Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Summer reading - go get it

The summer edition of Get Up & Go is out and about now. There's a rundown on every great cruise for 2011; a stress-free guided tour of Italy; a glide along the Perfume River in Vietnam; a holiday in Vanuatu; the glories of Glasgow's architecture; a museum piece in England and more . . .plus every Australian state is covered - cruise the Kimberley, stay in an historic B&B in Tassie, explore the Great Ocean Road and look for the high five in Queensland. Put you feet up and read away. Happy holidays.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy snaps

Here's a few images taken over the year for Get Up & Go. England, Queensland, the Kimberley and some shopping in Dubai . . . 2010 was a good year for travel. We visited Maria Island Tassie; Fiji; the Granite Belt Qld; North East England; Dubai; Broome; the Kimberley and Darwin; took the Indian Pacific across the Nullarbor.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas is coming

Only 12 sleeps til Christmas! Are you winding down or gearing up for the season's festivities. I was walking down a early-morning-cool Sydney street knowing that the day
s temperature would climb to 29deg. and was enjoying the early morning Sydney smells of summer - pine trees lined up on the footpath outside the fruit shops - the scent of apricots and stone fruit; watermelons in big baskets, boxes of cherries and fat bunches of Christmas bush. What a beautiful time of year.
Have included a couple of images from the train trip on the Indian Pacific from Sydney to Perth - still having happy, lingering memories.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

British Airways Top Ten Tips for 2011

Read on, and let me know if you agree . . .

The US, Caribbean and Indian Ocean all feature heavily in British Airways' top ten tips for 2011, but the pride of place goes to North African destination, Marrakech.
The airline's top ten destinations for the year ahead are as follows:

1. Marrakech, Morocco
Marrakech is a jewel in Morocco, famously known as the 'Red City'. It provides quick access to both the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara desert.
A wonderful winter warmer, Marrakech is home to the annual Almond Blossom Festival which takes place in the second week of February in the Tafraout Valley area marking the start of spring. The festival offers sights of natural beauty whilst a colourful Souk springs up, complete with dancers, musicians and storytellers.

2. San Diego, USA
As the eighth largest city in the USA, San Diego lies only a few miles from the border of Mexico, mixing its rich heritage built around sailing with a Hispanic vibrancy. Each year, thousands of tourists flock to The Annual San Diego Film Festival held at the end of September, celebrating the art and style of film for five days of premieres, partying and mixing with celebrities.

3. New York, USA
The Big Apple is one destination which never fails to make it onto travel 'hot lists'. New York is a must-go destination for hardcore shoppers and it is no surprise that the busiest shopping day of the year falls on Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving), when shops open at 4am offering promotional sales and mark the start of the Christmas shopping season. The best bargain can be found at department store giants such as Macys and Bloomingdales where prices are slashed in half.

4. St Kitts & Nevis, Caribbean
The two-island nation is a wonderful family destination combining beaches with the splendour of mountains, heaps of activities to engage your body and a rich history to engage your mind. The islands have a strong mix of French and English heritage giving them an incredibly unique atmosphere.

5. Puerto Rico, USA
Puerto Rico is home to the famous 'Puerto Rico Baseball League', who play from November to January. Famous US league players visit Puerto Rico and come down to play in their off-season. For an authentic sporting experience, make sure you visit the Roberto Clemente Stadium in Carolina.

6. The Maldives
A classic honeymoon destination set in the Indian Ocean, The Maldives is made up of 26 breathtakingly beautiful islands. Eternally romantic, nowhere else can combine luxury with seductive privacy like these islands can.

7. Tokyo, Japan
Japan is famous for its wonderful hospitality and Tokyo is the definitive destination for food lovers with restaurants representing all the cuisines of the world. Even the most discerning and dedicated eaters, will always find something new with the huge variety of delicacies and dining experiences Tokyo has to offer!

8. Las Vegas, USA
Las Vegas is the ultimate destination for bright lights and glitz. The best time to go is either in the spring or autumn when the weather is beautifully balmy. The city is home to the world famous Las Vegas Strip when you will find the world's most famous casinos and non-stop nightlife.

9. Mauritius
Mauritius exhibits all the attributes of a tropical paradise. Pristine white beaches fringed with palm trees stretch along the coastline, while the rhythmic lapping of waves breaking on coral reefs provides a comforting soundtrack. In the interior, mountains and dormant volcanoes rise out of lush jungle, broken only by plunging waterfalls, craters and deep gorges.
Black River Gorges, a Unesco national park in the south-west of the island is home to unique flora and fauna such as the pink pigeon and the Mauritian flying fox.

10. St Lucia, Caribbean
Absorb the magnificent scenery of lush green mountains, tropical forests and the dramatic twin Pitons. A photographer's dream, St. Lucia has an unspoilt beauty and a bursting calendar of cultural events including the annual Jazz Festival in May and the St. Lucia carnival in June and July.
St. Lucia is also home to La Soufriere volcano - the world's only drive-in volcano which erupted for the first time some 400,000 years ago and has been burning lava ever since.
* British Airways will begin flights to Haneda (Tokyo) on 19 Feb., Marrakech on 27 March, Puerto Rico on 28 March, and San Diego on 1 June, 2011.
About British Airways
* British Airways has a worldwide route network that covers more than 150 destinations in 75 countries.
* British Airways has been operating in Australia for 75 years.
* British Airways operate from Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 at London Heathrow. The state-of-the-art Terminal 5 is exclusive to the airline's customers and is capable of handling 30 million customers a year.
* Australia flights operate from the multi-million pound refurbished Terminal 3.
* In September 2010, British Airways was recognised as "Best European Airline" for the 10th consecutive year, by readers of Business Traveller at the 19th Business Traveller Asia Pacific Awards.
* At the Business Traveller Awards 2010 held in London, British Airways was also chosen by readers as the "Best Short-Haul Carrier" and "Best Frequent Flyer Programme" for the Executive Club.
* British Airways won the recognition as the "Best Airline in Europe" at the 2010 Passenger Choice Awards, by the APEX in the US.
* British Airways operates a double daily service between Sydney and London Heathrow - one via Singapore and one via Bangkok.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Great train journey

For ten years now the Indian Pacific has choofed across Australia, from Sydney to Perth on a mission of Santa Claus proportions. The loco carries international and domestic media, a pop star or two and Santa. Stars of the past include: Human Nature, Guy Sebastian, Marcia Hynes, David Campbell and Jimmy Barnes. This year, rock legends James Reyne (Australian Crawl) and Mark Seymour (Hunters & Collectors) entertained the media on the train and gave concerts across the country. We stopped in Broken Hill for the first event. Every stop provided a welcoming crowd and the local school choir singing Christmas carols before James and Mark did their thing.
The Indian Pacific is celebrating 40 years of travelling this year - happy anniversary to the great train and many more happy Christmases across the country. Pictures are a few scenes from the trip, the lady with Get Up & Go is Shelley Howells deputy editor of Air New Zealand's inflight magazine; the chap with Mark Seymour, James Reyne and moi is Tony Braxton-Smith, CEO of Great Southern Rail.
Watch this video of the trip - wonderful shots and evocative of the variety and wonder of Australia.