Postcards from Vernazza, Cinque Terre

We broke the “real” traveller’s cardinal rule for Cinque Terre. We didn’t hike any  of it. It wasn’t planned that way, but that’s how it worked out. I lugged my hiking gear through Europe for naught, but I regret nothing. We spent our first couple of nights in the nearby seaside village of Levanto, which was an unexpected delight and is now my ultimate relaxation … Continue reading Postcards from Vernazza, Cinque Terre

The Best of Waterfall Way, NSW

New South Wales is full of surprises. It’s no secret to me, or a lot of the world (Best Job in the World, anyone?) that Queensland has some of the most spectacular scenery on earth. Australia is a big place, bursting with natural beauty,  but I never thought much about what lay beyond the border in northern New South Wales – it doesn’t get a lot … Continue reading The Best of Waterfall Way, NSW

Monterosso: The best beach in Cinque Terre

Monterosso al Mare is one of my favourite Cinque Terre villages, for having the best beach. We had lunch on the deck of Nuovo Bar Eden, overlooking one of the private beaches.  The fact that you can charge people for a beach seems so strange to me – I know that wouldn’t go down well in Australia. How can anyone set up shop and own the … Continue reading Monterosso: The best beach in Cinque Terre

Gardens of Versailles France

The Temple of Love in the gardens of Versailles

You could lose hours in the seemingly never-ending gardens of Versailles. Between the English gardens, French gardens, Petit and Grand Trianons, fountains, orangeries, greenhouses, lakes, grottos and my favourite, Marie Antoinette’s fairytale hamlet, it is hard to leave. In terms of beauty, I think the gardens leave the palace for dead. The Temple of Love is set amongst the English Gardens, which Marie Antoinette requested because … Continue reading The Temple of Love in the gardens of Versailles

Cocktails under the Sydney Opera House

It was a scorching summer’s day when we arrived in Sydney. We were staying in Glebe and the air in the busy, dusty street felt thick, so we made our first stop of our weekend somewhere much cooler – by the water in front of the Sydney Opera House, at Opera Bar. Naturally, drinks were overpriced, but this is to be expected: a) In Australia … Continue reading Cocktails under the Sydney Opera House