A Family Retreat In Huon Valley, Tasmania

I had carelessly booked us onto a Jet Star flight out of Melbourne. This meant we had plenty of time to kill in Melbourne airport. Jet Star’s published timetable of flight departures is a work of pure fiction. Tonight they were only running an hour late, which felt like a mini success.

We landed in Hobart at 11pm, after a perilously low approach over some water that almost had me reaching for my life jacket. As we are instructed at the start of each flight, I was fully ready to save myself first, with the kids entirely oblivious to our impending doom, absorbed on their iPads.

The pilot somehow found tarmac and I dashed out of the bijou terminal building to call our car hire company, convinced that we’d probably missed the last courtesy bus. I got straight through to a lovely lady, who told us to wait inside the terminal building and she’d swing round to pick us up in ten minutes.

Not only did this save us a walk to the bus stop, but it also suggested that we would be able to pick-up our car and I could break some good news to the family. We wouldn’t, after all, need to sleep in the terminal building like proper travellers.

I was warming to Tasmania already.

After a bus journey of five minutes we were dropped off in a barely lit gravel car park and given the keys to our 4×4 (Apex car rentals had a special offer, so I decided to upgrade!).

It was already a late night and the kids were starting to doze off in the car as we drove to our new Airbnb house, around an hour south of Hobart, in the Huon Valley. There was plenty of road kill as we headed out of town, and a couple of live wallabies were grazing in the middle of the road, attempting to become the next victims.

Our new home was around ten minutes outside the logging town of Geevston. It had an almost Japanese feel, with sliding doors and neat storage making the most of what was, essentially, a converted shipping container.

In the pitch black of our arrival, our only concern was locating the keys so that we could all get some sleep. After some searching through my emails, I eventually located the lock box code and we were in. Anja stopped searching for nearby hotels and congratulated me on my excellent planning.

The morning revealed a glorious sunrise over the surrounding hills and a sneaking view of the Huon river valley below us. I was extremely pleased with our little of slice of Tasmanian soil and was starting to google house prices in the area.

Family gap year

Compared to the rest of Australia, Tasmania is relatively poor and land is relatively inexpensive. You can pick up an acre plot with coastal views for less than $100k. The same plot in Perth or Sydney would cost millions.

When my writing career takes off and I can live off the royalties, then a little spot in Tasmania could look very appealing. In the meantime I’m not sure we’d be able to survive off the land alone, so we’ll have to settle for visiting.

Tahune Forest

After spending the previous day travelling, we were ready for some fresh air on our first full day in Tasmania.

Family travel blog

A 30-minute drive along a mud road from Geevston brought us to the Tahune Forest, and the prospect of enjoying some fresh air from a wobbly walkway constructed at dizzying heights off the forest floor.

The Tahune Airwalk loops 600m around the forest, at heights of up to 50m off the ground. This may not sound much, but it looks pretty high when all you’re standing on is some metal mesh with a clear drop below.

Family career break

As usual, the kids ran around the walkway and attempted to give me a heart attack by leaning precariously over low sections of handrail.

The views from up high were magnificent, but I was glad to return to solid ground and tackle one of the loop walks that crossed over a couple of swing bridges on a meandering forest pathway. An information board suggested this walk was an hour long, but the kids were keen to have a good laugh at me on the swing bridges, so off we set.

Family gap year

With various stops to inspect insects and prod mushrooms with sticks, daylight was beginning to recede when we eventually returned to the car park.

Family gap year

There’s something hugely satisfying about spending an afternoon with the kids, just walking and talking and being outdoors.

I’m not convinced the kids entirely agree…

Family gap year

Mt Wellington

Hobart sits in a gorgeous setting, with Mt Wellington on one side and a natural harbour on the other.

As a job creation scheme in the 1930’s, a winding road was built all the way to the peak of Mt Wellington. At over 1,200 metres above sea level, the top of the mountain is a good 10 degrees cooler than Hobart. I can imagine the summit provides a lovely sanctuary from the summertime heat, but we were there in winter, so it was bloody freezing.

RTW family

The view across Hobart was spectacular, for a few brief moments, before the clouds descended and we were cut-off from civilisation.

RTW family

Anja retreated to the warmth of the car, while the kids decided to do some rock climbing to the tip of the summit. I was put in charge of supervising the rock climbing, which meant I could have a go too while asking the kids to wait for me at the top.

