Hike the other Cinque Terre

Italy's once beautiful Cinque Terre has been ruined by mass tourism. The buses and trains are bursting, pickpockets roam the trains, walking tracks are closed due to landslides that haven't been repaired and the charming towns are overrun with tourists. Locals look either bored or grim, tourists look harried and gelato costs a bomb. It's... Continue Reading →

Romania’s last stand

This dot on the map is Sfântu Gheorghe. It’s Romania’s last stand before the Black Sea. To the east is Russia and to the right is Turkey and the architecture reflects that: homes with Ottoman Empire features, Orthodox church and, being Romania, communist era apartment blocks. It doesn’t much feel like Europe here with its... Continue Reading →

Walk the Rim

Everything good in Central Australia happens at dawn. Whether it be walking, hot air ballooning, photography or just admiring the views, dawn in the desert is outstanding. Getting up is hard but once you are up it's worth it. For us it was tackling Kings Canyon, the set piece walk of the vast ochre wonderland... Continue Reading →

Prague’s classical comeback

  Mozart loved Prague and used to visit for months at a time. Beethoven and Vivaldi also loved Prague. The Czech Republic’s premier composers, Dvorak and Smetlana were both proud Praghistas. But when you think of European classical music capitals, Vienna springs first to mind. However, I was surprised to learn that Prague has an... Continue Reading →

The Bella Black Sea

The road to Constanta is unlike most other Romanian roads: smooth with no potholes. It’s the first indication that Constanta is different. Owing to its Black Sea position, it’s more multicultural –  a mélange of Turks, Greeks, Ukrainians, Russians – and the dialect too is a little different – they say merci for thank you... Continue Reading →

Cruising Eastern Europe

“Two weeks on a river cruise?” Vikki, our local Budapest guide, shook her head in dismay. She should know – she used to be a river cruise director so she’s seen a cruise buffet or two in her time. We are half way through our Danube cruise on the Avalon Luminary. We started in a... Continue Reading →

Hike Taronga to Balmoral

Sydney is known for its spectacular coastal walks but this is one of the best. All the icons are there (bridge, harbour, Opera House), as well as heritage buildings and lovely coastal forest with wildflowers in season and the odd bit of wildlife. This one is my personal fave - for me it is the... Continue Reading →

Here’s Prost to Drunk Hiking

Walking while tipsy is generally not recommended. But in Austria it feels just right. The series of mountain huts dotted liberally in the alps is just what you need while hiking. And hiking is a good way to work up an appetite for Apfelstrudel served with lashings of cream and a schnapps. Don’t mind if... Continue Reading →

Byabarra Cafe Bakehouse Bar

Straight out of a coming-of-age story, the Byabarra Café Bakehouse Bar is set in rolling green hills at the foot of the Comboyne Plateau, around a forty minute drive west of Port Macquarie. Byabarra itself is a dot on the map, nothing more than a clutch of houses, an historic church and acres of prime... Continue Reading →

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