Sharing the pictures and adventures we will experience on our trip to Italy

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Monday, April 14, 2008

The pictures

While I don't have it perfected, I have posted a few pictures on the next few posts. I hope you enjoy them. There are so many more where they came from, it was very hard to choose. 

Walking the beach in Okinawa

Another fabulous ocean view

Dinner at Jam in Okinawa

Oops! sideways view in Pineapple Park

A few more

Sitting on the hot seats

The passing scenery

Geothermal activity

Shopping on Kokosai street in Okinawa

More pictures

Heading into the gorge.

Sydney Opera House and the bridge.

A rainbow in New Zealand.

The majesty of Milford Sound.

Finally, the pictures

It is 4:30 am on Monday and it seems that body clocks don't re-set very quickly, even with the help of a sleeping pill so I thought I would post some of the pictures from our grand adventure. I'm happy to tell you that the mystery of my missing pictures was solved. They reappeared when I downloaded them all onto my computer. What a relief. I hope you enjoy the ones I'm sharing. It was hard to pick since there must be well over a thousand pictures to choose from. 

The first is one of the many photos taken at the Great Barrier Reef. There were so many different fish.
The koala was in the rain forest in Kuranda. And the last was as we walked into the gorge in the Ayers Rock area.

I will attempt to add a few more. It seems there is a limit to the number you can add. 


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Home at Last - well almost!

Watching the sun rise on the horizon as we headed east to Philadelphia was certainly a thrill after a 24 hour journey which started in Okinawa at 7:30 pm on Saturday night. We were very sad to leave Lucky but it was nice to know we were headed home. It was an indication of how far we have been traveling when we went through security and the agent asked me if there were coins in my purse. Once I started to remove them I wasn't finished until I had 5 coin purses/wallets laying on the tray. He just smiled and kept putting them through the x-ray machine. After we got through security we used up our last change to buy one more souvenir.

We had good flights through Taipei and San Francisco and breezed through customs to make our last connecting flight to Philadelphia. We were surprised to be able to buy "Kirkland" water (from Costco?) in Taipei. A man in the concessions area pointed that out to us. It turns out he was from Phoenix whose mother lived in Erie, PA. Another example of our small world. He was traveling from Malaysia and gave each of us a Malaysian dollar to add to our currency collection. 

Our seats were not together on that flight and Felicity felt like she was sitting next to Will Farrell's brother who proceeded to spill hot coffee on her and also ran through the airport like Will Farrell. In my row there was a woman from Vietnam who couldn't tell the flight attendants her address in San Francisco and only had a resident alien card. If it weren't for the sleeping pills we each had taken we might have stayed awake to watch the human drama around us. There is always something to see. 

We arrived without incident in Philadelphia. Laura picked us up and delivered us safely to my house. Dan and Carol came down from Harrisburg to take Felicity part of the way home. Now we begin our recovery from jet lag and taking care of all at home. 

Once I have things organized I will post a few of the best pictures on this blog. Hopefully by tomorrow.  Thanks to all for all your good wishes while we were away. We loved sharing our adventures with you and look forward to sharing pictures on this blog and in person. 

Take care and enjoy any travels you may take.

Friday, April 11, 2008

On the Beach

No, this is not the Nevil Shute novel. This is on the beach in Okinawa. We got up this morning, our last day, and took a ride to the beach, not far from Lucky's house. We stopped at a new Starbucks, just opened,

and bought coffee and tea and muffins to take down to the beach. We sat and enjoyed the view while we ate our breakfast. Out in the water there were volcanic rock formations, one which looked like it could topple over any minute.

After breakfast we walked up the beach, searching for sea glass. The sand is mostly pulverized coral and some areas looked a bit like bones. In one area we saw a whole mess of hermit crabs in the sand. They were scurrying to get under the rocks and away from the crazy Americans. There was also a man who was riding a horse and then training him in the water. We asked and he told us the horse's name was Ben!

We're back at Lucky's now and taking a little rest before showers and lunch. We plan to go back to the restaurant where we ate on the first day. Looking out on the East China Sea.

In about 30+ hours we'll be back in PA. Get ready for the stories.

This is the Felicity in the nancyandfelicity blog. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nancy for this wonderful blog.

