Anthony Toole's Blog (9)

Queensland, Australia: Between Barrier Reef & Rain Forest

We first glimpsed the atolls from five miles high: Turquoise patches stitched onto a green sheet, and the even darker green of the rain forest and mangrove swamps.



Cairns is a thriving city with a population of about 145 000, spread out without congestion across a strip of plain between dense tropical forest and the Pacific Coast of…

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Added by Anthony Toole on May 29, 2020 at 6:17am — No Comments

Ireland's National Cemetery, Glasnevin in Dublin





If this was not in fact the highest point in Dublin, it certainly felt like it. After climbing the 198 steps to the top of Glasnevin Cemetery's Daniel O’Connell Tower (below) -  Ireland's highest round tower - I was able to gaze over the entire city, laid out…

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Added by Anthony Toole on May 7, 2020 at 9:14am — No Comments

Kinsale: Jewel of Ireland's South Coast





With its deep water harbour and a population of a bit over 5,200, the town of Kinsale in County Cork has been an important sea port for more than 1,500 years. St Multose founded a monastery here in the 6th century, and the early Celtic settlement that grew up around the estuary was later supplanted by a Viking trading post. The Normans…

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Added by Anthony Toole on March 17, 2020 at 12:06pm — No Comments

Contrasts in Australia's Red Desert







When the car’s front tyre burst, I thought events could get no worse.



Things had looked ominous as our plane landed at Alice Springs, and we were handed umbrellas for the short walk to the terminal building. We had arrived at the driest part of the continent and it was pouring with rain. The problem was that three tropical…

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Added by Anthony Toole on March 2, 2020 at 12:09pm — No Comments

Madeira: Portugal’s Wild Atlantic Garden



The Madeiran archipelago, together with those of the Canaries, Azores, and Cape Verde, comprise Macaronesia, "the Fortunate Isles", to which the gods of Greek mythology brought the heroes when their adventurous lives were over. They are volcanic in origin, their hard, basalt mountains rising above Atlantic deeps, unconnected to the European or…

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Added by Anthony Toole on January 10, 2020 at 12:46pm — No Comments

Glendalough: Ireland's Valley of the Two Lakes

Toward the end of the 6th century CE, a small group of Irish monks led by Saint Kevin, who had previously lived there as a hermit, founded the Christian monastery at Glendalough, in what is now County Wicklow. The settlement grew and thrived, despite Viking raids, for the next six…

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Added by Anthony Toole on October 27, 2019 at 9:06am — No Comments

Titanic Belfast, a Celebration of Triumph and Tragedy

Samson and Goliath, the huge gantry cranes of Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard, still dominate the city skyline though the incessant din of heavy shipbuilding is now but a memory. The company, which once employed more than 10,000 skilled craftsmen and engineers, has contracted its workforce to around 500, and…

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Added by Anthony Toole on September 25, 2019 at 1:41pm — No Comments

Noosa Heads Is a Star of Australia's Sunshine Coast

Though it is often vaguely described as stretching from anywhere just north of Brisbane to Fraser Island, the essential Sunshine Coast of Queensland runs between Caloundra in the south to Noosa in the north. Each of the small towns along the way, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Coolum Beach, Peregian Beach, has…

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Added by Anthony Toole on August 5, 2019 at 1:33pm — No Comments

Spectacular Scenery of Norway in a Nutshell

 

The "Norway-in-a-nutshell" tour can be undertaken throughout from Bergen or Oslo as a single-day trip or spread over three days. However, if planning a one-day excursion, Voss would be a more convenient and relaxing base. This small, thriving town nestles on the shore of Vangsvatnet…

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Added by Anthony Toole on June 27, 2019 at 9:05am — No Comments

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