RTW family

Salamanca Market

Salamanca market in Hobart runs every Saturday and we spent several happy hours wandering up and down the rows of stalls.

The surrounding area is a hub for apple growers, so there was a fair proportion of apple stalls, as you might expect. Otherwise, the market contained a fairly standard looking selection of food stalls and crafty objects, with the odd whiff of homemade soap mixed in with the coffee and hot dog aromas.

At one end of the market, a British guy, Jamie Maslin, had set-up stall selling signed copies of his book “The Long Hitch Home”. This was based on his journey from Hobart to London, which he accomplished over several months via hitch hiking. I eagerly snapped up a copy and spent the rest of the week feeling like an inferior traveller every time I jumped in our hire car.

While I was browsing books, the kids were sat enraptured by a street performer, who for some unknown reason was trying to squeeze himself through a tennis racket. Having finished contorting his body in ways that I couldn’t even bring myself to look at, he finished by inserting a sword down his throat. After nearly an hour of extreme busking, the guy did at least collect a decent amount of cash from the surrounding crowd. Whether it was enough cash to warrant a potentially life-threatening injury, I doubt.

RTW family

Port Arthur

Port Arthur is a world heritage site, originally home to thousands of convicts that had re-offended following their original transportation from the UK. It is also the site of the world’s first dedicated boys prison.

I was expecting to find a desolate place, surrounded by shark infested waters and inescapable depths of forest. Natural fortifications to contain hardened career criminals from the rest of humanity.

Instead, Port Arthur was both beautifully tranquil and picturesque in its late Autumn colours. It was hard to picture this scene as a place of imprisonment. It looked the perfect setting for a holiday camp.

Family travel blog

Plus, of course, most of the criminals did not appear to be hardened villains, but desperately poor people who had been transported from the UK for stealing food or poaching.

We spent all day wandering around the various buildings that formed the village of Port Arthur, which wasn’t just a prison, but also a thriving industrial centre and army barracks.

RTW family

The main prison is now in a semi-ruined condition following several bush fires in the late 1800’s, but it was possible to get a sense of the conditions in a separate block that was built to isolate particularly difficult customers. Modelled on London’s Pentonville jail, the new prison kept inmates in perpetual silence, with the guards even going so far as to wear soft slippers to avoid the sound of footsteps on the hard stone floors. Unsurprisingly, the new prison was next door to the insane asylum.

Whale Spotting

A brief aside, but on the road home from Port Arthur we parked the car at a crazy angle on the side of the road. This was a reflex response on my part to seeing a small crowd of people standing at the roadside, peering out into the surrounding water.

A few of the locals tutted at us as they had to pull around to pass our car on a blind bend. No doubt cursing us inconsiderate tourists.

But we didn’t care, because after a few possibilities of seeing whales previously on our travels, we got a sighting of a mother whale with her calf, sheltering in the shallow inlet waters. They were very close to the surface and came up for air a few times. They were several hundred metres from the roadside, but we could see and hear them clearly, even if my pictures don’t quite prove this.

Family career break

 Cockle Creek

Having studied a map of our new surroundings, I was excited to learn that we were within striking distance of the most southerly point in Australia. Or, at least, the most southerly point that you can reach in a car.

After Cockle Creek, the next stop is Antarctica.

Before Cockle Creek, there is miles of bumpy dirt roads.

I was confident that we’d be fine with a touch of off-roading, on the basis that I had the foresight to book a 4×4 and hadn’t bothered to study the hire agreement small print in too much detail.

There wasn’t anything much at Cockle Creek. An empty camper van in the car park was evidence of the last known visitors, but otherwise we had the place to ourselves.

Family gap year

Despite the less than optimal bathing temperatures, we headed to the beach to enjoy the solitude and eat our hastily arranged picnic. French bread and cheese.

The kids managed a brief dip in the icy waters, and then we decided to retreat to the promised warmth of Hastings Thermal Pools. We’d passed a sign for Hastings on the way down and the kids needed de-frosting.

The thermal pool turned out to look very much like a normal outdoors swimming pool, albeit in a nice woodland setting and surrounded by several potential walking trails. The water was not very warm, at 28 degrees Celsius, but it was warm enough for us.

Next Time

Just a short hop across to Melbourne, for a few days whizzing around on free trams.

Sisters’ Adventures So Far!

Hi, I’m Lexi. I’m 6 years old. I like travelling.

I haven’t liked – Dubai. I didn’t like it because it was too hot. I also didn’t like burritos, which we tried in New Zealand.

