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Posts Tagged ‘europe’

Postcard number: 83
Bought at: Warwick Castle, UK
Sent to: Candice in the USA
Written: 20 April 2017
Sent: 21 April 2017

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20 April, 2017, Geelong Australia

Dear Candice,

This postcard from a family weekend away in 2013, when we were living in the UK. We’d attended a friend’s wedding the day before, I was pregnant with my son, and we had a day left with the hired car to drive further North and explore somewhere new. I’d been reading Philippa Gregory’s novels about the Wars of the Roses, and so Warwick Castle was at the top of my list.

To be honest, I hadn’t done a lot of research and I was only expecting castle ruins, so I was blown away by what we found there. Not only was the castle itself beautiful, there were also birds of prey on show, jousting tournaments, a working trebuchet, peacocks wandering around the grounds and lots of different towers full of exhibits to explore. Our two-year-old daughter very much enjoyed dressing up as a princess and I could have definitely spent more than a day at the castle, taking in all the history of the place. But for now, since I knew the date of the wedding, I’ve managed to find the photos I took that day and will spend this evening just remembering the experience…

All the best,
Tash

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#80: Geelong to Croatia

Postcard number: 80
Bought in: Geelong, Australia
Sent to: Antonella in Croatia
Written: 11 January 2017
Sent: 13 January 2017

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11 January 2017, Geelong

Dear Antonella,

Happy New Year to you! After two weeks in New Zealand, my family and I are back in Geelong, where we currently live. It’s the school holidays and we’re planning to do a lot of local exploring over the next few weeks. On the agenda is a trip to the waterfront (shown on this postcard), where there’s a carousel, weekend markets, an outdoor swimming pool and playground. Not far from the ‘shark fin statues’ (the artwork is actually called North), is the National Wool Museum where my kids like watching the giant carpet loom, and which will have the London Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year display starting soon.

We also might venture out to the You Yangs (the mountains in the distance on this postcard), and walk some of the tracks. Our favourite so far is the Big Rock trail – which, as the name suggests, has a big rock you can climb up onto at the end of it, with great views over the surrounding area. There are also several BBQs throughout the You Yangs Regional Park, where we can cook sausages for our picnics… though between the wind and rain in Winter and the heat and flies in Summer, it never seems an ideal time to eat outside!

Today, we walked along the river and the kids practised their Frisbee throwing in Barwon Valley Park. Despite the fact that postcard stamps are more expensive here, it’s good to be home.

Tash

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Postcard number: 76
Bought in: Jasper, Canada
Sent to: Cristina in Italy
Written: 5 January 2017
Sent: 6 January 2017

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5 January 2017, Auckland

Dear Cristina,

This postcard comes from my trip across Canada on the train in 2003. I was travelling alone, with a huge backpack, a roller bag and the ski gear I had accumulated during a season working on an American ski-field. I stayed in a hostel about 7km outside of Jasper township, paying $49 for two nights accommodation and a lift ticket for Marmot Basin in the Canadian Rockies.

It was April, which I guess was near the end of the ski season, but in my travel journal I wrote that it snowed the whole time I was there – resulting in fresh powder, but also poor visibility at the top of the mountain (which was pretty scary when I was skiing alone).

I always remember the sense of freedom that skiing gave me, the quiet of making my way down an empty trail, the excitement of challenging myself to do a black diamond run (even if I often ended up face-down in the snow). There’s not too many opportunities to ski in my life now, but it’s definitely something I’d like to to try again someday.

Happy New Year to you!
Tash

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Postcard number: 73
Bought in: Winnipeg, Canada
Sent to: Jenni in Finland
Written: 3 January 2017
Sent: 4 January 2017

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3 January 2017, Auckland

Dear Jenni,

This postcard was bought in Winnipeg – around half-way through my epic train trip from Halifax to Vancouver in March and April 2003. I travelled for over a day on the train from Toronto to get there. It was half-way through the trip, but I was already running out of money. Looking back through my travel diary from those months, it seems that the highlights of Winnipeg were window shopping at the Forks Marketplace (shown on this postcard), watching ‘That 70s Show’ on TV at the hostel, walking along the riverbank, the kids section of the Science Centre, and visiting the Winnipeg Public library to use the free Internet terminals and read Anne of Green Gables novels.

I also remember needing a haircut in Winnipeg and being worried about how much I should leave as a tip when I was so short of cash. I didn’t record in my diary what I ended up tipping, but I did comment that my hair “now resembles the style it did in the mid-80s”.

I wrote that it was 18 degrees when I arrived in Winnipeg, which then seemed very hot after a winter working on a ski field. That, of course, seems cold compared to the summers in Australia where I live now.

Happy New Year to you. Hope it’s a good one!
Tash

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Postcard number: 72
Bought in: Dandenong Ranges, Australia
Sent to: Helena in Finland
Written: 3 January 2017
Sent: 4 January 2017

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3 January 2017, Auckland

Dear Helena,

Happy New Year!

Hope your 2017 has started off well! So far mine has been mainly spent unpacking and sorting through boxes from my childhood and early 20s, which have been stored since then by my parents. In doing so I’ve found a lot of old postcards, including this one of the Puffing Billy Railway which I bought in 2005.

I couldn’t actually remember doing this trip at first, but then, in an old wallet, I found a ticket with a picture of the train and the words: ‘Puffing Billy Railway: Luncheon Special Light Hamper Adult, $52.00’. I think it must have been a belated birthday outing for me, a last road trip from Melbourne before beginning my postgraduate studies in Wellington, NZ.

The date on the ticket would, nine years later, become the birth date of my son. This year (totally by coincidence as I booked before finding this ticket) we’re planning to celebrate his third birthday by taking the family on a train trip as well.

Wishing you all the very best,
Natasha

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Postcard number: 70
Bought in: Auckland, New Zealand
Sent to: Katia in Czech Republic
Written: 1 January 2017
Sent: 3 January 2017

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1 January 2017, Auckland

Dear Katia,

Greetings from New Zealand and Happy New Year!

My family and I are currently spending a couple of weeks in Auckland, where I grew up and where my parents still live. Last night, as the sun set on 2016, we went to a lookout at the Arataki Information Centre in the middle of the Waitakere Ranges. We ate pizza and drank sparkling wine and in the distance, we could see the lights of the city and the Skytower, as shown on this postcard.

I hope 2017 brings many good things your way.

Tash

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Postcard number: 69
Bought in: Bluestone, UK
Sent to: Andreia in Portugal
Written: 11 January 2016
Sent: 12 January 2016

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11 January 2016, Geelong

Dear Andreia,

Hello from Australia and happy New Year to you.

Going through my postcard collection this evening, I found this one from the holiday resort where we stayed for Christmas in 2014. Our last British Christmas was spent in one of these cabins at Bluestone Resort in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It wasn’t a white Christmas but it was quite a bit colder than the 34 degree day we had here in Australia this year! (Or last year :))

My in-laws had flown over for the holidays. We collected them from Heathrow and drove on to Wales. Over the next few days we explored the resort, with its walks and restaurants, spa and large indoor swimming pool, as well as driving out to Pembroke Castle. If I hadn’t been travelling with a four-year-old and an eleven-month-old, I could have definitely spent more time at the castle, learning about the history of the site which stretches back almost a thousand years.

I would have liked to visit Pembrokeshire again in the summer, but we were out of time. After almost nine years overseas, we moved back to Australia last July. I’m hoping that we’ll be back in Wales for a holiday one day.

Tash

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