Our last (full) day on the island

It is hard to believe that we have come to the final full day of our fabulous adventure. It seems like only yesterday... But actually right now Australia and New Zealand seem very far away. We have been having such a wonderful time here visiting Lucky and getting to know her neighborhood and some of her friends. Tonight we are heading out to a very closeby restaurant (Gordie's) for the best hamburgers on the island with a few of her friends.

We started our day with a trip to the post office on base to mail home some packages. The score was 3 for Felicity and 3 for Nancy. I quickly added to that number after a stop at the Officer's Wives Gift Shop. What great bargains and unique items. I felt it was the least I could do to help their worthy causes. One more box (yes, I was responsible for the additional box) with items from that visit was just dispatched this afternoon.

We made a few other stops around the local area. One to an ichebana shop to look at items to use at home for flower arranging. We were so impressed by the beautiful arrangements that Lucky has around her apartment. Another to an Asian Antique shop. They had some really unusual items, including shoes that were worn by Chinese women with bound feet. Very pretty but hard to look at since they are so very tiny. We also stopped for our first meal of soba noodles and pork. You would all be impressed how well we handle eating with chopsticks.

We leave tomorrow on China Air at 7:25 pm for Taipei - thankfully only a 3 hour layover and we're out of there by 11:30 pm. No overnight for us. That flight will take us to San Francisco - American soil here we come. Then another overnight flight to Philadelphia arriving about 6:45 am. If US Air handles our luggage okay we should be out of the airport by 8:00 am and on the way to my house. Keep your fingers crossed for the baggage handlers in PHL.

This has been an absolutely wonderful experience and we look forward to sharing more adventures and pictures with you when we get home. I will try to post a few pictures on this blog as soon as I get home.

Take care and we really will see you soon!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cultural Immersion of the best kind

Our cultural immersion in all things Japanese continued today as we went north on the island. Our first stop was at Yomitan Pottery which is "ichi-ban" - number one in Japanese. We arrived right before they opened and thought they were closed but luckily they arrived to see us staring longingly in the window and quickly opened the door for us. The pottery was beautiful with some very unique styles. You'll be glad to know we did exercise some restraint and only bought a few small things. That is good since tonight we are now packing a few small priority boxes to send home ahead of us.

The best kind of immersion was our second stop at the Cookie Factory. For those of you who have enjoyed visits to Costco or Whole Foods for the samples, this was even better than that. They had samples of every kind of cookie they made, many with the now favorite sweet potato flavor. Boy, did we have fun. And then we went back to the room that had the sake. Just one small taste with water was more than enough for any of us. We resisted buying another delicacy there - 4 packs of Spam. Lucky told us it is a favorite here since the battle of Okinawa when it was the food that kept them alive. We made a pit stop before getting back on the road and were delighted that along with their squatty potty they also had Western toilets. Just not adding that to our new experiences.

The ride along the coast road to our next stop was great since it was very windy today and the surf was covered with whitecaps. We did see a few surfers out in the surf even though they ran the risk of going right into the cement jacks which help to stop erosion. Our next stop was Pineapple Park. It has been described as Disneyworld meets Tokyo meets crack. Quite an apt description. We started with a ride on an automatic pineapple car - a golf cart with a pineapple on top that rides through the park and talks to you - describing the various trees and plants we were passing. Then it was on to the tasting room. And there were all things pineapple from wine to cookies to vinegar to chocolate and even some very good fresh pineapple. By the time we left we were pretty darn full.

And that was good since our ride to Pizza in the Sky or Kajin-Ho took quite a while. The road twisted and turned and turned back as we made our way to the top. It was made especially challenging as we were searching for the sign in Japanese. We decided the first letter looked like a man facing right and tossing an orange in the air while another man was facing him and aiming with a bow and arrow. Complicated but it worked and we were rewarded with fantastic pizza and a fabulour view of the East China Sea. And we even sat at the old ladies table which didn't have seats on the floor. Quite comfortable.

Our day wasn't over though since we were on the hunt for the Clinton house. Yes, that Clinton. It seems that in 2000 a wealthy Japanese man was so enthralled when he visited Hope, Arkansas that he came back and made an exact replica of the house. Again we were attempting to read the maps, a futile attempt but somehow we found it at the Kanucha Bay Resort. Unfortunately it has been turned into a day care and it wasn't open to the public. But we did take pictures of ourselves waving from the porch. And we did see more beautiful vistas of the Pacific Ocean.