I have liked –  Lanzarote. I liked it because it was sunny and had a swimming pool. I also like Australia and Thai food.

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I had to go back to have an operation on my hand and it was quite scary. I had to go on a wheelie bed down to the operating theatre. The doctors got a special tube that had a big spike at the end that went into my veins. Then they put some special medicine into my veins that put me to sleep. When I woke up I had a massive bandage on my hand, which I called stumpy.

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I also really like climbing rocks and we found a beach with loads of rocks and jellyfish.

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Hi, I’m Kiera and I’m 9 years old.

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At the start of the trip I didn’t want to come. I don’t know why, I just didn’t want to. I wanted to stay at home. I also wasn’t sure about changing house or school. We had to leave our dog called Hugo at home. He was a Labrador. Me and my mum and sister didn’t want to leave him, but dad doesn’t like animals as much so it didn’t really bother him too much.

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I haven’t liked – Dubai and Kuala Lumpur because it was too hot and humid. I also haven’t liked driving around for too long because it makes me feel sick. I didn’t like the 12 hour flight to New Zealand, but it was worth it in the end.

I have liked –  New Zealand, Lanzarote and Australia. I also like seeing new things and doing new things. In New Zealand we went to the luge. You went up the top of the mountain and then went down in a go-cart.

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In New Zealand we also stayed on a farm and I loved it! I helped look after cows and I saw how they milked the cows. The baby cows were about 9 months old and the older group were about 2 years old. It was in Waikite Valley and there were thermal pools. Some were really hot and some weren’t too hot.

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That was my most favourite place so far on the trip. We also got to pet the cows after we saw how to milk them. Also in New Zealand we were on a drive and saw a big swing bridge and we all had a go and it was really good fun.

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In Australia we first flew to Perth. In Perth we stayed in some apartments that were really near to Kings Park. Kings park was 900 acres. There were three different parks and we went to two of them. They were really good fun! Next we went to Adelaide and stayed with daddy’s Auntie and Uncle and we went to a big rocking horse.

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We stayed there for a week and went on a Dolphin cruise and saw lots of Dolphins.

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We are now staying in a hotel near Melbourne that has a swimming pool and a trampoline park. After Melbourne we are going to Tasmania.

The Great Southern Road Trip, WA

The Brig Amity brought the first European settlers to Albany in 1836, setting sail from Sydney with 61 men to prevent an expected French settlement in the region.

Lying 400km south of Perth, on the bottom left edge of Australia, Albany is the oldest permanently settled town in Western Australia. An important port for mail ships heading from London to Sydney. At least until the mail was re-routed to Freemantle in order to reduce travelling time to the new WA capital in Perth.

The Great Southern museum was a perfect, free way to spend a few hours with the kids and brush up on our local knowledge. It’s always hard to tell how much they are listening as we walk through any museum, but it can be a pleasant surprise in a few weeks’ time if they suddenly mention something that we’ve learned on our one of our “educational” day trips.

If nothing else, the girls absolutely loved playing teacher in the old-fashioned village school.

Round the world with my family in Albany

RTW Family Albany

There is also a replica of the Brig Amity alongside the museum. It didn’t take long to look around every nook and cranny, twice, as the ships accommodation only stretched to a few cabins for the officers. Our expectations for old ships are set quite high, coming from the home of the SS Great Britain, but the Brig Amity was a workhorse with few frills.

I try to imagine what it might have been like for one of the crew on this journey. The baker brought along to help feed the new settlement, or the bricklayers required to build a town from scratch. It seems like an almost overwhelming task to build a town from scratch, in a region so remote, with hardship almost certain. But the sense of opportunity and adventure must have been exciting enough to get men onto the ship, unless you were a convict and simply had no choice.

National ANZAC Centre

Round the world with my family in Albany, WA

Albany is notable as the launching off point for thousands of ANZAC troops in World War One. The National ANZAC centre is located on a hill overlooking King George Sound, where the troop ships gathered for departure. The scene looks peaceful today, but a hundred years ago this bay was filled with troop ships, ready for departure.

Family travel blog, Western Australia

After taking the kids through the Gallipoli exhibition in Wellington, at Te Papa, I wasn’t sure if the ANZAC centre would hold their attention. We ended up staying the day, following the individual stories of soldiers, officers and nurses, sent thousands of miles from home into unimaginable danger.

