|THE SWEDISH KAILLS|
Anne and Bob's 2009-20 trip to Australia
Dec 28 - jan
Saturday, Dec. 28 - We boarded a plane at Landvetter to begin our 30 hour journey to Australia.
Monday, Dec. 30 - After a second thorough security control in Shanghai, China and another 11 hour flight we landed in Melbourne where Blake picked us up and drove us to Ballarat. This first day Dale and Blake showed us around Ballarat's beautiful Botanical garden in 39 degree heat. (Dale and Blake were managers of Australia's team to the 1989 World Orienteering Championships.)
Tuesday, Dec. 31 - The weather was a pleasant 23 degrees today, as we walked around part of a permanent orienteering course in Daylesford before visiting a sculpture garden Overwrought where there were several hundred metal sculptures of various sizes. I bought a couple of small birds to fly on our balcony at home.
Wednesday, Jan. 1 - Today we got to try a map run when there were no control markers at the control points, but our telephone tutted to tell us that they were in the correct location.
Then in the afternoon we were driven to Melbourne to sleep in an hotel for a few hours before our early flight to Sydney.
Thursday, Jan. 2 - After 3 days of being treated like royalty by The Gordons, we got picked by Jock at the Sydney Airport, and the Davis family continued the royalty service. (We first met Jock when he was a member of the Australian orienteering team to the 1989 World Championships.)
Friday, Jan 3 - We started out the day by taking the train to central Sydney, where besides buying some presents to take home, we went through the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Later we accompanied the Davis to their beach house, where we "ran" (actually jogged and/or walked) back and forth on the beautiful 2 km Avoca beach.
Saturday, Sunday, Jan 4,5 - Two days of sun (up to 38 degrees) and water and good company (Jock, Nicky and Callum.)
Fortunately, although we did see a little smoke, the forest fires were far enough away that they were of no danger to us.
Monday, Tuesday, Jan 6,7 - Another two days of good weather. We're now being looked after by Mark and Anne. Amazing how we've been so lucky to have so many good friends.
Mark's taking a few says off from fighting the fierce fires that are going on not far from here. The temperature has dropped a bit and a few drops of rain have come. Although they still have no hope of putting out the fires in the near future, this slightly cooler weather gives the fire fighters a bit of rest before the temperatures are expected to go back up near 40 degrees.
Wednesday, Jan 8 - Today, they say, is a cool day as it hardly went over 30 degrees. The major project today was watching a large Eucalyptus being cut down and other people moving the pieces while I stood back with the camera.
Thursday, Jan 9 - Today, we went to the Blue Mountains and drove by a number of areas where fires have gone through during the last month. It was clear that Australian fires are somewhat different than I expected. They leave most of the trees still standing, while all tops are mostly all burned away. The main forest takes all the underbrush and the thick piles of leaves that cover most of the forest floor. The fires usually sweep quickly through an area often generating extremely high heat.
In the Blue mountains we saw among other things the Three Ladies which you can see in two of the pictures to the right.
Of course a main part of Anne's birthday present was the Elton John concert that went in the evening. Elton was on stage for almost three hours performing a large variety of his songs. (I can't write "singing" because he dis so much more. He really is a performer.) At the ending of the program he came back out for his last songs in a bathrobe ready for bed?
At 72 years of age, he says that this is his last tour, although he still intends to continue writing music and singing, but only performing close to home.
Friday, Jan 10 - After a number of days of being well taken care of by the Darvodelskys, Mark got up early to drive us to the Sydney airport at 5 a.m.
At 7:30 we arrived in Brisbane where Rod picked us up and drove us to his home on Bribie Island where he and Glenda kept us well entertained and fed.
Rod and I had been competitors at the 1972 world championships in Czechoslovakia after which he he came home for a short visit with me in Sweden. The Dominishes have named their new home with a sign we had bought for them the previous time we were here in 2009.
Saturday, Jan 11 - We spent part of the day at a local market with a lot of interesting crafts. Earlier Anne and Rod had a run. I also had a short jog and any of my athletes can see that I practice what I preach as I was training in the over 30 degree weather with my training clothes on!
Then Rod drove us into Brisbane were we had Pizza with a family we contacted through Mensa's SIGHT program. The Mensa member in the family is 12 year old Michael and entertained with some piano playing among other things. As usual, we were well cared for.
Monday, Jan 13 - We're no sitting at the Amsterdam airport waiting for the flight to Landvetter where we have our car to drive home. As you see from the date Jan 12 has just disappeared. We left the Laus at about 8 a.m. on Jan 12 and will be att home at about 14:30 today after a trip of about 42 hours.
The wall painting to the left (5-6 meters high) in downtown Sydney really looked like you could walk up the alley!!
Some very unusual rock formations (pictures to the left) were just to the north of the beach. There were basically three colours of rock, medium brown, gray, and a rusty colour. The grays were of unusual forms, usually with what looked like a metal forms around them, reminiscent of old cement gun emplacements in Europe. I found out that the brown rock was , the gray rock was and the rusty rock was which often formed what looked like forms around the gray rock through a process of
to the left you see there house with sign as well as a couple of kangaroes behind their house: a mother with her young