Friday, October 26, 2012


I'm 10 !!!

I have just had the bestest birthday a small bear could possibly have. I turned 10 years old on Monday, but the party was not until Wednesday. A bit mean of the Oldies to keep me waiting, but they did it in style for me. The Oldies, Scruffy, Milkshake, Blu, Darcy and I all went down to a great place called Bannisters at Mollymook, on the south coast. We had a beaut room with a balcony looking out to sea. You could actually see whales swimming past on their way south for the summer. I saw a mother whale and her calf just off the edge of the cliff. But birthdays are all about presents and there were two parcels there with my name on them. A joint effort by all us small critters quickly ripped the wrappings away and guess what we found? A camo tent big enough for us all fit into and a kit of the 15th century Da Vinci catapult! The tent was placed out on the balcony and we spent the rest of the 2-day break watching for whales. Dad and I are building the catapult right now. Birthdays are fantastic for kids and small bears.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012


Atlantis Aquarium Again

The biggest aquarium tank I have ever seen is the main one at Atlantis in Dubai. As well as gazillions of fish, the tanks have been made to look like the remains of a sunken city. It is very impressive and the fish really like the artificial reefs that the "ruins" make. The main tank holds all the sorts of fish that live in the Arabian Gulf, and smaller tanks hold examples of species from around the world. The other thing that makes Atlantis an interesting place to visit is the way that the paths through the aquarium are all made in tunnels and the walls are covered with fantasy artifacts and writing, supposedly Atlantean. I found some of the stuff a bit scary, particularly this giant warrior. I think he is not real, but I can't be sure; I was climbing on his axe thingies one minute and the next thing I was grabbed and Dad had to rescue me.  (For a bigger view of Bart in the grip of the Atlantean Giant, just click the image. - Dad)

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More Strange Buildings

Here's some more strange buildings in Dubai. It seems like most of the new buildings have to be different in some way. Although at first sight it might seem like there are no two buildings the same, there are in fact a lot of "twin towers". I particularly like the two in the first picture. I am not sure what they are, but they look a bit like twin penguins. The twisted one in the second picture is the Infinity Tower at Dubai Marina. This will be 73 stories high when it is finished and it will twist by more than 90 degrees. Construction started in 2006, but was held up for 18 months when a dam holding the marina cracked and flooded the foundations. It was just about complete when we saw it, and should be finished now. These buildings were seen from the Dubai Metro, a great way to see the architecture along Sheikh Zayed Road, the main axis road of Dubai.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012


Dam Progress

Here's a couple of photos showing how work on Canberra's new dam is progressing. The top one was taken in November last year, the bottom one this August. In the top photo you can see the old dam wall just above the new one, while in the bottom one the new wall is way higher. Just compare the dam heights against the trees on the valley walls. There has been a lot of progress in the nine months, despite holdups due to floods, accidents, unexpected faults in the rock and a few small cracks in the concrete. Big construction jobs like this are fascinating and it is great to have one that I can watch whenever I can stir the Oldies into driving me out there. There is a good walking trail up to the viewing points and on it there are many signs. I think this one is open to misinterpretation; I hope it is talking about the small bridge on the track, not the road bridge above it :)

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Dubai Buildings, Sheer Magic

I love architecture, particularly the strange and the record-breaking. Dubai and Abu Dhabi have probably the best examples and that's why the Oldies keep going back to see what's new. Here are two of the buildings in Dubai that were completed between their 2007 trip and our one this June. The one on the left is of course the fantastic Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. I still find it hard to believe that I went as high as it was possible for a small bear to go in this magnificent tower. It is really spectacular at night, all lit up and occasionally with laser shows and fireworks coming from it. We walked out every night to get photos and took hundreds. The pink building is the hotel at Atlantis on Palm Jumeirah. The palm is an artificial island (look at it on Google Earth) and Atlantis is right on the seaward edge of it. Atlantis has one of the biggest and most interesting aquariums I have ever seen and there are some photos of it on my blog already and more to come.

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Monday, October 08, 2012


A Bendy Building

Here's another peculiar building that we saw on our trip to DoBuy and Abu Dhabi. It is Capital Gate Tower in Abu Dhabi and is the most leaning building in the world. The top floors of the 160 m tower are almost completely outside the bottom floors. It looks impossible, but clever engineers have made it work. Building started in 2007 and was only just complete when we were there. It was a bit hard to get photos of it so forgive Dad for the first photo. It was taken out of the car window and needed a bit of straightening. The only parking spot we could find was where the second photo was taken. It is almost in front of the building so the overhang is not as obvious. You can find some great images of the building on the web. I love these strange buildings and the Emirates are the place to find them.

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Still Sick!

Mum is STILL sick. It has been weeks and weeks now and she still has to be raced into hospital every few days for emergency treatment. It seems like the bugs that are causing the trouble learn to live with the medicines that are being pumped into her. This week we see the absolute top specialists, so maybe Mum will finally be back to her special self. In the meantime, I am meeting lots of nice nurses and seeing lots of interesting medical stuff. Here's how they pump stuff into Mum. It actually is a pump with a syringe attached that sends stuff down a tube through a needle into Mum's vein. Poor Mum has had so many needles poked into her since this trouble started that it getting hard to find an un-bruised vein to use. I hope she gets better soon. Small bears need their Mum.


Wednesday, October 03, 2012


Floriade Time Again

It's time once again for Canberra's big flower show, Floriade. Mum likes flowers, so even though she is still pretty sick we took her out for a short look at the show. Of course, I like flowers too. When you are a small bear the flowers are tall enough for you to hide in and scare bugs, beetles, bees and stray photographers. I had fun tunneling through the tulips, dawdling through the daffodils and prancing through the poppies and pansies. There were also a batch of flower towers that were great for climbing, and when I got too tired to run around any more there were wheelbarrows full of soft flowers to flake out on. And I think that Mum enjoyed her outing too.

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