The ANZAC centre provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices that were made on our behalf. One in every three soldiers that set sail from Albany never returned home. Of those troops that made it home, most were deeply scarred in some way by their experiences on the front line.

Great Southern Coastline

The coastline around Albany contains some stunning natural scenery, and would be an ideal place to cool off in the summer.

Little Beach at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve appears like a scene from the movies. The sea was bright turquoise and the sand was so soft that it felt like fresh powdered snow.

Family travel blog in Western Australia

We arrived in late May, and had the luxury of having this place almost to ourselves. The temperature was hovering in the low 20’s celsius, which in my mind is a perfect temperature for sitting on the sand without melting.

Round the world family trip, Australia

Some blue jellyfish had washed up onto the beach at the last high tide, so we tentatively approached the water to see if we’d be able to swim. The water was as clear as a mountain spring and appeared free of poisonous sea creatures. We dived in, or at least we tentatively put one toe in the water and then very slowly edged in, while all the time keeping a sharp eye out for anything that might eat us or sting.

RTW family trip, Western Australia

There are sharks along this stretch of Western Australian coastline, but I kept reassuring the kids that I didn’t think sharks could swim in water that was only half a metre deep. Or at least that if they could, we’d hopefully see them coming in clear water.

Family gap year

The Gap and Natural Bridge at Torndirrup National Park is a sensational viewing point, with a clifftop formed of rocks that used to be joined to Antarctica. We’re talking a few years ago, when Australia was part of the same super continent as Antartica.

Family travel blog

The good people of Australia decided that the natural wonder of this place wasn’t quite enough. So they decided to stick a metal platform into the side of a cliff and suspend it out over a sheer drop to the sea.

Once the kids had tested the platform to make sure it was safe, I ventured on for a few quick photos.

Family gap year

Greens Pool at Williams Bay is near the small town of Denmark, around 50km from Albany. A wide expanse of golden sand, with a lagoon of crystal clear water formed by a line of massive rocks offshore. This was another great spot to take a dip in the ocean and let the kids enjoy one of their favourite pastimes of clambering over rocks.

Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk was an opportunity to suspend ourselves 40 metres up in the air between some bloody big trees, as the name suggest. The idea of walking in the air is to help preserve the forest floor and to prevent damage to tree roots, but the main benefit has to be the views.

Family gap year

Whaling Heritage

Alongside its wonderful natural scenery, Albany is also blessed to be home to passing groups of whales, visiting the sheltered waters of King George Sound. The whale watching season runs from June to September and cruises run daily from the town harbour. We missed the season by a few weeks, so we’ve added a return visit to our ever growing wish list.

The presence of whales has always been a source of income for the town, but not always in a nice way. As late as 1978, whales were being hunted along this coastline, prized for the oil contained in their blubber.

The Whaling Museum at Frenchman’s Bay provides a disturbing, but very informative tour of the former whaling station. Massive silos stand at the entrance of the whaling station, formerly used to store industrial quantities of whale oil. The oil was used in the manufacture of products including soap and candles.

The stench of whale oil is still faintly detectable, and images of the slaughter in progress and a collection of whale skeletons, vividly captured the horrific nature of what happened here.

Family gap year

This dismal business has now been stopped across most of the world, although Japan, Norway and Iceland do still hunt whales for their meat.

Busselton

On our way back from the Great Southern region to Perth, we called in at the seaside town of Busselton.

We made straight for the longest jetty in the southern hemisphere. How could we not.

RTW Family in Busselton, WA

The jetty is 1.8km long, originally built to handle cargo ships, carrying away the regions vast reserves of timber. The jetty had to be built so far out because Busselton bay slopes very gently out to sea, only reaching a depth of 8m at the very tip of the pier.

After a four-hour drive to reach Busselton from Denmark WA, we were ready to stretch our legs, so set off to walk the mile or so out to sea. A tourist train also runs up and down the jetty, but the walk was invigorating and the kids raced up and down the wooden platform.

The cargo ships stopped arriving here in 1972, which threatened to bring the jetty to the end of its natural life.

But the entrepreneurial people of Busselton built an underwater observatory at the end of the jetty in a bid to raise funds for its ongoing preservation. We took a tour of the underwater observatory, and our guide gave as a very helpful 30-minute introduction to the marine life that exists at different depths beneath the waves.

RTW Family in Busselton, WA

It was fascinating to watch life going on all around us from the calmness of the viewing platforms.