Once again, we need to applaud Lucky for her good humor and patience in being our guide and not giving up when we just can't find something. We've had lots of laughs as we've made our way around the island and found new places to explore. We did see the perfect shirt for her. It said Local Tour Guide! Couldn't be more perfect.

You may not recognize us when we return. We are beginning to use our few Japanese words and figure that store clerks at home are just going to stare when we bow and thank them at every turn. The Japanese people are so incredibly polite. Today, Felicity thought she misplaced her camera (it was in her pocket) and Lucky said not to worry because if someone found it, she would get it right back. They are very honorable and honest people. It is so refreshing.

Sorry this has been so long. I think I'm realizing that we are almost finished our adventure and want to be sure I don't miss a thing. Arrigato for listening.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Economy (in Okinawa) takes an uptick

Today was a day for pampering and shopping. We started our day with manicures and pedicures for our travel-weary feet and hands. We had 2 lovely Japanese ladies give us pretty toes and fingers so we are set for the rest of the week. Lucky had set this up at the Beauty Shop at Camp Foster, yet another one of the bases here on Okinawa. We had already spent some time at Kadena which is where Lucky spends each day in the classroom.

After our time of pampering we walked around the BX and both of us found a great deal on Skagen watches. And the best part is there is no tax to pay either. We wandered around the other vendors there in the BX and considered a few Japanese items too. We plan to go back there again before we leave.

Then Lucky and Felicity indulged my need for more fabric and we went to the House of 66 which was having a sale today too. I have a plan to make a quilt of our travels. Felicity keeps reminding me that I have to stay home to do that. Hmmm. It has been quite interesting to hunt out fabric that is from each area we have visited.

The highlight of the day was our trip to the largest 100 Yen shop on the island. Yes, just like our Dollar Stores. We have both felt very rich as we are carrying and spending 1000's of yen each day. Wow. There were the usual items like our store but I have never seen a wall of chopsticks in any of our Dollar Stores. And of course the accompanying chopstick holders too. We both managed to keep our purchases under 5000 yen. With today's exchange rate that is $50.
On the way home, since we didn't have lunch, we had to treat ourselves to more Blue Seal Ben Imo or sweet potato soft ice cream. Don't they say that sweet potatoes are good for you?

We just got home from a wonderful dinner with a few of Lucky's friends. We met them at Jams which is about 30 minutes north of Lucky's apartment. It was a fun and delicious dinner where they cooked the food at the table. We enjoyed salmon and giant prawns along with some vegetables and rice. One of the new foods was goya which is a cucumber like prickly vegetable. Interesting taste. The food was delicious and the company was great fun. It was nice to add to our picture of Lucky's life here on Okinawa. Before we left we stopped in the lady's room which was also a sight to see. In each stall there was an aquarium. What an idea. Can you see that as an idea when toilet training your children?

We are having a great time here with Lucky. Hope you are all having a great time at home.

See you soon.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Okinawa here we are!

Today was our first full day in Okinawa and we had a great time. We took a ride south of Lucky's almost to the end of Okinawa to go to the Okinawa Memorial Peace Park. This is a memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives in the battle of Okinawa. This was the bloodiest battle of the Pacific War. There are many different tombs in the park and they also have walls with the names of those who died much like The Wall in DC. The one big difference though is that these walls contain the names of ALL who died. There are walls containing the names of victims from the US, Great Britain and Ireland as well as tne many walls filled with Japanese names. This park is dedicated to peace and there are quotes on different monuments in this peace with that theme. A beautiful and peaceful place.

We had quite an interesting drive down since it seems that their road signs are pretty quirky. We were traveling on one route that just stopped. It made navigation to the place we were going quite a challenge but gave us the chance to see a different side of Okinawa. We traveled part of the way along the coast and had wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean.

We came back north and went to Kokosai Street to do some shopping. This was a busy place. We wandered down a few of the alley ways (really streets) where there were vendors who have been there for many years. It was on a much larger scale than something like the Italian Market in Philadelphia (for those of you in Eastern PA). It was really fun to walk through and we did manage to find some things to buy. Pottery, fabric and special shopping bags to carry it all. And we also bought flip-flops at a 100 yen shop. A bargain that we can use tomorrow when we go on base for our manicures and pedicures. Yes, this part of the trip is filled with some pampering.

