Where was I ?

Hey hey I am sure you are all wondering where I was during all this time!! (No I am just joking I am sure most of you don’t really care loool)

After coming back from Australia in December 2014 I didn’t plan any long trips at all. I only enjoyed a family vacation during Christmas time. I went a week in Barcelona and I fell in Love with this city, In December we had 20 degres the sky was blue and the food was excellent. What a wonderful time we had, walking on the streets visiting the museums and the sagrada familia it was very great.

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The above pictures are from the park Guell where we went on Christmas day. It was warm and very nice to walk and admire the architecture inspire by Gaudi.P1120765One of the arena in barcelona this one is in the north of barcelona and is now a museum. No more corrida and bulls in the area…

P1120771 The French school in Barcelona.

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The pond in the park de la citadelle. After in the evening we went to the beach and had a nice lunch on the way back to our appartment we saw some sand statues.

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You cannot go to Barcelona and not visit the many churches and cathedral in the town. P1120964

The ceiling of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar and the following pictures are a few pictures I took inside the basilica Sagrda Famila. the architecture of the place is amazing and it is a work in progress. The original plans were destroyed during a fire and now the architecture long after Gaudi’s death are working using the miniatures to draw the plans and continue the work. I won’t give you an history classe of the place but the waiting is worth it because once you go inside and specially if you use the headphones you learn so much about the history of each area of the building.

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Tasmania North East

 

To make it easier I will divide my trip in Tasmania by area, we started from the north east after getting out of the ferry in Devonport. We went straight towards Launceston where we did some shopping and we headed to our first stop Ben Lodmund National Park.

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Alone in the world I mean not really as I was with Clementine but I felt like we were the last two living people on this planet ! This Park is a mix of rocks and trees and some wonderful colours ! We went to the top in the Alpine village !

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Let’s go for a wlak (Without the appropriate shoes for clementine lol)

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Just looking at the view and the surrounding you feel like you are nothing and nature is taking back is rightful place ! Image

After this nice escape in Ben Lodmund National Park we headed toward the saddleback plantation area, on the way some more wonderful views.

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We spend the night in the saddleback plantation area. (Lots of mosquitoes !!!!!!!) 

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Fringal historical church after spending the night in the saddleback plantation area. (Lots of mosquitoes !!!!!!!) We were looking for a town in order to do some shopping and find some living people!

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Melbourne

Just a quick walk near the river in Melbourne before heading for Tasmania, we were very lucky it was sunny not too cold and they had some events in the town centre so we manage to relax and enjoy this beautiful city after driving 12hours to get there from Sydney !

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People were enjoying the sun having barbecue and participating at some skateboard competition it felt like summer ! Who told me it was always cold in Melbourne ! I was feeling very warm !Image

My last couple of weeks in Sydney and surroundings

I have been so busy in the last couple of weeks that I did not manage to find time to update my blog and keep you inform of what was happening in here. A month ago I manage to try for the first time a very special Australian speciality: The famous Vegemite ! Don’t be fool by the picture I did actually enjoy it and I even bought a kar to take back home.

http://www.vegemite.com.au/Pages/default.aspx

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The same evening my lovely host cooked us a wonderful diner and for desert we had a nice and crispy/chewy pavlova…I can still taste it and wish I had more it was amazing !!!

Is this dessert Australian, Russian or even from New-Zealand good question? 😉

http://travel.ninemsn.com.au/airnewzealand/8435774/who-owns-the-pavlova-new-zealand-or-australia

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The same week end I went with my wonderful host who was getting ready for her swim on Sydney harbour and was training every morning at Dawn Fraser bath one of the oldest swimming pool in Sydney apperently ! Here are some pictures of the swimming pool and Elkington Park just on top of the pool. ImageImageImage

The following week I went to Newtown and fell in love with this area, unfortunately I forgot my camera so I could only take a few pictures with my mobile. It is a really vibrant area of Sydney for those of you who know Camden Town in London it could be compare to it in some ways.

 

 

Image While window shopping in Newtown I saw this display on one of the shop window and I was quite ‘surprise’ by some of the articles….

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After a couple of drinks, lots of windows shopping we saw this was memorial monument and we were all surprise with the dates on it…my answer was because they are on the other side of the wolrd it took them longer to come back 😉 (but the truth is I need to go and check in an history book to understand why the war ended in 1919 for Australian people.

