Day 10 – Great Smoky Mountain National Park

We plan for an 8.30 hotel leave for the Smoky Mountains. So we struggle out of bed at 9.00 for breakfast…

We try to grab lunch early but get stuck in road works. It looks like they are rebuilding the whole town. Cherokee is an indian reservations so maybe that explains the 20 storey casino hotel that fits in the small town as well as Bugs Bunny fits in Disney.

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Day 9 – To the Smoky Mountains

We have a long almost six hour drive today so we grab a quick breakfast while watching the news. There’s been a mass suicide at a “cult-like” church, kidnapping of a young kid and a gunman shot out with the police. The “funny” story is a man who robs a shop at gun point – he’s wearing a pink dress. Is the news always like this?

We drive through Savannah, take a few shots but don’t stop but head out on a ridiculously large suspension bridge which dwarfs Savannah and is as long as the city is wide.

We will now spend almost the entire drive on Interstate highways. We normally try to avoid them but the distance means we can’t afford the additional drive time.

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Day 8 From Disney to Roadtrip

Time to pack. We seem to have a ridiculous collection of souvenirs, probably need an extra bag at airport, and there’s still two weeks left. Disney delivered a receipt for the charges to the room during the night, so if it’s all correct we can skip check-out. It is.

We start throwing things in bags bit it gets boring fast so we meet back up with a friend for breakfast at the main lobby. Afterwards we decide to go for a short walk to stretch the legs before the long car journey and it gives us an opportunity to explore the resort.

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Day 2 – on route to Orlando

Up early for a refreshing swim in my own pool, at least while everyone else is asleep. The sky is clear but for a few wispy clouds, the heated pool feels great as I lie back and stare up at nothing.

Breakfast is cheap but expensive (I almost throw up when I open some out of date milk). And then it’s time to pack everything up and our first major drive, this time northward towards Orlando.

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Day 1: Miami – Fort Lauderdale

Arrived at airport right on time, but was told “No free upgrades now, even for birthdays.”, seems like everyone wants to make a few more pennies.

Flight was quite rough – swear we dropped several meters in the plane at one point – and it took longer than expected as there were numerous storms we had to avoid. And then during the landing an unexpected shower storm meant the pilot lost visuals with the runway and had to abort the landing attempt – which was fun! Still, Sheila had pre-purchased some champagne and had a few birthday cards, so that really was good.

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Road trip “Expedition”

They say the difference between a holiday and an expedition is that you record an expedition. And that’s exactly what I’ll be attempting to do on our “expedition” around south East America; visiting Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and maybe a little Tennessee.

You can see how the route plans out in the following high resolution satellite detailed route mapping overly: it’s a photo of a map with some pins in. The green pins point the direction and the other whiteish “things” show the stops:

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Top road trip tips

My girlfriend and I are just planning our next road trip so this is an ideal time to go back over some of the tips we wrote down during our last holiday.

Last years road trip was on the south west coast of the US – California, Arizona, et cetera. These states consist mostly of large stretches of desert and consequently some of the tips stem directly from this, most though are of a more general nature and should be useful in all road trip climates.

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South West US Road trip

Monument valley drive

Just back from my 18 day road trip around the south west of the US. A most enjoyable adventure.

We drove across six states in total: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Nevada; on a 3000 mile circle (well oval) route which took in the Mohaje Desert, Route 66, Meteor Crater, Sunset Crater, the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Lake Mead, Mesa Verde, Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

There’s a small selection of images here, which were added on route. There’s many, many, more which haven’t yet been uploaded but that will no doubt be done soon. UPDATE: I’ve uploaded a lot more photos now – all geotagged… still loads left though!

Seven wonders of the WHOLE world.

Take your pick of the wonders of the world, and pick some of the most famous landmarks in the world.

To make it easier to pick, try this: does it make you think: Wow! How? Why?

This probably tells you a lot about me but I went for:

Acropolis – Old figure of civilisation
Easter island figures – mysterious people alone on a island
Great wall – Huge effort to build the structure
Hagia Sophia – An impressive temple now museum
Neuschwanstien Castle – A real fantasy castle
Stonehenge – Ancient, mysterious, amazing.
Taj Mahal – An impressive statement.

Choose wisely!

My week off

I finally decided that it was time to take a week off work so that’s what I did.

I was lucky enough to get an offer of accomodation in the centre of Vienna, Austria, so I spent a long weekend going around Vienna with some friends. I highly recommend a visit to Vienna as it was such a great city, don’t forget to visit the palace.

Here’s some photos and videos of my visit:

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Also, Sharon and I made our way to Bath, England and went around the Roman Baths there. The place is also impressive, and I’d recommend the audio tour around the place. There’s some photos and videos here:

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Roman Baths

Make sure you check out the video, where you can see the steam coming from the waters. (Oh, and just so you now, in roman times the water was crystal clear. (It’s green now because sunlight encourages algea to grow in it, 2000 years ago the bath was originally undercover)

A couple of days later we visited, Longleat, which is a large stately house in a huge grounds, which includes many attractions like a whole safarii and a massive hedge maze. The safarii you drive through also has many monkeys that climb on and pull apart your car! Check out the pictures and videos here:

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Incidentally, all these photos and videos where taken on my Nokia N93, for a review on the picture quality just follow the links above. EDIT: I’ve just realised the movies have been reduced in quality by webshots so I’ll try to copy the originals to my own website. Dammit.