The best was when we went into one of the Japanese markets. Lots of fresh meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. Pig's feet, fish of every color, and some unknown (to us, at least) things from the ocean. One of the vendors offered us a taste of something we asked about but we declined. Better to do that than taste and spit. We also saw a whole pig's head and a puffer fish. Interesting. Our best new tastes of the day were sweet potato ice cream and sweet potato cookies. We saw Okinawa glass that is made right here in Okinawa.

On our way home we stopped for Thai food which was quite tasty. At least for the Japanese version of Thai food.

Another perk we have here is some normal TV programming. But it is evening and the Today show is on right now. A little confusing perhaps. Lucky has TV supplied by the Armed Forces Network. There are no regular commercials but rather all military commercials. Felicity and I are considerind enlisting! They did show Dancing with the Stars tonight.

On to more adventures and new experiences tomorrow. Oh, and I forgot to say it was 70 degrees and sunny for most of the day. Hope you are enjoying nice weather too.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Longest Journey

We are here at last! We arrived safely here in Okinawa and were very happy to see Lucky's smiling face after more than 28 hours of travel.

We got up early on Sunday morning in Auckland. An hour earlier than necessary as a matter of fact since the hotel desk told us the wrong thing about the end of daylight saving and resetting the room clock. Anyway, we left the hotel at 9:00 to head to the airport and waited there for quite a while for our flight to Hong Kong. That flight was 11+ hours on Cathay Pacific. A very long haul. We arrived in Hong Kong on time and had to check in again at China Air for boarding passes for the next 2 flights. We had to keep double checking that our bags were checked through to Okinawa and did so with every China Air person we could see.

We arrived in Taipei about 1:30 am and got totally turned around in the almost empty airport. Finally found someone in immigration who directed us to the transit lounge and I do use that term loosely. There were the usual teminal seats but they did have showers and toilets there. One problem - no towels. And being the middle of the night we, along with one other woman, were the only ones there. A tiny bit creepy. We managed to catch a few winks of sleep and finally at 6:00 am we could go up to the terminal for our flight.

We were very happy to get up there and see some civilization. We even broke down and got breakfast at Starbucks. I know, I can hear your collective gasps. But you have to realize that our last meal was on China Air and it was a little like the mystery meat from college. After we stopped laughing Felicity asked what it was and we still weren't sure. It was some kind of rice with beef, tofu and maybe fish balls. We ate the dessert. So... Starbucks looked pretty good to us. Our last flight was on China Air to Okinawa. Again it was indiscriminate food so we only nibbled. We got through the customs and immigration with pictures, temperature and fingerprints taken and then our reward was seeing Lucky waiting for us on the other side of the door.

After showers and a change of clothes, we went for a massage at a spa near Lucky's apartment. It was heavenly and made us both feel so much better. We went on base and visited one of the stores. Then dinner looking out over the East China Sea. What a paradise.

Now we're back and doing some wash on a machine that is free and I'm writing this blog on a FREE computer. We're looking forward to a great week with our own personal tour guide. She has some great things planned for us.

Take care.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Auckland - final day

This is our final day of the OZ/NZ adventure. The best is yet to come when we go to Okinawa to see our friend Lucky!

We left Rotorua this morning for a bus ride to Auckland. This one was planned and much different than our other rides. We traveled north passing more rolling fields, small hills and always the mountains in the distance. We got to see the tidy fields that looked like patchwork from the air.

It is so interesting to see how much the Maori are honored here in NZ. Many of the towns and streets have Maori names. I was listening to the song, Ordinary Miracles by Sarah McLachlan as we traveled and it fit the scenery perfectly. This trip has been full of ordinary and extraordinary miracles.

The main stop on our way to Auckland was at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. (Yes, glowworms as in the song you learned as a child. They do exist here in New Zealand.) Once again we had a Maori guide for our tour, which helps to make it that much more special. This is their land and they cherish it. We entered the cave and moved down into the caverns. (This is not a stop for the claustrophobic.) It is magical to see the formations and stalactites from the ceiling. We entered one of the large rooms in the cave and our guide had us sing. The acoustics are perfect and there was no echo at all. They have had concerts there including the Vienna Boys Choir. Talk about WOW. We only sang Happy Birthday but we got the idea.

After walking through the caves we got onto a shallow boat to ride to the exit. She asked everyone to be silent. It was dark except for the ceiling of the cave which was covered with tiny glowworms. It was an awesome experience. It reminded us of the night sky we saw at Ayers Rock. And the silence made it even better. I can't imagine what the first person to see this area felt. The government has some control of it to preserve it and keep it safe.

