Thursday, June 27, 2013

            Back in Singapore for a week...   As you may or may not know, Singapore had one of the worst air quality this past week.  It came close to that of Beijing, if that tells you anything.  By the time we arrived,  most of it had cleared already, but you could still feel it in your eyes and a bit of burning sensation in your lungs.  Singapore also lacked the rain to help clear some of it our of the air.  What was the pollution?   Indonesia's deforestation of Palm trees.  It is done every year, but this year, the smoke created by the oil in those trees lingered longer.   I went to the port to take some pictures and you can see still some of the haze in the distance: 

Before we left for Sydney and New Zealand, Andre and I went to a newly opened River Safari...  it was advertised differently than what we actually experienced, but one area was pretty neat.... the cutest little monkeys would jump around freely.... right before your feet :

           Now I am done catching up with you fine people.  I am off now to the Botanical Gardens... high tech and ingenuity awaits me.  I shall share when I get back ;-)

New Zealand 2013

Hello again to you fine people...

         We arrived in New Zealand rather late.  Dark, cold and rainy.  This did not change for the next few days.  Temperatures were between 7 and 15C (way too cold in Fahrenheit !!!).  Needless to say, we didn't see much of Auckland in the first few days.  Work started and I have to say, I enjoyed every moment of it.  One has to state that the people in Auckland and later in Tauranga were super-friendly; staff as well as the customers.  Interesting observation though.  Work started at 8 a.m. and with German punctuation, at 5 p.m. the work-day was over.  Only in Germany, 5 p.m. would not be the end of the day ;-)  Unless things have changed in Germany, of course ;-)  Since I was unable to take pictures of Auckland, let me share one I found on the Internet: 

         Andre and I went to the top of the huge tower, which is lid purple at night.  After that, we decided to grab a bite to eat at a local place right next to that tower.  And wouldn't you know it, because the World is such a small place, the waiter was from Germany.  He and his girlfriend had just arrived a couple of months earlier.  As I said before, we Germans are everywhere... BEWARE ;-)   

        After days in rain and cold weather, we got to pack up and drive to a place called Tauranga, NZ, located in the Bay of Plenty, which was discovered by Captain  James Cook in 1769.  We completed our days of work and then enjoyed a few hours of leisure before heading back to Auckland.  With the following pictures, I am taking you atop Mount Maunganui... HAPPY CLIMBING and enjoy the view: (The mountain top is at 761 ft high/ 232 meters)  [REMEMBER TO CLICK ON THE IMAGES FOR LARGER VIEW]

I shall call it "Ireland Light"

Hobbits where out and about :-(

         Well, our time in New Zealand had to come to an end it it's back to Singapore where we will remain for about a week.

***Picture Source: Auckland:

Australia 2013

Hello to you fine people,

       finally, I get to write the ole blog with the use of pictures :-)   I had quite the rough time dealing with the upload issue, but I shall not bore you with my silly blogger-experience.  I will split up my post into multiple posts.  Since it has been about 2 weeks since last I wrote, I will do less writing and more picture sharing.    Andre and I left for Sydney, Australia where we had a long lay-over before continuing to Auckland, New Zealand.  Originally, it was planned to stay some time in Sydney, but plans changed.  i have to say, from what I saw (which wasn't much), I am not too impressed with Sydney.  It reminded of the out-of-date down-towns of the US.  Let me show you: 

 Andre mingled with the locals ;-)

On a little boats-tour to the outskirts of Sydney....  

 The typical touristy-picture scene

        It was a great day in Sydney, even though it was rather cold (not that you could tell from our two friends above).  Food was rather pricy, although we will later learn that Australian prices are not so outrages in comparison.  All in all, it was a wonderful day in Sydney.   Time to step back into the train and head back to the airport (note destination on train below ;-)  )  We got out earlier than that ;-)

Next stop: Auckland, New Zealand