Family round the world trip

We finished our day in Busselton with a lovely meal at the The Goose. I felt bad after seeing so much interesting sea life, but the prawn risotto was simply too tempting and delicious.

Next Time

We have a few days back in Perth and then we’re heading to Adelaide to meet up with my Aussie family.

36 Hours in Dubai

With Lexi’s hand firmly encased in a man-sized bandage, we decided to re-start our round the world trip.

Our plan is to start with six weeks in New Zealand, travelling via Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.

This may not seem an entirely logical starting point coming from the UK, but I have wanted to go to New Zealand for ever and now is hopefully a good time of year to visit. Warm enough for the kids to enjoy some beach time, but with fewer crowds than during the peak summer season.

Leaving Heathrow on a grey Saturday evening, we had a very smooth flight with Royal Brunei to Dubai. This was the kids first ever long-haul flight. It was also their first trip on a plane that wasn’t either bright orange or operated by a Dublin based airline that likes charging additional fees for breathing.

The novelty factor of in-board entertainment was a great help for this first leg. The kids had sussed the touch screen movie and game menu before Anja and I had finished unpacking the sweets from hand luggage. On the downside, there wasn’t much sleeping going on and we arrived into Dubai at 4am, a little tired.

Sleeping and Shopping in Dubai

With 36 hours in Dubai, we spent the first 8 hours catching up on some sleep.

Getting enough sleep is of paramount importance to this trip. Any lack of sleep can create potential problems, including general grumpiness, sporadic acts of aggression and occasional bouts of hysteria. This is all to be avoided wherever possible. It could be a long year otherwise, or possibly a very short one.

Refreshed after a few hours’ sleep, we decided to focus our limited time in one area of town. The temperature outside was scorching, for us at least, but there was a rather more comfortable feel in the Dubai Mall. So, that is where we decided to head for the day, to avoid heatstroke and to take a peek around the world’s largest shopping mall.

Round the world with my family - 36 hours in Dubai

As you might expect, Dubai Mall contains a lot of shops. Luckily there are other things to do.

Dubai Aquarium

Not quite sure what an aquarium is doing instead a shopping centre, but Lexi is fascinated with all things under water and so we headed here first as a treat for being so brave with her hand. As an extra special treat, I even spent the money required to gain entry.

Round the world with my family at Dubai aquarium

There is a very impressive glass tunnel that you can walk through and gaze up at sharks and stingrays, but the real treat for us was seeing the largest crocodile in the world (probably). It’s hard to convey just how big this thing was, but at first I assumed it was a display model because it looked too big to be a real thing. When it started moving it must have been at least 4 metres long and could comfortably have eaten all of us for lunch and still had plenty of room left for pudding.

Family-Travel-Blog-Dubai-Crocodile

After several hours in the aquarium we had to endure a few tense moments walking past the giant indoor Ice Rink. It didn’t really seem sensible to mix bandaged hands with hard ice and sharp blades. An ice-cream was called upon to provide temporary distraction, while we re-grouped and decided where to head next.

Burj Khalifa Fountain Show

Luckily for us, Kiera decided we should look around a few shops just to check out what was on offer, and then we headed to the nightly Burj Khalifa fountain show.

Round the world with my family in Dubai

Being Dubai, the Burj Khalifa also happens to be the tallest building in the world. At 830 metres and containing 160 floors, this behemoth is more than twice the height of the Empire State Building.

This is hard to picture when you live in rural Gloucestershire and the tallest thing around is next door’s cowshed.

The fountain show was spectacular and entirely free, which was a double bonus. It is a similar set-up to the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas, and designed by the same team, with an array of water fountains set in time to music.

Round the world with my family at a fountain show in Dubai

It would have been nice to spend more time in Dubai, to explore some of the old town and look for other world record breaking feats of engineering. But after walking several miles around Dubai Mall, we were now all ready for some more sleep, in preparation for our return journey to the airport.

Next Time

Onward to Kuala Lumpur for a few days, and then Auckland.

Kids Around Town – London & Cardiff Highlights

We’d always planned to launch our round the world trip from London. Partly because the kids enjoy spending time there, saying hello to the Queen’s house and riding the tube like grown-ups. And partly because I could find cheap flights out of Gatwick.

After spending a few days with my parents in Devon at the start of our trip, we’d penciled in three days in London to see the sights. Our visit didn’t go entirely to plan, as we had to spend almost an entire day in St Thomas’ hospital.

