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Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Cairns Tropical Zoo

A Crocodile Billboard At Cairns Tropical Zoo.

Location: Cairns, Australia
Address:  Captain Cook Highway, Palm Cove
Date:  May 2012
Website:  www.crocodileadventures.com

  Cairns Tropical Zoo closed in 2016.  The zoo was owned by the same family that owns the nearby Hartley's Crocodile Adventures so when the zoo closed a lot of the animals were transferred there.  We were lucky enough to have visited Cairns Tropical Zoo in 2012 and had some great experiences. 


  We visited the zoo over two days and started one morning by having "Breakfast With The Koalas".  We were served a full buffet breakfast and also had a very special visitor.  A koala came into the dining area on a small wagon with a tree attached.  We got to see the koala up close and he seemed just as interested in checking us out as we were in him.  Forget about breakfast, if you start your day off with a koala it is bound to be a great day.


  The same keeper that kept an eye on the koala during breakfast also had a supporting role in the crocodile feeding we watched later that day.  The keeper had told us over breakfast that he prefers working with crocs rather than koalas.  As for us, we will take cute and cuddly over cold and chompy any day.  The real star of this show was an almost 4 meter long saltwater crocodile that lunged out of the pool to take a bite at a chicken or anything else it could grab.

Freshwater Crocodiles At Cairns Tropical Zoo

  Australia has saltwater and freshwater crocodiles and so did the Cairns Tropical Zoo.  Freshwater crocodiles have a long thin snout and usually eat insects or fish.  There is no known human death caused by a freshwater crocodile attack.  The same cannot be said of their saltwater cousins.

A keeper Holds A koala while a wombat watches at Cairns Tropical Zoo.

  Two other animals that are cousins are koalas and wombats.  A keeper talk explained what these two marsupials have in common and how they differ.  Wombats are a lot more aggressive said the keeper as she showed us a big bandage on her leg.  Koalas don't mind being held.

Koala At Cairns Tropical Zoo

  It was at Cairns Tropical Zoo that we held our first koala.  The koala didn't seem to mind as far as we could tell.  Someone put the koala near our arms and it grabbed on.  We put one hand under its butt so it could sit comfortably.  Photo! Photo! Photo! And then the koala would be transferred to the next waiting arms.  Photo! Photo! Photo! And then back to a little tree for the koala.  All the time it had the same expression on its face while we had huge smiles.

A Big Green Frog On A Toilet Seat.

  Australia is known for having many deadly and unusual creatures.  The reptile house had an exhibit where a big green frog was siting on a toilet.  Remember in Cairns to lift both the lid and the seat, then tap the bowl for good measure before getting down to business.  You never know if a frog, spider or snake may have claimed your toilet as its new home while you were away.

Central Netted Dragon

    This central netted dragon is a reptile that is only found in Australia.  He was a cute little guy.

Cassowary Cairns Tropical Zoo

  This next bird is sometimes called the world's deadliest bird.  The cassowary is a large flightless bird that can stand over 6 feet tall..  With a hard casque on its head and three toed feet with sharp dagger-like claws it is not to be messed with.  If you saw one walking around you might feel like you were watching a dinosaur.

Barking Owl

  During a bird flight show we were introduced to a barking owl.  It has a call that sounds like a dog barking.  It also had bright yellow eyes that can look right into your soul.

A Kangaroo Up Close At Cairns Tropical Zoo.

  No Australian zoo would be complete without kangaroos.  Cairns Tropical Zoo had its share of kangaroos.  We found ourselves surrounded by a mob (a group of kangaroos) looking for snacks.  The kangaroo above was the biggest of the bunch and must have been the mob boss.  We enjoyed ourselves so much that could have spent a few days at this zoo.  Oh wait, we did!

