Tuesday, 31 July 2012

South Tenerife...

Candace and I went to Silencio Church this past Sunday. (29th July.) It is in the south of Tenerife, which has a more English-speaking (expat) population. The service was lovely and the people are very friendly. Candace wrote a little more about the church service itself on her blog. On the drive home we stopped at the Faro de Punta Abona. This lighthouse was completed in 1976 and overlooks the rocky coastline of Tenerife. We also passed many interesting sights on our drive along the TF-1 highway back to Santa Cruz.

The sign above the entrance to the lighthouse.
 The barren landscape.
 Beautiful ocean.
 The water is so clear here!
 Tenerife relies on wind farms for much of its power.
 Topiary on a very large scale!
 Pretty little fishing boat along the TF-1 highway.
Bizarre water feature in Silencio.
Candace enjoying her mussels at Los Abrigos.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Final days in the USA...

It seems like we left our floating home an eternity ago. Perhaps it is because of all the new life experiences I have had - I'm not sure. But nevertheless, despite it feeling like this trip lasted forever, the time sped by rather quickly.

We spent our last full day in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and spent time on the beach before exploring some of the souvenir shops along the main road. The following day (21st July) we drove from Gulf Shores to Mobile, Alabama, where we said some rather painful farewells to Candace's family - who have been so friendly and hospitable over our time here.

Candace and I at one of the souvenir shops.
USS Alabama docked in Mobile.
My new family. :-)

We then caught our domestic flight from Mobile to Dallas, Texas, and onward across the Atlantic Ocean. We flew direct to London and then on to Madrid and finally Tenerife. It was with some joy that we spotted our ship home far below us as we approached Tenerife North Airport. (22nd July) Our travels were very long and tiring, but we were finally home.

Thanks to everyone who made our USA trip such an amazing experience! We appreciate you all!

 The sun sets as we fly over the USA en-route to London.
 Puffy clouds far below.
 Our first sight of the United Kingdom - the coast of Wales.
 The rural farmlands of Wales.
 The Severn Bridge near Bristol.
 Hot-air balloon over the English countryside.
 The mighty Thames River - visible is Fulham's football stadium on the right bank at centre of shot.
 Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, and the London Eye (the Ferris wheel) all visible in this shot.
 Banking to begin our approach into London Heathrow.
Olympic symbol in the fields along the flight path.

Pensacola Pier...

After our supper at Crabs seafood restaurant, we went and had a lovely walk along Pensacola's fishing pier. The sun was setting as we walked past many fishermen eager to reel in that elusive catch. It made me rather keen to pick up a fishing rod too! But, soon enough, it was time to head back to the hotel to catch some sleep ahead of our drive to Gulf Shores, Alabama, the next day. It certainly has been an amazing time in the United States of America over the past three weeks!

 School of fish in the clear waters below the pier.
Look closely and you'll see a sting-ray!
 Pensacola Beach skyline.
 Beautiful sunset.
 Fishing on the pier.
I didn't catch this Beauty on Pensacola Pier, but actually in Sierra Leone! :-)

Friday, 27 July 2012

Crab Racing...

We had supper at Crabs, a lovely seafood restaurant on the Pensacola beachfront, last Thursday. (19th July 2012.) But what was more interesting for me than the seafood itself (which was really good!) was the Crab Racing happening outside. Children could select a crab with a brightly-coloured shell and enter it into the race. There were qualifying rounds before the semi-finals and finals. It certainly was a new cultural experience for me!

 Sign inside Crabs restaurant.
 Crab Racing!
 And they're off!
 The competing crabs have a rest in their bucket.
 Quite a crowd turned up for the Crab Racing.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Pensacola Lighthouse...

After visiting the National Naval Aviation Museum, Candace and I decided to stop at the Pensacola Lighthouse, one of the tallest lighthouses on the Gulf Coast. Here we explored the museum and bought some postcards, and I decided to brave the 177-step spiral staircase to the very top! It was rather high up there, but the views were quite beautiful. I even managed to see a US Navy fighter jet take off from the nearby Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola.

 Information plaque at the lighthouse.
 The National Naval Aviation Museum as seen from the top of Pensacola Lighthouse.
 NAS Pensacola.
 US Navy jet takes off...
 And powers into the air!
 At the top of Pensacola Lighthouse.
 View towards the beach.
 With Candace at the bottom of the historic lighthouse.

National Naval Aviation Museum...

After a lovely two-and-a-half weeks in southern Indiana, we drove down to Pensacola Beach, Florida, last Wednesday. We went through the states of Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama before reaching the Florida coast. Here we spent a relaxing couple of days swimming and taking in the attractions that Pensacola has to offer. One of those attractions is the acclaimed National Naval Aviation Museum, which Candace and I visited last Thursday. (19th July.) There were many fascinating exhibits and scores of aeroplanes. I particularly enjoyed the model aircraft carriers that were on display. And the best thing about the day was that the museum has a free entry - which is quite unbelievable considering the amazing content!

Here are many more photos from our day at the National Naval Aviation Museum!

Before we arrived at the museum, we passed the impressive Advanced Redoubt fort.
It was built between 1845 and 1870 and saw action in the American Civil War.
 Narrow slits from which soldiers could fire upon the advancing enemy.
 The first exhibit we looked at was the history of US aircraft carriers as displayed in model ships!
 Inside the cockpit of a former Blue Angels jet. The Blue Angels are the aerobatic display team of the US Navy.
 A Japanese Zero fighter jet soars above Candace.
 The first jet-powered fighter, the Messerschmidt Me-262.
 A WWI era fighter biplane.
 Harrier jump-jet. I have a model of one of these jets hanging from my ceiling in Cape Town.
 F-4 Phantom II fighter jet.
 US Coast Guard helicopter - HH-52 Seaguard.
 Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King helicopter that has been used to transport past presidents of the USA. When the President is onboard a helicopter, it will use the call sign "Marine One".
 Lifelike Richard Nixon in the cabin of the helicopter.
 Many, many planes in the main hanger.
 Blue Angels jets hanging from the ceiling.
 There was also a section that portrayed life in WWII America.
WWII desert warfare display.
 And we thought ship showers were strict!
 Bell AH-1 Cobra.
 US Navy banners.
Hanger Bay One.