Sunday, May 26, 2013

Believe it or not . . .

From some research in the UK -  his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, Get Up & Go contributor David Ellis wonders what mind-pictures some people in the UK must have of us.

 Travel agents there have compiled a list of some of the weirder questions they’ve been asked by people thinking of visiting Australia, amongst them such gems as:


. Can you wear high heels in Australia?

. Are there supermarkets in Sydney?

. Will fresh milk be available year round in Sydney for my baby?

. I want to walk from Perth to Sydney – is there a railway line I can follow?

. Which direction is north in Australia?

. I am visiting Australia and I have large breasts; as it is on the underneath side of the

  world, will I need a special bra?

. Do you have a map of where I can find ATMs in Sydney?

. Do they have ATMs in Sydney’s suburbs as well as in the city?

. Are the instructions on ATMs in Australia in English?

. Does the sun come up in the morning in Australia, or is it later because it is on the

  other side of the world?

. Can I do a day coach trip (from Sydney) to Ayer’s Rock?

. And of course someone had to ask their agent this: Do they have fish and chip shops

  in Australia?
Sad but true . . . .


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Vienna's best breads

Europe sets the standard for good, wholesome, hearty breads. And Vienna is upping the 'brot' ante for the comeback of artisan bread. Too long now has Vienna loafed around with heavily, commercially manufactured bread and now it looks for a slice of the crusty good life.

The renaissance of small bakeries in Vienna is full on - here are a couple of snaps taken around the back streets where the aroma of freshly baked bread drew me into the bakery for a bun or two.
I was taken around the city bakeries by 'Brot Andi', Andreas Djordjevic, an institution in Vienna. Andreas is in charge of the bread cart in the two Michelin-starred Steirereck, the best restaurant in Vienna. The restaurant is divine with the most beautiful ceiling, amazing food styling - and flavour of course - and then there's the brot . . . .

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Flying high in Switzerland

After a couple of lazy days in Switzerland's most charming city,I catch the ferry from Lucerne along the lake to Alpnachstad and for the thrill of the day head for the world’s steepest cogwheel railway – it’s fantastic! you are pulled up almost vertically through the clouds and then the sun shines as we alight after seeing the entire mountain experience of Heidi. Ticking off 2132m above sea level, it’s time for a cuppa, on the Pilatus Kulm peak. Looking around at 73 mountain peaks within photographing distance I enjoy pure mountain air and . . . the strains of an oompah band at the restored hotel on top of the world.


Saturated with sun and a-grade ozone, I headed for the next mode of transport. The aerial cableway opened its doors and we began the gentle swoop into the nothingness of a cheeky cloud that wouldn’t budge. Left it behind and enjoyed seeing Lake Lucerne and its shoreline perimeters; graded mountain sides; eagles diving and a winding go-cart that looked like a lot of fun track going down the mountain.

The airborne finale was the trip in a gondola to Kriens, where I ambled through the suburbs, and caught the number 1 bus back to Lucerne – a 15- minute trip, with enough daylight left to enjoy a cool drink on the balcony of Hotel des Balances, overlooking the lake and city.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Meet the characters of the Kimberley

Blog posting courtesy of Western Australia Tourism
While Western Australia's Kimberley region is renowned for its sweeping landscapes and spectacular coastline, it's the characters you meet in this untamed wilderness that provide you with a memorable travel experience. Building on the success of last year's campaign, Australia's North West Tourism has unearthed another four Kimberley characters each with their own special passion for the outback and the natural attractions they live and work amongst.
Videos of each character will showcase their strong connection with the region and their spectacular surrounds. Viewers are given a chance to win a trip for two to spend seven days with one of these unique Kimberley ambassadors.
"Whether they were born and bred in the Kimberley or set foot on a wide expanse of beach and decided never to leave, these people bring life to the landscapes they live in," said Glen Chidlow, CEO, Australia's North West Tourism.
"They love to share their exceptional local knowledge and larrikin humour with travellers eager to soak up this unique part of Australia," he said.

Meet the 2013 Characters of the Kimberley:
Charlie Sharpe - Lake Argyle Pioneer
Charlie spent his childhood seeking big adventures on and around the big waters of the lake with his brother and their surfcats. Even after his adventures in building extreme white-knuckle rides took him to Europe, China, Africa and the US, Charlie still gets his biggest thrills just taking in the view across Australia's largest man-made lake.  On a full moon, Charlie loves getting out on the water and soaking up the calm and chaos of nature. And when he's not busy redeveloping the Lake Argyle Resort to complement the landscape he loves, you might find him out there on the islands, beaches and southern wetlands with his family and resort guests - fishing, swimming, diving, water skiing or just sharing a quiet moment with the brolgas, ducks, pelicans, jabirus, crocodiles, wild horses and wallabies.

Brian Lee - Indigenous tour guide and spear fishing legend of Kooljaman
When Brian first came out to the birthplace of his grandparents and parents at Cape Leveque, he was in complete awe of his Country - one of the last true wilderness areas on Earth. Here, in the sand hills, he stands on a time capsule containing thousands of years of his ancestors' history and proudly shares the stories and experiences his people once shared with him. Brian treasures every moment in his Country, especially when he's out on the reef with a tinny full of local Djarindjin kids, or fishing the crystal-clear waters of Hunter's Creek (named after his great grandfather). With fishing spear or mud crabbing hook in hand, he'll demonstrate how an old hand makes the perfect catch.  He'll happily share his secrets with anyone who cares to join him on a Kooljaman tagalong tour to his favourite spots on pristine Cape Leveque.

Ebony Muirson - Kimberley Coast Adventurer and nature lover
As an eight-year-old from Busselton, Ebony was charmed by the Kimberley's wild side on her first bumpy ride through Kununurra's cattle station country 21 years ago.  For Ebony, living with the Kimberley's incredible diversity has brought adventure in spades. Fishing in creeks beneath trees filled with orchids. Cruising the spectacular Kimberley coastline. Camping beside thundering waterfalls. Getting engaged on the summit of Steep Head Island in the Admiralty Gulf. It's these simple pleasures of living with nature that Ebony loves to share with visitors to Kimberley Coastal Camp. Chasing
Barra. Sharing a moment with Foxy and Harrison the dingoes, Olivia the olive python who hangs out in the kitchen, and the friendly sleepy sharks in the bay. Or taking a bush walk to view ancient Gyorn Gyorn paintings. Ask nicely and she might play a request on her ukulele beside the campfire, while hula-hooping.
Daryl Roberson - Broome's Cable Beach is his office
Many say Daryl has the best job in the Kimberley, spending the day under a brolly at the Cable Beach Hut, and this Brisbane boy would have to agree. When Daryl walked over Broome's sand dunes and first laid eyes on Cable Beach, where the desert meets the sea, he knew he was in paradise. That was back in 1991 and he still gets a thrill when he walks over that dune to work every morning - always taking a moment to drink in the contrasts of red earth, pure white sand and vivid turquoise water. He takes as much pleasure in the rhythms of beach life as he did on his first visit, marvelling at pods of dolphins chasing mullet, watching the rays cruise the shallows or spotting sea eagles and kites.  Whether you're a millionaire mogul or a regular working guy, Daryl's the bloke who'll get you set for the perfect day on the beach.

"The winner will experience an insider's guide into what makes this region of the North West so popular with travellers wanting the quintessential Australian adventure," said Mr Chidlow.

Entries open online on 1 May 2013 and closes on 10 June 2013.