Image Another vibrant area I only discovered last week end was Darlinghurst some of the name for the shop were just amazing…ImageLick-her-her+ liquor shop….in case you were confused ! Of course they are some gays bar in the area so the shop name was I thought just excellent !Image Overall I had lots some fun in Sydney, I met some very nice people , I do hope to stay in touch with them and hopefully come back to this wonderful city to share some more moments with my new friends. We had a barrel of fun and I cannot wait to come back again.Image

Next stop: Tasmanie !

What’s up

Hello,

I am still out there discovering Australie and enjoying the magnificent views…Soon I will have some pictures and stories to share with you about my next trip in the south of Australia…so please stay in touch and you shall see.

Laetitia

Laetitia in wonderland/ Laetitia au pays des merveilles

During two days I was lost and discovering a wonderful land like Alice in Lewis Carroll’s story. I believe in the ‘ask and you should get don’t ask and you will never know ! One of my mate was staying at this place and I saw the pictures he posted on a ‘famous’ social network website and I thought why not ask them if I can join them for the week end. It is only a couple of hours away from Sydney…Even though they were away for the week end, they agree for me to come and stay with my friend and their brother while they were travelling to Adelaide!

In exchange I just had to help with the cooking, cleaning in the house ! Pretty good deal really !

Pendant deux jours je me suis perdue tout comme Alice dans le roman de Lewis Carroll. Je suis une fervente adepte de la méthode demande et tu auras et si tu ne demandes pas tu ne sauras jamais….Un de mes amis résidait dans cette ferme d’accueil et en voyant ces photos sur un fameux site internet je me suis dit: pourquoi pas demander aux propriétaires si je peux me joindre à eux pour le week end. Leur ferme se situe à seulement quelques heures de Sydney. Je leur ai donc envoyé un courriel ! Etant absents pour le week end les deux frères ont tout de même accepté que je vienne tout en me prévenant que je resterais chez eux avec mon ami et leur frère Robert. En échange du gite et du logis je n’avais qu’à donner un coup de main pour les taches ménagères et faire un peu de ménage.

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Tamarillo or tree tomatoes and orange from the garden (http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s328653.htm)

Tamarillo une variété de tomate qui pousse sur un arbre et des oranges fraiches du jardin

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Mulberries from the garden (http://www.daleysfruit.com.au/fruit%20pages/mulberry.htm)

Variété de mures

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Orange/clementine/mandarine to be honest not really sure the only things I am sure is their heavenly taste !

Orange/cleémentine/mandarine je ne suis pas très sure mais en tout cas avec un gout délicieux!

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The vegetable garden and the chicken hut

Le potager et le poulailler

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Some huge insect definitely coming from wonderland looking like flies but ten times bigger at least !

Un énorme insecte ressemblant à une mouche mais en dix fois plus gros !

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Our good friend Fish, an adorable female labrador. Fish loves to go for a walk and play with you in the garden. Very efficient to scare the wombat and black wallabies away as well when walking in the forest.

If you are wondering what the wombats are : http://www.wombania.com/wombats/

Notre bonne amie Fish, une gentille labrador. Fish adore se ballader et jouer dans le jardin. Très efficace pour effrayer les wombats ou les kangourous noirs lorsqu’on se ballade en foret.

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The two retired horses and their friends the ducks !

Les deux chevaux à la retraite et leurs amis les canards !

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In the afternoon when everything was done in and outside the house we went for a walk with Fish the following pictures were being taken while walking in the ‘forest’ surrounding the house.

Nous sommes allés nous ballader en fin d’après-midi après avoir terminée nos corvés. Fish nous accompagnait les photos qui suivent furent prises pendant la ballade.

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On sunday it was pouring but Ros a friend of the Wesley-Smith brothers kindly offered me a lift to Sydney. It was so much more that just a normal lift, we had a great conversation she showed me some of the lookout on the way and even invited over for dinner before dropping me back home !

She is a clarinet and saxophone teacher who also wrote a book on the East-timor musical culture, instruments and traditions you can find her book sounds of the soul on her website www.tekeemedia.com

Dimanche il pleuvait des cordes mais Ros une amie des frères Wesley-Smith m’a gentiment proposé de me déposer en voiture à Sydney. Ce fut bien plus qu’un simple trajet, nous avons énormément discuté sur le trajet, elle a ait quelques détours pour me montrer la vue et m’a même invité à diner chez elle avec son mari et sa famille avant de me déposer à la maison !

