Yoichi in Hokkaido

Felicity was invited to give a talk and run a workshop in Sapporo, so we stayed a night in Osaka before flying north to Hokkaido.

We spent the afternoon near the station in Tamba, walking though a 9-level “vertical park” which I thought an interesting way of providing some green spaces for the citizens of the surrounding high-rises. We also explored some of the city’s shopping arcades before catching the limousine bus out to the airport where our hotel was sited a convenient 5 mins from the departure hall.
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Tasmanian Overland Track

We’ve just returned from Tasmania, where we travelled to visit my mum. While we were there, we decided to experience what is considered one of the top hikes in the world.

The Tasmania Parks & Wildlife service warns that: “the Overland Track is a serious undertaking, for well–prepared walkers, with a good level of fitness and who understand the risks of walking in a remote alpine area“, so it is not just a walk in the park.
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Wren’s Nest National Nature Reserve at Dudley

About 430 million years ago during the Silurian period, the Midlands area of the UK was covered by the shallow Iapetus Ocean. Because it was near to the equator the tropical waters saw the development of coral reefs, shellfish and other invertebrate creatures.

During this time, most of the earth’s dry land was concentrated in the Gondwana supercontinent, which covered the south pole. In the northern hemisphere, three smaller continents named Baltica, Laurentia and Avalonia drifted towards each other and eventually collided. At the junction of the last two, a ridge of limestone was pushed up out of the sea creating a line of hills that can still be seen near the town of Dudley.
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Jewellery Quarter Birmingham

About half an hour’s walk along the canal from our apartment is an area of Birmingham known as the Jewellery Quarter. We walked around it soon after we arrived, but did not visit the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter when we saw it was going to cost us NZ $15 each. After reading some reviews we realised this may have been a mistake, so after a morning spent working on our computers, we walked over to check it out.
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Moseley and Edgbaston

Ten points for any reader who can guess the connection between these two areas of Birmingham without scrolling down the page. Felicity had a 10 am appointment in Moseley, so we decided to catch the bus instead of walking and arriving hot and sweaty. We wondered how we would pay the fare, and were impressed to discover that any credit or debit card can just be touched on the card reader. This technology is coming to NZ over the next few years.
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