Colin and Elizabeth
Colin and Elizabeth
had a year of seeing many sights of scenic grandeur. Christmas was spent in Australia, visiting friends and relations some of whom had not been seen for many years. Their hospitality was very generous as well as that of strangers who shared their Christmas lunch with us beside a back-country reservoir. We enjoyed the man-made sights of Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney as well as the natural ones of the Great Ocean Road, the Blue Mountains and Ayers Rock.
We even managed a rendezvous with our Aussie friend Peter, now living in Japan, but who happened to be travelling along the same road as us on Boxing Day albeit in the opposite direction. We met up with him later and got to visit his parents. He then gave us a conducted tour of his favourite north of Sydney haunts.
After Easter we ventured across ocean again to take a coach tour of the western states of the USA hoping for warm weather. Several places were remarkably cold and snowy and our route was altered because one pass over the Rockies was still closed. But we finally got to the Grand Canyon (see photo below), Monument Valley and other remarkable canyons, dams and waterfalls.
Our tour included a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Las Vegas (by which we mean we won't bother to go back there again!). The hotels are certainly amazing - we stayed in Circus Circus which sometimes has trapeze artists performing overhead. To our tour guide's surprise we spent a free morning visiting the Atomic Testing Museum rather than the shops and casinos.
The tour finished in San Francisco where we were trapped by the Icelandic volcano's eruption. This was initially worrying but we were immediately put in a waterfront hotel at Virgin Holidays' expense. So we were able to settle down and enjoy the extra five days free holiday!
France and Morocco
We had our usual relaxing August family holiday in France (with Joanna, James and family). This October we spent two weeks in Morocco visiting Marrakech, Fez, Rabat and Casablanca. Here the buildings topped the scenery as the most enjoyed attractions although the delicious local food was also very appealing.
Colin and Elizabeth went to Ljubljana (Slovenia) for a Eurisy conference - the first time we had been there since 1966 when (as students) we stayed at the youth hostel for one night while hitchhiking from Milan to Athens. This time around we flew in and out, took taxis from the airport and stayed in an upmarket hotel. Other Eurisy trips in the year by Colin included quick hops to and from Paris, Brussels, Rome and Vienna.