We are now in Auckland staying for one night at the SkyCity Hotel. It is a 4* hotel with a casino. We walked down to the wharf just to see what was there. Our flight leaves tomorrow at 1:15. We go to Hong Kong, then Taipei and then on to Okinawa on Monday morning which is really your Sunday afternoon, I think. We may not be posting anything until then but since Lucky's is free, look out!

Only one more week in our trip of a lifetime. It has been great so far and should only get better as we spend time with Lucky. Our own private tour guide!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Just when we thought...

there was nothing new to see, we did!

This morning we went on a morning tour of Rotorura. We started at the Te Puia (the spring) Thermal Reserve. It is a very special place for the Maoris. We entered through a circular entrance surrounded by carved statues with spires angled up to the sky. Our guide pointed out a few of the gods that are depicted by the statues. We followed the path to the boiling mudpools. It was gray colored mud that was actually bubbling. She told us that the Maoris use this mud to ease pain. There were products made from this in the gift shop. (Yes, there is always a gift shop.)

We continued along to the area where there were geysers but couldn't see any since the mist covered the area. The cold morning air was causing this. Then Candy, our guide, showed us the best part. The hot seats. And they were just that. It was a terraced area where you could sit and the rocks were warmed by the thermal activity. It felt amazing but if you sat too long it got really hot. We put our hands near one crack and almost burnt our fingers. We really did want to bring one home. Hard to explain that one to customs.

We went to the Agrodome next where we saw another sheep show. This one had about 14 different kinds of sheep found in New Zealand. They even had a Lincoln sheep named Abe. They brought out the border collie again and even a few little lambs. Very entertaining. The dog never barked once.

Our last stop was Rainbow Springs Nature Park where the guide took us through the different areas to show us some of the animals found there. They had a lot of rainbow trout that were introduced by Americans. The best part was seeing a kiwi. They are really more like mammals since they are flightless birds. Some predators have been introduced into NZ so they are endangered. They were much bigger than we expected them to be.

We got off the bus in Rotorura town center and walked around to see some of the shops. Then we had lunch at the Fat Dog Cafe. I must say it was one of our less expensive lunches. We have found it to be very expensive in Australia and New Zealand.

Tomorrow we leave here to go to the glowworm caves and then on to Auckland for our last night in New Zealand. Almost to the third leg of this adventure.!

Kia Ora

That is the Maori greeting which means many different things. We learned that tonight at the Tamaki Maori Village. Each bus entering the site selected a chief. We were sitting behind the bus driver and I had to walk down the aisle and choose a chief. No one wanted to make eye contact with me. Just like school.

We gathered at the entrance to the village and the chiefs (one from each bus) had to stand together. The Maori warriors came out and issued a challenge. It was all quite impressive. We saw and heard some of the traditional sounds they use. And even though you knew it was for show, it was a little bit scary. One of the warriors put down a peace offering which was accepted by the chiefs and we all could enter the village.

They took us back 500 years to a Maori village. They were demonstrating activities in their village. Then they did some songs and traditional dances for us. It was all so interesting. It seems that the tattoes on their faces tell their background and history. (If you haven't seen the movie Whale Rider, do watch it) After the concert we went to the hangi or feast. The food had been cooked the traditional way. We saw an example of the pit where food is cooked for hours under wet burlap bags and on very hot volcanic rock. Any other rock would crack and break. The food was very good. The new food we tasted tonight was the camara, a sweet potato like starchy food. Quite tasty.

Once again we met some other travelers at our table. A couple from Sweden who are traveling for a year. I asked if they had been to the US - they were in Miami for 3 days. Hmm. There were also young girls at our table from Canada. They were sisters, 20 and 23, traveling together through Australia, Fiji and New Zealand for FOUR MONTHS. And we thought we were away for a long time.

I leave you with this quote from the Maoris.

"If you should ask me what is the greatest thing in the world, the answer should be: It is people, it is people, it is people."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Now in Rotorua

We left Queenstown today and arrived in Rotorua this afternoon. The flight out of Queenstown was a wonder to see. We flew through mountains where we could see snow on the mountaintops and could also see the ocean. There were tributaries from the ocean that looked like opals streams from the plane window. Quite incredible.

Now we are here in Rotorua where you can see the thermal springs from our hotel balcony. The air does have a slight sulphuric smell but you do get used to it. We had to walk up to the BP station to get something light for lunch. Hmmm. We each had a hot pie - chicken tandoori and Thai chicken which was guite tasty.

