Monday, December 26, 2011

Solo in Avignon


We walked into the courtyard in front of the mighty Palace of the Popes in Avignon,
France, a marvellous sight to see with the blue sky framing the silhouette of the building roof. There was the clear, pure sound of the saxophone echoing around the empty square and this fellow was there on his own in his own musical world - a particular lovely memory of this Trafalgar Tour.

Friday, December 23, 2011

South for Santa




Headed south out of Sydney searching for Santa Claus - and I know he will visit Australia before the Europeans hear him coming down the chimney. We left Sydney behind and drove into sunshine after weeks of nasty, rainy weather. Bowral was a picture of relaxed holiday atmosphere, no scrambling to shops or screaming kids, no agitated drivers in the parking lot, just folk being pleasant to each other, catching up with local gossip and enjoying the cafes under the shady trees. Settling into a resort and chilling out until dinner, and then tomorrow, Christmas lunch - more images to come soon, this writer is having a little holiday and will be back soon with lots of good pictures - from where? Wait and see.
Two day's on and after a splendid, traditional Christmas lunch - turkey, ham, pork - and all the rest! Had to have a chilled out evening - no dinner!
Images of Bowral, in the southern highlands of New South Wales.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hanoi's Hidden Secret





Earlier this year on a trip to Vietnam and Myanmar - after a week or so we ended the stay in Hanoi. Our last activity was to learn to Cook some 'street food' at a cooking school.
In the new issue of Get Up & Go magazine (out early January) I have written about the school, our experience and the fabulous teacher Tranh Hanh An (pictured). I still remember how lovely our food tasted - with her expert help we made a damn fine lunch.
Visit: www.hiddenhanoi.com.vn

Sunday, December 4, 2011

No room at the inn - names please!


Contributor David Ellis says the Travelodge chain’s 480 hotels in the UK are offering a free night’s accommodation between Christmas Eve and the Twelfth Night (January 5th) for married couples who can prove that their first names are Mary and Joseph, or their surname Jesus.
It says the idea is meant in the spirit of Christmas, and to atone for there being 'no room at the inn' on Christmas Eve all those years ago when the original Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus had to spend the night in a stable.
Marys and Josephs who apply will be given a free night in a Family Room the hotel chain says 'can cater for a baby and a manger, with a free car-parking space available for the donkey if needed.' And a Double Room will be provided for a night for anyone during the Twelve Days of Christmas who can prove their surname is Jesus...
Applicants for the free rooms have to apply by email, provide proof of marriage and that their first names are Mary and Joseph or surname Jesus, and meet some fourteen other criteria including being UK citizens, agree not try to sell the room for cash or give it to another person… and be prepared to participate in any post-stay publicity that we presume will be meant purely in the spirit of Christmas.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Right royal cook up!




In the presence of HRH Princess Mary of Denmark at Sydney's Sofitel Wentworth hotel today to hear a discussion on the world's hottest food destination at the moment - Denmark. Copenhagen has more Michelin starred chefs/restaurants for its size than many of Europe's glittering cities.
Rasmus Kofoed is the numero uno top chef in the world according to Bocuse d'Or competition. Rasmus held bronze, silver and then cracked the big one with his amazing technique, style and creativity.
When did Denmark discover good food? In the past it has not had much polish except for a decent sandwich - but now, the entire culinary world is looking its way.
This morning, coinciding with a visit by Prince Frederick and Princess Mary and their twins, Danish food and expertise was on show at the hotel.
Matt Moran was there playing for Australia and he and Rasmus prepared two stunning dishes that a few of us had the privilege to taste. Matt - the spanner crab from Noosa was brilliant and Rasmus - that 'Very Green' dessert was one of the sexiest, silky desserts ever invented, thank you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

France to Tuscany




Hardly time to blog - I've had a brilliant trip to New Zealand (will post later) and am now in Tuscany, about 20 minutes from Florence. We arrived (a small group familiarisation - yep, that's what they call it) at Rome airport to a sunny day then coached it north. We left behind a rainy gloomy looking Nice - but only after a few splendid days in Provence.
The 'A's' have it
Avignon and Aix-en-Provence were the spots we looked at and enjoyed.
We had a wonderful lunch in a small town at a tucked-away Michelin starred cook's Le Jardin du Quai. Chef Daniel Hebet gave us a masterclass 'demo' on creating the perfect macrons. Perfect little pink beauties.
Highlights:
* The 21/2 hour fast train trip (TVG) from Paris to Avignon
* The dinner at night in a restaurant over a thundering river - we were eating trout too
* A stroll around the walled town of Avignon checking the Pope's Palace - those crazy pope's and their indulgences!
* Lunch at an exquisite private home in Provence - set in the middle of its vineyard
* Counting the dogs being taken for a walk in Aix-en-Provence
This is just a taste - more to come later. Off to buy ingredients in Florence with the chef from the villa here. We are then going to take a cooking class - bella!
Ciao for now

Monday, October 24, 2011

Portugal calling . . .




