Monday, April 26, 2010

High tea at sea on Saturday




It's been several posts since I've included cake. How remiss of me. It's not too late in the week though to talk about tea and cake. If you are in Sydney or visiting, there's no sweeter way to enjoy the harbour than by having high tea at sea!
The Captain Cook Cruises High Tea at Sea cruise now departs three times a week instead of two with the addition of a Sunday afternoon High Tea Cruise from 16 May to 31 October 2010..
Like the Wednesday and Saturday High Tea cruises, the Sunday High Tea at Sea will depart at 2.30pm from Jetty 6, Circular Quay and return at 3.45pm.
The High Tea at Sea cruise features a delicious High Tea menu designed by MasterChef Series One Contestant, Lucas Parsons and Captain Cook Cruises Head Chef, Dennis Yang.
The menu includes a variety of savoury and sweet foods such as Crystal Bay prawns on dill blini crème fraiche, porcini mushroom, chili jam and spec pork sausage rolls, caramelized onion, beetroot, goats cheese baby tartlet chervil, mini scones with strawberry jam and vanilla cream, glazed mango and coconut custard tartlets, chocolate dipped strawberries and assorted Petite fours and truffles.
The cruise also includes an extensive tea menu with 15 different teas to choose from and million dollar views of Sydney Harbour.
The High-Tea at Sea cruise is held on the prestigious MV Sydney 2000 and is priced at $55.00 per person which includes a glass of delectable bubbles.
Anyone for tea?
Visit: www.captaincook.com.au

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stockholm syndrome - top 10 sites





After having Iceland on my mind for a week or so, I thought I'd shuffle south to the least erupting part of Scandinavia and hope the dust hasn't settled on too much of this pristine region. I visited Norway, Denmark and Sweden last year and loved it. If you are thinking of going, here's how to get to know Stockholm. Tack!
In just one day you can stroll along cobblestoned mediaeval streets, take a boat trip to the archipelago and enjoy world-class shopping. Get to know Sweden’s capital in 10 easy stops.

The top 10 sites:

1. Vasamuseet. Scandinavia’s most visited museum – and it’s easy to see why. This miraculously preserved 17th century ship and the building that houses it combine to make an extraordinary experience. The Vasa, one of the grandest war ships ever built in Sweden sank on its maiden voyage in 1628. It was salvaged in 1961 and is the best preserved ship of its kind in the world. Don’t miss this.
2. Skansen. A beautiful, spacious open air museum that offers a romantic picture of rural Sweden from centuries past.
3. NK. Shop or browse in the stupendous department store. NK (Nordiska Kompanier) is steeped in the stylish tradition of excellence.
4. Abba, of course. A museum dedicated to the Swedish super-group is on the northern edge of Sodermain. Tickets can be purchased from the info. desk on the ground floor at NK.
5. An evening stroll along Monteliusvagen on the edge of Sodermalm, as the sun sets slowly over Stadhuset and the city centre.
6. A boat trip to Sandhamn, a bustling island off the edge of Stockholm’s stunning archipelago. It has sandy beaches, beautiful views and some excellent places to eat.
7. Moderna Museet. Visit the museum on Skeppsholmen and appreciate the building’s design (by Rafael Moneo), its impressive collection of modern art and its great restaurant.
8. Walk through the winding alleyways and mediaeval squares of Gamla Stan. The Old Town has been designated a cultural landmark. A walking tour will reveal where a famous poet was killed in a tavern brawl, where Dominican monks walked and where the classic haunts of the artists are. Most tours depart from the Obelisk on Slottsbacken outside the Royal Palace.
9. Fika. Swedes love to have a ‘fika’ – spending a long leisurely afternoon with a friend over cups of coffee with a pastry on the side. Embrace this tradition at Chokladfabriken, a cafe that shares its name with the Swedish title of Roald Dahl’s book about Willy Wonka. It serves truffles, marzipans and hard to resist sweet treats.
10. When you’ve had your fill of fika, you have to try the national dish of ‘sill’. Once the simplest of foods, sill is now a delicacy served on almost every national holiday. It’s marinated herring which comes in glass jars with many different flavours. Once you have tried it – you’ll be hooked. Or, that’s the story.

