Sunday, December 8, 2019

Visiting San Francisco

A circus looking for a tent is how Will Durst described San Francisco, but he might just as well have been speaking about Fisherman’s Wharf.The northern waterfront area is full of surprises from scary Laughing Sal at the Musee Mecanique to pelicans and sea lions on Pier 39’s concrete slabs.

Fairmont, San Francisco

One of roof gardens at the Fairmont, San Francisco
The Fairmont in San Francisco is the one place you’re likely to bump into somebody rich and famous in the splendid lobby with its marble Corinthian columns, vaulted ceilings, velvet chairs, and wraparound staircase.

10 things to do in San Francisco

San Francisco
You can spend weeks in San Francisco and still not experience everything the city has to offer. Here is a list of 10 things to do in San Francisco

Portugal on a Budget

Portugal is growing in popularity as a travel destination. Find out whether it is possible to experience all the country has to offer if you’re on a budget.

America’s highest hotel

Jen Su at the Four Seasons Philadelphia at Comcast Center
The Four Seasons, designed by Lord Norman Foster, is located inside the Comcast Center, the tallest building in the city.  The 180-room luxury hotel is found on floors 48-60, with offices underneath.  The concept is quite avant-garde

It Mostar Be Love!

Refined by the minarets of many mosques rising like middle-fingered salutes to the Serbians, Mostar lurks in a birch-forested valley.  Across the river, twice the length of the tallest minaret, stands the Croats’ new Catholic Church spire. And on the hilltop high above the town, a cross heralds what might be an uneasy truce, but time will tell.

Albanian Adventure

Albania, on the western side of the Balkan Peninsula bordered by Montenegro, Kosovo, Greece and Macedonia, and 72km from Italy, offers sandy beaches, great food, UNESCO world heritage sites, a 300,000-year history and 300 days of sunshine.

Noshing in Nørrebro

Snatches of memory come and go in flashbulb moments – a handsome young waiter, a strawberry and rhubarb something or another, then lurching into the last train home (after midnight). Comfy seats are perfectly conducive to a little shut-eye between destinations and snoring on the trains late at night is practically a Danish pastime

Hollywood in 48 Hours

Buzzing through Hollywood & Highland, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Life for me is always… a mad rush.  I travel hard. I run fast. Always in heels. So when a sudden opportunity came up to jet over to Hollywood for the premiere of “Judy” starring Renée Zellweger, I grabbed my little suitcase and off I flew.

A Tour de Norse

Since Norway is eye-wateringly expensive – think R500 for a pizza or R180 for a beer – we filled a cooler box with our favourite foods and wines; later consumed al fresco amid soul-cleansing scenery, or surreptitiously on hotel balconies, at a fraction of restaurant prices.

Little India

Unlike Chinatown or even nearby Arab Street, which have an ersatz aura about them, Little India feels like the real deal. It doesn’t take long to walk it flat, depending on how often you stop to bargain with the merchants and organised walking tours are available.

Clock shock

We shared this semi-detached abode with our 60-something Finnish landlady who walked around in her bra, as is the summer custom. Indeed, I saw more Swedes in their underwear – business is clearly brisk for tattoo artists – than decent restaurants. It’s a great social leveler.

Betting on Bornholm

At Gudhjem’s Broddan restaurant, overlooking red roofs down to the glittering sea, we tucked into “Gold over Gudhjem” – rye bread topped with smoked herring, radish and a raw egg yolk. A folkdance for the mouth, it’s washed down with 38 percent alcohol Akvavit, which livened up the post-prandial walks a tad.

Paradise with brass knobs on

The magnificent Lord Howe island. Picture: Mike Gebicki
As well as its birds, its fish, its walks, its quirky island ways, Lord Howe Island is a drug, a potent personality-altering substance. This is the way the world should be – paradise, with brass knobs on.

The Rickshaw Run

The stories that come back from the Runs speak of glorious sunsets over the Ganges, over sexed cows bonding with locals over moustaches, racing around go-cart tracks, traditional festivals or lazy afternoons teaching local children to play golf.

Naval Gazing

Despite the Hollywood hype, piranha only devour dead flesh. Should you fall into the Amazon River, a tour guide from Den Blå Planet in Copenhagen advises flailing about to let these aquatic scavengers know you’re alive.

Keys to Paradise

Key West, Florida is always warm with that balmy humidity that induces long, slow lunches that lead into long, slow dinners, washed down with chilled beer or wine and followed at evening’s end with a sample (or several) from The Rum Bar

Stockholm Syndrome

A stroll through Gamla Stan, the original medieval Stockholm, unfolds teasing reflections of baroque buildings broken up by sailing boats in the filigree of waterways. Alleys twinkle through arches. Everywhere, the water calls to you.

Gateway to China

Hong Kong strikes the balance between bustling commercial hub and quintessential South East Asian cultural experience. Here are a few must-see places

Three chairs for Arne!

Designed for Copenhagen's Hotel Royal. which opened in 1960, Arne Jacobsen's Egg Chair cracked the nod in homes, offices, clubs and airports around the world, starring in several Hollywood movies and cradling the buttocks of the rich and famous.

Tilly Does Russia

Falcons and exotic little monkeys on display with their handlers complete the carnival atmosphere at Red Sqaure, abuzz with Russian and Asian tourists, a few gypsies, ‘guides’ trying to swindle roubles from the gullible, and even a Speakers’ Corner, where pro-communist comrades gather,