Tuesday, September 30, 2014




Guest blogger Lee Mylne talks the talk and walks the walk . . . .

Among the best ways of staving off jet lag when you arrive in a far-flung place, so they say, are walking and sunshine. And I love to walk, so when I landed in the lovely Swiss city of Basel in the early morning - too early to check into my hotel - I looked for a way of keeping occupied (and awake) after my 30-something-hour trip.


The helpful receptionist at Hotel Krafft Basel suggested that if I wanted to do something that most tourists would miss, I should head to the local flea market. It was a Saturday morning, the sun was shining, so I set off for the short walk across the Middle Rhine Bridge from the hotel. Using a map provided by the hotel, it was easy to find my way to the market, set under the trees in the lovely Petersplatz square.
Much like flea markets anywhere, a lot of the stalls seemed to be people selling off their no-longer-useful stuff. Toys, clothes, shoes, mirrors, paintings, old vases and tea sets, books and more. But there were a few more interesting items too, including an accordion and quite a few chandeliers.


After browsing for a while, I decided that by the time I got back to the hotel, I'd have exposed myself to enough daylight to help reset my body clock and should be able to make it through until bedtime. Bearing in mind that in the European summer, sundown is not until around 10pm!

The Petersplatz Flea Markets are held every Saturday from 7.30am to 4pm.
Follow Lee Mylne's blog: A Glass Half Full www.aglasshalf-full.com
Read Lee's report on Swiss hotels in 2015 in Get Up & Go.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Get Up & Go: Neck and neck, a tale of three scarves

Get Up & Go: Neck and neck, a tale of three scarves

Neck and neck, a tale of three scarves

They keep our necks warm, they are lovely companions, they can be roiled up into a little ball as a pillow, they accessorise the plainest outfit, they'll cover up a bad hair day, their colours can enhance your looks, they are beautiful gifts, they can be worn as a sarong, a sash or a stole . . . in fact not to have one on hand can be quite anxiety making.
Silk, pashmina, cotton, merino wool, cashmere, hand-knotted, woven by angels - any which way a scarf comes into being makes the world a better place.

I have far too many scarves to even put on a post, but I'll start my tale with three old friends who have travelled the globe with me.

The first is a beautiful blue and black fringed scarf from India. I purchased it in Chennai - no bargaining, it came from a boutique that didn't play hard and fast with tight fists. This is a one-off,  and when it is folded in a drawer near it's market cousins, it remains expensive and haughty.
A few days before I purchased the scarf I was in a bus trundling through the southern part of India. The bus had made frequent 'comfort' stops - let's call then toilet stops at places that I couldn't quite cope with and I have a high tolerance for shitty toilets.
At one stop I said to my lady companions that perhaps it would be more hygienic if we just went into the bushes. All agreed with me.
As we were squatting in easy silence I looked behind me and there was a holy man wandering through the bush and starring at us. We all turned to wave and the poor skinny fellow took off like a rocket - don't think he'd quite seen that many white bums lined up ever.

 This next, soft, pretty confection came from the markets in Istanbul. I had just finished a cruise from Athens with my sister and we were stock piling scarves. They only cost about $5 each but were comely and colourful. We wore them draped around our shoulders back to our hotel.
In a café near the hotel a young, pushy fella called us every night with true Turkish hospitality to come and have apple tea with him. We did, but he was starting to get annoying and we were trying to find ways to avoid him.
One night I said, 'why are you flirting with us, we are old, there are lots of young, gorgeous girls around. 'Ï don't care',  he said,  I just want a little bit of kissing and   . . .'- yep, he wanted more. I just starred at him and said 'you're a lunatic'. He laughed hysterically and attracted the attention of his boss. The boss came out and shooed him away. 'Why did you do that,' I said - 'he doesn't work here, so why not?' he said. So a strange man had been flirting with us and making us apple tea from the café . . . ah, Istanbul.

This silk organza lovely was found at Stanley Markets, Hong Kong. I had bought an embroidered silk coat that I was thrilled with, and not cheap either. While the coat was being packed up I saw the edge of this scarf poking out from under a pile of sweaters. As I gently tugged it out I saw it was silk organza with fine cotton tufts sprouting - it was intriguing and quickly attached itself to me. I bargained for a while then put my foot down and said I should have it for free, as the coat had no bargaining attached to the deal . . . shopkeeper was bemused and said - 'why not'.
That trip to Hong Kong I was invited on a helicopter ride too see this amazing city and surrounding islands from on high - what a flight! And the scarf playfully tickled my neck as the helicopter swooped through the mighty canyons of the vertical city.
Tell me about your scarves . . . where did you buy them, what do they mean to you, and do they tell a story?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Get Up & Go: The Wishing Tree of Lantau Island

Get Up & Go: The Wishing Tree of Lantau Island

The Wishing Tree of Lantau Island

There is a legend that wishes made at the Bodhi Wishing Shrine at Ngong Ping Village on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island come true. Guest blogger Kris Madden made a wish



 In the middle of the village, on the right-hand side from the main entrance, is a Wishing Tree or Bodhi Tree covered with countless written wishes made by locals and visitors. The Bodhi Tree is believed to be the tree under which the young prince Siddhartha meditated, eventually attaining enlightenment and becoming Buddha.
                                                        Making a wish at the ‘Wishing Tree’ shrine
To make a wish, you first have to get a wishing card, which are given away with any purchase of HK$150 or more at all of the Ngong Ping 360 souvenir shops. You write your wish down on the card and post it to the Wishing Wall next to the tree. Even if you think this is a load of malarkey, the Chinese are very superstitious, and it’s a nice feeling to send well-wishes to those back home.


