VISIT – STRASBOURG

Snaps from a springtime stay in a special corner of France STRASBOURG STAY WHERE Strasbourg, the capital of France’s Grand Est region a stone’s throw from the German border. WHEN I spent two days in Strasbourg during idyllic blue-sky days in March, breaking the rail journey between Frankfurt Airport and Lyon where I was boundContinue reading “VISIT – STRASBOURG”

Arles Arena …

Where … Arles Arena When … Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 10.08am What … The old Roman Arena in Arles was built 2000 years ago to host battles between man and beast to keep the locals entertained. Back when the Romans occupied Provence there would be day-long programs here starting with battles between wild animals,Continue reading “Arles Arena …”

the Chase Range …

Where … The Chase Range, in the north of South Australia’s Flinders Ranges When … Thursday, July 3, 2018, at 3.40pm What … The Chase Range appears under the wing as my Air Adventure tour of the Flinders Ranges draws to a close with a quick two-hour flight back to Melbourne. South Australia’s Flinders RangesContinue reading “the Chase Range …”

German’s Ampelmann …

Where … Ampelmann Berlin at Unter den Linden 35 When … Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 11.47pm What … … meet ampelmann. This jaunty fellow was the character on East German traffic lights telling pedestrians when they could cross – or stop on the red – and has become so popular he now has his own shopContinue reading “German’s Ampelmann …”

Zhujiajiao “watertown” …

Where … Zhujiajiao, the “watertown” a couple of hour’s drive from Shanghai in eastern China When … Wednesday, April 18, 2018 What … On my April visit to Shanghai with Wendy Wu Tours I make an afternoon stop in Zhujiajiao before dashing to the airport for an evening flight on to mountaintop Zhangjiajie. The traditionalContinue reading “Zhujiajiao “watertown” …”

the Furstenzug …

Where … On Augustusstrasser, in the heart of Dresden When … Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 3.30pm What … … Dresden’s mural wall — officially called the Furstenzug — with more than 23,000 Meissen tiles telling the story of Saxony’s ruling family. It’s 102m long, making it the largest porcelain artwork in the world, andContinue reading “the Furstenzug …”

the Berlin Wall …

Where … The Berlin Wall Memorial, Bernauer Strasse, Berlin When … Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 1.12pm What … … the Berlin Wall. I’m fascinated by the Berlin Wall, and the idea of a divided Germany, so visit what’s left of the notorious 20th-century landmark every time I’m in the German capital. This is aContinue reading “the Berlin Wall …”

Buchenwald Memorial …

Where … The Buchenwald Memorial 18km from the German town of Weimar. When … Monday, December 3, 2018 at 10.13am What … A break from the Christmas markets in Weimar this morning to explore a dark chapter of German history. This is the main entrance to Buchenwald, the concentration camp that opened in 1933 toContinue reading “Buchenwald Memorial …”

Buenos Aires …

Where … Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina and one of South America’s most vibrant cities. When … I visited for three days in December 2016, breaking the journey from Australia to Ushuaia to interrupt the long trip either side of my voyage to Antarctica. What … It is my second call on Buenos AiresContinue reading “Buenos Aires …”

Saigon afternoon storm …

Where … Room 101, Villa Song Saigon When … Sunday, July 29, 2018 at 3.09pm What … I love the afternoon thunderstorms that sometimes sweep across Saigon at this time of the year. Puffy white clouds begin to bloom and bellow after lunch, reaching high into the sky, and while most harmlessly collapse some turnContinue reading “Saigon afternoon storm …”

Tan Son Nhat …

Where … On the runway at Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat Airport When … Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 1.16pm What … The “departure” runway at Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat Airport – with one typically for arriving and the other for leaving – which is the city’s international and domestic hub about 15km from District 1.Continue reading “Tan Son Nhat …”

South African sunset …

THE view from a window in my comfy picture-perfect cottage at Bushmans Kloof reveals that after a red-sky at night it was a red sky this morning. The days start early here with guests waking up at dawn to join a drive into the heart of the Cederberg Mountains, surrounding the isolated lodge, to enjoyContinue reading “South African sunset …”

British Embassy Villa …

Where … The British Embassy Villa on the edge of Lake Chuzenji in Japan’s Okunikko When … Thursday, July 12, 2018 and 9.33am What … This is the British Embassy Villa which was built in 1892 – and recently renovated – by the UK’s chief diplomat at the time. Lake Chuzenji served as Tokyo’s hillContinue reading “British Embassy Villa …”

Kita-In Temple …

Where … Kawagoe’s Kita-In Temple When … Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 11.43am What … Japanese garden love at Kawagoe’s Kita -In Temple. A few centuries ago, after another one of Kawagoe’s big fires, half the city was turned to ashes and the emperor at the time decided to cheer the locals up by givingContinue reading “Kita-In Temple …”