I attended a travel show last Sunday and visited the stands where they were promoting Portugal. It isn't the flavour of the month for Aussie travellers and I wonder why? Lack of promotion, lack of education of the region. . .who knows, but what I do know, because I have been there, that it is one of Europe's most marvellous destinations.
I have visited Lisbon, Oporto and cruised the Douro River along the spectacular Douro Valley. This region is untouched by commercial tourism, is scenic, interesting, and ultimately seductive.
The amazing terraces that are the banks of the river slide down steeply to the water with tiny, narrow ledges/paths that grape pickers use - to pick the grapes that produce the 'port' of Portugal - the country's gold. And the Douro River is called the river of gold.
If you get the chance, take a holiday to this beautiful country - there's so much to do and see, you won't be sorry.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Europe here we come

I was interviewed by Glenn Wheeler on Macquarie Network 2GB radio station last Saturday - talking about Get Up & Go of course. And we chatted about the Europe special - it never ceases to draw Australians across the world. We may have visited when we were young backpackers but hey, now we like a bit more comfort. And it's wonderful to revisit places and discover them all over again. But it's not all about Europe, we've explored 'voluntourism' and joining Rotary, so it's about giving back too. We visit our own lovely country - take a cooking class and head deep into the caves at Margaret River WA. Enter the competition for a holiday in Turkey - crazy if you don't. Learn more about the magazine via the interview - how embarrassing listening to yourself! It's all for the good of get Up & Go. Have a gorgeous day. I'm off to Tassie today to check out Wrest Point and MONA! The interview is here, and the inages are of a bread seller outside the Topkapi Palace/Museum and some wonderful spices on sale at the Grand Bazaar Istanbul.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Spring has sprung!


The new, spring edition of Get Up & Go has hit the shelves! Our big fat Europe special has been created to inspire you to get up and go to Europe. We cover the grand city of Istanbul; the magic of Montmarte in Paris; a cruise on the Danube and a winter cruise on the Rhone. There are ideas on what to do in Amsterdam and Bruges, plus how to learn the lingo in Italy. Take an Irish road trip, volunteer to work with elephants and we tell you just how Rotary works and how you can help.
We attend a cooking school in northern NSW and go caving in Western Australia. There is so much to read about. Also there's a subscription prize of a holiday in Turkey - got your attention?
Don't forget Christmas is rushing towards us like a speeding train - how about a gift subscription for a friend or relative? Just go to the website to sign up to subscribe, or receive the FREE e-newsletter. Visit: www.getupandgo.net.au

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Travelling cats




On my recent jaunt to Greece and Turkey I kept my eye out for notable cats. And in Greece, there are always cats. I remember the first time I visited Greece in the late 70s and was thrilled to see so many cats around. A friend of mine who is not impressed with anything rodent-like said she loved the cats of Athens because as a crowded and grungy as the city wa then - the cats kept the 'you-know-whats' population down.
I also had the local moggies crowding around me in taverna's just in case a fish head or other tidbit fell from the table into their mouths. Here are a couple of felines I met along the way - in Turkey, Cannakale (man and kitten in cafe); dude cat sunning itself under a seat in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum; and a stunning mosaic creature that was originally on the battlement walls of Babylon - how beautiful it is, so well-preserved, so modern in concept. There are several panels in the museum - all as immaculate as this.
Read all about Istanbul in the upcoming issue of Get Up & Go - out next week.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The dirt on Floriade




From 17 Sept. to 16 October the air in Canberra is fragrant with a million flowers. Forget the politicians, just head to Floriade for a flower fix. This year's theme is 'A feast for the senses' and the beautiful gardens have their own foodie themes - and there will be food demo's along the way and a special garden to visit - the Victory Garden. This is based on the gardens in Australia during WWII. Everyone was encouraged to grow their own veggies as supplies were short. The Victory Garden was a household contribution to the war effort.
The gardens are spread over four hectares - with more than one million bulbs that have been persuaded to bloom on cue!
(Floriade comes from the Latin word 'floriat' which means to design with flowers.)
I visited the gardens last weekend for a sneak preview and the scene is wondrous.
Stayed at the Crowne Plaza Canberra and I recommend the steak dishes if you eat at the hotel's restaurant - superb.
Trying to fit everything in to a couple of days in Canberra is too hard but I managed a visit to the NGA and saw the splendid Fred Williams exhibition and the following morning snuck into the Portrait Gallery - mind blowingly wonderful!
Don't miss Floriade and all our capital city has to offer . . .there's lots!
The flower images are just before opening day and the window is at the Portrait Gallery.
Visit: www.floriadeaustralia.com

