Not that Zealand, This Zealand

I can’t believe the travel we completed the last week of August.

Here is a selection of photos. (WordPress mostly puts them in order.)

And some more:

 

Our route from Georgia:

Atlanta – Istanbul – Copenhagen/Norrebro – Torshavn, Faroe Islands – Copenhagen/Malmo Sweden – Doha, Qatar – Auckland, New Zealand

Normally, we would not take such long flights but there are not many options when going to New Zealand. Another factor was that both Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airlines had offers that made the price almost as low as flying the direct route through Los Angeles. Additionally, we got a chance to visit the Faroe Islands, ticking off another autonomous region in Europe. Qatar Airways offered a nice discount on a stopover stay at the Souk Waqif Boutique Hotels in the old market. Our stays around Copenhagen gave us the chance to discover the dynamic neighborhood of Norrebro of Copenhagen and Malmo, Sweden connected by train directly to the Copenhagen Airport.

The 16 hour flight from Doha to Auckland was simply long. Compression socks were life savers. Malmo really needs another visit for a week or more.

New Zealand was originally named after the Netherlands province of Zeeland. The derivation of Zealand, the most populous island of Denmark is not clear.

It was worth it, we had an appointment with Daughter in Auckland. Having coffee at the Remedy just off Queen Street.

 

Calming Down in the Smokey Mountains

After Santo Domingo, we flew non-stop straight up to Atlanta, Georgia to visit my brother, Peter, and his wife Elizabeth. Then, we spent a couple of weeks driving up to Richmond, Kentucky to see my friend David from college, then south to recharge in the mountains of Appalachia. We found a place near Waynesville, North Carolina in the Pisgah National Forest. This was near to Canton and Asheville.

Way too many photos of green, blue, and smokey mountains.

Impressions:

We rented a car.  There really is no other way to get around the United States.  Even though the steering wheel was on the left side and gear shift on the right, it turned out to be really easy to take care of all the stuff we needed to do.

We broke up the long trips into two days with lots of breaks.  In one section we stopped in Franklin, North Carolina and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Franklin was a quaint small town with local arts and a specialty bakery. Pigeon Forge was bustling with bright and loud American entertainment venues including Dolly Parton’s Dollywood, restaurant chains, and theme parks.  So many contrasts between these two, yet we found both very interesting with stuff we needed.

It has been about six years since seeing Peter and Elizabeth. I think, the last time Dave and I met up was in 1993. He wrote a song for my parents 50th wedding anniversary.  He’s still the character he was when we hitchhiked up and down North Dakota and Minnesota over 50 years ago.

Trivia: Canton, NC was probably named after steel manufacturing city of Canton, Ohio. Canton, Ohio likely was named after Canton, China now Guangzhou near Hong Kong.