China’s Yangtze River …

Where … China’s Yangtze River When … The afternoon of Monday, April 23, 2018. What … I’m enjoying a four-night cruise along China’s famous Yangtze River from Yichang to Chongqing with Wendy Wu Tours and today, the second full day of the voyage, sees my ship the Victoria Katarina navigating two of the waterway’s three […]

Hue’s Imperial City …

HUE’S Imperial City is one of Vietnam’s most beautiful corners but because the address sits in the centre of the country, in the region most tourists fly over jetting between Hanoi and Saigon, it often goes unexplored and unappreciated. But on my most recent visit to Vietnam the itinerary includes a stay at the BanyanContinue reading “Hue’s Imperial City …”

Lake Towada …

Where … Lake Towada, near the northern tip of Japan’s Honshu Island. When … Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 3.25pm What … Lake Towada, the largest caldera pond on Japan’s main island, is part of the Towada National Park and marks the border between Akita and Aomori prefectures. It is famous for the “autumn colour”Continue reading “Lake Towada …”

SQ183 sunset …

Where … Flying on a Singapore Airlines’ 777 from Saigon to Singapore When … Sunday, August 20, 2017 at 9.09pm What … A delayed departure from Saigon, and a command from Singapore air traffic control to slow down by doing lazy circles in the sky while flying south along the Malay Peninsula, put my planeContinue reading “SQ183 sunset …”

the Mekong River …

WHERE … The Mekong River in central Cambodia WHEN …  Monday, August 7, at 5.06pm WHAT …  It’s the second full day of my cruise from Siem Reap to Saigon on board the RV Mekong Pandaw and we’re sailing downstream somewhere between Kampong Cham and Phnom Penh. It’s about an hour before dusk settles onContinue reading “the Mekong River …”

Singapore’s southern sky …

Where …  A suite on the 19th floor at One Ferrar Resort & Spa When …  Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 9.23am What …  Another day begins in Singapore with the floor-to-ceiling windows in my suite on the 19th floor at One Ferrar Resort & Spa framing a view that stretches across the island’s southernContinue reading “Singapore’s southern sky …”

SQ291 sightseeing …

Where … Flying above the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island in a Singapore Airline’s 777 on approach to Wellington’s airport. When … Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 1.31pm What … The journey from Canberra to Wellington takes my Singapore Airline’s flight right over the Marlborough Sounds with the settlement of Picton passing belowContinue reading “SQ291 sightseeing …”

Antarctica’s Cierva Cove …

HAVE you heard of a little place called Cierva Cove? It’s most unlikely, unless you’re a glaciologist or polar explorer, with this landmark just another weather-beaten bay on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula at the mouth of the Gerlache Strait. But Cierva Cove is a significant spot thanks to the chain of monumentalContinue reading “Antarctica’s Cierva Cove …”

Bendigo’s View Street …

BACK in the 19th century Bendigo sat at the heart of Victoria’s goldfields with the regional settlement growing into a bustling metropolis after the first sparkling nuggets were found in the 1850s. While tent neighbourhoods quickly sprawled in every direction – as more miners arrived to fossick for gold rustic communities grew around the minesContinue reading “Bendigo’s View Street …”

Germany’s Rostock …

ROSTOCK won’t be high on the list of destinations to see when crafting an itinerary to explore Germany. But this northern settlement, a stone’s throw from the Baltic coast in what was once East Germany, is a pretty place to spend a day especially for those planning on catching a ferry from nearby Warnemünde acrossContinue reading “Germany’s Rostock …”

Vietnam’s Sa Dec …

I’VE been to Vietnam’s Mekong Delta a few times now but this is the first time I’ve visited Sa Dec. The settlement sits upstream from big cities like Vinh Long and My Tho and, at first glance, looks much like all the other villages lining the banks of the might Mekong River as it snakesContinue reading “Vietnam’s Sa Dec …”

the Eureka Stockade …

THESE pieces of worn and faded navy and white fabric come together to make one of Australia’s oldest treasures. This is the flag of the Southern Cross, or what’s left of the material more than 160 years after it was created, with the banner born on the Ballarat diggings during the boom years of theContinue reading “the Eureka Stockade …”

Russia’s St Petersburg …

THE first time I went to St Petersburg there wasn’t a lot of freedom for exploring. That’s was ten years ago, a little more than a decade after the Iron Curtain fell, and I was on a coach tour with the guide not allowing much time for his passengers to stray from the organised itinerary.Continue reading “Russia’s St Petersburg …”

the Berlin’s Wall …

AFTER spending a single day in Berlin more than 10 years ago I’ve long been keen to return to the German city for a longer stay and have finally achieved this goal. I’m spending a week in what was once East Berlin visiting many of the landmarks I know from my university history studies includingContinue reading “the Berlin’s Wall …”

the River Clyde …

Where … The River Clyde near Glasgow When … Monday, May 23, 2016 at 5.23pm What … I’m on a Holland America cruise ship visiting ports around the north of Scotland and today, after a sunny springtime day in Glasgow, the ship heads west along the River Clyde in preparation for a return to theContinue reading “the River Clyde …”