                                   The Bodhi Wishing Shrine at Ngong Ping Village on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island.
Next step is to climb the 268 steps for a closer look at the extraordinary Tian Tan Buddha statue (informally known as the Big Buddha). Sitting 34 metres high and facing north, right hand raised in blessing of all below, this gigantic bronze Buddha draws pilgrims from all over Asia. From the top you can take in the sweeping mountain and sea views all around Lantau Island.

                                                          The Big Buddha, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Opposite the statue, the ancient Po Lin Monastery is one of Hong Kong’s most important Buddhist retreats. Rest in its cooling tranquil garden and you’re sure to feel blessed.
Kris Madden travelled to Hong Kong courtesy Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Tourism Board on assignment for Get Up and Go.
Follow Kris Madden’s other adventures at www.the-travel-reporter.com and www.facebook.com/thetravelreporter


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Get Up & Go: Top tips for Frequent Flyers

Get Up & Go: Top tips for Frequent Flyers

Top tips for Frequent Flyers

How to stay healthy while travelling this summer

It’s no secret that we love to travel with Australians now taking 9 million short-term overseas trips each year.1 Travelling can be very taxing on the body with even the healthiest people prone to becoming ill on a long haul flight or lengthy bus or train journeys. No one wants to start their holiday with a cold or flu so it’s important to give the immune system a boost to help protect from potential germs being recirculated in dehydrating air conditioned environments. If you don’t prepare in advance for a long journey, it can be detrimental to your health.
Here are some helpful tips from FESS to help you stay healthy while travelling;

1)      Boost your health before you leave
To help ensure you are healthy before getting on the plane, start taking a multi-vitamin at least one week before you travel. Frequent Flyer Health Boost is a multivitamin supplement specifically formulated to help support the immune system. A lack of essential vitamins and minerals can have a negative effect on your immune system making you more prone to airborne germs. Each Health Boost orange flavoured tablet contains 1,000mg of Vitamin C plus Echinacea, herbs and essential vitamins and minerals.
2)      Keep nasal passage clear

FESS Frequent Flyer helps keep nasal passages moist and washes away bacterial pollutants. It will relieve nasal and sinus congestion due to low humidity, dry or air-conditioned environments to help your nose function effectively and support the body’s natural defences.
3)      Stay hydrated

Be sure to drink plenty of water in the days before your flight as well as during and after. Planes have very low humidity which can lead to dehydration and can cause you to become run down making it easier to pick up viruses.
4)      Wash hands regularly or use antibacterial gel

Limit exposure to germs by washing your hands regularly or keeping a small bottle of antibacterial gel close by. Use before and after meals, when using public toilets, phones, or keyboards to help prevent the spread of bacteria.

 5)      Get some sleep
Sleep is an essential part of maintaining a strong immune system. Sleeping while travelling isn’t easy so try to get plenty of sleep before you travel as people who don’t get enough sleep are more prone to infection.

1) Australian Bureau of Statistics
For more information about Frequent Flyer Health Boost, visit www.frequentflyerboost.com.au www.frequentflyerboost.com.au
For more information about FESS Frequent Flyer, visit www.fess.com.au   www.fess.com.au
Frequent Flyer Health Boost – RRP $10.95
FESS Frequent Flyer – RRP $12.95

Monday, September 15, 2014

Get Up & Go

Get Up & Go


By guest blogger and contributor to Get Up & Go magazine - Kris Madden

Cathay Pacific understands that inflight dining is an important part of the travel experience – no matter what class you’re travelling.
The airline regularly works with world class restaurants to develop special menus, collaborating with establishments such as Tosca, the fine-dining Italian restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong; T’ang Court, the Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant at The Langham; and Michelin-starred The French Window and The Whisk.


                                                  Cathay Pacific Business Class entrée

Cathay Pacific Business Class meals created in collaboration with Tosca at The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong.
The lunch menu on my Business Class flight from Sydney to Hong Kong included a choice of two entrées; and a selection of four main courses ranging from Asian-style chicken with steamed rice and vegetables; to a Western-style beef fillet dish with Café de Paris butter, roasted potatoes and asparagus; and a seafood tagine with mint and couscous. I chose the vegetarian option: spinach and ricotta pasta with mushroom cream sauce. And I must admit, I couldn’t resist sampling the triple chocolate mousse cake and cheese selection from the trolley.

After that feast, I was very happy to be able to lie back in Cathay’s new Business Class Flat Bed, stretch out my full belly, and flick through the hundred or so movies on the entertainment system that has won the airline awards.

                           The dim sum served on flights from Hong Kong rivals any yum cha restaurant on the ground.

If you’re feeling peckish during the night, you can order snacks such as noodles, cookies or fresh fruit. Soups and sandwiches are also served in Business Class; and on my flight, delicious Maggie Beer ice-cream. The dim sum breakfast served on flights from Hong Kong rivals any yum cha restaurant on the ground.

Facebook and Twitter: @cathaypacificAU
Instagram: @cathaypacific #cathaypacific
Kris Madden flew Business Class to Hong Kong courtesy Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Tourism Board on assignment for Get Up and Go.

Follow Kris Madden’s other adventures at www.the-travel-reporter.com and www.facebook.com/thetravelreporter


                                                 Cathay Pacific A330 Airbus