(What’s On? Official tourist & evetsn guide can be picked up from tourist kiosks and hotels around the city. The brochure has an excellent map and comprehensive information about the city and surrounds including best restaurants, museums, tours, entertainment and cruises.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ashes to ashes



Well, I haven't had the call! Black Friday when that pesky volcano (with an unpronounceable name - Eyjafjallajokull) put the brakes on any flights going and coming from Europe - so my eagerly anticipated trip to the UK with Emirates via Dubai is up in the air - ha ha - so to speak. Tuesday and I thought perhaps today could be departure time - but no. Nature's revenge? Not much to do about it though except be patient. Apparently there have been 63,000 flights cancelled in the past five days.
On another note, see this fabulous picture of the man shaving another man. I saw it on a press release for Nemonic Concepts, a company that provides wonderful, luxurious trips FIT and for incentive groups to some of the best places in the world. And India being hot to trot at the moment I thought this picture said a thousand words. The theme is 'the mark of true luxury is not in the grand gesture but the simpler things in life done well.'
Enjoy your week and happy travels - out of the ashes.
Links of the week: www.uniworldcruises.com.au and www.nemonic.com.au

Monday, April 12, 2010

Get Up & Go autumn edition


The autumn issue of Get Up & Go is out and about. Our lovely magazine features Oman, for the traditional Arabian experience; the vast wilderness of Antarctica; where to shop in Shanghai; cruising the mighty Mekong River; an affair with Austria; Christchurch, New Zealand.
Some of Get Up & Go's favourite writers tell of their best train experience and in and around Australia we discover Charleville in Qld, Daylesford in Victoria and a polar connection in Hobart.
Win a holiday to China with Helen Wong's Tours and fabulous luggage from the outdoor specialists – Kathmandu. What are you waiting for – subscribe now! Go to www.getupandgo.com.au and while you're there sign up for the FREE newsletter for hot deals and giveaways.
Happy reading.

Monday, April 5, 2010

List of sites to see




Site seeing
Online resources deliver information to travellers that will open their minds, read the world weather; catch up with exchange rates, make savvy choices when using local transport; understand quarantine and customs regulations across all borders. Travellers go armed with the knowledge that they have sourced every bit of data they can to stay safe, legal and informed.
World weather: www.wunderground.com
Exchange rates: www.xe.com/ucc
World time zones: www.timeanddate.com
Passport details: www.passports.gov.au
Visa info: www.dfat.gov.au/visas
Travel advice: www.smartraveller.gov.au
Quarantine: www.daff.gov.au/aqis/travel
Customs: www.customs.gov.au
Hotel reviews: www.tripadvisor.com
Travel doctor: www.traveldoctor.com.au
Travel gadgets: www.travelextras.com.au
Travel tips: www.lonelyplanet.com
Airlines’ background: www.worldaviation.com.au
Worldwide airports: www.worldairportguide.com
Carbon offset: www.climatefriendly.com
Tag your luggage: www.yellowtag.com
World events listing: www.whatsonwhen.com
World trouble spots: www.comebackalive.com
For fun: www.airlinemeals.net
For comfort: www.seatguru.com
For everything: www.google.com; www.yahoo.com
Anzac Day
As we are coming up to Anzac day I thought these pictures would be appropriate. This cemetery was outside of Port Moresby in New Guinea. Most of the graves had inscribed upon them: A Soldier of the 1939–1946 War. Unknown soldiers all but remembered with respect. The poignancy was all the more potent as we walked through a hot day with the scents of frangipani, how could you ever imagine, a war in this place? Lest we forget.