From Istanbul to Barcelona, from there to here

A rising murmur in the afternoon street rouses me from siesta. Eyes open to a sun-streaked balcony of daisies and thyme. Ears focus on the plucking of strings and the zip of motos under echoing sirens. I am warm, tired and utterly disoriented. And then I remember: Barcelona is out there. My head is stillContinue reading “From Istanbul to Barcelona, from there to here”

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A day trip to the Princes’ Islands, Turkey

Rocking gently on the wake of the busy Bosphorus with the sun on my neck and salt air in my lungs, I was sure our adventure to the Princes’ Islands was going to be a refreshing change from the whirling metropolis of Istanbul. I’ve always found that boats evoke that holiday feeling – memories ofContinue reading “A day trip to the Princes’ Islands, Turkey”

Norway in a nutshell: the delights of Norwegian trains, fjords & Bergen

The train bound for Bergen offers a picturesque glimpse at Norway’s natural delights. Frozen lakes wedged between icy peaks; ragged pine-lined gorges plunging to black-ribbon creeks; leafless trees like skeletons starved by winter; and colourful toy-like houses spotted across endless walls of white. We departed Oslo Sentral (Oslo S) right on 8.11am, excited for theContinue reading “Norway in a nutshell: the delights of Norwegian trains, fjords & Bergen”

2244km In 3 days: driving the east coast of Australia

Spontaneity can be a blessing and a burden. It can lead to amazing adventures that you may otherwise reason away… and it can find you tired, bleary-eyed and staring at headlights after 14 hours of driving. Spontaneity can apply the pressure that comes from a lack of planning, but also give you freedom from pre-conceivedContinue reading “2244km In 3 days: driving the east coast of Australia”

The road south

There is something about a road trip that feels like freedom. I am not sure if it’s the sun on my ruddy skin or the wind-whipped hair in my face, the music blaring over the road noise, or the time to let thoughts drift in and out.  Maybe it’s moving, getting somewhere, looking forward toContinue reading “The road south”

The Last Leg: Mt Sinai To Cairo

White torch lights pierced the black Sinai night as we stumbled like zombies up the mountain trail. The crunch and crush of feet on sandy gravel echoed off the sandstone with the gurgling grunts of pushy camels. Even with a Bedouin guide bounding (quite literally) up ahead, at times the winding trail seemed to disappearContinue reading “The Last Leg: Mt Sinai To Cairo”

First Impressions of Syria

I was surprised to see the great expanse of lights below as the plane descended towards Aleppo. In my mind, the old city was expected to be smaller, less illuminated, less city-like. After a long line in immigrations and a very thorough inspection of my passport, visa, travel documents and personal details (always nerve racking),Continue reading “First Impressions of Syria”

The Road To Denizli

I am sitting in Denizli Otogar (bus station) drinking free tea while waiting for an overnight bus back to Istanbul. I have had a day of relaxation, an evening of trials and first-hand experience of how gracious and considerate the Turkish people are. (This includes the five old men at this Doner Salonu who areContinue reading “The Road To Denizli”

Skimming the Turkish tourist trail

Just a quick update tonight… My eyes are heavy after a long, hot day skimming the tourist highlights around Selcuk: Ephesus, Artemis’ Temples, the Ephesus Museum and the local markets. I arrived in a dark and deserted Seluck at 6am this morning after a sleepless overnight bus ride. Being a single female, I was seatedContinue reading “Skimming the Turkish tourist trail”

The Two Week Mark: Croatia

Thinking back over the last fourteen days, I am amazed to think of how many places I’ve already seen and experienced. To be honest, the whole idea of travelling to another country in just a day still thrills me (as does travelling to another country full stop). And riding on planes still feels like aContinue reading “The Two Week Mark: Croatia”

A day in the life of a train traveller…

I watched the sun rise over Prague this morning as I made my way by taxi to the central train station. The gold orb ascended into purple sky over mist shrouded gothic spires that  reflected in the Vltava River. It was one of those unexpected and unconditionally perfect moments that travellers hope for. The restContinue reading “A day in the life of a train traveller…”

This is what wonder feels like

It seems the world is much more romantic when viewed through a train window. As I ride from Berlin to Prague, I am overcome with a warm, fuzzy kind of happiness. My heart skips with excitement and wonder as I look upon lush green fields adorned with sunshine-yellow dandelions; eminent rows of wind turbines; uniformedContinue reading “This is what wonder feels like”

Riding in planes with drunks

Soothing pan pipes over Singapore airport speakers are a welcome change to the cursing, moaning, drunken dribble of the past seven hours. Emirates EK0433 has a brief stopover and I take the opportunity to escape my flight neighbour, Andy from the UK, who was somewhat inebriated when he boarded in Brisbane. Within minutes he hadContinue reading “Riding in planes with drunks”