Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia

Monday, October 4, 2010


We sailed south all night and arrived in wet, rainy and misty Ketchikan at 9:30 a.m. We were booked on a shore excursion to the Misty Fjord on a high speed catamaran, however it was cancelled due to the bad weather and we were given a refund. Bill was very happy to stay on board the warm dry ship and relax.

Lyn and I braced the cold wind and rain and walked through the town to the historic Creek Street.

The old houses (yesteryear's brothels) are built on stilts over the water and have board walks connecting them. Today they are tourist shops. We were soaking wet and soon returned to the ship. I was a little disappointed that our excursion was cancelled but we had seen so much over the last 23 days and we had mostly fine weather so we made the most of a rest day before our long flight home tomorrow.
We had our last dinner with our friends in the Italian Restaurant with Cianti. We took in the last show and then packed and put our bags out for the last time.

Canada Place
The next morning we woke up in Vancouver Harbour. We had been given explicit instructions on when and where we could disembark. It was very well organised and 2000 of us were off in no time at all. We followed our tour guides through the maze of halls and people to our coach for the short trip to the hotel.  We were not booking in, our flight for Sydney was at midnight. Our tour company had made arrangements for us to leave our bags on the coach and to have the use of a hospitality room in the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel, where we could have refreshments, play games, read and rest until they shuttled us to the airport.

We decided to make the most of the last day and do some more sight seeing with Lyn and Barry, who were also on the midnight  flight.

We took a ferry and a bus to the cable car for Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is perched 4,100 ft above Vancouver. These cable cars are huge and take over 50 people. They were crowded because it was a weekend.

There are many attractions at the park on top of the mountain. One was a Grizzly Bear enclosure.

We had lunch in a nice restaurant with a view over the harbour.

In the afternoon we made our way back to the hotel and waited for the shuttle. It picked us up at 6:00pm. 
We had a long 5 hour wait at the airport. Once again we were allowed to wait in the Fairmont Airport Hotel lounge and bar, due to an arrangement that Scenic Tours has with Fairmont.

We had to sort out a problem that we had with Air Canada and our seat allocation, so that used up a few hours. Finally we were on our way with the correct seats, for the 15 hour flight home. The only disadvantage of  living "Down Under," is that it is so darn far away from anywhere.

We left Saturday night and got home on Monday lunchtime missing Sunday due to crossing the date line. We had another 5 hour wait in Sydney for our Brisbane flight. Most of that time was taken up going through customs and getting the shuttle to the domestic terminal.

After 25 hours travelling we were happy to be home with  memories of one of the best adventures we've ever had.


  1. Great reporting Diane. You are a "gem" - thanks for all, even the "Red Onion!"
    Looking forward to the Lake Eyre visit and the wetlands -after many years of drought in that region.
    Colin (HB)

  2. What an amazing adventure Diane. It must have been great to get home though after such a long journey. Fantastic photos!
    An English Girl Rambles

  3. Isn't Vancouver a luscious city? Expensive tho.

    I think a trip from or to "down under" is not so bad. Essentially, you loose or gain a whole day (minus or plus a couple of hours). So, your "clock" does not get as discombobulated as when you loose or gain half a day. In my opinion.

    But the trip is long. That book had better be good, eh?

  4. Hi Diane, Sorry the weather was bad when you were in Ketchikan. My son says that Misty Fjords is one of his favorite places. Oh Well--you need to go back sometime.

    Grouse Mountain looks like a neat place to go... I'm keeping notes on all of your adventure...

    Glad you made it home safely although it is a very long flight. I dread the airline flights more than anything else when we go.

    Thanks again for taking us with you on your wonderful trip.


  5. I loved your stories a with accompanying pictures.
    I had no desire to ever go on a cruise, but with my sis arriving from Norway last year, we decided to see Alaska and what a joy it was. I do wish we had chosen a different cruise line, we went on Norwegian, but the time away was great and so was Alaska.

  6. You must have been exhausted after all those waiting hours on airfields. That's the worst part of travelling, but you forget it at once at home and the sweet memories keep in mind.Thank you for your wonderful report. I am looking forward to your next trip.

  7. That Misty place looks amazing - what a shame you missed the excursion. However, you got more wonderful views - you love your cable car trips! It's been a pleasure to explore with you - almost as good as a holiday (at least I avoided the long flights!)

  8. Diane, heaping accolades on you for showing me these fabulous places to visit. I have mentioned to you that your blog is my way of viewing the world these days.
    Just as the TV series, your pics are 'Absolutely Fabulous'

  9. Oh my gosh I am sorry to see this adventure end! But I remember that you always blog about such interesting things -- so that it will be fun to get back to those as well.

    I loved sharing your adventure. We lived in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon) when we took some Carribean cruises and we said we lived too far away because we first had to fly to Miami all across the country. I see now we had nothing to complain about!

  10. Diane,
    I have read your travels avidly and enjoyed the pictorial journey...I thank you so much for such an entertaining holiday with you...:))


  11. The end of a wonderful trip ... but I don't envy you the flight.

  12. Diane, I'm only a short way through reading all your exciting travel journals and they're wonderful.
    You're opening up the world for many people including me, and your photography is incredible.

    Happy homecoming!

  13. What a wonderful description of your adventures, along with the great photos. I will have to come back and see the ones I missed.
    Glad you are home safe, after such an enjoyable and exhilarating time.
    All the best, Jan

  14. And a BIG thank you to you and Bill for sharing your adventures with us all - just amazing!

    Vancouver, does it really have the best coffee of anywhere?

    That Creek Street looks just like a ride at DisneyLand, but without getting soaked at the end!



  15. That town looks as if it could be washed away at any given moment! What a wonderful adventure - I am so glad you shared it with us. xxxx

  16. Thank you everyone for your comments and following our adventure in Canada and Alaska.

  17. What a pity that the weather was so bad ! This street with the ex brothels look so nice and colorful! I love houes built on stilts, there is a little village near the Garda lake in Italy, with houses like that.

  18. So, this time you saw Dolly's house... ;))
    Vancouver is a wonderful city!!

  19. As I look through the posts I have missed in the past week - I am soo constantly amazed! How full your heart must be to have seen all this beauty! I can't even imagine..well, that's not true- you are kind enough to share it with us and so imagining it is quite "do-able"! By the way - the photo of you & bill is amazing!

  20. Hi Diane - I'm so pleased to meet you! Thanks for visiting my blog. It was so great to see that you're on the cruise I dream of taking and I enjoyed reading about Victoria. I was born and raised there and it still feels like home when I go back so I do occasionally post about my memories of Victoria. While going to University I worked for two summers at the Empress Hotel. I was an elevator operator first then an Afternoon Tea waitress. I also did short stints in the Garden Cafe and in the front office. I will be following your journey from now on. Enjoy your trip!

  21. I went back to see all the posts I missed up to this one, Diane. The train, the glaciers, the beautful portrait of you and Bill, dinner with friends and that fabulous wine, the gold panning...etc!

    You had such a wonderful vacation and now have some special memories to enjoy always!

  22. I can't begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed sharing your trip.
    This has been a dream vacation of mine for many years and I doubt that I will ever get the chance, so it has been a delight to see your pictures :)
    ☼ Sunny