Monday, September 5, 2011

Gingerbread house (almost)


I received this beautiful image from a friend who has been travelling in Europe. The colour is so vivid and positive, it feels like there could be kids called Hansel and Gretel living there - and no bad witch neighbour around either.

Scott Lawrance stumbled across this storybook perfect cottage in the village of Putgarten on the island of Rugen which is in the Baltic Sea, East Germany. It seems that being in East Germany under Communist rule has preserved these little Tudor villages from any modernism and they have remained virtually untouched. Rugen is Germany's largest island and is now one of the most visited holiday destinations. Also famous for its sand beaches and chalk cliffs Rugen is located off the north-eastern coast of Germany approximately 4 hours from Hamburg.
So you heard it from us first!
In the upcoming spring edition of the magazine we are featuring Europe as the main destination - and it just doesn't get any better at the moment for travellers - cruise the Danube, visit Bohemia, head to Paris, mooch around Amsterdam, discover Bruges, learn Italian in Tuscany and enjoy Istanbul.
Enjoy this image - it's our 'picture of the week'.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Australia's widest street?


Look to the right, to the left and then to the right again more than once when crossing the main street of Trundle in country NSW – its an amazing 66-metres wide (that’s 157-feet, or the equivalent of three cricket pitches), making what locals claim is the widest street in Australia.
And it’s because when Trundle was first pegged out in the late 1800s it was intended that its main street run at right-angles to the-then Travelling Stock Route that the town would be built alongside, and which by law had to be at least three chains (60-metres) wide so bullock trains had enough room to turn around and reverse.
But like all good intentions, commerce and council couldn’t get together and commercial buildings started popping-up alongside and parallel with the Stock Route, with in fact the Stock Route becoming Trundle’s main street, renamed where it went through town Forbes Street.
Today, Trundle’s locals joke that you need something from the take-away or the pub to see you through from one side of their main street to the other.
Researched by David Ellis

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How to cancel your holiday




I don't know about you but I've only cancelled a flight once - and due to family problems it was all I could do. I was refunded some money but it didn't matter. Seeing this piece that our loyal and friendly Get Up & Go reader David Ellis sent in surprised me - who cancels willy nilly? Do people make crazy spur of the moment bookings and are they too chicken to say they can't afford the trip and they made a mistake.
In his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says accommodation website Wotif.com has revealed some of the weirder calls received at its Customer Service Call Centre by people wanting to cancel holiday bookings.

They included:

• A customer who claimed her cat had walked on her computer keyboard, resulting in the wrong dates being booked.
• Another who said she couldn’t stay at a particular hotel because she believed she had stayed there in a previous life.
• A father who called because his child was sick, just as a young voice in the background called out “but I’m not sick, daddy!”
• A customer who asked to cancel a booking because of fraud, claiming his four-year-old child had used his credit card to process an online booking.
• After checking into his hotel room, one customer called to complain that there was an “adult photo shoot” underway in a nearby room.
• During a lengthy chat, an intoxicated customer began to cry, telling the staff member “please don’t hang up, don’t leave me, your voice is so beautiful.”
• Another customer wanted to book herself, her husband and two children into a two-bedroom apartment, but asked to change the childrens’ bedroom from a twin to a double, “because her children weren’t twins.”
• Yet another called to say she was mystified by hotel bookings made on her credit card under her partner’s name – because they were at hotels she’d never stayed at.
• And one believed he was entitled to cancel a non-refundable booking –because he was the President of his local cards club.
Too those 'cancellers' - here's a couple of images that surely you wouldn't think of not visiting . . .…………………………….

