In June I took three weeks leave and travelled to the USA and Canada to visit friends who live in various cities.
My trip began on a wet Wednesday morning in Sydney with a 15 hour flight to Los Angeles, followed by a one hour flight to San Francisco. With the exception of getting quizzed about my travel plans by various airline staff and border agents both in Sydney and Los Angeles the trip up with Delta was smooth and after being upgraded to Economy Comfort quite enjoyable.
In late 2016 I travelled to Canberra for work. It was my first time visiting Australia’s capital city.
Getting to Canberra was an adventure in itself, the original flight I was on was cancelled and then the second flight also got cancelled. In the end I ended up flying on a flight which was due to leave before my original cancelled flight which itself was delayed until after my original departure time. After I arrived in Canberra I caught an Uber to my accommodation in the suburb of Forrest. From there I walked to the centre of the city which is a rather long walk so I rewarded myself with dinner and an Uber ride back to my hotel. The following morning I quickly went to both the old and new parliament buildings before meeting up with my colleagues for a day and a half of work meetings.
Following a weekend exploring Christchurch, Methven and Ashburton I drove from Christchurch to Wanaka. Direct driving time for the 430km trip is just over five hours, but in reality it takes all day. Starting out from Christchurch right on 9am, I first stopped at the Cookie Time factory which is located on the outskirts of the city.
After spending an afternoon exploring Christchurch I met a friend at Christchurch airport and drove to Methven for the night. The following morning I slept in and was woken by housekeeping (they were stunned that people were still sleeping on such a beautiful day).
In mid-September I went to New Zealand for ten days for a short holiday. The trip began with a flight from Sydney to Christchurch. This was the first time I’ve visited Christchurch since 2009. After landing, collecting my bags and picking up a rental car I drove into the central city. As I drove through the suburbs I didn’t see any damage from the various earthquakes that have rocked the city over the last five years. However, once I got into the CBD I was surprised by the extent of the still visible damage and empty streets. The rebuilding has produced a number of impressive new buildings but there is still much more to be rebuilt – and even buildings left to be torn down.
My final day in Germany began by being woken to the sound of Worms Cathedral’s bells tolling. After taking a shower in the freezing bathroom of my hotel room (it was more of a B&B) I carefully packed my suitcase and carry-on backpack for one final day of adventure and then the long journey back to Sydney.
Once I had finished breakfast I rugged up as it was a very cold morning and walked through the pedestrian mall of Worms back to the Worms’ Hauptbahnhof to catch a train to Frankfurt. As I walked I discovered a plaque noting the place where Luther had lived during the Diet of Worms.