Explore Japan's "art" island

The famous Pumpkin installation greets us wharfside (that's the pumpkin themed ferry in the background) Take a nondescript fishing island in Japan's inland Seto Sea, build two world-class art galleries and a sleek art-themed ferry and commission a renowned Japanese artist to create outdoor sculptures. Build it and they will come is the ethos of... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

How to eat a granita

Granita is one of the best things about living in a hot climate. I don't know why in Australia it isn't more readily available. On a stifling summer's day we could really use a hit of ice cold sweet'n'sour, semi-frozen goodness. And it's not too calorific either. Granita comes from Sicily and is more or less the... Continue Reading →

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