We visited the rose garden on 24th January.
The end of January must surely be the best time of year to visit here.
It was full of colour and perfume, from stunning arches of cascading blooms,
To individual beautiful roses…..
City of Invercargill,
Pink Sun Rose
Eldorado. I honestly think that this is the most beautiful Rose garden that I have ever visited.
The quality and choice of pies in this shop is excellent. They are fresh home made and have lots of filling. We had the lamb mince and cheese, and the vegetable both of us agreed they were the best pies we’d had in ages. The perfect reward for finishing the Kepler Trail!Be aware though, that the milk shakes are made with milk and a fruit syrup, so not as thick as you might expect if you are used to them made with fresh fruit.
However, it is a pie shop and the pies are spectacular!
This will never look the same on different days, today the low cloud cover gave it a brooding dark appearance. I’m told it can seem brilliant and shiny when in direct sunlight.
The closest view is about a thirty minute walk each way from the car park. This will be different in different seasons and dependent on the weather. It is not an easy walk; quite steep and lots of loose scree. However it is not without attractions; through the steep cliffs that the glacier has carved out over the centuries.
Glaciers are not pretty things, looking dirty and rough, but one can’t help but be in awe of something that can clear mountains out its way. It is also interesting to see how much it has receded since 1750.
Today we took the Trans Alpine Express from Christchurch to Greymouth. It leaves at 8.15 am each day and takes a little under 5 hours. It was a dull, grey, rainy day and still the views were spectacular. On gorgeous sunny days I can only imagine that they will be even better.
The seats are comfortable and the carriages bright. The windows curve round the edge of the roof to let in extra light. There is a commentary that talks you through the history of the train line and there are two carriages that have open sides to allow better photographs.
A kia came and sat on the engine while we stopped at Adams Peak.
Greymouth is about a two hour drive from Franz Joseph glacier and there are coaches that meet the train. We hired a car.
This distinctive blue mansion is now a beautifully restored hotel and apart from staying here the only way to see it is on a guided tour. These are free and run in English twice a day. We were brought round by a very entertaining (and quite stern!) lady who really brought the history of the building to life. Don’t let the fact that you have to wait for a tour put you off; the building would not have been as much fun without the guide.If you know the French movie Indochine, it may look familiar as it was filmed here.
There are many beautiful Chinese clanhouses in Penang, but for me, if you were to choose only one, it would have to be Khoo Kongsi.
It is the most impressive on approach, set in its own square, and once inside, the ornamentation and artwork are exceptional. The detail in the carvings and wall drawings are impressive and unusual.
Not for nothing is this part of Georgetown a UNESCO world heritage centre
Two of us ate here for lunch on a sunny Sunday lunchtime before doing the scenic walk from Manly to Spit Bridge. We both ordered pizza which were large and tasty. The quality of the ingredients was good. The restaurant was busy, the service was still pretty good. We enjoyed it, we would recommend the walk too!
These gardens are a short taxi ride out of Georgetown or they are at the bottom of Penang Hill if you descend by road. They are free to enter and have many lovely trees and flowers. There is a train (paid) that will carry you round the gardens if the heat is too much for walking; it does get very hot in the afternoons. For me, the highlight of the gardens was the Dusky Leaf Monkeys eating the topiary trees near the entrance. They are beautiful and seem quite at ease around people. They are also less cheeky and noisome then the Macaques up the hill, near the top of the park.
Worth the trip for the Dusky Leaf Monkeys alone.
The funicular railway to the top is a good way to get to the top.
Make sure that you go early in the morning; the queues for the train get long in the summer and the view from the top is more spectacular before cloud cover comes in.
You can walk down (you can walk or cycle up too, but I suspect it is a killer journey!) it is a 5k walk. It is very, very steep and took us almost 2 hours. However, there were many monkeys on the way down and it ends in the Penang Botanical Gardens which are beautiful.
The views from the top though are the best because trees line the road all the way down. So, I think if I were to do it again, I would catch the railway back down and visit the Botanic Gardens separately so that I would be able to give them all the time that they deserve.
Traditionally it has always been the casinos that have had the best buffet brunches in Las Vegas, however there is a new contender on the strip. MOzen Bistro is in the Mandarin Oriental, a gambling free oasis of calm in the madness of the heart of Vegas. This is now the place that has the best brunch in Las Vegas bar none. It has the widest variety, the best ingredients, the most exotic dishes and excellent service. Try it, step away from the gaming tables for a moment, enjoy the change of pace. #TOTastemaker