What is the most famous landmark or building you have ever seen?
Well, I have seen Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London. I’ve seen the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I’ve seen Uluru. I’ve seen St Basil’s Cathedral and The Kremlin in Moscow and Tiananmen Square in Beijing and I’ve seen a bit of The Great Wall of China. I’m not sure which of these is the most famous, they are all iconic. They say you can see The Great Wall of China from space so although this is probably not true maybe that is the most famous.
Do you like long vacation or lots of mini-vacations?
I used to like long vacations best. Australia is big and a long way from everywhere else so it seemed to me that it was better to have a longer trip and see more because I might not get back again for a while. I still think that to a certain extent. I like to see a place properly not just have a short guided tour. In fact I really prefer independent travel to organised tours because I feel the more people you travel with the more compromises you have to make.
However, having said all that I now feel that where once I’d have loved to have spent 3 months or more away from home travelling now I would miss the comforts of home and my pets, especially Cindy as she is getting old.
I do enjoy a long weekend away but I feel a week or two weeks is a good length for a proper holiday at home, two to three if it is overseas.
What is your favorite National or State Park?
Tasmania has a lot of National Parks that I have not yet visited. The nature of National Parks means that you can’t usually visit them on public transport and that is all I have to rely on.
When I was young I used to enjoy visiting Belair National Park near Adelaide. You actually could go there by train as the local suburban trains stopped nearby and there was even a National Park station further up the line. The main reason I liked it was because there were nice picnic areas and being from the suburbs it was nice to see birds and wildlife in their natural habitat.
Sydney also has a National Park you can access by train from the city.
What is your fantasy vacation?
I have so many! A recurring one is to travel through Europe by train. As a teenager I read books about girls who travelled to places like Switzerland and Germany and I longed to do the same. I would love to start in Amsterdam (in tulip season of course) and take the train through Holland and Germany on through the Swiss Alps and perhaps on to northern Italy. The girl in one of my stories stayed at Locarno in Switzerland so that would be a place I would want to see. My books were written in the fifties so of course Europe is a very different place but the descriptions of the old towns and the mountains always appealed to me. The icing on my fantasy cake would be to finish the trip with a Rhine cruise to see the castles and a side trip to the Black Forest in Germany where one of my other stories was set. This trip appeals to me both from a nostalgia and rail travel point of view.
Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I am grateful not to be surrounded by furniture from other rooms as the painter has now finished. I still have rooms to paint myself but this will be one at a time and less disruptive. This weekend I’m off to Melbourne for my friend Gillian’s 60th birthday. We will be visiting the Puffing Billy Railway which I haven’t been on for over twenty years and we’ll be having a birthday lunch of course.