Posts from ‘April, 2011’

Beeac Heritage Windmill Park

Today we travel to the Western District of Victoria Australia to what is one of the more unique roadside attractions we have come across.  Beeac is a tiny country town with a rich farming heritage especially in dairy. This park celebrates the engineering of some of the magnificent windmill that have served the surrounding district over the last 150 years.  The windmill has been played an important part in Australian farming heritage pumping water to dams for stock and crops.  The Prowse Windmill is one of the more impressive in the park and dates back to a business ran by James Prowse which began in 1988. The windmill on display has an impressive 6ft wheel and used to bring water from close the surface.  The windmills have been found by volunteers and restored as faithfully as they can be using photographs and drawings of the originals and now stand as a tribute and testament to life on the land.

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The woodpecker column

Today we go to the Canadian city of Toronto to see a beautiful piece of artwork by artists Dai Skuse and Kim Kozzi who work under the name of Fastwurms. The artwork installed in 1997 is called the Woodpecker Column and is built from fiberglass and steel. The column is 30 metres tall and has an amazing pileated woodpecker hanging off it. ther is another piece closeby with a yellow bellied sap sucker which is also quiet beautiful. The artwork is infront of teh Toronto Convention Centre and is beautifuly set amongst the trees expecially in the Fall when we took this photo with amazing orange follage.

Kyoto’s space needle

Tawawa-chan is the mascot of the Kyoto Tower you can buy just about anything with this little guy on it or even have your photo taken with him at the tower. The Kyoto Tower itself is an interesting structure standing 131 metres high and on top of a 9 story building. The building is home to a hotel and some shopping including a great 100 yen store. The tower is located right across the road from Kyoto Station and offers some pretty good views of the surroundings including the nearby temples, city centre and mountains of Higashiyama and Arashiyama. The tower was built to open for the 1964 Olympic Games which were in Tokyo hoping to gain some tourism to the city. There was a lot of controversy at the time building the tower in such a beautiful and ancient city but people have got used to it over the years and it has become a much loved part of Kyoto. For more Japan travel tips visit

The Star of India

The beautiful Star of India is the world’s oldest active sailing ship and is the pride and joy of the San Diego Maritime Museum. Built in 1863 at the Ramsey Shipyard on the Isle of Man the ship was one of the first built of iron and was originally called Euterpe. As the Euterpe it suffered a bit of tragedy with a mutiny, collision and a nasty cyclone off the Bay of Bengal. The ship was also used in bringing emigrants to New Zealand, Australia and the Americas from England, Scotland and Ireland. The vessel even had time as a salmon hauler working in Alaska. Today she is the second oldest ship what is still sail worthy and the oldest iron hull merchant ship floating. The ship has been declared a United States Historic Landmark and still sails a couple of times a year.

Salamanca Place Hobart

Today we travel to Australia to the little island of Tasmania and visit its capital Hobart.  Down on Hobart’s beautiful waterfront is Salamanca Place. This was once a bustling port area and the sand stone buildings were warehouses. As the modernisation changed the way the ports operated the buildings have slowly been transformed into new uses. The area today is one of Hobart’s best tourist destinations with the row of buildings now galleries, hotels, cafes and gift shops. The precinct is home to many of the city’s events and a great market is held along the strip on Saturdays selling a wealth of locally grown produce, food, giftware and other items. 300 stalls are not an uncommon sight on most Saturdays and crowds of up to 25000.

I left my heart in San Francisco

The old Tony Bennet song goes “I left my heart in San Francisco” well this is where artist Claes Oldenburg  and Coosje van Bruggen got the inspiration for this beautiful bow and arrow sculpture called Cupid’s Span. This place is where Claes  and Coosje symbolise the place in the song.  The 60 foot high and nearly 130 foot wide sculpture is made of stainless steel and fibre glass and sits in Rincon Park which is along the Embarcadero in San Francisco between the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge looking up Folsom Street.  Rincon Park is a two acre oasis with spectacular views of the bay and a very popular place for people to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. This sculpture really ads a fantastic dimension to the park.

The Roosevelt Hotel Hollywood

The Roosevelt Hotel is one of the most known hotels in Los Angeles and brings back a time when Hollywood was all about glamour and movie stars. Opening in 1927 the 12 story Spanish styled building has been home or played guest to many of the huge names of the golden era of movies and was the home of the 1st Academy Awards back in 1929.  Some notable people who lived at the Roosevelt include Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift, other people who have stayed there include Charlie Chaplin, Errol Flynn, Shirley Temple, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and Clark Gable who allegedly paid five dollars for the penthouse with friend Carole Lombard.   The hotel t is now managed by Thompson Hotels who have several trendy hotels in Los Angeles.

Wynn and Encore Resorts

We thought we would stay in Vegas again today and talk about the Wynn and Encore Las Vegas which are two of the most luxurious resort hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. These golden shiny towers are both part of the Wynn Resort which holds more 5 star awards than any casino resort anywhere in the world. The luxury and detail is second to none. The Wynn was the first hotel to open in 2005 and the Encore followed in December of 2008. Together the total resort employees around 5300 people.  The two hotels are connected by a luxurious shopping arcade with all the big brands including a Ferrari dealership where you can actually purchase a car. As well as extensive gaming facilities the resort has its own golf course, pools and some of Vegas’ best clubs and dining.  The hotel rooms are another luxurious feature of these two towers, all have huge flat panel TVs, marble  bathrooms and plenty of modern automation. The huge windows with great views of the golf resort or the strip are another feature which cant be bet anywhere in Vegas.    For more info on Las Vegas visit:

The Bellagio’s fountains

The Bellagio is one of the biggest and most luxurious of the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip and features a huge eight acre lake in front of it facing the strip. The lake is home to an amazing water display which is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the Las Vegas strip. The water display consists of more than 1200 nozzles and more than 4500 lights which combine to create a spectacular show night and day. The fountain show was estimated have cost $40 million to produce and takes place every half hour during the afternoon and every 15 minutes from 8 pm til midnight. The fountains are choreographs to various tunes, from famous Vegas Show tunes to classical arrangements. The largest nozzles can shoot water as high 140 metres in the sky which makes for one amazing show. For more on Las Vegas visit

Bendigo’s Sacred Heart Cathedral

The goldfields city of Bendigo in Victoria Australia is home to one of the country’s finest cathederals, The Sacred Heart Cathedral.  Built using a Gothich Revival style and designed by William Tappin the groundbreaking was in 1897 but the cathederal was not completed for some 80 years in 1977. The Roman Catholic church. The sandstone for the building was mined from near Geelong (the home of Tripandom). Sacred Heart Cathedral is 75 metres long and has a ceiling height of 24 metres. The main spire is 87 metres high and was the last piece to be constructed using a lighter steel frame and masonary veneer than the original plans had specified to cut weight and cost. Another highlight of the cathederal is the large pipe organ, built by Bishop & Son of London, was installed in 1905.