While traveling in New Zealand, I searched for Lord of the Rings filming locations and found some of my favorites. Today, I present a special edition of “Five Fave Photos.” These are five photos from Lord of the Rings scenes.
Can you figure out what Middle Earth action happened in these locations?
The first Facebook post I wrote when I returned home was this:
Thursday, I was up for 24 hours straight, only able to sleep for half an hour on the trans-Atlantic flight from Dublin to Dulles. Landing in Indy didn’t seem real. Yesterday, I opened (or tossed) 51 pieces of mail, used a hair dryer for the first time in nearly 16 months, and went to the final High School home football game. I’ve got a list going of things I haven’t seen in over a year, and there are American words that I’ve forgotten. I don’t think I have an accent, but I did say “Sweet as!” this morning in reply to something about breakfast. I went to the grocery store with Dad and found candy corn, marshmallows, Twizzlers and peach rings. We also found a sign that said “Kiwi’s,” but sadly there were none around. There was only kiwifruit. Now I’m eating a Bridge Fest buried beef sandwich. The leaves are changing, the colt is bigger than I remember him to be, and man is it good to be home.
The week before I arrived back home, I wrote in my journal, “I woke up used to the ocean, ate an apple and two cookies for breakfast and was listening to rap.
“It’s time to go home.”
I’ve had several people ask me, “What happens if you get home and the travel bug hits again?” or “Will you be bored?”
Right now, I am enjoying being in one place. Coming home doesn’t mean I can’t travel anymore. I’m actually heading to a Pennsylvania wedding soon. There are still plenty of places to go within my country, state and county.
And I’m not bored. I’ve got all kinds of projects going and people to meet. If I’m bored, it’s my fault. That was an early lesson from my dad as we rode together in the farm truck. I should always be able to think about something or do something interesting no matter where I am. Anytime I want a new challenge, I can come up with something. There are plenty of stories of people doing that.
A Report on My Recent Two-Week Trek Around the North of Scotland
Skye has some of the most dramatic scenery I’ve ever seen. The ancient, volcanic Cuillin Hills rise 3,000 feet out of the ocean and The Old Man of Storr towers above the northern Skye roads.
I spent three days on the island (known best through “The Skye Boat Song”) driving the single track roads and stopping to watch wildlife. The most beautiful sight from those three days was an albatross gliding in the arc of a rainbow over the Atlantic Ocean. The powerful bird glided for a few minutes, only flapping its wings once, facing the wind head on.
My two favorite photos from Skye feature sheep in front of the Cuillin Hills. The sheep grazed with the cattle near Glenbrittle Beach, and there was no fence to prevent them from wandering over to the car park. The first picture gives a sense of place for where that sheep lives: at the foot of the Cuillin Hills. The second picture shows the ewe square and balanced, head up beautifully, as if she were performing for a judge.
I’m in Wales now, after flying from Dublin to London and spending six days there in a city filled with treasures. I saw:
–The world’s longest-running play, The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie
–An exhibition of Star Wars costumes in which I could create my own Star Wars avatar
–The Globe Theatre
–Double-decker buses (and rode in the top deck at the front once!)
–Telephone boxes (which I have continued to see in driving around Wales)
–St. Paul’s Cathedral
–Millenium Bridge (the one that was destroyed in Harry Potter)
–The outside of Buckingham Palace
The list could grow beyond that. I was amazed in the British Library by works in the hand of Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy. In walking around the city, I found several authors’ residences. Continue reading “A Brief Travel Update”
First, here is a picture of a bird standing on my head:
I was visiting Davao Crocodile Park, and a man held the two birds and asked, “Picture, mahm?” I thought he meant that I would be in a picture with the birds while he held them, but then he explained that they would perch on my arms. Readers may remember my previous adventures with birds in New Zealand, and I became ridiculously excited at this chance for another up-close wildlife encounter.
I’m back in Christchurch, which means I will have spent a third of my year in New Zealand in this city and the vicinity. My working holiday visa expires in a little over two weeks, so I’m working to sell my car and wrap everything up here. But it’s not quite time to return home–I’m taking the scenic route. I’ll first fly to Sydney and visit Australia, then I’ll visit Southeast Asia, Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland. I’ll return home in October and revel in my second autumn of the year.
So for this blog post, here is some
Miscellany from Down Under
For this story, keep in mind I’d been working and living almost exclusively with Kiwis for the four and a half months prior.
All year, I’ve been told Americans are loud, and I’d felt that, too, often speaking more quietly by a few notches when talking with a Kiwi. I thought it was just the volume at which we speak (and how slow we speak) that people noticed.
But when I visited a sheep station in Queenstown during a week of touristy activities, there was a group of Americans who sat in front of me during the sheep shearing demonstration. Continue reading “Shorts from New Zealand”