On The Road

  • 10 free things to do in marvellous Melbourne
    Sunday, 04 March 2012

    10 free things to do in marvellous Melbourne

    No-one spontaneously comes to Australia. It’s not like being in Europe and dropping into Paris for the weekend or in the US and visiting New York to see a show. It takes forever to get here.

  • The Best Little Town in America. Elko
    Saturday, 25 February 2012

    The Best Little Town in America. Elko

    “Hi Honey we’ve been invited to give a presentation in Elko.”  Elko....what’s an Elko? As it turns out it is the capital of Nevada’s gold belt, and that’s why we had been asked over. I’m a city person. A big city person. Every time I’ve visited America it has been to big cities so when the opportunity to visit Elko came up I leaped at the chance. I first had to get the atlas and find out just where it was. After I got a magnifying glass out I found it in Nevada. So off to Nevada we went. We flew to Salt Lake City and hired a car for the long drive across the Great Salt Lake Desert. The drive itself was sensational. It was January and we were surrounded by wild winter weather. The skies above the desert were crystalline  but the surrounding mountains were being hit with dramatic snow storms.

  • Meeting tommequins and other insanity
    Thursday, 16 February 2012

    Meeting tommequins and other insanity

    There are many rules on web etiquette. Don’t use your real name. Don’t give out personal details.  Don’t meet up with anyone you meet on the web.  And definitely don’t travel over-seas to  meet up with anyone. Well I was about to travel to meet somebody I didn’t know, who came  across as being just a little odd on the web. I was going to meet tommequins. A couple of years ago I joined the Flickr community. At the beginning I didn’t really know how it worked and how you made contacts. There was no rhyme or reason in the material I  put up. Professional work and happy snaps; everything went up.

  • Florence
    Friday, 10 February 2012


    I had travelled to Siena with a group of friends. The group was planning two trips to Florence six days apart; I decided to take my bags on the first trip and return with the group to Siena on their second visit. I felt that Florence probably deserved more than two days. When we arrived at the railway station in Siena we were running late (the group I was with was always frustratingly late) so I caught the train by myself and arranged to meet everyone after I had checked into the hotel. My little adventure began on a train by myself travelling through the Tuscan countryside. Not being used to group travel I was very happy. The outer suburbs of Florence looked very dowdy, industrial and depressed. The Grand Hotel Baglioni was very close to the station so lugging the luggage was very easy. My room had a view but was incredibly small: I complained and was shifted to a larger room. The hotel had a fabulous roof top restaurant and garden that overlooked Florence 360 degrees. At four-stories it was one of the tallest buildings in Florence so the views were great. Even if you are not staying here I would recommend having dinner on the roof.

  • Hogmanay in Edinburgh
    Tuesday, 07 February 2012

    Hogmanay in Edinburgh

    The main event of the first night of Hogmanay was a torch parade through the main street up to Calton Hill lead by a band of Scottish soldiers and a band of Vikings. The Vikings hauled a longship behind them. At the top of the hill there was a mock battle to the sounds of bagpipes and was it was meant to end with the longship being thrown on a bonfire. The longship got bogged and the cart broke an axle so the bonfire proceeded without it.

  • Kilmartin...a place of mystery
    Saturday, 04 February 2012

    Kilmartin...a place of mystery

    We were part way through a driving trip of Scotland and we had booked into the Caledonia Hotel at Gourock, a small town off the beaten track on the banks of Loch Awe. The room was pure trailer trash but the local bar was warm and inviting. The next morning we awoke to wonderful views across the Loch.

  • Iona...a place of spiritual history
    Monday, 30 January 2012

    Iona...a place of spiritual history

    Iona is a small island off the west coast of Scotland. It is the centre of Scottish Christianity and is high on the world pilgrimage sites. To the Gaels, Iona is I Chaluim Chille – the Isle of Colm Cille, an Irish priest and prince who was to become revered as Saint Columba. Colm Cille had been exiled from Ireland because of his involvement in the Battle of Cul Dreimhne. He arrived in 563 AD and established a small religious community. Although he died just four years later the influence of his order spread Christianity throughout Scotland. Iona became famous as a centre of learning and was known for its vast library  It is thought that the Book of Kells was created here.

  • Kerepesi cemetery
    Friday, 27 January 2012

    Kerepesi cemetery

    On a short trip to Budapest we decided to go the Kerepesi Cemetery. We weren’t able to find out much about it and couldn't find details in any of our travel books. We asked at the hotel and theyknew nothing about it and were surprised that we would even think of going there. We walked from the hotel and decided to have a picnic lunch along the way. We didn’t have any food so we went into a local shop. We couldn’t speak Hungarian and we were right out of any tourist area so no-one could speak English. We came out with an alarming assortment of various products that we thought would be edible. We stopped at a small park with broken seats and a lot of rubbish that was overlooked by a really run-down, low-cost housing estate. After a while various men came out of the estate and sat around the edges looking at us. We saw a couple of drug-deals happening on the perimeters and thought that it was time to move. Quickly.

  • Vanuatu..of spiders and volcanoes
    Tuesday, 24 January 2012

    Vanuatu..of spiders and volcanoes

    A few years ago I'd been having a rough time with the death of my mother, selling the family home and major renovations on our home. I really needed to get out of town and so I visited my travel agent. He suggested Vanuata, it seemed like a good idea. I should have gone to Bali. Port Vila, on the island of Efate,  is a sleepy town with a very heavy French influence. The restaurants serve expensive French Cuisine and most of the books for sale are in French. The largest area in the local supermarket was taken up with insect repellent and rat killing products. This should have told me something.

  • Looking for a tiger in India.....part 4
    Saturday, 21 January 2012

    Looking for a tiger in India.....part 4

    The story so far. Having left Mumbai on a tiger search I broke my leg in a remote rural area of Rajasthan. I met up with a tour group pretending that my leg was sprained. We went to Ranthambore National Park and I saw a tiger. Now I needed to get home.

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  • Mannequins of the world

    Mannequins are a mirror of how we would like to be, a glamorous alternative of who we are. In 1964 Adel Rootstein developed the first celebrity mannequin when she sculptured a 14 year old Twiggy...

    Wednesday, 25 April 2012