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The latest update as of January 19, 2011
NOTE: Normally we present our postings on this page in chronological order - from the newest to the oldest - but the following two-part "Round The World in 2010" review wouldn't make much sense if we started in the middle of the trip, went to the end, then started at the beginning and continued to the middle. Say what? Just pretend it's mostly all one report, starting at the beginning and ending at the end. Trust us!
Welcome to the first posting of 2011 - and we're going to start with a quick look back at what we did in 2010. It's not going to be all drag racing, because as was the case in 2009, there were a few significant personal times and events for me, but it's all part of the package that sums up Northern Thunder.
It's been nearly a year since the 21st Winter Olympic Games invaded the Vancouver area and captured the imagination of an entire country. Well, almost the entire country, as some people decided to "escape the madness" and get out of town for the duration of the event. And I was one of them. In retrospect, I found that I'd missed out on some real magic and an incredible experience that will never be repeated in Vancouver.
It really started to hit home when we watched the opening ceremonies from a villa in the canal area in Noosa, Australia. Then, as we continued through Australia and on to the Cook Islands, and the medals kept piling up for Canada, the true impact of the games really hit me. Despite that, we enjoyed a one month round-the-world trip that like the Olympics, was a once in a lifetime experience and truly a highlight of my life.
Here's a few pics (click on the thumbnails to view full size) from various stops along the way:
Here's the neighbourhood near our hotel in London, the first stop on the trip.
One of the top tourist destinations in England is of course the Tower of London and London Bridge.
Finishing off our quick three-day tour of London, there's the Albert Memorial (left), one of William III's castles (centre) and the iconic Big Ben (right).
Moving a few thousand miles east, we landed in Dubai next, and spent five days there, looking at lots of very tall buildings and seeing some of the most extravagant shopping malls on the planet.
The contrasts between the old Dubai and the modern city-state it's become are quite stark at times.
An afternoon spent in the old port was quite an eye-opener too. Such a contrast to the skyscrapers literally across the street from the old wharves. One of the planned highlights of our stop in Dubai was to be dinner at the Gordon Ramsay restaurant, but alas, some knob ruined it for all of us (click on the thumbnail to see why it was closed).
The city only seems to really spring to life after dark, when everyone comes out of their air-conditioned living and working spaces and livens up the evenings. And that's it for Dubai after dark before we head further east, to Noosa, Australia (just north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast) and the next chapter in our "Escape the Olympics" adventure.
Unfortunately, that's all the time we have to post this travelogue today as there's real work to be done, so I'll sign off for now and complete this update tomorrow, with the balance of the trip pictures and at least a teaser of the next installment in the 2010 Year in Review. Yes, it will be drag racing, just in case you were worried that this was turning into some boring vacation pics website.
PS: In case you're worried about this turning into a bland content and no editorializing website... fear not, the good stuff is still to come. The list of topics to rant about through the 2010 season are almost endless. Start with the AHRA, go through the IHRA, NHRA, ADRL, etc, etc, until our fingers are worn out from all the typing and the keyboard is smoking hot. Just stay tuned.
Final note for today: If you still haven't got a 2011 Calendar, may I suggest you check out the fine work by Dean Murdoch at SpeedZone Magazine Online where there's a selection of really great calendars full of Nitro Funny Cars, Pro Mods, Top Sportsman, Doorslammers, Super Stock Hemi cars, and more. Just don't tell him that I sent you.... he'll probably charge extra! Just kidding Dean!
To see previous updates go to the What's Old page