Wednesday 27 February 2013

Two things that are immediately associated with Western Australia in my mind? Sunsets and fish & chips.

Saturday 23 February 2013

Ah, Western Australia...

Ah, Western Australia... how I miss your beautiful beaches and your perfect weather! The snowy grey skies we have here in the Netherlands today make me really long for something... hmmm... slightly warmer.

Friday 22 February 2013

Flying into the sunset...


See how much my brother enjoyed that sunset? He wanted to fly into it!


Thursday 21 February 2013

Best sunset ever

The evening I saw what must have been the most beautiful sunset I have ever witnessed we were having fish & chips in Fremantle harbour with my brother Fabien. It was his last full evening in Australia before going back to cold Switzerland and so we wanted to do something really Aussie (hence the choice of dinner). Little did we know that the skies would also be putting up an absolutely gob-smacking light show to wish him farewell!

The whole evening turned out to be totally amazing from start till end; there was the always wonderful drinks at Little Creatures, the delicious food, the incredible sunset of course, and the joyful walk back home in the warm night... everything felt truly special. We even got to watch a bit of live underwater nature show in a part of the harbour that was lit up with a strong lamp: we saw a squid chase and feed on a school of tiny fish. How cool is that?! It might have been the white wine talking, but we thought it was pretty darn amazing.

Wednesday 20 February 2013

At the very North of The Netherlands: Groningen

Hi all! 
Today I'll take a tiny break from the Australia posts to show you what we've been up to recently here in the Netherlands.

We decided to use the few days off we had last week to go and explore Groningen, right at the top end of the country (pretty much at the opposite end of where we live, since we are at the very bottom of the Netherlands). 

Here is a little peak at what we did and saw.

Well... to start with, we saw... a lot of grey skies! A bit of snow and very cold winds too. The weather didn't exactly score points in favour of the city but then again, it's nothing we're not used to down here in Maastricht. :-)

And thankfully there were plenty of other things that made us have a tremendous time!

Let's start with the food:
We had a lovely breakfast at Puur! Natural Food one morning where we looooved the pancakes with a hint of cinamon and the delicious jam that came along. The place was really cool (I especially liked the mural shown below).

Also (and I don't have any photographic evidence), one evening we had the most amazing dinner at Hanasato, an exquisite Japanese restaurant where we had shabu shabu for the very first time. It was delicious and the whole meal was a wonderful experience! We decided to go there after reading this post by Livlig and we were so glad we did!

We also followed Livlig's advice and headed to Sostrene Grene; what a cool shop! I'll show you all the little things I bought there soon.

And we spent a significant portion of our time in Groningen in the magnificent Groninger Museum. We particularly loved the Nordic Art exhibition they have at the moment, and I loved walking through all the rooms painted in different colours...

Other highlights of the trip included climbing the Martini tower and admiring the foggy view below us, relaxing at the complimentary sauna and turkish bath at our hotel, and even scoring a bottle of prosecco to go along because it was Valentine's Day! :-)  

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Driving South, part 6

We drove through so many beautiful areas during our week of travels in the south of Western Australia... these are a few shots I took one evening when the sun was setting and the light was slowly disappearing from the sky... 

And I really didn't take many photos because I wanted to fully experience the whole thing (as opposed to seeing it through my camera) but here is one little glimpse at one of the dolphins that came to greet us at the Dolphin Discovery Center in Bunburry where we stopped for our last night all together. It was so wonderful to be in the water with these amazing animals! We could of course not touch them or anything, but it was so special to have them coming so close to us, and to all be in the water at the same time.

And... that's it for the time I spent traveling with my family in Western Australia! I do have plenty more photos from our honeymoon though, when Mart and I drove North... so... if you're not completely sick of sunny Australian scenery yet, make sure you pop by in the next few days to see some more! :-)

Saturday 16 February 2013

Driving South, part 5

Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks... certainly on the list of most beautiful places I have ever had the chance to see. 
So happy I could share these moments with my family.

Friday 15 February 2013

Driving South, part 4

I'm not sure what this look-out was called anymore, but it sure was a really pretty one. The slightly menacing clouds made the scene even more dramatic and beautiful! 

P.S. here's one of the few photos I have of all of us who were together during that week... four generations of truly magnificent people. I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful and close-knitted family!

Thursday 14 February 2013

Driving South, part 3

After hours of driving along beautiful and mostly deserted roads through hectares and hectares of forest we eventually made it to the Wilderness Discovery Center in the Valley of the Giants, near Denmark (yep, Denmark the city, not the country). I had wished to go there ever since I read Bill Bryson's Down Under book years and years ago and I was so glad to finally go! 

The highlight of the center is the amazing tree top walk they have installed amongst several of the very high trees. This very impressive platform allows you to walk comfortably at the very top of the trees (it's so much less scary than the look-out trees we had climbed previously!). It feels really wonderful to imagine what birds see and experience living up there, and the views were of course rather breathtaking. The rest of the center, with many very impressive giant trees and really good explanation displays, was really good too... I was so impressed to find such an interesting and cleverly put-together place so remote from everything else!

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