (France) in the afternoon, then had dinner in Monaco. Four countries in one day - pretty incredible to a girl who was used to driving for a day and still being in the same state!

While in Monaco, the overwhelming sense you got was that money, while not necessarily everything, means a lot. One thing I saw that still sticks in my mind is watching a couple come out of the Grand Casino. Their car was driven by the valet approximately 5 metres from where it was parked to where they were standing, and then they got in. I think it was seeing that, more than anything else, that made me realise there's a whole other world out there.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Story behind the photo - Lucerne

This is a photograph of the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne. It is the oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe, and spans the river in Lucerne. Parts of the bridge were destroyed in the 1990's following a fire. We had one day to spend in Lucerne, after visiting Mt Pilatus earlier in the day, we had free time to explore the city. Some of the tour group did an optional lunch, a couple of friends and I walked across the bridge while we were exploring the city, on our way to climb part of the city walls.

(and later get caught in a massive heavy hailstorm, but that's another story.....)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Story behind the photo - Paris

The tour my friends and I did when we first arrived in Europe took us through 8 countries in 3 weeks. The first stop was Paris, where we had a day to ourselves to explore the city. This photo was taken inside the amazing museum. We only had enough time to see the Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa, this photo of part of the ceiling was snapped as we power-walked our way between the two pieces of art we had come to see.

A word of advice if you are ever visiting.....pick and choose what you want to see. And get a map. (even with the map, be prepared to get a bit lost)

Friday, 14 January 2011

I really love all her music, but for the last couple of days, I just cannot stop singing this song:

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Story behind the photo - London

Since moving over here, I've taken a LOT of photos. I have no idea of the number, but I'm fairly sure it would number in the thousands.

In an attempt to record some of the things that I've seen (and hopefully not forget what all my photos were of), I'm going to do a Story behind the photo post each week. I have my photos sorted into folders by location, and the folders are in date order on my computer. So, I'm going to work my way through one folder each week, select a photo (using this website), post it, and write what I remember about it.

Without any further ado.....

I had to really think what this is actually a photo of. When my friends and I arrived in London (at about 7 in the morning), we checked into the hotel we were staying at, wandered the area, and did a double-decker bus tour of London. There are a couple of companies that do them (as far as I know they cover a very similar route), we went with The Original Tour. This photo (I'm almost 100% fairly kind of sure) was taken as we were driving past Buckingham Palace. It doesn't look like much.....I'm sure I had a reason for taking it at the time. I do know, it wasn't until several months later, that I discovered you could actually tour part of Buckingham Palace in the summer months....

Monday, 3 January 2011

Travel Wish List

The longer I spend living in Europe, the greater my list of places I want to travel to becomes. If time and money were no object, here is the list (in no particular order)

1. Gallipoli for Anzac Day (this should happen this year, was meant to go last year but the ash cloud got in the way)

2. Iceland

3. Giants Causeway  completed! visited 13/2/11

4. Jacobite Steam Railway

5. Edinburgh (to see the military tattoo again)

6. Spain (probably Madrid and/or Barcelona, but anywhere in Spain would be good)

7. Normandy/D-day area of France

8. Switzerland (not sure where, have visited Lucerne before but would like to see more)

9. Portugal

10. Germany for Christmas markets (probably Nuremburg)

11. Norway

12. Sweden

13. Finland

14. more of Belgium (have already visited Brussels)

15. Southwest England (Cornwall/Devon)

16. Cinque Terre area of Italy

17. Sorrento and Capri

18. Pompeii

Let's see how far I get through the list in 2011....