Ros est professeur de Clarinette et saxophone, elle a aussi écrit un livre sur la culture musicale au Timor Orientale, vous pouvez consulter son travail sur le site www.tekeemedia.com (en anglais)

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Here she is braving the rain to show me the view and point me towards the different towns we could see from the Mittagong lookout.

La voici en train de braver la pluie pour me montrer la vue et m’indiquer le nom des villes que nous surplombons depuis le haut de Mittagong.

Our host this week end while his brothers were away, was Robert Wesley-Smith, I do not have enough words to describe Robert but he went out of his way to make me feel welcome in the house, I learned sooo many things that my brain is still processing some of the information. Robert worked as an aid worker in East Timor and you can read his account of the experience while working there after the destruction caused by Indonesian military and militia on this page:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/181115510/117-Days-in-East-Timor-R-Wesley-Smith-pdf

Notre hôte ce week end pendant que ses frères etaient absent, Robert Wesley-Smith. Je ne trouve pas les mots exacts pour le décrire mais Robert a tout fait pour me mettre à l’aise et j’ai appris tellement de chose en discutant avec lui. Robert relate son expérience au Timor orientale dans ce compte rendu : http://www.scribd.com/doc/181115510/117-Days-in-East-Timor-R-Wesley-Smith-pdf (en Anglais)

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Unlike Alice I did not grow as big as a giant or become as small as a mouse, but I had a wonderful time, ate some wonderful food/fruits and met some amazing people while staying in the kangaroo valley !

Contrairement à Alice je ne me suis pas transformée en géante ou en petite souris, cependant j’ai passé un super moment, me suis régalée en découvrant des fruits et recettes succulents tout en rencontrant des personnages magnifiques !

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I couldn’t wait to do something with these lovely lemons so I made some lemon curd and it is yummi !

laetitia a kangourou valley I was having so much fun mixing the ingredients for my oranges’ cake !

 

At the back of the house Martin’s studio for his music, Robert and Ionel had been working on it during the week to had a little roof in front of the front door.

Derrière la maison le studio musical de Martin, Robert et Ionel ont travaillé dessus dans la semaine pour traiter le bois et ajouter un petit porche.

studio a kangourou valley 

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Ionel doing some work while I am just watching 😉

 

Jervis Bay and the surrounding area

If you do not have lots of time and want to get away from the city, 2hours and thirty minutes away from Sydney Jervis Bay is a very nice area to visit. Endless sand beaches and clear blue water to enjoy with some amazing views !

Cave Beach

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Cave Beach from the Lookout pointImage

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According to a lovely man we met on the lookout these birds are called: mutton birds or shearwater (http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/?base=5100) and they migrate from Russia to  Tasmania (both way depending on the season) at some point during their migration they are exhausted and need to rest so they land on the water. But many of them do not have enough energy to take-off again and died. This is why we saw many of them at Cave Beach one of the beach in Booderee Park and on the site more open to the ocean compare to Murray Beach…It is kind of freaky to arrive on the beach and see so many dead birds and the smell as well is not great, they attract sandflies of course so basically unless you are surfing in the water this beach is not very comfortable…

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laughing kookaburra

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Red Bellied Black Snake: (http://whatsnakeisthat.com.au/nsw/south-coast.html) We saw this little fella while walking towards Murrray’s beach, it is not a long snake but a venimous one and we didn’t know. However we were not crazy enough to get too close but now that I know its name and characteristics I do think we were lucky last week end ! You cannot see it on this picture but its belly is red…

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The entrance of Murray’s beach in Booderee National Park

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Kangaroo passing by on the beach

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Murrays Beach

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Probably a Diamond Python…not sure after the red bellied black one I did not want to come to close anymore…Image

We were just starting to pack away our camping gear when this fella decided to come and say hello, luckely I did not see him before we went to bed ! Otherwise I would not have sleep at all even though I did only manage to sleep a couple of hours, do not ask me why but the floor and the other people in the camping having a party didn’t help me rest at all. In the morning I woke up seeing two kangaroo fighting each other and it was quite scary these blokes do not joke around ! They stop to look at me and I quickly went back into the tent …

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Lac McKenzies in Booderee National Park Botanical Garden we did the 1.2km Lake trail and the views were lovely !

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hey look at my face 🙂 Tree around the lake !

Before heading to Sydney we stopped at Kiama to have a look at the blowhole and the town is very cute and windy !

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This Hole can blow water up to 60 metres up but when we went there the sea was quite calm however we manage to see how it work and it quite impressive.

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Kiama’s Lightouse.