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Visitor number 3 million requiring information


Today, Tourism Central Australia (TCA) welcomed Julie Chester-Master from Brisbane, visitor number three million to use the facilities of the Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre on Gregory Terrace.
“This is definitely a milestone,” said Peter Grigg, the general manager of TCA, “and a very strong indication of the great customer service and professional skills of the people who have served the Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre since it began back in 1958.”
Back then the visitor’s centre was based in the Connellen Airways buildings at the old airport on Memorial Drive in what is now the suburb of Araluen and was known as the Alice Springs Tourist Promotion Association. The name has changed several times over the years but the service to visitors to Central Australia has always remained of the highest standard.
“Celebrating our 3,000,000th visitor reinforces that tourism is alive and well in Alice Springs and across the region,” said Mr Grigg.
Mr Grigg said over the past 25 years the Visitor Information Centre has averaged about 100,000 visitors a year.
“We are looking forward to continuing to welcome travellers to Alice Springs and Central Australia,” he said. “We want people who come here to know all about the region and what is has to offer.”
The Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre helps people visiting the area with tour and accommodation bookings, travel itineraries, current road condition information as well as a stocking comprehensive range travel guides and maps of the Northern Territory and South Australia.
“Tourism Cental Australia also sponsors an Ambassador Program to help travellers when they first arrive in the town,” he said. “Our dedicated volunteer Ambassadors greet new arrivals at the airport and coming off The Ghan with a friendly welcome to the Territory.”
The Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre is open daily from 9am to 5pm.
Image: Julie Chester-Master, three millionth visitor and Peter Grigg, General Manager, TCA. (Image courtesy of Centralian Advocate)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lost property - you will be surprised!


While the editor gets herself together and catches up with a backlog of emails that have piled up while she was in Greece and Turkey - here's a bit of light relief from one of Get Up & Go's diligent readers.
In his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says air travellers can be a forgetful lot: Britain’s Virgin Atlantic Airways has revealed that every year it collects more than 12,000 books, 10,500 pairs of reading glasses, around 5,000 mobile phones, almost the same number of cameras and iPod/MP3 players, and thousands of items of clothing that have been left on its flights.
And more unusual, cleaners have also recovered an artificial limb, an urn of ashes, a movie script, a wheelchair belonging to a member of the cast of the American TV show Glee... and from one flight, a witch’s broomstick.
Flight Services Manager at Virgin Atlantic, Laura Hutcheson says many passengers go into holiday mode the moment they get on board their plane, and simply forget to check seat-back pockets and overhead bins before leaving for anything they may have put there.
And while she did not say what happened to these items, most airlines hold left items for a set number of days, and if not claimed donate them to charity (Lions Clubs getting most of the reading glasses for use in third-world countries,) or dispose of them in job-lots to private companies that sell them through second-hand outlets.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Holiday in Istanbul




Thinking of visiting an exotic destination for your next trip? Readers of Get Up & Go magazine may have visited Istanbul 30 or so years ago in their hippie heyday - say no more! I'm 24 hours away from flying out of a city of more than 15 million people - Istanbul. I've been here for just four and a half days after a brilliant cruise from Athens to Istanbul.
After the peace and sailing serenity, arriving in Istanbul was like a shot of adrenalin.
What an extraordinary place, layer up on layer of history - talking Turkey means talking Hittites, Persians, Romans, Gauls, Macedonians, Ottoman Turks - and an amazing, glittering era of Byzantine rule and splendor.
When I see a pile of pomegranates, next to a tray of fresh dates - I'm seeing the same thing here that someone else was checking out at the green grocer's a few thousand years ago.
I am here in the middle of Ramadan, and there aren't too many people in a bad mood. I wonder as a man serves me dinner - houmus, shepherd's salad, kebabs, bread floating across the room with air filled wings; all finished off with a plate of sliced watermelon. A glass of apple tea washes it all down as a cup of the high octane Turkish coffee would keep me awake until next week.
Everything about Istanbul is full on . . .more to come.
Tonight staying at Divan Istanbul City - www.divan.com.tr - nighty, night, the air con is being pumped up tonight.
Enjoy a couple of non 'postcard perfect' pictures from the frontline.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The new Greece



Arrived in Athens at a sweltering midday to find there were no taxis. Strike happening, and had to use my old hippie smarts to find the best person to get me to a hotel in a district that I had no idea about.
Five old guys drinking coffee when they should be working - my target (offered one of them some euros to take me there). Endaxi! Gave me a lift, I parted with the cash and he gave me his number in case I got stuck anywhere. Trust is the key!
Athens is frantic, everyone looks very grumpy even though half the population has left town for a the summer holidays.
Despite the country being broke, Gen Y are spending up big at the department store sales - why not? Yeti Ochi?
Main focus for me was getting around on the metro (much improved since I was here last) and the local buses - they turn up!
The new Acropolis Museum is stunning - elegant and spacious and very much the people's museum with kids and adults enjoying the interactivity of the set up. The floors slope upwards (to replicate the place where most of the exhibits come from, around the base of the Acropolis) and are glass, which is quite disconcerting - mild vertigo looking down at the diggings underneath.
Left Athens for a two hour bus trip to Napflion, a lovely town in the Peloponnese.
More to come . . .yassas!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Far, far away from Sydney - Birdsville