We’re now diverting for an unscheduled visit to Cardiff, while we wait for an operation to fix Lexi’s finger. We had planned to be in Rome this week, but who wants to see the Colosseum and gorge on soft ice-cream, when instead you could visit the capital city of Wales.

Missing out on our visit to Mt Etna may not have been such a bad move though…Mt Etna eruption.

A Few Days In London With Kids

You are free to go absolutely anywhere you fancy in London. It’s a big place. But in our few days with the kids, here are our highlights:

  • Natural History Museum – we’ve been here a few times now and I’m sure we still haven’t scratched the surface. Good if you like old dinosaur bones and stuffed animals. Not so good if you usually get lost in Ikea, as you may never found your way out.
  • Science Museum – right next door to the Natural History Museum, but you’d need a lot of stamina or a very short attention span to manage both in one day. I dare say it’s been done, but we spent nearly all day here. This was top of our kid’s wish list for London, even above M&M world, because there is so much to do and the displays are nearly all interactive in some way, which the kids just love.
  • Buckingham Palace – we got lucky and stumbled into changing of the guards, which none of us had seen before. But even without any gold carriages and cavalry guards, the kids have always enjoyed waving up at the windows in Buckingham Palace, just in case the Queen manages to see them. Kiera says that she wants to live in Buckingham Palace. She did concede that the Queen could stay too, but only in half of the rooms as she’d need the other half.

Family Travel Blog Buckingham Palace

  • Covent Garden – we often seem to end up in or around Covent Garden in the evening, as the last time we stayed there were street performers putting on shows for the kids. This meant that Anja and I could enjoy a beer outside. There are also plenty of dinner options nearby, and probably a few nice shops if you know what you’re looking for.

Followed By A Week In Cardiff

Cardiff is Anja’s home town. We’ve visited as a family plenty of times, on day trips from our home in Bristol. Even though our week in Cardiff was unplanned, and in some ways forced upon us by medical issues, it has been good to spend some time here in tourist mode.

  • Cardiff Bay – previously we’ve only sampled tiny portions of Cardiff’s old dockside, but this week we’ve been able to do the full tour. A historically important area of Cardiff, which was both the launching off point for Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic in 1910, plus the route by which South Wales coal was exported to the world. In the 1880’s, Cardiff docks was handling more coal than any other port in the world, but this came to end after the Second World War and Cardiff Bay suffered from years of neglect and destruction. Now re-developed, we spent a lovely afternoon wandering along the quay, and the kids even managed to drag us into a museum in the Pierhead building, which is what enabled me to write so knowledgeably about the area!

Family-Travel-Blog-Cardiff-Bay

  • Techniquest – a slightly scaled back equivalent of the Science Museum in London, but practically on our doorstep in Cardiff Bay, and filled with interactive exhibits to keep the kids entertained while Dad tries to understand and explain the complex scientific concepts that each new “fun zone” is trying to convey. I emerge having remembered some GCSE level physics, while the kids usually emerge drenched in water having had too much fun trying to disprove Archimedes’ physical law of buoyancy.
  • National Museum Cardiff –  a useful rest from water play and a potential escape when it might happen to rain in Cardiff. On our last visit there was a temporary installation of some of Quentin Blake’s original illustrations, which the kids were pleased to see because they were able to recognise most of the drawings from Roald Dahl books.

Family Travel Blog Cardiff

  • St Fagans National History Museum – an open air village, formed from lots of old houses from different periods of Welsh history. I wasn’t too thrilled by this prospect either, at least not when my wife first suggested we visit. Then I heard it was “free” to enter, so there wasn’t too much to lose, albeit I’m sure they appreciate donations and quite like it if you could at least buy a cup of coffee while you’re inside. As it turns out, while I probably won’t get a new career in advertising any time soon, St Fagans was actually quite interesting. For some reason it was curious to poke around in old farmhouses just to see how lucky we are today to have comfortable pillows and running water. It is also mind-boggling for the kids that people, even quite recently and not just in pre-historic cave dwelling times, used to live without all of the creature comforts that they are so used to.

That was more than enough to keep us entertained for the week, alongside popping back to Bristol for Lexi’s finger operation just for a bit of variety.

Next Time

Lexi was very brave and is now walking around with one good hand and one hand wrapped up like a boxing glove. This doesn’t appear to be slowing her down too much, so we’re now planning to resume our round the world trip by heading to New Zealand for the end of March, as originally intended.

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