Tonight we are going to a Maori hangi and concert. They will be cooking the food in the traditional way on hot rocks. Not sure what we will be eating. Should be quite interesting and entertaining.

I forgot to mention that we found a laundry in the hotel yesterday. Talk about delight in little things. Lucky, this means we will not be bringing all dirty clothes to your place!

I think it is about 10:00 pm on Wednesday for you as I write this. It is already 3:30 on Thursday for us.

Take care!

We are not part of a group!

Hi everyone,

We went on a steamship cruise tonight out of the harbor to Walter Peak High Country Farm. It is an old homestead that we actually could see from our hotel. The trip took 45 minutes and they announced that if we sank we could last in the water only 30 minutes. Pretty cold, it was. The house is beautiful and we had a fabulous buffet dinner when we arrived. The dessert table was wonderful too and we had our first chance to taste Pavlova. A wonderful meringue dessert that is mentioned in Mem Fox's picture books for the teachers reading this blog. After dinner we got to see a border collie herding sheep. It was amazing. The farmer, Lindsey, then sheared one of the sheep. Fascinating to watch and the best part was how funny the farmer was. A regular stand up comedian.

There were several groups on the boat and as we drank our ale and wine we toasted the fact that we were 58, single and not in a group. They were really something. Most were pushing their way onto the boat like there was something free for the first 25 passengers. We did meet 2 other women from Australia who were quite interesting to talk to. But not until the end of the evening. On the way back on the boat they had a sing-a-long which was quite fun. Another memorable evening.

We did get the chance to do a little shopping this morning. We found out that the blue pearl comes from the Paua shell and only grows as a half pearl. They are not exported and can only be found in New Zealand. Unfortunately, even though it is only half a pearl, they are very expensive. We didn't buy any of those but did find some other nice things made from the shell. There is always something to buy!

Now to pack and then on to Rotorua tomorrow. This will be our last flight until we leave on Sunday to fly to Okinawa. Lucky, here we come!

Take care. We miss you.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Morning update - Wednesday

Good morning everyone, or should I say USA!

It is Wednesday morning and a beautiful day outside. We sat at breakfast this morning with a beautiful view of the mountains and Queenstown harbor. The fog was rolling over the water. It is about 9:45 am and we're just checking emails, etc. before heading out for the day. We plan to visit the shops here in search of blue pearls. We saw a few in Christchurch and they are gorgeous. Tonight we are going on a cruise on a vintage steamship out to the Colonel's Homestead for an evening buffet. The menu sounds yummy. We think we will also see sheep shearing too. We may get in too late to blog tonight so wanted to give a quick update now. If we're not on when you get up tomorrow morning, no need to worry.

We leave here at 8:50 tomorrow to head to the airport and our flight to Rotorua. Lots of things are planned when we get there. We will see much more of the Maori culture in that area. It seems that the Maori people have been treated much better than the Aborigine have been treated in Australia. Should be an interesting comparison to make.

Take care and have a great day, everyone.

Wow, all they could say was WOW!!!

Today's experience more than made up for yesterday. We got up very early this morning (5:00am) and left the hotel at 7:00 for a trip up to Milford Sound in the Fiordland National Park. Our ride was 4 hours long with several stops for Tea and for fabulous views. We passed rolling fields and pastures for deer, sheep and cattle. And of course, the magnificent mountain ranges all around.

One of our stops was to walk down a chasm where we saw rushing waterfalls and rainforest like vegetation. We passed through the mountain ranges which were carved out by glaciers. Pictures and words will never do it justice. It all certainly makes you feel a bit insignificant. The weather was very changeable with sunshine, light and heavy rain and even a little hail on the way home. We could see snow on the mountaintops.

Then we arrived at Milford Sound and boarded The Pride of Milford for our cruise. It was simply unbelievable to be surrounded on all sides by the mountains as we made our way through the fiord. What an experience. We did see two seals perched on the rocks but no dolphins or penguins. The boat went very close to a waterfall that is 3 times higher than Niagara Falls. Awesome is a word that comes to mind.

On our way back to Queenstown we could see snow falling in the mountains. We stopped in at a local pub for dinner and then walked back to our hotel. Tomorrow we are going to explore the township of Queenstown before heading out on a short cruise and dinner tomorrow night.

Have a great day everyone!