Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Posts tagged “Australia

Crazy security checks…..

Thought for the day…..”Actions and consquences are a packaged deal”

” Life is a one-time offer.   Use it well”.

Travel has just got easier for me.     The USA, as usual paranoid about security has introduced rules which stop TOURISTS like me from getting the ESTA electronic visas.    If you have visited any of the countries on the USA list, then you are now ineligible for the ESTA visa.   This also means that you cannot transit the USA.     The American government cannot get it into their heads that there are TOURISTS who visit countries like Iran, Iraq and Sudan to learn more about the culture and life there.   But paranoid American officials now consider TOURISTS like these as a security risk.   So it is an easy decision for me, no more visits to the USA.  I will take my TOURIST dollars/euros/dirhams somewhere else.

And now I see that Australia is also becoming much like the USA.   Now at international airports in Australia, they have made the body scanner machines compulsory.   Of course they are saying that there is no danger to the public, but officials also said the same thing with the original body scanner X-Ray machines, until it was discovered that there WERE health dangers with the scanners.   So when they tell me that there is no danger (officials also said the same thing after the Chernobyl nuclear accident) then I do not believe them.   So I will not be compulsorily irradiated because I am innocent.    So now I will be avoiding Australia as well, including in transit.   And apparently, Australia wants to start trials of facial recognition technology at gateway airports to avoid the need for passports.    How much more big-brother is coming???       So two countries on the off list (USA & Australia).   Makes planning the next trip easier.   Their loss, my money will go to other countries.    And is it not about time that these stupid rules about liquids are abolished???    Since when has a 200ml tube of tooth paste or shampoo been dangerous??

And why do they make the pilots go through security checks as well?   Are they afraid that the pilot might get control of the aircraft??   Has no airport official ever seen the STUPIDITY of making pilots (who have full control of the aircraft) go through a security check?   I watched one pilot at Brisbane airport recently having to remove his mobile phone from his pocket to go through security again.  Yet no official has ever questioned the logic of such a stupid procedure.

Having been attacked and robbed recently by a bandit with a bushknife (see the previous post) I was searching around for a new Fuji camera.  I was amazed to see on a website with sample images from a Fuji camera, and advertisement for stab-proof jackets (see the screenshot below).   Either my internet is being monitored, or it was an amazing coincidence….

fuji-x-t20-and-stab-proof-jacket-advert

and a photo from the now-stolen camera…..again great sharpness and colours from Fuji…..

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Pinot Noir wine from New Zealand

Thought for the day…” They talk about the speed of light, but what is the speed of darkness”

“If a mime artist is arrested, does the policeman tell him that he has the right to remain silent? ”

Off to New Zealand for the photo today and to the very scenic Lake Hayes near Queenstown.    Apart from being very scenic, Lake Hayes is also home to some good wineries, such as the famous Amisfield (which also includes a restaurant).   This area (Central Otago) has now become famous for quality pinot noir wines, although in the 1860s it was the scene of the Central Otago Gold Rush.  Until the 1970s, there were few vineyards, but since then they have expanded rapidly, helped by the perfect climate, being protected by high mountains and having hot, dry summers and a short, cold winter.   Pinot Noir grapes originated in the Burgundy region of France, but are a difficult grape to cultivate and also to convert into wine.   Pinot noir is also used in the production of champagne.   Looking at the photo below, it is hard to believe that Queenstown Airport, which is just a few kilometres away (in the back left of the photo) handles over 1.2 million passengers a year, many of them heading for Queenstown, the Adventure Capital of New Zealand.

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and a photo out of the archives…..a new photo made to look old.    The outdoor museum in Ballarat, Australia.

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Wineglass Bay, Tasmania – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” A dream is only a dream until you make it reality”.

“Excellence in customer service is the most searched for, but the most difficult to achieve.  Failure in customer service is the least searched for, but the least difficult to achieve”.

Staying in Australia for the photo today, and the beautiful Wineglass Bay in Tasmania.  Tasmania has a population of around 510 000 people, and is promoted as the land of inspiration.   It was named after the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who discovered the island in 1642.   Around 45% of the island is national park or reserve land.   Tasmania is situated at around 42 degrees South, so has 4 seasons and a much cooler climate than the rest of Australia.   It is about the same size as Ireland or Sri Lanka.  It also has the world’s largest lavender farm, although it is better know for apple production.

LOW-RES-AUS-Wineglass

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New, looking old – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Better to be a star rather than a spark.  Sparks are for the moment, stars are for the future”.

“Talent is the key to success, but you have to find the door”.

Update on the story about the refund from Air France.    I cancelled an air ticket with AF, and understood that the actual ticket was not refundable, as the conditions stated, but asked Air France to refund the taxes.  Things like departure taxes had not been incurred, as I had not travelled, so I expected a refund of these.  After many many emails to Air France, and to some very unhelpful customer ‘service’ departments, then finally I got a refund, minus a 20 euro ‘administration fee’.  Still very unhappy with Air France because I had to write so many emails to them, but at least I have got most of the taxes back.   So the moral of this story is that even if the airline says no in the beginning, then keep on at them as they ARE supposed to refund the taxes.

A new photo made to look old for today’s picture.  The shot comes from the museum at Ballarat in Australia, and started off as a colour photo, then was converted to black & white and finally was given the sepia touch to make it look old.    It was just a matter of waiting for the tourists to disappear out of the scene then an easy job to capture this scene, which could be from the 1800s but is actually quite recent.

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Photo of the Day Thursday 30th May 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” I do not know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody”  Bill Crosby.

“Two things define you….your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything”.

According to the news yesterday, Australia has again been voted as the happiest place in the world to live in, scoring the highest marks in the ‘Better Life Index’.  This is based on income levels, health, safety and housing etc., and for the 3rd year in a row, Australia has won it.   No doubt that the people of Australia are happier than churchgoers in Venezuela.  Not only is the country suffering from a shortage of toilet paper, but apparently the Catholic church there is running out of wine as well.    The only wine maker in the country has been forced to cut back on production, so has stopped selling wine to the church.   Interesting that Australia, now the world’s happiest country, has a surplus of good wine (and presumably, no shortages of toilet paper!!).

Another photo from the archives and from Ethiopia, a portrait of a man sitting by the roadside.

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