Thursday, April 2, 2020

Going the extra Nile

Some river cruise vessels are fit for a pharaoh, offering sparkling pools on deck, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, crystal chandeliers, gourmet restaurants, and postprandial belly dancing. Tarek's boat t was not one of them.

Dreamy Budapest

Budapest wears her dark Communist past lightly, defiantly mixing fin de siècle garb with modern, stylish accessories. Like a courtesan, Pest reveals coquettish glimpses of her Austro-Hungarian grandeur in sumptuous facades and Hapsburg eagles on rooftops. Scented flower stalls and roast coffee aromas entice tourists and locals alike.

Sliding off the tracks

Train to Simon's Town
As Prasa railroads passengers, is it worth paying more for Rovos Rail or the Blue Train? They, too, are subject to signal problems and endless delays. Will Prasa get back on track?

Five Star Flaws

There’s the kettle cord that’s an inch too short to set the kettle on a table, rendering you in a praying position on the floor in order to fill your cup.  The bed post that obscures the flatscreen TV by an inch.

A matter of choice

The Humane Society International objects to the world’s biggest Hunt Convention in Nevada next week where Donald Trump Jr. will speak, but are they barking up the wrong tree?

Hot dates with my Hyundai

Helen Grange recalls great times with her old Hyundai Getz before she had to apply the brakes and sell him on Gumtree, the Tinder for cars,because he became too hot to handle.

Shosholoza Fail

Siobhan Cassidy’s 10-point guide to resisting the South African railway service’s best efforts to ruin what should be one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world.

Taking strain on the train

The menu is printed on a garish yellow laminate sheet, but the fare doesn’t look bad – cream of tomato soup, tender steak, and the “best of South African cheese”.  Alas it’s a cruel tease.

New York with Miss Universe

Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi and Jen Su at a New York café. The beauty queen enjoys sipping on hot chocolate to keep warm during the winter chill. Photo: Hunter Peress.
“I tried a New York bagel for the first time,” explained Zozi Tunzi with excitement, when I met our current Miss Universe the first time.  “A bagel with salmon and cream cheese …”

A journey for Mum

I reach Mum, who is in the severe grip of Alzheimer’s. The joy on her face is a sight to behold. We hug and kiss and then the journey back starts. “Where are we going?” she asks. Off to see Bodie and Doyle, Kojak and Arthur from Minder.

20 travel writing tips

The writer's job is to immerse armchair travellers into worlds unseen. Here are 20 travel writing tips on how to make your copy sing and keep your readers engaged

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.

Full Speedo ahead!

Going for a thong? Please don't. It always looks wrong!
In terms of horror, the sight of a man in a thong ranks alongside the discovery of a fingertip in your burger or dropping your car keys down a storm water drain. The high-cut posing pouch may promise an adequate lunchbox from the front but the sagging rear view is no picnic!

How to win at twitter

Twitter is about cyber conversations with others whose interests may be similar ito yours. Sharing views on solar electricity, water recycling or conservation, among safari lodge owners or wading in on pertinent issues affecting your area can 'personalise' your venue.

When you gotta go!

If you are queasy, stay home because you will find every kind of lavatorial arrangement in the course of your holiday abroad. In many Middle East, Far East, Asian and African countries, a squat-and-aim hole in the ground suffices.

Fragrant Theft

By the time the official has unearthed to the passing public’s prurient gaze, the gussets of your unwashed knickers, your extra control compression girdle (with derriere lift) and held aloft –“What ees thees?” – the vibrating hand your husband got you in Copenhagen for your stiff neck, your dignity will be dust

Goatly encounters

Michael Gebicki comes off second best in an encounter with a goat in India’s green Kumaon region, which squeezes itself into the hindquarters of Tibet.

Hasta la bistro

For others like myself who find foreign menus harder to follow than a Gauteng taxi evading the Metro cops, you'd better get used to adventure ordering, as Google Translate can be unreliable.

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.

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.

Mind over water

Our thoughts matter and absolutely affect the atmosphere. Let us be grateful for the abundance of nature. Our gratitude for this abundance can indeed guide us toward a better use of our life-giving resources, and creating industries that produce what we need in abundance without pollution.