I had a quick 'flying' visit to Birdsville this year when the Dash 8 that was carrying us Bill Peach Journeys people landed for lunch.
We had lunch in the Birdsville Pub - one of Australia's most famous pubs. Once a year, hundreds of people descend on this remote Outback town to go to the races! The local oval is filled with tents, the caravan park is bulging and the airstrip is as crowded as a supermarket car park - folk fly in from all over for the races and a crazy time!
The day we arrived Birdsville was as quiet as a sleepy mouse.
Birdsville is situated on the Diamantina River (which unusually had water in it) between the sands of the Simpson Desert and the 'gibbers' (a rock formation on the surface of the ground - often called stony pavement)of Sturts Stony Desert. The entire area is steeped in history from Aboriginal meeting places to European settlement in the late 1870s. The population of Birdsville is about 120 and there are modern facilities or all travellers who land, drive or race into town.
Road Trains supply the town with fresh produce and general supplies from Adelaide (south) and Quilpie (east) on a fortnightly basis.
Visit: www.birdsvilleraces.com/Abouit/Aboutbirdsville

Monday, July 18, 2011

India's 'King of the Road'




The Hindustan Ambassador is a car manufactured by Hindustan Motors of India. It has been in production since 1948 with few modifications or changes and is based on the Morris Oxford III model first made by the Morris Motor Company at Cowley, Oxford in the United Kingdom from 1946 to 1959.
Despite its British origins, the Ambassador is considered as the definitive Indian car and is fondly called "The king of Indian roads". In major cities their numbers are declining with the new cars on the road driven by the newly wealthy middle class. But it is the car that chugs along at a safe and steady pace and packs the entire family in. The Ambassador was the giant social leap in India from the bullock and bicycle. The automobile is manufactured by Hindustan Motors at its Uttarpara plant near Kolkata, West Bengal. It was the most popular car in India and is perceived to be best suited to the harsh Indian terrain due to its very good suspension. Its status was helped by the fact that it was the preferred means of conveyance of India's political leadership, including the Prime Minister of India, before they moved on to other luxury cars and SUVs. (This info cam from Wikipedia)
I loved seeing the cars choof around towns, carefully dodging cows and people, and it was a sad thing to see them lined up (see picture) getting dusty and being neglected.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Survey reveals sleep habits




A national survey of 1200 Australians* by Travelodge Hotels has delved into the nation’s sleep habits and revealed that the ‘Friday Feeling’ is no longer defined by a few drinks after work, but the signal for a good night’s sleep, with over a third (37%) reporting Friday night as their best night’s sleep of the week!
And the worst? With Monday morning playing on our minds, almost 40% stated Sunday night’s sleep as a struggle…and it’s work related stress at fault, with a quarter of respondents (25%) tossing and turning because of work worries.

Work woes
Work woes affect men the most, with a third reporting it as the main reason they can’t sleep at night. For women, while the office is definitely a factor (22%), they’re mostly missing out on precious shut-eye because of their partner’s snoring! A quarter (25%) of the female respondents complained of a noisy other half, compared to just 8% of men!

A sneaky doze
The survey also revealed that we’re not catching up on crucial missed sleep under the covers. Busy lifestyles are seeing Aussies catching up wherever they can and it might be our work that’s suffering with 26% of men and 16% of women confessing to a sneaky doze in a meeting. Other places where Aussies are attempting to get out of sleep debt include trips on the bus or train to work (62%), at the movies (40%) and in a lecture (32%).
The survey was commissioned by Travelodge Hotels, just one aspect of a new sleep campaign that sees Travelodge Hotels engaged in a range of activities to help ensure a good night’s sleep for every guest including complimentary Good Sleep Guides and “dream tea” for all guests. In 16 city locations across Australia and New Zealand, Travelodge Hotels offer great rates, rest assured.
Rachel Argaman, CEO of Travelodge Hotels, says: “Providing a good night’s rest for guests is a priority for the teams at each Travelodge Hotel across Australia and New Zealand. Whether you’re on holiday or a business trip, a good night’s sleep puts you in the right headspace for tackling the day’s excitement and challenges. We want Travelodge guests to feel relaxed and revitalised when they check-out and this new survey shows just how important that commitment is to the wellbeing of our guests.”

