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.

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