Holidays and Other Excursions

Tag: shopping

Mt Washington Cog Railway

Saturday 8 October 2016

An early start this morning – we are leaving the hotel in the dark.

We are heading to the Mount Washington Cog Railway via Crawford Notch.  As we head along in the coach we are generally half asleep when suddenly the sun peeps over the horizon lighting up the adjacent hillside with a blaze of autumn colours – and of course none of us get the picture as we were not expecting it!  Absolutely stunning.

On our way we see signs to Bretton Woods.  In 1944, 730 delegates from the 44 nations forming the Allies met at the Mount Washington Hotel at Bretton Woods and laid the foundation for post war economic activity – the Bretton Woods agreement.  This underpinned world economics until 1971.

The Mount Washington Cog Railway was the first rack and pinion railway opening in 1868 and it remains the second steepest line in the world – not bad for the first of a kind.  Snowdon did not come along until 1896!  Mt Washington is only 3 miles long and has an average gradient of 1 in 4.

The reason for our early departure is that we have to be on the 08:00 departure as it is steam hauled, later trips are handled by the fleet of bio-diesels.  The locos are at the rear of the one coach on the ascent to the summit and then lead on the way down.  As I recall our steam train was followed to the top by a couple of bio-diesel powered trains which then had to return before we could do so – so we had a longer period at the top.

There are some wonderful photos of the railway, the views themselves and the autumn colours.

On arrival the view is very clear and we can see all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.  Whilst we were there it seemed to get colder (not very warm in the first place) and the the weather closed the view down a little – so the early start was extremely worthwhile.

Our coach returns us to North Conway and in consequence we do have a part day off.  This enables Jackie and I to wander into the adjacent shopping mall so that as is usual on trips to the USA I can acquire some inexpensive jeans.  As with our last visit to Florida I am also looking for some trainers but for some reason (I think my feet must have gone funny shaped) none of them seem to fit well – even if I try different sizes.  We also eat in the mall – very convenient for the hotel as it could not be closer.

Thailand Day 8

Wednesday 16 December 2015

We spend most of the day by the pool again.  And it looks like we were right not to risk the toilets as we are advised the male member of the couple to whom we were chatting last night did – and today is not leaving the room as he is unwell.

This evening it is time for another outing.  We go to Phuket for a dinner and theatre entertainment.  The dinner is a huge buffet affair and we eat well.

There is an initial show outside which enables some photographs to be taken showing some of the colour and the elephants!  Jackie also manages some shopping as we buy little presents for the grandchildren and try to find a bag.

The main theatre show is absolutely enormous.  Photographs not allowed but the elephants re-appear and parade through the auditorium.  There is running water in front of us as well as sailing boats as we are told, mainly in pictorial form the history of the country.  As we know from our travels elsewhere in south-east Asia once upon a time the control was exerted from the huge city at Siem Reap of which we saw some of the ruins and temples when we visited.

Which brings to an end our first week in Thailand.

Thailand Day 4

Saturday 12 December 2015

Another sunny day lazing around by the pool.  A lovely way to pass the time.

In the late afternoon we have arranged to join a trip to the market in Phuket.  Traffic is heavy so getting there takes a little while.

Like the other markets we have seen in south east Asia it well stocked – the main section is perhaps not as tightly packed as in Ho Chi Minh (and perhaps less varied) but there is still a lot to wander through.

At the back of the market there are food stalls either selling ingredients or a variety of cooked food.  Jackie is not feeling well initially – it is hot and she is struggling.  She chooses one of the small restaurants at the very back of the market and we are given a menu of pictures of the food and make some choices.  I go for shellfish.

All freshly cooked and as she has some water Jackie starts to feel better.  Slight dehydration – a case of getting adjusted to the temperatures and so on.

When it turns up the food is very simple and good and much enjoyed.  During the meal Jackie asserts she now wants to go and find a bag she saw earlier as it might be the right one.

Settling up is not a lot of money.

Now we wander up and down the aisles looking for the bag shops again!  We do find a couple but in general they do not seem particularly well made and decide not to invest.

We still have some time before being collected – so head for a bar just on the corner opposite the pick up point.  We sit down and order some drinks and then I feel a couple of spots of rain.  Shall we move?

Yes we do move inside.

And then it rains. and it pours and we see a real downpour.  We are under an awning – and staying dry is proving difficult.  Others from the minibus start appearing in the bar and in the one next door – and everyone is huddling away from the rain.  And it is now really RAINING.

The street is turning into a river.  And the minibus has not arrived.

We cross the street so that we are in the right place when it does arrive – which it then does – but even being in the rain for a couple of moments mean we are now wet.

All rounded up we head back to the hotel and have a shower (why when we are already so wet?  The shower is warmer).  And time for bed.

Boy did I tell you it rained and rained earlier?

More concerning is Jackie reporting that the floor on her side of the bed is damp and a towel is put down to absorb the wet.