Friday, September 28, 2012

What travel style?

People travel for different reasons. For some it's to get away from it all and lay by the resort/hotel pool. For others it's to eat their way through a city or country. For some it's all about immersing yourself in the local culture.

For me it's a combination of many things and depends on the time we have available.

I'm a history buff so like to check out historical monuments, museums and listening to locals stories.

But as you would have seen from previous sites I also like food. I haven't yet made a decision on where to travel based on what will be available to eat (because I will try almost anything once), but I defiantly will seek out the local cuisine, such as Chili Crab in Singapore or that unusual restaurant, like the place - M Restaurant - in Budapest that was covered in brown paper.

M Restaurant Budapest

I'm big on the great outdoors, so National Parks are high on my list, like Kings Canyon National Park in California. But recently so is hiking like the Bay of Fires in Tasmania. We actually have a dream trip that picks off a number of National parks on the west side of the USA we hope to do someday.

Plitvice Lake, Croatia

We like to try and keep things "sustainable" when we travel to locations, particularly those in the third world or developing countries. Sustainable means different things to different people, but for us it's trying to stay local (although we will stay in the Hilton on an odd occasion!), eating local produce (like eating at Friends in Cambodia) in locally owned restaurants and trying to make sure that basic human requirements are met, such as porters rights on the Inca Trail. This is one can be difficult to implement depending on what it means to you.

Staying local in Mauke

Eating at a local Yum Cha place in Hong Kong

On different trips this will mean different things. Sometimes it can be that you get your own bathroom (no communal showers!), other times it can be that your relatively isolated with good food like our trip to Wilson Island. It's not a key criteria, but we always try to do one thing that has a high level of comfort.

The Hilton Moorea (breaking the keeping it local style above)

For DH it's all about can he squeeze in another AllBlacks game.

What's your travel style?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wish List: Guam and Palau

Guam and Palau are new additions to my wish list, it wasn't until there was this article in the SMH covering the two Islands that my interest really grew.

Palau is famous for the lake in which you can swim with the jellyfish at Jellyfish Lake. The jellyfish have lost their sting due to the lake being fresh water, not seawater. Palau is home to only about 20,000 people and consists of 300 Islands (only around 9 are inhabited).

Guam on the other hand is a US territory (and you generally have to fly through Guam to get to Palau), and a site teeming in WWII history. As you'll know from my previous posts I'm a big fan of food when travelling (well in general really) and the food in Guam is meant to be fantastic. Water sports are also popular, with the average water temperature being 27C all year around!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wish List: Zion and Bryce National Parks, Utah, USA

We love travelling in National Parks, even when we weren't that active (or correction I wasn't that active, DH has always been) we've always enjoyed checking out National Parks, some of our favourites being based in USA (think Yosemite, but also Kings Canyon, Valley of Fire). We also spend a fair time visiting Vegas, so Zion and Bryce are natural choices for our wish list

Zion National Park 273 km or 170 miles from Vegas, in Utah. The subway is a well photographed area and permits must be applied for before hiking into the area. Its also popular for bird watchers and nature lovers in general.

Bryce Canyon National Park is located in a similar area in Utah, with Vegas also being the closest major airport.

They have a shuttle system to minimise traffic disruptions, and of course there is plenty of hiking to do. But with sunsets like the one above, I can only imagine what the sunrises look like!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Melbourne, Vic, Australia

There's quite a rivalry between Sydneysiders and Melbournites, I'm currently spending a fair amount of time in Melbourne for work and while I get part of the argument (good cafe culture, European feel), in my opinion you can't beat Sydney harbour.

However DH and I did manage to fill in our weekend with the best Melbourne had to offer (although we didn't manage to get to an AFL game).

Quest Apartments SXY in South Yarra is a great base, just outside the city (within walking distance), and on the door of Chapel Street and Tourk Road.

  •  Pizza and bar snacks at Little Creatures , Fitzroy on the Friday night
  • Huxtaburgers , Collingwood for a very late night dinner - DH had the original and I had the Denise - the spicy version - unfortunately I ate too quickly to take pictures!
  • A late breakfast/brunch at Kazbar, Chapel Street
  • Hunkey Dory for fish and chips (or squid, salad and rice!)

  • Check out Federation Square
  • Have a wonder down Chapel Street for high end fashion at one end and vintage wear down the other
  • Catch the tram out to the Queen Victoria Markets
  • Have a coffee at Docklands, with great views of the water and city skyline
  • Enjoy the Art Deco buildings

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What to do with all those travel photos

Sometimes it's hard to know what to do with your 100s (or 1000s) of digital photos when you get home. We've displayed them in a number of ways, and in fact still choose a select number to print and put into photo albums (retro I know...). So these are some of the ways we display our photos, what are yours?

One photo from each continent we've traveled to: Sunrise at Angkor Wat Cambodia, Lord How Island Australia, Machu Picchu Peru, Dubrovnik Croatia and Yosemite Falls, USA

Hard cover photo books - 2011 on the bottom and South America on the top

Rotating picture frames from our 2005 USA trip

Photo clock with various travel photos (and a few of the cat thrown in)