Other interesting statistics from the Travelodge survey:
On average, Australians report getting six to seven hours’ sleep per night (62%)
42% of single Aussies are cuddling up to a pillow to help them drift off, compared to 33% of those married or in a relationship. The loved up Aussies are overwhelmingly cuddling their partner (92%)
When it comes to what side of the bed we sleep on, we’re creatures of habit. An overwhelming 71% stick to their familiar side of the bed even when in a hotel.
18% of 18-24 year olds admit to being afraid of the dark and conquer this fear by sleeping with the TV on (50%).
For general sleep tips, hints on how to combat jetlag and more information about sleep, Travelodge have created the “Sleep Centre” which guests can access at any time through the Travelodge website: www.travelodge.com.au

About Travelodge Hotels
Travelodge is proud of consistently offering great value, rest assured. Whether it’s your next holiday, a weekend getaway or even a business trip, Travelodge’s price per room rates offer comfort and quality at unbeatable value. There are currently 16 Travelodge Hotels across Australia and New Zealand in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Rockhampton, Newcastle, Perth, Darwin, Wellington and Palmerston North. Book a great night’s sleep (at a great rate) at: www.travelodge.com.au

*Survey was conducted via online survey tool Survey Monkey of 1200 over 18 year old Australian men and women during May 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Get Up & Go: WIN Maui Jim sunglasses

Get Up & Go: WIN Maui Jim sunglasses: "I have four pair of stylish and super cool Maui Jim sunglasses ready to give away to Get Up & Go bloggers, readers and facebookers! The su..."

WIN Maui Jim sunglasses



I have four pair of stylish and super cool Maui Jim sunglasses ready to give away to Get Up & Go bloggers, readers and facebookers! The sunglasses are worth between $250 and $300 a pair.
To be in with a chance to win your own pair just sign up to the Get Up & Go e-newsletter - go to www.getupandgo.net.au and sign up for the FREE e-newsletter. It comes out once a month and I put specials, bargains, hot deals and giveaways. In fact every newsletter has a great giveaway.
Once you sign up, you'll receive the newsletter next Tuesday, follow the instructions - easy peasy, and who knows, Maui Jim might be coming your way.
What are you waiting for?
Good luck

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The absorption principle


In his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says that international hotel chain Crowne Plaza is testing a ‘snore absorption’ room to see if it will help guests sleep better.
Amongst its bag of tricks are walls lined with foam shaped like the bottom of egg-boxes to stop noise reverberating around the room, sound-absorbing bed-heads, and anti-snoring pillows that use magnetic fields to open a person’s airways and stiffen the upper palate – that when soft vibrates during deep breathing and thus creates snoring.
There is also an ‘anti-snoring wedge’ built into the bed that makes it uncomfortable for people to sleep on their backs – often a major contributor to snoring – and forces them to sleep on their sides.
The ‘snore absorption’ room is being trialled in the Crowne Plaza London The City, and nine other hotels in the chain in Europe and the Middle East.
A spokesman said that a survey had found that half of couples complained about partners spoiling their holiday by snoring, and it was hoped that the ‘snore absorption’ room would go a long way towards helping these people get a more restful sleep – and thus enjoy their holiday more.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

How sweet it is




I find when I'm travelling and in a new city it's good to catch a bus or train out of the cbd to discover the suburbs. I have found markets, specialty shops, festivals and regional restaurants in outlying areas of cities in Europe.
And Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth and Hobart are no different.
One of Sydney's inner west suburbs, Summer Hill is on the train line - just seven stops from Central station and has the feel of a small village. Charming coffee shops and restaurants, bakeries and a marvellous fruit and veg shop are on offer.
There's a tiny, wee gallery shop - Sweets Workshop - that has handcrafted goods for sale, lovely art works and regular exhibitions by the bright young things in the indie art world. The dedicated gallery space has exhibitions that focus on an artists or designer, artistic process or theme.
From 2-20 July is: 'Bread Tag World'. Beth Taylor has created art out of bread tags. Meticulously created, full of heart and humour, Beth has made something beautiful and thoughtful out of something we see every day (see globe image left).
Sweets Workshop, Shop 4, 58-60 Carlton Crescent, Summer Hill (opposite Summer Hill railway station). Bread Tag World opens tomorrow art the gallery at 2pm - see you there.
Visit: www.sweetsworkshop.com