Tag Archive | markets

At the Beach

Goin’ Cruising #5

Day Three – Airlie Beach

After a day at sea, we were excited to go ashore at the small coastal town of Airlie Beach, located in the Whitsunday Region of northern Queensland.

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Pacific Dawn anchored off shore and we boarded a little orange tender for the short journey to Abell Point Marina. Instead of going on a shuttle bus to town, we decided to take our time and stroll along the Bicentennial Walkway around the coast.

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The three kilometre track is in parts a wide cement path and in other places a boardwalk, skirting the hillside around the point and over the tumbled rocks of Shingley Beach. In one section a beautiful display of bougainvillea adorned the path, the long thorny branches draped over a wall and reaching out into the air above our heads.

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After an easy walk along the track, with stops to admire never-ending views of the Pacific Ocean, we came to the sparkling blue waters of Airlie Bay.

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The sandy beach lining the bay is narrow and, with box jellyfish living in the tropical waters from November to May, swimming is not advisable so a large man-made lagoon on the foreshore provides the perfect alternative. Even in the mild winter temperatures, children and tourists were enjoying the sunshine and the fresh, cool water of the swimming area.

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Beyond the lagoon the Airlie Beach Market was in full swing, with stalls selling local produce, tropical fruit and handmade crafts. We resisted temptation, stopping just to admire hats made from palm fronds and brightly coloured hand dyed sarongs. Instead of retracing our steps along the beachfront, we walked up the palm tree lined main street of the town before returning to the boardwalk and the marina.

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Back on Pacific Dawn in time for our afternoon departure, we farewelled Airlie Beach and sailed past the Whitsunday Islands, a group of 74 thickly rainforested and mostly uninhabited islands located between the mainland and the Great Barrier Reef. The islands were named by James Cook when he sailed by in 1770 on what he thought was Whit Sunday, without realising he had crossed what would one day become the International Date Line.

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I wondered, in the late afternoon sunshine, how Cook and his crew felt as they travelled through these uncharted waters. Were they as enthralled by the reflections of islands and clouds on the glassy ocean as we were?

The setting sun turned the ocean to liquid gold and shrouded the last of the Whitsunday Islands in a haze of darkened cloud, and we continued northwards into the night.

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Join Jo for more wonderful Monday Walks

To Market, To Market

There are 140 shops and stalls at the Victualienmarkt in Munich, selling gourmet delicacies and local foods as well as beautiful flowers and plants. This was our first morning in Munich and indeed our first morning in Germany, and after an overnight flight the market had just the atmosphere we needed to reclaim our bearings and start to enjoy all that Munich had to offer. The market has been trading in the square behind the Church of St Peter since 1807 and has become an important meeting place for local shoppers and visitors.

Asparagus season was in full swing and it was for sale at many stalls. The white variety was new to us and its fresh, plump tenderness was very tempting.

At the greengrocers we were amazed to see the countries of origin of many of the fruit and vegetables. There were bananas from Panama, tomatoes from Spain. The variety was endless.

The garden shop was lush with greenery and gorgeous flowers ready to take home. Most of the flowering plants were familiar to us – it was strangely comforting to see them in unfamiliar surroundings.

We bought our evening meal of bratwurst at the butchers and some fresh crusty bread to go with it from this bakery. The enormous pretzels were on our “must eat” list immediately.

There is a beirgarten – of course, which opens an hour later than the market, at 9am. All of Munich’s beers are served here as well as those giant pretzels that are so salty and delicious…

probably more delicious than this spirulina brot!