Provençal markets take the cake

I get excited about Provençal markets the way other people get excited about Louboutin and Chanel. While they gasp over the perfect jacket or shoes with a shiny red-lacquered sole, I swoon at the sight of pumpkins, sheep cheese and cabbage plants. I’m missing out on haute couture and they’re missing nature’s bounty while our fragile planetContinue reading “Provençal markets take the cake”

300 years of Wine O’Clock in the Rhône

It’s exactly 300 years since these 40 acres on the baking hot floor of the Rhône Valley were first settled for the purpose of producing wine. In 1715 the Granier family decided this was a good spot, and planted vines. I’m in the Château Les Quatre Filles vineyard in the south of the valley. FromContinue reading “300 years of Wine O’Clock in the Rhône”

Aegina day trip to another world

I meet a fellow Athenian who’s lived in the Greek capital for over 35 years, and yet she’s never been to the island of Aegina. “I hear it’s nice,” she said. I gulp and blink. If you’re standing on the Acropolis looking out to sea, Aegina resembles a smoky blue, slumbering whale of mythical proportions. There’sContinue reading “Aegina day trip to another world”

Explore Catalonia’s cava and castles

Fellow travel blogger Josie Schneider and husband Conrad have created a small, personal tour to explore Catalonia, titled A Cava and Castles Experience.  Josie is a go-to expert on housesitting around the world, sharing her knowledge at housesittingtravel.com . Recently Catalonia has become the preferred niche for the Michigan couple.  The northern Spanish region has also recently capturedContinue reading “Explore Catalonia’s cava and castles”

Athens street art will open your eyes

Athens street art has moved way beyond graffiti into powerful social expression. It’s provocative and evocative. There’s no denying the talent. Most artists started out as teenagers doing what teens do – tagging trains and walls. Now they’re even students at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Recently the City of Athens sponsored some of the better workContinue reading “Athens street art will open your eyes”

Italian Joy by Carla Coulson – giveaway

WHO: Australian Carla Coulson left her corporate job and Sydney life to start a new life in Europe as a photographer. In her first book, Italian Joy, she describes the joys and hardships of her first five years, spent living in Florence. WHAT: More than a decade after Italian Joy  was published, it has been reprinted into aContinue reading “Italian Joy by Carla Coulson – giveaway”

Coffee snobbery dissolved in an instant

“Damn, you people take coffee seriously,” said the visiting American staying in our apartment. We do. So so seriously. Especially in our state capital cities. We spend more time in cafes, buy more fancy home coffee machines than we used to and buy more coffee beans than we used to. We love it when visitorsContinue reading “Coffee snobbery dissolved in an instant”

Home stay or hotel?

Airbnb and other home stay companies allow travellers to stay in frugal or fantastic accommodation all over the world. The concept opens up destinations to people who couldn’t otherwise afford it (yes, that’s me), and to people who want to engage with communities and cultures at a grassroots level. Is that you? The idea ofContinue reading “Home stay or hotel?”

No way to beat the crowds at Parc Güell

Barcelona’s marvel Parc Güell is one of the most over-loved cultural spaces on the planet. It could do with a million less visitors per year. Get there pronto first thing in the morning to minimise your crowd crushing experience. If you haven’t bought your ticket in advance, you can expect to wait in line for twoContinue reading “No way to beat the crowds at Parc Güell”

Syros scrambled eggs and salad recipes

Staying or living on a Greek island means al fresco dining, any time of day, in all seasons except when it’s really wintry. Here’s my Syros scrambled eggs and salad recipes made simply using fresh, local ingredients and whatever we could find in the fridge for brunch. We did pop out to get fresh breadContinue reading “Syros scrambled eggs and salad recipes”