Travelling the World – Covid Style

Image by Peter Schulz – Unsplash

We haven’t really had a great start to the year. Despite all the assurances about leaning to live with Covid, Omicron is racing across our nation, people are queuing up for hours to get tested, there is massive disruption in workplaces, and the supermarket shelves are empty. Again. As much as there is no official lock down, there might as well be, because that’s what we are all doing. So far the 2020s have not cracked up to be all that we might have hoped. We are in desperate need for something to light up our life and put a smile on our face. So here’s a little project Dan and I have been working on for a while.

The Covid Pandemic has changed our lives in many ways. We have learned to do so many things from home and in front of the screen – working from home, learning from home, socialising from home. One thing we have been able to do from home for some time is travel. While some of us are intrepid travellers, boarding planes and trains, lugging suitcases, and gallivanting around the globe, there have always been those of us who have been quite happy to travel by arm chair. 

As we have been stuck within our own four walls, many old hobbies have been revitalised. People have been rediscovering cooking, crafting, gardening and puzzling. The sale of jigsaw puzzles went through the roof in the first year of the pandemic. Dan has always enjoyed doing puzzles in his own unique way, and since we were bored with the ones we already had, we invested in some new ones too. And so we have discovered a new way of travelling via the humble jigsaw puzzle.

So sit back in your arm chairs and come along with us as we head off on a whirlwind tour…

Travelling the World Piece by Piece: Day 1

We are going to start our journey in our very own country, Australia, and here are three of the top scenic spots from the land down under. From our sunny spot in Queensland we are going to head south to the great metropolis of Sydney…

Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the most well known and iconic images of Sydney. Also known as “The Coathanger” it was opened in 1932 and is the tallest steel arch bridge in the world. It also used to be the widest steel arch bridge in the world but sadly it lost that title in 2012. Over the course of its eight year construction 1400 workers were employed, however working in the construction industry in those days was a dangerous job. There was no work health and safety back then and many workers went on to develop hearing loss as a result of the working conditions. Tragically 16 workers lost their lives. Despite the dangerous working conditions, the bridge turned out to be a life saver for many workers and their families. It was the Great Depression and employment was scarce, so the bridge also earned the nickname “the iron lung.”

One of the most interesting aspects of the bridge’s history is that construction began at both ends. As each end slowly moved towards the middle, I can just imagine the workers faces as their colleagues from across the river came into sight. After four years the two halves met in the middle in 1930. Just as well they got the calculations correct.

From Sydney we are going to continue south down to one of the most beautiful stretches of scenery in Australia, the Great Ocean Road.

The Twelve Apostles

The Twelve Apostles are a series of limestone stacks located down in Victoria, along the Great Ocean Road. The stacks are the result of erosion. As the waves and wind hit the cliffs, caves are formed, which gradually erode away to become arches. Finally one day the arches collapse to become stacks. Despite the name, there were only ever nine stacks, although due to further erosion this has now been reduced to seven. Apparently the stacks were originally called Sow and Piglets, but I guess that wasn’t too popular and probably doesn’t quite have the same ring as The Twelve Apostles. While the current stacks will eventually erode away and crumble into the sea, over time new stacks are expected to form out of the headland.

From the southern coastline of Victoria we are going to travel up to the Red Centre of the Northern Territory to see Australia’s most famous inselberg.

Uluru

In case you haven’t come across the term inselberg before, it refers to a mountain or hill that rises abruptly out of a plain, and Uluru certainly does that. For many years it was known as Ayers Rock, but to the traditional owners, the Anangu, it has always been known as Uluru. In 1993 its traditional name was finally recognised with the dual name of Ayers Rock/Uluru before finally becoming Uluru/Ayers Rock in 2002. At 348 metres high, Uluru is a massive landform, yet most of the sandstone rock resides underground. For many years tourists were able to climb and clamber all over the rock, but Uluru has always held great spiritual significance for the Anangu, and so out of respect for their beliefs and custodial responsibility climbing has been prohibited. It is also wise to remember that over the years almost 40 climbers have lost their lives.

In 1985 the Australian government finally returned ownership of Uluru and its surrounds back to its traditional owners, and works with the Anangu to jointly manage and care for the area. Tourists can enjoy strolling around the foot of Uluru which has a circumference of 9.4km and marvel at the change of colour throughout the day, however they are asked to respect the Anangu’s requests that only specific areas be photographed. You can find out more about the Anangu and their beliefs and customs here.

I hope you enjoyed visiting a few of our most popular spots in Australia and I hope you will join us again for day two as we leave the shores of Australia and continue travelling the world – piece by piece.

Happy Travelling

6 thoughts on “Travelling the World – Covid Style

  1. My aunty walked as a schoolgirl across the bridge when it opened. She was very excited when it turned fifty. I remember then a cartoon which read “Sydney Harbour Bridge 50 years old and still not paid for. Oh well. That’s Bridging Finance for you”.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great idea! And had not encountered the term inselberg before. I have to say I am not enjoying this return to working from home, plagued by technical issues today, very frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

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