Following a weekend exploring Christchurch, Methven and Ashburton I drove from Christchurch to Wanaka. Direct driving time for the 430km trip is just over five hours, but in reality it takes all day. Starting out from Christchurch right on 9am, I first stopped at the Cookie Time factory which is located on the outskirts of the city.
Cookie Time Factory
Having bought far more cookies than I will care to admit, I then continued down State Highway One to Geraldine. At Geraldine I turned inland and headed towards the Southern Alps and Lake Tekapo.
State Highway 8 Before Tekapo
Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo
From Lake Tekapo, I then continued along State Highway Eight until descending into Lake Pukaki. The full beauty of Lake Pukaki cannot be stated in words or captured in photographs. Across the far side of the Lake rises New Zealand’s highest mountain, Mount Cook. The whole lake is surrounded by mountains and on the edge of the lake was a fresh salmon sashimi cafe where I had lunch. Continue reading →
After spending an afternoon exploring Christchurch I met a friend at Christchurch airport and drove to Methven for the night. The following morning I slept in and was woken by housekeeping (they were stunned that people were still sleeping on such a beautiful day).
In mid-September I went to New Zealand for ten days for a short holiday. The trip began with a flight from Sydney to Christchurch. This was the first time I’ve visited Christchurch since 2009. After landing, collecting my bags and picking up a rental car I drove into the central city. As I drove through the suburbs I didn’t see any damage from the various earthquakes that have rocked the city over the last five years. However, once I got into the CBD I was surprised by the extent of the still visible damage and empty streets. The rebuilding has produced a number of impressive new buildings but there is still much more to be rebuilt – and even buildings left to be torn down. Below are a few photos taken around the city.
Yesterday’s 2016 Malaysian Formula One GP was one of the best (if not the best) races of this year’s F1 season.
As a big fan of Daniel Ricciardo I’m extremely happy that he won the race, but that isn’t the sole reason why I think this race was excellent.
In no particular order these are the things that made it great:
Nico Rosberg fighting back from 21st place to 3rd place. He was extremely lucky not to be out of the race on the first corner, lucky again not to have any damage, and furthermore he was lucky to not damage his car when he hit Kimi Räikkönen.
Red Bull splitting strategies to put Lewis Hamilton under pressure. At first I was annoyed that Max Verstappen was given the pit stop and not Ricciardo but it was a risk that the stop was too early and the tires wouldn’t last later in the race.
Red Bull allowing Ricciardo and Verstappen to race each other, and they raced very hard and very fair. As it turned out by Ricciardo not allowing Verstappen past it determined the outcome of the race.
Additionally, by double stacking both Red Bulls under the Virtual Safety Car and giving them fresh rubber gave them an almost equal fight to the flag.
Both McLaren Honda cars in the top 10, in the last few races they have massively improved their performance.
Jolyon Palmer scoring his first points in F1.
The video below captures the battle between Ricciardo and Verstappen and then the moment that Hamilton’s engine gave up.
In late August I went to the Friday practice sessions of the 2016 round of the Supercars at Sydney Motorsport Park. The support classes for this event were top notch. In particular the Carrera Cup Asia and the Toyota 86 categories were great to watch.
The photos below are from a variety of the categories that day.
A few months ago I took my camera on a walk from Surry Hills down to the harbour during Vivid Sydney. Below are some of the sights that I saw, and not all of them are Vivid Sydney related, Sydney is a beautiful city that glitters under lights.
My final day in Germany began by being woken to the sound of Worms Cathedral’s bells tolling. After taking a shower in the freezing bathroom of my hotel room (it was more of a B&B) I carefully packed my suitcase and carry-on backpack for one final day of adventure and then the long journey back to Sydney.
Once I had finished breakfast I rugged up as it was a very cold morning and walked through the pedestrian mall of Worms back to the Worms’ Hauptbahnhof to catch a train to Frankfurt. As I walked I discovered a plaque noting the place where Luther had lived during the Diet of Worms.
To get to Frankfurt I had to catch a local service from Worms back to Mainz and then switch to a S-Bahn service. Although the local trains are “relatively” slow I had a good view of the vineyards that make the Rhine area so famous. I switched trains at Mainz’s Römisches Theater station, unfortunately the transfer time between the two trains was around 2 minutes so I did not have time to take a photo of the ruins of the Roman Theatre that the station is built beside.
The Technik Museum Speyer was the biggest surprise of my trip. As stated in my previous post I had not heard about the town of Speyer until the previous evening and I went there on a whim. Visiting the museum was then a last minute decision as I had a few hours spare.
The museum is very large and has an amazing collection of planes, trains and automobiles from all areas of the globe. Seeing the Buran Space Shuttle alone would have satisfied me but also walking through a Boeing 747, Antonov 22 and German U-Boat made this museum the best I’ve ever been to – better than Kennedy Space Center.
I need to return and spend a full day here as I didn’t see everything and I now also want to visit the nearby sister Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim. Continue reading →