THIS IS NOT A HISTORICAL RECORD. AS PER TRUMPIAN LOGIC, NO APOLOGIES MADE FOR ERRORS, EXAGGERATION, OMISSIONS, BAD TASTE OR MISREPRESENTATIONS. The call came from Canberra. I'd spent a year there as “National Liaison Officer” (NLO) for the Wilderness Society (TWS). A grand title but little else. I had been lobbying politicians and the media... Continue Reading →
This is not a historical record. As per Trumpian logic, no apologies made for errors, exaggeration, omissions, bad taste or misrepresentations. For those with a humour deficit it's worth pointing out that satire and sarcasm are not to be taken seriously, especially when written about individuals. I well remember the day and a few others... Continue Reading →
Did you notice that every Renault twelve in the known universe had disappeared? Are you worried that some black hole had appeared and was sucking matter into its vortex? You might be next? Fear Not. Every Renault 12 ever produced is, apparently, hanging out, doing its thing, in and around Fethiye, Turkey. The Black hole,... Continue Reading →
After 93 days, this is the last stage of my short European trip. I will hop on the ferry from Dubrovnik to Bari and then by train on up to Rome for my first visit to the Eternal City. First, however, I must survive the trip to Bari, deck class. Travel terms are a bit... Continue Reading →
As you head south the trains head south too. Slower, rattlier, fuller. The reclining seats, the speed, the power sockets all disappear. The restaurant car feels like a bit of an old 1950s film with the red velvet seats and the full meals for less than $10. The south of Hungary and the north of Croatia are emptier and older. We pass the rail yards at slug speed. They are populated, in the rain, with old fat freight cars looking like something out of star wars.
Many people will tell you that Budapest is their favourite city in Europe. Perhaps I didn't look hard enough but, after Prague, it seemed less splendid and somewhat dull and jaded
Travel can move you. It gives you time and space if you travel "well". And by that I mean slowly, taking time, taking in space, people, places, culture. For me, if done well, it is a time of contemplation, away from the day to day pressures, the lists, the obligations. It's a time to think,... Continue Reading →
To see the videos full size please select full screen mode as the table format prevents the videos opening directly to full size Florence buskers, Artists in the Wind in Calimala Street Florence Street busker performs Edith Piaf's "Je ne regrette rien" Rome: The Cocktail Band performs near Trajan's Column Korean street performers for charity supporting... Continue Reading →
But if you want a cultural experience utterly foreign to the average Australian then accept an invitation to a popular city beach or swimming spot near a major population. This is, to the average Australian beachgoer, as instant coffee is to the Australian coffee snob or as a British national park is to an Australian wilderness area.
Like military intelligence, the living dead, found missing and Microsoft Works, the concept of an undiscovered Mediterranean Island is about as near to reality as Australia being the Clever Country.
To travel through the Balkans is to experience both its beauty and its heartbreak; the people are welcoming but beneath the surface are hundreds of years of brutality and genocide. All played out against a landscape as beautiful as any on earth.
There is no rest in Florence from the madding crowds....except choosing the right time of day and a 20 minute walk away from the city centre. Rules for the Idiot Traveller: anytime before 8 am is a good time to visit tourist spots and any place more than a kilometre from the key tourist attractions is a million miles from the madding crowd.
Somewhere in Corsica you will find the bodies. The poor fools that travelled up the Cap Corse without cash. Ostensibly we are in France a modern, 21st century nation. But not in Corsica. No you are in anti-France where the French are just more foreigners, credit cards are a yet to be discovered means of paying for things or, alternatively, a trick to be played on innocent Corsicans by tourists and the Italians (Genovese) were simply invaders that happened to hang around for a century or four.
Aside from the most obvious perils of traveling overseas such as lost passports, lost cameras, lost phones and lost minds, travel offers one of the great pleasures of life.....And then there is dealing with the BANK......
I leave Berlin for Prague and Budapest, appropriately, from Ostbahn Hof, which used to be the main terminal in East Berlin, before the Wall fell. Like many things in Berlin it's been modernised and scrubbed up, but it seems like an appropriate place from which to head to eastern Europe. For whatever reason these two... Continue Reading →
Ah, Berlin the beautiful, the bold, the brutal, the bizarre.... Everyone told me that Berlin was a great city to visit and they weren't wrong. If only Australian cities were more like Berlin (or indeed other cities in Europe). Bike paths everywhere, masses of green open space, street art, rivers and canals, great museums, car... Continue Reading →
I decide to go to Annecy after Aix and Nimes; it's a suitably random decision a bit like the answer to the question about why you climbed Everest....”Because it was there”. The best form of travel follows no logical pattern, is ideally not pre-planned; it follows no timetable. This mode of travel is increasingly hard... Continue Reading →
Aix and Nimes, like Orange, Sablet and Avignon are all in Provence. I love this part of France. It feels very French, steeped in history, bathed in the soft hazy sun of the south, spotted with with hilltop villages as if some crazy God just dropped them randomly around the countryside. It's the France of... Continue Reading →
Travelling South I leave Gare du Lyon for Orange, in the south of France, on a beautiful summer's morning. There is something cocoon like about travelling on planes and trains. It's almost as if the closer we are forced into proximity with strangers, the more we feel the need to surround ourselves with a type... Continue Reading →