Map of Our World
Cairns Tropical Zoo

Post # 262

Friday, 30 August 2019

Hornets Buzz At Canadian International Air Show

A CF-18 Hornet Takes To The Skies Over Lake Ontario.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  210 Princes' Blvd.
Date: September 2014
Website:  theex.com

  Each Labour Day weekend in Toronto thousands of people crane their necks and look to the sky.  They shield their eyes and squint as they stare into the sun.  They also jump when they see something shoot past followed by an almighty roar.  The Canadian International Air Show rips up the sky over Lake Ontario once again.  This post pays tribute to one of our favourites, the CF-18 Hornet which is the loudest thing at the lake this weekend.

The CF-18 Hornet

  The CF-18 is the Canadian Forces version of the American fighter aircraft the F/A-18 Hornet.  It can travel up to Mach 1.8  (1,814 km an hour).  Mach 1 is the speed of sound.  At that speed, if the performing hornet kept on going it would be traveling through Saskatchewan an hour from now.

Lakeshore Boulevard Traffic During The CNE
 
  If we left during the show and drove our car, we would probably still be stuck on Lakeshore Boulevard trying to merge onto the Gardiner Expressway an hour from now.

A CF-18 Horner Hovers Over Lake Ontario During The Canadian International Airshow.

  Now running at such high speeds and using afterburners uses a lot of fuel so running at Mach 1.8 the jet would probably be out of fuel in less than 20 minutes.  Afterburners are an exhaust system that increases thrust of the aircraft for takeoffs, increased speed and quick maneuvers.

A CF-18 Hornet Flies Upside Down

  Whatever the science is behind how these machines work, we like them because they are fast and they are loud. The CF-18 Hornet also likes to fly upside down, hover in place and point straight up and fly into the sun.

A CF-18 Hornet Dressed For Canada 150

  Sometimes they like to get all dressed up for a special occasion like Canada's 150th Birthday.  It is always a special occasion when the CF-18 Hornet flies overhead at the Canadian International Air Show.  It is sure to get your attention.  Watch some video highlights below.



Map of Our World
Canadian International Air Show

Post # 261

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge

Leonard P Zakim Bridge Over Park

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Address:  Zakim Bridge I-93
Date: September 2010
Website: www.leonardpzakimbunkerhillbridge.org

  The Big Dig was an ambitious project in Boston.  It took the elevated roadways that ran through the city and moved them underground.  It cost billions of dollars and ran well over budget.  Construction started in 1991 and finally finished about 10 years later than anticipated in 2007.  Still, it was an example of long term thinking that changed the face of Boston forever.  We think for the better.

Rose Kennedy Greenway

  As part of the project,  the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge was built over the Charles River and the Rose Kennedy Greenway (above) was built where the old highway once stood.  Both projects were named after prominent figures from Boston.  Leonard Zakim was a civil rights activist and Rose Kennedy was the mother of president John F Kennedy along with 8 other Kennedy children.

Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge

  The Zakim Bridge has become a recognizable Boston landmark.  It was the widest cable stayed bridge in the world at one point.  In the movie Zookeeper, Kevin James climbs the bridge on the back of his gorilla friend Bernie.  They are trying to find the taxi Rosario Dawson is taking to the airport and stop her.  Thanks to the Zakim Bridge and the Big Dig getting to the airport in Boston is easier than ever. 

North Washington Street Bridge & Zakim Bridge

  We have stayed at the Marriot Residence Inn in Charlestown on more than one occasion and had a view of the Zakim Bridge from our room.  The closest bridge is North Washington Street Bridge and the Zakim Bridge is behind it.


  We often took a shortcut through the Charles River locks to get from our hotel to the subway.  It was also more fun, especially when a boat was passing through.

A Close Up Look At The Zakim Bridge

  You can also get a nice close-up view of the bridge by day.

Zakim Bridge in Boston At Night.

  And by night.

Zakim Bridge At Sunset.

    When the sun sets the upside down Ys that hold the cable and support the bridge stand out against the sky.  The Zakim Bridge and parkland created by the Big Dig make walking around Boston a pleasant experience.  You almost forget that underneath your feet hundreds of cars are rushing through tunnels trying to get across the city.

Map of Our World
Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge , Charles River Locks
Rose Kennedy Greenway

Post # 260