Archives for Travel

Do great trip in reverse

Great Ocean Road is a 500km return drive from Mel- bourne to the wild windy coast and into the luscious hill coun- try of Victoria. I took four days to do the trip, although it can be done more quickly, and one and two-day bus tours will give you the highlights in less time. From Melbourne travel west to Geelong, a lovely sea- side retirement town with a long pier – evidence that it was once a bustling port before rail and road opened up easier transport options. From Geelong the road goes southwest to Torquay and the various towns along to Port Campbell, where you swing north to Camperdown, a sleepy hollow of a place, before turning east and back along the plains to Geelong and Melbourne. I took some friends’ advice and did the journey in reverse, heading first inland to avoid the holiday crush along the coast road – good advice as it turned out. Read PDF
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The mystery of the 12 Apostles

What’s in a name? In the case of the 12 Apostles – eight 50-metre columns of limestone off the southern coast of Victoria, Australia and the state’s single biggest tourist attraction – quite a bit of a mystery. How did these majestic and much-visited blocks of limestone near Campbelltown, the last stop on the Great Ocean Road southwest of Melbourne, get their name? After all there were never twelve of them and they are pillars of limestone, carved out of the cliff face by the action of the ocean without any obvious biblical connection and lacking any religious significance. Read PDF
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Memphis: City of two Kings

Memphis, the biggest city in Tennessee, epitomises the old and new South of the United States. Once a major slave trading centre, in the 1960s it was the focus of civil rights action. Dr Martin Luther King was assassinated there, and the National Civil Rights Museum in the city is his memorial. It has always been, and still is, a major musical centre for blues, country, jazz and rock and roll. Elvis Presley began his career here and he wasn’t the only one. Memphis’s Sun Studios recorded Elvis but can also count Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins among its stars. Later, Stax Records, a label devoted entirely to recording black musicians, had Otis Redding, the Bar-Kays, and Booker T and the MGs creating a special soul sound. View PDF
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Houston: space, history and food

Houston claims the honour of it name being the first word spoken on the moon. Remember what Neil Armstron said: “Houston, the eagle has landed.” Today the Houston Space centre isn’t nearly as important as it once was because the space programme isn’t as important as it once was. It is still the Texan city’s most visited attraction with over a million visitors a year. Thousands of kids, parents, teachers and school parties pour through each day, taking in Mission Control and the displays and exhibits. View PDF
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Time out in Victoria

All roads to the Great Ocean Road pass through Geelong, once a bustling port and now an attractive retirement town. At Geelong, travellers can head due west on the inland road or take the more common route south west to the Victorian Riviera. We took some friends’ advice and went inland to avoid the holiday crush. It turned out to be good advice. View PDF
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City’s tale of two kings

Memphis the biggest city in Tennessee, epitomises the old and new South of the United States. Once a major slave-trading centre, in the 1960s it was the focus of civil rights action. Dr Martin Luther King was assassinated there, and the national civil rights museum in the city is his memorial. It has always been a major musical centre for blues, country, jazz and of course rock and roll. The king of rock and roll, Elvis Presley, started there and he wasn’t the only one. View PDF
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Lakes Charles LA, beautiful and quirky

Take a beautiful national park complete with nature trails, wildlife, including alligators and pink cranes, add a beach, some casinos, plenty of local history, some great local food and a rum distillery and you have Lake Charles in southwest Louisiana. Lake Charles is about 2-3 hours drive west of New Orleans and about the same distance east from Houston, Texas. It’s a town of about 100,000 people with its own port, airport and rail connections as well as the interstate highway. View PDF
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48 hours in San Antonio

San Antonio in southwest Texas is a special place, an in- teresting blend of Spanish, Texan and now Mexican influences where the cowboy tradition is strong and the battle cry of “Remember the Alamo’’ still resonates. A visitor can easily fill 48 hours. Begin your day with breakfast: you’ve got choices. It might be Mexican – huevos rancheros, for example – or Texan – eggs, very crispy bacon, breakfast potato in some form, and biscuits with gravy or grits, plain or with cheese, shrimp and more. And coffee. View PDF
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US jurists in civil rights battle

A lawyer is either a social engineer or a parasite; that’s what Thurgood Marshall, the first black person to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, was told as a student. He got the message from another leading black jurist, Charles Hamilton Houston, who was dean of the Howard University Law School in Washington DC when Marshall was a graduate student there in the 1930s. View PDF
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Elvis’s legacy is larger than life

Elvis Presley, the great and enduring cultural icon, singer, actor and performer of the 1950s through the 1970s has now been dead just slightly longer than he was alive. His legacy – seen at his Graceland home and complex in Memphis, Tennessee – is thriving and even better after a multimillion dollar upgrade. View PDF
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